Thursday, May 8, 2008

WIP Thursday

My garden is blooming happily!

Here are my latest WIPs:
My first sock!

Jamaica bag in SNC cotton :)

Burning Question of the Day: does Hawaii have Caribou Coffee chains? I love that stuff so much....but it has kindof a Northwoods feel going. Which might seem out of place there.

I had a nice massage today. I went to a place where they actually asked me what level of pressure I wanted. That's a first. Each time I've had a massage in the past, it always feels like the person is beating the crap out of me, and I feel gyped by the end of it....This one was not without it's tender moments, but 99% of it was light enough to help me relax. The therapist suggested I come back in 2 weeks for a deep tissue massage "it will be a pain scale of 3 to 5 out of 10".

Uh, don't think so. I don't need no stinking bruises. And I don't need to pay someone to give me pain. That happens at work all week long :)

Anyway, today's massage was a gift cert from DH for Christmas. Yay!!! We still have a gift cert from DD for a nice Italian restaurant (also from Christmas). Maybe this weekend we'll go out to eat :)

Anyone ever seen the movie 'Under the Tuscan Sun'? Or read the book? I read the second book too. I love the whole world she exposes us to. What a fun adventure. I miss having time to read and relax. Oh well, that's what I get for joining the work force :) No more lollygagging....

Okay, my dentist was on Extreme Makeover! Hee hee. I think that's hilarious. He's really great, I just discovered him, and had some work done for the first time in 15 years (in-dwelling fear of dentists, heh. And no dental insurance til now!) So I had my teeth cleaned this week too. Yep. I'm on a roll.

This is the most random post I've ever done. Hope I'm not boring y'all! I continue with stream of consciousness posting:

I found a cool crysalis in my garden while pruning back an overgrown rosebush this week. Take a look:
Can't wait to see who appears from within!

My garden is waking up and I am there to see some of it. Oh, and the crabapple is blooming, yummy yum does that smell good! And now the lilac is opening and you can smell that on the opposite side of the house! I love it so much. May is one of my favorite months in the Great Lakes!

How I'd love to plant a vegetable garden this year. I still am without a rototiller of my own. I really need one so that when the mood hits, I can just go plow!!! There is no way I'm fit to dig my garden by hand. I'm too out of shape, plus our plot is super-sized :) The weeds always seem to get the upper hand around here because I'm at work.

Tomorrow is knit night, and I am so looking forward to going. I was way too fried last week, and no fit company to be with, so I stayed home and decompressed after a frightful week at work. This week, I'm bringing along some chocolate shortbread I made, so all us knitters can indulge together! I modified the recipe some, and really love the way it turned out.

(a mod of this recipe, which already rocked!)

I used 3 sticks of butter, and 1/2 C of sugar, but ended up accidentally melting DOUBLE the amount of chocolate (I melted 12 oz, which is 2 cups! and it was a combo of choc chips, Valrhona semisweet chocolate, and Trader Joes Belgian Dark chocolate), and added it to the batter before I realized it. So then I added extra flour to compensate (1 to 2 cups extra), and baked as usual. Oh, man! It is like FUDGE SHORTBREAD!!!!! My new favorite take on this recipe. And it's even better if you nuke a couple squares of it for 20 seconds in the microwave, and eat it with a glass of milk--like brownies straight out of the oven. Ohhhh, yeah.

Another fun thing I did this week was make my friend Robbin's rockin'


2 T oil
1 t each ground cumin,cinnamon,& ginger
1 crushed garlic clove
15 oz can chickpeas
2 c cubed sweet potato
2-1/2 c vegetable broth
6 chopped prunes
2 med onions, diced

In dutch oven, heat oil and saute onion. When golden, add garlic and ginger; stir 30 seconds and add cumin and cinnamon. Stir another 30 seconds, add remaining ingredients, and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste (1/2 teaspoon of grey salt is good!)

So easy and so yummy served over rice. (I made the rice by stirring some spices and minced onion +/- garlic into a couple tablespoons of olive oil heating on low (this time I used fenugreek and ground chile pepper--I have used other flavorings in the past). Stir this for about 30 seconds, then add 1 c rice, stir to coat with the oil, and add 2 c water. Stir in some salt, and bring to boil; cook as usual. This adds some yummy flavor to boring old white rice!)

Mmmm, very hearty. I added a package of chestnuts my mom had given me (from some asian residents of a building she managed) and it was a nice addition to the stew. The stew is a brown color, not too pretty, but it's from all the spices and the dark prunes. It tastes great! And it doesn't look any worse than beef stew. I eat it with some sliced cheese, and a glass of milk!

Enough blabbering. I'm feeling quite cheerful, as I just discovered a $900 mistake in my checkbook (in my favor!) Could our present quandary really be fixed as easily as all that?! I'm cautiously optimistic!

See ya tomorrow.


Charmaine said...

It's so nice to hear you talking about your garden. I really miss my garden back in Australia and often wonder how it is going, have those camellias we planted not long before we left survived? That sort of thing. Gardening is not something I really get to do here. I do have a pretty Frangipani flowering outside my front door which is nice. Keep up the good work!

Jeanne said...

That is a great kind of mistake to find! The sock is looking great, and the stew looks really yummy!

Rima said...

I got to try out that stew. Looks so yummy!

Sharon said...

The pictures are lovely. Congratulations on your first sock! I was pretty scared on my first sock LOL. That stew is on my list. It looks yummy!

Carola said...

BTW, one thing I'm wondering about is that if you look at my pictures of the Jamaica Pouch, it looks like the swirls are going in the other direction, leaning the opposite way ... HUM. Odd. And it's not you, it's me. I've noticed it before, but I dont' get it ...

hakucho said...

Fudge shortbread...yum :) Congrats on your first sock, yay :)

Acornbud said...

I haven't seen any Caribou coffee outlets in Hawaii. Your garden is so beautiful!