We might have lost an hour today, but we had plenty of time to make this super quick and flavorful dinner.
It might look like pasta with a cheese sauce but there is actually only a half cup of Parmesan in there. It’s pumpkin! And sure, today might have finally felt like spring but this sweet and savory dinner hit the spot.
Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce (ours is with rotini) is quick because it has only a few ingredients and minimal chopping and it makes a lot so there are plenty of leftovers. I highly recommend trying it.
We were able to cook dinner again tonight and we tried a recipe that I took out of Cooking Light last year.
Honey Cashew Chicken with Rice was really easy for us to make together and the results were amazing for a weeknight stir fry. We used brown rice instead of white and asparagus instead of broccoli but otherwise followed the recipe.
What makes this dish is the sauce which is a combination of rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce and Sriracha. It’s got a bit of heat to it but mixed with the sweetness it’s subtle and delicious.
Mike suggested we make this regularly because it was just that fabulous.
This was a basic macaroni and cheese recipe except the sauce is made with a few different cheeses plus Dijon mustard and without any butter or oil. I normally like to add something green to macaroni and cheese, so this stood out as I was looking through the magazine.
We opted for shells instead of penne just because we had them on hand. Otherwise, we followed the recipe exactly. I thought it was pretty good but could use a bit more flavor. Mike’s suggestion was to add more Dijon mustard and I read in the comments on the recipe that maybe adding some crushed red pepper would help. But it was good enough and easy enough for a weeknight so we’ll definitely try it again maybe with a little modification.
This week is spring break in our town and even though we still have work, a lot of people are gone. Town is quiet and many of my regular after work activities are not happening this week so I’m taking the opportunity to cook dinner a little more than we have been lately.
Last night I made an old favorite that I can’t believe I’ve never posted about before. My friend Jenna was the first person to tell me about Rachael Ray’s Green Spring Chili and French Fry Pie and I was skeptical. Mostly I doubted the french fries but she made it for us, it was delicious and now it’s something we make a couple times a year.
We bake the fries and keep them separate from the chili to make sure they don’t get too soggy since there are tons of leftovers. The chili is very fresh and springy and also works on it’s own or over rice. But I promise, it’s really good with the fries.
I decided to take a break from another project so that I could make a hat for Mike. I was beginning to worry that by the time I finally had time to make a hat to match his fingerless mitts that it’d be too warm.
Also I knew that knitting up a hat in the middle of the other projects that are on my needles would be quick and satisfying. I chose the Regular Guy Beanie because I knew I needed something simple for the yarn.
It turned out great.
I cast on 8 extra stitches because after reading some notes on Ravelry. Knowing what I do now, I’d probably do 12 although it fits Mike perfectly. It would have made the decreases make more sense even though I think it turned out good.
I’m pretty pleased with this project. It only took a couple nights and Mike already wore it today.
It’s hard to post a lot when most of the things you are working on are going to be presents. Not that everyone I know looks at this blog, but sometimes you just don’t want to ruin the surprise.
When I first bought this High Society Sock Yarn, I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it. It is very bright and colorful which always appeals to me but besides making socks (I haven’t finished the first pair that I started over two years ago) it wasn’t clear what I’d actually wear in such bright colors.
For my bear I mostly followed the instructions except that I increased the needle size to a US 5 and I waited until the end to put together all the parts.
The other thing I didn’t do was put a face on this bear. I started with a nose and besides not liking covering his cute little yellow nose, I decided I didn’t like how my poor hand stitching made for a sort of scary face.
Knitting a whole project on DPNs is not my most favorite (see sock comment above) and you can see in some spots that the knitting could be a little bit nicer. But mostly I just love how he looks like a rainbow.
The pattern was so easy to follow and all of his parts look so great. I especially love his cute little tail that took maybe five minutes to knit up.
Overall, I am very pleased with how he turned out. I hope that he becomes a cherished toy that my nephew drags all around the house and snuggles with at night.
This was a really big store and it was so crowded with people knitting together and buying yarn and other supplies. The selection was amazing and I can see why it was so busy. The staff was also very helpful. I was excited to find they were having a sale on Noro and bought myself some Taiyo Sock and Kureyon.
My next visit was to the shop at the Kraemer Yarns factory in Nazareth.
I’ve bought and used Kraemer yarns for other projects and knew it was made in this town in Pennsylvania and on a whim I googled to see if they had a store since I was going to be there. Their store isn’t huge but it is packed with their yarns. I ended up getting some of their Perfection Worsted with the plan to crochet it into a granny square blanket.
It’s rare that a piece of furniture can excite me this much. But my card catalog has really made organizing so many things so much better.
I thought that after I put the yarn and jewelry in it, it’d be a while until I found a use for all those empty drawers. But then the other day, I realized it’d be the perfect place for my nail polish.
In the last month, I’ve accumulated a lot more nail polish because of a Christmas gift and also a great sale on Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. I kept it all in a toiletry bag in the linen closet and when I went to polish my nails, which I try to do weekly, I’d dump the bag and pick through the colors.
But not anymore. I can see it all clearly lined up. I just had to remove the inserts I made for the drawers so they fit and there is plenty room for more in those two drawers.
I still have plenty of empty drawers and I’ll keep thinking of ways to organize. It’s really nice how something so simple can make me so happy.
As for those goals I set up last year, I’m never doing that again. Two of the three things on my needles are still on my needles but I am not ready to frog them just yet. And of the four items I wanted to knit, I managed to do one of them twice. I’m much better at deciding as I go because what I want and who gets gifts sort of gets decided along the way.