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Archive for the ‘Puttering Trivia’ Category

Zucchini Wrapup

It’s hard to believe that it is the end of September.  The flowers are starting to show it.

And so are the trees.  Can you see the tinge of orangey fall color coming on to the tree on the left?

The sky is so blue and temps have been so perfect.  I was home at lunch yesterday and enjoyed the time and views from my deck.

I live in an older established neighborhood which has amazing trees and seeing the beginning of the color change is amazing.

But in looking at the end of summer, I start to look at cleaning up my yard.  I took my very tired zucchini plant out and realized it had been quite a workhorse this summer.  I benefitted greatly from its fruit, shared it abundantly with co-workers, and pretty much got my own little jolly from being able to go out into the yard and pick something to eat!  It’s hard to believe that since I grew up in a farming community that I still find the whole process fascinating.  But I do.

I tried to be more diligent about documenting some of my cooking experiments so that next year I would have a stash of tried and trued recipes.

I had some hits.

Because seriously….if you can mix a vegetable with chocolate and top it with frosting.  How could that go wrong?  The frosting is peanut butter based and so rich and creamy.  The recipe came from one of my Iowa State Fair cookbooks and I absolutely love it!

Then there was the non-sweet experiment.  Zucchini Cheddar Drop Biscuits.  These are so light and freeze really well.  So I can pull a couple of out and put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes and they are perfect to be dunked in tomato soup.  I made a double-batch and will enjoy them all fall!

Then I made a jump back to chocolate, since I tend to go with what has historically worked for me.  This double-chocolate zucchini bread is really good.  I like to make this kind of thing and take it to work.  The compliments are fun and let’s face it…..I don’t need to eat a whole loaf of dessert bread by myself!!

Then we had the….just ok attempts.  Meaning that I liked them, but wasn’t wowed by them.  Could have been user error, or it just isn’t totally my taste.

This quiche was good and probably very healthy for me (compared to some things I eat), but it was slightly too much zucchini for my own personal preference.  But with that being said….it didn’t stop me from eating it!

And typically anything with lemon is a huge hit for me.  And then you call it “lemon loaf”……of course I am going to try it!  The result was a little bland.  The icing was a bigger hit than the bread for me and my co-worker audience.  But again….it didn’t go to waste!

And with all of the attempts you knew there had to be a failure or two.  I only documented one, and mostly because I really wanted to like it.  I really wanted it to be better than it was…..I even tried adding cheese…..isn’t everything better with cheese?  In the end.  Zucchini Fritters are not for me.  I should have know since they don’t even look that appealing (that’s not just bad photography….the subject should get some credit for the bad picture).

But when I look back at what my little zucchini plant did for me.  I am very happy.  I tried several things I wouldn’t have tried without it and I have broadened my vegetable eating horizons.  And I have learned that I prefer peeled zucchini in my baked goods….I don’t want the reminder that I’m eating a vegetable.  And I prefer un-peeled zucchini in my entrees….it evidently makes me feel healthier.  Or maybe it just gives me a mental queue that I might not like the taste.  🙂

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It is still cold in the great white north and there is still plenty of snow on the ground.  I am continuing my pre-spring tradition of using tulips to get over the winter blues.

The did not have yellow, but I do like the pink and orange just about as well!

I have also been trying to get some knitting done.  It is too early to work in the yard (other than the tree trimming that I did this past week), so the sunny weekend days are spent cooking, catching up on movies, and knitting.  Bonnie has been on hold since last summer after I finished the sleeves.  About the beginning of February I picked up the project again and have started the body of the sweater!  Since I HATE seaming….I am doing it in the round.  There is something about cables that are so fulfilling for me!

We are forecasted to get some snow tomorrow, so I am debating on getting out of the house with the camera and trying to document this beautiful sunny Saturday.  I couldn’t get the boy to go to Stillwater with me….so we will see if I get motivated to go it alone!

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What do I do between mowing the yard and the rain showers?  I buy myself tulips.

I have mentioned before that I love to splurge and by myself flowers for the weekend.  I put these tulips in a cool glass block vase that I got from my grandma’s house when she passed away.  Tulips are my most favorite flower ever, and these make me smile!

Things have been busy enough around here.  There was vacation which will be discussed later, Yarnover where MORE yarn was purchased, and there has been knitting!

I started this on Saturday…post-vacation.  Due to my lack of finesse with finishing I am knitting the body in the round up to the armholes.  Soooo…..I had to figure out  jogless striping! 

I’m not sure it’s how everyone else does it.  After I knit the first row of the new stripe/color, on the 1st stitch of the 2nd row I pick up the right leg of the lower stitch so the color is from the previous stripe)..bring it up on the left needle and knit it together with the 1st stitch of the 2nd row.  It works!!!

Now I am off to watch a movie, work on Monte Carlo, and enjoy the sound of the rain in the trees through my open windows!

