Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Hobby

Look what my folks sent for Christmas. An Ashford Traditional - Double Drive wheel, there are 2 width orifices and 4 bobbins to go with each and a lazy kate. 2 sets of carding combs, a giant niddy-noddy and a whole bunch of fiber. (They said 7 pounds, but the fiber content is an unlabeled mystery). Some of its natural creams to browns, others are dyed in blue, green & yellow. And a couple of books. I've got my work cut out for me in this new hobby, but I'm so excited to get started.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Yeah, I'm not so good at the blogging. I think really I'm not very good at creating lasting habits, but that's not to say I'm not staying entertained.

Matt Smith brings some new energy into Doctor Who. Then there are Haven, Warehouse 13, Eureka , Psych & Stargate Universe (which has apparently been cancelled) staying on our must watch list whenever possible.

Knitting, of course always knitting, gaming: Minecraft, World of Warcraft and a variety of casual games from BigFish Games)

Or maybe reading. I've just finished listening to the audio-book versions of the Terry Pratchett Discworld series, caught up on the most recent installment of Wheel of Time (a series I discovered by way of my favorite audio-book narrator Kate Reading) carried on by its second author in a nicely written way. I've read 2 1/2 of the 3 Mayfair witches books... so addicted to books lately. Oh, don't forget Thursday Next & Dresden Files are in there too.

Need help building up your print or audio book libraries? Check out Paperback Swap, and Audible . For access to some free classics, you may like LibriVox & Project Gutenberg

This year's we spent a little more time in the theater than usual too. In person watching my old highschool friend Phil Putnam sing. The movies: Despicable Me (oh how I wish I could spend more time with Eunice and the Minions), Harry Potter 7, Rifftrax, Tron (at IMAX 3D) and even Captain EO at Disneyland once again, the theater has been a lot of fun, you tube as well. Have you seen Up and Over It, they're amazing.

This year has also brought some new cooking experiments with new ingredients; playing with dairy alternatives, gluten free and new spices. Aarti Sequeira gave me the inspiration to use cardamom with her Huggy Buggy Bread Pudding & I Ain't Chicken Chicken, that spice is itching for more experiments. Then there was my Thanksgiving truffle experiments... yumm Vegan Truffles, Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Truffles, Chocolate Orange Truffles & my favorite, Sesame Truffles. Oh, and I almost forgot, carrot cake Cake Pops (those were frustrating to make, but still really fun), or my first Challah bread loaves.

I'm hoping for 2011 to bring me just as many new things, continuation of old favorite things,and maybe even some more time with my adorable nieces & nephew who I have spent entirely too little time with in their lives so far.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to all of my friends and family

See you soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010


(3 strand & 4 strand)

So Saturday I really wanted to make something, and I decided it would be bread. Asked Scott what sort of bread he'd like and he said "Challah"; all because he found this:

Best Turkey Sandwich Ever

So I set out to find a recipe which I'll share later. Once I had, discovered we didnt have enough honey, I needed "bread flour" (which is quite the opposite of all the gluten free flours i bought last week) and most importantly, my yeast packets expired 2 years ago. So he offered to go buy them for me (and even changed the oil in my car while he was out, such a nice husband) He was going to buy a loaf while he was out, but the baker at the grocery store he chose had no idea what he was talking about or that a word could be spelled in any way like this one is.

So yesterday I did the baking bit. Most recipes I found called for honey instead of sugar, but then this recipe seemed the "easiest" to give it a try. There were a few that were really complicated and I'm sure delicious but we pretty much used the one linked up.
Only differences - sub honey for sugar (1 to 1). 6 c of flour was perfect. egg yolk went into batter, egg white was mixed with tsp honey for a wash before baking. I wasn't completely clear on the instructions as to how much it makes, but it turned out 2 loaves.

I also realized I had no idea how to shape my bread (thinking I remembered it was braided, so I had to learn how that is done).

I found these videos from Expert Village on You Tube
3 Stranded
4 Stranded
6 stranded

I chose a 3 strand & a 4 strand for my two loaves (though this morning I found another video that looks fun - a 1 strand braid.

So, after all that. The recipe says 375. My oven seems to think that is entirely too hot... so 10 minutes in, after a bit of burning started, we dropped it to 350 and cooked a total of 40 minutes.

Hooray for my very first, slightly dark but totally delicious Challah loaves.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Recipe Hunt

Look at me way behind in many things... never reported back on my cookies, my website I manage is badly in need of update and I've got a long laundry list for today too.

But first stop was an experiment to find a new Aebelskiver recipe, in an attempt to solve a few problems. Ultimately, I would love an easy gluten & dairy free recipe.

My favorite recipe to try to match up to is linked up over here.

Buttermilk makes Scott feel bad though, and I think that Gluten might not be my best friend. Not serious celiac but not comfortable either.

Dairy Free accomplished...
This Vegan recipe has the right flavors, and tastes really nice. The soy yogurt is a good flavor replacement for my regular buttermilk recipe that I love the most but makes us both feel ick.

I do see the need though to add back in the egg. Maybe 1 will be enough, only experimentation will tell. This vegan recipe is lacking the volume provided by the stiffened whites, and the added gooey/creaminess that comes from the yolk.

Next stop is a hunt for a good gluten free flour mix.

Though I did find this on my travels too..sounds like it would make a good "go to" recipe for breaded breakfast yummies... Recipes of a Cheapskate