Monday, September 17, 2007

Blogiversary & My Favourite Bolognese Sauce Recipe!

Well, today, my blog turned 1 year old! Yayyyyy! Happy Blogiversary! Wow, how time flies! Anyway, thought I would invite you into my kitchen today and share another one of my passions besides! I love to make and eat food! This is my favourite dish to make and eat at home! It is my version of a Bolognese Sauce. I love to make this because it doesn't call for a whole pile of ingredients that aren't in my pantry already. It's just a few simple veggies, some ground beef, and a few cans of tomatoes, some milk and water, a little salt and pepper, and you're good to go. So many simple ingredients that most people have on hand all the time, and together they produce an explosion of flavour!

Vegetable Oil
Ground Beef
Salt & Pepper
Canned Tomatoes ~ crushed or diced
Tomato Paste

First I start with the veggies: celery, carrots, and onions, also known as "the holy trinity" of cooking! Peel, wash and dice them.
Then they go into the frying pan with a little bit of vegetable oil(just enough so that they don't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan).Don't they all look so pretty together?

Now they get all mixed up and cooked on a medium to high heat, making sure to stir them so they don't scorch.

Cook them until they become nice and soft.

When they veggies are all nice and soft(only about 10 minutes), then the ground beef(about 1 1/2 lbs.) gets added to the pan. Break up the meat and stir into the veggies. Cook this until the meat is no longer pink.

Now the grease has to all be drained from this, and what I usually do is put the meat/veggie mixture in a large colander and pour a little bit of really hot water over it to really rinse the grease off, and also wiping out the excess grease from the pan with a paper towel...I hate a greasy sauce!

Now the meat & veggies get added back to the pan and fill with water to the top of them. Cook this on medium to high heat stirring occasionally until the liquid is evaporated.

This is the time when I open all my cans of tomatoes(4 cans) and tomato paste and warm them up in a large pot. I used diced tomatoes but I have to puree them because I have 2 kiddies that don't like chunky tomatoes!

Now pour in enough milk to cover the top of the meat and veggies. This is when I add the salt and's really up to you how much you put in. Cook this on a medium to high heat also, but you'll need to stir more often, keeping a close eye on it so the milk does boil too hard and curdle. Cook this until almost all of the liquid is evaporated.

When almost all of the liquid is evaporated, transfer the mixture into the large pot of warm tomatoes and stir. It will look really runny right now, but after a few hours on medium heat, stirring occasionally, it'll get really nice and thick. While it's "stewing", I usually keep the lid half on my pot(mainly to contain the mess as it bubbles away).

When the sauce is thick enough for your liking, serve it over your favourite pasta and enjoy! I was going to take a picture of the finished product, all ready to eat, but the camera just died on me! Grrrrrrrrr!!! Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed seeing how I like to make my favourite pasta sauce...I hope I can inspire you to try it for won't be disappointed...I promise!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Knitting with Bernat Handicrafter "STRIPES"

"Two~way" Dishcloth done with "Tie Dye Stripes"
This "two~way" cloth pattern can be found here at "Strings and Sealing Wax"
Here is my "Scallop Pattern" cloth that I did using "Country Stripes".
This pretty pattern can be found here only has the "pattern" instructions written out, so you need to add the stitches for your border on the sides and do extra rows for the top and bottom border...I just added 6 stitches...3 for each side and I knit 3 extra rows top and bottom for the border. This is a really pretty pattern and a simple one to follow.
And here is the "feather & fan" cloth that my dear daughter Kailey Marie(9yrs.old) knit up with Mary Anne's variatioin using her "Pinky Stripes". This is one of our favourite patterns to do up...looks soooooo pretty with the self~striping cotton!
If you happen to be a "fan" like me of the "feather & fan" stitch, here are more patterns using the stitch:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Elvis Presley ~ 30th Anniversary

Today marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death.
This awesome cloth above was designed and knit by my dear friend Marilyn. You can find this pattern at Marilyn's Knitting Heaven on Earth and you can also find a freebie cloth that she has done with the name "Elvis" on it, on her other site: Knitting Heaven on Earth.
Thank you Marilyn for this wonderful design!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Knitting with Bernat Cotton Stripes & Cotton Twists

Here is the "Baby Fern" cloth I did using my new Self Striping Cotton.

I think this Baby Fern pattern with this cotton stripes yarn would make some nice baby washcloths...I love these soft colours together in the cloth!
Here is a list of other patterns that I would like to try with the cotton stripes:
~Scallop Pattern
~Two-Way Dishcloth
~Feather & Fan (purling on row 7 instead of knitting though)

Here is my Pretty Pink Pineapple that I did using my new Cotton Twists.

This pretty crocheted Pineapple dishcloth pattern can be found here.

