Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh, I'm Sorry...

I went to the doctor yesterday, thinking I had a sinus infection, but no, it's allergies.

I'd almost rather have had the sinus infection because then I could take antibiotics and have done with it!

Anyway, he did the normal check out my throat, my ears, then he's like "Let's take a look inside your nose." to which I responded something like, "Sorry. Fun for you, huh?" all apologizing for his having to look in my nose. What kind of weird response was that? I always trip myself out with my odd behavior when I'm at the doctor. Since when do I apologize to you for your having to do your job? Next thing you know I'll be sitting out on the curb waiting for the garbagepeople/persons just so I can say "Oh, gosh, sorry about all this garbage, what a drag for you...". Humph.

Esoteric thumbs

I tried this recipe last night and it was good! Kinda reminded me of Real Chili
in Milwaukee... gosh, I didn't know that place was so unique!
Anyway, I made some mods, but of course. Halved it, and used Boca ground beef.

Red Bean Chili

2 pkts Boca ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T oil
1/2 C water
1/2 t onion soup mix
2 T chili powder
1 1/2 t cumin
1 1/2 t cocoa powder
1 C diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 t salt
1 t cider vinegar

Saute onions, then Boca, then garlic.
Add 1/2 C water mixed with 1/2 t onion soup mix (I used this instead of veg broth).
Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cocoa and tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10m.
Add the beans, salt and vinegar, mix well. Simmer uncovered 10m.

I don't think the 10m has to be done twice, really, as we're not dealing with real meat here folks. So this was a quick meal that was satisfying!
Next time I'll try it with beer instead of water/broth.

Finished The Protector's War- yes, there is a sequel, something something Fire. Will have to see if our library has it. Can't wait, now I'm all invested in these characters.
Started Jumpfish, about someone from Atlantis. It's nice in the sense that it's not so gripping that I want to read and read, so I can actually put it down (and knit!).

Started messing around with the thumb part of my pattern, thought I could improve it, but I don't think I've invented anything new, alas. Thought I had this clever way of doing it differently, but actually, what I have works best. I guess I could pick up the wraps or something, but now that I'm wrapping the wraps tighter, it doesn't show as much (the wraps). Esoteric enough for you?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bread and Soup

Yesterday I made Crockpot Corn, Bean and Coconut Soup

2 cans black beans, undrained
1 can tomatoes, undrained
1 can corn, undrained
1 can coconut milk
2-3 cloves garlic
1 t cumin
1 t liquid smoke
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ancho chile powder

Blend tomatoes, cumin, liquid smoke, salt, ancho chile powder and garlic.
Pour into crockpot.
Add beans, corn and coconut milk*.
Cook on low 3-5 hours.
Serve with bread.
Makes approximately 7C at 2.5 points a cup.

*Trader Joe's makes a nice one that's pretty reasonable as far as calories go...

Still reading The Protector's War. It's getting veeeerry close to the end and I don't see it all wrapping up, so I'm guessing there must be a sequel?

Got great pics from my test knitter, so cool to see my pattern knit up by someone else!! It lives!! Mwa-ha-ha-haaaaaa!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Barn down!

We were gone over the weekend, so it was with surprise that we read an email from our CSA; it turns out that the storm we had at my in-laws (dime sized hail) was down here in the cities as well, and blew down the (old) barn at the farm our CSA rents! Perhaps we will have an actual and true barn raising!!! No one was hurt (although a hen and a cat are unaccounted for) and I am guessing that what crops they had in were short enough that they didn't blow down or get too damaged. She said everything out in the field got a 'power wash'. This weekend is 'planting day' and I can't wait!!!

My inlaws had a visit from some bears- 2 yearlings. They took down quite a few bird feeders and dragged them off into the woods. One we were never able to recover! I guess that a week or so before she mates, the mother drives off the yearlings so our guess is that this is probably what had happened. You can log any bear sightings here.

So we visited a little Mexican grocery this weekend and it was full of crazy stuff like pigs feet (augh!) and dried shrimp but also lots of spices I'd never seen, like chamomile flowers and tamarind and lime? Anyway, I bought a few things.

