18 December 2011

I like breakfast for dinner.

No, really. I do. When I wake up in the morning, I seriously don't feel like eating until noon, or so, and that normally involves lunch. So, I like having breakfast for dinner. And this time, I wanted French Toast. I think I've had it only a couple of times in my life. Mom was more of a pancake/waffle expert. Being that I've been watching a lot of TV lately, I kept seeing Denny's commercials for French toast. I thought, "I can make that!" So, I did. And it was delicious.




Aw, yeah. Tasted even more awesome with syrup drizzled all over it.

Fluffy French Toast
12 slices of Texas Toast type of bread (thick slices)
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of milk
1 pinch of salt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp white sugar

Pour the flour into a large bowl that you can easily dip a piece of your bread into. Slowly, whisk in the milk. Then, whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar until nice and smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat (I used a buttered iron skillet)
Soak the bread in the mixture. Transfer to pan and cook on both sides until nice and brown. Between ever piece of bread, whisk the mixture to keep the ingredients from settling to the bottom. Serve hot, drizzle with syrup if desired.

Oh, these were so good, especially with bacon on the side. I actually cut the recipe in half and only did six pieces, but there wasn't enough mixture.


16 December 2011

Needs more presents.

It's another finished object post! YAY

Knitting in the round on DPNs isn't very hard at  all. I don't know why people complain about it. I personally love it, because it helps my ADD. One needle at a time is less distracting and boring than just one needle. ANYWHO.

My second pair of finished mitts! Modeled by the fabulous Vanessa, who's over at Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts.



The pattern is Wristers by Joan L. Hamer, knitted on size 6s with Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran in white. Not a bad yarn at all. 


The second finished object  to show off has been finished for a while, but lost, due to the fact that I have a kitten.


TINY MITTENS. I got this pattern out of the Knit Simple Holiday 2011 issue. They're knit with some Bijou Spun from Bijou Basin Ranch on size 2s. They were fun to make, but a little frustrating, because they were so tiny! But, they're cute, and worth it.

So now, between trying to finish my last two projects, I've started one for me!


Any guesses to what it might becom?

13 December 2011

Reese's Thins

A while back, I was browsing blogs, or maybe pinterest, I can't remember, but I wrote down the easiest cookie recipe ever. Ever. I didn't know how easy this could be. I can't find the site/blog/link, so I cannot link you to the original creator. BUT. I must share these cookies with you. They're so nice and chewy.

Reese's Thins (aka Two Ingredient Cookies) (makes about 15)
24 Reese's Cups (the big ones, not the minitures or the minis)
1 egg

Yeah. That's seriously it.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Unwrap your Reese's and throw them in a food processor.



Give 'em a whirr until they're nice and "dough-like", when this happens, toss in that egg.






Whirr that around until nice and mixed.

Spread out by spoonfuls, and flaten onto cookie sheet. They will spread, so be sure to leave room.


Bake 'em for 15-17 minutes, or until edges are done. (It took mine 15)

Let cool on cookie sheet for 15 minutes before removing.


Now, enjoy these thin, chewy cookies with a cold glass of milk!

11 December 2011

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

About a month or so ago, El Paso had a Junior League Christmas fair. I needed to go. It's in my DNA to go to every craft/art fair I can find. You can find the best stuff at these things. Except for this one, I was disappointed that it was more commercialized products  than people selling what they made. Though, I did come out with some yummy things. You can never go wrong with food.

Tonight, I tried Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup, that my friend Nancy convinced me to get. It's one of those packets of seasonings and what not that you toss in with water and chicken.  The real directions are here, and do not include a Crock Pot. I was being lazy, and decided to put mine into a Crock Pot.



You'll need
1 package of the soup mix
1 lb of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast
6 cups of water
1/2 cup milk
1 can of Rotel
1 bag of frozen corn
2 cups of rice

Throw the chicken in the Crock Pot, frozen, dump the package of soup mix in there, add the water and milk. Stir until the soup mix is no longer "chunky" looking. Then, add the Rotel, rice, and frozen corn. Set to cook on high for an hour, then put on low for 6 hours. Thirty minutes before it's done, pull the chicken out and shred it. Place it back in there and let it resume cooking. Garnish with Mexican style shredded and sour cream if you desire.

It actually turned out really delicious! It was very salty, though. I put a bit more sour cream in mine to help balance out the salt. My husband, who will dump half a salt shaker of salt on green beans, said it was a bit too salty for him, but he doesn't like sour cream. Though, I've been craving everything salty this past week, so it didn't bother me.

09 December 2011

Just buy the Cool Whip.

On Monday, I was supposed to go to a  coffee, but it snowed, and being that it took my husband two hours to get home, I decided not to go. And with that, I didn't get to make my Triple Chocolate Peppermint trifle. Damn. So, being that I was being "forced" to come to book club, I decided to make it for that.

Someone remind me just to buy the damn whipped topping next time. It took me 20+ minutes to whip the cream into shape, and it really aggravated my tendonitis. Worth it, though.



