What’s Cookin’ – Pico de Gallo

A long-time (I won’t say “old” because it sounds so awful) friend came to stay for a few days and made this absolutely amazing pico de gallo. It’s simple and wonderful and tastes so fresh …

tomato and avocadoPico de Gallo

1 large tomato

1 small onion

1 avocado

1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

*optional* jalapeño chili peppers – fresh, seeded and chopped; or canned, diced

*optional* cilantro, fresh chopped

Cut the tomato, onion and avocado into small dice. Zest the lime over them, then juice the lime over them and mix well, adding salt and pepper to taste. If you’re looking for a little heat or spiciness, add chilis ’til you’re happy. Although we’re not fans of cilantro, add it now if you like it. Chill. This is delicious on burgers or scooped with tortilla chips.

Microplane Adjustable Grater

There are a couple of Pampered Chef tools I bought at a party a few years ago that I love for the zesting and juicing.

For zesting, their Microplane Adjustable Grater is wonderful. I zest a lot of oranges, lemons and limes for recipes and we are fortunate enough to have a few citrus trees in our yard.


Citrus Juicer


 For juicing one or two pieces of fruit, I like their Citrus Juicer. Works like a dream and easily gets every last drop of juice.

What a great way to eat your fruits and vegetables!


On the Needles – Weekend Retreat Cardi

Weekend Retreat Cardi in Progress

Weekend Retreat Cardi in Progress

One of my favorite new patterns is the Lion Brand Weekend Retreat Cardi (it is free on their website and I’ve included the link at the bottom of the page). I have made one for a friend and another for my daughter and am now working on one for myself.

I have added some length to mine beyond what the pattern calls for and am ready to start the ribbing on the bottom edge. My yarn is Red Heart Super Saver Black Fleck #4302, which is black with spots of color woven throughout.

In Caron Simply Soft Off White

In Caron Simply Soft Off White #8702

Although the pattern doesn’t call for it, I put a buttonhole and a single 1″ button at the top of the front band on my friend’s and a buttonhole with a barrel button centered on the bodice for my daughter’s. My daughter had purchased a new summer sundress and requested a cardi that matched the green embroidery on the bodice.  She has already ordered another one in a different color.  ;<) 

In Caron Acrylic Soft Sage over the cute sundress

In Caron Acrylic Soft Sage #580 over the cute sundress

This is a very easy pattern and I have worked on it as a passenger in the car during a long drive.

It seems I am usually knitting for others and rarely make anything for myself so I am really looking forward to wearing this.


Knit Naked

Lace Rib Panel on the Knitting Machine

Lace Rib Panel on the Knitting Machine

While I love to hand-knit, a few years ago my husband got me a knitting machine for Christmas. So far, it has been great for large panels of stockinette stitch but I decided recently to learn a new stitch. I wanted to make a prayer shawl for a friend and settled on the Lace Rib Stitch.

Everything was going very smoothly — I had the stitch down and probably had 100 rows finished. Now let me set the stage. I have my machine set up on my kitchen counter, which is bar stool height rather than table height. I prefer to stand while I run the carriage back and forth. Then I sit when I’m working the stitches, which puts me at eye level with the needles.

I had on a terry cloth swimsuit cover up that I wear around the house as a robe. As I ran the carriage across the needles, it crunched to a stop. Oh yes, I had caught the front of my robe in the needles! Because I was leaning over the knitting machine, it was impossible to unhook the robe from the needles while in it. So I had to wriggle out of the robe, pulling it over my head. (Here is the TMI part — send the children out of the room.) I was completely naked underneath the robe so I am standing in my kitchen, pulling it off over my head while attached to the knitting machine.

Had to run to the bedroom, put on another robe, then go take that thing apart and save the knitting I had done. Fortunately, after laughing, crying and a few 4-letter words, I was able to get back on track and resume knitting.

When I told my mom about this, she said the knitting machine company should probably put a warning on the product that suggests you not wear loose clothing or just knit naked!

The prayer shawl is beautiful. I single crocheted, then double crocheted around it for edge stability. Will gift it to my friend on August 1st. There was a lot of praying done during the making of this prayer shawl!

Completed Lace Rib Prayer Shawl

Completed Lace Rib Prayer Shawl