Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Car sweater modeled

My co-worker and his wife had their first baby back in March. I made a little hat & sweater with a car design on it. I was so excited that they brought the little guy in today wearing the sweater to show "Aunt Bonnie". Isn't he an adorable little guy?!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hear me ROAR!

As several of you know so well, I'm not a very good patient (thanks for the supportive emails!) Since my mountain climbing injury (sounds better than what I really did, doesn't it?) ten days ago, I have been out of my house a grand total of 1 1/2 hours (not counting surgery and yesterday's cast trip.) And I'm going nuts!!! Too many fun things that I'm missing out on.

So I'm done with that! Today, I washed my own hair. Applied makeup. Wore pants with a zipper. And several other mundane but necessary things that two handed people take for granted. I also went to work and it felt good to be semi-productive and mildly independent.

But as you can see, the best part is I picked up my knitting. OK, So, I look like a spaz and yes my hand is swollen and yellow, but I can see that I'm NOT going to have to wait 6 more weeks to knit! Hooray! I only knit about a row before I gave up (ouchy!!!!) but this is better physical therapy than squeezing a stupid rubber ball. I not allowed to drive until I can grip the wheel and I have to drive to Indianapolis this weekend so I have to git 'er done! But I work better with deadlines.

My doctor erroneously gave me a higher dosage of vicodin (750mg) and it knocked me out this morning and made me slur my words, much to the amusement of my co-workers. I'm only going to take a full dose at bedtime and if I need something during the day, I'll do half.

So anyway, life is good again. Well, better anyway, and I'm done pouting. This weekend, we will be decorating my Christmas cast with ribbons to make it festive!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

So much for hand-knit Christmas presents

Yes, I AM an idiot. Thanks for asking. In a split second Friday night, I completely screwed up my holiday plans. I fell on my sidewalk, caught my fall with my wrist and crack! Broke my right arm (yes, I'm right-handed) just above the wrist in two places. Ended up having surgery Monday night. Hopefully, the swelling will be down enough by next Monday to cast it. And yes, I am right handed.

I am so disappointed. I love this time of year and this really puts a damper on things. No knitting; no crafting; no baking; no driving; no wrapping.

My husband is handling Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully, the kids will help!

OK... That's it for the whining. I know I have much to be thankful for so I'm done feeling sorry for myself. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ballband Bag

Over at Oh Bag Me / Let's Bag it, the monthly bag KAL is a bag designed after the Ballband Dishcloth. Monica wrote up the pattern and made a beautiful bag. I started mine over the weekend and after a false start with variegated yarn, opted for two solids. Here was my progress yesterday morning. (Awful photo taken with my Treo WHILE I was driving to work - bad motorist!!) I did knit a bit more on it last night while watching the Dancing with the Stars finale (Go, Emmit!!) I hope to finish it up this weekend. I'd like to do a similar bag in pale pink and brown. If my daughters seem to like this one when it's done, maybe I'll make one for them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Perfect Autumn Cookie

I love cookies. Homebaked cookies. I decided to do a little baking over the weekend and made some traditional chocolate chip (if you like them a little chewier / thicker, add an extra 1/2 cup of flour) and I also made a new recipe I've been watching at - Soft Ginger Cookies. They were awesome!!! The recipe tells you to roll them in sugar before baking but I thought that made them too sweet. I did the last few batches with just a light sprinkle of sugar on top. If you like gingerbread or molasses cookies, do try these!!! THey are soft and a little chewy - perfect in my opinion!! I also baked some banana chocolate chip muffins that the kids inhaled.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Finally finished the scarf for ISE

Whew! What a slow knitter I am and what a dumb pattern to pick for a project with a deadline! Anyway, I love how this scarf turned out and hope the recipient likes it, too. I mailed it Thursday and it is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. I think I did take some finished pictures but I must not have downloaded them yet. Here it is blocking.

The yarn is an alpaca blend in a lovely shade of pink. It was lace or aran weight so I used two strands together. The pattern came from last year's grocery store booklet - Simple 1-2-3 Knitting Scarves and the pattern is Aran Cashmere Scarf. Coincidentally, the last scarf I made for this exchange also came from the book.

I did take other pictures and posted them. I think they show the stitch definition a little better than the blocking photo.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Autumn Food

My 15 yr old daughter and I got into a bit of a tiff (code for really bitchy fight) yesterday. Don't know what you all do when you're mad but I either cook or clean (after I finish yelling and slamming cabinet doors.) Yesterday yielded cooking.

For last night's dinner, I made Rachel Ray's Flounder Francese including the garlic spinach and lemon spaghetti. It was delicious but took me longer than the 30 minutes described on the show and wasn't nearly as pretty as hers. My husband loved it but my 12 year old son's reaction was, "Mom, can't you make plain ole spaghetti. I hate this gourmet stuff." (Mad daughter was at practice so she didn't eat with us - she's a vegetarian anyway and would have turned down the fish.)

I also have chicken marinating for Indonesian Chicken Satay and made a batch of peanut sauce for dipping. I used a friend's recipe for the marinade. I'll cook it on the George Foreman and serve it with rice and steamed broccoli/cauliflower.

Finally, I made one of my favorites - Beef Stew - for later this week. I was inspired after watching Paula Deen's show over the weekend although I used my recipe, which makes a very thick stew, rather than hers. I use beef stock, red wine, and V-8 juice in the broth which gives it a really rich, complex flavor. The recipe is quite easy but takes some time to cook and I think it's better reheated after sitting for a day in the fridge. Here is the recipe I've developed over the years:

Bonnie's Beef Stew

2 lb stew meat, cut in 1" pieces
1 onion, sliced
1/4 cup flour generously seasoned with seasoned salt and pepper
2 T olive oil

1 can beef broth (low sodium)
approx. 1 can water
1 or 2 bay leaves

2-3 potatoes, peeled, cubed
2-3 carrots, peeled, cubed
8 oz mushrooms, coarsely sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, in juice
1 can V-8
1/2 cup red wine (if you don't use wine, use more beef broth)
1 can beef broth (low sodium)

Heat olive oil in dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet. Dust beef cube in seasoned flour (do this on a paper plate for easy clean up) and brown on all sides in skillet. Towards the end of the browning, add the onions and saute until they start to soften. Once beef is browned, add 1 can beef broth, bay leaf and enough water to just cover meat and onions. Cover and cook at 325° for approx. 2 hours. Check a few times to make sure liquid doesn't dissipate; add more water if needed. Beef should stay just covered with the liquid.

Add vegetables and pour in broth, wine and V-8. Add additional wine, broth or water if meat and vegetables are not completely covered. Cook for additional 30-45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but not overcooked. If broth is too thin, leave lid off for last 15 minutes or so. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve with hot crusty bread to sop up the good stew broth. I usually serve with a green salad.

[P.S. Daughter and I have kissed and made up. Hopefully, another kid will piss me off because my house REALLY needs a good cleaning!]