This is savila, not to be confused with salvia.

And these chips were okay, but kinda gritty.

Well, we had leftovers last night, so nothing to post.

I continue to be sucked into my book, when I should be knitting, knitting, knitting. Must wind my yarn into a centrepullball first, then get started. We'll see if I make any progress.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Super Specialized Sock Sewer

Did you know that they make these special little needles now that you can use to kitchener your sock with? Made by Chibi, just like my good old standby needle, seen above, they are thinner and shorter and jabbyer.

It was a little weird, because I'm used to the longer length and I kept 'losing' the needle, but I guess if you really felt like your old tapestry needle was too big, then you should get this.

I just started reading The Protector's War by Stirling, and it's really good!!!!!! So far he's weaving all these threads together of the different groups that survived and I forsee a big climactic ...something... coming. Why didn't anyone tell me there was a whole post-apocalyptic subgenre in sci fi/fantasy?!?!?! I look forward to lots of enjoyment ferreting out the good from the bad there...

Maybe I'll bake some bread today for the week to come.


Friday, May 23, 2008

bringing you the strange

Last night we had Cheeseburger Macaroni.

Here's what I did;
1 16oz box farfalle (bows, you know)
6 T Earth Balance
1/2 C flour
2 C water
1 1/2 t salt
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2 t garlic granules
pinch tumeric
1/4 C oil
1 C nutritional yeast
1 pkt. Boca ground beef

Cook pasta.
Get the rest of the ingredients ready and at hand.
Mix the 2 C water, salt, soy sauce and pinch tumeric, and nuke in a microwave safe thing- uhh, I use my Pyrex 2 C measuring cup. Nuke for 2-3m; do not let boil over.
Melt the Earth Balance over low heat. Wait and wait and wait for that butter to melt.
Mix in the flour a little at a time, whisking constantly.
Slowly add hot water a little at a time, whisking* constantly. Cook until it thickens and bubbles. Add the oil, nutritional yeast and Boca. Add one cup of the pasta water if it's too thick.
Drain the pasta (don't drain real thoroughly) and dump everything together into a large bowl and mix well.
Oil a 9 x 13" casserole and pour in the stuff.
Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 15-30m. Leave uncovered for 10.
1/8th = 8 points.

*A good whisk is essential, people. I had this rubber coated monstrosity that we'd gotten in an effort to save our teflon pans and last night I just bailed and used the metal attachment one from our mixer. Smaller, better.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Okay folks, last night's supper was super simple and pretty good, nothing to serve to the guests, though;

Take one can of Manwich,
Dump it into a pot with 1 C elbow macaroni
and 1 C TVP (or 2 packets Boca ground beef)
1 T oil
and 2 cans of water (4C water)

because I love you, (and because I hate being imprecise), I measured what one can of water is and it's 2 C. Maybe you all knew that!

Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and cook until macaroni is done.
Stir often if you are using TVP because it tends to stick, but maybe that's just me. Or my pot. Or something. Maybe it was the weather.
Probably you should saute onion and garlic in that oil first, but I was lazy. Also, it was an experiment. Also I didn't have enough time to let it simmer uncovered to thicken into a stew-like substance, so I (gah!) added a heaping T cornstarch. Now you know my dirty secret...
p.s. don't ever add cornstarch to actively boiling liquid, it just turns into a clump.
p.p.s. mix the cornstarch with a little water, then a little of the sauce, THEN dump it in.

Did you know that the Cure has a new album out and they're releasing a single off it every 13th of the month (how goth) until the CD is released and I heard one last night and it sounded just like their old stuff... very disturbing. Something about 'it makes my head go crazy'.

Also, at my eye doctor, I saw these contact cases for sale, they were all enameled up with gold swirls and stuff and I got all on my imaginary platform in my head and huffed "They're not contact cases! They're contact case cases!!!!" Besides which, like, who needs a case for their case?!? That just seems riduculous to me. But here you go.

In other news, I finished the Blue Sword. Meh.
Must try to get to library Friday.

Also sent pattern off to test knitter! Yay Ravelry!! I found her on Ravelry.

