knitting it up in a big way

Tag Archives: cooking

Rose vs hexagon

i decided that the hexagon blanket needed another pale color, which i honestly don’t have any of, so i had to go out and buy this lovely ballerina pink koigu. i think i’m done crocheting hexagons, and i have commenced crocheting all of the hexagons together in chunks. i’m just the teensiest but worried that i’ll want one more column in the end, so i’m crocheting together portions around the area i would most likely add another column.

Decisions, decisions...

the third from the left is the one i took home, the second from the right is the color i might go back for. if you look back at where i was before i added the pink, you can see that the warm pinky tones are the spectrum least represented. thoughts?

Hell yes dinner al fresco!

i’ve been trying to take advantage of the absolutely beautiful weather we’ve been having, and while we were dog sitting, we also took advantage of the lovely backyard and ate outside. the potatoes in the middle of the table, by the way, were from this ridiculously simple and ridiculously delicious recipe.

Good morning!

and because reading at coffee shops (or in this case bakery with good coffee) is one of my very favorite things to do, i inevitably have to document it. i’m currently on the third book in this YA fantasy series about a female assassin (why yes, that does have my name written all over it).

Went for a prairie walk this morning. Had a few thinks, replaced worry and doubt with the buzz of bugs in the flowers and wind in the grass.

another attempt to take full advantage of the weather, i went for an extremely fantastic walk in a prairie preserve, and filled my head with the feeling of the sun on my skin, the wind in the grass, butterflies flittering about, the buzz of bugs going about their lives. it was lovely in the extreme.

ah, this picture also exemplifies my (quite mild) obsession with photo editing apps, most recently, the double exposure feature of afterlight. i could do a whole blog post about photo editing apps, but i have no idea if any of you would find that helpful or interesting at all?

what have you been doing to take advantage of the season?


still chugging away on my sweater. this is where i am as of today:


not too bad, eh? torso is done. i decided to repeat the aqua triangles and navy stripe/dot detail at the bottom of the torso, and i’ll be doing that for the sleeves too. it makes me ever so mildly cranky, as this means that this project won’t actually use up the dark teal that i used as the base for the ‘xo’ pattern at the yoke (it’s still a yoke if it’s a raglan, right?)

i put up this picture on social media to get everyone’s input on which dot color to use:


after hearing everyone out, i’m 98% sure that the green is the winner. i like that it’s an outlier in the color palette, but it doesn’t distract from anything else. feel free to argue your point if you disagree, though!


last weekend we helped a friend prep the family shoe store for moving. it was a lot of physical work, but it was also fun. i really appreciated how simple and visual the tasks were. move things, take down shelves, sweep. look, a clear room! there’s something about tasks like this at a time when other things are murky or unquiet that makes them all the more satisfying.


we found some graffiti, too! nobody knows who wrote it, or who jennifer ann is. this weeks update was filmed while we were doing this, and it was pretty fun, if you want to check it out:

for brunch the other day, we we had the usual standbys, foodwise, but i was feeling like mixing it up. so i made ‘egg-in-the-hole’, which jake called ‘eggy in toast’:


also going fairly strong in my efforts to buy less food and therefore throw out less food. leftover rice was used for a very traditional purpose!


fried rice! my first attempt. definitely fast and easy enough that this will become a mainstay. i honestly had no idea it was so easy, otherwise this would have happened a looooong time ago. i used this recipe, with teriyaki tofu instead of chicken. it was a tad bland. i’ll probably get adventurous in the future, but i do like to stick pretty close to the original the first time i make a recipe.

what’s going on with you guys? any fun plans this weekend?

eep! my first recipe! a couple of weeks ago i made a ‘more veg than risotto’ to try and clear out some of the over abundance of veggies we’d picked up at the farmers market, and to use up the tiny bit of arborio rice in the pantry. i posted a picture on instagram, and got two requests for the recipe. for me, that is a positive stampede!


maybe you all have made risotto forever and are super used to it, but i really only started this year, and i was intimidated by it’s high-maintenance reputation. but it’s not hard at all. arborio rice is the usual base for risotto, a highly absorbent rice that requires not infrequent stirring. the other base elements, as far as i can tell, are onion, a little bit of white wine, and some variety of broth, heated separately, and added a few spoonfuls at a time until it absorbs. that’s it! after this, practically any variation is possible!

