Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I win!

Better late than never right? I had a twisted idea that I should make an apron an hour before leaving for pierogi day at casa de spice rack. It was a silly inside joke I thought I should follow through on. And I failed to complete my task in the time I had before I had to leave. So it sat in the craft room for awhile because life became too busy to sew.
This weekend, and hour before another fun afternoon obligation I decided it was time to finish the apron. I wasn't sure about its fullness until I took photographs. And from across the yard, I think it is cute.
And no judging the wrinkled pants... I just threw them on so I could take a picture while the sun was out this morning. My sweat pants just didn't look good with an apron.

The fabric is from Sew Mama Sew and the pattern is one from Bend the Rules Sewing. I added a contrasting hem to the bottom because my fabric was shorter than suggested. And being tall I thought that the extra length would be better. I used two 1/4 yard pieces of fabric.

So, I win the cute apron contest. Perhaps only because I was the only contestant... but a win is a win! GO ME!

Tuna Noodle

I don't typically blog about food often, but after trying the recipe for the second time I found myself alone with the camera and a finished Tuna Nooddle Casserole. I could take pictures, and K wasn't around to mock me for my oddness. (I can hear it now, "You don't photograph food, you eat it".

But it was pretty. All golden brown on top. Mmmmm.

I found this particular recipe here and have to admit it is my first tuna noodle casserole ever. Tuna in a can was not something I ate until recently. I ate raw tuna long before I gave the cooked kind a chance.

My slightly adapted version...
Revamped Tuna Casserole
I have made this with tuna in oil as well as albacore packed in water. The later had a less fishy taste which helped with getting the kid to try some.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, preferably whole milk
4 to 8 ounces frozen peas (depending on how much you like peas)
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used a bit more than a cup)
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 6-ounce cans tuna (preferably packed in olive oil)
8-ounce package wide egg noodles, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko or bread crumbs (seriously, use panko)
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-by-8-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
Make topping by melting butter in a saucepan or microwave. Mix butter into panko or bread crumbs, along with parsley and cheese.
In a large deep skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Saute the onion and celery until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 to 2 more minutes.
Add butter and flour, and stir until combined. Slowly add milk, whisking to eliminate any lumps. Add peas and salt and pepper, and continue stirring over medium heat until milk bubbles and thickens. Turn off heat.
Add cheese and mustard, and continue stirring.
Using a fork, flake tuna from both cans into the mixture until everything, including the oil from the tuna, is incorporated. Add noodles and mix gently with tongs.

Pour the entire contents of the skillet into the casserole dish.

Cover evenly with topping and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until topping is light brown and the mixture underneath is bubbling.


The second time I made this I kept track of my prep time, and it was in the oven in about 30 minutes. So an hour total until dinner time. Not excessive, at least by my standards.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Green with Envy

Don't be jealous, but I was first. I love being first. I deny being competitive, but I am. Over silly stuff. Like pirogi making, knitting, and other non-sport things. Put a ball in front of me and the competition melts away.

Today I bribed a new mom with dinner, and got to meet a sweet little baby boy.
Jude's hat
That pacifier isn't especially large. Its just that Jude was in a big hurry to meet his mama. He is a wee man right now. So I knit him a little cotton hat to keep his noggin warm while he concentrates on growing big and strong like his brother, Luther.

The pattern is this one and knit up with some leftover Knit Picks Shine Worsted and size 6 needles.
Jude's hat

I did deviate from the pattern just a touch. I thought it needed some flair. So I ended with a short three-stitch i-cord to tie into a knot. I think it looks a little like a vine or a stem of some kind.
Jude's hat

I thought that it would be too big. And then I thought it would be too small. But it turns out it was just right. It fit now with the brim folded up, and there is plenty of room to grow!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Crossing the line?

I took back the sweater I knit for Blogless Erin's baby early in April so that I could write a pattern for it. She was such a dear for letting me borrow it so that I was able to write the pattern at my leisure. I didn't mean for it to upset little blogless baby, but I may have crossed the line.
Sweater photo shoot
Sorry... but it just so happened this sweater fit Eleni perfectly, and she was in a good mood, and the sun was out.
Sweater photo shoot
We are really sorry to make you angry baby. There was no need to rush into this world
Sweater photo shoot
We will happily return the sweater ASAP! Congrats blogless Erin, looking forward to meeting the little guy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good timing

How often do you find yourself at your wits end, ready to throw in the towel only to be saved by some unexpected event that makes the situation better? Not often right? Normally there is plenty of time to spend anguishing over whatever went wrong. No matter how trivial or mundane, I tend to have a mourning period for most everything. I won't talk about it. I get sick thinking about it. I sometimes cry. And then I confess my feelings in the form of complaints. I am if nothing else, a skilled complainer. (thanks to my friends who realize this yet still hang out with me)

So I am making progress on Little Liza Jane
Easter dress
cute right? while I love cables, doing them in cotton/linen is a little tough. The yarn lacks that sproing that wool has. but it is starting to really start to look like a dress. A dress that would fit... a newborn. Dare I measure it? Could the gauge be that far off? Nah... just another row. Tug, tug, tug. Sure, it is nice and stretchy... it will fit.
Easter dress
Or will it? So I pull out my trusty ruler at work. It is narrow. I ignore it. I have to, nothing I can do about it right now. I got through the day of work and head home. Not knitting a single stitch the entire ride home. holding off my anger, sadness, and complaints until I got home to compare the dress to some of EJ's clothes.

Once I get home, there is a package in the mail. Great Grandma Joan had sent Eleni an Easter present. How sweet. Little did I know this package would make all the difference in how my day went.
Easter dress
Not too frilly, just my taste, and perfectly timed. Eleni has an Easter dress... no thanks to me and this yarn.
Easter dress
which is totally too narrow.... maybe next year I will try again. I should be healed by then.

PS... this yarn and I already have a history... one more strike and it is up for grabs!