Archives from February 2010

Soup’s On!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, February 26th, 2010 in Sheri's Recipes

I promised you a healthier recipe this week, and here it is. (I didn’t mean a healthier version of the Grilled Cheese, which some of you thought. There IS no healthy version of a grilled cheese sandwich. At least not one that tastes as good as last week’s recipe.) This soup recipe is delicious and easy to make, so a win/win all around. Sue in MT mentioned it in a Facebook comment and I asked her for the recipe. I love crockpot recipes and I love soup. This really hits the spot. (Thanks again for sharing it, Sue!)

sue's-potato-soupSue’s Potato Soup

3 cans of Swanson chicken broth
(I used the big 48 oz. box instead)
8 cups cubed potatoes, not peeled
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup carrots, sliced thin
(I used a bag of frozen carrots)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine these ingredients and let cook in a crockpot on high for 6 hours. Then add:

1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 package (about 3 cups) of diced ham
Bacon bits to taste (if desired)

Cover and cook 1 more hour. Thicken slightly with flour.  Enjoy with crusty bread and a big salad.

Thanks for all of your comments on last week’s contest blog. You must like to talk about the Olympics, because a lot of you participated in the comments this month! We usually draw one winner per every 250 or so contest entries, so this month we used the random number generator to draw FIVE winners. On Monday, we’ll be sending a skein of Wollmeise to: Megan N. in CA, Nancy W. in OH, Marilyn P. in NC, Seanna Lea L. in MA, and Brenda M. in CA. Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks for participating in the contest.  We’ll have another one next month. In the meantime, make sure you’re a part of our Facebook Group, as we do 24 Quick Quizzes over there each month, too.

What is it about Curling? I missed watching that on TV and so many of you mentioned how much you like it. It sounds like THE mystery sport of the Olympics. It looks like it was invented in Scotland in the 1500′s, according to this article. The Biathlon is another thing that puzzles me. Who thought up that combination? (OK – I just Googled that, too. It was thought up as an exercise for Norwegian soldiers in the 1800′s. I think they need to do a program about the origins of all of these sports. Or have they mentioned bits and pieces and I was just too involved in my knitting to pay attention?)

Sheri IhavetoputmyknittingdownforLOST,too.Anyoneelse?

Busy, Boring, 1500

Photo: Sheri Berger
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 in Shop News

When we decided to look for retail space for Loopy back in 2007, I wanted it as close to home as possible. I knew we’d be spending a lot of hours there. We looked at places 10 minutes away, and 15 minutes away. We also looked at a place just down the street, about 4 minutes away. That was my top choice. Of course since it’s in a nicer area and in a nicer building, the rent was higher. But I decided that it was worth it, for the location. “I can walk to work!”  That’s what I told my family. They smiled at me indulgently because they knew that I probably wouldn’t. And they were right. I’ve done it a few times, but mostly I have a million reasons why I don’t. (Important reasons, like: “How will I get Starbucks?” or “I have too much stuff to take in/bring home.” or “That road is just too busy to walk on.” or “It’s much too cold/hot/rainy/snowy/windy/bright/dreary today. That was my favorite.) But I decided I’m done with all of the excuses. So today – on a bright, windy, -2 degrees windchill kind of a day, I started in on my “I walk to work” pledge. I’m ready. But I do reserve the right to drive on rainy days. There is a limit to my resolutions.

I took pictures to show you what a boring walk it is. And what a busy kind of street I have to walk on. And so you can see that there is really no reason for me not to walk to work.

Heading off of my front porch, jacket/scarf/mittens in place:

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This is the most interesting part of the whole walk. Nice houses, cute dogs barking in the windows as I walk by, and moms walking their kids to the bus stop.

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It’s about 2 blocks down the quiet street, to get to the busy street ahead.

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Here is the direction I’d like to be heading. Starbucks is 2 blocks thataway.

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But instead, I head thisaway, in the opposite direction, towards Loopy. The sidewalk here isn’t too bad. I wish I could knit and walk at the same time. And look, if you squint (or click on the photo to make it bigger) you can see that just after I turn onto this road and walk a half block, you can catch sight of the flagpole in our parking lot. Yes, that’s how close I am to Loopy. See the wooden fence past the lights? That’s the part I don’t like.

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This part. Why didn’t they put the walking lane on the OTHER side of the metal guard rail? The speed limit is 45 and cars just whizz by. There are always people walking and jogging along here. In fact one time I was walking home, and heard a little voice in my left ear saying “excuse me – passing by”. I must’ve jumped a mile, straight up. The traffic is so loud that you don’t hear people jogging up behind you until they’re talking in your ear. Creepers.

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Pretty soon I’m at our building. It took about 15 minutes to walk it.

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We’re allllll the way down the hall at the end, but we take up about 2/3 of the right side of this building (on the first floor).

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There. That wasn’t so bad. Time to see what today brings in Loopy Land.

