Her'es what I have so far, laid out on my coffee table. Can you guess what I'm making?? Shh... don't tell my husband. I'm trying really hard to get it done in time for Christmas, although with everything I have to do to get ready for 2 parties, it doesn't look likely =(
If you love soups like I do... you've got to try this recipe! I got it from Taste of Home's Healthy cooking (one of my favorite magazines) and it is just delicious!
1 medium butternut squash (about 3lb)
1 medium onion chopped
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp fresh gingerroot minced
1 tsp salt
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
4 medium pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
balsamic vinegar and snipped chives for garnish
1 cut squash in half, discard seeds (I roasted mine with olive oil and salt, yum!) place face down on baking pan and bake on 400 for 40-50 minutes or until soft. cool slightly, scoop out pulp and set aside.
2. in a pot or dutch oven saute the onion in the oil until tender. add the curry, garlic, ginger and salt; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, pears, and squash. bring to a boil. reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
3. in a blender (or using a hand-held one like I did) process the soup in batches until smooth. Return to pot, add cream and heat through. Top with balsamic (highly recommend this, it complements the flavor really well) and snipped chives if desired.
Here's a picture of the soup on our Thanksgiving table:
I've missed you oh so much! This is (unfortunately) just a quick post to share my newest listing with you, and then it's back to the books for me =( Only 3 more very intense weeks to go until Christmas break!! I cannot wait! Remember this hat? Well here it is again!
Now onto the cute baby.....
Isn't he just precious?!? The beautiful baby boy belongs to my friends Lindsey & Peter. They live on the opposite side of the country from us now and I hope to meet baby Brohm someday! Thanks Linds for letting me use the pictures for my listing, which can be found here. The amazing photography is by Teal Tree Studios Photography and Design.
First off - Did you guys hear that the Triceratops never actually existed?? Turns out it was just ajuvenile form of a Torosaurus, or that's the theory at least.
Also, thanks for all the tips on my sewing machine. Unfortunately, I still can't get it to work. I think its about time I took it into the shop and have them look at it. This seems to be a recurring problem so hopefully they can teach me how to fix it in the future.
On Saturday Mr. Knots and I saw Inception. Have you seen it yet? If not, you should! It's one of those movies that draws you in and keeps you at the edge of your seat. Does it topple or keep spinning?? gah! I've been thinking about it ever since. I definitely had some strange dreams on Saturday night after seeing it.
Anyone out there watch Medium? It's one of my favorite shows. You know the youngest daughter, Marie - well I saw the twins who play that role at the mall this weekend. Totally random. It took me a while to place why they looked familiar, and why there were two! They are just as adorable in person as they are in the show.
A wonderful woman at our church volunteered to teach the ladies how to make rag quilts. Right up my alley? You betcha!! So technically, I guess I was supposed to use flannel, but I didn't get that memo so I'll have to keep that in mind for next time. I'm sure it will still work fine with this fabric, but it won't fray the same way that flannel does. I really love the patterns and prints I chose - I think its going to be a really fun and bold quilt.
So, I took my sewing machine down from closet, dusted it off, gathered my supplies and I was off to learn a new craft. I've had issues with my sewing machine ever since I got it (brand new Brother). First, I couldn't seem to get the tension right, and then it would only go backwards! Thanks to a sewing guru, It was stitching forward again and working great!
Once I got started I didn't want to stop. I was on a roll! I set up my machine when I got home and kept on sewing. It was working great and then without changing any settings, the tension got off again! So frustrating... Here's a picture of some test stitched I did while I messed with the settings trying to get it back to normal. See how the bottom thread comes up in loops? I can't seem to fix that even at the tightest tensions.
Any thoughts or suggestions as to why it's doing that and how I can fix it?? Anyone else have this issue with a Brother sewing machine? I hope I can get it back up and running again soon so I can continue quilting this beauty =D
For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, you know I've been on a wait list for my local nursing program for a long time. 2-1/2 years!!! Well this week I got some good news: I'm in!! (insert happy dance here!) Since May I've been an alternate for the fall start date - 1 of 30 alternates. Needless to say, I wasn't keeping my hopes up on getting in. Then last week I got a phone call from the college saying that they received a grant from the state to hire on another teacher, which in turn means they can bring on more students!! Ohhhh Happy dayyyy!
Over the past few days I've been excited then nervous, happy then stressed. It's definitely been an emotional roller coaster, and the ride is not over yet. I've also spent a TON of money getting everything in order. I bought my textbooks, got a background/drug test, CPR certification, bought scrubs, a pair of the ugliest shoes known to man (they were required), stethoscope, and cute school supplies. I also had to have a health check, TB test, and immunization verifications. I'm starting to feel like a human pin cushion! Turns out that even though I had the series of 3 Hep B shots in 2003, I'm not immune, so I have to get the series all over again! Plus I'm sporting a beautiful bruise on my inner arm from getting my blood drawn - yes! =P
But all that is not going to get me down!! I'm just way too excited that I'm actually in! The program starts on August 16th which is really soon. They gave us the first weeks' reading assignments which is 12 chapters! Holy cow - that's a lot of reading! Luckily I bought some of my books already so I can get a head start now. Wish me luck!
What does this mean for KnotsbyAshley?? I'm not 100% sure yet - but I'll probably put my shop on hold for a while. I can't have anything distracting me during this program because of the intensity of it. They say the first semester is the hardest. eeeek!
On another good note - I'm learning how to quilt tonight! woot woot! A wonderful woman at church is hosting a quilting night and teaching us all how to make "rag quilts." I bought all my fabric and the nerd in me cannot contain my excitement! I'm going with a black and white print theme, which doesn't match anything in my house but promises to be adorably cute! I can't wait to show you all =D
To celebrate our anniversary this year, we kept it low key with dinner and a movie. We saw Toy Story 3 - so good! I laughed, I cried, I loved it! If you haven't seen it yet - its a must! After the movie we enjoyed a scrumdidlyumptious dinner at The Melting Pot. It's definitely a splurge but worth every penny! Since we were celebrating an anniversary, our server moved us to one of their more secluded booths reserved for special occasions. It was just the two of us - very romantic. I'll let the pictures do the talking:
That was my first drink of the night... a Yin & Yang Martini!! Talk about presentation eh?
We toasted to many more years to come with a delicious bottle of champagne.
Our first course: Fiesta Cheese Fondue. It was served with bread, tortilla chips, veggies and my favorite, green apples. The cheese was followed by salad which I forgot to take a picture of =(
Next was the main course. Again I forgot to photograph it until after we ate half of it. It consisted of sushi grade Ahi tuna, lobster, key lime shrimp, and vegetable dumplings. It was so fun trying all the different dipping sauces.
And also an assortment of veggies.
The main course was followed by the best course: dessert! We had the milk chocolate fondue with Grand Marnier and an assortment of yummy sweets to dip!
We were rather warm and glowing by the end of the night from sitting around the simmering pot. It was such a fun night!
My Bella Swan Twilight hat was a huge hit and here's the next one - inspired by the hit movie Eclipse! This is my "knock-off" of Bella's hat that she wore in Eclipse while camped out on the mountain. This hat is close to the same color, shape, stripes, drape, and style. I got my cousin to model it for me ;)
What do you think, pretty close eh? This one in particular was for a custom order, but it will be listed as a standard item in my shop soon! The pattern can be found on Ravelry. My listing on etsy can be found here.