Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sweater Knitting and Baking with Kahlua

It feels like forever since I've knitted finished a sweater and it feels Good!
The Longboard Pullover is a very wearable and comfy sweater that will follow me into Fall when worn with a long sleeve tissue tee.  The texture of the Rowan Panama fiber (55% viscose, 33% cotton and 12% linen) is most desirable and adds a lot of attitude...Oh Yeah!
The drawstring at the bottom of the sweater is so cute whether you tighten it around the waist or simply wear it loose allowing for a true tunic to be enjoyed with leggings and boots.  
The cowl collar has an eyelet row at the base of the collar and one that is encased at the top for the drawstring. Once you put this sweater on you find the drawstrings allow for several interesting neck options.
L.O.V.E.

 
Up next is yet another sweater, Coco!  The back is completed and  now I have moved on to the fronts of this V- neck cardigan with the cute little set in pockets.

 
KD'S Kitchen Karma

I have an infatuation with all things Fall so it's only natural that the Annual Local Fair excites me.  Doesn't matter if I get to attend or not, I get a rush seeing it on the news, seeing pictures of friends on Facebook with their kids or reading of the festivities in the local newspaper (yes, the Gardener still has his daily ritual of reading and actually holding the news in black and white print)!

Every year there is a section in newspaper showing the recipes of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for baked good.  Of course I'm all Over That and normally bake at least one of the winning recipes.

This year I baked the 1st place winning cookie:

Kahlua Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
1 cup butter-flavored shortening                                              11/2 teas baking powder
1/2 cup sugar                                                                            2 eggs
1 cup dark brown sugar                                                            1 Tbls Mocha Kahlua liqueur
21/4 cups cake flour                                                                 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon salt                                                                          3/4 cup crushed Heath Bars
 
1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees
2.  Cream shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and Kahlua (in an electric mixer) until light and fluffy.
3.  Sift together cake flour, salt and baking powder; set aside.
4.  Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture; increase mixing speed until well mixed.  Slowly add the dry ingredients (on low speed) and combine well.  Stir in the chocolate chips and Heath Bars.  Cover and chill the dough 24 hours to allow the ingredients to blend.
5.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop large scoops (about the size of a golf ball) onto lined cookie sheets. 
6.  Bake 11 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.  Rotate the baking sheet after 5 minutes for even browning.
7.  Cool and store in an airtight container.
 
It is easy to understand how this cookie won The Blue Ribbon! It is a chewy, delightful cookie that will be baked at my house again! The recipe resulted in 4 dozen Fabulous Cookies!
 
(those shiny flakes are the melted Heath Bar pieces...........BE STILL my Heart)
 
Wishing you a day filled with many Blessings and hope you enjoy everything that is Fall-Like in your life!
 
Hugs and Purls!
Dawn

Saturday, September 21, 2013

working the stash

 
Working the Stash is both fun and most satisfying, especially when one has it matched with a project one is excited about!
 
Plans are in place for my next sweater venture...Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaier.  This is a perfect sweater for my now retired lifestyle.  It is a casual, easy to wear sweater knit with a worsted weight fiber.  TwJaB will wear easily with jeans and tennis shoes or tights and boots (of course tights and boots will be my favorite choice)!   
 
 Knitting like Gang Busters to finish my Longboard Pullover and it's looking like a gauge for TwJaB will be started within the week!
 
My color selections are; Main Color -  Sweatshirt (light grey); Top Stripe and Bottom Sleeve Stripe - Truffle Hunt (brown) and Lower Body Stripe - Postcard (pinkish grey) 
 
 


KD'S  Kitchen Karma
 
This week more cookies were baked.  I have always loved Peanut Cookies, but had never baked them.  So this was a first for me.  The recipe certainly filled my Huge cookie jar and it looks like the jar will be empty in no time.  These will be baked again at my house.
 

I added a step to this recipe that will be used from this time forward....my first batch of  4 cookies were baked to test the baking time.  It was worth the extra batch time and I knew exactly the baking time for my oven that resulted perfect cookie for my taste.
 
One change was made to this recipe.  I added 1/4 cup more peanut butter to enhance that  peanut buttery flavor and make for a moister cookie.
 
