Chicken Enchilada Soup/Stew

I had a few recipes I found on Pinterest that I wanted to try.  This was one of them.  Chicken Enchilada Soup.  It turned out really good.

chicken enchilada soup

I used about two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (on sale!).  I added two cans of the fire-roasted tomatoes.  The recipe calls for two cups of chicken stock.  I added one cup, but I think next time I won’t add any.  I made the enchilada sauce (as suggested in the recipe) and used all of that and I feel it would have been enough liquid.  I didn’t want a liquidy soup, more of a stew.

The flavour is very nice – not too spicy, just right.  I did use the “mild” green chiles (little tin in the Mexican aisle).  Definitely will make this one again.

Titanic Socks!

I finished these the other day – wow, I love this yarn!

Biscotte & Cie "titanic" colourway

Biscotte & Cie “titanic” colourway

Here’s the Ravelry project page.  I did my usual women’s medium sock formula.  The yarn is Biscotte & Cie “Felix” sock yarn.  Beautiful colours and fabulously soft!  I have a couple more skeins of this yarn in my stash.

I have started another pair of socks, just basic pattern, but I want to get another pair of No-Purl Monkey socks on the needles.  Such a fun pattern.

Looking forward to more Fall weather.  We can feel a hint of coolness in the breeze, but it’s still hot enough during the afternoons that we need the air conditioner on.  I’m not a fan of summer at all; give me crisp Autumn mornings and cold winter days.

Gratuitous Greyhound Photos:

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Rufus is worried.

Rufus is worried.

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Ava is content.

Ava is content.

Muffin Fail

So while I strive to eat clean, sometimes you just need a treat.  I came across this recipe on Pinterest – it looked okay.  It’s “Five Ingredient Blender Muffins“.  Natural peanut butter, ripe bananas, chocolate chips!  Perfect!  However …

muffin fail

To be fair, the recipe is for “mini” muffins, but even taking that into account and lengthening my baking time, I still had some problems with about half of the muffins not baking in the middle.

Next time I will only fill the muffin cups half full and that should work. The ones that did bake all the way through tasted great! I used not even 1 Tbsp honey and they were plenty sweet enough with the ripe banana.

my favourite pic from Saturday

my favourite pic from Saturday

Our reffing crew was in Kindersley Saturday night.  The “official” game photos haven’t been posted yet, but Bill took this one with his phone.  My go-to “you can’t do that” (like the hockey ref) when I can’t spit out the correct verbal cue.  LOL!!

Still lots of derby games before the end of the season in December.  Keeping rolling on!

Chopper’s Gotcha Day

Another week or so has gone by.  Still busy with Crossfit and derby.  On Saturday we had a “ref education” day where the players came to skate so we could learn.  We had a great turnout.  It was five hours long and there was lots of sneakery and crazy scenarios thrown it to keep us on our toes.  Fantastic day of learning!

taking a break!

taking a break!

Yesterday was Chopper’s First “Gotcha Day” anniversary with us.

his first jaunt in the yard with is new brother and sister

his first jaunt in the yard with his new brother and sister

He’s definitely settled into his retirement and put on a bit of needed weight in the past year:

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I finished (and shipped off) the purple socks I’d been working on.  They turned out great!  The Ravelry project page is here.

purple "No Purl Monkey" socks

purple “No Purl Monkey” socks

I had forgotten what a fun pattern it is to work on.  After the first few rounds, it is easy to memorize the pattern repeat.

Still can’t decide what sweater I want to make next, so I took some of my newest sock yarn and started some socks.  This is Biscotte & Cie “Felix” self-striping sock yarns.  Simply fabulous!

this colourway is "Titanic"

this colourway is “Titanic”

I have a few more hanks of this yarn in different colourways, so I will probably use them up next.

The summer is flying by

but I don’t really mind.  I don’t like hot, humid weather.  We just had a long weekend holiday (the Monday was a civic stat) but since I’ve been “retired”, I don’t count the hours until time off/extra days off.  But everyone had some nice weather for their long weekend.

