Monday, February 28, 2011

Meatless Monday! Fear Not the Artichoke

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who was a little intimidated by prepping, cooking, and eating whole artichokes, but now I'm a pro! I ate an entire myself...two days in a row! Delicious!

I bought two because they were super cheap at my grocery store last week. I googled instructions for how to cut and cook them. This is the one I went by.

I served mine with mayo and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Like edamame, I couldn't stop eating it! If you've never cooked these on your own, I encourage you to try!

Also, check out Meatless Monday for reasons to go meatless at least one day a week and inspiring recipes to make it easy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fibers on Friday: A Quilt Top

OK, OK, this was not the direction I was going when I decided to host Fibers on Friday, but you'll just have to accept my quilt as my work with fibers this week. Rest assured, I knitted. A little. But, man, I REALLY got into this quilt!

Before I show you, can I just tell you again how happy this party makes me? I thank you sincerely for accepting my invites, hopping over from whichever blog you were visiting, linking to, or writing from and checking us out and linking up! I love getting new followers every week and I adore seeing the same people return each week. It's nice that this party is so intimate that when someone is absent for a week or two, they're missed :-) And most of all, I love that the days with the most hits to this blog are days when I'm just posting about knitting and this party...because it means that all of YOU are checking in, sharing, and having fun!

Fiber time!

I gave you a sneak peek of the fabric last week. I spent Monday, almost all day, cutting.

How does this little pile of squares turn out to be a twin sized blanket? I spent quite some time pairing up the colors and designs...

Had my nice little stack ready for assembly line-style sewing...

Purple loving girl spent at least an hour diligently placing squares in an appealing order...

And today I finished the quilt it is!

I'm so happy with it! But now I have a very difficult decision: do I quilt it myself? And in doing that I know I'll only be able to do straight line quilting. Do I take a class at my (somewhat) local quilt shop and learn how to use their long arm quilting machine? Or do I just contact my great quilt lady who finished my big quilt for me a couple months ago and have her do a really cute, whimsical, job on it? I'm torn. I'm looking forward to seeing what you've been up tell!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Meatless Monday! Cracklin' Cauliflower

I've had this recipe saved and ready to try since September 2009! It was worth the wait to cook this with my fresh organic cauliflower from Suburban Organics :-) It's called Cracklin' Cauliflower and I cut it from Family Fun Magazine.


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 ounces (3/4 cup) grated Gruyere
  • 8 reduced-fat buttery crackers, crushed (we used Ritz)
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) grated Gruyere
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and the cauliflower. Partly cover the saucepan and let the cauliflower simmer until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and rinse it under cold water. Drain it well again.

  2. Melt the butter over moderate heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking often, for about 1 minute, then simmer for 1 minute more, still whisking, to thicken it.

  3. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the horseradish and mustard, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and the nutmeg. Stir in the cheese, then the cauliflower. Pour the mixture into a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish.

  4. To make the topping, combine the crushed crackers and panko in a small bowl. Melt the butter and stir it into the mixture.

  5. Sprinkle the ounce of cheese over the cauliflower, then top with the crumb mixture. Bake the gratin on the bottom oven rack until it's bubbling and golden, about 15 minutes. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

I thought it was delicious! But, I have to say it was probably a little too complex for young pallets! Maybe the adventurous young eater would enjoy it, but not my kids! I calls for Gruyere Cheese and horseradish! Yummy! Just not really kid flavors.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fibers on Friday: Shalom!

Shalom, friends!

My lovely sweater, called Shalom, (pattern by Meghan Mcfarlane) is finished. Take a look-see:

I'm very happy with it. It was a nice, easy knit. I knit it up exactly according to the pattern. I used Eco Wool, which is perfect for this project because you only need one skein....NO ends to weave in! Just the start and the finish ends....perfect! I LOVE the waist shaping, although I'd like the front sides to close a little bit more...but that may be fixable with blocking. I highly recommend this sweater!

My Fibers on Friday might be a little off the beaten path next week because I have these goodies which I can't wait to get my hands on:

Purple lovin' girl is getting a quilt!

Now on to Fibers on Friday! This fun little party dedicated to knitting and crocheting.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meatless Monday! Suburban Organics

This was delivered TO MY DOOR:

A gorgeous box of ORGANIC produce. Have you ever heard of Suburban Organics? Years ago my Mom and Sister subscribed. I was envious because at the time I lived outside of their delivery zone. But, recently their delivery area grew and now encompasses all of NJ and some of the surrounding areas of Philadelphia.

So, I signed up and have gotten about three deliveries. Their produce is amazing! It's fresh, it's organic, it's grown locally (when possible) and it's delicious! If you live in their delivery area, I highly....HIGHLY...recommend giving them a try. There's no commitment....just great produce.

They put out a list of fruits and veggies for the week. You are allowed to substitute up to three items if there are things you don't like. You can choose the size of the box and how often you'd like delivery. These people are so flexible and nice. I had a question about my bill so I sent and email on Christmas Eve, totally not expecting a response until the following week. But, no, I got a response THAT NIGHT!

And this week they included cute little organic lolli pops for Valentine's Day. I LOVE this company!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fibers on Friday: Rainbow Sherbert Hat

Welcome to Fibers on Friday, a party dedicated to knitting and crocheting or anything yarn related!

A whole week since posting! I'm sorry I did not comment on any of the links from last Friday, as I mentioned last week, we were off to our second annual ski trip with some good friends. It was a blast! We are all still in one piece and can't wait to go back. My kids enjoyed their first lessons:

Check out this ice sculpture!

I did not get as much relaxing knitting done after our days on the slopes as I had anticipated. I was just too beat down tired! All I could muster was a nice cold beverage and food:

But, I did complete Madison's hat which I call the Rainbow Sherbert hat. Look at these beautiful colors....oh! I love this yarn! Here it is on Ravelry.

Now I only have one project on needles; the Shalom cardigan. I will finish this before I start anything else (I think). Originally I had planned on making this a long sleeved sweater, but when I got to the point of dividing for the arm holes, I had to make a decision. It looks right now as though we'll be moving to Florida this summer, so I decided a short sleeved sweater might get more use during the cooler winter months down south. So, I'm sticking with the original pattern exactly.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

FoF: Did I Shave My Legs For This?

Why, yes I did! (and pssssstttt; I've hit 100 followers! What a way to start my day!)

Our January Challenge is over! Who has socks to show us? I hope if you participated in this challenge that it provided fun and encouragement and knowledge and inspiration!

I finished my socks just under the wire! And this is only because of the two other projects I have going. Why on earth would I pick up the sweater or the rainbow hat when I have a challenge to fulfill? So, here they are:

Adorable little face poking through, huh?

I, for one, had a lot of fun knitting these. I now feel skilled enough to knit socks that I will actually wear. I enjoyed having this project going because they are easy to pick up and mindlessly knit around. For next time I will knit a longer leg and I hope to tighten up the gussetts....and tips for this problem?

And now I will be dedicated to the Shalom and Swirl hat for a while. I am going skiing next week, so I hope to have some nice relaxing down time in the evenings to knit.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Cool Pitcher

I found this super cool pitcher at "my" thrift store. I just love the way it looks all by itself. There is a glass insert that sits down into the main body of it. I guess maybe to fill with ice to keep the beverage cold? It looks like a super cool antique. It's made by Corning, though, so I'm not sure how old it could be.

My first vision for it, though, was to fill it with red marbles for Valentine's Day. And then easily change it out with any other festive decoration....jellybeans, rose petals, acorns, whatever! Isn't it gorgeous?

And here it is on my Valentine shelf paired with my Subway Art and a little red stemware piece.