Sunday: Shawlette and a couple of recipes

Davey and I have been hanging out this weekend.  David had to make a trip to Texas, but he’ll be back this evening.  Today Davey and I worked on putting up the Halloween lights.  Hopefully I can take a good picture in the evening.  We are very excited about Halloween!

I have a Halloween knitting project which is in progress.  I’m looking forward to blogging about it soon!

I’m working on the bind off on my Quaker Ridge Shawlette. This is a Susan B. Anderson pattern, and it’s been really nice to knit.  The slow part is the bind-off.  I’m doing a beaded bind-off.  I’ve never done one before so it was a little tricky at first.  I felt like all thumbs with the little beads.  I’m getting better at it though.  I need to get it finished up (almost 500 stitches to bind off. yikes.).

This is not a great picture.  I’ll take some better ones when it is done.

 

I also wanted to share a couple of really good recipes that I made lately.

One is Pioneer Woman’s “Simple Perfect Enchiladas“.  These are really good.  I used hamburger, but shredded beef would be good too.  I always use Hatch enchilada sauce too.  If you can get it, I highly recommend it.  It seems like some red enchilada sauce is kind of bitter.  Not hatch.

Another positive was that the enchiladas warmed up really well.  We aren’t crazy about leftovers typically, but these were great leftovers.

I also subscribe to allrecipes.com emails.   They had a recipe up yesterday for Spicy Beef Stew. Now this sounded a little weird to me because it called for a jar of marinara sauce and a can of Rotel.  So odd that I just had to try it. However, it all blended in and I couldn’t tell at all that I’d put spaghetti sauce in.  I put it on mashed potatoes.  I confess I made Hungry Jack mashed potatoes.  I had not made instant potatoes probably ever, but I’d read somewhere that they were good.  I always thought instant potatoes tasted weird, but these were really good.  Definitely good to put stew over!  Lots of leftovers on this too.

Ok we need one more extension cord for our lights.  And maybe some frozen yogurt.

As Seen on TV…Press Dough!

Press Dough!  Davey had seen this commercial a bunch of times on Sprout.  He loves to play with Playdoh, and so the idea of playdoh as real dough that you could bake and eat?  Sounded great to him!

He kept asking me to get it for him, and so I did.  As an added bonus – “if you buy now!”  – we got 2 for the price of one!

So it finally arrived, and Davey was ready to try it out.

I may have not gotten the dough just right.  I refrigerated it for awhile so it would get firm, but it still wasn’t easy to work with.  I’m no expert with cookie cutters; I sometimes find it hard to use them myself.  He liked the flour shaker which the instructions insisted was very important.  We were supposed to liberally sprinkle the molds with flour.

Davey liked playing with it for awhile, but it was kinda hard to get anything to work quite right.  It was kind of a mess.  Davey is definitely not a tidy kid much of the time, but he (like his daddy) does not like a mess.  This was a little messy!

It was his first experience with the “as seen on tv” product.  Not always quite what you think it’s going to be.

I think he’s back to Playdoh.

Koko wanted to check this all out too.  I think she smelled the dough.

 

Koko may be an old girl, but her nose still works like a charm.  I had to get the crooked mouth face.  She’s been doing that forever.

Is it Halloween yet?

Davey and I are ready for Halloween.  It’s September 15th, and we are ready to put up our Halloween decorations.  We’re going to try to hold out until October 1st.  I can’t remember when we put ours up last year, but I do know we were the first in the neighborhood…by a couple of weeks!

We did buy some Halloween cookie cutters yesterday, and we made our first batch of Halloween cookies.  Davey helped me cut some of the dough out, but then he decided to take leftovers and play with them.  Next thing I know he has gotten the toothpicks and is totally absorbed in some story he created with the dough and toothpicks.  It’s not real pretty, but he had the best time:

 

He had fun decorating too!

Angry Birds Cupcakes Extravaganza

A few days ago, actually last weekend – where did the week go? – David, Davey and I made “Angry Bird” cupcakes.  Davey has been all about the Angry Birds lately.    Sometimes I play on my phone and he plays on David’s phone, and we sit side by side with our Angry Birds.

