Friday, August 31, 2007

must have

I have to have that book. I was wondering through the web and came across the pictures from this book. The grey sock elephant is too adorable. I must make that elephant.

I've made progress on my weekend.

Cowboy beans are in the slow cooker. This stage of cooking should be done at 8:00.
Brisket is in the oven. It should be done around 6:00.
Spinach dip: to be made tonight
Macaroni: to be made tomorrow.

To do other than food:
Quick house cleaning: vacuum, baths, general toy pickup.

Touring wrap: I'm on the 7th row of today's repeat. I've decided if I do a repeat a day then I'm making good progress. I also found a dropped stitch in the ripping of rows I did yesterday. But I would now have to back out 8 rows in order to fix it. That's not going to happen. The mistake just means that it will be unique.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday August 30

I just read a friend's blog. She sent me the link awhile ago. I read a post or two the day she sent the link. Then another friend referred to it, so I added her to my reader. It was amusing. She's the mother of 4 kids 5 & under. Crazy chick who said she would never in her life have children and then had a whole bunch real quick.

So I was thinking I should start to write amusing anecdotes about my kids. Her entries are full of chaos and laughter. I don't have the equivalent here. It is more bickering, poking, screaming, personal space violating, non-vegetable eating mess with some more screaming in between.

There were some good points today:

J & cousin M caught a gecko and named him Alex. Then they let him free after begging only 3 times to keep him as a pet.

A had a melt down over learning spelling words (science & religion were the killers) but finally agreed with me that writing them 10 times each might help her remember how they are spelled.

B was his general happy self. Except for his adament refusal to eat any form of vegetable (even a single corn kernel) and the ensuing 20 minute fit because I refused to feed him seconds of chicken until he ate the single kernel which in turn wore down his father's defenses causing him to proclaim that I was being harsh and should feed him the chicken to make him shut up, he had a good day. That third child is spoiled rotten.

Nobody complained about having all the leftovers from the fridge for dinner tonight. Except for the above vegetable fiasco, but that happens most nights.

Overall, a good day.

Touring Wrap pics

I like this one because you can really see the lace.
This one shows the soft colors of the yarn. It is greys, blues, off-white & some pinks. I'm happy with the color.
Here is the red velvet cake I made for my birthday. Of course, this pic caught the side that was a little crumby. I'll have to check the positioning of cake & camera next time.
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Return of College Football

DH is as bad as a kid waiting for Christmas. College football is about to return.

His team is not on tv this weekend. After I said no you cannot take our 4 year old to a football game that starts at 6 pm where you drive 3 hours to get there and then turn around and drive 3 hours home when the game is over, DH is resigned to throwing a College Football Returns party instead. What started as a simple 'Maybe we should invite so & so over to watch the ND game' turned into 6 families over all day Saturday for multiple games. Luckily it is also Labor Day weekend and 3 families are out of town. Now we're down to 8 adults & 10 children and the party is starting at 2:30 so we can get a decent nap in first.

So now I have to cook. A lot. Here's the tentative menu.

Spinach dip
Bean dip
French onion dip
Veggies & chips
Cowboy beans
Macaroni & Cheese

I would like to make these chili relleno things (corn bread filling baked in poblano peppers) but I'm waiting to see how the rest of it goes because I commit to making them. I figure I can always run to the store on Saturday for ingredients if I decide to go all out.

Onto more interesting topics: knitting

I bought yarn for 2 projects. Sweater for B & leg warmers for A. But I started a project for me first. Touring wrap has begun.

I'm 2 1/2 repeats done in the main part of the wrap. It is tedious & difficult knitting because I actually have to concentrate. I'm getting well versed at backing out half a row of stitches to add a yo I missed. And I'm learning that I can't count to 97 when anyone in the room is talking. But so far I'm liking the results. I'll take pics hopefully later today.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

empty spool

I have 2 1/2 rows to sew on the quilt and it will be all together and I ran out of thread. How frustrating.

I'm going to have to go tomorrow, I'm not going to make it to the store tonight.

Today was the first day of school. We just got home and I have to cook dinner. The request for the first day of school from the second grader. Fish sticks. It's going to be a gourmet evening.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Recipe experiment

I guess my recipe experiment has to come to a end. DH came home last night and asked what for dinner. I told him some pasta recipe that I was trying. He said he's sick of not knowing what's for dinner. I told him if he would read the menu on the fridge he would know what was for dinner. Hee. I can be funny! Anyway, he's sick of coming home to a dinner he isn't familiar with. I've been experimenting way too much for him.

