Nov 21

Throughout the summer I was working on a few hat patterns that have been knocking around my head. And I’ve finally put them all together and published a pamphlet of 3 of them.

A pamphlet of 3 hat patterns to knit.

A pamphlet of 3 hat patterns to knit.

 

Available here:



here are some shots of the hat patterns in the pamphlet:


watchcap2 watchcap1 trellishat2 trelliscap1 shrinkingcables1 shrinking-cables-web

Nov 16

Inspired by Susie’s amazing-looking soup, I went to the store. That’s where my soup took a detour. LOL. Not that I have any doubt of Susan’s culinary skills (her posts almost always inspire me to cook them). I just hate peeling garlic, hate chopping garlic and hate roasting garlic in their skins. But, I was determined to have this soup on this cold New England fall day. That’s where I saw a tub of peeled garlic! I grabbed them.

This is how I like to roast garlic.

In a sauce pan with water add as many peeled garlic gloves as you need. I added a pinch of salt and a sprig each of rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain all but about 1/4 cup of the water and remove the herbs. Add 1 Tbls each of olive oil and butter and a drizzle of honey and good on medium, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn, until the water evaporates and the garlic is covered with the bronze syrup. Remove from the heat and use as you would like.

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic


Then in a soup pot, with 2 Tbls olive oil, I add the traditional onion, carrots, and celery, plus 10-20 cloves of raw garlic and

Photo Nov 16, 10 07 16 AM


sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the roasted garlic.

Photo Nov 16, 10 10 30 AM


Add Chicken stock (mine happens to be frozen)

Photo Nov 16, 10 13 10 AM


and cook until the vegetables are soft.

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At this point the house smells amazing…not that acrid smell of cooking garlic. But a warm, nutty smell of roasted garlic and chicken stock. I then took my immersion blender to create a smooth creamy soup.

DSC_7541


I may add a touch of cream (avoid if treating a cold) or thicken with a roux…we shall see. I will serve with toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic.

Sure to warm our hearts.

Jul 18

Weekender DuffleLook what I’ve been making!

May 04

Hi everyone. Thought I would start something new and test some of these TV recipes…

I’m thrilled that one of my favorite TV chefs is back, Alton Brown. He’s doing some fun short videos on a variety of topics.

Recently he did this:

So I thought I would try it.

Let me say that the resulting eggs were very good…but a few things:

    • My towel started to scorch. Perhaps it should have been wetter, perhaps the oven was too hot (I should get a oven thermometer to test.)
    • I used a red towel and the dye came off a bit (strange that it’s an old towel and the dye still came out…but that’s OK. You’re peeling them anyway.
    • Some of my eggs got stuck on the towel.
    • My towel was a little too hot to grab. So I put it in the since and soaked the whole thing in cold water, to cool off the towel and un-stick the eggs. The result…my eggs weren’t that easy to peel (and the eggs weren’t that fresh, either).

I might just stick to my tried and true Julia Child method.Pot of cold water + eggs. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let cook for 12 minutes. Drain and shock with cold water and ice. Perfect every time.

Jan 31

I’m the first to admit to liking reality shows. I like it more when they ARE “reality.” And then I remember.

This television medium we have going here was created as an advertising outlet. In the early days programming, entertainment, etc were there to support the advertising. We turn on mass advertising when we watch television. I have to remember that. So it shouldn’t be any surprise when watching a “reality” show, we aren’t watching reality. We are watching the producers’ version and vision of the best reality to keep the public engaged.

Did you ever see this?

“The judges considered both the scores and input from the producers and Bravo in reaching their elimination decisions.” 

Translation: “We’re going to choose the contestants who provide the most entertainment value whether they are really the best designers or not. This “competition” is about as genuine as your average professional wrestling match. But really, why should anyone care?” (taken from http://www.ethicsscoreboard.com/list/runway.html)

So I try to remember when I’m disappointed that the really talented designer doesn’t win. It’s because that designer (sometimes) didn’t entertain as well as the one who did.

I guess if we want reality, let’s go back to the original form…it’s called a Documentary.

