Wednesday, May 28, 2008





160 fish knit!
Now What?!

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Year In Soup-Week 21

With temperatures pert-near 100 for the last few days, the only soup that sounded good this weekend was Ice Cream Soup. The original recipe can be found here. I halved the recipe and made a few other minor adjustments.

Raspberry Ice Cream Soup
  • 1 package frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 can mandarin oranges, undrained
  • 1/4 cup fresh or unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup Premium Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh mint leaves (garnish)


1. In blender, combine undrained raspberries, lemon juice and flour; process until smooth; strain to remove seeds, if desired.

2. Pour into a 1 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; add 1/2 cup ice cream and stir until melted.

3. Add undrained oranges, whole raspberries and water. Chill. Ladle into individual bowls; top each with a scoop of ice cream and garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

Makes 2 servings soup for a 100 degree day!!

My Notes:
  • This was listed under breakfast/brunch recipes but I think it would make for a great snack or light dessert. You could make it healthier by using frozen yogurt in place of the ice cream.
  • I couldn't find frozen raspberries in syrup so I just took some frozen raspberries, put them in a bowl, sprinkled some sugar on top and let them make their own syrup
  • I didn't take the time for straining out the seeds, but if I was serving this to guests, I would. The seeds can be a bit annoying.
  • Any seasonal fruit would work well with this-can hardly wait to try it with strawberries or peaches! Play around with the mandarin oranges and fresh fruit amounts as well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Year In Soup-Week 20

My thyme plant is going nuts!

Here we go for another week! This was a recipe I found in the book Caprial's Soup and Sandwiches-thanks to the public library. With ingredients such as white beans, sundried tomatoes and pancetta, what's not to like?! I will say, this is an "all day" type of soup in terms of prep, and needs some planning ahead with the soaking and cooking of the beans. Perfect for a rainy day when you're stuck inside anyway.

White Bean Soup with Sundried Tomatoes and Pancetta

Serves: 4-6

1/2 pound dried great Northern or other white bean sorted and rinsed
6+ cups chicken stock (low-sodium or homemade)
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 pound pancetta or pepper bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 bulb fennel, diced-be sure to take out the core
3+ cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and julienned
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the beans in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and let them soak 4+ hours (or soak overnight). Drain and rinse.

2. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the beans, stock, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer until the beans are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding more stock or water if necessary.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium hea-high heat until hot. Add the pancetta and cook until crispy, but not too brown.

4. Add the onions, fennel, and garlic, and saute until the mixture is fragrant and the onions are tender, about 5 minutes (whoa baby-the aroma has people knocking on the door it's so good!).

5. Add the white wine and sundried tomatoes, and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by one-half.

6. Stir the vegetable mixture into the beans and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes or until beans are soft.

7. Stir in the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust the consistency of the soup with more stock or water, if needed.

8. Serve with a great hunk of bread to dip in!

  • This was a bit time/labor intensive but oh, so worth it!
  • Go light with the Worcestershire sauce and vinegar, mine was a bit too tangy.
  • I'd probably dice, rather than julienne, the sundried tomatoes for texture reasons.
  • The recipe really doesn't need any extra salt if using the pancetta.
  • This recipe made lots and I even halved it!
  • The cookbook recommended serving the soup with a tarragon puree or fennel jam but that just didn't sound good to me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yarn and Cars

Knitters know yarn can get stashed nearly everywhere. I even have some "yarn baskets" here and there for decoration.

Well, DH has been collecting model cars and has developed his own "car stash" which has spilled into our house decor as well. It all started with this shelf at the top of the stairs.

I have yarn on the middle shelf and he added a car to the books on the bottom shelf. No biggie, I could handle it, I even thought it was cute. Until this......

YIKES!! No only does he have TWO cars on his dresser in our bedroom, but he's added a car to my dresser. So now my "girly" dresser has hat boxes on one side and a car on the other.

He was keeping the cars upstairs so I still didn't make too much of a fuss. Until I came home from work yesterday to this:

and this:

There are frickin' cars EVERYWHERE! Now he has them on display in the living room, dining room, MY DESK, and is threatening to put some on the baker's rack in my kitchen.

That's it...time for more yarn baskets!

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Year In Soup-Week 19


I love, love love pickles-sweet, dill, sour, bread and butter, spicy-you name I love it! My nieces know for Thanksgiving to make a separate pickle tray for just me! It would only make sense in this soup-filled year to make a Pickle Soup. After searching the web, I decided on this recipe from What's Cooking America with a few minor changes. My amounts serves 3.

