Archive for ‘June, 2007’

Black Beans and Brown Rice with Corn Tomato Salsa

This is my new favorite and I made it up, so I can share.

That new camera takes such pretty food pictures!

Make your own:

This makes a big pot- I’d think you could feed 6 or 8 with it.

2 cups brown rice (I used basmati)
4 cups water
splash olive oil
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. 13 oz. (the big one) can black beans, rinsed well and drained

Put everything but beans in big pot, bring to boil, then cover and simmer 40 min. (I like my beans really squishy, if you like yours more firm, wait until rice has cooked 50 minutes, add beans and cook 10 minutes more). Add black beans and stir to combine. Simmer 20 more minutes, until mixture is moist but not wet. Remove from heat.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
½ tsp. salt and black pepper to taste
7 oz. can chopped green chilies, including liquid
½ tsp. chili powder

In small saucepan (I like to use a small saucepan because it ½ sautees, ½ simmers.), heat oil and add onions, garlic, and salt. Cook over low heat until translucent, 10 minutes. Add chilies and chili powder. Cook over low heat until liquid is cooked mostly off, a few minutes more. Remove from heat.

After these two pots are done cooking, stir onion mixture into beans and rice. Serve topped with shredded cheese, corn and tomato salsa, and sour cream. Avocado would be good, too.

This would rock as a burrito, too.

Corn and Tomato Salsa

2 cups cooked corn kernels (frozen then thawed works, too)
2 tomatoes, chopped
a few tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped roughly
juice of 1 lime
¼ tsp cumin
salt and black pepper to taste
splash of balsamic vinegar

Mix together and chill until ready serve or serve at once.


Spinning Other People’s Fibers

I realized recently that not only did I not have a stash of spinning fibers, but I had absolutely no fibers dyed by other people. What a shame! I’d see fibers, then think “Ah, I can do that, so I shouldn’t spend the money.” Well, sometimes you just need a treat. Amy and I decided to trade subscriptions to each other’s fiber clubs, so that’s one fiber per month added to my stash. My first month receiving fiber from Amy was May and I finally got to spin it the night before last.

Nightshade colorway, Spunky Eclectic Spunky Club offering, May 2007
Coopworth wool
250 yards/ 4 oz.
sport/DK weight
singles yarn

This is a nice, soft single, as balanced as a single can be: not a hint of a twist to the skein when hung. Here’s some great info on spinning low-twist singles if you’re new to that.

Then I saw batts over at Spritely Goods and needed some of those. Can you blame me?

I started on these last night, spinning one batt into singles as is and splitting another into layers, one dark brown and white, the other brown, and then splitting the layers in two for the other single. I’ll spin the second bobbin in 4 big fat stripes and ply it with the first bobbin. Hopefully, this will result in long, subtle stripes in the finished 2-ply. Will report back on that!

I already have enough handspun brown yarn to combine that with the Nightshade to make a sweater. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a fiber to go with the Spritely Goods batts. Maybe you can help me figure out where I’ll find the time to knit this all up! Maybe I’ll stop cleaning the house to free up some time. :)

Since I never did post a photo of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club June offering, it’s about time.

18 Micron Merino wool top
4 oz.

This stuff is crazy soft! I hope everyone likes it. From now on, I’ll keep the dyes I mix up for the club fibers for a month or so, so that you may order more of a colorway if you like. Email to order and include your full name so I know who you are. This is only for club members.


Shop Overhaul

A LONG overdue upgrade of my shopping cart happened this afternoon. Whew! I tend to ignore the emails I get telling me new versions of things are available until I need to do something that can’t be done because my version is so old. That’s what happened. Someone lovely needed her newsletter shop update warnings back, and since I’d lost my old newsletter when Hello Yarn was summarily booted by its old host (You guys were overloading them!) and every other newsletter service either limited mailings to fewer people than were members or was confusing and expensive, I hemmed and hawed and waited. The only way to get a newsletter built into the shopping cart was to update. It was strenuous but I only broke one nail.

So, without further ado, if you’d like to sign up for shop update warnings and other possibly fun stuff, follow these instructions over at the shop.

In the left column, down a bit, you’ll see the Account Options section:

Click on Account Details. Scroll down and you’ll see this:

Click that little box to opt in, then click Continue. That’s it!

By the time next week’s shop update rolls around, I should have figured out how to actually send the newsletter out. :)

Maybe I’ll try to update my WordPress theme tomorrow! It could be a banner week.


Did you see the Hello Yarn Dye Kits in the Fall 2007 Knitscene (p.7)? Not only did they say wonderful things about me and the kit, but they paid for the postage and returned the kit and yarn to me, which was the last thing I expected.

There are a couple of really nice things in the magazine, too. The Stag Bag by Nora Gaughan is beautiful, and I love Breton Girl by Kat Coyle. The Seaweed Sweater CRACKS ME UP, though. Oh, my gosh, the 80’s attack. I’m officially old, huh?