Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I got peer-pressured, yo.  On Twitter/Facebook, I mentioned I was making a chicken enchilada casserole. The public demanded (okay, like 3 people) a recipe.

I'm not great with recipes because I throw stuff in without much regard to measuring - it's a bit more intuitive.  Taste and add.  Here's the best I can do.

(Despite the use of the crock pot and the word casserole, it's not particularly one-pot. At least not if you make the tortillas when you get home.)

Enchilada Sauce Ingredients (based on Karina's easy enchilada sauce):
1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast and/or thighs
1 28-oz plus one 14.5-oz can of tomato sauce (or puree, or crushed tomatoes)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 large onion (or 1 small)
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon coriander
A few shakes of cayenne pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup flour (Rice flour or tapioca flour will work fine if you're gluten-free. I like corn flour to impart the corn flavor from the tortillas)
crushed red peppers (optional)

16 corn tortillas (if you're insane like me and want to make 16 tortillas from scratch when you get home after being at work for 11 hours, use 2 cups maseca, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/4 cups of water)
shredded cheese (I like jack and cheddar)

Gettin' Down to Bidness:
Mix sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken in the crock pot.  Cook on low for 7? hours (maybe more? I don't know - I left it for 11 hours on low because that's how long I'm gone for work).  Remove chicken from sauce, and shred it using two forks.  Remove about 1.5 cups of the tomato sauce from the crock pot and set aside.  Mix the shredded chicken back into the remaining tomato sauce.

Lightly oil a 13x9-inch baking dish, put 1-2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Lay 4 corn tortillas, dipped in the enchilada sauce, cover with 1/3 of the shredded chicken and 1/4 of the shredded cheese. Repeat these three layers 2 more times.  Top with remaining 4 corn tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce.  Pour any remaining sauce over the top layer of tortillas and cover with the remainder of the cheese.  Stick in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until it is melty and heated evenly through. 

Cut up into pieces (I use a pizza cutter) and serve hot.  Makes about 8 servings.  Take pictures to make your blog post less boring (optional).  Get someone else to wash all the stinkin' dishes you dirtied making this.

The Post-Mortem:
That's pretty gross to talk about a post-mortem on something you just ate, but it's late and I'm tired.  Anyhow, it was pretty good - basically I have grown weary of ground turkey/beef and wanted to do something else.  The chicken was lighter than the turkey but it sucked up tons of extra sauce after being shredded and mixed back in.  If you wanted to do a turkey or ground beef enchilada sauce, mix the liquid ingredients of the sauce in a medium sauce pan, following Karina's recipe.  Add the flour after sauteeing onions and garlic.  Use only the 28 oz can of tomatoes - you don't need quite as much liquid for the ground turkey.  Mix about 1 cup of enchilada sauce into your browned ground turkey, and use the rest to pour over each layer as you assemble.  Eat, clean up and go to bed full.

It was fall but it felt like winter, been gone a couple months, felt like a year

It was August.  I posted a list of food I have eaten.  I closed my eyes and now it's November?  It's time to start getting ready for Thanksgiving and being thankful when somehow I missed September and October and blinked and missed the riotous oranges and reds and yellows of the trees in the city and outside.

It got cold.  I can see my breath in the morning and have a harder time justifying leaving the house for work in a wet ponytail.  Well, clothes and a wet ponytail.  It's time to start putting logs on the fireplace and sipping cider in front of the crackling flames.  Forgetting the utter lack of a fireplace down here and my general aversion to hot cider after the first 4 sips.

Every fallwinter I make a mulled cranberry cider.  I throw unmeasured amounts of heady wintry spices, lemon juice and sugar into a pot and simmer it until it's thick and syrupy and my college roommates and friends told me I made the house smell like Christmas.  But it doesn't quite smell like Christmas, because the smell of snow is missing from the mix.

Even though I've never had a white Christmas.  California is prone to 80 degree Christmases and last year, my first Christmas On My Own, was too mild.  There may have been a snowy Christmas in Chicago when I got a Play-Doh Dr. Drill and Fill and my grandmother taught me to make snow angels.

