Rachael in GSO

Just a blog about my life, my knitting, my dogs, and my general state of confusion.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I have moved

you can find me here:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Past Weekend

Life has sucked. Very Bad Things happened.

But 2007, as people say, is a new year. We had the misfortune of experiencing 'things come in threes' this year, most especially bad things. And it's over, done, life will now go back to normal. So I say.

And as my friend Heather says - it is a statistical improbability that our lives could maintain the level of badness or get worse in the upcoming year. And thank goodness she is right - I just hope it really works out that way.

So we just got back from a whirlwind trip to FL, NJ and then back here in 4 days and I'm exhausted. We will be home for two weeks and then we're flying out again for Christmas, but it will be a fun trip, which will be good. We've had too many of the other kind this year. You know you've traveled too much when you have a favorite restaurant at each major airport on the east coast...

In the midst of all the flying and waiting, I started my striped cardi. It is my first 'original' pattern that is more than just an EZ percentage system sweater. Here it is - the colors look significantly brighter in the pic than they do in real life. I can't wait to finish DH's sweater & my last xmas gift so I can get back to it!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Canine definitions of comfort

So here's Duke with his giant 'lamby'...his favorite stuffed toy is always called lamby, his first one was a lamb and for it's the word he still recognizes for that.

and here's Pixie stuffed between the pillow and the back of the chair. oddly enogh she was quite content there until I moved.

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rachael's Spiceyhotsuperyumdelicious Chili

Rachael's Spiceyhotsuperyumdelicious Chili
1 lb ground beef
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2-4 cloves of garlic (to your taste), minced
1 12 oz beer (any cheap beer will do)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 14 oz cans kidney beans
1 14 oz can chili hot beans (use pinto beans if you can't find these)

3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried mustard
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt & pepper

Brown ground beef, once there is a little oil in the pan, throw in peppers, onion, & garlic. Saute until onions are clear. Pour in beer & bring to a boil, mix in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, bay leaves and all spices BUT the cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then bring it down to a high simmer & cover. Let it simmer for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

After an hour, test it for consistency. If it seems too watery bring it up to a boil and leave it at a low boil with the lid off for 15 minutes or until it has thickened. You could also add a tablespoon or two of cornstarch mixed with water at the end to thicken it.

Drain & rinse the kidney beans, add those. Mix in the chili hot beans and let it come back to a simmer.

Season with cayenne to taste. Add more chili powder and a touch more mustard powder if it tastes like it's missing something.

Serve with cornbread.


Leftover usage:
Cincinatti Spaghetti
serves 2
1/2 lb vermicelli pasta
sour cream
shredded cheese
leftover chili

Heat up the chili, cook the vermicelli & put in pasta bowls, top with chili, shredded cheese & a good, solid dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

An idea

okay. so here is the sweater from interweave knits winter 2006 - the rambling rose cardigan, which I love - but that one is WAY over the top for me.

So here is what I think. I have some gorgeous malabrigo that I've been looking for a project for.
And here's my little design sketch. I think I wasn't clear on where the colors would be. The cable panel in the front & back and on the sleeves would be blue. The base of the sleeves and the sides would be purple.
and here's the cable I want to use from Vogue Knitting.
so - two things. 1. opinions please! 2. how much of each color??

SP Contest #3

To write about my most emotionally connected recipe - that's the recipe that I got from my late mother-in-law for her pasta sauce. She was Italian, and her sauce is really good, and it's very special to me b/c she made it for us during her 'good week' when we visited over the summer. I chopped everything and did the stirring, but she was strong enough to come in the kitchen and put in a pinch of this and a sploosh of that, and to taste it & correct the flavor until it was perfect. Making that with her is a wonderful memory of a good time in the midst of much sadness.

So now when I make the sauce, the experience of learning how to do it comes back with the cooking, and happy memories abound with the eating. Especially when DH tells me that it really does taste just like hers.

If we're talking about a more long standing food memory, I would say apple pie, b/c I remember making oodles of apple pies with my grandmother and my mother. There was something so fun about that when I was a little girl. The slicing of apples, sprinkling of sugar, rolling of pie crust, of course mostly what I remember is being happy and content that everything in the world was good and enjoying spending time with them.

