Holiday Deals from Kaleidoscope Kitty!

Happy Saturday! I am starting my holiday deals a bit earlier this year!
On my etsy shop– enter “GIFTGIVING” at checkout to receive 20% off!

Note this discount does not apply to my handspun yarn. The time that it takes for me to spin, ply, set, and tag is more a labor of love than a major money maker. (I spend at least 4 hours with each skein, many on the upwards of 6-8 hours. If we do the math, how much I sell my yarn for, and minus the roving cost, my wage can sometimes be as low as $2- $3/ hour)
Due to those circumstances, I am doing a different offer for all handspun yarn purchases! At checkout, in notes to buyer- enter “holidaylove” and I will send you a special thank you- a pair of Sterling Silver and stone earrings (normally $15-20) for free. My way of thanking you for buying my handspun and your support.

Please let me know if you need help with etsy- I am happy to help!

On a side note, I am trying to figure out a day I can host an open house for my local buyers, but my retail schedule is proving to be a challenge. Until then, if you would like a private visit, please let me know.

IMG_6834 Kaleidoscope Kitty shop IMG_3555 Christine Walberg Handspun Yarn

It’s HERE! My favorite Cheesy Potato Recipe!!!

Ok gang, so I think I have covered a few things about my tastes in food. I don’t like spicy, and I hate to reheat food, with the exception of a couple foods. It’s wasteful I know, but it never tastes the same… Along with my Sweet Chili Chicken I am adding another recipe to the foods that taste delicious reheated.

This meal has been tweaked a bit… from a Good Eats episode. Ok, tweaked alot. When I ended up watching this episode I felt like it was a completely different food, and I was curious on what Alton Brown had made. Anyways, this is my take on it.

First off, if you do not have a Mandolin slicer- GET ONE. Ours has paid off in the time we save on making this meal (its at least once a week in the winter)

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Gratin Potatoes

This is a simple dish that’s quick to make if you have a mandolin slicer and a great way to use up all the stagnating leftovers in the fridge.

Equipment:
Casserole pan
Mandolin Slicer

Ingredients:
3 pounds of medium starch, potatoes (Yukon Gold, Superiors, California Longs)
1/4 cup Half & Half
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 or more cups of filling. This could be various herbs, spices, meats, vegetables, cheese, pretty much anything you think would be good. This is an excellent way of getting rid of excess leftovers.

Directions:
1. Wash and slice the potatoes around 1/16” or 1/8” thick
2. Grease pan with a light coat of butter
3. Make a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan
4. Sprinkle in part of the filling, add salt and pepper
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until pan is completely filled
6. Distribute Half & Half evenly on top of pan, then press down lightly with your hands to push out air bubbles.
7. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees
8. Remove foil and cook for 10 minutes
9. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving

Good Eats, Season 1, Episode 2: This Spud’s For You

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Potatoes part a: Start browning your beef while you are slicing potatoes with your mandolin. By the time you are done with those you can start chop chop chopping your carrots up and add them to the beef with corn! Stir stir- add seasonings! (We also add a bit of Worcestershire sauce to give the beef a little zip, just a little bit.)

 

Potatoes step one: Buttered pan, lay one layer down of potatoes, salt and pepper.

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Step 2: First layer of Cheese! (We use Mild Cheddar here) photo 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Step 3: Another Layer of Potatoes!

(you can see the cheesy goodness underneath)

Salt and Pepper! Don’t forget it!

 

 

 

 

 

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Step 4: Add ingredients!

We have 1 Bag of baby carrots, 1 can of corn, and 1 lb of ground beef.

You can obviously add some other tasty variety, but this is what works best in our home. Oh yes, and Steak chopped up is really good too!

 

Step 5: Another Layer of Potatoes and Cheese!

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Step 6: Last layer of potatoes- Now before you put the half and half on you will want to squish it down with your hands, not a extreme squish, just something to push out any crazy big airbubbles and allow it to cook more evenly. Now we add about a quarter cup of half and half evenly to the top.

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Lastly is the final layer of cheese. We use Sharp Cheddar here- it browns the nicest, but you can use pretty much what you like.

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Lightly cover with tinfoil. You don’t want to burn the cheese to the tinfoil, but it also needs to be covered, unless you like smokey burnt messes. No thank you!

