random catch-up

1. There has been a lot of good eats from Royal Irish Soda Bread with whiskey butter to risotto to cuban beans and rice.

2. I have been spending the last few Sundays at the Purple Purl. I may have bought some yarn and I definitely bought some blocking wires. I’ve also done quite a bit of knitting but don’t have a lot of pictures of said knitting.

3. Piper and I are enjoying the lovely weather this evening sitting on our balcony enjoying a delicious dinner of crackers, cheese and berries. There may be some beer included in that meal (but only for me).

4. Piper got a new toy. A Pak-o-bird which means she can now safely go on walks with me. Will post a picture as soon as I have Sean take a picture of me and Piper showing how it is used.

lemon meringue pie

Most of my knitting time recently has been on the second secret project (including have to rip out a rather large section). I’ve also been knitting a little on Sean’s sweater. I finished the back this morning and have cast on the two fronts which I will be knitting at the same time to make sure gauge and following instructions the same for both won’t be an issue. Neither frankly take great pictures.

However there has been quite a bit of baking this weekend and that always takes great pictures! Saturday I made the raisin cinnamon swirl bread I have been craving for quite a while now. It is as delicious as it looks!

We also made some pizza for dinner tonight which is always a welcome meal at our place. This was a joint effort where I made the dough and Sean took care of the toppings (no pictures sorry).

And for dessert we are having this:  It must be a good 12 years since I have made my last lemon meringue pie and it was much much simpler than I remember it being. I’m sure part of it is I have an excellent pastry mat and now I have very good tools such as a roller and pastry blender (oddly enough all come from Pampered Chef). The Kitchen-aid for making the meringue certainly doesn’t hurt either. Lemon meringue pie is a code word in my mom’s family. When asking what is for desert the response for nothing was lemon meringue pie, but then if there was lemon meringue pie the answer was the same so you never quite knew if one could be expected. Edited to add: I think the best difference now from 12 years ago; it will last a few days!

lava monster

I have finally cast off the Hap Blanket last night. I still have to weave in all the ends and block it but at least it is one thing off of my to do knitting list. Unblocked it just fits on the bed. It will be interesting to see how much it grows with blocking as my past experiences with the feather and fan pattern show that it can grow quite a bit.

I started working on the second secret project for my mother. There wasn’t enough yarn to do what she requested so I have paired it with some cashmere in my stash to help the yarn go a little further so I can create what I see in my head. All I will show you is the two yarns as the final product is suppose to be a surprise.

Last night we had some friends over to watch the last regular season game between the Leafs and Habs (Habs won 4-1). I made some appetizers with the leftover phyllo pastry from the Moroccan chicken pie I made on Wednesday. The triangles are filled with caramelized onions, feta, olives and sundried tomatoes and the little logs have bananas and honey. They were delicious!

Today we had delicious sourdough pancakes and I will be making sourdough bread today for the week.

cookie monster!

Well I did end up making ciabatta this weekend. The holes weren’t quite as big as the last time I made it but I did notice the dough was not as wet this time either. I also used the traditional bigga instead of my sour dough starter. It is still light, airy and delicious!

It went lovely with harira, a Moroccan soup, that we had last night. It is a nice thick soup, almost stew like, and is full of flavour. It is supposed to be made with lamb but since we have so much beef we used a hunk of stewing beef from our freezer.

I ripped out what I had done on the Dashing fingerless mittens. The cuffs were far too long for what I would need and I most likely would never wear them. So I’m adjusting the pattern so that the cuffs are smaller and I am also adding a thumb gusset.

I also had a craving for cookies last night so I made us some chocolate chip cookies with milk and semi-sweet gourmet chocolate chunks (Sobey’s was featuring them once upon a time). Here is a picture of a not so elusive cookie monster eating one.

Shiny

I don’t have any interesting knitting to show at the moment. It looks pretty much like it did last week only maybe a little bigger. They only difference it that I did cast-on my Dad’s second Christmas sock yesterday just so that it would be on the needles and rearing to go when I am.

However I did get a new toy on Tuesday. A really nice big shiny red toy.

I had to wait til Friday to get to try it out but I think it may have been worth the wait. I made rosemary focaccia. Focaccia was something I could not make by hand (I found this out by attempting to make it by hand; it took an hour of beating the dough by hand with a wooden spoon). It is really good and now I can make light airy tasty focaccia that is better than you can pick up from the store! It is most delicious when fresh out of the oven but it also makes great sandwiches, like the zebra tomato (from our garden), goat and cheddar cheese one we had yesterday.

I also made Pugliese yesterday. Instead of making a biga which adds the flavour to the dough, I used my sourdough starter. I also substituted red fife flour for the durum flour. It makes for a pretty tasty bread even if it does not look like anything special!

Making bread in the apartment just got a little too easy. I’m going to have to be careful or eat a lot more soup!

Plugging away

It has been a very busy weekend. I made a pan of brownies on Saturday but of course forgot to take pictures. This new recipe I have tried is rich and fudge-y and does not stick around for long. We made stuffed peppers filled with orzo, vegetables and feta to go with our steaks before heading out to watch UFC with the boys.

Today I made mini-butter tarts for birthday celebrations at work and beer bread buns for lunch and dinners this week. We had samples of both and they are both excellent. The gorgeous colour of the bread comes from Guinness and not the choice of flour.

We are making pizza for dinner tonight. I was in charge of making the dough and Sean was in charge of the toppings. He had to get his fingers in the shot.

I have been concentrating on knitting a chemo cap for a friend of Sean’s family. His mother offered to buy the yarn if I would knit it.

I have also been knitting more on the hap blanket than I probably should but it is so nice and mindless while being incredibly soft. I’ve cast-off the garter stitch centre yesterday and then promptly picked up the stitches around the edges and started the lace edging. Sean wants this blanket to be nice and big and suggested that if we ran out of yarn before it was the proper size we could run to the yarn store and get some more, which is a pretty good idea. I’m afraid it won’t make for good photographs until it is cast-off now that it only resembles a giant blob.

wednesday

This weekend we made tomato, onion and cheese omelets with our San Marzano (roma) tomatoes. They were delicious!

I also made some cranberry banana bread and shortbread with dried cranberries and chocolate chips this week. I only took pictures of the shortbread as the banana bread has already made an appearance on the blog.

There hasn’t been a lot of knitting updates because I have been mostly working on the Sprossling and there would only be a lot of the same to show you. I am nearly done as I have both sleeves, the back, and am completing the second half of the front. I have made a few modifications to this pattern (will post if they worked out) and here is hoping that they work out so I don’t have to rip back.