Sunday, December 21, 2008

Praying Mantis, Knitting and Stuff

So Bob is home watching TV, and he emails me at work. He was watching a show on praying mantis and here is what he wrote:

"Oh and the mantis just had sex and she ate him alive after cause he didn't get away fast enough, hence why the male will leave the bed and not want to snuggle after sex!!"

He needs a job.

Latest Knitting:
Above: Evangeline fingerless mitts made with Fisherman's Wool that I dyed with Kool-Aid.

Thrummed mitt made with Fisherman's Wool and Louet Northern Lights roving. The picture above is the inside of the mitten. Nice and toasty warm!!

Robin's Egg Blue Hat, made with Lamb's Pride Bulky. Nice quick knit.

And here is the weather report from Michigan:We got slammed with about 8-10" of snow Friday, and another 3-5" last night. Fun.

Now a quick recipe:

Feta Spread
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 container feta cheese
  • Italian seasoning, about 2 TB
  • minced garlic, about 3-4 cloves
Mix all together, spread on crackers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Oohhh...our house smells soooo good!!!!!!! Not from turkey or stuffing or pie, but from a snack I am making: Spiced Chickpeas!!!!!!!
Here is the recipe:

Indian Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
  • 2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • olive oil
Spice Mix:
  • chili powder
  • curry powder
  • cumin powder
  • ground tumeric
  • cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat over to 350. Drain and rinse chickpeas and pat them dry.
Mix spices to whatever ratio you like. I never measure anything, but I used about 3 TB chili powder and about 2 tsp of the other spices. Use your nose to tell what you like.
Drizzle some olive oil over the chickpeas and mix well. Add spice mix and stir until everything is coated.
Layer chickpeas on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes.

Variations on Spice Mix:
Cajun: Use creole seasoning and cayenne pepper.
Oriental: Use Chinese five-spice powder, ground ginger and a slight drizzle of sesame oil.

My dad is coming over for dinner, and I am just making turkey cutlets that are breaded and pan-fried, stuffing with sage sausage and mushrooms, and mashed potatoes courtesy of Bob Evans. Bob bought a pumpkin pie and we bought some desserts from Horizons Patisserie. They were sold out of almost everything by Wednesday afternoon and we only got some cashew bars and pecan things.
Special thanks to Bob for trudging to W-Mart on Thanksgiving to buy some last-minute items!

No matter how bad we think life can get for us, we always have family and friends to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lucy's Fancy Sweater

Lucy got a haircut, and she looked cold so I knit her a sweater. The color looks great on her! She did not like it much. She acted like she could not walk and leaned against the wall. It was great fun for humans, not so much for cats. I explained to Lucy that I would never hurt her, I would only exploit and humiliate her for my own amusement.Last weekend I made a great White Chicken Chili. Here is the recipe:

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 Lbs. Chicken Breast
  • 16 Oz. White Beans
  • 2 Large Onions (Medium Dice)
  • 8 Oz. can Green Chili Peppers (Chopped)
  • 3/4 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tsp. Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 Cups Half&Half
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Stick Butter (Unsalted)
  • 1 Tsp. Cumin seeds (roasted and ground)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese (Grated)
  • Butter and/or Olive Oil for cooking

  • Directions:
    1. Heat a dutch oven or large skillet over moderately high heat and add a little butter and oil. Meanwhile coat your chicken with salt , pepper and chili powder. Throw them in the skillet resisting the urge to turn them over. Leave them for five minutes per side or until they are done.
    2. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow it to cool. When cool, shred with a fork, or just pull it to a shred with your fingers.
    3. Drop the onions in the skillet with 2 Tbs. of the stick of butter, and scrape the bottom of the skillet with a metal spatula, pulling the delicious juices up into the butter. Cook the onions until soft and translucent.
    4. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and add the remaining 6 Tbs. of butter to the pot at low/medium heat. Whisk in the flour, creating a roux. Continue to whisk for about 3 minutes and add the onions, broth, and half & half. Bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture starts to thicken.
    5. Stir in the Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
    6. Add the beans, chilies, chicken and cheese. Cook for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
    7. Add the sour cream, and finally the cilantro.
    8. Serve.
  • Notes: I found Fire Roasted Green Chilies at W-Mart. Next time I would use two cans of beans and two cans of chilies. Also, I only used 1 lb. of chicken breasts and green Tabasco and not as much sour cream.
The recipe came from Group Recipes, which is a great site. I plan on making this again tomorrow. It is best served with some crusty rolls.

