Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Panettone Bread

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread." - Mother Teresa

I made Panettone bread for the first time, and it is the most beautiful looking and smelling bread I've ever seen.
Here are some photos from the baking process:

The "sponge," made the day before

The dough, with raisins, candied chestnuts and candied orange and lemon peel

The loaves in their molds, before baking

One of the loaves after baking

The recipe I used can be found here. The only thing I did differently was to add 1 1/2 cups of chopped Marron Glace (candied chestnuts). I found the molds for the loaves at Sur La Table. Inexperienced bakers may not want to start with this particular bread, as it can be tricky to master.

My family and I always eat slices of Panettone, toasted and buttered, with sausage, orange juice and coffee for breakfast on Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Evenstar Fingerless Gloves

"An Elven maid there was of old, a shining star by day: Her mantle white was hemmed with gold, her shoes of silver-grey." - "Fellowship of the Ring," J.R.R. Tolkein

I made these beautiful fingerless gloves a year ago as an ambitious beginning knitter, and just finishing them nearly drove me up the wall. If you attempt these and succeed, you will not only have a beautiful pair of gloves, but a deeper capacity for patience. If you don't succeed, well, just try not to stab something with the knitting needles...

This picture was taken from the pattern website.

The pattern can be found here.

Merry Christmas!

Knitted Snow Cowl

"Whose woods these are I think I know/his house is in the village though/he will not see me stopping here/to watch his woods fill up with snow." - Robert Frost

Winter is the perfect time to bring out the scarves, neck warmers and cowls. Don't have any? No problem - this beautiful, elegant cowl is easy to knit and can go with just about any outfit imaginable.

note: I borrowed this photo from the pattern website

The pattern can be found here.

Stay warm this winter!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Christmas Baking List

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." - John Muir

Christmas baking time is here! My mom and I have compiled our list of cookies, and this year I am going to attempt to bake a Christmas bread.

So, first on the list is Panettone, an Italian sweet bread that is traditionally made at Christmastime. It has candied citrus fruit peel, raisins and chestnuts.

Some of the cookie recipes we're going to make that I'm most excited about include this Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt cookie.

...and this chocolate peppermint crinkle cookie.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Garlic and Herb Popovers

"As for Rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship" - Sir Thomas More

These popovers come from the Victoria Magazine website. They're very easy to make, and really tasty.

You can find the recipe here.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken

If you've ever been to a Max and Erma's restaurant, chances are you've had this soup. This version gets very close to the original.

Makes: 8 servings
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. velveeta cheese
  • 10 oz. Ro*Tel tomatoes and chilies
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 cup chopped, sauteed onion
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese
  • Optional: flour tortillas (about 5), Vegetable or Peanut oil for frying
In a pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in small amounts of chicken broth at a time, then whisk in milk. Reduce heat to low and stir in Velveeta chunks; stir until melted. Mix in Ro*Tel, chicken, onion and spices. Cook until soup is heated through, do not allow to burn.

Note: to complete this soup, you can either a) make homemade fried tortilla strips, or b) buy Frito's corn chips as a substitute, although the homemade tortilla strips are just better. (I used Frito's in the picture above)

To make the tortilla strips: cut the tortillas into strips and deep fry until golden in oil that is 350 degrees hot. Drain on paper towels. Ladle the soup into a bowl, top with shredded cheese, ladle on more soup and top with fried tortilla strips.

Enjoy, and stay warm this winter!

Quilted Dog Bed

"Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job." - Franklin P. Jones

I realize that my latest posts have been centered on my dogs, but they're just so cute and I love making things for them. This is the last one for a while now :-)

Every Christmas, my older dog loves to stretch out on his back underneath the Christmas tree, and drift off to sleep with his paws in the air and his snout pointed towards the twinkling, bejeweled evergreen branches. This year, my family and I are hoping to give this slightly indecorous practice of his a seasonal touch. Hence the Christmas dog bed.

I made this using pre-quilted fabric sold by the yard at Jo-Ann's stores. It can be made in any color/theme desired.

You will need:
  • about 1 to 2 yards of a pre-quilted fabric at least 48" wide, in the color/theme of your choice
  • Embroidery floss in a complementing color (I used red for this, although it doesn't show up very well)
  • Sewing thread in a color that matches/complements the fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needles - one small and one large
  • Microfiber filling (or pillow stuffing)
This bed is made using the same principle for making a pillow. Cut the fabric into the size dog bed you want and sew all but one edge together (this can be done on a sewing machine, to make it go faster). Fill the "pillow" with the stuffing, but don't make it too full - it should compress fairly easily. Be sure to get the stuffing pushed into all the corners. Sew the remaining edge together by hand, using the sewing thread and the smaller needle. Take the embroidery floss and separate three strands from the rest, and use these to thread the large needle. Tack the pillow in as many places as necessary (if a rectangle, six places; if a square, four places, etc.) using the needle and thread. Be sure to reinforce each tack by sewing over it multiple times.

