Tag Archives: food

MIA.

I was such a prolific blogger for a while and now I’ve been missing in action. Oh well, hopefully y’all are still here and it doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on some things!

My birthday was back on May 17th and to celebrate, Ian and I went camping on Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks. It’s a bit of a trek, at least 7 hours including a ferry ride, but it was so worth it.IMG_0723

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This was our campsite when we arrived.  Right up that path on the left was the ocean.IMG_0740

We did our best to eat well.  There was not open fires allowed so we had to use a grill but made it work.  We had sausage with caramelized onion, garlic, beans, and roasted corn, we went to a fish market in town and got fresh Mahi and made tacos, and I made chocolate cake in an orange peel (an old Boy Scouts recipe) and brought homemade marshmallows and graham crackers.

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Also, thanks to a hand grinder and pour over supplies from Krankies (where I work), we were able to make really good iced coffee, a must for the two of us :)

IMG_0734 The highlights of the trip were two things I was not able to photograph.  The first night we saw bioluminescent waves and it was the most magical thing I’ve ever seen. Ian had told me about it on the drive out there and I kinda didn’t believe him but it’s a real thing!  Then the second night there was a huge thunderhead out over the ocean with nearly constant lightening flashing inside the cloud, with only a few streaks coming down to the water.  It lasted late into the night; it was weird to wake up in the tent and see a sky full of stars yet flashes of light to the east.

IMG_0755 IMG_0743 IMG_0753It was a really fun trip and I look forward to going out there again.  The town on the island was really cute, definitely touristy, but not in the humongous beach mansion kind of way.  It’d be fun to rent a bungalow there with some friends for a week.  I am determined to make this a multiple camping and beach trip year!

Recent happenings.

I had a really long post written up, catching you up on all the latest happenings.

And then it felt like a chore, getting it done and getting everything in there.

So I deleted everything I wrote and will just say this: Instagram is on Android and I couldn’t be happier (except that it doesn’t upload to Flickr quite yet).  So, at least you can see what happened recently.  It includes a music festival in town put on by my friend Philip, fabric, beautiful weather, beer, and friends.  It was the best weekend ever.

I feel an amazing summer coming on.

Roanoke weekend in pictures.

I went up to Roanoke this past weekend for my best friend’s birthday.  Her apartment is one of my favorites.  She and her boyfriend went out one night and I stayed in, lit some candles, and read “Wise Blood.”  Something about the scene reminded me of Posie Gets Cozy‘s lovely shots so I took a few photos. (Please ignore the blurriness due to low lighting.)  The ever lovely Sarah also took a few photos at the party.

Christmas weekend.

This Christmas was pretty nice.  It’s wasn’t as snowy and awesome as last year but it was a weekend filled with sleep and cooking and a couple new things.

Saturday night I made pretzel rolls

and used them for sandwiches with sauteed sausage and onions and they were delicious!  The pretzel bread was so easy, I want to make them all the time.

Having started them the night before, I baked  no-knead pumpkin rolls on Sunday morning that were so good.  The recipe made 17 rolls; so what if I ate two for breakfast yesterday and today and one for dessert?  There’s no time like the holidays to be a fat kid :)

For Christmas dinner I made garlic schmeared rosemary chicken, butternut squash risotto with sage and bacon, crispy parmesan asparagus sticks, Martha’s trusty baked macaroni & cheese, and garlic pull apart bread (based on this recipe).

The risotto didn’t really work, I think it just lacked seasoning and I wish the squash had been more finely cut.  The asparagus wasn’t very good either.  I didn’t get pre-seasoned Panko breadcrumbs, which might have made the difference.  But all in all, the deliciousness of the chicken, bread, and pasta made up for it!  And I was pretty proud of myself for making three yeast breads in 24 hours!

One of my goals for Christmas day was to learn how to crochet granny shapes (hexagons in this case).  I pinned this photo on Pinterest months ago so following the tutorial, I made a couple and I love them!

