Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Grease - You're the One That I Want

So those of you who view regularly know I'm a closet reality TV watcher. Yeah, the kind that sheepishly admits I love to watch real life people on TV rather than sitcoms or dramas. Well, how cool is this.... One of my BEST FRIENDS in the world, Linda, has a daughter on the new Grease show!!!! Her name is Kate Rockwell and she is spectacular!!

Here is her picture (yeah, it's teeny tiny but I stole it from the website!):

So people, go watch her!!!! You can actually watch the episode on the NBC website or it will be replayed on Super Bowl Sunday. Last Sunday was the first show where contestants performed and Kate was declared to have the "best voice of all contestants" by the judges. She received huge applause from the audience while she performed. WATCH and VOTE!! Linda and my other best friend will be in the audience for the next live show (pooh! I'll be visiting my parents and can't go with.)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Rice Pudding

One of my favorite comfort foods is rice pudding. I saw this made on TV a few weeks ago and it looked delicious. I tried it yesterday and it IS delicious! I omitted the fruit compote on top but I bet it would be wonderful.

Rice Pudding
Copyright 2006, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved
Show: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger
Episode: Good Comfort
Rice Pudding

2 cups water
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium sized, heavy, ovenproof saucepan. Add the rice, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is nearly cooked. In a large bowl, whisk the soymilk, sugar, and salt. When the rice is cooked and still hot, add the soymilk mixture and cinnamon stick. Cover, place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven, uncover, and remove the cinnamon stick. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pudding will be slightly liquidy; the liquid will continue to absorb into the rice and thicken as the pudding cools. Distribute among 8 bowls, drizzle each with 1 teaspoon of the condensed milk. Dust with cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information
Nutritional Analysis per Serving Calories 175
Carbohydrates 36 grams Total fat 2 grams
Saturated fat 0.5 grams Protein 5 grams
Fiber 0.7 grams Sodium 59 milligrams

Alphabet MeMe

I saw this on Jennifer's blog and I'm bored at the moment.

The Alphabet Meme:

A - Available or Taken: Taken

B - Best Friend: I have multiple best friends. Paula, Linda, Lisa, Ann, Denise. I rely on each for different things and each completes me in some way.

C -Cake or Pie: Pie (cherry or peach, please)

D - Drink of Choice: Non-alcoholic – iced tea; Alcoholic – lemon drop martini

E - Essential item you use everyday: toothpaste

F - Favorite Color: purple

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: bears

H - Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio now; grew up in Newark, Delaware

I - Indulgence: a pedicure or better yet, a massage

J - January or February: January – good relaxing, nesting month for me

K - Kids & ages: 3 of my own, 2 step – 19, 18, 16, 15, 12

L - Life is incomplete without: knitting

M - Marriage Date or Most Memorable Date ( and why): wedding date 3/13

N - Number of Siblings: 3 brothers

O - Oranges or Apples: orange (clementine specifically)

P - Phobias or Fears: snakes and driving off a bridge

Q - Fave Quote: "My goal in life is to be the sort of person my dog thinks I am." – Emerson Quillen

R - Reason to Smile: my dog’s nose sticking out from under the covers

S - Season: Autumn

T - Tag 3 or 4 People: Allison, Janice, Karyn, Monica

U - Unknown fact about me: If you don’t already know it, I probably don’t want you to!

V - Vegetable you don't like: lima beans

W - Worst Habit: I’m a Messy Marvin

X - X-rays: Not counting mammograms and dental x-rays, I had my first ever in November when I broke my arm. Probably 6-8 since then.

Y - Your Fave Food: crabs – the kind from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia steamed in beer and Old Bay

Z - Zodiac Sign: Aries (First day of spring – hooray!)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Smorgasbord Post

Just some ramblings today. First, isn't it wonderful... this knitting/crafting internet community? I have met so many sweet people. Before Christmas, I was reading In the Bag blog ( she creates THE MOST BEAUTIFUL bags!!) and noticed some homemade notecards she had received. I love love love stationary (stationery? can never remember which is correct) and ordered a bunch of notecards from Karyn at Trail Mix Designs for "girlfriend" Christmas presents. In addition to sharing a love of knitting and sewing and wishing we could quit our jobs to sit around and craft all day, we both enjoy reading (she's a high school librarian - very cool job!!) So out of the blue last week, I receive this package and it turns out to be a gift from Karyn. She sent me this very funny book (started reading it last night, Karyn and it IS really funny!) And yesterday, she sent me a little note on one of her beautiful notecards (go buy these notecards, peeps!!) Isn't it so much fun to receive something besides bills and credit card solicitations in the mail?!!!