I will, however, be watching the season premier of Kitchen Nightmares. They’re featuring that TRAIN WRECK, Amy’s Baking Company. If you’ve got some time, are awake with insomnia at some time…check them out on Youtube….it’s beyond terrific.

Jan 24

On line passwords are driving me batty…

It all started yesterday while I was starting up my computer at work. Unwittingly, I entered my Outlook email password into the Google search dialog box and hit enter. Naturally Google did a search for it AND FOUND IT…at the end of a comment I had left on someone’s blog…in 2007. Apparently, at some time in 2007 I also thought I was entering my password somewhere when in reality I was actually still typing the password at the end of the comment I must have just been writing.

Now it’s embarrassing enough to realize I have been using the same password or combination thereof since 2007! (What would my IT department think of me?) Really, what are are the chances that this would have caused a security breech and wouldn’t it have happened by now? I couldn’t ignore this coincidence/message-from-the-universe. I wasn’t taking any chances. So I started thinking up a new password. I know that it isn’t wise to use the same password in more than one place. I get it. But, I just wrote down how many sites that I use regularly which require a password…it’s over 15 and I’m sure I’m forgetting many of them. If I were to use randomly generated passwords like KebRu8ra for example (I got this from the Semantec site, by the way…how would I remember 15+ different ones? …especially now since some require; 1) at least one capital 2) at least one symbol and 3) be at least 7, 8, 9 digits long with no repeating digits. AND when you come up with that winner of a password, it ends up being too complex for some sites so you have to have a password “light” — similar enough to remember, but not as complex as the “main” password. It’s enough to drive a person crazy.

I am certain I haven’t changed them all and will bump into a site that I don’t go to often and struggle to remember which password I used on that one and probably get locked out. And then the WORST happens. You enter the wrong password too many times and have to change it to something new. So THEN you have that odd-ball password, that you never remember.

I KNOW I’m not supposed to write it down anywhere…but what if I forget it? I have used the app “OnePassword” in the past. But I saw “The Net” and am suspect of “gatekeeper”-type application that save my password. Can’t “they” then see my password? Or have I just been watching too many episodes of “Alias” and I’m getting paranoid?

What’s your password strategy?

 

Jan 22

During a toast at my wedding, I tried explaining the love and admiration I have for my parents. I broke up and just didn’t get it out. I tried telling people at their 50th wedding anniversary, and I broke up again. Maybe I can tell you all here.

I could not have been an easy child, or adolescent for that matter. My mother tells me that as an infant I didn’t like to be held. I wonder what I “knew” then. But because of a lot (or too much) self reflection I can tell you this. (I don’t assume to speak for all gay people, but I suspect there are common themes/feelings.)

As a child I knew something about me was different. I was overly sensitive, overly needy. I know now that I was terrified of my father. It may have been that he was male and may have “known.” I ran from him hoping he would never see the difference in me and reject me for it. And as I remember, all I see is him trying again and again to find some common ground between us. As much as I kept him at arms length I do recognize that I wanted nothing more than his love and approval. The remarkable thing to me isn’t that they always and without reservation loved, accepted, and supported me…they loved, accepted, and supported all of their children who could not have been more different that each other. Each of us took wildly different paths and our parents loved us all the same.

It is my belief that the fear of being “found out” and possibly rejected causes us, unconsciously, to push our loved ones to the periphery of our lives—close enough, but not too close. I fear that a little bit of this still lives within me today. Michael and I perhaps did not handle announcing our engagement and/or wedding plans to our families very well. We did it cautiously via Facebook…and in retrospect I think a little of that fear of rejection played a major part in how and why we did it that way. We talked about eloping, wondering if that would matter to our families. I think deep down this was so important to us both that we were not about to give our families the opportunity to disappoint us with a wrong reaction.

What we really did was not give them the opportunity or the credit to do what they’ve always done, love us.

Speaking for myself, Mom, Dad…you overwhelm me and make so many of my actions petty and small. I never did them consciously to hurt or exclude you. And the most important point…you never ever gave me a reason to believe that there wasn’t anything I could tell you or share with you that would make you feel any different toward me. This is not always the case for people. Not everyone is as lucky as I have been. Everyone who asks about the wedding has me babble on about how amazing you all were and are.

I have never met or heard of parents like you.

