Category Archives: Recipes

New herd addition: Spike

I’m really happy I was able to go to knit night last week since I won’t be able to go for a few weeks. I had ordered yarn (through Jen) from knitpicks.com and it came in, which means this will soon become Christmas stockings. And by soon I mean sometime in the next year.

After watching the sadness that was a lonely guinea pig, we found someone on Kijiji who was giving away their guinea pig. This is the little girl we brought home on Thursday night. We named her Spike, which is better than “The Nameless One” as we were calling her before. I’m guessing her age at around 2, based on weight. She is very active, really likes her hay, and has a very good understanding of how towel layers work.

IMG_1011.JPG
New piggy Spike has joined the herd

After work last Friday we drove to KW for a weekend visit. As always, it was equal parts lovely and exhausting. We didn’t get in until nearly 2AM on Saturday, so I opted not to go for my usual run. After catching up with my mom, we spent the day with my friend Alex while she worked on her costume for a convention coming up. Dinner at My-Thai with Darcy, Ellen, Stela, Heather, Alex, and Chris was so nice. We had a really nice time with everyone.

The impetus for the weekend visit was a family reunion. I am so happy I was able to go this year. That’s two years in a row now. I’m grateful that Chris has been so supportive about increasing our trips to KW.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

And in case you live under a rock, Guardians of the Galaxy was so freaking amazing. I want to go and see it again. And again. And again!

The sweater I’m working on is full of modifications, and I can’t wait to be finished it, but in the meantime I’ve started a hat that is already looking really nice. The pattern is Rikke by Sarah Young. I’ve knit it before and I love this pattern. The yarn choice is extremely important because it has to have the right stretch and drape. I’m confident Madelinetosh will work well.

IMG_1016.JPG
New hat-to-be: Rikke
Recipe: No-Bake Almond Butter Flax Balls

Original recipe found here:
http://laurenkellynutrition.com/no-bake-almond-butter-balls/

While I was visiting family this weekend, my mom let me taste these amazing treats she had made. They were so very very good, that I feel the desperate need to share the recipe with everyone I know.

IMG_1017.JPG
mmmmmmmm almond butter flax balls

Ingredients
1 cup (dry) old-fashioned oats (can use gluten-free)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (can use dairy-free)
1/2 cup natural almond butter (or any other nut butter)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup raw honey
1 tsp. organic vanilla

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Roll into 1 inch balls and place in air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Single Blonde Piggy

Watching Buttercup, our lone guinea pig, is very sad. We can tell she is mourning the loss of her “herd” so we have been giving her lots of special attention. When I make my lunch in the morning, I make sure to give her a few extra treats beyond her usual baby carrot. Today it was a strawberry, a snap pea, and couple pieces of pepper. We are keeping our eye out for middle-aged, female guinea pigs to pop up at the Humane Society.

Photograph of a beige guinea pig on floral bedding
Our sweet little piggy Buttercup who is in need of a companion.

The weekend was very very full. We attended a housewarming for some very good friends who moved into a new apartment with significantly more space than their old one. They even acquired a new, very blind kitty.

Our weekend was rounded off on Sunday where we met with a bunch of our friends in Orleans with their kids. We had a potluck lunch then wandered over to the park to watch the kids play on the splash-pad while we caught up. We had a really nice day that ended with dinner and a visit with some other friends.

We took advantage of the holiday Monday and bought a new BBQ. Our old one was starting to get a bit rusted out. Super excited to get it hooked up so we can try it out!

A natural gas BBQ
Our almost-fancy, not rusted, fully functioning new BBQ!
KW visit this weekend

We are going to a family reunion this weekend, so hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with some friends on Saturday since we’ll be in town. I’ll have my phone on me so send me a text. There are tentative plans to go to a park with Alex and Kyla on Saturday, so maybe we can do something with other people Saturday evening.

Accountability

School is going really well. I’m now halfway through my course, and received a higher grade than I expected on my last assignment. YAY! I needed something to feel good about, since my run on Saturday didn’t go very well. I think it was too hot and humid, which I guess I’m not used to. I was only able to run about half of what I can usually manage. I’m going to try and get out another morning this week to make up for it.

Knitting

I thought I had finished my sweater, but I now think the sleeves are too tight/long, and the body is too short/wide. I guess I’ll have to rip it back to fix it, which sucks but seems necessary.

Recipe: Summer Veggies in a Basil Cream Sauce with Lemony Linguine and Pine Nuts
A bowl of veggie pasta
Lemony linguine with a cream sauce

This summer pasta was a little bit complicated, but it was extremely tasty. I’m not a huge fan of squash, so I switched it up with some yellow peppers and it turned out really well. I’ll definitely make this one again!