So last week we decided to make Angry Bird cupcakes.  We found some guidelines on pinterest. Davey carefully reviewed the website.

Constructing the faces required several ingredients:  food coloring, sprinkles, candy orange slices (those should not be anywhere near me.  I can’t resist them), mini marshmallows, marshmallows, and mini-chocolate chips.  We were supposed to make the eyebrows with skinny black licorice whips, but none of us like black licorice.  I kind of wish we’d gone with it anyway though, because achieving the “Angry Look” is pretty key to a successful Angry Bird cupcake!  We made do with mini chocolate chips.

So I got everything all set up.  I used white cake mix for the cupcakes, but I made homemade butter cream icing.  we had to dip the cupcakes into sprinkles after we added icing.  That’s quite a few sprinkles.  Of course, Davey had no problem with mega sprinklage.

Once we got started, Davey really enjoyed supervising and taking pictures more than the actual decoration.  I think he got a great shot of David at work (I knew I was going to need David’s abilities to pull this off.)

David was in charge of red angry birds.  (Notice in the picture above that the little icing swiper had already made a pass at the birds.)

David took this task seriously.

I really liked the pigs:

I picked out the best of the lot for a final picture.

(The plain green one with the marshmallows is the “nest”.)

Pretty fun project!  Davey loved the process.  Davey loved the icing.  He always loves the icing.

A Galette and a Splash Party

So the Galette first.  A friend told me about a food blog that his friend has.  It’s called Ezra Pound Cake.  Love the name!  Here’s a great poem by Ezra Pound:

In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
— Ezra Pound

This is a fun food blog!  The blog entry on her page the day that I first visited was about a recipe for a Galette.  I’d never heard of a Galette.  So I wanted to make one.  It is kind of like a pizza.  I used puff pastry (which I’d only used once before), herbed goat cheese (which I’d never bought before) and zucchini, tomatoes and vidalia onions.  Oh and parmesan and olive oil.   It was delicious.  Here’s my attempt at a food shot.

Here’s the recipe and a better food shot:  Tomato, Zucchini and Vidalia Onion Galette.  It’s also a great way to use the abundance of zucchini that people seem to have in the summer!

Davey has wanted to have a splash party for his friends from across the street.  He’s been talking about it for weeks.  He’d added cupcakes as a requirement because his class had made cupcakes as part of a splash day at prek camp.  Before our “party”, Davey and I went to the store.  He asked that I buy baby carrots and that I cook them for the adults at the party (The adults were David, me and the girls’ mom).  I decided we’d stick with the cupcakes.  We made some mighty cupcakes with major sprinklage.

The girls came over and they had a big time!

Tuesday snow and Pinterest success stories

It started snowing last night again and is just now starting to let up.  It was not a real heavy snow, but it was enough to make it a pain for David to get to work this morning.

And it is cold!  Davey and I are hanging around the house staying warm!

I have mentioned that I am a fan of pinterest, and I want to share two recipes that I found there that I thought turned out great!

For Super Bowl Sunday, I made a cinnamon roll cake.  This turned out really good.  The dough almost had the consistency of yeast dough, but it wasn’t.  Then the cinnamon roll cake tasted very similar to cinnamon rolls.  Too good!  So that was a pinterest success.

Then the other day I found a recipe for a homemade Starbucks frappucino.  And a healthier version of it as well.  I made one this morning.  It was really good.  If you put a Starbucks frappucino in front of me and then the one I made – I’m not sure I could have identified them correctly.  I like mocha frappucinos so I added chocolate syrup to the mixture before I froze it.  I don’t have these very often, but every once in awhile I have a craving.  I don’t like to spend at least $4.00 on them either.  I don’t have to anymore!

Had to share some Pinterest success.  Think I’ll go find a recipe for dinner now.

