Warmth From The Poles

Quilted Penguin Pillow

 

Little Penguin Polaris pattern on Etsy

 

While we are being rain-starved here in California, I know most of you are probably tired of winter already.  I think my little penguin Polaris would heartily agree with you.  I made this pillow for Amanda and I recently realized that I haven’t shared it here.  This little penguin keeps on tugging on my sleeve and demanding that I make more copies of him.

 

I used purple for the scarf and hat since that is Amanda’s favorite color.  I don’t do a lot of  heavy quilting and I depend on my walking foot a lot.  I found this site showing wonderful quilting patterns done with the walking foot.  I used the wave design on the pillow and then quilted four straight lines on the border.

 

Amanda told me that her daughter claimed the pillow as soon as she opened the box.  You can see her photo on Amanda’s site – What The Bobbin.  Picture-perfect warmth and comfort!  My little penguin found a happy home, don’t you think?!  If you want to make him, you can find him on Etsy.

 

From one pole to the other!  I love to cook.  A lot.  Stew is my favorite because nothing warms you up better than hot stew on a cold winter day.  Ever since I had Lapskaus in Norway, I wanted to replicate it at home.  It’s a very starchy stew where the potatoes become really mushy, leading to the starchy characteristic of the stew.  I looked for a few recipes on the web, but either the ingredients looked nothing like what we tasted, or it looked like way too much work for a simple, hearty stew.  So I decided to follow my own mouth and devise a recipe.

 

 

Lapskaus

 

Ingredients –

1 stalk of celery – chopped
1 lb carrots – chopped (you can use any root vegetable you like)
1 medium onion – sliced
1 package of peas (I forgot to add them to mine this time)
5 – 6 medium to large potatoes – chopped in large chunks (I’ll explain a bit more about the potatoes in the recipe)
4 – 5 large cloves of garlic – minced (I like a lot of garlic)
Canola oil
2 tsp dried thyme
Salt – to taste
1 package of good beef broth (mine is 1 quart or 946ml in the USA)
3.75 lbs of stew meat of your choice – chopped

 

 

Lapskaus

 

 

About the potatoes – starchier the better.  I use golden potatoes since I want them to mostly fall apart and thicken the stew, but still hold their shape a little.  If you want them to be mushier than that, I suggest you use baking potatoes.

 

To begin, I add a couple of tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven (I add more oil as needed to coat the vegetables).  First I fry the onions, I add them to the still-cold oil to reduce spatter.

 

Once the onions turn light brown,  I stir in the minced garlic making sure it doesn’t burn.  After that, I add the carrots, celery, potatoes and meat and cover all of it with the broth.  Along with salt I also add a couple of teaspoons of thyme, which is my most favorite herb.  I am pretty sure I sprinkle a little bit more on top of the initial two teaspoons!  I then stir everything together.  It’s easier for me to stir everything in the liquid, so I don’t bother stirring until I add the broth.  Once it comes to a boil, I turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for 3-4 hours or until the meat is completely tender.  This is my favorite way of making stew; all I vary are the vegetables, the spices and the meat.

 

 

Lapskaus

 

 

Here’s my finished Norwegian Lapskaus.  It tasted exactly like what we had in Norway.  Next time I am adding a package of peas.  I am sure any Norwegian grandmother would shriek at my method of cooking this stew, but it sure tasted good and hearty on a cold winter day!

 

-Soma

 

 

I love reading your comments and I always reply to them via email. Thank you so much for taking the time to write one.

27 thoughts on “Warmth From The Poles

  • Lorna McMahon October 8, 2015 at 05:48

    I’m back! Just could not resist revisiting your purple penguin post….

    Reply
  • Cheryl March 9, 2014 at 18:30

    It is finally warming up over here in South Carolina, I think that I am going to have to try that stew before it gets too hot because it looks delicious!

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya March 10, 2014 at 17:54

      I hope you like it. I wanted to have some before it got too hot here as well, so I made a pot yesterday. It tastes even better the next day :)

      -Soma

      Reply
  • Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation March 3, 2014 at 08:59

    Aw! he is such a cute little penguin!

    Thank you so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya March 3, 2014 at 23:40

      Thanks, Kelly! I never grow tired of making him :)

      -Soma

      Reply
  • Janine February 28, 2014 at 07:15

    The penguin cushion is fab and your stew looks delicious. Thank you for the walking foot link :)

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 28, 2014 at 14:22

      Thanks, Janine!! I am not very comfortable with FMQ, so I found that link extremely useful.

      Soma :)

      Reply
  • AmandaK@whatthebobbin.com February 27, 2014 at 18:39

    Aww, my daughter still sleeps with polaris on her bed. He has had to be washed a couple times but he is no worse for the wear. Thanks again for sending him to come live with us. We just love him.

    That stew looks super yummy! I’m in a cooking slump right now. The kids get ridiculous around dinner time and I rarely feel like cooking then. Ahh…maybe in a few years that will change? I doubt it too. haha

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 28, 2014 at 14:21

      That is so sweet!! I couldn’t have asked for more than a little girl falling in love with something I made. Best compliment ever!!

