Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Taste of Freedom Again

I'm not about to whine about how having an injured puppy can cramp your style since we're so happy he's doing so well, but....we hadn't been to the beach in over a month until yesterday. Rolly got his splint off last week and is doing really well. We still can't leave him though and have to watch that he doesn't get too rambunctious. So, we just took him to the beach with us.

Paige went along with us. (It's amazing what a bored college kid, home for the summer. will do for entertainment.) We had been telling her how good Taco Temple in Morro Bay is and had thought about taking her there, but we would have had to do take-out. Then I remembered that Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant is doggie-friendly; plus they have delicious seafood too, so that's where we went. Paige and I had the Mariner's Salad, which is packed with bay shrimp, and Russ had a seafood burrito, which looked awesome with whole scallops in it and other delicious looking stuff.

 After a stop at Giovanni's Fish Market for some scallops to take home (Um, the fact that the scallops were from Canada didn't dissuade me from buying them) and some smoked salmon, we headed over to the Los Osos Farmer's Market  for more food purchases. Our favorite purchases this trip: Dark Nectar Roasting Company coffee and Joycup Peanut Butter Cups.

The Dark Nectar guy had about six different flavors of coffee for us to try. I liked everything I tried, but I thought McPhee's Grill Blend was a great name, so we went with that. Paige and I fell in love with the candy last year. It's soooo good, with flavors like: Espresso Sea Salt, Lemon Blueberry, and Olallieberry.
 I get kind of annoyed when Farmers' Markets say, "No dogs," and then people are walking around with their dogs, but we were a little guilty of it this time. Russ carried Rolly the whole time, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't exactly kosher either.

 Gidget was happy to see Rolly home again. She hates riding in the car, or we might have considered taking her along too.

 Did I have something about this being a knitting blog in my title? Well, I'm back to knitting, feverishly even. Last fall, I received the most fun, unexpected gift. It was a "care" package from my friend Julie. It was an endless array of wonderful stuff, but my favorite item was two skeins of yarn from Glinda the Good Wool. It's called Frost in the Vineyard, which is totally cool to me. I've been looking for a pattern that was worthy of this yarn, and, believe me, I mean looked and looked. I finally found the perfect pattern: Ysolda Teague's Scroll Lace Scarf. The pattern is easy although I haven't yet memorized it. I feel like a knitter again!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nope, Still Not Bored

 This picture doesn't do justice to how I spent my afternoon today. I made chimichangas with three of my favorite students/ex-students: the Arellano sisters. Several years ago, the oldest sister, Stephanie brought chimichangas to a potluck for our class one day and I've been in love with them ever since. I've described their chimichangas as melting in your mouth  It's not an understatement to say that I'm obsessed with them. I hinted...Ok, begged for the recipe, but the girls said that they were not at liberty to share it since it was their mom's secret recipe although they have often provided me with a good supply of them throughout the year.

 Well, this afternoon, they showed up with all of the fixings for....Chimichangas. Their mom gave her OK for me having a little awesome Mexican cuisine cooking lesson. I've eaten a lot of good Mexican food, but these chimichangas are the best. The recipe actually wasn't very complicated, but it did take some time. I don't think I'd be breaking any confidences by posting the recipe here, and it will help me remember how to make them.


  • two chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • one white onion, chopped
  • one bunch cilantro, chopped
  • one bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-2 small cans tomato sauce
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • one pkg. large flour tortillas (They use Guerreo brand)
  • canolla oil, for frying

Poach the chicken in the chicken broth with two cloves garlic, one half chopped onion,  cilantro, and 1 tsp. salt. When chicken is cooked, shredded it, and place it in a bowl with one clove of the garlic, the rest of the chopped onion, chopped parsley, and enough tomato sauce to moisten well without being "goopy." Let the chicken mixture cool, and then place a thin line of chicken across the lower third of the burrito. Fold the bottom of the tortilla up over the chicken and form a tight tube, then pick up the bottom portion of the tortilla and roll the rest of it tightly into a tube. They usually let their chimichangas sit in the fridge over night to set, and then fry them in the morning. They're easier to work with that way.
 I've slowed down a little on my summer accomplishments, but I did finish Russ's socks yesterday. He seems to like them, and kept them on even though it's like 80 degree in the house. I bought Julie's bunny pattern last month, so I'm thinking that that will be my next project, but we'll just have to see. Maybe I'll throw caution to the wind, and start two projects at once.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not Bored Yet!

I'm pretty sure that I've worked during the summer every summer since I've had kids, which means over twenty-one years. It's not like I've worked all summer, or full days, even, but I've worked! This summer I'm not working. I can't entirely take credit since I wasn't asked to teach a college class, but I didn't even try for a high school session, so I'll congratulate myself on that  bit of good sense. It's only been a week, and I have enjoyed every minute, even if some of those minutes have involved napping on the couch every afternoon.
 As usual, we have a ton of plums, which I don't know what to do with. I'm not interested in all of the work that canning would take, but I don't want all of those delicious plums to go to waste. We always give away a lot to the neighbors, and I usually try to do a few creative things with them. Since I'm pretty much obsessed with Pinterest, I figured that I could get some inspiration there, and I did! I found a recipe for spicy plum sauce from Local Kitchen, and several hours later had some plum sauce that was at least as good as any I've tried from the grocery store or at a Chinese restaurant.

Our first meal with my plum sauce was with pot stickers as an appetizer, but last night we branched out and had it on chicken. It took several hours and a lot of work to make about a quart's worth of plum sauce, but I think I may have to make a couple of more batches.
I've been plugging along with my socks too, and even though I'm a little nervous about running out of yarn, I think I may actually finish a knitting project, something I haven't done a lot of recently...er...this year.

 This is a bad picture of my current sock situation, but, as you can see, I'm very near the end. I've lost the label for this yarn although I think I may have bought it from The Loopy Ewe. If I end up short, I'll have to do a little more investigating. I usually only order from The Loopy Ewe, Webs, or LIttle Knits, so it shouldn't take too much detective work. I haven't been using a pattern, just cast on 64 stitches and started knitting. I've made a promise to myself that this is absolutely the last time, I improvise a pattern and not write down what I've done. I'm coming up on the toe, and I can't remember what I did on the first sock exactly. I don't deserve any sympathy, feel free to roll your eyes!
We're still in love with our little Rolly, even if we are bad beagle parents and were playing on the bed with him and let him fall...and break his leg. He has taken it in stride, but we were so very sad. Bot of us cried over him the night we got back from the vet. It's not a terrible break, but it is his upper femur, which was hard to splint, and we've pretty much had to be with him every minute to make sure he doesn't get it wet, etc.

 We're going on week three and are optimistic that he'll be fine eventually, although Rolly thinks that he's just fine now, and wants to run around and tussle with his "auntie" Gidget, who is always willing to oblige him. She even gets in his kennel with him to take naps.

It's been quite a challenge keeping his splint clean, although we've enployed the "plastic bag" bootie method so that he can potty in the backyard and hang out with kitty too.