Monday, March 30, 2009

Healthy Brownies!

Made a batch of these last night! Yum! I got this recipe from years ago and since then, they've taken it off the website. These are great for breakfast on the go or as a healthy snack and can easily be changed up to suit what's in the fridge/cabinet - I've made them with all zucchini or all carrot if I don't have the other. These freeze well too! The veggies aren't quite so obvious if you shred them finer so you might want to if you're passing these off to picky kids. =) You could use a different cereal if you don't have access to the one called for. I've used Kashi Good Friends mainly, but most any healthy cereal should work just as well.
It's really easy to veganize too. Just sub brown rice syrup (or other sweetener) for the honey and use a vegan cereal. =)

Kashi Veggie Brownies
Makes 12 servings
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon honey (I used agave nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup GoLEAN Original Cereal pieces*
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup cocoa or carob powder (unsweetened)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts if desired (optional)
Non-stick cooking spray

Directions: Combine zucchini, carrots, banana, applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. In another large bowl mix until uniform, the flour, Kashi, turbinado sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the vegetable mixture and mix until well combined. (Add nuts if desired and mix well.) The batter will be very stiff. Spray a 9 X 12-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Evenly press the batter into the pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

*Kashi GoLEAN pieces are made by putting Kashi GoLEAN in a blender or food processor until mixture is the consistency of finely chopped nuts. A coffee grinder works well if you don't have a blender or food processor.

Serving Size 1 brownie
Serving Per Container 12
Calories 160
Calories From Fat 35

*Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Amount/Serving %DV* Amount/Serving %DV* --------------------------------------------------
Total Fat 4g 6%
Total Carb 30g 10%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sugars 16g
Sodium 270mg 11%
Protein 4g
Vitamin A 50%
Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 2%
Iron 8%

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm weak...

in the face of a ridiculous yarn sale! haha

But what a heck of a deal! Everything I bought was 59-75% off! Full bags of alpaca (10 skeins) for $20?! The two variegated bags are Araucania Yarns Atacama 100% alpaca, hand-dyed in Chile. Beautiful and so soft! One in shades a green and the other in deep blue with silver and charcoal (gorgeous colorway!). Then, I added two bags of Zitron Kokon (silk/cotton/microfiber) in turquoise and dark brown with a hint of steel (such a cool color!) for some not-so-chilly weather use. And last, but not least, a bag of Ella Rae Classic 100% wool in a beautiful fuchsia. So, I started my first sweater last week and thankfully, I'm enjoying it because I now have my next 5 sweaters covered. haha I love being able to get a deal like this so I can buy by the bag and not have to worry about running out and not being able to get the same dye lot to finish a project... or possibly even the same yarn since I travel so much. Do the math. The per skein price is usually a better deal by the bag as well so most often that 10th (and sometimes 9th) skein is actually free! I'd rather have an extra skein or two to use for a smaller project down the road than stress about having enough so it's all good. =) I already even have patterns in mind for most of this. Hmm, I think I need to knit faster... =)

Check out LittleKnits for some awesome sales!
FYI - If you happen to have a question for them, call. Trust me. No one ever responded to my emails. Ever. And I tried two of the email addys listed on their site. So call... or pm them through Ravelry if you want a response. Oh, and the shipping's a little slow. Took just over a week for my order to ship, plus 4 days delivery time. You've been warned. =) Otherwise, this is a great shop with amazing sales! Well worth the wait.
(Sorry for the crappiness of the photo. I'd normally take this outside since my mother's house is unnaturally dark, but right now, it's SNOWING! So deal with it. =) Better pics to follow.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dealing with the DMV... and a new WIP

