Sunday, January 31, 2010


Things have been quiet here on the blog because we're in the midst of earnest house-hunting. That means weekends and weeknights are absorbed with other endeavors. While I've finished some knitting projects this year (a vest, scarf & hat), I haven't had time to photograph them.

There are no plans for next year's garden because I'm still waiting for us to settle where that might be. I've held off on buying any seeds for the same reason. We've found a house we like and hope to make an offer on it, but nothing is sure. We're trusting God that the right house will work out.

In the meantime, here's a unrelated school quip. My class was talking about maps and someone mentioned a GPS in their car being like a map. I reminded my class that a GPS is only as smart as its user (like a calculator) and that sometimes can send you in the wrong direction. A student added, " Yeah! We were in Florida and my uncle had a GPS and we were driving and it said 'You've arrived at your destiny.' but we really weren't there!!"

I had to laugh and then explain that the GPS usually says "You've arrived at your destination," and that destiny means what your future is going to be or what you'll be growing up to be or who you'll marry. They kids found it odd, but not nearly as funny as I did. If only our GPS would tell us when we've arrived at 'the house of our destiny' :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunrise in the Shenandoahs

Here are some early morning photos from our trip between Christmas and New Years.The morning sun on the snow was beautiful. I can't claim much credit for these as I was driving while my husband had the camera, but I did point and say "Ooooo".
My Favorite!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Raspberry Muffins with Goat Cheese Filling

Inspired by this recipe from Eating Well which I read the night before, and raspberries in the freezer, I came up with a new recipe this past Saturday morning. These are best right out of the oven, but we have found you can make the cheese warm again by microwaving them in a paper towel for 1 minute.

Raspberry Muffins with Goat Cheese Filling
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (or cream cheese)
2 tbps honey
1 tbs orange zest
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.

Dry ingredients
2 cups flour (can be 1 cup white whole wheat)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Wet ingredients
1 egg
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 tsp orange zest

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12 muffin tin.
Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl (goat cheese, honey, orange zest, 1/4 tsp vanilla). Set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredient in a smaller bowl. Add the wet to the dry, stirring to just combine. Fold in the raspberries.

Spoon half the batter evenly into the 12 muffin tins. Add 1tsp of the goat cheese mixture to each muffin. Cover with the remaining batter, so that the goat cheese does not show. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool 5 minutes in the muffin tin before tuning out on a rack to cool.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Harvests 1/11/10

Warning: Objects may appear larger than reality! (This is a mini-colander)

This week I harvested two things from under the lights indoors. They are probably the only harvests I will have from indoors since my lettuce seeds never took off and my peppers have been infested with aphids and sucked dry. One has died and the other is on its way. I could have saved them if I had done something about the aphids a few months ago, but now its too late.
I won't show you what they look like, its embarrassing. This is the one cayenne pepper that set before the aphid attack began. It just turned red. So now the only thing that is really producing under the grow lights in the herbs, rosemary, thyme, and basil. The funny thing is that we don't use the basil because its not a winter time flavor. Occasionally I remember to toss it in pasta sauce, but often it is forgotten.

My ginger died back recently and so I harvested the root this weekend. The main piece I planted back in June was no longer edible, but the off shoots where the leaves were created these two small pieces. I think if it had gotten more sun this summer and I had been more diligent about fertilizing it, they might have gotten bigger. They only weigh 1 1/4 oz. I haven't decided whether we'll eat it, or if I'll save it to re-plant and hope for better returns next year.

Maybe this week it will warm up so I can pick a few greens from the cold frame.
You can see what other gardeners are still harvesting at Daphne's Dandelions.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Last Projects of 2009

Over Christmas break, I finished two more projects to add to my total of knitting for 2009. The first is a sweater for my sister. I still need to sew the buttons on and then send it off to her in China.
The second was my teal fair isle sweater that had been neglected since the spring. I had knit to a point on the first sleeve and then couldn't decided how I wanted to finish off the sleeves. So it went away for the summer and fall. However, I knew I would have lots of time to knit over Christmas break and our travels to see family so I pulled it out to finish. After knitting both the sleeves I decided that the body was a bit too short for my liking. So I ripped out the design at the bottom and added another two inches of teal. Then I re-knit the edging design.
Both sweaters still need to be washed and blocked, but I'm glad to have completed them in 2009. That brings my adult sweater total to 6 sweaters!!