      Haha! May be in a few years you can involve them too. Here’s to wishful thinking :)

      -Soma :)

      Reply
  • Vera February 27, 2014 at 14:31

    I’m going to check that link with walking foot desings. I tried some FMQ yesterday and it might just not be for me :-) The pinguin is fun! For some reason it reminded me of South Park, lol.

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 28, 2014 at 13:34

      I am not courageous enough to try FMQ on a quilt yet, so I am playing with the walking foot a lot. Yes, I think it’s the eyes that makes him look like a South Park character :)

      Have a wonderful weekend!
      -Soma

      Reply
  • Susan @TheBoredZombie.com February 27, 2014 at 13:49

    He’s perfect on that pillow! My kid has mentioned that she wants to try paper piecing. She love penguins… might be a little serendipity here! I’ll have to check with her next time we have a few hours to kill. No really, it happens sometimes. hahaha!

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 28, 2014 at 13:30

      You have a few hours to kill?? Seriously? Why don’t I believe that? LOL!! It’s fantastic that she wants to learn paper piecing. I am very sure she will love it :)

      -Soma

      Reply
  • Lorna McMahon February 27, 2014 at 12:38

    That little penguin is adorable! Love his hat and scarf. But, yes, I have had enough of winter. Can you believe it? It is a snow day and the roads are closed!

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 27, 2014 at 12:55

      Thanks, Lorna! I can definitely believe that you are tired of winter by now, hopefully warmer weather will be there soon!

      -Soma

      Reply
  • Carolyn Champion February 27, 2014 at 11:41

    I just love your cute penguin. Do you have a pattern of him? He would be great to snuggle up with.

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 27, 2014 at 12:53

      Thank you so much, Carolyn! I love that little guy :)

      You can get the pattern on Etsy and Craftsy –

      Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/listing/116653200/little-penguin-polaris-paper-piecing

      Craftsy – http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/other/little-penguin-polaris—paper-piecing/38152

      -Soma :)

      Reply
  • BFromM February 27, 2014 at 11:34

    I am now very hungry, and I am going to try your stew recipe.

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 27, 2014 at 12:48

      After writing all that up, I got hungry too! LOL!! I know what’s on the menu this weekend :)

      Bon Appetit!
      -Soma

      Reply
  • Mary Reinhardt February 27, 2014 at 11:15

    I love penguins so I think your pillow is adorable. I just made a pot of beef stew although mine looks a bit different from yours. Being from the South, I made a roux with lots of thick gravy and used the same veggies and stew meat. As you mentioned, it’s great on a cold day.

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 27, 2014 at 12:46

      So glad you like my little penguin. He is my favorite :)

      I spent my teenage years in Atlanta and I love southern food. So comfy. Next time I will have to make it the way you mentioned.

      -Soma

      Reply
  • Susan in OK February 27, 2014 at 10:50

    The penguin is adorable. Polaris is a wonderful name, too! The stew is similar to beef stew that my mother made. She’d save left over vegetables. She kept a container in the freezer and just left any left over vegetables to it. When it came to make vegetable soup or stew. She’d pull the container(s) out of the freezer and add it to the concoction. You’d have some strange things for soup/stew – cauliflower, broccoli, lima beans, etc. We enjoyed it and it was a good use of leftovers.

    I was looking for the pattern of Polaris and cannot find it. Is it available?

    Polaris would make a great winter tablerunner, too! I’ve been thinking about ideas to make for donations and practice my quilting skills. A lady at church makes jam and such and gives it away as door prizes for attention in our class at church. I’ve been thinking about small projects that I might make to donate.

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 27, 2014 at 12:42

      Your mom’s idea to use up leftovers is ingenious. Thank you for sharing. You can get the pattern on Etsy and Craftsy –

      Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/listing/116653200/little-penguin-polaris-paper-piecing

      Craftsy – http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/other/little-penguin-polaris—paper-piecing/38152

      Happy Sewing,
      Soma :)

      Reply
  • Kathleen February 27, 2014 at 10:45

    Your little penguin looks just like how I feel right now . . . brrrrrrrrrrr. Woke up to a fresh supply of snow this morning. At least 4 inches when I shoveled it. Now I can’t tell I even shoveled!! I have that pattern. I should probably stitch it up!

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 27, 2014 at 12:38

      Oh dear!! I am sorry to hear that Kathleen. Warm up some good food and sit by the fire. That should warm you up nicely.

      The penguin is so much easier to sew than the other ones you made. I love that little guy :)

      Stay warm,
      -Soma

      Reply
  • Shari February 27, 2014 at 08:39

    Yum…keep the pot on the stove, I’m coming for supper. What would you like for dessert? A nice apple pie? LOL love your little penguin. Thanks for the link for the walking foot quilting ideas…I’m open to learning new stuff! Like more of your wonderful paper piecing!

    Reply
    1. Soma Acharya February 27, 2014 at 12:36

      I am enjoying quilting with walking foot a lot, definitely less stressful than free motion.
      Oooo…apple pie!! I would love that :)

      -Soma

      Reply

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