It's coming out too stream of consciousnessy, but I don't want it to.  That's not why I sat down to poke this blog awake.  I started a tumblr, but I'm still trying to get the shoes to mold to my feet.  These shoes fit already.

I have the gooey feelings of excitedsad that happen during this time of year.  The ones I get during the scenic shots of The Spitfire Grill but more.  I've got my toes on a precipice and I'm leaning forward into the wind.  There's exhilaration and a little bit of fear but I keep muttering platitudes to myself .

Jump and the net will appear.
Leap of faith.

I want to write a song but I don't know how it goes.  But it's there.  There are many of them there.  I just can't hear them though.  So I knit and watch reruns of House and swim along the current of Twitter and Facebook updates.

But my guitar has been sneaking out more.

I know this is annoying to read; it's fairly annoying to write.  But there are many words that are blocking the exit and if I get them out it may be just the ticket.

That's just the ticket, he said accentuating the words with a swing of his arm.  He adjusted his newsboy cap and walked off jauntily.

Omnivore's Fifty-eight

I stole this from Jill Elise's page!

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison

2. Nettle tea

3. Huevos rancheros

4. Steak tartare

5. Crocodile

6. Black pudding

7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp

9. Borscht

10. Baba ghanoush

11. Calamari

12. Pho

13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi

15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses

17. Black truffle

18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns

20. Pistachio ice cream (allergic, so I am unlikely to ever eat it again

21. Heirloom tomatoes

22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras

24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn, or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper

27. Dulce de leche

28. Oysters

29. Baklava (stupid walnuts)

30. Bagna cauda (wouldn't surprise me if I had, but can't remember)

31. Wasabi peas Allergies. Again.

32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi

34. Sauerkraut

35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar

37. Clotted cream tea

38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O

39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects

43. Phaal

44. Goat’s milk

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more No need.

46. Fugu

47. Chicken tikka masala

48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin It's a visual thing. It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi

53. Abalone

54. Paneer

55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal

56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini Not a fan of olives

58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine

60. Carob chips

61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin (the mineral? If so, then it appears to be an anti-caking agent, so I guess so?)

64. Currywurst

65. Durian

66. Frogs’ legs

67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew!

69. Fried plantain Allergic

70. Chitterlings, or andouillette Clearly my brain sometimes get in the way.

71. Gazpacho

72. Caviar and blini (but not together)

73. Louche absinthe

74. Gjetost, or brunost

75. Roadkill The whole thing about not eating dead animals whose intestines have been perforated would make me decline altogether.

76. Baijiu

77. Hostess Fruit Pie (not sure why this is less gross of a food to have eaten than sea urchin, because it's really a draw in my view...)

78. Snail

79. Lapsang souchong

80. Bellini (the dude in the towel from Kids in the Hall, right?)

81. Tom yum

82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.

85. Kobe beef

86. Hare

87. Goulash

88. Flowers

89. Horse My friend Flicka?

90. Criollo chocolate

91. Spam

92. Soft shell crab (although after reading this I don't know that I ever could again. Caveat, it's disturbingly gross)

93. Rose harissa

94. Catfish

95. Mole poblano Allergic and yum!

96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor (I'm not striking this out because I'm not put off from it other than it's a heartattack in a shell under a cheesy brown crust)

98. Polenta

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (this is the jaguar poop coffee, no? No, it's not... That's Kopi Luwak/Civet Coffee)

100. Snake

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

Ay! Bake me some pie!

I had a little conversation with a co-worker over email today that made me feel oddly self-satisfied in ways that it shouldn't. It also tells me I need to learn how to interact like a total non-dork sometimes. That will be tricky. We'll call that one a "long-term goal."

Co-worker: I made a peach pie with a half the sugar the other day. It is surprising just how different it was. Not so sweet, and maybe a touch less flavor, but my goodness, it was really refreshing and light. It was one of those mistakes that turned out not what you wanted, but good nevertheless.

