Monday, January 23, 2012

Spinach Roll. It's what's for dinner.

This is one of the meals I've been making for years and has finally come to be one that everyone likes.

Actually, until recently, if I made it with ground beef, everyone would eat it, but when I made it with spinach, only Hubby and I would like it. So yay for maturing tastes!

I make a pizza dough in the bread machine and roll it out. This is the first time I used a baking sheet to define the rectangle shape. Usually I just roll it out into a reasonable facsimile of a rectangle (and I don't do a very good job of it either).

I mix together a box of frozen spinach, well drained, with a cup or so of shredded mozzarella cheese, some garlic, olive oil, and black pepper.

I spread the mixture out on the dough, jelly roll the dough up, and brush a bit of olive oil over it.

Then I bake it on a pizza pan for about a 1/2 an hour.

Slice it up, and serve it with some marinara sauce and a salad.

 It's good any time of the year, but it was especially yummy on this cold winter day! It's another vegetarian meal, too. Not that I'm trying to eat vegetarian, but I am trying to watch the cholesterol, so this one is a winner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Throwing Dinner Together

We've always been a household that forgets to plan ahead for dinner and there is often nothing thawed or the right ingredients aren't on hand. Then there's the finicky/fussy factor that has been a nagging problem in our family. Both Hubby and I hate to cook, and it's no wonder. Eating out has been the great solution to all these problems. Everyone gets to have what they like and someone else has to cook it and clean up!

Of course it's rough on the pocketbook. We've challenged ourselves to see how long we can go in 2012 without eating out or getting take-out.

Fortunately the tastes of some family members are maturing, which has made mealtime when we're all together a little easier. This meal was inexpensive, made up of ingredients we had on hand, easy to prepare, and was liked by all but one (who wasn't going to be around to eat it anyway).

It took only minutes to prepare.

It baked for about a 1/2 hour or so.

It was high in protein, low in fat and cholesterol, and vegetarian!

Baked Falafel Patties, spicy (low sodium) rice, and a salad.

I wish it was always this easy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keeping the family warm.

I've got a very appreciative family who loves that I knit them things to keep them warm. I've been asked by one family member to, "Please knit me about 90 more pairs of socks like those that you gave me for Christmas". A true compliment!

I mentioned in a previous post that I had two gifts planned for everyone on my Christmas knitting list, but that I only had time to finish one for each person. Since Christmas I've been working on completing those second projects. As you know, I've started the Dr. Who Scarf, but I've also been working on some other knitting and I actually have some finished objects to share.

The hat pattern is Regina and the mitts pattern is Susie's Reading Mitts. Both were really fun to knit and they look well together. I think they will look really nice on the lovely young woman with green eyes who will be wearing them. (Yes, I know this is actually two additional gifts for her, but who's counting.)

I plan to make the same set in blue and grey for another very special young woman. She recently got her beautiful wavy hair bobbed into a great style and this hat is going to look awesome on her!

And after that, I've got 180 socks to get started on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oatmeal Knitting

Not long ago I mentioned in a post that I was asked by a certain young man to knit the Dr. Who Scarf. The yarn it takes to make it looks like enough to make an afghan really!

The scarf is done in all garter stitch. I call this "oatmeal knitting". It's like comfort food. Knitting without following a pattern, or needing to count or think is comforting.

Of course, knitting this much garter stitch can become so monotonous that you want to put the needles through your eyes. That's why I have decided to work on this project when I need something mindless to knit.

I'll knit it while I'm watching TV (and I mean really watching, not just listening and not looking up). I'll knit it when I'm in the car in the dark (as a passenger of course). I'll knit it when I only have time to pick it up for a moment or two (and I don't have time to figure out where I left off in a pattern). I'll knit it when I'm under the weather (and I don't have the concentration for anything else).

I've got 100 rows done already. I should be done in no time!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Holidays in Retrospect

I know it's two weeks into January and many of you are well on your way to making (or perhaps breaking) your resolutions, but I feel like I've just now finished up with the holidays and can start making my plans for the new year. It was a busy holiday season with all the immediate family together, as well as a visit from out of town friends. Yesterday we saw the last of our full house empty.

Sadly, I failed to take photos of most of what I've been up to lately, but I hope I have enough to keep you mildly entertained with my humble little life. Let's see.

There was a lot of knitting and crocheting happening on Tuesday Knit Nights.

I made my family some new Santa hats that are a requirement in our family when we are decorating, wrapping presents, or baking, and of course they are worn on Christmas morning!

I had fun crocheting and felting some nesting bowls for gifts for a few friends.

I wasn't the only one knitting family gifts. A fellow knitter, Will, made his family some awesome Christmas Stockings that are sure to become treasured heirlooms!

Our family had a very nice day shopping at an historic village.

I wish we had gone in the evening. It would have been nice to see these floating Christmas trees with their lights on. (By day, they serve as docks for the ducks & gulls.)

But those weren't the most unusual trees we saw....

I had another try at baking pies in mason jars. I worked out an easy method for lining the jars without overworking the dough. I cut strips and lined the sides and then a small ball of dough was flattened into the bottoms.

I tried a few different fillings, apple, berry, and pumpkin.

The pumpkin pies came out the most attractive for gift giving. The others tasted great but looked terrible, so I ate them all myself!

Don't believe me? See for yourself... pretty bad wouldn't you say?

My family had a wonderful Christmas.

Although the gift giving was a bit on the wild side.

New Year's Eve was wonderful as well, spent celebrating with our close friends. Now things are just settling down and I'm anxious to get all the decorations packed away and get rolling on the new year.

I've got so many projects planned and so many things I want to accomplish this year. Knitting & crochet projects, house projects, plans for Etsy, personal goals. The list is long.

So, I raise my mug of orange spiced tea in a toast to 2012 and blogging about it. Thank you to my few but faithful followers! Your comments are something I really look forward to. I have hopes to grow this blog and gain more followers in the months to come. Once I feel that enough people are reading about my mercurial antics, I'll celebrate with a give-away.

I know from my stats that I have a few readers who have not left comments and have not signed up to follow me. I'd like you to feel at home when you are visiting my blog, just like I would like you to feel if you visited my home. So, please stop by often and say hello.

Warm Wishes for the new year, Lilea