Thursday, December 31, 2009
As 2009 comes to an end, I am quietly reflecting on what was a great year for me and a not so great year for others.
Scott and I had so many adventures this year. We went to Portland many times to see his family and Lincoln City a few to visit more family there. We also went to Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Hawaii. I also went to Washington DC, Phoenix and Los Angeles for work. It was a grand year for travel and as someone how loves flying, I got plenty in.
I also learned to cure bacon, can jam, made three quilts and knit so many socks that my hands almost feel off (in a good way).
And the best part was getting engaged to my favorite person in the whole wide world. I had been hoping and proding for some time but was actually surprised when Scott proposed.
Now I can't wait for 2010! It will be year I get married, go to Europe and run the Portland Half Marathon. So many adventures await me!
You can see the entire Flick "Best of 2009" set here.
Labels: Daily Life
Sunday, December 20, 2009
My co-worker is pregnant and she's decided to not find out the sex of the child until he/she arrives. Now I love this idea but also found it difficult when I was planning what to make for her new addition.
Luckily a friend suggested the Cargo Pants from Knitty which led me to remember that I had some Rowan All Seasons Cotton laying around and that I had picked up a onesie this Summer at a craft fair (I figure people are always having babies and this one was super cute!). When I pulled out the yarn and the onesie, I was in for another treat! The crab applique on the onesie perfectly matched the color of yarn that I had and they were all pretty uni-sex.
Then I got a third treat, the quickness of this knit! I cast on for this project on Friday at the DMV, I knit most of the first leg while waiting there (oh the torture!) and the second leg that night. I then knit up the remaining bits of the pants on Saturday (my birthday!) and sewed the elastic piece in today. All in all about a 2-day project! I did decide to leave off the pockets but I think they would be adorable on the pants too.
These might become my standard baby knit project. They are just adorable and a bit more of a statement than a hat. I am however going to also knit a hat for this present, I have yarn and time left so I might as well.
Labels: Knitting for Others
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I'm not huge fan of French Toast but Scott really enjoys a good breakfast of French Toast. I decided to make him some this morning for some pretty selfish reasons. I wanted to take photos of the breakfast for my Food A-Z project.
Scott was pleased with his turn of luck and enjoyed his breakfast while giving me feedback on the photos I took of our breakfast.
I used a recipe from my go-to cookbook, The McCall's Cookbook which is sadly out of print. My Mom has a her own copy and used it to make most everything when I was growing up. I found my own copy in an antique store years ago and snatched it up before the owners could realize what a treasure they had in their store.
Without further adieu, here is the French Toast recipe.
Mc'Call's French Toast
2 eggs, well beaten
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
dash of salt
dash of nutmeg
6 pieces of day-old white bread slices (I used challah bread)
I also used powdered sugar for the topping.
1. In a shallow dish, combine eggs, milk, sugar, salt and nutmeg. Whisk together.
2. Add bread slices, one at a time, to egg mixture; let stand about 30 seconds on each side to coat completely.
3. In medium skillet, using about 1 Tablespoon butter, saute bread slice until golden on each side. 1 1/2 minutes in all.
4. Serve hot, sprinkled with powered sugar and nutmeg and covered with maple syrup.
Labels: Food Cooking
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I decided to celebrate my Birthday Month with 19 days of wishes since my birthday is on Dec. 19th. So far, I've had 6 days of great wishes. Today my favorite one was granted. I found the most amazing, creepy present at the Urban Craft Uprising.
I got a pink and brown TWO-HEADED DEER! I love them!
Labels: birthday wishes
Monday, November 30, 2009
My favorite Black Friday purchase was this M.A.C. eyeshadow compact. You can select your own shades to make your own custom compact. Lovely!
M.A.C. appeals to that side of me that loves playing dress up, doing my hair and putting on make-up. *sigh*
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Lorna Yee recently posted on her blog, The Cookbook Chronicles about The Perfect Chocolate Cookie.
Now that is a pretty bold statement and I felt that I needed to test out this claim. I gathered the necessary ingredients (all of which I was able to find at my local grocery store) and began baking.
I did alter the recipe by adding one step to Lorna's directions. After making the dough, I chilled it in the fridge for about 2-3 hours before baking the cookies.
Scott and I both declared these cookies to be the best Chocolate Chip Cookies we have ever had. They are so delightful and yes, perfect!
"The Cookbook Chronicles" Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
makes 34-36 3″ cookies
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1 3/4 cups packed, dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup + 1 tbsp bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (not table salt!), plus either fleur de sel for sprinkling over top
18 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
2. Add the vanilla extract, the flours, the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. On low speed, beat the mixture until the dry ingredients are well-incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a Silpat. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it until it forms a sphere between your palms. Place the dough on the baking sheet (8 cookies per sheet), giving them room to spread. Dust the tops of each ball of dough with a little demerara sugar, and a tiny bit of fleur de sel or vanilla salt.