I’m just using some Bamboo Ewe yarn I got with coupons at JoAnn’s and I thought I would stick with these same four colors the entire time but I might throw in a couple more along the way, keeping the grey outer ring a constant.  Three down, only 78 more to go!

Remember the photo I posted of the wrapped books I received and were saving for Christmas morning?  Well I eagerly opened them and spent a couple hours just flipping through the pages.

My dad so kindly got me The Break Baker’s Apprentice, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt so I can join in on the quilt along next month!  I’m so excited about all these things.  I was really inspired by a sentiment Amanda talked about when we met at the Sewing Summit.  She talked of her desire to live a handmade life and I absolutely want to do the same thing.  Any small thing I can quilt to use around the house, making more of my own food, using my hands to knead bread and mend things; that sounds like such a rewarding life.

Oh and of course, how can I forget that I finally joined Instagram!  I love seeing everyone’s photos from there but hate that you have to have particular Apple products to use it.  I have a Mac but nothing else that would work, until Friday when Marcus brought home an iPad, a year end gift from his boss!  I won’t be carrying it around with me so I’ll only be posting things around the house but I still get to “like” and comment on other people’s things.  My name is @kaitcetera and you should follow me!

With new toys comes the creation of new things to use with them.  I noticed the hunching problem when using it while sitting down so following Betty Crocker Ass’ tutorial, I made a handy iPad rest!

The fabric was one of the only home dec fabrics I have in my stash (Amy Butler Imperial Fans in forest from Nigella), and definitely the least “girly” one.  Marcus and I have a bit of an argument about what’s manly :) I bought 5 or so yards of a wood grain fabric I fell in love with a few years ago and used it heavily in his quilt (and lots of other projects) but he insists it’s not actually manly at all. I want to make an iPad case but he said he wanted it to be black and purely functional.   What’s the fun in that?

So instead, I finally made a lined drawstring bag from Jeni’s wonderful tutorial!  It really was so simple and the fabric combinations are endless so I’m sure there are many more in my future.  I used fabric from my stash: an unknown floral print, the aforementioned wood grain, a yellow DS Quilts print, and an off-white twill tape for the pulls.

Ah, the holidays.

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone and that December is nearly here, and yesterday is was 70 degrees outside.  I hope everyone had a nice holiday!

I have finally caught up on blogs from the last month and the time to sew feverishly for the craft faire has come.

I’ve mentally prepared myself for winter and have been making paper snowflakes as wishful thinking.

It looks to be a quiet day around here, a cup of tea, the smell of garlic as I roast some for soup, making monkey bread, organizing my room with things I got at Ikea last week, and plenty of cuddles with the animals.

Having a houseguest, being a houseguest.

I’m having one of those times where I feel like I have so much to write about that it’s overwhelming and I don’t know where to start.  So, I’m just going to post some pictures I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks and write blurbs.

I picked up my friend Holly in Columbia South Carolina where we hung out with our friend Joe.  We had breakfast at Immaculate Consumption (mediocre latte, good granola),

and went to the Riverview Zoo where we saw, among other things, penguins! (Did you know emperor penguins can be up to 4 feet tall and 100 pounds?  That’s a pretty large penguin.)

Coming back to Winston we cooked some delicious caramelized leek and spaghetti squash polenta (which I didn’t photograph) and broccoli lentil soup from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook,

and vegan ginger cookie cupcakes.  So good!  So sugary!  (Holly blogged about them and gave the recipe over at MPLS.TV where she’s a regular contributor!)

We also went to a highly recommended vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Greensboro called Boba House where we had an unbelievable sampler platter of “calamari,” “chicken drumsticks,” and “crab” won tons.  When I say unbelievable, I mean it, too.  How can they possibly make vegan things exactly like the real thing?  I’ll definitely be going back there.

