Just the two of us…

Just Mom and Me having teaMy daughter and I are really looking forward to the next few days since we’ve planned a lot of fun 1:1 activities together.

Of course, we do it throughout the week. Actually we hang with each other most of the later afternoon/evening, however it’s that time is usually spent at home. This will be extra special since we have unlimited time to hang together over the weekend! Yeah!!!!

We’ll get it started today after work/school. Well… actually, it’ll most likely get started this evening. The BF is dropping by after he gets off of work, but that’ll be brief. Once he’s gone, she wants to veg out and watch movies. I’ll be sure to have a portable project on hand (knitting) and afterwards she wants to play World of Warcraft.Sorry babe,  as much as I love you this is a “girl party,” and you are not invited. He understands.

Tomorrow, she wanted to go to the mall in the morning and she also wanted to attend a local carnival; however, that does not start until 5:00 p.m! You would think, on a Saturday, they would be open during the day, right? We can’t attend in the later afternoon since we’re supposed to attend a benefit for breast cancer around the same time. Sighs… oh well, carnival season is right around the corner and so it looks like we’ll be attending a different carnival later in the month.

Tiana and Naveen
The Frog Princess

More 1:1 time…

The BF and I have plans to actually go out on a date on Sunday.  So you see, I have just the two of us plans with him also! We’re both looking forward to that. My daughter usually accompanies us and as much as we both love her and enjoy having her with us, it will be nice having some 1:1 time together.

Another knitted dishcloth

This past weekend, I made another knitted dishcloth. I would have made the dishcloth longer, if I hadn’t ran out of yarn.

No… I have not made them in a while, and to be perfectly honest, there’s been no need to do so, since my loom gives me a much tighter woven dish cloth. I only use cotton, and I find the fabric to be super absorbent and a much better option than any other material.

And that’s what you want when your making an item to wipe up spills right? Something super absorbent that will eagerly sop up the mess.

Knitted Washcloth - Moss Stitch
Knitted Washcloth – Moss Stitch

Although I love my loom woven cloth, this past weekend that wasn’t an option since my daughter and me were over at the BFs and during some of our downtime, while he was watching COPS, I pulled out my Hiya Hiya knitting needles and started knitting. The stitch I used was a simple moss stitch. The moss stitch is quite simple… If you have an even number of stitches, the two row pattern is k1, p1 on row 1, then p1, k1 on row 2. If you have an odd number of stitches, it’s just k1, p1 for each row. See? Simple!

Pete J. says:
May 26, 2015 at May 26, 2015 4:23 pm (Edit)

Jennifer, Thank you for the very kind words! I can’t express enough just how much that I absolutely adore Opal! Ask her. When most ladies knit or crochet, most guys tune out, pick up the remote, and off to LA LA land they go. I am absolutely mezmerized! I can’t take my eyes from her “flying fingers”! I find it amazing. Especially when it seems she’s doing it so effortlessly, or not even looking at what she’s doing. She made me a washcloth over the weekend. The most sentimental thing about it is that I was right there next to my love when she knitted it! Love you, Opal! Thanks for just being YOU!!

On the baked ziti post, my BF made the above comment. He really seems fascinated with the whole knitting process and spent some of the time watching my fingers fly with the yarn. Although this dishcloth isn’t the right size to dry dishes, it is the perfect size for wiping up the occasional spill and of course, I’ll eventually make him more. Most likely, I’ll use my loom.

Birthday dinner: Baked ziti for us…

Garfield-happy-birthday-whenever-it-wasOf course, I did not forget my daughter’s birthday; however, I did not write about it here on her actual birth date.

This past Thursday, my daughter turned twelve. For lunch, I brought donuts for her sixth grade class. Her classmates were thrilled and even sang Happy Birthday to her, much to her embarrassment, although she was secretly pleased.

My birthday celebration for her (was held at home) was a small affair and my daughter was happy with that. The BF had plans of coming out on that day; however, he was stuck in a ton of traffic, that would have delayed him by at least an hour. We are an hour apart. He called (on his way to see us) and told me that he was going to surprise us (I figured he would) but had to turn around and head home because of the heavy traffic. It would have put him out our way about a few short hours before my daughter’s bedtime. He felt terrible.