And then there's my chili recipe, which I made up all by myself. I remember that I couldn't find the mix I wanted and I decided that I was going to figure it out. It was really my first foray into making or altering a recipe to suit my tastes, and that opened up a whole world for me.

I have tons and tons of memories of happy 'in the kitchen' kind of memories from my childhood & even my adulthood (?).

Like the few Christmases I lived close enough to my BFF that we decided to make Christmas cookies together to give out to our families. An eight year old would be neater in the kitchen than the two of us were together, but boy we had fun & made some good cookies!

And how my Grandpop would make crepes for us when we slept over, I would lay in bed in the morning and I could hear him in the kitchen getting ready and then smell them cooking. He would make a game out of the whole thing, fly them through the air like flying saucers, make them with 'arms' so they were monsters, etc. They were soooo good, and I could put as much syrup as I wanted on them. ;-)

I don't have any one recipe that wins out over the others, just a realization that I have many, many happy memories of cooking & eating with family and friends through my whole life. And I have to say, I'm happy about that.

Great idea for a contest - it's brought back some good memories!

Monday, November 27, 2006

FO & assorted stuff

Okay - here is the little sweater I made for my goddaughter. I"m really happy with it other than my kitchener job under the arms...not so hot. I'll have to practice before I do that again on DH's sweater.

And here's the progress on DH's sweater.

I'm happy with it. I mean, I'm really TIRED of the sweater. It feels like I've been knitting it for at least 1000 years, but seeing it on him and being pleased with how it's turning out is definitely motiving.

and last but not least, here's some stitch markers I made over the weekend. I wanted to make my spoilee some sock sized ones, so there's some little ones that will fit up to a size 3 needle and there's some that will fit up to a size 9 needle. I'm sending her two sets. I hope she likes them!

I'm sending her off a package tomorrow, her birthday is next week. So very soon, my official second package will be on its way!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Black Friday

well - I am not insane enough to go to the mall, walmart, best buy, or any of the other mobbed places in the world on black friday - BUT my local quilt shop was having 35% off all fabric if you brough in three bags of food for Second Harvest. Go Randy's Quilt Shop! isn't that a good deal? so I raided my pantry & talked my step-mother into going with me (that took two words - quilt and shop) & got all this.

Gorgeous, no? for our bedroom. but first I need to get my sewing machine in working order again.

Then we went to the annual craft show here in town & braved the mobs to see what local artisans have done. There was some really gorgeous stuff, not much I was looking for, but it's always fun to see what people are making.

I got a wreath for the front door.

and this cultured pearl necklace pendant.

Then we went to a local restaurant for dinner, I had roasted duck with berry confit - YUM! and we went to see STOMP, that was tons of fun.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I am thankful for many, many things in my life - a short list: DH, my family & friends, our adorable doggies, my job that allows me to make a difference in people's lives, our lovely house & all it's trappings, my ability to follow through with things I enjoy doing and be reasonably pleased with the result - such as knitting and cooking.

So along those lines, I made us a DELISH TG dinner (from the mouths of my guests, not me) & here is what I served.

cranberry avocado salsa
upside down pecan cake (delicious for breakfast!)

Turkey basted in white wine & butter ala martha
cranberry sauce with spices (with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice & ginger)
roasted garlic mashed potatoes
cornbread stuffing with sausage & apples - my own frankensteined creation
maple bourbon sweet potato casserole with candied pecans (with 2x as much butter, maple syrup & brown sugar as they recommend - add cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg)
cheddar corn spoon bread
greenbeans almondine

whew - I think that's everything.

for dessert
pecan pie
apple pie ala fanny farmer - sometimes old fashioed is best...

I"m still full today.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Signora Bimbi's Double Dark Chocolate Torta
by Lynne Rossetto Kasper


It's not so pretty, it cracked a bit coming out of the pan, but the powdered sugar mostly covers that up. ;-)

It has cinnamon and espresso and 3 entire bars of bittersweet chocolate. OMG.

Yesterday was DH's birthday, so I made this cake for him. For dinner I made
Sausage Rose Diavolo:
1 jar commercial spaghetti sauce - basil flavor
1 lb pasta
1- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
red pepper flakes
1 lb hot sausage

Cook hot sausage, drain grease, put sauce, red pepper flakes & cream in & bring to a simmer, add enough cream so it turns 'rose' color. Let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve over pasta with fresh grated parmesan.

YUM! Posted by Picasa

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