Tuesday Tea: Randomly sharing

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Happy Tuesday! Here are some of my favorite links that I’ve run across recently.

Creating

One thing that I’ve been hankering to try my hand at is dyeing my own yarn. I’ve been eyeing this KnitPicks kit as maybe a good beginner introduction. Anyone tried that one out & know if it’s any good? Eventually when we have a garden in the backyard (definitely not this summer — too busy. Hopefully next summer…) I want to grow stuff for natural dyeing. Any recommendations on resources about natural dyeing & what to grow?

I am really good at finding aspirational knitting patterns (seeing as I only vaguely “know” how to knit, and have completed half a washcloth.) These cowls are beautiful, and I hope someday I’ll actually be able to make them!

I haven’t found a good place for my sewing machine to live at the house, but I need to, so I can make some of these baskets!

Cooking

I’ve had a hankering for some good chocolate chip cookies lately, and M is definitely on board. This recipe looks pretty easy to just swap out replacer for the eggs. Plus, chunks of chocolate? Sign me up.

Things that scream summer to me have been popping up all over the place on my blog reader. #1? Grilling. M and I are waiting until after the wedding to break into all of our presents, so when we set up the grill, I definitely want to make these kabobs.

#2? All the salads. I love gyros, so this chicken gyro salad sounds delicious. I don’t know if I can wait for the grill to make this one!

#3? One word: RIBS. These crock-pot ribs are definitely happening sometime soon.

 

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Tuesday Tea… Feeling in a Rut

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I don’t know if I actually have any regular readers, but to those of you who may exist: I’m sorry for the last 2 weeks of radio silence. I took a week of semi-forced break due to my work trip, and when I came back, I found that I didn’t have anything I wanted to post. I’m in a bit of a comfort listening cycle music-wise, and really enjoying listening to the same 5 albums over and over (Drew Holcomb, Gregory Alan Isakov, Matt Maher, and Chris Tomlin, with some Mumford thrown in for variety). I’ve also been saying the rosary in the mornings on the way to work, instead of the iPod. Combined, those don’t make for very interesting good morning music posts. So I stopped.

In my crochet world, I’m still plugging away, one row at a time, on my secret project. It’s taking all of my focus in what seems to be such a little part of my time lately, my crochet time. And there’s only so many ways I can post a nondescript view of the same colors and same stitches without giving away the whole project. So I stopped posting my WIP.

All that to say… I think I’m taking a break for awhile. I’ll be back.

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Tuesday Tea: Blogging for Books — J

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Y’all, I tried. I really did. When I chose J by Howard Jacobson from Blogging for Books, I fully intended to read it. The premise sounded fascinating, mysterious even.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I began struggling through this book. I’ve made it about halfway through. The characters are at best unlikable, and at worst just plain dull. Kevern is full of himself, distrustful, rude and sometimes outright cruel. I don’t understand his attraction to Ailinn, nor do I understand why she puts up with his shenanigans. She claims she has weird tics just as Kevern does, but through her actions thus far, I haven’t been able to figure out what they are. If they are meant to be a cute, quirky couple, this book has missed the mark. As for the mystery of WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED, we are no closer to finding out what it was, (or if it happened, for that matter) and why it had such a large impact on things, which I find extremely frustrating.

Perhaps I will return to this book and finish it someday, but for now I’m setting it aside. Life’s too short to read books you don’t enjoy.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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Tuesday Tea: Roasting pumpkin seeds

It’s finally starting to feel like fall around here! (Well, at least it was. Apart from today getting up into the 80s again…) I turned off my air conditioning and left my windows open all last weekend. But what really made it feel like fall for me was carving my pumpkin for Halloween. I hadn’t carved one in quite a while, but one thing I really enjoyed doing when I was a kid, just about as much as carving the pumpkin itself, was eating the roasted pumpkin seeds.

15463732298_519c0421fd_oIf you’ve never roasted your seeds before, it’s really easy! The most time consuming part is washing all the pumpkin guts off the seeds. While you’re doing that, you can preheat the oven to 300F. Once they’re clean, spread the seeds out in 1 layer on a greased baking sheet. This time around, I had 2 pumpkins worth of seeds, enough to fill 2 baking sheets. Roast those suckers for 30 minutes to get ’em all good and dried out. Then take them out and toss them in your seasonings. They’ll taste amazing if you just toss them in oil and salt, but feel free to experiment. I tried out something new this year & they turned out pretty great. I tossed my seeds in this mixture before spreading them back out onto the baking sheets:

1/8 tsp each of regular salt and sea salt (for a bit of texture)

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp chili powder

2 Tbsp olive oil.

Put the seeds back in the oven to roast a bit more, about 20 minutes or so, or until they look nice and golden brown. Voila, you’ve got a super tasty fall snack! I’m enjoying mine right now with a nice mug of tea 🙂

 

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