Thursday, January 20, 2011

On tuesday evening, we made pie. Well, actually, post work i was feeling pretty fatigued, so while i skyped with a friend while in bed, my sister actually made this:
Chicken Pot Pie from a betty crocker book i tried to remember the name of but evidently failed.
She claims she can't cook but it came out great, go figure! I think she just lies to get out of doing things, heh

It really was quite delicious. My only problem was- and for the record, not the fault of the cook but of the recipe itself - the fact it was a little bland. salty, yes. Bursting with flavor? not so much. Thus in the photo you can see i added some cayenne pepper to mine. I just like spicy food so much i had to. Cayenne powder, how on earth did i ever live without you?

Next up, i baked cookies for dessert. The recipe was adapted from the one on the side of my Robin Hood quick oats.

I included water but did not have any eggs in this recipe. They came out flat but i think it was best they did, kind of added to the flavor. They were absolutely delicious. I added flax seed and such. I had two, everyone else had some and then the following morning i packed them up into a container and brought them to school with me. I was only there briefly for one period[45 minutes] When i went to collect my container it was completely empty! I was so glad people liked them. I'll definitely be bringing more things into school. I'm considering bringing in some shortbread cookies shaped like various animals [best cookie cutters i ever invested in, thanks wilton!] with a bit of melted chocolate drizzled like a border. If I have time on sunday evening it is a will do.

I am working on a pullover. Decided to make it striped in navy blue and light grey.

as you can see i am not very far. Knitting 40" of plain stockinette ith 246 sts per row gets a little tedious, so i cant do very much at a time. It's more of a lazy evening/school/late night Psych watching project more than anything else.

I am going to cast a hat on once i'm done writing this though, just to get my 4th hat for the month done. 4 hats a month is such a simple thing to do. I'm glad i can do them quickly so i have time to do other things.

My rug hooking is coming along nicely. The only problem i am having is the crochet hook is really hurting my fingers. I need to try out the latch hook i have, I suppose. I almost have his head done though!

As you can see there are a lot of gaps in the head. I'm still getting used to positioning the crochet hook in the best place to punch the holes so i don't get that gap. Hopefully the body will have less spacing.

Finally, I made some granola tonight. I wish i had taken the time to go to Bulk Barn and pick up more nuts and seeds however it was 10pm when i began making this, so i used some peanuts, sunflower seeds, oats, flax seed, maple syrup, a bit of oil, and some misc. seeds from a trail mix i had lying around. Unfortunately those 5 extra minutes i left them in while i ran upstairs kind of caused it to burn a little. Its a bit crunchier than i'd hope but it is still entirely delicious and i intend to enjoy it all week long. I am trying it out with some cranberry yogurt and a few fresh blueberries.

It tastes as good as it looks, yes.

All this foodmaking has put me into good spirits, I have to admit. Something so simple can really relieve all the stress you were feeling. I have accomplished a good bit the past few days. I am having no difficulty with school work either which is fantastic.

It has been such a long, tiring week, so i'm glad i can finally just finish this math homework off, and rest alll day tomorrow[not working, yay!] Work today was so busy as we had a lot of new kids, i had two new kids alone at the junior table where i work most of the time.

Off to get that finished so i can hopefully get to bed early for once.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The possibility of having "too many" hobbies

I am the kind of person who has to constantly learn new things. I am not satisfied with the knowledge i have. It feels like every other day I have sparked up some new habit or idea that I absolutely must carry on with or bring to life. It basically settles into my brain with the grip of a strong man and does not let go. It turns into a priority instead of a simple thought/suggestion, and not only must I do it, I need to do it as soon as possible.

For example, the other day I realized I wanted to get back into gardening. After doing it for a full season, I was very disappointed when I didn't have the opportunity to repeat it again in spring/summer of 2010. I have always been interested in trying container gardening. So two days ago I went and picked up a fluorescent light for my indoor greenhouse. The only issue is i have misplaced my seeds someplace. I may pick up a few bulbs as well and give them a whirl. I just want some herbs now that i'm getting more and more interested in cooking. I'll probably go around after i get off class tomorrow morning and look around for some things.

