Needles and Threads

Recently I have been battling the two projects I have and have had on my needles for some time now. A nice sweater for RPK to celebrate his new job and first fall and winter here in Madison and a pair of socks for him. The sweater is being done in a sport weight which has planted the mental note in my brain to never, ever knit a large sweater in a sport weight ever again and the socks are my first toe-up socks. They feel fantastic but I’m having a LOT of problems with Wendy Johnson’s book and having to find my answers and tips elsewhere on the internet. Both of these items, being for a 6’1″ tall man are quite large and seem to be taking me forever. I’ve completely lost count of the number of increases I have had to do on the sweater.

Now, I am very happy to be adding some very different thingies to my knitting queue. Some much smaller things.
Things such as these:

Tiny Shoes by Ysolda Teague

Elijah and Sophie also by Ysolda Teague

Aviatrix by Justine Turner
This adorable one (and baby) made by RogueSheep

© FrenchPressKnits

And a cute teddy bear by Debbie Bliss

Are you seeing a theme here?

O.K. I’m sure you get it but just in case,

Meet my newest distraction:

9 weeks, 4 days

We were still up to our necks in boxes, unpacking bubble wrap and we had only been in our new home for 6 days before we received this wonderful news!  That puts me at beginning of my second trimester on Thursday. Due date at the moment is April 14th.

So yes, I am totally going to use this as my excuse for being more absent lately but on the bright side, this is bringing numerous crafty pretty thingies to light that need to be made which will, of course, be documented here.


September 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Knitting, Me and Mine. 9 comments.

Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

So in my opinion, there are 2 great ways to make crab cakes, although I could imagine myself saying, there is no wrong way to eat crab as I have an intense love for it.
Seriously, I could eat anything with crab…except soft shell when it has the eyeballs still in it…then I have to ask RPK very nicely if he will please remove the eyes for me so I can enjoy my beautiful soft shell crab sandwich and then he smiles and I have to look away and grimace and stick out my tongue while he plucks or cuts out or whatever he does with the eyes so I’m a happy lady again.


First best way: below and pan fry.
Second best way: crab meat, bread crumbs, sauce, then bake.
Personally, I love both but this is how I make them most often because I particularly love the addition of the crispy outside with all the softness of the inner cake.

for Crab Cakes (makes 8-10)
adapted from many different sources
skill level: silly easy, really.

You will need:
16 oz crab meat (claw or lump, your preference)
1/2 cup diced chives
1 tsp Worcestershire
2 Tbsp mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp spicy mustard
1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (my favorite is Tony Chachere’s but any Cajun mix will do)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs

In small bowl, beat eggs. Add all other ingredients minus crab and bread crumbs. Mix together well. Put crab in medium bowl. Add egg mixture and mix in well. Fold in bread crumbs. I fold in 1/2 of a cup (which is usually plenty) and feel the texture. If it seems to wet (if my eggs are too big) I add a bit more but remember, this is a crab cake, not a bread cake. You don’t want it so full of bread crumbs that all your egg gets soaked up. When you form it into a patty, you should get plenty of egg on your hands.

Form into patties no more than 1/2 inch thick. Heat 1 -2 Tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium. Cook patties 3-6 minutes or until thoroughly browned. Flip and add 1 more Tbsp olive oil. Cook 3-6 more minutes. Top with remoulade (below).


Print Crabcakes recipe

In my opinion, crab cakes are not crab cakes without an incredible sauce.
Here is your incredible sauce.
Do this 20 minutes ahead.

For Spicy Remoulade
adapted from many different sources
skill level:it only SOUNDS fancy
this recipe calls for diced items to be diced small

you will need:
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 red onion, diced, divided in half
1/4 cup chives, diced, divided in half
1 cup mayo
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper

In food processor, combine half of the bell pepper, all garlic, half of the chives, all mayo, and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Transfer to bowl and stir in all remaining ingredients. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.

Print recipe for Spicy Remoulade

September 22, 2010. Tags: , , . Recipes. 5 comments.


Yes, I’ve been on a long, short term break. I contracted the inevitable cold after a visit to the local children’s museum (which was awesome otherwise) and it hit me really hard since it was in conjunction with a few other things. I’m fully aware I still owe the egg section 2 more how tos (scrambled and omelette) and I’ll also be clearing up some confusion about basic cooking terms. I have a couple more recipes to post (as I can’t very well stop eating now can I?) before I’ll have the energy to be back to my normal A.D.D. ways (talking about knitting, embroidery, paper arts, cooking, cleaning, making and breaking and then fixing again).

