Friday, November 14, 2014

Fabulous Friday!

I'm back from Wally World  and a visit to a nearby "home center" that I've never been too.  It was nice and they have lots of stuff even furniture and ovens and refrigerators.   They did not have any laminate flooring though but they did have vinyl tiles.  Just checking in case I get a "wild hair".  I can tell I'm getting one because the other night I pulled up a little of the carpeting...just to see.
Meanwhile though............I made a really good salad last night...if you like romaine, toasted walnuts, pears and blue cheese with homemade vinaigrette and some taragon and salt and pepper...another Mark Bittman easy delicious recipe.
 Of course, I had to use "bagged" romaine, blue cheese crumbles instead of Stilton and there was no "fresh" taragon but it was still yummy.  I did use fresh pears though, not canned. LOL!
 I also got into my new book and yarn and started crocheting my first doily.......LOVE!  I really like the muted colors as they make it seem older like something from the 30's or 40's or maybe the 50's?  I loved the decorating back then.  Ruth, you were so right.  The Debbie Bliss cashmerino is a dream to work with; you don't want to stop!
  Today was shopping and here are a few items I picked up...........these were $1 and I should have picked up 2 packages.  They are great for hemming or hexies or any number of craft projects.  I've seen Clover selling some fancy ones for lots more than $1!
I also got some more of these pantry containers which are not cheap but they lock and they are clear....I can see into them while so many of the less expensive ones are cloudy and I can't see what's in them.  The square size and stackability makes them great for efficient use of space in the cupboard.
Also, in each one I get a card for a free subscription to BH&G magazine which I really don't want but I have lots of those cards now so if you want one just send me your name and address and I 'll fill it out and send it in for you so you'll get the magazine and I won't have to pay any postage as the card is postage paid.  First come first serve!
Have you ever tried these coffee creamers?  I usually use Coffeemate but I love the Pumpkin Pie Spice and now I'm going to try the Almond Joy.  They're seasonal so I have to "stock up". 
Last but not least it's that time of year folks.............time for ham and bean soup!  This is when I bring out the frozen ham leftover from Easter.   There's 15 Bean, Ham Bean and now there's a Cajun Bean which I'd like to try.  They're all good and the directions are on the package.  Goes great with cornbread and a snowstorm or ice storm too.

Have a great Friday night!  Happy Trails!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My treasures came in the mail!

I got the stuff from Amazon and Deramores in England on the same day! LOL!  See, I told you Deramores was good!  They were ordered on the same day.  I think we have too much "red tape"  in this country.  But I'm glad they're here.  Now, I can start my workshops.
It is freezing here today....literally.   It only got to 35 degrees centigrade today and it's usually n the 60's this time of year.  We totally bypassed Fall.
 I have wanted this book for so long and it is actually written by Nicki Trench using Debbie Bliss yarns.  I want to make those doilies on the front cover there.
I did get some Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino yarn and I didn't think the cost was too much until I saw the size of the skeins.  LOL!  They're about half the size of a regular skein or less.  I better look at weight instead of price or both.  It is soft and gorgeous though and where else can you get these wonderful muted colors........
Here are my workshop books.......
I've already started reading the Crochet book as I am a better crocheter than knitter so I thought I could get going on that workshop sooner and I am ready for the first project!  I do love this book though because it has a section on chart symbols and also corners.  Now those are 2 areas where I could learn a thing or 2.    I won't tell you about the first workshop project but I will surprise you later.  I'll probably dip into the knitting book later this evening.
My new cables came in also and on the backs there is a sock pattern and a mitt pattern
I got a good amount done yesterday too...finished the dresser.........I'm trying to not have too much "stuff" on my surfaces....these are necessary; lamp for seeing, scent warmer so if anyone comes to the door they smell it and not the dogs and a bowl for my sunglasses and keys.  As I said, this is right next to the front door.
  There's a mirror above so I don't leave the house looking like the wicked witch when it's no longer Halloween! LOL!
I made a dinner...Baked Ziti Casserole and it was very good except don't use powdered milk!  I can taste the dang stuff and although it's still good it would have been so much better with real milk.  What was I thinking?  It's fine to use in my bread making but not in a white sauce.  Also, I couldn't get the ball of mozzarella so I had to use shredded in the package.  This is a no meat dinner but you could put Italian sausage in it if you wanted to.  I made it in my Mother's old lasagna dish.
As for my list yesterday; I made dinner, and one doctor appointment and worked on Christmas presents and I'm paying bills today but no ironing has gotten done yet.  Last night I watched Nashville and tonight is Grey's Anatomy.....mindless t.v. for the mindless! LOL!
I hope you had a great day!  Happy Trails!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our most important product is PROGRESS!

