My New Blog: Sympathetic Purl

13 Jul

Update your bookmarks friends!  I am blogging again.  Check out my new blog: Sympathetic Purl

New Blog

13 Jul

Update your bookmarks friends!  I am blogging again.  Check out my new blog: Sympathetic Purl

Knitting in the New York Times… Yes!

22 Feb

Check out this New York Times article about knitting in one of my favorite yarn stores in the city, Knitty City. My favorite yarn store is Brooklyn General Store because it is cheaper, but the people at Knitty City are nice and helpful. It is also closer to where I live, so I trot to Knitty City more often than to Brooklyn General Store.

Click here to read: “Where the Yarns, and the People, Are Colorful”

Lentil Soup For The Soul

21 Feb

No one wants to think of winter anymore, but seeing as we just had a bit of more snow in New York I am in the mood for lentil soup! Here is one of my favorite recipes, which I found at allrecipes.com. I always change things around to suit my tastes, a little bit more seasoning here and there, and a little farfalle, bow tie pasta, to make it more interesting. Without salt and pepper this soup can be pretty tasteless!

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

Ps. I add the bow tie pasta after letting the soup simmer for 45 minutes and let it cook for 15 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked. I then stir in spinach.

Ball Winder Anyone???

14 Feb

Thanks to the bestie for this lovely yarn ball winder! It’s from Knit Picks and makes me want to wind yarn all day every day.  Okay, that was an exaggeration but yarn winding can be very relaxing (if the yarn isn’t knotty or a mess)!  Now to wind that lovely Salmon Cascade 220 yarn I have…  On another note: I want to wish a speedy recovery to the bestie who just underwent knee surgery last week—and good luck!

Yarn winder

Back In Action: Late Christmas Gift

13 Feb

Sorry for the long hiatus! Between work and plain old life, I have not been able to blog.

But I’m back with a treat.  It’s a bit late to be sharing Christmas gifts but I never got to blog about any.  Here is a a hat I made as a gift, which I LOVE, wanted to keep, and my mother wanted to steal.  It was definitely a challenge for me (I’m not an advanced knitter).  I could not figure this pattern out for the life of me until I contacted the designer who kindly responded and told me to use stitchmarkers to divide the repeats to try to figure out what I was doing wrong and voila.  I was not reading the pattern right.

I frogged this once and started over and it is one of the pieces I am proudest of, too bad I didn’t get to keep it.  I have to give a shout-out to the designer, Megan Marshall, who quickly responded to my email on Ravelry and tried to help me out.   The pictures below are not that great but you can see better pics of what the hat looks like on, in the pattern pictures in the link below.

Pattern: Fern Glade

On circular needles:

jeany hat 1

On double pointed needles:

Jeany Hat

Done:

jeany hat finished 1

jeany hat finished 2

Sorry, I couldn’t get better pictures of the finished hat or modeling pics!  Click on the fern glade link above to see better pics of this beautiful pattern.

New Year, New Year

3 Jan

I don’t know what it is about new years that makes even hardened cynics or those who have given up on everything have the hope that the new year will bring better things than the last. Each year is like a new cycle in time and each new cycle can be different than the last. I don’t know whether 2011 will be better than 2010 but we all might as well hope so!

Anyway, these are the things I am into this week

• Wearing a trench coat in January and not feeling cold. Last sunday we had the 6th biggest snow storm on record in New York City, this past sunday it was 50 degrees. It was cloudy and gloomy but still it was nice not to be freezing.

• Veniero’s Pasticceria & Caffe Desserts! Yesterday I headed down to Veniero’s for some amazing strawberry tarts! I highly recommend this New York institution (it’s been around since 1894), if you are ever in New York.

Veniero's

• Receiving random nice messages from friends and even strangers: always bringing some cheer to dreary winter days! The older I get, the more I realize it’s the simple things, like watching a child laugh, hearing a child say the innocent things only children say, or the random acts of thoughtfulness from friends that are the most capable of bringing happiness.

• Being able to knit for myself again: YES!

• Something I heart not: the end of the holidays – back to the humdrum of the rest of year.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

24 Dec

ORNAMENT

This year, like all years, I am very grateful to be able to spend another Christmas with my loved ones. Through the years, I’ve learned to cherish each Christmas because those moments with your nearest and dearest are the ones you never forget. I am Latin American; we have a special tradition derived from the Spanish of celebrating on Christmas eve. So, all our partying occurs on Christmas Eve or as we call it in Spanish “Nochebuena”, which translates into the good night. Indeed, all the yummy food makes it one of the best nights of the year! So wherever you are and whether you celebrate Nochebuena or you celebrate Christmas day: “have yourself a merry little Christmas.” To my friends who don’t celebrate Christmas be grateful you don’t have to deal with all the stressful Christmas shopping!

Anyway, on to the subject of this blog. Knitting! Yes, the stress of life gets in the way of knitting and my knitting hits bumps. Still, I knit a little almost everyday. But my Christmas knitting has been abysmal. I just haven’t had time to finish everything. Some gifts I totally gave up on and just bought something for the recipient. However, I am proud of some Christmas gifts, my favorites of which I will share when the recipients get them!

Hiatus

21 Dec

Dear friends,
My blog will continue to be on hiatus until wednesday evening or thursday. I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and last minute christmas shopping!

Rigatoni a la Vodka

7 Dec

Rigatoni a la Vodka
This was my first attempt at Vodka sauce and I got raving reviews.  I figure that I will perfect this recipe with experience but I loved it from the get-go.  For a first attempt it was delicious!  As you can see from the picture the pasta was overcooked (I wanted to serve this warm without having to reheat and let the pasta sit in water for a bit long). Still it was delicious and I highly recommend you try it and see what works for you substituting some ingredients or adding more or less of some ingredients.  I might make it creamier the next time  and add a little less of the tomatoes and a little more cream.  I think next time I might add more vodka :).   I will update on how this goes the next time I make it.   But for now the recipe is great as is.

Recipe

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Rigatoni Pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) links sweet lean turkey sausage
  • Bread

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Remove casing from sausage and add to skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat, until brown. Add garlic and stir until garlic is golden brown.
  3. Add tomatoes, basil, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Add vodka and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss for 1 minute. Stir in fresh parsley and serve with bread!

I used this recipefrom allrecipes.com and made the changes above to suit my tastes.

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