A friend and I are putting together a care package for our dear friend (and former university colleague), Becky, who moved to Athens last September after falling in love and marrying a Greek guy. Becky's been complaining about the cold, which surprised me, so I decided to knit her a warm scarf.
Time is of the essence, here, so it's an easy peasy feather and fan scarf in yummy Malabrigo (Violetas) on size 9 needles. I swiped the idea from Joan, who was inspired by Knitter's Review.
I love Thermal in the new Knitty winter addendum:
It's so cute and versatile. I like the look with the little tank peeking out at the top. A few years ago I had two merino wool sweaters from J Crew in this henley shape, but just stockinette stitch, and I wore them a ton. An added bonus is that the pattern calls for the readily available and fairly reasonably-priced Knit Picks Gloss. There are a few skeins in my stash, but not enough for this sweater.
The Elbac scarf in Knitty is cute, too.
Due to the lovely wintry weather, it has been soup-o-rama chez Caffeinated Yarn lately. Here's a recipe that was a big hit.
Mexican Vegetable Stew
Serves: an army (well, probably about 8-10 servings)
2 T. olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large onions, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 28-oz. can plum tomatoes (about 3 cups), roughly chopped, with their juice
8 C. vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into sixths, then into 1-inch chunks
1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 C. fresh or frozen corn kernels
Grated cheddar or co-jack cheese (optional)
1. In a 6- to 8-qt. pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic, onions, and cumin 1o minutes, stirring often.
2. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Add the carrots and cook 15 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook 5 to 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender, not mushy.
4. Add the kidney beans and corn and cook 2 minutes.
Two different options for thickening the stew:
- Run a hand-held/immersion blender through the stew to chop stuff up a bit.
- Remove 2 C. of the stew, puree it in the blender or food processor, then return it to the pot.
Taste to adjust the seasoning. If desired, sprinkle on grated cheese before serving.
Variations: I sometimes add cooked small shrimp (salad size) to the stew at the very end to give it some extra protein and body. You could do the same with cooked, diced chicken.
Slightly adapted from Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, a wonderful and versatile cookbook that won a James Beard Award back in the day.