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 12-13 minutes. (Do not bake these on the bottom rack in the oven–the high proportion of brown sugar will cause the bottoms to darken too much.) At this time, the cookies should have taken on a golden brown color all around the edge, but still look very soft in the center–like hot cookie dough. Remove the tray from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool directly on the tray for 10 minutes before eating.
*Title blatantly stolen from The Cookbook Chronicles.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I've been taking food photos each week that correspond to a letter in the alphabet. This week's letter was E. I thought and thought on foods that started with E. I got Eel, endive, eggs, and escargot.
I quickly ruled out escargot as I have not idea how to make that at home and really that is something best saved for a fancy restaurant. Then I considered Eel but to be honest, I got wigged out thinking about touching an eel. I like eel in my sushi but it's all cut up and presentable.
So I was left with endive and eggs which are great foods. I did consider that chicken eggs are a bit boring. Then I lit upon the idea of Duck Eggs! I asked my twitter friends where I could obtain such eggs and ran out to PCC to pick up a dozen.
After taking photos, I was left with the eggs which looked beautiful but scared me with their slight strangeness. I checked Chow.com for some suggestions on what to do with the eggs. People said to just fry them up as you would chicken eggs or to use them in baking. So this morning for breakfast Scott and I enjoyed them with some bacon and toast. OMG! These things were so rich and amazing! I'm hooked on duck eggs and think that everyone should try one of these. YUM!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Yesterday we headed over to my parent's house for a wonderful feast of turkey goodness. While there we watch "UP" and "State of Play" and I was able to satisfy my quilting itch. I paper pieced my hexagon quilt pieces through both movies and now have a satisfying stack of pieces.
I've done 19 hexagons and am working to have 19 squares in all fabric colors with 19 triangles in other fabrics. It's a lot of work but work I really enjoy. The best part is that my Dad recognized what I was doing. His family is quite crafty and I bet he saw his Mother or Grandmother doing paper piecing as a child. That or he knows everything which is true, the man knows everything. It's a bit scary but once you accept that he knows everything, he becomes a great resource!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving! Today I have so many things to be thankful for.
I am thankful for
* a wonderful Scott
* a vivacious cat
* my good health
* the best family ever
* a fun and enjoyable job
* a wonderful home
* living in the best city I could think to live in
* all of my friends
* my best friend who always sets me straight when I get on the crazy road
* and today, this day of thankful-ness, I am so thankful for all the great food I am about to consume!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I decided to take Rigby to the oil change place today since it has been some time since his oil was changed.
I drove up to the place and got in line. They checked my brake lights and noticed they weren't working so good. They changed the oil, vacuumed the car and told me that they could only get one light to work, that the wiring was "funky".
I then remembered why I hadn't taken my car in to have it's oil changed, because there always seems to be "something" that happens.
So I take my car and stop by the gas station on the way home. I open my trunk to get something out and notice my brake light thing-y isn't connected correctly and my trunk isn't closing so good. Double GRRRR! I went right back to the oil change place and they notice that they broke the light. They did get it back on fairly well but I also have in writing that they will pay for the repair of the brake light thingy.
Of course this means I still need to figure out why I don't have the best brake lights so I've sent an appointment request into the mechanic (they schedule online!) and will drive Scott's car for now because I think brake lights are important!
Cars are a pain in my rear-end!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I've gone insane. I think about my wedding all the time. I yap about it non-stop. I swear people are going to be so excited when I'm finally married and shut up about it.
But I am being efficient in-between my yapping. I give myself weekly tasks to get done. This week is booking the rehearsal dinner location, booking the ceremony musicians and starting our registry.
So much to do and I'm having a great time doing it.
Monday, November 23, 2009
1. Color Week: Purple Eyes, 2. SIP, 3. Color Week: Blue Pin, 4. lingering..., 5. yellow sock, 6. WoollyWormhead Mystery KAL Pattern A, 7. Stack, 8. Oops, 9. yip.316 my collection of yellow, 10. Well Worn, Well Loved, 11. The Way We Listened, 12. Color Week: Orange Floss, 13. Fiestaware, 14. Kissing Koi mittens, 15. September Anniversary STUD sent- closeup, 16. Red Pepper, 17. Robot Family, 18. Modified Cowl Neck Pullover :: Before blocking, 19. IMG_1589, 20. because, really..., 21. A Sampler Mitten, 22. A Sampler Mitten, 23. pillow swap cover, 24. Untitled, 25. A Fall Present To Myself, 26. Valiant, 27. seventeen of sixty-four, 28. orange-and-brown, 29. November 3rd 365-183, 30. one red, 31. Phone my family, tell them I'm lost on the sidewalk, 32. Apple turnovers soon., 33. strawberries & champagne baby quilt, 34. Pembroke Vest Front, 35. Burned, 36. Lacy Baktus
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Every year at Christmas, my parent's church ends the midnight Christmas Eve service by quietly singing, "Silent Night". I love that moment. I love it so much that I wish I could end every night by hearing that song quietly sang as the day quietly ends.
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I recently ordered the cutest Ring Bearer Pillow from a shop on Etsy. It was inexpensive, quickly delivered and awesomely cute.