Yesterday was a great and productive day and I even squeezed in a hike with the girls..........
It is cold here and blustery like much of the country right now and they are even predicting snow for the weekend...huh?  It's fine with me though....I love it!  But the sun came out and before long I was unzipping my jacket and taking my hood off.
I came across this really odd grove of dead trees.........
except for that one in front the whole area was dead yet all standing and not from a fire either....
strange...very strange...........
 I had made bread in the bread maker before we left...........and it was ready by suppertime....

 The Hawkeye hat is coming's all straight knit stitch now so I hope I do not mess it up again.  I just cannot watch t.v. and knit.  I can crochet but there will be no knitting while watching t.v. or listening to the radio even and I will not put it down in the middle of a round regardless as that it where I usually messed up....I think I have knitting ADHD.......
 I'm working on 2 ends of the house at the same time....from the garage door which comes into the kitchen and the front door which comes into living room.  This dresser sits by the front door so I moved it last night and vacuumed baseboards and next to the wall with the attachment and then I gave it a good cleaning with a mild detergent and water.  You probably can't tell but I feel better about cleaning it.  I ran out of room in my little linen closet so I use this dresser for other linens that are ironed such as tablecloths, dresser scarves and pillowcases.
 And of course the drawers are lined with scrapbook paper............
 I'm letting the dresser dry out good before I plop things on top of it so I just left it like that overnight.
I managed to get my preemie hats going for this month but also made 2 the same size.....I must have been tired and not paying attention....imagine that.
Today is:
pay bills
make doctor appointments
make a dinner
work on Christmas gifts
and maybe place an order with King Arthur flour for holiday baking (they have some wonderful recipes for that and I am determined to learn how to decorate Christmas cookies this year like the pros do...that should be fun or funny)
P.S.  Yesterday I used their "chat" feature on their website because I didn't have milk on hand except powdered and they answered all my questions in a matter of minutes!  I was really impressed!  Thank you King Arthur!  (and no I am not getting paid for this endorsement or compensated in any way...I am just really impressed with their company, their philosophy and their products and customer service plus the recipes are great too!  They're also employee owned and I think that's always a plus.)
What are you up to today?  Whatever it is I hope you're enjoying yourself.  Happy Trails!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pizza, Pizza

I wanted to post about this the other day but I got sidetracked so here it is today...I told you about my love affair with King Arthur (flour and website) and I have wanted to make every one of their recipes but alas I need some supplies so it will be "spotty" posts when I have the ingredients.  But I did manage to make their Easiest Pizza You'll Ever Make and it was just that!  Very easy, quick and delicious.
I made the dough in my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook, only because I gave up all that "kneading" by hand when I got RA.  Saving my hands for my knitting and!  I put it in my oven with just the light on for 1-2 hours.  Actually, that was one of the days the girls and I went for a hike.
 When I took it out it looked like this......BTW, this makes 4 crusts

I rolled one out and froze the rest.........I forgot to take a picture of the "rolling" but
it's the flour with the rolling pin activity although pizza dough is very elastic and tends to go back every time you roll it out so do your best but then I took it and grabbed the edges and held it up and went around the edge letting it stretch out kind of like the pizza "throwers" do but very gently as I am no professional and I didn't want it to end up on the floor! LOL!

