Road Project

I was visiting with friends for the past few days. I decided that since I wasn’t driving, I should bring a project.  I should have brought my Boneyard Shawl but instead I decided I’d knit faster with shorter rows.

It was the perfect reason to start another project and use my new yarn. I decided to make a One Row Lace Scarf. I am such a slow knitter.  I knit for a while in the car and here and there when there was some down time and I maybe knit about six inches give or take.  But I love it so far!

One RowThe pattern is really easy. I cast on 32 stitches (you do it in multiples of 4) and I think that it’s perfect for this yarn. I am using a US 7 needle and it is the perfect width and the stitch size looks great.

scarfI think this will be a good project to keep stashed for waiting rooms and other down time.  Plus it will be perfect for travel as it doesn’t take up much space and can fit in a suitcase or my work bag without taking up too much room.

This morning I washed my booties which is good because shortly after I laid them out to dry, I learned that the baby I plan on giving them to was born this morning! Tomorrow night I’ll stitch them up and put on the buttons.

And there is another baby on the way and I’m planning to start a quick little project for her. She’s getting a Baby Berry Hat and I planned on making it this afternoon but we got busy with chores and errands that took longer than planned. Maybe I’ll start it now. Of course, I’ll have to swap out my US 7 16 inch circular needle on that One Row Lace Scarf to get it started. Fortunately it’s just for the beginning because part of that project’s portability comes from using a circular needle.

Alpaca from Western PA

This winter I found myself with some free time in Bedford, PA. Previously, all I knew of Bedford was that they had a Sheetz conveniently located at the place where the PA Turnpike and I-99 met.

I found my way to downtown Bedford and discovered it’s not just a stop along the highway but a really quaint colonial town with tons of beautiful houses and great little downtown area.  (A few weekends later I revisited Bedford, this time with friends and we had a great time at the Omni Bedford Springs.)

I took a walk around town, stopping in a coffee shop, an antique mall, and an alpaca store?

Backstage Alpaca Shop sells a variety of goods made from alpaca. Near the back of the store, I discovered beautiful yarn made by 84 Alpacas Fiber Mill.

Alpaca YarnIt’s so beautiful and soft. The only problem is that I don’t know the yardage (I guess I’ll figure that out for sure when I wind it but the lady at the store guessed it was about 200 yards) and I don’t know the weight. I can try to figure out the wraps per inch to be sure. I even emailed someone at the mill with a picture but I never heard back.

Either way, I love having this yarn in my stash and can’t wait to use it. All mystery aside, I think I’ll be able to use it to make sev[en]circle or another pattern that seems to work in a variety of yarns.

Spinach Pie and Booties

Mike has introduced me to the spinach pie recipe we made tonight. This dish is easy and cheesy and delicious. It can be part of a brunch or, like tonight, we made it as a side.

  • 1 10 oz. package of chopped spinach thawed and drained
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16 oz. cottage cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tbsps. flour

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking dish (we use a 9 by 9 or a smaller casserole dish) with cooking spray.

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Pour into your prepared dish and bake for about 45 – 50 minutes.

spinach pieI like the browned edges the most.

Browned edgesWe use low fat cheeses and I bet it would be even better with an extra box of spinach.  It’s definitely not healthy but it tastes so good.

Up CloseI also finished the knitting on a pair of baby booties. I just need to wash them up and then sew them up.  So many ends to weave in!  It’s a little daunting to think about such a small knit with so many ends.

EndsBut they are looking like booties!

bootieI found the cutest little buttons for them. I hope to finish them this week but it’s a busy week and I might not get to them.

Too Much Zucchini? Part Two

Tonight we made a dinner we’ve started to call boats.  Boats are just hollowed out zucchini baked and filled with whatever we want.

We use the baking method in this Rachael Ray Chili Beef Stuffed Zucchini recipe (which is pretty good but we’ve only made it once).

Tonight’s boats were filled with ground turkey breast, black beans, rice and salsa and were seasoned with cumin and chili powder.  Near the end of the baking time, we topped them with some sharp cheddar.

boatsIt’s too hot for a post dinner walk so I predict I’ll get a lot of knitting done tonight. I started the booties I wanted to make months ago on Sunday.  I’ve got a bit to go.

WIP

Peanut Butter Burgers

The birthday tradition here is that when it’s your birthday, you pick dinner and the other one makes it for you. Tonight’s birthday dinner was peanut butter burgers. Yeah, definitely not my birthday.

Mike first heard of the peanut butter burger from a friend and he did some research online. He decided from what he read that our burgers would include bacon, gruyere and peanut butter. I can get behind the idea of beef and peanut butter. I like peanut sauce.  Even bacon and peanut butter was okay. Gruyere and peanut butter? Eh.

But in the spirit of birthday, I made my burger the exact same way Mike made his.

Mike originally heard of them as Jiffy burgers. Luckily, we had Jif (reduced fat, but close enough).

