My First Hudson Pants

That’s right folks I whipped up my first pair of Hudson Pants from True Bias (and I do mean first pair because this is a fab pattern and it will be made again soon)! Remember it is also part of my 2018 resolution/challenge to make at least 1 garment a month. The end of January is fast approaching so I’m glad these could be whipped up in a day!…

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Finished Hudson Pants

I’ve been dying to try this pattern for ages now. I got this gorgeous french terry from Spool and Spindle in Kitchener, ON. I knew this fabric would stretch out quite a bit so I went down a size from what I was originally thinking.I like this style of pant a little more close fitting. (Glad I did. This is the size 4 but I think in a regular jersey I’d do the 6.) I used the Navy in this fabric for the Lane Raglan by Hey June. If you look closely to the pic on the left you will see how it hangs bigger than the standard black sweat shirt material, especially at the neck and sleeves. Not sure I would go down a size if I made it again but just be prepared for it to fit more loosely…

You’ll notice I played around with a cute floral pocket detail (Liberty print floral jersey that I got when we lived in the UK). Check out the process…

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Purchase the pattern online or in a store. I got mine off the True Bias website. Print it and tape it together.

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I checked out my fav PJ pants from Costco years ago that remind me of the Hudson Pant. The black pair is straight from the dryer and the grey has been worn. I wanted to pick a size that would be no larger than the grey pair. I measured the grey ones to decide to make the 4.

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If I have a digital pattern I like to just cut it out because I can always reprint for an alternate size.

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I auditioned fabric for the job!

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I decided to use this black and white ribbing for the cuffs and waistband. I reversed it to the lighter side for the pocket detail.

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Time to use this amazing french terry. So cuddly!

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Decide to cut later because the babies looked so cute.

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Do up the pockets first.

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Fun pocket details.

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Practiced my button holes on a scrape first!

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Final button holes not too shabby!

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Sew the drawstring casing.

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Get my Instagram Husband to take photos!

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Can’t wait for spring to wear these shoes again!

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Too cold for just a long sleeved shirt but warm enough today for just a vest, yahoo!

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Wear these the rest of the day!

Can’t wait to make another pair!

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Milk Street Magazine Jan-Feb Recipes

Have you bought any of the Jan-Feb Magazines I’ve been making recipes from? Maybe this post will inspire you to try something new…

From the recent Milk Street (still in stores)…

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…I first made the Chickpea and Harissa Soup (Lablabi) p.22. I love the description “For an older generation, lablabi is hot breakfast. For a younger one, it is late-night after-club grub.” For John and I it was just a weeknight dinner for 2 (which made enough to feed an army by the way.) Here’s where I got creative. You basically had to sauté the ingredients and then add the chickpeas and water. I thought “hey! why don’t I forget about soaking and cooking the chickpeas first. I could just cook it all in the Instant Pot together”. You  know dried chickpeas are the best right…

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Instant Pot time!

You know what? It worked brilliantly! There are 3 quarts of broth in this soup which was more than enough to cook the chickpeas…

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Saute function first

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Toast up those spices

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Ready to pressure cook for 45 min

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All done kids

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Look at those gorgeous gems

There was no lack of fixin’ madness with this soup. Cilantro, capers, parsley, green olives, toasted sourdough croutons…you name it! I recommend adding some diced preserved lemon…

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Finished Product

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Those eggs! Great soft boiled egg tips in the recipe. Steam for 7 min then directly in ice water. Perfect softies every time!

Next up was an interesting take on Guac, Colombian Avocado Salsa (Aji de Aguacate) p.24. Avocado is mashed with some hard boiled egg then mixed with a tangy vinegar herb and chilli mix, topped with larger chunks of egg and tomato…

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The magazine suggests it could be traditionally served on patacones (double fried plantains) so why not try those too! I looked to the Nomnom Paleo app and my foodie friend Moody Little Kitchen for some advice. I think they turned out pretty well for my first go. You are meant to find green plantains but that’s not always easy at a Zehrs in the middle of an Ontario winter so yellow ones had to do (they just made them a bit sweeter which was fine)…

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John’s seal of approval

I really liked the addition of the egg. I can see trying my usual, memorized version of guac with some hard boiled goodness. Let me know if you give it a go!

