Well in checking the last blog post, I can see I’ve been post mute since the fall of 2012. My bad. The reality is I’m just a sucky ass blogger.

But to make up for it, here is the first 2013 post! Glitter! Rainbows! Unicorns!

Or Not. There is, however, some cooking.

First new recipe… Stuffing Meatloaf!
Pin can be found here… link to the recipe can be found here.

This is a fantastic and fast recipe to whip up… not to mention it takes a whole 4 ingredients. Really. We used Savory Herb stuffing and ground beef and it was amazingly good. Next time we’re planning on putting cheese on the top but other than that the recipe is perfect as is. And other than the gross raw meat mixing (ground beef just grosses me out in general), it’s easy and painless!

Second new recipe… Berry Cobbler!
Pin can be found here… link to the recipe can be found here.

Yesterday was Pats playoff time, so we decided to throw together some food that didn’t take much effort or forethought. I’d considered cookies (which is the usual quick and easy sweet recipe) but once I saw this recipe I HAD to try it. Three ingredients! We used a bag of frozen mixed berries, regular Sprite, and white cake mix. Next time we’re going to use a bit more Sprite to ensure the crust is a little crustier… but that’s just our preference and the recipe works perfectly just as it’s written. Husband has decided we will be making this at least once a month since it’s cheap AND fast.

Fiber arts news!

Well SPA is quickly approaching… cannot WAIT. Once again we’ll be at the Hampton (I like it better than the Hilton) and we know we’re going to be hitting Conundrum and Gritty’s. This year it falls on an earlier weekend so we are also going to be partying and celebrating banrion’s birthday!

I just started working on Multnomah using the sock maki I got at Fiber College in September. I needed a mindless pattern and this is fitting the bill perfectly. I highly recommend this pattern to anyone wanting to knit a shawl but not have to be tied to charts… the final projects posted on Ravelry are all lovely and I think the garter stitch just adds to the texture nicely.

And today for your reading pleasure… the latest update in pinterest adventure!

Pork Loin!  Pin is located here… actual link is here.

I improvised a slight bit on this because you never know exactly what I can get for cheap at the store and I was on a pretty tight budget at the time.  I grabbed a mid-size pork loin for about $5 and then some Granny Smith apples.  I decided to go with GS apples instead of the Red Delicious because I like the tang of a GA apple after it’s been baked (not a fan of them raw, but when cooked?  They’re delish!) but otherwise followed the recipe.  Husband was concerned that the pork would burn due to the lack of liquid in the crock pot but the apples get all nice and saucy and all the fat mixes and it turns into happiness. 

The result is that this came out AWESOME.  We’ve already decided to do this again.  The pork was cooked perfectly and the apple slices inside the pork just melted all kinds of great flavors.  It’s entirely possible that Husband and I ate the entire thing by ourselves in one sitting and it’s also possible this is why I have no photo of said yumminess. 

Potatoes!  Pin is here… actual link is here.

Potatoes are a huge thing in our house because they can be cooked a gazillion different ways and certain picky kids will still eat them!  It’s a mirace in round food form!  The first time I made this, we did it pretty much to the letter.  The skins came out magically crispy and the olive oil and salt were just amazing. 

In fact, this recipe was so good we wanted to do it again the next night… but add parmesean cheese to the potatoes with a few minutes left on the baking time.  End result?  This recipe is a keeper and can be tweaked a bit for so many different potato flavors.  Cheese or herbs or garlic.

So after reflecting on things for about 5 seconds, I’ve decided to once again write the occasional blog post here… only chances are good that most of them will be pinterest related and not knitting/crochet/fiber arts.  Why?  Because the knitting et al stuff is already posted on Ravelry and no one likes reading the same damn thing over and over.  Unless you really DO need a hobby (and might I suggest pinterest?).

To catch y’all up to speed… here are a few of my pinterest productions:

Tshirt to tank!  Link to tutorial is here and pinterest pin is here.

This project is AWESOME with big capital letters.  AWESOME SAUCE even.  This year’s Scentsy Family Convention was in Las Vegas and I knew I would be hotter than hell in my plain tshirts.  I took two shirts from last year’s Convention and made them into tanks to wear.

Unfortunately I cannot find a flipping picture even though I know there are some out there somewhere.  I’ll add it when (and if) I find it… hopefully this will at least prove I really did it (I’m the bright white Casper-the-friendly-ghost looking chic):

I’d mentioned in a previous post about my garden and being unable to decide what to plant in my raised veggie bed… and let’s just say that Mother Nature decided to make my choices for me.  My first chosen vegetables included a beefsteak tomato plant, a grape tomato, green and red peppers, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, peas and beans.

And then some slugs moved in.

