Posted in Chicken, Cooking, Dinner, Foodie, Instant Pot, Multi-Cooker, Multi-Pot, Recipes, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Lemon Chicken

Over the weekend, I did a little “meal prepping” by cooking a few chicken breasts. These will be great for lunches for me for a few days this week (as Mr. Muddling doesn’t care for chicken). I’ll chop these up and add them to salads or mix them with some cooked veggies and rice for a chicken rice bowl. Earlier in the week, I had seen someone on TV (not sure what I was watching Food Network?  A different cooking show? the local news’ cooking segment?)cook Lemon Chicken by roasting it on a sheet pan. That sounded SO GOOD. But. I was a little afraid that roasting the chicken breasts I had in the freezer might get a little dried out.

Since I now own an Instant Pot, and since I know I can cook frozen chicken breasts without thawing (and they come out perfect….) I decided to try Lemon Chicken in the Instant Pot. Here’s my “Recipe”….

I started by adding a little olive oil to the bottom of the pot (mostly because I was going to brown the chicken breasts a little before pressure cooking them….that was BEFORE I remembered I had FROZEN chicken breasts…..). I added 1 cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Put 4 chicken breasts (Remember, mine were frozen, but you could also use fresh, you’d just want to adjust your cooking time) into the bottom. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Squeezed the juice of one lemon over the top of the lemon breasts. Cut a second lemon into slices and layered over the chicken breasts.

I found a cooking time for chicken breasts for 8-10 minutes. Then, because my chicken breasts were frozen, I added 50% more cooking time. I set the “Manual” setting for 15 minutes. Put the lid on, making sure the lever was set to “sealing”. Then went about doing other things (maybe it was cleaning or maybe it was knitting….although, odds are, it was knitting…). After it was done cooking, I did a little taste test to make sure it was good. It was SO GOOD! Now, I wonder why you couldn’t put rice beneath the chicken breasts and make Lemon Chicken and Rice….h-m-m-m-m-m….something to try….

Happy Cooking!


Posted in Afghans, Blankets, Blocks, Cables, Dishcloth/Washcloth, Kal, Knitting, Squares, Stitch Patterns, Tutorials, Winter, WIPS

Stitch Pattern Sunday – Block Challenge #3

This week’s challenge is to design a block using Cables! Yesterday’s stitch pattern was Small Claw Cables. Such a fun Stitch Pattern! But. As you know, I also want YOU to do a little designing of your own….and what could be better than a cable block?!?! Maybe even find a reversible cable for your block? Your block will need to have a cast-on amount somewhere between 36-40 sts (since your cable tends to “pull-in” the block. I can’t wait to see what you choose! Be sure to share your block either on the Facebook group or our Ravelry goup.

Happy Knitting!


Posted in Afghans, Blankets, Blocks, Cables, Dishcloth/Washcloth, Kal, Knitting, Squares, Stitch Patterns, Tutorials, Winter, WIPS

Stitch Pattern Saturday – Small Claw Cable


When “planning” out the blocks for the “Beat the Winter Blues” KAL, I knew I wanted a Cable Block (or two….) in the blanket. I also knew I didn’t have a great way to chart out a Cable Pattern (although, I may have found a solution with Stitch Fiddle….). This Small Claw Cable seemed like a good block pattern, so, I re-worked the pattern a little bit to get a cast-on amount that would work for our blocks. I hope you find this block as much fun to knit as I did!

Small Claw Cable

Cast-on 38 sts

Rows 1 and 3 (Right Side): K1 (edge st), *k4, p2, k8, p2; repeat form *once more to last 5 sts, end k5.

Rows 2 and 4: K1 (edge st), *p1, k2, p1, k2, p8, k2; repeat from *once more to last 5 sts, end p1, k2, p1, k1 (edge st).

Row 5 (Twist Row): k1 (edge st), *k4, p2, 4st RKC (RKC – Right Knit Cross – slip 2 sts to cable needle, hold to back of work, k2, k2 from cable needle), 4 st LFC (LFC- Left Knit Cross – slip 2 sts to cable needle, hold to front of work, k2, k2 from cable needle), p2; repeat from *once more to last 5 sts, end k5.

Repeat rows 2 – 5 for pattern.

Happy Knitting!


Posted in Broth, Cooking, Foodie, Instant Pot, Multi-Cooker, Multi-Pot, Soups, Winter

Multi-Cooker Monday – Beef Broth

This weekend, I made Beef Broth. For whatever reason, I did not get a photo of the finished, strained (boring?) broth. Since I purchased my Instant Pot, I have made several batches of broth. Chicken, turkey and the ham base of the Navy Beans and Ham Soup. I Love that I can dump everything in the Instant Pot , set the manual setting for about an hour and walk away to do other things (maybe a little house cleaning or maybe a little knitting…..   😉  ).

