2014 Goal: To Meet Mr. LottoMax

2 01 2014

I had an up and down year in 2013 that tested my resolve to put myself first and to not let life throw me into a whirlpool that forced me to keep my head above water.
After spending time with family over the holidays, taking a break from work, and looking back on my year, I have come to the conclusion that “working” Katherine dominated 2013. Once I step away from my daily career job, I put on various other “work” hats on my ‘off’ hours. I haven’t taken a night off to just watch TV, or sat through an entire movie, read a book or started a new knitting project in 2013. I moved away from blogging because people expected it from me, which sucked the fun out of it.
This past weekend just before the New Year I was sick… super sick. I usually push through sickness but this Saturday I just couldn’t and ended up taking a nap. When I woke up Ken said to me “you must be super sick because you never nap”. He’s right.. it was my first nap of 2013 and the first time that I wore my pajamas past lunchtime. Ridiculous that I am that structured.


This year I have decided to just have more fun, to hit a knit night at the Purple Purl at least once a month, to take a course just for the fun of it and not because I should or need to for work, to allow myself one day off a week that I am not running to a class at the gym or a cooking class for someone, to avoid people who just take and take and never give, to do more Yoga and to laugh. I have always struggled to live in the moment. I currently live in the ‘next steps’ of any future projects, planning my workouts for the week and my next day’s dinner and sorting out next steps in ongoing projects.

I started doing Joga each morning and committed to a month of practice to get back into a routine. This is my 30 day Yoga Un-challenge :). Every day I get up an hour early and start my day off with something that I love. I am grateful for my life, my work, my family and friends, my existing cat Kelvin.. all of the above is just fine-tuning.

Happy 2014 everyone and let this be a year full of hope, looking good naked and meeting Mr. LottoMax 🙂


Have a Heart… literally

17 05 2012

I bet you all thought I was cooking up some hearts, didn’t you? It is one thing I am slightly squeamish about. This post is all about knitting!
I have a bunch of friends who are in various stages of pregnant so my summer knitting is lined up with fun and cute knitted or sewn objects for all of them. I am going to make a sleep sack…I am kinda excited, and have just finished this stuffed heart for a friend and her soon-to-be hubby who is a doctor.
I figured this was a better knitted project than some of the other “medical” knitted stuffed toys patterns out there.. who wants to knit let alone gift a “Baby’s first Teratoma”… teeth, eyeballs and hair..REALLY?

knitters are crazy.

So have a good day, and ‘have a heart’ in a Bonnie Raitt 90s sort of way today!

OCCUPY My House, Knitting & SF Bakerella

17 11 2011

I have been in knitting hibernation for the last couple of weeks. I am still here, and still using the 265esque recipes in this blog. I admit I am not as “hungry” as I once was for the new and exotic. I think because my weight is stable, I have a relatively normal life, I make delicious things, and I feel like I have a solid food rotation, things are good. I DO occasionally get the itch to lose more weight, but slowly talk myself out of it. This is my healthy weight and any further down the rabbit hole could lead to trouble.

I haven’t picked up my knitting needles since the summer. I was feeling lack luster towards my knitting projects and found cooking and baking much more fun. I think the pendulum is swinging the other way and I am fully engaged in knitting 24-7. Since Halloween I have finished a skull hat, a pink and black baby sweater, a Pokemon baby blanket and now a scarf for a Xmas gift. This scarf will be the death of me. I am cramming in rows in every moment of my day…”I have 10 minutes before a meeting, I could knock off two rows”.. ridiculous.
I feel this scarf isn’t knitting up fast enough.

I am also SF Bakerella as I baked for a friend’s birthday bash. I got to stretch my baking muscles, made seven desserts and man did I ever deliver my A game. This chick still can deliver the goods. I knocked it out of the park. Enjoy the splendor of appetizer sized desserts.

My friend Cat has a birthday on Friday and tasted some of the birthday treats, loved the lemon bars (back corner, behind the Elvis cupcakes) I made SO much she is going to make them for her birthday dessert at her family dinner. SO I took 30 minutes out from being a knitting machine to write up the recipe for her.

Early out I sort of clued into cheesecake being WLS friendly as it being more about the cream cheese than the sugar. In my previous life I use to have a very unhealthy fixation on lemon squares. What could be better than a marriage of these two delicious things??

