Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas has been interesting. We've seen just about everyone, gone just about everywhere, and eaten just about everything in sight. And a few things that were under wraps. We've left things everywhere, causing other people to have to scurry after us waving them wildly. It's almost time for a new year. whee!

And I've almost finished two hats.

Friday, December 22, 2006

** Edited to take the map out - it's too cumbersome. Cool, but cumbersome. Suffice it to say that I've visited all but 5: Alaska, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, and Rhode Island. Hard to believe sometimes, but there you go. 48 years of traveling, and all that.

create your own visited states map

Sheri posted this one, so of course I had to run off and get my list of states made up. Can you tell I've taken innumerable trips cross country? Hawaii was a deliberate trip and Alaska will have to be also. Actually, at this point, I may have to make deliberate trips to get any of the rest of the ones I need for a full 50.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jenna's post today is wonderful. Go check out her pattern - it's a riot!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend cooking

I made chocolate chip cookies, which is part of my rut, so no recipes here (standard Hershey's recipe, using semisweet chips and almond slices) [I have the recipe memorized. Hush.]

I did spend some time looking for recipes for Buffalo Wings Sauce and finally decided to just go buy the stuff. Recipes for that are all over the map, or consist of "hot sauce" and nothing else. Since I don't eat Buffalo Wings, I have no real idea what sort of sauce I was looking to make.

I had a mental taste of what I wanted to make, but wasn't sure how to get from here to there. I went with a recipe I found for Buffalo Wings Chicken Dip and used bottled Anchor Bar Buffalo Wing Sauce in Original and Hotter. It worked. Not quite what I wanted, but it worked.

Buffalo Wings Chicken Dip
1 lb chicken breasts, simmered in water in the microwave for 15 minutes (til done), then shredded. Reserve water for chicken stock for some other recipe.
3 oz Buffalo Wing Sauce (up to 2 times that, depending on taste)
4 oz cream cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Mix cream cheese and sauce together. Add chicken and stir thoroughly. Put in 8x8 dish, sprinkle mozzarella on top. Bake in oven (350F) until mozzarella is melted and lightly browning on top.

Serve in bowls beside Olive Waffles - each person spreads on waffles just before eating.

The Olive Waffles is what started this all off. From M. Katzen's Vegetable Heaven, I wanted the olive waffles with something besides sour cream or the other condiments she suggested.

Olive Waffles
4 eggs, divided
1.5 T olive oil
2 c flour
.5 c whole wheat flour
.75 c chopped Kalamata olives
2 c buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

Beat the egg yolks and olive oil together. Mix flours, baking soda and baking powder together. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk until just wet. Stir in olives. Beat egg white to firm peaks, fold into batter. Bake in waffle iron.

I think this is a little light on oils, so I spritzed the irons with olive oil spray - my iron tends to stick, even though it is technically non-stick. Getting used every Saturday for years tends to do that to them, I guess.

I actually made two batches, one with the Original sauce and one with the Hotter. The one with the cast iron mouth complained the hotter wasn't hot enough and the one with the tender tummy complained that the Original was too hot. Can't win. We have just about half of it left over, so it's going on baked potatoes later this week.

I think I'll try it again with just shredded chicken and sauce - no cheeses. It was yummy, but a. we don't need all that cheese very often, and b. I think that would be closer to what I had my mouth mentally set for.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I can't do it. I just can't do it. I gave up many years ago on trying to do "Holiday Knitting". Or any other kind of "Holiday Needlework". The problem probably stems from the fact that I like to do large-ish pieces. Large ccs projects. Large items in knitting - shawls, sweater, blankets. These may not seem large to some people - after all if you sit down and do nothing else, you can whip them out in no time. Look at Miriam with her Icarus design - someone said she did one in 12 days. Look at me - 3 months later I finished it?

A common complaint (look anywhere in knitting blogland right now) is that projects get abandoned for the holiday knitting. Right - that would be me, setting aside some large project for something small. Then, after the holidays, do we jump right back at our abandoned project? Oh, no, something else pleases our eye or catches our attention and off we go. Then, some people (Juno for example) eventually go back to their abandoned projects. Sometimes that's me and sometimes it isn't.

A major problem that I have with unfinished projects is that if I leave them alone for a long enough time, my state-of-the-art advances to where I can't finish them. I have learned some new technique, some new ability, that I can't abandon because it is better, but which is totally incompatible with the old project. It's far better to start and then finish a project without running the risk of improving past it within the project. Consequently, I hate abandoning projects even for a while. I have too many projects that I can't let go of because they were seriously wanted, but which I can't finish because I can't get past my increased technique. I wouldn't hate the project if I had finished it and then moved up a notch; that would just be an acknowledgement that I had grown as a crafter. But I can't finish a project in what I now know is a lesser technique, even if I really wanted that project as a finished piece.

Consequently, I try not to abandon projects, even for holiday knitting. I still make things for people, if they want them. They get them when the pieces are done, regardless of the season. And for Christmas? A nice gift from King Arthur or Harry&David.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend cooking

The cooking was very basic, but out of my rut, and definitely tasty. I started with a 4 pound boneless chuck roast. Brought it to room temperature, added Worcestershire sauce and Montreal steak seasoning. Oven at 550 F, then down to 350 F when the roast went in. 1.5 hours later, it was done for me, but a bit rare for the family. We have about 2/3 left for beef burritos later in the week.

A side dish of baby peas.

A side dish of banana fritters. This recipe originally came from the Pearl S. Buck Oriental Cookbook. I use 1/2 banana for each person and 1/2 banana more ,i.e. for my family of 4, I use 2.5 bananas. Unless of course the bananas are smaller or larger than usual, or I feel like more bananas, or...
1 T flour per banana, 1 tsp sugar per banana, a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Mash the bananas together, then stir in dry ingredients. Heat a nonstick skillet and melt 1 T butter. Drop spoonfuls of mix into the skillet (I like approximately 1 T at a time, but more is fine.) Brown on one side, flip and brown the other. Serve as is, or if you want to be fancy, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Friday, December 08, 2006


(you've been warned and I don't want to hear any complaints if you keep reading.)

I had a cold, then J had a cold, then S has a cold. K is waving all of us away from her and hiding in her room; she doesn't want to be next.

It snowed last night and some this morning. All lake effect snow - coming off of Lake Ontario. It was still snowing this morning and I saw that there was one single band of snow still coming off the lake - right over our town. We have a momentary burst of sun but I suppose it's time to go shovel the drive again.

The camera is not talking to the computer; I'm not sure why. It really doesn't matter as I seem to have hit a slump with the ending of Icarus. I have too many projects to start a new one, but none of the old ones immediately appeal. I'm tired of spinning silk, but I still have 3 oz to go. I started flicking corriedale fleece which is always fun, but not very pictureworthy. I'm almost finished with another red scarf, which is fun because I'm playing with different techniques and trying stuff out, but it isn't terribly in-process pictureworthy. I'll post a picture when I get it finished and the camera is willing to cooperate.

Mostly I have been playing with LibraryThing which may be the best thing yet for trying to get my books catalogued. It makes me happy.