Category Archives: recipe

bsj update

Last weekend I was over in Sisters again, this time with some of the Day Old Pastries for a music retreat. It was really nice to take some time for music. I played more over the weekend than I had in all of September!

While I was there, I finished knitting the body of the Baby Surprise Jacket.

garter

I love this yarn. My friend Kerri spun it up. It’s Blue Faced Leicester, Crayon colorway from Gale’s Art (etsy link).

bfl pdx

amoeba

Doesn’t look much like a jacket, though, does it? But a quick fold yields this:

folded

Elizabeth Zimmermann was an absolute genius. It’s like knitted origami. I added a collar, according to instructions in the BSJ dvd from Schoolhouse Press. (I highly recommend this dvd and instruction set. My instructions in an old Knitters’ magazine were quite cryptic.) I picked up the stitches for the collar from the inside of the jacket so the pickup would be hidden under the collar turn. You could do it either way.

collar

front

back

All in all, a cute knit. Now it just needs some buttons…

While I was in Sisters, I made wonton soup for the Pastries. They wanted a recipe, so here it is.

wonton soup

Wonton Soup

¼ lb peeled deveined shrimp, (frozen thawed is fine, and size doesn’t matter since it will be ground)
¼ lb ground turkey breast
6 medium to large shiitake mushrooms (3 for filling and 3 sliced for soup)
1 can sliced water chestnuts (half for filling and half to go in soup)
1 stalk green onion
3 to 6 stalks bok choy (half goes into filling; other half goes into soup) I like baby or shanghai bok choy. If you use the smaller bok choy, 6 stalks; if you use the really big long stuff, 3 is plenty)
snow pea pods, amount of your choosing

1 egg
¼ tsp five spice powder
½ Tablespoon oyster sauce

1 package wonton wrappers
1 48 oz box reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups water

Start your broth, water, 3 sliced mushrooms in a large soup pot. This can heat while you prepare wontons; when it boils bring it down to a simmer.

I have a small food processor, so I chop things sequentially. This also lets me avoid chopping the vegetables too finely; we want some crunch!

Chop and place into a large bowl: the shrimp, turkey (already ground), 3 mushrooms, ½ can water chestnuts, half the bok choy, green onion. Combine eggs, 5 spice, and oyster sauce and add to bowl, Mix all ingredients well. (does it need a little more 5 spice? give it a sniff; it should smell divine. I tried to measure but had to guess because at first I had too much in my measuring spoon)

Fold wontons! I put a little less than a tablespoon of filling in each wonton. Fold on the diagonal, then use the back of your spoon to put a dab on the fold next to right side of the filling (on the outside), give a little twist and fold to bring the underside of the left side of the filling mound to the dab on the of the right side of the filling mound. Sounds confusing, I know. You can google it, but my way is different than the ones I found there. They all work.

Bring broth back to a boil. Add wontons and remaining water chestnuts. Cook for 4 minutes, reducing heat to medium when soup begins to boil again (don’t want to jostle the wontons too much and have them fall apart!). After 4 minutes, add the remaining bok choy (sliced in 1 inch pieces on the diagonal) and pea pods. If you have extra shrimp, now is the time to put them in the soup, too. Stir occasionally to get the vegetables down into the soup. Soup is ready in about 3 more minutes. Don’t overcook; it gets sloppy!

If this is more food than you need, you can store the extra filling in the fridge for a couple days, and make fresh wontons again.

not much knitting…

but there seems to be a lot of dessert!

Last night I made this cobbler.

cobbler

The edges are a little messy because I forgot to add the lemon juice to the fruit mixture, so I poured it back into the bowl and then back into the dish. Sorry! Here’s what’s under the cornmeal biscuit crust.

cobbler2

It’s a nectarine blueberry cobbler, using SmittenKitchen’s peach blueberry cobbler recipe. I love SK’s blog; she makes great food and her pictures are gorgeous.

I doubled the biscuit topping, as suggested, and I baked the cobbler in two square dishes, instead of the oblong that was specified. This meant I could take one to a friend’s house for dinner, and leave one home for the guys. Everybody wins! I served the cobbler with vanilla ice cream, and it was divine. I did not, however, serve it with the home made vanilla ice cream that I made the day before. That ice cream went to a piano evening, and was served with frozen blueberries from my garden, slightly thawed.

