Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Harmonia's Ring

One of the classes I took at Madrona this past year was Harmonia's Ring Cowl by Sivia Harding . I used two skeins of Lustra by Berroco.

It's hard to see but the bind off for the collar edge has a wonderful picot edge which is enhanced with beads.
Sivia is a very patient teacher and designer who I would highly recommend taking a class from if she is in your area.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Recipe for Johnsonville Italian Sausage

Although I am American born I did not grow up eating American food.  My mother did not learn to cook until after she was married but she did not necessarily embrace the food of America.  I did not know what a BLT was until I was in college and that I learned about in Art Appreciation,  Claes Oldenburg Blt
Meatloaf was not made in our household and I did not cook meatloaf for my children.  I will say I am a lover of beef and sausage so this recipe I concocted I am happy to share.

Individual Meat Loaves
1 tbl olive oil
 3 c. onion
 3 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c chicken stock
1 tbl ketchup
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg (1.235) lbs hot Italian Johnsonville sausage
1/2 c panko
2 egg. beaten
1/2 c ketchup
2 tbl Sriracha  chile sauce, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat olive oil in medium pan and add onions and cook over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent.  Off heat add Worcestershire sauce, broth and 1 tbl ketchup.  Allow to cool.  In a large bowl, combine ground beef and sausage removed from casings, onion mixture, panko and eggs.  Mix.  Divide the mixture into 5 portions and shape each into a small loaf .  Mix ketchup and Sriracha sauce and divide and spread on the top of each loaf.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Jim said he hasn't eaten meatloaf since he was 18 and he would be happy to eat this again.
I'm putting two of these in the freezer to eat in the future.

Monday, March 21, 2011


My sister Monique is in the mirror.
She is the baby.

Jacqueline is on the left.
I am the middle sister.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Maia Shawl

Recently we had a customer come into the shop wanting someone to knit a shawl for an auction benefiting a hospital doing research supporting breast cancer.  A few years ago a good friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and this past year celebrated her five year anniversary.  Another friend in January had surgery for breast cancer and a California friend has recently celebrated her five year anniversary.  Breast cancer research is something I wholeheartedly support so I was more than happy to knit for her.  She purchased the yarn - Schaefer Yarn Anne in color Tink- and I picked the pattern - Maia by Rosemary Hill.  After I got the shawl cast on and started, which took a couple tries, the shawl was an enjoyable knit. 

I would like to make this shawl for myself but I think I will be adding on beads.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Johnsonville Italian Sausage

I am occasionally given the opportunity to review products through Shespeaks.com  I recently signed up to be involved in the Johnsonville Italian Sausage Program.

We normally buy sausage to cook on the grill so I'm now being challenged to cook with sausage in other ways.

With the coupons I received I also received a pamphlet with recipe ideas.  So I tried the meatballs. 

1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 c panko
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c milk
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 tsp basil
1 package Johnsonville Hot Italian sausage Links

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the egg, panko, Parmesan cheese, milk and onion.  Remove sausage from casings.  Add sausage to mixture and mix well.  Shape into 20 meatballs approximately golf ball size.  Arrange meatballs on a shallow baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.   
Boil some pasta.
And heat up some pasta sauce. 
And Enjoy!!
This was our first time to try Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauce and I found it very flavorful.  I don't normally like prepared pasta sauce because they are too sweet but  I found this sauce to be more like I make from scratch.  The Johnsonville sausage meatballs were a delightful variation on meatballs.  Although I bought the hot variety Kelsey did not find them overly spicy.  Jim and I could have taken a little more kick but we still found the meal very satisfying and enjoyable.  I will be definately making these meatballs again!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Birthday Dinner

A great bottle of wine.
And dinner cooked by Kelsey.
Stuffed pork chops, garlic Parmesan mashed potatoes and salad.

To top off the evening we had a slice of German Chocolate Cake made by my in house baker Kelsey. Lisette made me decide that this would be the perfect finish for a birthday dinner.
No catfish for me.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Joseph Phelps Tasting Seminar

Kelsey and I headed out to the wine country today as part of my birthday week celebration. Jim, unfortunately, had to work.   On our agenda was a tasting seminar at Joseph Phelps Vineyards which covered oak barrels and  their effects on the taste of wine. Mathew was our host and Kelsey and I were the only attendees so we got to really get some one on one attention.   
This is the lineup of glasses we worked our way through.

We discussed and tasted how the origin of the oak changes the flavor of the wine - American versus French, new oak versus neutral oak and how the level of toasting also imparts different levels of flavor.  We got a lesson on how the glass affects the taste of the wine. I think we all have been drinking our chardonnay in the wrong glass. He talked about the release of esters when you swirl your glass which according to Kelsey she also learned about in organic chemistry.  This old art major is now learning a little science..   

Sheep working the land at Joseph Phelps

A very informative seminar I would highly recommend. Just giving you fair warning, when you hear me slurping my wine I am actually just aerating it in my mouth so I can get a fuller flavor profile.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Tina Shaffer

Although I think myself a Texan I was born in San Francisco, California and spent the first ten years of my life here in California.   Somewhat ironic I am back in this state.   My last few years were spent in Concord were I went to Mount Diablo Elementary School.  My best friend at the time  lived a street over and her name was Tina Shaffer. 
I have thought of her often and hope all is well with her.  Today is her birthday and I hope it is wonderful.
So I wish to you Tina Shaffer Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!

Kelsey Is Coming

The shower has been dusted, the house is clean and a dog has been given a bath.  I think we are ready for Kelsey to visit.  She would be the one on the left.  My favorite oldest daughter, Rachel, is in the middle and my favorite son, Hagen, is on the right.  He is coming to California the following week.

Since Kelsey is now 21 we are heading out to the wine country.  I am  really looking forward to the barrel tasting seminar at Joseph Phelps.  We are also going to check out Sonoma Port Works.

My plan while Kelsey is here is to get her knitting some more.  She might even need a Ravelry account.