Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ten Things

I'm not nearly as eloquent as SouleMama (I'm completely in love with her blog!), but since she asked readers of her blog what we are loving this holiday season, I figured I'd post ten of my favorite things so far:

1. Knowing that I don't have to go back to work until January 5th. Since my birthday is January 1, I'll hopefully go back with a new frame of mind - I'll be older, wiser and calmer :)

2. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and their annual light festival.


3. Our upcoming annual trip to the Outer Banks.


4. Ina's (Barefoot Contessa) recipe for French Chocolate Bark.

5. Our Christmas Tree

6. The hubby's scrumptious Parmesan and Root Vegetable Lasagna.

7. Our kitten, Blooregard, and his crazy antics.



8. Brie, goat cheese and garlic as well as brie, manchego and pear gourmet grilled cheese samis. Oh, and Dijon mustard on the side.



9. Amish Friendship Bread.

10. The anticipation of starting a new knitting project using Briar Rose yarn.


11. The Downy woodpeckers in my yard.


So...What are you loving this December?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

gifts

I can't believe how fortunate I've been lately - I've received some amazing gifts in the past few weeks. Thanks to everyone for your kindness - I hope I haven't left any gifts out of this post.

My 'Mad Men' Ravelry exchange partner sent me the most wonderful knitty items a week ago. I received an Elsapel bag for knitting gadgets, a skein of cashmere yarn (yummy!!!), a skein of Plain and Fancy "Autumn Leaves," a really cool Eiffel tower pin and stitch markers (I now own something other than the plastic ones!). Jen, seriously - thank you!


Pam, my long-time friend from NC, came to visit us last weekend. Guess what? She brought me 2 skeins of local yarn! Pam had visited Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty, NC and thought that these 2 handspun woolies would be a good gift for me. She was so right - I am so very happy! She also brought us Blackberry Jam and Pear Butter from Greensboro, which I'm dying to get into this weekend. Thank you Pam!!


Leslie, my good Richmond friend, brought some goodies to our girl's get together Sunday night. There is of course a story about the "Chili Dawg" wine and easy cheese (lord knows who thought this up but it's mighty tasty!). She also gave "the girls" Amish friendship bread! I'm so excited - The bread is in this baggie labeled 'Day 1.' Thanks Leslie!


More pix of Chili Dawg with the Richmond girls (pix shamelessly stolen from Anne's site :)

Anne (one of the "girls" in Richmond) made an amazing Apple Pie a la mode with Cinnamon Ice Cream this week! Thank you, Anne!

Kristen made "the girls" some amazing bread Sunday night. The starter has apparently been in her husband's family for 20+ years!

And, last but not least, I need to give a big thank you to my hubby! He spent 3 hours Saturday afternoon making Barefoot Contessa's Boeuf Bourguignon for me & Pam. It was absolutely amazing, so good in fact, that we were busy eating and forgot to take pictures! He also woke up Sunday and made us homemade waffles. Sunday night, he continued his cooking spree and made "the girls" homemade Shrimp and Corn Chowder. What a good hubby he is!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

no work = more time to knit & blog


It is amazing how much one can get done when work is out of the picture. I guess there's always that money thing, but my little hands have been knitting away without the pressures of Web sites and servers (my normal job). I've been off since Wednesday, so that means you all get 3 full days of blogging and knitted little goodies.

I was a little hesitant to post these items as they're all Christmas or birthday presents...But, they all turned out so well that I had to share. I'll post details about each piece after the holidays!

Friday, November 28, 2008

old friends

I finally got to see my old friend, Kristen, yesterday when she and her lovely family passed through Richmond! Kristen and I have been friends since high school; I lived briefly with her in Chicago and she lived with me in G'boro for a while. Life got away from us somehow and I had only met one of her children, Mackenzie, who is the oldest in this photo. It was a day of feeling old as I remember when Kristen brought Mackenzie home from the hospital! She's now so mature and wise (well, 11 going on 16:) It was a short visit, but I hope to go down to NC to see them again in January!


Thanksgiving


The hubby and I had a quiet, but really nice Thanksgiving this year. Although he had to be into work at 3am this morning, he still managed to cook all day and make a scrumptious dinner for us! Thank you my love!

The hubby started Thxgiving dinner Wednesday night by soaking the turkey in a salt and whole cardamom pods and allspice brine. Find this lovely recipe on Cooking Light.com.

Thursday morning, while we watched the Macy's parade, the hubby made homemade crust for a yummy pumpkin pie. The pie was eventually topped with the hubby's homemade nutmeg whip topping:

The turkey boob was put in the oven around noon surrounded by apples, pears and herbs from the back yard. It cooked for about 2 1/2 hours - Look how beautiful it turned out!