I love and am grateful to you and for you

Jan 20

So many have asked…here is a gallery of the photos from our wedding…thanks to all who participated in the photo taking. I loved this day…loved that it was just us and our closest friends and family. I loved that children were involved and could see that love takes many forms and all of them a valid and have worth.

Most of all, I loved how overwhelmed I was at this moment, this milestone, this public legitimization and declaration publicly to the world that this is my partner and husband.

Thank you all for all of your love and good wishes. Enjoy the photos from the day!

Ben, Michael

Ben, Michael

Pooped puppies

Pooped puppies

Making it Official

P1500778 2

Cutting the Cake

Cutting the Cake

So handsome

So handsome

Momma Riley

Momma Riley

Popup

Popup

Desi

Desi

Christopher

Christopher

The Riley 5

The Riley 5

P1500724

James, Michael, and Erin…probably checking out the app to upload photos

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prepping

prepping

Michael and Momom

Michael and Momom

P1500495

Bentley relaxing among the set up.

Bentley relaxing among the set up.

ahhhh THE cake

ahhhh THE cake

making the cake

making the cake

The Kiss

The Kiss

Husbands

Husbands

Cake cutting

Cake cutting

Extended Lombo/Pikul famly

Extended Lombo/Pikul famly

The guys, hanging out.

The guys, hanging out.

big hug from Momom

big hug from Momom

...yeah, another kiss

…yeah, another kiss

I do

I do

rings

rings

rings

rings

Momom and Alexa watching the ceremony

Momom and Alexa watching the ceremony

The Officiate, my dear friend, Joel.

The Officiate, my dear friend, Joel.

The ceremony

The ceremony

Of course the pups were part of it all

Of course the pups were part of it all

happy

happy

JJ and Christopher

JJ and Christopher

The Riley girls

The Riley girls

IMG_8550

James...

James…

'Lexa

‘Lexa

IMG_8538  IMG_8534

Buddy and Lisa

Buddy and Lisa

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Setting up

Setting up

Food Prep

Food Prep

JJ checking out the view

JJ checking out the view

Patrick and Christopher

Patrick and Christopher

Uncle and Niece

Uncle and Niece

The appetizer spread

The appetizer spread

4 generations

4 generations

yum yum

yum yum

Eileen and Kim

Eileen and Kim

0092 3 0092 2

Kim, Eileen and Momma Riley

Kim, Eileen and Momma Riley

Joel and Val with a Jen Photo bomb

Joel and Val with a Jen Photo bomb

everyone

everyone

The original 3

The original 3

goup

goup

Bentley the ring bearer

Bentley the ring bearer

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The Kids

The Kids

James Pikul

James Pikul

Jason and Alexa Pikul

Jason and Alexa Pikul

Michael and Erin

Michael and Erin

All the Lombo/Pikuls

All the Lombo/Pikuls

cake cutting

cake cutting

Besties

Besties

The Grooms with our Hosts, Eileen and Melissa

The Grooms with our Hosts, Eileen and Melissa

Sean, Micheal, and Melissa

Sean, Micheal, and Melissa

0039

The Lombo famly

The Lombo famly

The Grooms and the Lombos

The Grooms and the Lombos

Dasher taking a we rest

Dasher taking a we rest

The extended Riley family

The extended Riley family

Michael, Kim, Sean

Michael, Kim, Sean

0028

Jan 20

I don’t know what has taken me so long to realize this…but

So often I get really frustrated at things I see or hear and I feel a little impotent…no power to do anything about it. I thought about creating a web site where I can expose this craziness…and then I realized I HAVE a website…it’s called Sean’s Soapbox.

So this is a little announcement to take notice. I plan on posting more…plan on being perhaps a bit provocative…maybe pissing a few people off. But guess what? This is my Soapbox and if you don’t like what I have to say then don’t come to my page.

I will try to be fair and research the issues…but sometimes they’re just going to be my feelings and opinions.

So let’s start to have some fun.

Oct 04

Designs from my new Booklet available on Ravelry

 

Christmas Stockings cover

 





Cowls cover





Orenburg Cowl cover



 

Challah Cover cover




Solstice Mitten cover


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