Pop it in the oven at 400° with tinfoil on. Bake for 45 mins. Remove tinfoil! Bake for another 15 or until you see fit. (I like a nice crispy top)

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Voila! Cheesy potatoes. Delicious. Customizable, and reheats OH SO WELL!!! 🙂

 

Enjoy!

An update and a new project.

Ah, I am finally feeling better, I hate being down for the count. And although my week wasn’t going to be super exciting, I did feel like I was missing out on some even in the world that my presence should have been at. SO if I missed yours. I am sorry.

I am realizing with every passing day I need a new computer. For some reason PCs don’t like me. Do I know why? No. They crash, they freeze, they slur their words when I watch movies. I had an android phone, I zapped it with my energy and had to replace it 4 or 5 times before I went to an iphone. I hate to say it, but Operation Buy Christine a New Computer has commenced for this holiday season, and I am looking at a fruity variety. All holiday dollars made will be going twards a new computer for me to work on. So let’s do this! I got awesome things to sell and people got Christmas gifts to get. (A little motivation for myself, my computer situation is somewhat disappointing and depressing.)

On the plus side, I already finished one holiday gift. Its absolutely lovely. Now I have to wait to give it. And not post photos. How am I to do this successfully? I am known in the past to be too excited for some holiday gifts that I give them at Thanksgiving. I guess I can do that, but its still not the same. I always feel weird, like, “um, so I don’t have anything for you because, well you remember I gave you that thing a month ago?” Yea… No matter what I always like I came empty-handed. I started on another gift. Some of my handspun and I am struggling. 4 times I have frogged this yarn. Its lovely and I have a great idea for it, its just not coming out right. So I am going to put it aside and keep working on other things. A few more things to sell first. I finished another cowl- but I am debating on whether I would like a new cowl or if I should sell it. I am going to do a couple more, and really finish the pattern so I can post it up here! In the mean time, here is a couple shots of some recently finished pieces that I love.

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The color looks a little off here, but it has a lovely assortment of raspberry, a smidge of green, some purple and blue. Its from Madelinetosh A.S.A.P. The color used here is Alizarin. Its very soft and chunky- my ballwinder couldn’t wind this stuff because it was so soft. The lower picture is featured in Fog. photo 1 I tried winding that one 5 times before I gave up and did it the old fashioned way- using B.’s hands and me winding it. One time the ball flew off the winder and all the way across my work table and onto the floor! I was a bit skeptical on whether or not I was going to like working with it because it was so soft. But I was very pleased. It makes a nice substitute for Rasta in a pinch (not as thick thought)

2 skeins was all it took!

I know the pattern by heart but I am going to do it at least one more time before I post the full pattern. A test in something thinner should be a good challenge. I got some Prism yarn its a hand-dyed merino from Amazing Threads that has a nice softness, but not as thick so we’ll see how this challenge goes. I wasn’t super happy when I balled it, it likes to felt on itself, so frogging might not be much of a possibility if this is a failed experiment. Let’s hope for the best!

I posted a few new items on etsy the other night. One of them was modeled by B. since I wasn’t feeling super photogenic that day. Its a pretty feminine infinity scarf but he pulls it off quite well. photo 4 (3) photo 5

 

Other than that its same ol same. I picked up S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst, but dont know when I will really have any time to go through all the book and its accessories. I have many goals. The third Unwind book is also in queue on my kindle which I am itching to read. So many things to do and not enough time!

 

Tomorrow B. and I will be making potatoes. A favorite of mine. We will be taking lots of pictures so we can post them on my site. My sweet chili chicken recipe has been a very popular post, and I have seen some great numbers in visitors. So I want to share another one of my faves. (It reheats suuuper well!!!)

 

xo

-C

The night owl.

Just a mini post about this hat I am working on. The roving came from SpunRightRound on etsy- its AMAZING. a lovely Polworth and Tussah Silk mix. I am working on a sassy hat for Monday’s trunk show. But- I have a confession to make. If this hat does not sell on Monday, B is gonna have a hard time getting me to post it on Etsy. It looks like a Carebear party. And I sure LOVE the Carebears- so its kinda screaming MINE!!! We’ll see if it makes it to etsy!

regardless on how tired I may be right now- I’ll have about 4 hours of sleep tonight, I will say I am making some pretty sweet stuff right now, so I am very proud of that. Just a few more days of making stuff like crazy. Counting wraps, Finishing Skeins. It will all be worth it. Just in time for the holidays.  photo 1 (5) photo 2 (5)

 

xoxo

Just a few more stitches.

