Yum times 2

Lots of progress, lots of progress. As I mentioned the other day, I had to ditch the monkey socks. I just did not have my knitting mojo when it came to getting them done. I did however cast on and complete Calorimetry. Calorimetry is a large knit headband/.ear warmer that will be great for when I go cross country skiing, or am just forced to be outside for any length of time. I like it better than most hats actually.

This pattern was of course, in the Ravelry top 10, and like many of the patterns residing there, in the top, it is from Knitty.com, an online knitting magazine. A quick note about knitting and Ravelry. If you don’t know, Ravlery is like facebook for knitters, but instead of pictures of your kids you put up pictures of your projects. There is a huge huge library of patterns for sale and for free and in my opinion it’s the best thing that has happened to knitting since the portable needle gauge.Now, many of you are probably thinking, “Hey if there are a ton of free patterns on there, why not just only use those?” Well, for two reasons; 1. I like supporting fellow knitters and designers buy purchasing their patterns-most of which cost under 5.00 and 2. A lot of times the free patterns are crap. Since they aren’t for sale they haven’t been test knit or edited etc. That said, one place to get consistently awesome free patterns is from Knitty.com. Why? Because Knitty is an online magazine, with editors and test knitters. I have the utmost confidence that when I download a pattern from their site, if I follow the directions it’s going to work. Actually, this the same with a lot of cooking sites too. Take Epicurious for example, lots of great recipes from renowned magazines – Bon Appetit etc. You pick one, follow the directions and it works. Other recipe sites where users post whatever they want (which actually I think they can do on epicurious as well) it’s kind of a crap shoot as to whether or not it will work. If you are an experienced cook or knitter, things that aren’t going to work are obvious, but if you aren’t – whoa Nelly, look out. 

Back to the pattern, Calorimetry is a great, fast knit. It said to do a gauge swatch but I threw caution to the wind and just went ahead and knit it. I’m lazy, and also it’s such a small project that by the time the gauge was done the thing would be half knit anyway. I always *ahem* check gauge for projects like sweaters. Oh, do you not know what gauge is? Look it up here. So, Calorimetry a win! Great pattern, great result, and I used up almost all of my fantastic yarn from Meadowcroft. I’m really glad this was on the list. It was one of those projects I’ve seen a thousand and times and was never super excited about knitting, now that I have knit one I will probably do another at some point. This project is great for all levels of knitters, those more experienced who want a quick, fun knit, and those beginners who are just beginning to learn the wonders of short row shaping will all love it. Use some special yarn that you really love for this project. It’s doesn’t use too much and will make all the difference when it’s snuggled up next to your ears.

In other knitting news, I ordered enough yarn for 3 upcoming projects: February Lady, Turn a Square, and Noro Scarf. I got all the yarn from Webs – just a shout out here – Webs is donating 5% of sales until February 5 to Doctors Without Borders to help with the crisis in Haiti -. So I got to buy yarn AND help a good cause. Now I feel extra warm and fuzzy.

I watched the first season of Breaking Bad which was only 7 episodes. Holy Crap. That show is INTENSE. White knuckle, freaky meth addict intense, but amazing. I highly recommend it. Warning, there’s quiet of bit of fairly graphic violence (In fact, last night during the season finale I had to hide my head under a blanket. True story.) but hey, it’s a show about people cooking and selling crystal meth, what do you expect? Here’s what I can tell you without giving away too much: Breaking Bad is a show about a high-school chemistry teacher diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer who decides to cook crystal meth with a former student in order to make a bunch of money. That’s all I really want to stay about it right now. I’m saving my big review for the completion of season 2.

 I’m still reading Drood. It’s still awesome.

On to the title of this blog: Yum x2. I cooked two really awesome things today: Zucchini Coconut cookies and Salmon with Potato Fans, and both are so good I want to share the recipes with you. I’m not really sure what the rules are for reprinting recipes so for the cookies I’m just going to give you the link:  http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1910,141180-231203,00.html
These cookies are so amazing and moist and yummy. It was worth spending money on zukes in the middle of the winter in order to make them. Usually I refuse to pay actual money for zucchinis since I am literally drowning in them in the summer, but Maggie specifically requested I make these today, and how is a mother to refuse her darling 4 year old daughter requesting zucchini cookies of all things? Note – I skipped the nuts. I’m allergic. I bet with the nuts they are even MORE amazing.

Second thing I made today: Salmon with Potato Fans from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins. Rosso and Lukins are also the authors of The Silver Palate Cookbook and Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook. The Silver Palate “series” of cookbooks were kind of a game changer back in the 80s. My mom was a caterer back then and I have fond memories of her using the hell out of these books. I urge you to add all three to your library. I have yet to try a recipe in any of these books that has not been absolutely out of this world. Anyhow, Salmon with Potato Fans:

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Yukon Gold Potato, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 teaspoons minced shallots
2 Salmon fillets (about 5 oz each)

1. Preheat Oven to 350
2. Spread butter in a medium size oven proof skillet. – I’m going to veer off from their directions a bit here and tell you what I do. Ok – smear the butter in a COLD skillet. then lay the potatoes on the bottom, overlapping slightly until covered. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and shallots. Put the Salmon on top – SKIN SIDE UP.
3. Cook on your stove top on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook another 10-15 or until the salmon is done. Serve the salmon with potatoes on top.Prepare to have mind blown. *note* the recipe is called Salmon with Potato Fans because you are supposed to arrange the potatoes and salmon in such a way that when you flip it out of the pan onto a plate it looks all fancy, like potato scales or a fan on top of the salmon. I am not fancy, so I just pile it on the plate. If you want to be fancy and make the fans, by all means, go for it.

This dish is so simple, and so delicious it’s perfect for families, or as a dish to impress that special someone with your elite cooking skills. My four year old ate two helpings and was sad when she couldn’t have a third. We were all out. She had to settle for another cookie.

I think that’s it for me tonight. Making good progress, I’m excited! I hope to get some work done on Saartje’s Booties tonight. I knit about a half of one last night and messed it up and had to rip it out. No big. The zen of knitting and all that.

Peace, my peoples.

P.S. I’m thinking of swapping the music list for the one on NPR. I can tell you already I am not going to like anything on that list from Rolling Stone. I HATE U2 (sorry) and am lukewarm at best about the others on the list. I’m more of a Corrinne Bailey Ray kind of girl, or Lady Gaga. I’m sorry. I’m divulging way too much here. Time for bed.

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