Bob made a great pizza the other night. You can see it on his blog.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One Recipe, One Equation, and Cats Playing Yahtzee

Almost Monte Cristo

You will need:
  • frozen waffles
  • sliced turkey
  • sliced ham
  • swiss cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • raspberry or strawberry jam
Heat oven to 375 degrees, place waffles on a cookie sheet. Put them in the over while it is still heating up. Bake for about 5 minutes.
Flip waffles over and using two waffles per sandwich, layer one waffle with the turkey, ham and cheeses. Top with some jam and the other waffle. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until waffles are brown. Enjoy!!

And now for the equation:

1 unemployed man + his urge to download a "free robot game" = complete computer wipeout!

Everything on our computer is gone. Pictures, files, itunes songs, all the knitting patterns I saved, internet bookmarks, GONE. And I had a lot of knitting patterns and bookmarks!!! : (
I had The Tall One come over and reinstall the programs, so we ended up with a "new" computer with nothing on it.

Cats Playing Yahtzee
My cats love Yahtzee. They are pretty good at picking the right dice to keep, sometimes they beat me!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Non-Wedding Talk

For those of you who don't know, Bob lost his job last week. We thought it might happen, but now it is a reality. I have no clue what is going to happen with the wedding now. What if we have to move? We can still have the wedding here, but it would be difficult. We have to go on a weekend retreat for the church, but what if we are not living here? I have not been doing anything for the wedding because I am not sure what is going to happen. Right now, we can't afford anything for the wedding so I have lost any ambition to plan anything. We can barely afford to live, let alone pay for a small wedding. I don't make that much money and if I had to live on my own with what I make, I would be living in my mother's basement. Bob and I don't live extravagantly, but now it is going to be difficult to live at all. We did go to Alpaca Fest in Birch Run last weekend. It was free to attend so that saved us some money!

In cat news, Lucy is going through a phase where she is chewing on cords. She is not being destructive, but just lightly chewing on random power cords, phone cords, computer cords, any cords she can find. I am not worried because she is not biting into the cords, but I have still been telling her "not for you!" and she stops.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My New Ride

It is a Chevrolet Equinox. It is a car/SUV crossover and I love it! The color is bright blue (just like my old Focus) which I don't mind. The car has everything I could ask for...OnStar, XM radio, fancy rims, radio controls on the steering wheel and a nice smooth ride. My Focus was turning into a piece of junk (to put it mildly!) The front end struts and stabilizer bars were always breaking and it was a dangerous car to drive on snow. The Equinox is front-wheel drive (I did not opt for the AWD one) and it has some weight to it which will make it perfect for Michigan winters. The Focus also had front-wheel drive, but the thing was so light that it slid around the lane in snow making me feel like I was going to spin out, even at 20 mph.
The Equinox is a used 2005 model with only 55,000 miles on it. I was looking for a Ford Explorer Sport, but my sales buddy (who I know personally) said "you don't want that SUV" so I saw the Equinox and that was that. I have only put 35 miles on in in 3 days! I know gas prices are insane right now, but I don't drive that much (6 miles round trip to work) and gas is gas so I am not worried.

Here is a video on the vehicle

Also, it is now football season. Bob loves the Vikings so we spend most Sundays at Damon's to watch the game. I just take some knitting along to keep me busy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bounty from Mom

My mother has a great garden and loaded me up with a lot of goodies the other day.
Tomatoes, basil, parsley along with some garlic and a lemon. I made a wonderful baked bruschetta using some regular bread.

Baked Bruschetta
I rarely measure anything, so use your own judgments and taste!
  • 1 loaf French baguette
  • 1 stick butter, room temp
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • dried oregano
  • diced tomatoes
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil leaves
  • salt & pepper
Cut bread into slices about 1/2" thick. Toast slices in oven and set aside.
Mix butter, garlic and oregano together and spread some of the butter mixture on each slice of bread.
Top with tomatoes, salt & pepper and cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.
Top with fresh basil leaves and serve.

Mom also gave me some homemade fish cakes (like crab cakes) and they were really good. I made a sauce of mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill to have with the cakes.

My stepbrother brought over a giant water slide for all the kids and the thing is huge!!!