Overdue Post! Valentine’s Day 2013

I apologize (to you and to myself!) for not posting for awhile! Lately, I’ve had a bunch of extra work to do at the university and so have been trying to keep up with all the normal stuff on the side. Gah! Talk about throwing a wrench into my crochet blanket plans. ;) Needless to say, that got put on hold for a bit. In the meantime, Valentine’s Day came and went! My husband and I decided to hold off celebrating until Friday, but he did surprise me with some beautiful flowers on Thursday…

I didn’t used to be a flower person, but there’s a lot to say about how much having flowers in the apartment brightens and livens up a room! Aren’t they beautiful? Due to owning two Kitties Who Eat Plants, the bouquet had to live in the bathroom (the one room that can be blocked off from kitty access without any inconvenience).

Friday night, my husband surprised me with dinner at one of my favorite places we don’t visit very often – Mai Thai in Omaha. I’m terrible and get the same thing every time we visit: fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce for an appetizer, and garlic chicken with veggies for the entree. Everything is SO delicious! By the end of dinner, it had started snowing some giant sticky snowflakes. So pretty.

All in all, a wonderful Valentine’s Day with a wonderful husband! <3

Cocoa, Kitty, and Crochet

This week has absolutely flown by! Partially, it’s seemed short due to the university being closed on Monday, but the rest of the days were really quite a blur. Each semester begins like this – all of the planning and getting used to a new schedule means I’m bouncing between lots of different work activities. Right now one of my biggest challenges at work is getting my students to “open up.” It’s tough on them to participate openly in a new class (let alone physics/astronomy, which most students are afraid of in one way or another) with 90 classmates. It’ll take them some time!

Luckily, after especially exhausting days, I know I have the sweetest husband to come home to! Yesterday I was feeling really crumby, and he surprised me with some caramel hot cocoa in my favorite mug and “made” me curl up on the couch with some snuggly blankies. He’s just the best!

The kitties definitely help after a rough day, too. Unconditional love from a little furry creature is one of the best feelings, I think. Especially when that creature will sit on your lap and purr while you crochet… Oooh, heaven! Surprisingly, Bad Kitty (shown above) is the one who will behave around yarn (mostly). Good Kitty doesn’t like to sit on a lap that’s moving around in any way. He’s very picky. ;)

I mentioned in my last post I’d be working on a new project at nighttime, and it’s going pretty well. Unfortunately, the first attempt at this new project was a failure – the pattern seemed like it would work out, but various aspects of it just didn’t look right. So I made up a new plan & pattern, have made a few of the pieces (you can see above), and will soon be working on putting it all together. I’ll let you know how it works out! :)

Yummy Saturday

I’ve been under the weather for the past couple of days with a cold, so today was the perfect day to take it easy and get spoiled with some yummy foods. This morning, my husband made his oh-so-delicious Italian hash browns – shredded potato with his “secret” mix of Italian spices, all fried up in olive oil. Yum!

To add to today’s spoiling, I pulled out my favorite cookbook this afternoon – an old Betty Crocker “Cooky Book” that my sister got for me. I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried! And believe me, I’ve tried a lot of those darn cookies.

Today I made the peanut butter cookies, one of our favorites. We’ve made these a lot, and there’s an interesting add-on next to the recipe – to cut out half of the shortening and add in some honey. I keep wanting to try it, but each time I make these cookies it’s because we’re reeeally craving them, and my husband isn’t sure he’ll like the honey version (honey is my thing, not his). So, we didn’t take the risk today… maybe someday soon. :)

I pulled out the small arsenal of cookie making tools I always use – a stainless steel mixing bowl, a “spoonula” (best thing ever), a one-inch cookie scooper, and a whole lot of measuring spoons & cups. Can’t really go wrong with these guys.

Something I really love about peanut butter cookie dough is how easy it is to work with. I’m not sure if it’s just this recipe or if it’s all peanut butter cookies, but the dough doesn’t stick to anything! I guess that’s how you know there’s too much butter in there to be good for anybody. We decided to experiment and add some chocolate chips (adding chocolate is safer than adding honey?)…

…which was quite delicious! But, the chocolate overpowered the peanut buttery taste too much. We opted to skip the chips for the rest of the batch.

So far, a delicious day for sure. Now to get back to sniffling and sneezing… and maybe a little nap. :)