Fiber Fool

Follow the feats and foibles of a fiber fanatic.

Weekending Homey Edition

Filed under: In the Kitchen, Miscellaneous — Kristi at 11:15 am on Monday, March 25, 2013

Well, it was a hibernation weekend as predicted, which is totally fine by me these days. Snow did start falling about mid-day on Friday and continued through early afternoon on Saturday or so if memory serves. This time of the season it is pretty difficult to get an accurate snowfall measurement as the ground is warm enough for the snow to start melting from below so I don’t have a clue how much we got. It was relatively significant though which is good.

Baked blueberry banana walnut oatmeal brunch on this snowy Saturday. #supernaturaleveryday

My food/cooking mojo was mostly back too. We enjoyed the baked oatmeal from Super Natural Everyday and it does reheat pretty well at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes. A splash of milk on top is a nice touch. I do want to play around with the recipe a bit to improve the protein content though. I’m contemplating adding an additional egg and/or some greek yogurt to the milk for a faux buttermilk effect.

"Farro" soup - curry, black lentils, sweet potato, onion, and barley. Topped with Greek yogurt with preserved lemon. From Super Natural Every Day.

We also enjoyed the “farro” soup from the same cookbook, though I subbed regular barley (not pearled) because the food co-op only had quick cooking farrow. The flavor was good, though I really need to research the different curry powders we got from my mom and dad as the insert included with them are very meat-centric so I didn’t really a clue which to use for this soup. The lentils I chose did give us some fits. Maybe 5% or so of them didn’t soften at all when the others were a really great texture. I even soaked the lentils and barley for a bit over 8 hours before cooking them. I’m hoping the fridge time of the leftovers will remedy the hard lentils a bit. The yogurt with preserved lemon definitely made the dish. That brightness was a great contrast to the earthy spiciness of the soup.

The first side-by-side taste test of Keemun, Assam, Darjeeling, and Hysson 13-day kombuchas on bottling day at room temp. Will try bottle conditioned and chilled versions later in the week, but Assam is currently in the lead.

The first round of the kombucha taste test took place as well. We tried the kombucha coffee too. I also passed along a scoby all ready to brew for a bit to Kathryn. If you are in the area and interested in brewing kombucha and are in need of a scoby, just let me know. I currently have 3 in my “incubator.” I also worked on doing a thorough write up of brewing kombucha. I’ll be presenting more info on our taste test either this week or next. So far we only tasted straight from the brewing vessel at room temp and are curious to see if bottle conditioning and chilling changes the results at all and that will take a few days yet.

I didn’t get around to any sewing, though I totally thought about it and let stash fabric options roll around in my head. But I did finish both fiction books I had in progress and started on that Anne recommended. We also got through the Warehouse 13 marathon and started watching Twin Peaks which allowed me to knit about 3/4 of a coordinating project to go with the recently completed DIP.

How was your weekend? Did you hunker down and do homey things like I did or did you have a wild and crazy busy weekend?

Greet the Week with Gratitude - Coffee and Snow

Filed under: Knitting, Miscellaneous, Gratitude — Kristi at 10:47 am on Monday, March 11, 2013

A change if venue for this Monday morning.

Well, the forecast for the weekend - both weather and activity-wise did not pan out as expected. I didn’t even finish the Longmire book let alone start something else. We only got maybe 3″ of snow and it is pretty much all gone already. We did hibernate and watched a handful of movies and enjoyed some yummy, leisurely breakfasts.

I did get about three 24-row repeats in on my current DIP which means I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am getting more excited about sourcing a better yarn for it and I have some other ideas spinning off from this one. Perhaps a collection? I’m also working on reformatting some of the more popular older patterns as well as some of the ones I did for My Sister Knits that are not currently up on their web site.

How about you? What did you do this weekend? What are you grateful for as we start out the week?

