If you can’t stand the heat…

then build a new kitchen! My nephew loves his kiddie kitchen, where he ‘cooks’ Lego soup, fries eggs and bakes pizza. Since he came for a visit I came up with a simple stove for him. Two mailing boxes, lots of glue, mailing tape, some paper, 4 big buttons with strong string (I used some crafting leather string), black felt, velcro closures, and a bit of rope made for a kid sized kitchen. The advantage of using two boxes taped together is that the kitchen has more stability through this improvised center support – making the box stable that the box didn’t collapse when my nephew climbed all over his kitchen.

The stove looks a bit dilapidated since I took the pictures after my nephew had been playing with his stove for a few days. But really, it’s an easy peasy project that can be pulled out whenever my nephew or other kids come for a visit.




Surpassing last month

Last month’s knitting was rather pitiful. But this month I’m doing better. So far I’ve knit 329 yards this month. Much better than June. As to my goal of knitting 52 projects in 52 weeks, well, I’ve managed 15 projects so far, and we’re in week 29. I have some catching up to do – but fortunately I have some kiddie knits to whip up, so that should help me catch up.

I still need to blog about a few more knitting and crafts projects: Trillian, Spice Market, Elijah and Flap, Flip, Flop and Mammophant. And of course I’ll be putting up more photography, particularly some of my photography homework.

I still have to fulfill the goal of knitting 11 shawls in 2011 – last year I fell short of the goal of 10 shawls. And since I’m talking about upcoming projects, I might as well record the projects that I’m planning to knit during the second half of this year:

Yikes! That’s 23 projects – plus Christmas gifts. I’d better not slack with my knitting like last month!


To say that I love rhubarb would be an understatement. I don’t think there’s a preparation of rhubarb that I don’t enjoy. In fact, I love rhubarb so much that finding a skein of yarn named Rhabarber is what set me off to discover what dyer had named yarn after my favorite rhubarb which has led to my love of Wollmeise. I mean, see for yourself:

Wollmeise yarn

Wollmeise Fluffy in Rhabarber

Since it’s rhubarb season right, now, I’ve been busy preserving rhubarb for the non-rhubarb season. I’ve made rhubarb-strawberry compote, rhubarb-apple jam, rhubarb-strawberry jam, rhubarb-berry jam and rhubarb syrup.

rhubarb jam, compote, syrup

rhubarb heaven: jam, compote and syrup

The rhubarb syrup is in the middle bottle. You can see how the rhubarb makes for a lovely pink toned syrup. It is especially delicious when you add it to your glass of water – really refreshing.

I’d already posted about this dessert: vanilla yoghurt with rhubarb-strawberry compote – yum (not my best photography job, sorry)!


rhubarb-strawberry compote with vanilla yoghurt

Mother’s Day

(Since Mother’s Day is over, it’s safe to post this)

As mother’s day was approaching, I was struggling to figure out what to get my Mom. My first choice, an awesome book on bread and bread baking by Linda Collister, is completely out of print. Bummer. I didn’t really have enough time to knit something for here, since I had a few other WIP on the needles. Last year I made scones with strawberries two ways (as jam and as a salad) for her, and it was a huge hit. So this time I decided to make something edible again, but of the savory sort. I first thought of making fresh pasta, but since I don’t have pasta maker, I’d have to roll out the pasta by hand – not a good idea for a first time pasta maker. Then I came across this amazing smitten kitchen recipe on how to make gnocchi, and decided that I could do that. Between roasting the potatoes for an hour, grating them and then getting the dough to the right consistency it took some time. Btw, grating the potatoes idea is genius – it really results in a lovely light dough. The actual shaping, cutting, and fork-roll action was a snap. Oh, and instead of rolling the gnocchi over the fork, I just rolled the fork over the gnocchi. It was a bit faster, and I liked the resulting shape better.

gnocchi and fork

gnocchi shaping

I made a deconstructed pesto and tomato sauce/salad – basically I tossed all the classic pesto ingredients and a few cherry tomatoes together with the gnocchi, with a teeny bit of oregano, and voila! An awesome mother’s day meal. I like gnocchi, but I didn’t realize what a huge difference it would make to taste fresh, home-made gnocchi. And the sauce/salad was so fresh, and the individual flavors really did shine. It really is true, good ingredients make for good finished products.

finished gnocchi dish

gnocchi, yum!

The remaining gnocchi went to live in a little baggie in the freezer, to be thawed, cooked and enjoyed on another day. All in all, and unqualified success.