Category Archives: Recipes

Missing in Action

Yes I have been missing in action from the blogosphere of late, but I have been keeping busy.

Looking for a job of course.

Teaching Spindling Classes at the Woolpack in Acton, MA.  This has been loads of fun!  9 new spinners so far!  I just love this place!

I spent much of January and early February shoveling and battling the weekly snow storms.  But it appears that the little rodent may have been right predicting an early spring.  It’s been in the high 50Fs the past two days!  I know we will most likely still have cold snowy weather, but with the days getting longer and a bit warmer it feels like we’ve finally turned the corner of this winter.

I have been busy spinning and knitting of course.  I finished spinning the beautiful brown roving (all three pounds!)  for Cece!  It was lovely fiber to spin.  I wish we knew what it was because I would definitely get more of it!  I have also been spinning from my stash.  This was lovely merino superwash from Blue Moon. It was supposed to be socks but I wanted something more substantial, so spun it a bit on the bulky side and made hats.

This is a wonderful hat to knit and I adapted several patterns.

Simple Hand Spun Hat Pattern

I used 100 grams of my bulky/heavy worsted handspun on size 8 US – 16 inch circular needles.

Cast on 80 stitches – join being careful not to twist the stitches.

Twisted rib pattern for three inches. (K1tbl, p1 – repeat)

Knit stockinette for 6 inches.  Then do a radical decrease

K2 tog all the way around

Knit next row.

Repeat the last two rows until there are ten stitches left.   Leave about 8 inches of yarn and run it through the last 10 stitches, pull tight to close and weave in ends.

This makes a warm, comfortable, uni-sex hat.

I also finished the Arroyo Shawlette (ravelry link) from some merino superwash that I had dyed and spun into a fingering/dk weight yarn.

Cindy, Stacy and I took a trip to Pasa Yarns last month and now I have a boat load of dyeing to do.  I’m testing our some different techniques and having fun playing in the studio.

Cindy and I are building up inventory for the upcoming Andover Craft Fair on Mother’s Day.  I am also carding some lovely batts for spinning and felting.  And in response to several neo-needle felters that have dropped by the studio, I now have a big basket of my left over carding bits and dye soppers.  You can fill a bag of your picks for $1/oz.

Last night I made some Oatmeal cookies that were to die for.  I basically opened the cupboard and pulled out leftover bits that I thought would taste yummy.  They were so good I am sharing this one for prosperity.

Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together well

Add

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 (approx) leftover bag of butterscotch chips

3 Tbsp chopped candied ginger

3 Tbsp chopped pitted dates

(I didn’t have any nuts, but pecans or walnuts would be good too)

Bake 375F for 9-11 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheet for about 3 minutes before sliding off on to a cooling rack.  This made about 2 dozen cookies.

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Harvest Time

It’s hard to believe that the seasons have once again moved around the circle and back to the beginning or end depending on how you perceive it.

First I want to share my recipe for my Harvest Soup (inspired by the soup that was served at Jena and Dave’s wedding)

Harvest Soup

2.5 lbs of peeled, cored and chunked butternut squash

2 good sized leeks, chopped and rinsed well

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

Saute the veggies in the bottom of the stock pot with 3 tbsp of butter and some good olive oil until they start to soften.

Add to the pot

1 cup of cider

5 cups of either veggie stock or chicken stock

a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme

a couple of leaves of sage or a 1/4 tsp dried

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

4 apples cored, peeled and quartered

Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for approx. 30 mins or until all the veggies are soft.

Remove the stalks from the thyme and the fresh sage.

Using an immersion blender or by ladling small amounts into a blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth and thick – if too thick add a little more stock.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving add 1 cup of half and half.

I also made Cider Cream to embellish the soup

1 cup of fresh cider – boil until reduced to 1/4 cup

remove from heat and let cool then add 1/4 cup of sour cream and blend until smooth.

keep refrigerated.

Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl some of the cider cream on top.  Serve with a salad and crusty bread for a very filling dinner.

This was yummy and even the kids liked it.

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Open Studio was this past Saturday and it was quiet as expected.  I did spin up some of the yummy Romney fleece (just a small sample) and it’s going to be lovely.  Now I don’t know if I want to dye some of it before spinning or after – but there is plenty to play with.

I also finished my first sample pair of the Serpentine Mitts.  These are really fun to knit.

Potato Leek Soup

There is something about a yummy pot of homemade soup on cool fall evenings with some crusty bread.

This past week I had picked up some lovely young leeks at the farm stand. I knew I had potatoes at home and figured I would make a potato leek soup to take with me this weekend as an offering to my friend whose house we are staying at in NY so we can go to Rhinebeck. YAY!

Since one of my friends is vegan I decided to make it with vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and it came out great!

Potato Leek Soup

2 – 14 oz. cans of vegetable stock or chicken stock

1 cup water

3 Russet potatoes peeled and diced

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp of fresh thyme

Put it all in a pot and bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

While that’s simmering take a saute pan and melt 3 tbsp. of unsalted butter with a crushed clove of garlic,

Take the white part of three small leeks, rough dice them and rinse them clean, drain and add to the butter and garlic.

Dice a medium sweet onion and add to the saute pan.

Saute the veggies until translucent.

Add 1/2 tsp of celery salt and coarse black pepper to taste.

Add 1/2 cup of white wine and simmer to reduce the liquid for about 8 minutes.

Once the potatoes are tender, remove from the heat DO NOT DRAIN!

Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes leaving it somewhat chunky.

Add the leek and onion mixture and 3/4 cup of half and half, and a tbsp of chopped parsley.

Heat and serve with a salad and crusty bread.

