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!

543 comments

  1. My favorite comfort would have to be Peach Cobbler with Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche Ice Cream. It sorta happened by accident that I paired these two together, since I ran out of Vanilla ice cream as I was serving it at a party. However, my variation turned out to be even more well-liked than the original.

  2. My favorite comfort food would be poached eggs on toast (or English muffins). Also warm brownies and cold milk. Cream of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich is right up there too. And cereal, most any kind. I can eat it any time of the day.

  3. Love the bags- next to yarn- my fave thing! My fav comfort food as a kid was my mom’s homemade bread, still warm out of the oven, with huge slathering of butter and homemade jam. It made the world go away! Wish she was still here to make it for me.

  4. Oh, my favorite comfort food has to be White Chicken Chili. It makes me so warm, makes me want to curl up on the couch and take a nap. πŸ™‚ But my son would agree with you about the mac and cheese. He’s been sick lately, and refuses to eat anything but mac and cheese. Not very nutritious, but I guess he’s already claimed it as his comfort food, too!

  5. I would consider Just about any of my “favorites” that my Mom cooked as comfort foods. Her fried chicken (no skin) was wonderful as were her thin pork chops. She made the best beef stroganoff ever. Also, when she made a pie she would make me little “cinnamon rolls” out of the extra pie crust that was trimmed off.

    If I am feeling under the weather, a comforting food to have now is mashed potatoes and brown gravy or chicken pot pie.

  6. I went back and forth on my favorite comfort food reading through the comments: macaroni & cheese (I’m weird – I prefer the Kraft version) or tomato soup and grilled cheese.

    But I’m going to go with: Pancakes! I do love pancakes – pretty much any kind or variety but my particular favorite is blueberry. With the blueberries in the batter. Yum!

  7. Sheri you’re such a bad influence — now I have to decide which bag I want for my birthday!

    My favourite comfort food would have to be my grandma’s seafood gumbo.

  8. Potstickers – preferably pork, though turkey/chicken will do (a little bit of tofu for silkiness is good) with ginger and garlic dipping sauce. Or diluted hoisin. Any more raving and I’ll end up giving you the recipe.

  9. Since my favorite comfort food is mac-n-cheese, I definitely have to try that recipe. It sounds like it’s to die for! I love all that cheese, and yes, it does make you feel better! While it may make my fat cells do a happy dance, it will give my soul a warm hug.

  10. Favorite comfort food is my dad’s fried rice. It’s such a simple dish and easily found everywhere but no one makes it like my dad.

  11. My favorite comfort food is biscuits and chipped beef gravy for breakfast! It’s so bad for you, but YUM! I think my second would be ice cream. Both foods make me think of early childhood and innocent times, before the real world took over.

  12. Toast with peanut butter and rainbow sprinkles on top!!!

    or perhaps Kraft Dinner with ketchup….delish!

    Nicole

  13. Peanut Butter Bars were a favorite comfort food of my childhood and they still are:)

    Also, for some reason Starbucks seems to have turned into my little luxury/comfort food as well.

    Love the bags!

  14. Homemade mac n cheese all the way. It needs to have a crusty, cheesy top and plenty of soft cheesiness underneath. Whole Foods in my town does a pretty good job.

  15. If I don’t have to make it, I love having my dad’s recipe for fried rice. It sounds weird, with peanut butter and bacon and hot peppers, but it’s fantastic when I don’t feel great. Otherwise, I love plain old mashed potatoes.

  16. Biscuits with butter and jelly. Or my mom’s sour-cream-stuffed crescent rolls on hamburger, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. Or my mom’s homemade pizza. Or the chicken and dumplings at a local restaurant.

