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Yarn hug

November 21, 2008

I am sitting on my couch, surrounded by yarn. It’s my birthday in a few days, and so I may have allowed myself to buy yarn in the last few weeks with that in mind. That and I am a supporter of retail therapy – when my job or personal life get stressful, I shop.

Mama Blue Simple Merino Sock. For my sock yarn research. Right…

Speaking of yarn (what a segue), Mary-Kay has gone and opened her own online shop. I’ve been in love with her yarn since seeing it in the FoP group, and was lucky to receive a skein in swap. And then snag a few off of her blog sale. So go check her out – she has a wonderful sense of color and the yarn is beautiful.

Aspen Sock in Koi Pond

The year is wrapping up, and gift knitting is going strong. In spite of my resolution to not knit gifts. Yeah. Work is up and down – we have rushes of deadlines as everyone tries to deliver on projects they promised to complete by the end of the year, and then quiet times because no one wants to start anything new.

So, in the holiday spirit, it’s time for a bit of a contest. You can answer either of the two following questions, and get an entry for some yarny goodness (or some foodie olive oil goodness if yarn isn’t your thing). Question 1: I’m struggling for a gift idea for M – what do you give a guy who loves skiing/surfing/the outdoors but seems to have everything? And Question 2: I’m running out of dinner ideas that are easy to prepare and make good leftovers – meaning I’m living on alot of frozen stuff from TJ’s because I’m too worn out to cook when I get home from work. Any ideas? Deadline is 12/5, and pass it on! Anyone who mentions you in their response earns you an extra entry!

Back to hugging yarn…

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2008 1:40 am

    Question 1 is a toughie. Guys are just the worst! I do, however, have a suggestion for Question 2. Lasagna. Super easy to throw together, and provides lots of leftovers! I know this for a fact, because I made some on Sunday and we’ve been living off it all week!

  2. sknitty permalink
    November 21, 2008 2:01 am

    I actually have a suggestion for both 🙂

    The first seems like a hat situation. A better hat than he could ever buy – because it’s made by you!

    For the second, may I suggest roasted potatoes. You can make a huge batch quickly and the oven does most of the work. It was be pre-prepared as well, drizzle on olive oil and bam throw it in the oven for an hour. Cheap too for a highly nutritious meal/side.

  3. November 21, 2008 2:25 am

    how about making soups? or chicken curry. I love curry. Or maybe cook noodles and just make a bunch of sauces (quick) whenever you want.

  4. orata permalink
    November 21, 2008 2:50 am

    question 1: how about classes or a gift certificate to some outdoorsy activity? A class about wilderness survival or rock climbing, or a gift certificate to rent a boat or something?

    question 2: I have been making a TON of bread from the “almost no-knead bread” recipe from cook’s illustrated–a refinement of the mark bittman version from the NYT, requires about 10 mins of hands-on time, provides delicious crusty bread for between 3 days and a week. I suggest making this to go along with big pots of stew. These are both probably easier for me to deal with because I work from home and can leave things to simmer for ages, but you can make a big batch with a slow cooker or on a weekend and eat the leftovers for a week. My recipe: brown cubes of meat in oil (no flour), use water or wine or beer to deglaze the pan into a bowl and set the meat and liquid aside; saute chopped carrots, onions, celery, and garlic, dump flour on top of the veggies and cook it all for a few minutes, deglaze again, then dump all the liquid, meat, and veggies into a slow cooker (or put the meat and juice back in the pan and chuck it in the oven at 300 for 4 hours.) Add a can of tomatoes, some water, dried oregano, and a bay leaf, cook for hours till meat is falling apart and the house smells delicious. Make rice in a rice cooker (set it and forget it!) to go along with it, or instant mashed potatoes, which I think have gotten a bad rap.
    also, roasted cauliflower or broccoli is the easiest, tastiest thing ever. Wash and cut up, toss with olive oil, roast with salt and pepper, chuck it in the oven for 20 mins and go veg or have a beer or something while it cooks. For a fast dinner, I like this with a fried egg over easy and steamed rice.

    happy birthday in advance!

  5. kevinc permalink
    November 21, 2008 3:43 am

    1) A cute dog, perhaps a gray one.

    2) We made chicken alfredo w/veggies tonight. Really easy to make and quite good. Lots of leftovers too. Plus it is healthy, it is only butter and cream! We also added bacon.

