WIP: Augustine Shawlette

It seems like I haven’t been knitting as much as I usually like to recently. But I’ve made a lot of progress on my Augustine Shawlette.

The other night I started the decrease section and dropped my first stitch!  This shawl is going to be fabulous.

It’s only going to go faster from here!



Saturday Out in NEPA

Yesterday my friend Celeste and I had a wonderful day trip around Scranton and the Poconos.  The main purpose of our trip was to visit the Boden Outlet which opened at the end of 2011 in Pittston, PA.

Appropriately, the store is located in a former dress factory.

For an outlet, shopping was pretty easy with nothing too crammed together and most items organized by size. It was light and open and made it really easy to go through the racks.

There were plenty of colorful items to browse through including a good selection of kids clothing.

We planned for a Saturday because we thought it was only open one day a week from 10 am to 4 pm.  We talked with a sales rep who told us that besides also being open on Sundays from 12 pm to 4 pm, in August they will also open on Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm.  They get shipments once a week.  I got a blue linen tunic with colorful buttons and a necklace.  We’re already planning to go back in late fall.

After shopping, we headed to Old Forge to have Old Forge Pizza for lunch.

Celeste chose Revello’s. She grew up near by and it is the one of the many pizza restaurants that line the main street that they usually chose.

I’d never had Old Forge style pizza before. It’s square, has a crispy thick, but light, crust with a good sauce and creamy (sticks to your teeth) cheese.  A quick search online suggests it’s American or Fontina cheese.

During her campaign, Hilary Clinton stopped at Revello’s for a cut (what they call a slice).

After lunch we made a quick stop at DSW before heading to our final destination, Holly Ross Pottery in La Anna, PA.

We went across the swinging bridge before heading inside.

We both really wanted to get one of those ceramic Christmas trees with the little colored lights that get inserted into the holes in the pottery.  They always have them but neither of us have ever bought them before. Sadly, they said they lost their supplier.

Instead we browsed around before settling on a few other things. The best part of Holley Ross (in my opinion) is all the Fiestaware they have at reduced prices.

Most of it is seconds with very minor flaws.  I got a pitcher and two mugs and the flaws are so minor (for example a rough spot on one of the mug handles) that you’d never know they were there unless you looked for them.

They also carry a lot of other well-known collectible pottery and glass items and it’s just fun to look around.

After, we drove home.  It was probably about five hours in the car, but it was so nice to spend the time with Celeste and spend time in a different part of the state.  I think we always have a good time on our excursions and yesterday was perfect.

Knitted Reading Glasses Lanyard

On Friday afternoon, my parents arrived early so I took the afternoon off so we could walk around the People’s Choice Festival.

One of the things we tend to joke about when we’re walking around arts festivals is that we see something and say, “Oh, I could do that!” The reality is that while we could possibly do some of the things, we probably wouldn’t and that’s why we just buy stuff to support the artists.

But, one thing we saw was a lanyard type of thing to hold reading glasses that my mom thought would be perfect for work. It was made of some kind of novelty yarn and we thought it might have been crocheted. It wasn’t really her style or we would have bought that one. She wanted something more simple. Regardless, we were serious when we said that we really could make something like that and it turned out great.

Friday night we went through my leftover yarn and came up with a plan. We selected leftover yarn from my honey cowl. Here’s what you need to do what we did.

Yarn: Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester DK (scrap amount)

Needle: 2 US 6 DPNs, F crochet hook

1 inch round, plastic stitch marker

Cast on 4 stitches to knit an i-cord. (I started it and my mom finished knitting it when it got to the length she desired, so that it would go to about the middle of her stomach.)

Once at the desired length, on next row: k1, k2tog, k1 (3 stitches remain)

Following row: k1, k2tog (2 stitches remain)

Last row: k2tog (1 stitch remains)

Slide that stitch off your needle and use it to begin a single crochet around the stitch marker so that it is tight and you can’t see any of the stitch marker. Use the crochet hook to secure the cast on end to the crocheted stitch marker and then weave in your ends.

It turned out great and took such a little bit of time. It was a great team effort.

Banana-Blueberry Buttermilk Bread

We started our vacation visiting with friends and going to the beach. This second half has been spent at home doing whatever we want whenever we want.  It’s been glorious. I’ve gotten up and done some sort of run or walk or combination of the two almost every day since Monday (I skipped Thursday).  And then we’ve used the rest of the day to do anything else that seems important.