What can you expect from the man who wants a 2 week menu? The same thing every other week. How did I marry this man?? Actually last night he said it could be extended to a 3 week menu when you take into account leftovers and eating out. This is also the man who would be perfectly fine eating cereal and sandwiches for dinner. How boring.

I guess I'll take a break and fix some "normal" food for awhile. The recipes will still be there.

Pasta with Bacon & Broccoli Results

from Better Homes & Gardens

Recipe: Cook pasta. Add broccoli for the last 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook bacon & onions. Add red pepper. Saute until onions golden. Add chicken stock. Simmer. Remove from heat and add chopped tomato. Add pasta & broccoli & parmesan cheese.

Changes: I picked this recipe because it said Bacon. We have a lot of frozen bacon from the Bacon of the Month club, I'm always looking for ways to use bacon. I obviously didn't read the recipe well because it was suppose to be canadian bacon. Oh well. I used the pepper bacon anyway.

Results: DH said it was okay. It was between the prison food cheeseburger pie and the excellent pork tenderloin with tabasco onions. I asked where in between. So on the scale of 1-10, he gave it a 5-6. Kids picked at it, not impressed at all. I actually liked it alot. It was salty (which I love) and not just a typical red sauce. I might try it again and use canadian bacon instead of bacon bacon.

I'll keep it for now.

Monday, August 20, 2007

all blocks done

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Monday August 20

Pictures, pictures, I've finally got some pictures.

First of all the Christmas quilt. Here is my stack of cut fabric and the pieced star for the tree.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Next is the suri blue. My long awaited yarn for touring wrap arrived today. Both are lovely.
Peridot close up
And finally Stone

Now to finish the quilt so I can start knitting. I'm off to sew!

Ravioli with Basil Cream Sauce Results

from ???

Recipe: Cook ravioli according to package. Saute mushroom, green onion & garlic. Add can of mild rotel tomatoes (drained) & spices. Add heavy cream. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Add parmesan cheese. Stir in ravioli.

Results: This was an okay dish. But I think it would have been better if I hadn't made some substitutions. I had regular rotel instead of mild. It was a little too spicy. I didn't have heavy cream. I used a combo of 1% & skim because it was all I had left in the house. It made it rather thin. I would make this again with just regular tomatoes instead of the mild rotel & use some red pepper for a bit of spice instead.

DH liked it okay, but it was too spicy. I scraped the sauce off the ravioli and threw some jarred sauce on top for the kids. It was still too spicy for them.

I'll keep this recipe and try it one more time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chicken Stew Results

From a hand copied recipe from who knows where

Recipe: saute chicken in butter, saute vegetables(celery, carrots, onion, potatoes), add chicken broth & spices. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Add a mixture of water & flour. Bring back to boil and stir until thickens. Add frozen peas and simmer for another 10 minutes

Results: This was a basic stew recipe. It was easy and pretty good. I added extra chicken stock. It called for one can. I didn't have a can so I made 1 1/2 cups of stock from base. It didn't seem like enough so I added another cup.

DH liked it. I knew he would. That is his kind of meal. A thought there was too much pepper and for once, I agreed. I was talking with my sister while using the pepper grinder. I guess I got carried away. J liked and ate most of his peas. I think he did it to gross out his sister more than actually liking the peas. B ate his chicken and picked at the rest of the vegetables. I tried to sneak a few peas & carrots in while feeding him a bite or two. It didn't work. Maybe someday he'll eat vegetables. I've got to keep trying.

I'll keep this recipe. But I think I'll wait until it is below 100 outside before making it again. It was weird eating stew on a hot summer night.

Tuesday August 14

So we went to the library. It was a good visit. All kids were good. B didn't yell too much. He was so cute, insisted on getting two books of his own. I kept putting them back on the shelf, he kept going back for them.

A got 4 Nancy Drew books and read one of them this afternoon. If she keeps up this pace we're going to need to go to the library again this weekend. J got 3 Curious George books and a book about penguins. I don't like Curious George books. They are way too long. But he likes them so I deal with it. I was glad that he picked something else.

