Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms

Inspired by this recipe from Cooking.com, I made two variations of Stuffed Mushrooms.

Version 1:
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms done My Way

  • 6 oz Bob Evans sausage
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz mushrooms, whole with stems removed
  • Egg, slightly beaten
  • Bread crumbs, approx 1/3 cup
  • Oil for deep frying

Cook sausage. Toss cooked sausage into a food processor. Grind up. Throw sausage back into warm pan. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Stuff mushrooms with the sausage filling. Roll mushrooms in beaten egg. Then, roll mushrooms in bread crumbs. Fry mushrooms in oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Version 2

  • 4 oz Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 oz Goat cheese (salad style, cut up with red peppers and spices)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided in half
  • 8 oz whole mushrooms, stems removed
  • Egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying

Leave cheeses out for approximately 1 hour or until at room temperature. Mix the cheeses together. Add 1/4 cup of mayonnaise to cheese mixture, beating till smooth. Divide cheese mixture in half. Place half of the mixture aside (it tastes great spread on wheat bread!). With the remaining cheese mixture, add another 1/4 cup of mayonnaise. Beat till smooth. Stuff cheese mixture into mushrooms. Roll mushrooms in beaten egg. Then, roll mushrooms in bread crumbs. Fry mushrooms in oil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

And the winner?

Version 2.

As my husband would say, the cheese filling lends an explosion of flavor in your mouth that you can’t get with the sausage.

Alas, I forgot to take pictures of the two versions. We were dashing out the door at the time. I barely had time to change clothes.

A Little Frustration

Well, I have tried to complete my sweater afghan several times now, but to no avail. I finished hand basting the tape around the edges, which I might add did a lovely job of hiding the not-so-stellar cutting job and zigzag stitching. I am now at the point where I should topstitch the tape in place. I’ve tried twice to do this step with my trusty straight stitch foot. Twice now I’ve ripped the stitching out. The 3 layers of fabric kept shifting so my stitching line was anything but straight.

Certain that an edging foot would be the answer to my problem, I biked over to my favorite sewing store (Pottstown Sewing and Craft). I bought the only edging foot they had available that looked like it would fit my not-so-fancy sewing machine. It didn’t fit. So, I am back where I started with just a straight stitch foot. I’ve considered hand stitching the tape in place using a slipstitch. The only thing stopping me for jumping in and testing the water is that I would have to hand stitch the tape to both sides of the afghan. I might get it done in a month. To stitch by machine, I could have a finished afghan in 10 minutes. One month vs. 10 minutes. Call me lazy, but I won’t give up on the 10-minute option until I’ve exhausted all avenues.

To add to my frustration, I decided to tackle the collar on my striped sweater yesterday. The collar measures ten inches on each side. Based on my gauge, I needed to pick up 70 stitches on each side. I sat and struggled with the sweater for at least two hours yesterday. I only managed to pick up 6 stitches per inch. Thus, I am 20 stitches short. Do I just ignore my shortfall and carry on in normal fashion? Or do I K2P2 ribbing for one row, increasing 20 stitches along the way. This latter option seems slightly silly to me for the next row requires me to decrease one-third of the stitches in order to achieve a K2P1 ribbing. Maybe what I’ll do is just decrease fewer stitches. Hmmm, I’ll have to ponder on this problem. But just to state the obvious, dropping all the stitches and retrying to pick up 7 stitches per inch is NOT an option. I think I would cry if I had to do that.

Now for some good news, I am further along with my Angled Nesting Squares block.


I just have the triangles left to join.

Unfortunately, I am not sure when this block will be posted. The viewing is tonight and I still have much to do, such as finish cooking the fried stuffed mushrooms. (My own recipe! If they taste as good as I hope, I’ll post the recipe along with the block). The funeral is tomorrow and I imagine we’ll be busy all day with family. Thankfully, our dear friends have volunteered to watch Jake. They love to spoil him. I’m sure he will get plenty of treats and pets.

A special thank you to everybody who left their comments to “A Memorium”. I was very touched by each one.

A memoriam

Well, I promised more knitting news later today. And I do have a sweater to show you, but you must have noticed the lack of pictures by now.

My husband’s grandfather passed away this morning. So, rather than tell you about trivial knitting stories, I want to tell you about him.

