Recent projects: Boot cuffs and a neck cowl

I recently finished off two quick projects, one as a Christmas gift and one for myself. For my sister, I crocheted a set of boot cuffs after I attempted to buy her some last year on Etsy, a transaction that fell through. I found the boot cuff pattern on Ravelry. It was easy, just single and double crochet. I found a teal wool yarn to use, since that was close to the color I originally tried to order for her.

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The second project was a neck cowl for myself. I get really excited about wearing scarves in the winter so I decided to make yet another one for myself. I found the pattern on Ravelry again. I ordered Forest Heather Biggo yarn from Knit Picks. The yarn is very thick, and the pattern calls for large needles, so it was a project that went fast also. The yarn is pleasingly soft.

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My cat Annie decided to get in on the photo action.

 

 

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I learned how to take my own photo in the mirror.

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Lentil and Chard Ragout, a delicious winter meal

I recently made a recipe from a relatively new (to me) vegan cookbook Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I bought this cookbook after attending a Whole Foods Culinary class featuring Chef Chad Sarno, one of the authors. It was a good way to use up some of the chard growing in the garden and a handful of our fresh herbs. I added peppers and okra from our garden to the recipe, to use them up before they went bad. I used the beluga (black) lentils called for in the recipe, the first time I’d ever had them. Beluga lentils are smaller and denser than other lentils. It was a very healthy and flavorful meal that my husband and I enjoyed all week.

The recipe started by sautéing shallot and garlic in oil.

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Next, deglaze the pan with sherry and add beluga (black) lentils. I had peppers from the garden so I threw those in to add some spice. Garden fresh okra also went into the pan.

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Add vegetable stock and simmer until the lentils are tender.

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After the lentils were tender, add the chard, frozen peas, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, parsley, thyme and salt and cook on low for a few more minutes.

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At the end, stir in a bit of butter (vegan if that’s what you prefer) and cracked pepper. Yum!

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