Monday, March 30, 2009

It's about time for a recipe, don't you think?!?

Surprisingly enough, I "do" cook, and have discovered that what I do manage to churn out of the kitchen that is not charred beyond recognition or still cackling or gobbling is quite good.

I present...

The "This really only takes 30 minutes" Pasta and meatballs - with sauce of course. :)

This has become one of Spencer's favorite meals...and mine too I must admit. Servings per ingredients as listed below - we usually have enough for a dinner for two, and then 2 more dinner portions and a lunch portion left over. It's all personal preference though as your servings may vary from mine.

Make sure you have the following pots, pans and food in house and ready for action:

Big pot for pasta, one large pan to make meatballs and sauce - that's all the pots/pans you need - seriously.

1 package of Trader Joe's frozen turkey or beef meatballs
1 28 oz can of Trader Joe's Marinara sauce
1 bag of your favorite pasta
1 med or large onion
1 med or large bell pepper
half a container of sliced mushrooms
some olive oil to cook up the veggies
fresh baguette
bag of pre-washed salad leaves
cherry tomatoes

Start your timer folks and lets get to it!!!

  1. Fill up your pasta pot with the appropriate amount of water, cover, put it on the burner, and crank it up!
  2. If meatballs are frozen, put on plate, cover and start defrosting in microwave.
  3. Place large pan on burner, at just above medium heat, add a bit of olive oil.
  4. Chop entire onion and add to pan - the oil should be hot enough by now.
  5. Chop entire bell pepper and add to the pan.
  6. Check water, keep an eye on your veggies.
  7. Meatballs should be thawed by now, cook on regular micro setting for a few minutes.
  8. Onions and peppers should be just about cooked, add the sliced mushrooms.
  9. Water should be boiling by now, add the pasta and set the timer.
  10. Your veggies should all be just about done, so open up that can of marinara and add it to the pan! Don't forget to lower the heat a bit and let it simmer while the pasta finishes - it's a good idea to partially cover it to minimize mess on your cooktop.
  11. The meatballs should be finished in the micro and nice and warm, add them to the pan with the veggies and the marinara sauce - partially cover and continue to simmer.
  12. There should be a few minutes left on your pasta - now's the time to cut a few slices of baguette and/or toss together a side dish. (We usually make a salad using cherry tomatoes and a bag of prewashed salad.)
  13. Depending on your pasta, it should most likely be done by now.
  14. Drain, put it back into the big pot, dribble some olive oil on it, sprinkle on a bit of black pepper, and give the pasta a good toss.

Ring the dinner bell and chow down!!

I made this over the weekend to feed Spencer and his friend that was over visiting. We did have less leftovers tho. Hee Hee. Teen boys LOVE this! I set the timer for 30 minutes when I did it, just to see if I could stay within the time "limit". I had the pasta, meatballs and sauce ready to eat in 23 minutes. Plenty of time to throw together a simple salad like we do and/or cut up some fresh bread.

Happy Nomming!!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. It's quick and easy and takes pre-made sauce and meatballs to the next level. And I don't have to tell you it's quick - which is good when you are being stared down by a few hungry teens!!!

I used all Trader Joe's ingredients because they are the store I go to the most. I have found frozen meatballs at other grocery stores though, and you can use whatever jar or can sauce you like. I do recommend that you have at least about 28oz or your sauce will be all veggie chunks and meatballs and hardly any sauce.

Ooh, and it's inexpensive too. If I ever remember, I'll jot down the prices of all the ingredients and let you know - no promises tho!

Damn, it took me longer to write this post than it did to cook this up the other day!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sammie Sunday...Not the damn bike again...

Look!!! She's AWAKE!!!!

Let's see what's happening in my kingdom...'s that damn bicycle again...

It's NOT that exciting...

REALLY, it's NOT... itch...much more exciting...

So NOT worthy of our attention...

Scary big truck going past our balcony!!! Run away!!! Run away!!!

And there you have it. Sammie on Sunday...awake and alert and not amused by the bikebikebike.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

D'Lynn Designs is Open for Business!

Hi everyone!

This is what I've been working on this week.

