Category Archives: recipe

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:

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CollegeGrad and I both enjoyed time at the helm.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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…

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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?

Almost…

So close, and yet so far…

drat

I can see that I’m not going to get 56 more stitches out of the remaining yarn. I bought another 50 gram skein, and I’ll figure out what to do with the 48 grams I’ll have left!

In the meantime, I made these.

snaps

They’re just those gingersnap cookies that show up this time of year. I used our mini ice cream scoop and filled them with peppermint ice cream. Then I drizzled them with chocolate truffle sauce (recipe here). They’re back in the freezer, firming up.

And the Day Old Pastries sang Mary, Mary in church yesterday. I love singing with my Pastry friends. We’re not perfect, but we have a lot of fun.

Busy, busy, busy! Knitting and shopping not done. But I’m off to a party…

November, the yarn

I bought a little more Malabrigo Chunky the other day. I’m still working on a pattern for our knit party auction event, and I needed to try one more variation on a theme.

noviembre

Isn’t this gorgeous? The color is called Noviembre. And yes, it looks like fall. These are so not my colors, but they are gorgeous, and I’m sure I can find a worthy recipient after the pattern is written and the pictures are done. And this yarn is so much fun to knit with; it’s firm and bouncy like knitting with al dente pasta! Speaking of food…

I posted on Facebook that I was baking applesauce blueberry bread; a lot of my posts seem to be about food. There were a couple recipe requests, so I’m posting it here for your enjoyment.

Applesauce Blueberry Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Blend in applesauce.

Blend dry ingredients, fold into applesauce mixture only until blended. Fold in blueberries.

Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees, about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (Mine usually takes at least an hour and 15 minutes, especially if I’m baking two. You really don’t want this to be gummy on the bottom.) Cool in loaf pan on wire rack for about 30 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Scrumptious!

ETA: The reason mine takes so long to bake is probably because I put the berries in frozen, directly from the freezer. These are the berries that we grew last summer, and they are wonderful!

Oh, I almost wore the clear Converse sneakers today. I tried them on again, but I still felt clunky and flat-footed. So back they’ll go. Well, it was worth a try, anyway!

To market, to market…

Well, I already had a “jiggety-jig” post, so I couldn’t resist the title!

One of the tastiest and most enjoyable things we did in Vietnam was a cooking class in Hoi An. We took a half-day class at the Red Bridge Cooking School. The class began with a tour of the central market in Hoi An.

Produce is sold on the outside of the market.

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The small purple fruit is mangosteen. These have white fruit shaped like tangerine inside and are very sweet. The red spiky ones are rambutan, which are like lychee, but we didn’t try them on this trip. The big green ones are pomelo, which our guide says is good for weight loss. And the bright pink ones are dragonfruit. Inside, they’re white with small black seeds.

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This seller also had grubs (silkworm?). You can eat them raw, but our guide said these had been out too long (several hours), so you should cook them before eating them. There are also cookware and clothing stalls on the outside of the market. I bought a conical hat, because my hat from home was too HOT. (A familiar refrain.) These hats are very lightweight, and cool. And you can use them as a fan, too.

Inside the market, everything is pretty tightly packed together. Here are eggs: chicken, duck, quail, fresh, preserved…

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You know this fowl is fresh!

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And these ducks are destined to be dinner. They’re still quacking, here.

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Boats pull up at the dock with fresh fish.

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After the tour of the market, we boarded a boat for a 25 minute trip down the river to the cooking school.

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All the boats have eyes!

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We saw lots of fishing nets like these. And lots of ducks on the islands. Ping, where are you?

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The cooking school and the bridge for which it’s named.

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We toured the herb garden, and then began class. Our instructor had a Aussie accent on top of his Vietnamese one.

We made rice paper (like you wrap on salad rolls), salad rolls, Hoi An pancakes (with shrimp and scallions). And of course, we got to eat all of these things. We also made garnishes: cucumber fans, and tomato roses.

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Our final dish was eggplant in clay pot.

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We ate the eggplant with rice for lunch in the restaurant, and it was fabulous.

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My winning ways

I won a contest! Twisted’s June contest was “Flowers and Knits.” I submitted this picture of the beginning of my Malabrigo Sock yarn Ishbel in our purple irises, and it was the winner.

iris

The prize is this pretty embroidered bag.

flowerbag

The beautiful irises from the photo don’t look so lovely any more, but that doesn’t seem to bother my little friend.

birdbath

Thanks, Twisted!

When I went to pick up my prize, I also picked up two skeins of Mirasol T’ika, 100% Pima Cotton, 83 meters/50 gm. I’m going to make another Baby Bolero from Leigh Radford’s One Skein for a little girl scheduled to debut at the beginning of September. (Two skeins for a One Skein sweater sounds funny, but if it were a 100 gm skein it would make sense.)

The WIPs just keep stacking up…

I’ve been a cookin’ fool since I got home from vacation. A lot of blueberry baked goods! And tonight’s dinner, lemony zucchini pizza. I adapted a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Instead of goat cheese, I used ricotta. DH wasn’t sure he could wait for me to photograph the pizza.

pizza anticipation

But I prevailed.

zuke pizza

It was delicious; this recipe is a winner, too!