Bill and I have been keeping busy with little projects around the house and going to Crossfit.  Plus I’ve been doing a lot of reffing this season.  The past couple of reffing outings have not been a great deal of fun due to some shitty attitudes, but I hope the next three Saturdays will be an improvement.  I’m not sure – it seems to me like derby is waning a bit, at least in our province.  Lots of low attendance, games being cancelled, teams losing players.  Hard to say what will happen; our league had a great recruitment event last month, so hopefully they can retain the new skaters.

I’ve been stuck a little at Crossfit; my power lifts haven’t really improved a lot in the past number of months.  I think I will need to devote some time at “open gym” to building strength up.  Last night we worked to a one rep max for back squat and since a year ago, I have only increased that by five pounds.  And I had done 162 earlier in the year, but could only do 155 last night.

We’ve gone on a few bike rides around the city on our Rotary Trail.  Just waiting for the city to finish the latest section then it will be almost completely linked/ringed except for a very short portion where we can just ride on the street.  I traded my bike in on a new one; this one has 8 gears vs the 3 speed I have had for a few years.  It’s nice to be able to get up a bit of speed on the straight/flat areas.

current socks in progress

current socks in progress

I hadn’t made this pattern for several years; after a few rounds of the pattern, it came back to me.  It’s quite easy to memorize once you get going.  This yarn is very nice, too – I like the vintagey look to it.  I have one sock ready for toe decreases, and will have the other one there later today.  Could possibly have these done and mailed out by the weekend.

Still no decision on what I’m going to knit next for a “big” project.  I love knitting socks, so I might just knit a few more pairs until I find something that I can’t wait to cast on.  I do have yarn for a few sweaters …

The poopers are doing good.  Rufie has adapted well to having only seven teeth.  He gets a little extra chicken from me when I’m in the kitchen and he’s around.  Ava has slowed down a lot over the summer.  She is happy to just stay in and recline on her couch and enjoy the air conditioning.  We took her out the other day for a short walk – then Bill and the boys went on their usual long walk.  Ava was getting shaky legs towards the end, but she was happy to be out in the fresh air.  It wasn’t a super hot day, so quite pleasant for all.

Queen Ava

Queen Ava

Baby Girl is 11.5 now.  Her health is good, she is just getting up there in years.

Rufie working hard

Rufie working hard

The boys are good companions for each other.  Chopper needs someone to play with, and Rufie needs someone to make him run and burn off some flab.

Chopper in his favourite spot

Chopper in his favourite spot

We decided against going on our “big” West Coast vacation this year.  Ava really prefers to be a homebody and with three hounds, it’s a bit of work with a certain amount of stress.  So we will hang out at home and see where we are next year with regard to our hound family.

The past two days have been cool, overcast and drizzly.  I really like days like this.  I’m sure we’ll get more 30°C+ temps before summer is really over, but I’m happy with the hint of coolness in the breeze and being able to have the windows open at night and not need to run the a/c all the time.

Yay Socks!

Still trying to decide what my next “big” project will be. So I have cast on some socks.

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No Purl Monkey Socks

This is a lovely Online Supersocke yarn in their “vintage colours” line. I’m doing two at a time.

That’s a big plane

Last week our local airport had a three-day “air fair”.  The middle day had the Snowbirds and a CF18 demonstration team, but we went to Crossfit instead of watching that.  On the Thursday afternoon we drove out to see the static displays.  It ended up being only the B17 on display, but that was okay because that was the big draw for me.

The Commemorative Air Force in the States has a number of vintage war birds that they have restored and maintain in flying condition and they tour the continent.  Three years ago, they had their B25 Miss Mitchell attend a one-day air show here.  This year, it was to be the B17 Sentimental Journey and the B25 Made in the Shade.  Unfortunately, the B25 didn’t make it from its date in Manitoba – mechanical difficulties meant it had to be taken back into the States for some work.

the details!

When we arrived, there weren’t very many people around.  After we finished our walk through, the line up was stretching far.  I wanted to shoo them all away so I could get a nice photo.