If you enjoy working with Pineapples, here is a list of some other really pretty pineapple patterns for you to check out:

~Elegant Pineapple Bookmark
~Pineapple Barbie Dress
~Pineapple Bonnet Needlecraft April 1925
~Pineapple Print Doily
~Pineapple Crinoline Lady Pattern($)
~Easy Pineapple Doily
~Flat Pineapple Angel
~Petite Pineapple Doily
~Pineapple & Ribbon Bookmark
~Pineapple Bookmark
~Starfish Pineapple Doily
~Soft Pineapple Soap Holder(very pretty)
~Pretty Pineapples Bookmark
~Pineapple Potholder
~Pineapple Swirls
~Pretty Pink Pineapples

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Finished KAL ~ Rachel's Knitting Room!

Well, here is my finished KAL(knit~a~long) ~ Luv Bug, done with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (Hot Orange) and size 4mm knitting needles.
For this KAL, we decided that some of us would try knitting a "mini" to go with our regular cloth. For my "mini" I used size 10 crochet cotton thread and size .5mm dollmaking darning needles...the finished square was a little to tight for my liking probably because of the size of cotton used, so next one I make I will be trying a smaller cotton...perhaps size 20 or 30. Isn't it cute though?

And here they are together so you can get some kind of idea just how small the mini really actually measures 3 1/8" x 2 3/4". I love the idea of mini was definitely someting fun and different to try, but I have to admit that my fingers and eyes are so ready to take a little break from it for a while! .

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Miniature Knitting in Rachel's Knitting Room!
Insane?...I'll let you be the judge of that...
~click photos for bigger view~

Well, here is the "mini" mystery KAL (knit~a~long) that I've been hosting in Rachel's Knitting Room! I think we've all gone MAD!!! We've all been trying different sizes of needles and types of yarn for our minis. I've discovered through trial and error that I HATE using the embroidery floss, but I LOVE using the crochet cotton thread...I've been using size 10 but I think I've got to go smaller with these needles (in photo) that dear hubby purchased for me the other day! They are darning needles for "doll making" I believe...but they work real well, they're the perfect length for what we've been doing here lately. Can you tell what the picture will be in the mini? It's a mystery...we're all knitting a regular one as well with our regular needles and I guess it's safe to say, we haven't completely lost it!! I can't wait to see ALL the finished KALs, both regular and mini!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Miniature Knitting in "Rachel's Knitting Room"!

~Click for bigger view~

I was recently inspired by all the miniature knitting on "Knit one, Purr... too's" Blog:
I tried it out for myself with 1mm needles and embroidery thread. I created this cute little pattern called, "Diamond in a Square" and it can be found in Rachel's Knitting Room. There are a lot of our members trying to challenge themselves with this adorable type of knitting now! It's really kinda fun! So go on and give it a whirl...use anything you have on hand...pins, needles, toothpicks...whatever does the trick!
Rachel’s Mini Knitting ~ “Diamond in a Square”
Embroidery thread
Darning Needle
1 7/16” x 1 3/16”
Cast on 20 sts.
Row 1 – 3: knit across.
Row 4: k3, p14, k3
Row 5 and all odd rows: knit across.
Row 6: k3, p2, (k2, p2)x3, k3.
Row 8: k3, p2, k1, p2, k4, p2, k1, p2, k3.
Row 10: k3, p4, k6, p4, k3.
Row 12: k3, p3, k8, p3, k3.
Row 14: k3, p2, k10, p2, k3.
Row 16: k3, p3, k8, p3, k3.
Row 18: k3, p4, k6, p4, k3.
Row 20: k3, p2, k1, p2, k4, p2, k1, p2, k3.
Row 22: k3, p2, (k2, p2)x3, k3.
Row 24: k3, p14, k3.
Rows 25, 26, & 27: knit across.
Cast off and Weave in your ends!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!!
Here are some Valentine dishcloths that I have been working on. I did a little experimenting with some of them, using different colours for the borders and such! I even did a little crocheted heart's a little too stiff for my liking though, so I think I will use it as a hot pad or potholder.

My finished Valentine Theme Dishcloths!
Clockwise from the top centre:
Emily Jagos' Heart Dishcloth
Priscilla Hewitt's Textured Heart Kitchen Set
S.M. Kahn's Heart Lace Cloth

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I came across this "4 Corners Dishcloth" pattern on Abigail's site a while back and ever since, I can't stop making them! They are so quick and easy to do! They make any variagated cotton look beautiful! I actually tried experimenting using two different colours in a couple of them. Casting on was the only difficult part of this calls for an invisible cast on. I tried watching the video from knitting, but it just wasn't working for me, so I searched other sites for info on the invisible cast on, and came across this page. It was great, because it was a whole different method and a whole lot easier too! You use a crochet hook to chain and then pick~up your stitches from the chain onto your knitting needle, and when you are ready to "graft" your dishcloth, all you do is pull the chain to reveal your "live" stitches. Speaking of grafting, here is the site that I used to graft my dishcloths. Anyway, here are my finished dishcloths...go on...gather up all your variagated cotton and give them a try!

