Showing posts from 2012

Recipe- Texas Style Spiced Pecans

My husband's family often sends us goodies from a local (Houston area) nut shop for the holidays. They mostly do sugary pecan concoctions, but they have a couple of savory varieties, too.
Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately cause now I figured out how to make them myself) they have hydrogenated sunflower and soybean oil.
The biggest hurdle is getting really really good raw pecans. I've been making my spiced nuts with Trader Joe's pecans after having a bad experience with a package from Whole Foods recently. I just discovered that the Collins St Bakery sells raw pecans online, so I may have to try those. I don't know if anyone outside of Texas is familiar with them, but they are a major player in the mail-order fruitcake business!

Anyway, here's my version-

8oz raw pecan halves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (I use Penzey's)
1/2 tsp onion powder (I use Penzey's)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (I use Penzey's)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp cayenne…

FO: Berry Cute Hat & Pumpkin Hat

These are bothFiber Trends patterns that are ostensibly for kids, but have rather large sizing. They are constructed the same way and the berry hat has a really cool stitch pattern. It's not bobbles- it's a lot easier. You basically drop a stitch several rows then knit into the row where you stopped dropping. I realized that the same technique is used for this Madelinetosh cowl pattern that Susan (the new owner of Yarndogs) is working on as a shop sample. In 2 colors (as in the cowl), it looks even more complicated but is still incredibly simple!
About the sizing- the smallest size would fit a big kid at 19" around (probably 8-10 years old), and the largest easily fits most adults. When customers want to make a baby size, I've been having them buy DK weight yarn and size 4 and 6 needles and make the smallest size. The pattern calls for worsted and size 6 and 8. I used Madelinetosh Vintage for all my hats so far. (Moorland and Lolita for the berry hat, and Moorland and…

My Paleo Thanksgiving- Year 2

For breakfast, I made this pumpkin bread french toast from PaleOMG, which was completely amazing!
The other new thing I made this year was her carmelized onion & sausage stuffing.
I really like it, but Bryan thought it wasn't casserole-y enough. I realized that we have totally different eating styles (at least for Thanksgiving). I like to get a bit of everything on the fork, and he likes to completely finish one thing at a time.
Everything else was the same as last year-
roasted brussels sprouts & bacon
braised turkey legs
sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce from Paleo Comfort Foods
stuffed dates
pumpkin chai bars

FO: Big Snowy Owl

So this is the Big Snowy Owl from It's another one of those fads that was going around the shop and I really wanted to make one for some reason. The pattern calls for Blue Sky Bulky alpaca/wool, but I used Encore Mega instead. It was super fast and fun and cute, though I'm still not sure I need a huge stuffed owl around the house. Right now it's sitting on top of my crafty bookshelf. I know the eyes are crooked, but I'm not sure I care enough to go back and fix it. Maybe eventually.

FO: Lamb by Susan B. Anderson

I've been wanting to make this little guy since Itty Bitty Toys was published several years ago. I love the pompadour hairdo! I was never quite sure what yarn I'd use for the body until we received the Rowan Purelife Sheep Breeds Fine Boucle at the shop a few weeks ago. This is a newer yarn that is thinner than the original Rowan Sheep Breeds Boucle (which I am not familiar with). Many people on Ravelry used the thicker Rowan boucle, but thought it was a bit too thick. This one worked out perfectly. This colorway is Masham stripe, with subtle stripes of the different natural colors of the Masham sheep. That's a breed I'd never heard of before!
The yarn for the legs and head is Blue Sky Cotton, and the whole thing is done on size 4 needles.

The legs are i-cord stuffed with drinking straws so the lamb can stand up on surfaces that aren't too slippery. I'm going to try sticking coffee stirrers through the straws and into the body to give more support so it can st…

Recipe Resource Master Post

Here's a quick guide to where I find recipes. You can expect these sources to be free of grains, soy, and legumes. Some of these sources may call for dairy in some recipes. If you are on a strict challenge (hi, CFWG buddies!) or are dairy-free, you can always substitute coconut oil for ghee or butter and you can usually substitute coconut milk for cream. Skip the cheesy stuff (sad, I know).

recipe aggregator with most of the popular blogs and some obscure ones (like mine!)
Try one or both of the following tags if you are completely avoiding dairy-

Nom Nom Paleo
This is the site that kind of started it all for me. She's a local Bay Area blogger, so a good place to get the scoop on restaurants and local markets too! She tends to do a lot of protein sous vide which I'm not currently interested in, but there are a ton …

Recipe: Chicken No-tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken No-tortilla Soup
about 5-6 servings
This recipe is adapted from some recipes in a slow cooker cookbook I own. It leaves out the beans, corn, and tortilla chips from the typical tortilla soup and adds some other vegetables. This is incredibly easy to throw in the slow cooker before work!

