Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker

I have been making by bone soup every week and came to conclusion that I had to be tied to the house for a long period of time to simmer the broth for hours.  I was reading the Nom Nom Paleo blog and the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker was discussed.

I searched on Amazon and decided to invest as it is a multi-function appliance.  I can make soup, rice, sauté, as well as make rice porridge.  I could pass on my rice cooker as well as the slow cooker which weighs a ton.

With Prime membership, it came within the stated 2 days and I washed up the tub and did a test run with just water.  It worked great so I placed my bone broth ingredients into the pot and set it for an hour.
It has to build up pressure first and then it starts the count down.
After the cook time, it automatically goes into a "keep warm" mode and I let it  cool down on its own which took about 30 minutes for the pressure to dissipate.   There is a little valve on top which drops when the pressure is gone.

I opened the top and this is what I got.
Except for the bit of fat at the top which I skimmed off, the broth is almost as clear as the water I put in the pot.

Tasty and I'm ready for another week.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Val's Cable Sock

Val purchased a knitting book for me all about cables and she stated that she would like to have a pair of cable socks - Saxony.

Most of the sock yarn that I have is variegated so that would not work with a cabled sock.  I came home and dug around through the deep stash and found some knit picks sock yarn in a solid color.

I re-engineered the sock to be a toe up and used the star toe and the heel flap before knitting the cable pattern up the front of the sock with a moss stitch on the back.  I finished with a 2x2 ribbing for the cuff.
The pattern called for 5 repeats of the cable pattern, but I thought the sock was long enough with 4 repeats.

These will go with me the next time I hit Colorado.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Serger Class - Coverstitch

I attended my second "learn about my serger" class at Sewing Machines Plus and it was all about cover stitch.

We started with a refresher about threading our machines and then cut some strips from the fabric we were asked to bring.

The first was making a belt loop which could also be used for any strapping.  The feet and guides that came with my machine are just short of amazing to say the least.

A foot that I was missing was the cover/chain stitch foot which I ended up buying.
We also used the 3/4" belt loop binder.
The real trick was to cut the strip as a liberal 7/8" and make a pointed cut at the start and thread the strip through the guide before attaching.  There is a little fussing to ensure your stitches are centered as shown in my sample.
The settings were made to machine at the beginning of class and did not change.
Next we used the 1 1/2" belt loop binder for a wider strap and also moved one of the needles.
We then moved to hems with a variety of guides to do essentially the same thing.
I also did not have this guide and it was difficult for me to line up and make sure the hem was secure.  I decided not to purchase this guide.

Last we worked on a binder which was awesome using another special guide.  It was a bit fussy to set up but once done, seaming and binding all in one.
I also purchased a stand for my serger.
Another successful learning opportunity.  Next up is a 3 day boot camp next month.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It is TOO HOT!

Janet and I hung out a bit for dining and shopping in the heatwave that is currently going on here.

We had some udon at Kayaba that also came with an egg dessert.
When we got back in the car, it was over 100 degrees!
The heat wave is suppose to last a few more days and I'm really glad I install the AC as it has been coming on at all hours of the day and night.

We also went to Marukai for the first time.  We started in the Hello Kitty store where I bought some stuff and then we went to the Living store where I got a couple more things and last to the grocery where the prices are better than Mitsuwa, but the selection is much less.  I bought some mochi ice cream for the heat wave.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hanna's Gourmet

Janet and I made it to Hanna's Gourmet for dinner to celebrate my birthday and it is a small place with a cool vibe.  The menu was all over the map and the specials that night were from Indonesia.

I tried the Mirin Glazed Salmon while Janet had the Apple and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken.
We rounded out with dessert - berry cream tart and wedding cake with carrot filling.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Spinzilla Training Session One

For my first time trial, I decided to spin some llama, merino, and silk fiber that I bought a while back.  It seems that I had spun up about half of the 4 ounces of fiber and I had already separated out the fiber into 1 ounce increments.
The first time trial was on my regular bobbin on the Sidekick wheel and it took me exactly 30:55.84.
For the second time trial, I switched to my woolee winder bobbin so I could save some time moving from hook to hook but it took me 29:47.58 for the second ounce of fiber.
Not much time savings, but I think I will be sticking to the woolee winder for Spinzilla.

After letting the bobbin rest a couple of days, I measured out the yardage and I got 94 yards for both time trials.
If I spin for 3 hours a day during the week, I should be able to get 2,820 yards - the goal is a mile which is 1,760 yards. I also have a weekend that I can make up time and yardage.

Now all I need to do is decide what I am going to spin during that week.

Never Ending Polworth

The fleece that I bought from Lucky Cat Crafts that was cleaned by Fluffysgarden resides in a large pillow case in the closet.  I pulled it out thinking I could prep it for Spinzilla.

I even decided to blend it with some eri silk that I also got from Kim.  After picking the locks apart and sending it through the drum carder, I gave up and determined that it would take me forever to pluck and card.
I bagged it all up and it will be sent to Morro Fleece Works a bit north of here for carding and blending so I will be returned roving reading to spin.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Luxury Sock Blend

I posted previously about a luxury sock blend that was very dear in price.  I discovered in my stash the same fiber source and decided to blend my own.

After two times through the drum carder, I ended up with this.
After the third time, I think I have a really good blend.
The qiviut was a bit short, but I think it will work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Breakfast Muffins

I threw together some breakfast muffins from leftovers in the freezer.

First was the sausage.
Then the cartons of egg whites with some leftover yolks from another recipe.
Silicone cups with frozen peas, some chopped jalapeños, shredded cheese, some seasoning waiting for the sausage and egg mixture.
Baked in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.
Filling breakfast for the week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chicken Drumsticks

At the local Asian market, chicken drumsticks were on sale so I bought some without a recipe in mind.  When I got home, I searched the inter webs and found this recipe.

I used Arizona Dreaming from Penzey's instead of the combo listed in the recipe.
After 30 minutes on the first side, I flipped the drumsticks and sprinkled the season on the other side and another 30 minutes later, I had this chicken.
It was moist and tasty, but I could have used more seasoning.

Monday, September 1, 2014


While I was in Santa Fe, Kim of Lucky Cat Crafts, asked me to be part of her Spinzilla team this year.

Spinzilla is sponsored by TNNA and funds a scholarship to teach the art of spinning.  This is the second year of the competition where "teams" compete against each other in a wide range of topics the most important being the most yardage spun during the week.

The contest run from October 6 at midnight to October 11 at midnight regardless of your timezone.

There are multiple strategies employed to boost the yardage of your spinning as well as multiple fiber kits to purchase for sampling to see what you can spin the fastest.

Decisions to be made:

1.  What to spin
2.  Do I spin for a project
3.  What kind of spinning
4.  What kind of fiber prep
5.  Since it is a work week - what can I realistically hope to accomplish
6.  Am I crazy

I have been contemplating my strategy and have some ideas I'm going to practice before October.  I figured that I would test out two methods of measuring - one by weight and one by time.

For weight, I would measure out an ounce of fiber and see how long it takes me to spin it up and then measure the yardage of the spun single.

For time, I would spin for an hour and measure the yardage of the spun single.

I figure I can realistically spin an hour before work if I get up early and a couple of hours after work before bed.

Now to stash dive for fiber and start the preparation as well as start conditioning myself to spin every day.  Or do I succumb to all the fiber specials that are being posted?

Lucky Cat's team is full up with 25 members but if you want to join the mayhem, there are many other teams to join.