Monday, November 15, 2010

And so we meet again, Monday.

I spent the weekend in Austin, Texas visiting my BFF Michelle and meeting her baby (my goddaughter). I basically ate my way across the city, which is exactly how I like a vacation.


Some standouts included the Pumpkin ice cream with Pecan Praline sauce at Amy's Ice Creams; the most amazing grilled cheese of my life at the all gourmet grilled cheese restaurant, Chedd's; cupcakes at Quack's 43rd Street Bakery; and, of course, Frito Pie at Dog Almighty. Dog Almighty was my favorite place, narrowly beating out the grilled cheese. They can make anything on the menu veg, so it was the perfect place for me and my omni friends to eat. The hot dog I had was the juiciest veggie dog I had ever tasted. Seriously, if the inside hadn't had that distinctive veggie dog look, I would have been nervous. The Frito Pie did not disappoint! I'd heard of this Southern delicacy, but figured I'd never try it unless I made it myself (which just isn't the same). For those who haven't had it, it's basically chili and cheese on top of a pile of Fritos, so it's important that the chili is good. Dog Almighty boasts about all of the awards they've won for their dogs and veggie chili, and those awards are well deserved! The chili was rich and heavy, and had some kind of crumble in it (maybe TVP?) that gave it some serious heft. Deeeeeeelicious!


Since I spent the bulk of my time in Texas lazing about in a food coma, I didn't get any knitting done. But I still have something to share! I made a pretty delicious baked squash before my trip. I had bought a package of squash on impulse at the grocery, thinking I'd make some sort of chili or stew. It was a ridiculous idea, of course, since in the days leading up to my trip were filled with homework, packing, laundry and tying up lose ends. The squash languished in the refrigerator, threatening to go south before me. Baking to the rescue! I love baking/roasting root vegetables and squash in the winter. It's easy, relatively fast (almost no prep), and infinitely customizable. You can pour pretty much whatever you feel like over those suckers and it'll taste good. In this case, I started out looking at cookbooks and found a recipe for pumpkin that called for soy sauce. I thought I'd follow that recipe, but quickly went off course and made my own thing.


Baked Butternut Squash
(this made two servings for me, over rice, but as a side it'd go a lot further)
2.5 lbs squash (any kind you like, or sweet potato would be good)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1.5 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Pour sauce over squash and bake! My baking was a little wonky. I started it out at 325 for about a half hour, but it wasn't cooking fast enough for my level of hunger so I turned the oven up to 400 for about 15 minutes, and got perfectly cooked squash. So maybe use a temp in between?

So now it's back to the grind! I've been spending all morning thinking about how I should be working on a paper. I think I've officially used all of my procrastination resources at this time. Better get to it.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


The weather here has been mostly gray, windy, cold and wet. Sometimes it feels like it's rained every day since I got here, which I know isn't true. I suspect I just notice it more since I walk everywhere now. Still, on days when the view out of the window looks like this:


It's awfully nice to knit away on a project that looks like this:


I knew I was onto something when I chose this color! I have to give the dyers at J. Knits props, as this yarn has not been pooling at all. Even on the bottom of the foot, there are gradual stripes coming off of the heel turn, but no unsightly blotches. The colors in general blend together quite nicely. I think I could have even done a stockinette sock in this yarn. Of course, this is sock #1. We'll see if sock #2 cooperates in the same way.

I've been working myself silly for school, trying to get ahead in both of my classes. Next weekend I'll be in Austin, TX to visit a friend (and finally meet my goddaughter), and then two weeks later is Thanksgiving. When I have the opportunity to spend time with friends and family, I hate to have work looming over my head. After Thanksgiving, there are only about three weeks left in the semester, and then a beauteous month stretches before me. Seems like a good time to knock out a sweater. Question is, which one?