Namaste Bags and a CONTEST!

-22Have I mentioned before that I have a bag problem, issues with too many bags, more bags than I could ever use, a lovely collection of knitting bags? I think bags appeal to my “I want to be organized” nature. Or my “Oh, isn’t that beautiful? I need that.” nature. Therefore, we tend to carry a lot of different bag options for you at The Loopy Ewe, and I have personally tested and used each type. (Yeah, that’s it. I NEED to be testing all of these lines….) At the moment, I have three favorites (and I’m fickle. This will change with the wind.) I love my Offhand Designs Weekender bag. I packed this one to the gills and took it with us on Spring Break. It holds so much, and it’s in my favorite colors, Peppermint Mocha. (They call it Ruby Splash, but it’s clearly Peppermint Mocha.) We got a lot of different -23fabrics in, but I went for that one right out of the box. Another favorite is my new Atenti bag, which arrived last week. I will admit to having trouble picking out the one I wanted, because they’re all so cute. I picked Pops, but I have my eye on two others as well. This is another bag that would hold a whole weeks worth of knitting if you were to take it on vacation. (It also makes a great carry-on bag if you fly.) The fabrics are gorgeous and the workmanship is top notch. I love this new line. A lot of you are getting these in the mail this week and I know you’re going to be so happy with them. We have another order to put in with them already. My other favorite bag is my Namaste Laguna bag that I just received in the new Peacock color. -15I like how soft the animal-friendly faux leather is, I like that I can just wipe it off with a damp sponge if someone’s Latte should happen to drip, and I like how roomy it is inside. We just got a whole new shipment of all of the colors (and the new Newport Style bag) in and put them all up today. I know you’ve been waiting on them! (Several of you also have bag problems lovely knitting bag collections, and I like that about you.) Oh – and the Red Canvas Loopy Sock Bags are back in stock, too. Another bag that I like….

DSC01928.JPGRemember that Little Loopy mentioned that we have Elf Cassie working here for the summer? Cassie is in college and will be getting married this summer (but we get to keep her until August). Her brother and sister have taken to calling her “Keebz”, since she’s a Loopy Elf and they liken that to the Keebler Elves. (Doesn’t that sound like a brother/sister thing to do?) They bought her a fun shower gift – a Loopy T-Shirt – and they personalized the back for her. Here she is showing the front and the back in the photo. We thought it was really cute and made her wear it around Loopy Central today. (Does that make her fiance “Mr. Keebz”? Just wondering.)

Today’s recipe is a delicious Macaroni and Cheese dish that takes comfort food to a whole new level. YUM!!

DSC01854.JPGMac and Cheese Crumble

1 pound pasta (corkscrew holds the sauce on best, but use your favorite)
4 slices day old bread
1 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
1/2 lb. fontina or provolone cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1/2 lb. bacon, cut into 1 ” strips
10 Tbl. butter (unsalted)
3 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup flour

Stir fry bacon pieces in a large saute pan until done. Remove to drain on paper towels. Chop bread by hand or in a food processor until crumbly. Add 2 Tbl. bacon drippings to 3 Tbl. butter in a pan, and toss in bread crumbs. Stir until they are lightly golden and crisp. Set aside.

Cheese Sauce: Heat milk over medium heat (do not boil). Melt 6 Tbl. butter in a separate saucepan and whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in warmed milk next and cook until it starts to thicken (stirring occasionally.) Remove from heat and add in your cheeses, stirring until melted. Add bacon and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta about 8-9 minutes in a large pot of salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add pasta to cheese combination and stir well. Put in 9 x 13 pan and top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbling.

June Blog Contest: I know you’re not supposed to view food as “comfort” – any smart dieter will tell you that. Nevertheless, there are some foods (like mac and cheese) that just DO make you feel better. πŸ™‚ At least until you get on the scale again. Leave a comment and let us know what your favorite comfort food is – this could be something that you like to eat now, or something that you liked to eat growing up. We’ll use the random number generator to pick a winner next Friday from all of the comments. (The winners of our monthly blog contests receive a $30 gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe. Maybe you need a new bag??)

Sheri funtoseesomanyofyousigningupforthenextKAL!


