One Weekend

In one weekend you can…

…go to the park twice.

…decorate the house with paper garlands and glittered snowflakes.

…organize my stash of felt.

…go out to eat at one of our favorite burger joints.

…tickle each other and make funny faces.

NovPark2

…finish one book and start a new one.

…clean out my wardrobe.

…put up 150 Christmas lights.

…watch the kids make a creative mess.

artwork

…fall asleep to the sounds of the gusting winds.

…go out to dinner with the family.

…knit 5 repeats on a blanket that will be cherished forever.

…try a new recipe with a new twist.
Balsamic Chicken

In one weekend you can just be.

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{rainy day}

Today is a rainy day.

One of those days when you lay in bed and you reminisce about those days when you went off to elementary school, lunchbox in hand. How you ran to your classroom trying not to get your Mary Jane’s wet. How recess was held inside. Games strewn over the double desks. Monopoly, Checkers, Old Maid. How you skipped in and out of the puddles on the way to the lunch room. How you watched the water drip, drip, drip. How there was a sweet scent of children, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and wet rain coats. How the YMCA counselors would open up the auditorium and all the kids would put on fake plays on the stage.

Those days are over, but they are lovely to remember. We hardly get much rain here in Southern California. Especially in the area we live in now. So when the sweet scent of water and asphalt mixed, I knew we were in for an old fashioned rain “storm”. It’s been raining all day today, so Scout and I had a rainy day inside.

I wonder. I wonder when she’s older, will she remember watching Scooby Doo with me on the couch under my comforter? Will she remember how we had “fair food”, (pizza rolls, soft pretzels with cheese, and cupcakes), and how we practiced our spelling out everything we ate? Will she remember the wonder in her eyes when she looked outside and didn’t really know why there was water falling from the sky? Will she remember the way the wind was so powerful that it shut our bedroom doors and bent the tree boughs right by the patio? Will she remember the sounds of the heavy cars splashing water onto the sidewalks? Yes, I wonder.

While side glancing a few episodes of Scooby Doo I finished up the shoulder warmer that I offered to make on Etsy. I’m happy to have it done. It wasn’t tedious. It wasn’t difficult. But it was time consuming and I am so behind on a few projects. I really need to catch up. And it seems like the rain just may allow it.

ShoulderWarmer1

Ravelry link

Pattern by Crocheteria

Yarn: Vanna’s Choice Solid, (Charcoal Gray), almost two skeins

Needles: US 8’s and Us 9’s for the ribbing

I still have a scarf and a pair of mittens for Etsy customers to make, but I’m nearly finished and I can’t wait. (Patience, anyone?)

In the midst of our rain and knitting, Scout and I stopped to have a little snack: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting,

PumpkinCupcake

and a little bit of reverie, (for me).

Abidewithme

Yes. I think all of these memories are what justify my love for the rainy days we have.

Feelin’ a little chili today

Surprisingly the weather is cooling down, (though we expect to have a warmer weekend, much to my dismay), and I’ve been breaking out the soups and stews this week. This week alone I made a batch of Baked Potato and Cheese Soup, (about one serving worth of leftovers), 3 Cheese Tortellini Vegetable soup, (there were about 6 servings worth of leftovers and I ate about 5 of those), Navy Bean and Ham soup, (there was about 3 servings worth leftover), and last night I decided to quench my chili loving appetite. I have to say that I think this was probably the best of all the chili’s I’ve ever made. There’s only a few spoonfuls left.

Not only does it taste great, but it’s very hearty and filling.

Oh, and it looks good too!

I want to say that I’m 100% sure that I’ve posted this recipe before, but then again I can’t be that positive. So I’ll share it with you now as long as you all assure me that you won’t go sell the recipe to some high end restaurant or sell it under your own name. Yeah, it’s that good.

Kidney Bean Chili

1 lb. ground beef, (I always use the least amount of fat content I can get my hands on)

48 ounces of canned/drained/rinsed dark red kidney beans

36 ounces of canned tomatoes, (normally I use one can of Fire Roasted tomotoes, 1 can of stewed tomatoes and 1 can of petite diced tomatoes)

8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1/4 c sugar

1 sweet yellow onion, chopped

1-2 green pepper, cut into large pieces

2-3 TB Gebhardt’s Chili powder

1 TB cumin

2 cloves of garlic, whole

1 whole jalapeño, diced with seeds retained

hot sauce

salt and pepper

On medium heat brown ground beef. When meat is completely browned add in onion and garlic. Let heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions are tender. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the kidney beans well. Add to the mixture the beans and the tomatoes, (including sauce). Stir in the green peppers. Add remaining ingredients.