Today’s big plan was to finish the book I was reading but as I settled in, I thought about some bananas that were browning on the counter, the open container of buttermilk from last week’s cake and some blueberries that we still hadn’t eaten.

Suddenly I was searching online for a recipe and making an impromptu Banana-Blueberry Buttermilk Bread.

I followed the recipe for the most part except I used 2 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour since that’s what I had and put in two cups of blueberries. It was so easy to put together, in fact I did it all by hand with a whisk.  And it turned out great.

Mike and I shared a piece for an afternoon snack (after I finished my book) and we could not believe how good it was. I guess all that buttermilk and mashed up banana helped keep it moist but the outside is firmer and it just tastes so good. I don’t normally make banana bread because it’s just okay to me (but I’ll gladly eat it when others make it because a home baked treat is always delicious) but this was amazing with the addition of blueberries.

This is one of many reasons that it’s so nice to just be on vacation at home and live in the moment because I discovered this simple, tasty recipe that I am definitely making again.

Yarn from the Farmers’ Market

I believe it was Monday when I was telling Mike that I was in pretty good shape with yarn and wouldn’t need to buy anymore unless I was making a gift for someone.

Then on Tuesday we got to go to the Boalsburg Farmers’ Market. We normally miss this market since it’s from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM but we’re on vacation this week and had plenty of time that afternoon. We got a lot of great produce and while we were looking around, we noticed one of the vendors had yarn at his table among other great things. So I guess I lied because I needed this yarn.  I’ve not yet found any yarn made right where I live so it would have been wrong to bypass the table.

Tamarack Farm is located in Centre County and they raise Icelandic and Merino Sheep. The yarn I chose is a natural color, a rich chocolatey brown, in a sport weight.  I got a little over 400 yards because in the moment I couldn’t really choose and was trying to match it with a pattern.  But really, if I need more once I choose a pattern, I can get some since they are right here.

Strawberry-Lemonade Icebox Pie

The other night we went to one of Mike’s friend’s houses for a get together. His friend was the recipient of a firkin for Father’s Day and he needed a thirsty crowd to drink it all when he tapped it.  Mike requested that I make Martha Stewart’s Strawberry-Lemonade Icebox Pie to bring along.

Martha has you making a graham cracker crust from scratch and topping the pie with meringue. I buy a pre-made pie crust. And I’ve eliminated the meringue. It travels better without it and I can bring the strawberries on the side.  Plus, this makes the hardest part of the recipe juicing the lemons which isn’t hard at all.  And people still love it.

Here is the pie cooled out of the oven.

And a crappy iPhone photo of Mike’s slice next to a strawberry pie from Wegman’s.

I have to admit that I don’t love this pie but I’m not always the biggest pie or lemon fan.  It’s very lemony and people who like it say it’s refreshing and not too sweet.  It’s easy to transport to a cookout and perfectly summery.


London Broil Marinade

There hasn’t been a lot of cooking posts recently because for a month or more, we’ve been doing this thing where we grill up a bunch of something and then eat it on salad all week.  It’s simple, quick and delicious.

Once upon a time, we regularly used bottled marinades from the grocery store but lately they’ve just tasted gross. Now, we usually make a marinade with some olive oil, citrus and fresh herbs and it keeps us happy for many meals.

Last week we decided to grill a London broil and I found this simple, but delicious marinade in my Martha Stewart magazine.

We don’t keep much soda in the house anymore and if we do, it’s diet, so we bought a little 16 ounce bottle of Coke to make this marinade and put the London broil in the mixture of soda, red wine vinegar, garlic and onion before work.

The meat was tender and sweet and turned out perfect for a few nights of salads.

Afterward we had a half a Coke to drink and we couldn’t believe how sweet it was.  How did we ever drink that on a regular basis?

Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt

Last week I was going through my Google reader and came across this delicious cake on Smitten Kitchen.

At the end of the week we were visiting with friends who live near the beach and this seemed like the perfect treat to bring along.

The recipe was very easy to follow. I chose blueberries, red raspberries and strawberries and put in a little more than three cups, possibly closer to four.

The cake smelled wonderful as it was baking and even better as it cooled.

I baked it the night before and then made the glaze at my friends house. I think it was a little looser than the one on Smitten Kitchen, maybe my lemon was extra juicy, but it was still delicious.

Everyone really liked it. Check out all those berries!

It really was the perfect thing to bring for a nice summery dessert to fuel up for plenty of fun on the beach.  Check out how beautiful it was on the beach!