jueves, 18 de diciembre de 2008
I received the following link that absolutely caught my attention. I think it is a wonderful way to both celebrate Winter, Knits and Music together.
It is a video from the canadian group "Tricot Machine" made out of more than 700 machine knitted images by the artist Lysanne Latulippe.
Check it out!
lunes, 24 de noviembre de 2008
Una vez lista la cebolla agregar toda la pulpa de calabaza, una cdita de tomillo y cuatro tazas de caldo de pollo a temperatura ambiente.
A flama alta permitir que el caldo alcance el hervor. Mientras, mover despacio la cocción y eliminar cualquier semilla de calabaza que se nos haya escapado.
Cuando alcance el hervor bajar la flama a nivel bajo y cocinar otro poco por 10 minutos o hasta que la calabaza esté totalmente suave. Cuando esté lista la cocción retirar del fuego y proceder al licuado.
Les recomiendo que licuen la sopa por partes y para evitar cualquier accidente con nuestra licuadora y la sopa caliente no tapen totalmente el vaso de la licuadora. Coloquen solo el anillo superior (tapa sin parte central) para así tapar el hoyito o alimentador de manera manual con papel de cocina doblado y sujetado con una mano. Ésto es muy importante hacerlo, ya que la alta temperatura de la sopa y la velocidad de la licuadora pueden hacer que la tapa salga disparada y se haga un batidero. Notarán que al accionar la licuadora sale "vaporcito" a través del papel, ésto es normal.
Una vez licuada toda nuestra sopa regresarla a la cacerola y a flama baja añadirle más sal, pimienta y tomillo al gusto.
Como toque final agregar 3/4 de taza de crema y mover hasta que se incorpore bien y la sopa tenga una consistencia tersa.
Listo! Al servir agregar si desean un poquito de tomillo encima o croutones.
Espero les haya gustado.
Con cariño para todas Uds.
viernes, 7 de noviembre de 2008
The autumn is in full force now and it reminds us of its presence every day that goes by. Time is flying and after preparing everything for Halloween and "Día de Muertos" in Mexico, it's a week later and now all stores are showered with Christmas '08 stuff. I like this but the abrupt change can be stressful, especially when there is so little time and so much to do.
To say Goodbye to Halloween '08 I baked again a Pumpkin Pie, I think I found the easiest and quickest recipe around. It obviously gave me time to make a little decor and take its picture before it would be tasted. This weekend will be my last chance to cook more "pumpkin" recipes; so far I've cooked a Pumpkin Bisque, 2 Pumpkin Pies, a Pumpkin Cake, a Pumpkin Risotto and a Pumpkin Bread.
Next is a picture of another finished project I started while having the cast on my left hand. It is my own design and it combines three techniques: loom knitting (for the back), circular knitting (for the short sleeves and all-around-collar) and crochet (for the seams and flower pin). I like the results very much.
So now the list comes down to 8 projects and the above Fair Isles is at 75%
domingo, 19 de octubre de 2008
Oh well, this is a perfect excuse to have hot coco and enjoy great winter time food, like one of my favourite ones ever: Pumpkin pies. I love their color and varietes, but most of all I love what I can cook with them. At the end of this post I will share an easy and successful Pumpkin Pie recipe for anyone interested.
One of the things I miss the most about Europe is the culinary culture. To be honest with you, before I ever lived there, pumpkins for me were just for "Jack-o-lanterns", or at their best, for an extremely sweet mexican pudding known as "Calabaza en Tacha". What converted me was an amazing pumpkin bisque I tried in Europe and it was love at first sight. The european markets with a real autumn background would offer endless varietes of pumpkins, squashes, etc. I only knew one, the famous "Calabaza de Castilla" sold in all mexican markets. In Europe I was at awe, as the variety was overwhelming. So I decided to put a remedy to my pumpkin ignorance and it has been quite a trip. Now living in Mexico, I do miss that autumn markets experience as I keep on seeing the same boring pumpkins sold at supermarkets, which are mostly used for Halloween. Sometimes I see squashes, half priced because no big Jack-o-lantern can come out of them, so nobody buys them. If they only knew what they are missing, oh, but I take advantage of it!
