Rosie’s Yarn Cellar

I had some free time before a meeting the other day and found myself walking around Center City Philadelphia. I love Philadelphia.  I know I have a bias because I grew up there and have a lot of great memories of doing things all over the area but it just makes me so happy when I am there.  I just like the buildings and the row homes and the streets.

After walking around for a bit, I googled to see if there were any yarn shops nearby and I discovered Rosie’s Yarn Cellar near Rittenhouse Square.

The store was so cute and the people that worked there were so friendly.  The store just had a great vibe.  I could be in big trouble if I lived in the area because it was just so inviting.

I decided to buy one skein of yarn and looked around for a bit before settling on Schoppel-Wolle Pur.

This is a bulky yarn, 100% wool and has about 164 yards in the skein. I think I might use it to make a cowl.  It would definitely be warm.  And the colors are so great, very neutral with pops of pinks.

Creamy Ravioli with Squash, Lemon and Chives (minus the chives)

Tonight we made Creamy Ravioli with Squash, Lemon and Chives from the May 2011 issue of Real Simple.

We picked out this recipe because I got three zucchinis at the farmer’s market this weekend. This was a quick week night meal and it was surprisingly amazing considering how simple it was to make.

We used Seviroli frozen ravioli which was surprisingly good. I think that the cheese in frozen ravioli can be pretty hit or miss but sometimes it’s easier to just have it on hand than buy it fresh. We followed the recipe except for the chives because I am not the biggest fan and then we topped our bowls with halved grape tomatoes because we had some left from my farmer’s market haul.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Because there were thunderstorms predicted throughout the day, when we planned the menu for the week, we decided that tonight was not the night to grill.  Of course, we had a big storm this afternoon with hail and house shaking thunder that was pretty exciting but it was calm and beautiful outside as we made dinner.

Either way, dinner was delicious.  Not very photogenic, but delicious.

We made Chicken Tamale Casserole from Cooking Light. I’ve made this before and it’s always very good and easy.  The part that takes the longest for me is shredding the chicken, but I usually buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and I sort of enjoy pulling it apart.  I know that’s kind of gross but I also like cleaning off the turkey carcass on Thanksgiving.

Ours is not as light as the original recipe. I used an egg, instead of egg substitute, probably used a half a cup more cheese on top, used most of the chicken from a rotisserie chicken (which was likely more than two cups though I didn’t measure) and I got a bigger can of enchilada sauce (although I didn’t use it all, it was more than the recipe called for).  At the recommendation of a friend who made it before I ever did, I mix the enchilada sauce into the chicken instead of over the corn bread.

Ours didn’t set up as nicely as the picture in the recipe but I am a huge fan of food all mixed together and the flavors in this are great.  I think that corn bread in the first part of the recipe could be made to go with chili or soup.

Knitted Baby Projects

Last night, I spent two movies knitting a bootie just like the ones I finished at the beginning of the month.  Except, I decided that I was going to make them Mary Janes with one strap and I screwed up figuring out how to do it and had to rip back. Unfortunately, I was trying to watch a movie and ended up dropping stitches.  There wasn’t a crochet hook that I could easily find and eventually I decided to just frog the whole bootie.  It was just a couple hours of work but my error help me figure out how to do one strap so I can do it again the right way.

But in honor of my failure, I thought I’d look back on some of the other baby projects I’ve knit in the last year or so.

I knit three sets of these Modern Cabled Baby Bibs for the babies of 2010. I love the buttons so much. The colors in this picture are horribly washed out.  They were actually so bright and colorful.

Then I knit the Puffy Basketweave Baby Blanket.  I loved the pattern but sort of hated the yarn I chose.  I used Plymouth Yarn Jeannee Worsted and it was so soft and made a great blanket but it felt weird on my hands as I was knitting.  Maybe it was too slippery?

I made this Greenleaf Baby Hat and loved the pattern and the way the leaf forms at the top.

Then I found this cute little Spring Baby Headband and made one in just a couple hours.

Add to that the booties I finished at the beginning of the month.

And the Baby Berry Hat.

It’s a shame I don’t have another set of booties to add.  They were going to be so cute too!  I’ll try to do them this week.  I’m planning to make them all blue with red buttons.

Sweetzels Spiced Mini Cremes

As I type this at 8:30 PM it’s almost completely dark outside.

Fantasy football leagues are holding their drafts. The new clothes on my favorite websites have long sleeves.  The temperatures at night and in the morning are cooler.  And the students are returning on Monday.