  17. Hello to all…..WoW! I really love those bags…another wish list entry…I just got out from school on the 17, and needed some time to just rest. I made 5 baby afghans for preggie teachers the past 6 months besides countless socks and I am really wanting to do something for me…one gets very CRANKY when one does not do something for moi once and a while. So I am finally finishing this black mohair and dark blue,green, purple, and fushia wool, silk etc…shawl that is 30x going to be 74 inches of heaven if …no when I get it done. I am trying, believe me…every night in front of the fan on an ottoman, because it is so long….I wish I could sent you all a photo, but I am not that experienced on the computer, hence no photos. πŸ™ Well, I have 58 inches as of last night…yes…there is an end to this and I would LOVE to take it to the Cape on vacation…..cross those fingers ladies……my comfort food is definitely macaroni and cheese but it is my Mom’s recipe and it is not baked but cooked in a pot on the stove and is different. She cooked a box of elbows, drained them. While th elbows were still draining, in the same pot she added a diced onion, 2 diced cloves of gralic in some olive oil..not much and browned it all. Then she added a can of stewed tomatoes, let that cook a bit more and added 3/4 cup of sugar, some salt and pepper to taste, and 1/4 cup parsley…dried or fresh. Then she added a whole package of American Cheese slices, one slice at a time until it melted…then added the elbows, mixed it until it was hot…and that is the very best mac and cheese around! My kids love it, and their girlfriends do, too. Try it…take care, my friend…gotta go..Jo

  18. Spaghetti and meatballs… Mmmmm When I’m cooking on my own it’s usuall mac and cheese but the ultimate comfort food is spaghetti and meatballs for me. Mmmmm

  19. Pizza – preferably pepperoni and mushroom. Thin or pan crust. Will settle for deep dish if necessary πŸ™‚

    The second comfort food – cookies – homemade chocolate chip or oreo. Yummy!

  20. Oh comfort food! I would say my most favoritest comfort food is homemade beef stew with hot-from-the-oven rolls to go with it. I have a recipe from my Grandpa that I love to make.

    But I will be making that mac and cheese you posted – yummy!

  21. My all-time favorite comfort food is the bread pudding at Donna’s Restaurants/Cafes in Baltimore, Maryland. I haven’t had it in years, but I’ll never forget it. There’s an Indian restaurant here in Northfield that makes a great kheer, and I do also like the stand-by macaroni and cheese and chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven with a tall glass of milk. Nothing beats that bread pudding for a hard day in grad school, though.

  22. My favorite comfort food is my mother-in-law’s Shepherd’s pie. She makes homemade mashed potatoes to go on top and it’s just the best!!!

  23. Chocolate anything – chocolate chip cookies, chocolate ice cream, chocolate pudding…..Actually all three together sounds great! With chocolate sauce poured on top!

    I don’t have problem, do I??

  24. Comfort food – A way-too-big bowl of way-too-much ice cream. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. It makes you feel soooo good (until you look in that mirror behind you!

  25. Pierogies are my favourite comfort food, with lots of bacon, fried onions and sour cream! My mother has a recipe for pierogie lasagna that is apparently divine but she isn’t sharing yet – I’ll have to raid her recipe book next time I’m home! Mac & cheese is my husband’s favourite so I’m sure we’ll be trying your version out in the next few weeks πŸ™‚

  26. Melted cheese, on almost anything. With macaroni. On baked potatoes. In lasagna. Melted cheese, definitely.
    Sadly, my mother was NOT a good cook. It was a happy day in my house when TV dinners were invented πŸ™‚

  27. Baked Fudge – my 96 year old friend Juanita makes this when our stitch group begs for it, which is at least once a month! It’s not really fudge, more like a brownie outside, with a thick hot fudge-like inside. It’s delicious with walnuts, and best served warm with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of cool whip – YUM!

  28. I still love my mother’s “beans and bas”–no doubt a phonetic approximation of my Italian grandmother’s “beans and pasta”–shell macaroni tossed with cannellini beans, garlic, and olive oil–and lots of grated parmesan! As an adult, I’ve classed it up a bit with red pepper flakes and some sauteed spinach, but it’s still a basic weeknight meal–and what I crave when I’ve had a bad day. However, mine never comes out as comforting as Mom’s!

  29. Two unbeatable comfort foods: stuffed pizza, and Guy’s Tasty Mix. The Guy’s is only available in the Midwest, and it’s got cheese puffs, pretzels, cheerios, nuts, cheese crackers, and about a pound of salt per bag. Hard to eat either when knitting, but it’s worth putting down the needles to flex your hands and wrists to grab some of this.

  30. Gosh. It’s mashed potatoes all the way. It doesn’t matter if it is made from real mashed potatoes or the Betty Crocker potatoes (I am partial to the Roasted Garlic flavor made by reversing the quantities of milk and water and loading it with butter…).