When I first met Pop, shortly after my husband and I were engaged, I thought him a quiet, old man who only raised his voice every once in a while and who loved his fat cat, Nermal. Then, I got to know him. He was filled with so many good stories. Stories about how his mother canned tomatoes (he knew how much I loved to cook and to hear cooking stories, how he fought in the Korea War (though he never spoke of his time over there), how his mother and then his step-mother would make home-made strudels (you had to stretch them out on a huge table until they were paper thin) and how he met Gran. He was full of songs too. While he was in the hospital, he sang German drinking songs to my husband. He had a great sense of humor.

He will be sorely missed.

EtsyFAST June Challenge

EtsyFAST challenged all its members to create a fiber ACEO.

My first attempt at taking this challenge was not a complete success. The yarn I grabbed from my stash blended a tad too well together. Thus, it is difficult to see with three purple, nesting diamonds I knit into the green background. I used the Intarsia method to create the ACEO.


Next, I will use either a weaving technique or a double knitting technique. I might try both and see which comes out better. I am excited to try again despite this first defeat. My plan it to keep the diamond pattern the same (or as similar as possible).

More knitting news to come later today.

If you are checking in to see the next block in the “Ode to Quilting” afghan, it won’t be available until later this week. But to wet your whistle, the block is titled “Angled Nesting Squares”.

Thank you for stopping by.

Because I couldn’t kill him

It’s wrong to kill your husband.

It doesn’t matter that you spent months knitting him a sweater he’ll never wear. Time you could have spent knitting yourself a sweater. A sweater that you would wear everyday.
The only thing saving him right now is that he swears he would love to wear the sweater, but every time he puts it on he starts with the sneezing and the watery eyes.
So, I can’t kill him. And I can’t wear the sweater I made him. He’s 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. I’m 5 feet tall and well, …. slightly smaller. And I refuse to let the sweater sit in the cedar closet another year unused.
What to do?
I came up with this idea.

A sweater afghan!

I cut the sleeves off. (It felt so good to do harm to the sweater!) Next, I cut straight up the seams on the sides of the sweater, leaving it only bound together at the shoulder seams. Next, I hand-stitched the neck hole closed using a slipstitch. Afterwards, I machine-stitched along the edges of the sweater using a zigzag stitch. This step was to ensure no unraveling occurred.

Finally, to hide the ratty edges, I started to hand-baste a double fold bias tape around the entire length of it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this step while watching the Phillies game tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to topstitch the tape in place. I’ll probably use a zigzag stitch. All that will be left to do is to remove my hand-basting. You’ll note that I am using a white thread now to aid me in locating the basting thread later.

I will be the proud owner of a wool afghan that only I can use. Plus, I get to live the rest of my life on the right side of prison bars.
******************

I was reminded of something these past two days: how much I hate to seam sweaters closed. I had become spoiled by my Ode to Quilting afghan blocks. Those pieces are so simple to seam together. All the seams are straight … and very small. The seams of a sweater have to contend with increases and decreases. I can’t remember how many times I had to back up, rip out my seams, and start over because the diagonal of the increases didn’t match up.

Despite my struggles, I managed to get half of the sweater seamed together. I’m pretty pleased with the way it looks.

Oh, and better news, I slipped the sweater over my head and it fits …. perfectly! I’m so excited. **Dancing**

I just need to hurry. My model is gaining weight every week. (She’s pregnant with their first child.)

Nesting Squares Block, 4th in Ode to Quilting series

The 4th block in the Ode to Quilting afghan:

This block was a lot of fun to knit. So without further ado, following is the complete knitting pattern.

Pattern for Nesting Squares Block:

Recommended Knitting skill level: Easy

Yarn: Lion’s Wool by Lion Brand or substitute any wool yarn from your stash that meets the below gauge specifications.
1. Color A = Pumpkin
2. Color B = Autumn Sunset, divided into 2 balls
3. Color C = Sage, divided into 2 balls
4. Color D = Flower Garden, divided into 2 balls
5. Color E = Pearl Grey, divided into 2 balls
6. Color F = Ocean Blues, divided into 2 balls

Needles: Lion’s Wool recommends size 8 (I used size 5)

Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows is 1 inch in Stocking Stitch

Stocking Stitch Pattern:Knit all stitches on the RS; Purl all stitches on the WS

Knitting Instructions:
In Color A, cast on 10 sts. Row 1(RS): K5, P4, K1. Repeat this row 5 more times. Row 7(RS): K1, P4, K5. Repeat this row 5 more times. Bind off in pattern.

