17 May 2019

Recipe: Easy Spinach-Feta Pie

I haven't shared a recipe for a while, and early in March of this year, I mentioned trying a new recipe that was a big hit with us, and promised to let you in on it.  So though it took me a while, here you go.  Let me know if you try it, and what you think.

The original recipe can be found at Skinnytaste, and is for a crustless, lower fat pie.  When I tried it, I didn't have lowfat ingredients, and I also decided to put it into a pie crust we had in the freezer.  It's one of those recipes that is pretty easy to make your own, depending on ingredients that you have on hand or that you prefer.  And the resulting pie is kinda-but-not-a-quiche.  You really don't taste the eggs, as in a quiche - rather, they work as more of a binding agent.  This dish has quickly become a fave at our house.

Image from the Skinnytaste site, of their original version - but you get the idea, right?

Easy Spinach-Feta Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen pie crust (of course you can also make your own - I have no talent for that)
  • 10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and with the liquid squeezed out
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 T. chopped fresh dill 
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 T. grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Take pie crust out of freezer and set aside while you prepare the filling.

2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

3.  Mix spinach, scallions, herbs, and feta cheese together and pour into the pie crust.

4.  Sift flour and baking powder together in a medium-sized bowl; add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and pour on top of other ingredients already in the pie crust.

5.  Bake 28-33 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the pie comes out clean.  Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Of course, you can substitute dried herbs for the fresh ones, and I used Romano cheese, but I'm sure others would be just fine - use what *you* have and/or like!

Leftovers will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator if well wrapped or in a Tupperware container, and can be reheated in the microwave easily.

Bon appetit - and happy weekend!

16 May 2019

Everyday Happy


I haven't done a Three on Thursday post for a bit, so I thought this would be the day/week. 

I suffer from depression.  I have been that way for as long as I can remember, and like any other person with this condition, it's an ebb and flow type of thing, regardless of drug assistance, talk therapy, or other methods.  And there are times when I just have to wait until I feel better to feel better - meaning that no kind of positive thinking, or vision boarding (OK, I don't do that anyway), or other things that get suggested to me by others who might mean well but have no real clue, will help. 

OK, slight digression, but it's for a reason.  I've been thinking lately about things that always help to improve my mood when I am not in the depths. There are plenty of days when I can feel better by doing and concentrating on small things, so I thought I would share three of them here.

1.  Move.  My preferred thing to do is to take a walk or a bicycle ride.  But if you don't enjoy that, or if you will not/cannot deal with the weather, do something that makes you move your body.  Do your workout, or simply stand up, touch your toes, and swing your arms.  Find a way to move from one room to another.  Sometimes I'll realize that I'm starting to dip because I have just been sitting in one place mulling over how I'm not doing anything. 

2.  Be nice to someone.  This can mean just saying "Thank you" or "Hello" to someone if they hold a door for you, or smile at you.  It can mean playing with your cat or dog (which also gets you moving) or your kid should you be of the parenting kind.  This also means being nice to yourself.  Sometimes I'll take a bubble bath, or give myself a manicure, or even treat myself to a chocolate bar, and that can work too.

3.  Do not look at social media after 8:00 p.m.  Actually, this is a rule I made for myself a few months after the 2016 election.  Granted, I don't spend a ton of time on social media anyway, but I have found by not even thinking about it after 8:00 p.m. (chosen arbitrarily on my part, related to nothing specific) means that I enjoy my evening and do not get my brain into a swirl of worry/anger/frustration/irritation - well, you get it - and do not have as much trouble falling asleep as a result.

Like I said, there are times when none of my ideas help, but a lot of the time, they do.  I would suggest that even if you do not suffer from depression, you still consciously devise some little habits or practices that can just add to your feeling of contentment.  No one is deliriously happy all of the time (frankly I would find that exhausting), but we should all be lucky enough to feel a basic level of good most of the time, in my opinion.

15 May 2019

Embracing the Crazy

Hello all!  The sun is actually out this morning, and the sidewalks are dry - who'da thunk it??

On top of which, it's Wednesday, which means the work week for me is officially half finished (a HO, if you will), and that is good news.

I thought I would chime in on Unraveled Wednesday, since I was able to get some projects underway last week while I was on vacation, and some books I had on hold at the library arrived - when it rains it pours, right?

I don't remember where I read about this book, but it sounded like something that would be a good read.  So far, I've been reading it on my lunch hour, so I'm not making quick progress, but I am finding it really interesting and want to keep going.


