Monday, March 30, 2009

cookies and a week's worth

I'm never in a cookie rut...
Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies. Dee-lish-us!

But I have been in a dinner rut. Hopefully, this week's menu will revive my family's palate:
Monday: Annie's Mexican Gumbo (crock pot!)
Tuesday: Fuddrucker's restaurant (school fundraiser)
Wednesday: Tiffanie's Pot Sticker Soup (can't wait!)
Thursday: Holli's Tofu Sugar Snap Pea Stir-Fry (sounds delightfully simple!)
Friday: Katie's easy and humorously named "Dog Food"
Saturday: Kylie's Oven Baked Sausage and Tomato Risotto (uh-huh. seriously.)
Sunday: Stacey's kid-tested but still a little fancy Chicken Marsala

Sadly, there aren't enough days in the week to share all of the recipes that you super-duper readers sent me. I'm looking forward to trying them all, and am anticipating the thought of making some of these meals with veggies from my very own garden once summer comes round.

Now for what you've visited for: the giveaway! Using a completely un-scientific method (known as my active preschooler reaching into a bowl with names on them), I'm excited to announce that Donna has won. Donna shared three recipes with me -- yum! -- and we've already tried her biscuit-topped leftover casserole. It was pretty dang good for revitalizing leftovers!! Here are her directions:

  • either make biscuits from scratch, the bisquick box, or buy the pillsbury biscuits in the can
  • roll out each biscuit to about 5-6" circle
  • what ever cooked meat you have in fridge-chop finely...add to a bowl
  • add any cooked veggies left over, chop finely...add to the meat
  • add shredded cheese...muenster is good for this...but anything really will work
  • now you need to add a could use a few spoonfuls of any canned cream soup (celery, mushroom, chicken) or the greek yogurt mixed with hummus or mustard
  • mix the sauce with the meat mixture
  • drop a spoonful on to the rolled out biscuit, fold biscuit pinch edges w/ fork
  • spread a little egg wash over it
  • bake until golden brown 375 degrees
(I used cooked and cubed chicken breast for the meat and mixed veggies from a freezer bag. The baking time was about 30 minutes.)

Donna, I've e-mailed you, so let me know which skein of yarn you would like.

Thank you to everyone who shared! Thank you also for such warm birthday wishes!! Stay tuned for more surprises...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty.
~ Robert Frost


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

wants vs. needs

This girl wants yarn... I'm a yarn stasher. I'm also a yarn snob [officially now, since I was labeled by another knitter and not just my own family members]. In any case, stashing snobby yarns is what I do. It's my mode of operation to spot a delicious yarn, lust from a distance for just a short time, and then pounce. Thus was the course of events when I spied this in early February:

The Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon Fingering in "Special Fella".
(Plucky's photo better captures the color.)

Since my own special fella, Mr. SheepishOne, has a birthday in March, I figured that I had just enough time to knit up a pair of squooshy Retro Rib socks for his special day. I had them done just a week before the deadline, and like a giddy school girl awaiting Santa's arrival, I couldn't wait for his birthday and gave them to him early.

What this girl also wants is more time to knit. I have two different sock projects on the needles at the moment. The first, at 50% complete, is Mockery Socks. The other is Stems. Both have 4 row repeats to their patterns, which keeps me on my toes, since often I set a sock down mid-row so I can see to the needs of one of my children.

Mockery was decided upon by the Malabrigo Junkies (Ravelry) for a sock KAL during Malabrigo March. I've had a skein of Malabrigo Sock in Chocolate Amargo for a while, so pulled it out of the stash and cast on. I had a few problems with this sock out of the gate, but they were all absent-minded mistakes that I had made. Almost always I use a size 2 needle for socks with a fingering weight yarn, but this Malabrigo Sock is a very light fingering and to get gauge I had to pull out my rarely used size 1's. Size 1 dpns make me feel like I am working with toothpicks, and my experience with them is not stellar: I've broken an entire set, one by one, so they make me a bit nervous. However, the Mockery pattern is a lovely one, and effective yet simple. Unfortunately, I've only been able to access the pattern through Ravelry, so those of you without a Rav account will need to sign up straightaway.

Stems -- only about 25% complete -- is my first Project Spectrum 4 knit, and most likely the only for this direction of PS4. I'm using Dream in Classy Smooshy, Happy Forest colorway, and though I'm enjoying the color variances of the DIC, I don't like the hand. In my opinion, the yarn is pretty stiff when knit, but maybe that will change with washing. As always, Charlene Schurch is a pattern writer master, and I find that anything I choose to knit from her books is always fabulous.

What this girl needs is food! Lots of you have responded to my previous post begging for family-tested recipes -- even the lurkers! I appreciate the time you take to e-mail me your tried-and-trues. Please keep sending them. Remember, there's a giveaway to entice you... And to play fair, here is one recipe I keep in rotation, ingredients always on hand in the pantry: Sticky Coconut Chicken. Mmm, mmm, good!

Monday, March 23, 2009

in need of a few good ones

I've now gotten so far down into the recipe rut that I need some rock climbing gear to get out. With so much information at my fingertips, one would think this impossible. "Search online," I hear you whisper; "Crack open those cookbooks," you think aloud. Alas, those routes have been taken...

I don't think that my children are especially picky. Then again, I've never lived with other small people for a long run of time and paid attention to their likes and dislikes. (Belated apologies to my brother and sister.) My children will eat what is served -- maybe not a lot of it -- but what I'm looking for are rave reviews, a few dishes that everyone loves. A few dishes that don't cut it: baked ziti, lasagne, or anything else drenched in a lot of dairy.

Do you have a recipe you'd be willing to share? E-mail me with your family favorites (using the e-mail address at the left of the blog) and you'll be entered into the very first give-away chez sheepish one. If you're the winner, you may choose one of these three fabulous prizes:

Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in coral (2 skeins)

Scout's Swag Superwash Merino Tencel sock in Hedgehogs.

The Plucky Knitter Worsted Merino in Harvest.

You've a week to e-mail me those recipes. Drawing to take place on Monday, March 30. Winner will be posted to the blog by 3pm PDT. Thanks in advance!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

other crafts

it's only taken me eight months to tackle this project. sadly, it wasn't even a project that was so big it required tackling. if it only took 30 minutes, start to finish, wouldn't it be considered so lightweight it only needed a gust of wind to come and blow it down?

each member of the family selected a color of floss. i sat at the kitchen table and went to work. the girls were right there, quite amazed at how quickly and effectively their napkins were finished. obviously, one initial is much simpler than an intricate flower design, but i think i needed one of those instant gratification projects.

it's taken me a long time to appreciate needlework, in all forms. knitting is of course my passion, but sewing has come to be a close second, and last summer, i was in awe of what crafters were embroidering. the sublime stitching patterns sucked me in, and after purchasing the book and a kit, i found myself in the same state of mind whenever i am embarking on a new endeavor: i can't begin this project because i'm too afraid it will fail.

for being my first project, this tea towel didn't turn out too bad, but i didn't love it.

honestly, i think it had more to do with the size of the towel (it was entirely too large) and that it was very lightweight. the embroidery needle tore through the weave, and god forbid if you wanted to remove a stitch, for it left a gaping hole that no amount of strategic stitching could hide. i'm now hunting for a good-quality, heavier tea towel, similar to this product, but maybe a bit more economical. do you know of any?

what other crafts do you enjoy, or wish you could do well? or are you a purist, knowing you can only tread the waters of one hobby at a time? happy crafting!