Here's how I feel about sending it off- It's my bayyyybeeee! Like I'm a mom sending her kid off to summer camp or something.

Here's to more proper eating in the future, like tonight. We'll see what my fevered imagination comes up with.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh noes! Rice two nights in a row!

Last night I made a successful curry.
If you just happen to have onions, garlic, a few carrots and a few potatoes, you're golden!

2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 potatoes, diced small
1 can peas, undrained
1/2 C red lentils
1 can light coconut milk
1 onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T oil (I used peanut!)
1 T curry powder
1 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t jarred ginger
1 1/2 cans water

Make rice.
Dump* everything in a pot and bring it to a boil, lower heat a bit and cover for 10m or so to cook carrots and potatoes.
Uncover and simmer for a long time, as long as you have.
There are a million recipes on the web for curries, so go forth and curry!

*Okay, so dump is a generalization here. First, saute onion, then garlic in oil. Then add potatoes and carrots and cook a bit, then add curry powder, mix well, then red lentils, mix well, then salt and sugar, mix well, then ginger, mix well (do you see where I'm going with this?), then the peas undrained and then the coconut milk and then the water. 1 1/2 cans of water is a poor measure, I apologize, but it was what was at hand and really, you need to cover the veggies plus a little.

Knit the mitts in Heilo, an on the thicker side of sport weight sport weight yarn. Found another error- just a wee one!

No reading. Must get to library- stat!
I will give you a retroacted ?grandfathered in? book review (meaning, I read this a while ago).
My local bookstore has this thing where if you're a member, you have access to this one shelf where they put all the books they are sent by publishers ahead of time. So I was in there, looking at Artisan Bread in Five Minutes (props to Minnesotans!) and I checked out the shelf. I'm scanning, scanning... Doctorow! Little Brother. Well, I've read Cory Doctorow's stuff online, and really enjoyed it, so I grabbed it right away. It was a truly fun read and I learned a lot. It's aimed at young adults, but it's such a fascinating (I think the term is 'cyberpunk') world he creates and you get pretty attached to the characters. It made me really paranoid. Like even when the SPOILER love interest is introduced I was all like "She's a plant! She's a spy! She'll kill you in your sleep!" Gah, I must be getting old, I couldn't even watch the latest in the ?what's that trilogy of movies with the dude and he's like, always running from the government?...
anyway! How's that for a review.

I have lapsed in my not double spacing after a period ways.

I made something yesterday.

Be gentle, it's my first tutorial...

Here's what you'll need.
A bunch of flowers, I found one with three roses on the stem. And some filler plant like things.

A scissors.

Some florist's tape.

Some pens.

1. Remove cap from pen.

2. Cut one of the flowers off of the main stem (if doing the filler, skip this). 'Cut'; I use the word loosely, what I did was cut the plastic around the wire, then bend and bend and bend while muttering "Fatigue, d**n you!" under my breath.

3. Start wrapping the florist's tape around the base of the flower, being careful not to get any of the leaves trapped in there. Stretch the tape as you turn the flower- this is how florist's tape adheres to itself! When it stretches, it gets sticky! It's really cool! I had to Google that!

4. Okay, once you've wrapped the base of the flower a few times, stick the (non-writing) end of the pen next to the flower, with half of the width of the tape over the end of the pen. Stretch the tape around once and then start working your way down the flower (without stretching), on a diagonal, with just the edge overlapping the previous wrap.

5. When you get to the bottom, cut your stem again if need be, wrap the florist's tape straight around once, then start wrapping back up.
Oh yeah, if you're going to do any little leaves branching off on the side, take the leaf off on the way down and then on the way up, stick it on there and wrap the tape around the base, sort of sticking it onto your pen.

6. When you get back up to the top, carefully streeeetch the tape tightly around the bottom of the flower and rip off. It takes a few tries to get this down so that they tape adheres nicely, I found that if I can sort of wrinkle it in there above the pen and below the base of the flower it works nicely.
7. Tada, you have made a flower pen.