In Color B, cast on 18 sts. Work in stocking stitch for 6 rows. Row 7: K5. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 6 sts. K6. Working both sides at once, continue in stocking stitch until 12 rows have been completed since bind off row (18 rows since beginning). Row 19 (RS): K6. Cast on 6 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Work in stocking stitch for 5 more rows (24 rows since beginning). Bind off all sts.

In Color C, cast on 26 sts. Row 1(RS): K1, (K4, P4) repeat to last st, K1. Repeat this row 5 more times. Row 7(RS): K1, P4. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 14 sts. K6. Row 8(WS): K1, P4, K1. Switch to other side. K6. Repeat row 8 four more times. Row 13: K6. Switch to other side. K1, P4, K1. Repeat row 13 five more times. Rows 19-24: Repeat row 7. Rows 25-30: Repeat row 12. Row 31: K1, P4, K1. Cast on 14 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Rows 32-36: K1, (P4, K4) repeat to last st, K1. Bind off all sts in pattern.

In Color D, cast on 34 sts. Work in Stocking stitch for 6 rows. Row 7: K5. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 22 sts. K6. Working both sides at once, continue in stocking stitch until 36 rows have been completed since bind off row (42 rows since beginning). Row 43(RS): K6. Cast on 22 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Work in stocking stitch for 5 more rows (48 rows since beginning). Bind off all sts.

In Color E, cast on 42 sts. Row 1(RS): K1, (K4, P4) repeat to last st, K1. Repeat this row 5 more times. Row 7(RS): K1, P4. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 30 sts. K6. Row 8(WS): K1, P4, K1. Switch to other side. K6. Repeat row 8 four more times. Row 13: K6. Switch to other side. K1, P4, K1. Repeat row 13 five more times. Rows 19-24: Repeat row 8. Rows 25-30: Repeat row 12. Rows 31-36: Repeat row 8. Rows 37-42: Repeat row 12. Rows 43-48: Repeat row 8. Rows 49-54: Repeat row 12. Row 55: K1, P4, K1. Cast on 30 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Rows 56-60: K1, (P4, K4) repeat to last st, K1. Bind off all sts in pattern.

In Color F, cast on 50 sts. Work in Stocking stitch for 6 rows. Row 7: K5. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 38 sts. K6. Working both sides at once, continue in stocking stitch until 60 rows have been completed since bind off row (66 rows since beginning). Row 67(RS): K6. Cast on 38 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Work in stocking stitch for 5 more rows (72 rows since beginning). Bind off all sts.

Finishing Instructions:
Place the Color A square inside the Color B square. Using safety pins, match the corners of the Color A square with the inside corners of the Color B square. Starting on the right side and using the mattress stitch, weave the two sides together. Next, weave the top of the A square to the cast-on row of the B square. Continue around in this fashion until the entire A square is weaved together with the B square.

Next, place the A-B square inside of the Color C square. Using safety pins, match the corner of the Color B square with the inside corner of the Color C square. Using more safety pins, ensure the checker pattern of the C square lines up with the checker pattern of the A square. Then, starting on the right side and using mattress stitch, weave the two sides together.

Next, turn the corner and start weaving the top of the B square with the cast on row of the C square.

Continue on in this fashion, weaving the left side and the bottom of the B square to the side and bind-off row of the C square.

Continue to place the ever-growing block inside of the next larger square. Use the mattress stitch exclusively when weaving all the sides together.

When it is all said and done, you’ll be the proud owner of a Nesting Squares Block.

Join me next week when I roll out the 5th block in the Ode to Quilting series. If you are knitting along with me, please send me photos of your completed blocks so I can share them with everybody else!

Right Sleeve is Finished

I really should be seaming the sweater together right now, but I just had to show somebody ….

My right sleeve is finished!

You’ll note that not only did I run out of brown yarn, but I also ran out of turquoise yarn. I am of the group that only buys “enough” yarn. I really must convert to the group that always buys “more than enough” yarn. You think I would learn. For truth be told, this isn’t the first time I have encountered this problem. Of course, I think my real problem is that I buy yarn on an impulse, having no idea what I will use the yarn for. Only after I get home, and after it has sat in my cedar closet for who knows how long, do I finally decide what it is going to be. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether or not I’ll have enough yarn. This time I lost the bet.