Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Won!

I won!! Busy Bea, who knits some of the most beautiful sweaters, had a recipe contest. She wanted a quick meal for a weeknight. I love this soup, which is actually more like a stew. It's thick with lots of good chicken and vegetables and a little bit of spice. I actually add a little more red pepper to mine because DH likes it bland. Here's the recipe.

Chicken Creole Soup serves 3-4

1 T butter
1 med onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 t garlic, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
2 T all-purpose flour
2 c chicken broth
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground red pepper
1/2 c uncooked long-grain rice
1 c water

Melt butter in Dutch oven over med-high heat. Cook onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and chicken in butter until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in flour. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly until flour is light brown. Stir in remaining ingredients except the rice and water. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to med-low. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook rice and water as directed on package. Stir cooked rice into soup. Remove bay leaf.

It makes great leftovers, too. I usually double the recipe for the next night.

On to FO's. This is my first FO of 2008. It's the Simple Ribbed Scarf by Jessica Kaufman. I like how it looks like stockinette, but it doesn't curl up. I think I've blogged about this yarn before. It's from the Universal Yarn Co. I love the colors, but it had a couple of things wrong with it. First of all, one ball had two knots in it about a yard apart. So in order to keep the stripes in the same order, I had to cut off about 3 yards at the beginning of the ball, which went unused. The second thing was even though I got 3 balls from the same lot, one of them had speckles of the grayish color throughout the ball. The other two balls didn't do this. I definitely won't be using this yarn again.

So here's the scarf. I do like how it turned out and it's very warm. Sorry the picture is a little blurry.

The next FO is this pair of socks. It's Austerman Step yarn, which has the jojoba oil. It felt very nice to knit with and these socks are way softer than what I normally knit. I haven't worn them yet, though. I love the different shades of green. They are more matchable to what I wear.
Yesterday we had Cub Scout bowling day. We had a pretty good turn out. Out of 45 scouts, about half came. Considering the weather, that's good. The wind chill yesterday was about 10 degrees, so I think a lot of people chose not to go out. This morning we woke up to 3 degrees with a wind chill of 5 below. A couple of weeks ago, it was 55 degrees. That's Ohio weather for you! Anyway, here's G1 with a friend.
Here's G2 with his cousin.
Here's one of the current projects. The pattern is Waterfall Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm using Cherry Tree Hill yarn. This is the first time I've knit with it. I've always wanted to because I've heard so much about it from other bloggers. It's very soft, too. The color is called Wild Cherry and it's not as pink as it looks here. It's more of a deep pink/fuschia/red.
Last of all, this is the end of the semester for us. I've started entering exam grades and figuring averages, but I've only done three out of eight classes. I'll be spending my evening on the computer doing that.

Then, there are papers for next semester to grade already. I've been reading on English teacher blogs how better to keep up with grading and Dr. Kirk gives some really good organizational tips. It seems that no matter how much I try to get caught up, I never do. Using some of Dr. Kirk's tips helps me not to feel so frazzled and stressed about it all. If anyone else out there has any suggestions on keeping up with grading essays, please let me know!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Books I've Read 2008

1) Blaze--Stephen King
2) Feud: Hatfields, McCoys, and Social Change in Appalachia, 1860-1900--Altina Waller
3) Trouble in Mind--Leon Litwack
4) Duma Key-Stephen King
5) Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee-Charles J. Shields
6) The Bell Jar--Sylvia Plath
7) The Jungle--Upton Sinclair
8) Into the Devil's Den--Dave Hall et al
9) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer
10) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer (yes, I read it again)
11) Plain Truth--Jodi Picoult
12) But Inside I'm Screaming--Elizabeth Flock
13) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer
14) Eclipse--Stephenie Meyer
15) The Mercy of Thin Air--Ronlyn Domingue
16) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer (3rd time)
17) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer (2nd time)
18) Eclipse--Stephenie Meyer (2nd time)
19) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer (3rd time)
20) Eclipse--Stephenie Meyer (3rd time)
21) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer
22) Change of Heart--Jodi Picoult (only read 1/2; couldn't get into it)
23) Dead Until Dark--Charlaine Harris
24) New Moon--Stephenie Meyer
25) Living Dead in Dallas--Charlaine Harris
26) Breaking Dawn--Stephenie Meyer
27) Breaking Dawn--Stephenie Meyer
28) Club Dead--Charlaine Harris
29) Dead to the World--Charlaine Harris
30) Dead as a Doornail--Charlaine Harris
31) The Shack--William Young
32) Definitely Dead--Charlaine Harris
33) All Together Dead--Charlaine Harris
34) From Dead to Worse--Charlaine Harris
35) Guilty Pleasures--Laurell Hamilton
36) The Laughing Corpse--Laurell Hamilton
37) Circus of the Damned--Laurell Hamilton
38) The Lunatic Cafe--Laurell Hamilton
39) Bloody Bones--Laurell Hamilton
40) The Killing Dance--Laurell Hamilton
41) Burnt Offerings--Laurell Hamilton
42) Obsidian Butterfly--Laurell Hamilton
43) Blue Moon--Laurell Hamilton
44) Narcissus in Chains--Laurell Hamilton
45) Cerulean Sins--Laurell Hamilton
46) Incubus Dreams--Laurell Hamilton
47) Micah--Laurell Hamilton
48) Twilight--Stephenie Meyer
49) Danse Macabre--Laurell Hamilton
50) The Harlequin--Laurell Hamilton
51) Blood Noir--Laurell Hamilton
52) Grave Sight--Charlaine Harris
53) Grave Surprise--Charlaine Harris

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Last FO of 2007

I finished my very cabley mittens on New Year's Eve on the way back from our weekend in Columbus.

DH treated us to a weekend at Easton over the weekend before New Year's. We stayed at the Hilton, which is a big splurge for us. We had fun. The kids got to swim a lot and I got to shop a lot. I bought a couple of new sweaters and a new peacoat. The hotel was nice because it was within walking distance to Easton. We had dinner the first night at Brio and the second night we ordered in from P.F. Chang's, which is DH's favorite. Me, not so much. I'm not crazy about anything I've ever had there.

We also went to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was okay.

All in all, it was a good weekend. I took the kids around Columbus and showed them where I used to live and work in high school and college. I showed them different places I remember from when I was growing up.

In the knitting department, I frogged my chevron scarf and have started a ribbed scarf using this pattern. It's turning out very nice. I am definitely more pleased with this pattern. It makes the scarf squishy and more cozy. I want to try to finish my tweedy vest before school starts. However, we still need to take down the Christmas decorations--the most depressing part of Christmas.

Oh and of course I still haven't finished my schoolwork I had planned to get done during vacation. Maybe I'll get that done, too ;)