Category Archives: recipe

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?

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.

IMG_3712

IMG_3710

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.

IMG_3715

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…

IMG_3719

You know this fowl is fresh!

IMG_3723

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

IMG_3721

Boats pull up at the dock with fresh fish.

IMG_3724

IMG_3727

IMG_3726

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

IMG_3731

All the boats have eyes!

IMG_3744

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

IMG_3752

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

IMG_3754

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.

IMG_3770

Our final dish was eggplant in clay pot.

IMG_3768

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

IMG_3777

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!

I’ve got the blues…

And I love them! Blue is my favorite color. I’m still plugging away on the blue Ishbel and the blue Ruffle Tank. And now I’ve won some beautiful blue yarn from Lorajean at Knitted Wit.

blue sky

It’s 400 yards of fingering weight sock yarn, colorway Blue Sky. Lorajean noted that I don’t knit socks, but that’s not completely true. What’s true is that I don’t knit socks with fingering weight yarn! Someday I may. But wouldn’t this blue make a gorgeous scarf or shawl?

blues

I also harvested the first of the blueberries on Sunday when I got home from Carmel. I made blueberry cobbler, and we had it with vanilla ice cream for Father’s Day dessert. It was delicious! While I was picking the berries, I noticed a blue jay on the corner of my roof, with a big fat blueberry in his beak. I think there’s enough for all of us, but that was pretty cheeky of him!

While I’m waiting…

While waiting for Ishbel’s yarn supplement to arrive from Texas, I started a new project. (I could have finished the second Kai-Mei sock, but I was looking for an excuse.) It was either the Ruffle Tank or the new Single Skein Club project.

I was really hankering for a semi-mindless knit, so I started the Ruffle Tank. No charts to follow, just 9×2 ribbing for the first 13 inches. I can manage that. I’ll start the Club knit when Ishbel is done. Only one chart project at a time!

back start 2

This is my first experience with linen, and it’s really different. Where the Malabrigo Sock is buttery soft, the MerLin is like knitting with twine. But I like it! It’s crisp and “dry” and “hard” feeling. The fabric is a bit stiff, but I know that it will soften up when I run it through the washer and :gasp: dryer. Hey, the label says I’m supposed to! I’m not following the advice given in my Tips & Tricks class with Lily Chin; I should wash and dry and hang the swatch. But I just want to get started, and the tank isn’t terribly fitted. Fingers crossed; I just want to knit.

We had a stellar dinner when my in-laws were visiting. Vickie made an unbaked version of it a few weeks ago when we were camping. If you can make it on a Coleman stove, it must be manageable in a real kitchen! We had it with polenta then, but pasta is way easier for me to coordinate. Sorry I don’t have a picture; it disappeared quickly! And the in-laws would have thought I was weird, taking pictures of dinner. Well, weirder than they already think I am.

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

Makes 4 servings (I increased shrimp to 1.5 lbs for 6 peeps, and it was plenty)

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
2 14.5 oz cans diced (roasted) tomatoes with their juice
3 T smoked paprika (pimenton)
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 1/4 lbs medium shrimp, peeled & deveined (1 lb is enough for 4 peeps)
2/3 C crumbled feta cheese (3 oz)
1 lb dry linguine or other pasta

Start your water for pasta now and timing will be great. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil, add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. Add tomatoes, pepper flakes, paprika; bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to casserole dish. Add shrimp & cilantro. Sprinkle feta over top. (Start cooking your linguine now, takes 12 minutes) Bake until shrimp are cooked through and cheese melts, about 12 minutes. (Linguine is done!)

Serve over drained linguine.

Enjoy!

Let’s Duet

I made another pair of Star Athena’s Arctic Blast Mitts as an auction item for our youth mission trip fundraiser.

duet

They look just like the ivory ones, except they’re ice blue.

blue ice

A quick knit! Malabrigo Silky Merino on size 3 needles, so wonderful to knit with.

And I had a craving for shortbread, so this happened.

shortbread

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips or butterscotch chips (I used mini chocolate, but I’ve also used butterscotch)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and salt, and then beat these with the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in chips. Press into an ungreased 9 inch square pan.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool 20-30 minutes in pan on wire rack.

Score shortbread with sharp knife into desired size servings, but do not cut all the way through. Invert onto rack and cool completely.
Break into pieces.

Enjoy!

We be chillin’…

Here’s what’s on the needles these days…

blast3

No, it’s not a fancy beer cozy. That’s just the model. It’s really an Arctic Blast Mitt. These were designed by Star Athena, and are part of the first package from Twisted‘s Single Skein Club. DH bought me membership in the club for Christmas. Every other month I’ll get a skein of a fabulous luxury yarn, an exclusive pattern for that yarn, and goodies! This month’s goodies include a tote bag and a pen.

I finally had a chance to cast on last Sunday, riding in the car while the Teen drove us down to Eugene to visit CollegeMan. (CollegeMan just turned 21, so I can’t think of him as CollegeBoy any more.) The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Wool, a single ply yarn that is lovely to work with. The stitch pattern is Arrowhead Lace, which is easily memorized because 3 of the 5 rounds are “rest” rounds; only two rounds have yarn overs and decreases.

blast4

I think these will be lovely. I’ll have to take them back from the beer. Beer doesn’t get much respect in this household, anyway; I bought this beer specifically to make beer bread! I made some last night.

Beer Bread

3 cups self rising flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 12 ounce can/bottle of beer

(If you don’t have self rising flour, add 4 1/2 tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt to 3 cups regular all purpose flour. This is what usually happens at our house.)

Mix ingredients; pour into greased pan. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in warm, non-drafty place for 30 minutes. Bake for 70 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven. Remove from pan and cool on rack until just warm. Slice and enjoy with butter and jam.

If you try to cut it when it’s still hot, the crust will break off from the bread. Ask me how I know. I had to leave for a meeting last night, so we ate this in a hurry, which is why the crust broke, and why there is no picture of the bread!