  1. omygosh,
    lets start with allthingspasta….
    Move on to the homemade chicken noodle soup. Now that is with the chicken broiled in the oven so that the meat falls off of the bone, not dried out boiled on top of the stove. Then the noodles are of course the bow tie ones. Ok…
    Ya know , here in Southwestern Pa, we put ketcup in our chicken noodle soup. Don’t knock it tillyoutryit.
    Don’t forget the haluski.
    gotta go eat…

  2. I was a weird kid(and an even weirder adult;)), but my comfort food was and is bleu cheese, in any form and on anything. Maybe I liked the attention when other kids said, “Euuuuuuuu, that STINKS!. My favorite bleu cheese dish right now is a salad of baby greens, strawberries, toasted walnuts, BLEU CHEESE, and a balsamic viniagrette–YUM! On a cheeseburger–WOW. Have you tried bleu cheese ice cream? Me, neither, but I saw it on “Iron Chef” and am tempted…

  3. My favorite comfort food is called CC’s. My mom used to make if for me when I was sick. It’s just elbow macaroni with butter and a little milk on it. Nothing special or over the top, just a simple dish that makes me think of mom!

  4. 501 comments—– wow that is insane!! πŸ™‚

    My favorite comfort food is potato soup. Nothing fancy, a cubed potato boiled up in salted water. Drain. Cover and then some with milk add a big giant dollop of butter and heat through. Add enough instant mashed potatoes to thicken it up, salt and pepper that bad boy and jump in.

    I feel like I need to be comforted at this very moment just thinking about it!

  5. My fave comfort food is Hawaiian Pizza from our local pizzaria!
    I don’t feel that guilty about having it, ’cause at least there is some fruit on it!! LOL
    I think it is the crust that really “soothes” me!

  6. My favorite EASY comfort food is grilled cheese and cheese grits…this is my staple during the cold winter months in Baltimore. There is nothing like really good crunchy bread and cheddar cheese and creamy cheese grits…it’s a Lower Alabama thing, I guess!

  7. This is a little unusual, but spam fried rice is my favorite comfort food from when I was a little kid. Once I got older, a good bowl of pho makes me happy too.

  8. My favorite comfort food is potatoes. Sliced thin and fried in a bit of bacon grease in a cast iron skillet until crispy and hot is my favorite – my dad used to make them like that when I was growing up. But mashed, baked, au gratin, roasted, fried – any will do! πŸ™‚

  9. Mac and Cheese. Can definitely be from the box…doesn’t quite matter but i love me some cheesy goodness.

    my kitteh layla says HI!!

  10. My favorite right now is biscuits and gravy. My other is wojapi and frybread (for those of you who dont know wojapi is a berry pudding.
    My kitties also say hello. ANd i have a bag collection too. I just dont own it yet. It has to do with no cash for it right now, and i am so picky, i love the bags here better but just can afford them sigh. SO i endulge in looking at them.


  11. I can’t believe I am just know posting my comfort food! Guess that’s what happens when you’ve discovered Plurk! hee, hee. ; )

    I’d probably have to say mashed potatoes & gravy. Just something about ’em!

  12. My mom makes tasty cold red cabbage salad, which I demand every time I go home to visit. Along with pork chops. Love pork chops. And carrot salad, too. Oh, and fried mashed potatoes. It’s so hard to choose!

  13. Hi! I’m so hungry – I’ve been reading for an hour.
    My favorites comfort foods are Mac ‘n Cheese -add caramelized onions- Wow!
    Chicken noodle soup; fried Spam; corned beef hash-crispy; my father’s (he’s crossed over now) waffles on Sunday mornings for me and my kids; meatloaf; tuna noodle casserole (I didn’t like it as a kid, but now…); and chocolate ice cream; hot fudge sundaes; chocolate chip cookies.
    Chicken Tetrazzini from the Fannie Farmer cookbook is a favorite along with BHG Pork Chop Spanish Rice.
    Ok, no more about food. too hungry!.
    The bags are beautiful and it would be a treat to have one.
    Thanks for helping me remember so much about my mom and cooking today. What a gift for all of us. How many of us remembered our childhoods, and our parents and grandparents? Truly a gift.

  14. Oh, what lovely bags! I love them too. And yarn, of course…

    My favorite comfort food is homemade pizza. I make the best pizza ever! (Well, at least I think so…) Or, if pizza is too much work I love some Brownies or Chocolate Chip Cookies.

  15. Comfort food, one dish my grandmother made with cooked elbow macaroni coated with dry cream of wheat, pan fried so the cream of wheat sticks. We called them crunchy noodles. Now I make them and I think if my grandma.

  16. Well besides my mom’s mac and cheese, eaten with fresh sliced tomatoes (yum), my second favorite comfort food has to be beer and chocolate chip cookies. It’s what I eat when I’m having a pity party. It always seems to help cheer me up a little, especially if accompanied with a good movie and some knitting.

  17. What a fun question! One of my favourite comfort foods is the Russian soup borscht. While it’s not a family recipe, it’s a regional specialty from my growing up years. Yum!