 

 

 

Food and Drink Free Magazine

If you live in Canada you can easily add the LCBO (where us Ontario folks buy our spirits) free magazine to your recipe collection. The Winter edition is out right now…

 

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The magazine is obviously a great way to advertise different wines and spirits but I still quite enjoy it. It’s fun to see the recipes they come up with that use different liqueurs etc. As I vowed to make recipes out of magazines this year (yes, even free ones) the other night I made the recipe for Tahini Swirl Brownies p.32IMG_2429.jpg Don’t let the tahini put you off. Personally, I LOVE tahini and could eat it by the spoonful and it does give it a subtle nutty flavour. I admit I did over bake them and they were too dry at the edges so BE CAREFUL! It says to bake until the skewer comes out clean but perhaps not too dry! I may have also left them in too long because my self-diagnosed ADD kicked in and I got doing something else. I’m sure I did hear the buzzer lol!…

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I’m actually very curious about this recipe because the new Sweet cookbook by my fav Ottolenghi and Goh also have a tahini brownie recipe. I’m going to try it soon to compare!

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WIP for years

If you knit a lot you probably have a basket or 2 (or 2 extra large, could fit a body in them, tubs) with projects that are waiting to be finished. I used to be A LOT better at starting a project and finishing it in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, the more I have knit the quicker I become bored with a pattern. Please don’t even ask about my husband’s sweater from 9 years ago that is ALMOST done. Thank goodness it’s a classic design so it will always look nice.

ANYWAYS…the project I finished last night has only been kicking around for about 2 years. It’s the Lady Sunnyside sweater from Tanis Fibre Arts. I love her patterns but this is the first of her sweater patterns that I have knit. Find the pattern on Ravelry here

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Cable detailed version with 3/4 sleeves.

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Lace detailed option with long sleeves.

I chose the option with long sleeves and the lace detail. This sweater is also a top-down knit and who doesn’t LOVE that! I especially love a top-down because I have oddly long arms so it’s fab to be able to try on a sweater as you go and get those sleeves just so. I think this would be a great beginner pattern too because it’s a pretty straight forward knit with the detail only at the edges. Her patterns are well-written and easy to follow, I think.

I have NOT blocked this yet or weaved in the ends (I’ll do that this weekend, I hope), but I wanted to give you a peak…

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This is my 3rd or 4th sweater out of Madeline Tosh Vintage. LOVE! If you can buy it somewhere please do. Colours are always gorgeous and lush to knit with.

First Magazine Recipe Meals

A Saturday night spent with friends and new recipes is one of my favourite past times. This weekend was no exception. I tried 3 new recipes from “display until March” magazine, The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen...

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I figured if you’d like to cook along with some of the recipes then I shouldn’t wait to post at the end of the month like I did last year with my monthly cookbook challenge. In this way, you can get the magazine and cook the recipes too! If you do PLEASE let me know what you made.

Last night we started with the Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Cumin p.21. I LOVE beet salads and this one didn’t disappoint! The addition of the pistachios and parsley really shined through. Will be my new go-to beet salad from now on I think…

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Roasting the carrots in my new oven.

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Mix the carrots and roasted beets with the dressing to cool and marinate.

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Before serving add the toasted pistachios, parsley and lemon zest. Gorgeous!

For the main we had the Artichoke, Bell Pepper and Chickpea Tagine p.55. I love a Tagine of course and this was a good one. I love kalamata olives in anything so right there I figured it would be good. The addition of 3 cups of roasted artichoke hearts also made it for me. I didn’t cheap out on the chickpeas either. No canned peas for this girl with access to a new Instant Pot (Dad got one for Christmas so I only have to run to the downstairs flat). In 40 minutes I had gorgeous chickpeas, done with no soaking time! Can’t beat the flavour of dried chickpeas, I say…

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Starting the simmer.

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Just before serving you add some greek yogurt. This makes it creamy and dreamy.

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Serve with couscous.

Not that you need a recipe for couscous but the Tagine recipe does direct you to use the one on p.85 called Simple Couscous. It gets you to brown the couscous in oil for a few minutes before adding the liquid. Careful, it can spurt up!

Let me know what you decide to make from The Best Mediterranean Diet Recipes Magazine. On sale now until March.

Knitting Updates

I had to create a whole new shelf in the closet just for winter hats. They really are a quick and satisfying project. Recently I’ve completed 2 cuties. Both with the on-trend fur pom-pom addition (see The Needle Emporium to order).

