Monday, November 16, 2009

Really Good Weekend

I don't know about you, but I had a really good weekend.

The weather was AWESOME! Sunny and warm and sunny.

My Mom and I made a day of it. We started out at Goodwill for their 50% off sale. I hit the mother lode too. I got 2 practically new pairs of jeans, 1 lime zippered cardigan, 1 brand new still had the tag on blue sweater, 4 scrub tops, 2 scrub pants, a small brand new Tupperware strainer and 4 wool felting sweaters. I spent $40, but new scrub tops alone cost $12.99 each. I wasn't expecting to spend that much, but I definitely got more than my money's worth of merchandise.

Then I took my Mom to the South Bend Farmers Market, where we got some dark espresso roasted coffee beans for my Dad, some herbs, loose leaf tea (darjeeling, french vanilla, chai), fresh pumpkin donuts (the yummy cake kind), broccoli (which I steamed on Sunday for dinner), tomatoes, garlic, yellow bell pepper. I got to taste a chanterelle mushroom, which was very good. We probably spent a good hour to hour and a half wandering around checking everything out. She's already making plans with her friends to come back for another visit.

Then we headed to Goshen to the Ewe-Knique Knit Shop, where I had to exchange a skein of yarn I bought when I was at the knitting retreat. While trying to find the end of the yarn from the center of the skein, I totally messed up the skein and had to re-wind it. In the process, I found 6 big slubby areas. 1 or 2 I could have lived with, but not 6. Well they didn't have the same color of mini mochi, so I got another colorway. And to be on the safe side I decided to go ahead and get an extra one while I was there. :o)

After lunch at the chinese buffet, I went home and took a nap. When I woke up, I did laundry. I had to wash my new scrubs, so I could wear a set to work on Sunday. And I figured If I was going to do one load I might as well do several. Not going to admit to how many loads I did; I let the laundry kind of pile up. I finished up the last load on Sunday morning before work.

All in all, a very good weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Recipe - Tomato Florentine Soup

A pizza restaurant here in town (Barnaby's), used to serve Tomato Florentine Soup everyday on their menu. I loved it! I don't know if they tried to do something different or what, but they removed it and replaced it with Italian Wedding Soup. Oh it was horrible! I stopped going there as often, because I was always getting the soup/salad combo and they didn't have any other soups that I liked.

Well I got to craving that soup last week. I looked up recipes on-line and found several that I liked "bits" of. So I combined them and WOW I loved it! So here it is:

Tomato Florentine Soup
Serves 6-8


1 lb ground Italian sausage

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 beef bullion cubes

1 cup boiling water

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 12 oz. Can V8 Juice

1 small can tomato sauce

¼ tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce

2 stalks of celery, diced

2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. thyme

2 tsp. basil

1 tsp. dill

2 cups of water or milk

1 bunch of Spinach, julienne

1 to ½ cups cooked shell pasta

Salt and Pepper to taste

Brown sausage until it is almost done. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add this and all other ingredients except the pasta to a crockpot. Cook on high for 1 ½ hours. Add cooked pasta. Cook for ½ hour. Serve with crusty bread/butter or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Note: I took this to work with me, that’s why I used the crockpot, but the original recipe(s) were geared towards making it on the stove. It was very good the first day, however it was awesome the next day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Knitting Retreat

Ok, I mentioned earlier that I would be updating everyone on the knitting retreat that I attended on Halloween. The South Bend Knitworks (Rav Group) held our first retreat. It was so much fun, I hope it isn't our last one. Thanks to Faith and Madalyn for organzing the whole thing. And thanks to Rachel for decorating the gift bags, Kelly for the neat stitch markers (SSK & K2tog), and to Carly for the cool name tags. They had small wound hanks of yarn. And thanks to all who brought snacks, Yum!

I had such a great time. Kallie tought us how to do Entrelac. I wasn't going to do it, because I thought "Why learn something else to become addicted to!", but actually it was quite interesting. Here's my sample:

Kallie went around the group giving everyone a little bit of extra help, for which I was glad. I learn better if someone is showing me what to do, instead of just plain reading/interpreting it on my own. Every time she got to me though, I would confuse her because on the purl rows I was knitting backwards instead of flipping it and purling. I think Entrelac would be a huge pain to do if you don't know how to knit backwards. All that flipping to the back side to purl 2, 3, 4, etc stitches would suck.

