Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Done with the combining? Now add your diced jalapeños to the mix (if your using them) and give it a good stir. At some point in time, you'll want to melt some more butter and heat up your aebleskiver pan. It usually doesn't take too long to do that, well at least with my little cast iron pan it doesn't anyway.
Now you're going to want to brush the wells of your pan with some butter and add a Tablespoon or less mix to it. Add a chunk of cheese, add a little more mix (try not to overfill) and let the sides brown, flipping once each side is done. There are a couple ways to flip these things, but my personal favorite is using a knitting needle or bamboo skewer and flip them a quarter turn each time the side is brown and holds together. This takes some practice, so don't worry if they look funny. The first time, batch, and attempt with new recipes usually do look funny until you get the hang of it. The other way to flip them is to brown one half and flip it all the way over and cook the second half. Oh, and if you have an aluminum pan use a bamboo skewer so you don't scratch the non-stick coating. I have better luck with a knitting needle on my cast iron one, so it's just a matter of trying one and seeing which suits you better.
Once you're done browning the little lovelies and making sure they're cooked all the way through, enjoy! I love eating these with a bowl of chili. It's just a different variation of cornbread, but I think that's what makes it fun. :)
Monday, September 20, 2010
Yep. Those are the kind of strange musings I have when driving 26 miles to work in the morning in the fog. Sometimes it puts stuff in a different perspective for me.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I wasn’t sure if I still had the pumpkin gnocchi recipe I used last year, so I did a little internet scouring to see if I could find it (which I did), but I found this recipe as well. I decided to give it a whirl and I’m glad that I did. It was excellent! I’m currently assuming that you want to see my photos, so here you go!
First, I dumped a 15 oz can of pumpkin (*not* pumpkin pie filling!!) into a bowl. If it’s watery, make sure to drain the water off of it first. You can use homemade pumpkin puree, but I was going for quick and easy tonight. Especially since I didn’t want to turn the stove on when it was about 90F out.
Next, dump your spices and flour in there and mix it up until you get a soft dough. You don’t want it too sticky, but not too dry either. The recipe called for a dash of nutmeg, pepper, and salt. I added a little bit of cardamom just because it sounded perfect for it. Don’t get too carried away with the nutmeg (or cardamom) though. This isn’t a pumpkin bar. ::lol::
You’re going to want to divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll them into a 1 inch diameter log. Cut into 1 inch pieces, and if you feel so led, use a fork to imprint them so they look more like potato gnocchi. It doesn’t change the flavour any, it just makes it look cool. I think. Heaven only knows the real reason behind gnocchi imprinting. LOL.
Gently place your gnocchi in a pot of lightly salted boiling water. They’ll sink to the bottom when you first put them in there, so don’t worry about them. Keep an eye on them though, because when they start floating in a few minutes, they’re done.
As I said, all I had was spaghetti sauce and Kraft Parmesan. LOL. Personally, I like mine with pesto and freshly grated Parmesan, but you really could use anything.
If you by some chance won’t cook all the gnocchi at once (say, if you’re single like me), place them on a cookie sheet or something lined with parchment paper or wax paper and stick them in the freezer for a little while before sticking them in a freezer bag to use later. You want to freeze them on the sheet first, so they don’t stick together. or all you’ll have is a frozen clump of gnocchi that tastes goopy if you just stick them in the bag and freeze them.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I finished my Foggy Dew shawl the other day! It looks gorgeous! I ended up running a bit short on the original color I was using and has to switch to another color, but the brief contrast on the edge really sets it off (in my opinion). I’m much happier with the color change, than I would have probably been if I didn’t run short. :D It worked out alright anyway. I definitely want to do this pattern again some point in the future—sometime after I do a ton of the other patterns I have faved and/or queued. ::LOL::
Speaking of said shawl, I’ve been wearing it quite frequently since I finished it. I get chilled easily and my bosses are adamant about running the ac once it hits 69°F or 70°F in the office. ::brrr:: Even though the vent next to me is closed, it doesn’t help much, especially since it’s only about 18 to 24 inches away from me. ::lol:: It gives me a good reason to wear my shawl, but that’s about all I can say for it. OK, enough whining about the cold. ::LOL::
In lieu of the fact that I had quite a bit Mervielle du Jour Moth Skinny Bugga! leftover from the border of Foggy Dew, I decided to use it on Liz Abinate’s Traveling Woman shawl. It caught my eye sometime back and I have enough yarn to do it, but not so much that I’ll end up with a bunch of waste yarn. :)
Monday, June 7, 2010
Well, it was a bit of an annoyance for some time, but we just got around it by having someone else host the games and join a party so we could hear what the other was saying. That worked well enough...until I got "Red Dead Redemption." If you invite someone to your multiplayer session that you can't connect to, it boots one of the "incompatible" players. Not much fun at all. That led a friend and I on a search as to how to fix that. He found a video that got me started in the right direction as to how to fix it. Well, after a few failed attempts, I got it sorted out. Here's how for those experiencing similar issues.
