Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A quinoa burger catastrophe and the better mushroom gravy

I wanted to try out a new veggie burger recipe, this one using quinoa for the grain to add that extra protein to the mix. Here's what came out:

They were tasty but decidedly less burger-y than I would have liked. In fact, if you so much as touch the things, they disintegrate. Somehow, though, I managed to collect the bits of my burger and envelope them in a pita.

It was all very sloppy joe-like but without the tomato sauce. I was less than satisfied. See, I'm not even bothering to include the recipe. You don't want it.

Trust me.

On the post-holiday front, I did discover a way to fix my mushroom gravy. It always comes out a bit thin and takes a lot of corn starch to make presentable. Not any more.

Instead of 1 cup of mushrooms, I used two. Thickened things right up. Put it on top of some whipped taters with green bean casserole on the side, you've got yourself a nice solstice feast.

Here's to a new year where the gravy's thick and the burgers stick together. Mazel tov!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Apple Sock (for the avoidance of bruises) + the jury duty blanket

I've been knitting up a frenzy here, where finally the first lasting snowfall of the year has landed, just in time for the holidays (though I'm told it's supposed to heat up later this week). However, because everything is a gift for someone else, I can't show any of it off for fear of discovery by the intended victims... I mean recipients.

Because the boy's teacher had to have her gift before the winter break, though, I've already gifted hers. I made her an apple sock.

This seems way better than just gifting an apple. It's the equivalent of teaching a man to fish rather than buying him one fish dinner.

Of course, I couldn't knit all last week, because I was in jury duty. All week. Knitting needles are considered weapon-like and are thus banned from the court house. I did what any self-respecting ravelry-acount-owning citizen would do. I crocheted instead. And like a good English major, I listened to the fifth Harry Potter on my ipod while I did so. The first day, when I didn't have the pattern and yarn ready yet, I read through a book and a half of short stories.

What is the pattern, you might ask?
Why, I'm using woven crochet to make a blanket recreating my family's ancestral Scottish plaid:

I worked on it from tuesday through to friday and this is how much I've got done already:

I have another repeat and a half of the main plaid pattern (4 rows blue, 4 rows navy, 4 rows green, 1 row white, 4 rows green, 4 rows navy, 4 rows green, 1 row white, 4 rows green, 4 rows navy, 4 rows blue, 1 row navy). After that, I'll be chaining 1 chain per row in the pattern colors to weave through the mesh holes in the blanket base to make the vertical stripes that will turn the horizontal stripes into a plaid.

I'm not sure how long this blanket will take, now that I'm starting my new full time job on Monday, especially seeing as I still have thesis hours left and a thesis to revise for spring graduation. But that's okay. I'm looking forward to my first real job ever, even if it eats into my yarn time.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nacho Casserole

Is it legal to put nacho chips in a casserole? I still don't know the answer. However, it is legal to have nachos for dinner, so I assume it's acceptable. Either way, it's delicious.

Baked Nachos

So you take a bag of nacho chips and scatter in on the bottom of a 9 by 13. Then you top it with anything that seems vaguely mexican. I used a can of refried beans, a shredded zucchini and a shredded carrot (or two), tomatoes, cheese, and a light dusting of frozen corn.

Then you bake it in the oven at 350 until it's all bubbly.

The chips get a bit mushy, but oddly, it's not in an unpleasant way. And of course, you can always scoop  them up with yet more chips.