(Normally I add in about 2 TB of Crystal hot sauce but you can use any time of hot sauce. If you don’t like heat in your chili you can omit the hot sauce, jalapeños and cumin. These three together will bring a lot of heat and spice.)

Let the pot of chili cook on low to medium heat for 30-45 minutes. The longer it’s cooking the better it will taste, or so my mother says.

Top with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Definitely one of our favorites to make especially when it’s made right. Sometimes you never know. I’ve tweaked this recipe over the years and I think I finally got it 110% right!

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Friday Fill In

1. I enjoy taking naps with Scout.

2.  How people afford to live is something I wonder about often lately.

3. In your heart, you knew I wouldn’t be going back to Chicago for a very long time.

4. Take sugar, add a little water and you end up with Kool Aid.

5. Life has gifted me with a kitten that is really 1/2 ferret and 1/2 monkey.

6. A bubble bath is an instant vacation.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to my PJ party, tomorrow my plans include relaxing around the house and Sunday, I want to have breakfast in bed!

Simply Strawberry

With the summer season comes a variety of delicious summer fruits. I love nectarines, grapes, watermelon, and most of all: strawberries. Strawberry ice cream, jam, shortcake, lemonade… You name it, we’ve been making it over the summer months.

Last night I decided to try out a new strawberry recipe which proved to be both simple and satisfying.

Nuff said.

Now onto Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter filling.

Sweet!

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Edited to add swap questionnaire:

  1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft? I’ve been knitting for 8 years and I crochet, very rarely, (I admit I’m not that good).
  2. Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do? I don’t spin.
  3. Are there any other crafts that you participate in? I make jewelry, (mainly pearls, crystals and seed beads), quilt and sew, and I alter scrapbooks/journals.
  4. What are your favorite yarns/fibers? Some of my favorites include: Koigu KPPPM, Karabella Aurora 8, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Lightweight Sock Yarn, Louet Gems, and Rowan Wool/Cotton.
  5. What are your LEAST favorite yarns/fibers? I don’t like tweedy yarns or novelty type yarns.
  6. Are there any types/brands of yarn that you are dying to work with but haven’t gotten a chance? I’d love me some Sundara, of course. I’d also like to try Blue Sky Alpacas Royal. I’ve never knit with it but I’ve felt it. Yum!
  7. What are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet? Sweaters and socks.
  8. What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to start this autumn? My second Central Park Hoodie and my own sock design.
  9. What is your favorite FO? (Please, post a picture if you would like.) Right now I think my favorite is the Rib and Lace Tank from Interweave Knits, Spring 07.
  10. What is your oldest UFO? Cabled cardigan from Vogue Knitting, Winter 05. I’d love to have it done by Winter this year.
  11. Are their any knitting/crochet techniques that you would like to learn? I’d like to work on my crochet skills.
  12. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes! I have a 9 1/2″ foot circumference. I was born with a wide foot and high instep.
  13. Do you have a yarn winder and/or a swift? No, but I have my eyes on one that’s on Etsy.
  14. Where/how to you keep you needles/hooks? My long needls are in a vase and my circulars in needle holders that my grandmother made me a few years ago.
  15. Do you collect anything? Not currently. I am pining away for a Blythe doll. Once I get one I will collect clothes and probably more dolls.
  16. What is your favorite type of music? Are you MP3 ready? I love bands like Linkin Park, System of a Down, and Fall Out Boy. I also like R&B, Rap, Reggae, Pop… I have an iPod but it’s not working right now.
  17. Do you like sweets? What are your favorites? I love gourmet popcorn. And anything peanut butter chocolate is good too! Oh, and Werther’s caramels.
  18. What is your living situation like? Any pets? Children? It’s me and Shawn and our two kids: Jem, 10 years old and Scout, 19 months old. We also have a Siamese cat named Dalton and a Beta fish named Gil.
  19. Are you allergic to anything? Mosquito bites!
  20. Do you have an online wish list (Amazon, Etsy, Loopy Ewe, etc.)? Please include links for your swap pal. I have an online wish list through Amazon, (using my email address).
  21. Are you having a birthday during this swap? Yes, November 27th. Thanksgiving day I believe.
  22. What is your Ravelry ID? BluEyedPenny