My 1 Million Row Challenge

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another Day of Cleaning

Well another day of very vigorous cleaning is done. I am too tired to move. Maybe John will take pity on me and help me make the guest room bed. The guest room door was suppose to remain closed when my sister and mom came for the weekend, but I have cleaned, dusted and vacuumed the guest room for my little sister, my mom will borrow Teri’s room for the weekend, not that she is using her room at the moment. Since we have run out of beds, anyone who is under the age of 10 will be sleeping on the floor.

I am really hoping that John does not mind that I borrowed a little closet space of his just until the company is gone. I had to give my sister some place to hang her clothes.

With a few more hours of cleaning most people who know me well will not recognize the house. With all this cleaning done after company leaves, I plan on working on my quilt; after all there is plenty of empty floor space now. I will have plenty of time for other crafts too. So look out UFO’s and yarn bins you are in my target. I want to fill up my charity knitting bags and my ArtFire shop with new items.

When I find my body (someone replaced my body with blocks of cement) I will do some more cleaning tonight. Since we normally do not have kids in the house I will have to move my meds out of sight and reach. I think I will temporally rearrange John’s closet shelf’s to accommodate this. Well this sounds like more work to me. So off I go.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Day of Cleaning

Well the day was spent cleaning again. I can now see the wood on the table; no it’s not finished yet; but it should be tomorrow. The best part of cleaning today was that I found a lot of knitting patterns that I want to make, so after Teri’s blanket is finished I will start with all the patterns.

I have no new recipes for today as we are having filet of left over, yes yesterdays chicken soup recipe serves 4 and since only 2 of us are eating it well I don’t have to cook tonight. I am off to do some knitting so have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Semi Home Made Chicken Soup

After spending half of the night awake with Eric and the morning getting my finial holiday cleaning done, I was just too tired to make dinner. The holiday cleaning today involved cleaning out crevices of the stove with a tooth pick. I also cleaned the drip pans and under the drip pans till they did not look almost 30 years old. I could not do anything with the enamel that had been scoured off over the years. Picking up and tossing, scrubbing and cleaning the rest of the house and the never ending pile of laundry. Somehow I am pretty sure our ancestors did not go through this in the Exodus from Egypt.

So this is where my semi homemade chicken soup comes into play.

I made the recipe for Matzo Balls from the Manischewitz Matzo Meal can. I have not asked permission to include the recipe, so if they decide they want me to take the recipe down I will remove it from my blog. But really this is the absolutely best Matzo Ball recipe; we have been using it for at least 4 generations in my family(my daughter Teri just made this for the first time in her own house yesterday).

Manischewitz Matzo Balls

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup of Manischewitz Matzo Meal

1 teaspoon of salt if desired (I use salt if I use water instead of broth)

2 tablespoons of water

Blend the vegetable oil, eggs, water and salt together. Add the Manischewitz Matzo Meal and blend well. Here is where I change the directions a little. (They say place in the fridge for 15 minutes)Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours, over night is better. They will come out fluffier.

Make as many 1 inch in diameter balls as you can. Place on a wet plate and keep your hands wet so that they do not stick. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Drop the balls in the pot and simmer on a lower temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. When the Matzo Balls are all floating they are done.

For the Semi Homemade Chicken Soup

14.5 ounce package of Trader Joes Mirepoix mix

12 ounces of Trader Joes Just Chicken Strips

32 ounces of Trader Joes Free Range Chicken Broth

In your soup pot place Mirepoix mix and heat at a medium temperature till the onions are translucent.

Cut the chicken in to bite size pieces. Add the chicken and broth. Heat the soup for at least 30 minutes, to blend the flavors. Add the Matzo Balls and serve.

For the holidays serve with matzo and enjoy your evening with your loved ones.

Please note that I have not been paid or given coupons or product for any of the above items. All the items came out of my grocery budget. All the opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Charosis - A Passover Recipe

The holidays are fast approaching and my daughter Teri has requested a family favorite. Charosis is part of the sedar plate for the Passover service we have at home. Since Passover is a difficult holiday if you don’t use eggs, we also use this for breakfast, thus the larger than normal qualities. I also make mine nut free which is different from most recipes you will see.


¼ cup honey

1 pound of chopped dates - grated

1 to 2 pounds of apples – grated (use very firm apples)

¼ cup of grape juice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Sugar to taste, some people like their Charosis on the very sweet side, but unless the apples are very tart I tend to skip the extra sugar.

Finely grate or chop the apples and the dates. I use the medium grating attachment of my Kitchen Aide Mixer. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Please feel free to adjust the seasonings to taste. Place the covered bowl in the fridge overnight.

For breakfast I usually use ½ cup of Charosis on 1 matzo.