Once finished, give to a favorite furry friend.

Waiting for Santa Claws :-)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Homemade Fleece Tie Blanket

"May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door." - Irish Blessing

In certain areas of the country, we've had an unusual amount of snow for this early in December, and the nights (not to mention days) have been cold!

One of my favorite blanket projects is this simple, cozy fleece tie blanket.

a small version, for my dogs

one of my dogs on their new fleece blanket

You will need:
  • No less than 2 1/2 yards each of two different patterns of fleece (for a regular adult-sized blanket) - one solid, one pattern (adjust number of yards according to preferred length of blanket)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
Wash the fleeces before using them. After they have dried, lay the two panels together exactly, with no overlap (trim if needed). Using measuring tape and scissors, cut out a 4" by 4" square from one of the corners. Cut 4" long strips that are at least 2" wide along the edges, tying as you go, and cutting a 4" square from each corner, until finished.

Be sure to stay warm this winter!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu, Part 2

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:15

Through the grace of God, and the help/support of my family, Thanksgiving dinner came out really well! Whether or not insanity runs in my family, the result was too tasty to attribute the endeavor to anything other than genius :-)

I began my cooking on Tuesday night, when I made the Gingersnap Pumpkin pie:

Then on Wednesday, I stayed in the kitchen for about 5 to 6 hours and made:

the Rum Raisin Apple Pie

The Butternut Squash Soup, that makes the whole house smell like harvest:
Soup, before being pureed
soup, after being pureed, with cider cream and chives
And then mom's famous stuffing:

Sadly, there are no pictures of putting the turkey in brine, because, well... try putting a freezing cold, 22 lbs. turkey in brine by yourself sometime, and you'll find out :-)
So, we'll move on to the Brussels Sprouts and Apples:
The turkey, after being roasted and sliced:

And finally, the table:

Yep, it sure was a good meal. Thanks to God, mom, and the roaster oven :-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu, Part 1

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This year, because I'm living at home; because I'm young and unmarried and an aspiring cook; because my mom was delighted to pass the baton this year; and because I highly suspect there's insanity practically galloping in my family (no, not really, but props if you can guess which movie that reference is from)...

I'm cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for my family by myself (...well, mom will be in the wings ready to give advice when needed).

I told you there was reason to suspect insanity in my family.

The menu will include:
  • Butternut Squash soup with cider and cream
  • Turkey done in brine with oranges and celery
  • Grand Marnier Chestnut Stuffing
  • Candied Yams with pineapple
  • Glazed onions
  • Corn pudding
  • Brussels Sprouts with Apples
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie
  • Rum Raisin Apple Pie
Some of these will be made in advance, but most will be made the night before/day of. Part 2 of this post will come after Thanksgiving, and will include pictures.

If you are interested in a recipe you see here, leave a comment asking about it and I will try direct you to it (the only exception is the stuffing recipe, which is a family secret).

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Houndstooth Dog Sweater from Vogue Knitting

"My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet." - Edith Wharton

I have two Bichon Frise dogs, and they make every day just a little fuzzier and happier. I've knitted coats for both of them, but for the older male dog, who's my special walking buddy (he's 11 years old this year, and will easily go 2+ miles a day with me), I decided to make a special, snazzy little coat for walking in cold weather.

Yes, my dog modeled this for me. He's a very patient pooch :-)

To get the pattern, create an account at the Vogue Knitting website. Log in, and go to the Free Patterns section. Scroll until you find the Houndstooth Dog Sweater pattern, and download. Be sure to measure your dog's neck and the length from the neck to the tail along the spine, adjusting the gauge/measurements of your knitting to fit.
Good luck!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Variation on Smitten Kitchen's Apple Cheddar Scones

"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn Stand shadowless like silence, listening To Silence." - Thomas Hood

I tried out this addictive recipe for Apple and Cheddar scones from Smitten Kitchen, but implemented a couple of variations.