Me: I bet if you made it with 2/3 the sugar it would boost the flavor but keep the lightness and refreshingness. I really want to make pie. Pie pie pie pie. With blueberries. Or blackberries. Oooh! Or chicken pots.

Co-Worker: I so want to make blackberry ice cream I can almost taste it. What are chicken pots?

Me: Duh, they're what you use to make chicken pot pie.

Co-Worker: You want to make a chicken pot pie in summer?

Me: No, but I wanted to confuse you with references to chicken pots.

Co-Worker: I'm lost…. You have succeeded.

Me: I believe my work here is done. I'm going home.

Time Flies

I was just reading a post about how someone started blogging in October 2004... I started this here blog in May of 2004 - right after I moved to Denver to go to grad school. However I had a blog on Xanga that I started in...2003, I think that was deleted and lost to the cosmos forever. That's too bad because I had a really funny post about carpooling chickens after the 605 in LA was shut down because there were chickens in the carpool lane.

But I didn't celebrate any sort of blog-o-versary because I don't blog all that much. I also just plain forgot.

I was also struck by her comment that blogs were rare enough that there was a sense of community between bloggers that found each other through mutual friends (virtual or real life), interests, etc. It's not as much like that anymore. Or maybe it is - I only interact with blogs through my feed reader. What do I know?

I HAVE been remembering to do stuff like my job, and make dinner, and watch Enterprise or TNG on SciFi at night. Sometimes I watch USA shows like In Plain Sight, too. Other times, on weekends I'll watch marathons of ANTM. I twitter, I sometimes knit, I obsessively read the forums on Ravelry.

You see, my life has become a paragon of glamour and excitement. Wouldn't you just love to swap lives with me? Yeah, you know you would.


(out of fear of jinxing it, I'll just say that I think I may be going to London for work in October. And maybe hopping on a train to hang out with Chris and the Child Bride for a day or two before coming home. Or going to Bravissimo.)

I steal other people's ideas

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

June 1998, I was in France for the summer. It was the end of my first month there, so I was probably in Paris or in Amsterdam. The World Cup in France was in full-swing, making travel by train challenging without reservations.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?

Reserve a room for the conference in November
Get new SmarTrip card (mine is broken for unknown reasons?)
Get cilantro for dinner
Finish making charts from the spreadsheet
Work on knitting the Hemlock Ring

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Not much of a snack eater - I usually crave desserts though. Every stinkin' night. But I don't get to eat dessert every night. This is probably a good thing.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire (in no particular order):

Pay off Pants' and my student loan debt; buy a house outside of DC with at least 10 acres to grow new world grains and veggies and raise chickens and goats; buy my mom and sister house(s); get vacation houses in Santa Fe, Malta, and Ireland; give hefty donations to Sisters of Charity, Amnesty, ASPCA, World Vision, Heifer International, and about 20K other charities; buy a Subaru. (What? I like Subarus)

5) Places I have lived:

Denver, CO
Streamwood, IL
Redlands, CA
Boston, MA
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pau, France
New Orleans, LA
Athens, GA
Rockland, ME
South Thomaston, ME
Washington, DC

6) Jobs I have had (I feel like I'm forgetting some, as long as the list is):

  • Barrrrrrrrrrista
  • Caretaker for disabled adults
  • Music Therapist
  • Exec Assistant
  • Receptionist
  • Telemarketer for Monsanto (yeah, it was a temp job and I lasted about 3 phone calls before I quit for many reasons)
  • Researcher
  • Physician Liaison
Thanks Jess, Jess, and 8 million others for the non-specific tags. It got me to post something that's not a picture!

All the cool kids are doing it

All the cool kids are playing, originally uploaded by swandive00.

(click through to see the details)

Table Talk

Table Talk, originally uploaded by swandive00.

I am having too much fun pretending I know how to Photoshop or that I have a Lomo camera.

Mainly I love this picture because I love Patty Griffin, and these are the "Making Pies" pies. (Youtube linky)

Dog versus Junior Bacon Cheeseburger

To keep you amused while I drag Pants to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
(warning: contains graphic images of a dog eating food)

Also? After 14 months of couch-free living, the new sofa will be delivered hopefully within a week. Woo!