Wishing you a day filled with many blessings!
 
Hugs and Purls!
Dawn

Thursday, September 12, 2013

what I'm up to now

It was time for a knitted sweater unlike stockinette or plain old garter; so now I find myself in the middle of lots of texture and I Likkie!  Today I completed the back of my Longboard Pullover.  Now on to the front, which is a duplicate of the back (another thing I likkie). Once the two pieces are sewn together it is finished with a cute Cowl neck with a Drawstring made of crocheted chains that runs thru an eyelet round at the base of the Cowl. 
 I have completed a couple pairs of socks in the last couple of months and here are a couple of pics of socks I have on the needles now.  I love them sooo much! The pattern Tadpoles, is a freebie that shouldn't be passed up.
 The yarn is a Merino, Cashmere and Nylon blend that is major lovable.  Look at the pretty little specks of pink here and there!!
 
 KD's Kitchen Karma

This afternoon I dug deep into my recipes and found this old, tried and proved Oatmeal Cookie recipe. It is actually the recipe on the inside lid of the Quaker Oaks Can and results in 4 dozen chewy on the inside while crisp on the outside delicious cookies. 

 I added white raisins and chopped pecans for a bold and filling sweet delight.  Sometimes it's just hard to improve on an old standby.

A few months ago I pulled my box of Quaker Oaks from the pantry to cook up a pan of breakfast oatmeal.  When I sat MR. QUAKER OAKS on my counter I was shocked to see how young he was looking to me now!!!  OMG...that's when I realized I must be slightly Maturing (and When did that happen?).  As a little person and young lady I remember wondering why they had that OLD WHITE HEADED MAN on the box!

Now days when I reach for that same oatmeal can I find myself thinking, " Man, Mr. Quaker Oaks is looking Good today"!  Again, sometimes it's just hard to improve on an old standby!
   
 Check out my new Cookie Jar.  I picked this up while doing a little TJ Maxx cruising last week! I had been looking for a new cookie jar and couldn't find one that was both practical and easy on the eyes. It is a large jar, 13" tall and 26" around with a heavy duty rubber gasket in the lid to keep cookies fresh for days. This jar Rocks and for $12.98, I think it was a steal deal.
Wishing you a day filled with many Blessings and take comfort when you recognize an old standby in your life!
 
Hugs and Purls!
Dawn
 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

a little summer knitting

Here is a look at my last finished shawl, Marigold by Susanna . 
 
 
  And here is an up-close and personal look at the beading. This is my second project this year with  beading.  I like the end result of a little sparkle a lot, but don't want to OD on it as it really slows me down.

 
 I cast on extra stitches to Marigold as I wanted it a set wider than the original pattern.  The 101 stitch cast on resulted in a very nice, very wearable width.  
 
 
This is my second shawl this summer knit with Blue Heron Egyptian Mercerized Cotton (OH MY, I just realized I failed to blog about that first project, Radiance....I'll save that for a future blog!) Anyhow, back to Marigold that was knit using #5 needles in the colorway called Blueberry. The color is so pretty and the shawl is lightweight and I really like it a lot, but was glad when it was finished. 

 
I think this one will be worn often.  Actually I'm going to a Birthday Dinner tonight and think Marigold will accompany me!!

 
Now to share a Momentous Occasion!  Dawn made cookies, Sugar Cookies, Yummy Cookies, that the Gardener and MIL can't get enough of Cookies!


 
The dough was cut into Halloween shapes!  OK...I know it's over a month till the Holiday, but if the store can already be selling and displaying Christmas this and the other.....then I can have Halloween stuff Sugar Cookies at my house.

 
This is a recipe shared by Kristenlynnea at her new recipe blog.  As wonderful as these did turn out for me, I think they were a bit thicker than the recipe calls for, next time I will roll about 1/2 as thin as my first attempt.  BUT they still were yummy and also wonderful for a little coffee dipping in the morning!

 
Wishing you a day filled with many blessings and a Momentous Occasion of your own.

