Monday, October 27, 2008

Brief update: knitting schedule

No cooking lately (despite plans for more pumpkin bars, apple crisp and apple cupcake/muffins this weekend- I went drinking with D instead. I deserve it, thesis is very stressful), but some knitting updates.

I had family and in-law family up this weekend (it was the Big Meeting of the Families), and mom took me to White River Yarns, the LYS (local yarn shop), and she treated me to nearly all the yarn I expect to need for the next 2-3 months!! (nearly because two projects were not included, but these are projects that will use inexpensive yarn from Joann's, so I'll buy them in small batches with the 40% off coupons, as needed).

This pleases me greatly, half because I can't actually afford my knitting addiction, and half because she was nice enough to do this :) Thanks, mom.

I'll try to post a picture of the new purchases tomorrow, but I got fancy yarn and fancy needles for Grandma for her birthday, 2 skeins for my Color Swap partner (one I'll knit and one I'll give with an appropriate pattern), one skein to finish a semi-secret project (i.e. Christmas gift for someone), 4 balls for cup cozies for all my family, one skein of classic self-striping sock yarn for myself, and a hat pattern that'll hopefully turn into a hat for my dad (using stash yarn- he lost the one I knit him last year (or possibly the year before) and that project left more than half a ball). I also bought (with my own money) some nice turquoise worsted merino at the farmer's market, which'll turn into chevalier mittens for mom.

I'm currently working on Muscari socks, and completed the heel last night. Once I finish that, I'll start the color swap project, assemble that package and mail it off, and then cast on a Christmas gift of the same swap project pattern (since I'll be on a roll with it by then), and then I have two other Christmas gifts that are just barely beyond casting on. Then hat, finish the semi-secret gift, another (larger) gift, and baby stuff. The baby stuff, however, will be started after Christmas, because none of it's really needed until January.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Here's how we celebrated this important holiday:
With a chocolate cupcake and two iced teas from the Boardwalk Bakery at the Boardwalk Hotel at Disney World. (sadly, the cupcake wasn't all that good)

I'm back from Disney, I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, but it'll have to wait til Thesis 2.0 is handed in.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

National Cupcake Day

I'm woefully behind on posting! so sorry. I have several FO's to show off, food pictures to share, a package to post about, and a gift that I'm incredibly excited to use. However, thesis is priority, so blogging waits...

oh yeah, and I'm going to Disney World tomorrow. woohoo!!

Anyway, rumor has it that Saturday, Oct 18th is National Cupcake Day. There is, however, some discrepancy and discussion with the National Food Holidays site, which say it's December 15th.

Um, why not just celebrate twice? These are cupcakes, people, they can have 2 days!

I will make doubly sure to eat a Disney World cupcake (or perhaps just a Norwegian or French pastry instead) on Saturday.

Edit: I've been perusing the National Food Holiday website, and I am just so amused. Every day is the special day for some food! I wonder how possible it would be to eat the day's special food, every day for a whole year. Only... I think I'd have to skip National Scrapple Day. I am not Chef Duff.

Monday, October 13, 2008

FFE Swap Question of the Week #5

I'm far behind on other things I mean to post, but this question is easy for me.

Do you like football? Who is your favorite team?

I hate football. Passionately. I hate how obsessed people get with it, I hate that it takes forever to play the stupid game, and I find it incredibly dull. I also dated someone once whose life revolved around football, and he'd never do anything else if his team was playing, and had to talk about it constantly. It got old, fast.

I attend superbowl parties because the secondary goal of the party is to eat, and usually to eat chili (which I love and never make myself) and I enjoy the company of my friends. I also have learned to bring knitting to superbowl parties.

Back in high school I hated football because I thought it was very sexist- it probably still is, but I care less about that now, because I'd never want to play myself.

I hate the Patriots because they put Hartford in a small uproar for a while (they'd planned to move the founder's cemetary (i.e. where all the 1600s people are buried) to build the stadium). I also hate that Brady guy because everyone's so gaga over him.

I can't wait til football season is over :)

Sports I like: basketball, baseball, hockey. Sports that have action (I make an exception for baseball) and movement.

(I'm not this bitter normally, football is just one of those things)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

In which I am unoriginal

Man, I'm bummed about this recent post from Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Double Kisses Chocolate Cupcakes
where hershey's kisses are set inside cupcake batter, so have an ooey gooey center once baked.

I am bummed because I was going to do this, and now the whole world (well, the whole cupcake-obsessed world, I suppose not everyone reads Cupcakes Take the Cake) will know about it!

But, um, I actually got the idea from an episode of Dinner Impossible on the food channel, the one where they're cooking dinner for Hershey's employees, and it was something one of the Hershey's chefs mentioned. So, yeah, I have no reason to be bummed.

Especially since I have new very awesome recipes to share (pictures soon, I forgot to snap any of the cookies this morning.

Pumpkin Blondies (link to follow, is down). Oooh. Although I highly recommend severely cutting back on the chips- I couldn't really taste the pumpkin over the massive amounts of chocolate.

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies! Easy, cute and tasty.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catching up

I've been up to quite a bit lately, too much to spare time to blog about it.

In order:
My FFE swap spoiler sent me a package!!! It's all sorts of awesome. She sent Everyday Food's Great Food Fast, a book I've been lusting after since it was released. I can't wait to try some of the recipes! Also pink super, super soft sock yarn that's already queued up to be flutter-by socks. A pattern for Wendy Bernard's Somewhat Cowl (yay!!), a red and black draw string bag that's so going to Florida with me in a couple weeks, and some treats for Pansy. Pansy was pleased.

