Friday | Better Week In the Kitchen

Happy Friday, friends. I’ve spent this week trying to get back on track in the kitchen, reading a ton, and spending as much time outside as the weather has allowed. I even managed around an hour of sewing that produced results, if you can believe that. I can’t wait to show you a few things!

woolen catkins on the willow tree

It was so cold this week that we had to wear our winter coats while playing outside. But that hasn’t stopped the bulbs from growing and my little willow tree from sprouting. Nor has it stopped the birds from visiting! I haven’t had any owl sightings this week, but you better believe that I’ve been looking.

Still no blooms, not even from the crocuses who have shot up their thin green tendrils but aren’t ready to expose those delicate petals. I don’t blame them. I’m also waiting for a little more green in the grass before I really sink into the belief that spring is finally here. And I usually do that with a yearly visit to The Shire around mid-April. I hope Bilbo Baggins is ready for me to visit his hobbit hole this year!

Last week I mentioned that there was a knitting bag I’d become obsessed with, couldn’t afford it, and wanted to try to make one of my own? Well, I had this canvas sitting in a tote and decided to give it a try. It’s not perfect – it’s a little crooked, the inside pockets are too long, and the folded down fabric at the top is a bit wonky – but I’m very happy with it. Because there’s no lining or quilting, this took a total of about an hour to sew together. Isn’t that amazing? I immediately wanted to go to JoAnns, buy more canvas, and make about 45,000 more to get it right.

And then I surrendered, said good enough, and am enjoying this bag tremendously. It’s holding my Ramble Shawl, which has grown quite large, so it’s nice and roomy. I’ve made other drawstring bags for my knitting that didn’t have handles, so this is a fun and practical addition to this design. I wasn’t sure what I’d use for handles when I was cutting the fabric. I had some webbing, but none that quite matched the fabric I was using. And then – lo and behold – I caught a glance of the scraps from my trimmings and it dawned on me to just use those. They’re perfect.

A part of me still wants to make more. I’m trying to ignore that pull.


I had a much better week in the kitchen. I’m trying so hard to reframe cooking from something that I “have” to do to something that creates a cozy and loving home. And that’s reinforced every time I walk into the house and smell delicious food coming from the kitchen or open the fridge and see plenty of nutritious leftovers, waiting to be eaten. I hope I can finally convince myself that cooking isn’t my enemy!

Saturday: I was still struggling from the cooking blockage I had last week. I didn’t write anything down and I can’t remember. I’m sure it was not impressive.

Sunday: Corned beef and cabbage. We were a few days late with this traditional Irish meal, but we finally made it! And it was so good. We’ve been making it in the Instant Pot the last couple of years, so the corned beef always comes out juicy and tender. And I love the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Bryce actually loves this meal the most out of all of us — he ate a ton!

Monday: Caprese Pasta Bake. This was a big winner! I made a couple of changes: I didn’t have fresh basil, so I stirred in some dry basil before I baked the dish. I also added a few handfuls of fresh spinach for some extra nutrition. Delicious!

Tuesday: Matthew made chicken fajitas with rice. A fun switch up for Taco Tuesdays.

Wednesday: Leftovers. We had plenty of corned beef, pasta, and fajita meat left over. We ate it all so that our tiny fridge could hold more leftovers.

Thursday: Tomato basil chicken + mashed potatoes + salad. I used chicken thighs instead of breasts, marinated the chicken for an hour, and then combined the remaining ingredients and the chicken in the Instant Pot for 6 minutes. Easy peasy.

Friday (today!): I’m planning to make a Smoked Sausage Pasta. Wish me luck!

On this weekend’s agenda: a giant stack of library books! I’m also excited to see if I might be able to finish my Ramble shawl, which would be quite a treat. Of course, my time will mostly be spent rounding up this chaotic house and trying to keep young people from turning into wild animals. I don’t expect much success there. I hope to be back early next week with my One Little Word update. Until then – try not to watch too much news, be gentle with yourselves, and stay safe and cozy!


10 thoughts on “Friday | Better Week In the Kitchen

Add yours

  1. I sometimes wonder how my fiends turned into pretty decent adults ! Lots of love maybe. So Good to be outside as the weather improves. Glorious sunshine in the UK all week. I love the fabric you used for the knitting bag. Just lovely.


  2. Your bag looks 1000% better than anything I could make, and it’s clearly functional, so I think it’s a win! I like the fabric a lot, too.

    I think trying to shift your attitude toward cooking is a good move. Personally I’m a fan of eating yummy things, so I’m going to try to think of cooking dinner as a way to make something delicious I get to enjoy rather than a chore that always needs to be done. Thanks for the inspiration!


  3. I am also working on a kitchen shift from cooking because we have to eat to cooking because I want to eat well. We can send each other good cooking vibes


  4. I love that knitting bag! (and I’d totally be going down a rabbit hole to make a few more 🙂 Good luck with the littles and the kitchen … and sending Spring vibes (my kitchen vibes aren’t worth much more than cheese and crackers!)


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