Sunday, July 31, 2011

This Past Week

A few images from around here this past week.










Saturday, July 23, 2011

Some of This and Some of That

What a difference a month makes!

The top picture was taken a month ago, just after planting my herb garden. The bottom picture was taken this morning. After taking the picture, I pulled out the onions as they’re definitely ready for harvesting and enjoying. Everything has just gone crazy! We’ve already been harvesting some of the herbs and drying them (curly parsley and thyme, most notably). Now, I need to figure out what to do with the Italian parsley. It has really taken off. Any ideas?

Looks like something alive, doesn’t it? The pattern is Barb’s Koigu Ruffle scarf from Churchmouse Yarns, located on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The yarn is Koigu, 2 skeins of it. All in all, it was a very quick knit, a mostly mindless knit. I have a feeling I’ll probably knit more of these eventually. I still have a fair bit of fingering/sock weight yarn in my stash. I think these scarves would make great little gifts.

Friday, July 22, 2011

It’s Here!! Finally!

Back in May, I wrote about finding the perfect yarn for the Shetland Christening Dress. Remember? If not, you can read about it here. A few days later, I did put in an order for the cashmere lace weight yarn. I received confirmation of my order and a PayPal receipt and I waited. And waited. And waited.

By the beginning of July, it still hadn’t arrived. We did, however, have a postal strike so I thought that, perhaps, it had been held up somewhere. Two weeks ago, I decided to email Colourmart and let them know that my yarn still hadn’t arrived.

I got a lovely email from them after they went back through their records and files. It seemed that my yarn had never been sent. My order hadn’t been printed and passed on the the shipping person. They asked if I still wanted the yarn. Um…… yeah, of course I still want it!


Now, I need to finish a couple of projects before I’ll allow myself to start the dress again.

Speaking of finishing projects, I did finish the Ruffle scarf last night. It turned out really cute! I’ll post a picture of it this weekend. I’m still debating whether or not to press it lightly, just to tame the ruffles a little. It’s very “ruffly”.

The garden is finally coming along. This week, I picked a bunch of basil (nearly half a pound!). The 20 or so plants I have are finally thriving.

For dinner last night, we had spaghettini with pesto sauce, left over chicken, sautéed mushrooms, and stir-fried vegetables (walla walla onion, red pepper and beans fresh from the garden). It was absolutely delicious!!

It’s a somewhat unusual combination, I know. I was going for maximum flavour! We had mushrooms in the fridge that really needed to be used; they were starting to dry out and they’d frozen slightly. I sautéed them in some olive oil and butter (butter for flavour only), threw in a teaspoon or so of chopped fresh thyme, a big clove of garlic, a sploosh of white wine and a bit of salt and pepper – flavour, flavour, flavour!

The vegetables were lightly sautéed in a bit of olive oil, beans first and then the onion and red pepper. I decided to try something I’d never done before; I didn’t add any salt to the vegetables. Instead, I squeezed about half a lemon’s worth of juice onto them and lightly peppered them. I can tell you that I WILL be doing that again! The flavours of the vegetables shone through and the light tang of the lemon accented the dish perfectly.

And the pasta with pesto sauce? Well, there’s just nothing like fresh pesto you’ve just made with basil you’ve hand picked. We ate like kings last night!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just a Quick Post

What a day! It started out just fine. I started a new (small, quick) little project.

The pattern is Barb’s Koigu Ruffle, from Churchmouse Classics. The yarn is… Koigu. You never would have guessed that, would you? I’ve been working on it off and on today and it’s making good progress. As it is right now, I’m over half way on it. Basically, it’s two ruffles with a straight piece in the middle. I’ll post pictures of the finished scarf when it’s done.

As I said at the beginning, the day started out just fine. Then, this…

… did this…

Man, did that hurt!!! I was helping John figure out how best to close in the stairs that go upstairs so that we could have some covered storage space (my dad was a carpenter; I learned a few things). We had it closed with cardboard but, with the first rain, it sort of disintegrated. I was pointing out how to put in the last piece of plywood, turned around to go back into the house and walked, full force, into that little shelf.

I only hope I don’t wake up with a black eye.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lemony Greek-style Rice

Having posted the recipe for the prawns yesterday, Sandie asked for the recipe for the Greek style rice with lemon and dill. I’m more than happy to oblige.

I should let you know that the recipe is a variation of one I found at (one of my favourite recipe web sites). The lemon and dill flavours go very well with any kind of a Mediterranean or Greek inspired meal. The original recipe also calls for feta or parmesan cheese to be sprinkled over the rice just before serving; I didn’t do that. It also calls for 1-2 teaspoons of black pepper. That was a bit much for me, but feel free to use as much, or as little, pepper as you’re comfortable with. We’ll be having the leftover rice tonight with leftover pork chops.

Here’s the recipe:

Greek Style Lemon Rice

  • 3-4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic (or to taste)
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh, if possible)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper (to taste)
  • salt (to taste)

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat; saute the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the rice and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes or so. Add the broth, lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add the pepper and dill and reduce the heat to low for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


We’ve had a couple of busy weeks around here! Last weekend, the Canada Day long weekend, John and I drove to Edmonton to spend a couple of days with his boss. While there, we also visited my brother, whom John had not yet met (we’ve been together almost 10 years!).

Yesterday, we hosted his boss, her son and daughter-in-law and their two little girls. We had a lovely little dinner party. John and I split the cooking duties and it all went off without a hitch (except for one broken glass and a broken tea light holder… no biggie!).

Instead of a knitting update this week, you get the rundown on our menu and a recipe. We started off with Gambas a la Ajillo (Garlic Prawns). Oh my!! They were awesome! Then we had some pita with tzatziki before being called to the table. Dinner was ribs with Jack Daniels glaze (yum!), Greek style rice (rice with onions, lemon and dill), sautéed Mediterranean style vegetables (red pepper, mushrooms, Walla Walla onion and celery drizzled with oil, balsamic vinegar and a bit of fresh oregano and thyme… from my herb garden), and a watermelon mint salad. For dessert, we bought a lovely chocolate layer cake from Costco; everything else, incidentally, was made from scratch, including the rib glaze.

Everything was absolutely perfect and it all tasted good! As I said, I’m sharing a recipe with you. Here, not on my cooking blog. In our local liquor stores, we’ve been picking up and collecting a free magazine, Flavours. It’s a liquor and food magazine and there are often very good recipes. My Spanakopita recipe came from one of the magazines, too. As a matter of fact, it's the same issue the following recipe is from.

The Gambas a la Ajillo is a simple, and very tasty, way of cooking prawns. John bought 25 tiger prawns and they were consumed in minutes! For your culinary enjoyment, here’s the recipe:

Gambas a la Ajillo (Garlic Prawns)

  • 12 tiger prawns
  • 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
  • Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Season prawns with dried chili flakes. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until it sputters. Add garlic; let it turn golden and add prawns and sea salt. Turn the prawns once. Add white wine and sprinkle with parsley. Serve sizzling, with a few slices of bread for dipping.

Serves 6.