Only a few days after Holly left for DC, I drove up to Roanoke to meet Catherine and head to Kentucky for, among other things, an early Thanksgiving with her family.  Addie came along and as it turned out, was a really good dog all week.

We saw Beirut the first night we were there at the Kentucky Theater in Lexington, a show that was so good.  The current trumpet player is from Lexington so the crowd was pretty wild about that.  (Bad phone picture alert:)

We went to Louisville for a couple days and stayed with the family Cat used to nanny for.  We took the kids, Lily and Aidan to the zoo where we saw an albino alligator named Louie,

and the cutest baby polar bear ever.The kids were pretty cute, themselves.

We also ate at a really good restaurant called Ramsi’s where I had a seitan (vegan “meat” made of textured vegetable protein – much tastier than that sounds!) parmesan sandwich with vegan mozzarella.

Back in Lexington we had Thanksgiving dinner with Catherine’s family, since she won’t be able to go back there during the holidays.  Her sister Caroline was just about to have a baby (she spent 12 hours at the hospital a couple days after we got there but she didn’t come out then) so I kinda commandeered the meal :)

I made apple and onion stuffing muffins as per Cat’s request,

mac and cheese (from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School), as per Shane’s request,

cranberry mousse (a little melty), because it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without that (recipe to come next week!),

and silky smooth pumpkin pie.

Cat’s dad smoked the turkey and we had green beans, corn pudding, and rolls.  It was pretty delicious!  Some of us definitely vegged out afterwards :)

I had a really good time on the trip.  It was nice to get away and have Addie with me.  She was so happy to have a yard and to be able to go outside any time she wanted.  I caught her lounging in the grass in the sun a few times :) I think she’s actually a little depressed to be back.  But Louisville was awesome and Lexington was okay.  The family was a bit much sometimes but I always had a room and my book (Dracula; so good!) to escape to.  I love Catherine and it was great to spend some time together.

Recap.

I wanted to post a quick recap about the last couple weeks, including the visit with my mom Kerrie and aunt Reen.  They came to see me from California for almost a week and were so generous with their time (cleaning) and money; I’m glad they came!

We did a couple touristy things that I wouldn’t probably do by myself like go to the Reynolda House.  It’s the historical home of RJ Reynolds (a very attractive man, as it turns out) that houses both the original furniture and history, as an art museum, currently showing Modern Masters from the Smithsonian.  I really enjoyed the whole experience.  There are also beautiful gardens near the home that while not in season, are still well manicured and lovely.  The garden is surrounded in weeping cherry trees that are probably gorgeous in spring (future quilt photography site?); I’ll definitely be returning.

We drove up to Asheville for a day and it was a beautiful day with the perfect fall colors. I had never been to Asheville before and didn’t really know what to do with the few hours we had so we wandered around the arts district by the river a little bit, ate at the Early Girl, went into the Grove Arcade,

and lots of other little shops.  There’s a lot of really interesting history there (not that I know it, I just know it’s there) and so much art and busking. At only two hours away, and a lovely drive at that, I’ll definitely go up there again.

We ate a lot of good food while they were here including 6th and Vine, Mellow Mushroom, Breakfast of Course, and First Street Draught House, while I made steak tacos, mini broccoli pesto lasagnas, and chili.  Yum!  They were really gracious and bought me so many great things I needed like a bath mat, a Swiffer-like cleaner, an immersion blender (even though it was 4 times more expensive than thought!), a nice little cat perch for the window, dishes, soap, chocolate, and a massage!  They also mowed both yards, scrubbed my shower, mopped the whole upstairs, and did countless dishes.  I wish they were around all the time! :)

While it was great to have them around, I didn’t realize how much time I usually have to myself.  After I took them to the airport I spent the day laying around, doing pretty much nothing. I’m enjoying some alone time before Holly comes next week!

I finally finished a Swoon block!

