Saturday, May 30, 2015

Holy God, The Titans Blanket Is Done!

And it will FINALLY be on it's merry way to it's rightful owner as of Monday! It does need some time to hang a little more, to open up (mostly) the top half, and it's large enough to cover a queen sized bed, with just a little overhang.

The details:
  • an H sized hook
  • full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in White (larger skein)
  • partial skein of Craftsmart Value Yarn (from Michael's) in White (smaller skein)
  • full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Soft Navy (big skein)
  • full skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Etsy seller) in Soft Navy (smaller skein)
  • partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from AC Moore) in Soft Navy (big skein)
  • full skein of Red Heart Shimmer Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Black (I found out this is actually a discontinued yarn. It's also a lighter weight yarn than all the other yarn I was using.)
  • partial skein of Red Heart Shimmer Yarn (from an Etsy seller) in Black
  • partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Light Blue
  • partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Grey Heather
  • partial skein of Red Heart Super Saver Yarn (from an Amazon seller) in Cherry Red
I'm not completely wild with how the helmet emblem came out. It looks wonky to me, but I redid it a few times, and I know it's not a design fault. Somewhere, I kept putting in too many stitches going across so I know it's wider than it should be. 

I also wish I had gone with a shade of yarn lighter than the Soft Navy. It's hard to see the black details within the cowcatcher on the front of the helmet, even with the white outline.

And I did take a little creative license with the logo. The "TENNESSEE" in the logo is supposed to be slightly curved into the "TITANS." But I'm enough of a pain in the ass that I decided I was going to change it because I didn't like it like that. In this version, the "TENNESSEE" is completely straight across.

However, I love these patterns. Like the Steelers blanket, this pattern was made by Donna Hammell of New Jersey. It takes a lot of work to get these graph patterns to come out correctly. I've tried a few times and I just can't get the hang of it to make my own.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Crab and Rice Recipe

The cooking continues! The last time I went to the grocery store, I picked up some stuff for a jambalaya-type dish. The closest recipe I found online was Crab and Rice.
  • 6 to 8 crabs (I cheated here and used a package of Boudreaux’s Brand Crawfish Tail Meat that I picked up at Harris Teeter.)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small sweet pepper (optional)
  • 1 c. fresh pigeon peas, boiled until tender
  • 2 c. rice
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. tomato paste
  • salt, pepper, paprika and thyme to taste
  • I also added in a can of red kidney beans.
First wash crab; remove biters and put aside. Separate crab bodies from backs; scoop out crab fat into bowl. Break bodies into sections; beat bodies and biters with coach beater. Set aside. Peel and chop onion and sweet pepper; fry until tender (I fried mine for about five minutes in butter). Stir in tomato paste, crab fat and seasonings. Simmer 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water. Bring to boil and add peas and crab. Bring to boil. Boil 5 minutes. Add rice and bring back to boil. Turn to simmer and cover pot until water is almost gone. Cook on low until rice is tender.

This was pretty good. The crawfish had a strong (almost gamy) taste to them, almost like they were freshly plucked from seawater. By cooking it in the pureed tomato paste with everything else, it tamed the taste down considerably, which  I thought was a good thing. Just right out of the package, it was a little too strong for my liking, even though it's sold already cooked.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Cooking Continues

I've been making a concentrated effort to do more cooking lately. Yesterday, I made Momofuku's Soy Sauce Eggs. This was a recipe I stumbled across while reading Slate one day, and I'm so glad I did!! I'm kind of a soy sauce geek and we always have it.
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar -- I didn't have this, so I substituted some balsamic vinegar, because I love a good balsamic vinegar as much as I love a good soy sauce.
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 6 large eggs
  • Maldon or other flaky salt, for serving
  • Black pepper, for serving
Basically, you hard boil your eggs, shell them, and then let them soak for anywhere from 2-12 hours in the combination above. And considering it's a vegetarian side dish (vegetarian, yes; vegan, not on your life), it's absolutely divine!!!

The other recipe was not a vegetarian recipe: One Pot Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Alfredo. This was another recipe I wasn't looking for, but am so glad I did! I don't even remember where it came from, originally.
  • ¾ lb Italian sausage -- I could have sworn I had Italian sausage here but I didn't. Since I didn't realize it until I started cooking, I improvised and used some chunked stew beef instead.
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½ cups milk, plus ¼ cup for the sauce
  • 1½ cups chicken broth, plus ¼ cup for the sauce
  • 1 (16 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and pureed (you can do this in a food processor or blender)
  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 12 oz pasta of your choice
  1. Remove the casing from the sausage and discard the casing. To do this, simply cut along the side of the sausage with a sharp knife and peel off the pierced casing with your fingers.
  2. In a large pot or high-walled pan, saute the sausage meat with the garlic and olive oil over medium heat, until browned.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, pureed roasted red pepper, milk and pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 12 minutes. If the liquid has all been absorbed, add the additional milk and chicken broth.
  4. Stir in spinach, 1 handful at a time, and cook until wilted and hot.
  5. Stir in the goat cheese and Parmesan. Continue to stir until melted. Remove from heat and serve.
Wow, just wow!!! I made a big pot of this last night for supper, so I've got lunches for the next week here!