JiffI spread it on.

spread itThen put on bacon.

bacon itI left that all on the top so the peanut butter would be close to the hot stuff so it could melt.  I put the tomato and lettuce on the bottom.

tomatoYum?

PB BurgerWith my first bite I was like, hmmm, not so bad. But really, it was just fine. Yes, the bacon was salty and the sweet creamy peanut butter balanced it out nicely.  The peanut butter did melt nicely as you can see in this picture a few bites in (sorry if that’s gross).

A Few Bites InBut after a few bites, I was over it.  I don’t want bacon on a burger.  And I don’t want peanut butter on it either. Give me some cheese and mustard and ketchup and I am good to go. Maybe it’s just that I don’t love burgers (I’ve never had a Big Mac in my life – fact). And putting peanut butter on a burger is so much more calories than my regular condiments.

Mike, however, really liked it and wants to experiment further. He’s thinking about pickles instead of bacon and trying natural peanut butter. Or maybe using a sharper cheese.

I’ll stick to my boring burger.

New Yarn!

I haven’t bought any yarn since May when I got the yarn for my Sunday Market Shawl while I was in Vermont.

I have been coveting Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Super Chunky since I saw it in yarn store in North Carolina. It feels great and the colors are so vibrant. But I didn’t need it and with 55 yards in a skein, I knew I’d want to get two to make sure that I wasn’t limited in my pattern choices.

Then I saw it on sale on WEBS so I had to get it.  And it arrived last Thursday. In the rush of the weekend, I actually held off on opening it until Friday night! That’s restraint.

It’s soft and beautiful and I can’t wait to find a pattern for it. This color is called Red Rover.

Super Bulky yarnAnd since I was already paying for shipping, I got another skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino because it was also on sale and I can’t wait to knit my other skein, so I figured I’d be just as excited for this one in orange, yellow and denim!

Ella Rae Yarn

Hair Wrap

Tonight I did something that I haven’t done in at least fifteen years – I made a hair wrap. A couple weeks ago I was at my friend Abby’s house and her daughter was making friendship bracelets and mentioned a friend had a hair wrap from the beach. I mentioned that I used to know how to make them and that I’d make one for her and tonight was the night.

I found a lot of embroidery floss from my friendship bracelet days and brought it over.

embroidery flossWe parted her hair and selected a section on the upper side.  I used a little clear rubber band at the top and then we used three colors and I cut strands that were about five times as long as her hair. I tied them on top and braided them through to the bottom.

startAnd then I started from the bottom up making knots.

bottoms upHalfway there.

Halfway thereAnd a little under two hours later (with a break for a delicious dinner of fish tacos – thanks Abby!) we were finished!

finished!I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I didn’t want to over promise but it looks like I can still do it!

happy hair wrap

Mountain Pies

It’s been a busy couple of days.

We were in Philadelphia for less than 24 hours to see these guys.

U2Can you tell that’s The Edge, Bono and Larry Mullen Jr. especially blurry in the back?  Well, it is.

And then we were back home waiting for friends for Arts Fest.

Arts FestAfter a day of walking around, we went to Jenn’s for another fun outdoor feast. This time we made mountain pies over her fire pit.

fire pitFirst we had some salad.

saladWe almost had an equipment failure.

Melted Pie IronBut Jenn’s neighbors let us borrow their pie irons.

Pie IronsWe had a variety of cheeses – mozzarella, Mexican blend and Swiss (I think).  We also had pizza sauce, salsa, sauerkraut, thousand island dress.  And we had the cheapest white bread possible (that’s what Jenn requested and that’s what we got – $.99 at Giant).

ingredientsI made my first one a pizza kind.

unmade moutain piemaking dinnerFinished!

YUM!

yumI made my second one a simple six cheese (the Mexican blend and mozzarella). But other popular combinations last night included the Mexican cheese and salsa and the corned beefless ruben – sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and swiss (I think). We’ve made them before with many other great fillings too.

And we made s’mores for dessert with both traditional Hershey chocolate and Nutella to choose from. Dinner over the fire is wonderful!

 

Finished Framed Cuff

I finished knitting my framed cuff over the weekend and blocked it on Monday night.  Tonight I finally had time to weave in the ends and sew on a button.

blockingI don’t know if I love my color choices but I think I’ll find stuff to wear it with.

almost thereIt was my first time doing linen stitch and I like the way the material looks and feels.

close upI knit the small and I think it’s a bit bigger than I’d like but I also used size 2 needles because I don’t have an 1s the pattern recommends.

cuff

Too Much Zucchini?

It’s my understanding that a lot of people with gardens are experiencing an abundance of zucchini right now.  I wouldn’t know because we quit our garden after three years of pretty disappointing results. However, I know some people who are more than generous with their own home grown vegetables.

To use some of our gifted zucchini, we made Feta Chicken with Zucchini, a recipe I found in Real Simple five years ago. For some reason, it seems like it takes a lot longer to cook than the original recipe but otherwise this recipe is perfect. The feta gets crispy and browned and all the flavors work great together.

dinner
The side is Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend.  Delicious!