Knitting-wise, I'm making good progress on the gift socks I'm making.  I just finished the gusset, so it's onto the foot and toe of the first sock.  I think part of the reason it's going so quickly is because I really like the yarn I'm using (Fiberstory Fave Sock).  

I also started my Crazytown Cowl, and find the pattern to be quite addictive, once you "get" how it's going to work.  I cast on and then ripped back and cast on again after a few rows five different times before the light bulb went on, and it has been smooth sailing from there.  Since this photo was taken, I've already completed another section.


The pattern, by the way, is The Shift, by Andrea Mowry.  I realized last night that my Neverender was also an Andrea Mowry pattern, which is weird, because I didn't consciously decide to make two of her patterns in a row.  I didn't consciously decide not to, either, but you know what I mean.  I do have to say that based on these two knits, her patterns are very well written and clear. 

Now that I have had success with knitting a few garments, I will admit to kind of having an itch to knit something for the summer - a short-sleeved or sleeveless item.  The problem is that I am trying very hard to use stash yarn, and most of what I have is wool, with the occasional blends of wool and alpaca, or wool and acrylic.  Granted, I wouldn't need as much yarn as a "regular" sweater would take, but I also don't really have the cash to buy non-wool yarn (or any yarn) at the moment.  So maybe I'll plan ahead for fall and use some yarn that I already own.  Who knows, I may also decided that my cross-stitch project is my third thing and stick with that, at least for now. 

Decisions, decisions, you know??

14 May 2019

OK, Answer Time!


Hello from slightly-less-rainy-than-yesterday Philadelphia!  The bad news: I'm not on vacation this week.  :-(  But the good news is that I'm here to answer the questions that some of you asked after my last post.

Araignee asked the following question:

Oh, oh, oh ... (imagine me waving my hand at you) I've got one!  Every time I address a package of soap to you I marvel at your pretty Irish name.  Is there a story to tell?  IRL I am a Debbie (Deborah).  I was named for Debbie Reynolds after a huge fight between my parents because my mom had her heart set on naming me Nanette.  I am very happy Daddio won.  Can you imagine being called Nanny all your  life?

I'm guessing that Nanette was for Nanette Fabray?  Anyway, there is a story behind my name.  My mother's grandparents were Bridget Ann Field and Jeremiah Patrick O'Connor, who came to the U.S. from County Clare, Ireland.  My grandmother promised them that she would name her first child after "Pop" (aka Jeremiah).  Well, that first child was my mother, who was then named Geraldine.  Growing up, my mom loved her grandparents' names and always said she would name her kids after them.  Apparently when each of my sisters were born, people convinced my mother that she shouldn't give them the name Bridget, because it was too unusual and also because they would end up with the nickname "Bridie," (I don't quite get why this was a thing, but anyway.)  By the time I was born (11 and 10 years after the aforementioned sisters), my mother refused to be talked out of it.  Since I was a girl, my name is Bridget Ann. And it was an unusual name when I was growing up, but I spent a lot of my school years in Catholic schools and since it is a saint's name, it was all good.  :-)

Kim in Oregon asked me this:

Where did your blog name come from?

When I started my blog, I spent way too much time trying to think up a name.  I asked The Tim for help, and told him that I didn't want to make the name too "knitterly" oriented, since I was such a slow knitter, and that I might also want to talk about books I've read, etc.  So he suggested "The Ravell'd Sleave," since it would be both knitting-related and has literary origins, most specifically a line from Macbeth (Act 2, Scene 2), by William Shakespeare:  "Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care ..."

sprite wanted to know:

If I were going to take a day trip to Philadelphia, what would be a couple places you as a local would recommend visiting?  (In D.C., I recommend people visit the FDR memorial and try the cafeteria at the American Indian Museum if they're planning on visiting the Smithsonians if they want something on the lesser known end of the touristy spots and shop at our indie bookstores, catch a film at the Uptown, and visit Malcolm X (Meridian Hill) Park if they want a more local experience.)

First of all, I like her recommendations for D.C., and was just thinking about the hours we spent at the Uptown Theater seeing movies when we lived there!