Now, this may seem cheesy, and it is, but if you have a preschooler, and they need a gift for their teacher, it's nice. I think it's cheesy, but when I was teaching, I got one from a student, and it became my favorite pen because I could a) always find it and b) it was identifiably mine. Plus, writing with a flower!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Paprika Stains

Last night we had Tofu Paprikash.
I guess you can call it goulash, but paprikash is so much more fun to say!!
The original recipe was here, (please ignore annoying narrowing window within which to view said recipe) but I've changed it up a bit.

Tofu Paprikash

2 onions, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C olive oil
2 T sweet Hungarian paprika (or you can double this, we are weak)
1 small can tomato paste (approx 1/3 C)
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 t salt
1 t pepper (again, add more to taste)
2 T brown sugar/organic grape jelly
6 C water
1 pkg extra firm tofu frozen, thawed and drained, then cubed or crumbled*
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Saute the onions until just browning, then add garlic.
Meanwhile, blend together 1 C of the water with the tomato paste, paprika, nutritional yeast, salt and sugar/jelly.
Pour blender mixture into the pot with the onions and garlic, mix well.
Add chickpeas and crumble tofu into mixture, mix well.
Add 5 C water and, covered, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring and adding water to thin as needed.
Serve over white rice, or with bread or whatever.

*I go back and forth on the cubed/crumbled thing. When you freeze tofu, it gets all spongy and then when you cook it it soaks up whatever it's cooked in, which is great for marinade, but with this thicker sauce, the tofu was waterlogged, not saucy. I think it would be better just crumbled into the sauce. Or of course, you could skip it, or not freeze it and then add it cubed.

I loved this, it was so yummy! I'm always so psyched to find a saucy dish that doesn't have cheese as a main constituent. I never ate anything like this and it's a nice suprise to find out that we like paprika based dishes. Let me tell you about my camel pockets sometime.

No books, no exciting update on the fingerless mitts. Can't read, too busy knitting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Need An Authority Figure

Good morning!

Well, last night we had a sort of boring easy meal, but it was still good...
We ate Pasta e Fagioli which is a fancy way of saying pasta with beans...
I had quite a few recipes for this with different variations (add sausage, diced tomatoes) but in the end I just went with simple.

Sauteed some onion and garlic, added a can of drained northern beans, added 1/2 t sage and 1 t italian seasoning and then put it over spaghetti.

The beans got kind of mushy, but what can you do?

So last week I reached my breaking point with my oldest daughter's potty training and after an embarrassing public potty accident experience, I drove home vowing to call the doctor. I figured an impartial authority figure reiterating what we've been saying over and over ad nauseum might help.

So I did, actually I called the nurse line or whatever and I was imagining this scenario-
Me: Can I bring in my child so the doctor can put the fear of God into her re; using the potty?
Nurse: Sure, we get that all the time! How does Thursday work for you?

What actually happened;
Me; Can I bring in my child so the doctor can put the fear of God into her re; using the potty?
Nurse; We get that all the time! Back off of her! She's not ready! It's not that unusual. She is picking up on your pressure and it's backfiring (get it, BACKfiring? haha! no, the nurse didn't say that).

So yesterday there were accidents. And I was and have been doing amazingly well, not piling on the shame, merrily wiping up pee etc. etc. and last night as I'm toweling up yet another accident off the floor, I realize that it's pretty amazing how I've been dealing with this lately and I look up at my husband, and say, you know, it just dawned on me, I don't think it was E. who needed the talking to from an impartial authority figure, it was me!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ribs not Ribz

Last night we had BBQ Seitan Ribs. I say 'ribs' not ribz per this post. I pretty much agree about just using regular words and not trying to have all these alternate spellings. I do still want to differentiate, however, so I guess that just means more adjectives.

Here is the seitan before it went into the oven.

Anyway, they were good! We actually grilled them! And we ate virtually the same thing that Susan did!

I watched the video (link on Susan's page), which was helpful, and then later, once we had them on the grill, I was looking for how many minutes to grill them. I thought I'd remembered 15 from the video, so I watched it again to get to the point where she says 15m on the grill. I don't think we did them for that long, but they were still good. My husband's recommendation was to put the BBQ sauce right into the seitan dough next time! Maybe I'll try 1/2 C water and 1/4 C BBQ sauce next time. I also used the blender to blend the water and peanut butter and liquid smoke and soy sauce. You can also bake them at 350 for just 20 minutes and then coat with sauce and bake for another 15m.