My very first 4 Corners Dishcloth done up in "Patio Pinks".

My second 4 Corners Dishcloth done up in "Lavender Ice".
My third 4 Corners Dischloth done up in "Lazy Daisy".

My fourth 4 Corners Dishcloth done up
in "Faded Denim" and "White" for the sides.
And my last 4 Corners Dishcloth done up
in "Blue Grass" and "Pale Yellow" for the corners.
Oh and by the way, Abigail is having a contest for these dishcloths.
If you knit a dishcloth, take a picture of it and send it to her.
The person who sends in the 100th dishcloth will win.
There is more info about it on her
Scroll down to where it says, "Stop the Presses!".

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Baby Sweater in Progress.

Swish With A Twist Dishcloth.
This pattern can be found at the "Creative Knitting Magazine" site.
Love Dishcloth.
This pattern can be found at Rhonda's site, "Knitting Knonsense".
Butterfly Dishcloth.
This beautiful pattern can be found at Carol's group,
A Dog "theme" Dishcloth.
This one can be found at Carol's Group, "The Knitted Kitty".
Another Dog "theme" Dischloth.
This one can be found at "Knit Dishcloth Corner".

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kayleen Tagged Me!!!

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things a s well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

6 Weird things about me:

1. I love anything that is free! I don't care what it is, if it is free I will take it! Free books, magazines, catalogues, calendars, clothes, dishes, free samples at the grocery store, toothbrush and toothpaste at the dentist office, recipes ripped out from magazines in waiting rooms, knitting and crocheting patterns on the internet, my blog....I could go on forever!!

2. I'm a bag~freak! I love bags! I love paper bags, plastic bags, fabric bags. Bags can be very useful! I always seem to pick up extra grocery bags when we are at the SuperStore because they always come in handy. I really love zip~loc bags...the little snack bags, the sandwich bags and the freezer bags. If we go somewhere special, I always try to get a bag from there as a little souvenir.

3. I love RubberMaid! I love all RubberMaid products! I love thier sandwich keepers, snack keepers, baking bins, cereal dispensers, drying racks, closet organizers, laundry baskets. I love all their tote boxes because they come in all sizes....great for storage! When we move from one house to another, we don't use cardboard boxes, we use RubberMaid Tote Boxes...they are wonderful because they are stackable and you can label them and best of all, they all match! My husband has even called me his "RubberMaiden"!

4. Must eat my sandwiches a certain way! Mayo smothered on both pieces of bread, mustard and bologna on the bottom and then cheese on the top. When I eat it, it must be bologna side down, otherwise it tastes totally different...I hate eating it with the cheese side down!

5. Public washrooms! I hate having to use them, but when you got to pee, you got to go! For some reason though, I always seem to find the one washroom that is the most disgusting! Do people not have any class anymore? Or is it that people don't know how to clean a washroom anymore? I can't stand it! I feel like bringing my own toilet seat! I can't stand the sight of someone else's hair and "fluids" on the toilet seat or anywhere near the's so gross! I never touch the "flusher" with my hands, it's always my foot! What's wrong with people these days? YUK!

6. I believe I am becoming "Hermit~ized"! Slowly, but surely I am becoming a hermit! I hate to go anywhere. I love my house in the country! I hate having to go to town for groceries and whatever else. I don't mind hubby treating me to lunch....that's always nice, but all the driving around and walking around the stores, that's not for me! I love being at home with my husband and kids. I would much rather entertain friends and family here at home than go out anywhere to do our socializing. There have actually been times where I haven't gone to town for 2 whole months! I just like to be home!

Okay, now it's my turn to tag! I am choosing to tag:
Mary Anne form Miss Woolly Knits!
KnottyKitty from Knottykittyknits!
Tina from tmarieknits!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I am so happy that all the holiday hub bub is done! It was definitely a crazy stressful one this year! I always have good intentions of getting everything done on time for Christmas, but somehow, every year I always find myself running out of time. How does that happen? I'd like to say that I will start my Christmas knitting now for next year but to tell you the truth, I can't look at another dishcloth. I am so ready for something new! I have recently inherited a bin of baby wool, and it has totally inspired me to do up some baby outfits! I'm so excited for the change. So while I was hunting for the perfect little baby outfit to start, I had a difficult time deciding which one to do. I came up with a lot of patterns, and thought I would share them with everyone on my blog. No sense in finding all these wonderful patterns and not sharing them with others to enjoy! So here is the list of baby outfits that I came up with, I hope you enjoy! Happy knitting and crocheting to all!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Knit & Crochet Patterns for Baby Outfits