Friday, October 31, 2008

Actual knitting content

I decided to pick up my knitting needles again. Ironically (for those who know me), I was more inspired to knit for others than for myself. I'm not normally a gift knitter because I feel that I get more satisfaction out of my knitted items than the recipients do. At least that's how it's gone in the past. However, this past summer, I met my sister-in-law in Chicago for the first time, and she requested a scarf for Christmas. She even requested particular colors! How could I not knit something for someone who a) lives in a freezing cold climate and takes the bus to work every day and b) requested something handknit?

The colors she requested were lime green and/or orange and/or pink. I can tell she likes a lot of color, and since I do, too, I figured this would be a fun scarf to knit. So, I went shopping at Yarning for You in San Marcos (northern San Diego county). I found a nice variegated yarn that I'm using to make this pattern. With my purchase, they gave me a 20% coupon to use on my next purchase through the end of the year. Apparently, they're doing this with every purchase, so if you live in the area, you may want to stop by.


I'm not sure if I'm loving it or not, but in case it turns out super ugly, I have a backup plan.

I'm going to break the seal on something for this blog. I'm going to go political for a second. Don't forget to vote on November 4th! Please vote No on Proposition 8, if you live in California. It's very important to keep discrimination out of our state constitution.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Sock

Second in a pair. Not much to say today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Cooking

This weekend a friend of mine and I picked up our first winter CSA installment. 45-50 lbs of produce split between 2 people. 2-25 lbs of produce is a lot. We were both very excited about our fall bounty. I immediately had to start cooking. I really REALLY don't want to waste any of this locally grown produce. So Saturday night I made a salad using romaine and carrots from the CSA and tomatoes from Trader Joe's. I also mixed up a balsamic vinaigrette.
I munched on my salad while I roasted a HUGE sweet potato, 3 beets, 2 onions, garlic, and a delicato squash (all CSA). After the fall veggies were all good and roasted I placed them on a bed of quinoa. This was nice, but the quinoa needed more flavoring, something that I will be playing with over this winter.
On Sunday morning I woke up and prepared a Maple Fruit Crisp using 3 apples from the CSA, frozen blueberries, and 2 pears from Trader Joes (I snuck a piece to have with my breakfast-haven't had any since though)
Around midday I made a red lentil soup using CSA onions, turnips, carrots, spinach. I still haven't tried this soup, but I have made it before (using a crock pot and parsnip instead of turnips) so I am expecting it to be good. I have stashed the soup in the freezer to be pulled out as fall moves into winter. I went to the Melting Pot for dinner, so there was no home cooking for me. I made the soup now, though, so that the veggies wouldn't go bad.
Last night I did more cooking, making a curried potato fennel soup. This one is going to be "experimental." While I had a recipe I was kind of following I made some changes. The first change was substitution soymilk for buttermilk (yes this can be done). Sadly, I didn't have enough plain soymilk, so I used about a cup of vanilla soymilk (I can't really type that without grimacing, so you know how much I am looking forward to trying this soup-no it wasn't dinner last night). I also did not have any curry power so I subbed with tumeric (I think-it wasn't labeled but I think that was where I had my tumeric) and corriander.
My dinner last night was a variation of my new favorite quick meal. Sauteed greens with garlic and beans on polenta. Previously I had used kale and white beans. Well, my CSA came with Swiss Chard, so I used that in place of Kale. I also read that turnip greens were tasty, so after I used the turnips for my lentil soup I reserved the greens and mixed the turnip greens with the swiss chard. When I stopped in a local convenience store to buy white beans I discovered that they didn't have any, so I picked up pink beans instead. I also noticed a can of sliced beets on the shelf, so I grabbed them and added the beets to the mix. While I like homemade polenta, this dish I prefer to serve on the packaged tube of polenta because I can pan fry medallions of polenta and get good and crispy. I tried this with homemade polenta and it just didn't work for me.
You may have picked up from my curried potato fennel soup sub, that I have some vegan leanings. I can live without milk, I can definitely live without eggs, but what will prevent me from ever going vegan is cheese. I LOVE cheese (my quinoa dish had cheese melted over the roasted veggies-I add that individually). The white stuff on my greens and polenta is romano cheese. In my opinion, everything tastes better with cheese!