Look at this lovely stuff!

September 21, 2010. Art and Neat stuff, Knitting, Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Salted Shortbread Cookies

These cookies were originally made to go with a custard and blueberry compote that I make to offset the sweetness of the blueberry compote but I became hooked with the first bite. With age, my taste buds have learned to appreciate the salty sweet combination more and more.

What’s even better? Dip half in chocolate. Wham! You’re in heaven. Your welcome very much.

Adapted from Food and Wine 2010 Salted Shortbread Cookies

You will need:

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp table salt plus 1/4 tsp kosher salt for sprinkling
1/4 cup sugar plus 1/2 tsp for sprinkling
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup unsalted butter, softened

For chocolate coating:

6oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 Tbs butter

In medium bowl, combine 2 tsp salt, 1/4 cup sugar and flour. In large bowl, combine softened butter and almond extract. Add flour mix to butter mix and rub until crumbly. Next, divide mixture into two piles. Put one pile in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into log shape and roll up in the wrap. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to push the ends inward to get a good, firm log. Now, lightly press the top to flatten (and the bottom will flatten slightly as well). Repeat with the other pile. Refrigerate 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Carefully remove dough from plastic wrap. Rub a tad bit of butter or shortening onto a straight blade knife. Don’t use a serrated. Slice 1/2 inch cookies from logs and arrange on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. (Skip this next part if you want to add chocolate.) Combine 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp sugar and sprinkle over dough. Bake 25-35 minutes or until just barely browned. JUST BARELY! Remove and let cool.

To dip in chocolate:
In heatproof bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt over saucepan with hot water. Remove from heat as soon as smooth. Dip cookies (or brush the tops) and lay on parchment paper. Combine 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp sugar and sprinkle over cookies. Let cool until chocolate is set.

Print Salted Shortbread Cookies!

September 17, 2010. Tags: , . Recipes. 7 comments.

Household Hints pg.4

7 and 9 are great tips/reminders. You can make some killer broths this way.

11: Well, yes. Not better for us…but they certainly taste better.

13: I love stuffing meat. Flank steak, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin; all great meats to stuff and make go a little further.

15: oops. I didn’t realize some would get cut off. You just have to wait.

September 6, 2010. Tags: , , , . 1001 Household Hints. Leave a comment.

Household Hints pg. 3

September 6, 2010. Tags: , . 1001 Household Hints. Leave a comment.

1001 Household Hints

One of the many, many, treasures my husband had from his box of his grandparents belongings and handed directly over to me, was this. I also got my hands on some amazing vintage and even antique cookbooks but those will come later.

This is a particularly special treasure to me. I started my Tip o’ the Week entries so I would have a place to put all these types of things I had learned over the years. I am proud that I never pass on a tip unless I have personally tried and tested it and found it to be true.

I love books like these as they are a fun reminder to how much times haves changed, how far science has come, and how many tricks have really lasted through generations. This is from 1948.
I had so much fun reading through this and saying, “Hey! I knew that! I can’t believe that’s such an old trick.” or “Wow! I can’t wait to try that.” Funny thing is, today, we are so focused on being “green” that this lovely little booklet is perfectly back in style.

I am going to start scanning this lovely treasure and will try to post a page a week, although, you of course, may NOT, quote me on that.

(Don’t worry. I’ll repost the first page on the right again larger so you can actually read it.)

September 3, 2010. Tags: , , . 1001 Household Hints. 1 comment.

Mourning Card

/Death notice.

They actually made these beautiful cards with matching envelopes specifically for spreading the news of a death. I actually think it’s quite beautiful. I think this is a particularly nice way of letting someone know news of this sort. It’s simple, elegant, personal yet not too invasive. It gives the reader as well as the writer a little personal space in which to absorb the sad announcement.

I believe this one was to RPK’s grandmother. I also love seeing the handwriting of others, particularly in the drop off of when calligraphy was more common because you can still see it influenced one’s letter writing.

September 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Art and Neat stuff. 2 comments.


Now that we have a scanner, I’m going to be having a lot of fun with it. I have lots and lots of goodies to share with you.

Here’s the first one.

Hah! I find this hilarious for numerous reasons. One, at the time this was made, having a blender was extravagant. You were on the up and up if you busted out the blender at the cocktail party. Also, I want to know what they are drinking. It looks like a smoothie but this guy is wearing a tux. What kind of blended drink do you drink in a tux? Also, isn’t that a cordial glass?

September 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Art and Neat stuff. Leave a comment.

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