This week, I’m thankful for:

  • The plethora of locally owned coffee shops around town so I can support the local economy while getting a much needed change of scenery to spark my creativity and boost my productivity. So many of them are also roasters or buy from regional/local roasters who buy fair trade and shade grown beans too! I’m lucky!
  • My coffee press! When I feel like being a homebody and not in need of a change of scenery my French press gets a lot of love and is essential to my day. Of course, it is filled with locally roasted beans :-)
  • Moisture! While the snow was less than forecasted and hoped for, I think we got a bit more moisture in the form of rain than they were predicting and moisture is a good thing in whatever form it falls.
  • High speed Internet which makes work so much easier, but also entertainment in the form of streaming movies and television shows. Much of the weekend was filled with streaming and surprisingly we enjoyed much of what we watched. If you’d ask my sister I have a horrible track record for choosing movies and DH and I don’t always agree on movie genres or time periods.

Steamed lucinato kale, grape tomatoes, za'atar, aleppo pepper, 2 eggs, homemade whole wheat naan, whipped feta, horsetooth hot sauce & nutritional yeast. Yum!

Greet the Week with Gratitude & Weekend Wrap Up

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Gratitude — Kristi at 10:57 am on Monday, March 4, 2013

Two pups, quilt made by MIL, comfy leather chair & ottoman, coffee and a good book. Saturday morning doesn't get much better! Well, DH could be on the love seat instead of in Denver...

My weekend was very interesting in that it was highly out of the norm. Well, Friday evening and Saturday were out of the norm and Sunday was pretty typical I guess. Friday night Amanda and I braved a crazed Old Town (they were so busy with the kick-off of Great Plates and First Friday Art Walk that the parking garage was full) to attend Mama Said Sew’s monthly Crafty Party. This month they were doing a fabric swap and a raffle to support one of the elementary school’s in town. Then we had coffee and shared a slice of awesome cake at a local coffee shop and stopped back into Mama Said Sew to see if we had won anything in the raffle. I won 3 free fat quarters! I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, though I chose three that all coordinate together. I haven’t been terribly moved by small sewing projects lately. Mostly I’m drawn to garments - especially dresses. If you’ve seen any fun projects appropriate for my fat quarters, let me know!

And dinner of veggie pasta with raw kale salad and 1/2 a chicken breast brought yesterday's fruit & veg count to 9 different types!

Saturday I spent nearly 14 hours alone in the house with the dogs. DH attended a conference in Denver for work that had him on the road by about 6:30am and he didn’t get home until about 8:30pm. DH is hardly ever away from the house without me on the weekends and I think this is the first it has happened for an entire day. It was kind of odd. But I got a ton of reading done, drank a fair bit of coffee and the dogs kept me company. I missed DH though and I’ll soon have 10 entire weeks without him in the house and I’m not looking forward to it :-(

Eggs and roasted veggies for lunch! Yum!

So, what am I grateful for this Monday?

  1. DH! I’m going to miss him terribly this summer. Saturday was nice because it was different, but he came home at the end of the day with a hug and stories to tell.
  2. The pups, of course. Patting them or snuggling or rough housing with them always brings a smile to my face, no matter how low I’m feeling!
  3. My kitchen skills. I have cooked and eaten some amazing food this week that was even really healthy! Sharing that slice of cake with Amanda on Friday did not even make me feel guilty because I ate so clean otherwise. Most days I had 7-10 different types of fruits and vegetables. In February/March people! Not high produce season.
  4. Our local food coop! They make it easier to buy fresher foods grown closer to home and to buy in bulk only what we need and can use before it degrades in quality. This morning I made granola with some of their goodies!

Homemade granola!

How about you? Did you do anything out of the norm this weekend? And what are you grateful for at the start of this week?

The Weekend Is Upon Us!

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Linkity — Kristi at 1:24 pm on Friday, February 8, 2013

Sunset View from Master Bedroom

Wow. It has been a week. What can I say? I’m looking forward to the weekend. I know those of you in the northeast are looking at a very snowy weekend. We have some snow forecasted, but it isn’t looking like it will amount to much, which kind of makes me sad. I hope by Sunday morning we have more coverage than in the photo above from two years ago. For one, we could really use the moisture. But it has been a not very wintery winter so far. There is still hope though. Traditionally February and March are our two snowiest months so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Our house will be the honorary “Clubhouse” this Monday evening, so there will be a good bit of cleaning and a little bit of kitchen prep going on at our house this weekend. I’ll be making my whole grain chai doughnuts in mini form, prepping the dry and wet ingredients on Sunday so when I get home from work there is minimal more work to do to get them in the oven. I think I’ll also make a spiced up version of this Wasabi Soy Spread/Dip (I typically double or triple the amount of wasabi, though I am working with powder so that may be why I need to boost it) I’ve brought to knitting before. That does means lots of prepping of fresh vegetables to accompany it. The rest of the food will likely be ready to eat stuff – a cheese or two, some crackers, and a fruit or two. If I’m super motivated I may make up my homemade chai concentrate, but I’m not promising it!