Last week Sarah made a two ingredient ice cream for knit nite. It was good, but I wanted a little vanilla kick to my ice cream. (I make my own vanilla extract by steeping sliced vanilla beans in vodka; I love vanilla that much.) I found this recipe for five ingredient ice cream on allrecipes.com. Easy, and delicious. And the blueberries were a perfect foil to the very dense, sweet ice cream.

What’s your favorite summer dessert? I like cobblers with ice cream. Can you tell?! Easy to put together, and always a delight. I’m making another one for a party tonight.

As for knitting? I turned the heel on my sock, but didn’t get much further. I did go look at all the beautiful things in the Lantern Moon warehouse for future blogging, so expect to see some of that soon.

knitting a blue streak

It feels like it’s all blue here, all the time.

blue beginning

I started my Breezy Market Tote. Although Twisted’s Single Skein Club offering with my design was AllHemp6 yarn in pumpkin, I was able to swap my yarn for deep sea (blue), since I’d already made the original design in sand (nearly pumpkin). I wound the yarn by hand, twice. The first time, I wound it in my usual way, over my fingers to keep the ball loose to avoid stretching the yarn. It works with wool. With hemp? Not so much. The ball was sloppy and prone to tangling and falling apart. So I rewound it more tightly, and away we went. And yes, that’s a provisional cast on at the bottom. Never fear, the bag will be only…blue.

ball

I also resurrected my ruffle tank from the time-out basket. I lost my annotated instructions last year at Sock Summit time, and was just too peeved to go on. But looking at it now, I’m pretty sure I can get the rest of it done. The back was already done, and the front was up past the armhole shaping. It won’t take long (famous last words) to finish. And I get to learn applied i-cord to finish the edges.

front

I’ve been working on the instructions for my Pacific Shawl (yes, mine is blue); it’s almost ready to go to test knit. I need to make a video tutorial for placing the beads, and check the math one more time, but the charts are done.

blueberrylime

Last night I made blueberry lime jam. (More blue, even though the jam is deep purple.) I don’t like plain blueberry jam, where the berries have been through the food processor. The texture is…grainy. So I gently squashed the berries with a potato masher, and I think I’ll like the result a lot better. Along with lime juice, there are bits of lime zest in there to give it some zing and keep it from being cloyingly sweet. Because these berries are really, really sweet already. There are still more out there on the bushes, too…

Oh, I did finish something that wasn’t blue…a helmet liner for the Knit for the Troops project. Lichen green, and I forgot to take a picture before dropping it off at Twisted! Sorry. I used the pattern here. If I were to do it again, I would change the decreases at the crown; there are only 5 decreases around the crown of the hat, and it meant that the top of the hat was tall and a bit pointy. I’d make more decrease points (maybe 8?) so the crown would be shorter and rounder. (If 8 decreases, then I’d start with 88 stitches instead of 90) But that’s just me; I can’t seem to ever knit something as written!

Back to the blues…

knit friends, Passiflora, blueberries

Samantha Roshak was at Twisted to kick off her trunk show yesterday. She brought some lovely knitted things.

sam

Sam’s a designer from Seattle; I met her last year at Sock Summit. She’s charming *and* talented! Her show will be at Twisted through this weekend. If you can’t make it, you can check out her designs online.

s and c

Her friend Chandria came with her. I met Chandria when she came down on the SEA-PDX Yarn train in January. It was nice to meet up again.

Passiflora is done!

passifront

I love the lacy detail up the side, as well as the expanded lace on the back.

passiback

It’s reversible, and I did try it on with the lacier front, but I like the small panel better in front. The pattern was well-written and simple to follow. I didn’t change anything except to make it shorter throughout, because…I’m not as tall as I imagine!

The weather has turned hot, so it’s a little too warm to wear right now. Yes, it’s sleeveless, and has lots of lacy built in ventilation, but the yarn is wool, silk, and bamboo, and it’s a little warmer than I’d like on a 90 degree day. Last week, it would have been perfect. Don’t worry, it will be cooler again. It’s Portland!

The sunshine is encouraging my blueberries; we still have loads on the bushes. I keep picking, and baking, and freezing. A friend called to ask for a clarification on my blueberry cobbler recipe, so I’ve edited the recipe to make things clearer.

That’s the news from here. Next on the knitting agenda: finishing a pattern, and finishing last year’s abandoned project. Both are blue. ‘Tis the season!

