Lazy sundays…and chili!

Sundays here are generally lazy. At least, I try my best to keep it that way. I clean my house, I cook a nice dinner. I craft when the mood strikes (currently working on a tunisian baby sweater…I’m keeping notes).

I have recently found an awesome blog by the nicest gal! She’s also gluten free which is FABULOUS for me, and she put up THE BEST roll recipe! Here’s a link for those interested: http://www.gluten-free-vegan-girl.com/2013/09/whole-grain-gluten-free-bread-rolls.html

I’m currently on my third roll, while eating a big ol’ bowl of white bean chili. I really ought to start writing down my recipes on occasion, because sometimes they actually turn out really well! haha. Maybe next time…

Image

Lookithat. loooook. YUM. so good with strawberry jam.

I based a hot ‘wing’ recipe loosely off her vegan wings recipe too. I must recommend that as well!! Hot cauliflower ‘wings’ are soooo freaking good. I’m glad I only made so many, as I devoured every. single. one.

I really really really….don’t miss having meat. I do, however, need more tofutti sour cream. That stuff is great.

chili

Goes so well on chili!!

Hopefully more patterns soon too!

It’s beginning to look a lot like….Hoth

Winters in Wyoming are obnoxiously cold. I’ve been joking with everyone that it seems more like Hoth around here. And with my job, I’m usually out in it when it decides to blow 30+ miles an hour icy death winds. I decided I probably need to make a cowl/face warmer to help block out some of that nasty wind.

Image

I made ninja jokes all night.

It’s an easy enough pattern! So I thought I’d share it with everyone.

J hook

Worsted Weight yarn

Stitches used:

foundation half double crochet-fdhc

back loop only-blo

fhdc 45

ch 1, turn. hdc in blo across

repeat for 15 rows(or until length desired-enough to cover from ear to ear)

Image

next row: ch 1, turn. hdc to last 15 sts, skip these sts and ch 17.

turn, single crochet in 3rd ch from hook and each st in blo across.

repeat for 14 rows(or similar size to front half)

Image

ch 1, turn. hdc in blo to last 15 sts. Stop, break yarn leaving a long tail

thread onto sewing needle,and sew last row made to first row made.

Image

Finish off, weave in ends.

And waa-laa! A nice warm cowl to keep out the winds of Wyoming.

Sickness monday.

Today, after I got out of the shower and dressed for work, my kiddo threw up.

 

It was a great way to start a Monday morning. Not.

 

So, we stayed home and mom frantically cleaned the house. I even whipped up a room spray to fight airborne yuck. I hate lysol, but like to combat colds from any and all angles. I basically made my version of a four thieves vinegar with what essential oils I had on hand. Note: thyme oil reeks to high heaven. And clears a room of all cats.

 

When I had some downtime during kiddo’s nap, I made more progress on this great little blanket I’m working on. It’s using the catherine wheel crochet technique (it has another name, which I am currently blanking), and the pattern is ‘wool eater blanket’

 

Image

 

The fat cat keeps trying to claim it for himself. 

 

I was so tired by dinner time that I just did soup for us. Basic ramen style for kiddo, and pho for me, with fried tofu for both of us. I am slightly obsessive with pho, and could eat it almost every day I think. Something about the magic combo of flavors…and the excuse to dump lime juice on every square inch. Lime=makes everything better. 

Oh man that reminds me….I need to vegan-ize one of my all time favorite drinks. I’m sure it has a name, I just call it delicious. It’s a can of sweetened condensed milk and a pitcher of limeade. I’ve made vegan condensed milk before using a can of full fat coconut milk…it shouldn’t be a big difference, honestly. I bet the coconut will probably taste better…..!! 

Image

 

Aww yeah. A big ol bowl of pure awesome. 

 

I hope everyone had a better monday…..take care of yourselves!

Vegan Lasagna with Homemade Ricotta

Image

Awwwww yeahhhh….comfort food is always welcome in the middle of winter! Especially a big tray of lasagna. After I found some gluten free lasagna noodles at the store I HAD to make some!! And I bought some Daiya cheese to try on top. I was definitely impressed with it, as my first try of vegan cheese was….well. Horrifying, I must say. This was such an improvement that I definitely have faith restored!

There was also the question of the ricotta. Most of the recipes I found online included just crumbled tofu which…well I suppose the texture would be accurate, but I was wanting close to the real thing. So, I made it as I would regular homemade ricotta, I just subbed the whole cow’s milk for one box of shelf stable soymilk. Which, interestingly enough, my daughter demanded a drink of. This is strange only because I had been trying to get her to have a taste for months now, and she avoided it like the plague. Make a big deal of needing to use it all for cheese, and then of course she has to have some…

I digress.