My cucumbers were eaten first… so I did have the opportunity to try the pinterest idea about surrounding your plants with pennies once I replanted all of them for a second go.  I also tried coffee grounds and beer.  I’ve got one remaining cuke on the vine right now (although it needs to be picked before it runs away screaming of pending cold weather) and my harvest of 4 total was not enough to pickle anything. 

The peas did great at the beginning… but then suddenly dried up.  My cauliflower grew some pretty large leaves, but no actual cauliflower.  The carrots… well I got a total of no carrots.  Same with the squash (which I planted in a separate container after purchasing my second set of cucumber plants).  I finally grew one zucchini but that was after I pollinated the plants myself.

Total harvest:

  • 4 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 3 grape tomatoes
  • half a green pepper (no, really.  It grew one half and then never finished)
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 cucumbers
  • peas
  • copious amounts of green beans (I never have a problem with green beans, though… I think they’d grow in my driveway if I’d let them)

Total amount canned?  Zero.  I did notice a serious shortage of bees this summer, and although I can’t say they’re the biggest reason for my garden fail, I do know it contributed.  I think next year I’m going to be proactive about self pollinating and then if the bees do show up, it’ll just be a bonus.

Alas, it was inevitable that I’d have at least one casualty in Project: UFO, but my Nutkin socks were not what I expected to end up frogging.  The beginning fit great… the Spunky in Mermaid was awesome… but somewhere along the line my tension went all crazy ass tight.  I’ve been wracking my brain trying to think of what I’ve been doing to make me all crazy ass stressed and I still can’t think of a darn thing.

Bye bye Nutkin.

After picking up the buttons from my dad this afternoon (downside with shuffling stuff in and out of UFO status is that two of my buttons got knocked off the button backs- thank you dad for fixin’ ’em!), I’m pleased to say that Tappan Zee is now officially finished!  Huzzah!  This is such a fantastic pattern and I’ve got some JMF DK to make another… it should NOT have taken me as long as it did.  It is super cute and the Silky Wool gives it a fab drape.  It even looks cute over my Snowman Dalek tshirt!

I promise, though, I am not really that scary yellow color.  Or maybe I am and I just have you fooled.

As an added bonus to today’s exciting entry, I have spinning!  It’s getting crazy up in here!

My Rainbow Brite yarn (otherwise known as what my unicorn farted out):

Approximately 200yds of rainbowy goodness.  Corriedale… formerly was a Grafton batt.

And my next project came about with lots of scientific pondering.  OK… it was really me walking into the spare room and sticking my hand in one of the fiber stash containers and pulling Myrtle out, but I’d rather think it was some kind of cosmic sign.  Accio Myrtle!  She seems to want to spin up kind of thick and squishy.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I dislike winter with a firey passion.  Not as much dislike as camping or mosquitos, but pretty close.  This year, though, has been mild about 50% of the time which sadly makes my allergies mad, but it makes my soul happy!  Bring on the spring!

And then March 1st comes along and brings with it more than half a foot of snow.  And last night it evidently snowed more because Husband had to clean the car off before work.  I haven’t decided whether this was all part of some master plan or it’s a cosmic joke (“Hey!  No snow in December or January or even February!  But in March?  All bets are OFF, Sucka’!”), but I don’t think I’ve longed for spring as much as I do this year. 

Last year was the first year of having a real veggie garden and not just some seeds thrown into random pots.  I found plans for a raised flowerbed on pinterest (pinterest link is here… actual blog post is here) but being sidetracked with the kids’ baseball/softball/dance/break dancing schedules and recitals meant Husband and I didn’t go out and get the lumber until July.  The end result is that the veggie bed looked awesome sauce, but I lost two months of good veggie growing season.  This year I refuse to make the same mistake.

The biggest thing is really narrowing down what I want to plant this year.  Green beans are a must, as are tomatoes and cucumbers.  This year I will also plan in advance and string up some runners so the cukes and beans will grow up instead of growing at each other and become one big monster plant thing with curly vine tentacles waiting to eat me.  My green peppers started to grow last year but due to the late planting I ended up with mini peppers that would fit right in with the Littles.  (Anyone remember the Littles?  I loved them as a kid).  I also had half beets (no beets, but got beet greens) and half a squash (or I’m assuming it was supposed to be a squash.  I planted a squash there… but who knows).  My big goal is to actually end up with enough veggies to can just in case the apocalypse does hit us in December.  Planning in advance and all that.  (As a side note, have any of you watched Doomsday Preppers?  Crazy).

But making a final decision is HARD.  The kids keep telling me I need to grow pumpkins, which is no help because I don’t care about pumpkins.  Husband has mentioned corn, but I’m not sure I’ve got the room for a bunch of corn stalks.  I know I’m going to do zucchini and give squash another shot, and I think it would be sweet to have my own onions.  But other than the cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and onions I can’t decide!  I want it ALL!  To plant ALL THE THINGS!