Triple Chocolate Peppermint Trifle, as from Lizzy Writes

The main differences between mine and hers is the times. I did everything in about two hours, where I believe her's takes possibly 12 all together. Along with that:
-I cheated and used just regular chocolate pudding, and when it was time to stack the trifle together, I realized I should have made two boxes, instead of one.
-I also didn't chop my peppermints "coarsely" I threw them in my Magic Bullet and chopped them a bit too fine. But, it actually turned out better, in my opinion. I definitely did not use half a cup of them, as it would have been too much, but probably used about 1/8th a cup.
-Also, the topping was actually just Cool Whip, because I didn't read ahead and follow directions, realizing that I would need more.
-And then for the hell of it, I garnished it with Hershey's Peppermint Kisses. Nom.

I recommend making it. It wasn't easy, though, if you don't make everything from scratch, it will up the difficulty level to Super Easy. It was super tasty, though. I'm planning on having leftovers for breakfast.

05 December 2011

Finished Presents

This year, I'm feeling kind and knitting my close friends and family Christmas gifts. Actually, only those who would appreciate it. Anywho, I've finally finished some, mailed them and the intended recipients have received them! Therefore, I can show them off, like a kid pinning their artwork to the fridge.


First off, my first pair of mitts ever, modeled by the most awesome PJ.

Sporting these mitts, with her lovely Tetris mug, these are the Peekaboo Mitts pattern. I almost kept these for myself, they're so very comfy. I'm seriously going to make myself a pair. Make them. DO IT NAO.

Next on the list, is a present that's been long awaited. Ever since I discovered Ravelry and Firefly, I was determined to make a Jayne hat. And since I made the above mitts and realized that knitting in the round wasn't that hard, I figured, what the hell? I present to you, a Jayne hat.


Such a wonderful cell phone shot. This was made for Emily, a damn good friend since like 1889. She's quite obsessed with Jayne Cobb (she has a cat named Jayne) and I was damn determined to make her one when I figured out how to knit. And so I did. I also sent with her a blanket that I've been working on for her since July 2008. I have since then become allergic to the yarn (stupid cashmere) so I had to finish up the edging before I sneezed myself to death. I sent that along with the hat.



I have to say, if I make this blanket it again, it'll be in the bulkiest yarn I can find.

I have one more present finished, but that won't be shown off until after Christmas. Along with that, I have three more to finish and then I'm done. Then I'll be knitting stuff for ME. ME. ME. ME. Oh, and a boob hat for another worthy friend in February.

Oh! And I guess this qualifies for this entry also. Tonight there's a wife coffee, complete with ornament swap, so I whipped this baby up real quick:



A giant snowflake on my tiny Christmas tree. It came out larger than I thought it would, but if you had something other than my 4ft tree, or possibly even in a window, it'll look fantastic!
Keep a look out for more presents as they are received. :)

04 December 2011

FINALLY.

There's some quote art going around Pinterest that says something like "Asking me what camera I use, is like asking you which oven you made that pie in." I can't seem to find it, but I'd just like to say, horseshit. If your oven doesn't heat up to the right temperature, or it burns everything, or even only half of it heats up, that'll effect your pie. So, while, in a perfectly functioning oven, your pie would be delicious, but in a shotty one, it would possibly be burnt or undercooked. Same with cameras. With a very basic point and shoot, you can get great shots, but with a more advanced camera, your percentage of fantastic shots every time goes up. Don't get me wrong, I have taken some amazing shots with my Casio Exilim. But, it just can't get some of the shots I want. Which is why I upgraded. My very loving, sweet, caring husband got me a Canon Rebel T2i with the 18-55mm (basic kit lens) and a 75-300mm lens for Christmas. I am so overly thrilled, you don't know. Already, my photography has improved, just because of the things this camera can do. I WILL SHOW YOU.


 Okay, so that one's not the greatest, but I just wanted to show off my chocolate truffles. So far, in the box has been, mint, chocolate, cinnamon, and I have one more to go.






That's my husband intensely watching the game and ignoring me. I love his freckles. And his eyes. And the fact that he let me stick the camera lens in his face.





And lastly, Scout. Scout loves the camera. I have so many great pictures of her, it's not funny. Now, Winnie on the other hand? Cat likes to run.

Basically, my point of this post (besides the fact to brag that I have an awesome new camera) is as every hobby, the most important thing to have is good tools and passion.

03 December 2011

macncheez

I have a confession to make. I don't like homemade macaroni and cheese. The only kind I've ever liked, is the stuff from the blue box. Now, before everyone gets huffy and calls me the anti-christ, let me explain. I don't like cheddar cheese. It's too...bold? Strong? Harsh? I'm not sure of the word I'm looking for, but I don't like it. There has been only ONE homemade mac n cheese that I've had that I actually enjoyed. I was too young to remember to get a recipe. So, I've began an adventure. To find a macncheez that I love.  A couple of days ago, I think I might have found it! Only problem? Husband does not approve. Gah. Well, now that I've found one that I love, I have to find one that WE love.