Frost Generously

I am addicted to pinterest.com.  I find so much inspiration there.  Knitting inspiration.  Inspiring quotes.  And many recipes that I am inspired to make.  I’ve made a few now and they’ve been really good.  Actually there is nothing wrong with the latest recipe that I tried yesterday.  Red Quinoa, Apple and Cranberry Cake.  I love quinoa, and I am always looking for a new way to try it, so I thought this recipe would be perfect.  I mean, just look at this picture.  It looked really good to me.

And it is pretty tasty.  It is made with red quinoa (cooked) and whole wheat flour.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve ever won the Davids over with a recipe made without any white flour.

I should have read the recipe more carefully.  As I was putting it in the oven, I read the recipe for the cream cheese icing.  It seemed to make a buttload of icing for not that much cake.  Typically, I have  read recipes which say, “ice with such and such icing, but this cake is so awesomely wonderful that you may just want to eat it by itself sans icing.”  I see that quite abit.  Well, this recipe ended with instructions to “Frost Generously”.

So I frosted generously.  I frosted generously and still had a ton of icing left over. I frosted graham crackers with the rest, and Davey gobbled these up.

After I frosted the cake, David and I tried a slice.  It was late afternoon, and we decided that the cake was so “hearty” that we would not need dinner for quite awhile.

I thought I might enjoy it more as a breakfast food, despite the cream cheese icing.  And I did.  It’s just not what we think of as cake.  As breakfast food – a pretty hearty filling breakfast.

Davey wanted another slice of it, but he was straightforward in announcing his intent to only eat the icing.  He had actually iced almost the entire cake, and he insisted on adding sprinkles.

Even David.  Here’s the slice he created.

Notice the relatively thin layer of cake.

If you like a hearty not so sweet very healthy tasting cake, then this is an awesome recipe.  You know, it might make for some nice muffins with a glaze.  I might try it that way.

So that’s the story of the quinoa, apple and cranberry cake.

 

Soup and Hulda Holly

I made the best soup the other day.  I think it might be the best soup I ever made.  I have got to get the ingredients written down so I don’t forget how to repeat it.

I’d been talking to a friend about kale soup with beans and chorizo.  I also looked up a recipe on the internet, and then I kinda made it my own.

Ingredients:

Chorizo (I think I used about 8 ounces.)

Chard (it’s what I had. I am not sure how much I used.  One rubberbanded bunch.  You could use as much as you want since it wilts down so much.)

2 cans of Cannellini beans.  (I drained them.)

1 onion

1 green bell pepper

1 box of chicken broth

a little Tony Chachere or whatever seasoning you want.

salt and pepper to taste

I think that’s it. (I feel like I am forgetting something major.)

Chop the onion and bell pepper and saute them in a little extra virgin olive oil.  Add the sausage and brown it.  Add the beans, chard, broth and seasoning.  (I think I wilted the chard a little on top of the chorizo and onions.  I can’t remember for sure and I’ve no clue if this would be at all necessary.  Probably not.)

Let it cook for an hour or so.  It was a very thick and hearty soup.  You’ll want to double the recipe if you want leftovers or have more than two people.  We had plenty for one meal and then a small bowl for leftovers.  I did this on purpose as it seems like I always make this huge pot and we get tired of it before it’s gone.  I don’t think we would have gotten tired of this though.

I was reading some cooking blog the other day and I learned about what I think is the crowning touch to this soup.  A fried egg on top.  I like a fried egg on just about everything, but it really made this soup.  David is the expert egg fryer in our family.  He can get the white done and the yolk is still perfectly runny.  I’m not as good at it.

So anyway,  it was really really good.  I have only a horrible picture to serve as reference.  There was just a little soup left so the egg dwarfed it.

I ended up focusing on the ceramic bowl and left the soup dwarfed by the egg blurry.

And on the knitting front, I’m working on the sweater for Holly.  The name of the pattern is “Hulda” and my sister in law is Holly, so I’ve dubbed the sweater the Hulda Holly.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of a mishap with Hulda Holly.

