Moby Knit

It's a handmade adventure!


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The Harvest

Eva and I did some impromptu sunflower seed harvesting today. I wasn’t expecting to do it so soon, but the seeds came out relatively easily, and it gave Eva something to do since we were stuck on the porch. (I can’t go too far without Kirsi.)

We ended up harvesting 1.5 heads. The other heads either weren’t mature or were devoured by the local wildlife before I realized they had fallen. One of the heads seemed to be affected by mildew in the center, hence the 0.5. I still have two heads that are attached to living plants, so I may get another chance at harvesting more seeds.

The process was pretty simple: either rub or pluck out the seeds and collect them in a bowl. Eva excelled at this task. She liked running her hands through the seeds in the bowl. I’ll admit, it’s a pretty cool feeling.

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Eva harvesting sunflower seeds.

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Our bounty.

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I performed a bit of quality control by picking out debris and damaged seeds.

I’m now tasked with dividing up the seeds and roasting most of them. (I’ve received some requests for seeds since the plants were so impressive. The originals came from a $0.99 pack of seeds I bought at Walmart.) This will be my first time roasting sunflower seeds, so I have no idea if I will succeed. Wish me luck!


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Rattlesnake Pasta

I’ve got another recipe for you!  This time it’s for rattlesnake pasta.  🙂

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Rattlesnake Pasta

I know there are quite a few versions of this recipe floating around on the internet, and pretty much all of them involve more steps than mine.  Mine includes some shortcuts, which may or may not appeal to you.  (They appeal to me since I’m not fond of spending hours in the kitchen!)

Ingredients:

-1/2 pound boneless chicken (You choose which cut.  I used chicken tenders.)
-5 jalapeno peppers*
-1 pound of pasta (I used penne.)
-1 to 2 jars of Ragu alfredo sauce. (Depends how saucy you like it!)
-Flour
-Salt
-Pepper
-2 eggs, scrambled for dipping
-1 8oz block of cheddar cheese
-1 8oz block of montery jack cheese

Method:

Set a pot of water on the stove to boil.  Mix together flour with salt and pepper.  (I used about a cup of flour, a half tablespoon of salt, and a teaspoon of pepper.  You may prefer different amounts of seasoning.)  Dip the chicken in the eggs, then the flour mixture.  Bake the chicken in a 350 degree oven until done, or use your stovetop to cook the chicken in a frying pan.  (I used my stovetop and cooked my chicken in butter.  Yum!)  Set chicken aside and cook the pasta according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, chop the chicken into cubes and the jalapeno peppers into thin slices.  Shred the cheeses.  Once the pasta is done, drain, then mix together the pasta, alfredo sauce, chicken, and jalapeno peppers.  Pour half the pasta into a casserole dish, then add half the cheese.  Add the rest of the pasta and top with the rest of the cheese.  Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly.  Serves 4 very hungry people.

*If you prefer, you can use pickled jalapeno peppers (the ones that come in a jar) and add some of the juice to the alfredo sauce for extra kick!

Happy munching!


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Jalapeño Poppers

Today I harvested a bunch of jalapeño peppers from my jalapeño plant in my teeny tiny garden.

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Jalapeño peppers from my garden.

My jalapeño plant is turning out to be quite prolific and a worthwhile buy.  🙂  I was kind of at a loss as to what to do with my bounty.  Then it dawned on my that I could make jalapeño poppers!  I love the ones that come in a box from the freezer section of the grocery store, but I’m sure they’re full of all kinds of chemicals and preservatives.  I like to pretend that my version is better.  Different, but better.

Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients:

-Seeded jalapeño peppers
-Shredded cheddar cheese
-Milk
-Eggs
-Flour
-Salt
-Vegetable Shortening

Method:

1.  Cut the tops off the jalapeño peppers and remove the seeds.  I chose to hollow mine out with a paring knife like so:

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Hollowed Jalapeño Peppers

Yes, it was time consuming.  In the future I think I’d choose to just half them.

2.  Stuff each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese.  You could substitute the cheddar cheese with any filling of your choosing.  I believe cream cheese and bacon are pretty popular fillings.

3.  In a bowl, mix together the eggs (I used one for 8 small peppers) and a splash of milk.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  You’ll have to make an executive decision on how much salt to add.  I didn’t add much, but I’m pretty sure the poppers from the store have a ton of salt in the coating.

4.  Dip the peppers in the egg mixture, then dip them in the flour mixture.  Once all your peppers have been coated, heat up a pan of vegetable shortening.

5.  While the shortening is heating up, do one more round of dipping.  This will make the coating on the peppers a bit thicker.  You could try dipping them a third time, just remember to allow the peppers some time to dry between each dip.