So, I moved from Washington to Indiana last June... and never changed my driver's license or license plate. heh Yesterday, I was out and about and decided to pop in to the DMV, er BMV here, to find out how much cash I needed to get my new plates and license. Discovered they take credit cards! Woo! Airline miles!! =) Also discovered my old registration expired... yesterday. Oops! Thought I had until the end of the month. haha So, I was there and figured I should go ahead with the plates before they expired. Really nice lady behind the desk, getting ready for a trip to Alaska this summer for her 40th anniv. So we start... dang, I don't have my title with me - wasn't planning to do this yesterday. So I have to run back across town to the house and get my title and run back across town to the BMV. Get another lady, not quite as friendly, but still way friendlier than most in these places! haha So we start again. Ah, now I need a whole string of things. Seriously?! The first woman couldn't have given me a list of all the paperwork I needed? It's not as if everyone carries around not only their driver's license, car registration and proof of insurance, but also the title, social security card and a bill/pay stub with their current addy... Had I been ready to change my driver's license as well, I'd have also needed my birth certificate too. So, one more trip back and forth across town and finally, my car would be legal past midnight!! Thank goodness I had a couple hours before they closed when I went in the first time! At least they hand you plates on the spot so you don't get one of those stupid temporary paper plates and have to wait for real ones to come in the mail. I'll have to go back for my license. I have to take the written test again. Ah, Washington just took my old license, punched a hole in it to invalidate it and gave me a WA one. I'm pretty sure registration was cheaper too. Ah, well. Done until next year at least.

I've given up waiting on my yarn order from Little Knits and began working on a sweater from some of my stash yarn. (It took 10 days for them to ship it and it'll be another 4 days in shipping time - slow, but great sale prices! Totally worth the wait. FYI - don't bother with emailing them ever. Go through Ravelry or call if you want a response.) Monday, I knit up the swatch and (yay) got gauge my first try. So off I went on my very first adult-sized sweater. =D This is a great project for knit nights and lunches since it's so simple. I'm loving this whole top-down raglan style (in part because I loathe seaming). This will be a perfect neutral cardigan to take along on the road - great for thise chilly offices! I foresee more of these in my future...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fuzzy Watermelon!

Nah, not that kind of watermelon! I picked up a ball of Merino Stripes (in watermelon) for only 40 cents and was inspired to use it for a hat after browsing some projects on Ravelry. I started (and finished) this back on the 7th, but just got around to taking a couple pics today. Things didn't quite turn out as planned with this hat and I discovered along the way that I really don't like fuzzy yarn much. I used slightly larger needles than the pattern indicated, but it still ended up on the small side. Ah, well. I don't love the look of it anyhow. It'll make a good gift for some little girl though! I'll have to try this patern out again with a different yarn... something less fuzzy. =)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Light up a sheep lately?

These guys seem to have an awful lot of time on their hands... =)

On the yarny front... I'm still knitting away on my twisty socks. Absolutely loving them! Nearly finished with the first. I went to meet up with some knitters today at a cool coffee shop down the street and found I was one needle short! Switched my sock from a larger bag into a small one and somehow dropped one of my new bamboo needles. One of the ladies came to my rescue so I could knit and amazingly, when I came home, I found the errant needle on the floor of my bedroom... untouched. Yay! I'd feared the worst, what with my zoo running around here (including a little dog who loves to chew!) and no supervision. haha Thought I'd find it chewed into toothpicks. SO happy. I'll be a lot more careful from here out when I move projects around. haha

This afternoon, I headed down to a thrift shop in town to check out their $1 room. (Yes, I'm cheap, er, frugal.) =) Found 5 sweaters at $1 apiece! One is all cotton. I've washed that one and am waiting for it to dry so I can frog it and knit it up into a vest and ??? It's a sort of odd pale green/khaki so I plan to overdye it once it's knit up. It's a long-sleeve turtleneck - lots of yarn to be had! I plan to make one of the wool sweaters into a felted bag/purse. The others' fate is yet to be determined beyond frogging.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One very bad little dog...

