Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Birch Trees

Birch Pillow
Whenever I think of Birch Trees I think of the sandbox at the farm house where I grew up. It was the only birch tree on our property, it was taken down years later, but I always thought is was so cool. I would be playing in the sandbox (trying to avoid the cat poo surprises -ew) and would get distracted by the peeling bark of the birch and begin playing with bark or climbing around in the tree.

All that to say I have a fondness for birch trees and I am REALLY excited about this new knitting project - Birch Tree Pillow. The pattern is by Eva Katharina (ravelry link, sorry), if you're not on Ravelry you'll just have to wait and watch the pattern emerge as I knit this up.

I started spinning the yarn for this project in the early summer, I think. I have only spun half the wool I have, but I couldn't wait to cast on for this pillow - and honestly, I'm not even certain I'll need the other half of the wool so it may get designated to another project.

I find that whenever I do fair isle knitting I can't seem to put the project down! It is so fun to see the result emerge and I enjoy knitting with both hands - it make me feel more efficient or something.

I just finished this fair isle project - stirrup socks or yoga socks. I plan to wear them mostly with regular socks and ballet flats as an extra layer of warmth - since my gym doesn't offer classes (boo).

Anyhow, this pillow has me itching to keep knitting fair isle. This evening looks like it is shaping up to be an evening, at home, on the couch, with hubs and my knitting - lovely.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Book Review: 200 Fast and Easy Artisan Breads: No-Knead, One Bowl

I tend to be quite picky about my cookbooks. I enjoy chillin' on the couch looking through my cookbooks marking exciting new recipes, but I don't have the patience for a cookbook that just sit on my counter being uninspiring. Uninspiring cookbooks get booted.

Currently, I very much like all the cookbooks I have so I was hesitant to "invest" in a new one. But, I have had zero success making delicious bread. Every try has come out super dense - not chewy, not airy, and not flavorful as in my childhood memories.

So, discussed my failures with a dear friend who has all the bread making success in the world, and she chalked it up to this book "200 Fast and Easy Artisan Breads: No-Knead, One Bowl".

Finally I bought the book and gave it a try this past weekend. All I can say is A M A Z I N G.

On Saturday I made a loaf if sun-dried tomato bread and couldn't help but try another recipe, whole wheat boule, before the weekend was over. Not only were the loafs beautiful, but they had great flavor and texture. Beyond all, they were simple.

A few piece of equipment are required for various recipes in the book. You need to own an instant read thermometer, a baking stone, and a broiler pan. Also, this book uses instant or bread machine yeast rather than active dry yeast.

I already had stone(s), but I picked up the thermometer at Target for about $14 and the broiler was sadly $25, but you could probably thrift one if you keep your eye out.

I'm plan to try another recipe this weekend and I'll let you know how it turns out, but my current conclusion is this - if you want to make awesome, tasty, fancy looking breads that are easy and have very little hands on time then this book is for you.

Check it out from your library to give it a try!

For those of you who come by here for knitting more than cooking/baking here's peak at what I'm working on.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poached Eggs in Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce

Canning Adventures
Sadly I do not have any photos of the delicious things I am about to share with you because I was too hungry, therefore I did not pause for a photo. Enjoy the photo above of some my canning adventures... now, on with the recipe.

A few weeks ago I was watching a cooking show and they poached some eggs in a tomato based sauce. I'm pretty sure I had to wipe the drool from my face.

So, last night when looking in the fridge I saw we had eggs, took out my favorite vegetarian cook book and looked through suggestions for eggs I was reminded of the cooking show and the drool.

I made a variation of the Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce and then poached some eggs in it. YUM. I even suggested to David that I could make some chicken in the left over sauce tomorrow, but he wanted more eggs instead. The man turned down meat - seriously, give this recipe a try.

Took me about 30 minutes from start to finish, and most of my adaptations were just because it is what I had one hand so you can be flexible with the ingredients.

Poached Eggs in Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce
adapted from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"

In a dutch oven or pot (that has a lid, you'll need it later) over med high heat melt

4 tbsps butter


1 med. onion chopped finely

cook until the onion is translucent, then add

2 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped green chili

saute for another minute then add your spices

2 tsp curry pwd
1/2 tsp ancho chili pwd
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
large pinch of sugar
fresh ground salt and pepper

cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes and then add

1 - 28 ounce can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup whole milk or cream

bring to a gentle boil, sauce should be a normal marinara consistency, if not then cook off some more liquid before continuing.

add 1/2 cup water or stock to the sauce

return to a simmer, now it is time to add your eggs, I suggest 5 at the most for this amount of sauce

crack your egg into a small bowl or saucer and then slide it into the sauce
once all your eggs are in, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.


I'd love to hear how it turns our for you, happy cooking!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall Knits

Now that the summer heat is subsiding and mornings are crisp I find myself with a growing list of things I'm ready to knit.

Some are going to be Christmas gifts, others are things I have wanted to make for a long time, and others are sweaters - now is optimal sweater knitting because it is cool enough to be motivated and the cold will still be around long enough to enjoy the result.

First completed Christmas gift for this year, Harriet. Since babies don't read the internet I thought it would be okay to post a photo of the dear hippo in all her pinkness. Since baby knits are so addictive I'm sure Zoe will get more than just Harriet... maybe some leg warmies too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Coming into work this morning I entered into the gray, fragrant haze. And as I sit at my desk there is a looming plume of smoke over Boulder.

If you have not heard about the wildfire in Left Hand Canyon here is a recent Denver Post article, but any Google search will give you all kinds of information at this point. Also, here are more photos of the situation from the Denver Post.

The photos above are David's, he went out to the hill in Louisville yesterday. I really don't have any words to add. This is just so sad and I pray they get the blaze under control soon!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September is here and so am I

Somewhere back in July I decided I'd give up on blogging again until September. I didn't let you all in on the plan, but now the time is here.

There is so much going on in the summer that there is tons to blog about, but no time to do it. So from time to time this fall and winter I might bring out a few pictures or projects from this summer and share those with you too.

To kick off this blogging season here are a few photos from my Golden Birthday party last Saturday. It was a murder mystery party the theme being set in a trailer park. (Golden birthday because I turned 28 on the 28th)
Trailer Trash Tradgedy
This is David, dressed as Big Hoss

Trailer Trash Tradgedy
Taylor trying to figure out who he suspects

Trailer Trash Tradgedy
Katy and Andrew just looking awesome

We all had a lot of laughs and after the mystery was solved we had some great times playing catch phrase.