I’m not ready for fall.  Okay, except for one little thing.  Literally, it’s little.

I spotted these at the grocery store a few weeks ago and I hesitated because I am anti-fall and want to hold on to summer for as long as possible.  Sweetzels Spiced Wafers were my favorite as a kid (the only cookie aisle cookie I really even like besides Oreos, of course, oh and Milanos) and last year when I learned about these Spiced Mini Cremes, I found them once and then they were gone from my grocery store.  So I broke my rule to savor summer and do this one fall thing.

Aren’t they cute?  They are so crispy, spicy and delicious.  And only 140 calories for seven.

Caramel Brownies

Last night was knitting night and I decided to bring a treat.  Since I was a kid, my mom has been making these caramel brownies.  I’ve seen similar types of recipes called goo bars and caramel squares.  These are all accurate descriptions of this incredibly easy, rich treat. (Seriously, it’s so easy that the worst part is unwrapping all the caramels.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 – Devil’s food cake cake mix
  • 5 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup margarine (I used butter) melted
  • 14 oz bag of caramels
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • Walnuts (I call these optional because although I like nuts, I hate them in brownies)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cake mix with the butter and 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk.  Press half this mixture into a 9×13 baking dish (now the recipe says not to grease it, but I do and it’s just fine) and bake for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the caramels in a pot with the remaining 1/3 of a cup of evaporated milk.

When you pull out the cake, top it with the chocolate chips, the walnuts (if you must) and the caramel.  Drop spoonfuls of the remaining cake mixture on the top and press into the caramel.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Cool and then refrigerate before cutting and serving.

These are so good and gooey and rich. I was nice enough to leave two at home for Mike.

But looking at these pictures, I wish I had just made two batches.  So delicious!

 

New Yarn and New Yarn Store

Today I found myself with some free time so I googled yarn store and discovered A Garden Of Yarn was nearby.

I looked around for a bit and discovered a sale table. The woman who was working was very friendly and just as I walked over, she brought over new yarn she was marking down to make room for their fall stock.

Araucania Ruca Multy is made from sugar cane!  The fiber alone made me want it but after I touched it, I was sold.  (Plus it was marked down 50% so I could get two for the price of one!)  The woman at that store said that a lot of people knit baby projects from it but that it’s so drapey and soft it could make a great scarf.

A quick perusal of the Ravelry Project page for this yarn shows that there are many great uses for this yarn.  I’m happy to get to add it to my stash.

Spicy Chicken with Spinach Orzo

Sometimes when you try to quit a magazine, they just won’t let you. I did not renew my subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray months ago but it still keeps coming and my label even says it ends later than it did originally.

I had to quit the magazine because the new layout is too busy and overwhelming and I think I miss most of the recipes because there is so much stuff on one page. Sometimes I confuse their articles for ads. However, in what I do read, I still come across some good recipes.

Tonight we made the Spicy Chicken with Spinach Orzo which is in the September 2011 issue (which is not yet online). It was easy and delicious though, so I thought I’d share.

(Edited on 9/3/11 to add that the recipe is now online!)

I didn’t find it to be all that spicy, in fact I might like a little more heat.  But this is a great recipe for someone like me who hates crunchy raw onions but loves soft, cooked onions.  It did require a lot of chopping, but Mike has excellent knife skills from time spent training to be a chef. Together, it took a little longer than 30 minutes.

Finished: Berry Baby Hat

Today I finished my Berry Baby Hat.

I was a little nervous when I first read the pattern because I haven’t done that much knitting where I was swapping out colors mid-row. Around the start of the leaves, that’s exactly what you do.

My first attempt at knitting with two yarns was a Fake Isle Hat. I think this project gave me false confidence because look how good it turned out.

hatI might have chose a better primary color but the knitting itself went so well and it wasn’t too loose or too tight.  It turns out, it was dumb luck.

So, last fall I decided to try and knit a hat with a Nittany Lion logo that I charted.  This was made for a fundraiser. It turned out AWFUL.  But I had a deadline and the person in charge and other people thought it was great.  I knew better but they liked it so I gave it to them.

blehYou can see that it was loose in spots, tight in others and just bad.  Everyone swore it was great, but they aren’t knitters.  In fact, it was on the table for the raffle and two ladies (clearly knitters) accurately critiqued it’s downfalls.  I felt vindicated and a little embarrassed.

I did some online research right away and learned that people carry the yarns by twisting them in the back behind other stitches.

And I think it worked because on this hat, where you start the leaf, I twisted the yarn to carry it along so I didn’t run into a similar problem. Success!