Three Eyebrows are the New Two Eyebrows

Thanks, waxerlady.  I was hoping to have a giant, gaping hole in the middle of my left eyebrow.

My head just imploded

I don't know what to make of the second picture.

And we have bread!

I was all set to have a weeks, months, years long saga of the quest for gluten-free bread that would have the taste, feel, appearance of wheat, rye or otherwise gluten-y bread.

Two weeks ago I started a gluten-free sourdough starter (brown rice and water).

One week ago I made a loaf of sourdough from this recipe.

You see all the ingredients in that? Yeah, it wound up, uh, gummy.
Sourdough Experiment Part 1 - gummy bread, an alternate view
(according to the comments, Annie likes gummy bread so I wish she had been here to eat it) It also wound up short with a fallen dome because, I guess one of the drawbacks is that gluten-free bread is, uh, short in stature and doesn't keep a nice domed top.

This week I decided I'd try a Bette Hagman honey sourdough recipe from this book. For among other reasons, it's one of the only recipes I've found that doesn't use ricotta cheese (I don't understand ricotta's role in it either...), and is entirely lactose free.

Me, not being much of a baker, decided I could make it better, too. Ha! The arrogance of naïveté. So, I omitted the egg replacer, the gelatin, and subbed 1/3 cup of water for the 1 and 2/3 cup water, and after mixing everything for 3 minutes, I added 2/3 of a cup of room temperature club soda.

I plopped it in a greased pan, let it rise for an hour.

(I may have forgotten to mention the last loaf didn't rise at all and that there was a decided lack of air bubbles in it and it was just gross. but the crust was okay!)

Then I baked it for 60 minutes at 350 degrees, and LO! There was bread.
Gluten Free Sourdough Experiment #2 006

It was the height of the pan, and it didn't fall down. It was airy, the crust was, well, crusty, like sourdough should be.
Gluten Free Sourdough Experiment #2 008

Now, it's not perfect. I'm hoping that the starter will get more sour the more I use it because, frankly it wasn't sour at all. Next time I'll try either drastically scaling back or omitting the honey because it's a bit more sweet than I can handle. I'm oddly encouraged by this, and hope that in future endeavours, scaling back the wet ingredients will improve ALL of the scratch baking... because every last one has been gummy. (If you're curious, I used a gluten-free flour mix that was 3 parts brown rice, 3 parts sorghum, 2 parts potato starch, 1 part tapioca starch)

I'm just looking forward to cinnamon toast for breakfast tomorrow morning.

You know, if I had a toaster...

(ps - i went to a bridal shower yesterday and they had personalized M&Ms! I also figured out how to work the macro on my new camera, so woo!
Jackie's Bridal Shower 002)

Ernie with a blue bandana

Ernie with a blue bandana, originally uploaded by swandive00.

My little guy, the geriatric, is starting to show his age...

He's getting cataracts... :(

As long as he isn't running into walls, I guess.

Look! Deers!

Yesterday? It was an amazing day.  I got a fancy new haircut (woo!), had lunch with a friend, bought a new pair of work shoes.  Just before leaving the mall, Pants wanders up and oohs and ahhs over my hair (he's a good boyfriend), and hands me a Nikon Coolpix L18.  

You know, since my crappy camera I'd had for 2 years died in December.  Time to reiterate the "he's a good boyfriend" parenthetical note.

Before I forget, something many people do not know but that is TOTALLY TRUE: Nordstrom will price match if another retailer carries the same item for less.  And has free shipping.  And the best return policy and customer service ever.

Anyhow, we've started walking around 2 miles a day, every day.  Last night, I'm waffling about whether or not to bring the camera.  Decide no, because although Crestwood is beautiful, and abuts Rock Creek Park on 3 sides, there's nothing I feel like photographing in particular.

We had been walking for 15 minutes when I saw a gorgeous flowering tree in front of a gorgeous house in the dusk lighting, and I thought, dude, I wish I had my camera...