Kat’s Lemon Cheesecake Nut Bars
loosely based on a Kraft Philly recipe

1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/4 cup of splenda
1/4 cup of brown sugar splenda
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup of pecans, processed in a processor to a flour
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 pkg full fat cream cheese (do not skimp to the lower fat one here or you’ll have runny bars)
1 cup of Splenda
3 eggs
1/2 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed if possible
zest from one lemon (~ 1 tbsp)
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
About 20 minutes before you decide to make this recipe, pull out the butter and cream cheese from the fridge and let it sit on the counter. Minimizes your arm work out if you think ahead.
Preheat la oven to 350 degrees and PAM up a 8 x 8 pan. I love this recipe because I am a super lazy baker and I reuse the mixing bowl for the bottom and top of this recipe 🙂

In a bowl, mix the softened butter and the sweeteners until you have a paste. Add both the pecan flour and the all purpose flour and combine. Add the vanilla and mix in. You want a wet sand consistency, so if this is still a bit too wet, have a bit of all purpose flour on hand and add a bit at a time until you achieve wet sand consistency. Empty all of this into your pre-PAMmed pan and press down until firm. Pop into the over for 15 minutes, but watch it as splenda can tend to crisp up faster than sugar.

As your super yummy crust is baking, grab the same bowl (heh) cream the cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the splenda and combine. Add eggs and incorporate. I always seem to get cheese chunks and egg not playing well together and my mixture looks lumpy. This never seems to matter in the end, so don’t fret. Add your lemon zest and lemon juice and blend, finally adding your flour to thicken everything up. Set aside and peek at your crust. If the edges are just starting to brown, pull it out, pour the lemon mixture onto the hot crust and pop it back into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. You want the middle not to jiggle.

Let this cool.. amateur mistake to taste warm as the lemon filling is nuclear. I cut these into 16 pieces.. which doesn’t seem big for a 8×8 pan, but is plenty as these suckers are rich. I top each square with fresh rosemary as lemon and rosemary are lovers and always go together.

I haven’t bothered to do the nuts on these… as I know these are a treat, and well, I don’t want to know. Sometimes it is nice to be naive and enjoy something.
Enjoy and happy birthday Cat!

Work is ONTO me…

27 05 2011

So I am saddling up close to my 200th post and I get an email from a colleague at work to say “hey-i-just-found-your-blog”… LOL

BUSTED ! A pic of me and my colleague, Alan, from the Natural History Museum, London. We are at a Gold Rush party !

I started this blog as a request from Erin Armstrong, who was once working in the ROM Governors office (now on my FB and a fellow knitter.. GO KNITTING) as she thought I was hip and cool and could detail what my day to day at the museum was like. She caught me at a time when my whole stress level about work was super high… two galleries, and the Diamond exhibition. I started the account and stalled for SO long.. it loomed over my head.

Fast track to a year ago.. apparently I had a lot to say about all my crazy cooking because I took the blog by the horns and started typing. I am now on a “Social Media’ task force at the museum, and am brimming with ideas on things we could “roll out” here at the museum !!

The spark is back.. Thank GOD… I though the bloom was off the rose.

I only need to look at some pictures of the extraordinary specimens and I realize how incredible this field is…
this is me holding a matched pair of trapiche emeralds..

NUTS !!… and Knitting

7 07 2010

For years I have dieted and nuts were a faux pas “Calorically DENSE, STAY AWAY !” Nuts have had a bad wrap (like butter.. but dont get me started). I have embraced nuts again in my diet.. sometimes i just need a little something, and it gives me the boost i need to march on through my day. While nuts can be calorically dense, they are also full of good oils and vitamins, as well as easy to transport.
You will always find a small snack sized ziploc in my purse with nuts in it… the dark side of nuts can be all the salt and sometimes sugar they use to coat.

I gave this receipt a trial run this weekend… the recipe is from BE website and she uses pecans. While I like pecans, they dont give me the same staying power (read protein) as almonds.

Spiced Roasted Almonds

2 tablespoon salted butter (marg makes this greasy, so avoid it)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons Sugar Free Maple Syrup
2 cups almonds

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the Worcestershire, garlic powder, Tabasco, and syrup. Pour over the nuts in a medium bowl and toss to evenly coat. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet, generously sprinkle with salt, and bake, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are crisp and toasted, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the almonds on the baking sheet, breaking up any that stick together. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 2 cups

I used some marg, which i would advise against.. butter all the way, and i found i added some extra spicy after they cooled… as they werent spicy enough for me. Threw on some garlic powder, a sprinkle of tandoori spice, and some salt, tossed and put in a container. Ken loves them !!

On a knitting note.. i was asked my a colleague to make this from Dr. Who show ! I am not versed in the Dr. Who culture but this is a Dalek.. who says “exterminate” a lot ! This Dalek is pissing off Kelvin cat…