Tofu Taco Recipe

Tofu Tacos
Check out the tofu… nice & spicy

We are trying to eat more vegetarian dinners and while we all like tofu, we rarely eat it. I decided to get some today and found a recipe for Smoky Tofu Tacos and decided to try it. I tweaked it, as always (partly as I didn’t get smoked tofu). I’ll link to the original recipe at the end if you’d rather try the original.

They are actually quite filling, and the 2 of us left half the filling so I’d say this is a recipe for 4…

Topped with sour cream & avocado

Tofu Tacos

1 package fresh tofu
2 peppers, I used 1 yellow & 1 green
2 onions
2 tbsp veg oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of kidney beans, drained
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp water
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
(plus extra spices to sprinkle on the tofu)
2 tsp demerara sugar
6″ tortillas, wheat or corn
yogurt or sour cream
1 small bunch of coriander, chopped
1 avocado,sliced

Take the tofu out of the package and place in a bowl or a plate wide enough to keep the tofu flat and hold water too. Wrap the tofu & plate in cling film, then place a container on top weighted with tins, rice, dried beans etc to flatten the tofu and squash the tofu and drain the excess water out. This will also firm up the tofu and help it hold together better.

Slice the onion into thick slices, then on low heat, saute the onions in 1 tbsp oil until they start to brown. Add salt & pepper once they start to brown, not at the beginning. Take them out of the pan, then repeat with the peppers, also sliced thickly. Once they are browned, take them out of the pan and set aside.

Put the chopped tomatoes in a small pan and heat up with the grated garlic and let cook until it’s reduced a little, stirring occasionally.

Clean out the pan if needed, then put in 2 tbsp veg oil place on med. low heat. Slice the tofu into 1 cm slices, then dry off. Once the oil is hot, place the tofu gently in the pan so you don’t get splashed, then turn up the heat a little and let the tofu brown. Sprinkle the tofu with salt, pepper, ground cumin & coriander. Once it’s brown, turn over and sprinkle with the spices again. Take out and place on paper towel.

Put the reduced tomatoes & garlic peppers & onions, kidney beans, tomato paste and water (if needed) into the pan on med-low heat and stir well. Add in the spices, sugar and stir again, then put in the tofu. Turn down the heat and stir gently so the tofu doesn’t break up and let gently simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped coriander.

Pop the tortillas on a plate and microwave for 1 minute to heat up. Serve each person 2 tortillas topped with the tofu mix, then top with yogurt/sour cream and slices or chunks of avocado.

Tofu Tacos again

Here’s the original recipe.

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A Knitting Bag! (Or Crochet Bag, I’m not picky…)

I plan on making more fabric items this year and I started with this lovely knitting/crochet projectbag. It’s made from high quality quilting cotton and lined in cream cotton. There’s black grosgrain ribbon pulled through an abstract black & white quilting cotton to close it, and it will hold 3-4 skeins of fingering yarn + needles/hooks and notions. I have enough fabric to make 3 but after that, no more. So kind of “Limited Edition”…. 🙂

Mustard & Black Knitting Bag
Drawstring Bag
Bag with 3 skeins of yarn inside
Peeking into the top of the bag
Side of the Bag

Standing up and open

It’s listed in my Etsy shop here and I plan on having more join it soon. What do you look for in a knitting bag – pockets for notions? Do you prefer a zippered bag, or a drawstring with a toggle on it? How about fabric — funky, elegant, cheerful? Give me some ideas!

Roasted Curry Cauliflower & Chick Peas

I don’t often manage to get savoury recipes blogged. I do them far more often than sweet ones but they don’t usually get photographed and written down.

Bowl of Curried Cauliflower

This one I made for lunch last week; I felt like something veggie and had a half a cauliflower to use up. This is definitely one I will make again!