I Googled how to microwave a potato and decided on 5m, then flip, then another 5 (this was with all three in the microwave) and it got them ready really nicely. Then we just put them on the back of the grill like Susan suggests and they were nice and hot and done when the seitan was.

In other news, I emailed my friend who is test knitting the mitts and was like "Ack, ack, plz don't knit these!" and then worked all day in bursts to rewrite the pattern. So far I have triumphed over the right hand mitt, onward to rehabilitating the left. Supposedly the left will be easier because ?I think? that I actually had a good pattern for that one, but now I have to check, plus apply some eureka ideas I got when working on fixing the right hand mitt.

I did this Invisible (Provisional) Cast on (scroll down) but I didn't use a very thick yarn and so my live stitches were incredibly tight!! So last night at about 10pm I was staring at the last 6 sts or so I couldn't get off one needle onto another. I'm sure it will make my seam real pretty, but I don't want to knit the thing again right now, I just want to try it on to see if it fits.

Still hacking through that book, fantasizing about a library trip, starting to gather ideas for books to get.

That is all.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gimme Mah Corn Syrup

Yesterday I met my friend at the library and she gave me a recipe for Honey Baked Lentils, and I tried it last night! It was good! I served it with my flatbread that is an amalgam of a few different recipes...

Baked Lentils
1 C lentils
2 C water
2 T corn syrup
2 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
1/2 t grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix everything together except the water, then add water, then dump into an ovensafe dish and bake 90m.

Easy flatbread

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 T brown sugar
1/4 C + 2 T oil
1 t salt

Mix all ingredients in mixer, then add up to 1 C of water slowly, 1 T at a time until a ball forms.
Roll out into a 'snake' and divide into 12. Roll each out into roughly 4" diameter.
Heat skillet and cook first side until bubbles begin to form (up to 2m), then flip and cook other side 1m (should take less time than the first side did).

This is tedious- multiply 12 by roughly 3 minutes= half an hour of flatbread making- just the cooking part. But it works well for a recipe like the lentils because you're not working on anything else.

The book is going good- I teared up at a part of it yesterday, so I guess that's good...

I sent off my mitt pattern to be tested, and then last night started knitting the right hand mitt again and realized I was doing it wrong 2 ways. Blah. I think I've figured it out. Emailed friend to ask her to start with the LH mitt. Bah. Will triumph.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Orange, much?

Hey there folks,
Well, last night was a pretty easy supper- I had some bottled marinade that I poured over some chicken strips and a bag of stir fry veggies and then (to do penance for using all prepackaged stuff) I made some brown rice.

Still plugging away on the McKinley book- nothing's happening, wah! Maybe I have McKinley fatigue.

I am trying to find someone to test knit my mitt pattern. We'll see how that goes... I should probably just knit them one more time myself nicely. I think I'll use Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport.

Well, that's it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Leeeetle Bit Spicy

Well, yesterday was the picnic/potluck for E.'s preschool, and I took 16, !16! pitas, hummus, carrots, bread and peanut butter and jelly. It was so fun to see her running around with all her friends, at her favorite park, she must have been in heaven. She was so sad to go.

Let me share with you the pita recipe; it was excellent. I found it here and it was much like my already tried and true recipe I had gotten from my friend, which was maybe from the Joy of Cooking?, except the sugar, salt and olive oil are doubled. Oh, and instead of throwing the pitas right onto the racks, willy nilly, as I had been, I tried the foil method and it worked SO MUCH BETTER! Did you know that you can grab the little corners of the tinfoil to pick up the squares right out of a 500 degree oven?!? Now my pitas won't be all bent into heck.

2 1/2 C flour (I used 1 C whole wheat flour and the rest All-Purpose)
1/4 C vital wheat gluten (this ups the protein and elasticity and obviously the gluten. If you don't have this, then use bread flour)
1 T sugar
2 t salt
2 t yeast
2 T olive oil
1 C warm water

In mixer, mix the cup of whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the oil and water and beat until smooth approx. 3m.

