Snowy Day


Snow Day Knitting 002

Today, the area of the country was hit by a snowstorm that dump over 17 inches of snow between 6am yesterday until 1pm today, but we are still under a weather storm warning until 6p Saturday.  Buses were suspended and that prevented me from getting in New York City to work, so I stayed home.  However, I did not let that time go to waste as I slept until 11 am, and managed to start knitting this scarf.  I am using a bulky weight with size 15 needles, and decided to use a seed stitch. Using bulky weight provides a quick knit and I will have a nice scarf to wear coordinate with my charcoal gray coat using one skein.  While knitting, I came up with some ideas on a felted bag that I need to sketch before it leaves my mind forever.  I am going to say Ciao for now and continue with my knitting project and other creative ideas.


Some Finds

This past week, I stopped by Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of Nicky Epstein’s “Crochet Flowers” (I will get her Knitted Flowers some other time), and saw the new book “The Handmade Marketplace” by Karin Chapin on the shelves.  Needless to say, I purchased the book as well and glad because of the all the information about how to sell your crafts locally, globally and online along with inspiring stories from some people of the craft world like Amy Karol of the Angry Chicken Blog, and Jenny Ryan contributor blogger for Craft Magazine and Apartment Therapy.  If anyone is thinking about starting a side or full-time business with your goods, I recommend this book.  This book also provides information on how to advertise and marketing your business, creating an online newsletter, teaching a class, and how blogging can drive business.

Now confession time, I have subscribe to at least 200 blogs and listen podcasts while working.  I get to find out some great stuff in the crafting arena.  I came across this website while reading the Handmade Marketplace, the Blonde Chicken Boutique.    Tara, the owner sells colorful eco-friendly yarns, but she also provide others with information about running their own business.  I love her site.

I came across another blogger turned author.  Cathy Erway is blogger and her blog is called Not Eating Out in New York – Consuming less and eating more.  Cathy lives in Brooklyn and blogs about her home cooking other experiences.  The book has recipes and writes about her committment of eating sustainable foods in New York.  This discovery led me to another foodie find called Working Class Foodies on Food Nation TV.  It is a brother and sister living in New York teaching how to cook on a budget.  the videos are very instructional and easy for any other who wants to cook a great meal on the cheap.  The working class foodies also have a facebook page.

I started knitting about five years ago, but really got into it over the past three years with wanting to go beyond the scarf.  After all this time I finally bought Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Knitting Without Tears”.  I think this reference book will make me a better knitter and allow me to create my own knits.  It is not that I do not like the patterns that are out there, but there is nothing better than creating your piece hanging in your closet and saying that this is my creation.

I did not really do much cooking this weekend, just a simple fish with cheese grits, but thinking about cooking a mushroom ragu with poached eggs and polenta, a recipe from the working class foodies during the week.  I think I have written enough this evening and will write, Caio for now.

How I Hate My Oven

My weekend has not been a very successful on the cooking and health front.  Co-workers continue to come into the office with colds and flu thereby making others to suffer by passing on it on to others.  I am a victim of a cold.  I have not had a cold since August, which by the way is the longest time for me.  I spent a three-day off weekend with a cold downing NyQuil, and spending a good portion of time in bed.

Now getting to the rant about my oven, it came with the apartment I moved into five months ago.  The problem is that oven needs to be calibrated as everything browns in ten minutes, and the inside reminds uncooked.  Yesterday, I was baking a buttermilk vanilla pound cake from a Cooking Light recipe.  The recipe is enough for five 5 1/2 by 6 1/2-loaf pans, but I managed to make two bread loaf pans.  I put the oven at 350 degree and came back to check on it in 15 minutes with the outside completely burnt and inside uncooked.  I did not even preheat the oven.  I am angry because never burn a cake in my life and consider myself a very baker as a good cook.  I am especially angry at the fact that the most expensive ingredient that is the butter went to waste.  I was planning to bake bread, but am woeful that the oven will burn that as well, I am going to purchase a digital temperature to gauge the true over temperature and will have to calibrate hoping that it is capable.

I suppose all was not lost, having managed to catch up with my blog and book reading.  I need to finish reading a book before returning it to the library on Thursday.  I tried to extend the borrowing date, but it is on hold for another person who wants to borrow it.  Apparently, “The Evolution of God” by Robert Wright is a popular book to borrow and with good reason it is a fascinating read about how religion has evolved throughout human history.

I also had an idea in my head about skirt that is shaped like a tulip at the bottom.  The idea came from reading the Crafty Chica blog, she found an article “Plus-sized Clothing Myths debunked”.  I am trying to imagine how would balance with someone such as myself who is bottom heavy.  I suppose it could the tulip shape is not too wide and has inverted triangle.  Well it will be something to sketch out this afternoon.  Ciao for now.


Cooking on Superbowl Weekend


I had a productive cooking weekend due to impending snowstorm that bypassed my area, but it was cold nonetheless and having food for the rest of the week makes my life a little easier.

On Saturday, I made beef barley soup with a price tag of under $10.00.  The only two ingredients I needed to get for the recipe was the chuck stew beef and celery, everything other ingredients were already home waiting for the beef to arrive.  I made a pizza with anchovies for lunch, and was going to make bake a couple of loaves of classic white bread but decided to make that project for next weekend.

Today, my father came to my house with two packages of cut lamb shanks.  I thought it would have been whole, so I created my recipe of braised lamb with tomato sauce.  The recipe consisted of me flouring the cut lamb shanks and browning them, removing them from the pan, and sautéed a large onion, five cloves of minced garlic, tsp. of thyme, tsp. of fennel seeds, two bay leaves, two 15 oz cans of chicken broth, and a 28 oz can of tomato puree and cooked the sauce for about 10 minutes.  I placed the shanks, cut carrots in a roasting pan, and poured the sauce over the shanks.  I covered the pan with foil and placed on a baking sheet and into an oven 300 degrees for about an hour.  The temperature is depended upon your oven, but everything cooks in turbo speed.  I also made quick and easy dinner rolls and the recipe is at cook’s dot com.  As you can see from the photo, I ate one.

I went to the library yesterday in the midst of all this cooking and borrow a book by Barbara G. Walker titled “Knitting from the Top – How to make perfectly fitting sweaters, skirts, pants, capes and ponchos: start at the top, try on, adjust, block and sew up as you go”, could the title have been any longer.  The has old styles, but it is more about learning the technique as the author really shows you how to design and construct your knitwear.  Well, this is my weekend.  What did you do?  Ciao for now!

Beef Barley Soup 001

Dnner Rolls 002

Braised Lamb with Tomato Sauce