Cauliflower & Chick Peas

Roasted Curry Cauliflower & Chick Peas

1/2 med. cauliflower
1 small onion
1 can of chick peas, drained & rinsed
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 slices ginger, sliced into sticks
3 tbsp veg oil
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp nigella seeds
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp water
small bunch of fresh coriander
plain yogurt

Take the cauliflower and slice into 1″ thick slices, then cut the core out to break them up slightly. Chop the onion into 1cm chunks, then mix together in a large bowl with the cauliflower, veg oil and spices. Tip into a roasting pan, making sure they are well mixed together. Roast for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion and cauliflower are cooked through and slightly browned. I put the 2 tbsp water in the pan about half-way through to help steam the cauliflower slightly. Serve with freshly chopped coriander and a spoonful of yogurt. Makes 2 servings for a main course, or 4 for a side. Of course, if you end up having more cauliflower than will fit into a 9″ x 13″ pan, you’ll need to adjust the spice amounts up. You probably won’t want more chick peas until you use a whole cauliflower.

You can use this as a side dish with roasted chicken or as a meal on its own. You won’t need potatoes – this is very filling!

Curried Cauliflower & Chick Peas

Hiya Hiya Knitting Needles

As some of you know, I’m a Hiya Hiya stockist selling some their knitting needles, accessories and Gift Sets exclusively on Etsy. The range is huge, and I’d need to take a new mortgage out to get the full list of crochet hooks, knitting needles, gift sets and accessories that Hiya Hiya make.

Standard Sharp 5″ Interchangeable Gift Set

I’ve found that their bamboo DPN’s are very nice to knit with – smooth and non-snagging. How well they ‘grab’ depends on the yarn you use with them but they are certainly less slippy than metal DPN’s!

Bamboo DPN’s

I like their fixed circulars too – I tend to use them over interchangeables most of the time but do have a few interchangeables too. I don’t have any larger Hiya Hiya knitting needles – over 5mm right now so I don’t know how they are different from the ones I use now.

Steel Circulars

If you could add anything to the Hiya Hiya selection here in my Etsy shop, what would you want to see? Comment below and maybe you’ll get a little gift from me!

Inside
Back

Discontinued Yarns = New Rainbow Boob!

I really get used to using a yarn sometimes – and these yarns have been around for over 5 years, so it was a bit of a shock when I went to order more rainbow acrylic yarns for boobs and the colours I use weren’t available anymore. I sent off an email to the yarn company, but it seems that this yarn is discontinued and what I have left is all I can get.

The most popular Rainbow Breasts
Pastel Rainbow Breast with Simulated Tumour

So…. I had to find another rainbow yarn – or 3. Ice Yarns didn’t have any suitable at the time, so I looked elsewhere. Sirdar has a yarn that’s exactly like the first rainbow yarn I use but it’s 20% wool and a lot more expensive. Boo. I have enquired about being a stockist but I haven’t yet taken it any further as they have salesmen that you have to order through instead of actually just ordering online.

Classic Rainbow Breast
Spring Rainbow Breast

So I kept looking and a few months later, I saw a new rainbow yarn on the Ice Yarns Website. It’s heavier than the other Ice Yarns rainbow yarn by a fair bit but I decided to order it anyway and adjust my pattern. I managed to get a new boob made with it fairly quickly once it arrived with only minimal adjusting of the pattern which was a bonus.

Pastel Rainbow Breast

It’s now available in my Etsy shop HERE!

New Rainbow Breast

I will be looking to have other new rainbow boobs as the current ones finish, but if you love the current ones, you’d better get ordering now, as they won’t be around for much longer! Anatomical Knits

Orange Breast

More New Camera Straps!

Yup, it’s that time again… new items! This time it’s 4 Camera Scarf Straps – 3 with nylon straps and 1 with keyrings and lobster clasps.

The scarf straps are all upcycled from 2nd hand scarves. The kind of camera strap they get made into depends on the material, size and shape. Thicker ones like pashminas get made into non-adjustable straps with nylon strap fittings and I have to work with the thickness and make a larger pleather cover for them than for a thinner scarf. The long, fine scarves are sewn into adjustable straps with keyrings and lobster clasps for fittings. I don’t usually have much trouble with these ones; I’ve made so many now. I have plans to make covers for the straps that come with DSLR cameras; I have some bright and cheerful cottons as well as some patterned Fat Quarters too.

These 4 Camera Scarf Straps are all listed in my Etsy, Amazon and Ebay shops, so you get your pick of where to buy them! BTW, which is your favourite platform to buy from out of the 3?

Butterflies & Birds Scarf Strap

I have 2 available – Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon.