This is not a paid advertisement for Kitchen Aide. I have had my Kitchen Aide K-5 Mixer since about 1978 and it still one of my favorite kitchen workhorses. Way back then I invested 2 paychecks to buy it and it has been one of my best and longest lasting kitchen appliances.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

I will take any holiday recipe request you my dear reader ask for.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remaking of a quilt

Well this is the queen size quilt that I started before Teri was born and was going to hand quilt. Once Eric came into our lives this just did not happen. When we needed a new quilt for our bed John in his wisdom suggested that I revamp this quilt. So I went on a fabric hunt and found some fabric that would go with the material I bought 25 years ago. It is not an exact match, but close enough to make a pretty addition to the quilt.

I will start the ripping out of the hand quilting right after I finish spring cleaning, which will be next week sometime. Just in case you are wondering I will not be hand assembling or hand quilting this quilt. This also means that Teri will not have to deal with a half finished quilt some day.

Have a great evening and enjoy your families.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Check out this food label

My nomination for the worst ingredient label I have encountered in a long time

The Product is called Honey Sauce and I will not name the company that distributes it.

The ingredients in order are: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Honey, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavor and Carmel Color.

My question is why not use plain old fashion honey?

And no I did not use it, I used old fashioned honey.

Have a great day and enjoy your families

Summer Slaw

It has been a while since I posted last. I have been very busy and getting a lot of things done. I have made a lot of stitch markers, a few earrings and key chains for the shows I have schduled and a lot of spring cleaning. Speaking of spring,here is one of my families favorite summer recipies.

Summer Slaw

Prep time less than 5 minutes. Make at least 1 hour before serving to chill.

2 pounds of Dole Coleslaw Mix with carrots
1/2 cup of  Sun Maids Goldens and Cherries
1/2 cup od Marie's Coleslaw Dressing

Take the coleslaw mix. Rinse and drain well. Add the Goldens and Cherries along with the Coleslaw dressing. Toss in the dressing, cover and place in the fridge till serving time.

For my family this makes 4 servings, but then again we always cover half of our plates with vegies. So at the standard 1/2 cup of vegies per serving this should make a lot more.

*My disclaimer: I have not been paid or given coupons for any items in the above recipe. This has been a family favorite for years. So please enjoy it too.

Have a great day and enjoy your families.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We Are OK

It has been a while sine I last posted. everything is ok here. just more of the sameold,sameold going on. Lots of knitting, late nights, laundry and making stitch markers.

I will list more of the stitch markers once my 2 shows in 2 weeks are over.

Catch me at Kathy's Spring Shearing Festival, the details are in my last blog.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Must go to Event for Arizona Fiber People

I just love this event. If you have not been to Kathy's ranch it is a real treat. Since it is spring there are sure to be an awful lot of cute babies around. There will be fibre artists who will have very lovely yarn and fibre that you can spin for yourself. Be sure to save some money for Kathy's hand spun lovely yarn, fibre ready for spinning. Kathy also has some Unique one of a kind items in her shop. Did I mention that she is also a weaver, felter, knitter, critter mama and care taker and all around wonder woman. I really admire Kathy and urge you to come and see all the lovelies if you can.

The Tucson Spring Shearing Festival will be the Saturday, March 27, 2010, from 9-3. Danny Smith will be here from Missouri to shear the alpacas, llamas, angora goats, and sheep. Vendors and demonstrators will be here to share their fiber art with you. This is also baby season, so there will be lambs and maybe kids to see and pet. If you are reading my blog, you will see that I have already been posting baby photos. Four more lambs more have been born since the last posting.

A nuno felted scarf will be raffled with the proceeds going to the Casa Maria kitchen.

Upcoming events: The 4th Avenue Street Fair is March 19-21, 2010, so the shop will be closed. I will be in booth number 331 - the southwest side near where I have been the last few times.

The Tucson Wool Festival (Fall shearing here at the ranch) will be November 6, 2010.

I have started an eshop where I am listing some of my nicest yarns. I still have my etsy shop.

My links are:


I do hope that you can make it.

Kathy Withers

Monday, March 8, 2010

Food Allergies

I will pass up my planed Monday Blog in order to get this information out to as many people as possible.

Calling all people with food allergies: This is YOUR chance to weigh in as a national committee is creating new diagnosis and treatment guidelines.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is seeking public comment on a draft of Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy. AANMA founder and president Nancy Sander is a member of the committee that's working on these guidelines.

The public comment period is open until May 3. Health care professionals and interested members of the public are encouraged to review the guidelines and participate in the open comment period by visiting the NIAID Food Allergy Clinical Guidelines public comment site at

"Food allergy is an important public health problem that affects millions of Americans, and may be increasing in prevalence," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD. "These draft guidelines provide information to a wide variety of health care professionals about how to diagnose and manage food allergy, and treat acute food allergy reactions."