6.  Set the peppers in the hot shortening and allow them to cook until golden brown.  Mine didn’t take long, only a couple minutes.  This probably varies according to pepper size.  My peppers were pretty little.

***Warning – If the cheese starts to bubble out, remove the peppers.  You don’t want to lose all the cheese during frying!

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Jalapeño Poppers!

There you have it.  Homemade jalapeño poppers.  I’m sure I’ll be making lots more of these as the summer progresses.  I’m totally trying cream cheese next!


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Tomato Salad

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Tomato Salad

Today was one of those unbearably hot days where no one felt like doing anything, and as such, nothing got done.  I managed to carry out one of my minimum duties, though – making dinner.  Kai wanted something cold to eat since he’d been out all day, so I settled on tuna with a side of tomato salad, his favorite “healthy” dish. 

Tomato salad is really easy to make and takes hardly any time at all.  It’s pretty low-mess, too.  I’m including the recipe, here, so that anyone who’s interested can try it.

Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

-3 large tomatoes
-1 clove garlic*
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
-1/2 tablespoon salt

Method:

Prepare tomatoes for peeling by placing them in boiling water for 10 seconds.  Allow to cool, then peel skins.  (You don’t want to cook the tomatoes, you just want to loosen the skins!)  Cut tomatoes into wedges and place in a bowl.  In a seperate bowl, mix together salt, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Peel and crush a clove of garlic and add it to the oil mixture.  Pour oil mixture over tomatoes and toss.  The salad can be served immediately, but for best results, refrigerate overnight.  Occasionally I add small bits of cucumber or pepper for added flavor and color.  In the picture at the beginning of this post, you can see I added chopped red pepper.  Usually I use green, but red is all I had.  This recipe serves 3 to 4 people or one Kai.  🙂

You may prefer more or less garlic, or more or less salt.  Season to taste!

*I’m sure I’m stating the obvious here, but the garlic isn’t meant to be eaten.  It just serves as a flavor enhancer.  I suppose, if you’re dead set on ingesting it, you could mince the garlic and mix it in, but I can’t guarantee that the resulting salad will be edible.  🙂


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Cherry Picking

Today Eva and I went cherry picking with my in-laws.  I like cherry picking quite a bit more than strawberry picking because it involves much less crouching, and cherries grow in clumps so the picking is quick.  Eva spent the entire time strapped to me in her carrier (facing out) while I picked.  She “helped” by grabbing every branch, leaf, cherry, and bucket within reach.  I think I spent more time running interference on her mouth than picking!

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Just picked cherries!

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The fruits of my labor.

I don’t plan to do any canning projects this time around.  It’s too difficult to do that kind of thing with a baby.  I learned that the hard way when I made jam out of the strawberries I picked.  I’m just going to eat as many as possible (which I’ll regret) and share the rest with my mother.  🙂


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Strawberry Picking

Today Eva and I went strawberry picking with my in-laws.  I missed out on all the picking last year due to being pregnant, so it was nice to get back into the game.  Eva even wore her strawberry outfit for the occasion!

We went to a farm in South Jersey called Sparacio’s.  It’s a little bit of a drive, but nothing too bad.  This year’s berries were the biggest I’ve seen yet!  I love looking at the strawberry plants full of strawberries, which always leads to me daydreaming about having my own field that I could gorge myself in every day.  🙂

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I took a picture of my bounty, which you can admire above.  I have great plans for my strawberries.  Tomorrow I’m going to turn them into jam (and save some for eating, of course).  I hope the process goes smoothly.  Last time I made jam, I didn’t have a baby.  :/

I hope I get to pick more sometime soon!


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Delicious Chicken Salad

This afternoon I spent some time in the kitchen making chicken salad.  It turned out really delicious, so I thought I’d share the recipe.  🙂

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Meghan's Delicious Chicken Salad

Ingredients
-3 boneless chicken breasts
-3/4 cup chopped celery
-3/4 cup craisins (I used the original flavor, but you can try one of the other varieties.)
-mayonnaise (to taste)
-salt
-black pepper
-rosemary

Method
Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Cook until well done.  I cooked mine (from a frozen state) in my crockpot on HIGH for 4 hours.  I flipped them once at the two hour mark for more even cooking.  Shred chicken (mine shredded really nicely since it was slow cooked) and set aside in bowl.  Chop celery and add to chicken.  Add craisins.  Add mayonnaise and stir until the salad reaches your desired consistency.  Chill in refrigerator.

The number of servings will vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts you use, and whether you add more or less of the celery and craisins.  The amounts in this recipe yielded about 8 servings.