Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In the Weeds

I have not forgotten you, blogging friends.  I have not been posting or reading blogs lately because I am deep in the weeds on a monstrous editing job.  In my giddy bid to obtain the work (a paycheck!), I grossly underestimated the time required.  So instead of blogging, I am hunched in front of my computer reading corporate jargon and nonsense.  I do not ask for pity, only heed my warning.  Be wary of corporations waving lucrative consulting projects.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Serenity Shawl

I am in love!  In love with this gorgeous yarn, Serenity Garden.  After seeing a fabulous crocheted shawl on Teresa Kasner's blog, (see her post about it here), I knew I had to make one too.  I shamelessly copied Teresa entirely, using the same pattern and the same yarn, although in a different colorway.

The pattern is called "Ruby" by Anastasia Roberts, and is available for purchase on Ravelry.  The yarn is Dralon microfiber, machine washable and dryable (love that!) and is part of the Deborah Norville Collection; the color is Sea.  I got the yarn at Jo-Ann Fabric, but I don't know if they still carry it.  I scoured three or four stores to find enough.

My shawl is pretty big, as you can see in relation to a double bed.  I added an additional thirteen three-row repeats in part one of the pattern to make it larger.  I think it would work well in a smaller size though -- it would be more like a triangular scarf.  It's hard to see the subtleties in the color changes of this yarn in these photos, but it is really interesting, and it feels luscious.

Thank you, Teresa, for inspiring me to make this lovely shawl.  You're my hero.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hey Girl!

I'm joining in the Hey Girl Valentine link party!

Hey Girl is a Pinterest meme involving Ryan Gosling.  As a middle-aged woman, I surprise myself that I know what a meme is and who Ryan Gosling is.  Quick -- name a Ryan Gosling movie!  Okay, I can't, but I'm sure I've seen one. Um, I think I've seen one. Yes, I did -- The Ides of March.  Whew.

For the Hey Girl link party, bloggers are making their own Hey Girl images with pictures of husbands, boyfriends, pets, etc.  It's all in fun.  (Remember that, husband, all in fun!)

Join the party and see other Hey Girls at 

Souped Up Meatballs

We've finally been getting our winter snow here in northern Illinois.  It's been beautiful.

Mourning dove taken from my office window.

Snow, however, calls for hearty, warming dinners.  As I walked through the grocery store the other morning, I thought about the oniony meatballs my mother used to make.  A package of ground chuck and a stroll through the soup aisle, and I was good to go.  This makes a very easy and flavorful change of pace for ground beef.

I served them over egg noodles, but they are also very good with mashed potatoes.

Souped Up Onion Meatballs

1 pound ground chuck
3/4 cup (approx.) fresh bread crumbs
1 egg
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 10.5 oz. can of French onion soup (I use Campbell’s)
1/2 cup water

Mix meat, bread crumbs, and egg together.  Season with cracked pepper and very lightly with salt (the soup will add extra salt).   Shape into 1 to 1-1/2 inch meatballs.

Heat oil in non-stick skillet over high heat.  Add meatballs and reduce heat to medium high.  Brown the meatballs, turning frequently.  Add the soup and water.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove lid and cook over low to medium low heat for 15 minutes to reduce liquid.

Makes approximately 30 meatballs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Digest for Dreaming

When I was a kid, I used to love to look at catalogs -- Sears and J. C. Penney were probably the main ones.  If I could pick any bedspread on this page, which would it be?  Which outfit would make a ten-year-old look the coolest?   What about all that jewelry?  And how about those toys?  (Who can forget the Wish Book?)

When I got much older, I discovered Architectural Digest through my future mother-in-law.  Similar dreams, but on a much bigger scale. Imagine walking through that garden in Tuscany.  Or that kitchen in the Hamptons.  Sitting in that living room in Manhattan.  If only.

For a while, I subscribed, but once in a period of penny-pinching, I failed to renew my subscription.  Recently, we received a subscription pitch in the mail.  The price seemed good, so I sent in the card.  I've been eagerly awaiting my first issue for more than a month.  When the first of February came and went, I wondered if I would ever receive my new subscription.

Today, the mailman delivered not one, but two issues of Architectural Digest, plus a thin volume of celebrity homes, to my mailbox.  On this gray, snowy day, a curl up on the couch with a couple of grown-up Wish Books sounds just about perfect.

Diet Coke at hand, cozy blanket nearby.  Ready to dream.