So Casting On. I always thought I was immune to endless casting on but I am starting to realize that perhaps I need a vaccination. I remember sometime ago, at a yarn shop, a lady who was buying yarn for her daughter to knit would say to her "promise you will finish the project". I was around her daughters age, still a teenager and did not understand what that lady was talking about because for me, knitting would absorb me so that my mother would even try to put my mind out of it especially during exams. I would always finish my projects, so finishing was not a problem. Nowadays it is still not a problem as I do finish what I start but there is something going on that I was not expecting: endless casting on, so instead of having to finish one or three projects I have around ten. Yes, I should be ashamed, right? but I am not. Why? because I think there is a very understandable reason: my feast for knit and crochet projects has developed over the years and now I am no longer satisfied with just one or two things going at the same time: my mind needs more, so I wonder why some people should say that it is a bad habit to cast on. So this puts my initial idea of vaccination totally off. I believe that knitting is a journey into discovering ones abilities and likes, so if you cast on, it means you are excerting it. It is pretty much like starting a new book. My rule of thumb: if it doesn't "catch" you at the very beginning, you might as well leave it and look for another one.
So now a realistic (and truthful) list of my current projects:
1) Fair Isle pullover (70%)
2) VK Tunic (40%)
3) Off the shoulder pullover (45%)
4) Granny Squares sweater (15%)
5) Turtleneck pullover (35%)
6) Vest (95%)
7) Crochet Ascot (50%)
8) Red Mittens (15%)
9) Crochet Cardigan (20%)
10) Scarf (30%)
This weekend I finish #6 and #7. I have been working on #1 for sometime now as it has been a surprisingly challenging project.
Balance: 5 of them are knitting projects (1, 2, 3, 5 and 8); 3 of them are crochet (4, 7 and 9); and finally 2 of them are done with a knitting board (6 and 10). My goal is to finish all of them by the end of November, I hope this is possible!
So now the recipe: "Prize Pumpkin Pie" by Canadian Living Magazine
Serves 8. Ingredients: 2 eggs, 1 can of pumpkin puree (140z/ 398ml), 1 can (300ml) sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp salt, 1/4tsp each ground cloves, ginger and nutmeg, 1 unbaked 9-ich (23cms) pie shell.
Preparation: In a large bowl beat eggs, blend in pumpkin, condensed milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Pour into pie shell. Bake in 425 oF (220oC) oven for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 375oF (190oC) and bake for about 35 minutes or until pastry is golden and knife inserted into centre comes out clean. Let cool in rack.
lunes, 22 de septiembre de 2008
Esta será la primera ocasión que escribiré una entrada en dos idiomas, en español y en inglés; y esto es por el bellísimo regalo que recibí de una nueva amiga, Elisa, de Chile.
miércoles, 17 de septiembre de 2008
Not only as someone who works at the Fashion Industry but also as a subscriber and knitter I think I have an opinion about the messages I have been getting lately by these and other knitting magazines.
Shiri Mor's shift dress would have looked rather stunning in a curvy model. What did Interweave Knits instead include in its recent Fall issue? a beautiful full figured model that could be my next door neighbor. This is what makes both magazines so different and in the end, makes Interweave Knits much more approachable than Vogue Knitting to the average knitter in North America.
In the last Vogue Knitting Holiday 2007 issue the editors had a very good idea, they decided to include Ms. Paulina Porizkova. I liked this issue because while Paulina was a top model in the eighties I was a teenager devoted to Vogue magazine, so seeing her at Vogue Knitting helped me relate much easier to the magazine. This is being stylish without going to far. It was a good move by Adina Klein.
The above brings me to one of the most appreciated characteristics of Interweave Knits: they always use models who are just regular people pictured in regular environments as opposed to bony, cold, and unreachable models. I was glad to find out just recently that one of the models is the daughter of former Interweave Knits Editor, Ms. Pam Allen. Below, pictures of my favourite Interweave Knits models:
While living in Europe I encountered other knitting magazines being sold in numerous newstands. There I was introduced to Verena Stricken magazine from Burda that in my view seems to be a combo between "fashionable and wearable", something the above mentioned magazines are not alltogether. No surprise that I have been since then their subscriber. Here, three designs from their latest Fall issue (Herbst 2008)
I also was introduced to many other magazines like "Le Idee di Susanna" or "Mani di Fatta" who are still being edited. There was another italian magazine though, "Benissimo", that in its latest issues started including designs and models like the following:
I think that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I think you would agree with me that the sight of that models' back is awful. "Benissimo" went out of print in recent years. No wonder.
lunes, 25 de agosto de 2008
What happened to me was the damage of yet another laptop due to a software problem and then my iPod lost all of its data and was unable to restore it. As you can imagine I was both stressed and very sad. After these events I just kept thinking, "do I need this? Not at all!"