Since this is a knitting blog and you probably aren't hear to see what food oddities I create, I will share some knitting progress now:

Haruhah Scarf knit with some Drops mohair in a laceweight or fingering weigh gauge.Baseball Socks (I hoped that working on something Red Sox related would bring good things. It didn't).

FYI the 19 is for Josh Beckett, my favorite player on the Sox. I finished this sock on the bus this morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Leaf Peeping

Here in New England when fall rolls around people start to talk about going "leaf peeping." For those of you who don't know, leaf peeping amounts to driving out to Vermont, New Hampshire, or other areas to see the fall foliage. While I have never officially been peeping, last year I went on my first ever backpacking trip to New Hampshire where I got to see the last vestige's of the prime peeping.
This year I went out to the Northern Berkshires for a last hike of the year. I went with three other people and we discovered that our trip coincided with prime foliage viewing time. Sadly, my photos don't do justice to the fall foliage.
We spent 3 days hiking, and traveled from Lee, MA to North Adams, MA. We hiked about 44 miles over this 3 day span, and climbed up and over Mt. Greylock, which is the highest point in the state.
As a result of this hike, I have managed to hike about 115 miles this year (2008), this is a lot more distance than I expected to cover. It also means that the backpacking gear I bought between my first trip and now hasn't been wasted. I have learned what I like and don't like about my gear and am thinking about what I can/should replace (mostly my pack, which I don't think fits right).

There was no knitting this weekend, nor was there any cooking (unless you count boiling water over a camp stove and adding it to coucous).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Welcome to our food blog...

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted. The scarier thing is that it's been about that long since I've knit a stitch. I've never gone through a dry spell like this before and hopefully, it will end soon. In the meantime, I've been doing quite a bit of cooking, much like J has. This weekend, there was a touch of fall in the air, so I decided to make some comfort food.

First off I made this zucchini bread recipe.



Actually, I cut the recipe in half. The only thing that couldn't easily but cut in half was the egg amounts, so I used two eggs. I just had a piece and I have to say it was yummy! Particularly with a schmear of cream cheese.

Then I made a goat cheese, shiitake mushroom and bell pepper quiche:



I served it with a salad dressed with an orange muscat champagne vinaigrette, recipe here. Everything turned out really well, particularly the salad dressing. I highly recommend the recipe. I got the vinegar at Trader Joe's, if anyone is interested. I could wait until the quiche was cool, so it hadn't quite set up yet.

I found this little gadget at Marshall's. It's the coolest thing to mix and store homemade salad dressing so it can be used during the week. I've been looking for something like this for ages:


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another SIP (sock in progress)

At home my needles have been fairly quiet. No lace shawls slowly being created, no sweaters being started, or worked on. For some reason I am going through something like a knitting slump. The only time I seem to be regularly knitting is when I am sitting on my bus going to or from work. Bus knitting is largely for sock knitting. My current SIP is Twinkleberry by Knitzi. I am making this using some Schaffer Anne yarn.

Notice how well the pattern shows up with my yarn choice (read sarcasm into the sentence)?

Despite the fact that the yarn and the pattern are competing with one another I am blithely continuing with this sock. I am somewhat optimistically telling myself that the pattern will show up better when the sock is stretched on my foot/leg. Hey, it could happen!

We have a long weekend coming up, but don't expect great feats of knitting, I am going to go backpacking, probably for the last time this year, and if any knitting comes with me, I doubt it I will have any progress to show.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Gothic Spire

On Tuesday I mentioned that I finished my Gothic Spire Socks. Well, I am wearing them today and have photos to share.
I also mentioned frying up chili cornmeal encrusted tofu on Sunday, well, this is what I have done with my tofu:
It tastes really good :) There is chipotle mayo, pickles, and slaw in that sandwich. The bun is toasted and the tofu is reheated (in the toaster oven that sits around in my office). I put together the sandwich hear and it has been much better than my standard hummus on a pita.

A side note-the problem with baking an apple pie when you live alone is that you then have an entire apple pie with no one to share. Oh well.