Instead of using a baking sheet in the oven, I made these on my baking stone, and they came out beautifully. Also, instead of cutting them into large wedge shapes as instructed in the original recipe, which only gives you about 6 scones, I used a round cookie cutter and got 18 instead.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Peat Moss and Rain Drops beaded stole

"...For the rain it raineth everyday." - Shakespeare

"A violet by a mossy stone, half-hidden from the eye!" - Wordsworth

This project came together as if by magic. I fell in love with the stole featured on the cover of the Vogue Knitting Shawls and Wraps book, but the pre-beaded, 100% silk yarn they recommended was just too pricey. So, mom gave me permission to go rummaging in her yarn stash and I found a gorgeous, black-green, silk blend, tweed yarn by Rowan, which was a close approximation to the weight and material of the pricey recommended yarn. I also found a stash of abandoned silver-lined beads. All I had to do then was learn how to bead.

For a simple, easy way to learn beading, follow the directions and pictures on this website.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beautiful Holiday Poached Pears

"For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies; for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies; Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise." - "For the Beauty of the Earth"

The holidays are upon us, and there's no better way to make your house smell like it than to make these poached pears.

  • 4 Bosc or Bartlett pears
  • 1 bottle of hearty red wine
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Peel of 1/2 large orange
  • Peel of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
Peel, core and slice the pears, then place them in a saucepan. Add the wine and all the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pears are tender, about 30 an hour. Remove pears from liquid, then bring remaining liquid to a boil and cook until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve pears with sauce. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Felted Around About Bag

"Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approaches, and neither moth corrupts." - Luke 12:33

This bag may look challenging, but it is rather simple, as far as large, felted bags go. I made this using a variegated bulky weight yarn in red and green, as well as a skein or two of bulky weight Lamb's Pride 100% Wool yarn in a corresponding red shade. Also, for the handles, double the width it says to make in the pattern - their recommendation comes out too thin.

my version of the bag, pre-felting

my bag, post-felting

The link for the pattern is here.

After felting and the bag has dried, sew a lining in a complimentary color to attach to the inside. Also, to make the bag sit up straight, cut a circle out of cardboard to sit in the bottom of the bag, underneath the lining.

Good luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Graveyard Pudding

"Round about the cauldron go; in the poison'd entrails throw...double, double toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble." - Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I

This dessert is a fun and tasty addition to any Halloween festivity. And even if you don't celebrate Halloween, the combination of chocolate pudding, Oreo and Milano cookies is just too delicious to miss.

  •  2 packs of chocolate pudding mix
  • Milk (for pudding)
  • Cool Whip
  • Oreo cookies
  • Milano Cookies
  • Gel Writing Icing
  • Candy Corn
  • Optional; whipped cream and Red Hots candy
In a large mixing bowl, mix the pudding using milk and half of a container of Cool Whip to create a creamier texture. Once the pudding has set, transfer it to a dish you'd like to use for serving.
Crush the entire package of Oreos and mix in half of it with the pudding. Use the remaining half to dust the top of the pudding, completely covering the surface.
Using the writing gel, write "RIP" on one end of as many Milano cookies as you wish, and stick into the pudding using the other end, so that it stands like a gravestone. Arrange the cookies in the pudding accordingly. Make a ring around the edge of the pudding using the Candy Corn.
For an optional Ghost in the Graveyard, shake the whipped cream can well, invert it and spray a little mound in a spot where you'd like the ghost to be. Place two Red Hots in front for eyes.


    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Knitted Fair-Isle Beanie

    "Never run after your own hat - others will be delighted to do it. Why spoil their fun?" - Mark Twain

    I love knitted hats at this time of year. This beanie can be used by men or women, and is a great way for beginners to practice the Fair Isle knitting technique. I made the one below for my brother last year - it is knitted in his college fraternity's colors, and has his initials and his frat letters in a ring above the hat band.

    For a typical beanie knitting pattern, go here and follow the basic knitting directions, ignoring the part that instructs you to knit the colored band.

    You can find a variety of resources on the web from which to learn about Fair Isle knitting. The key to doing it well is to keep the yarn "steeks" very loose along the wrong side of the knitting, so that the hat can stretch easily. Also, try not to get the yarn twisted as you knit.

    To figure out how to knit the pattern you want, use graph paper to sketch the pattern over 9 rows. After knitting the hat band, start the Fair Isle rows. When you have finished the last row, cut and tie off the yarn used to make the design, and continue knitting in the hat's primary color, as per the pattern's instructions.

    Good luck!

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Caramelized ham spirals

    "When blood is nipped, and ways be foul, then nightly sings the staring owl; tu-who, tu-whit, tu-who, a merry note, while greasy Joan doth keel the pot." - Shakespeare

    Now that cold weather has officially arrived in most areas of the country, the time has come to post my favorite go-to, cold-weather appetizer: caramelized ham spirals. They are hearty and delicious, and go well for any event during cold months.