Oh. Yes. There it is. My beloved macncheez. I found the recipe via Pinterest, and so I decided to give it a try.
Adapted from this one, here's what I did:
I ran out of milk, so I desperately used half and half. Not a terrible decision.

2 cups dried pasta (I used shells as you can see)
1 cup of milk (2%)
1 cup of half and half
1 cup of loosely packed shredded cheese (I used American and Cheddar)
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp dijon mustard

I followed the directions to a T. It turned out DELICIOUS. It's a thick macncheez, sticks to your ribs kind of meal. Now, I know I said I didn't like cheddar, but with the help of the American cheese, it wasn't too harsh. I absolutely loved the zing that the mustard gave it. That's what my husband didn't like. Party pooper. I am totally going to make this again. Maybe with a different cheese (or cheeses) and I'll try it without mustard, to see if I can make him approve. Mmmm.

25 November 2011

NOW Christmas can begin.

For the past few years, basically since I worked retail, I'm not in favor of having anything Christmasy out until AFTER Thanksgiving. Fall decorations are so pretty, why rush putting them away? Though, my Fall decor consists of a wreath, a pumpkin, and pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. My Christmas is a little bit better. Michael's had 4ft pre-lit Christmas trees on sale a few weeks ago, and I was all over that. So, we've got a Christmas tree, a few ornaments, couple of plates, and the newest additon, the wreath I just made!



One of my oldest friends, Allison, repinned this link on Pinterest. Then a few days later, I saw her put the one she made up on Facebook! I was sold. The hardest part about this wreath? Finding a wire coat hanger.
I used 8 of the bigger decorated balls, 11 of the small glittery balls, and about 60 of the red, white and green balls. So, they were correct when the website said about 80. I could have put two more on there, but it was getting hard to close the wire hanger. I bought some ribbon to go with it, but I didn't like how it looked, so I'll use it for something else. I actually recommend this wreath. It was really easy, and cost about $40 to make, but that's because I had to buy a hot glue gun. I'd make another one.

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a nice, peaceful Thanksgiving, my husband and I. It was actually kinda nice with just the two of us. My normal Thanksgiving is a potluck of food and family, scattered everywhere throughout a house, normally about 15-20 of us. This year, we're nowhere close to Georgia, and so we had our own Thanksgiving.



I started out with a slow cooked turkey breast. It was maybe 5lbs at the most. I rubbed it with Lipton's Onion Soup Mix, and threw it in the Crock Pot, high heat for one hour, then low heat for seven hours. Turned out nice, juicy and amazing. I was amused that the turkey breast came with a gravy packet, so much to my husband's liking, I made gravy. Poured in whatever was in the packet, 1/4th cup of the turkey drippings and about a hand full of flour. I don't like gravy, but this was delicious!

Along with turkey, I made my mother's cornbread dressing. I refuse to share the recipe, but I'm very pleased to say it tasted JUST like my mother's. I thought I made it too soupy. Along with that, I made bacon wrapped green beans. They turned out pretty awesome! And then I cheated and used bagged cream corn and the Hawaiian rolls.

The pies turned out amazing. Well, the sweet potato pie could have used about 1/2 cup less sugar, but I still liked it. The pumpkin pie was perfect. And yes, we did end up sampling them yesterday. :)

Overall, a pretty damn good Thanksgiving, giving what happened yesterday...but that's for another post.

I hope everyone else had a fantastic thanksgiving!

23 November 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving planning.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! And around these parts, we have to do a little pre-gaming. Or pre-baking, if you'd like.
To make my mother's secret dressing (I will not share the recipe!) You have to make the cornbread a day ahead, so it gets "old." Now, that recipe, I will share with you. Being that it's just the two of us, I cut the cornbread recipe in half:

Maybe I'll Eat YOUR Cornbread
2 cups of self rising cornmeal
2 eggs
2 tbsp of bacon or sausage drippings (I used olive oil)
and buttermilk or milk (I used buttermilk)

Heat oven to 400°F, place iron skillet with oil in there to preheat and warm up skillet. 
Mix cornmeal, eggs, and drippings/oil together, add milk slowly. You want to make the mixture moist, but not soupy. Somewhere between thick and thin consistancy. Once you get it there, take skillet out of oven, pour mixure into skillet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your oven. IT should be a nice golden brown when you're done. 


Awww yeaaah boooyyyy!
That's a 10 1/4 inch skillet, and it only fills it up half way. If you double the recipe, the same size pan should still work. 


After the cornbread was done, I made TWO pies. Yes. Two. A pumpkin and a sweet potato pie, per request of my husband. I decided I wasn't going another Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie (long, tragic story) and he wanted to try sweet potato pie, so I said, "Why the hell not?" I used my traditional pumpkin pie recipe, which turns out was developed by Eagle Brand and had to search the internet for a sweet potato pie recipe, being that we have no family one (terrible Southerners we are.) I found this one, and in the description it reads "special friend in Atlanta." What? Yeah, I'm sold. So, I made it, too. I've got my fingers crossed. It looks and smells delicious. I'm trying to resist sampling it. 