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It has been almost 2 years since I have went anyplace on an airplane.  I miss flying.  I love to get to the airport early and have coffee or something to eat while I listen to my ipod and watch people.  All in the anticipation of getting on the plane and sitting and reading or knitting while I fly through the clouds.  I truly do get a little giddy about it, and in truth, I love going new places so the adventure of the plane ride is just good anticipation for a new place.

Well, I finally convinced a girlfriend that we should get out of town, and soon!  So in anticipation of the plane ride and the new location…I needed something to document my travels.

A new camera.

I have had my point-and-shoot Olympus for 4 or 5 years.  It was a nice little camera, but I didn’t ever love it.  It didn’t take phenomenal photos (because that of course has nothing to do with the user), and it has gotten so the battery will only hold a charge for about 10 pictures.  That is simply not going to work when I am out and about.  (Do you hear the rationalization for a new toy?)

Last time I made a production out of buying my camera.  I wanted to touch and feel them at Best Buy.  Then I went home and searched online for prices and reviews.  Then I went to Target, or anywhere else that had alternatives for me to touch and feel (I am very into the touching and feeling part of shopping).  Then I debated on whether I should just go to National Camera Exchange because they have knowledgeable sales people and they will let you take a class to get the most out of your camera.  All to end up going back to Best Buy and buying my Olympus which I didn’t  end up loving.

So this time I knew I needed one in the near future.  I saw a Target ad for this little Kodak Easyshare.  It was red….I like red.  It was a Kodak….I loved my very 1st 35mm camera which was a Kodak (I then lamented the fact that I had lent it to a girlfriend who took it to Chicago and forgot it in a bar and how I have missed that camer ever since).  It was $89.99…..which was in my budget (and was way less than what I paid for my Olympus).  It has 16 megapixels and a 5X optic zoom…..good enough stats for me.  So I will confess the only research I did was to see if Amazon had it…they did for $81 & free shipping.  I ordered it without ever even going to touch and feel it!  It arrived on my door…more pink than red.  But still very cute!

So a comparison…..my crocuses on the Olympus (can you even believe I have crocuses blooming in March and that my yard is green????  This winter is weird.)……

And here are my crocuses on my new Kodak Easyshare…..

This wasn’t very scientific.  I just used the auto setting on both of them.  But I think I might come to love my new little Kodak and I don’t regret my stressfree approach to camera shopping this time!

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Leapday Snow

This is what I woke up to on Wednesday.

It was absolutely beautiful…..but took 2 hours to shovel off of the driveway!  It was VERY wet snow.

We have had a very mild winter, but when it snows I like to buy myself a little perk for the weekend….

I  am enjoying them this afternoon while I watch Rosemary & Thyme and knit on Bonnie.  Lovely!

 

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This was my bathroom on Friday morning….

It’s little hard see the actual problem.  Can you see the edge of the door above on your left?

Well, there is is NO clearance to get into the smallest room in my house.  Well, I guess there is some clearance since I have lived here for 8 years and have managed to get in there every day.  However, a hip or elbow or other body part usually get banged once a day.

So Friday afternoon I had this beauty put in!

It is from IKEA which is a fabulous store for small spaces!  IKEA does tranlate into assemble anything you bring home…..so I had to spend a couple of hours interpreting the pictures to assemble the cabinet.  I really am better suited to words and vote for having instructions that include words along with the pictures.  However, I digress.  This little beauty is amazingly thin (I want someone to describe me that way) at about 10″ deep.

And it is remarkable tall…at about 36″.  I don’t even have to bend over to wash my hands!   I originally saw it in their catalog, but was never able to find it online.  Luckily they had it in our store.

And best of all….

I don’t have to turn sideways to get in the door!  And I also gained a smidge of storage.  There is never too much storage in a tiny bathroom.

Did you notice the pretty shiny faucet?  Amazon is my friend and got it here to me before the plumber got here!  All is good in my little bathroom!!

 

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This is my favorite Christmas movie!  And last weekend, I broke it out to start prepping for the season!

I know all of the words to the songs though I usually don’t sing along since I’m not very good, but they go over and over in my head…

 “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas….”

“Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister.  Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man…”

“What do you with a General, when he stops being a General…”

Where do you think I could find a man like Bing Crosby….though maybe a little taller?

So my Christmas season has started with White Christmas.  I may not have decorations up.  But the songs are repeating in my head, and I got a couple of solid hours of knitting!

This is gradually becoming Kim HargreavesBreeze Coat.  I’m a little leery of long sweaters, since I am not sure they are all that flattering for me.  But as usual with me, the process is my favorite part and knitting it has been fun!

I am a fan of Kim Hargreaves’ designs, however, this is the first one I’ve actually tried to knit up.  I am getting used to some of her terminology and hope I am interpreting it correctly.  I am a little sketchy sometimes on the row repeats and combine that with my yarn substitution (that is not supposed to shrink like cotton), I am hoping the thing doesn’t turn out WAY too long!

I am off to the No Coast Craft-O-Rama today to continue getting myself in the Christmas spirit!

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