This skein is seeming to go on continuously. Its beautiful, and is working up nicely, but I feel every time I reach down to double check where I am in my skein, I realize I haven’t made much of a dent.

We had our first snow tonight. I hear the snow settling on the roof in odd foot patterned noises. I am ready for spring.

Tonight on my bus I was fully decked out in Kaleidoscope Kitty‘s knitty wear. Hat, scarf, cowl and my fingerless gloves. I look like a Malabrigo poster. I am working on my infinity scarf still- my fingers beginning to cramp. A lady behind me comments on my hat and cowl and tells me they are so beautiful. I thank her, and feel awkward to push a business card her way, so I don’t. I put my earbud back in and continue on my row. A family of three hops on my route, two boys and their father. The youngest is mesmerized by my handwork. I try not to pay attention to the fact he is staring, it messes up my stitching. The older boy starts talking to the dad and the brother about what I am doing, I wonder what she is making, II think it might be a sweater, I wonder if she learned when she was little, etc. The conversation is audible, but it is still their conversation, so I don’t interrupt, after all, I have my earbuds in and they could be talking about something else. I zone in on my stitches…. my music plays a rhythm that I sink into as I hook. I continue on.  I hear a bit of “what are you doing?” “EXCUSE ME MISS, WHAT ARE YOU MAKING?” Boom. All eyes are on me. I feel a rush of pink to my cheeks, I have to answer all the way across the bus what I am working on, and all these people are suddenly watching. Am I naked? “Oh I am working on an infinity scarf, See?” I stretch it out and people crane their necks to see. More pink to my cheeks. They were very sweet boys and they had a couple more questions, and asked if I made all my warm weather accessories, I said yes and they asked why I was making something on the bus, I told them it was a good way to use my time, and I like making things. I had even made the yarn in this scarf I am making. People stood up to look. It was like a strange impromptu show and tell that no one wants to do. The boys were interested still in the artform and continued to chat about it once I went back to my work. Maybe someday I will see something by those boys. Until then, I have more stitching to do.

Countdown, 5 days. I need more time.

NaNoBloMo Day 2- ISO More time in the day!

Anyone got a few extra hours in the day and a few extra sets of hands to loan me? Mine are starting to cramp up. I can do this. I need buttons buttons buttons, and finish a few more scarves. Personally I am a hat person. I love hats. however so many people are on the scarf love that I feel I need to bulk up on my scarf assortment. I will bulk up on my scarf assortment and people will want hats. Its how it always goes. My last big show people kept asking for bracelets, I was making earrings. Moral of my tale. Make all the things. Don’t sleep. Just make the things. It will somehow work out in your favor.

My mega complaint about the new time change, I can’t crochet in the car when I come home from work. I know there are light up hooks, I have one, not in the size I need right now for this particular project, BUT I have one, and it is neat. Right now I am hooking with a Knitters Pride Symfonie Dreamz hook (the full set is on my Christmas list if anyone needs a last minute present for me <3 ) Its a lovely wood hook- just the right size, weight and smoothness. A bit more expensive, but MAN they are such nice hooks. This hook does not light up- and I dont want to be the weirdo with the headlamp on trying to fit in a few more stitches in the car. So yes, I am counting the days til more daylight, and trying my best to be patient.

I am using my symfonie hook to work on a multi functional infinity scarf. The yarn was spun by me in Duluth- some of my Lake Superior spinning, and it comes from Crosspatch Creations. I got a nice amount of yardage from it- like 300+ yards, and it looks and feels like Noro!
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It has a nice warm fall look to it but I could see someone wearing it to an elegant dinner as well. I cant wait til it is done so I can post it!

 

Ok, off to crochet and watch Gossip Girl… only 4 more seasons to go. Someone please suggest something I can work on and not have to pay too much attention to? B is mildly making fun of it, I don’t blame him, it is pretty lame.

xo