Unfortunately I’ve got a great view of the snowbank outside my office window and know that March has really just begun.  Winter is stupid, but this winter is especially stupid.

Somewhere along the road after joining pinterest, I became domestic.  I still don’t know how it happened and I wonder if it’ll disappear as quickly as it came on.  Being newly domesticated, though, Superbowl was prime time for testing out some new pinterest recipes.

First up was the recipe for Cauliflower Poppers.
Now by the description, they’re supposed to taste like french fries and be yummy delicious enough for Husband to even enjoy them… and Husband thinks cauliflower is one of the most foul foods on the planet.  I, however, think cauliflower is delicious all raw and crunchy, so I wasn’t sure I’d be thrilled with it all cooked and french fry-ish.

The results:
The upside for Husband was that they really did not taste like cauliflower once they were cooked.  The downside is that somehow each piece ended up with way way too much salt and I felt like I was chewing on a salt lick.  I blame my lack of natural cooking skills for this issue and I’m not yet ready to give up the good fight if it means I can finally get Husband to eat it.  My other issue is that it’s possible I left them in a few minutes too long… some of them were scary crispy.

Second was the recipe for Baked Jalapeno Poppers.
Being baked, they’re supposed to be a bit better for you and since we were already cramming enough crap into our stomachs, every saved calorie was a good thing.

The results:
Seriously fantastic.  I improvised a slight bit on the recipe mainly because I didn’t want to shell out the coin for all the random ingredients, but I don’t think I missed anything by leaving stuff out.  Instead of ricotta and monterey jack cheese, I used fat free cream cheese and about a half cup of Mexican blend shredded cheese (yay for getting stuff out of my fridge!).  And instead of making my own bread crumbs, I took the lazy way out and used the container of bread crumbs I had in my pantry.  I was also pleasantly surprised that the batch was not too spicy… I was afraid the Boy Child would take one bite and run screaming out of the room.  Instead, he ran screaming out of the room because he ignored my warning that they just came out of the oven and were nuclear grade temperature.  All in all, though, A+ on this one.

Third was the recipe for Chili Party Dip.
I got this recipe from a friend who is on WW and thought it sounded easy enough to make.

The results:
Delicious.  Seriously delicious.  We did, however, have to improvise a slight bit on this one because no matter what store we went into, canned turkey chili with no beans was missing.  Instead we just used regular chili without beans, which I’m sure probably added about 900 points to the final total.  I also used fresh jalapenos since I had purchased them for the Baked Poppers and didn’t want to screw around with both jarred AND fresh ones.  One round of jalapeno juice is quite enough, thank you.  Because the jalapenos were fresh, the dip wasn’t as spicy as I think it could have been… but honestly, burning my mouth off wasn’t part of my Superbowl plans anyway.  We served it with tortilla chips that probably then added another 900 points to the chili total, but you only live once, right?  Or at least that’s what I keep telling my arteries.

So when I first started blogging I had intentions of being a good doobie and blogging at least once a week…

then it turned to once every couple of weeks…

then once a month…

and now y’all are lucky to get an update every 3 months. It’s not that I’m not crafting… or that I don’t want to share my projects with all of you… but to be honest, I tend to forget that the whole world is NOT on Ravelry and just because I’ve updated everything there doesn’t mean that everyone knows that. I guess what I’m saying is that if you want up-to-the-day details of my projects, look on Rav… if you don’t mind waiting 3 months, keep reading here!

Now for the updating!

The past few weeks have been busy with Christmas gifts for the kids… I’ve been telling them I’ll make them something for Christmas some year for about 3 years and figured I should get on the ball. And in the spirit of Murphy’s Law, I should have gotten on the ball long before I did since Boy’s Huggable Hedgehog is currently sitting in the bathroom sink… still unfelted… let alone stuffed and seamed. This is how he appears in his rather disheveled current state:
Poor chap doesn’t have eyes yet either.

On the upside, I did finish the gifts for the girls. I think newsboy caps are super cute and so I made each of them a different style. A is getting the cabled newsboy hat from Stitch n Bitch:

And L is getting a Swirls Cap:

I intend of making both patterns again for ME at some point, although who the heck knows when. My biggest wish after the holidays is to start (and finish!) the Fiddlehead Mittens… I got the pattern ages ago and spun some yarn that I think could work… and… you know.

I’m also searching Rav for ideas… Brenda had my name this year for the Nichols family Christmas and she got me a gift certificate to TKE!!! Super super jazzed! Although now comes the hard part… deciding whether to spend the money on Cascade 220 for a sweater… or something luscious for a cowl… or going all out and putting it toward a Namaste bag. I tried asking Husband for his thoughts but he just ended up looking like a deer in headlights.

SPA is coming up soon… you going to be there?


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