Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Inspirations

Recipe Inspirations:

Not only do I love soups, but I really love chowders. This Chicken Chowder sounds so satisfying . . . isn't that something we all look for in food?

On a similar vein, this basic recipe for Cream of Something base it nice for people like me who like to experiment, but don't always know where to start.

I know we all remember pizza rolls . . . but Homemade and Gluten-free Pizza Bites? Ah, this has so many possibilities.

Again, on a similar vein, this recipe for Wonton Wrappers has many applications . . . cream cheese, crab, and asparagus . . . hmm.

I am very into spinach right now, so this Spinach and Feta Soup sounds yummy, although I am not so keen on figure out what that means in cups, etc. This was mentioned on the Yarnivore Podcast.

As an adult I am finding there are plenty of things that either I didn't like as a child or didn't like how it was made at a certain place/brand, etc. and now as an adult I am interested in try things in new ways, so this Easy to Make Sauerkraut has me interested in retrying sauerkraut.

What could be better than Cinnamon Rolls? Maybe Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Inspirations

I know my blogging has continued to be sporadic, unfortunately this will continue, work is only getting busier which cuts down on my crafting and internet time.  But I am not disappearing and will still be around.

Recipe Inspirations:

I am still into the soups, winter and busy, soups are lovely to make due to quantity if anything! This Roasted Asparagus Soup sounds delicious and could easily be spiced up with non-paleo things if you so desired.

This recipe for Cajun Chicken with Pepper Jack Cheese was mentioned on the His and Hers Video Podcast and it sounded delicious, so I want to try that.

I have really wanted to try Spaghetti Squash and never have had the nerve, but this Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese looks delicious!

Me and lemon, again, this Citrus Lust Mini Bundt Cakes with Lemon Curd sound delicious and I am sure I can do this gluten-free.

Honey Bourbon Chicken sounds even more delicious because there is no bourbon actually in it! Plus it is cooked in a slow cooker . . . ah, slow cooker love!

I am interested in try this Sweet and Smoky Broccoli Salad mostly because the husband is a fan of this type of salad.

Again, more slow cooker love, I am a huge fan of Sloppy-Joes so I am wondering how close this Crock-pot Italian Sloppy Joe recipes tastes to the Manwich kind.

I am such a huge fan of cinnamon rolls, these Last Minute Cinnamon Rolls sound yummy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Beef and Asparagus Rollatini

I love the whole idea of rollatini inspired foods.

Even the husband loved this. It is a simple thin piece of flank steak that I cooked mostly through in a frying pan. Then mixed a small amount of cream cheese and barbeque sauce (trust me that you need very little of this combo, it looks like I used a lot and even that was very little). Then I fried up some asparagus spears. I spread a thin amount of the cream cheese mixture on the beef, and laid out the asparagus on 1/3 of the beef, starting at the end with the asparagus, I rolled it up and then seared the roll in a hot frying pan.



Seems simple but was delicious. Considering trying it with Coconut Cream instead of cream cheese next time to make it more Paleo, we shall see how it works!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Single Handed Knits KAL - Intersections Break

Between Christmas and New Years, Mel from the Single Handed Knits podcast had a Knit-A-Long (KAL) for her new pattern, Intersections Break. Which is designed and named after a surf break across the street from her house in Hawaii.

I liked the patterns that used more than one color and the contrast of the purl changes to the cables so I decided to use bits of leftover stash. Due to my large head, I had to cast on 90 stitches instead and just added the extra stitches into the purl sections.

Not going to list all the yarns I used, since I used 5 different yarns/colors. I used size 6 needles again. My head is a little flatter on top for than what works with decreases that happen so quickly, so if I made another one, I would probably space out the decreases with some knit rows, but otherwise love this hat.




The husband thinks it looks goofy with all the colors, but I love it more because of them! Would definitely knit this hat again.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Inspirations

Other Inspirations:

Going Paleo has definitely made me a fan of Coconut Oil, but not just for cooking, the following past has 10 uses for Coconut Oil. I have used Coconut Oil as body/hair oil and love it! My skin stays softer, has less issues, and takes longer to dry out vs. using lotion. Some of the other ideas I would like to try, for instance these Coconut Berry Delights.

Crafty Inspirations:

I love the whole theory of the Contiguous Method of creating a top-down top and this Contiguous Series from Sneezerville has some very good information for working the Contiguous Method if you are interested.

I love the theory of Making a kids boat from plywood!

Recipe Inspirations:

I am very much attempting to branch out, but in a more healthful way. I am working myself back into Paleo and will be posting more things that are associated with this, but will still be posting things that are definitely not Paleo or Gluten-Free.

This Raspberry Chipotle Sauce sounds delicious and I think this would work very well with some chicken or pork.

In the spirit of trying to be more experimental, I would like to do things like making my own Onion Salt.

This Black Forest Cake looks delicious and I don't think it would be too difficult to make it Gluten-Free instead.

