Saturday, January 27, 2007

overheard in a yarn store today:

"I don't knit, only crochet. Knitting is the popular thing though, all the cool kids are doing it."
my knit found it's purl today! I'm knitting a scarf. I'm. Knitting.
Does that make me a cool kid?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

What's a knit without a purl?

I'm learning to knit!
I seem to have the knit part down, but the purl is giving me FITS! I struggled to get this much done last night just by looking through one of those teach-yourself-to-knit books. Struggled is about all I did. Today I got a lesson from Vicky, knitter extrodinaire. The best part was a wonderful technique for finishing the edges so nicely. I can't even explain it - I slip the end stitch from one hook to the other before beginning the row of knitting. It looks really sharp that way.


She's a wonderful teacher and I learned more than my brain can handle. Knitting is not for sissies! :)

Time for a glass (read: bottle) of wine.
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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

So my craft of late is cooking

I'm not scrap booking much these days. I made a few cards this week but no major paper projects have been underway. I have been doing plenty of cooking though. From scratch! Pretty crafty, huh?
I've made:

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
and of course I'm on this total CUPCAKE bender!

These beauties are a Betty Crocker traditional recipe - Silver White Cake. They were most tasty. The cake cooked up nicely, dense but not too heavy. I frosted them with a French Buttercream icing but would have much preferred traditional butter cream icing. The French version was too salty and not sugary enough for me. This isn't a sweet cupcake. It needs a sweeter icing. It would make a wonderful wedding cake to be sure!

Silver White Cake
from Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Cookbook

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2/3 cups shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg whites

Heat oven to 350°.
Beat all ingredients except egg whites in large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed two minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg whites on high speed two minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Scoop into muffin papers about half full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Still lovin' these papers recommended by Chockylit!
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Serious Chocolate Lovers Only!

Chockylit created an amazing food blog, sharing her love of the cupcake with the world. Girl, you are my new idol.
These chocolate cupcakes ROCK. They're somewhat like a brownie in a cup. They're fun to make, and I felt like quite the gourmet, stirring and ganaching. :) You gotta seriously love some chocolate to venture here. I don't EVEN want to know the calorie content!

Chocolate Cupcakes
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

5.4 ounces dark chocolate or 3/4 of a 200 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cocao
22 tablespoons butter
1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
4-1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

1. Melt chocolate and butter over a water bath.
2. Add sugar and stir, let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
3. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
4. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
5. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until blended.
6. Scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Chop chocolates and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add butter and vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixture and let cool for 10 minutes.
6. Sift powdered sugar into the mixture and beat until combined.
7. Continue to beat with an electric mixer until lighter in color and creamy.

Love these paper cups Chockylit recommends. I found them at my local party supply store. They look neater than traditional cupcake papers. I put them on a flat baking sheet, filled them with a batter scoop and baked them. No muffin pan necessary.
I can't wait to see what she cooks up next. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

happy birthday brother

my brother's birthday card

that fell in the dog water bowl

that I'm drying out and mailing tomorrow!
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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

happy new year again


you know i don't do resolutions but i am going to try and resurrect this blog.
i have things to say.
i have pictures to share.
i have things to do.
i have things to share.

let's do this.