Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cooking from Scratch or Reinventing Leftovers from Outback

I love to cook! I find it very relaxing even when I am under a deadline to create and produce a meal. Currently my downside is I am doing it just for one. For me that is much harder than cooking for a group.

When I am just cooking for myself I find I am stuck in a rut with spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and spinach salad, ramen or burger and fried potatoes. Not very exciting yet quick meals after work.

So, when I get something really fun to create or re-create I am all over it. This past weekend I went out to dinner with my folks to the Outback Steakhouse. I love the Awesome Blossom!

We all ordered steaks and two of those were with their signature garlic smashed potatoes. We took home leftovers of steak, mushrooms and potatoes. On Sunday morning I created breakfast from the leftovers and it was fantabulous. I chopped the shrooms up into scrambled eggs with green onion and cheese, lightly reheated steak slices and fried smashed potato patties. It was scrumptious.

Cooking should be a passionate act of creation. Try it sometime, even if it is just for yourself!

Until next time: Show up for the present events in your life!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ode to the Kitty-ghan or What to do with all the acrylic leftovers?

All my new knit friends look at me when I bring out acrylic yarn. They reach out to touch it and recoil, covering their grimace with a half-smile and a "nice piece, what is it for?"

I realize that the in-thing is to be knitting with wool or silk or even yarn with shrimp peels in it. However when I started just a half year ago I wanted to see if I could conquer knitting first before I went whole hog on yarn buying. And I had to be certain that my wool allergy had not followed me into my current life.

So I bought up a bunch of bright colored acrylic, WalMart special, $2 a skein, to get the hang of knitting. I made a really neat vest with it. Bold stripes with black in between to highlight each different color row. I mastered a no-pattern, grow it as big as you need it, there is reason for knowing your measurements, vest.

When I finished the vest I discovered that I had lots of leftover yarn. Now, what to do with it?
Suddenly my kitty pal, Pedro, leaped into my lap and made himself comfortable on my vest as I was stitching it together. Call it need for attention or gee, momma, I really like laying on yarn.

I took it as the latter and decided the leftovers should be used for his very own kitty-ghan. So I gathered up all the remnants of acrylic and laid them out on the table, trying to decide what kind of pattern was appropriate for my favorite feline. Nothing came to me right away, so I stuffed it back in a bag in the stash tub.

A couple weeks ago I was looking at a dishcloth pattern book and it came to me. I could knit dishcloth blocks for the kitty-ghan. So I set about picking out the patterns and colors to get started. I realized that not only would it work up to be something interesting but I could learn all kinds of new stitches and pattern effects as I went. The dishcloth book was all designs with a heart motif. That would be perfect because he holds my heart. And I also found a pattern online for a block that had a cat in it.

Currently I am two-thirds of the way done with the block knitting. I think it is going to be a really fun thing to display in the house. Of course, you will have to pick up Pedro to see all of it. When I get it finished I will post a picture of it and Pedro.

Then I can get back to knitting with wool, as long as it is superwash, and maybe try some cotton for summer.

Until next time, I hope you are pursuing your passions today!