Golden Red

SS Handspun in Golden Red

Skein 1
Ply | Three
Yardage | 77.7 m
WPI | Fingering
Fibre | Simple Scarves Superwash Merino-Nylon in Golden Red
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

Skein 2
Ply | Three
Yardage | 74.7 m
WPI | Fingering
Fibre | Simple Scarves Superwash Merino-Nylon in Golden Red
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

I remember dyeing this very delicious fiber blend a while back and for some reason, I thought of Chinese New Year colours (very festive and reminiscent of people selling gold coins during this season as gifts!) and because it was the end of the roving bulk bundle I got for the store, I didn’t have the full 4 oz to work with. Instead, I had about slightly under 3 ozs – not even enough to put it on the shelves for sale. So I decided to keep it in case I needed to spin something quickly or to blend it with another fiber.

I forgot all about it until last week when I dug around my fiber stash and found it sitting pretty with some of my other handdyed stuff. This was a wonderfully quick spin due to its small quantity – I finished spinning and plying the first skein in under three days! To keep the colour changes the same – I plan to knit slippers/ankle socks with these – I split the roving down in the middle, weighed them to ensure that I would get similar yardage for them both and wound them up loosely in the same way. The result is two very lovely skeins of yarn with a 3-meter difference in yardage.

After hunting around, I decided on a gorgeous pattern (see below) for these two mini-skeins. I think it’ll go great with the gloomy autumn and winter weather that is to come. What do you think?

 Babouches by Lori Law; picture by oceanwindknits

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Pineapple & cashew nut pilaf

Pineapple & cashew nut pilaf

This rather simple recipe is great for vegetarians and makes a fine dish on its own or as a side dish. We had this as a main dish for lunch and then had enough leftovers to turn this into a side dish for dinner – it went along wonderfully with some beef stew.

Versatile yet flavourful – you can add other vegetables like peas, carrots, etc – you can also adapt this for a rice cooker. Just toss everything together, pour (the rice, pineapples, vegetables, everything except the stock) into the rice cooker and add in the stock. Start your rice cooker and wait!

Pineapple & cashew nut pilaf
From Mini Cookbooks’ Asian Rice Dishes

Ingredients

90 gms butter
1 small pineapple – cubed
3 tbsp raisins
Some spring onions – chopped
75 gms cashew nuts
1 tbsp coriander seeds – coarsely crushed
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1 medium sized capsicum – cubed
360 gms basmati rice – washed, soaked in cold water for 30 mins and drained
625 ml stock
4 hard boiled eggs – peeled
Salt to taste

Method

  1. Melt half the butter in a wok over moderate heat. When foam appears, add the pineapples and raisins and fry for 2-3 minutes or until they turn slightly light golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Melt the remaining butter in the wok over moderate heat and add the spring onions. Cook until golden brown before adding in the coriander seed, paprika powder, capsicum and cashew nuts. Fry for about 3-4 minutes and stir occasionally.
  3. Add the rice and salt and continue cooking while stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pineapples and raisins, then add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and remove from the heat. Serve with the hard boiled eggs as a side dish or a main dish.
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Cherry Peach

SS Handspun Superwash Merino in Cherry Peach

Ply | Three
Yardage | 275.8 m
WPI | NA (Fingering)
Fibre | My own handdyed superwash merino fiber in Cherry Peach
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

I like the finished yarn – it’s almost self-striping yet heathered in some areas – and I do wonder how it will knit up. I plan to use this for a pair of simply ribbed socks for myself this winter and am looking forward to seeing how the colours will look when I do get around to working on the socks.

In the meantime, I’m contemplating on if I should start another braid of fiber or focus on my other craft (move over, Superfeet from bestinsoles reviews!). Tehehehehe. If I do spin up some yummies, it would be another superwash braid of either merino or BFL – I have a few that are calling to me. Grin!

SS Handspun Superwash Merino in Cherry Peach

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Chunky chocolate chip cookies with almonds & cocoa nibs

Chunky chocolate chip cookies with almond and cocoa nibs

Quick to whip up and perfect for those times when you’re craving for something chocolate-y and sweet!

Chunky chocolate chip cookies with almonds & cocoa nibs
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe

Ingredients

3/4 cup palm sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 cup margarine/butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
3-4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup dark chocolate chip pieces
1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate pieces
Slightly under 1/4 cup cocoa nibs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180°C and prepare cookie sheets or baking trays.
  2. Beat the sugars, butter, vanilla and egg with a wooden spoon before adding in the flour and cocoa powder. The dough will be stiff so be prepared to use some arm muscle. Stir in the nuts, chocolate chips & pieces as well as the cocoa nibs.
  3. On an ungreased cookie sheet or baking tray, drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes (centers will be soft) before removing it from the oven. Cool for 1-2 minutes and remove from the cookie sheet to rest on a wire rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container.
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Three mushroom pasta

Three mushroom pasta

We have been on a diet/lifestyle change for the past one week, thanks to influence from my sister-in-law’s family. It’s a “meat once a day” rule which means that out of the three meals we eat, only one of it will have meat – either lunch or dinner. The other two meals will be strictly just vegetables and fruit with grains and/or dairy. Hopefully it’ll help with trimming the waistline – that reminds me; I need to check out thule bike racks for the bikes in our garage. Hm.