Stir in the rest of the flour 1/2 C at a time until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass that cleans the sides of the bowl.

Change to dough hook and 'knead' for approx. 3m.

Take the dough out and on a floured counter, divide into 8 and roll each into a ball. Coat each lightly with flour and cover with a damp towel to rest 20-30m.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Flatten and roll out to 6" diameter (yes I was a geek and actually measured this for the first few). The thickness should be roughly that of a yardstick (not the longways, smarta**).

Place on foil (I just ripped off a sheet at 8" or so and fit 2 on each rectangle) and place directly on rack. Bake 5-8m until puffed and brown. Stack and wrap in foil.

Doubles well, can freeze (thaw 5m, reheat, stacked in foil, in 375 degree oven for 10-15m).

In other news, I read that you don't have to double space after a period because something fonts something something size of letters in relation to others something blah blah... it made sense at the time, I swear! so I am going to try to break myself of that habit. Onward!

Here is my hummus recipe, basically this one from vegweb but doubled. And cumin. And oil.

2 cans chickpeas, drained
1/2 C tahini
2 t lemon juice (2 capfuls of the bottled stuff)
2 + cloves garlic
1 t salt
1 T cumin
2 T olive oil
1/2 C water

In a food processor, add all ingredients except water. Process, adding water gradually until hummus is creamy. Serve with pitas and veggies.

A note on the garlic, one time, I made this, using 3 cloves of garlic, but it was this new purple kind from the coop and I just thought the cloves were bigger, like elephant garlic and so milder, but they weren't. It was, in the immortal words of my daughter, 'spicy'. We're garlic lovers, but it was even almost too much for us. Whoah.

Also, progress on the mitts! I now have a finalized pattern, I just have to find 'the perfect yarn'. And have someone test knit it.

I read a little yesterday. It was a busy day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Girl Gets Garter Grafting

Here's what we saw this weekend... actually, I didn't get to see the sheep shearing this weekend- I was shopping.

Well, yesterday I somehow managed to make bread despite all the craziness around here! This Basic White Bread recipe is what I use. Lately I've been using 2 C King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour and the rest (3) regular AP. Plus I usually add 1/4 C of vital wheat gluten and I've subbed canola oil for the Earth Balance, too. I'll be taking one loaf of the bread to the picnic tomorrow with peanut butter and jelly so the kids have something to eat.

I also made Red Lentil Soup which is my attempt at Niskena, a recipe from a local Kurdish restaurant, Babani's. It's pretty simple, but it turns out well.
2 C red lentils
6 C water (plus more if needed, more for blending)
2 1/2 t salt
2-3 onions, roughly chopped
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C olive oil
1 T cumin

Saute onion until browned. Saute garlic. Mix in salt and cumin. Rinse lentils and stir in. Add water, cover and simmer on low (20+ min). Remove in batches to blender, adding water if necessary to help blend well. Alternately use immersion blender. Serve with bread.

I started The Blue Sword and it's pretty different from The Hero's Crown. Pretty impressive range of writing styles- I guess I'm used to an author picking a story and style and then flogging it and the characters to death through a progression of neverending books.

I'd better get to the library and get some more books soon, or I won't have any.

Hey, guess what? When they say "Keep the working yarn UNDERNEATH the needles" when you're grafting, they mean it!! Like literally, underneath! Man, when that seam started coming together and I flipped it over and the backside looked like garter stitch too, I was so pleased. I figured out what I was doing wrong- yippee!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Enchantment, Broken!

Today I am going to attempt to make 3, !3! batches of pitas... potluck, much?

I have made progress on the mitts!!!!! The enchantment is almost broken. Now all I have to do is figure out what I'm doing wrong with my garter stitch graft that's making it look all wonky. Whenever I get a nice long stretch of time- ha! I will sit down with my Vogue quick reference and try to hack it out. I tried with a tutorial I found online, and then with EZ's version in Knitting Workshop but alas...