Hugs and Purls!
Dawn

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is the Birthday of an awesome woman that taught me everything.  She is and has always been my Best Friend and my Biggest Cheerleader!
 
Georgie is beautiful and had a real taste for style right from the start. Here is a picture of her at 6 years old (which she gave me a long time ago).  Mom says a guy would come to your house, take your picture and days later appear with the finished product framed and ready to hang.  She remembers sitting on The piano bench in the parlor dolled up in a dressy little silky blue dress with a huge blue ribbon in her hair and lots of long curls!
 
Told you she is Beautiful! 
 
 
Mom is a great teacher not just to me, but to The Twin, many cousins and more students in the public school system for 38 years than could be counted. She is a strong, independent, nourishing woman that has set the bar high for us graced with her presence these many years.

 
Mom has always been my expert and "Go To" Person! From her I learned to sew (even pleated drapery and suits), crochet, bake pies, whip up potato salad and make mac & cheese from scratch! 
 
While feeding me spiritually and emotionally she continues to give my heart peace - like no other.
 
Happy Birthday Mom!  
Love You. Mean It.  
 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shrimp in Roasted Pepper Sauce and some Knitting Action

Last week I promised to give you my Shrimp in Roasted Pepper Sauce recipe, so here you go....

Shrimp in Roasted Pepper Sauce

Drain 12 oz Roasted Peppers
8 oz cream cheese
2 cloves chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teas red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped

Process all of above then heat in skillet till very warm.

Add 2 pounds shrimp to above hot sauce and cook until no longer transparent.

Serve over pasta of your choice.

(I actually used 3/4 cup chicken broth)

We loved this dish and already look forward to whipping and eating it up again soon!

Now for some knitting news!  Someone (that would be me) has a finished project Blocking! This wrap, Marigold, is designed by Susanna IC and is yet another project knit with Blue Heron-Egyptian Mercerized Cotton.  I'm telling you I just can't get enough of this fiber; so much so, I have a skein of red and two skeins of grey in my yarn bar. 

More details on the wrap later, but for now......DRY Marigold DRY!! 

 
Believe this or not, my bestie and I have wandered away from wraps/shawls and started sweaters.  Bestie is knitting up COCO, a lovely lacey cardigan in this beautiful book and I elected to knit a textured pullover found in this special Knitscene issue.
 
Meet my Longboard Pullover designed by Amanda Bell.  What a fun and simple 4 row repeat pattern and the Rowan Panama (linen blend) fiber is fabulous in this Dot Stitch.

Well, I think that's it for today.  But, tomorrow is a Very Special Day so check in if you get a chance.

                       Hugs & Purls
                       Dawn

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What I really want to tell you.............


After 28 years working behind an office desk 8 to 5 - 5 days a week, I officially retired on April 30th!  The last 3 1/2 months I have been taking time to relax, recreate, reconnect with family, friends, my home, my kitchen, and enjoying knitting time more than ever!

With work obsessions responsibilities left behind, I find myself infatuated with new avenues like, The Pottery Barn, home organization ( I have purchased enough baskets and bins to stock a small shop- but OH how fabulous my cabinets, closets and drawers look), Pinterest, thrift shopping, cooking and canning.....yes lots and lots of green beans and tomatoes-I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful teacher-My Mom
 
Looking forward, you may even see a few of my favorite recipes posted soon.  Actually I whipped up a Delightful  Red Pepper Shrimp dish this week that The Gardener and MIL ranted and raved about (thanks go to  my cousin, Sharon). This is wonderful when served over your favorite pasta!
   (Look for the recipe posting soon)
 
Lastly pictures of one of my latest finished knit, The Vaudeville Shawl.  What a Fun & Funky piece that I Love, Adore and Worship!   


 
 





 
This was knit using #5 needles with 2 skeins of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, color Wicked; 2 skeins of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, color Blushes; 2 skeins of Rowan Pure Wool 4 ply, color Shale and 2 skeins Rowan Pure Wool 4 ply, color Black.
 
Vaudeville was a rather pricey project, but my opinion...well worth it!  With quite a bit of yarn left over there may be an accompanying hat coming soon.
 
Hugs & Purls!
Dawn