Friday, December 08, 2006
On the way to Hogwarts
Knitting: Nearly to the heel flap on the first Gryffindor sock, which is much faster than I thought I knit socks. I sort of wonder if my knitting has gotten faster, especially after the four Branching Outs in a week I did. I tend to overestimate how long a project will take now, where before I definitely underestimated. Anyway, I'm using size 1 dpns and the basic sock recipe in The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (men's medium), though I only knit about an inch of ribbing at the top before switching to stockinette instead of the 4 or so the pattern calls for. Hope that's not a problem, but I have seen socks with only an inch of ribbing at the top. It's a top-down pattern, and pretty easy. I didn't bother with splitting the skein into two balls or anything, as I have a second skein of this yarn I can dip into if I run out. I love watching the yarn striping. If you are a Harry Potter fan, definitely try to score a skein of your favorite house's self-striping yarn from Sunshine Yarns. They can be hard to get, especially Gryffindor, but the rush you get when you finally make it to checkout with your skein is totally worth it :) I'm following Rachel's suggestion to cut out the yellow parts for the heels and toes.
Thank you for the ribbon warning, Yarnthrower :) I may try to tack down the ribbon to be sure it can't come loose. Or maybe it'll just be a carseat blanket for when someone else is in the car with us and can watch her. Rachel, the Branching Out-fest really took me by surprise, too. I just got into a groove with the pattern and couldn't stop! It's actually lace you can do while talking or watching a movie. My shower hostesses liked them a lot. It's such a nice, simple pattern, but fairly interesting to do, and it looks impressive. It's a great gift scarf. Plus, while traveling, it was nice to just have my notecards with the pattern written on them, a size 8 circ, and the four balls of yarn (well, five, because the Baby Silk one took two balls). Otherwise I might have tried what I did for my last shower, and made all different lace scarves.
Reading: Still on my Diane Mott Davidson re-reading kick.
Writing: Urgh. Trying to make progress today.
Cooking: Yesterday, I had a seasonal craving--latkes. I made a batch from this recipe and they were lovely. I went fairly easy on the oil, and I didn't have matzo meal and used flour instead, so I suppose they're sort of goyish for latkes, but were nice anyway. I prefer them with sour cream, though I've never actually tried them with applesauce. Mirando prefers that I have them with sour cream, as well, since he can sit next to me and I'll give him bits of it.
I decided to make pasta last night, using a Cooking Light recipe for Alfredo sauce. When I mentioned this to Matt, he said, "light Alfredo? Not real Alfredo?" in a hopeful voice, so I ended up un-lightening the Cooking Light recipe a bit, and it turned out very well. It got Matt's thumbs-up as well. The goat cheese, which I tossed in on a whim instead of CL's reduced-fat cream cheese, gives it a creamy, full-flavored yumminess (technical term) that pairs nicely with the earthy roasted veggies. I think it gives it a depth and richness that makes it okay to use 1% milk instead of cream. Substitute your favorite roasted, steamed, or sauteed veggies for the ones I had on hand (asparagus would be fantastic, especially with a bit of lemon zest added to the sauce; broccoli would be good, too). For a less artery-clogging effect, use all 1% milk and no cream, and reduce the butter as much as you like (but leave in at least a couple of teaspoons). You can also use cooking spray for the roasted veggies instead of the oil.
Light (But Not Too Light) Fettucine Alfredo With Roasted Vegetables
1 pound fettucine, cooked according to package directions
1 red bell pepper
2 TBL olive oil
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
2 TBL flour
5 oz. goat cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 TBL butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1. Preheat the broiler. Cut the pepper in half, removing membranes and stem. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and flatten. Place under broiler until skin is blackened, then transfer to a baggie for 15 minutes to steam. Carefully remove pepper and peel under running water. Chop and pat dry. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 450. Toss zucchini with 1 TBL oil in a small baking dish. Toss mushrooms with remaining oil in a separate dish. Roast mushrooms until they've given up liquid (about 10 minutes). Drain well. Roast zucchini until browned, turning once (about 20 minutes total). Set aside.
3. While vegetables are roasting, in a blender, combine milk, cream, goat cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
4. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until soft. Add cream mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmagiano-Reggiano and parsley. Toss with pasta.
Serve pasta topped with roasted veggies and additional cheese. Serves 6-8.