Friday, July 20, 2012

Prepping for the Ravellenic Games

The Summer Olympics are only week away, and I couldn't be more excited. I am definitely not a sports person, but I love, love, love the Olympics. There is something about the obscure sports, montages set to swelling music and interviews with Bob Costas that I just can't get enough of. This time, watching the Olympics is going even more fun because I'm participating in the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games. (Sidenote: I think the organizers chose a great new name, but I can't help but hope that a Ravelrumpus takes place at some point in the future).

I am on Team TARDIS, and making this Dalek dishcloth, modified to be a dish towel. I'm going to keep going in stockinette until the skein is used so I can enter the single skein sprint event.

And for once I'm actually going to use the recommended yarn. I'm using Lily Sugar n' cream in potpourri ombre:
Lily Sugar 'n Cream Yarn Ombre (00178) Potpourri Ombre

I didn't want to choose anything too large or complicated because I'm mostly going to be knitting during commercial breaks. Every time the Olympics rolls around, I basically turn into a hermit for two weeks, celebrating athleticism by becoming a complete couch potato. This pattern is also perfect for entering into the friendly competition against Team Sherlocked to see who is really the most British by making the most British-themed projects. My dishtowel will be used to exterminate tea and biscuits from my dishes, so I'm golden.

And, just for fun, here are some links to some great articles on the Olympics I've read this week:
The's not like it was in the old days - Fascinating trivia about the first modern Olympics in 1896

Keeping Afloat - Athletes of less popular sports like synchronized swimming work all kinds of odd jobs to make ends meet

Lost Sports of the Summer Olympics - Rejected gems include pairs cycling and tug of war

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New favorite recipes

I am in the middle of several projects, and actually have three (three!) knitting projects in the works. I don't usually let myself start a new project until I've finished the last one, so I don't have UFOs cluttering up my house. Alas, I have not followed my own rules, but hopefully soon I will have a knitted lion to share that I'm making as a gift for a mama-to-be at work.

In the meantime though, I thought I'd talk a bit about another hobby I've taken up recently: cooking.  After I got to Atlanta and had a couple of dinners out at somewhat foodie, vaguely hipstery farm-to-table restaurants I had the most basic of revelations: fresh food just tastes so much better. I'm definitely not going to give up Oreos any time soon, but I am trying to eat fewer processed foods.

And so I've begun, little by little, to shift from Pasta-roni to cooking from scratch. In the past few months I've found new food blogs, bought spices, learned how to saute garlic and embraced Greek yogurt. This past week I feel like I hit a turning point when my husband came home from the grocery store and pointed out that the only frozen thing he bought was waffles. Progress!

So here are my favorite recipes of late, collected from around the web:
1. Quinoa Pizza Bites by So Very Blessed via Pintrest

The first time I made quinoa, I was terribly disappointed that such a protein-packed food was so abysmally bland. Luckily, I found some better recipes, and this one is particularly amazing. In fact, we're having it for dinner tonight. I split the mixture and do half turkey pepperoni and half spinach pizza bites.

2. BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad by Iowa Girl Eats

I may have a bit of a girl crush on Kristin from Iowa Girl Eats. Her recipes are easy, healthy and delicious, and she has such a charming blog to boot. The best part of this recipe is the sauce - a 1:1 mixture of barbeque sauce and plain greek yogurt. It cuts the sugar of barbeque sauce while giving it a nice tang. Genius! I've made up some of this sauce on its own to eat as vegetable dip.

3. Sneaky Meatball Subs by Iowa Girl Eats

Another Iowa Girl Eats favorite. These subs are seriously delicious. Two bites in I turned to Brian and said, "We're making these again." Adding zucchini to the ground turkey not only adds a vegetable, but keeps the meat juicy and expands the turkey into more meatballs so you get more bang for your buck.

4. Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese by Confections of a Foodie Bride

This macaroni and cheese recipe substitutes Greek yogurt for some of the cheese. You still get that creamy texture without resorting to a processed cheese like Velveeta. I also mix in a can of tuna and at least 1 cup of peas.

5. Overnight Oats by Kath Eats Real Food

This is such a great breakfast for hot summer days. It's old fashioned oats, milk, yogurt and 1/2 a banana left overnight, topped with whatever fruit, nuts or nut butter you'd like. It's refreshingly cold and completely satisfying.  I've been doing strawberries and blueberries on top, but there are many different options.