D'Lynn Designs Artisan Studio over on is officially open for business! WOOOHOOOO!

I decided to just go for it and open a new online store. First I came upon the Phat Fiber Sample Box. Then I thought for a bit...checked out my supplies...thought some more...and decided, why not?

I read about on a couple of the craft blogs that I subscribe to...and figured...I should do that.

If you want to check it out, Register on . I really like it so far. It's quite a bit different from Etsy, but it seems easier to use to me. The link above there is linked to my Studio, so if enough of you decide to sign up, I get my Studio for free. It doesn't really matter if you do or not, since I got into an early deal of $7 a month for life for the first few thousand crafters to sign up. There are only 111 accounts left at that price last time I just checked (just now). Otherwise, it's $20 a month. There are no extra fees...ever. And if you sell something - you keep it all! No selling fees, no listing fees - EVER!

I am VERY excited to have this new shop. I've spent all week making up samples for Phat Fiber, and then making up new things to put into the Studio. It's the most fun working I've ever had... It was wonderful to have Spencer and Honey helping me and cheering me on the whole way.

Anyway, pop over to the shop, have a look around, tell your friends and enjoy!!!

Oh yes, I have started up a blog for the shop. I'll be posting new additions to the shop, specials, and so on, so subscribe and follow along in the adventures of the D'Lynn Designs Studio!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I haven't been ignoring you on purpose...

...honest I haven't. I've been busy making these...

...and these...

...and these...

Ladies and gentlemen, you are looking at some of the 50 (yes 50!) single stitch marker samples that I just shipped off to Phat Fiber - go ahead and see what it is...and don't forget to come back. hee hee I was accepted as a contributor to the April Phat Fiber Sample Box.

Every monthly box has a theme, April's is "Green". Samples for the box could be either green in color, or eco-friendly, or organic, or upcycled/recycled, etc...

My single stitch marker samples were all made from beads and dangles from jewelry that I've been collecting for the past year or so. I've collected all types of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that would have been tossed into the trash or stuffed away in the back of someone's jewelry box and reworked them into some very pretty things.

I've been spending the last week, with the help of my wonderful tech-savy Honey, getting everything ready to go. Contributors had to have a set of graphics - Honey helped tremendously with those - to submit to the site for advertising. I also had to do some writeups - Honey was my proofer - a second pair of eyes to give everything a good once- or twice-over...and a gorgeous set of blue ones they are! ahem... anyway... Then the samples needed to be made up, packaged and shipped off - Spencer helped me package them last night.

I'll post soon about what's going on over here in the Chaos including why I'm sending off samples!

Photos and links and all sorts of info soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sammie Sunday...minus the Sammie

...since HRH Sammie is buried under the covers keeping warm, and I've already shown you a picture of a motionless lump under the duvet...

I decided to show this video of Spencer on his "new" bike...minus the peddles and the chain...hence the "Fred Flintstone imitation comment"...

The bike, by the way, was finished yesterday. It's currently a single speed and not a fixed gear like he wanted. He has to get the correct rear wheel, blah blah blah yada yada yada bikebikebike. I don't really speak bike yet, so....whatever.

Anyway, we went to the "Grand Opening Party" for the Bike Kitchen this afternoon - and spotted a small orange frame that just might work for a bicycle for me! We are off to BK next Saturday and hope it's the right size. I'm looking to build a light weight bike for distance riding. Sgt Puff will still be around for local riding and shopping and errand running, but she's not good for distance - she's too heavy for that - she's good for short distances and carrying lots of stuff. And she does it very well!

More photos of his new bike, and maybe my newest addition later...and yes, I know...I still owe you guys a recipe.

I'm exhausted...time for bed! Should have been snoozing hours ago...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Last Minute Sammie Sunday and our "New" addition to the Chaos

Here are a few more videos of Sammie...checking out Spencer's new bike.

I was feeling much better, so we headed out on Saturday to The Bike Kitchen in San Francisco, paid $30 for "digging rights" and got lucky. Spencer found a frame the right size for him (finally!) and we built up a bike - we were there from opening til closing. It's still missing a few important bits (pedals, a chain, and a brake - just one brakes as he's making a fixed gear bike), but we're going back soon to finish it off.