But he made up for it the very next day…

He came to see us and brought gifts for the birthday princess. Art supplies for my daughter conveniently housed in a plastic storage container. My daughter was thrilled. He drove us to his place and he proceeded to make baked ziti for my daughter and me. I tried to assist, but he told me politely, but firmly to sit down and “let me make dinner for you for a change, ok.” I listened. It was my daughter’s second birthday dinner. She felt super special.

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The BF preparing the baked ziti for my daughter’s birthday

He did a wonderful job. I do think the sauce had meat in it, although there was plenty of pasta and veggies to make me happy.

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Placing the Ziti into the oven

Overall, I was thrilled with what he had done and it certainly was a healthy meal. My daughter must have liked it also, since she had more. She’s not vegetarian/vegan although she will happily consume whatever I put in front of her and be extremely happy. I’ve taught her well.

Dessert for the Birthday girl

A few hours later, we walked to Milo’s for ice cream. They have a stand at the back of the restaurant. My daughter loves ice cream and so she was thrilled! Milo’s is about a mile or so away from his home. The trek took us through the older part of New Market, which is lovely with it’s old buildings. My daughter was thrilled with everything that Mr. Pete did for her on her birthday. Did I say how much I love this man? Of course, I expect him to treat me well. I would not be with him if he didn’t; however, it’s the way he treats my daughter that has me impressed. Again, I would not be with him if he didn’t treat her well or include her in our outings. The fact that he loves her, makes it even better. Again, that’s not an option. We are a package deal after all. Bonus points is that she loves him too, although most times, she’s still to shy to tell him that. 😉

Daughter and me 5.23.15

The BF loves taking pictures of my daughter and me. Sighs… I really dislike having my picture taken.

I will admit, that it felt odd not cooking. I did not know what to do with myself, heh! But… I think I COULD get used to it now and again…

Hiya Hiya knitting needles

In other news…

I DID not finish my daughter’s knitted amigurumi in time for her birthday. In fact, I didn’t even start knitting it yet. The past few years, I’ve knitted an amigurumi toy for her birthday.  I decided to let her choose the type of amigirumi that she wants me to knit. She has and the design she chose means I needed to purchase additional yarn and a special type of “eye” for the knitted toy. Oh well, she’s not disappointed and is super excited that she’ll have another knitted stuffed animal.

Also, I made my first item for the BF. A knitted dishtowel. It’s made of super absorbent cotton. I forgot to take the picture, and so he promised me he would do that so I could post it here.


I made the dhal, still waiting on the chapati

I’ve been craving dhal for weeks, but with so many other delightful dishes on hand, I have not had a chance to satisfy my craving until this week. However, the past week or so, I’ve been making all sorts of dishes  that used lentils as the main ingredient and so I knew before long I’d be making dhal!

Well, I no longer have cravings. Late in the evening (exactly two days ago) I finally got around to making my beloved dhal and I was immediately remembered why I love this dish so much. It’s simple, flavorful AND… it makes the perfect dip for breads and veggies.

My daughter tried a tiny bowl, shortly after it finished and promptly went back for “just a little more.”

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Spicy Dhal

However, when I went to get the flour to make the chapati, I quickly discovered that I was out. Sighs… no worries, I’ll stop by the market this weekend and stock up on flour.

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Sometimes I want a creamy dhal; however, this time I wanted chunky and so I did not puree the lentils.

Grumbles and even though I was craving chapati also, the dhal still tasted amazing on it’s own.

I will admit, that it wasn’t as ‘colorful’ as I usually like to make mine. I was out of tomatoes. Yes, those will be on my list of things to purchase this weekend. I can’t wait for them to start making an appearance in the garden, then I won’t have to purchase any more until the fall.

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My 5 pound bag of lentils!


I’m really impressed with the small company where I purchased my lentils. They are grown and harvested by Palouse Brand. I purchased a five pound bag off of Amazon. Amazon allows third party sellers to sell their items through their site.