If you’d like to know how to do it, it’s simple enough. I got a big saucepan, put in the whole box of milk plus about a 1/4 tsp of salt and a dash of basil. I let it warm up over medium heat, mostly stirring the entire time. You want it just about ready to boil, but not -boiling…You can use a thermometer if you want to be more precise, and let it get to about 180-190 degrees I do believe. Then take it off the heat, slowly stir in either 3 tbsps of lemon juice or white vinegar. It’ll curdle pretty quickly. After about 5 minutes or so, pour it into a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl (if you want to use the whey) or pour into a cheesecloth, and tie it to your faucet (if you don’t care about the whey). The longer you let it set, the thicker it will become. I’d like to play around with the flavors on this, see if I can make some yummy spreadable cheeses this way!

It made enough for a small pan of lasagna, maybe a cup or so. So definitely double up if you are wanting more. And I would probably have done this earlier in the day/day before, not when I was getting ready to make the lasagna….haha. Oh well, last minute ideas!:)

I had a meat eater try some, and even he liked the lasagna….the biggest problem he had with it was my precook noodles didn’t soften up all over, which I’d remedy by thinning out my sauce next time…So I say SUCCESS!

Food adventure!

So, I am deciding to take the steps towards becoming vegan. I plan to go all out vegan after the new year, and have been eating vegetarian this month of December.

This may weird some of you out. I understand, but it is my choice and my blog may reflect that as I add recipes and my trials and tribulations (failures) so I can track my progress and see what works and what doesn’t. 

I hope I can reach out to more veggie inclined folks this way, as I don’t know any other vegans around me. I’m pretty sure the only other ones in the state live on the side opposite of me, but maybe I’m wrong! (please, someone, prove me wrong)

I’m also slightly gluten in tolerant, and I have a kid who’s recently become VERY finicky with what she eats. Though she will demolish just about any raw veggies I put in front of her. So she will be my biggest critic I have to reach…..This is quite a challenge. I also live in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE so sourcing ingredients is also …um…”challenging”. Yeah, we’ll just go with that. 

On a different tangent altogether, I have some ideas with how to revamp some things in my house so I hope to put up pictures of that too. First will be my kitchen table…in desperate need of an update. 

All in all, expect more updates in the future!!

Hole. E. Smokes.

I had not realized how long I have let time lapse while I let this poor blog sit idle. I plan to fix that! 

 

Life came at me kind of quickly last year, in fact, exactly a year ago. I separated and have become a hard working single mother, with little down time (but also a body in better shape, go hard labor!), but as we roll into the winter here in Wyoming I should be able to at LEAST make a post once a week or every two. I mean, c’mon. Haha. 

 

Especially after I had an interview with our local newspaper, The Rocket Miner! Yikes! I will probably get some traffic to the site from that, and I do not want to disappoint.

 

I am trying to catch up on comments but if I miss something please just send me another or a message. I’ve been dabbling in other diy areas, and am trying to get more into herbal medicines. I have ideas for making my own supplements, but I am a ways off from that. Cold season comes with winter, obviously, so I hope to combat it a little bit better this year (By the way, Wyoming really only has 3 seasons: winter, HOT, and construction. Mostly winter). I’ve suffered a bit in health this year, the most recent battling it out with GERD/reflux that came out of NOWHERE, right after a week long nasty cold. I will say that the best thing for it that I have found is….pineapple juice. Who’d have thunk it, huh? 

 

I thank you for those who have stuck around with me, and for anyone new to my blog. :) 

forthcoming…ebook?

I am seriously considering writing up an ebook or two. I would like to write some pattern books, and quite possibly an intro book into the world of slip stitch crochet.

I have given some thought to writing up some of my home recipes for such things as sugar scrubs and cleaners.

I will keep everyone up to date on this as I work on it. Hopefully I can sell them here and on amazon, but we will have to see:)

New projects, new endeavors

Hope everyone is having a good summer. Ours has been hot here, and we’ve had a recent invasion of out -of-towners for an event in town. I’ve been working a new job since November, and it’s going to pick up again on hours here shortly for back to school. But, I hope to keep up on the blogs better than I have been..

One thing I’ve gotten into has been slip stitch crochet. It has a lot of other aliases (bosnian, pjoning) but essentially they’re all meaning working in nothing but slip stitches.

Here’s an example:

ImageA very close-up of a washcloth I made.

There are four basic stitches of slip stitch crochet (I think i’m just going to abbreviate it as ss crochet):

FLO-front loop only. Just like it says, insert your hook thru the front loop only, front to back.

BLO-back loop only. Like flo, just in back loop.

The other two require you to turn your hook and point it towards you. Or rather, invert it.

iF-inverse front. Invert your hook, and insert your hook back to front in the front loop.

iB-inverse back. Like iF, just in back loop.

There are other stitches, but these are what start you off. Incidentally, I started a youtube channel and I showed these stitches! (Plus a really cool way to start your work, instead of chaining or foundation crochet.) Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/user/MsSylvieLoves?feature=mhee

I set it up because, well, I love ss crochet and have been writing patterns for it. And trying to get better at it. I need to add some more videos on different stitches, but it’s a good primer.

