Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some Recipes

I have a couple of recipes that I make that are fairly easy and pretty darn good that I thought I'd share with ya. I put the ingredients in bold as I don't use standard recipe format.

The first is one I call Cheesy Potatoes. I like this recipe because I usually always have the ingredients on hand and it's a good 'clean out the fridge' recipe. This one freezes well too.
You will need 5 potatoes, peeled and sliced into about 1/4 in thick rounds. Boil them until they are soft enough to break when poked with a fork but not quite as soft as you would make them for mashed potatoes.
While they are cooking I shred or tear whatever cheese I have that needs to get eaten up in my fridge. This is usually just cheddar or colby but can often include mozzarella, provolone, swiss, etc. (again, whatever needs to be eaten).
I also use black forest ham, or bacon, but you can use what ever meat you have lying around (1/2lb is usually enough). Make sure the meat is cooked (again for me this step is already done because I am using leftovers) and cut up into about 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces or sufficiently crumbled if using a ground meat.
The oven should be heating up to 350 while you assemble your ingredients:
In a 9x9 pan (you can make this in a larger pan too, but of course you will need more ingredients) spread a couple of spoon fulls of sour cream over the bottom (I find that using the back of my spoon works better than a spatula for this dish). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put a layer of potatoes down then another layer of sour cream, salt, pepper. Sprinkle your cheese and meat onto the cream. Add another layer of potatoes, and repeat the process until your pan is full or your ingredients are used up. I try to reserve enough cheese to have on the top of the whole shebang so it gets a nice cheese crust on it. If your pan is really full you may want to put it onto a baking sheet in case of melt over but if it's not that full don't worry about it. Bake for 25 minutes. If you made a batch for the freezer it will take about an hour to bake from frozen.
This one re-heats really really well and will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge. Don't be alarmed if you reheat in the microwave and hear lots of popping - the ham always pops when I reheat it.

Mac n Cheese.
This one is pretty basic, nothing fancy but seems to really hit the spot for my family. I like it much better than the stuff in the blue box.
This recipe will make 2 batches. You can make it together in a large pan (9x13) for a large family or two 9x9 pans and freeze one and just pop in in the oven for about an hour, uncovered.
Boil 24 oz of med shell pasta noodles (2 boxes - you can really use any kind of short noodle you want) according to directions on the box.
Meanwhile in a Large saucepan melt 1 stick butter. Whisk in 8 tablespoons of flour. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow to brown. SLOWLY add 5 cups milk (the warmer the better), whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, again, stirring very often. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste (more if you like it spicy) When sauce as boiled for about 2 minutes, slowly add about a pound of shredded cheddar. Again, this is a 'to taste' thing. I add a hand full at a time until it taste appropriately cheesy. For me that is about 6 handfuls of shredded cheddar. When your cheese is melted and taste's the way you want it to add it to the pot of drained pasta. Stir until well incorporated, then add another handful or two of cheese and stir (this gives it the nice gooey texture). Pour into your pan(s). Sprinkle with more cheese (what? it's called mac and cheese). Sprinkle with crushed (I use my blender) goldfish crackers, cheez-its or the like will work as well (about 1/2 cup for both batches).
Another thing that can be done with this one is to make only 1 box of noodles and only add 1/2 the sauce - then put the unused sauce in a container in the fridge to be added to noodles later in the week - this way you have a dinner that is just as easy as the blue box stuff - just boil your noodles and re-heat your sauce in a pan on the stove (have not tested this in the microwave yet). Add the sauce to your drained pasta and either eat as is or pour in a pan and bake with topping as above.
Hope the directions are clear enough to be as easy for you as they are for me.
If you try either of these lemme know how they turn out.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Adventure Day

Well, last night after Brian got home we went to REI and took the plunge into the world of GPS. We have talked about it for a while and finally decided to just go ahead and do it.
Last night I read over some of the manual and this morning I played around with it until I had it pretty well figured out.
I got myself to the geocaching site and looked a few up. There was one pretty close to home and while it was in walking distance I decided to drive since it was basically on the way to another one.
I got the kids some breakfast, got them dressed and I made up a few little mini knitting needles with some knitting on them to leave behind in the caches (if you want to take something you have to leave something).

We finally got out the door at about 11:30 so I knew it was going to be a late nap day for Jake. Fortunately the first cache was exactly where I thought it was and I was able to park the car right next to it and not get the kids out of their car seats (really it was only a couple of feet from the car). I was so very excited to make my first find! It will take a bit of getting used to using the GPS device as it only gets you close, but that is part of the fun too - you actually have to LOOK.
Sooo..into the bush next to the car I went...
I found it!
Here it is with it's Camo on.