  18. My mom’s spaghetti — she has a recipe for sauce that has been passed down on her mom’s side and it is definitely the one taste that I think of first when thinking of comfort food!

  19. My favorite comfort food is banana pudding. Obviously not the most nourishing food, but definitely the most comforting.

  20. My all time comfort foods would be tomato soup (made with milk) and grilled cheese. A hard day at work and a stop at Starbucks for a no whip mocha makes me feel better! And if I have time warm chocolae chip cookies fresh from the oven.

  21. My favorite comfort foods, in no particular order: ice cream, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, pizza.chocolate and pretzels(together).

  22. Hands down – strawberry shortcake. But it has to be the Bisquick shortcake – fresh out of the oven, with the hand-picked berries. So here in NE OH, I only get this a few weeks out of the year. But that means it’s savored even more, it can be made the rest of the year, but the store bought berries, shipped in from CA aren’t ever as good.

  23. 1. as a kid i loved butterscotch pudding. LOVED.

    2. now, as a married semi-adult, it’s more specific: arnold 12 or 15 grain bread, swiss cheese, and a medium to hot salsa in a grilled cheese sandwich. sooooo delicious.

    3. dessert-y item: i have fallen in love with gifford’s no bake cookie ice cream. it’s basically chocolate ice cream with no-bake chunks all through it. i think gifford’s may be maine only, though. sorry.

  24. Those bags are scrumptious!

    Comfort food for me was a dish that ny grandmother…we called her Bubs originally devised for my sister. It’s a combo of egg noodles, sour cream, butter and/or margarine, and parmesan cheese. Now I’ve hooked my family on it. And always a backup comfort food for me is any type of soup (but mainly tomato) with a grilled cheese sandwich.

  25. Homemade baked mac and cheese is my all-time favorite food. Loved it as a picky kid and love it now. I just don’t make it often. Its tasty but not so healthy.

  26. Cinnamon toast is probably the top of my comfort food list. Followed closely by grilled cheese sandwiches. My Nan (maternal grandmother) used to make cinnamon toast for me when I got home from school. My Nan is who taught me to knit so they both comfort me. Knitting is probably more expensive but better for the waistline. Maybe I should try 15 minutes of knitting instead of the cinnamon toast next time I’m feeling the need for a comfort food binge.

  27. My Dad used to make the best Fried Egg sandwiches. I still love them. Need white bread fresh from the bakery, eggs from down the road fried in butter, and a thick slice of white onion

  28. mmmm, comfort food. Right now I could go for a big bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. mmm.. I still can’t quite understand how it is ok to eat cookie dough in ice cream but its not ok to eat it while baking cookies! Brownies also make any day brighter, another comfort food mash potatoes an gravy. Ok, I’m hungry now!

  29. My comfort food is peanut butter and popcorn sandwiches. They are the perfect combination of sticky and crunchy.

    Although, Kraft Mac’n’cheez is high on the list too…but only the kind in SHAPES

  30. My favorite comfort food is good oldfashioned rice pudding — with raisins. Second favorite — and without all the work — a big bowl of moose tracks ice cream. Love it.

  31. I love the little white donuts dipped in sweet, creamer filled coffee. This was a treat as a kid and takes me back in seconds.

  32. My comfort food is my grandma’s homemade lasagna. As a kid she would let me help her and I would eat the noodles as she cooked them. I still do it when I cook lasagna, but they never taste the same. Must be the “Everything tastes better at Grandma’s thing.” I could go for some right now. YUM!!

  33. No doubt spaghetti with marinara sauce and fresh parmesan is the best comfort food. No meat is required, just a thick, rich tomato sauce.

  34. I know I’m a bit late to post, but just wanted to let you know I made this mac & cheese and it was delicious. I used a “trick” I learned from America’s Test Kitchen on PBS and thought I’d share. When you grate your cheeses, add them to a large, heat-proof bowl. The next part is kind of tricky, so you have to time it pretty carefully, but it usually works out ok for me. When your pasta is finished, drain it and put in in the bowl, on top of the cheese. Then pour your white sauce over the top, cover the bowl, and let it sit for 2 minutes. When the 2 minutes is up, stir it all up and voila – all the cheese is melted and delicious, and you can pour it right into your baking dish. And it’s much easier than having to stir the cheese into the sauce and hope it doesn’t end up lumpy. Anyway, my family LOVED this recipe, and thank you for sharing. I won’t make it often (the cholesterol!), but it’s perfect and delicious once in awhile.

    PS. I also love that it’s on the same page as the Namaste bags! πŸ™‚ Is there any hope they might be adding bright purple to their color range? Because that would be just fantastic and I’d order another one immediately.

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