Thursday, August 06, 2009

Twirly Skirt

The preschool peanut has been looking forward to wearing this skirt ever since I showed her the pattern and then let her help me pick out the colors. It's such a simple design, definitely easy for a beginner knitter to follow. As soon as she put it on today, she started shimmying and twirling like crazy. Turned a very grumpy day into a happy and sweet one.

Barefoot Knits Twirly Skirt
Cotton Fleece: Cottonball, Pink-A-Boo, Begonia Passion, and Perry's Primrose
Size 4 with size 6 length for room to grow
Raveled here

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Lisa's Triumph

Shedir by Jenna Wilson,
Rowan Calmer in #475 Tinkerbell, one ball
US3 needle
Raveled here

So an old friend of mine dropped a bomb on us all when she told us that she has breast cancer. This is a friend that I've known for years; she's the big sis of a friend I made in junior high school. This is a friend that would do anything for you and for whom we are all doing anything we can.

When she asked me to accompany her on a wig fitting appointment, I was beyond honored that she would consider me for that important task! We had fun, trying out wigs of impossible colors and shapes (on purpose, of course) until we found the one! The color is just right and if you didn't know her, you'd think she had a really cute haircut.

She tried on a few hats and scarves, too, but since she hadn't yet started chemo, she had a full head of hair and was having a hard time imagining what it will all look like when it's gone.

But I knew I had to make something for her. You do what you know, and I know how to knit. This hat has eleventy billion cable crosses but with each row I checked off I envisioned taking steps toward her health and the end of her treatment.

I gave my friend her hat last night when she invited me to another appointment she had. Lots of laughs together, lots of love, and lots of strength within our network of friends and family. She started chemo about a week ago and has the most amazing outlook, savoring each day as a gift. I hope this hat will be like a hug on chilly days and give her strength to kick cancer's butt!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Onion Dill Bread

Recent tweets about bread machine baking reminded me of the one I have buried deep, deep in the pantry. An old boyfriend gave it to me about a century ago. I loved the smell of the fresh bread baking and I don't remember why I let it sit so long... possibly because it only makes little one pound cubes of bread that are gone before you can even bake another one? I pulled it out last night, along with my copy of The Bread Machine Baker by Elizabeth Harbison (great book for me because all of these recipes yield 1 lb.), and threw together some Onion Dill Bread. Mmmm. mmmm. m. My girl loves helping in the kitchen and liked seeing the machine do all the stirring for us.

Onion Dill Bread
"This is a delicious "eat it hot out of the bread machine" bread. It doesn't even need butter. I have had success substituting yogurt for the sour cream for a lower-calorie treat."

2 t or 1/2 package of yeast
2 c bread flour
1/4 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 egg
1/4 c water
1/2 c cottage cheese
1/2 c sour cream
2 T sugar
2 T minced dried onion
1 T + 1 t dried dill seed (I suspect this is a typo for dill weed)
1 T butter

In a warm saucepan, combine water, cottage cheese, sour cream, sugar, onion, dill and butter, until melted.

Add all the ingredients to the machine in the order listed. Choose either regular or light crust (depending on your preference) and push "Start."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Make these. Tonight. Very little cooking involved, yummy, perfect for summer.

I'm sorry I didn't take pictures. I've made the salad a few times before and it never fails to please. The tacos are new and tasty. I doubled both recipes to bring food to our friends who just had a baby... and the leftovers are awesome the next day.

Easy Pork Tacos

America's Test Kitchen, 30 Minute Suppers
Serves 4

1 1/2 C chopped mango (about 2)
1 small red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1. Combine mango, half of onion, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add remaining onion, chipotle chiles, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in pork and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in remaining cilantro, remaining lime juice, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Stack tortillas on plate, wrap with plastic, and microwave until pliable, about 1 minute. Serve with pork filling and mango salsa.

Southwestern Black Bean, Corn, and Tomato Salad

Real Food Magazine
Serves 4
2 C fresh sweet corn kernels (from 2 medium ears) or thawed frozen corn
1/2 tsp salt, preferably kosher or other coarse salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado, cubed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Bring 1 inch of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add corn and simmer until just tender, about 2 minutes; drain and let cool. If using frozen corn, prepare according to package directions.

Sprinkle salt over minced garlic on a cutting board and mash with the flat side of a large knife to make a paste.

Combine corn, garlic paste, beans, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro in a 5-cup non-reactive serving bowl; toss lightly. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving to blend flavors.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tap tap tap... this thing still on?

I was lucky to meet the beautiful, talented, and funny Superstarra Christie last week when she visited Seattle and that reminded me that I have a blog! Oh yeah! That's how Christie and I started corresponding, lo these many years ago. I think I'll just look back in my projects and blog those things I've finished, in order to catch up a bit.

If you're still reading, thank you! It seems that Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, and life all take time away from blogging and reading blogs. But someone reminded me that I was on that fateful list (Whatever Happened to the Knit Blog Class of 2005?) and here I am!

Last year I made three Dolores Park Cowls for my dear friends. This pattern is genius in its simplicity and that is why a gazillion people have made them... I renamed the cowls for parks in my friends' neighborhoods...

Clockwise from left, Malabrigo Chunky:
- Pagoda, became The Friendly Park Cowl
- Saphire Green, became The Highland Park Cowl
- Velvet Grapes, still sitting in my stash, waiting to become my cowl!
- Tortuga, became The Steilacoom Park Cowl

Here is Kristina modeling her own cowl in Saphire Green:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Peanut's Cardigan is *This Close* To Finished, But Here's a Distraction...

Since I haven't blogged much (and so haven't done a meme in a long while), and because it's a new year when we look back and forward at once, this list caught my attention. Once in a while, when I'm feeling a little stuck in my working mama modes, it's good to remind myself of the other interesting things I've done.

Now I'm inspired to dig out photos of some of these things for proof!

The things I have done are in black.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing (indoor)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year!

Highlights of 2008:

Amelie's 2nd bday 033 ATT00364

The Peanut turned two in June, and is now "two and a half old". She visited Santa Claus this year and it was one of the most precious moments of her little life so far. She is such a joy! ... and feisty... :)


The day after her birthday party, I completed my first (half) marathon, The Seafair Marathon. Here I am coming across the finish line with my dear friend Tina. Never thought I'd do that...

Picture 5

I was featured on Seattle's Child magazine, worked toward and achieved (shut up!) National Board Certification. Never thought I'd do that, either. :)

NYC 08

Visited NYC in November with the Mr. It had been a long time. Got to visit with my dear friend Debbie; she was one of my travel friends when I was in India. Went to a show at the Village Vanguard. Ate the most incredible pastrami at Katz's.

And who will ever forget where they were on Election Night 08? What a year, what a year!

I'm incredibly grateful for my friends and family, my home, my work... I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!