    I have a recipe for mashed potatoes that uses my crockpot, so it is great for those days when I need the comfort (though obviously not right away) and want the house to remain at a nice normal temperature!

  31. Hot Chocolate in the winter or crock pot meals (chili) Yum..In the summer Ice cream or then again maybe a nice cold beer…Naughty I know!!

  32. yummmm..I love meatloaf with mashed potatoes as my go to comfort food….or a thick beef soup in the colder months, nothing says comfort in the heat of the summer except staying in an air conditioned space…..

  33. yep, it’s macaroni & cheese!!! but more often than not, it’s not my favourite macaroni & cheese recipe (the $40 one with all the fancy cheeses) but the Stouffer’s frozen kind! whenever i’m bummed out, or sick, or upset about something, my husband knows to bring home a big tub of frozen macaroni. sometimes i even need an egg cream to go with it too……

  34. Oh gosh, I love bags too! But I’m supposed to be talking about food….

    I don’t know if I should even admit to this, but I think my secret naughty comfort food is probably cookie dough. Usually oatmeal chocolate chip, sometimes oatmeal butter pecan, and sometimes peanut butter. Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough announce they’re baking and then the oven gets less of a workout then expected!

    It runs in the family. Even now that we’re “grown-ups” (Ha!), my non-cooking sister will occasionally get me to make her a batch of dough just for munching. In fact I even have a special quicky recipe for a mini batch of chocolate chip dough that’s designed just for eating and not for baking!

    Black bean burritos with lime and lots of peppers are pretty darn good too. πŸ˜‰

  35. My favorite comfort food is mashed potatoes and gravy…I only make them a few times a year but when I do, I eat my fill!

  36. My favorite comfort food growing up revolves around Tuesday. Tuesday was bread and cinnamon roll day at our house. My mom somehow found the time with 4 kids and ailing FIL and many time missionary houseguests to bake 4 loves of bread and a jellyroll size pan of cinnamon rolls every Tuesday. No lingered at school or friends houses after school on Tuesdays. It was a race to get home and hopefully get the gooey-ist (sp?) roll in the pan!

  37. My comfort food is Kasha. My family is from Russia, but my mother (who is not very traditional) had a falling out with them, so I haven’t seen them in years. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to grow up exposed to the culture, but when my mom makes kasha I always feel a little more connected to that part of myself.

  38. I don’t have a knitting BAG problem, I have a knitting BASKET problem. Not just any basket mind you, but handcrafted artisan baskets like Sweetgrass baskets from the Carolina Low Country, or White Oak baskets from the Smokies or Blue Ridge Mountains. Handmade baskets and great yarn area really made for each other! I just bought a new basket and yarn last week while on vacation in WV.

    I have many foods that speak comfort to my soul. Homemade mac and cheese, grilled sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches on homemade white bread slathered with real butter; Napoleons filled with the finest pastry cream; a perfectly roasted rare *prime* rib with a jumbo Idaho russet potato that has been slathered in real butter and coarse Kosher salt and oven-baked nice and slow; homemade white bread toasted, then slathered with creamy Jif peanut butter and served open-faced with a drizzle of sourwood honey or homemade strawberry preserves; my mother’s apple or lemon pie; my grandfather’s eclairs; my grandmother’s french bread. Did you capture the key word??? Slathered!!!!

  39. Comfort food for me would be homemade waffles with strips of bacon buried inside topped with butter and maple syrup drizzled over them…takes me back to family breakfasts as a child and to a tradition we established with our children on special occasions…BREAKFAST for DINNER! YUMMY and fun!

  40. For me, comfort lies in a pot of chicken and dumplings, made with a *real* stewing hen from the farmer’s market, the sort of tough old bird you can’t buy in supermarkets anymore. It takes four hours of simmering for the meat to become tender, and meanwhile the broth is becoming wonderfully rich and thick. The flavor takes me straight back to my childhood . . . because my mother was a penny-pincher and stewing hens were cheap back then!

  41. Definitely my mom’s homemade cornbread with butter and honey. She baked it in a very large cast-iron skillet so the edges all got nice and crusty. I do the same now…in the same skillet πŸ™‚

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