Don't these Refrigerator Orange Rolls just look drool worthy? I need to try to make a Gluten-Free version of these.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mashed Potato Casserole

This is my new favorite dish because there are endless varieties possible.  One day a few weeks ago I was looking for a recipe that would use up some sausage and spinach that needed to be used before it went bad and I found this recipe Potato Spinach Sausage Casserole.

From the beginning I deviated from the recipe, using coconut oil instead of olive oil and butter for greasing. I used paprika instead of nutmeg, coconut cream instead of heavy whipping cream, used only a fraction of the cheese, and used less spinach because I didn't have quite that much. It was still delicious!



The second time I deviated even further, I used roasted dijon/paprika pork roast, which on its one was delicious (inspired by the tastes of deviled eggs), used frozen spinach, more onion, and used coconut cream again and less cheese. Also took more pictures:

Mashed potatoes, onions and garlic, and then spinach on top.

A nice layer of dijon/paprika pork roast

A little bit of cheese.

See the lovely layering.

All baked and yummy, I just bake until the cheese is nicely baked since everything in it is already cooked.

Ah, steamy beautifulness!


I still have many more ideas for experimenting with this simple basic idea.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bobba Hats

I am trying to knit things that I find interesting, whether or not they have a recipient in mind for 2013 and I tried to start that I little early so Christmas weekend I knitted two hats with the same pattern but very different outcomes.

The first hat:
Yarn: Rozetti Always Dreams
Color: Light Purple
Content: 75% Acrylic / 25% Wool

Yarn: Stitch Nation - Alpaca Love
Color: Dusk
Content: 80% Wool / 20% Alpaca

Needles: US 6

Pattern: Bobba Hat


This one I did the little ball at the top.  If I was to knit it over again as a snug hat, I would knit a size smaller, but make it about an inch or so longer as I like hats to cover my ears completely. 

I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  I thought at first it looked a little silly, but I ended up really liking the rolled brim.

The second hat:
Yarn: Stitch Nation - Bamboo Ewe
Color: Twilight
Content: 55% Bamboo / 45% Wool

Yarn: Handspun Alpaca that was gifted to me by someone I worked with last year
Color: 1 ply is brown, 2nd ply is white, pink, and blue
Content: 100% Alpaca

Needles: US 6

Pattern: same as above, Bobba Hat


This one is super warm due to the Alpaca and I love it!


I have the whole PDF Booklet that this pattern is part of and plan on knitting more of the patterns out of this hat book.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

So I mentioned these German Chocolate Cake Sandwich Cookies on a recent Sunday Inspirations and had to make them for my husband.

Everyone who tried these loved these, I took some to work since this ended up making like 24 sandwich cookies. Some said the cookies alone would be worth it.



I did not change the recipe at all and will most likely make them again in the future for my husband, they are quite labor intensive though.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Safe Waters?

I love requests . . . that are feasible . . . and Garren requested a shark for Christmas. I knew I had to make the best shark I could, a lot of the patterns are a little too cartoony for my tastes and I thought he would want something that was a bit more realistic.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Heather
Color: Grey Heather
Content: 100% Acrylic

Yarn: Red Heart Soft Baby Steps
Color: Pink
Content: 100% Acrylic

Needles: US 2 / 2.75mm

Pattern: Shark

Mods: I used strips of white felt which I sewed into the mouth instead of making the knitted teeth. Honestly didn't think the knitted teeth were worth the trouble. And yes, I realized after I sent them off that I forgot to put eyes on the poor guy.





I love how this worked out and definitely worth knitting. Instructions were very good and not overcomplicated.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Echo's Christmas Socks

So lets take a couple days to go over Christmas presents that I didn't have time to blog about before.

Echo's request for her socks was to make them as long as I could, so I used a coordinating yarn for the toes, heels, and cuffs to extend the length of the socks.

Yarn: Knit Picks Bare - Superwash Merino Fingering
Color: Echo dyed with only yellow, orange, red, and blue
Content: 75% wool / 25% Nylon

Yarn: Lion Brand Sock Ease
Color: Grape Soda
Content: 75% wool / 25% nylon

Needles: US 1 / 2.25mm

Pattern : made up as I couldn't find a knee-high socks pattern that I liked or wasn't formulaic.

I really love how these turned out although knitting socks that high take longer than I expected.

They look a little silly here, but that is because I thought I would get the best fit for her if the ribbing started right after where the heel would go, since she couldn't try them on.  I also did an afterthought heel with these.

Because of the pixelated way the dye job looks, the sock is hard to get a picture where those sections look clear, the dye makes them look blurry.  You can especially see it here where the purple is obviously in focus, but the other section looks blurry!


I love the color in these, that is one of the things that made the knitting interesting is to watch how the colors would shift, even though it didn't seem to make sense how they shifted sometimes.

If I knit another pair of extra long socks I will start quite early, so I can take breaks.