I had to cast on 326 stitches in this laceweight yarn.  Somehow when I joined it in the round, I twisted the stitches.  I thought I was so careful not to get them twisted.  The lovely part was that I didn’t notice this until I finished the ribbing (3/4 of an inch) and about 3 of the beginning stockinette rows.  How did I not notice?  I don’t know.  It was a bunch of stretchy stitches winding around a 32 inch circular needle.

So I unintentionally created a moebius.

All I could do was to try to take a neat picture and cast on again.

So last night I cast on again and I am a row or so into the ribbing.  I was very very obsessive about making sure it was not twisted.  Hopefully it’s not.

As I usually do when I mess something up – I kept reminding myself that it’s about the process.  And I do love knitting with this yarn.

We are waiting for snow to hit Denver tonight.  Davey just went to the window to look for David again and to see if it has started snowing – again.

Thursday!

It’s Thursday already.   I may have mentioned this before, but the way time seems to fly by extra fast is the only thing I don’t like about teaching.  We think by semesters and then weeks into the semester and then teaching days and it just makes the time seem to fly by.  So for example, it’s already the fall semester, Week 5 and my two teaching days (Monday and Wednesday) are done.  And so all of a sudden it’s Thursday already.

Anyway.

The other day I made some really good chewy granola bars.  I used this recipe.   I changed it up a little.  I didn’t use marshmallows (blech.  I just don’t like marshmallows in sweets.  Well except for smores and slightly blackened over a fire).  I didn’t use the “oat cereal rings” either.  I substituted with dried cranberries and added chia seeds  (Here’s a little information about them if you are curious:  Chia).  They have a little crunch and are kinda like eating sesame seeds (and are supposed to be so good for you!).  We are sprinkling them on everything these days.  So anyway, the granola bars are really good!  Next time, I think I will use almond butter instead of peanut butter.

Davey received a puzzle as a gift recently.  It’s a 1,000 piece puzzle, but we decided to dive right in.  We quickly got overwhelmed and so Davey and I ran to KMart for a 100 piece and a 300 piece puzzle.  We are in training.  Davey wanted the 100 piece glow in the dark puzzle.  It’s pretty neat.  Now we are working on the 300 piece Toy Story poster puzzle.  Davey likes to help me look for edges.   I like this picture of David and Davey working together with their similar expressions (although a little hard to see with this too dark photo).

David has started making us eggs in a hole (we were inspired by the Pioneer Woman Show.)  Davey loves to help.

Working side by side.  Oh and not that I really want to direct any attention to the messy kitchen – my skills in Photoshop are limited, and I can only crop so much – but see the blue and white ceramic wooden spoon holder in the background to the left?  David and I got that on our honeymoon at Silver Dollar City (in Branson MO) 22? years ago.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I’m happy that it has survived for so long (knock on wood).

So that’s about it for now.  I keep hoping to show pictures of my completed Girasole, but I don’t know if it will ever be completed.  I have not had a lot of time to knit, but still I have been working on the edging for a week now!  I’m really hoping to have it done in the next couple of days!  It is going to end up being one of my favorite projects ever.

 

 

 

Saturday Morning & High Altitude Popovers

It’s Saturday morning and we are hanging out.  Actually, David went to run, Davey is playing his Hero Up game on the computer, and I am transferring all of our bills to our new bank.  Not my idea of fun, but I am done now.

I am hoping that we do a whole lot of not much today.  Although, I need to go to the grocery store, and the library and the post office.  After that, hopefully not much.

I’ve been researching the making of popovers at high altitude.  They are a fun bread to have with dinner sometimes.  In Arkansas, they rose up in the oven and made beautiful tall popovers.  Here, they resemble a flat muffin with a small hole in the middle.

I’d been using this popover recipe from Allrecipes.  It’s a really good recipe.  Even kinda flat, they tasted pretty good.

But today, I learned this- High Altitude Popovers.  It’s a very detailed explanation of how to make popovers at high altitude, but there is a summary of the recipe at the end which seems straightforward.

If you love popovers or if you’ve never tried them, the allrecipes recipe is very easy and they are fun to make.  If you live at high altitude though, I’ll let you know how this other recipe goes!

Just thought I’d share.

Ok time to go hangout.