Monthly Archives: June 2011

MMM Malabrigo

Today I picked up a new skein of yarn.  Some beautiful Malabrigo sock yarn for my new project.


My soon-to-be Whisper cardigan, that is.  I am so excited about the yarn, the color, and the cardi.  Perfect for Summer, and nearly year-round.  I was going for summery colors, and wanted to try and steer away from my ‘usual’ colors I go for, which tend to be in the wine/red/purple realm.  I didn’t get too far from that, but this just kept jumping out at me.  It kept me thinking of summer sunsets, tropical drinks, and sangria.  Yum!  I couldn’t resist.

This knitting project marks the beginning of something new, a new hobby.  Really, I do not need another hobby, but this is one I’ve been wanting to take up and get into for a long time now.

Hubby and I just recently got a new camera.  We’ve wanted to get a good one that we’d have for long-term and be able to take good photos with, and so I can learn and pursue something I have a passion for.  It is awesome, I’m in love and so excited!

I love photography, and dating back to my college days about 7-ish years ago, have been wanting to learn and hone my photography skills . I always wanted to fit in a photography class into my schedule every semester and never did it.  So now I am finally venturing in.

Just finding my way around the big boy of a camera and having fun with it.  I am going to be using it all the time, practicing, teaching myself, reading, and maybe I’ll take a class this Fall.  And what better time than now to start practicing, with the 4th of July, a long weekend with family, and with summer finally starting.

Well you’ll be seeing some knitting and lots of (better) photos on here.  🙂

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Rhubarb Orange Butter

Just made a little batch of Rhubarb Orange Butter from my cousin’s recipe. This is actually the first time I’ve made a fruit butter. Our rhubarb plant is on it’s second season so I only took a few big red stalks from it, can’t wait until next year when it will give me a lot to use! So I picked up some more at the farmer’s market to do this recipe. Although I only got three half-pint jars of it canned, with one pint in the fridge to enjoy now, I’d have to say it was worth it since it got me broken in for the canning season. And we can enjoy some of this Spring-Summer goodness, it’s like candy!
(Please pardon the poor quality photos, I took them with the ol’ cell phone)…





I switched it up to 2 lbs rhubarb and 5 oranges, and like Nichole, used raw honey, which I highly recommend picking some of that goodness up if you come across a honey farm. It’s like caramel and the hubby and I act like a couple of honey bears when we’re around the big container.

Thanks for the recipe Nichole… now I’m ready to make some crabapple butter with all the crabapples we’ll be getting from our new tree. 🙂

Added to Queue

I have decided that I NEED to make a cardigan.  Soon.  Last night I just got lost in all these beautiful cardigan patterns on Ravelry.  Like, turned into a Ravelry junkie.  I love knitting patterns and pictures.

I found quite a few I want, some I already knew of and were on the docket to make someday, while surfing through patterns and day dreaming of having one.  I really need to turn my cardigan-day dreaming into cardigan-making.

For me, it’s so easy to gawk over these patterns and be so keen to ‘having’ one of these, but I am an instant-gratification kind of gal, and just want the end product. And with having quite a bit of gardening and projects around the house now (which leads me to wondering why I’m here writing about knitting) makes it harder to actually go get the yarn and start making it.

For now, I guess I’ll just day-dream.  And decide which one to make.  I can’t choose, they’re all too lovely.

Here are the runners-up…

The Whisper Cardigan

The Minimalist Cardi

The Featherweight Cardi

And how cute are these tops for summer:

Tabitha

Camp Smock

There’s a couple more but I’ll stop there.  I love them all.  Maybe you can help me.  Which one is your favorite??  🙂

Wilson Number Three

There will soon be a third little guy living here in the Wilson home!  We’re getting a puppy!!!  I am so excited, and just going nuts having to wait to meet him and bring him home.  🙂

We have always talked about getting a dog someday soon.  And have been saying ‘someday soon’ for quite some time now.  Will has wanted a Pointer/Hunting dog and has looked forward to going bird hunting with the furry friend.  I am excited to go hunting with the two guys, and to have a walking/running partner on a daily basis.  Camping and hiking will be all the more fun with him along too.

So we’re getting a German Wirehair Pointer, male puppy.  I am about to start studying up a lot on this breed and puppy obedience/training.

Turns out Will had all of this up his sleeve for the past little while and he was thinking he’d try to surprise me.  A few days ago I stumbled upon something that gave it away… and so the cat dog was out of the bag.  Oh well, it’s still a surprise that he has found one and we are getting one soon!  And I’m actually really glad we can now pick out ‘the one’ together.

While at work, Will found out about some German Wirehair puppies for sale from this family, The Silver Buckle Kennels, and it turned out that Will’s Foreman/friend had got one of his Pointer dogs from this same family when he was young.  The family has been breeding these dogs since the 1960’s!  So unbeknownst to me, Will and his Foreman went to see the puppies one night after work, each eager to pick one out.  So I guess Kurt has the 2nd pick of the females, and we have the 1st pick of the males! How awesome is that, that we’ll have a brother and sister, so they can be together sometimes, and go hunting together.

They are now just barely three weeks, and have to be with mom for 7 weeks so we have a month to get ready, study up, and bring him home!

There are 11 puppies in this litter!!  We have the first pick of the six males, all of different colorings and markings.

I really, really, miss my little cuddly teddy bear/friend, Molly, who passed away this last October.  It really broke my heart to see her go, after she was born in our home and we had her as part of the family for almost 15 years.  But it’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.  So I am ready now for a new family member, and excited to meet him.