As for Philadelphia, there are of course all of the well-known historical spots, such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and usually people want to go there, which is fine.  But when people come for a second visit, or if they are just not interested in that stuff and would prefer something a bit different, I like to take people to see Elfreth's Alley, the oldest residential street in the country (where people still live in the houses) because it is just incredibly evocative of the time and place.  I love to take people to the Italian Market in South Philly, to walk around and see/smell/hear everything there, and walk a few blocks to get a cannoli or some other goody either at Termini Bros., Isgro's, or Sarcone's if they want amazing bread.  I also love to go to the Rodin Museum (though it has to be a nice day, since it's all outside), which is the largest museum dedicated to the works of Rodin outside of France.  If they have strong constitutions, the Mutter Museum is interesting (I don't have a strong constitution, so they would have to go on their own, or with The Tim - once was plenty for me).  Also, Eastern State Penitentiary, the first prison in the U.S., founded with the goal of rehabilitating people.  It operated as an active prison until 1971, and is now a restored ruin.  It is incredibly fascinating.  OK I'll stop now.  It's hard to decide on just a few places, as you can see ...

kathy b had two questions:

Of Tess, Garden Kitty and Jetsam who likes to be photographs Beatles, my black beauty tried to put his face right in the camera ... like an inch away!

And what is your favorite piece of jewelry?

Well, those three (who sadly, are no longer with us), all loved to be photographed - if they saw the camera, they'd sit right in front of you!  Of our current pets - Pip, Milo, Jack, and Hamlet - I would say that Pip likes to be photographed the most, and Hamlet is a fan of extreme closeups ... :-)

And I'm not sure I have an absolute favorite piece of jewelry, but one of them is a charm bracelet that my father gave me.  He used to travel a lot for his work, and on one of his trips to Washington, D.C., he brought me back a charm bracelet that had pearls on it (well, pearl-like objects), and each charm was something signifying D.C.  I sincerely doubt that it was more than $5.00 (this was of course a long time ago), and I was probably about 8 or 9 when I got it, but I thought it was so incredibly fancy and elegant that I was in heaven.  I still have it, and wear it occasionally.  I tried to take a photo for this post, but it's so gloomy here that I couldn't get a good one, so I'll try to show it to you at another time.  When we lived in D.C., I noticed they still sold similar souvenir bracelets, but they were a) more expensive, b) not as well-made (seriously), and c) did not have pearls.  Pffft.

Lilly's Mom wanted to know:

What a fun idea!  What is the number one priority in your life?

I would have to say that having enough money to pay bills is the number one priority in my life.  I know that may sound harsh, but having grown up poor, I know that if you can pay your bills, most other things will fall into place.  Of course on an hour-to-hour basis, I focus on my family and my health, but if we can pay our bills, we can stay in our house, have food to eat, take care of our health, etc., so for me it boils down to that.

KSD inquired:

Why did you decide to allow people to ask you anything?

Because I was curious to see what people might want to know.  Because personally, I am a nebshit and love it when people give me a legitimate reason to ask them questions, and if someone did ask something that I considered too personal or inappropriate, they were already warned that I would likely not respond.  (No one did ask anything like that, by the way.)

Nance had the final question:

What's your favorite time of the day?

Admittedly, during the work week, it's 4:00 p.m. when I can leave work and go home!  But in my "real" life (meaning when I don't have to be at work), early morning is my favorite.  I am an early riser, even when it's the weekend or vacation time, and I absolutely love having quiet time to myself first thing.  Sometimes I just have a cup of tea and enjoy it, other times, I read or knit, and sometimes I'll just think.  The Tim does not get up early when he doesn't have to, so it's just me and the animals, and I love watching it become daytime and having that as my own, so to speak.

For the record, Wandering Cat Studio commented that she wanted to think of a good question and come back, but I guess she didn't get the chance.  Maybe next time, OK?

Thanks to everyone who participated - I really really enjoyed this experiment.  So much so, that I will definitely be doing it again - so save up those questions!

In the meantime, have a good rest of the week.  We're two days in already ...

10 May 2019

It's Friday - Got Questions?

I thought I would try something a bit different here to see what happens.  If you watch knitting or other crafting podcasts, you know some of them will have an episode or part of one where they answer questions submitted by viewers.  I always enjoy hearing the answers, so I thought it might be fun to try it.

So here's your big chance.


Yep, anything at all - crafty, personal, silly, serious - what have you always wanted to know about me???

Leave your question in the comments of this post, and rather than responding individually (as I try to do when I have your e-mail address), I'll collect the questions and answer them in a post next week on a day to be determined.  Maybe Monday, maybe Friday, maybe not - who knows?

I think this could be fun, though I have to say that I reserve the right to *not* answer questions that are just plain rude (though I can't imagine that any of you would ask those - but who knows, maybe some of you are secretly weird and kinky, I don't know your life).

So here's your big chance to learn all kinds of things you never knew you wanted to know.  

Have a good Friday and a wonderful weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to those who celebrate!