Monkeying around

Monkeying aroundI spent this Halloween morning making this little fella–a standard sock monkey, with night cap–for a friend’s kid.  I was a sewer-for-hire, a position I haven’t had in a long time.  And though I yelled some obscenities at this sock monkey (there’s a lot of handsewing that goes into one of these things!), he turned out pretty cute when all was said and done.

It’s been pretty quiet in these parts lately, as the weather begins to get that late-fall chill.  We’ve made a lot of repeat dinners–comfort food, stuff we know we like.  Tonight we made something new–a roasted tomato soup that starts with a can of tomatoes, chopped, and roasted in  a 450* oven.  It’s a Michael Chiarello recipe I settled on after ruling out others on allrecipes and epicurious.  I made a double-batch–you’ll need that much for four hungry people–and altered a few things.  One, I didn’t use basil–I threw in a pinch of thyme instead.  I prefer my tomato soups reflect tomato flavor more than that classic Italian combination I like for pretty much everything else.  Two, I used no heavy cream–just a heavy glug of 1% milk after the soup was pureed and dumped back in the pot.  And I used far, far less oil than the recipe calls for–a few tablespoons drizzled over the large can of tomatoes for roasting, and a couple of tablespoons in the pot to cook the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic.  3/4 c–in a double-batch, 1 1/2c–seemed really excessive, and it would empty out my bottle.  Anyway, we had this soup with bacon grilled cheeses, made with a little provolone and a little cheddar.  Here’s the soup link. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s some of the other stuff we made, from the archives:
Turkey Shepherd’s Pot Pie
Spiced Cranberry Apple Jam
Pasta with Shredded Brussel Sprouts

I’ve been crafting, but much of it is top-secret gifts for the upcoming holiday season crafting. Gotta start early, I’m afraid, in order to get it all done!
Apple Crisp
Snickerdoodles

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