Then this evening, I was out playing in dirt and C comes out laughing and says "I need to talk to you about the 'smut' you brought into our house." I had no idea what he was talking about. He said "That book that you got for J at the library." Well, I know that Curious George books, as long-winded as they are, do not contain smut. So I replied "The penguin book?" I was right. It turns out that the book And Tango Makes Three is about a male penguin couple who are different then the other penguin pairs but they are loving and cuddle. The zoo keepers give them an egg for them to raise. C, who says he is okay with all that, was not happy with the possibility of having to answer questions about gay parenting from a 4 year old. Luckily J just liked the book about penguins and thought nothing of it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday August 13

My thoughts from today.

I got our grocery shopping done. On the way to the store, I heard an NPR interview on the merits of banning plastic bags. While I do participate in plastic bag recycling, at the end of my shopping, I was feeling bad for my excess of plastic. I need to knit some good shopping bags. I've seen a bunch of patterns for expandable market bags, but the negatives are there is is too much expansion. The bags get too big and drag to the floor making them impossible to use. I saw a pattern for a bag that someone had made that was just a folded over rectangle. She made it in response to a bag with the bottom done in the round that was too stretchy.

Now I just have to find that link again. Good luck with that. I do know she was making a new bag out of hemp. Maybe I can search on that and find it.

Speaking of finding links, I had found a group that was making knitted wristbands for the walk for the cure. I can't find it anymore. I'll have to keep searching.

Nothing planned for tomorrow. I think I'll try and do a trip to the library. I need to go before Wednesday because I have to book that will be overdue. I'm struggling to finish the book I'm reading now. I don't know why I'm bothering to finish it. I just can leave a book unread. I keep hoping that I'll find some merit in it, I just have to keep reading. We'll see. It is getting better.

I got the 2nd to last color cut for my quilt. I have the last piece of fabric out and ready to cut. I just couldn't bring myself to do it this afternoon. Once that is done, I have to cut the 130 5.5 inch square for batting. Urgh. Not looking forward to that at all. But if I don't do it now, I won't do it when it is time to start sewing it all together. And I need to get it sewn together. My machine (my mother's old machine) bound up on me last weekend when I was finishing up marakesh. I'm using my neices' machine and pretty soon they will notice that it is gone and will want it back.

Cheeseburger Pie Results

from weekly menu

Recipe: ground beef & onions sauteed. Add green chiles, cheese, salt. Mix together milk, eggs & baking mix. Stir together and bake in pie pan.

Results: Pretty dismal. This is the first recipe I've tried from menus4moms even though I've been getting their emails for over a year. If you follow their menus, you're suppose to do a lot of prep ahead of time. Buy 5 lbs of ground beef, cook it all at once and freeze it in 1 lb increments. Buy a bunch of onions, chop & saute & freeze, etc. It is a good idea, but I've never bothered to do it.

The recipe itself was simple, but DH summed it up. It was edible but tastes like something served in Huntsville. For those who don't live in TX, that's the state prison. I tend to agree. I added extra salt plus pepper, garlic & cavenders and it was still horribly bland. The older two kids ate it because I said it wasn't horrible and they could eat it. They added a bunch of salt & pepper and choked most of it down. Surprisingly, B the baby actually ate most of his. Maybe that's his issue with most of my cooking, he likes bland unflavorful food.

The recipe is already in the recycle pile.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday August 12

Here's a quick summary since my last post:
 some work done on Christmas quilt
 A got lice
 Listerine, teatree/olive oil & nit picking ensued
 zapped the lice
 circus this morning
 We're out of food
 Grocery shopping is a dire imperitive

I've made a list of recipes for the week:
  • chicken stew
  • cheeseburger bake
  • pasta w/broccoli and bacon

Next week is the birthday. I'm planning on making homemade ravioli & red velvet cake. But school starts and we're busy, so it may not happen. I should save the ravioli and eat at Momo's instead. Yum.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday August 8

I've knocked quite a bit off my to-do list. I've found a job without having to write my resume. That's an accomplishment. But still many things to do.

  • buy school shoes for A
  • order J's soccer uniform
  • target-return stuff
  • finish christmas quilt
  • buy yarn for touring wrap
  • find piano lessons???

Monday, August 6, 2007

Marakesh Complete

My Marakesh bag is complete. I should call it the watermelon bag. I used a hot pink leopard print to line it. I made several pockets in the lining similar to my VB tote bag. One side has two larger pockets(cellphone & glasses) and a pen pocket. The other side has a small pocket to stash receipts and/or a little cash.