Close-up of Butterfly & Birds

Tan Floral Scarf Strap

This one is OOAK (one-of-a-kind) – Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon.

Close-up of Floral Scarf Strap
Floral Scarf Strap

Green Stripes Pashmina Scarf Strap

There are 2 of this lovely pashmina scarf strap available –Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon.

Close-up of Green Striped Strap
Green Stripes

White Silk Embroidered Scarf Strap

This one is gorgeous, no matter what I tried, my photos do not do it justice – soft white silk with small flowers embroidered on it… Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon.

Close-up

Which is your favourite?

“Fish Fingers & Custard”

My son turned 9 last month and we had the usual party – at the Center for Computing History in Cambridge – they have ‘Retro Gaming Parties’ for all ages. The kids had a blast and their parents are now planning their own gaming party soon.

He wanted a Tardis Birthday Cake originally and we looked at tutorials online, but as I can’t actually decorate a cake…. we went for “Fish Fingers & Custard” also from Doctor Who. If you don’t remember, Matt Smith’s first episode when he met Amy Pond – he tried out food to see what he liked and decided on ‘Fish fingers and custard’. The show used cake, apparently, but I decided on Shortbread.

Fish Fingers & Custard

They are a little time consuming to make, but worth it for the look on the kids’ faces! Some only tried one because another Mum said they had to try one or they couldn’t play more computer games, and a couple wouldn’t eat them with custard so they had jelly instead. The recipe makes enough for 60 shortbread fingers.

Fish Fingers:

12 oz./375g soft unsalted butter (do not use margarine!)
6 oz./165g white sugar
19 oz./590g plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 tsp salt

5-6 egg yolks
water

200g digestive biscuits or graham crackers
4 tbsp melted butter
3 oz./100g sugar

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – I use an electric mixer. Sift in half the flour and the salt, then mix again. Sift in the rest of the flour and mix. Separate into 2 balls, wrap one up in cling film. If it’s very soft, put it into the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Roll out one ball of dough on a floured surface to about 9-10mm (3/8″) thick – about the thickness of a fish finger. Try to make it as rectangular as possible. Cut out fingers about 7.5cm (3″) long and 2.5cm (1″) wide. I cut each row out as I went along to try to get as many out of each sheet as possible. I used a small ruler so they would all be the same. Place each one on a cookie sheet with parchment/baking paper on it and chill for 15 minutes. Repeat with the other ball of dough, then again using the leftovers of both together.

Cutting out the Shortbread Dough

Crush the biscuits/crackers. I used a food processor to make crumbs then added the sugar and melted butter and pulsed a few times to mix. Place on a plate or pie plate. (you’ll probably need to make this in batches depending on the size of your food processor). Once the fingers are chilled, whisk the egg yolks with enough water to thin them out a little.

Egg Wash
“Breading”

Put each finger in the egg mix and make sure they get covered, then transfer to the coating plate. Cover each one well, pressing down to coat. Remove back to the cookie sheet. Repeat until all the fingers have been coated. Put the cookie sheet back in the fridge to chill again for 15 minutes. Make sure you don’t crowd the cookie sheet, they will spread a little and you don’t want them to stick together. (I put mine a little too close together).

More ” Breading”
Ready to chill again

Bake at 180’C for 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked and start to brown. The ‘breading’ should crack a little and they should look like actual fish fingers. Carefully take off the sheet and onto a rack to cool. They will be soft and break easily when hot.

Baked & Cooling off

We served them in icecream tubs with bought custard – there were a couple of kids who just couldn’t get past the ‘fish fingers’ look and eat them with custard and a couple who gingerly tried then realised they were biscuits and dug right in. It was an easy birthday dessert, and perfect for a party too.

Anatomical Knits… again!

I don’t often talk about my anatomical knits. Mostly because some people get very embarrassed when I tell them what I’m knitting when I’m out in public – but not children, interestingly. They always want to know “Why?” And I tell them as much as I think they will understand – or the adult they are with is comfortable with me telling them.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I make crochet breasts and have made hundreds. I do occasionally get requests for modifications to my pattern – some I won’t do, some I can’t and some I don’t have time to make to the buyer’s timeline. (The request at the beginning of my Christmas rush for 3 knit alimentary tracts fell into this category). The request below didn’t fall into those categories.

