in the beginning

As a child my mom desparately tried to teach me how to crochet. Sadly, she had a penchant for doilies and nothing else, and my only reaction was to run for my life in the other direction.

Etsy played a big role in getting me interested in fiber related crafts. I would ooh and aah over all the wonderful (but expensive) hand-knits. And I thought, "Hey, I can do that!" So off to Jo-Anne's I went for the basic knitting class. I learned how to throw, but after a month practicing (and finding Ravelry) I knew wanted to learn the continental method. I turned to the web and found more resources than I could handle.

I am a mere a novice at knitting and have completed only two projects (with a third one hopefully in a couple weeks), but someday I aspire to knit brooklyntweed's beautiful Girasole. I am not a lace type of gal (see me running in opposite direction of doilies), but after I saw this I became on convert!


just one more weekend?

For all intents and purposes it is Spring, but apparently Mother Nature has yet to receive that all important memo. While the rest of the country is enjoying shorts weather, California is experiencing one late winter storm after another. Not that I'm complaining. Rain and cold means snow in the Sierras which means I still have time to enjoy my new found love: snowboarding.

The past couple weekends Jay and I have been taking advantage of the new snow and heading up to Heavenly to get in our last rides for the season. Last weekend was gorgeous and the epitome of spring skiing/snowboarding. We even have the goggle tans to prove it! There were no lines for the lifts and we got in as many as twelve runs on Sunday alone. More snow is forecasted for today and tomorrow and we are almost tempted to go again this weekend for just one more ride.


best ever gratin

Spent the most part of Easter afternoon at the in-laws. My mother-in-law usually prepares most of the food and I always seem to contribute a form of potatoes. Wanting a change of they pace from the usual mashed potatoes, I made what I think is the best potato gratin I've ever tasted. It's very rich and will likely only be made for special occassions due to its high fat content, but it is so delicous. (Forgive me, I totally forgot to take a picture. It was that good!)

I followed the entire recipe except I used Russest potatoes instead of Yukon Gold (a 5 pound bag of Russet potatoes was on sale) and substituted regular pototoes for the yams. I'll definitely make this again with a few tweaks like adding more Guyere, herbs, and garlic. I'd also increase the covered and uncovered cooking times to 45 minutes each.


Scalloped Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin with Fresh Herbs
Bon Appetit, November 2008

1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes
1 1/2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated Gruyére cheese (about 5 ounces)

Fill large bowl with cold water. Working with 1 Yukon Gold potato at a time, peel, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds and place in bowl with water. Repeat with sweet potatoes. Combine cream, butter, and garlic in medium saucepan; bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Mix all herbs in small bowl. Mix sea salt and black pepper in another small bowl.

Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Drain potatoes, then pat dry with kitchen towels. Transfer half of potatoes to prepared baking dish. Use hands to distribute and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of salt-pepper mixture, then half of herb mixture. Sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining potatoes, salt-pepper mixture, herb mixture, and cheese. Pour cream mixture over gratin, pressing lightly to submerge potato mixture as much as possible. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Remove plastic wrap before baking.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover gratin tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until top of gratin is golden and most of liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes; serve.



And in other random news. . .
  • Finally tackling one of my goals this year: learning how to use my D70, as it was intended, in manual.
  • Wanting for Glee to start like right now! (The soundtrack is great, but just not fulfilling my needs.)
  • Loving this top from Loft! So pretty and great for spring! Great with this!
  • Dying to read The Girl Who Played with Fire, but the Target I went to over the weekend didn't have it.
  • Patiently waiting for my KnitPicks order so I can start my first sock!
  • Baby blanket finally behaving after an inserted lifeline and then tinking back another two rows from said lifeline. Many, many thanks to Candi for all her help on Monday night!
That's enough randomness for now!
Looking forward to this weekend: another deep dish pizza, errands (wouldn't be a weekend without these), a cut & re-touch, knitting, maybe scrapping, Easter lunch, and some photo fun.



After a lot of heartache and many rounds of IVF (among other forms of ART), my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are expecting their first babylove. Ina is due in less than two months and recently started the season of baby showers. These photos are from the third shower hosted by her cousins.

Jay and I are very excited for them. I won't lie and say that it didn't hurt because it did. It hurt me to the core that I may never feel that joy that they've been feeling for the last seven months. I'm taking solace in the fact that I'll be able to knit for their babylove!


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