All the stuff that was inside, plus my knitting...I took the scented bubbles for Jacob.After signing the log I headed off to Wapato Park to start searching for the next cache. This particular cache is something called a multi-cache where the coordinants to first clue are given and once you find that spot you get coords to the next and so on until you find the actual cache.
We walked around until I realized we were going to have to hike up a small but steep hill. Not easy to do with a 2 year old and 15lbs of baby strapped to your chest. Anyway at the top of a beautiful waterfall in the park with this beautiful view. See that fencepost on the right in the shade?
how about now?:
And bending around to see the side I found the next set of coords!:
We headed down the hill (btw it's even harder to go down hill while carrying both children- even if Abby was strapped in) and started to look for the next spot but ended up passing the playground and that was the beggining of meltdown.
One of the clues said something about walking the plank and there was a dock very close so I managed to get Jake to head that way with the promise of coming back to the playground. I think I searched that stupid dock for 15 minutes before I got the bright idea of actually looking at the GPS and seeing that I was WAY off of where I needed to be (there was another dock on the other side of the lake). I decided to stop my search for the day and let Jake play on the playground. On our way back we were followed...
Make that chased:
I kid you not this damn goose was inches away from us and wouldn't leave us alone until he saw someone else at a picnic table with food. Aparently someone has been feeding the critters cuz they are are pretty fearless and bold around poor Jake- that thing was as tall as he is.
Anyway he got to play for a while and then we loaded up into the car, headed to the store, grabbed a few things for dinner and headed home.
I got Jake some lunch and then put him down for a nap around 3 (he usually goes down around 12). Got a break for about an hour and then it was time to start dinner...I made some yummy yummy mac n cheese from scratch...I use the Fannie Farmer recipie with WAY more cheese than it calls for but this time I used blended up fish cracker for the topping (rather than bread crumbs with butter) and that was absolutally the way to go. I reccomend it.
Anyway that was the day of adventure we had. Hopefully the cache will be worth going back to find another day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pillow Parade

More pillows...
Just a quick little post for ya'll and I am off to do laundry. Today is Jake's day with Grandpa Ron so I get a day to catch up on the cleaning in a way that does not involve every toy I put in the toy box being pulled back out because he saw me put it away and rememberd it's existance.
I also have a bunch of laundry to deal with and I love my little helper but sometimes it is much quicker not to have help if you know what I mean.
I may spin some today, we'll see how far I get on the other stuff. I also need to consider doing some weeding in the front yard flower beds today since it's going to be a nice day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sew. What's Up?

So I set the knitting needles down for a few days and broke out the sewing machine. My friend Alexis came over and needed some help with a sewing project (btw, she is not as unequiped as she thinks she is to use a machine, really she did fine) and I decided to crank one out with her. I had a ton of fun and have made several more. More what? Oh, right, I made a few pillows I have a couple of pictures but they are not all done...
This is Jacob and his fake smile: He seems to really like the pillow as he has been carrying it around with him since I finished it. It makes me feel all warm and gushy when he does stuff like that. The fake smile is because he wanted to be laying on the pillow, not posing for Mommy.
Abby seems to like hers too:

This is both Jake and Abby's all done:
And the backs...Abby's isn't all that exciting, but I think the pieced back on Jacob's is adorable. Also, his is done entirely in flannel and it is so soft and snuggly...I think that is totally the way to go for a huggy soft pillow. The cotton on Abby's is cute, just not as soft.
This is for my neice, Eve. Her name is short so I made a flower to go on hers...This one needs stuffing and sewing closed. Back is the same pink floral as the backround.
This is for Eve's sister, can you guess her name? I think this one will have a pieced backing.
Oh and one more. But don't worry Alexis, I am not actually making this one, our friend Andrew came over to pick up his car and started one, I only provided the tools and fabric (and dinner).

Now I need to head to WalMart to get a giant box of stuffing (no it's not called batting, those are two different things used for different purposes). I have gone through my stash that I use for stuffing my bears and will need more for both bears and to finish the pillows.
Ok I am gonna go get the kids some breakfast and then we are off to Wally World.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Did I spell that right? I have nary a clue but I am almost finished with my WIPs (Works in progress). I have been freeing up needles left and right and only currently have two projects in the works right now - the shawl and a pair of socks. I am seriously considering frogging (rip-it-rip-it-rip-it) the socks too. I am sticking it out for a bit but I think I just want some mindless knitting and though these socks are easy peasy, I do have to pay attention. is the finished scarf and the finished mitts:
I might go start a pair of socks for Jacob out of my leftover yarn from my last pair of socks.
Actually come to think of it if I really want to be clearing up projects I should finish up some of the spinning I have started or some of the bears that are in the works...I do plan on sewing today, I am just not sure what project it will be on...hmmm there is also a quilt I have that is nearly done too. We'll tune in again for the exciting conclusion of what the heck did she decide to work on...(really I know you are on the edge of your seat).