I wrapped the other dough in plastic wrap and froze it and after it was frozen I put them in another big freezer bag. 
 I view pizza like I do scrambled eggs and some's a great way to clean out the frig and utilize what you have without things going to waste.  I had the last of my tomatoes from the garden that I chopped up.  I had some fresh basil from my plant that I brought in for the Winter (we'll see how long it lasts) and I had some slices of Provolone cheese.  I basted the crust with olive oil but I did not use any tomato sauce but you could.
As you can tell this is not "fancy" and I didn't even chop up the basil.  The leaves were small so I just rubbed them around in my hands to release their wonderful aroma and sprinkled them over the pizza, the tomatoes were just roughly chopped and the cheese I just folded and tore.  A little salt and in the oven it went.
15-20 minutes later there she was!  As you can see I was not picky about the shape's definitely rustic and I don't have a pizza pan but let me tell you it was wonderful!  I made another one from the frozen dough as I wanted to see how that worked and I took it out in the morning and let it defrost, I oiled a bowl and worked the dough just a bit with my hands to "wake it up" and plopped it in the bowl.  I again put it in the oven with just the light on for warmth and it rose perfectly and made another great crust.  This truly was the easiest and best tasting I've ever made.  I like a crispy crust and that's exactly what I got but they have many other recipes for any type of crust you like.  In fact, this could have been thick crust if you rolled it that way and you can build up the edges to hold lots of toppings.  It also reheats well in the oven.  I put however many pieces I'm wanting on a regular plate at 250 degrees centigrade (any hotter and your plate will break...ask me how I know this) for 15-20 soggy pizza crust!  When I take it out I put it on another plate...the oven plate is too hot!
I hope you try this as I think you will be surprised at how easy and delicious it is.  Happy Trails!
P.S.  King Arthur also has pizza flavoring and other pizza products but I haven't tried them...yet.  I'll let you know if I do and if you have please let me know.  Have a great day!
P.S.P.S.  Peak color is over and the artic air is "blowing" in as I blog.  It is a blustery, cold day here.  Great for more baking!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

YOP Week #19

I am happy to say this was a great week both weather-wise and YOP wise.  I solved my knitting issues by spending some time on You Tube and learning the finer techniques of stripes and changing colors and I'm so glad I did!  If I hadn't done that I would have run into more problems down the road.  I learned how to connect on a circular needle so it is tight at the seam with no "laddering", I learned how to keep 2 colors connected as long as I wasn't going more that 4 or 5 rows and I also learned how to make "jogless" stripes.  It was definitely worth spending the time to learn these techniques............see?
The reason there is no yarn attached is because I am about to change colors and do 10 rows of yellow so I "cut the ties that bind"!
I almost finished my daughter's scarf and definitely will today..........see that little hunk of yarn laying there?  That's all that's left!  Yay!!!!  That will make 3 presents done!
And in anticipation, I cast on my son's scarf........this had been frogged since last year.
  It's done in a mini-herringbone stitch....I'm thinking there might be some life-lines put in along the way..... 
 I ordered the last of the supplies for the birthdays and Christmas this season....I needed new cables for my Hiya-Hiya needles and guess what they have now?  Cables with connectors that have a little hole so you can thread a "lifeline as you knit".....GENIUS!  I also ordered a couple skeins of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino as I have been wanting to try it for forever especially in the Duck Egg blue and a pale pink.  Don't ask me what I'll do with it but if I like it I have big plans for more! LOL!
I ordered a book I have been wanting for forever too..........Crochet Living
I had to order it from Deramores of which I cannot speak highly enough.  The shipping was less than with that Annie's fiasco last week which I have still not received my "refund" check.  Deramores is in England and there's a book involved!  I rest my case.
I was reading some blogs this week and everyone goes to these "retreats" and "workshops" or just plain getaways and I don't.   So,  I decided I would have my own private workshops via these 2 books which are winging their way to me as I blog.
Knitting Workshop
Crochet Workshop
I've been pretty much self-taught so it will be nice to see how the pros do it! LOL!  Plus, new patterns to learn by.....a true workshop environment.  So now I have to get the fireplace ready, snacks made and surround myself with my supplies so when the books come I can partake just like I'm at a workshop.  Although, it may require more new yarn....really?   Hey, I'm saving on airfare and hotel so why not? LOL!
Happy Trails!  I'll be by later to know that Sunday afternoon visiting.
P.S.  It's "peak color" here right now so I may have to take another hike with the girls..........