Pumpkin and Sweet Potato
I'm so excited to try them. I'm seriously thinking about just having a damn slice tonight. I mean, it's just me and my husband for Thanksgiving...no one will care...



15 November 2011

Beef Stew Bowls

I think I may have found a new love of mine. Beef Stew in a Bread Bowl. That's right, it's so important, it needs capitalized letters.

First off, I made bread bowls, following this recipe, kind of. I didn't use all purpose flour, but instead used bread flour, also used olive oil and added 1 tsp of sugar. Nom. They ended up looking like this:

Mmmm. Yeah.

Then, I started cookin' my pressure cooker beef stew. So easy.

NEEDS:
1lb of stew beef
about 5 small potatoes, cut up (peeled or not peeled. Your choice)
a small bag of baby carrots, or about 5 regular carrots, peeled and chopped
half a bag of green beans (being vague, sorry.)
1 packet of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
1 cup of water.

Layer it in the order of written, put on lid, close. Turn heat onto medium, walk away until done.

While that was cooking, I finished up the bread and let it cooled, then carved a bowl out of 'em.


Something like that. And all I had to do was just wait on the pressure cooker to do it's thing. Once it was done, I was able to stuff it full of beef stew.

Like this.

Awww yeah, boooooooyyyy! The bowls were fairly small, but seriously filling and oh so good.

14 November 2011

I DID IT.

Ever since I joined Ravelry, I decided I was going to learn to knit. Mainly for the purpose of knitting socks. And probably sweaters. Now that I have the know how to knit, yesterday, I embarked on the journey that is socks. Only took me three years. Though, these socks are slightly cheating; they're "baby" socks. Now, being that I've never had a baby and don't play with them that often, I'm going to assume these are going to fit my newest cousin, Emily.


I used the Mini-Sock pattern from Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, and it was a great beginner sock! They both took me about 5 hours to make (because I kept having to rip out, figure out, and plus I just knit slow) but I love them! I used Claudia Hand Painted Yarns in Short Sport in the color way Summer Rose. I hope they fit Emily, if not Mom and Grandma get Christmas tree ornaments instead. ;)

I now feel as if I could conquer regular-people socks.

13 November 2011

Thankya, Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an awful hankerin' for grits. Not that instant crap that you can pick up at the store. Yeah, it's easier, but it's not worth it. So I used my Google-Fu and finally found some. Sweet Jesus, thank you Anson Mills for existing. As I drooled over the monitor looking at all the yummies they had for sale, I realized they had a four 12oz bag purchase. That's too easy. I pondered over it for about an hour, and chose. WISELY. A week later, I had a box full of deliciousness at my door. The UPS man greeted me with his usual friendly greeting, and it was all I could do but snatch it from him and run. I opened my box with fevered anticipation. I pulled the bags out one by one and the smile on my face got bigger and bigger.


It was pretty much Christmas for this Southern girl. Bless my soul, stone ground white and blue grits, two different textures of cornmeal and Sea Island Red Peas. I excitedly placed them in the freezer and began my wait for my husband to return from the field. I mean, I can't not share these. After two long weeks, and several horrible distractions, I decided that tonight was the night, for grits. I've never cooked these bad boys before, as my dear, sweet, loving mother had always done it. So I called her in the middle of her dinner for instructions. 4 to 1 ratio? But play with them? 'Bout 30 minutes? Okie dokie.
Being that there's only two of us, in a small sauce pan, I put 1/2 cup of grits, and 2 1/2 cups of water and brought it to a boil on medium heat, (5-7 minutes), while stirring constantly.
After that, I reduced my heat as low as I could go, and brought some water to boil in my kettle. I'd stir about every two minutes or so, and would add water when they'd get too thick. I added a tablespoon of butter, threw a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in, added a little more water, and that was it. I think total time was 30 minutes. I think they could have used about 10 minutes more, but I was hungry and don't mind a bit of chewy texture. And delicious they were! Served enough for my husband and I and probably enough for one more person. Or seconds.  Or breakfast the next morning for one.
These seriously hit the spot. Hopefully this week, I'll try out the Red Peas and make some cornbread!

Now if only I could find some Purple Hull peas and Butter Beans...

12 November 2011

Oops.

So, uh, I've kinda ignored the blogging world for about two weeks now, but that's okay. I've been doing things with friends and doing other important things...like shopping. And cooking. And forgetting to take pictures. Whoops.

And so, because of that, I've decided to indulge you in a post. Blessed you are! For it's that time of year. The time where Thanksgiving becomes forgotten for Christmas. Well, I haven't forgotten you Thanksgiving. But I hope you will forgive me for going ahead and starting making my Christmas cards. That's right. I'm insane and have decided to make Christmas cards this year! This is what I have so far:


Basically, I'm cutting scrapbook paper (cutting straight is overrated) and gluing it to premade notecards. That's as far as I've gotten. I'm also going to attach a handmade ornament to the front, which is why they're kinda plain looking. Here's half of the first one I've made!