Blogging, and more

I’m so pleased to announce that I’m going to be blogging for Lantern Moon! I’ve been in a knitting group (the knit nite group) with Sharon Woodcock, one of the owners of Lantern Moon, for about three years. Our group grew out of an intarsia class that we had with Leigh Radford. I was thrilled when Sharon & Joel (her husband, and co-owner of Lantern Moon) asked me to blog for them. Please come check out the new blog here.

We went to the Tigard Knitting Guild meeting last Thursday; Sharon was the guest speaker. It’s a great group of knitters, and I even participated in the show and tell time, with my Pacific Shawl.

pacific

I still have to finish writing up the pattern; it’s been on the back burner for a bit. But I hope to have it out to test knit in the next few weeks.

So, not much knitting around here, but I’ve been cooking. This is our new favorite pasta salad. It’s just right for summer. You can put any of your favorite things in it, but here’s what I did:

orzo salad

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad

Dressing: in a jar, combine and shake well:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or run through garlic press
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For the salad:
1 pound orzo pasta, cooked, rinsed, and cooled (this makes a LOT)
2/3 lb asparagus, cut in 1.5 inch pieces (add these to the pasta for the last 1.5 minutes of cooking)
1 14 ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 pint grape tomatoes (whole)
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts

Combine salad ingredients and toss with 1/2 the dressing. Store the salad, refrigerated, to let the flavors meld. Before serving, add more of the dressing to refresh. (You can use all, or part, of the remaining dressing, as you desire) We served it with grilled chicken, and really enjoyed it!

What’s cooking/knitting with you?

a little of this, a little of that

June-uary was a long month here, with a record amount of rain, and chilly temps. July is working hard to make up for all that.

My hydrangeas are lovely.

hydrangea

They say that hydrangeas will be blue in acidic soil, and pink in alkaline soil. But what does it mean when both colors are on the same bush? Strange!

My blueberries have gone crazy this year. I have five bushes, and they are very happy. I’ve baked cobblers and banana blueberry bread (recipe at bottom of post), and put four gallons in the freezer, and we’re still not done. I guess it’s a good thing, but I’m getting tired of picking them.

Saturday we went sailing with a friend on the Columbia River. It’s been a bi-coastal water week; we went kayaking in Maine on Thursday. I have no kayaking pictures; I was afraid the camera would get wet. Here’s Saturday’s captain and pup:

capn

CollegeGrad and I both enjoyed time at the helm.

muggin

I brought a picnic dinner, which DH was not willing to share with the dog!

dinner columbia

Mount Hood at sunset was even more gorgeous than this picture suggests.

sunset columbia

When the sun went down, the sky was pink and purple, and the mountain was sublimely lovely. My camera wasn’t up to the challenge, so it will just be a memory.

Here’s the recipe for the bread; it’s light and delicate, unlike my usual banana bread.

Blueberry Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I used a little less)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3 medium or 2 large)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 325°F degrees.

Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add mashed bananas.

Measure flour, reserving 2 tablespoons of flour to coat blueberries. Stir baking soda and salt into flour. Fold into banana mixture. Toss blueberries with 2 T flour, then fold into batter. Transfer batter to loaf pans.

Bake about 50 minutes. If you use frozen blueberries, it may take longer. Toothpick should come out clean. Enjoy!

Knitting in the next post, I promise…

Sweetie Pie

On Tuesday, I remembered that I’m going to a baby shower this Sunday. I dashed into Twisted to get some yarn for an Elsa hat, and while I was there I remembered that I may have designed this hat for baby’s big sister two years ago. Oops. I cast about for a different hat project, and spied this.

pie

It’s a cute skein of Be Sweet Bambino Taffy yarn, and the pattern for the Sweetie Pie hat by Tanis Gray is on the label. What could be simpler?

yarn

I like that there are several colors in one little 100 yard ball.

picot

The provisional cast on and picot edge would have been easier if I’d had the right tools with me, but I just took the yarn and needles to cast on at knit nite without reading the instructions. It all worked out, eventually.

Speaking of sweetie pie…

pie

This strawberry icebox pie is a hit around here. I’ve made four in the past two weeks for various events (birthday party, graduation party, knit nite, just because). It’s really easy, absolutely gorgeous, and tastes divine. Most of the berries are uncooked, so the flavor is out-of-this-world fresh. Go ahead; you know you want to make one! I saw this in my local paper, the Oregonian, but it turns out to be from Martha Stewart.

