Friday, October 29, 2010

Cold Weather = Sweaters!

It was cold enough today for me to put on a sweater!

The first sweater, in fact, I've ever knitted.

Note the "I Voted" sticker on the collar. I cast my absentee ballot today. Make sure you get out to the polls on Tuesday! If you can't vote that day, there's still time to cast an early ballot.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Katie over at Good Life Eats has me drooling over my keyboard this morning. (I found her post through Craftzine.)

Her Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate looks so divine!

 (Photo: Katie of Good Life Eats)
 I will most definitely make this at home, though I may substitute chocolate chips for white chocolate because I already have that on hand.

I'm also happy to find a good way to use up any unused pumpkin puree I may have left over from meals, such as last night's pumpkin soup. I've got a little less than 1/2 a quart in my fridge right now and was thinking about making muffins, but now I think I'll make this instead!

Friday, October 22, 2010

McCall's Holiday 2010 Collection

I sent this email to my mom and thought I'd share it with y'all as well:

I got McCall's Holiday 2010 newsletter this a.m. I checked out the collection and most pieces seem to be pretty basic and easy. Also expensive.

But I like these 3 (all images belong to McCall's pattern company):

I like the design in red, but I'd probably make it into a shirt. The zippers and stitching of the other 2 dresses are really nice too.

I love the jacket on the left. The shape looks really nice and feminine (without being frilly). The shape of the pink jacket isn't too bad either.


Project organizer! It includes a bag, knitting needle case, 2 organizer bags, scissor bag and yarn holder! How awesome is that?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recovering pillows

Kathleen over at Grosgrain posted a great how-to under her How-To Tuesdays series: How to recover pillows!

Okay, maybe you're not as thrilled as me, but this is a great way to save some dough and/or mix up the look of your throw pillows in your living room. It's especially helpful if you're pillows are worn looking and need a pick-me up.

I know I've got a few pillows that need some more life and color. But that'll probably have to wait until after the holidays. I've got too much Christmas sewing to do and so little time to do it. :P

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Delicata squash

Lately I've been trying out fall squashes. Butternut, spaghetti and delicata are now marked off the list.

Delicata, seen below, is the most recent squash I've tried and I love it! It's sweet, smooth and great with a variety of seasoning -- from good ol' standbys salt and pepper to sage or cinnamon.

The first time I made delicata I sliced the squash in half, seeded it and sliced it into half moons. After tossing the squash in a combo of olive oil and sage, I baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time. Wonderful!

Last weekend, I wanted to create something using some tomatoes from the garden. This dish was inspired by tabbouleh, a dish that uses bulgur, a grain; tomatoes; mint; lemon juice and olive oil.

I also made pan-fried, thyme-rosemary-sage chicken breasts. This may not be the proper way to use herbs with chicken, so if you know a better technique, please let me know!

Both recipes are below.

Delicata Squash-Bulgur Salad (serves 2)
1 delicata squash
1 medium tomato
1/2 cup of bulgur
1/2 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp. tarragon leaves (or other spice, such as sage)
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut delicate squash lengthwise and seed.

Cut squash in chunks and place in oven for 20 minutes.

Place bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Cut tomatoes into chunks and mix in a bowl with bulgur, squash and spices.

Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a bit of olive oil if you like.

Thyme-Rosemary-Sage Chicken Breasts (serves 2)
2 chicken breasts
4 tsp. sage
4 tsp. thyme
2-3 sprigs of rosemary (or 2 tsp. dried rosemary)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat large skillet over medium heat. When warm, pour in about a tablespoon or two of olive oil.

Rub 2 tsp. of sage and thyme on one side of the chicken breasts. Also sprinkle with rosemary. Place seasoned side down on skillet. Season other side of chicken.

Cook about 3 minutes on one side of chicken until brown. Then turn over and cook for a couple more minutes then reduce heat and cover skillet.

Cook for about several minutes until chicken is cooked through. I let it cook at a low heat for 20 more minutes while I cooked the rest of the meal.

Salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!