Thursday, March 21, 2013

Monthly menu plan - March/April

Strawberries #2

It's that time of the month again! No, no THAT time of the month. Sheesh! I mean for my monthly menu plan. As per usual, I'll provide links to recipes if I use them directly from a website. If they are from a recipe book, then I'll link to the book. If the recipe has no link, then the recipe is one of my own that I have invented over the years.

Let the menu planning begin!

Week One
Monday - Baked potatoes with lentil bolognaise, spinach, grated carrots and cheese
Tuesday - Zucchini, pea and spinach risotto
Wednesday - Chicken curry (I added some pumpkin to ours, which sort of melded in to form a pumpkin/coconut soup. Man, it was SO GOOD!)
Thursday - Curried pea and lettuce soup with garlic toasts
Friday - Baked salmon parcels (sort of like this recipe, but I'll be using cherry tomatoes and green beans, and no mustard, instead)
Saturday - Quick lamb curry
Sunday - Roast chicken

Week Two
Monday - Creamy chicken, rocket and pea pasta (using left over roast chicken)
Tuesday - Honey roasted pumpkin soup
Wednesday - Lentil and vegetable cottage pies, with peas and broccoli on the side
Thursday - Roasted vegetable lasagne with garden salad
Friday - Baked potatoes with tuna, corn and coleslaw
Saturday - Roasted vegetable and caramelised garlic barley risotto
Sunday - Easter! I haven't planned anything yet, as I'm not sure who is coming for dinner, and I promised Tyger that she could help me figure out the menu. I think a blue cheese and pear salad is a must for the starter, though.

Week Three
Monday - Pearl barley minestrone
Tuesday - Roasted vegetable and feta pie with green salad
Wednesday - Silverbeet and potato soup with garlic bread
Thursday - Sausage and bean stew with couscous
Friday - Spaghetti with ricotta and rocket
Saturday - Pizza - probably roast veg, and mushroom + capsicum, served with a green salad
Sunday - Red wine stew with garlicky mash

Week Four
Monday - Vegetable pasties with garden salad
Tuesday - Beef and mushroom stroganoff
Wednesday - Vegetable pasta bake
Thursday - Lentil soup
Friday - Jambalaya
Saturday - Satay tempeh burgers
Sunday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

I also plan on making some vegetable soups to store away in the freezer, which can be quickly thawed out for (a) me to have for breakfast, because I'm weird like that and (b) for Tyger to take to school for lunch in her beloved Thermos.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



That's the thing about cables - they are so addictive that you zoom right along, panting excitedly at the prospect of seeing the next one formed. What - no panting from you? Huh. Weird - I'm panting all the way. Maybe not out loud, but there is definitely some internal monologue-ing going on. "Look! Another cable! Does life get any better? Knit 5 from the left, knit 5 from the back - whooooeee. Check.It.Out! It's a beauty! And only 12 stitches until the next cable. Yee har!"

And the cable decreases? Oh boy, don't get me started! Yep, it's all adrenaline knitting around here at chez Jorth. As the Galumph would say, it keeps me off the streets. What, exactly, he thinks I might be doing on those streets I've never dared ask. Maybe he's worried I'll race up to total strangers and declaim my love of cable knitting to them. Like that would be a bad thing (scoffs).

Anyway, the beanie called Kat is done, and done quickly at that.  It was quite a fun knit, once I got over the post-rib increase row (it was a doozy). Looks best worn like a slouchy tam, as modelled by Grumbles.

Now, as Bridget Jones would say, back to the studio! Or in my case, back to the Isabel dress. Wheee - more cables!

Project Details
Pattern: Kat by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: 2 x Rowan Kid Classic in shade 832 (super dark chocolate brown)
Needles: 3.75mm and 4.5mm

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chocolate and cables


"A lot of women claim to be addicted to chocolate", said the psychologist, in his dry droning manner. "Do you feel, Ms Jorth, that this could be said of you?"

"Well," said Jorth, comfortably seated in her favourite stuffed chair in the consulting room for People With Craft Addictions with her latest project nestled in her lap, "I think I might be addicted to knitting these chocolate-coloured cables. Does that count?"

The shrink said nothing, as was his want, but his scribbling on Jorth's patient notes seemed to go on for an awfully long time.

Eek! What am I doing - I should be finished up the Tyger's knitted dress. Instead I fell for the allure that is Rowan Kid Classic and for the thrill of cables in the Kat pattern. Chocolate cables - I was powerless to resist! And besides - I just really fancied a break, and wanted a quick knit - ever feel like that?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2176 (The Scribble Dress)

In regards to this hot weather, I figure if you can't lick 'em, you'd better join 'em - or in my case, keep the summer dresses rolling!

Scribble Dress #1

Scribble Dress #2

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 2176 (Project Runway)
Fabric: 1.5m cotton from GJ's Discount Fabrics
Notions: Fusible interfacing, 35cm invisible zipper

Ach, you know me - can't go past the classic pink'n'red combination! It reminds me of my uni days as a science student. I know to the casual observer that there doesn't seem to be an immediate similarity, but bear with me! We used to wear lab coats for half our classes, and when bored would resort to scribbling on them. Sort of like tatts for lab coats. This dress, in a roundabout way, feels like a grown-up version - and is far more flattering to the figure than a lab coat that stinks of horse blood agar! Ah, those were the days - might explain why I now run a website focusing on sustainable fashion, rather than spend all day at a lab bench, hee hee!

Ok, enough reminiscing about the past - let's get to the sewing! This was a pretty easy pattern to make up, with no major adjustments required. The one big quibble I have is that the pattern instructions call for you to press the front bodice seam (the one right over the bust point) towards the centre, rather than clipping the curves and pressing the seam flat open. I did this against my better judgement, and now regret it, as the seam doesn't sit as flat as it should. Darn it! Won't fall for that one again!

Also, I really should have added some pockets to the skirt. The pattern doesn't provide any, but I feel this is a definite contender for pockets. I keep flopping my hands about the skirt, hoping against hope that some pockets have miraculously appeared, but nooooooooo! If I ever make it again, some quickly self-drafted pockets will be a must!

Apart from that, it's a cute easy dress. I quite like the pleats, and can picture a red one in the future with some cute patterned grosgrain trim. Not that I'm planning on any more summer dresses...ahem!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Can't take the heat


Dear Weather Gods,

According to the latest forecasts, ol' Melbourne town is due to have 9 days of temperatures reaching over 30 C or more. To that I have this to say:

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? C'mon - it's officially autumn! Time for beanies and mittens and pumpkin soup! Now, while I love a summer frock as much as the next girl, I'm sort of over the heat. I'm over the bike ride commute in the blazing sun, the perma-sweat moustache I'm always sporting and I'm over the hat hair (trumps skin cancer, but still - not.a.good.look!)

Plus I have grand plans to knit up a whole bunch of winter dresses. Now, that ain't gonna happen if this heat continues. My craft priorities are getting muddled - do I keep on making summer dresses or do I swelter trying to knit in the heat, preparing for (hopefully) cooler days ahead? Confusion is reigning! So please please pretty please can we get the weather back to normal? A brisk 15 C will suit me down to the ground.

If this is unachievable from your end, then I shall simply have to pack bags and head to Scotland. Good old reliable blissfully cool Scotland!

Yours sincerely,