We also got in some great knitting time too.

Liz, Kallie and Shelley.

Shelley (again), KellyLynn, Megan, Christine, Carly and Madalyn.

Rachel, Susan and Jonel.

Kelly, Faith and Rachel (again).

It was kind of hard not to overlap photos, since there were not a lot of us. Personally I like the smaller sized group, because it was easier to talk to everyone and get to know some of the different Ravelry members. I just realized that I didn't get a picture of Danielle, because she had to leave early.

We all trickled through Ewe-Knique Knit Shop around lunch time. I got 2 skeins of Mini Mochi, that I just love. That's the yarn I'm using for the fingerless mitts from the previous post. Very soft!

Oh, lest I forget, Faith was responsible for getting us some great door prizes, none of which I won though. :o( But Jonel won a Sweater Kit from Berroco, KellyLynn won a kit from Spud and Chloe, Liz won a goodie bag from Lion Brand Yarn, Carly won Purple sock yarn donated by Red Purl. Sorry there were more winners, but I don't remember who won what.

Other donated prizes came from: Erica's Sewing & Craft center - a purple bag and books for our goodie bags and another kit from Spud & Chloe.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Wasn't Going to do it.

But I did. I told myself I shouldn't, but again I did. I started another knitting project! I have too many started already that I need to get done, but I just couldn't resist.

I attended a Knitting Retreat in Goshen on Halloween (details to come) and while there I bought some Mini Mochi yarn at Ewe-Knique Knits yarn shop. They had this wonderful sample made up of a hat. The pattern could be downloaded from Crystal Palace's website. It's for a fake Fair Isle design. I'm not real interested in the hat, but it also include a pair of mittens that would make perfect fingerless mitts. My hands are always getting cold and I've been planning to make myself a pair. I just never seem to get around to it. I have the ribbing done on Mitt #1 and am only 2-4 rows away from starting the thumb gusset.

I have been working on other things: I have 20 inches done on my pooling scarf and I'm more than 1/2 done on the body of my Hoodie Sweater. It's just that the sweater is getting to the point where it is not too portable and with it taking almost 1/2 hour to knit a row, it's a bit frustrating too.

I know, I know. It doesn't take much to justify starting a new project right? I really do need to get some things done though.

(11/9) Edited to add photo

Friday, November 6, 2009

Family Dinner Swap

Amy of Park City Girl is doing a Recipe Swap and I thought I would add my two cents to the list.

I love love love Thai food and stir-frys. I'm always hitting up my friend Lily (who's from Thailand) for interesting new recipes. Here is one of my favorites.

Chicken Basil (Gai Pad Gra Pow) This recipe was put together from info from both Lily and

2 Tbsp oil
4-7 Thai chili peppers (minced or crushed)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1-2 pkgs fresh Thai Basil
1/2 lb. ground chicken (or bite-sized chunks of chicken)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3Tbsp fish sauce

Mince garlic and chili peppers together. Clean and pick basil from its stems. It may appear like a lot of leaves, but they will shrink when cooked and this dish's flavor comes from the leaves. Fry garlic and chili in oil over high heat. When garlic starts to turn brown, add ground chicken. The juice will start to come out. Keep stirring until all the juice is gone. It might take a couple of minutes. Add sugar and fish sauce. Then add the basil. Quickly turn over a few times to mix the leaves with the meat and then remove from the heat and put in serving bowl. Serve with hot rice.

You can substitute ground turkey or pork for the ground chicken. Some people like the meat cut up in bite sizes pieces rather than ground. You can also add Sliced green peppers and onions just before adding the sugar and fish sauce.

PS: If you haven't tried the Thai Basil, you really should. It is much milder and more flavorful than the regular 'italian' basil that we tend to use here in the US. I've also done eggrolls and Coconut Chicken soup and you can get those recipes by clicking here.