For someone like me who grew up eating more meat than vegetables and had meat with every meal (breakfast, lunch AND dinner), it’s quite something to adjust to but I took it in my stride. For me, the challenge was more on coming up with vegetarian dishes rather than downing them. So far, I made ratatouille, stir fried eggplant, vegetable curry, salad, and soup (Western-styled) but am fast running out of ideas. Luckily I placed an order for a vegetarian cookbook – I’m in dire need of something like that as my bookshelf has a lot of recipes on one pot meals, kid’s meals, world cuisine (italian, etc), cakes & other bakes and just about anything other than vegetables!

After some thought, I decided to churn out some mushroom pasta. There was some lovely girolles (a kind of forest mushroom) for sale. At first I wanted to make an omelette with it but we had some meat for lunch (I forgot what it was!) so I decided on a mushroom pasta. Took me a while to hunt around for another type of mushroom on top of the button mushroom we had in the fridge.

Once I found what I wanted, it was a matter of prepping and then cooking them. Eva was excited at seeing a big basket of mushrooms as we had gone mushroom hunting during the summer holidays which allowed her to see where and how people used to get wild mushrooms instead of just harvesting them from a farm. The mushrooms were washed and roughly sliced up before being cooked with some garlic, onions and a Provence herb mix. A little fish sauce was added to finish it up.

The result is some very yummy mushroom pasta that was finished up in no time!

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Faints

SS Handspun: Faints

Ply | Three
Yardage | At least 250 m
WPI | NA (Fingering)
Fibre | Funky Carolina BFL/Silk Combed Top
Tool | Serenity Wheel [10:1]

My first spinning FO for 2012! Shocker, I know. I actually finished this when my parents were here last month but never got around to updating this blog. That would account for the approximate/guest-imate figures used for the yardage. Somehow, the paper which I scribbled the yardage count on went missing. By the time I realized what had happened, the skein of handspun yarn was already dried and I wasn’t about to go unwinding it only to wind it on my Niddy Noddy and do a recount. I reckon I’ll survive with an approximate figure. Tehehee.

Now that I’m beginning to spend less time on the Internet (can you or can you not tell?), I’ve started knitting and spinning again. I plan to do some weaving now that I have a stand for my loom but that will involve some massive juggling act which I don’t intend to do for now. The kids still take up a lot of my time even though Eva is at school four mornings in a week. Knitting is something I can do when both are asleep and spinning is something that intrigues both of them – Eva will try to get her hands on my fibers on the pretext of helping me (I should give her some “unwanted” bits from my first stash which is somewhere (I wish I could easily store my yarn like how people handle san storage systems) for her to play with) and Noah is fascinated with the wheel and whole spinning action going on.

Anyway, having said that, I have a braid of my own handdyed superwash merino that I’m spinning up at the moment. I’m hoping to get a mixed of solids and heathered look once I ply the singles but so far, the candy cane-like stripes are very intriguing.

SS Handspun: Faints

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Back!

At Sanary-sur-Mer

I know my last post was in July and then I disappeared for an entire month without a squeek. I have my reasons for it; they revolve around a few words – “homemade jam”, “beaches” and “Internet-less”. LOL.

We spend a good deal of time at my mother-in-law’s place in the countryside of Lyon and then at Nil’s family home in a little village called Mazelgirard – population is less than a few hundred, I THINK – and then at his other family home in a nice place called Sanary-sur-Mer which is just after Aix-en-Provence (in the south). The picture you see up there is an attempt at capturing the beauty of the town, its port and surrounding beaches. To enjoy, do click on it to see the full size picture – it’s HUGE!

Being away from the Internet has allowed me to catch up on a few things like reading, knitting and other pleasures like the company of my two children, especially the youngest who is know more mobile and alert. (Watch out now – Mr Noah can roll over so no more lazying around on raised surfaces like the bed or sofa!) On top of that, Eva has just started school (we get Wednesdays off! YAY!) and we have to seriously, SERIOUSLY ditch the diapers or face her NOT going to school at all. While it means that I get some breathing space while Eva is at school during the day, it also means that I can catch up on my knitting. I have some knits planned out for the winter and need to get started on them now that summer is over. (It also means I have to store my clothes somewhere (including my maternity pajamas) and break out my winter wear soon!)

Suddenly, it seems like I never really went on a vacation. Hm, maybe I should go on a break more often! Tehehehe.

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