Thursday, January 2, 2014

Love Language

Chocolate equals love.





At least in our house it does.

Friday, December 27, 2013

It's Good to Have Traditions

Years ago I bought a card designed by Sandra Boynton which pictured a birthday cake with a huge smile and outstretched arms alongside a caption which read: " I never met a carbohydrate I didn't like."

Truer words were never spoken.

And in this time of celebration it always becomes evident once again that our family love language is carbs, oh, I mean, food.

Take our traditional Christmas breakfast fare.

Blintzes!

A very thin pancake- heavy on the eggs and light on the flour- filled with fruit and topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and confectioner's sugar. Yes, yes, I get that we're having dessert for breakfast but remember our theme here is carbohydrates equaling love.

"Get it?"
"Got it."
"Good."

Introduced to us by a dear friend some years ago these are now the staple of every celebration breakfast we have.



Bookend does the "plating" and here is her station all set up with fresh-cut strawberries, whipped cream and Torani Chocolate Syrup.




I typically man the griddle, using one quarter cup of the batter in our large frying pan which seems to be just right to produce the desired thinness of the crepe. About 2 minutes per side.




Then onto the plate for the strawberries to be bundled in. (Oh, oh, and in the summer, fresh peaches will send you over the edge!)




Roll it up, seam side down.





Then comes the whipped cream. Please - I beg you - do not use those canisters of pseudo-whipped cream which are mostly air and will evaporate by the time your fork has plunged into your second bite.




 Now add some chocolate syrup...




And a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar...







A vision, no?







The one caveat is that you won't all be at the table at the same time.

Look how heart-broken they are.


Blintzes

In small pan, heat together until butter melts:
1 cup milk
2 TBS butter

Cool slightly, then beat in until smooth:
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Spray a nonstick pan with oil over medium-high heat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan, rolling batter around in pan to disperse evenly. Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side until blintz is golden brown.

Serve with fresh fruit rolled into the blintz. Top with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and confectioner’s sugar.




Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Baking

Mmmmmmmm.

Scones.





Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup orange flavored dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
 
Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
 
Glaze:
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1-2 TBS orange juice
1 TBS orange zest
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender until it is in pea sized lumps. Stir in the chopped dried cranberries. Mix together 1/2 cup milk and sour cream in a measuring cup. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients, and stir gently until well blended. Do not overwork dough.
3. Using floured hands, form dough into small balls, then flatten slightly. Place onto a greased baking sheet, barely touching. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash. Let them rest for about 10 minutes.
4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are golden brown. 















Monday, November 25, 2013

New Bags!

Lots of creative goodness going on at the casa these days. I've been sewing up some new project bags/yarn keepers to go into the old Etsy shop for holiday gift-giving.




Still using the ever-fabulous Kaffe Fassett fabrics (as well as some other fabrics like the above) and my handy-dandy grommets to make them.




They measure 8.5" across and 9" high, with plenty of room for a lovely little project. Hmmm, like another bunny, perhaps?





Must. Finish. Vest. First.



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Besotted With Bunnies

Last week while perusing Ravelry, my eye was arrested by a charming little knitted rabbit on the front page where Ravelers' finished projects were being showcased.

Oh, my!

I'm not typically drawn to "cutesy" things. Well, we see how that is working out.

I plunged over the edge with a will and immediately bought the bunny pattern and the pattern for the 12 seasonal dresses (!) that goes with it.

Here is my first go:




The designer's name is Julie Williams and you can see her lovely creations here on her Little Cotton Rabbits blog.



The patterns are amazingly well written and show you how to attach parts and work French Knots just so. I did add the picot edge to the dress because I couldn't resist!






Thursday, November 21, 2013

Short Row Love

Last year, while chasing down a fabulous design on Ravelry, I encountered a short row technique called German Short Row, or "making the double stitch".  Little did I know that it would become one of my favorite knitting techniques of all time!

Typically, my standard wrap-and-turn short rows would have some misshapen stitches on the front and loops on the back where I picked up the wraps.

Here is a sample which shows standard wrap-and-turn short rowing on the left and German short rowing on the right.




You can see the wrapped and turned stitches on the left-hand side as they have a kind of "arrow head" look to them. Conversely, on the right-hand side, while not invisible,  the stitches look pretty dern good and much more vertical.



On the back side you see the standard wrap-and-turn version on the right and the German short row on the left.





I have steamed this sample which made the loops much less visible on the wrap-and-turn side, but they are still quite a bit larger than the German short row side. (You're getting the gist of who my favorite is.)

So here's the deal: German short row is easier to work and it looks better when you're finished.

I have two video tutorials on the technique which are available on YouTube.

The first one, available here: German Short Row Tutorial demonstrates how to work this short row technique. The second one, available here: Substituting German Short Row demonstrates how to substitute German short row for standard wrap-and-turn short row.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Oh, yeah

One of my girls from class has fought a bout with cancer.

She came in to class this morning and told us all to look away from the white board. When she gave the all clear, this is what we saw:







Rejoicing with her and thanking God for her great victory!!!!