Totes Elotes

Elote carts are fairly ubiquitous in many Chicago neighborhoods. I finally tried it maybe eight years ago when my sister bought a couple, lured by their siren call. It was delicious if a little watery. I was inspired to make my own and set about perfecting my recipe. This is always my potluck contribution to our family parties. I recently dubbed it Totes Elotes. (Ok, I’m only making it rhyme but, really, it is pronounced eh-lo-tess.)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 heaping tbs minced garlic
  • 2 lbs frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 16 oz mayo
  • 6 oz shredded Parmesan, Asiago or Romano

In a frying pan, saute garlic in the butter until golden. Toss in corn kernels, 1.5 tsp chili powder, 1.5 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and salt. Fry until corn is a little caramelized, stirring every so often to prevent burning. Put in your chosen container.


Dollop the mayo evenly across the corn and spread.



Scatter the shredded cheese on top of the layer of mayo. Sprinkle remaining spices over the cheese. Et, voila! Homemade elotes which is a thousand times better than the street version.


Of course, the amount of spices can be increased according to taste. Also, the cheese used by street vendors is called cotija. I’ve tried it once but prefer the Italian cheeses. Enjoy!


busy bee

It’s been a pretty crazy weekend. Friday was insane. Went shopping at TRU for some presents. Bought some corn and cranberries. Prepped my turkey. It’s the first time I’ve used fresh. So much easier than frozen but it costs a bit more. I didn’t want to mess around with herb butter so I thought I’d keep it moist by giving it a bacon blanket:


Saturday started way early. But all I had to do was stick the turkey in the oven and make mashed potatoes and gravy. It turned out moist and delicious although it needed a little salt.


The bacon was amazing. The only real problem was the grease. There was so much!

While waiting for the turkey, I made a leaping blocks and stripes hat for my cousin. I used Lion Brand wool ease in forest green, loden and avocado. Does it look like camouflage?


It was a pretty quick make. I finished it in around 6 hours…not too bad and it looks good. My mom hooked me up with this model head. I shall call him Kevin.

I asked and the lovely R bought me these:

AnniversaryI don’t need jewelry or anything fancy. I’m so happy with my stash! Woo…two Miyazaki items and two Makoto Shinkais.

I have been meaning to get the 5 CM Per Second book forever. I’ve been in love with this movie for so long. I read it in one sitting but was a little dismayed at the epilogue. My suggestion: skip the epilogue.

The Wind Rises is the latest video release from Studio Ghibli. It’s a story about the man who design a Japanese fighter plane during WWII. Kinda weird cause on the one hand, it’s about making a weapon but on the other hand, the characters are anti-war. Of course, it’s beautifully drawn like all Miyazaki movies.

Ni No Kuni is a collaboration between Level-5, makers of the Professor Layton franchise, and Studio Ghibli. I’m usually a Nintendo fan but for this, I shall make an exception. Yeah!

The Garden of Words is a short. I haven’t seen it yet but have high hopes for it.

for something completely different


My first MOC (my own creation)…I did this over the summer. It looks rather simple but it’s much harder that I thought it would be. First, I had to do some research online to see how these brick-built Legoland figures are done and then figure out how to do Star Trek TNG ones. Second, since I didn’t have enough bricks, I had to go hunt them down on Bricklink. And the cost! It took roughly 6 weeks from planning to completion. I’m really proud of Worf. I think he’s the best one I made. I guess, the hard work was well worth it since the recipient was very happy.

yet another arctic blast


A scarf based on the leaping blocks and stripes pattern from mooglyblog, I used LB wool ease in cranberry, mustard and paprika. I used a shell edging on the ends instead of fringe. What can I say, I’m adventurous like that.


I made this using my favorite crochet stitch, the hdc, with Vickie Howell’s Sheep(ish) yarn in Punk(ish) and Plum(ish). I kinda hate(ish) the name of this yarn. It tries too hard, don’t you agree? Speaking of Vickie Howell, she took over as host of Knitting Daily from Eunny Jang. I gotta say I’m not crazy about the new series. I don’t like the too casual vibe it has and I completely hate the whole ‘Space to Space’ bit and the useless Tools of the Trade. Plus, Eunny was really good at showing/teaching new techniques.


This is the first hat I’ve made using cotton yarn. Well, a cotton blend…I picked Knitpicks’ Shine worsted weight in French Blue and White. The pattern is theirs also and it’s called Laniferous Hat. I ended up using two strands of the yarn to get the right weight called for in the pattern. The finished product is a little hefty and stretchy. I hope it’ll fit and wash okay. I actually had planned on a Frankenstein hat where I was going to use three different patterns but that didn’t turn out. Back to the drawing board.


My first try at the Laniferous Hat. I used two strands of LB wool ease in cranberry and gold and followed the pattern. This turned out way too small. Good news! It fits my 4-year-old nephew with room to grow. Bad news: if you’ve got an adult-sized melon, you’d be out of luck. It’s really tricky to do patterns with different kinds of yarn…so difficult to gauge how much of an increase to do. Trying this one again…try to remember to do jogless stripes and avoid laddering.


Lastly, more leaping blocks and stripes hats for the future Laneites in my life. Again, I think sizing is an issue. Made with Knitpicks’ Superwash Wool of the Andes. So maybe the sizes will be okay. Stuff I’ve made with superwash wool have tended to get big.

cold weather gear

For the past couple of years, when the the weather starts to get wonderful and a little chilly, my awesome sis-in-law brings some of my pieces to her workplace. I try to have new patterns so it doesn’t get dull and repetitive. Who wants the same style hat every year? (I do but that’s another story. Where is my blue hat?) I found two rather nice ones. The divine hat from and the leaping stripes and blocks beanie from


This one was made with Lion Brand wool-ease. I tried to mix and match the brims of the hats to see which worked best for me. The brim of this hat is really nice and sturdy and was done with alternating front post hdc and back post hdc.


Made like the first one except with Sheep(ish) yarn in gunmetal(ish) and punk(ish).


I ended up frogging this teal one completely. I needed the yarn for a wip. OMG, it’s this lovely yarn called Naturally Caron Country yarn in Spruce. Unfortunately, it was discontinued years ago. I bought it maybe three summers ago for 97 cents a skein. I should’ve gotten more. Grr…and I worked so hard on that brim…knit3, purl3 ribbing.


This is made with Lion Brand wool-ease. I followed the pattern exactly as seen on the mooglyblog. The brim is done last sideways to the main hat. It was kind of a pain.


I used Sheep(ish) yarn in plum and punk(ish) for this hat. The brim was done with alternating fphdc and bphdc which is the kind I enjoyed the most. It made the best brim with a nice heft.

The Thing

I was really digging The Thing over the summer. I really enjoy watching frozen movies while it’s hot as hell outside. I had planned on maybe cosplaying Kurt Russell’s character for Halloween but it turned out there was no Halloween party this year. Sad. I digress…I ended up googling beards and found a pattern on


This beard was made using KnitPick’s Dishie cotton yarn which is nice, soft and smooth against the skin.


I make my Mom a new scarf yearly. She’s kinda particular about it and it must have fringe. This was made with my go-to yarn, Lion Brand Wool-ease worsted in gold, paprika and violet.