1. Opening ports is definitely the first place you want to start. It's not too difficult if you have a router that lets you forward ports. Portforward.com is a great place to learn from. You'll need to forward or open the ports listed on the XBox Live site-- basically TCP 80, UDP 88, TCP/UDP 3074, and TCP/UDP 53. Test the connection. It should tell you if you have a strict NAT or not when you test you XBOX Live connection (it won't always tell you and I'll explain that later). If you can connect to those you haven't been able to, then huzzah! :D If it doesn't work, you can try setting up a DMZ for your XBox's IP address. As for how to do it (if the router is capable of it), you'll have to look at the router manufacturer's site or google it.
2. Well, I tried the above and it didn't work for me. XBox Live said the connection was fine, but I still couldn't connect to some. I figured "aww, screw it" and decided to connect directly to my modem, no router involved. I tested the connection and lo! Strict NAT. I get my internet through CenturyLink (formerly Embarq and CenturyTel). Apparently, there are XBox Live compatible ISPs (nuts, I know) and the modem I have through CenturyLink (a 660R) apparently causes trouble. After a bit of googling, I found that I didn't need to get a new modem, I just needed to put it in "bridge-mode". Bridging the modem was a piece of cake. MUCH easier than forwarding ports even. I don't totally understand how it works, I just know that it did work. ::LOL:: Sorry, this isn't really an exciting post, but I'm hoping that it helps someone else out. It's a flipping pain to search most of the known web and not find what you're needing. I'm one of those "hands on" people. I look at the piece of tech, goof with it, and sometimes I can get it to do what I want it to. If you have questions, I'll see what I can do to help. The links should help point you in the right direction though. :)
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This, my friends, is a completed Citron. :) A fun and easy knit, but it started to take a bit more time towards the end. A whopping 540 stitches per row on the ruffle! Happily, it’s done and blocked (unblocked in this photo). I was in too much of a hurry this morning and forgot it at home though. :( A pity, because I’d have loved to wear it today. As gloomy and rainy looking as it is right now, I could use something bright.
Now that I’m done with one shawl, I’m starting another-- Spring is in the Air, although I’m naming it “Foggy Dew” since mine is a fog gray with clear beads. :D This is my first time beading while knitting and I rather like it so far. I just used some beading wire to pull the yarn through the bead since it’s what I had at the time and works really, really well. :) The pattern is quite simple too, so you can usually just memorize the line and glance at the chart or written directions for reference once in awhile. It’ll be awhile before I finish this one, but it’ll be quite pretty when it’s done. :)
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I probably would have had Citron done by now, but I stopped so I could make a pair of socks for my mom for Mother’s Day, do some yard work, and various other miscellaneous things. Yeah, I’m quite ambitious with the spring weather around here. ::lol:: I’ll just summarize everything in separate paragraphs and hopefully, I don’t bore anyone reading this. ;)
I thought I gave myself plenty of time to get Mom’s socks done (2 weeks is enough, right?), but I was pushing the limit on getting them done and mailed to her on time. They should be there Saturday (I mailed them yesterday afternoon), but it might be Monday depending on how fast USPS moves. Close enough at any rate. I didn’t get them blocked, but that’s alright. Between the socks and the tasty coffee, I think she’ll like them. :)
I’m almost done with section 3 of Citron at the moment. I’m excited to be that far into it and I can’t wait to finish it. I love the color green and with spring here, this is an excellent project to be working on right now. :D I’ve mentioned before that the pattern just caught my eye when I first saw it. It’s even lovelier when you’re seeing it in person.