To many nip codes, to many passwords, to many actions asked in order to perform many of our daily life activities. It is all so ridiculous! Perhaps this is the reason why I literally threw myself into knitting some years ago.
Knitting, such an amazing art. Could it get more simple than just a pair of needles and/ or hook and some yarn? It is a friendly and an easy-coming activity that surpasses any level of consideration as it can be a hobbie, a healing experience and a professional activity, individually or all at the same time. Ironically, if being compared with what I wrote above: instead of asking for complicated tasks in order to do simple things (I mean, technology is supposed to make our lives easier, right?), knitting comes the other way: in its basic form it is so simple and it only depends on you to take it into much more complex arenas, only if you want so. I love this, in my book this is called FREEDOM.
I am currently exercizing my freedom while still knitting my first Fair Isle (Jacquard) pullover. It can look complex but it won't delete or crash anything. If you make a mistake, you unravel and start over, in your time, whenever you are ready.
Still posting on knitting, while I went out to a market to forget about passwords and nip codes I was introduced to a technique that absolutely absorbed me: a knitting board. Has any of you tried it?
The owner of a little yarn store at the market taught me the basics of it while listening to the merchants sell their produce. Here in Mexico it is named "telar", in english "loom"; a mistake as looms are a completely different thing, but still this little knitting board and the simplicity of it healed me too from technology. Wow, I love it.
Check out what I knitted in just a day:
On other things I am currently trying to make a knitting diary by using my file at Ravelry. I have been taking pictures of everything that I have knitted and will soon add them up at "my notebook" at Ravelry.com. They are all a reflection of so many things lived through in my life. One of them is the following, and it represents a lesson I had to learn because unfortunately I will only be able to show you a picture of the project at the magazine:
The photo belongs to a sweater that I knitted for someone who was special back then. I was starting up in knitting and inspite of the many long evening hours spent, the results were very good. I gave it then as a gift and never thought I would lose track of it forever because eventhough I asked for a picture of it I never got it and so back then I learned to value my time and effort better and get wiser when it comes to giving away projects that have so much of me in them. If anyone asks me if I have suffered from the "curse of the boyfriend sweater" I have to answer yes, twice. Now I just knit scarfs :) :)
Thanks for reading, I am still recovering from last week.
lunes, 18 de agosto de 2008
This time the first signals of autumn started with a a very special parcel from beautiful Australia. My dear friend Patrizia sent me a very special gift that has brightened the whole season.
Isn't this lovely?:
A beautiful wool and angora lace scarf, 4 delicious Twix bars and the cutest stuffed bear to accompany my knitting bear. They look good together, don't you think?
Thank you very much Patrizia, my very best to you all the way to Australia!
Also to celebrate the coming season I designed, cut and sew myself a blouse. This is the first time I am posting here a piece of clothing made by me. I love its color -again green, right Patrizia? ;)
Fashion Design is something that is part of my personal and professional life so I'll be glad to start also sharing this part with you here.
See you soon!
miércoles, 30 de julio de 2008
I started it last May, yes last May of 2007! Oh my! this made me think why it is that I took so long and it is basically because although it was an easy project still it was also demanding: just a little distraction was enough to lose the way and find yourself having to face unraveling some rows........this happened frequently, I am afraid. But well, now it is time to celebrate! On the bright side I must say this project has excellent fit, something difficult to achieve sometimes. Check it out......Going back to demanding projects I started recalling other similar projects that I had knitted in the past. The funny thing is that eventhough the knitted chart looks quite demanding......
....I do not recall ending so tired from it. The following is a picture of the second knitting project I ever did. It took me three months to finish it back in 1997 -talk about being excited with knitting!- and I still love wearing it. I am sure I will keep it forever. The fit is also great.
So now it is three more knitting projects and two crochet ones to go, July is still not over and I trust I will be posting here about another finished project soon!
To end this post with my traditional recipe I thought of sharing and experience I long looked forward to doing. No, I will not post the recipe because this one is a complex mexican dish (and after the Jacaranda Sweater I need a break!), I am talking about "Tamales", the ones from the state of Oaxaca, in the Pacific Coast of my colorful country. My friend Blani from Oaxaca took the trouble of teaching me how to do these delicacies that consist of maze dough with green and red tomato hot sauce that are wrapped around banana tree leaves. Deliciosos!
lunes, 16 de junio de 2008
The next surprise is that whilst knitting it, it became huge. This does not bother me because it is quite snug and comfy, it can be used also like a blanket, but it is not anymore something you can put inside your bag. Ooops!