And one more sweetie pie…

mook

I found this picture on my camera. Apparently the Teen likes taking pictures of the cat. Who knew?

Have a great weekend! I’ll show you the hat when it’s done.

Blog party!

Happy birthday to Marie! She’s having a birthday party over at PermissionToUnwind, and I’m helping her celebrate. Go on over there and wish her a happy birthday!

I’m fashionably late. I was up late last night baking for the party. We’re having Butterscotch Shortbread (recipe here).

scotch2

And we’re also having Butterscotch Brownies. This is completely Carrie’s fault, because I saw these on her blog the other day, and I knew I had to make them.

blondie2

And what’s a party without a present? I’m giving away this Wrap and Roll dpn needle case from Lantern Moon. It’s gorgeous silk.

case

It has silk taffeta pockets inside for your skinny dpns. You could also put bigger ones in there, but you’d have to spread them out over 2 pockets.

in case

If you’d like to be in the drawing for the needle case, please say so in your comment. If you just want to comment, do that, too! I’ll close the drawing at midnight between Saturday and Sunday (Valentine’s Day!). I’m a big believer in birthday *week*, not just a day.

Happy birthday, Marie!

Oh, noes!

Things are wearing a little thin, here.

cuff

This is the cuff of my favorite sweater, Sky Lights. I knit it in 1993, right after the Teen was born. It was a kit from North Island Designs; I don’t think they exist under that name any more. I made it big and oversized, to wear over leggings (yes, we really did that back then). I’ve worn it a lot. The yarn is either BartlettYarns or Harrisville Tweed; I can’t remember. I’ve gotten a lot of wear from it. But this is what I saw when I last went to put it on.

cuff close

Oh, dear. I have a little job to do. And while I’m doing that, I have another, too.

holey

I made these socks last winter, when it looked like it would never stop snowing. It’s not really sock yarn; it’s KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Worsted that I had lying around. Every time I wash these, they shrink and felt a little bit more. But they’re still comfortable. My clogs must rub right here, though. There’s barely a thread holding it together.

I have more of this yarn, so I’m going to try darning it after dinner. Wish me luck!

Here’s what I made for dinner. I was quite happy with it, and so was the family. Perfect winter night supper!

Sausage/potato/kale soup
SERVES 6

Ingredients
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb turkey hot Italian sausage (if you can only find mild, add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes while browning)
3 large russet potatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
4 14 ounce cans chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup half and half
1 bunch kale (stems below leaf removed), cut in 1/2 inch ribbons crosswise

Directions
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot (soup pot). Slit sausage casings, remove sausage. Brown sausage (and red pepper flakes, if desired) in oil. Remove sausage from pot. Add the other Tbsp olive oil to pot. Saute onions and garlic until onion is soft. Add chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are done, about 15 minutes. Add sausage , half and half, and kale; simmer for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Party on, knitters

We had our knitting party at Twisted this weekend. The party was a fund-raiser for our local high school. We had 16 participants. Most, but not all, had knit before.

Our projects? The As You Like It cowls. Lantern Moon blondewood needles. Malabrigo Chunky yarn. It’s like knitting with chewy linguine, so luscious.

mmmmal

Oh, and desserts. Lots of desserts. A stellar cheesecake served with chocolate truffle sauce and/or blueberry compote (recipe below), lime bars, fruit, chocolate…

party 6

Lots of knitting going on!

party 4

party 3

party 2

That’s Carole in the apron. She’s my party kitchen wench. We do projects together and have a lot of fun. And she makes the world’s best cheesecake. She doesn’t knit, though.

party 1

Carole’s DH Scott, the PTA president, knits! I taught him many years ago.

shirt

Don’t you love Amy’s shirt?

There was only one knitting faux pas of the evening.

twisted join

Join, being careful not to twist…oops.

shmem

Thanks to Twisted for having this party with us!

I made blueberry compote with berries from last summer’s crop. This one turned out particularly well; it thickened enough by itself that I didn’t have to add any cornstarch.

Blueberry Compote

2.5 cups frozen blueberries, unthawed
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C water
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine 1.5 C berries with the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until berries burst, about 10 minutes. Add remaining berries and lemon juice. Continue stirring; cook until compote thickens, about 8 minutes. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Serve warm when you’re ready!

How was *your* weekend?