Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring colors & traditions

 Happy belated Easter and Spring. We finally warmed up here on  the east coast and spring renewal has begun! I finally have gotten off my chair next to the wood stove and have put away all  the fleece blankets.
I think there is a permanent imprint of my arse on the chair!! (always sounds more classy when you add a British spin on less desirable words) ;-) I went from sitting around trying not freeze to a complete 180 spring cleaning, baking, gardening and designing new patterns.
 Below shows just a peek of what I am talking about...

Spring bulbs popping up ...not where I planted them but somehow on other areas of my property. I don't get it but I'll take it!!
 Easter baking, traditional Italian favorites or should I say American Italian favorites. Recipes from my grandmother who came from Naples, My Sicilian grandmother wasn't much of a baker, more of a cook.I have changed the pie crust and use a Pate Brisee recipe from Martha. I have mastered this and I have even cut the butter amount to a stick and a half and it works out just fine. 
 Then we saw that our mess turned into a little Nonpareil art in the sink and I had to photograph it was so cool. Easter was quiet and small in number. Two of my five are away at school and the two oldest are home with the little guy. We were joined by my goddaughter and her cousin to make it a bit more fun for the little guy (who is not so little these days! He is growing like a weed!) My oldest son always hides the eggs and makes my goddaughter really work for them now that she is 13. This year he made her climb the wisteria tree about 7 feet up!! Our youngest just loves holidays and his enthusiasm is just so fun to witness.. I feel so blessed that I get to experience it all again...not so blessed about experiencing all the school work again though!!
The Baby Moccasin is an original design. I have written up the pattern and checking it twice to share with you. It is quick and easy, great for a last minute shower gift. I have used Rowan's Pure Life Revive on E crochet hook. I am hoping to have it to you by this weekend. But for today I am trying to convince my husband who took the day off to drive up to NYC for the day...what do you think my chances are ??? I'll let  you know!! 

Be well, 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sidelined,on deck,benched and flagged...

 Sidelined, benched and flagged!! What does this mean???
 Its been a good month of a house full of sick children. I am starting to feel like Nurse Cratchit! I wont bore you with details everyone is on the mend. So blogging has gotten Sidelined. However, here is what I  have been creating to keep myself sane. From cooking to crochet and all else in between here is what has been going on and lots for you to take away.

Here is what is on deck craft wise...

So blogging got sidelined a bit ....On deck are tons of sock yarn..I joined Romi's mystery kal on Ravelry which should be pretty much skill wise on my knitting level but I keep making a repeated mistake ( it has happened  for me before with projects like shawls which start at a point and increase) I think I have it but it I restarted it over 8 times!!! Which then benched my Hermoine's everyday sock.
I'm on the second sock and really want to get it finished So can start a new pair. I will not have more than one pair of socks on needles!!! This would be a mistake...You see I know myself and that would just lead to many many single socks! So I benched the Mystery Kal along with it so I could make my Comfort square block for my sister's knitter Kal/Cal which will become a blanket for someone having a rough time.
I used the Starry Eyes pattern which is my favorite for these comfort squares especially a s some blocks will be knit. It's a denser pattern. It's from the book Encyclopedia of crochet by Donna Kooler. If you crochet please give it a try. You wont be disappointed. 
Now you asked what has been Flagged?
 My name is Donna and I have a problem ...I have joined one to many "A-Longs" I have flagged myself from joining anymore ...I am in a Crochet A Long,  2 Knit A Long's, Stitch A Long. You get it gist. I am addicted to them!!I love how they keep me on task and meeting new friends. Having the camaraderie  has made this long winter bearable. Have I have hit my limit??? Is this my rock bottom ??? Well, if so its a good bottom to hit!

Now to the good stuff...

Cream Cheese Brownies
These brownies are Ghirardelli double chocolate box mix and if you add cream cheese filling they become even more divine. Simply in a seperate bowl add
  • 1 8oz package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar ...I used sugar in the raw and the amount of sugar is to your liking
  • 1 tsp vanilla
So mix this all together and after you but the brownie mixture to the pan and spread it then add the cream cheese mixture and swirl it in. Bake according to the boxes directions or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
Mushroom Farro Soup

This was a concoction on a dreary day and was a hit...Soooo good and filling!
Warning...its open of my "about" recipes..No real measurements Sorry!! It is just an Italian genetic thing.
  • The Trinity ... 2 carrots  2 celery stalks with leaves & 1 sweet onion
  • Mushrooms I used white and baby bella for this rough chop and some sliced about 2 cups
  • 1 container Imagine NO-chicken broth vegetarian
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Farro or barley 
  • 2 tsps marjoram 
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 to 3 tbls cream ...I used heavy but you could use light or even half and half but I wouldn't suggest milk
Chop the trinity and saute in a heavy bottomed pot with olive oil about 2 tbls.till they begin to soften then add mushrooms and continue to saute until the begin to soften as well. Add the broth, water and seasonings. Simmer this for about 10-15 minutes. Now add the Farro and cook it until it's tender. Now turn off the heat and add the cream and stir. Enjoy with a slice of  good bread  with some melted shredded Fontina cheese on it.

I started spring cleaning the house this week and may have overdone it...So the picture of the chair is where I will be for the rest of the day catching up on my KAL/CAL/SAL'S

I hope you have a sunshine filled weekend filled with some ease.
Be well !

PS Game of Thrones starts on Saturday! So excited!! Are you a Thrones fan?