Friday, February 24, 2012

Yarn & Food, Two of My Favorite Things

This  (bread) bowl of yarn was once.....

....this sweater from Goodwill.

I know, you're thinking it can't be, as they aren't even the same color. Try as I might, I couldn't get the yarn balls to photograph right. It was a bit late in the day when I took pictures of the wound balls of yarn. The partially dismembered sweater above was actually a whole sweater when I bought it. I didn't think to photograph it bfeore I began the long and laborious job of deconstructing it.  I've recycled thrift store sweaters into yarn before, but never one as time-consuming as this. I was disappointed to find many knots in the yarn, too; hence so many varied sizes of balls.  Goodwill's sweaters are $3.49, but they were having a buy-one-get-one-free sale, so this sweater only cost me $1.75. I couldn't find another worthy of recycling, but I found a lovely chocolate brown zip-up cardi in great shape, which I think my daughter might  like.

The sweater's yarn color was much richer than it looks in the picture above. The color of it really jumped out at me in the store. I usually look for size large or extra-large sweaters, so I'll get more yarn. This was sized small, but such a pretty color. I'm thinking of knitting an infinity cowl with the yarn.   I realize winter is nearly over; but knowing me, it may not get  completed before next winter. It took me  a few days to get to this point with the yarn. I still have to wash it, then hang it to dry over the shower stall.  I'll weight the ends  to pull out the kinks in the yarn. I'll then wind it back into balls and be ready to get my knit on!

A little something to tempt your taste buds.

My son saw this dish being cooked on a morning news show earlier this week. He's not one to care about cooking or recipes, but he does know what looks good to him, and apparently this dish did.  I googled and found the recipe here. I'm not one to take someone else's recipe and pass off as my own, but I will type it out here, simply because I made some modifications, which I felt it needed. The original was the idea for it, though.

Crock Pot Soft Chicken Tacos
1)Put 3 or 4 chicken breasts (I used frozen) in your crock pot. Spellchecker reminded me crock pot is two words. I can never remember that. Yea for spellchecker!
2)Add  one can Rotel tomatoes (I use store brand equivalent).
3)You can add in a diced onion, or you can wait & use fresh chopped onion as you're making your tacos, which is what I did.
4)Add one can whole kernel corn, drained.
5)Add one can black beans, drained (I rinsed mine in a colander).

Sheesh, that was hard, huh?  Seriously, for starters, that's all there is to it. That makes the filler for your tacos.  All I did differently was to add seasonings. I did this after cooking it, when I realized it was somewhat bland.

I added about a teaspoon of cumin, and some onion  & garlic powders, all to taste.  You could probably even add a package of taco seasoning to the crock pot as you're cooking the chicken, but I'm trying to get away from using processed foods. I'm not there yet, but I leave them out when I can. Of course, you can also make your own taco seasoning, which I guess is sort of what I did.

To make the soft tacos, I buttered one side of corn tortillas, laid them buttered side down in a nonstick skillet on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
After removing from the skillet, I sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top.  You can use cheddar, but just sos' you know, it's nearly twice the saturated fat grams as the white stuff. Just sayin'.
I spooned the chicken mixture in a strip across the center of the tortilla, sprinkled a little more cheese on top of the meat, then carefully folded over the tortilla and returned it to the pan. You may have to hold it with a spatula to keep it from unfolding.
After a minute or so, gently turn it over to the other side.  This doesn't make the tortillas crispy like a store bought shell, but it gives them a slight crunch, and makes it easier to hold when eating.
Return the taco to a plate, then fill with whatever ingredients you like in a taco. Mine has diced tomatoes, diced onions, sour cream (nonfat), picante sauce, & shredded lettuce.   This meal was a big hit with Mr.Studley & my son. I used 3 chicken breasts in mine, and it made a LOT.

I celebrated a birthday last week. Well, celebrated might be stretching it a bit.  We live in a small town, with a handful or restaurants, and not a lot else. Eating out isn't a big deal since we do it through the year anyway, always at the same old places. We could've driven a couple of hours to big  D, but I just wan't feeling a road trip. Mr. Studley took me to a couple of thrift stores, waiting patiently while I looked to my heart's content, then we went out for some yummo  Chinese food.  Hardly an exciting way to commemorate my 56 years here on this earth, but a fun day for me, nonetheless.  I always have fun hanging out with Mr. Studley.

