I'm about to start a Le Bateau Shawl for Andrea over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. She sent me some super yummy handspun she worked up during Tour de Fleece that, combined with a wonderfully fall-colored skein of commercially manufactured cashmere she had, will work up into a beautiful shawl. Here's the handspun, with my swatch for the body of the shawl at the top:
This handspun alpaca has tons of personality! It's also incredibly soft and is going to drape really well after blocking. Alpaca remains one of my absolute favorite fibers, and when it's handspun ... all I can say is it will be a joy and a pleasure to work up this shawl.
I'm still working on my holiday gift Le Bateau (and isn't it a good thing I started so early), and am still enjoying the Fyberspates - oh the bling! However, Andrea's alpaca version is slightly heavier weight yarn (substantial fingering vs. Fyberspates laceweight), so I expect to whip it up rather quickly. The color is also easier on the eyes (natural vs. that deep, royal blue).
I thought I'd leave you with a really easy recipe for a meatless main dish that is now in my permanent cooking repertoire. I have been watching repeats from Season 1 of Pati's Mexican Table (I do love the Create channel -yes, yes I do). She did a show on quesadillas and it inspired me to come up with my own approach - it's quick, hearty, flavorful, can be easily divided into two separate meals, and customized with just about anything you'd like:
(makes 2 large quesadillas)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 14 1/2 ounce can black beans, loosely drained (but do not rinse beans)
1 c. monterey jack cheese
4 flour tortillas, at room temperature
1 ripe avocado, pitted and cut into slices (may also be mashed if desired)
1/2 c. salsa verde (use heat index of choice)
1/2 c. sour cream
In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft and turning translucent, 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, take drained black beans (and there will be some residual liquid, which is fine) and pour them on a large plate. Squeeze the juice from the lime onto the black beans and, with a hand potato masher, mash beans until paste-like (it will be lumpy).
Add cooked red onion to the beans and mix.
Take two flour tortillas and spread half of the black bean mixture evenly onto each tortilla. Top each with 1/2 c. cheese. Then, top each with one of the remaining two tortillas, sandwich-style.
Re-heat same non-stick skillet until medium warm. Place one quesadilla in skillet and cook until brown (about 2-3 minutes). Turn over and repeat on other side - both tortillas should be golden brown and you should be able to see the cheese bubbling out along the tortilla edges. Remove from skilled and keep warm while repeating with second quesadilla.
Meanwhile, mix sour cream and salsa verde. (Optional: if you mash the avocado, you can mix it into the sour cream and salsa verde).
To serve, cut each quesadilla into quarters and top with sliced avocado and sour cream mixture.