My husband makes a great hand model.
Tiny mittens! How exciting is that? Okay, maybe just for me, but whatever. Hopefully this will work out. I figured if I start now, I'll have a good chunk done before Christmas. :) So yes, I'm insane and I'm that bored. Hopefully, I'll be able to report back with happy news.

21 October 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip cookies!

A while back, I finally found and bought some of Hershey's Cinnamon chips. I had two bags just sitting in my pantry begging to be used. I couldn't find anything I wanted to make with them. Then FINALLY, as I was Stumbling across the internet, a website was blessed to me. A recipe for Cinnamon and Chocolate chip Pumpkin Pie cookies. The sky opened up and the angels sang. It was DESTINY. And then I remembered my husband doesn't like Pumpkin flavored things. Whoops. Oh well, more for me. So I halfed the recipe so I wouldn't act like a fatass and eat them all.


Oooh yeah. My half-ing made about 18 palm sized cookies. These babies are moist, floppy delicious cookies. Oh, did I forget to mention that I left out the chocolate chips? Yeah. Pumpkin and chocolate is one combination I do not like together. I'll add my half recipe, in case anyone is interested. The real recipe is linked up top.

½ cup stick butter
½ cup sugar
3/8 cup brown sugar packed
1 egg
½ tsbp vanilla
½ cup pumpkin
1½ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups cinnamon chips

The math may not be right, but damn if these cookies aren't delicious.

19 October 2011

And I would do anything for love...

Last night, were two firsts for me. One, was boiling potatoes to make mashed potatoes. I'd never done it that way before! I normally slice and dice 'em and throw them in the pressure cooker, but being that the green beans were in there, I had to figure out how to do it like everyone else. They turned out just fine! I almost want to keep boiling them, just because they don't burn as easily, like in the pressure cooker.

The next, was making meatloaf. The meatloaf I had as a kid tasted of ketchup and onions. I will leave off names to protect that family member, but she made meatloaf a thing to dread to me. So, I had a pound of ground just sitting in the fridge begging to be used. The only thing I found that I had all the ingredients for? Meatloaf. Well...okay. I remembered PJ had given me her recipe a while back, but in my message deleting frenzy, I accidentally got rid of it. The only thing I remember from her recipe was "Dijon mustard." Okay. So, basically combining three different recipes and substituting for my own needs, I came up with the most delicious meatloaf I've ever eaten.

Yes, I put a design in the ketchup.


Amber's Bacon Meatloaf

(Serves 4-6)
1lb ground beef (thawed)
1 medium egg
½ tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup milk
1 cup dried Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 strips of bacon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350ºF

In a large bowl combine the beef, egg, onion powder, Worcestershire, milk, and bread crumbs. Then, season with salt and pepper. Mix together with a large spoon. Spoon into an 8x8 baking dish or a loaf pan. Put bacon on top, set aside.

In a small dish (I just left it in the 1 cup measuring cup to save dishes) combine the sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well. Spread all over the top of your loaf.

Bake for one hour. Remove from oven and let sit for at least five minutes, or until it stops bubbling.

And that's it! You might have noticed I didn't add any actual onions. I did not like the crunchy bits in the middle of the meat. It was one of the things that bothered me. I also added the  bacon, because ours is needing to be used. My husband described this as "Fluffy and airy" meatloaf, and he "liked it this way better." Well, I think I found a winner for my house.

14 October 2011

Sock Bun Curls!

My hair is as straight as a board. It doesn't do anything fancy. It just hangs there. Growing up, my best friend and her sister had the prettiest curly hair. I'd always get so jealous. So, I'd try to curl it to be like them. Hot rollers? Last about 3 hours. Curling iron? The same. The only thing that actually keeps my hair curly is washing it, putting gel in it, putting it in curlers and let it dry for the next 12 hours or so. I don't know about y'all, but sleeping in curlers is not a pleasant thing. I needed something new.  Once again, browsing through Pinterest, I came across a picture of a girl with lovely curly hair and the caption read "Sock Bun Curls" wtf is a sock bun? So I clicked the link, and came across this video:


What? Just one massive thing on my head instead of a bazillion? Yeah, okay. I'll try it.
So, I washed my hair and stuck it up in the bun, and went to bed. Now I know why she said it should be just damp.

don't mind my pjs.
TA-DAH. Holy crap, that's amazing. They're the nice big wavy curls too! My only problem was? I didn't listen and I went to bed with my hair soaking wet. Whoops. So, an hour later, you get this:

yes, I'm still in my pjs, bite me!

Less curly, more wavy. And I'm pretty sure, by 3pm this afternoon, the curls will be gone. But, now I know that my hair should be damp and not soaking wet. :) I shall try again!

12 October 2011

Fail of the Century.

