Monday, March 20, 2006

One-Armed Bandit

Originally uploaded by allisonmariecat.

One arm down, one to go on Tempting II, so I thought it was time for a progress photo. This is my first short-sleeved top, and I *love* short sleeves. They take no time at all to knit! Finished photos soon, I hope. Next in the spring lineup: Picovoli in Knitpicks Shine in Sky. Then the Somewhat Cowl in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Moss and Orangina, NOT in orange, but in Rowan 4 Ply Cotton in Bloom, a deep rose color. You will notice that the last two are NOT blue of any kind. I'm trying to break out of my blue phase.

Cats: Thanks, Tim. I forgot to bring up Mirando's name, which does in fact mean 'watching' in Spanish. We think that's pretty funny--he does 'watch' in his own way--he's very observant. He was named Miranda by the people who previously had the boys, due to a misunderstanding :) We decided to keep the name as close as possible and just replace the feminine -a ending with the masculine -o. I suppose we could have left it Miranda ala "A Boy Named Sue".

Writing: Still just over 15,000 words, working on chapter 4. But I think I've decided for sure who did it! I don't like working from an outline; I'd rather see what the characters are going to do and how the relationships develop than to force something. So if I come up with something in Chapter 3 that's inconsistent, I go back and fix earlier stuff. I'm deciding between having the next murder attempt in chapter 4 or 5.

Reading: Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. At first, I was very put off by her writing style, to the extent that 30 pages in, I thought I might give up. But it's a strangely compelling book, and I got hooked after about 50 pages. Considering it's only 220 pages or so, that's a long time to be ambivalent about it. I'm not sure if the material is transcending her style, or if I just got used to it, but I had trouble putting it down to go to sleep.

Cooking: Book club is getting Mexican food! But I don't think I have the time to make tamales, so I may do enchiladas instead. But I *love* making tamales, and I do it so rarely...sigh. Tough decision. I completely forgot to post my pesto-y pasta recipe last week.

Penne With Pesto, Mushrooms, and Roasted Red Peppers

2 red bell peppers, cut in half, stems and seeds removed
1 pound penne pasta
1 TBL olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
6 oz. prepared pesto (in summer, I'd make my own from the basil that grows on the porch)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
Parmagiana-Reggiana, grated (for garnish)

1. Roast the peppers. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and place peppers, cut side down, on the foil. Broil about 12-15 minutes, or until skin is charred. Carefully place in a large zip-top plastic baggie and seal. Leave 10 minutes. Carefully open the baggie and remove peppers. Remove skin under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels and cut into strips. Have I used the word "careful" enough?

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms; reduce heat to medium. Cook until the mushrooms begin to give up liquid. Stir in pesto and ricotta until smooth. Add pasta, red peppers, and olives; toss well.

Serve hot, topped with cheese. Serves 6-8.


lee said...

I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday! Sorry. Did you go to Marigold?

Areli said...

The color you chose for Tempting 2 is really nice. It will be a great top once finished, but the ribbing does go on forever.

I like your line up of knits. Picovoli is on mine, too, and I am going back and forth on the Somewhat Cowl, it is such a pretty sweater.

String Bean said...

That's kinda neat about Mirando's name. We were originally going to name our black kitten Ursula
(meaning 'bear') because of her treacherous claws. After a month or two during which she broke many sentimental and expensive objects, I re-named her Sophie (after 'Sophia' meaning 'wisdom')in the hopes that she would "wise up" and stop breaking things. She did and is now our sweetest, shyest kitten.
Our other cats don't have names with A History.

We got Kami in Arizona. Her fur is mottled grey and tan which reminded me of the fur of jack-rabbits. They blend in very well with the sand so= Camoflage... Kami. She also reminded me of a little desert fox, which is also dusty colored. Although, it is hard to find anything that ISN'T dust-colored in the desert.

Sam? Uh, yeah. My mom named him. He's just Sampson. No religious conections.

Picovoli's in my line-up, too. I've been thinking about an Orangina as well, but I really don't need to add anything to the list for a year or two.

Tempting looks like it's coming along well. Is it going to be that short or do you still have some more ribbing to knit?