I have a horrible philosophy about foods that I should not eat.  For background information, I am diabetic and should not be eating sugar in any form except on special occasions.  Yeah, I’m bad about that.  I’ve been having a bad time of it, and I know that I tend to eat my troubles away, but self awareness doesn’t equal a solution.  All of that to say, Sugarfina has some sugar free candies that I really wanted to try.  They also have Caffeinated Gummy Bears!  I am a caffeine hound, I drink 2-3 energy drinks a week (of course I work a 13 hour day one day then have to get up about 6am the next to get to work on time) and can often be seen sipping diet mountain dew.  I am trying to drink water as well as using Cirkul to add flavor and sometimes caffeine.  All of this to say, I placed an order at Sugarfina.

Next week is extended hours week (where the library will be staying open later than usual as well as having snacks and extra tutors to help students through the last week of classes at the community college I work for), so I will be bringing the caffeinated gummy bears in to share with my co-workers and student workers.  Since I received my package I tried the sugar free champagne gummies, very yummy, and brought in the three pack that I ordered.  It contained Prickly Pear gummies, Chocolate Pearls, and Rose flavored Gummies (part of a Mother’s day promotion).  I am very glad that I tried these, the pear gummies have a light flavor but a very gummy (not rubbery) texture to them.  The same with the rose gummies, light interesting flavor, good chew, nice finish.  I am so glad that I brought the chocolate pearls in to work.  I would have the entire container devoured like they were M&Ms.

Am I going to order from Sugarfina again?  Probably not unless they greatly expand their sugar free line, of if I hear of an international sweet that I cannot get elsewhere.  I am happy with what I received for the money, however this was one instance where I would rather have the experience of trying something new than really messing with my blood sugar on a regular basis.

About crafting, that thing I do when I’m not eating things I shouldn’t?  I’m 9 rows from being done with this section of the shawl, and I firmly believe that this is going to be the last section and the size is going to be whatever it turns out.  If it is only about 30 inches I’ll tell my sibling that it is a bed accent or a mandala for their wall, I’ll think of something.  Should it actually be between 40-60″ wide, yay!  I’ll tell them that it is a shawl/lap blanket and they can style it however they want to!  Since I will be seeing them two weeks from Tuesday this should turn out fantastic!

Until next time, Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Green Chef

I want to make it very clear at the outset, this is just my personal experiences with these boxes.  I am not the greatest cook, and I do not have a very adventurous palette.

My first Green Chef box was supposed to arrive on Saturday, it was delayed due to weather and arrived on Monday.  The meat was still good, as were the vegetables.  There was absolutely no spoilage, even the chicken which was my primary concern.  The first meal that I made was the southern chicken and biscuits.  My biscuits burned on the bottom, my Brussel sprouts (cooked on medium high as recommended on the package directions) burned.    I’ll take the blame for one but not both, the sprouts were likely my fault, I should have known that lower and slower would cook them evenly.  That being said, the chicken turned out alright, the sprouts and other veg were edible, and the biscuits were on the dry/flat side.

The next dish was the Vietnamese meatballs, with noodles and veg.  The meatballs turned out alright, there was a seasoning packet to work into the meat along with salt and pepper.  I boiled the water, soaked the noodles and veg as instructed for the maximum time recommended.  Everything was perfectly edible, the noodles were a lot tougher than I would have liked, the meatballs were bland (I did not add a lot of the red pepper flakes because I wanted to taste the spices not heat), and the sauce did little to perk things up.

My last dish was steak, mushrooms, over polenta with a red kale (or something green and leafy) salad with a blue cheese vinaigrette.  I knew that I was going to have some trouble with the salad, Blue cheese and I do not like each other.  I tried it anyway, the advice to massage the leaves worked wonders and the leaves themselves were sweet and supple.  If that were the only issue I would be fine.  I think I can salvage the polenta, there was not a lot of flavor so I am going to find out what cheese the British or Italian use for cheesy polenta and throw some of that in.  The mushroom sauce was pretty good.  The steak, it was chewy, there was some connective tissue that I had to discard, and there was not much flavor even after I made sure I used the entire seasoning, packet.  I could obtain a really nice New York Strip Steak for less than I spent on this box.