So, I'm trying a new stash down program. Being that I'm still new to knitting, I'm trying to use all my thicker yarn first. You know, like the fat crayons you got when you were a kid? Yeah, so my thought process is, by the time I'm done with all the thicker yarn, when I get to fingering, I'll be AWESOME. So, with that in mind, I've been staring at my Malabrigo in Ravelry Red given to me by Chemicalika in a swap a while back. So, I finally found something to make with it! The Waves of Grace scarf! Perfect. I decided it's time to try cables now, being that my dear friend Kate, blessed me with an awesome package that included cable needles!

See the awesome?
As you can see, she blessed me with a lot of other awesome things than just cable needles. BUT, because of that, I decided to try cables. I flipped through some patterns, and decided on the Waves of Grace scarf, because it was deemed the easiest. I followed through rows one and two, and when I got to the cable row, my head exploded. I was confused. So, I asked Vanessa for help, and she put it in simple stupid terms, and the light clicked on. Seriously? That was it? Soon, I was on row 10 before you knew it.

I was reevaluating my work today, just because it didn't look right. So, I asked PJ what she thought. And while I was waiting for her response, I realized I did a cable wrong so I just ripped it all out.

 
Scout tries to help rip.
PJ says it looks like I'm doing it right, but am I "meaning to knit in the back loop?" Huh? Back loop? WTF? I googled. Yep. I'm knitting "wrong." I've been knitting everything in the back loop this whole time, thinking it was the actual way to knit. *headdesk* SO, I get to learn how to knit all over again. With three numb fingertips, thanks to burning them on a pot last night.
Guess I'm thankful I have plenty of spare time...

10 October 2011

Noms and Fails

I don't know if I mentioned it in a previous post, but I've been trying a few things I've found on Pinterest, namely, recipes.

Friday, for lunch, I created my husband's much asked for mini cheese sliders. Easiest tiny sammich I've ever made. Though, the fail on my part, is that I didn't take a picture. So, I am yoinking the picture from the website I got the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Why can't my pictures look this good?
These were really simple to make. I used 24 of the King's Hawaiian rolls that you find over in the bakery section of your grocery store, a package of store brand swiss cheese, and some regular 'ol sammich ham.
I lined a cookie sheet with tinfoil, cut these babies in half, stuck the ham and cheese on there and drizzled the stuff all over them. I elimimated the mayo like she suggested, because my husband hates EVERYTHING about mayo.  Popped 'em in the oven for 20 minutes and VOILA lunch.
Now, I'm trying to eat a wee bit "heathier" so I stuck some of my baby spinach leaves on there, after they were done cooking. I have to say, it tasted pretty good!

Though, before I made those, I was attempting beef stew in the crock pot. I followed this recipe, except I added 1 ¼ cup of flour instead of just ¼ cup, like the recipe said. And it was a fail. A fail of epic proportions. The beef stew was so thick and so dry, it was like I threw a cup of water on everything and that was it. The beef was so shredded, you couldn't even taste it. Though, edible, I wouldn't make that recipe like that again. Whoops. I normally make it in a pressure cooker, so next time, I'm just going to stick to what I know.

So, I've got a hit and a miss. I'm not to terribly upset about it. I'm more upset that I wasted food instead of messing up the recipe.  Because, there's always next time. And because of my lack of my food pictures on here, I give you Winnie, who's in denial about this  basket.

"See? I do fit."

03 October 2011

RIIIIBS.

I love ribs. I cannot explain to you how much I love ribs. I am a rib connoisseur. Okay, not really, but I pretend to be one. ANYWHO. I love ribs. And so I made some.


That was a full rack of ribs. I tried pulling them out of the Crock Pot in one piece,  but they were so tender, that just wasn't happening. So, I had to deal with them being in pieces. I do have to say, these were the easiest ribs I've ever made. I actually combined instructions from two recipes, so I'm just going to call it the way I did it. (I can't find the link to the other one, sorry!)

Mmm....Ribs!
(serves 2-4 depending on how hungry people are)

You'll need:
Rack of pork ribs
16oz of beef broth
16 oz of your favorite BBQ sauce
Large Crock Pot
Cookie sheet
Tin foil
Some sort of rack
Basting brush
Broiler

STEP ONE
Make sure your ribs are fully thawed. This is super important. If they are not thawed, wait until they are.
STEP TWO
Plop your ribs into the Crock Pot, thick side resting on the wall. Pour your beef broth, then BBQ sauce all over the ribs. You might want to save a little BBQ sauce for later. Set on low, leave it alone for seven hours.
STEP THREE
Seven hours later, come back to inspect your ribs. They should be done. If you feel they are not done, cook a bit more. If they are done, line a cookie sheet (one with edges) with tin foil, and then place some sort of rack across it. I didn't have a fancy meat rack, so I used a cooling rack. I don't recommend it, though.
STEP FOUR
Carefully, very very carefully, pull your ribs out of the Crock Pot. They will be hot, and they will be very tender, and will fall apart. I couldn't get mine out whole. Lay them on your cookie sheet-tin foil-rack get up, with the "inside" (aka less meat side) facing up. Put it to the side.
STEP FIVE
See all that stuff still swimming around in your Crock Pot? Yeah, you're still gonna use it. Get a small sauce pan and a mesh strainer, and strain that yummy stuff into the sauce pan.  Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes, depending on your patience.
STEP SIX
Now that your sauce is done simmering, brush that goodness all over your ribs. My ribs were a little dry, so I just let it pool on the ribs. Turn on your broiler (mine was at 525ºF) and place your ribs in there for 3-4 minutes. Pull them out, flip 'em over, and then put MORE of the sauce on there. This time, broil them for 9 minutes.
STEP SEVEN
Pull them out, brush more of the original BBQ sauce on there, and serve.

