Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Sweater for Matty

Matt's birthday is coming up in late August and I was trying to think of something cool to get him. It's hard to buy for someone and make it a surprise when you share an account and live with them so I decided to make him a sweater:) I love how excited he was when I told him. I knew it would be something he would be extremely stoked about and that he would love. I found this pattern in the Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine and knew instantly that it was perfect for Matt. I think it's such a handsome cardigan! 
This will possibly be my greatest knitting challenge to date. As you know, I've made a lot of accessories and a few afghans but I've never attempted a sweater. Somehow, knitting an entire article of clothing just seems overwhelming. I think I'm ready for it though, and I plan on making myself something after I've completed this:) We went to my favorite yarn store on Friday and picked up the yarn for it. The pattern calls for cashmere wool yarn that is ridiculously expensive and dry clean only. I got some bulky yarn that is 75% acrylic and 25% wool so that I can wash it and it's obviously a lot cheaper to make. I love how knitting or sewing your own clothing is more expensive than if you just bought it (insert heavy sarcasm). It honestly makes zero sense to me. But, it's more meaningful and heartfelt and I love doing it so it's worth it to me. I still feel like handmade items should be more cost effective but oh well... 
The top picture is what I've done so far and the bottom is what it will look like when it's completed (hopefully). I started working on it Saturday morning. Matt took his GRE on Saturday. I wanted to have something to work on because I thought I'd be nervous and anxious while he was gone, but I was surprisingly calm. I knew in my heart that he was prepared and that he would do amazing. Of course, I was right. He is going to kill me for posting this, but I think a wife has a right to brag on her husband:) He got a 1320! That is the average GRE score of the students at Princeton by the way:) Yes, he is a genius and I couldn't be more thrilled and proud of him. He was so worried and filled with dread over the test so I am thankful that it is over and that he is satisfied with his scores, as he should be. He is starting the application process and is applying to a lot of different schools so say a prayer that he gets in. I don't doubt that there will be a school somewhere that will want him for a grad student, but it's so competitive nowadays... I like to imagine that he will wear this sweater when he is a professor someday. Doesn't it just look like a professor's cardigan? All he needs is a corncob pipe:)
In other news our tomato plants have finally blossomed! We are crossing our fingers that we will be eating yummy, fresh tomatoes soon. Does anyone know about how long it takes for the fruit to be ready once the plant blossoms?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Homemade Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream!

My family came to our humble abode for a little visit yesterday. We had such a nice time. I love seeing my mom and her sisters together. They crack me up:) We went out for a great lunch and Matt thought it would be fun to make them a dessert so he made...... homemade ice cream!!! Not just any homemade ice cream, but cinnamon peach ice cream! He found the recipe on When we went to his parent's house Friday night to borrow her ice cream maker (and do laundry, of course) Mona busted out the most adorable cups ever to serve them in. I swear there is not an occasion known to man that my mother-in-law is not prepared for! She is armed for any situation with something adorable to adorn it with:)
 I cannot put how amazing the ice cream turned out into words. It was beyond words. Rich and yet light and fruity and sweet... yum yum yum! If you have an ice cream maker you have to try this. If you don't have one; go get one solely for this purpose. It had been so long since I'd had homemade ice cream. There's just nothing like it:)
Now that I've gone on and on... I hope you are all have a sweet and beautiful weekend with those you love!

Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs. ripe fresh peaches pealed and puréed

Combine cream and milk in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. When mixture just begins to boil, remove from heat. Stir in half the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until sugar dissolves. Let cool. Meanwhile, combine remaining sugar and salt with peach purée in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside until sugar dissolves. Stir sweetened milk mixture into peach purée. (May need to adjust sugar depending on sweetness of the fruit.) Chill in refrigerator. Freeze in an ice cream maker 20-30 minutes until frozen.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Year of Classics

The other day Matt and I were reading this list of the "Top 100 Classics" and it started me thinking... I haven't read even half of these! Probably half of the classics that I have read were read in middle and high school. There are several that I've read that I hardly remember. I decided to make a list of the ones I really want to read including those I want to reread. Then I decided that I should dedicate myself to this list for the next year! I've also made a little pact with myself that if I read the first 50 pages of any given book and I can't get into it I will put it down and move on. This way I wont force anything, but I can at least try them all. I have a good idea about the ones I wont make it through, but it can't hurt to try:) Matt is currently reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy to me every night and I love love love it. It's such a great book. We are almost halfway through it, which is quite a feat because it is a very long story! I also started reading The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway and, although I'm only about 40 pages into it, I really like it so far. 
Hopefully in a year's time I can make a pretty good size dent in the list of classics I'd like to read in my lifetime. I'm not delusional enough to think I could ever read them all in a year's time (unless that was all I did all day, everyday), but hey, it's a good start! Below is a rough list of starters in no particular order. As you can see I've compiled a few copies, and I'm on the lookout for more!. If any of you have favorites I would love to hear your thoughts! If you can think of some that aren't on this list please please tell me! I'll keep you posted on my thoughts throughout my quest! It will be interesting to see how far I get by July 2011...

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (I absolutely hated this book in high school, but maybe I'll love it now!)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (This was my favorite book when I was young.)
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Have any of you read this? The premise sounds a little ridiculous...)
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of these three Shakespeare novels.)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (This was also one of my favorites in high school.)
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Ulysses by James Joyce (I'm not going to kid myself, but I will be happy to make it through 50 pages!)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Sophie's Choice by William Styron (I'm not sure if I can handle how horribly sad this is going to be... ugh!)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (I hear it's a little tedious, but I may love it.)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (One of my all time favorites, but I haven't read it in a very long time.)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Ana Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (yah!)
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Can you believe I've never read this whole book? I love the movie!)
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger 
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (My sis-in-law inspired me to tackle this loooong story.)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Whew... Here I go. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Berry Good Weekend:)

I hope everyone had a great time last weekend for the 4th! We had so much fun. Matt and I stayed at his parent's all weekend and barbecued and played games and just had a good time being with family. On Saturday we went to this amazing little strawberry stand to get the absolute most juicy and delicious strawberries ever! We spent the whole day making jam. Homemade jam is hard work and pretty time consuming, but it is so very worth it to me. I feel connected to women from another time, like somehow I'm honoring them by doing something their way.... Dorky, I know, but I truly love everything homemade. It's so much more personal and also way more delicious. It was fun to do it with Matt and the whole house smelt so good like jam.We got about 25 jars of yummy tastiness out of it! 
Here's FL Strawberries. It's a tiny place, but well worth your time to go check it out if you live in Northern California. It's located in Davis.
For Sunday we made a simple white cake and decorated it with blueberries and rasberries to make a berry flag! There was a little instructional video on by my favorite, Ina Garten. I love her. Anyways, it was super easy and fun to make and oh soooo delectable!
What did you do for the 4th?