the cast of characters:



more veg than risotto
yields approximately 4 servings

1 quart vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cup chopped carrot (2 of my mutant huge carrots, probably 3 more normally sized ones)
1 cup chopped green beans
½ zuccini
½ yellow squash, 1 ½ cups chopped combined zuccini and squash
1 cup sliced mini bell peppers
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup parmesan cheese, additional parmesan for a garnish
salt and pepper to taste


on one burner, heat a good amount of the vegetable broth in a saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. i used about 3/4 of the quart.


on another burner, heat a medium sized (i used a 3.5 quart) pot over medium flame. add olive oil. chop onion and garlic, add to pot. cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. add arborio rice, cook, stirring until well coated, 1-2 minutes. add wine, cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.


add a cup of vegetable broth to the rice, stir to combine, and cook a few minutes to absorb. continue adding broth, a few spoonfuls at a time, waiting until it’s absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally.


in between cupfuls of the broth, chop and add vegetables. i added them in approximate order of density/cooking time. first carrots, then greens beans. zuccini and squash went in at the same time. sliced peppers and lastly the halved tomatoes.


cook until rice is creamy and just tender, maybe 45 minutes. feel free to test it as you go! when the risotto is cooked, remove pan from heat. add butter, stirring until it’s melted and distributed, and add parmesan, stirring to combine. serve immediately! (risotto thickens as it cools)


garnish with salt and pepper to taste, and additional parmesan, if you feel as strongly about cheese as i do.


for the most authentic experience, put on the shins wincing the night away, pour yourself (and your cooking partner) some wine, utilize dance moves that you never would in public, and possibly try to convince your kitty to dance. do not be surprised if your kitty is not having it. at all. but if you give her chin scratches and pet her nicely, she’ll forgive you quite quickly.



my family encourages use of butter, and my personal desires never resist the allure of cheese, but exclusion of these would yield a very tasty vegan dish. if your desires lean the opposite way, chicken broth instead of vegetable broth is delicious. and i bet a 1/4 lb of italian sausage (casings removed), browned at the beginning with the onion, would be excellent!

if you try this, let me know how it turns out! what are your favorite risotto ingredients?




thrifted j. crew dress, purse – forever 21 belt, shoes – anthropologie skirt

maybe this shouldn’t be the case by now, but i’m always a little surprised at the versatility of dresses in remixes. maybe it’s because with pants or blouses, i feel like i can only really wear them a couple of ways. but i rarely test the flexibility of a dress until i remix it.

in this remix, this one has been worn as a dress, a skirt (twice), and now a blouse. not too shabby, eh?

when we were in st. louis at the end of may, i got a grilled cheese sandwich at an irish pub for lunch, and it was the most amazing and delicious grilled cheese, with two kinds of cheddar, guinness caramelized onions, and goat cheese! the sharpness of the different cheeses was so good with the sweet onions. so two nights ago i copy-catted (kinda) their idea…

grilled cheese

i was too hungry to go find the real camera… and to wait to test it until after i’d taken a picture! i grilled up some onions, slowly over low heat. i didn’t have enough time to properly caramelize them (did i mention the hunger?), and used a sharp white cheddar and goat cheese. NOM! absolutely wonderful. now i’ll have to try it with caramelized onions! and figure out what they mean by the guinness thing. just simmered in guinness, do you reckon?




thrifted cowl, j crew cardigan – target black tee – canvas orange cords – ebay vintage cole haans

i went to my favorite rummage sale early this month with a limited budget and a fairly small list. i’m trying to be selective about what i bring home. so i was in the room dedicated to purses, scarves and women’s hats, and i was looking for a cross body purse (i found one. the one that you’ve been seeing practically every recent outfit post except for this one), but i am really not in need of any scarves (my collection is ample). but i decided to take a peek through one of the dozen or so boxes just to see what there was. after lightly peeking through 1 box, i had three scarves that i knew i wouldn’t leave without. i called it at that point in time. i didn’t allow my eyes to so much as settle on any other boxes full of scarves. and then i found a hat on the way out of that room. that’s a dangerous section for me, apparently!