The guidelines are based on an independent, systematic review of the scientific and clinical food allergy literature. Information gathered from the literature review was incorporated into a full report on the state-of-the-science in food allergy that will be made available after the publication of the final guidelines.

As part of the process of developing the guidelines, NIAID brought together a coordinating committee that included representatives from 33 professional organizations, advocacy groups and federal agencies. The role of the coordinating committee was to appoint an expert panel, review drafts, approve the final guidelines and develop a plan to distribute the final guidelines. The expert panel, composed of 25 members with expertise from a variety of relevant clinical and scientific areas, wrote the draft guidelines.
The guidelines cover the following topics:

· Definition and prevalence of food allergy

· Natural history of food allergy and closely associated diseases

· Diagnosis of food allergy

· Management of non-acute allergic reactions to food

· Management of acute allergic reactions to food, including anaphylaxis, a severe, whole-body reaction

"These guidelines represent a major commitment on the part of many people and organizations working to improve the care of individuals with food allergy," says Daniel Rotrosen, MD, director of the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation at NIAID. "The process of developing the guidelines has also helped us identify gaps in the current scientific knowledge that we can begin to address through future research."

All comments will be reviewed by the coordinating committee, expert panel and NIAID. Where appropriate, these comments will be used to develop final guidelines. The final guidelines are expected to be released by the fall of 2010.

More information on the development of the guidelines may be found at

NIAID conducts and supports research-at NIH, throughout the U.S., and worldwide-to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available at

The NIH includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

For more about food allergies, visit or call 800.878.4403. You can also follow AANMA on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cafe Tremolo

After Friday Fun Knitters we went to a new restaurant in Tucson called Café Tremolo. It has only been open for 3 weeks and they are still trying to sort out the menu and fine tune it. Even though they are fine tuning the menu, this is a place you have got to go to. Everything was fresh. The food tasted crisp and the flavor just was one explosion of flavor after another. The iced tea has a wonderful flavor and required no sugar, it was brewed to prefection.

Our waiter said that everything was fresh including the roast beef which they roasted themselves. The Kitchen is open so you can see what they are doing, so I walked past the kitchen and saw a very clean work area, they were well organized and worked in great harmony. The hamburger patties were huge and formed by hand, not by machine as many places use. Judy said the hamburger was very good and trimmed off the portion that was too big for the bun. Natalie had the lox and bagel platter which was present very nicely with onions, plenty of crème cheese, an egg and many more things. Most of the table had the saffron rice and sautéed shrimp dish which appeared to be very good, every one finished it to the last drop. I had the tuna salad sandwich which was very good, but a tad on the huge side. My sandwich was served with Jicama slaw which was made with jicama, carrots, cilantro and a sweet vinegar dressing. The salad was a wonderful taste sensation with each vegetable having a very crisp and distinct taste; I could have made a meal of it. They even came up with a dairy free dessert. A wonderful brownie surrounded by fruit. It was enough for 2 and Judy graciously agreed to share it with me.

Café Tremolo is located at 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd., Ste 152 Their telephone number is (520) 742-2999 The are on the east side of the Foothills Mall at Ina and La Cholla Blvd. They are open for lunch and dinner. This is defiantly one place that I will go to again. Please give this newly opened local business a try, it is worth a drive.

My disclamer: I went to Cafe Tremolo with friends and paid for the meal myself. They had no idea that they were being reviewed. The views expressed here are my own.
Have a good day and enjoy your families.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hamster Helper

It has been a while since I have blogged. Eric has been sick and the days have been long. So that being said it is time for a family favorite recipe and a bit of humor

Hamster Helper
1 pound of ground meat your choice

1 large jar of spaghetti sauce again you choice

2 cans of mushrooms

1 pound of fun shaped pasta cooked and drained.

1 pound of frozen mixed vegetables

1 cell phone with incredibly bad reception
Optional ingredient

1 can black olives drained and sliced

In order to make this a 1 pot meal, cook the pasta as per package directions, drain and set aside. Next brown the ground meat of your choice and be sure to break up the meat in to small pieces. You want to make sure that the ground meat is fully cooked and no pink remains. If the meat is very fatty drain the extra fat and rinse the meat.

Add everything but the cell phone to the pan and mix well. Set the stove to medium-low and cooked for about 45 minutes. This recipe will hold well on low for as long as you need. If you keep this on low for more than 1 hour you might have to add more water to keep the dish moist.

Ok so I did not put the cell phone in the pot, but this is the fun part. Try to explain to you dear darling family member that you are making your own version of Betty Crocker’s Hamburger Helper and with the right drop outs it will sound like hamster instead of hamburger. You can take this where ever your heart desires, have a bit of fun with this.

Let me know how your families like this recipe. Have a great day and enjoy your families.