NOM NOM NOM

02 October 2011

Cross stitch update


It's coming along smoothly. I'd say it's about 75% done. My goal is to have it finished by Halloween. I think I can do it. :D

30 September 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Inspired by a luncheon I recently went to, I set out on finding a recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu. I found it! And it's a good one.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
(serves 4)

I followed the recipe as linked above, and then I took the suggestions of one of the comments. It reads:

After baking for 30 minutes, then add the cheese.
"I read the reviews and took the suggestion of some others. First of all, I dipped the chicken in egg wash, then laid the slices of ham and cheese on top. I got a plate and sprinkled breadcrumbs and placed the chicken on it and rolled it from there. I also added a pat of butter on top of each. It came out beautifully and you must use the sauce (which is 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1 tbsp of lemon juice). I put a bed of white rice on the plates, put the chicken cordon blue on top of the rice covered with the cream sauce. A good side dish is buttered rolls, mmm-mhmm! All I can say was that it was such a beautiful presentation and absolutely heavenly!"

The only thing I didn't do was dip the chicken in an egg wash. I forgot about that part.  Or use toothpicks, because apparently we don't have any. Amazingly, the chicken didn't unroll or anything! I do have to say, this recipe was easier than I thought it would be. Though, smashing the chicken with a meat hammer was a whole lot messier than I originally though. I would highly suggest an apron or a HAZMAT suit.  I was going to take pictures of the whole process, but the raw chicken splattered everywhere, and I didn't want to clean my camera. I also used "store brand" ingredients and it tasted just fine.  My husband has already demanded that I make it again. I'd recommend this recipe to anyone.

nom nom nom

29 September 2011

Dinner from Pinterest

Most of you know what Pinterest is, correct? Yeah, well, I'm addicted to it. I feel like I'm an idea hoarder or something. So, I've decided to try a few things I've collected over the past few days. Last night, I tried some recipes.

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells (enjoyed with a spinach salad, adorned with bacon and croutons.)

This was actually a pretty yummy recipe! Being that there's just two of us, I cut the amounts in half, except I forgot to cut the amount of onion in half. Whoops. Though, I did use a full jar of sauce. I'm glad I cut it in half, though. I was able to stuff about 15-20 shells out of it or a 9x13 pan's worth.

Before the bag of cheese I dumped on there.

If I made this recipe again, I would not put so much onion in it (lolz) and I would make it with turkey. While, I enjoyed the chicken in it, it felt like it didn't belong. I think turkey or beef would be a better replacement for it.

For dessert, I made the Frozen Reese's Peanut Butter Pie. I'm not gonna lie, this recipe made me a little mad. Don't get me wrong, it is DELICIOUS. You see that picture on the website? I realize it's the tiny pie version, not the 9" springform pan version. First off, I couldn't get the Oreo crumbs to stick to the walls of my pan, so I gave up and just made a bottom layer. And then when I made the filling portion? No where near thick enough. Just look!

nom nom nom


If I made this again, I would make it in a pie tin. Or hell, just be lazy and buy the pre-made Oreo crust. But, don't let those small things stop you from making this pie. It's seriously delicious. Chunks of Reese's surrounded by peanutbuttery goodness and line with a layer of Oreos? Yes, please.

Tomorrow, I may try a few crafts.

24 September 2011

Thief!

 I have nothing to say, but I'm saying this.
(stolen from my friend over at Heart Shaped Leaves.)
Age: Quarter of a Century
Bed size: Queen!
Chore that you hate: Mopping.
Dogs: Not at the moment. I had two growing up, and planning to get one later in the future.
Essential start to your day: Putting on my glasses, taking my Synthyroid, then staring at the computer until I'm coherent.
Favorite color: Today, I'm all about some red. Tomorrow...could be blue?
Gold or Silver: It used to be silver, but now I'm down with gold, too.
Height: 65"
Instruments you play: Flute, piano, and I'm learning my ukulele and banjo.
Job title: Domestic Engineer
Kids: None yet.
Lived: Georgia, Kentucky and Texas
Motor vehicle: Honda Fit!
Nicknames: Ber, Amberghini, hey you
Overnight hospital stays: None that I can recall.
Pet peeves: bad drivers, ignorance, and people poking me
Quote from a movie:
"It's 106 miles to Chicago. We've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses." "Hit it."