    •  1 box Puff Pastry sheets
    • 1 jar of your favorite brand of honey mustard
    • 1 1/2 lb. thin-sliced ham
    • 1 lb. sliced swiss cheese
    • 1 egg
    Thaw puff pastry completely. Preheat the oven according to instructions on the box.
    Unfold and roll out one sheet on a lightly floured surface. Spread honey mustard over surface of pastry, cover completely with swiss cheese. Fold the ham slices in half once and cover the swiss cheese with them so that they overlap.
    Beat the egg with water in a small dish, set aside with a brush. Gently roll the puff pastry, jelly-roll style, and seal the other side and the ends with egg wash. Repeat entire process with second puff pastry sheet.
    Using a sharp knife, cut the rolls into slices at least 1 in. thick, and carefully lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, spirals will be done when they are golden brown and the honey mustard has caramelized. Cool before serving.


    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Diaries of a Desperate Novice Bread Baker, pt. 3

    "Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." - Thomas Jefferson

    So, to get back to the bread peel (and the drawing board), I recently tried a recipe for Rosemary bread, like the one served in the Macaroni Grill restaurants. It's delicious, and goes perfectly with olive oil and black pepper for dipping.

    makes: 2 loaves
    • 1 cup warm water (110-120 degrees F)
    • 1 tbsp. yeast
    • 1 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 tbsp. rosemary
    • 1/2 stick of butter
    Mix water, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir until it dissolves, let sit 5 minutes or until foamy.

    In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and half of rosemary. Stir flour mixture with a wire mix.

    After yeast mixture becomes foamy, add the oil. Add 1 cup of flour to yeast mixture and stir until mixed. Keep adding flour about 1/2 cup at a time until it becomes dough. Knead for 10 minutes, adding flour if necessary. Set dough in an oiled bowl, brush dough with oil, cover bowl with a cloth and let dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch down dough and let sit for 5 minutes. Then, split dough into two pieces, form into ovals and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, place baking stone in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Melt half a stick of butter in a dish. After dough rises, brush melted butter on top of each oval. Carefully slide parchment paper with loaves on to baking stone and close oven. Bake for ten minutes, then open the oven and brush tops of loaves with butter and sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until loaves are light brown.


    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Strawberry Chocolate Balls

    "All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles M. Shultz

    No indeed, a little chocolate never hurts. Especially when mixed with strawberry jam and Nilla wafers. These rich, decadent little treats are great for parties, events or just because.

    Makes: about 2 dozen
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 6 oz. semisweet choc. chips
    • 1 cup Nilla wafers, crushed
    • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
    • 1 cup chopped almonds
    Beat cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Melt chocolate pieces in a double boiler, or in a saucepan held over another saucepan of boiling water. Add melted chocolate to cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in Nilla wafer crumbs and strawberry preserves with a spoon,  cover and sit bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

    Form mixture into balls, roll in chopped almonds, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate!

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Sweet November Shawl from Ravelry

    "When chill November's surly blast makes fields and forest bare." - Robert Burns

    Even though this shawl is knitted entirely in lace style, and almost looks like you could crochet it instead (which you probably can, but I prefer knitting), it will still keep you warm in cold temperatures, provided you use the right yarn. For this one, I used a chunky weight 100% wool yarn made in Ireland (yes, the fact that it's Irish does make a difference), and it's extremely cozy on cold days. The original pattern calls for a 100% cotton yarn, which is lighter and can be used in warmer climates/temperatures.

    You can download the pattern here.

    Good luck!

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Autumnal Apple Butter

    "His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window." - Henry James

    Homemade Apple Butter is delicious at any time of the year, but something about it just sings of autumn. I recommend starting with homemade applesauce, if possible, as the base. Store-bought can be used as well, but isn't quite as good.

    The original recipe used is here.

    You can either start with ready-made applesauce, or go through the whole process with apples as described in the recipe.


    Friday, October 8, 2010

    "I'm A Little Teapot" Knitted Tea Cozy

    "I'm a little teapot, short and stout;
    Here is my handle, here is my spout.
    When I get all steamed up, then I shout;
    'Tip me over, and pour me out!'" - The Teapot Song

    As mentioned in a previous post, tea cozies are a lovely way to keep a teapot warm. This one is knitted using the Fair Isle technique to make the words of the song show up on the lines, but it can also be knitted without using Fair Isle if one wishes to leave the words off. But knitting in the words is just so much fun...

    You can buy the pattern here. 

    One change I made to the original pattern: The whole thing is supposed to be knitted in the round, and the openings for the spout and handle are supposed to be cut into the knitting, literally, with a pair of scissors, and not be bound off or anything. My mother tried this when she made the cozy, and it ended up being a huge mess and going very badly. My alternative was to knit the tea cozy in two separate panels, then make two I-cords (instructions included with pattern) to tie them together around the pot. The sides do require blocking when you make it this way, but it came out very well, as seen in the picture above.