B17 Sentimental Journey

As was usual in WWII, the planes all had nose art.  This was Betty Grable.

nose art!

If you click through onto the CAF site, they have info files on each of the planes.  Here’s the pdf for the B17.

The engines

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the ball turret

In the documentation, it tells us that there were seven gunner positions throughout the plane.  The bombardier in the nose also had to man a gun when required.  The ball turret and rear gunner were probably the most precarious.

Bill in the waist section

the cockpit and instrument panel

We really like aviation history and Bill particularly likes WWII history, so whenever we have the chance to see something like this, we will go!  There are more photos on my flickr album here (scroll down to see the plane photos).

“I’ve lost count” Sock Yarn Hat

I had started this hat back in April when I was making sock yarn hats.  It was set aside for the Lush cardigan and the shawl.  I don’t like having multiple projects underway, so put my mind to finishing this before starting something new.

finished!

Ravelry project page is here.  I still had some of these two yarns left over, so have started another hat just to have something on hand in case I need no-mind knitting.

I am still contemplating my next project, but it might be Itineris.

In other news, after a couple of days of cooler temps and some rain, we are back into the 30°C+ range temps and higher humidity.  Blah.  Very thankful for our central air conditioning.

Ava agrees!

Finished the Shawl and a Hat

That certainly took more attempts than it should have.  But I persevered and finished the “Age of Brass and Steam” kerchief/shawlette.

Age of Brass & Steam

Age of Brass & Steam

Ravelry project page is here.  I ended up doing four complete “stocking stitch” sections, and on the fifth one, I stopped after the 7th set of rows because I feared I would run out of yarn.  I had 6 g of yarn left after completing the “final section” and casting off, so good call.

detail

detail

It measures 60″ wide by 20.5 inches deep, blocked.  The fabric is soft and drapey and quite luxurious with the cashmere blend.

Now that it’s complete, I likely would do this pattern again.  I know that I have to pay attention on the purl rows to not forget those extra yarn overs.

Last night I also finally finished a sock yarn hat that I had started April 27 (according to my Ravelry page).  It got set aside to work on the Lush cardigan, then got left at home when I flew to Vancouver, and when I got back, I wanted to conquer the Age of Brass and Steam shawl.

I’ll have photos of that tomorrow.  The one I took last night was not very good.

It’s been a busy month; I’ll write more in the next few days.

Chopper hard at work.

Chopper hard at work.

Will it defeat me?

Before I went on my visit to Vancouver, I started a shawl so I would have a no-brainer project on hand for knitting at the airport, etc. (Rav link: Age of Brass and Steam)

I have had to re-start the damn thing four times.  My stitch count kept being short by one or two stitches whenever I finished a section and actually counted.

The pattern has both yarn overs and “M1” increases on the right side, and YOs on the purl side.  I suspect I am missing the odd YO on the purl side.  I have now gotten to this point:

Age of Brass & Steam

Age of Brass & Steam

The yarn is really lovely – Sweet Georgia Yarn’s Cashluxe Fine (merino, cashmere sock yarn).

the colour is "rusted"

the colour is “rusted”

I tried to work on it last night, but didn’t feel like it.  I am again out by one stitch.  I know I can make it up during this next section, but to be consistently missing YOs or increases is bothering me.  I’m tempted to rip it out (again) and make a Boneyard shawl.  Love that pattern!

I have been very busy this month with roller derby (something every weekend).  Coming up there is a recruitment event on Sunday, then practices, then another double header on July 11.  I have committed to ref for a couple of other leagues in the province during their season, so have some other dates as well.  Then I think it will slow down a bit.  It’s all great, but man, was it hot on Saturday night when the outside temp was above 30°C, humid and inside the arena was just as stifling.  Blah.

For the past month the northern half of our province has been in dire straits with wild/forest fires raging uncontained.  We have had mornings and evenings where we’d get a whiff of wood smoke, but since early this morning, we have had thick, thick smoke.  Our air quality health index is at 10+ (which is “very bad”).  Hopefully we (and the north) will get some rain soon to cool things down and put some of the fires out.

smokey

smokey