Monday, January 4, 2016

HELLO 2016!!

Greetings!!  It has been a long time, hasn't it?  It was not my intention to disappear.  I just couldn't wrangle with my laptop any longer.  It was quite a chore to put up a post, and I no longer enjoyed doing it.  But, Greg surprised me Christmas morning with a brand new, big screen laptop!!!  Oh my gosh, I was so surprised.  We don't give each other big gifts at Christmas.  It has always been our practice to use our allotted money for the kids, and now grand kids too.  Sooooo, I am back in the saddle again!  Using my Nikon camera this past week  has been fun. It has gotten too easy to use my iPhone for photos, that my camera has been sadly neglected.  Not anymore! This post isn't about anything in particular, and the photos are a mixed mash of this and that.  But.  I.  Am.  Back! 
Our Christmas was sort of strange.  We were all sick.  Everything that you can imagine.  Stomach bugs, aches and chills, sore throats, coughs, you name it.  We had it!  We are rebounding now. 
I do want to share with you a gift my Mama gave to me.  There is a fantastic little art store in Laguna Beach that we love.  She got it there.
The bird house is a darling whimsical piece.  The perch is an old red dialed faucet fixture.  The wavy roof, in rustic red, and chipped aqua blue post and house is so cute.  I hung a boxwood heart wreath from the faucet, and nestled the post into this large crock, using a big bag of rice from Sam's Club to anchor it down.  I stuck a spray of "grass" into the top, and put it in a corner of atop the bar that is always a hard spot to decorate.  I really love it.  I put this hand made wooden Roo next to it.  It was a gift from my friend Shelly.
The bird house is hand signed from the artist that made it.
 I have been busy knitting lately.  I decided I should step outside the box, and try my hand at a more difficult pattern.  So I tried color work.  Yikes!
I love red.  I thought this Nordic hat might be a good first try.  Just a few colors.  So I cast on my light grey, and did the rib with no problem.  Then I studied the graph and remembered hearing somewhere that reading these graphs is done in a zigzag pattern.  Left to right, then next line, left to right, then right to left, etc....
So off I went.  Things seemed they were going okay, until I hit the first red and white block.  Uh oh....something was amiss.  See that first red and white part, looking from the bottom up, right after the grey?  That was supposed to look line an X pattern.  Instead, it looks like it might be code for dirty words or something.  C's and arrows.  But NOT what it was supposed to look like.  Now being the perfectionist I am, I would usually frog it down to the part that was wrong and start it over.  But, with both of those balls of yarn attached, I was afraid to really bungle it up if I did.  So I did some research, and discovered what I had done wrong, and persevered.  I discovered that if using circular needles, you read each line from right to left.  Not the zigzag pattern I was following, which would only be done if knitting flat.  Well, thanks book, for not telling me that!!!!  So now I am cruising right along, and it is looking just as the pattern suggests it should.  FUN!!!  Perhaps Fair Isle knitting is in my future after all!
I have been in a real cooking mood these past few days.  Chilly weather.  Rain in the forecast for all this week.  So it is perfect cooking weather. 
I made a ham on New Year's Day and we had it with our black eyed peas served over rice. 
Then the next day, I made a big pot of white beans and ham.  I also put a loaf of our favorite bread in the machine to have with it.  Greg and I had gone to see an afternoon movie and came home to the wonderful aroma of ham and bean soup, and English Muffin Bread, hot out of the bread machine! 
Mercy....was this ever good!  Oh, we saw Concussion.  EXCELLENT!   Wil Smith delivered an epic performance.  He should receive an Oscar nod for this, for sure!!!
Yesterday morning, I got up and wanted to make another loaf of bread that I had found a recipe for that looked good.  A Banana Poppy Seed Whole Wheat bread.  But I was out of wheat flour, so ran to Sprouts for some.  I came home with the flour, and a beautiful small Prime Rib Roast! 
I put the bread on, and planned for our dinner.  What a beautiful mess, eh? 

