Wednesday, June 30, 2010



1 lb ground round
2 15.5 oz cans dark red kidney beans
2-1 lb cans plain diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 pkg sliced fresh carrots
4 ozs water
1 green pepper
1 yellow onion
¼ cup Chardonnay
1 package Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit
1 package Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese
1 pkg sour cream
OPTIONAL: 1 can beer

With food processor, chop half large onion and half green pepper and ¼ cup carrots into small pieces, set aside
Brown ground round until all pink is gone
Drain ground round and set aside in bowl (I rinse my ground round in a colander you won’t notice the difference but your waist will, its a trick I learned from a friend who cooked for schools). Don’t rinse fry pan but add previously chopped veggies and cook until onions are clear.

Turn burner down to low and switch to a 4 lb sauce pan. Add tahe ground round.
Sprinkle salt and pepper into meat mixture and stir well.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.
Add half Chili spices from package. Stir and taste, if necessary add some more spices until it tastes the way you prefer your chili to taste (I use the whole pkg).
Sprinkle a little Cayenne pepper from package into pan but careful; don’t use much until you do the taste test.
At this point, add ¼ cup Chardonnay or of course you can use water to make it a little more soupy.
Put lid on pan loosely and simmer until you’re ready to eat.

To serve, put cheese and sour cream in middle of table and let people add if desired.

HINT: If chili is too spicy or too thick for your guests pour a little beer (or water) into it, simmer just a bit and it will be just right Leftovers are fabulous over brats, smoked sausages or franks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I forgot my latest FINISHED HK project

The Booga Bag! As I was sorting through stuff in the garage and closets for the garage sale, I found some handspun yarn that I had made and thought wasn't all that great. I never like my handspun yarn until I haven't seen it for a while and then when I find it again I love it. What happened during the garage sale search was, I put the yarn into balls and found freebie patterns that I thought might be a suggestion of what people could do with the yarn and packaged each different yarn up with a printed pattern. Well---ended up as I was searching for suggestions I loved everything I came up with and ended up keeping all the packages of yarn with the patterns I printed. YIKES! Yet more project(s)for my ever-growing list!!!!

While I was sitting in the garage during the garage sale I started knitting my pink yarn. I decided to make a Booga Bag and was afraid the yarn was too thin (it probably wasn't). I didn't want to take the time to measure it with the wraps per inch method so just doubled pink and white yarn together and started knitting with size 11 needles. I figured if it came out too big, so what, I'd have a big purse. Well, I did have a big purse when it was done. It was a bit thick as I knitted it and I was really a bit worried that it was too thick to felt but threw it in the washer and ran it through 3 cycles. Son of a gun, I love the purse. Its big enough to be a knitting bag if I want or of course, a bag for everything I own when I go someplace. I found some pink and white fabric in my stash and lined it so that nothing will poke through, just in case I stick something that could possibly poke through the felt...and my Booga Bag was done. I'm thinking I'll dig out my new book, "Felt It!Stitch It!Fabulous!" (30 new uses for old sweaters) and try a couple of the flowers they needle felted or maybe knit some fabric and felt-then cut into flowers per the directions to decorate the purse.

By the way, if you haven't see this book, look it up. The author suggests you go to Goodwill and Consignment shops and buy wool sweaters and comes up with some fabulous ideas for the felted garments. Personally I'm thinking I can knit fabric on the LK 150 with all the handspun yarn and then make what's in the book....(more projects...the ideas just keep on coming).

So there you have it, what I've been doing since Spring.

OK, so I've neglected my blog

So much going on. I've traveled a bit, am busy exploring the surroundings in the Traverse City area and otherwise have occupied my time since Spring arrived. OK, now its summer and a nice fairly cool one. I've got bird feeders to fill, flowers to plant and take care of, tons of weeds thanks to the bird feeders and other things to keep me busy but I haven't forgotten my fiber addiction.

I'm still hand knitting the circle sweater from Berroco. I'm nearly finished with the body which is a huge circle, getting smaller and smaller as I get to the center. Then I have 2 sleeves to make and I'm done. Yaaay! I've been knitting it since before I sold my house in SC, The sweater is named Nigella and I love it still but wish it was finished. Its made with Berroco's Touche' which is a cotton/rayon blend and should be great for even now on cool mornings and evenings.......why can't I get with it??? Here's a picture of Nigella:

A couple months ago I traveled to Pontiac, MI with a friend to meet his sister and while on the road, we stopped at Frankenmuth, MI to visit Zeilinger Wool Co. I heard about Zeilinger's back in Asheville, NC when they came to the fiber fest every October to pick up fleece to take back to MI to process for people. I ended up bringing home fleece from Zeilinger's (naturally)...2 lbs of Alpaca to spin. Its yummy stuff and spins up soooo nice. Its soft and's a picture of the fleece and my sample spun up..I am planning a soft, warm jacket with the finished project, probably I'll make it on the LK 150 so that it can be made in a week instead of a year... While I was in Frankenmuth I picked up a Spin Off magazine and saw an ad for a wool processor in East Jordan, MI, Stonehedge Fiber Mill. Wait a minute---I had seen that ad before so I looked it up on Google. Son of a gun, East Jordan isn't all that far from Traverse City so one Saturday morning my friend and I took off for East Jordan. Down the lane (a long lane) we found a 100 yr old farm where the owner has spinning machines and processes wool. Her wool, Shepherd's Wool is beautiful stuff. I've bought it from the local yarn shop here in TC last Fall for felted hats and was very impressed at how nicely it felts. Anyway, I went into her little building full of all colors of yarn (why didn't I take pictures of that???) and found mill ends. Yarn that is almost perfectly spun by machine but maybe has a little slub in it or maybe its not quite the right color. (she dyes her yarn as well). She sells Shepherd's Wool to yarn shops all over the country and its featured in magazines. While I was there 2 more women came in to shop...I'm not the only one who travels that long lane. While there I bought a pattern for a colorful helmet hat, featuring her yarn and then bought the mill ends to go with the pattern. That, I gave to my DIL but there's enough ends for both of us to make more than 1 helmet hat (or whatever we want to make). I also got myself a lb of beautiful merino. SOOOO soft and luscious, here's a picture of that wonderful stuff: I also picked up a pattern featuring Shepherd's Wool, called Noni, a laptop bag with power cord pockets. Love the pattern and will probably dye some of my white (unknown origin) fleece and spin/knit the bag.

Also on my agenda is writing the pattern for my beaded bag, made on the LK 150. I have the pattern written but want to "perfect" it by making it one more time and then will get that posted. Shame on me for neglecting all this stuff for so long but what fun I'm having in my new life...........( my excuse and I'm sticking with it).

So you can see I have lots of projects going on and need to spend more time at home working on them....easier said than done.