Here's a photo of The Bike Kitchen (new facilities)...

And Spencer, the proud "daddy", with his "new" "baby"...

Go check out The Bike Kitchen (we call it BK). They're a non-profit service type of place - run completely by volunteers and donations of bikes/bike parts and money. Lots of really nice people and they do a lot for the local community. If you check out the links in the second paragraph (titled We have moved to 650H Florida St), you can see how exactly they moved back on Feb 22nd. In the rain. Spence and I were there helping. If you pay attention really closely, you can recognize the two of us in a few of the photos. For "action" shots of riding thru San Francisco in the rain, I'm wearing a bright orange rain poncho, and Spencer is wearing a blue rain poncho. We had a blast and are happy to support The Bike Kitchen and all they do. For non-riding photos, Spencer has on black/red/white plaid shorts (yeah, I know) and I've got my bright coral riding jacket on...

Spencer has tomorrow off, and as I'm feeling even better every day, if it's not raining, we're going off for a short ride. I can't wait...I have missed being out on my Sgt Puff and am really pretty much pissed that I missed out on the awesome riding weather we had last week!

I will post about projects and the recipe I promised...this week! Promise!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sammie Sunday, Double Whammy Wednesday Edition

Yes, I'm late again. I've been down with the worst stomach flu I have ever had...EVER. Things have not been pleasant here in the Chaos.

I did manage to remember, in a moment of rare conscious activity, to actually take the following video (yes, Sammie on video!!!) and photo on Monday. Not bad for laying half-conscious in my bed...


Here is HRH Sammie performing her daily Royal Bath...

And the resultant Rest After Bath...

Stay tuned for an awesome "This Really is a 30 minute Meal" Recipe and some knitterly projects. And some non-knitterly projects.

I have to gather all my photos and get some rest.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I am a Spinner...

OOOOOOOOOOOh....guess what Ms Cow and I did last night...

We busted out the top whorl spindle and the coppery brown fluff and drafted, and spun and twisted and cursed and voila!

It's not even, my drafting skills need more work...but we don't care.


Here are some better photos of my Stitches haul of yarn:

Cherry Tree Hill Socks -Wisteria Colorway

Jojoland Harmony - the colors are so soft and yummy...I already have decided a pattern for this one.

Yarn Place Grace - LOVE the colors on this!!! MINE. Still trying to find a pattern for this...

Monday, March 02, 2009

What I did this past weekend...Stitches 2009

....first...we get ready...

Here's Ms Cow all strapped into her carry tote - which also doubles as my knitting bag when she tags along.

This was taken early Friday afternoon. She was a bit excited, so had to make sure I didn't forget her.

Later that evening while the laundry was going...I made these...

5 sets of Pink Ribbon Stitch Markers...

3 pairs of Pink Ribbon Earrings...

7 Pink Ribbon Cell Phone Charms...

All of these Pink Ribbon goodies were dropped off at the Yarn Dogs booth at Stitches for them to sell to raise money for their "Knitters for Knockers" Avon Walk Team 2009.

If you'll remember, back when No-blog-Rachel did the walk with the team, I provided some goodies for them to wear and sell then as well.

Saturday morning, we're all set to go and head out on BART to meet up with the rest of the group... Here's Ms Cow in her tote with my knitting, nestled inside my rolling shopping cart. Although I did take the cart on BART, I did not take it into Stitches. Figured there would be way too many people and I was right. Just wish everyone else who had a rolling cart would have left there's in their cars as well....

Some random shots of Stitches...

At some point the 5 of us...6 if you count Ms Cow, actually stopped for lunch...

Ms Cow never left the bag...she preferred to stay strapped in her safety ribbon for the duration.

The convention center was swarming with people, running here and there, oooohing and ahhhhing and running into each other...she was much safer staying in her carry tote.

Before and after lunch there was shopping, of course. After lunch, 3 (4) of us sat in on a drop spindle spinning demo at the main stage. OOOH, that was cool.

After the demo, there was more shopping.