Friday, May 22, 2009

No Going Back Now

Well. No more babies for us. Brian had his vasectomy today. It was something that needed to be done and something we are both in agreement about but it still makes me a little sad. I know I am done having children and I honestly believe that though I could get pregnant again I am not sure I could carry a child to term without bedrest or other help and that is not and option with two little ones to care for now. Besides that Brian has already given me two more children than he planned on having. And then there is the whole economic downturn to think about. But anyway what's done is done and unless we have an accident while his system is 'clearing out' then that's that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Startitis? at least it's followed by Finishitis

For some reason I have been feeling the need to whip out quick easy projects. I think it's because I want to continue the 'high' I got from completing my last pair of first I made the socks for Abby then I made a headband for myself. Originally it was going to be a hat for me and I realized I didn't have even close to enough yarn for that. Then it was going to be a hat for Abby. Again, realized I didn't have enough yarn for that either. So it became a headband. I couldn't find a pattern that I liked so I eventually made up my own pattern and it came out pretty well even though they coloring of the yarn kinda makes it hard to see:
Then I decided that I was probably never going to finish this scarf:
So I grabbed the unused end of one of the balls of yarn and cast on for a fingerless mitt. I wanted to be sure I had enough yarn before I cut it because if it wasn't going to work I decided just to stick out the scarf. Well, it worked beautifully!
So now I am working on the second mitt from the other ball of yarn. When that is done I will still have both remnants of the yarn attatched to the scarf so I will be able to finish them up in the scarf and there will be zero waste yarn.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The sock parade continues

I felt the need to make something that would grant satisfaction fairly quickly so I whipped out a pair of socks for Abby out of my handspun...took about 2 days (only a few hours really but you know all the running around over the weekend slowed me down).
I also did a little bit of the yarn crawl on Saturday and made a couple of purchases:

Above is a beautiful sock yarn that I have been eying for a while. Below is a linen/rayon blend that I will use for a soap sack.

Friday, May 15, 2009


While up on Orcas I worked mostly on finishing my socks (and I did). I tried to work on the lace but there is too much focus required for me to do that while also trying to visit with family. sooo anyway here are some sock pics:

Jake loves his toy box and so I had to snap a quick pic while he was smiling:While he was in there, his sister was doing I am off to do dishes. or knit, hmmm maybe I'll spin, or avoid the dishes in some other fantastic way...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Progress...but not fast enough

Getting there. I am starting to get the hang of the pattern on the lace but it is still slow going. I finally got smart and started using stitch markers to mark my repeats and inserted a life line (just in case) and I am just plugging away. I made all of the previous progress on day one and then took a full day off of that particular piece of knitting. I knit some more on it yesterday but was not feeling well so I didn't get through one repeat of the pattern, but most of it. Anyway here are some progress pictures of the lace:

Oh and I took the merino/tencel off of the spindle...the cop was full and I was on other projects. So I need to set the twist and keep going as I only have about 73 yards (not enough to get much done...) mind you it is all plied as I go so that takes up quite a bit more of the cop than it would if it were it just means smaller skeins in greater numbers.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Not So Fast

So I thought that lace would knit up fairly quickly, you know since it's so open and all of that. Well, apparently not. You see there are all of these charts that need following, and then there is all of the counting of stitches and things (cuz if you don't keep track and get lost you are pretty much screwed since tinking lace is not the same as stockinet stitch in worsted weight). Pretty slow going really. Also it sorta looks like a knotted blob of string until you stretch it out...sooo mayby this wont be done by this weekend, but I would rather have it take longer and have it done right.

Monday, May 04, 2009

5 Days

I have 5 days to try to get this:
To look like this:

See ya'll later. I am going to go learn lace. fast. now where's the wine? hmmm maybe I'll hold off on the drinking until I need it. Might need to think clearly for the first little while.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


We have had a lot of showings lately. We had 2 at the beginning of the week and another 2 yesterday. We also had 2 today. One of those was a repeat from yesterday. I am very very hopeful that the house will sell soon. I am sooo ready to unpack my life. I am trying very hard not to get my hopes up and I am trying very hard not to get ahead of myself (something I tend to do quite often and quite fiercely).
In other news I finished another bear (poor thing has been 'gestating' for waaaayyy to long on my sewing table).