Physical Therapy - I don't know if anyone who reads this blog is a Physical Therapist but you people are EVIL. E-V-I-L !!!!!!! Started my sessions yesterday and ummm.... OOOOWWWWW! So happy to have to do this twice a day for the next 6-8 weeks.

A Doggie Post - My puppies experienced their first romp in the snow Sunday. I wasn't home to take a photo but here's a cute one from a few months ago of them cuddled up together on the couch while I was knitting.

Cooking - I have been craving salmon for the last few days. I found this awesome sounding recipe at (great source of recipes; includes recipes from Bon Appetit and Gourmet) and I think it will be dinner tonight! Rice pilaf and some fresh steamed green beans on the side.

Happy Thursday to everyone!


Just a sprinkle of zest and a dab of lime butter sauce beautifully highlight the flavor of grilled salmon.

6 (6-oz) pieces center-cut salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick) with skin

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest

6 tablespoons lime butter sauce

Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).

Season salmon all over with salt and pepper, then grill, flesh sides down, on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using gas grill) 4 minutes. Turn fillets over and grill (covered only if using gas grill) until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Sprinkle fillets with zest and top each with 1 tablespoon lime butter sauce.

Cooks' Note: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, salmon can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.

Makes 6 servings.


It takes only 5 minutes to make this fantastic sauce. Once you see how versatile it is — it works perfectly with the grilled salmon and the grilled corn — you'll want to make it for a whole host of your summer favorites.

1 large garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Purée garlic with lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. With motor running, add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.

Cooks' Note: Lime butter sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Stir before using.

Makes about 3/4 cup.


July 2006

Ian Knauer

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Finished Projects

I finished three projects over the last few days. One is the Ballband Bag that I've talked about so much. I started this one as part of a KAL for Let's Bag It right before I broke my arm and was bummed to watch everyone else finish their bags. I used Paton's Merino Wool in turquoise and brown. I love the way it felts - very little fuzziness - and you can't beat how economical it is! I think the normal retail price is $5.99 for 200+ yards but it's frequently on sale at the Michaels and JoAnns kind of stores for $3.99. I am donating this one to a school auction that my friend is chairing.

The next object finished was my oldest unfinished project. I started knitting in November 2004 and my mom gave me a beginner's projects book from Leisure Arts that had a couple dishcloth projects in it. This one is a plaid design that uses slipped stitches to make the pattern. This project cracks me up because there are a TON of mistakes in the first half of it (look closely at the bottom half) as I tried to figure out what I was doing. (Stitches that were not slipped properly; stitches that didn't line up with each other; yarn held in front rather than back, etc.) Before starting this project, I had only made a couple of garter stitch fuzzy scarves. Rather than tear it out, I'm keeping it as is just for the fun memories of getting started. Oh.... plus.... it's only a dishcloth! LOL.

Finally, I finished my second oldest unfinished project - a Booga bag in Noro Kureyon. (The Hot Damn afghan project is technically older but I'm not counting it as I'm going to frog it and try a different design.) I still need to insert the straps which I hopefully will do tonight if the bag is completely dry. I posted the before felting and after felting photos. This project will be a raffle prize for my daughter's high school cheerleading fundraiser.

BTW, can you tell what I used to insert into the Booga bag for "blocking"? It's a Rubbermaid cereal container and it is the perfect size for it as well as the Ballband bag.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yarn Inventory - Ebay sale

I took some time this weekend to sort and organize my yarn stash. Even though I have way more yarn than I need (CottonEase out the wazoo!!!!!), I am still reluctant to part with most of it. I did identify a few "lots" that I am going to try to sell on ebay. If you're interested, take a look:

Linie 95 Summer Mistral – Purple/Red 6 skeins

Cascade 128 Tweed 6 skeins #7610 purpley magenta

Classic Elite Star – Pink # 5189 6 Skeins

Classic Elite Fame Rayon Silk 2+ skeins – purple / blue

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed #01 Black 2 skeins

1/19/07 WOO HOO! SOLD IT ALL!!