Dill Pickle Soup

Source: What's Cooking America
Serves: 3


1/2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup plus 1/2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups water (I used chicken stock instead)
3/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 teaspoons dried dill weed, crushed
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipping cream or milk (I used half and half)
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 large dill pickle, cut julienne

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add white wine and continue cooking until almost all liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to low and stir in flour (do not brown). Add water(broth) and pickle juice, whisking or stirring into onion mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until soup slightly thickens. Add dill weed.

Stir in whipping cream or milk; season with salt and white pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Serve in individual soup bowls and garnish with julienne dill pickle.

My Notes:
  • I was pretty skeptical of this recipe at first, it really surprised me as to how tasty it was!
  • I didn't care for the pickle garnish though and ended up taking the julienned pickles out. I guess it's a texture thing. Next time I might try to chopped them into tiny bits or just chomp on a pickle while eating the soup.
  • I served this with a summer sausage sandwich and it was a perfect match!
  • Don't let the name scare you, it really was good soup and worthy of making again!
It shouldn't be surprising that I'm addicted to these too!

Frozen pickle juice...mmmmmmm....very refreshing and addicting! I've already got 4 people at work addicted to them too!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Almost There.....

I finished my last "lavender" fish the other day. Believe it or not, I only have 10 fish left to knit out of my 160-I'm choosing not to acknowledge all the seaming at this point-hee!

Off to tackle my last 10 blue fish.....

Monday, May 05, 2008

My Year In Soup-Week 18

I "heart" cilantro!

With today being "Cinco de Mayo" I decided to go with a recipe that had flavors influenced from our neighbor to the south.

Source: Epicurious
Serves: 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (reduced from 5 cups since I added the liquid from the tomatoes)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes (I used a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained)
1/2 + bunch fresh cilantro sprigs, tied together with kitchen string.

1/4 + cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
Sour cream

1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
2. Add chili powder; stir 1 minute.
3. Add chicken; stir 2 minutes.
4. Add broth, corn, tomatoes and 1/2 bunch cilantro sprigs to saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Discard cilantro sprigs. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

5. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice to soup. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Garnish with sour cream.

My notes:
  • Wow, I was really shocked as to how this soup looked finished-very red and rustic. I thought it would be more of a clear-based soup but my use of the canned tomatoes and liquid really added some color. The taste is a-ma-zing!
  • I poached some chicken the day before, but rotisserie chicken would work well too.
  • Some of the reviewers suggested adding cumin and oregano to the chili powder. I lucked out and found some "San Antonio Chili Powder Fiesta Blend" which consisted of chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic and oregano in the bulk section at my favorite grocery store. The flavor and scent this let off while cooking was incredible!
  • I also added more lime juice and cilantro as recommended. The amounts are reflected in my ingredients.
  • When you read the reviews you will find lots of other suggestions but I tried to stay true to the original recipe. It wouldn't take too much to turn this into a "tortilla soup."
  • mmmmmm...delicious!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Burned Mail

When this story about a mail truck catching fire on its way to San Antonio aired awhile back, DH and I chuckled wondering if we had any mail on the truck. Well, this past week I picked up the mail from our "community mail center" and noticed a smoky smell coming from the box and on all the mail. Sure enough we received a salvaged piece from the fire.

It was wrapped in a flimsy ziplock-like bag with a form letter explaining about the fire. My concern was that trapped in my shoebox-sized mailbox with the singed letter was some yarn I had ordered. CRAP!!!! I was so worried my new yarn would smell like smoke too. Luckily, when I opened the envelope and took a whiff -all was good. Whew!!! Here it is:

365 yards of "Hydrangea" Merino/Seacell yarn from pigeonroof knits. I love it and can hardly wait to find just the right pattern!

For the carrot cake lovers out there:

I made some carrot cake from scratch today-yummy! It is definitely the best carrot cake I've ever had (DH agreed). The only changes from the original recipe was that I made it without the raisins (for DH), added orange zest to the frosting and only made two layers. This is a "winner" for anyone needing a good cake recipe.

I also poached some chicken for my soup recipe tomorrow but that wasn't near as photogenic.

Finally, I'm excited to report my peppers are beginning to pop! Here is my first banana pepper.