Archive for March, 2010


March 27, 2010

We’ve mastered the art of rice pasta preparation at last. It’s finally really enjoyable to have pasta again.

Turkey Meatballs, Peppers, Mushrooms etc.

This pasta revelation also means that our freezer full of pesto is coming in very handy. The CSA had pick-your-own basil going last fall and we brought home more than a shopping bag full. We turned it all into pesto. We haven’t even made a dent.


The pasta there is also spinach brown rice pasta. So the pesto isn’t actually contributing all the green-ness. The shirt in the background is currently my favorite tee-shirt. Sadly I don’t have one of my idol Miss Piggy from the Muppets. I’ll have to ask for that for my birthday.

While we were taking other photos outside, Ben took some of Mabel. Somehow he caught her mid-woof.

I leave you with that.


Summer dress, winter weather

March 27, 2010

So I finally finished the McCall 5061 (vintage 1978) dress that I started in January. The end result is quite nice.

McCall's 5061

(It was 26 degrees F out when we took this picture, but I really wanted to have a daylight picture.)

Getting it to work took some doing. Between fitting and sewing up the dress and putting the finishing touches on it, I lost about 12 pounds. In the end, I had to add extra darts in the back. Once I’d done that, it meant I had to redo the bust darts. All this was after I had already sewed the buttonholes by hand because I still can’t find a replacement for my buttonhole foot.

Next time, I’m going to do more of a sway back adjustment and an FBA on a smaller size bodice.

So the fit ended up being a bit of a hack, but it’s completely wearable. Next time I wear it, it won’t be below freezing!

Pigs Like Food

March 15, 2010

One of my favorite things about Ithaca is that despite the cold climate, it’s possible to get healthy local food here pretty much all year round. (This actually used to be my favorite thing about Ithaca, but after living here a few years it’s been beaten out for the number one spot by “My friends live here.” This tends to happen if you stay in one place and are not a complete hermit.) It would probably be possible to be pretty happy on the 100 mile diet here. We don’t actually do this, but we do try to eat as much as possible from local sources, especially the CSA. The CSA is amazing, but it’s more vegetable matter than two pigs can eat the week we get the box. So we make soup. At the beginning of the semester, we went a bit nuts and we’re still eating our way through the soup that resulted from a weekend of (possibly manic) behavior from me, aided and abetted by my visiting parents.

Cabbage, Beetroot and Tomato Borscht

From Best-Ever Slow Cooker, One-pot & Casserole Cookbook, this soup is AMAZING. It was really easy in the crock-pot. It’s a tad on the sweet side without the sour cream, so I might cut back on the brown sugar next time. We ate this tonight, inspiring me to write this post. It’s just as good after freezing and thawing.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

From the same book, but not quite as phenomenal. It’s good, tasty soup, but it’s not as “spicy” as “Spicy Pumpkin Soup” should be. We used a lovely musque de provence, and mostly it tasted like squash. I think we’re going to mix it with boiled black beans, up the cumin and add hot pepper flakes on the reheat in an attempt to mimic the Farmer’s Market “Pumpkin Black Bean Soup” that is an Ithaca classic. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Gingered Carrot Soup

When people hear we live in Ithaca, they invariably ask “Do you go to the Moosewood Restaurant a lot?” The answer? No. But we do use the recipe books often. From The New Moosewood Cookbook, this one was another hit. With the addition of the cashews, it makes a full meal with protein and all! I actually ran a bit low on carrots and added a parsnip to make up the volume. I think it really added a nice kick to the flavor, but the extra matter wasn’t necessary. As you can see from the ladle indent above, it was rather thick.

Swedish Cabbage Soup

So we get a LOT of cabbage in a winter CSA share. A lot. Luckily, this soup from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest is very good and uses up cabbage quite quickly. The color on the pic above isn’t quite right as the soup is not nearly this green, but the background does show the mostly empty wine glass, so you can tell that this was really a soup-making party.

French Lentil Soup

The last one, and maybe the best, was from The picture above is NOT overexposed. Those are actually yellow carrots. Yellow carrots are a bit less sweet than the orange ones and they were great in the soup. Sadly, there isn’t much of this one left in the freezer since we liked it so much that we’ve been eating it up. I’ll just have to make it again soon.

Burda 7861

March 14, 2010

I made this in January, but here it is:

Purple wool skirt

It’s a purple wool flannel, so it’s wonderfully cozy and warm. I probably won’t get too much more wear out of it this year. It was, however, already worn clubbing in LA. So. That tells you something about…something. The pockets are made of the left-overs from a dress that has been almost done for over a month (damn broken button-hole attachment!).

What has it got in its pocketses!

As you can see. It is very pretty fabric. Let’s hope it appears here as a dress sooner rather than later.

Recipe for a Perfect Saturday

March 14, 2010

Step 1. Wear something you like. If you’re a sewing sow, you’ll probably wear something you made.

Yes, I wear dresses over pants. And I'm not about to stop.

This is a New Look 6860 that I made several years ago. It’s nice to see that stuff I make holds up so well!

Step 2. Go to acting class and throw yourself into it. Leave feeling like “THAT was four hours? No!”

Step 3. Take the dog for a long walk. A very long walk. Well over an hour.

Completely gratuitous Mabel pic because I figured out how to put photos on the blog.

Step 4. Spend the afternoon knitting with friends. Finish a hat. Okay, so it would have helped if I had finished this before it got warm enough for hour+ walks with the dog with no more than a light jacket, but, you know, academia called…

Who? hat from penguinpurls on ravelry

The pattern is from Penguin Purls and is available at I love the pattern. I also used orange to outline three owls and I gave these same ones eyes made from old shirt buttons. The pattern calls for giving one owl eyes, but Julie thought two together would look nice, and I thought, why not three? I am a creature of excess.

One little orange owl.

Step 5. Order Thai food, curl up on the couch and watch Labyrinth. Muppets are just about the perfect end to a perfect day.