Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Fare, continued

I was discussing summer eating in a recent post, and the food fest continues :)

Check out this recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad, it sounds so easy, and there are no weird ingredients:

I might be making that dressing this weekend for a similar version! I really hate iceberg lettuce, but this recipe might make it palatable. I think I hate that lettuce because it was the only lettuce we ever had when I was growing up; I don't think there were other lettuces available at the grocery store back then, but if there were we never bought them. I love lettuce that is green (go figure), so all the wonderful lettuces available in today's stores are like candy to me. Boston Lettuce, Green Leaf or Red Leaf Lettuce, Spring Greens, Frisee, Mesclun, Baby Spinach--all yummy. (Not a big fan of arugula, that bitterness is disgusting). I think my all time favs though are the leaf lettuces I have grown in my garden, called Butter something, Salad Bowl, and Oak Leaf. I LOVE OAK LEAF lettuce, so sweet and fresh and easier than stink to grow. You walk out the door with your scissors and snip off at ground level the amount of leaves you want! So yummy!

I am interested in trying to grow lettuce in my basement this winter, really want to invest in the plant stands that have lights mounted on them, but it is a bit pricey for me currently. Plus, now I have kitties that might like to dig. So this is likely going on the back burner for another few years :)

I found another recipe, this for citrus vinaigrette(scroll down), which sounds like something I want to try on my summer salads--even with chicken.

While on the topic of salad, I had a great salad last night, I put leftover taco meat over tossed mixed lettuces salad, and topped it with taco sauce, shredded cheese, and crumbled taco chips. MMMMM.

Next food topic: cottage cheese! I recently rediscovered that and how yummy and filling it is, delicious with summer fruits!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Best Laid Plans

You can only do so much planning in this life. We were discussing this at work today; how these days you can only do so much about your investments, and there seems no hard/fast rule or safe way to do anything! I think that is true of life in general.

I love Dave Ramsey's take on this: stuff happens, and when you budget your money, you need to put something toward the 'stuff happens' category (i.e. emergency fund). There is only so much planning you can do b/c you can't see the future, but one thing is for certain: STUFF HAPPENS!

So, how do you deal with uncertainty? I do what I can with the knowledge I have, and give the rest to God. You could worry yourself sick trying to plan for everything, but you will NEVER know in advance what will happen. In that sense, faith in God is easy!

But even with that down-to-earth approach to faith, it is still so easy to get caught up in the what-ifs. Then the anxiety begins to build again in a subtle manner. I think that is why we are encouraged to begin each day anew with God; because if we don't, we will try to shoulder all the burdens ourselves and the worries of the day become too heavy when we do that. Give it to God, and rest in Him.


p.s. a great idea: online audiobible--I like to have Psalms playing in the background while I am surfing, or doing bills, etc.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Web photos and summer eating!


I've always wanted to be a model. This is why:

I am yarnivorous today, can't get enough of Ravelry and my stash. I frogged back one whole sleeve of the Shrugalicious (see last post) in order to widen the garment across the back. No biggee, right? Usually, but guess what? I frogged from the wrong end. DUH!!!

So I had to be very creative in order to secure the DC stitches that were flying in the wind after I took out what I cut off. I think I did a decent job though, don't think you can really see the fix. Now it fits much better across the back, and doesn't dig into my armpits. I LOVE the way this garment is shaping up!

Here it is, one sleeve and the back....

Summer is all about cranking out lace, especially doilies. I guess I do that naturally, working with cottons in the summertime, but winter finds me working with wool. I just printed out this pattern and this one, and should be 2 doilies richer by the end of the month :)

A new hotpad I'm going to make is here. Doesn't look like much in that photo, but the versions on rav are multicolored and lovely, starfishesque. It might even work as a washcloth.

Today I eat yummy summer bounty: I have organic cherries and freshly picked Southern Michigan blueberries (thanks Claudia!)I am thinking about making this recipe--what do you think? I love ricotta cheese like that, and recipes that do not require turning on the oven are preferable this time of year.

In fact, here's my favorite microwave brownie recipe (it came with my first Tappan microwave circa 1986), great for summer snacking:


1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. nuts (or ground flaxseed meal, yum)

Melt butter in microwave 45-60 seconds. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla. Beat til creamy. Stir in dry ingredients. Fold in nuts; pour into 9" square baking pan; Nuke on high for 8-10 minutes, until top is dry & springy. Turn pan halfway through cooking if your microwave does not have a turntable. Cool & cut into squares. YUMMY AND FUDGY AND CAKEY!

Happy yarnings!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer's Best

Latest movies:

Saw "Cowboys and Aliens" tonight with my son. What the---?! It was quite a different movie, but being the huge Harrison Ford fan that I am, I had to see it. It is worth seeing.

Last night, DS and I watched "300" on DVD. That movie was excellent, though the gore was akin to Braveheart, making me squirm in my seat. We had homemade pizza while we watched (funny, that).

A couple weeks ago I went with my brother to see "Larry Crowne" and it was a very cute movie, enjoyable and made you feel good.

In addition, I just polished off John Grisham's latest novel, am halfway through "The Painted Cave" by Jean Auel (I have waited 20 years for this sequel!), and waiting in the wings is "The Scent of Rain and Lightning".

No wonder I don't have time for knitting :D

My favorite seasonal stuff: sweet corn soon--I have to pop by the farmer's market tomorrow and get some. Also, tomatoes right off the vine: caprese salad with my homegrown basil is a meal in itself with chewy bread! Warm weather and sleeping with the windows open, now with a kitten in every windowsill (it does seem like that!) I love all the burgeoning gardens, and even my pathetic patch of poorly cared-for and late-planted tomatoes are going like wild!

Yay for summer and BLTs! Gotta go do my budget now (it's not a FAVORITE thing per se, but I am beginning to enjoy it).

Rock on!

p.s. did I mention that my all time favorite movie is "Babe"? There is no movie that tops that one, I'm sorry. It is the best and I have to watch it yearly :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August Update

Not much has been happening with yarn. Life has been happening, however.

I have found a wonderful supportive group of women that meet for Bible study one evening a week, and go out for food after evening church service on weekends. They are all range of ages, and all range of wisdom. I think their support and presence in my life is what I have been missing. God is good.

When I have time, I try to work on the Shrug-a-licious, but it is a bit snug and I think I need to unravel the second sleeve back to make it wider across the back. I am using yarn from Hobby Lobby for this, called Omega Sinfonia; it is 100% cotton and nice to work with.

Don't know why, but it seems like every time I start a sweater, it gets stopped because some part of it isn't working, then I put it down and it languishes for months--or even years. I have to get over that hurdle somehow, but right now my life is extremely full and finding yarn time is difficult.

Kitties are going in for surgery later this month, and I'm going to Stitches! Both things are a big yay, SOMEONE has started spraying around the house so that has to get FIXED soon!

One more Rav link: have you seen the new Matroyshka pattern? So cute! I still like that motif, so I may try to make a couple. That seems to be more up my alley lately, fast and fun.

Hope everyone is keeping cool this summer!