June 22, 2010

Sock Yarn to Socks: Here we go!

Not too long after Christmas I picked up this beautiful, green, hand painted sock yarn from Yarns, Ect...

Cascade Yarns' Heritage is 75% merino superwash wool and 25% nylon:  I was determined to make myself a pair of luxurious socks.  However, other projects kept coming up, getting top priority.  There was the ballet sweater, the teddy bear, the baby hat, the wash cloths.  Oh how I went nuts making log cabin wash cloths for a while!  Every time a project was complete, I'd go to my yarn bin, pull out the sock yarn and say, "Okay, today is the day," then I'd hold it, love on it a little, then put it away.  I have now been sitting on this yarn for six months.  Perhaps I'm hoping if I sit on it just long enough it will eventually hatch into a pair of beautiful, luxurious socks in just my size.

The truth is, this yarn scares me to death.  Not only is it the most beautiful yarn I've owned, it is so very fine.  And then there are the sock needles:  so tiny!  I'm frightened of turning this gorgeous, hand painted yarn into a disaster.  So, I avoid it.  I make a few more wash cloths, another hat, and use up the last bit of cotton yarn in my stash. Yesterday when I went to the yarn stash, and said, "Self, today is the day,"  it made it out of the bin and onto the kitchen counter.

By the end of the evening, and many expletives later due to knots and tangles, it was a ball.

Since there is no time like the present to face one's fears, as putting such matters off indefinitely cannot be healthy, cast on has commenced.

Wish me patience, as it will be needed!

June 19, 2010

Veggie Subs Recipe

Be forewarned, this is a ridiculously large sandwich.  That being said, it is delicious, and packed full of veggies.  The whole family will eat it, and when I'm feeling particularly ambitious, homemade french bread is divinity.  This is the perfect solution at the end of one of those days when you realized you've consumed no veggies.

Start by slicing a small red onion, and put it into a large bowl.

Next, slice up  1/4 of a large red bell pepper and add it to the bowl.

Slice 1/2 of a green bell pepper and add it to the bowl.  This is where things start to get pretty.

Grab a couple of large portabello mushroom caps, wipe them down well with a wet paper towel, and remove the stems.  Then take a minute to admire them, for they are truly magnificent.  

Once your admiration is complete, slice them, and add them to the bowl.

Next in a separate bowl, whisk together 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning.  Add this to the bowl and toss.

 Let this sit for a few minutes while you preheat the oven to 400°, then sautee them over medium heat in a large skillet until the mushrooms are brown, and the veggies slightly soft.

While the veggies are cooking, shred some Monteray Jack cheese.  The pre-shredded  stuff just doesn't melt right, so take the time to put a block to the grater and you won't regret it.

To assemble the subs, take two small french loaves and cut them in half.  Next, cut the halves in half to make sub-like rolls.  Stuff the veggie mix into the bread and top with cheese.  Place the subs into the oven about three to five minutes to melt the cheese. Serve it with some baked chips, and call it a meal.

Veggie Subs

Prep Time:  15 minutes  Cook Time:  15 minutes  Servings:  4


1 small red onion
1/4 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
2 large portabello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
2 to 4 ounces shredded Monteray Jack cheese
2 small french loaves


Preheat oven to 400°.

Slice the vegetables and place them in a large bowl.  Mix the oil, vinegar, and seasoning in a separate bowl, then toss with the vegetables. 

Sautee the vegetables over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, and the mushrooms brown. 

Cut the french bread in half to make four sub rolls, and stuff each with the vegetable mixture and top with cheese.

Bake sandwich for three to five minutes until cheese is melted.

June 10, 2010

Mango Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

This fast and delicious smoothie is refreshing way to start the day.

Mango Breakfast Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes  Cook Time: NA  Servings:  2


1 cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
1 medium banana
2 Tablespoons ground flax seed*
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 ounce mango nectar* *(Trader Joe's)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk


Place all ingredients in a blender and mix well.  Use additional almond milk to achieve desired consistency.  

*Almonds make a great substitute for flax seed.

**Orange juice makes a good substitute if mango nectar is not available, however the resulting smoothie will be less sweet.

June 4, 2010

Steaks on the Grill

It is the time of year that I try using our grill for every meal.  Okay, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, lets say, every dinner.  The current mission is to see exactly what is grillable, because I think the answer to this is everything..One of the prettier meals recently consisted of grilled fillet mignon, large portabello mushrooms, asparagus, and onion. Sauteed onions and mushrooms are usually served with steak at our house, however I decided to see how the meal came together with them grilled instead.

All of the players were drizzled with olive oil, then seasoned with Kosher salt, course ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

The grill was preheated to 500° and everything was arranged just so before turning the heat down to medium.  After two minutes with the lid closed, everything was rotated and cooked and additional two minutes to create the nice crisscross grill marks.  Everything was flipped, and repeated for the other side, for a total grilling time of 8 minutes.

The end result was a perfect medium steak, with delicious grilled veggies.