Here it is hanging from the chair and close up:

Here are pics of the inside empty and somewhat filled:

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thursday August 2

Not a whole lot new today. A went to play at a friends house. J had a friend over. We went to Target to shop.

I don't have anything to work on right now. I'm waiting to finish marakesh until I find lining fabric. So I pulled out my christmas tree quilt that I started making 4 years ago. It is a fringed quilt and should be easy to complete. I cut a lot of fabric today. Of course I'm only about 1/3 of the way done and I still have to cut all of the batting.

Tomorrow I'm suppose to try to do the twc meeting again. I'm not looking forward to it. But I should go.

Black Bean Cheesecake Results

From Dallas Morning News

Recipe: Beat cream cheese, add eggs. Add black beans & spices. Line spring form pan with flour tortillas. Add mixture & bake. Serve with salsa

Changes: The cheesecake was suppose to be refrigerated overnight and then the slices were suppose to be browned in a pan before serving. I skipped this.

Results: I really liked this recipe. DH was very wary of this meal and he loved it. He said it was good enough to serve for our foodie friends. One nice thing is that it is was easy to make and I could easily make it plate pretty.

I gave some to the kids to taste. J like his first portion, but didn't want to eat the second. A ate it, but didn't like it. B threw it again. He's got to stop throwing food, even if he doesn't like it.

I saved this recipe and will make it again. I've got a church group meeting in Oct at my house. I think this will be on the menu.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust Results


Recipe: whole wheat flour, white flour, sugar, water, yeast, olive oil, salt. Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast and proof for 10 minutes. Add oil & salt to yeast mixture. Add flour & mix until incorporated. Add rest of flour to counter and knead until elastic & flour absorbed. Let dough rise until doubled. Split into 2 balls and let rise again. Make pizza and bake at 425 15-20 minutes (depending on size of pizza.

Changes: I was out of olive oil, used vegetable oil. I will have to use olive oil next time. It might give it a little more flavor.

Results: I thought this was a good pizza crust. It was thin yet bready/crusty, not crunchy. I think it could have had a little more flavor, maybe use melted butter or olive oil in place of vegetable oil next time. I like that it used half whole wheat flour. Just a little healthier than all white flour. DH & kids didn't notice the difference.

Everyone loved the pizza and we will make this again.

I'm definitely keeping the recipe.

Wednesday August 1

We had a good weekend in Austin. We didn't do a whole lot but those are the best kinds of weekends. I had a chance to stop at the alpaca farm outside Wimberly but I couldn't force 3 other adults and 6 kids to look at yarn with me. Wasn't that nice of me!

I haven't done any knitting since finishing marakesh strap. I started seaming the bag, but I need to measure for the lining before I finish it up. I need to go to mom's for fabric. I guess it will have to wait until this weekend.

Tonight for dinner, we're having pizza. I'm trying a new crust recipe, whole wheat crust from epicurious (I think.) I'll have to write a review of it later. But I have to say that the dough has risen beautifully. It smells wonderful & yeasty.

I've got a huge list of things I need to do. So many that I can't even remember them all. I need to start writing them down.

  • buy school shoes for kids
  • get A's hair cut
  • find J's school shorts
  • buy yarn for touring wrap
  • sign up kids for soccer
  • find piano lessons???
  • write resume
  • find a job
  • finish marakesh
  • Walmart - return lake shoes

Roast Beef Sandwich with Onion Sauce Results

Recipe: Beef roast, sliced onions, garlic, spice rub. Rub spices into meat, wrap in foil with onions, garlic & water. Roast in oven. Take half onions & process in food processor, add 1 1/4 c of liquid while running. Mix with remaining onions. Serve meat on biscuits with slaw and onion sauce.

Changes: I didn't roast it in the oven. It was too hot & I put it in the crock pot. No biscuits & no slaw. DH picked onion rolls instead & they were out of slaw at the deli.

Results: I wish I hadn't done the crock pot. The meat was a little tough, I think it would have cooked nicer if it had been in the oven. I am not normally a fan of cole slaw, but after having a pulled pork/cole slaw sandwich in TN, I was looking forward to trying it. I liked the onion sauce. I might change up the spice rub (paprika, garlic, salt, pepper & something else) next time for a little more kick.

DH liked it fine. He said he would like it again, but he prefers french dip to this.

I'll keep this recipe.