I had a buyer in the US ask if I could modify a crochet breast to add a simulated tumour inside it. It took several tries to get it right, and even then I wasn’t sure. I sent it off to the buyer and then another one off to an IBCLC I know who is also a nurse. Both were impressed, so I guess I got it right as my IBCLC friend said: “I think you have nailed it. It is really good. The lump is not obvious unless you palpate the breast and women are told to use the flat of their hand and not finger tips to do this. If you do it that way you do find it but you have to be thorough which is what women need to be when looking for lumps. Got my husband to try it and he found the lump too.”

Crochet Breast with simulated tumour

You have to palpate the breast to feel the “tumour” just as you would if you were self-examining your own breasts. I didn’t make it easy to feel because usually tumours aren’t easy to feel in a real breast.

It’s shorter and has a cardboard insert to press against while you palpate to find the tumour. It’s made from the same ever-popular pastel rainbow yarn and high quality polyfill as with my other crochet breasts.

Most of my anatomical knits are used as medical teaching aids or models – they don’t break, are washable and you don’t have to worry about handing them to all and sundry when teaching. You can find this Crochet Breast with Tumour in my Etsy Shop, Anatomical Knits by LGD.

Happy New Year!

Hello again. I know, I know, I abandoned you – but not intentionally! I ran out of steam to write blog posts – I did’t just want to post new items I have made to sell all the time, but couldn’t think of anything else to blog about!

Happy New Year!

In Real Life, it’s been hectic, son’s settling in well to boarding and singing, hubby’s been very busy at work and helping son with music practice. I’ve been busy labelling new clothes to replace ones that have gone missing at school, and reminding him to wash his hair properly. He’s shot up as well; he’ll need yet more new clothes in a few weeks, I’m sure. We already had to buy new school shoes to replace the half pair he lost a week before the holidays started – 1 went missing after Games and he hasn’t had his ‘Cinderella’ moment yet. We couldn’t wait to see if it did come back when the new term started, though. Right now, we all have colds, so are grotty and grumpy but I stocked up the house before Christmas so we have had enough stuff to make soups and meals you want to eat when you have a cold.

Looking Glass Designs has been doing well, too. I haven’t finalised accounts for November & December yet, but it looks like I have passed last year’s turnover for those 2 months. Not sure about the tax year as a whole yet. I also started selling on Amazon Handmade and am pleasantly surprised at how quickly I got busy on there.

I have plans for several new product lines that I hope will sell well, and another style of Camera strap too. This one will be a cover, so I can use some of the fabric on my shelves – I have some gorgeous fat quarters!

I smacked my hand on the edge of our kitchen door jamb in August and it’s still not healed. I’m going to look for a physiotherapist – I went to the doctor’s but as it wasn’t ‘deformed, bruised or not bending’ they wouldn’t do anything…

Pippy’s still missing Annie, he spends a lot of time wanting cuddles and sleeping beside me. He got “old” very quickly once she was gone; he refused to go outside almost at all for most of September. We used to have to pick him up and take him outside. He’s slightly better now, but I’m not allowed out of the house for longer than a couple of hours or he’s very upset when I/we get home. He will be 14 this year, in May/June time.

I hope you and yours have a 2018 that is mostly good – if there were no ‘downs’ the ‘highs’ wouldn’t be so wonderful!

Etsy Shop Review – Fairy Fountain Gifts

These are still talked about!

Through The Looking Glass

I’ve seen Jennifer Dodd AKA “Fairy Fountain Gifts” posting on UK Etsy Facebook groups for a little while, but somehow we ended up getting to know each other a little better than others on FB Etsy pages. I can’t *quite* remember how…. Her shops are Fairy Fountain Gifts and Fairy Fountain Kids She makes cute and affordable costume jewellery for adults and children over 3.

She often helps out other etsy shop owners with advice and suggestions on how to improve their shops, and I have in the past as well…. (see my posts on Product Photography)

She ordered some camera buddies and scarf camera straps from me and left some lovely reviews on Etsy, and I finally got the chance to order from her recently.

My son is finishing up in Year 2 (Grade 2) and is leaving his school to go to a new school for Year…

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