Saturday we went apple picking. We came home with 20.5lbs of apples, which have been baked into apple crisp, eaten, and pondered. I'll make more apple cupcakes tomorrow, and maybe also apple pie (or apple pie this weekend), and LynneP (I think) from the Sha-recipe Swap on ravelry sent a recipe for apple pie bars that I may also try. I wonder how those would go on the plane? Hmm.

The rest of the weekend was spent working (and knitting in the breaks), because YESTERDAY I HANDED IN MY THESIS. and ok, this is just draft 1 of the thesis, and to my advisor so he can look it over before I revise and hand in to my committee, but still, this is a huge relief. I'm taking tomorrow off to 1. celebrate, 2. rest, 3. catch up on all the stuff I've been ignoring (like birthdays- hopefully my family will understand and not get annoyed with me for not calling the birthday people- also cleaning, putting away laundry, doing laundry, etc etc.). I'm also taking tomorrow off for some scheduled condo nonsense, which is less exciting.

I finished my chevalier mittens (photos soon) and cast on a pair of fetchings originally meant for my color swap partner, until I remembered she's allergic to wool, and that's why I'd planned to go to WRY to buy her alpaca, I knew there was a reason! However, I'm not happy with the previous two pairs of fetching that I've done, as I used horribly inappropriate yarn (knitting bulky yarn on size 5s just to make the gauge right is not so clever), so I'm keeping the current fetchings.

Finally, FFE Swap Question of the Week #4: What are you going to be for Halloween?
Last year I meant to be Persephone (white gauzy stuff, a pomegranate), but I took ill and my 103 fever prevented me from doing any celebrating (however, the Halloween party I was planning to attend was extremely lame- I wish various powers that be would stop shutting down the Grad Student Council's social events). Since I never had a Halloween last year, I believe I'll pull out the gauze and buy another pomegranate and try again.

Speaking of Halloween, Clint and I are very excited that next year, we might get trick or treaters! I don't know what's up with New Hampshire, but I've not once seen kids trick or treating here. I was mildly surprised when no one came trick or treating at my condo complex the first couple years I lived there (actually, my first year here, I was stuck in lab til 8pm and was so, so upset at the thought that kids were coming to my door and I was missing them), because one side of the street is all houses, most with kids, and my complex is 70 units where you don't have to enter any doors to get to the unit doors, so very safe, and no one comes. Even driving around on Halloween night at dusk, I see no kids. It's strange. I hope Massachusetts celebrates, because Halloween should not be a holiday just for 20-somethings and college students!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thoughts on baking

It's probably pretty obvious by now, but I love to bake. I love the act of baking, the results of baking, contemplating baking, reading about and looking at photos of other peoples' baking, etc, etc, etc. I think it's just about the funnest thing ever.

Clint and I went to Umpleby's for lunch, each had a sandwich and a cup of tea, and um, when you go to a bakery, you kind of have to buy some sweet baked lovely. We had chocolate souffle. (this is somethign I need to try to bake sometime... perhaps when I have a proper house and no slammy-the-door neighbors)

Now, I'm down to two apple cupcakes from Monday's batch- it was such fast work because I gave Clint's office so many, and brought some to lab, and also ate them for breakfast (hey- I assure you, no one would have any complaints about this apple cupcake recipe done in a bundt pan, sans frosting, as a breakfast item). Because I'm nearly out of baked goods (by the time I go to bed tonight, I will be, except for those quinoa cookies... did I ever mention those? They're interesting but kind of weird- granola bar-like, but very, very soft and don't hold together very well), I've been pondering baking.

I think I want this:
A mini cupcake (or muffin, whatever) pan! Think about it- you want a cupcake, but you really just want a little bite. You can't leave half a cupcake in the container (for a variety of reasons), so mini cupcakes! Plus I bake often for events and things, and sometimes I think cupcakes are just too big.

And, of course, I'd need little mini cupcake wrappers of adorableness:

Um, while looking for the photo of the mini cupcake pan, I saw this pan, and oh my...

Have you ever seen something so cool?!? As one who definitely prefers the corners, this might be worth the $43 KAF is charging. Or... um, can I have a wedding registry at KAF? At least 30% of our wedding guests will be an easy drive from the store!

Up for the weekend: more baking. I'm not entirely sure what, but something tasty. I'm in a recipe swap on ravelry, and this month's theme is pumpkin. So far I've received a recipe for pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting filling. Unfortunately, I don't exactly have a jelly roll pan, but I think I can fake it with my sided cookie sheet. I may make that- I have to bring food for choir break on Wednesday, I wonder if a jelly roll type of thing would work. I also recently came across some good recipes for pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin waffles, so maybe I'll make those... this is, of course, assuming I'm awake enough either morning this weekend to do more than pop something in the toaster. I'll keep you posted.

ps. I'm now knitting mittens.
Clapotis #2 is kinda almost done, but I've run out of yarn. I've started some chevalier mittens (pictures soon) and am enjoying it so much I hope to designate a single skein of yarn from a shop in Jamaica, VT for a second pair. I hate buying one skein, because I never can think of any good small projects. However, if mittens work, great- I need new mittens.

I finished the pinwheel blanket, photos soon. I've run out of yarn on it, but I'll buy more and make another blanket with similar colors. I have a total of 7 babies-t0-be to knit for. !! lol it's a weird clustering.

(btw: all the items I've shown today are linked, click on the photo! Buy me stuff! just kidding)