this scarf was from that box. i couldn’t tell it was a cowl until i got home. it was just a huge soft heathered grey jersey and i knew i wanted that.

i should really wear more scarves…

in other food news:

breakfast scramble

i’ve been trying to become better acquainted with my cast iron skillet. everyone has different methods of dealing with cast iron skillets, and i’ve been reading them as i encounter them, so i became kind of intimidated by its ‘needs’. i’ve decided that’s silly, just bite the bullet (what a weird phrase!), get to know my particular skillet. jake and i have been working our way through a particularly cheap 5 lb bag of potatoes, and i’ve been perfecting the breakfast scramble. so this is potatoes, scrambled eggs, onion, red pepper, and soyrizo topped with cheddar. plus toast, of course. delicious!

two questions: do you guys have any tips or thoughts about cast iron skillets? and second-of-ly would you be interested in a blogpost of tips for rummage sale-ing?




thrifted j. crew cardigan, ralph lauren belt, liz claiborne purse, cole haan loafers
hand-me-over blouse – j. crew navy cords

it’s like i had a wind machine to make this photo shoot look more ‘profesh’. i don’t have much to say about this outfit, but i did get two compliments on my blouse. once from my grandpa, and then a few minutes later my grandma came into the room and separately complimented it!

do you guys own food processors? i don’t, and i never really thought much of getting one, but recently it seems like every other recipe i read calls for a food processor. (this recipe really makes me want to run out and buy one STAT) i have a blender, but it’s so annoying to wash that most of the time i’ll spend the extra time to just chop everything up. plus, it doesn’t work quite the same was as a food processor, so i’ve never been clear as to whether you can pretty much use them interchangeably?

my point is, i found this tip once while i was stumbling around the internet, and i have no idea where, otherwise i’d link it, but anyways! i read that a regular mason jar will screw onto the blade part of a blender no problem.


so we’re going to do a cook-out with friends tonight for memorial day (it’s totally a grilling holiday, right?), and they said ‘hey, bring some pasta salad!’ and we said ‘sure!’. but here’s the thing…. i’ve never really liked those things that are called ‘salads’ where mayonnaise is the main ingredient, as i don’t like mayonnaise. so i went questing around the internet to find a pasta salad that eliza would like. and no surprise, pioneer woman to the rescue!


perfect chance to try out the blender with a mason jar maneuver, too!


and it makes the chamber where the food is much smaller, which turns it more similar to a food processor. i feel like the blades have access to everything in there. plus, washing a mason jar is wayyyy less irritating than the gigantic glass blender thinger. you still have to wash the blade part, but meh. whatevs.


and the finished product, complete with the basil plant that i bought because it was basically the same price as the package of fresh basil:


even if i can’t keep the plant alive for very long, i should be able to have fresh basil longer than if i’d bought the package of basil. i left out the olives, and i didn’t put nearly as many fresh tomatoes in, but i did chop up a roasted red pepper for it. next time i think i’ll put some spinach in, too. but now at least i have made a pasta salad!

do you have a food processor? do you love it? should i just stick to my blender? any pasta salad recipes that i might like?

cheap daffodils from the grocery store

before: stool
i decided to pull the old paint splattered burgundy canvas off of this little stool.

after: stool
ah, much better! this picture makes me want to re-paint the trim in the kitchen, though. okay, let’s be honest. looking at the trim in the kitchen makes me want to re-paint it.

i made smitten kitchen‘s tomato and italian sausage risotto the other night. it was incredible. i’d never made risotto before. i could barely believe that i had made it, it tasted so good! ‘surely,’ i says to myself, ‘this is beyond my culinary ken!’ ‘apparently not,’ i responded, ‘and don’t call me shirley.’

… sometimes the oddest things happen when i sit down to type up a blog post.

the days are getting warmer and sunnier, but i just got an exciting belated birthday present that has me wishing for some rain! but i’ve been so pleased to just throw the windows open and let in the fresh air. i’ve been doing some spring cleaning, which also feels great.

what’s been going on with you lately?

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