Monday, July 28, 2014

Vanilla Plus Socks!

I enjoyed knitting these vanilla socks this a plus! The mosaic pattern was just enough to make these socks a little different!

Socks, socks and more socks! Just can't seem to quit knitting them...

Pattern: Vanilla with a touch of mosaic!
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock and Paton Kroy Sock Ragg Shades
Colorway: Brown, Beige and dusty blues
Needle Size: US Size 1

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Beautiful Kitten

I was fiddling on my iPhone and took this pic of Denali - just wish it had been on the good camera!
Denali - 4 months old
She has grown so much in the last two months, her markings are changing and getting darker and her legs are getting so much longer! She has loved having the kids around but last night when things settled down she slept on my lap for an hour, something I've been missing! What a great little kitty!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Busy times during the boys visit

We've had a very busy week with the nephews and grandkiddos here. They chose a short ride to the water park in town rather than a trip of several hours to Chico Hot Springs. We had a good afternoon and were home in a jiff. I forgot to take pics until the last second...
Hubby jumped right in and came up with several things to do. He loves the outdoors and so naturally thinks that all youngsters, especially boys, should love being out communing with nature. Off we went! Over several days we made the Eastern Montana Circuit and visited Pompey's Pillar, Sherdian Butte, and Little Big Horn Battlefield.
Pompey's Pillar:
Then it was on to Sheridan Butte, a six to seven mile hike! A little metal detecting was done and a surprise visit from a three foot rattlesnake!
We hiked to the top and had a 360 degree great view!
We were able to find the carving left behind by Co. C on their way to aid Custer but in reality they picked up the dead and injured after the battle.
Calypso Tower...
On the way home Joe asked, "Can we could just stay home tomorrow and hangout." Of coarse! Relieved to know I wasn't the only one that was dead dog tired!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tried this to night, and it was a hit!

How to Make a Frittata

Makes roughly six servings

What You Need

Choose 3-4 of the following:
1 onion, diced
1 potato, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1-2 cups broccoli
1-2 cups cauliflower
1-2 leeks, diced
12 ounces mushrooms, diced or thinly sliced
1 cup leftover pasta
1 cup leftover rice
1-2 sausages, diced
1 cup shredded chicken, pork, or beef
1 cup tofu, diced
Any other leftovers you may have in the fridge
Seasoning Ingredients:
1-3 teaspoons spices, like oregano, basil, thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
Frittata Ingredients:
1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
6-8 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients


10" - 12" skillet Spatula


Heat the oven to 400°F.
1. Sauté the Frittata Ingredients: If the meat is raw, cook that first and then remove it from the pan to add back in later. Cook the vegetables with a little oil over medium-high heat, starting with the longer-cooking veggies like onions and potatoes and ending with softer veggies like red peppers. Add any meat or tofu and cook just enough to warm through.
2. Season the Vegetables: Since the vegetables will be mixed with eggs, you want to over-season them a bit here. Add whatever seasonings you wish to use along with a half teaspoon of salt. Let this cook for a minute, then give it a taste. It should taste strong, but still good. Add more spices or salt if needed.
3. Add the Cheese: Spread the vegetables into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt.
4. Add the Eggs: Whisk the eggs together and pour them over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.
5. Bake the Frittata: Put the entire pan in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the eggs are set. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. Cool for five minutes, then slice into wedges and serve. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for a week.
Additional Notes:
• For a crispy top, run the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July birthday socks

There's another birthday at the end of the month and another pair of socks DONE! My nephew prefers short socks so these are about three inches shorter than usual. I'm not confident that they will be to his satisfaction and so I've kept the remaining yarn attached to make any changes necessary.

Pattern: Vanilla Bean Striped Socks
Yarn: Patons North America Kroy Striped
Colorway: Mean Green Stripes
Amount: 2 skeins
Needle Size: US Size 1

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Remembering the retreat

This is the yarn I dyed at the retreat last month.  Fond memories in each stitch! The pattern was a great way to use hand dyed yarn that may tend to pool or flash.

Pattern: Waffle Rib Socks
Yarn: Emptyknitster Studio
Colorway: Mint Julep
Needle size: US Size 1

Friday, July 11, 2014

More family

Last night the Oregon boys arrived. They are settling in nicely. This morning there was a little game playing, before we set of for a walking tour of the Rims put on by Western Heritage Center.
Everyone found the tour interesting. There was a little Native American folklore, as well as how Billings was founded. I was pleased to finally have an answer to why Billings is laid out so strangely, not taking advantage of the beautiful Yellowstone River.