Goodness gracious, this quilt is so labor intensive, especially when I’m trying to make two at one time and have sewn a few things wrong.  The coloring of this picture is off but this quilt is both a gift and part of the Habitat challenge in the Modern Quilt Guild (and I am using three different neutrals).  Unlike most people, from what I’ve gathered, I love this line and bought a half yard set and would like to get more.  I can already tell I’m going to love this quilt.

The weather has been lovely and wonderfully autumnal but today it took a turn for the cold this weekend.  (It was 74 yesterday and it’s more like 40 today.)  I turned the heat on for the first time and am making Herbed White Bean and Sausage Stew for dinner.

Tomorrow is the big Halloween party at work.  You have to dress up to get in, hundreds of people come, and all out friends play in amazing cover bands.  Last yea the boyfriend and I only stayed for half of it but we saw the Zombies which were amazing.  This year will be Weezer, Led Zeppelin, Dick Dale, the Buzzcocks, and Nirvana.  I’m working it and I’m really looking forward to it.  Pictures to come!

Tomorrow is also Marcus’s birthday!  Whoo!  I bought him a little something and I think we’ll go to dinner.  Nothing fancy but he (we) isn’t too hard to please :)

Hopefully I’ll have more crafty photos to share soon!

A little clean up.

Nothing like guests to make you clean the house.  Usually that just means the kitchen and the dining room but since Caitlin was coming over on Sunday afternoon, I had to clean my studio and make sure two people could fit in there  :)  While cleaning, I came across a few orphaned blocks that I stuck to my project wall, thinking maybe I’ll do something with them.

North Carolina is one of the hungriest states in the US.  It was brought up recently (through a source I cannot find) and it spurred on some people around here to do something about it.  My friend and coworker Philip put together a compilation of local bands for fall.  (You can listen to it here.)  A local visual artist was paired with each band to create a piece of art that correlated or was inspired by the song on the comp.  There was also a festival this last week/end including most of the bands and a gallery show of the art.  All the proceeds from the sale of the compilation go to the Second Harvest Food Bank (you can also buy it here!).  We got a group of artists together to make art pieces that were approximately 6 by 6 inches that were donated and sold to benefit the food bank as well.  I made this…

It didn’t sell but I really like it and it’s inspired me to make a series of 6″ blocks to finish and hang.  I started a small paper pieced hexagon block to get my collection going.

Inspiration.

I think I decided what I want to do for the Habitat challenge and now I’m completely obsessed with it!  It’s all I want to work on!  I think I’m going to have to hold off for a little while though.  Not that I don’t have plenty of other things to occupy my time.

Most of today was spent on the dining room floor thread basting my Single Girl queen sized quilt.

The dining room is the only floor space big enough to baste most quilts on.  I realized today how much I hate thread basting but it works much better when you’re hand quilting.  I’ve traced and am cutting a template to mark the quilting lines and then I can take it off the floor and get to work!  I’m determined to finish in less than a year (which is how long my first and most recent hand quilting endeavor took).

As an aside, and something else I’ve been a bit obsessed with lately, I have never been much into yoyo quilts. I don’t know why, they just always seem old fashioned in a not-so-hip way. Until I saw this one on Pinterest.It is so fresh and cheery looking!  Penny of Sew Take A Hike started a Yo Yo Quilt Along a few months back and I’m thinking of joining her.  I’d love to make it all with vintage fabric but that might be asking a lot.  I think I’ll buy one of the makers and maybe just start with some white ones.

I’m a little ashamed to admit it but ever since we moved into this house (13 months ago), we’ve never stocked our pantry.  We’ve always bought on a per meal basis which was not the most efficient.  But we were inspired by our week at the beach with all the cooking we did with only one shopping trip.  So today, I stocked.

I bought the makings for 6 dinners, a few lunches and breakfasts.  I’m excited about it!

I made tacos tonight and while they definitely weren’t my best, they are one of the easiest and my favorite dinners.

Here’s to a week of better eating.  Or at least, eating at home.