Our weather has been mild, and I'm starting to see a lot of these. They always make me smile.  Be blessed!

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
~1 Peter 4:8 Amplified Bible


Debra said...

Hi Renna. I haven't deconstructed a sweater yet, but have wanted to. I love the sweater you picked. It's very cold here-a cowl would be perfect-I've been wanting to make one.
Love, Debra

Debra said...

Renna-Last night I was half asleep and remembered I forgot to say Happy Birthday to you!!!!
Happy Birthday!

I LOVE going to thrift shops on my birthday-I have a favorite Good Will store that I only get to around that time of year because it's so far from our home. My hubby patiently waits in the car. I lose track of time.....he's so good!
Love, Debra

Paula said...

Happy Belated Birthday, dear friend! Your celebration sounds wonderful to me... I'm not a big partier, I like things simple and quiet.
I usually feel guilty when my hubby has to wait on me while I spend forever in the fabric store, but he's like Mr. Studley~ he doesn't seem to mind..
Your recipe sounds SO GOOD. I'll definitely have to try it because we like Mexican food. (Even though sometimes it doesn't like me...)
Hope you're having a wonderful week, Sweetie!

Kat said...

Miss Renna....Happy belated birthday my dear friend. Man we must be gittin old, your birthday sounds Heavenly...a thrift shop, Chinese food ALL with your bestie?
Im happy for you. I am completely impressed bowing to you & your patience in un-constructing a knit anything....your blog entries always act like such a balm for my soul...I love you sista!

Debra said...

Hi Renna! Thank you for such a nice comment at my blog...

I wanted to tell you the name of that book about witnessing-It's called "Just Walk Across the Room," by Bill Hybels. It's a good book-very practical. I could never argue with a person about my faith, so all the apologetics books always scared me. This one is about trusting the Lord first of all, to give you the right timing, the right words, and to know that we don't have to feel like we have to be THE ONE to lead a person to Christ. Maybe we are just a seed planter for someone. For another person, we very well could be the one to get them introduced to Jesus. This book is not a 'formula' book, so I really liked it, and came away with some insight.

Love you, and look forward to your next post. Hope you and the family are all well...

Bobbi said...

Now, I'm seeing it was your birthday Rena. Did I wish you a happy birthday? I don't remember if I did or not. If I didn't... here is a Happy Very Belated birthday to you. Ugh! Usually on FB I catch if someone is having a birthday, but I know there are some I miss.

Great idea with the yarn. That food looks wonderful.

Debra said...

All righty, you can only do just so much knitting! Then you have to tell us about it and show some pictures! I MISS you, darn it!!!
Love, Debra

Paula said...

Hello, dear~ just stopping by to say hello and I've missed you! Hope all is well....

Susy said...

Hey there Renna. Just checking in to see how you are ~ I haven't visited for a long while. Your crockpot taco recipe sounds great! Think I'll make it tomorrow night. Hope you're enjoying a nice spring. Blessings xo

Karen June Miller said...

I was just rereading blog comments.

I am cracking up at your explanation of The Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas. Love the cowboy hat. Only Texas...

I hope all is well in your kingsized state!

Idaho City

Pamela said...

Yarn and food are two of my favorite things, too. I bought a ecru sweater to unwind, too. Just haven't done it yet. I splurged and got a skein with crystals and now wonder what to do with it. It isn't as easy to you and I thought.

Paula said...

Darn, I came here thinking you had posted something... *ahem*... I said I came here thinking you had posted something... *hint hint*
Just kidding around... thanks for the sweet comments on my blog, dearie. And by the way~ GORGEOUS profile pic! :)

Christine said...

I've recycled a bunch of sweaters that way. I like to use 100% cotton sweaters; the yarn is perfect for dishcloths.

I nominated you for a Liebster award, whatever that is. lol. Don't feel obligated, but it's one of those things where you answer some questions, and then ask some of your own to some other bloggers. Details are here: