S’more-cakes

My progression to making up s’more-cakes this morning started like this:  1. I want pancakes.  2. Maybe chocolate chip pancakes.  3. Oh look, a modification next to the recipe to make graham cakes.  4.  Oh look, there are mini marshmallows in the cupboard next to the chocolate chips.  5.  Oh my god – s’more-cakes! (At this point, you should picture a gigantic light bulb above my head!)

The basics – take your favorite buttermilk pancake recipe and replace half of the flour with graham cracker crumbs.  You can buy these in a box, or crush up some whole graham crackers very very finely.  Don’t add the chocolate chips or marshmallows to the batter.  Instead, pour some of the batter into your warm pan and quickly add the chocolate chips and mini marshmallows  into the batter/pancake.  Like this:

Let the pancake cook until it is almost ready to flip.  Keep pushing the marshmallows down while the pancake is cooking.  Right before you flip it, it should look like this:

I would recommend cooking the pancake a little bit longer on the first side than normal.  Of course, turn down the heat a little bit so it doesn’t burn!  This is because once you flip the pancake, you only want it to cook for about another minute so that the marshmallows don’t completely melt away.  Once you’re done, you should have something like this:

They were quite delicious!  I would serve them immediately after cooking, so that the marshmallow doesn’t get hard and weird.  They were quite sweet and moist, so they didn’t need any topping (besides, syrup would just be strange!).  I’m not sure it this is the perfect way to make s’more-cakes, but it was certainly a tasty first try!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

More food!  In addition to the crockpot, I also received a pizza stone and peel for Christmas.  I was pretty excited about this – I hate how pizza tends to be soggy in the middle and burnt around the edges, so I was pretty sure that the pizza stone would solve all of my problems.

The inaugural pizza was BBQ chicken.  I bought the dough fresh at the grocery store and topped it with barbeque sauce, a ton of red onion, bacon, chicken and mozzarella cheese.  In reading the instructions for the peel, they noted that you should dust it with cornmeal before putting the dough down.  I would like to know their definition of the word dust, because my pizza got horribly stuck!  I had to lift up the edges and keep throwing more and more cornmeal underneath the pizza to make it slide off the peel and onto the stone.  I did manage it eventually, and a major dinner crisis was averted.  So, in all – a liberal coating of the peel would be a good idea!

Verdict?  The pizza stone rocks!  The bottom of the crust was crispy, but the inside wasn’t overdone.  It was probably the best pizza I have ever made!

New Year’s Resolutions

I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions, but this year I’ve made a few.  A major one is to get back to posting regularly!  Secondary to that, I’ve decided that I need to entertain more at home, so that might benefit the blog as well, since there is usually food involved in entertaining!

Speaking of food, I got a crockpot for Christmas!  For its inagural run, I decided to make a recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which I also received for Christmas.  There is an entire chapter devoted to slow cooker and pressure cooker recipes.  Eventually I settled on Lamb Vindaloo.

I was a little concerned about my ability to find a boneless leg of lamb, but it was right there in the Star market by my work.  It was a little over five pounds – huge!

After trimming off most of the fat (and skin?) I cut the lamb up into big chunks, about 1½ inch cubes.  After seasoning with salt and pepper they were seared in some oil.  It smelled so good!

While this was going on, Tim played sous-chef and chopped onions and garlic.

I cooked down the onions, then added spices and then the garlic.  This also smelled wonderful!

The meat and the onions were refrigerated separately overnight and then in the morning I dumped them all into the crock pot with some broth and let it cook all day.  Once I got home I thickened the sauce with some flour, added some fresh cilantro and made some basmati rice.

It was a wonderful meal!  And it made so much that we had leftovers for days – which is an amazing thing considering the voracious appetite of my sous-chef!

I have a feeling that the crock pot will be making many appearances on our dinner table for the next few months!

Seascape

I finished Seascape a while ago, but I hadn’t had a chance to take any pictures.  I finally found some time, and some sunshine.

The finished dimensions came in at 10.5″ x 88″, leading to a pretty respectable scarf.  The edges seem to curl in a little bit, even after blocking, but I rather like the effect that it creates.

Before blocking:

During blocking (I really need to get some blocking wires if I’m going to continue lace knitting!):

And a few more shots of the finished scarf:

This is going to be the perfect scarf in the fall.  It is really soft, but pretty thin so it won’t be too warm.

Garden 2009

While I wasn’t blogging, the garden grew!  I thought that a big update of what we have growing was in order.  Saturday it didn’t rain, so I got a chance to take some pictures.

Here is the garden as a whole (please don’t judge our shaggy lawn, it’s been rainy everytime there is time to mow it!).

The garden is divided into three sections with little stone walkways in between.  I’ll take you from left to right in pictures!

All the way on the left we have the tomato plants.

They are just starting to flower.

Next up are some beans.  I planted a row of yellow and a row of green beans, but only the yellow ones really took off.   Which is fine by me, because they are my favorite!

The beans are also starting to flower.

The next section starts off with some pepper plants.  There are both sweet and hot varieties.  In the front are a few brussel sprout plants.

There are tiny peppers on a few of the plants.

Next up are some vidalia onions.  These look a little sad, all falling over.  I weeded them, and I think that the weeds were helping to hold the stalks up.  They should be okay though (I hope).

And next to the onions, finishing off the middle section are some carrots and a second crop of radishes that are just coming up in the front.  Our first crop was starting to get woody, so we pulled them all and re-seeded the section.  (I gave up trying to weed the carrots, it was just a lost cause.)

In the final section, we have some green onions!

Also, there are some melons, which are doing very well, which you can see in this picture of our lettuce.

Fresh lettuce may be my favorite thing in the whole world.

In between the lettuce and the green onions, we had planted some spinach.  Unfortunately, it succumbed to aphids and all of the leaves curled under.  We were forced to pull it all up, but on the upside, we just planted more lettuce!  Hopefully we can keep the aphids at bay.

At the back of the garden, along the fence we have some climbing plants, like snap peas, which are flowering and producing like crazy.

And some cucumbers, which got a late start but are coming along nicely now.

Oh look, I have a blog!

The other day my sister complained to me that I hadn’t blogged in ages – and she was right!  And I don’t even have a good excuse for the last month!  I finally defended and started my new job, oh and moved – so there has been a lot going on, but it’s starting to quiet down now.

So, I’m back.  I have a lot of things backlogged to blog about; I’m going to try to get to them all in a week or two.  But right now, I am excited about this:

This just came in the mail today!  It’s 13 skeins of Briggs & Little Atlantic.  13!  That’s a lot of yarn.  But I’ll need it all – because I am making sylvi.  I am so excited!   Sylvi was my motivation during the last push to write my thesis.  I promised myself that once I was done that I could make it.  Well, try at least.  The pattern looks a little intimidating, but I love a challenge!

In case you’re wondering why I’m knitting a heavy wool sweater in the middle of summer – I want to wear this as my fall coat, so I have to get a jump on it!  Luckily Atlantic is a bulky weight yarn, so it won’t go too painfully slow.  And, it will be a nice break after the laceweight from the Seascape.  Which I did finish, I swear.  I’m just waiting for a day with some sunlight to take some decent pictures – it just has to stop raining!

Off to swatch!

I Can Hear My Knitting Laughing at Me

Loudly, in fact.

I’ve been annoyed at knitting lately, and I was trying to hold on to a project that wasn’t really working.  First, recall this awesome swatch that I knit ages ago (March 3rd, actually).  I made that swatch in preparation for some awesome fingerless gloves that I had envisioned in my head.  Enter problem number 1 – a designer of anything more complex than scarves I am not.

But, ignoring that fact, I went for it.  I measured and did math (problem number 2 – math is not always my strong suit).  I thought really hard about increases and decreases and how to center the cable design perfectly on the back of my hand.  Through all of this hard work, I managed to create this:

I was excited that it was spring colored, bright and happy.  I ignored the fact that it was a little too small and started to cut off the circulation to my fingers.  (If you’re counting – this would be problem number 3.  Look how red my fingers are in the picture!)  I was giddy over the fact that the cable pattern was centered so nicely that the top worked its way right up my middle finger.  (I thought maybe that I could flip people off in style).

I was so excited about it that I was going to immediately cast on the second one.  Until I lost the first page of my notes.  (Problem # 4!)  I didn’t want to start a new project because I was afraid that I would never finish this one.  So I looked and looked.  I worked on other little craft projects here and there, finished up some things – but didn’t start any new big knitting projects.  I figured my notes would turn up.  Finally, I faced the facts.  I picked a new project, and went in search of some  laceweight yarn I had leftover from making a present for my sister.

I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I looked in my yarn bag, in my craft bin, under the couch, under the bed, under the dresser.  I tore apart the stack of things on my coffee table.  I was really ready to give up.  I looked under the couch again, and then I found this:

Yup, it’s my first page of notes from the fingerless glove.  It figures, right?  But, I was over the gloves, and now I really wanted to find my leftover Cashwool.  So I checked the yarn bag again – and there it was, right on top.

I thought about going back to the fingerless gloves.  Adding more stitches, ripping out the first one, doing them right.  And then I realized that spring has almost passed and I probably wouldn’t wear them anyway.  So I started on this:

I’ve even made a little progress:

But please, don’t remind me that I don’t really wear stoles either, ok?  I’m pretending it’s just a really wide scarf.


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Handmade Christmas

Projects Done: 34
Projects to Go: 0!

All projects are finished! Check back here after Christmas to see pictures of everything all together, and all of the super secret projects!
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