First up is a free pattern from Ravelry called Pennyroyal (see pattern here) done in a worsted weight tweed…

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The next was another quick aran knit. I had some left over Arranmore from the sweater in the above pic. It’s merino wool with cashmere and silk so super soft and lovely! I used a Maria Socha pattern called Magnolia

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Yes, I splurged on the Arranmore but it is soooooooooo scrumptious! It was originally bought for the popular Veronkika Cardi by Very Shannon. Love it! Warm and cozy! I did the smallest size. Blocking is a MUST to get the size right. I wet blocked it and stretched it a bit longer because I wanted more tush coverage. Annoying to wear under a coat so bring it in the car with you if you live in cold Canada…

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New Year’s Resolutions!

I NEVER made New Year’s Resolutions until I met John. In fact, I thought they were pretty pointless and ridiculous. But…after years of seeing they are possible to carry on and that they can add enjoyment and focus for your life I decided to give it a try! Of course mine are not quite as serious or focused on success and self-improvement. I needed to find a fun way to make myself do MORE of what I love! Thus, 2 years ago I decided to not buy any clothes for the whole year so that I would wear more of the clothes I already had that I liked. Didn’t hurt that it saved money to spend while travelling. It was an interesting experiment. Last year, I vowed to make more recipes out of my cookbooks. I chose 1 book a month to make as many recipes as I could.

It’s taken me time to nail down this year’s fun but I think I got it sorted…

1. Make at least 1 finished garment a month. This could be for me or someone else. Like cookbooks, I also seem to have collected an impressive amount of sewing patterns, paper and digital. I WANT TO MAKE MORE!

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Just some of the patterns I hope to accomplish this year.

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My gorgeous custom sewing area.

You can see a pile of gorgeous fabric waiting in the wings! The first project is actually for a dear friend Anne. I hope to work more on my fitting skills so making things for different people will be a fun challenge. I also hope to move away from simple projects like shift dresses and make more tailored pieces.

2. Cooking Magazines. I feel like this next challenge is very reminiscent from last year but…I seem to also have a small problem with reading food magazines and never making any of the recipes! Part of me feels it’s totally ok to just enjoy reading the articles and looking/drooling at the pictures but once I get a couple piles like this I start to feel a bit guilty…

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When we lived in the UK I went on a crazy magazine organizing scheme in the hopes that I’d actually cook from all the recipes I’d cut out, no house is big enough to keep years of magazines right! Possibly crazy but I still think my headings are clever!…

Most pre-made recipe folders have meat headings so what are us veggies to do. In case you organize in your head like this too…these categories seem to describe everything I’ve cut out of magazines:

  • Salads
  • App like recipes
  • Soups (Chilies, Dahls etc.)
  • Other (Nuts, Snacks)
  • Drinks
  • Dips/Sauces/Dressings
  • Mains-Pasta
  • Mains-Pastry
  • Mains-Other
  • Veggies Solo
  • Baking-Savour
  • Baking-Sweet
  • Cakes, Tarts-full size-showstoppers
  • Puddings

Once I make a recipe I write the name and quick rating on the front of each folder. Since the initial culling of the magazines I realised that I haven’t done it again since, eek. Hence…

I felt incredibly guilty over all the money spent on these until I sorted them and saw that more than half were Waitrose mags which are free with your Waitrose store card. For those that haven’t been to the UK and shopped at a Waitrose all I can say is we are missing out here in Canada! Waitrose and M&S food halls are 2 of the things I miss most about the UK lol! Think gourmet, higher end but EVERYWHERE! The Waitrose magazine every month is dreamy and I miss that John isn’t travelling to and fro anymore to get them for me, snurp.

For the past week I’ve felt overwhelmed with going through every issue again to cut out recipes to file away…soooooooo…I’ve decided to donate the mags I have to school and move forward with more intention. If/when I buy a new food mag I vow to make some of the recipes and then keep the ones I try and like.

I also wanted it to be fun and interactive in case anyone else wants to follow along and make the recipes I make too! I’m not going to go nuts buying new mags all the time but I usually do buy a few a month just for fun, or as time killers on car/plane trips. I’ll post them as soon as I buy them so you can decide if you want to play along.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE SOMETHING FROM A MAGAZINE I POST SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOUR REVIEWS TOO!

I’m going to started with these…

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These looked good in the store today. Test Kitchen mags are always a good read and bonus because it’s January diet food lol. This Milk Street mag just looks nice to look at and Bake British issue, well that’s a must.

Milk Street and Bake are Jan-Feb issues and Test Kitchen Best Med recipes is displayed until March so lots of time to buy these and make.

Sound good…happy cooking!IMG_2276.jpg