This will easily serve about 4 people.

I hope to see you at Rhinebeck!

Under the spell?

Yesterday for the most part was a damp, dreary day.  We even had a thunderboomer come through, but as soon as the thunder and rain stopped we went out to run a few errands.  On the way home I spotted a very bright rainbow and in minutes the second one appeared.  They were so bright and defined.

This can only be an auspicious omen, right?

Last night for dinner I made Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Pasta – YUMMO!

To 1/4 cup of olive oil add the zest of one lemon and set aside

In a large pot, boil water, add salt and either thin spagetti or anglehair pasta – cook per directions.

While the pasta is cooking…

In a heated pan add

2 tbsp of olive oil

2 shallots thinly sliced

1 large clove of garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes

Saute until shallots and garlic are softened and translucent

Add one bag of frozen, deveined, cleaned shrimp – I used and really like Emeril’s Louisiana Shrimp (just be sure to fish the little seasoning packet out before you dump it into the pan).  These are American Caught in the Wild Shrimp and they taste great.

Add the juice of one or two lemons, the zest of another lemon, and a splash of good white wine.

Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Let cook on Medium High heat until the shrimp have just turned pink.  The pasta should be done by now.

Add the pasta to the shrimp and poor the lemon zest olive oil over the pasta.

Add some torn fresh basil leaves and toss it all together.

Server immediately.

Other things I thought I might add next time if I have it on hand:  left over roasted asparagus tips.

I would have taken a picture but it was gone too fast. Even the kid liked it.  Hmmm this might even work with Chicken tenders instead of Shrimp.

On the Ravelympic knitting scene… I decided I hated the yarn I was using when I found this lovely camel colored (59), 50% merino, 25% cashmere, and 25% silk that I had in my stash – I am pretty sure I have enough too so I started the sweater again with the Laines Du Nord Cashsilk that I got from a Webs sale this past winter.  I like it a whole lot better.

Soft and Squishy

Yesterday was a soft and squishy kind of day for the most part.

I worked from home so I got to hang around in my soft and squishy pink slippers (no photo).

I also made more Marshmallows. I’ve tried a couple of different recipes, one using no corn syrup, and one with. I wasn’t happy with the sugar only recipe, I think I need to beat it a little longer so I will try it again. I would really like to find a great sugar only recipe only because I would really like to cut corn syrup totally out of my life. Unfortunately the thing with marshmallows is the corn syrup seems to add volume and gives us that soft and squishy texture that we all love.

So far my favorite recipe WITH corn syrup is as follows. You will need these ingredients and utensils.

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Not in the picture but really required for Marshmallows, is the Unflavored gelatin you will need. BTW, have you seen these new nested measuring bowls? They are awesome! I bought a set at the grocery store to replace my mostly missing aluminum measuring cups and got a second set as Christmas gift. I kept them both.

Put 1/2 cup of cold water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 3 packets of Knox Unflavored Gelatin over the cold water and set aside to bloom.

In a heavy sauce pan add 2 cups of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of water, 3/4 cup of light corn syrup and a pinch of kosher salt. Heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and it starts to bubble. Turn the heat up to med/high and using a candy thermometer, simmer until it reaches 240F or the softball stage. Remove from heat immediately.

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Using a standing mixer (which works best because you have to beat the sticky sugar mess for at least 15 minutes), starting a low speed, drizzle the hot sugar mixture into the bloomed gelatin slowly. Once you have added all the sugar mixture, which is like hot lava so be very careful, crank up the speed on your mixer to high.

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Note I have a old mixture that I inherited from a friend who got a fancy schmancy one. But you will notice that the old one I have is obviously a Spinal Tap Mixer, because the speed goes past 10! SEE!

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When the marshmallow mixture starts to thicken and turns white like whipped cream, it’s time to add the flavoring. I like to add either 2 tsp. of real vanilla extract, or 2 tsp. of peppermint extract.

Continue to beat for a full 15 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and watch closely because this sticky mess will crawl up the beaters and make an awful mess if you don’t keep an eye on things. (ask me how I know, LOL!)

While that is whipping away under a careful eye, prepare a 9 x 12 x 2 pan. Line it with that new Reynolds Release Non-Stick Aluminum Foil. Be sure you have the Non-stick side up and you will also want to lightly spray the foil with no-stick spray. This stuff is really sticky.

Once the marshmallow stuff is whipped good and stiff (hmm that should bring some interesting hits)…. place it into the lined pan and smooth evenly. Sprinkle the top with Confectioner’s Sugar and set aside for 6-8 hours.

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Mine is still setting aside, until I get home tonight, then using clean kitchen scissors, I will cut them up in to 1 inch squares. Dust the cubes with more Confectioner’s Sugar by putting a cup or more into a plastic bag and shaking the cut marshmallows to coat well.

Store in an air tight container for several weeks, or package them up nicely in little cellophane bags and give to friends.

I think for Valentine’s Day I am going to try a batch using raspberry flavored jello instead of the unflavored gelatin, it should make the marshmallows pink as well as flavor them. I also want to try dipping them in chocolate, so stay tuned.

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Other soft and squishy moments from yesterday. Spotted (according to Lucia) a SMK (straight, male knitter) in the wild – Harpy’s hubby came to the knitting group last night. He’s a newbie, but doing very well.

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When we found out he’s a lefty! Nicole taught him continental and he’s picking it up fast! He was also caught holding and admiring the new addition to our knitting circle, Baby Edmund!

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It doesn’t get softer or squishier than that. This is why we all love Dave 🙂

I did manage to get some knitting done. Only a few more inches to go on the sleeves then I can block and put this kid sweater together.