Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

the lickening

Thursday, July 23, 2009

more summer cooking

Last night I was staring at some quite brown bananas wondering what to do with them. I didn't feel like making banana bread again, I certainly wasn't going to eat them and I didn't want to just throw them out. I found a box of Jiffy fudge brownie mix and made banana brownies! I just replaced the called for egg and oil with 2 mashed bananas (which just so happens to make them vegan as well). They are very fudgy and tasty!

1 box Jiffy fudge brownie mix
2 over-ripe bananas
1 tbsp water
chopped walnuts optional

mix, pour into lightly greased pan and bake at 350 for 30 min.
vegan banana brownies

While searching for a recipe I came across one for pesto that I'd been saving. Ever since I started growing basil I've wanted to make my own pesto. I didn't quite have enough basil to make a full batch so I used half spinach/half basil. I also didn't have pine nuts or much olive oil so here's what I did:

2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups fresh basil
4 cloves garlic
handful of raw mixed nuts (cashews, walnuts, brasil nuts, pistachios, almonds)
1/2 cup or so grated parmesan cheese
enough oil for desired consistency (I didn't measure, only had a tiny bit of olive oil left so I filled in the rest with canola oil)

put spinach and basil into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add garlic, nuts and cheese and mix until well blended. Pour in oil while processing until it looks like pesto.
homemade pesto!

Also, since I haven't posted a photo of Meiby in a while, here she is "helping" me in the kitchen :)
Meiby "helping" in the kitchen

She's always underfoot, waiting for something to fall...
always at my feet

Friday, July 17, 2009

wonderful things about summer

fresh blueberry nut bread!

blueberry nut bread

Thursday, July 16, 2009

squash flowers!

squash flowers

This is the first year I've ever planted/gardened at all and I think my main problem so far is over-seeding. For some reason I had very little faith in the tiny little flecks and figured if I planted a bunch, maybe I'd get a few sprouts. Turns out most of them sprouted and now my pots are way over planted. I had planted squash and brussels sprouts in the same pot and they both had tons of sprouts. If you've ever seen a brussels sprouts plant, you'd know that just one can fill up one pot. I had several plus several squash plants and I knew I'd have to re-pot or I'd lose some. Well, I never got around to re-potting and I lost the brussels sprouts. That's ok though because I have squash flowers! It's the first sign from everything I planted that I might actually get some veggies this year! Plus, next year I'll have a slightly better idea of what I'm doing :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Check out my basil plant! Hard to believe it came from tiny seeds and that it was so easy to care for. It smells sooo good! I can't wait to make some pesto out of it :)


Monday, July 6, 2009

crochet hooks

I've been wanting to make this post for a long time but it takes a little more preparation than most others and, as I'm sure you know, I'm pretty lazy. I have tried out a lot of different hooks, some of which have become my favorites and others of which I hated and never used again. There is much debate in the crochet community over whether Boye type (tapered neck and bulbous head) or Bates type ("in-line" neck and head) hooks are the best. (Here is a good comparison article.) I happen to be in the Bates camp but I'd hesitate to say it's the most popular opinion. They just slide through stitches much easier for me. I'm also a big fan of plastic hooks which is definitely an unpopular preference. I'd say most people prefer aluminum or bamboo but, for me, metal is so cold and hard and wood is either snaggy or shaped weirdly. Anyway, here is a sampling of my hook collection:


1. Susan Bates Quicksilver size I - a favorite, very smooth, perfect shape

2. Clover Bamboo - don't remember what size, I never use this one. The throat is too shallow and it snags too much

3. Susan Bates Silvalume size K - perfect shape but snags a bit on a tiny dent in the tip, probably from a pug ;)

4. Boye Aluminum size K - way bigger diameter than the Bates K, but smaller at the tip. I never use this due to the head/throat shape

5. Bates Afghan hook size K - for some reason even Bates afghan hooks have the Boye shape. I don't love it but I use it when needed.

6. Rosewood size L - quite possibly my least favorite hook. The head shape is so pointy and throat so skinny, it's almost impossible for me to use.

7. Susan Bates Crystal Ice size L - I also have this in M, N, and P. Slightly disappointed in them because I love Bates Crystalite and hoped these would be the same but they have a little catch in the throat that really bothers me (I'll try to show this below)

8. Susan Bates Luxite size L - I also have this in F, G, H, I, J, and K. These were my first hooks and remain my favorites. I know a lot of people don't like plastic hooks but for some reason they are more comfortable to me than anything else. Perfect shape, very smooth and warm. The smaller gauges bend a little but I don't mind it.

9. Susan Bates Crystalite size M - Love this one. I've used it so much that it's getting worn down on one side. Unfortunately I think they make them differently now (like the Crystal Ice mentioned above.)

10. Boye Aluminume size N - Same size as Bates size M. Another Boye hook I don't use.

11. Balene II size P - This is sort of half way between Boye and Bates shapes. I don't love it but it's perfect for plarn.

12. Lion Brand size Q - great Bates shape with no grip so it's great for tunisian crochet.

My favorites, very consistant shape:
favorite hooks

Least favorites, notice the hook/throat shape:
least favorite hooks

Crystal Ice, hard to see but notice the ridge:

Bates and Boye size K comparison:
size K

Bates size M and Boye size N comparison:
M and N