He will show up and be featured here soon.  And there will be many stories and pictures.  🙂

((The Best Ever)) Fish Tacos

Beauty-full remote commercial fishing village of Cordova, AK

Ever since spending the summer of 2004 in Cordova, Alaska, I have been making these fish tacos.  Not long after I arrived to this small, remote, and breathtakingly beautiful fishing village, I found a quaint little red school-bus-turned-kitchen, Baja Taco, that served up the best salmon and halibut tacos, ever.  After my first visit, I was hooked.

The owner lady got her supply of Copper River Salmon and Halibut from her husband who was a commercial fisherman.  Two small, but very filling, tacos were served up in this little red basket and you had your choice of fresh wild Sockeye or Silver Salmon, or Halibut.  The fish is beer-battered and wrapped up in a flour tortilla along with shredded cabbage, chipotle aioli, and pico de gallo…with a lime wedge of course.

Absolutely delicious, fresh, flavorful, and such a treat.  And so, ever since I’ve been making my own similar version of what I discovered there.  The only difference really is Panko bread crumbs.  Be sure to find some good quality fish, preferably salmon or halibut, and good fresh ingredients.

Fresh Salsa

Chipotle Aioli

Flour, egg, panko

Wild Alaskan Salmon and Halibut

All coated up

Pan-fried for crispy coating and tender fish

Great textures, flavors, and colors!

::Heather’s Fish Tacos::

About 1 lb. fresh wild salmon or halibut, skinned, trim off fat, de-bone if necessary, cut into fish stick size pieces
2 c. green or purple cabbage, shredded

make chipotle aioli:

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. sour cream
1 chipotle pepper (from the canned chipotles in adobo)
juice of 1 lime
4 T. water
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until combined and smooth.  Add the chipotle according to your taste and preference for heat.. they do add quite the kick.  Refridgerate until using.

make salsa:

2  big red tomatoes (organic/heirloom for best flavor), diced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 jalepeno, minced (discard seeds if you don’t want it hot)
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1-2 lime(s)
big pinch of cilantro, chopped
dash of olive oil
s+p
Combine in a bowl, refrigerate til needed.

make/pan-fry fish sticks:

1/2 – 1 c. AP Flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 – 1 c. Panko Japanese bread crumbs
Set each ingredient in three seperate bowls, coat each fish fillet in the flour, then egg, then Panko.  Have a large skillet with about 1/2 to 3/4 c. oil (I use Canola/Vegetable/Olive Oil mix) heated to 350 deg. F., or til a pinch of bread crumbs dropped into oil sizzles and bubbles and floats, and doesn’t drop to the bottom.  Lay the fish fillets in the hot oil.  Cook until golden on each side yet still tender, about 3-5 min., depending on the thickness and size of fish sticks.  Lay onto a baking sheet/plate lined with paper towel.

Toast a flour tortilla in a skillet til a little crispy and golden, fill with fish stick(s), cabbage, aioli, and salsa.  Enjoy!

Cheers!

And if you’re family/friends love these as much as my hubby does, you’ll be getting hugs and kisses for the next week 🙂

Taco Pizza

The other night I made Taco Pizza for dinner, and I just have to share this!  You really don’t even need a recipe… more like just sharing the idea.  Taco Pizza and Cheeseburger Pizza are two of my fav pizzas to make at home.  Very tasty and just a good home-cooked satisfying and delicious dinner.  I love having mexican food for dinner, with all the fresh tomatoes, avocado, black beans, olives, salsa, sour cream, cheese, jalepeno… lots of different flavors, textures, and colors.  SO good!

The dough I make is found here, and over here on my cousin’s All Things Italian store blog.  Par-bake your pizza dough for 8 min. at 425 or 450 deg. F., take out of oven and cover with salsa and toppings.  Rather than a traditional tomato sauce base, I spread on salsa (we love it a little hot).  Then lay on slices of fresh mozzarella and cover with grated cheddar.  Sprinkle on the black beans, sliced black olives, sliced/diced jalepeno, even some taco-seasoned browned burger if desired, then bake another 8-ish min. or til cheese begins to get golden and it’s all cooked to your liking.

Favorite toppings on a par-baked crust

Baked til golden and edges are crispy

Taco Salad Toppings!

So yummy, all the delicious cheesy indulgence of any pizza, with some freshness added with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and sour cream.

YUM!  Hope this inspires you to have fun making pizza at home… better yet making pizza with your sweetheart, family, kids, or friends.  🙂

The Slipper Fits

Mom’s slippers are finally done.  Felted and fitted.  This was a late Mother’s Day gift.  As I’ve mentioned before, pretty much none of my handmade gifts are done on time!  Someday I will get into the habit of giving the surprise on time.

Anyway, I loved the way this yarn felts up.  The felted Berroco Ultra Alpaca feels really soft and silky on your skin.  And one thing I love, out of the nine pairs of felted slippers I’ve made, the double sole is totally necessary.  It feels so soft and cushy under your feet, and adds life to your slippers.

I love felting.  I love plopping the thing into the hot wash, even the smell of the wet wool (that’s probably something only a knitter would understand), and watching the handknit shrink up and take shape.  It’s really a lot of fun to pull out your new wearable item or accessory, let it dry, and start wearing it.  Whatever it is, it’s going to be sturdy and warm.

The process…

Pre-felting, size xxxl.  Then into the hot, hot wash they go…

Sometimes I set them in a pillowcase to felt halfway down, so the fresh knits don’t get too mangled in the agitating wash…



After a little bit inside the protection of the pillowcase, I take them out to go free in the agitation.  After a few periodic progress checks for size, they’re removed and the water is gently pressed out…


Done!  We were both loving the terra-cotta color, and the heathered flecks of purply-blues that really came out after felting.  Now I think this pair should last her a while with the double sole.  Enjoy, ma!  🙂

::On Ravelry::  Mom’s Slippers