Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Coconut butter

Here's that coconut butter.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The making of a minion cap

Worsted weight yarn in bright yellow, white, black, brown, blue and gray.
I hook and G hook   (G hook is only used for pupil and iris of eye)

How to use the Magic Circle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V41BPEFoBWQ
How to end a spiral with a duplicate stitch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_sW4xX_O70
For a duplicate stitch ending that is not on a spiral, just end the same way but in the next stitch, not skipping a stitch (watch the video again and you’ll see what I mean…if not, call me) BTW, I do that with a yarn needle instead of trying to do it with a crochet hook.
Row 1 – With yellow yarn put 6 sc into magic circle as above but instead of doing a slip stitch to join, I just begin Row 2 by working 2sc into the first st.  Do not join throughout; it is one continuous spiral. Mark beginning of round.
Row 2 -  2 sc in each sc around ---12 sts
Row 3 – (Sc in first sc, 2sc in next sc) Repeat around – 18 sts
Row 4 – (Sc in first 2 sc, 2sc in next sc) Repeat around – 24 sts
Row 5 – (Sc in first 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc) Repeat around – 30 sts
Row 6 – (Sc in first 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc) Repeat around – 36 sts
Rows 7 – 10 proceed in this fashion until you have 10 stitches on each side of hexagon. – 60 sts
For adult size hat add one more row of increases to make 66 sts.
Rows 11 – 13    Sc straight around for 3 rounds, changing to black yarn on last stitch of last round. Don’t worry about the switch over between yellow and black not being exactly even. The eyes will be sewn over top of the join and it won’t show.
(I don’t break off yellow but just let it wait until I pick it up again 3 rounds later.)
Rows 14 - 16   With black sc straight around for 3 rounds, changing to yellow yarn on last stitch of last round. Break off black and hide ends.
Rows 17 – 23  Continue sc until you have completed 7 more rounds in yellow.
For adult size hat add one more row here.
Row 24 On this round proceed as before but stop 4 sts short of beginning of round, ch 8, skip next 8 sc, sc around.  You have made your minion’s mouth.  Another option is to just keep sc’ing all the way down in yellow and use black yarn to stitch on a smile/frown/whatever after the rest is done.
 Keep the pattern of single crochet all around until you have 3 rows (adults 4 rows) below the mouth hole.  I stop the last row at the back of the neck (opposite side from the mouth) because the break between yellow and blue is going to show at least a little; I’d rather it were in the back. Break off yellow and switch to blue.
 Sc for 3 rounds in blue and break off and close with the duplicate stitch ending as explained above.  Weave in tail.
Beginning with white and magic loop, make 11 dc into loop and pull closed then join with a slip stitch.  Ch 3, dc into same dc as chains, then 2dc all around – 22 sts. For 2 eyed minions, fasten off white.  For single eyed minions, I like them to be a little bigger so I add one more row of sc in the first dc and 2sc in the next and repeat this pattern all around.  33 sts total at the end. 
Leave one of the white tails for the eye highlight.
To make the goggles attach gray yarn anywhere on the circle and sc all around for one row.
The next row you will slip stitch in the back loop only all the way around. Finish off the gray with duplicate stitch as in the video above. Leave a loooooooong tail since you will be using it to sew the eye   to the hat with this yarn.
Put aside and begin pupil with black. 
With magic loop, make 6 sc into the loop and pull closed and join with a duplicate stitch ending. Weave in tail.
(Paton Metallic in color gold, which is really a bronzy brown, is a great choice for the iris color. )
With brown join anywhere and ch2, then hdc into same stitch. Make 2 hdc all around. Join with duplicate stitch but leave a longish tail which you will thread onto a yarn needle and sew the colored part to the white part after deciding how you want your minion to be looking (glancing left or right, up or down, deer-in-the-headlights, cross-eyed)
Remember that white tail that we left, thread it onto a yarn needle and take a little stitch through the edge of the pupil to add a highlight.  It should be going the same direction on both eyes if it has two eyes.
Sew the eyes above the mouth with the pupils directly over the black band and notice how it hides the slight zigzag of the color change. If it is 2-eyed, the goggles meet in the center and you can sew them together or not.
Cut 5 (or however many you want) pieces of black yarn and do a latch hook kind of thing to attach them to the top of your minion’s head. I tried tying them on with just a granny knot and it doesn’t work as well because they lie flat instead of sticking up.
If you want him to smile and you have skipped doing the open mouth thing on row 24, then you can embroider a smile for him.

Friday, August 30, 2013


One of my favorite foods is Pad Thai. I found the recipe I often used in Family Fun, a magazine for parents and kids. I thought it was pretty nutritious until I saw the numbers on the rice noodles. So I considered what would work instead. (For years we've been using French cut green beans instead of spaghetti when serving spaghetti and meatballs so I know pasta can be replaced).  I came up with spaghetti squash.  So I tried it today and we loved it. All the taste without the empty carbs.
1 medium sized spaghetti squash, split, seeds removed and brushed inside with olive oil
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
2 T. sugar (optional)
2 T. tamari sauce
1/2 t. dried red chili flakes
1 egg lightly beaten
3 T. olive oil
1 large clove garlic chopped
1/4 lb. chicken cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 lb. shrimp peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 c. shredded carrot
2 c. fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lime
chopped peanuts (optional)
Roast squash cut side down on baking sheet in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile get everything else prepped to assemble.
In a small bowl stir together fish sauce, sugar, tamari, and chili flakes. Set aside.
Heat 1 Tbl of the oil in wok or large skillet.  Add the egg and cook until no longer runny. Transfer to plate.
Swirl another Tbl of oil in pan and saute garlic until it flavors the oil. Add the chicken and cook until it changes color; push to the outside and add the shrimp to the center and cook until they have changed color. Add the carrot to the center and cook everything a couple more minutes. Scoop all this out onto a plate and add the third Tbl of oil to the pan. If you've timed this right, the squash will be done by now and you've used a fork to pull the squash into strands. Spread the squash in the pan and cook for a minute and then flip the whole mass over and brown a little on the other side.  Pour the sauce mixture around the sides of the pan. Add the chicken, shrimp, carrot mixture, the egg, bean sprouts, and scallions. Gently toss and heat through. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped peanuts. Serves 3-4.