Here are some examples of what you can do with it:

ImageA lacy ascot I made for myself

ImageA hat and booties set for my DD’s baby doll

ImageA hat (that is a pattern for adults and kids)

Pretty cool, right? If you want to, I’d recommend getting some books on it. Bendy Carter’s “Knit 1 Purl 2 in Crochet” is all about slip stitches, though she does use different terminology. (knit usually refers to blo or flo, purl refers to inverse stitches). I have gotten some great books in German as well, so if you can read German/feel like a challenge both of Tanja Osswald’s books are wonderful! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kettmaschen-H%C3%A4keln-entdeckt-Kuschelige-Winteraccessoires/dp/3772466850/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342730839&sr=1-1

I have written up a dishcloth pattern if I have you interested enough😉 it’s been up for download at ravelry and craftsy, but I’ll post it here too. If you ever want a pdf version, just head over to one of those sites. Or message me. Either way.

In this pattern I mention the co/bo method. It’s called cast on/bind off method, and it was in Bendy Carter’s book. It’s fantastic, and it’s basically a modded version of long tail cast on in knitting. I have a video how to on that youtube channel I linked to. If it’s too strange though, you can definitely just chain to start.

Image

Materials:

M hook

WW cotton yarn (Peaches n Cream) less than half a skein makes one cloth

Stitches Used:

Front Loop Only (flo)-slip stitches front to back (point hook away from you) in the front loop only.

Inverse Back (iB)-slip stitches back to front (point hook towards you) in the back loop only.

You can start this pattern with whatever your preference is: chaining or using the co/bo method. Either one will work.

Pattern:

co/bo OR chain 25 sts

Rows 1-4: flo across

Row 5: flo across

Row 6: *flo 3 sts, iB 19 sts, flo 3 sts*

Rows 7-22: repeat last 2 rows

Rows 23- 26: flo across

Hiatus

I do apologize for my long hiatus on here. I’ve been working and trying to get my life in order (things have been rough here). I may be starting school in the fall too but I want to play catch up and get some comments and questions answered here. I have 19 pending on here, several more on the WeeRobin blog, so please bear with me as I try and work through them.

I recently joined Craftsy too, and I’d recommend the site to anyone! Great place to share crafts and get patterns.

Thanks everyone!

And it’s snowed. already.

Hooray for living in Wyoming. It’s already nasty and cold outside, and the snow is trying desperately to cling to my yard. Hats are being made as well as gloves, as I’m evidently already behind now. My obsession with making my crochet look knit continues, and I tried making a hat for DD with post stitches, but I used half double crochets instead of double crochets. It worked out pretty nicely! It’s actually pretty stretchy, and visually much nicer than double or treble post stitches.

On DD’s lil noggin. she actually kept stealing it and trying to ‘crochet’ it herself. mostly it got stabbed with a hook. cute, regardless:)

I didn’t write up a pattern, but I can give you a nice recipe for what I did! I suppose I call it First Snow Beanie.

I used an F hook, and some mystery unlabeled yarn. It’s baby/sport weight, and I’m guessing bernat. It’s acrylic, I can tell that much. I used a bit tighter tension than I usually do, as well. I made it for my 2 yr old daughter, and it’s nice and snug. And covers her ears well.

I started out with 10 dc’s into a magic loop, then joined.

I ch’d 1 at the start of each round, and worked my first st into the same st as join. It makes for a cleaner start.

I worked in hdc from there, and increased by 10 each round. So, first round 2hdc in each st, then every other st on next round, and so on. I worked until I had 90 sts total. You’ll need to get to a multiple of 6, whatever size you’ll be making.

After you get to the size you want, you’ll switch to post ribbing, but hdc post st ribbing. I started with 2 bphdc, then 1 fphdc. So, a 2×1 rib pattern. I just worked in that until I got the length I wanted!

It’s so cute! And she lets me keep putting it on her. Which is a good sign…means I shouldn’t have to add ties to make it stay on, but knock on wood there. I’d like to make an adult one for her daddy, since he’s out in the cold during the day😦 poor daddy! I already made him one hat but it never hurts to have more.

I’m working on some mittens for her to match. I’ve got one made so far, but I wrote down exactly what I did on these.

The ribbing got a little slack, but I keep getting distracted whilst making it..not to mention more toddler ‘crochet’ work was put into it. hehe. But that does seem to effect the ribbing, which doesn’t look as nice as the hat. I’ll have to see how the second mitten turns out. I’ll post the mitten pattern after I get the second one done and make sure there are no errors in it.

The hat off her head. It actually cinches up quite more than I’d thought it would. Yay! I may make one for myself, if I can convince myself to wear tight hats. haha.

Hope you enjoy! More posts to come as I get my craft mode set to ON for the gift giving season.:)