About 10 minutes later, we're walking and discussing how we had seen a deer on the park slope about 8-9 months ago.  We round the corner, and there's a deer standing in the middle of the road.

There's another deer peeking out between two houses.

The first one makes a break for another backyard, is followed by another deer hiding behind a car.  The one between the houses takes off and meets his friends.  Then a fourth deer emerges and crosses the road.

The only sound is deer hoofs on the pavement.  

We start walking again and see the 4 deer have leapt a fence and are milling about in a backyard eating berries.  In the center of the District of Columbia.

I'm never leaving without my camera again.

Unsubstantiated rumors, or, it's Armageddon, people!

The District of Columbia is NOT where you want to be right now. It gets a bad rap for the crime and the pomposity of its residents but in the last 24 hours, there were:

  • Highway closures from burning or overturned vehicles
  • Manhole fires resulting in power outages
  • Rumors of armed robberies at the new Target in Columbia Heights (the Metro muggings were not from the last 24 hours)
  • My co-worker's apartment was used as a staging area for U.S. Marshals and MPD to take his fugitive neighbor into custody
  • Several people lost water last night
  • The people who drive my shuttle said the numerous cop cars (and, a co-worker later reported ambulance was present) at L'Enfant Plaza station were for a reported jumper on the tracks. No service disruptions reported on WMATA website, though.
  • The Eliot Spitzer story doesn't really fit in the timbre of these other occurences but has a DC element to it.
  • Also not an unsubstantiated rumor, but a darn good graphic in this story about pedestrian safety.

Nice to know my student loans went toward something useful...

You Should Be an Artist

You are incredibly creative, spontaneous, and unique.

No one can guess what you're going to do next, but it's usually something amazing.

You can't deal with routine, rules, or structure. You're easily bored.

As long as you are able to innovate and break the rules, you are extremely successful.

You do best when you:

- Can work by yourself

- Can express your personality in your work

You would also be a good journalist or actor.

filched from cyn

Stop and smell the bandwagon

I think this may very well be my fifth (and final) post for the month of February. It's a long month, I may as well have extra posts.

Of course five posts in February is a ballpark estimate. I could go and actually count my posts, but where would the fun in that be? There I go, justifying laziness as whimsy! Try it, it's fun.

This month has involved much contemplation on the topic of food. Not as in what should I eat to help me lose that 989123 lbs. I'd like to lose some, but more by way of feeding Pants and I healthily, thoughtfully, and deliciously. I've still been ever so obsessed by thoughts and chapters and meals in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Reading Sarah's thoughts and challenges on eating locally, taking the plunge and chucking all the processed food out to make room for the good stuff invigorates me. Even more so, reading her posts on the Dinner Guest Blog (especially this one) start to light a fire under me.


And there's always a but. I'm looking at my checking account. I'm thinking of the time I spend waiting for the shuttle, then the Metro, then the Bus and the idea of going to the grocery store seems so horrifying. I see the free range, grass-fed meats and eggs and dairy products. I even found a dairy that delivers to DC, heard of a bodega selling local foods at 200 Rhode Island NW. My landlord says I can grow potted tomatoes and chiles in the back yard this summer! I think of the rows and rows of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce that I will have canned to last me through the winter.


That threshold isn't easily crossed. My bargain hunter thinks of the half-gallons of milk that cost $3.50 that are from happy cows who wander around pastures eating grass and contemplating entropy and doesn't want to justify the purchase when I could get a gallon for $3.79. I see the organic chicken who eat worms and beetles and grass and peck at the dirt and wander around but notice that it's $11 for 0.80 lbs when I could get Purdue chicken for $6.00. I open my cabinets and see the lovely, healthy boxes of Pacific Organic broths and soups - organic and gluten-free that have been driven conveniently to Silver Spring, MD from the exotic, far-flung land of Tualatin, OR.

The gluten. That's the other issue. I don't have a lick of gluten in my house.

[Okay, that's a lie. Ernie's food (made of fish and potatoes since he, like his mama, has food and skin allergies) has salmon as the number one ingredient. However, he has barley as the number two ingredient.]