I’m currently enjoying a cup of Mighty Leaf’s Pear Caramel Truffle. This stuff is incredible! A nice, rich black tea that’s perfect for any occasion. Mmmmm. If my allergies weren’t wreaking so much havoc with me, I’d write a tea review as well, but it’s taking all my mental functions just to get this post written and not be incredibly dry. Hopefully, I get over the low brain power state of my allergy troubles soon. Until then, I have tasty caffeinated tea.
I’ve been trying to make it outside lately--especially with the warmer weather—and get some stuff done to my yard. I noticed a few weeks ago that there was something growing along the outside edge, but wasn’t sure if they were tulips or daffodils. Turns out they’re tulips. I moved in to this place during the fall last year, so I didn’t have a chance to see the tulips, but I’m happy they’re there because they brighten the whole place up. The yard has some dead patches, so I’ve been raking and trying to reseed it a little bit when it’s not too cold or windy out. I need to kill some dandelions as well, but at least I have my own yard to play with now. ::happy dance:: I already have the start of a small garden out there. Some cilantro, chives, dill, basil, and creeping phlox right now, but I’ll get some more stuff out when it warms up more and I don’t have to worry about snow.
I’ve decided to give spinning a try. A drop spindle isn’t that much, so I won’t be out hardly anything if it doesn’t pan out. As for why I want to spin, well, I saw a colorway I loved on Etsy, but the fingering weight yarn was sold out. I could have asked if they’d dye some more for me, but since they had the roving in that colorway, I decided to give it a whirl (no pun intended). I ordered a Learn to Spin kit from another seller, so I had some short instructions and practice material. I got my lovely roving yesterday and I’m anxiously waiting on the spindle kit to arrive. It’ll take me a bit to get the hang of it, but I think it’ll be a lot of fun…if I can keep my dog away from it. ::lol:: I’m hoping he doesn’t decide that he should try and play with the spindle, and knowing him he might.
Wow, this ended up being a lot longer than I thought. ::lol:: Yay for spring and summer! :D
Saturday, April 10, 2010
While meandering through Safeway last Friday, I found some rather large,rather lovely navel oranges on sale. This gave me an idea to do candied orange peels. I’d done them once before around Christmas, but they just sounded great then. I didn’t get the chance to do them last weekend, but I did get them done this time around. :) They’re not hard to do, just a bit time consuming with the boiling and rinsing three times, candying them, then letting them air dry. It’s worth the effort though! The hardest part has to be letting them dry. They look so tasty and inviting that you can’t help but sneak a few now and then.
Sometime back, Citron caught my eye when I saw it on Yarn on the House's blog. It’s simple, vibrant, and still incredibly elegant. I ordered the yarn last week, figuring that I’d pick up the needles at my local craft shop. No luck on getting the needles there, so I ordered them. However, that means that I have to find something small to keep me occupied while I wait for the needles.
After digging through my yarn stash, I got the idea to make a matching serviette type napkin to go with a tea cozy I made about a year ago. I still had plenty of yarn left from the project to use up anyway. After combing through Ravelry, I found a pretty washcloth pattern that suited my needs. It’s my first attempt with yarn overs and this was an excellent way to fiddle with them. :D
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I just finished my first big knitted project besides washcloths-- socks. They're a gorgeous green/blue Knit Picks Gloss yarn in the Kenai colorway. I decided to for for a simple sock and try Silver's Toe-Up Sock on Two Circular Needles pattern. It's a great tutorial, especially for an adventurous newbie such as myself. :) It's well explained and has pictures, which for me is great. If you're uncertain about knitting socks, this is a great place to start.
Now the question is-- What sock pattern do I want to try next?
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sometimes the office gets slow. No phone calls, no emails received or to send, no computer work, etc. So, I needed to find something to do with my hands when I’m done with everything else. I’ve crocheted a few things on and off throughout the past decade, but never really decided to do much with it. Most of the patterns for the cute things I see online are knitted. So after crocheting a rather large, gorgeous Claudia Scarf, I decided to give knitting a whirl. I tried knitting about a year or two ago (for the same dang reason too), but I got frustrated with trying to cast on, knit, purl, etc. so I set it aside kind-of-but-not-really-intending-to, pick it up again at a later date. Well, that later day came…with a vengeance.