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The walk is about 1500 steps one way. Kind of a bummer to know that I’m only going to knock out about 3000 steps, round trip. Don’t people say that you should walk 10,000 steps in a day? (Do you?) I may need to walk home for lunch each day. Twice.

Sheri whonowhasanotherreasontoloverainydays…

Make a Pair, or Start New?

Photo: Sheri Berger
Monday, February 22nd, 2010 in Finished Socks, Shop News

DSC03450Remember when I showed you that pretty Alchemy Juniper sock last week, knit up with a fun pattern out of Carol’s book (which I love)? At that point, I could’ve cast on the second sock and been done with a pair, OR I could’ve started a brand new sock with another line of yarn. Knowing me (as you do), which option do you think I chose? Right. I started a whole new sock. The result is this Madelinetosh Sock out of Plum Tree, which is one of the colors that I immediately pulled for my own stash when this shipment came in a couple of weeks ago. And because I needed a no-brainer pattern so that I could knit and watch the Olympics at the same time, I used that same Braided Gem pattern that I had used on the Alchemy. (See? I told I could’ve had the pair done. Single Socks are a choice, and I’m glad to make them.) I love how the colorway stripes – bigger stripes on the foot, where half of the sock is plain stockinette, and smaller stripes up the cuff, where the pattern goes all the way around. So fun.

DSC03181pbWe added new things to the site tonight – come take a look!  We put up:

Huckleberry Knits Willow (the BFL base. This is the colorway/line that I went on the hunt for at Sock Summit!  Here’s the sock that I knit with the Mercado colorway)
Hand Maiden Swiss Mountain Sea Sock (one of my very favorite yarn bases from them. So luscious!)
Numma Numma Toasty (Allen sent us a big order with all of our favorite colors)
Perchance to Knit (restocked the Midnight Rainbow/Harlot’s Peacock in small and large skeins)
Soak in the new “Unleash” scent (celebrating Ravlery)
Shibui Sock (re-stock)
Through the Loops patterns (new and re-stocked)

We’re already working on things for next week. I’m happy that one of the new accessory lines that I ordered at TNNA has arrived. You’ll love it. We’ll get it photo-ed and up for you next Monday.

I did my monthly “80+ lbs. of chocolate kisses” shopping at Sams today, and had no less than 9 people make comments about it as I wheeled the cart by them. Surely I’m not the only person at Sams who buys 24 of the 56 oz. packages of Hershey’s kisses at a time, right? FPS. I know there are a bunch of chocolate lovers out there.

Sheri happytosayIdon’teatanyofthem.BecauseifIeatONE,IhavetohaveTEN.
That’sjustthewayitgoes.

The Best Grilled Cheese and a CONTEST!

Photo: Sheri Berger
Friday, February 19th, 2010 in Contest, Sheri's Recipes

Have you ever tried the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at Mimi’s Cafe? They’re the best. I am not a huge grilled cheese person, although that with a cup of tomato soup on a cold night is pretty perfect. But a friend of mine told me about the sandwiches at this restaurant and she was absolutely right – they are definitely amazing. A quick Google search produced some options for the recipe and I used them to come up with the version I like.  (The best part? The butter/parmesan crust that forms on the bread.)

grilled-5-cheese-sandwichGrilled 5-Cheese Sandwich*

12 slices of Texas Toast
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 rounded tsp. minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
Grated Parmesan (0r the Parmesan/Asiago mix)
6 slices of monterey jack cheese
6 slices of cheddar cheese
6 slices of swiss cheese
6 slices of mozzarella cheese

Cut the crusts off the bread. Mash the stick of butter with the garlic and mix well. Spread the butter mix on one side of each piece of bread. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese onto a flat plate and then lay each piece of bread on it (butter side down) so that the Parmesan sticks.

Place each piece of bread onto a griddle (or in a pan), butter/Paremesan side down. Add a slice of cheddar and swiss to one piece and a slice of monterey jack and mozzarella to the other piece. Let the bread brown and the cheese get melty, then add the two pieces together to make a sandwich. If you let the sandwich sit for a couple of minutes after you take it out of the griddle, the cheese will set a bit and make it easier to cut in half. Enjoy!

(*Note – I did not say this was a diet recipe. Next week I’ll share a slightly healthier recipe …)

Since so many of us are watching the Olympics, the contest this month is to tell me which sport makes you put down your knitting/crochet project and watch with 100% attention? It could be your favorite sport, it could be the one that makes you most nervous to watch, or it could be a sport you’re still trying to figure out. My favorite is the ice skating, but the sport that makes me put everything down is the downhill skiing. Flying down ice and snow on two little sticks? That’s nuts. Leave your answer in the comments and I’ll draw winners for skeins of Wollmeise next week!

Sheri didthisweekgoquickly,orisitjustme?
I’mgladit’stheweekend…

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