This is how I store my flours.  I use large containers, and cut away the label of the flour, and place that inside the container so I can easily see which one I need.  This banana bread used half whole wheat flour, and half bread flour.  It had honey, vanilla and egg in it too.  And let me tell you, the aroma was amazing while it cooked!!!
I took it out when it was done, and we couldn't even wait for it to cool, before slicing off a hunk to slather with butter and taste.
Mercy!!!!!   Here is it is sitting next to the few pieces left of the English Muffin Bread.
You can see that it is a darker and more dense bread.  The recipe suggests making a peanut butter sandwich with this bread, and so we will have that for lunch today, Noah and I.
The Prime Rib I got was only 3.5 pounds.  Perfect to feed a few people.  I made a rub for it with kosher salt, fresh rosemary, peppercorns that I crushed, and minced garlic.  I rubbed the meat with olive oil, and then pressed the rub onto all sides.   I allowed it to come to room temp and then roasted it in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Then turned it down to 325, and cooked it to medium rare, or about 150 degrees on a meat thermometer.  The smell in the house was amazing! 
I tented the roast and left it to rest, then turned the oven up to 450 and made Yorkshire Pudding.  Mmmmmm!
I served it all with some rosemary roasted baby red potatoes, and fresh steamed broccoli.  A little dollop of horseradish sauce, and the meal was just perfect!  I always like the end cut of meat, as I am not too fond of the rare.  My popovers had big beautiful crowns on them, but had fallen some by the time I took this photo.  Oh my goodness, this was so good.  If you have never cooked a Prime Rib, do try it.  It is easy, and so delicious!
The other day, I popped into my favorite thrift.  I found two more beautiful Tommy Bahama shirts for my husband. 
Washed, starched, pressed, and ready to wear.  I also found a cute J. Crew woven and lined beach tote.  And a wee knitted stocking with our last name initial on it.  Who could resist?  And a whole spool of pink and white cotton yarn. 
And today, for my first post back, I have to share a photo with you of our new family member, Jack.  He is 8 months old.  Still quite a handful!  And the most precious little ball of fluffy love, ever. 
He is really my son Drew's and his girlfriend, Christine's.  He was found wandering an apartment complex, at about 6 weeks old.  Someone Drew teaches had him, and was trying to find a home for him.  Drew took Christine to see him, and they brought this little ball of fur home.  He was supposed to go live with Christine.  But she knew that would not be fair, when she is gone all day.  So he came here.  Drew and Christine were to take care of him. And to their credit, they did. They got him all of his shots, and took him everywhere they went.  And he adores them both!  But I, being the one home the most, bonded with him too. And I fell in love with him.  Which I was NOT expecting at all.  I have my big Ol' Dusty Boy, and he is my shadow.  But Jack, is in my lap all the time!!!  Aside from it taking 6 long months to house train him, he is an absolute delight!!!  We think he is a mix between a long haired Chihuahua, and a Papillon. 
Feels good to be back folks!  Can't wait to catch up with all of you!  And I promise to be back very soon. 
Happy New Year!
XO  Kris


Valerie CottageMakingMommy said...

So glad to see you blogging again.

Bethany said...

I'm still cracking up over "thanks, book!"
Glad to see you back!

Debbie said...

Soo glad your back blogging. I've missed you! Even though I've kind of kept up via instagram, let's face it for us bloggers it's just not the same. Often times I just thoroughly enjoy the "story" behind the picture. Hubby and I got that nasty stomach bug a couple of days after Christmas and goodness it took a while to shake it. Seems as if everything hangs on soo long these days. It's soo nice to finally be feeling better. Love your hat! I've another baby I am starting to sew for today so I will be on baby things again for awhile. Looking forward to more posts...have a good week!

oh, we almost always have prime rib somewhere in the Christmas season but we didn't this year and I really kind of missed it. Seems to much for two people though so don't think it will happen anytime soon either. I'll just have to enjoy yours, and it looked delicious!

Leslie said...

oh my gosh.. I swear, I would have thought that I had written this first part about blogging and the computer. That is the same reason why I have abandoned my blog.. this laptop sucks ~ end of story! : )

Everything looks fantastic.. that soup ~ YUM!!!!!

Happy New year.

Teresa Kasner said...