The hubby cooked a variety of sides, including green beans topped with walnuts, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; shitake mushroom risotto with mild sausage and herbs; Indian spiced potatoes and parsnips; cranberry chutney and apple cider gravy!




The complete feast!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving knitting

I'm loving this Thanksgiving day already: The hubby has asked if he can cook everything for me and I get to knit and watch the parade. Who could ask for more!?

Hope everyone has a GREAT Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

grrl friend market bag


Pattern: Grrlfriend Market Bag by Laura Spradlin
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
This bag was so much fun to knit - Thanks for the free pattern Laura! I just wish I had time to make these for everyone for Xmas!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

posole, segway, dinosaur and neck warmer


The hubby's birthday weekend was a lot of fun. Friday night, as blogged, I made Beer & Cheddar bread and Posole. Yum.

Saturday the hubby received his requested dinosaur. Don't look too closely - dino has small flaws. Toys are not my favorite thing to make - all those pieces and parts drive me nuts. The pattern for Trice was really well written though - thanks Jennifer!

Pattern: Trice by Jennifer Thurston - Ravel It
Yarn: Left over Blue Sky Alpaca



Rarrrrrrrrr, my name is Trice - He is scary don't ya think?

Saturday night I took Ben to Shockoe Slip in Richmond for dinner and we took a detour to the Segway store. Segways are sooo cool!


I knitted all day Sunday on my exchange gift. This yarn is just gorgeous.
Pattern: Herringbone Neck Warmer Ravel It
Yarn: Nashua Handknits Wooly Stripes


Friday, November 14, 2008

quince and red pepper jelly

With the holidays quickly approaching I've been in the mood to cook and to try baking again. I've been feeling pretty down lately - jobs, local layoffs, the economy, Richmond - but have decided that cooking might cheer me up. Sooo...tonight, I plan to start with some bread (how could bread not make one cheery on a cold day?). It's the hubby's birthday and I'm looking to make Apple-Cheddar Beer Bread. The bread will accompany a spicy Posole, recipe courtesy of Kristen.

This weekend I also want to make good use of some of the lovely gifts of red pepper and quince jelly recently given to me by Anne, Kristen and Leslie. While my all-time favorite way to eat red pepper jelly is with crackers and cream cheese, I was looking around online for other less fattening and innovative uses. Cooking Light recently posted a recipe for Red Pepper Vinagrette to top a spinach salad with Gorgonzola and Pistachios. Yum. Their November holiday issue also contains a Fire and Spice Ham recipe that looks fabulous.

Recipes using quince jelly are more difficult to find. I could always just throw some Manchego on a plate, rub the top with quince jelly and chow down; however I wanted to come up with something a little more involved. After a pretty exhaustive search on recipe sites, I came across a recipe for Braised Pork Shoulder that calls for fresh quince (which is almost impossible to find if you don't have a quince bush) and red currant jelly. I'm wondering if quince jelly would be a good substitute.

Either way, it's going to be a good cooking weekend :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

knitting.furiously.knitting

i'm still here. photos coming soon. knitting furiously for holidays. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

holidays are almost here! knitting goals

Following in Kris Crafts footsteps, I'm outlining on paper some knitting goals for this holiday season. I've started on so many projects that I need to get a little more organized:

October Goals:
1. Finish scarf & hat for KKidd's mom. Done
2. Finish sewing on buttons on my Feb Lady Sweater. Done
3. Start and finish final holiday gift for my R'mond girls. In process
4. Finish basic coffee table socks. 1/2 compelete
5. Finish Ben's scarf for Xmas. Done

November Goals:
1. Finish basic coffee table socks. In process
2. Start & Finish bday gift for Mom. Done
3. Start & Finish bday gift for Mum.
4. Finish final holiday gift for my R'mond girls. In process
5. Finish cardi with Brooks Farm Solo. In process
6. Take pix of all FOs so far and post to blog/Ravelry. In process

More to come!

Friday, October 31, 2008

remembering


Art2mis sent these to me a while ago. I had forgotten that we had even taken photos that night! Reading the news about Nancy and then all the recent news about Brad has made me terribly sad. I can't imagine what it's like to be in the midst of all of this in Cary. I hope that there is a quick resolution for family, those precious, innocent girls, for friends (and for Brad, too).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

my new ravelry bag!


In addition to the cool Bob finger puppet (see Kris' blog on this), Kris also won a very cool Ravelry tote bag Saturday night at the Ravelry party in Red Hook. She already had a Ravelry bag and because I had mentioned earlier in the weekend that I didn't have one, she gave it to me! I love it. I am going to carry it everywhere! Thanks Kris!

Monday, October 20, 2008

rhinebeck loot

I haven't had a chance to take individual photos of my new stash, *but* we did get a group shot of the yarn loot Saturday night in NY. My new stuff is piled up, but you get the idea!