Friday, October 31, 2014

Fieldtrip to Texas and Louisiana

I took a trip with Julie to Texas and Louisiana.  First time I have been in a few of those cities.  We flew into Dallas where I purchased a Starbucks mug.  Since I did not have anymore funds on my card, I just used my credit card and got a free drink with purchase.

We grabbed a bite to eat at the airport and I had chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A where I have never eaten at before.  The breading was surprisingly tasty.

We headed out for the first of our long drives to Shreveport, Louisiana and it was interesting.  The city is a bit run down and the african american population larger than what I'm use to.  We stayed in Shreveport for the night and was able to finish our work there before heading to Austin, Texas.

We had limited choices for meals on the Texas highways and we were lucky to find the Sonic where we proceeded to eat in the car.  We each had the chicken bites and shared an order of tater tots.  I believe we also witnessed a drug deal going down in the dark parking lot.
Austin seemed to be a bustling city with a lively downtown area.  We had no time to sightsee as we were literally on the road for most of the day.  We accomplished our second task and stayed in a hotel close to the airport.

The next morning we headed down to Rockport on the water to continue an investigation and had lunch at the Bleu Crab Cafe where I tried to order a bacon wrapped scallop dish with spinach orzo and asparagus.  They were out of scallops so they substituted shrimp.  It had good flavor and the orzo was very rich and I believed it was a bit overpriced.  The meal also came with the salad bar.  We figured this was to be the big meal of the day.
Before we left Rockport, we saw these deer in the front yard of a house.
We then headed back toward Austin and did our last interview in Taylor and returned to the hotel with a brief stop at Wendy's for a light bite at 9:00 pm.

It was a very successful trip, but very tiring as we did not finished until after 9:00 each night.  Glad to be home where there are more choices for food.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cusp La Jolla

Went out to happy hour with Eileen and Amy at Cusp at the Hotel La Jolla.  We ordered a few bites from the happy hour menu - salmon deviled eggs, roast chicken, a lamb dish, and shrimp toast.
We also ordered a couple of appetizers - pork belly and calamari.  The pork belly was a bit sweet and the calamari had too much breading without much flavor.
You really can't beat the view from the 11th floor bar and we watched the sun set over the ocean.  There is only valet parking at this Kimpton property.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October Spin Group

Gathered for the monthly spin group as I hosted.  I continued to work on my sweater fiber and finished the third bobbin.

Small group but still great food.  Autumn butternut squash soup, dumplings, spicy hummus, and a salad.
Finished with dessert of bavarian chocolate.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Frozen Knit-a-long with Jimmy Beans Wool

I got clue one for the knit along which comprises of a pair of mitts and a cowl.

The yarn is from Lorna's Laces Soulmate.
I was able to knit up the first clue in a few hours for the left mitt.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Almond Jello Tapioca Pudding

I have found a new dessert that I like and got the instructions from Jo.  It starts with instant almond jello.
Some tapioca pearls that you boil and drain.
Then heat with coconut milk.
Chill both and two cans of mandarin oranges and once set, mix together.
Nice and refreshing without added sugar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spinzilla Results

I was pretty ambitious but didn't quite meet my goals in spinning time this past week for Spinzilla.

Work got in the way a bit and Pepper had another episode so I skipped a couple of days.

I did get through one of the two bags of rolags and spun up singles on three bobbins.
I have one bag left and I think I ended up with 860 yards as my result.  I did a cheating measurement by weighing the bobbins and measuring out a few yards to equate with weight in grams and after the calculation, it was far short of my goal.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Looking to Winter

It has been a long hot year and I find that I am leaning into winter.  This leaning has come to light in my knitting as I have signed up to start a few projects including a new sweater from Carol Feller, fingerless mitts and a cowl from Jimmy Beans Wool and a cozy for a hot water bottle.

You can see here that I want winter to come.
The sweater yarn is Blue Moon Fiberarts in the color of winter solstice and the mitts and cowl are being made from Sportmate in the color of frozen.

The hot water bottle yarn is some hand spun called chocolate covered cherries.
When is winter coming?  I'm sort of jealous of some of my friends who are seeing snow flurries.

This morning, I awoke to this and it brought a smile to my face!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sous Vide Chicken

I have been seeing sous vide from quite a few places and decided to take a go at it.  I purchased the Sansaire unit and put it to the test with a chicken drumstick recipe.
I mixed some barbecue sauce and ketchup and added some garlic and ginger and some sesame oil and mixed it up.  
I had two leftover chicken drumsticks and I washed an dried and placed in a vacuum seal bag.
I then placed the sauce in with the chicken and sealed it up.
Everything went into the pot and I set the temp at 82 degrees Celsius and let it cook for 90 minutes.
I extracted the sauce from the pouch and reduced it a bit with some bok choy and then placed the chicken in the pan as well and plated.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spinzilla - Day 1

I wasn't crazy and did not stay up until midnight to start spinning for Spinzilla, but I did get up extra early this morning and spun for about 50 minutes before work.

I decided to spin my merino/bamboo that I blended on my drum carder.
I held the punis under my arm like a football and spun from the center.
Using my sidekick with woolee winder.
At the end of the day, this is what my bobbin looked like.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pepper Strikes Again

Pepper has been slowing down and spends most of her day in bed.  I figured most things were now safe that didn't use to be since she was so interested in investigating everything.  Remember the silk story or the yarn story?

Anyways, I have been knitting on the mudblood cardigan and I left the project in a low chair in my office and when I looked at it last, I found this.
Too late to confront her, but here is the face she gave me when I asked her about it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Eileen's Fish Dinner

I was invited by Eileen for a "fish" dinner and it was delicious.  We started off with a crab appetizer made by Jo.
Jo prepped the crab legs a specific way so eating crab meat was very easy.  The sauce was super tasty.

Eileen had fish supplied by some of her patients and we then moved on to tilapia.
Then the rock cod.
And finally the halibut with tofu which was super spicy.
Great dining companions and delicious food.  There were also dishes of bitter melon (which I passed on no matter how many times my mother got me to try when I was a kid), mustard greens, and fried rice.
We rounded out the meal with almond sponge cake, pineapple and watermelon, and last - tapioca pudding (my new favorite cool treat).
Awesome dinner!