About 5pm-ish, we all decided that we'd had enough and headed home. We stopped off for a lovely dinner and some questionable Italian lessons at a Macaroni Grill.

Waiting for the BART train home...poor Ms Cow has passed out. Good thing the knitting is there to cushion her. And no, not one of us actually knitted at Stitches. I did knit one row on my two-at-one-socks to show two of the ladies how I managed to not get myself all tangled up...but that doesn't really count.

Thanks a bunch to the wonderful AmpuT who drove us all in her converted van. Dudes, that thing rocks! It was so cool! Too bad I didn't get a photo of it when they pulled up at the BART station to pick me up... hee hee hee.

There were 5 of us (plus one wee little Cow) riding in style down to Stitches. The other 3 ladies I didn't know before this, so I have 3 new knitterly friends. And we had such a fun time! They are all so funny, we were laughing and smiling the whole time. Except for at the end when I think we were all about ready to collapse and decided we needed to leave and get some food. Once we got some food in us tho...heh heh heh heh...

OK Cherry, here's some photos now of what I bought while there...

Everything out at once...inspected and kitty approved...

Close up of some discount Cherry Tree Hill Sock yarn in Wisteria, the Whimsy Scarf Pattern (going to use the Cherry Tree Hill to make it), a few pin/buttons/badges...I seem to be collecting them...I heart sheep...Stitches 2009, and a Fiber Fiend Monster dude.

Two Square Circular #1's, 24in. These things rock. I was hoping to find something like this for my sock knitting. The transition from cable to needle is wonderful, and the cable is soft and kinking or curling here! YAY! I am just rocking on Honey's socks now. :) Ooh, and one of the 2 drop spindles I bought. One top whorl and one bottom whorl. And check out the leather straps. Those are for my Suede tote bag lined with firemen fabric that has been hibernating while I look for handles.

Here is an awful photo of the second spindle, a Blue Faced Leicester Roving braid and some lace weight Yarn Place Grace and Jojoland Harmony yarn. The Grace is all mine (multi colored with greens and blues and greys) and the Harmony is for a gift (swear to you guys it's the colors of Rainbow Sherbet). As I start the projects I'll have better photos - and I've stashed it all in Ravelry, but need photos there too . It was too dark and dreary for the last few days to get any good ones tho.

And lastly, Ms Cow is leaning on a big ball of some sort of roving fluff in a really cool coppery brown color. I have no idea what it is...I bought it cos of the color. :) If I'm going to be learning how to spin, I may as well like the color of what I'm totally ruining...

Not shown in any photos...the very large size S wooden, extended crochet hook. Stitch Diva ran out, so I had to order it. That should be arriving in about 2-3 weeks, depending on the amount of orders that poor man who makes them ends up getting out of them. Once I get that hook, the Random Acts of Acrylic Blankie is back on!!! I'll burn thru that acrylic in NO TIME!!!! I really LOVE Tunisian Crochet...

Anyway, I pretty much got home about 8:30pm-ish and just about collapsed on the couch. But not until after I had put everything out on the bed and photographed it. Cos you know I'm just gonna tear into everything and then there will be no more photo ops.

Anywhoo...spent all day Sunday and part of today recovering. It was not so much the sore feet and back from wandering up and down the convention hall floor, it was the wool sensitivities! I started sneezing towards the end right before I left, but didn't think anything of it.

Was fine thru dinner.

By the time I was settled in at BART waiting for the train home, it had hit. And hit in a BIG way. My eyes were swollen and watery and itchy. My nose was getting stuffed up. And my throat was so dry. And my hands...they were itchy as well.

Delayed reaction. Sigh. I had done so well all day long. I thought I would be able to survive unscathed. I was wrong. I guess I can handle a yarn store size amount of yarn stuff, just not a convention hall sized amount.

Oh well, this will definitely make me think twice about ever going again. But I'm as so glad I went this one time and finally saw what all the brouhaha was about.

Yes, it's big.

Yes, there's lots of stuff to buy and see and all that.

Been there, bought that, had the reaction...don't need to go back now or ever wonder what I was missing.