Latest Knitting Project

When I was in high school, I learned how to knit.  I didn’t really do it much, just sort of learned how, and that was that.  When we were living in Toronto, I picked it up again.  But, this time, I did it more often.  I still knit, but it comes in phases.  I will go through a phase where I knit a lot- while watching TV, in bed, etc. and phases where I am busier and don’t make too much progress.  I was trying on winter headbands in Target, and seeing how goofy I looked.  But in the Artist’s words, I looked “good-goofy”.  But to stay on our tight budget, I decided to use the yarn I already had at home to try and make one.  I don’t have any knitting in the round needles, so I had to knit normally and attach the ends.  I chose the stockinette stitch, which is K1-P1 and repeat.  It is not totally free of mistakes, but the Artist’s says that is better, because it is wabi-sabi- the beauty in flaws and imperfections.  I always loved the “shabby-chic” style, and old furniture, and vintage things.  Always.  The best I could articulate it was that I liked things that had a story.  But, as I said in my last post, the Artist is amazing with words, in all aspects you could possibly think of.  His art involves a lot of the concepts of wabi-sabi, and when he first told me about it, it clicked- that is the perspective I take on things.  That is why I love the old, the worn, and the vintage.  I see the beauty in it, where it’s previous owner may not have.  Just one of the many ways, my life has been so enriched by the wisdom, talents, and artworks of my Artist.

Here is my headband 🙂

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I am pleased with my creation.  I think I might make more.  The key is to find good deals on yarn, so you pay significantly less then if buy it in the store.

I l ove knitting with “big” yarn and large needles.  Not for aesthetic appeal, I mean, it looks good and everything, but I use these for visceral reasons.  When I am knitting with big yarn and large needles, it is addicting.  Sometimes I can’t stop.  It just feels good, and satisfying.  Smaller yarn and needles are fine, and I have used them, but I don’t get addicted to my project and it takes forever to complete.

Some nice things the Artist has done for me: picked up all the movies that were being held for me at the library, because he knew I was anxious to watch some of them, made homemade wings and homemade pizza recently because he knows I love his cooking, and talked with me and supported me and calmed me when I got a little overwhelmed about the million dollar question I keep getting asked, “what are you guys going to do after he graduates?”.  I started looking into options, and quickly got overwhelmed.  But, he repeated our mantra.  One person says, “but, no matter what….” and the other person who is upset about whatever, say, “….we always have each other”.  Because really, no matter what happens, we will have each other and that is the most important thing.  We will figure it al out at some point.

Some nice things I have done for the Artist: made him the General Tso’s chicken he had been craving, printed several copies of his assignment because I knew he was running late and feeling rushed, and I agreed to watch a movie of his choice- because the “Artist-movies” as I like to call them, are usually strange, hard to follow, or really absurd and hard to watch, haha.  But I know he is craving something like that, some guilty pleasure time because he has been working so hard.

Doing nice things for each other, makes all the difference in life.  Every day, we are showing each other that we care and are thinking of the other.  That sparks a continuous circle of giving, thoughtfulness, and support.

Happiness, really is, contagious.

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More Copycat Chinese Food Dishes!

I decided to experiment with more Asian inspired recipes over the past little while- and with huge success.  I will definitely be making these again, and they taste just as delicious as take out!  The major difference is that I don’t have a deep fryer, but both pan and oven cooking work great 🙂  I start by looking at some recipes online, and reading comments and reviews to see how it worked for others, noticing trends, and see what the most popular ingredients are.  Then, I go into the kitchen, and sort of follow a recipe, but mostly I just wing it.  Usually, I don’t have exactly the ingredients, especially if they are not cheap or economical to buy, so I substitute similar ingredients with no problems.

Spicy Szechuan Chicken and Vegetables

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First I browned the chicken breast, which was cubed, in a pan with some minced garlic, a tad of oil, and some of the sauce.  Then I added an assortment of veggies and the rest of the sauce.  The sauce contains: low sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, chill sauce, cayenne, ground ginger, and a bit of paprika for colour.  I poured that on the chicken and vegetables and let it come to a boil, and it starts to thicken a bit, and I added a spoonful at a time of cornstarch and water mixture.  I served over rice with chopped peanuts.  The peanuts are a great accompaniment, the dish wouldn’t be the same without them!

Orange Chicken:

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Sauce contains: orange marmelade, teriyaki, rice vinegar, water, dried and de-seeded red chilies, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and slowly adding a spoonful of cornstarch and water mixed together at a time until it thickens.  I added some vegetables, and served it as is!

General Tso’s Chicken:

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Sauce contains: worcestershire sauce, teriyaki, water, rice vinegar, minced garlic, hoisin sauce, sugar, and a spoonful of bottled General Tso’s sauce.  Dried and de-seeded red chilis, as well as onions go well in there too.  And same procedure with the cornstarch and water mixture, adding small bits at a time until it gets thick.

The trick with adding the cornstarch, is not to add too much.  I add a spoonful, stir, and let it sit on the heat for a minute to thicken.  Giving it a minute, it will usually thicken up with only a spoonful or 2 of the mixture.  In the beginning, the sauce may look like it won’t be enough- but it will be.  You just want a coating on everything, not having your chicken and toppings sopping in it.  Well, I don’t anyways.  I didn’t serve this over rice, just as is!

These were all amazing!  The chicken and vegetables can be cooked pretty much however, you can use whatever vegetables you want.  It is the sauce that is the best part 😉 AMAZING.

I am about to take a bite…..

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Here I am after tasting a bit of each, and so proud!  And yes, I was cooking in my jammies.

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The Artist loved these as well, I would have like more spice flavour in the orange chicken for next time though.  But none the less, it was all delicious!!!!  The Artist was impressed with me trying new dishes and succeeding to well on the first try.  He is so sweet.  He was waiting and waiting while I was preparing this.  I hadn’t prepped anything, so I was cutting the chicken and mixing the sauces- but he said it was WELL worth the wait and he was so glad he didn’t miss it.

I am definitely in a copycat recipe phase.  Check out my Copycat Butterfingers, and Copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuits!  Mmmmm, biscuits.  Cheddar Bay biscuits are probably one of the few foods that “moved” me.

Yes, food moves me.

I love food.