Now to hope that the 4-year-old ring bearer holds the pillow the right side up during his walk down the aisle. Heck, let's hope he can walk down the aisle! He might end up banshee screaming and hurtling himself down the aisle. Either way, he'll still be adorable and so will the pillow.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
1. Possibilities, 2. The One, 3. Stack, 4. Lapful, 5. Skirtful, 6. Gift, 7. Beginning, 8. Knitting, 9. Growth, 10. Oops, 11. Atropos, 12. The Fates
After reading this poem and seeing these photos on Twist Collective, it's all I can do to not rush out and buy all the winter white yarn I can find.
*sigh* I am in love with these photos, absolutely in love.
Monday, November 16, 2009
There are certain things that I just love about Flickr. For instance, how groups such as "Color Week" are created.
Of course I've jumped on the bandwagon. Today's color is Red.
I'll be posting my Color Week photos all week here.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I spent way too long thinking about my C food photos this week. I drove to three different stores to gather Chestnuts for one of the shots and while I like how it turned out, I much prefer how the coffee bean shot turned out more. Typical, the prop I grabbed last minute is the one I like more.
You can see the whole Food: A-Z Group here
Saturday, November 14, 2009
One of my responsibilities at work is book signings with cookbook authors and I LOVE IT! I've now had the chance to meet Alton Brown, Martha Stewart and this past week, Thomas Keller.
I flew out to the book signing and was met with an excited and early crowd. I arrived around 1 p.m. for the 3 p.m. book signing and people were already lined up. Now that is excitement I can get behind.
I am dearly in love with all of the store staff that I was able to work with. They are a fantastic bunch of people. Additionally Chef Keller was so great to work with and made sure that all of his fans got signed books.
I have to say that Chef Keller has one of the most beautiful signatures I've ever seen but then again how could you expect anything less from someone who creates the most beautiful food.
I'm anxious to get cooking from this beautiful book. The food photography is inspirational and the recipes look wonderful. Some of them do present a bit of complexity but it looks worth it. I love cooking so even the complex recipes sing to me.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I stayed home sick from work today. My ear has been bothering me and the cough is annoying and it's wearing me out. So I stayed home and I've sat on the couch knitting and surfing wedding websites.
Kato really enjoyed having me at home and has been sweetly sleeping on the couch next to me. I like Kato best when he's sleeping so peacefully and not begging for food. Unfortunately he's woken up and is now obsessively stalking me for his dinner which isn't due for another hour.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
My ear has been hurting and I think I may have an ear infection. I went to the doctor and she said that I have an ear trauma but probably not an ear infection. She did however prescribe antibiotics to me just in case the pain didn't go away. Well the pain has not gone away and I still can't hear out of my darn ear so after talking to her nurse, I started taking the pink pills tonight.
Fingers crossed this works and I can start hearing again! I feel like everyone is whispering around me and Scott is getting sick of telling me to turn the TV sound down.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
While in LA, Scott and I discovered the most fantastic cafe in Santa Monica named, Huckleberry.
It was a delightful little place packed full of treats and the very best coffee I've had in a long time. The nonfat vanilla latte was creamy and delicious.
I ordered a whole wheat sugar cookie and yum! It wasn't grity or crunchy, just smooth and sweet. Scott got a cinnamon doughnut which renewed my vow to make homemade ones soon.
And best of all, the lighting was amazing in the cafe. Just amazing.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This past weekend, Scott and I headed down to LA to visit some friends. We stopped by the Santa Monica pier so I could satisfy my Ferris Wheel picture taking urge. It feels pretty satisfied now.
I enjoyed walking around Santa Monica with Scott in the sunshine. It was a nice break from all the rain that Seattle has been getting.
We also enjoyed meeting our friend's new baby. She's absolutely adorable!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Last weekend I visited Churchmouse Yarns with some friends and grabbed some Plucky Cashmere yarn. This past weekend, I finished my Koolhaas hat with it. I love this pattern and this yarn and together they are a true delight.
I don't think I had this yarn long enough to even place it in my Raverly stash. I knew that I wanted to knit it up right away. Then I remembered that I wanted to make Koolhaas and this yarn was the perfect gauge for the pattern.
I found the pattern to be pretty easy to pick up and stick with. This is definately a pattern that goes faster if you can cable without a needle. Me, I can not but I still managed just fine.
And now that I'm back in Rainy Seattle from Sunny LA, I sense that I'll be wearing this hat a lot.
I still have a bit of Plucky Cashmere left over so now I'm searching for a baby hat pattern and thinking about downsizing the Koolhaas pattern for a little one. But you know, maybe someone on Raverly has already done that....off to go check!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Scott and I often find ourselves in Portland visiting family. On our last trip, we discovered Pine State Biscuits and I fell in love at first bite.
I mean how could you not when you are presented with a biscuit topped with fried chicken, cheese, bacon and covered in gravy?
Or when your Dad orders the grit sampler and allows you one small bite of the most perfect food you've ever eaten?
This place was worth the wait and made my taste buds swoon! I can't wait to go back for more.