Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coq Au Vin; New Baby in the House

Coq Au Vin

Could it be that coq au vin is the most delicious meal in the world? Perhaps. What I do know is that the French person that threw together the first coq au vin was a gastronomic genius. The recipe that I use is from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook (yes, a shocker), is not really that difficult to make, and is a family pleaser.

Here's a pretty picture of coq au vin that I didn't take.

You will need:

6 tablespoons butter (omit if you want to be healthier)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 - 5 pounds of bone in chicken, chopped into parts
1/2 cup chopped bacon (my substitution, the recipe calls for ham)
3 medium yellow onions
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
3 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves
8 oz. mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup dry red wine

Preheat your oven to 275 F. Melt the butter and oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Remove to a plate. Add bacon, chopped onions, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, mushrooms, salt, and pepper to the Dutch oven and saute until the bacon begins to crisp. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan and put the chicken back into the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 2 hours. Prepare to momentarily die from the deliciousness.

New Baby In the House

Yes, for the night, we have another baby in our house. Meet Michelle, Kendall's Consumer Sciences baby.


Since we've been home, baby Michelle has had 2 bouts of crying which lasted about 2 minutes each. We've been here about an hour. Tim and I are hoping that Michelle is realistic and cries every 2 to 3 hours all night long. I was a little concerned about Will's reaction to the crying fake baby, but after one episode of crying Uncle Will got his priorities in order and went back about his business.


We are in the midst of a full on Yo Gabba Gabba takeover in this house. Can you find 3 Brobees in this picture? There are more in this house. Along with Plex, Toodie, Muno's guitar, The Dancy Dance dvd - need I go on? It's all good, though, because I think the show is amazing. It deals extremely well with manners, race relations, friendship, and the music is totally rockin'! Only 3 more days until the Jack Black premier episode!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lots of knitting

Well, it's been a while. Bad, bad case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. 'Nuff said on that.

Have been doing lots of knitting. Made two hats with the Binary Cable Hat pattern on Ravelry. I just love this pattern! It lets me cable while at the same time appealing to the geeky side of me as the cables represent the numbers 1 - 16 in binary. But it's cool enough that if it was gifted to a non-geek they'd love it, too.

The big picture shows the details.

Collin begged me for a hat, and I made him one in black and red using the Fibonacci strip sequence. For those of you not familiar with this, the number of rows in each band are added together to get the number of rows in the next band like this: first band has 1 row, 2nd has 2, add them together, next band has 3, etc. His hat used this sequence: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, then what I needed to do the crown decrease. I'm hoping that by placing a mathematical pattern on his head, math will flow into his head by osmosis. It's worth a try.


My poncho is now over half done. I am proud to report that I no longer need the pattern to work it - the cables just make sense!!! I've put it aside for a while because I've been itching to make a sweater, and I chose Michael Cors Cabled Sweater from the Fall 2004 edition of Vogue Knitting. If you are a Ravelry member, you can see a good example of it here. This is a little less than I have done currently - I just started it 3 days ago, so I'm happy with my progress.


One thing that has really helped is that I have learned to cable without using a cable needle. I've only done this over 4 stitches and am not sure that I could do it over 6, but it really speeds things up. I found a video for you from YouTube that demonstrates the basic way of doing this - I've found the method in this video to be by far the easiest.

Another thing about this sweater. It called for Tahki-Stacy "Zara Plus" yarn. At $10.50 a 50 oz. skein, and with me needing 21 skeins, this sweater would have cost me around $220 to make. I would love to go out and get this yarn, really, really would. However, I'm not related in any way to Daddy Warbucks. So, the sweater is being made with Caron Simply Soft. I know - a Michael Kors in acrylic???!!! This yarn is soft, I like knitting with it, it has a lot of give, and I'll be able to machine wash and dry the sweater. And it will just get softer and softer. Yes, acrylic is o.k. Embrace it. Love it. Just be sure to use a soft kind like Caron Simply Soft (my fave) or Vanna's Choice (which I feel is a little rougher) or Berroco Comfort (a nylon/acrylic blend and also the most expensive, but the most bragworthy with your knitty friends, of the bunch). Yes, acrylic can be your friend.

We aren't related. Plus, he's not real.
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