Going gluten-free is better for me. I feel better, I'm happier with my choices at home. i make more foods from scratch and experiment with alternative grain flours. (However, I'm not so gluten-free outside the confines of my humble abode. That's my other issue to conquer) The fact of the matter is Bob's Red Mill is, like so many other wonders, in the Pacific Northwest. 'Cause You're Special is also not all that nearby (Wisconsin). There's also the issue that if I want to bake cookies or bread or birthday cake without gluten, I've got to add xanthan gum to the mix or it will all fall apart. Xanthan gum. You may know it as a thickener in your processed food. That's not part of "natural." So, I can't go to a local grist mill and get some whole wheat, stone-ground flour. I need to get mixtures of rice and starch and exotic things called quinoa and amaranth and millet.

It's clearly not going to be all-local, all the time around here. But I'm trying. The urge is there. It's crossing over into my purchases.

I picked up some garlic, saw the "Product of China" label and put it back down.
I made chicken stock from the leftover carcass of my roast chicken the other night and used it in Esau's soup for dinner tonight. Instead of buying injera from the Ethiopian bodega around the corner, I made it (almost comically dismally) from scratch - I started fermenting the teff and water on Wednesday and by tonight it was wonderfully sour. My coffee is Brazil Organic Fair Trade from Peaberry (okay, it was "local-ish" because I was in Denver when I bought it).

It's a process, and it just won't be 100%. But for me, for us, it doesn't need to be. We have our vices that we're allowing. For me, the biggest is coffee. And until I can grow coffee beans in Columbia Heights, I will work hard to forgo the Dunkin' Donuts in the grocery aisle and support the small farmers who are paid a fair wage for their labors (and make a damn fine yergacheffe... business practices aside, Starbucks can do the right thing!) I will use less and less white rice flour and gravitate toward whole grain flours (sorghum, teff, brown rice, buckwheat, millet) and experiment and play. I will work hard to find a CSA to support local, organic farmers. I will sit down and make a budget that allows me to spend extra on healthy, organic animal products, even if that means - gasp - less yarn. I will clean out my friggin pantry and put some order into it and throw out what doesn't have an expiration date, to make room for the canning I will start this summer.

It's hard for me to recognize that it won't be 100% out of my own backyard all of the time, but I will stop and be grateful for what I can do.

Celebrity Morph into ScarJo

My disdain for ScarJo is pretty well known. It's based on very little, and rather unkind. I think her eyes are too far apart and her voice is like that of a pre-pubescent boy's. However, I know people think she's lovely (or boomin' hot) so I was wildly amused when I came up on myheritage as looking 75% like her (which I reject on principle. If anything, she looks 75% like me) and decided to take the opportunity to turn my face into hers.

I am a giant dork.

MyHeritage: Celebrity Morph

"Hmm... it's missing something..."

"Dude, I know! Maybe a monkey?"


Oh, dearie me!

The ever lovely Bryony has told me that I make her day! (Probably amusing only to me and possibly h a i k u g i r l, is the fact that I forgot to copy Bryony's URL and the first link I put in was for the last URL I copied which was this. It came up in a discussion of Teeth. This is no reflection on Bryony.)

She nominated me because I kick her arse at Scrabulous (although it's dead even in our most recent match), but I have to nominate her right back because she calls me Petal and tells me to KNIT MORE, both of which are beyond awesome in their own right, not to mention the swapping of gluten-free (mis)adventures. I hope her broken nerves calm down soon so she can sew and knit and frolic about the webbernets more. And she TOTALLY makes my day. :) (I am now waiting for chocolate and dog bubbles, missy)

Who else makes my day? That has to be the aforementioned h a i k u g i r l, because we talk about boys and local food and cute glasses and the French and knitting and vaginae dentatae.

The blogfallow for 9 months but Twittery semaphoria, for always being my friend even though we've only seen each other twice since 1994. I love hearing about her family, her job, her travels to Alaska in winter, as well as miss the heck out of her on a daily basis. She also introduced me to the crack that generally is Orisinal and specifically, Winterbells.