About a day after my purchase, Palouse Brand sent me an email to tell me how to store their beans and legumes. I already know, but this is great for those who might not know. In the email, they stated that since their products aren’t irradiated they could be a home for pests.


A bag of lentils…

I absolutely love lentils! I make them in a variety of dishes,

Recycled photo: Dhal with brown rice and a honey ginger garlic sauce

but one of my favorite ways to prepare lentils, is to make dhal with a side order of homemade chapati. The above photos, is taken from a post that I created on March 31, 2012. It’s dhal with brown rice and a honey ginger garlic sauce. The only thing missing in the above photo, was chapati.

Of course, in order for me to make the type of dhal that I’ve been craving, I needed lentils and I did not have any in the food pantry. I normally purchase my lentils locally; however, earlier this week, I decided to purchase them online at Amazon. Since I’m an Amazon a Prime member, I get my products within two days.

5 pound bag of lentils
5 pound bag of lentils


I bought a five pound bag that should arrive some time today. Soon after they arrive, I’ll be making a dhal and some chapati. If I like the lentils grown and harvested by this small company, I’ll be purchasing a 45 pound bag.


Hearty Lentil Stew – Vegan

This past Sunday, my daughter and I were at the BF’s and so I decided to make a large pot of lentil soup. I told the BF, it was one less meal he’d have to prepare during the week.  Those who know me, already realize I don’t follow recipes. I just tossed in what spices and seasonings were available. I will say, my selection was limited since I was using what was on hand at his place. However, I’ve been gradually introducing a variety of herbs/spices to his food pantry.

PostLast evening, he posted about the stew on his Facebook page and tagged me in the post.

Just us

He also posted this picture of us. Please note, I hate this picture of me, but he loves it a lot. He went on to declare how much he loved me. I told him, it’s the food, that’s what he loves so much. I’m just the person who creates it! I’m joking, it’s much more than that. Since I’m introducing him to healthier lifestyle, you’ll see more food related posts here at Celebrate Life.

Initially, I referred to dating as the dreaded “d word”. 😉 I am almost sure I mentioned that to Jennifer in some of our email conversations, after all, Jennifer, was the first online buddy that I mentioned him too. Jennifer and I have ‘virtually’ known each other for about nine or ten years? She’s also the #1 blog pal I want to meet in person. She’s super sweet, beautiful and funny. I know we’d get along well in person.

Vegan: Hominy Stir Fry (Spicy)

Last evening I was craving spicy, however I did not want to take the time to cook beans in my pressure cooker. I looked in the refrigerator and saw what I thought was rice… a much closer inspection proved that was wrong. I was looking at hominy. Hmm… No worries! After all, I’ve prepared hominy in numerous ways before.

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Stirring everything in my cast iron wok. This wok is over 23 years old.


I added the cooked hominy into my old friend (my wok, it’s over 23 years old). In addition to the hominy, I added vegetables, onions, garlic and freshly ground spices and herbs. This was cooked in about a tablespoon of coconut oil.

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Spicy hominy stir fry

I tossed the ingredients for a few minutes and the meal was prepared.

What were the results? My daughter loved this dish. She said, “Mommy, you come up with the weirdest dishes, but they always end up tasting amazing!” High praise indeed…

Vegetarian: Lentil tacos and homemade lemonade

A few weeks ago, I mentioned lentil tacos to my BF. I told him it was one of my favorite type of tacos to prepare/eat. Well guess what? Since I talked about them, he’s been craving them. In fact, he told his mother about them and he said she would like to try them too.  This past Friday, I finally got around to making them for him and my daughter.

Lentil tacos
Lentil tacos and homemade lemonade

He loved them so much he posted about them on his Facebook page and thanked me for introducing them to him. With the exception of the taco shells, all the ingredients within the lentil tacos were freshly prepared. What did the BF think? He told me that they were “one of the best tacos” he had ever eaten. My daughter chimed in and said this is one of the best finger food meals that I prepare. He also said he’d be craving them since he’s had them. Guess what? Lentils can be a great meat replacement.

Although my BF is not vegetarian or vegan he’s very open to trying meatless cuisine.