Oh dear! I didn't think I had that many unfinished projects but I just updated my knitting projects spreadsheet and uncovered quite a few! As you can see, I finished one (the Ballband Bag) of them last night although I may still decide to line it with fabric once it dries... haven't decided yet. The Booga Bag and fingerless gloves are both almost done, too. Both will be finished this week. The Penny cardigan is knit but I need to piece it. I better get busy!


Date Started Date Finished Title Name of Yarn

Dec '04 Jan '07
Dish Cloth Peaches and Cream - yellow, white
Feb. '05 FROGGED
Afghan Red Heart - white, green, black
Apr '05 Jan '07 Booga Bag Noro Kureyon
May '05
Cozy Knitpicks Andean Silk - cream
Mar '06 Jan '07 Fingerless gloves Wool Ease - cream
Feb '06
Lace Heart Scarf Kasula - ruby red
Mar '06
Rowan Thunder Sweater Rowan Plaid
Feb '06
Rowan Penny Cardigan Rowan Biggie Print - pool party
May '06 FROGGED Coronet Hat Wool Ease - cream
Jul '06
Chicknits Ribby Tank Manos Cotton Stria - turquoise
Jul '06
Soleil Elann Sonata - green
Sep '06
Shedir Hat Brown Sheep CF - tangerine
Sep '06
Helix Hat CottonEase - orange, black, white
Nov '06 Jan '07 Ballband Bag Patons Merino - turquoise & brown

Rowan Greta sweater Blizzard - plum & cream

Lion Cable Comfort Throw Berrocco Ultra Alpaca - brown rice

Cigar Gloves WOA - pumpkin & nightsky

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rainy Saturday Afternoon Fun

Here in the Midwest it has done nothing but rain for the last few days. Low lying areas are flooding. Basements are filling. Yards are full of standing water. So what's a girl to do? Well, how about call about a crafty friends and invite her over for the afternoon to make keychains and share a bottle of wine. Perfect!

I'm hosting my daughter's cheerleading dinner on Tuesday and it's tradition to give the girls a little something. So my daughter and I decided on grosgrain keychains. They were fairly easy to make. I bought the cheerleading charms and the grosgrain ribbon on ebay and the other supplies included pony beads, split rings and some rayon cording. My friend took on the beading part and I did the sewing and we cranked 14 of these keychains out in about two hours.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Time for Tote Exchange III

It's time for International Tote Exchange III. So how does it work? You will make a tote/purse/handbag for your Secret Pal and a different Secret Pal will make a tote for you. The "totes" can be big or small, knit or crochet, felted or not - whatever you want to make. If you are interested please read the sign-up process, rules and schedule (here) and then, if still interested, send an e-mail as described in the process. SIGN-UPS END JANUARY 24, 2007!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

She Knits Again!!!

What a difference a week makes! I was such a whiner last Tuesday after my cast came off. First, it hurt like h*ll!! Second, I couldn't move my arm AT ALL! I was soooooo disappointed. "Just be patient," so many people said. Not one of my virtues, let me tell ya!!! But by Friday, my arm didn't hurt as much, my incision healed enough that I could shower without a bag on my arm, and I was allowed to take the brace off for brief periods. SOOOOOO, I spent a good part of the weekend knitting! Woo hoo. I finished a Ballband bag (started 2 months ago) in turquoise and brown Patons Merino. I still have to do the twisted I-cord for the straps. Next, is fingerless glove number 2, which is now about 2/3 finished now. And in the back is a Booga Bag that is now about 1/3 finished. The two bags will be donated to two different school fundraisers and the gloves are for my daughter.

I also did some cooking this weekend. I still don't have enough strength to chop but my helper cut, chopped and opened containers. I made a big pot of turkey chili, which will be dinner tonight (served with cornbread & honey-butter), and two batches of granola (see picture) - Cranberry Coconut and Vanilla Cinnamon Almond. This stuff is awesome!!! I love it with yogurt and fruit.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Winter Food

It was 60 degrees on my drive to work today! January 5th and 60 degrees. Crazy But it's still winter which means soups and stews to me. My 12 year old son has turned into quite a little sous chef and took care of all the peeling, chopping and can-opening for me and together, we made the most delicious soup a few days ago. The recipe is from The only change I made was to leave out the carrots (because I forgot to buy them) and when I served it, I put some croutons and parmesan cheese on top. I also needed to add approx. 2 more cups of broth. I tried to take a picture but it didn't turn out. I served it with a rosemary olive oil crusty bread and some italian red wine.