Billings is a city formed by the NP Railroad. As the railroad forged across the country the government gave them land in checkerboard fashion. Here in the valley for some reason there are two plots of land up against each other rather than corner to corner. This is now downtown Billings. The track and old depot go right along the boundary of each, one side is the Southside including Minnesota Avenue and the other side includes Montana Avenue.  Also because of the winds usually blowing west to east the industrial section was on the southeast side of the city. Poor planning didn't allow for such a large city and so rather than staying on the edge of town the industrial area became engulfed.

A boy and his cat

The Pirate has only been around grumpy old cats, ones that only see kiddos as unnecessary interruptions in an otherwise perfect live. Over the years he quietly wormed his way into Nkkos heart with his gentle ways but it had taken years and The Pirate growing up. Now there is a new kitten and it took only a few days for them to form a bond, kitten learning "The Boy", for I'm sure this is her name for him, could be trusted and "The Boy" learning he could touch her without a lightning quick paw scratching an outstretched hand.
The kitten is happy with me each morning - until she hears footsteps on the stairs and at that moment she rises up on her hind legs, her neck extended just waiting for her first glimpse of "The Boy"! He is learning her daily habits and is waiting for her after the daily three and half hour morning nap with a quick snack and her favorite toy. There is nothing sweeter than a boy and his cat!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Natural Bridge on the Boulder River

Monday we took a jaunt via Big Timber to see the Natural Bridge. We were slightly disappointed in the fact the bridge collapsed in 1988, however the river is now working at building a new bridge and the area is really very interesting. Currently the river disappears and the returns at the waterfall. When the water level goes down later in the summer it again goes under ground in the canyon area only to appear further down.
Kitten seems to have taken to her backpack! We'll make a hiker out of her yet...

Bountiful Basket Adventures

Since spring the gurls and I have been getting up early each Saturday and getting Bountiful Baskets. It has stretched us several times to find uses for some of the vegetables. This week we received cabbages (after I had bought one for slaw over the fourth!) and I also bought the fiesta pack so I had to find a use for the fresh cilantro after feeding the grandkiddos tacos on a regular basis.

The Chick asked for the cabbage recipe:
Runzas or Bierocks (German Cabbage Buns)

1 pkg yeast
1/4 c sugar
1c lukewarm milk
3 c flour
2 eggs beaten
1/4 c shortening
1t salt
Mix yeast, sugar, milk, and 1 1/2 c flour, let rise 45 minutes or until bubbling. Add eggs, shortening, salt and remaining flour to make soft dough. (I have to add more flour so it's not sticky) Cover and let dough rest in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours or until double in bulk.

Melt Tablespoons of shortening in a skillet. Add one chopped onion, 1/2 head cabbage, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook until this mixture it tender. Brown one pound of hamburger, drain; add to cabbage mixture.Cool.

Divide dough into 8 portions, roll into squares, add filling. Bring corners of the square together over the top of the filling and pinch the sides together. Place seam side down on greased baking sheet. Let rise.

Bake at 350 degrees of 30 minutes.Serve hot.

Other filling possibilities:
Ham, Swiss cheese, broccoli
Turkey, mozzarella cheese, pesto

Last night I made this salad, delicious!

Couscous Summer Salad (Thanks to Simply Scratch Blog)

1 cup Couscous
2 teaspoons Grated Lime Zest
1 1/2 tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
1 1/2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Corn, canned and drained or fresh when in season
3 tablespoons Scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
1 bunch Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Avocados, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
Start with preparing your ingredients by zesting and juicing your lime, slicing your tomatoes in half, roughly chopping your basil and cilantro, and thinly slicing your scallions diagonally.
Once your ingredients have been prepped, cook your couscous according to the package directions. Once cooked, immediately transfer to your serving bowl and fluff your couscous with a fork. Then add your tomatoes, corn, scallions, cilantro, and basil to the serving bowl. Mix until combined. Once mixed, cut the two avocados into 1 inch squares and add to your serving dish.
Immediately prepare your lime dressing by combining your lime zest and juice in a large mixing bowl with your melted butter, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth and drizzle over your salad immediately so the avocado doesn't turn color. Mix until combined, and garnish with a few slices of avocado that have been tossed in lime juice to prevent from browning.