Veggies and cream sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ lb squash, cut into half-moon slices
½ lb zucchini, cut into half-moon slices
½ pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
⅛ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add squash, zucchini, and garlic; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned and vegetables are tender.
  3. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from pan.
  4. Add cream, Parmesan, and basil to skillet; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Return vegetable mixture to skillet, and simmer 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
Lemony Linguine with Pine Nuts

6 oz uncooked linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 green onion, sliced
¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind

  1. Cook linguine according to package directions; drain.
  2. Combine linguine, olive oil, pine nuts, green onion and lemon rind in a serving bowl; toss well.

Note: Toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, stirring frequently.

Bring it on Home

Do you ever have one of those moments when you realize just how privileged you really are? My life is so full right now that I can barely breathe, and it’s equal parts exhausting and amazing. Right now, this is happening:

a partially built deck at the back of a townhouse
We are having a deck built in our backyard, so queue party time!

I can’t believe how quickly this is coming together. I was expecting the deck to take a few weeks, but it looks like it’s going to be done in a matter of days. There’s going to be some stairs going in on the left, and rails all around, and some lattice at the bottom to keep the animals from nesting. I’m going to have to book in a back yard deck-warming party to celebrate.

A backyard deck with rails and stairs.
Our finished deck. With rails and stairs and everything.

We had a really nice weekend camping at Murphy’s Point. It’s been a really bad year for mosquitos and I’m bitten all over, but it was worth it. We had a nearly perfect weekend. It only rained briefly while we slept, and otherwise it was sunny and just warm enough. It was a beautiful day on Saturday. I always do a bit of campfire cooking. This time we did one-pot pasta that ended up more like soup, and I brought some granola that I had made the week before.

granola in a decorative cereal bowl with a container of granola behind
Homemade granola with almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, honey and maple syrup OMG so good!

Since I usually do my running on Saturday mornings, I didn’t get to do it this weekend. I’ll probably suffer for it next weekend. We spent a lot of time around the fire drinking beer and chatting. I didn’t do very much knitting, even though I brought it with me. I started one of the sleeves on my sweater but didn’t make much progress.

Dinner Saturday night at Murphy's Point with some very good friends
Dinner Saturday night at Murphy’s Point with some very good friends

 

School

I seem to have an ongoing problem with my expectations for grades. Is it a little bit ridiculous to expect 80’s, and then experience crushing disappointment when you don’t get them? I mean, 77% and 73% are both perfectly acceptable! According to the University of Waterloo, that works out to a B+ and a B. What the hell am I complaining about? Honestly, I’m a little bit ashamed of myself, and need to worry less about my grades and more about the written feedback my tutor has been giving me.

Ravelympics and muffin-donuts!

I finished a pair of fingerless gloves yesterday while knitting at the pub with some friends. The gloves are actually an Christmas present, so I’m getting started early! I’m really happy with how they turned out, and they even qualify for a few Ravelympics events! The pattern is Cigar from Knitty.com and they were made out of knitpicks Wool of the Andes.

I found a recipe awhile back for muffin-donuts. Or, muffins that taste like donuts! I made them this afternoon and they are just awesome! The only modifications to the recipe I made were that I used shortening instead of butter for the muffins, and used mini-muffin trays instead of big ones. I used butter for the topping. They’re delicious!

mmmm granola…

I made granola yesterday, and it turned out awesome! It’s way better than the last batch I made. Not a sweet so it doesn’t feel like I’m eating candy. It’s really more of a cereal but I like it that way. Mods: I omitted raisins because I’m not a fan of them, sunflower oil instead of canola oil, Flax seed instead of sesame seed, dried apples for the fruit, and a smidge of sweetened coconut with the unsweetened stuff.

It’s delicious, and you can find the recipe here: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=390

In knitting news, I started a cowl for my fiancé last night. It’s white which is a little scary for me. I’m always afraid I’m going to get it dirty before I even give to her.

Oh, and I have a question for you folks; If you ask your significant other to give you their foot for measuring, do you think they’ll guess that you’re making them socks?

Me: Give me your foot
Him: Why?
Me: Just give me your foot!
Him: (gives me his foot) You’re making me socks aren’t you?
Me: No! (In a sarcastic tone) No, I’m not making you socks! Goddammit! lol
Him: Riiiight… It’s kind of obvious…
Me: Dammit! I’m not making you socks!

*sigh* I lost didn’t I? Happy Saturday everyone, one more day in the contest!