Last night we had leftovers. The night before we had lemony chick'n and pasta with broccoli.
It goes like this; (can't remember where I got the recipe from, sorry, probably somewhere online)-

Lemony Chick'n and Pasta

8oz pasta (half a box, usually, I used shells)
6oz bag baby spinach/half bunch kale/bag frozen broccoli, thawed
pkg Morningstar Farms chick'n strips
1 T soy sauce
1 T lemon juice
2 t cornstarch
1 t lemon herb seasoning
1 T olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic

In a large Ziplock bag (or right in the Morningstar Farms chick'n strips bag) mix 1 T soy sauce, 1 T lemon juice, 2 t cornstarch and 1 t lemon herb seasoning. Let chick'n marinate 30m or while pasta is boiling and you start the next part...
Boil up some pasta.
Meanwhile, saute onion, then garlic in a large skillet or pot. Add marinated chick'n. Brown.
Add veg. and stir until heated through and coated with sauce.
Serve over pasta.

I finished The Hero and the Crown by McKinley, sorry, I'm on a McKinley binge here... it was good, started a little rough but I persevered and it got way better. It's like she changed from halting young adult fantasy to kick-a** fantasy halfway through. Even her main character transformed. Fortunately, she is a talented author and she brought it all together convincingly at the end. I ?think? this one comes chronologically before the one I'm going to read next which is The Blue Sword. Rant rant. Maybe I'm just dense.

'K, that's it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Log, blogged.

So last night we had the last of the 'chick'n' log. I cut it up into leetle tiny pieces and put it in a stew. This was a one pot meal as I was short on time after getting back from the fiber festival and winding my wool into centrepullballs (which is one of my favorite things to do) takes a while. I was filled with glee!

So I took 1 T of olive oil in a big ol' enameled cast iron pot (the bialetti one from Target) (the red one) and then minced up our !last clove of garlic! (whoop! whoop! whoop! danger will robinson!) and sauteed that (don't you love how saute sounds so much fancier than just plain old frying?). Then I added my fancypants can of cannelini beans (which I could not find anywhere except at the coop in dried, bulk form but I finally got some at Trader Joe's- remind me to tell you about our trip to Trader Joe's sometime). And I didn't even rinse or drain them!!
While this was all going on, I nuked some frozen spinach in the microwave for 7 m. And I added a heaping t of poultry seasoning and 1/2 t salt which I should have added before I added the beans because it would have mixed in better. So- garlic, spices, beans, chick'n, spinach and... one cup of Minute rice. Add about another 2 C water and simmer til done. Voila!

It was pretty good for a one pot meal. I served Ritz crackers with it to be ritzy.

I finished reading Rose Daughter and really enjoyed it. I tried putting it down for a bit to work on the mitts and got as far as to realize that I need some chunk of time and clearheadedness to make some changes which I wasn't willing to do at that time. But I am hacking away at this problem. After reading these McKinley books I have decided to consider them enchanted and so each time I pick them up it may seem like nothing is happening, but all of a sudden at some point in the (I hope, I hope) near future BLAM they will be magnificent.

Now I am reading McKinley's Hero and the Crown. Did I mention I'm glad I grabbed all those books by her?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cheaze please

Thursday night we had Golden Cheaze Sauce which you can see in the pic above, green beans with lemon herb seasoning and an amalgam of Seitan O'Greatness and Chickpea Cutlets and Loaf

based off of this post...
Preheat oven to 425.
basically I just whipped up 1 can of chickpeas and 1/4 C olive oil and 2 cloves garlic in the food processor until it looked like hummus, then in the mixer mixed that, plus 1 C bread crumbs, 1 C vital wheat gluten, 1/2 t salt, 1 heaping T chicken flavoring and 1 t oregano and then slowly added water until it held together and looked 'doughy' (I scantly filled up a cup measure and then used almost all of it)
Roll into a 'log', wrap in foil and bake 1 hour.

The cheaze (I cannot stand that spelling) was good, my husband really liked it (he's probably sick to death of Dragonfly's Bulk Dry Uncheese Mix) and said it reminded him of something his mom used to make with ?Chicken gumbo? with ground beef poured over rice- "Saturday Night Special". Who knew pimento was the secret spice ingredient in chicken gumbo soup?

