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2010 accomplishments

Looking back over the last year I’ve accomplished a few new things, but not nearly as many as 2009.

First, I rode 65 miles in a row on my bike for my birthday.

I also rode 75 miles in one week (in preparation for the big birthday ride).  DH wants to do the 100 mile ride next year.

We visited several dinosaur museums/exhibits. This is the Museum of the Rockies.

We also saw some amazing sites out west (Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Upper Terraces).

I didn’t do much new in knitting, but I did make an amigarumi for Little Bug and some crochet French Press Slippers.

I did make a few new things in the kitchen, like the chocolate bark from Emeril.

Even though it isn’t new to me, I made several different kinds of biscuits, too.

Finally, I did make a little Bat… 🙂

On a roll, into December

Repeats, that is what has been happening around here lately.

Knitting of many hats for soldiers (classic watch cap)

Baking of many biscuits…

Parmesean cheese biscuits

buttermilk wheat biscuits

Visiting of several local and ‘on the way’ wineries…

Silliness of a little Bug, who is doing well in kindergarten, is learning to read, and has a knack for carving even sillier pumpkins…

How did it get to be the last of November already?

Cheesecake-o-rama

Things are the same here – work, cook, sleep, etc, etc.

The butternut squash soup from the Sheepish Little Blog (Knitscape) has been THE SOUP for a few weeks now – sad to see they are giving it up.

Pumpkin Cheesecake and Banana Cheesecake were some of the cheesecake experiments here – both were a bit mushy, but good.  Both were based on the “Mary’s outstanding chocolate cheesecake” without the chocolate.  For the pumpkin I added 1 cup of fresh pumpkin and 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and used half brown sugar instead of all white sugar.  The banana one had one ripe banana that was pulverized in the blender with the sugar.  I also put a little cinnamon in the topping (a la bananas foster)

Both pairs of slippers have been felted and sent to their new owners. Spring Green Ice Queen is finished…

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Little Monkey is growing up…

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Pound cake and socks (mostly) with no pictures :(

Well, that title describes what I’ve been doing with my “free” time lately.

I’ve been working on finding a good pound cake recipe since the horrible disaster a few weeks ago.  I tried the Pound cake recipe (with fresh blackberries) from the next to latest Martha Stewart Living – it was HORRIBLE!  too salty!  I should have known adding 1 tablespoon of salt was too much, but I reasoned that it was ‘course’ salt AND it was for 2 loaves…. ICK!

Last night was a better trial – Cream cheese pound cake from Bakerella.  I made one blackberry and one chocolate chip.  The pans overflowed in the oven badly, but the cake turned out ok.  Not the dense pound-like texture, but good cake.

I also tried making Blueberry Boy Bait from Smitten Kitchen except with Ranier cherries.  It was ok, but didn’t look like the pictures.  I had to use dark brown sugar and I don’t think I beat the sugar and butter long enough.

As for crafting…

I am done with the lace scarf.  It needs blocking and pictures.  I am working on the Cookie A socks and a ‘vanilla’ 3x2rib sock (both at the gusset increases).  There will be pictures next post…. 🙂

Hamburgers from scratch

The Bug and I helped Uncle G make hamburgers from scratch (grind meat, bake buns, make ketchup, relish, and mustard) as inspired by an article in Gourmet magazine.  They were very good, especially those that were more coursely ground.

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I’ve also made a few dishcloths…

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This last one didn’t handle the ‘up-sizing’ as well as the other blocks.

I’ve also made progress on the lace scarf (a la MeghanJasmin‘s Lace Throwdown)…no pix just yet.

The blackberries are going full-ahead, so we also made blackberry crisp using this recipe from Alton Brown.  I made a double batch in a 9×13 pan and just used all the ‘crumble’ part.  We used gingersnaps for the cookies.  It was yummy!

Banana split chess bars

We’ve had a lot of experimenting with recipes going on around here…

I modified a chess bar recipe to use up some bananas and cherries that we had lying around.

The original recipe came from the net: http://www.beaumontinn.com/recipe_chessbar.htm

Beaumont Inn’s Famous Chess Bars – modified

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 Egg
1 Stick of Butter

1 banana (mashed)

20-30 cherries pitted

8 oz. Cream Cheese

2 eggs

1 pound of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

Mix egg into cake mix. Melt butter, add to egg mixture. Add mashed banana. Stir until becomes a ball. Pat into greased 12×15 flat pan.  Distribute cherries on top of this layer.   Put cream cheese in mixer bowl.  Beat until smooth. Add 2 eggs and confectioner sugar. Mix until smooth.  Pour on top of cherries and cake and bake 30-35 minutes or until light golden brown in color. Bake at 350 degrees.

Cool completely before cutting.

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Rating: delicious!

Summer, finally…

My last class for the summer was today – whew!  It has been a whirlwind of classes…  only grades left to assign and calculate.

We’ve gotten some green beans out of the garden and the squash are doing some serious blooming.  The blackberries are formed their nice little green orbs.  The CSA boxes are started to have more variety than just lettuces – I get tired of lettuce easily and have been looking forward to the changes.

CSA box: week 5 contained carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, eggs, sirloin steak, red romaine (or swiss chard?), radishes, butter lettuce, peas

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We used everything but a bit of the butter lettuce which is still in the fridge.  I made cabbage au gratin (new recipe) from the UK extension office using 1/2 head of cabbage and some green onions added in – this one is a keeper!  We steamed the cauliflower and the peas.  DH loved the peas.  I gave away the radishes and we froze the steaks.  I made a spinach provolone frittata (new recipe) from the Mixing Bowl site using several eggs.  It was rated good by me, but not by DH.  I also used some of the eggs to make a chocolate cheesecake for a friend’s birthday.

CSA box: week 6 contained peaches, radishes, green onions, white onion, basil, mint, dill, swiss chard (or red romaine?), eggs, chicken breast, peas, red potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash

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I made a skillet fried chicken breast to use up the chicken (rating = ok).  We steamed the peas (again a hit according to DH) tonight.  I used the last carrot from the last box, along with the big onion, the basil, and our own oregano to make pasta prima vera tonight.

I have been working slowly on the sock from the Cookie A book.  It is a nice, but complex pattern (Bex), but I modified it by going toe up and may leave the large diamond areas to just adorn the cuff/leg area.

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