Wednesday, October 5, 2016

This and that

I had to play yarn chicken to finish up my Banana Leaf. It's blocking ladies and gentlemen but it's done and it feels good, no matter what it ends up looking like ...

We are prepping for High School enrollment for my son. The process here in SFUSD is "fair" and tedious. It's like a part time job. I've been to a private school enrollment fair, a Parents for Public School (great organization) enrollment workshop for the district and various school tours. This is just getting started. He's interested in a selection school which means he'll also have to prepare a portfolio, which means my "nag-ometer" is going full throttle. However we are checking in to make sure we understand his perspective. I think once he realized his opinion matters in this decision he got more on board and a little less grumpy.

The Kid has also been working 2 soccer teams, school and club so that's basically 6 days a week of soccer. The school team made the playoffs and so I think this is our last week of that. Then we are back to one team until track starts up in the Spring. I'm really happy for him that he made the school team this year. He was too timid to try out in 6th and then didn't make it in 7th. I can tell that just making the team has made him feel really good.

I still haven't finished my summer socks or fixed my friend's sock, but I have been baking. I try to have a baked good for the team and their families every club match. (I just don't have the bandwidth to support the school team in the middle of the week.)

These are my son's new favorites, pinwheels. They taste pretty too :)

Then there is the labor of love that is English Muffins. I did a "formal" bake for my first go (Though I admit to using 2 parts All Purpose flour to 1 part Bread flour to manipulate the crumb/texture a bit.

3 days of labor? What does this mean?This means I did the starter one night, then let the dough rise another day in the fridge and then shaped and did a final 1.5 hour rise on the 3rd day. I tried to griddle them and then finish them in the oven.

It was some work, but I think I'll try it again to make a prettier version, but I also want to try one of the short cut recipes. Because, well, I want to know what the difference is.

What is keeping you busy? What is keeping you happy?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Sweet Surprise

Sometimes the insanity just hits me. I knew my husband was having some friends over for dinner and I was going to miss most of it. So I decided I should bake cookies Tuesday morning before work.

The boys didn't flinch and proceeded to get ready for school and work, while I set about something sweet. 

It begins with a sweet idea.

After baking these chocolate cake cookies for about 10 minutes you slap half a big marshmallow on them. And bake for a few more.

When they've finished cooking you're supposed to cover the marshmallow with Martha's frosting, thus creating a surprise. I had to go to work though and thought they'd be fine in a semi-surprised state.

My husband though reminded me of his food professional status and took over, opting for a glaze instead of frosting. (Left alone with any of my cooking or baking projects he WILL tinker and/or modify)

They are a very fun cookie.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kathy B.'s Monday Q&A

I've been struggling to get a post up and out because I have been way too up my own butt with work and personal. I'm okay everyone's okay I'm just trying not to keep writing I'm busy. I have a million things to say, but I feel self conscious. I've been struggling to find my voice for a post, so why not just borrow someone else's? ;)

Kathy B's Q&A is such a great way to get me back posting and feel reconnected. Here we go! (and thanks Kathy B. for being you and keeping a positive vibe out there going...)

Would you rather have someone sit by you and teach you a knit skill, or watch something on you tube and learn?
I'd rather have someone show me. I'll settle for the Youtubes, but I'm old school, as long as it's someone I like.

What is the largest number of stitches you have ever had on a circular needle at one time?
I want to say something like 360? That twin leaf shawl thing was really really long...

Would you rather learn falconry or swim with a dolphin?
I'd rather swim with a dolphin, but no touching.

Coffeecake or cheesecake?
Oh coffee cake! I love to make them and eat them. My love of cheesecake sort of dissolved when I started making them. Though I am due to make one soon. (I try for once or twice a year, since it's such a crowd pleaser.)

Bacon or sausage?
What kind of torture question is this? I'm a meat eater. I believe in the business of bacon, we sometimes cut once slice to jazz up some braised greens or veggies. But sausage is so versatile as well. I can't decide. BOTH.

Do you use any solar energy? 
No, we don't own our apartment and we don't have any gear that's solar either.

Witchypoorides again or Henpecked.? (Blue Moon Sock Yarns)
I'm going with Witchy poo rides! Such fun colors and I am all for fun socks :) Oh heck who are we fooling, I'm for all kinds of socks.

How much does a wool cycling jersey cost today?
Dunno, but I had to look ... cheaper than making one!

What handknit gifts get the most usage per year, in your family?
Hats and handwarmers. My sister still wears a scarf or 2 I knit for her.

Apple butter or applesauce?
Pork chops and apple sauce. Hmm. I haven't had apple butter in a really really long time.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Some assembly required.

I'm not going to lie. I prefer to the baking assembly these days to the knitting kind where you have all those pieces you have to stick together and get the seam right.

I am going seamless whenever I can for garments these days and I'm OK with it.

But my knitting is slow. Just a few stitches here and there, just enough to keep a complete level of insanity away, but not enough to post or show. Soon my dearests, soon.

So back in the kitchen I've been going full-blown Great British Bake Off, Anglophile these days. 

These are some mini victoria sponge cakes by the Great Mary Berry. I love her bubble gum colored outfits and the way she talks about cake. I modified it just a bit, just because. I ran out of strawberry jam that was NOT from her recipe, because quite frankly, I didn't have time. I used my friend Lady H's homemade plum preserve. I spread a tiny bit of that down directly on the cake and then piped down the heavy whipping cream, instead of drizzling jam over double cream. I also used a bit of confectioner's sugar in the cream. I think it helped stiffen up the cream but also just a little sweet to cut the tartness of the plum jam. I then put on a few thin slices of fresh fruit (because I grew up in California and it's what we do) and ma voila!

These cakes are different than regular yellow cake just by the texture in my opinion. I'm not sure why but they are really delightful. Slightly crispy exterior for me (maybe the amount of butter I used in my tins) but still springy to the touch. 15 minute bake. Fabulous.

I got the "spool" cake pan at Joann's when I was out killing time (and emptying out my wallet) with Mom last week while she was visiting. That place is dangerous for both of us for different but multiple reasons. 

If you're not making your own jam, the recipe is solid and pulls together easily and quickly. Remember for best results use a scale. 😃

Friday, July 29, 2016

These are finished ...

I managed to drag these socks to Europe and finish them there and block em' at home. They are a gift. I hope they fit!

I really do love this Patons Kroy sock yarn. As discussed on Instagram, it's a total work horse yarn and it's pretty and it's squashy.

It might be a little heavier in weight than some of the other sock yarns, but I don't think that's a problem. Maybe fiddle a bit with a US 2 but this was a very satisfying knit. I was sad it took me a little longer than I intended, but that's pretty much my knitting life in a nutshell.


I tried last night. I was exhausted. Technically I was trying to fix a hole in a sock, but my eyeballs were swimming and I couldn't read the small instructions on my phone very well. I will have to do battle with that another day.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wednesday WIP: Christmas in summer or Watermelon cocktails?

New socks! I know I was talking all this smack about how the Banana Leaf was my one love. I lied. It was a case of summer lust and I'm easily distracted by the next knit.

I blame all the summer sock knitters out there and Kathy B and her fabulous Christmas in Summer knit stockings. 

My excuse of course is the scarf is becoming too unmanageable and socks are portable 😍

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Picking up the pieces

have pulled my old Banana Leaf scarf out of hibernation. It's really a perfect summer knit though I have to say that summer knitting in San Francisco isn't exactly ... taxing.

The wind was whipping today. The morning was partly cloudy but I barely needed my cardigan for my lunchtime putter.

Anyhow sunshine and green. This is my dedicated knit. I started and stopped casting on socks. Stay tuned!