This company prides itself on their organic ingredients and commitment to recycling.  I love that idea, not enough to wash out the sauce packets and find out where I am permitted to drop the bags off so that Green Chef can recycle them.  I’ll drop them in with my regular recycling, thanks.

Again, maybe I just made some bad decisions regarding the meals that I chose.  Perhaps I read and followed the directions a little too closely (the area between medium and high is Medium-High right?).  I am willing to accept that my experience is probably the anomaly.  Perhaps in the future I will try this box again, but for now I have a Sun Basket box on the way and a few other subscription services to try before circling back to this one.

Until then, Happy Crafting!

Ordered and Delayed

I officially have my Spinolution electric Firefly spinning wheel ordered.  Since they are an American based company and they make each wheel to order it will be between 4-6 weeks before mine is shipped.  This is actually a good thing, it will give me time to enjoy the anticipation and look forward to seeing if there are any huge sales that are going to occur for the other crafting materials I hope to obtain.

I know that this seems like a sudden spree, and fairly irresponsible.  Truthfully I have ensured that I am spending less than half of what I have come into, saving what I can when I can, and that I have enough left over to cover the major expenses that are going to come up in the next year.  These three purchases are not going to significantly impact my financial situation, however they will significantly improve my productivity.

For the rest of 2018 I will be working and learning to enjoy what I have and what I can do.  For most of 2019 I will be figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life, what my priorities are, and how I am going to achieve them.  At present I am overwhelmed by possibilities, and need to have time to settle down and figure out where I want my energies to go.  I know that spinning and weaving are two things that I want to have as a priority in my life.

Paradise Fibers November 2018 box was themed around Harry Potter, to the extent that they are running a house cup.  Once specific goals have been accomplished then points are assigned and the house with the highest number of points will win.  The prize is 500 paradise points for each member of the house, which in reality is five dollars off of an order, nothing to sneeze at.

On another note, my first Green Chef box was scheduled to be delivered this past Saturday, I thought Wednesday but checked again and it was supposed to be Saturday.  This did not happen, due to the weather, and I am anxious to see how the ingredients have held up over the weekend.  I will report more about this in my next post.

So, major life decisions are on hold, but pending.  Expenditures are not beyond what is feasible at this time (though some house repairs might have to be accomplished using loans).  This is going to be a year of self exploration and renewal.  It will also be a year of renewal for my home and sweeping out what I do not (realistically) need.

Happy Crafting!



Instapot and Spinning

Over this past weekend I have decided to do some experimenting with my Instapot as well as some spinning.  Okay the spinning was just something that I remembered to do Sunday morning, but I managed to get over half of a batt spun into singles.  I attenuated the other half into mini nests of roving and look forward to an easy spin with them later this week.

I tried out two recipes with my instapot, Lasagna Soup and Butter Chicken.  Both of these turned out better than I thought they would.  I substituted a box of vegetable pasta and a bag of random vegetables for some of the ingredients in the lasagna soup.  It turned out quite well.  Not the same without at least Mozzarella Cheese on top, it is just like a tomato soup without the cheese.  I will certainly make this recipe again.

Butter chicken is either at Thai or East Indian recipe, and I do not think that I did it justice.  I substituted the tomato paste for a can of stewed tomatoes and the Garam Masala for cumin, coriander, cloves, curry paste and vindaloo mix that I had around.  I’ll be honest, I really liked it.  There was no explosion of heat, I was concerned about that, but there was some decent flavor.  I am going to look around and see if I can find the proper spices, but this is certainly a recipe I will keep on the back burner.

On Wednesday my first experiment with one of the ‘meals in a box’ delivery services arrives.  I have three meals coming, two servings for each meal, and I look forward to posting a review of that service here.  Crafting is a large part of my life, so there will certainly still be crafting posts, but I intend to expand this blog to include other aspects.

As far as my crafting life goes, I have an e-mail in to a dealer of a variety of wheel I am thinking about obtaining.  I had some questions and hope that they get back to me this week.

Happy Crafting!