3-4 chicken breast halves
2 15-oz cans Mexican stewed tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes
     (I used 1 can regular stewed tomatoes and 1 can tomatoes with green chiles)
1 cup salsa (I used a tomatillo-based salsa)
1 4-oz can diced green chiles
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup green beans, cut into bite-size pieces (I used up some frozen green beans. You can add whatever vegetables you like.)

Combine in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Check for seasonings when done. If you do not use tomatoes with Mexican spices, add 1tbsp each
chili powder
dried cumin

top with sliced avocado and cheese and sour cream if you do dairy.
Homemade root vegetable chips would be really cute as a topper, t…

FO: Mondo Cable Cardigan

I finished thisMondo Cable Cardi a few weeks back when there was still a little bit of cold weather left. It was another sort of impulse sweater I'd been considering doing one for a long time, and we got an especially nice dye lot of Dream in Color Classy in Gothic Rose in the shop. I alternated 3 skeins to make sure they were well blended. I was planning on doing a crochet edging down the front to cover up the sort of loose edge stitches from switching skeins, but I couldn't make it look very good. After blocking, the edge looked fine anyway. There are no buttonholes on this- just snaps with buttons sewn on top. Teri from the shop has the idea to use magnetic closures instead of snaps. I'm very curious to see how that turns out. I already made a hairline crack in one of my buttons from the pressure needed to snap the snap. This is the tallest collar option and I modified the ribbing at the bottom and cuffs to have more purl stitches for less tendency to roll than the ori…

FO Roundup: Portland Hoodie Cowl, Tardis Socks, Shawl Collared Cowl

I cranked out thisPortland Hoodie Cowl in a couple of days after seeing it pop up on popular new patterns on Ravelry. Really simple and cute! It took 2 skeins exactly of Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in Tart. I might just have to make another one in Opaline. (The batch we have right now is sooo pretty!) Now I have something for my black t-shirts that don't go with my purple set (more on that in a minute) and I can get some use out of my leather jacket maybe. Usually I just grab an actual hoodie.

I finally finished the 2nd Tardis sock! More on the pattern and my modifications here.

This was done a long time ago, but I didn't get a pic of the buttons for a long time. It's a Shawl Collared Cowl (another recent Yarndogs favorite) in Misti Alpaca Chunky to go with my purple set- a Capucine hat in Aquarella and Maine Morning Mitts in Road to China. The buttons on the cowl reflect a pretty copper color that goes with the hat.

I'm still cranking along on my Spectra Scarf. It may be…

Recipe- Curry Chicken Salad

Here's a tweaked version of my tangy chicken salad recipe. I started putting curry powder in my chicken salad just because I recently bought some from Penzeys, then just a day or two later I found curry sauerkraut from Farmhouse Culture (my favorite!) at the Ferry Building farmer's market! So I feel it's evolved into something that deserves its own post.

Farmhouse Culture is only available in California or a couple spots in Nevada. Diane from Balanced Bites came up with this recipe for making your own fermented raw sauerkraut after she moved away from the Bay Area.

For every 2 cups of cooked chicken-
4tbsp homemade mayo from the previous recipe, with or without the additional spices and lemon. I originally used an olive oil/avocado oil blend, but then I couldn't find avocado oil and used macadamia oil for half the total oil instead. Either one is great.
1/2 cup broccoli slaw (easier and more interesting than celery!)
2 tbsp curry raisin sauerkraut (Farmhouse Culture)
1 tsp…

WIP Roundup- Spectra Scarf, Mondo Cable Cardi, Tardis Socks

I'd been toying with the idea of starting a Spectra scarfof my own for a long time, and even dreamt about it once, but never quite decided on the right yarn and colorway. After pouring over other people's Ravelry projects, I really fell in love with this one color of Zauberball. Then I realized we had that color on the shelf, the shop started carrying solid colors of Kauni, and we got in an awesome shawl pin that matched the colorway perfectly! Everything fell into place and I started on this very addictive pattern about a week ago.