What are you planning this weekend? Do you have any exciting knitting on your needles? I need to knit vicariously through you! :-)

Here are some links that caught my eye this week that you might find inspiation from:

Food

Craft

Health

What has inspired you this week?

Weekending Results

Filed under: In the Kitchen, Miscellaneous, Linkity, Fitness — Kristi at 12:10 pm on Monday, January 28, 2013

Bananas Faux Foster Steel Cut Oats! It's what's for brunch :-)

Yes, my plans were quite lofty for the weekend. While I can’t check off everything I mentioned I feel like the weekend was successful — a nice combination of getting stuff done and resetting for the week to come.

For post-birthday hangover recovery (I’m kidding, I didn’t drink anything besides water on Friday night and DH didn’t even come close to over imbibing) we had a warm, chewy bowl of steel cut oats topped with virgin bananas foster. The bananas were virgin due to the lack of dark rum in our liquor cabinet, but it still tasted like an awful decadent bowl of oatmeal. I had wanted to make the maple roasted apple and cheddar cheese oatmeal from the Kitchn, but discovered we had only one apple. We did have a bunch of not quite ripe bananas so I improvised by sautéing one large one in 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons brown sugar and a tiny pinch of sea salt and divided it amongst our bowls of oats. Some pecans would have been a nice touch.

I don’t know about you, but both DH and I seem to do much better if we have one day out of the fray. No driving, no crowds etc. So Saturday kind of turned into a PJ day. I knew I needed a rest day after two runs with less than 24 hours between them. We were extremely leisurely about breakfast, loitering around the table discussing various and sundry things while sipping locally roasted coffee from the French press. I put together a batch of new tea for kombucha and left it to cool. By late afternoon we retreated to the basement and an embarrassingly long marathon of Lost Girl on NetFlix. I don’t know what it is, but I am totally hooked on that show. DH thinks it is the outcast discovering there is a hidden world in which she fits in. He may be right.

Beans & Bikes day in our home. I'm in my 13th CO winter, so shouldn't be surprised, but I biked in January! That just boggles this MN native's mind!

Sunday was our “do” day, but there was plenty of rest mixed in. I took a decent soak in the tub and read a bit first thing. Then DH and I took care of the kombucha, bottling the last batch and getting the next batch going with the cooled tea from the day before. Then, we hopped on our bikes – yes, in late January. Despite this being my 14th January in Colorado it still boggles my mind to see temps near 60 degrees and weather favorable for biking in January. Sadly, it was my first January bike ride ever. We logged nearly 9 miles at the end of the day, with some decent walking in between the rides. Not too shabby of a calorie burn! My sitz bones are definitely protesting today, but the rides overall were not as bad as I feared given the time away from the saddle. There was lots of stretching upon arriving home, a little more reading and some Downton Abbey and more Lost Girl viewing to end the day.

I also baked some multi-grain bread. I used the bread machine for the dough and then did the final kneading, shaping, rise and baking myself. It was *amazing*! We had a little taster after dinner. It was so good DH and I both thought it tasted like another slice even though we weren’t really hungry. We were good and resisted seconds. It was based on the Daily Whole Grain Bread recipe from Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. I used cooked quinoa, did fake buttermilk by mixing 2 parts milk to 1 part greek yogurt and upped the whole wheat by ½ cup and reduced the bread flour by the same. We did have to add almost 2 tablespoons of water, likely due in part to the yogurt thickening the milk and the higher whole grain content, plus my quinoa was slightly dry/al dente and not as moist as say the rice I’ve used in the past. I think it was a combo of the ¼ cup of rolled oats and the yogurt that gave it such great flavor plus a bit extra time on the second rise. We’ll definitely be revisiting that one whenever we have left over cooked quinoa that needs using!

How was your weekend? What did you do? Did you manage to get reset for the week to come?

Some food I’m contemplating this week:

Some making I’m contemplating this week:

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