Sunday, December 23, 2012

Roasted Garlic Butter

I found a huge 1+ pound bag of garlic at Walmart at a very reasonable price.  I love roasted garlic and thought what a great opportunity to have this on hand through the holidays.  Here’s my roasted garlic and roasted garlic butter recipe.  This is totally yummy on toast points, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and just about anything really.


  • Garlic – Several whole heads, I had a bag over 1 lb.
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Stick Butter

 Cooking Utensils:

  • Roasting Pan
  • Fork
  • Spatula
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Plastic Wrap

 Preparation: Tasks:

  • Pre-heat oven to 275 to 300 degrees.  You know how your oven heats and we want this to roast slowly.
  • Place the stick of butter on the counter to soften.


Slice the tops off the garlic heads to expose all of the cloves inside. 
Save the garlic clove tips to be used in other recipies later.  Place the tips in a plastic bag and refrigerate.
Arrange the garlic on a roasting pan, tops up.
Drizzle liberally with Olive Oil and dust with salt and pepper. Cover with foil.
Roast garlic in the pre-heated oven for an hour. Test garlic with a fork to make sure the cloves are tender. If not, roast for another 30 minutes. Test with a fork again.
When garlic cloves are tender, remove the pan from the oven and cool to the touch.
Squeeze the garlic from the heads, with your hands, into a bowl. If you have some stubborn cloves that won’t mash out, pull, them out with the fork. Note: Some of the skins might fall into the bowl when squeezing the cloves. Just pull them out and discard as you are working.
Here's the pan of empty skins. 
This is the bowl of roasted cloves from the pan.  Yum.
 Using a fork, mash all the cloves until you have an even consistency. Cool completely.
Some of the cloves may be too dry or hard to mash. Remove these and discard because you will never get them integrated into your mashed garlic. When I was separating them they sounded like pebbles hitting the counter, they were that hard.  Here's a pic of my rejects...
Place the softened stick of butter in a bowl.
Add 2 heaping tablespoons of the roasted garlic paste to the butter.
Mix until evenly combined.
Spread the butter mixture on plastic wrap.
Roll the mixture into a log and even the distribution with your hand.
Twist the ends and place the roll into the refrigerator to chill.
 Unroll the chilled roll to slice.
To use the butter, unwrap and slice. 

The roll can be stored in the refrigerator for the freshness cycle printed on the butter.  It can also be frozen to store longer.  Enjoy.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Doors of Europe

I'll admit it, I love unique doors.  When in Europe recently, I found myself compelled to photograph some of these beautiful doors.  Most of the building facades were very nondescript and the residents found a way to make their homes stand out by using landscaping, beautiful transom windows, brass ornamentation and unique color. 

These photos were taken with my favorite camera, a Nikon D50.  Most of these photos were taken in the UK but some were from Scotland.


The door, above, stood out not because of the color but the compelling stone coloration against the white door frame with the transom window. 


The stonework and very ornate transom windows makes the doors, above, standout.


These last few doors all have such a beautiful color and mix of brass ornamentation. 

I hope you've enjoyed these.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Knitting on a Plane

I did a bit of research before I flew with my knitting.  The last thing I wanted was to have them take my expensive needles at the security check point.  In case you are interested in flying with your nice knitting needles and other supplies, here's what I found during my research.

The TSA allows transport of knitting needles and needlepoint items.  Specifically, they state the following on their website:   TSA Regulations on Knitting Needles
Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage.  Items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside which cannot go through the checkpoint and must go in your checked baggage.
I printed the regulation pages for knitting needles and nail clippers that I use for scissors, link below, and put those in my travel knitting kit. 

I find it very relaxing knitting on the plane, especially the long flights.  I'll post my finished project from my flight back to Nashville from Kauai in the next couple of days.  I've met quite a few knitters (passengers and flight attendants) during my travels.  During a flight back from NYC, I found that an American flight attendant was a knitter and a new Nashvillian.  I gave her the name of my favorite Local Yarn Store (LYS) Haus of Yarn so she would be able to keep her stash up. 

My travel knitting bag contains these items:
  1. Addi-Click circular knitting needle kit, size 4 through 15.  The kit also contains a needle sizing template.
  2. Selected sizes of straight bamboo needles in an Art Bin case.  The needles are held together, to keep them from rattling around, with spiral needle holders.
  3. Retractable measuring tape - 60"
  4. Stitch markers - I prefer the pin style that can be removed after knitting.  These are more versatile for me.
  5. Tapestry needle - Clover bent tip
  6. Yarn for at least two projects
  7. Project patterns, if needed
  8. Ziploc baggies - gallon and quart sizes.  I keep my yarn (center pull) in a gallon bag and use the yarn from the bag when I'm knitting.  This also keeps the yarn clean and organized into projects.
  9. Nail clippers (scissor replacement) to clip yarn.  I put my knitting scissors in my checked luggage - TSA Regulations on Nail Clippers - See Items permitted in aircraft cabins
  10. Small Notebook
  11. Mechanical Pencil and Permanent Pen
  12. Latest knitting magazine for light reading
  13. Sticky notes
  14. Printed TSA regulation pages for knitting needles and nail clippers
Happy knitting and I hope these links to the TSA regulations are helpful.  Leave me a comment with your travel knitting experiences.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Potato Chip Scarf in Paradise

I've been on vacation in Hawaii for the last two weeks and I've completed a few projects.  I'll be posting these over the next week or so.  The first project is this potato chip scarf I knitted for a friend. 

The pattern was given to me verbally by my daughter and I've made a couple of these since Thanksgiving.

Here are the instructions:
          Cast on 20 stitches, leaving a 12" tail
          Row 1: knit 20 stitches
          Row 2: knit 8 stitches, turn
          Row 3: knit 8 stitches
          Row 4: knit 6 stitches, turn
          Row 5: knit 6 stitches
          Row 6: knit 4 stitches, turn
          Row 7: knit 4 stitches
          Repeat Rows 1 through 7 until you reach the desired length
          Last Row: bind off (knit stitch) all 20 stitches, leaving a 12" tail.
          Using a tapestry needle, thread the 12" tail on each end of the scarf.
          Weave together the raw edges of the ends into a semi-circle, see picture below.

I used two skeins of Trabajos del Peru, 100% Pure Fine Merino Wool by Plymouth Yarn, color 001.  It's a very deep rich blue that shows up just a little lighter than the actual color in these photos.  Each skein is 147 yards and the size needle recommended is US 9.  I used a US 10 needle because I liked the guage better.  The guage isn't important as long as you like it.

We've had a lot of cold weather in Nashville over the last few weeks.  This soft but warm scarf will come in very handy.  Enjoy the pattern and if you like it, please leave me a comment.