*sigh* I knew this whole flimsy wooden lattice thing was a bad idea. Can't tell my mom anything though. She had it in her head that an enclosure made of 1/4" pine was more than adequate for keeping animals in or out. There was already a small hole elsewhere, but no definite proof that it was Reilly. Yeah, I knew. Who else would it be?! haha Anyhoo, tonight I let the boys out into the yard and a little while later, here comes Reilly into the house. I'm thinking, hmm, the door must have come open. Nope.
Reilly decided to let himself in... by making a Reilly-sized hole. *sigh* Rotten little dog. Gotta love that minpin tenacity. haha So much like a terrier! We had some chicken wire in the garage left from the garden so I nailed that up along the outside to thwart any future attempts at break-ins. ha! Yeah, he's not chewing to escape... he's chewing his way IN!

Goofy little dog. He wasn't even out there all that long. Don't worry. I did thoroughly check out his mouth. Didn't find any real damage, thank goodness. My whole idea for an enclosure in the beginning involved chicken wire and on a much smaller scale... for the cats. This was my mother's idea. This way, she could put in a dog door and never get off her butt (and away from her precious television) to let the dogs in/out. It was also a way for her to build this stupid thing and make me pay for it. Not that she asked me anything, just did it while I was out of town and it was too late. I absolutely hate this enclosure. It's way too small of a space for the dogs and when I'm out of town, I know she's not letting the dogs out into the rest of the yard to stretch their legs. And apparently picking up poop is below her as well so it gets pretty nasty during the 3 weeks I'm gone. Reilly just flat out refuses to poop out there. Frankly, I don't blame him. That's one of the reasons I'm switching to 2-week stints when things pick back up so I can keep an eye on them better. The plan is to be back out west by this time next year. Just gotta hold out and save up.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Peanut Butter-y Oatmeal-y Chewy Goodness

Ooh, I brought home Vegan with a Vengeance (Isa Chandra Moskowitz) the last time I was at the library. A quick perusing turned up a recipe entitled Big Gigantoid Crunchy Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies, said to make 12 huge-ass cookies. =) How could I possibly bypass this recipe? I couldn't, of course! Seriously yummy cookies!!! I think the next time I make these - oh yes, there will be a next time! - I'll sub in apple sauce for part of the oil... and maybe decrease the sugar some as well. I rarely make a recipe exactly as written after the first try, but these are pretty yummy as is. And frankly, the title is pretty darn dead-on. haha These things are HUGE! And I even used the 1/4 cup measure, rather than the called-for 1/3 cup!

On a side note, I've realized I really don't like cooking/baking when my mom is here. She works nights and I've found myself spending lots of time in the kitchen after 10pm. I think maybe that has something to do with the fact that she tends to hover with an amazed look on her face that someone is actually using the room for something other than watching tv...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Socks with a Twist!

When I saw this yarn at the non-profit shop in Seattle, I thought, WOW that's bright! And I had to have it!! I'm so glad I did now. I spent some time Monday afternoon browsing patterns trying to find some inspiration for a new project and wasn't having much luck. Then, as I reached into the suitcase for a skein of self-patterning sock yarn... I caught a glimpse of this. Grabbed it along with needles and headed off to my first Knit Night in Indiana. Such fun colors! So bright and Spring-y! Finished the toe and was trying to decide how I wanted to knit these when I thought about the colorway (Lemonade Twist). How could I possibly not include cables in these?! This was just what I needed to cheer me up. I'm home for awhile now with minimal work and way too much time on my hands and was thinking maybe I'd left my will to knit in Seattle. I think I found it. =)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Circular Storage

I've been planning to sew up a simple solution for my circular needles with some fabric I rescued from a bag to be donated by my mom - free is the best way to shop, don't you know. =) Anyhoo, someone on Ravelry posted this pattern, made from a pair of old jeans so I went that route instead. The pockets are a nice addition. Great place for the set of interchangable needles I have and a needle sizer and tape measure.

Not quite convinced I love it yet. The needles are a bit crazy. Maybe if they were all shorter cables? Ah, well. It was free to make and for now, it works and doesn't take much space.