I started by browning a soup bone that I had thawed earlier in the week. It’s so great to be able to do this right in the Instant Pot by using the Saute setting.

Speaking of Saute setting, I recently learned the trick to keep things from sticking, is to make sure you let the Instant Pot’s display read “HOT” before you start trying to Saute anything. You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, but it did.

While the soup bone was browning, I roughly chopped up 3 stalks of celery.

Then, I peeled 3 carrots.

Then, I added the celery and carrot peels in with the soup bone and Sauted them for a minute or two.

I had intended to add some fresh garlic too, but….

Looks like my garlic is ready to plant!  😉

I also didn’t buy onions when I was in the grocery store last week, even though I knew I didn’t have any when I made my Navy Beans and Ham Soup, but for whatever reason, they never made it to my grocery list. Maybe next week!

I added 10 cups of water (that brought the level in my 6 quart Instant Pot up to the 1/2 full mark) over the soup bone/veggie mixture. I added roughly 1 Tbsp. of each of dried garlic and onions (that whole lack of fresh garlic and onions business….). I also added 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning and a palmful of Kosher salt. Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Made sure the dial was set to “sealing” (I’m getting better, but this still seems to be a problem for me sometimes…..). Set the “Manual” setting to 60 minutes and let the machine do it’s thing. When everything was done, I strained the broth, set about 6 cups aside for a soup I was making and froze the rest in zippered bags. I’ll use the frozen broth later for a soup base or to cook rice or vegetables in.

Happy Cooking!


Posted in Afghans, Blankets, Blocks, Dishcloth/Washcloth, Kal, Knitting, Squares, Stitch Patterns, Winter, WIPS

Stitch Pattern Sunday – Block Challenge #2

It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another Block Challenge! As we discussed last week, I “might” be having a hard time knitting up enough blocks for the “Beat the Winter Blues” KAL. My solution is to let you try your hand at designing a few of your own blocks. I really like the idea and can’t wait to see what you come up with! Here’s this week’s Challenge…..Slipped stitches! You’ll need to find  a Stitch Pattern that incorporates a slipped stitch somehow. That’s this week’s challenge! Are you up for it?

Happy Knitting!


P.S. I recently (like, less than 15 minutes ago….) added a new Ravelry Group for the knitting/crocheting followers of the blog. Be sure to join me over at Muddling Through Life Knits (and Crochets….) We’ll be KAL-ing over there too (for the not-so-much fans of Facebook folks)!

Posted in Afghans, Blankets, Blocks, Dishcloth/Washcloth, Kal, Knitting, Stitch Patterns, Tutorials, Winter, WIPS

Stitch Pattern Saturday – Woven Stitch

It’s Saturday! Time for a new Stitch Pattern for your Sampler Blanket (unless, of course, you’re making dishcloths instead….   😉  ) for the “Beat the Winter Blues” KAL! This week it’s the Woven Stitch. If you noticed, there are EIGHT rows to this Stitch Pattern. Don’t panic! It will be okay, this Stitch Pattern is still very easy to keep track of! (although, I did use a Row Counter to keep track of what row I was on….). Well, if your needles are ready, I present the Woven Stitch….

Woven Stitch

Cast-on a multiple of 4 +2 (for the KAL Cast-on 34 sts)

Row 1: (Right Side) Knit all sts.

Row 2: Purl all sts.

Row 3: K2, *p2, k2; repeat across to end.

Row 4: P2, *k2, p2; repeat across to end.

Row 5: Knit all sts.

Row 6: Purl all sts.

Row 7: P2, *k2, p2; across to end.

Row 8: K2, *p2, k2; across to end.

Repeat Rows 1-8 for pattern.

Happy Knitting!



Posted in Charts, Fair Isle, Knitting, Lace, Thoughts

Thoughts on Thursday – Chartmaking

Here’s my dilemma….I feel like I want a better way to create charts The photo above shows my current method. While it works, it’s certainly not the best. Especially  if I plan on sharing them with my blog readers. I found this chart-making site called Stitch Fiddle. I “fiddled around” and made this chart…. diamond brocade – stitch fiddle . I really liked how quickly the chart went together and how it printed up. But. I know that in order to make the best use of their service I would have to upgrade from their free service to their premium service. So here’s the questions for my readers….

  1. Does anyone use Stitch Fiddle’s premium service? What have been the pros and cons you’ve found?
  2. Does anyone use another chart-making service? What have you found that works best for you?
  3. Does anyone know of a good chart-making software?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

Happy Knitting!