A few of the plurkers I follow are knitters. So I hear about these awesome socks (I love socks), gorgeous shawls, the fantastic yarns (I really like seeing all the colors!) they found, and so on. Well, I decided, “What the heck? Might as well give it another try.” So I dug out what few knitting accouterments I had, discovered KnittingHelp.com, and gave it another try. After a while of cursing and frustrated sighs, I finally cast on some stitches and knit my first row. After that, it wasn’t too bad. “I can do this,” I thought. After I got about halfway done I was sidetracked by gaming on the XBox 360 and set the knitting aside (I’m easily sidetracked at times). I did pick it up again a month or so later and finished my first washcloth. :) And boy was I proud of that! I then started another washcloth. And another. Woohoo! I was making some progress.
Well, after those first few washcloths I decided it was time to do what my little heart really desired—socks. I searched around Ravelry and found what looked like a fairly simple to understand sock pattern searched around online for some sock yarn—since we only have a WalMart with a small selection of yarn—and went for it. I’ve had some good learning experiences from it, like “Make sure you read the directions correctly” and “Oh, look! Tink it back about 10 rows because you misread the directions,” but I guess that’s something one needs to experience once in awhile. ::lol:: I’ve managed to finish one sock and start the next in the pair. Not a bad start I think. Now to finish this last sock, so I can start the Citron Shawl…
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I had a hankering for scones earlier. As with a lot of my baking endeavors, I usually decide to attempt to make something or make a favored recipe because something piqued my interest in it. In this case, it was a comment I saw on an online community about currant scones. In lieu of the fact that I don't have currants close at hand (well, I wasn't looking for them in the stores either), I decided to go with a favorite of mine- cinnamon apple.
Now, the recipe (click here for recipe) I use doesn't call for apples and cinnamon. No, it calls for toffee bits, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Tasty, however, that's not what I wanted tonight. And that's one of the things I love about cooking and baking—— making something my own.
First, I start by mixing my dry ingredients. Some flour (I used a combination of wheat flour and all purpose), baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix them together real well and then toss in some chopped dried apple slices——about a cup—— and mix again.
Now, fold the whipped cream into the dry ingredients dump onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a soft dough. Pat into a disc, cut into slices and ta-da you have scones. :D Make sure you line your pans with parchment paper, not wax paper. I have smoked my house up a bit before when I grabbed the wrong paper one time. LOL.
Monday, March 22, 2010
"Speak softly and carry a big stick" --Theodore Roosevelt
I was born and raised in Montana. What brings this topic up? Well, that answer to that, dear friend is that it's nearing May. I used to work at a remote guest ranch in the summer and we always headed up there about mid-May. For nearly three full seasons I'd go out into the middle of nowhere from then until the end of September or beginning of October. I loved it. Some of my best memories are from up there. It was pretty much manual labor-- cleaning rooms, doing dishes, cooking food, serving guests-- but I really did enjoy it. There was a sense of accomplishment when the day was done. Granted it was a long day, but it was still fulfilling. Sadly, it's seasonal work and the time came when I needed something other than seasonal work to keep my bills paid. ::lol:: It doesn't look too great on an application when it shows that you leave in the summer and are looking for something to hold you through the winter until next season.
I'm not sure why it has been weighing so heavily on my mind lately. I decided to finally write about it when I happened to glance an old bookmark in my bookmarks folder. Oddly the bookmark wasn't working, but I came across the Flickr photoset with the pictures when I was randomly searching google for the parent site. ::lol:: Funny how that goes sometimes. (The photographer was one of the guests up there my last season, hence, how I know the site.) The scenery was incredible. Many of the guests were fascinating and kind. The experience unforgettable. I really do miss it, even though it drove me nuts the majority of the time. Although, maybe I am nuts for wanting to spend my summer in the boonies and only have 5 days out in the "real world" during the season. ::lol:: I learned a lot up there though. I can set a table with a full dinner service (basically a crapload of plates and silverware), cook breakfast on a Majestic wood stove for 15 people, stuff a fridge so full of grocery items that you get bombed almost everytime you open the door, and a vast majority of other odd things. Some of those useful, others not so much. Most importantly though, it helped shape me into who I am now. I have close friends from working up there and I've lost close friends up there. I learned how to use Windows XP, what spyware scanners are, and how to set up and solve most wireless internet issues. I pretty much left home for the first time when I went up there. Little did I know that that would help prepare me to move from Montana to Nebraska, knowing no one other than a few coworkers. Despite the fact that I haven't worked up there in almost three years, the memories and lessons that I carry will stick with me for a lifetime. Maybe that's why it weighs so heavily on my mind. This time of year marks an important time in my past. A renewing. A blossoming. Life.