  6. Kat permalink
    November 21, 2008 12:28 pm

    1. Travelogue books. Things with titles like “My kneecaps were gnawed off in the jungles of Patagonia”, and “Wolverines in the night: it didn’t end well”

    2. Sweet potato fries. YUM. Buy a sweet potato, cut it into fry-shapes, put it on a pan, sprinkle veggie oil on it, and bake at 250 for 20 minutes. YUM. Also good with Ranch dressing.

  7. November 21, 2008 2:26 pm

    hmm question 2, get yerself a crock pot and a recipe book for it. You throw everything in it int he morning turn it on go to work, come home and eat. EASY PEASY.

    hmm question 1..that’s a hard one. The are hard to shop for aren’t they. If you wanted to knit i agree with a hat or fingerless mitts. But i’m a firm believer in gift cards for his favorite places..even if you buy several for places he likes to get coffee or tea at too. to keep him warm when you are away.

  8. November 21, 2008 3:28 pm

    that blue sock yarn is gorgeous! happy early birthday to you 🙂
    i am a huge scrooge and don’t cook, so i’m afraid i’m no help 😦 maybe you could get M a nice coat for skiing. patagonia is my favorite brand. another good bet is anything from REI. i love the hell out of that place.

  9. November 21, 2008 3:58 pm

    1. maybe one of those waterproof shockproof cameras? i think olympus makes them. i was thinking of getting one of these for Eric because he broke his other camera. instead, i think i’m getting him a Garmin Edge for his bike. maybe M would like a GPS thingy too?
    2. i’m no help here. i don’t cook very well. 🙂

  10. Martha permalink
    December 2, 2008 11:20 pm

    1. A pair of handwarmers (knitted) and a pair of handwarmers (the kind that heat up when you snap the button, and you can reuse: http://www.amazon.com/Prism-Technologies-Proheat-Reusable-Warmer/dp/B000C9DCG8/ref=pd_bbs_sr_5?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1228259849&sr=8-5)

    2. Shepherd’s Pie. Basically a ground meat (I use turkey) base, with whatever veggies you have, topped with mashed potatoes. Easy, balanced and re-heatable.

  11. December 2, 2008 11:50 pm

    I think any knitted thing is good for a man who skis, although my man really only wears the socks and hats I make for him. I am trying felted slippers this year.
    Dinner… We make chilaquiles and they are great leftovers. Cook some meat or chicken, throw a jar or two of salsa over it and a can of beans. it should be pretty liquidy (is that a word?). Add a whole big bag of tortilla chips and turn until they are coated with sauce. Put in a pyrex dish, cover with grated cheese and put in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes until cheese melts. We eat it with sour cream and chopped onion on top and everyone, including kids, in our house loves it! Love your blog.

  12. December 3, 2008 6:16 am

    What to get the outdoorsy dude who has everything? Either a gift card to REI or make him a cowl, since scarves can be a hazard in extreme sports.

    The easy meal thing is a bit trickier. About 10 years ago I got this cookbook called Desperation Dinners. People laugh at me when they see it, but I seriously make about 6 recipes from there, which is pretty good for a cookbook IMHO. The recipes are supposed to cook in 20-30 mins but it always takes me a bit longer. Guess I’m kinda slow that way.

  13. December 4, 2008 2:41 am

    I love the cook book fix it and forget it easy quick and the best recipe is golden glow pork chops.Gift cards are always a winner with my hubby:)Hugs Darcy

  14. KimW permalink
    December 4, 2008 10:57 pm

    For the gift idea, how about some soothing face balm, for after a day in the sun/cold/wind. I found a couple of good choices for my husband at the drugstore (Neutrogena, Nivea), and natural foods stores have some good ones too. Our current quickie dinner is some kind of quiche or frittata. If I have a prepared crust I can throw in some cheese, then some veggies and maybe some ham. then eggs and milk. You can add potatoes for a frittata too. If I start it right when I get home and get it into the oven, I have time to change into something comfy and make a little green or Waldorf salad before it’s done. Hope these help!

  15. December 5, 2008 5:32 pm

    Question 1: A massage gift certificate. Everyone loves a massage, and a professional one is extra nice. I got one once (as a gift), and it was a nice treat to use when I really needed it.

    Sorry, I can’t help out with question 2! I don’t cook enough myself… But I do have to say, the tamales from Trader Joes (Green chile and cheese) are absolutely delicious!!

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