I've also been debating learning rug hooking for a long time now, and after youtubing it lat night it of course latched onto my head. Thus right after work today i drove up the road to Michaels craft store and bought the supplies. I'm not happy with the fabric i bought. I got linen as there was no burlap and i didn't have time to go anywhere else, but in the end it is just too tightly knit together. Not having fun pulling my crochet back up through the linen. I will finish this off and hopefully find something a little easier to work with next time. I'm really liking it so far. It is not something difficult to catch on to. I also really like the fact it is entirely free hand if you want it to be. I feel more accomplished knowing i just came up with something off the top of my head and went for it. Not that i'm promising anything incredible, mind you. I will probably use some of my tarn[t shirt yarn] on my next project, and make a rug of some sort for my mother

Here is my current project, started tonight:

it will be a robot, or so i hope.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Resolution Update: Learning to Cook + boxing day sale books

I am sad to say that I haven't had time to cast on another hat yet, though i have KIPs on both Wednesday and Thursday evening, so I will probably get my 4th hat of the month done on one of those days. Mittens aren't going much better, as I have to wait to order as a group from Knitpicks with the rooms group. I'm debating using Palette for a pair of mittens that require a lot of colorwork, as it would be cheaper to order from there, but perhaps i'll use something thicker. I guess I could always line them for warmth, though.

Anyway, this entry is not about knitting but cooking, rather. I have taken it upon myself to learn how to cook properly.
I have made a couple of things the past little while. I've decided the only way to expand my cooking skills, and to eat more/new things, is to just dive in and try a ton of new things.

Corn Salad
peaches and cream corn, peas, red onion, 1 tbsp ranch dressing, red bell pepper

The entire meal:
corn salad, sweet and spicy sweet potatoes, and steak stirfry strips marinated in the leftover sweet n spicy sauce i made. It doesn't look like a whole lot but I was so full after eating this. My sister had hot wings instead of steak, her loss.

I am really impressed with how everything has tasted so far - not that any of the things I have made so far have been complicated in any way, of course. This weeks creations will be a much larger amount of sweet potato soup, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, shortbread cookies, and chicken pot pie. I'm looking forward to it. I want to get more simple things accomplished before I attempt moving forward with more..interesting things [Read: hard]

And in other news once again, I have finally spent just about all my gift card money. I had 125 bucks in chapters gift cards, and I figured it wouldn't go very far but I somehow managed to get 20 books out of it!

Heres a photo and a list of my purchases:

I know you can probably read it anyway but:

1.Dr. Jeckyll & Mr Hyde and Other Strange Tales by Robert Louis Stevenson
2. Heart of Darkness & Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad
3. The Professor Charlotte Bronte
4. Journey to The Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
5. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
6. Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
7. Lady Chatterlays Lover by D.H Lawrence
8. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
9. The Metamorphosis + other stories by Franz Kafka
10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
11. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
12. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
13. Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
14. Wolf Woman Bay + other stories by Ed Gorman
15. The Unexpected and Fictional Career Change of Jim Kearns by David Munroe
16. Empress of Asia by Adam Lewis Shroeder
17. The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar
18. Great Novels by Charles Dickens [ contains several of his novels]

All in all not so bad. I am not buying another book until I clean up my shelf and actually read more of the books on said shelves. Every purchase makes me pleased because i actually have a small library and it grows all the time. However, I should stay on top of that and organize it properly before I dare invest in another shelf.

anyway, things to do. I wish i had more time to blog but alas. This month is all about beginning the things I want to do, see which ones i want to continue and which ones im not interested in after all. Next month I will deal more with time management and organizing it all.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

52 Hat-A-Long + the end of the holidays

It seemed so abrupt, the end of the holidays. I suppose it was because in the end, it never felt like a vacation in the first place. It was very rainy the past few weeks, even on christmas eve it was miserable. However, today we had sunshine! It has been so long since the shine shone that my eyes could not adjust, i was just squinting, even with my sunglasses on!

52 Hats in 52 Weeks
I have 3 out of 52 hats done so far. I have a lot of other things to work on so I figured I would get a head start. Sadly I can only dream of having the time to do that any other month. more than likely, i will fall behind, but that's all you can do.
Here are some photos of the 3 hats.

Godrics Hollow

Slouchy Ridges Hat


365 Books in 365 Days
I just finished my third book. I'm aiming for 30 a month rather than one literally every single day. I don't have a lot of time to read or do much else, but yeah. I started an account for my novel reviews. I'm not sure how to write them so perhaps with more experience i will share.

1. The Black Dudley Murder by Margery Allingham (a tad dragged out but interesting all the same)
2. The Sea by John Banville (dreadful, was painful to get through. Plenty of words with no real plot value or character growth imo)
3. Slow Man by JM Coetzee (pleasant, would read again)

Picked up my schedule today. I have:
math level 3 with Dave
biology level 3 with Chad
human dynamics + something i forget with Ann
Enterprise with Ron
and i guess i will be doing nl studies off the record.

Went to the doctor today and got a clean bill of health. My vision couldn't be better, my blood pressure is perfect, cholesterol is fine (this was a relief as all three are common in my family) They were things I had been wondering about for quite some time so it is good to know I am actually quite healthy.