Another person who makes my day is Chris Cope, who will likely mock me and smack me around for giving him a blog award, not to mention one with flowers. However he's an excellent blogger and commenter and columnist, even though he's frustrated with all of those, as well as university, but he speaks Welsh and is the only reason Pants comes to my blog - on the off chance that Chris has left a comment, so suck it, Cope. I mean, congratulations Cope!

Certainly not least is Cafemama. Now she doesn't read my blog but I wait with baited breath for the days that she does a new post as she and I are both at the same level of obsession about local food and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle... Alas, I have not been as good as she has about starting to eat local (and I'm still trying to figure out how to get gluten-free flours and whatnot locally, or if that will have to be on my exception list... And basically I need to start buying more locally, but there's a CSA I'm interested in near Frederick, MD that will also allow me to spend some time learning about farming/gardening so that when I have a home with some land to work, I'll have an inkling of what to do. Still haven't decided how I'll deal with getting dirt on my hands, though...)

So, youse guys make my day.

And I have to get back to my salsa verde carnitas. And exercise huge restraint, even though Elise posted a red velvet cupcake recipe.

Prevalent Themes

I'm writing a paper for work, and "Prevalent Themes" is one of the headers. So it seemed appropriate to address what has increasingly become a prevalent theme around Chez Caribou.

Hi! I forgot to blog for 3 weeks!

I finished knitting cabled purple legwarmers, but my camera's still dead, so you don't get to see them yet.

I'm working a lot.

Knitting not quite enough (although I am swatching for the Eunny's Deep-V Argyle vest right now and about to undertake some gift knitting).

Playing the guitar almost never which makes me sad.

Becoming increasingly fixated on local eating (due to dietary restrictions, locavore is not in my future) and thoughtful about food choices.

In a related vein, becoming very excited about cooking and experimenting and creating foods again.

Wishing I had a camera with which to photograph my knitting and food.

And snuggling Ernie, and making lagomorph noises in the proximity of Pants.

A new year, a new hat

Autobot Logo

It's not my hat, but it's the Pants' hat. He wanted a hat with an Autobot. So I thought of the We Call Them Pirates hat, naturally. Because really, can you think of even one thing between an Autobot and a Pirate that is different? Can you?

I don't believe you. The two are completely the same.

But I digress. Since they are the same, I figured I'd just use Autobots instead of skulls! However, the amount of detail involved in an Autobot logo is significantly greater than that of a skull. So, I had to write an Autobot chart for fewer than 32 stitches wide but greater than 8... And, since it was greater than 8 stitches wide, I couldn't do stranded colorwork.

And since the word intarsia makes me cry, eat my hair and throw up a little, I decided to do a doubleknit Autobot hat in approximately the same shape and layout as the pirate hat. (the fact that the color schemes reversing is a lame attempt at making the hat, say, actually transform was just an added, corny bonus).

TF Reverse

So when I cast on in November, I didn't realize I would cast on, knit, frog, re-cast on many many times trying to get it Just Right in size and design and technique.

TF Hat 4

But persistence pays off, because it is Just Right in size, I love it beyond words, it fits Pants perfectly and he has declared it my best knit ever. (I think the fact that he was the recipient may have also had something to do with the latter) I'm very glad that he's pleased because it took me 2 months to make a hat. Although technically since it was doubleknit, it is two, two, two hats in one. Whee! I actually liked the Telemark but it's really hard on my carpal tunnel syndrome... but,

The Pants, el Hombre, la pomme de mon oeil
pattern: we call them pirates (sorta), by helloyarn
yarn: Knitpicks Telemark in black and gray squirrel
needles: 3.25mm Inox circs
started: sometime November 2007
finished: 11 January 2008
mods: many! different technique, different motif, different yarn. I had to wind up casting on 2 fewer stitches per panel in order to get it to fit, since I wouldn't have those floats making it snugger.
notes: yay! I love it! He loves it! My hands are tired!

About this blog

erratically updated for food, yarn, or other nonspecified reasons