Check out it's size, I love the color too.............the grass is huge thanks to the rain!
And then the last unexpected surprise: My annual flu, and I call it "annual" because I never get sick but when I do it is a nightmare. I am almost out of it but what a pain. Of course this was bound to happen because some stores have yet not realized that there is pouring rain out on the streets instead of scorching sun so they have not changed the air conditioning inside.
The good part of it is that when you ask yourself "What to do when in bed with a flu?" the answer comes right away: KNIT! so yes, because I was cold I tossed away my summer knitting and decided to knit myself a cap. This one, by the way, will be a perfect thing to carry on in case I feel to cold in a store. By the way, have you noticed how ridiculously cold some stores, particularly grocery stores can get? I mean, is anybody here worried about global warming?
My "Wavy Cap", knitted in "spring":
And that one was my last surprise, what comes next is me posting another recipe for you guys. It is easy, fast, includes easy to find ingredients and if you like spinach then I hope you like it:
"Spinach and Cheese Puff" /Food Everyday Magazine
Serves 8 / Prep Time: 10 mins / Total time: 40 mins.
-butter, for baking dish.
- 3 packages (10 ounces each) of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry or 6 1/2 cups of washed fresh chopped and squeezed dry spinach.
- 1 1/2 cups of half and half cream.
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten.
- 1 1/2 cups coarsley Gruyere cheese (6 ounces) or your favorite melting cheese.
- coarse salt and ground pepper.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
1.- Preheat oven to 350 oF, Butter a shallow 1-quart baking dish.
2.- In a large bowl, combine spinach, cream, eggs, 1 cup Gruyere, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/8 teaspoons of pepper, nutmeg; stir to combine. Spread evenly in prepared baking dish, and top with remaining 1/2 cup Gruyere. Bake until set and top is golden brown, 30 to 35 mins.
Enjoy and see you soon!
viernes, 9 de mayo de 2008
One of the first ones was one of the two crochet projects that I am working on. After feeling pain in my right hand whenever I would crochet for sometime (scary!) I did a little research and found out that there was another way I could hold the hook: like a knife. Eureka! my right hand does not hurt anymore and now I am enjoying crochet again! I am happy as I always liked it so much but would always hurt......not anymore now! :)
Here is a little update on the crochet skirt I am doing:
On other projects, because I am so excited about crochet I decided to fix an old knitting project that has been sitting in my closet for to long. It was the second knitting project I ever did and I always liked it. The reason I stopped wearing it is that when pants became low rise I was showing to much of my belly! Mmm, I don't mind showing but not that much so I decided to add a crochet rib to it, let's see how it goes!
During my break I had a special surprise. A plant that has travelled from far away lands to reach aztec territory decided to give me its best gift: a flower, but not just one but 4 this time! I have only seen it bloom three times in all its life: one in Switzerland and two in Mexico. First in Mexico it took 2 years to bloom; this time it took a year and a half to bloom again.......after seeing the following pictures can you believe that once, while travelling, it was just a sad potato packed in a ziplock?
2 flowers opened first.....
....two days ago the other two, to make 4 in total. They are so big you can see their size in the picture.
So after having such a surprise I had two not very pleasant ones in the kitchen department. One with a carrot cake that I did not like, the other one last night with a banana bread that kept on growing in the oven 'till it made a burning mess inside!....the good thing is that the flavor is quite good and being cake lovers at home it is almost finished by now :)
I decided this time to post a soup recipe for a change. It is one of my favourites and what I like is that it is both easy and inexpensive. It is from Martha Stewart.
Cream of Celery Soup.
Serves 6 to 8
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
10 pale-green inner ribs celery, coarsley chopped (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup coarsley chopped shallots (or simple onion if you wish)
1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
6 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
very thin slices of toasted baguette
pale-green celery leaves for garnish
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add celery, shallots, potato and a pinch of salt. Partially cover; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft but not browned. About 15 minutes.
2) Add stock; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover, and cook 30 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Let cool.
3) Purée soup in a blender or food processor in batches until completely smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Return soup to a pan; stir and season with salt. Just before serving, heat soup over medium heat (do not boil). Serve topped with baguette slices; garnish with celery leaves. Soup can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days.