Right or left handed: Ambidextrous.
Siblings: Older brother
Underwear: Why yes, I do wear them.
Vegetable you hate: Cabbage
What makes you run late: Oversleeping
X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth, back, hips, guts, ankle, hand, wrist, and I think that's it?
Yummy food that you make: EVERYTHING.
Zoo animal: Flamingos. 

23 September 2011

Finally!

I can finally show you two out of three secret projects I've finished! Well, the third one's not finished, but still.

Object in Question #1:

A scarf for my mother. I'm stash busting (can you believe it's true?) and I bought some Berroco Touché in a peachy salmon color (7927) back when my favorite LYS in Georgia was having it's retirement sell. When I saw that color, I knew it would alternate perfectly between the two colors of coats that my mother has. So I snatched up enough, and merrily went about my way.
I had the yarn for about a year and a half before I knew what I wanted to do with it. I would KNIT IT. With my new found skillz, I used the Lime Scarf pattern I found on Ravelry, and knitted my heart out for my second finished knitted item. I LOVE the way it turned out. I was so proud, and the yarn, it's 50% rayon and 50% cotton, feels amazingly soft and drapes beautifully. If you're not a yarn snob, by all means, you need to try some. I will be buying more in the future.
But, I finished this scarf the first week of September, and finally sent it out to my mother who received it sometime this week. I highly recommend this pattern, and I highly recommend this yarn.

Object in Question #2:

Color Swap partner's handmade: A mini Dia de los Muertos skull! (aka Day of the Dead)

My favorite swap on Ravelry, the Color Swap, is an amazing swap. It's a secret swap, and you either request from your partner a color, theme or both! I find it more fun to do both. My partner requested her colors to be dark red, black and white. Now, that's something I can do. She also mentioned that she's a sewer and loves dia de los muertos things. I live in El Paso, how hard can this be? As I'm typing this, I'm sitting here regretting every moment that I forgot to take a picture of what I mailed her. I got her some spectacular custom dyed yarn from Dyeabolical Yarns, and then scowered her wish list for that one perfect item, and then get smaller things from there. So, I went skipping about El Paso for Dia de los Muertos stuff. And it was quite an adventure, interestingly enough, I couldn't find much that wasn't way out of my price range. But, I did end up getting her some fantastic finds. And then, I had to decide on a handmade. I normally sew something, but my sewing machine wasn't working properly until now. I couldn't knit very well yet, so crochet it was. And crocheting is really starting to bother my wrist, so I did something small. I made a Yorick! and then embroidered on him. My first time, too.  Great experience.

22 September 2011

Serger curtains!

Okay, so I lied. I didn't work on my red velvet jacket yesterday. I didn't want to break my sewing machine right after I got it fixed, so I decided to make something simple: curtains! I finally made my kitchen curtains, and it only took an hour! YES.

You can click on it to make it bigger.
Okay, so they need ironing, but there they are! PERFECT. And how did I do it, you may be asking yourself?

Well first off, I bought a yard (42" x 36") of this fabric from Spoonflower.com. Then, I just cut it straight in half and hoped for the best.  After that, I took my handy dandy serger and serged all around the edges, because I'm lazy like that and I hate hemming.
Because I was using a tension rod, and wanted the little frilly bit at the top, I measured about two inches and folded it over.

And then I sewed right along the serged edge there.

After that, I stuck the tension rod back in there, and measured a pocket for it.


Marked a line from end to end, and sewed my pocket. And then I folded a half inch on the bottom to make a pretty end, which I forgot to take pictures of, and voila! Simple, cute, instant curtains.

I love them, the husband approves of them, and that's all that matters. :)

21 September 2011

It's about time!

So, yesterday P'cess realized (probably after seeing the boots) that she knew what my costume was, because we stalk each other on Pinterest. And then Andrea was confused, but she guessed right. And Rosey had the best wrong answer ever.

I'm going to be a Circus Ringmaster! *waits for the collective Ohhhs* Get it now? The patriotic picture was the pattern of the jacket I was going to be creating, the red fabric was the color of the jacket, and me in the hat, well, I was going to wear that hat. And yesterday's, the rings - three ring circus, Ronald McDonald - least scary clown I could find, and then the boots, well, I was going to be wearing them! HUZZAH.

I started cutting out my pieces yesterday, which I forgot with a cat is always a battle for me.

i can halp?
So, after pushing Winnie out of the way multiple times and moving Scout from attacking the pattern pieces, I finally managed to get them all cut out. Took an hour to cut four different pieces. Thanks, cats. BUT on a better note, I FINALLY got my sewing machine to work. It's a Singer Futura II, which means it's from the 1970s. My aunt gave it to me one Christmas, and I finally was able to find a manual and get it to work! AND IT DOES. Though, I need to adjust stitch length. MOVING ON. I'm planning to attempt to make my jacket today. Hopefully, I'll be able to report later this week wheather or not it's awesome.

Note to self: velvet sheds something awful.