Jamie's Minestrone
Submitted by: Jamie
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 488 members
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
Yields: 8 servings
"I created this soup after becoming tired of the excess salt and lack of veggies in canned minestrone. I recalled a great bowl of minestrone that was overflowing with rich vegetables at the 'Sheepherder's Inn' in Sacramento, California. Great with a hearty bread, romaine salad and a nice Merlot!"
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup canned kidney beans,
1 (15 ounce) can green beans
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
3 zucchinis, quartered and
1 tablespoon chopped fresh
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seashell pasta
2 tablespoons grated
Parmesan cheese for topping
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.
3. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.
4. Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Spray with olive oil and serve.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Books from 2006

I read some good books in 2006. The following list presents the books I read and the rating I gave them (out of 5). Broken for You was my top ranked book. If anyone has any good suggestions, I'm always looking for new books to read. I am currently reading The Tender Bar, a memoir by JR Moeringer as well as Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton. I like just about any kind of book except for fantasy and science fiction. Historical fiction is probably my favorite. I started Gilead (a Pulitzer Prize winner) but gave up after 50-75 pages (did you ever watch paint dry on a wall? That's how riveting I found this book.) I also tried twice to read Reading Lolita in Tehran and just wasn't digging it!

My 2006 Reads:

Broken for You Kallos, Stephanie 4.5
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan See, Lisa 4.5
Weight of Water Shreve, Anita 4.5
Marley & Me Grogan, John 4.5
Memoirs of a Geisha Golden, Arthur 4.5
Memory Keeper's Daughter Edwards, Kim 4.5
A Million Little Pieces Frey, James 4
Outlander Gabaldon, Diana 4
The Constant Princess Gregory, Phillippa 4
Vanishing Act Picoult, Jodi 4
A Thousand Days in Tuscany De Blasi, Marlena 4
Self Made Man Vincent, Norah 4
The Baker's Apprentice Hendricks, Judith 4
Devil in the White City Larson, Erik 4
True Crime 9 Rule, Anne 4
Fourth of July Patterson, James 4
Where the Heart is Letts, Billie 4
Eden Close Shreve, Anita 4
Mary, Mary Patterson, James 4
1st to Die Patterson, James 4
Tenth Circle Picoult, Jodi 4
Crow Lake Lawson, Mary 4
Jane Eyre Bronte, Charlotte 4
Friendship Cake Hinton, Lynne 4
Fat Girl Sings Wheatley, Sharon 4
Knitting Under the Influence LaZebnik, Claire 4
Book Thief Zusak, Markus 4
Sweetwater Creek Siddons, Anne River 3.5
Susannah Morrow Chance, Megan 3.5
Madonnas in Leningrad Dean, Debra 3.5
Shipping News Proulx, Annie 3
Christ the Lord Rice, Anne 3
Oh My Stars Landvik, Lorna 3
Leonardo's Swan Essex, Karen 3
Wicked Maguire, Geoffrey 2

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

60 percent

Yesterday was arm liberation day. Yes, my Christmas present to me (see the bows!) was removed. (Before you ask... yes, my arm was supposed to be cast that way.)

I had high hopes for liberation day. I'd be chopping and cooking again; I'd be knitting again; I'd be sewing again; I'd wear jewelry again; I would even go back to hooking my bra in the back!! But no.... I was scammed! Scammed, I'm telling you! I have less mobility in my arm/hand than when the cast was on and my whole arm hurts like hell again!!!!! I popped a vicodin last night for the first time in four weeks.

See those little green thingamabobs? That's the pins Doctor Torture hammered into my wrist and arm to secure the bones. Those little lovelies cost $13,000!!!! Plus, $1500 for Doctor Torture's 30 minutes in the operating room.

The final picture illustrates how attractive my hand looks today. It's swollen, scaley, discolored and wrinkly, all at the same time. Nice!

Oh... and the 60 percent? That's the scam. Doctor Torture informed me yesterday I'm only 60% healed, right on schedule. What the heck?????? Two weeks in the brace, then an undetermined number of weeks in physical therapy. So much for applying eyeliner any time soon.