Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I've been really bad lately.  Terrible even. I have "fallen off the sheep." But I think it's a worthwhile fall...

The first trip was in Bozeman - I'm calling it souvenir yarn.

Cascade 128 Superwash - Color 1971
100% Superwash Merino wool

Due to the color, this will definitely end up as a new hat for me or a loved one for Husky games. Something made with good yarn like this should be loved.

Berroco Touché, Color Cocoa
50% cotton, 50% Modal

No plans for this guy.  Maybe mittens for Peanut? Got to get on that one soon!

My next "oops" was caused by a coupon and a sale, at the same time.  I have been thinking about knitting some hats and koozies to sell at tailgates for a year or two.  I haven't gotten around to it because I couldn't decide on pricing. Also, I've been distracted by other projects.  But after a guy named Bjorn sold us a sweet Husky sweater, I caught the bug again and decided to make it happen. I'm sure I could sell a handful to just the tailgates I frequent.  So when there was a sale and a coupon for 30% off your entire purchase, I fell off the sheep again.

Lion Brand, Vanna's Choice - Linen, Purple, Black, Mustard
100% Acrylic.

Paton's Classic Wool - Wisteria
100% Wool.

So I've added quite a bit of yarn to my stash, but to give me a little credit I've already started a hat to sell! Started during a Husky basketball game.  Shouldn't take too much longer to knit.

And, to give myself even MORE credit, I have lots of patterns IDed/designed to use the yarn. I might have to decree March Madness Koozie Madness and just knit koozies while watching the games.

Know anyone who wants some Husky gear? I'll knit on consignment....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kitchen Time

I spent a lot of time over the weekend in the kitchen.  Granted half of that time was spent cleaning up after myself, but hey... that counts too, right?

Friday night was ravioli in tomato with oven roasted beets and homemade green been casserole (a practice for non-canned casserole for Thanksgiving) and pumpkin pudding (see the recipe on smittenkitchen - it was delicious) for dessert.

Saturday was chili and cornbread for the folks coming over to watch the Husky game.

Sunday was a last-minute-what-do-we-have-on-hand type meal.  I pulled a pork roast out of the freezer in the morning and created a meal around it.  Came up with butternut squash, chanterelle and baby pea risotto and kale chips as sides, and whooo-boy it was a fantastic meal.

Highly recommend.

Oven Roasted Pork Loin
I rubbed our 3lb loin with a full coating of Martha Stewart's All Purpose Meat Rub, then tossed it in the oven until the thermometer said 155 (Betty Crocker says 20 mins/lb, but I just used a thermometer), then let it rest for 10 minutes. It was absolutely moist and flavorful.  No knife needed.

All Purpose Spice Rub
From Martha Stewart

1/3 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 Tbsp black pepper
2 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Note: I gave this out for Christmas last year.  Not sure if anyone used it(?) but I think it's tasty.

Butternut Squash, Chanterelle and Baby Pea Risotto
Strongly butchered from the Seattle Times

3 cups butternut squash, diced
salt and pepper
2 tsp thyme
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup chanterelles, chopped, frozen*
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with Pam.  Toss squash with a spritz of Pam, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 20 minutes, or until soft, stirring after 10 minutes. Set aside.

Pour stock into pot and heat to simmer.  

Heat skillet over medium heat; melt butter.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Add rice.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.  Add 1 cup stock.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed. Add chanterelles.  Continue adding stock, 1/2-1 cup at a time, cooking until liquid is absorbed.  After addign 3 1/2 cups stock, taste the rice.  It should still have some chew but be tender.  If necessary, add the remaining stock. Add peas and cooked squash.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
Seasoning Salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse kale.  Remove leaves from stems.  Discard stems.  Tear or chop into bite sized pieces.  Dry thoroughly in salad spinner or with paper towels. Spray baking sheet with Pam and layer kale.  Spray tops with Pam and sprinkle with seasoning salt (I used Johnny's - MSG is delicious). Bake 10-15 minutes, or until edges are crispy but not burnt.  Let cool, if you can resist.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Black Out Cookies

I won a Halloween give-away and received the package in the mail last week. McCormicks, the spice company, sent me a box filled with: small silpat, small rubber scraper, oven mitt, vanilla extract, box of food coloring (classic colors), black food coloring, cupcake liners, candy corn, dots, and a tootsie roll. It was a run little box - I really needed a new oven mitt!

Since it was Halloween, I decided I had to find something to make with the black food coloring.  After a lot of thought, I ended up with the "old family recipe" of Cream Wafers!  I would dye the dough black, use a pumpkin cookie cutter, and fill them with purple food coloring. It was perfect - both Halloween colors and the Husky game on Saturday was the "blackout", where the players wear black uniforms. 

I didn't have the recipe with me while I was at work, and I intended to hit the grocery store on the way home, so I tried to Google it.  My on my were there a ton of hits.  Apparently it was in the 1955 version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook! So much for being a family recipe... But I did double check the Oelkers Family Cookbook, published in 1987, to see if it was there.  Sure enough, same recipe. The old recipes that are still in use are generally pretty sure bets.  My aunt made these to hand out during the reception at my cousin's wedding and they were gone in a flash.  The newer versions have typically taken the raw egg yolk out of the frosting, which I did as well, so it was okay for my prego friends to eat.

Cream Wafers
Apparently from Betty Crocker, but also All Recipes, Taste of Home, and the Oelkers Family Cookbook.

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups all purpose flour
sugar for dipping
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring (optional)

1.  Cream together butter and flour.  Be sure butter is soft - hard butter will make your cookies rise like biscuits.  Add cream.  Refridgerate 1 hour. 
2.  Preheat oven to 375F.
3.  Roll out 1/3 of dough until 1/8 inch thick.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutter.  Coat both sides with sugar (I like to put shapes into a bowl of sugar and shake them around).  Place on ungreased cookie sheet; pierce 4 times with tines of fork. Bake 7-9 minutes or until slightly puffed.  Transfer to cooling rack.
4.  Make filling: Mix butter and powdered sugar, add egg yolk and vanilla extract.  Add food coloring, if desired. 
5.  Transfer filling to plastic ziptop bag.  Cut off end and squeeze small blob onto half of the cookies.  Top with another cookie.