    Good luck!

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Good, True and Beautiful BBQ Beef Cups

    "In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the good, the true and the beautiful in humanity itself." - Albert Einstein

    These cups represent the pinnacle of comfort food achievement. If the words Good, True and Beautiful can be used in relation to food (especially comfort food), then these little pockets of goodness have more than qualified.

    • 2 lbs. ground beef
    • 1 16-oz. jar thin BBQ sauce
    • 4 tbsp. minced onion
    • 1 large finely chopped bell pepper
    • 2-3 rolls of Pillsbury refrigerator biscuits (8 slices per roll)
    • Shredded cheddar cheese
    In a saucepan, brown the ground beef and add the bell pepper and minced onion while cooking. When beef is brown, add the BBQ sauce, mix and let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
    Unwrap the refrigerator biscuits. Flatten one round of dough between the palms of your hands, just until it will fill one cup of a muffin tin, with the edge of the dough just coming out over the edge of the cup. Repeat will all remaining dough rounds in as many muffin tins as you need. When the beef has finished simmering, spoon just enough of the mixture into the cups to lay flat with the top of the cup, not heaped. Bake according to biscuit package instructions.
    Once baked, leaving the oven on, lay a solid layer of shredded cheese on the top of each cup. Replace muffin tins in the oven for 5 minutes, until cheese has melted thoroughly.


    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Charles Dickens' Hot Toddy recipe

    "...I informed Mr. Micawber that I relied upon him for a bowl of punch, and led him to the lemons. His recent despondency, not to say despair, was gone in a moment. I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar, the odor of burning rum, and the steam of boiling water..." - David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

    When cold weather hits and noses start sniffling, nothing is more comforting or medicinal than a Hot Toddy. Traditionally, a hot poker was taken fresh from the fire, and the glowing red end was dipped into the liquid to heat it. Nowadays, I prefer using the microwave and tea kettle, which are not as messy :-)

    The basic recipe is the same, but lends itself to delicious variations:

    • One jigger of brandy, rum or whiskey
    • 2 tbsp. lemonade powder or lemon juice
    • lemon peel
    • Boiling water
    • Either ginger ale or apple cider
    • Optional: butter, brown sugar, honey
    In a tea kettle or saucepan, bring water to a boil. In a large mug, pour the ginger ale or apple cider and lemonade powder or lemon juice and stir to mix. Place mug in microwave and heat for 2 minutes on high heat, until liquid is piping hot. Add boiling water, lemon peel and alcohol of choice, stir briefly to mix. If desired, add brown sugar or honey, stir to mix, and drop a pat of butter on top to melt.


    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Simple and Stylish Scarf

    "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a [care]." - Gore Vidal

    This scarf is simple to make and stylish to wear. Pair it with Madame Defarge's Beret in the same color for added style.

    You will need:
    • about 300 to 500 yards worsted weight yarn in preferred color
    • Straight U.S. size 9 or 10 knitting needles
     Cast on 24 stitches, knit 2 or 3 rows. On the 4th row, purl the whole way across. On the 5th row, knit 6 stitches, purl 12, then knit the last 6 stitches. On 6th row, purl the whole way across. Repeat until scarf is about 3 to 4 feet long, and has the smooth stockinette panel flanked by the garter stitch border all the way along. At the end, knit three rows and bind off loosely.

    Wear in cold weather, when a touch of style is needed.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Chinese Shrimp Kabobs

    "I shall be but a shrimp of an author." - Thomas Gray

    These kabobs are incredibly simple to make. They taste great and are very healthy, too.

    •  1 bag frozen raw shrimp, thawed and deveined, with tails removed
    • Colored bell pepper, chopped into pieces
    • Pineapple chunks
    • Green onions, sliced into 2 inch pieces
    • Chinese Hoisin Marinade sauce
     Prepare and rinse shrimp thoroughly in cool water. Using all-metal skewers, place a shrimp, a pineapple chunk, a piece of bell pepper and a piece of green pepper on a skewer, repeat until skewer is full. Repeat with all skewers. Line a jelly-roll pan with foil and place a wire rack on top. Lay each skewer on the wire rack, with a little space between each one. Turn on the broiler and allow to heat, then place the pan with the skewers in the oven, about 4 inches from the broiler coils. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
    In a small dish, pour out some of the Hoisin marinade sauce. Using a small brush, coat the contents of each skewer with the sauce. Place the pan back in the oven and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove contents of skewers and serve with brown rice, if desired.