Last night we had Morningstar farms crumbles simmered in the leftover cheaze sauce (they said it made 6 1/2 C servings but I got just under 2 C). and salsa and corn in flour tortillas.

Today we're off to the fiber festival for Mother's Day- Woo! Yarn! I do not even care that it will rain- that'll drive off all the weaklings hah.

I finished Spindle's End by Robin McKinley and I think I have a new favorite author!!!! She reworks fairy tales and now I'm reading Rose Daughter (I was looking for her book, Beauty, at the library but couldn't find it, so I grabbed a bunch of her other stuff and was like, gee, I hope she's good- now I'm glad I did!).

No knitting, started to try to do the thumb and decided that I could work the left hand thumb the same as the right (how can this be, part of me is suspicious) but some crisis warranted my attention and everything had to be put away.

Gotta go work out the yardage of yarn I need for my hood pattern so I can buy some luscious alpaca today.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Let's Make Contact!

Just a short one today...

Last night we had veggie 'wraps' from our coop that turned out to be sandwiches because they were all out of wraps. Last time we got wraps there, they were disintegrating due to, apparently, the new flour they were using. But anyway, they were good and it was a sort of nice Mother's day in advance kind of thing.

No progress on the mitts. I hope to find some cool yarn at the fiber fair this weekend.

I read Betsy-Tacy which definitely is a children's book. It was nice, innocuous and kind of boring after a while. Set in Minnesota which I love!

Now I have started Spindle's End by Robin McKinley and I have been really enjoying it! So great to find some good fairytale fiction. She is a good storyteller.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Gotta go put in my new contacts from the eye doctor.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Here is a picture for you... do you think N. slept hard?

Well, last night we had Crockpot Pea Soup and homemade wheat bread. Yum!

Okay, I just looked on Vegweb where I thought I got the Pea Soup recipe, but I don't seem to be able to find it. The recipe sort of makes me feel all tricksy when I make it because basically you add tsp or T of every spice in your cupboard and voila! A tasty soup is born. Seriously, it has cumin, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme, dill, celery powder, onion and garlic powder, parsley, mustard... and those are just what I can remember off the top of my head. Soon I will start posting recipes.

The cheeze sauce I use is here

Yesterday after reading the reviews on Amazon about how, yes, indeed, Sword of Shannara sucks, and how closely it parallels LOTR I said to myself, self, if they go into that mountain and the Gandalf clone struggles with the enemy and they fall into a pit clutching one another, I'm going to quit. Well, guess what happened?

So I started to read Ella, Enchanted and finished it last night. Yes it was in the children's section, and yes I do feel rather odd getting books there, but I console myself with the idea that I'm 'researching' good books for the girls when they get older. Ella, Enchanted was good! The ending was a little weird but maybe that's because I am so conditioned to Hollywood/Disney type endings- which I wish I weren't. I liked how she brought together all the little details at the end. Okay, I'm not writing a book report here, and that's how it's sounding, so suffice it to say, it was good.

No progress on the mitts, I almost started mentally trying to work out how I'd place the thumb but I must have been too foggy/interrupted by a teething child to get very far.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Last night we had a fast supper, as we had driven all day to get back from Grandma and Grandpa's... we had pasta shells, Morningstar chick'n strips, Dragonfly's Bulk Dry Cheeze sauce and steam in the bag broccoli from Target. It was good to eat at home again!

Right now I am just plodding along with Sword of Shannara... it sucks. Read the reviews at Amazon. Really, I don't know if I'm going to make it... and I have a lot of tolerance for bad fantasy! Such a blatant LOTR rip off!!! The mind boggles!!! And so poorly done!!! I have not enough exclamation points to continue.

Finally, I am working on my short row mitts. I am struggling with figuring out how to reverse the instructions so that I can make a left hand version. I would really like some Koigu KPPPM to make these, but the nearest store that carries it is 45 m away! I should just order some online, but I hate paying shipping.

Ah well.

In other news, Scholastic finally owned me. I succumbed to their ways finally and broke down and bought a set of Bob books for my almost 4 year old daughter. I resisted all through, but the pervasive Scholastic book order people will not be denied!