Kukicha is a Japanese green tea, just in case you were wondering. I’m not sure how to describe the flavor of it, but here it goes: a bit “grassy” with a chestnut and cream undertone is about the best I can do. It’s a pretty looking tea. The leaves are a nice light, bright green and there are some twigs in it. Yeah, you read that right twigs. Kukicha is also known as “twig tea.” I’m not sure why the twigs are in there, but it does add a different flavor to it. I’ve seen one site say:
Land is a scarce resource in Japan, making all agriculture a pricey endeavor. So it became essential for the Japanese farmer to extract as much value from each tea bush as possible. Necessity being the mother of invention, the Japanese have been ingenious at devising tea varieties that are unheard of in countries more land-endowed. One such product is Kukicha. Twigs are an unusual tea ingredient. However, combined with green leaves they form a serendipitous mixture, with a unique taste and aroma. Well worth a try.
I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but whatever the reason for the twigs, it still makes it interesting.
I’m currently writing this out on Windows Live Writer. I’m not sure what I think of it right now. I’ll say this though- it’s a lot easier to add pictures and links to it and previewing the post as I write it. I’m a huge fan of being able to see my posts real-time. I can fix errors or possible errors ahead of time, rather than after I post it. :D Excellent in my case. Now let’s see if I can get it to post onto here. LOL
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
It's not surprising given my blog title, that I'd review a tea on occasion. After all, that's my general drink of choice. Different brands have a different idea of certain blends or flavours and it's kind of interesting to see how one compares to another.
One of my favourite places to get tea --especially since I'm in the middle of nowhere and the tea selection can be sparse-- is Adagio. They have a plethora of loose leaf teas and accessories in a variety of sizes. One of my favourite features by far though is the custom tea blend option. There are a lot of neat ideas to fit your mood. Everything from the Zodiac series to Birthday Tea to Velvet. Just rummage through the list or watch a few Adagio TeaV episodes and try a few!
The one I'm drinking right now is a nice little blend called Tea for a Captain. The blend consists of chestnut black tea to give it a bit of an "outdoorsy-in-the-woods-or-at-sea" feeling, a bit of cinnamon black tea to complement the chestnut, and a touch of rum (also a black tea) to warm you up on a chill winter night. I might have overdone the cinnamon tea a touch though. Maybe. Even if there's a tad too much cinnamon, the flavours complement each other nicely (no, I'm not saying this because I made the blend) and you can still taste that hint of rum and the chestnut isn't overwhelming. The aroma of it is freaking amazing as well. I could sit and just smell the danged tea. All in all, a great tea that I'm definitely going to enjoy. Good thing too since I now have 4 oz. of it. LOL. If you try it, let me know what you think.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Ever blog has one. A "maiden post" as it were. That first post that gets you started on a glorious blogging adventure, or scares the living daylights out of you and you never go back to it again.
This isn't my first blog (not that I suggest that I'm a pro at it), but I just needed a break from main one and try a new one for a bit. OK, so it's been a rather long break from the other one, but I intend to get back to it and upkeep this one. Ambitious, eh? We'll see how this goes. Blogger is new territory for me, so it'll take some getting used to. I'm also on Plurk, an awesome microblogging site similar to Twitter, but way better. You'll hear of my day to day rantings and ravings and adventures on there. I think that's all the really relevant stuff that may or may not be in the sidebar. LOL.
Yep. Not that interesting. Well, at least not until I start posting pictures of whatever cooking adventure I'm having, then stuff can get a bit more interesting. ;)