Shawl, Check!

Finished my Revontuli shawl

Going through my to-do list several days ago, a big item was to finish knitting my shawl.

Check!

Blog20160331 - 4
Unblocked, fresh off the needles

Revontuli Shawl, knit in Frabjous Fibers Wonderland Yarns Mad Hatter, 1 pack mini skeins colorway Caucus Race and 1 full size skein Caucus Race. (All links go to Ravelry.)

Blog20160331 - 5Blog20160331 - 9 I added 18 rows beyond the chart included in the pattern.

It’s all blocked and ends woven in. I’ll probably wear it to work this weekend.

This was one of those projects that goes quickly, because the pattern was simple enough that I didn’t get brain fatigue, but interesting enough that I didn’t want to stab my eye with a needle out of boredom (all-garter stitch projects, anyone?). The color changes from the yarn helped, too, though that was my doing and not the result of using a self-striping yarn.

This is the fourth project I’ve knit from yarn from this dyer. One of the previous projects used a worsted weight, this and the remaining two were all sport weight. It’s fantastic to work with and the colors are out of this world.

Dinner, March 26, 2016

  Sautéed chicken breast, mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, roasted eggplant. Using up extra ingredients from a batch of Ratatouille I made to take to Easter dinner.

Recipe: Sour Cream Cutout Cookies

Cutout cookies just like my Mom makes

This one is an oldie. My aunt shared it with my mom back in 1974, and it’s been Mom’s go-to cutout cookie recipe ever since.

I generally follow the instructions. And then I get mad because chilling the dough thoroughly means that it has to sit out for at least 30 minutes before it softens enough to roll out. Grrr. This time, I chilled the dough for only 30 minutes, while I cleaned up the mixer and did a few dishes. They rolled out fine. So, yeah, the original chill time is a little excessive.

There are 2 spices listed: nutmeg and cardamom. The original recipe called for nutmeg. Mom uses cardamom when she wants a cookie that’s a little more exotic-tasting, or when she doesn’t want the little flecks of nutmeg to show in the finished cookies. You could use whatever spice you like. Same for the extract – use lemon or almond instead of vanilla. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re using nutmeg and you have it, use fresh-grated!

Continue reading “Recipe: Sour Cream Cutout Cookies”

Dinner, March 23, 2016

Blog20160324 - 1
Spaghetti-style spaghetti squash, sautéed kale

Pan steam-sautéed kale (put bit of water in bottom of sauté pan, add kale, cover. Cook a few minutes until bright green, then remove lid and let water evaporate.)

Spaghetti-style spaghetti squash:

Cut squash in half, remove seeds. Place cut side up on baking pan in 375˚F oven until a paring knife pokes squash easily (this was a big squash; it took about an hour). Let cook for a few minutes. Scrape with fork to remove strands of squash from skin. Because this was such a huge squash, I used half and froze the other. I used about 300g of strands for this recipe.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, brown and crumble 20 oz. lean (93/7) ground turkey, 1 diced medium yellow onion, and 8 oz. chopped baby bella mushrooms. Season with dried minced garlic and Italian herb mix. When meat is cooked through, stir in 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes and the squash strands. Heat through.

Recipe: Sesame Candy

Delicious Sesame Candy for snacking or gifting.

The forum that is my primary social outlet is having a food swap. There are a few of us who signed up, filled out a questionnaire about preferences (including whether we would be willing to eat homemade food from a virtual stranger), allergies, etc. and were matched up with a name. The responses from the name I was assigned are funny and reminded me of this recipe.

Blog20160323 - 3
Toasted seeds and nuts

I have made this before. But like many recipes, I tried it when I first got the cookbook. Then when the novelty of the book wore off, I put it on the shelf and forgot about it.

I really need to go through this book and make some of these things.

Usually when I make this, I do a half batch. So that’s what I’m including below. Depending on how you cut them, you can get 30-50 pieces from the half batch. They are small, but then you can have more than one piece, or can try something else off the dessert tray. They have a nutty flavor that’s only lightly sweet, and are a great little tidbit to include on a cheese tray. Making smaller batches means you can make a couple of variations, trying different nuts and seasonings, without ending up with candy for weeks.

If you live near a store with a good bulk foods department, check it out for some of the ingredients. They can be pricey at standard mega-marts. Middle Eastern groceries are a good source for inexpensive sesame seeds, too.

A word of warning: this stuff gets HOT. The oils in the nuts and seeds come out during toasting and can burn if you’re not careful pouring them into the mixing bowl. And molten honey not only burns, it sticks.

Continue reading “Recipe: Sesame Candy”

Dinner, March 22, 2016

Blog20160323 - 2
Sauteed chicken breast and veg

Sauteed chicken breast, topped with homemade sweet yellow tomato chutney, oven roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, grape tomatoes.

He comes with a new hat!

I finished a hat this morning

One thing about Car Guy and me: we talk in quotes from The Simpsons. A lot. Some classic quotes get used quite frequently. And we can have whole conversations implied by a single quote used as shorthand.

Today’s quote: “But (s)he comes with a new hat!” is a reference to Malibu Stacy. And, this morning, to Car Guy. Because I finished knitting a new hat for him to wear on walks, in time for him to wear it to work today. Yes, I was finishing that last round and weaving in the end as he was polishing off his oatmeal for breakfast.

And then I completely forgot to get a picture.

It was the 1898 Hat, which is available free online. (Ravelry page, SCI page) There are some fun techniques used: provisional cast on, grafting, picking up stitches, working 2 layers into 1, and knitting in the round. But all in all, it’s not a really difficult pattern. It would be a good learning project for someone who wanted to try those skills. And hats are good warm weather knitting, because they don’t blanket your lap and get you all hot.

Besides, it’s always a good time to knit things to put in the holiday gift bin. I think I’m going to go through my yarn stash and make a bunch of these specifically for Christmas.