Oh boy, my friend Kris is baaack! I've missed your happy self and your yummy food and your thrift scores and creative craftiness! What a fun little doggie friend you ended up with! LOL! Now I'm craving black eyed peas.. my mom made them on occasion, being from Oklahoma and all. Thanks for dropping by my blog.. I'm so glad Greg got you a new laptop! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Gracie Saylor said...

Hi Kris!!! Your first color work project wows me! I admire your determination and skill. And the food you have prepared all looks delicious. My daughter just fixed a big pot of ham and beans which we are enjoying. Jack looks so calm and sweet, you all must have done a great job training him. I enjoy seeing the neat birdhouse your mom gave you, and your latest thrift shop finds. My biggest hit at thrifting before Christmas was going to the dollar store and finding Selfie Sticks for my big kids...just a dollar a piece! My southern CA niece informed me that I got such a good deal because places like Disneyland have banned them, but not knowing that my big kids just think they are fun to experiment with :) Wishing you and yours a healthy happy 2016. Please thank Greg for me for getting you your new laptop! xx

Nana Go-Go said...

Happy New Year to you, Kris. Well done on the Fair Isle too. Looks very cheery. I love your birdhouse and your new little friend, Jack. Great to 'see' you again, Kris. x

Betsy said...

Yeah Kris you're back! It's so good to see you back. I love all your cooking and all sounds and looks very yummy. And I'm very impressed with your color work hat. What an ambitious project for your first color work project! I like your new family member too, he looks like pure sweetness. The birdhouse from your mother is very cute. It's a very unusual design and it fits you to a T. I love your decorating style. I need to have someone come in and decorate my home. I'm looking forward to more posts from you very soon. You have been missed.
Blessings, Betsy

Dogwood Lane Rambles said...

Glad to hear from you, those computer problems get to me too and sometimes I don't feel like it's worth the trouble so I certainly can relate.. Not fair posting yummy bread and no recipes i can almost taste the deliciousness.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

SO nice to see you back here, Kris...I've missed you! The laptop must have been a wonderful surprise...thank your hubby for us!
Little Jack is ADORABLE!

From the Kitchen said...

There you are! Welcome back. I've missed you.


mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Welcome back Kris and Happy New Year!!! Lots of yummy things in your post and I love "Jack". What a cutie and I love big labs but he is cuutteeee!
See you soon, xoxoRobin

Jill said...

Yeah! So great to see you back to blogging again!!! I love that piece so awesome and all your crochet and cute little puppy! I'd like to see Concussion but think it may be emotional for me after all we've been through with Hayley. Happy to have you back in the blog world and looking forward to your posts!!


Deb~in~Denver said...

Welcome back, you've been missed! Hope you are all feeling better, so much crud going around. Love the bird house from your mom, what a treasure! Your new pup, Jack, is a cutie! Looking forward to seeing more from you. Happy 2016, hope it brings many blessings to you and your family!

NanaNor's said...

So happy to have you back Kris! We've all missed you! What a great Christmas you had, loved hearing about all you cooking. I know you are getting rain right now, hopefully it will help the thirsty ground.
Sending you big hugs,

priscilla said...

Happy New Year Kris! Glad you got a new computer! Missed all your blog posts!

Mereknits said...

I have missed, missed, missed you Kris!!! Hooray for new laptops, new furry friends and fair Isle knitting, you are doing great with that and I am in awe!!!
Hugs to you and Happy New Year,

Linda said...

Love that you are back...
Linda :o)

Petunia Pill said...

Happy New Year, Kris! Believe it or not, I'm actually on Blogger snooping around! Stay well and keep those nasty bugs in the past! xo

Patricia @ Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Yeah! What a nice surprise the laptop, I mean!
I mean it was a gift for you... but we get to reap the benefit!
Getting to know you more through your posts will be fun!
love seeing all the random-ness of this photo. I think we are officially caught up now!
happy new year, the hat!

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corners of my life said...

I love to read about your latest projects.
They always inspire me to try something new.

podso said...

Welcome back and Happy New Year! What a great post--all cheerful and bright except for you all being sick at Christmas. I love what your mom gave you, especially the little roost. I can just feel my hand cranking such an old spicket fixture. What a cute puppy!

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