So technically I finished thisMondo Cable Cardi last night and wore it today, but here's a still kinda in progress photo. I am thrilled that we're having another cold spell so I can wear it a lot. I made it in Dream in Color Classy in Gothic Rose. I alternated 3 skeins at a time, 1 row each. That was a little weird at the front neck cast on area, but I managed it with minimal weird floats. It wasn't an issue to keep things from tangling…

FO Roundup: 3rd BSJ, Hemp Market Bag

Here's a Baby Surprise Jacket I made for a high school friend's baby. It's my 3rd one, all in Claudia Hand Painted Sport. This colorway is Eat Your Veggies.

I also recently finished a Shop 'til You Drop bag from Lanaknits Designs in Allhemp6. I love it so much! I made the medium size and had to get a 3rd skein of yarn to finish the second handle. The official site says there are 2 sizes, but I swear the pattern I bought at Yarndogs had 3! I need to get an action shot because it stretches out super huge and holds a ton of stuff!

Here's the only (kinda crummy) photo I have of the woven scarf I made from Creatively Dyed Steele in Cumin. I'm always shocked at how little yarn weaving takes! It's a good stashbuster, but it creates lots of leftovers. This is the project you can see me starting at the last spin in I made it to.

Recipe- Tangy Chicken Salad

Here's the deets on how to make my favorite lunch- chicken salad with paleo-friendly (ie, non-canola) homemade mayo.

After I got friendly with fat but before I started avoiding industrial seed oils, I was in love with this stuff called Lemonaise. Now I have a homemade version that I think is even better because the oils I use now have actual flavor. A lot of paleo mayo recipes call for "light tasting" supermarket olive oils. After reading Extra Virginity, I am pretty squeamish about that. Even if it does actually contain olive oil and not seed oils(staggering amounts of fraud in the industry), it is probably a lesser grade product that has been deodorized and refined. The whole point of making my own mayo is to avoid "vegetable" and seed oils, so I've gone with a mix of avocado oil and the Artois Ranch EVOO by California Olive Ranch that is naturally a bit milder than some EVOO, but still very flavorful. It might not be for everybody, but I've grown …

Recipe Roundup- Grain Free Treat Edition

Oh, hi! I just found this post from the holidays which was languishing as a draft. The season for wintery treats is mostly over, but here it is.

Over X-mas, I tried out a few more grain free treat recipes. These vegan pecan bars were great despite my skepticism about the lack of eggs, even though the crust wasn't initially cooked all the way. We're pretty picky about pecan pie-like treats, being from Texas. "My" antique gas oven is incredibly uneven and I'm just now figuring out how to optimally use it. The top looked fairly brown, so I went ahead and poured on the topping (which initially didn't look voluminous enough but was really fine) and put it back in the oven. After letting it cool, I sliced into the bars to discover an oozing crust! I put a lid on the dish and put it back in the oven on the lowest rack until the crust firmed up.
These pumpkin bars (which happen to be vegan as well if you follow the recipe) were amazing! I couldn't find agar po…

Finished Yarns- The Borg and Zombies

I spun up the singles from my Star Trek SAL batts from A Dyeing Wish several months ago, but I never quite decided how I'd ply them until recently. There were 3 batts- one was black and light gray with red sparkle, one black with red and green sparkle, and one black with red, green, and yellow sparkle. I thought about just using them as singles or maybe chain plying for 3 different but coordinating skeins. Finally I decided just to ply the 3 singles together for a consistently colorful yarn.

My Braaaaiiiins colorway batts from Heavenly Fiber also arrived as 3 batts, but all very similar. I spun up one at a time, splitting the batt lengthwise in strips so each single went from black to gray to light gray/pink. I plied the 3 singles all going in the same direction to get a gradient yarn. I have about 160 yards of worsted-ish yarn. I'm thinking a hat or cowl/scarflet. That may be a little boring, but it needs to be something I can wear a lot and show off that doesn't come …

FO Roundup: Mukluk Slippers, Adipose & Tarn Ugly Rug

Apparently I have a thing for knitting things for my feet out of Noro Hitsuji. I almost used this colorway for my felted clogs, so I decided to use it for these Mukluk slippers that are quite popular at the shop right now. Most people go for the low tops, but I thought the neon color and high tops had a nifty 80's legwarmer thing going on, especially with the two-piece suede bottoms that make them look like dance shoes. They are slightly ridiculous, but they make me smile and no one outside the house who's not a knitter will probably never see me in them. :) They are really comfortable and warm and will stay on my feet while I sleep, unlike the clogs. The construction is interesting to knit and I love the result, but to be honest the process of knitting chunky yarn on size 7 needles is a little intense. Definitely more of a "little bit every day" project than something to be worked on for hours at a time.

One of my X-mas gifts for Bryan was this knitted Adipose f…