Category Archives: baking

12 of 12: Thanksgiving edition

It’s been a few months since I’ve done a 12 of 12! This time I marked it in big letters on my calendar so I wouldn’t forget. And this time the 12th of October happened to fall on our Thanksgiving weekend – it is today, the Monday, that is actually Thanksgiving, but our family has tended to have the big dinner on the Sunday night. Makes Monday easier to schedule in some sitting around. Anyhow, here are the 12 photos, a day in the life:

9:00am
So, I got up, ate my cereal, checked my internets, and thought while i was waiting between food and getting out for my run, I might as well wind up those 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces sock yarn that are waiting to go on the needles next. I then entered into a half-hour struggle with the 1st skein, after discovering that the end I had attached to the ball-winder was completely and irrevocably twisted around the rest of the skein in multiple annoying ways. The 2nd skein, of course, was fine and took 3 minutes to wind.

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9:30am
My second Forest Canopy shawl is still blocking, but will soon be ready to un-pin.
With that, I am out for a long Sunday run!

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1:00pm
My feet would like to report that they ran 15K in the morning and have filed a request for a home foot spa. They took me over to P’s to borrow a springform pan.

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1:05pm
On the way I stopped to admire the fall colours which have started to come in, and for some trees, have also started to fall quite literally.

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1:20pm
While at P’s I said hello to the kitties also. They continue to be terribly cute.

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2:00pm
Baking now, with Giada, this time an appetizer roasted red pepper cheesecake. Only hitch was needing to rig up a smaller portion of the springform pan to bake it in, which worked out thanks to a lot of tinfoil and some rice and pie weights.

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5:00pm
After some baking, kitchen work, and sitting and knitting, people start to arrive. Martha lets me use her as practice for taking pictures of myself. (Not seen here: the first 7 attempts).

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5:30pm
Setting the dinner table.

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7:30pm (Or sometime around there-ish)
Sitting down at the table and enjoying the feast. Or at least, the second stage of the feast. The first stage was delicious and cheesy and was very nice on crackers.

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9:00pm
Empty wine bottles, almost-empty plate of Pumpkin Cupcakes. Mmmm.

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10:29pm
Man was I ready to fall into bed – good food, good chatter, and also that big long run in the morning all made for a very sleepy Glenna. I managed the first two chapters of Jasper Fforde (I can read the 1st book now that i’ve finished Jane Eyre!), and then was out like a light until the morning.

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Happy Thanksgiving if you’re in Canada, and happy Monday if you’re not! May your knitting be close by.

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Filed under 12 of 12, baking, lace

Buttermilk Scones

Last weekend on the family trip to Stratford, Ontario, we stayed overnight not in a B&B but in a small rental cottage-like house. Since the house didn’t come with someone to make breakfast, I decided to take over the kitchen for the morning, and did a breakfast which turned into a sort of extended brunch experience. Part 1 was two kinds of scones with fruit salad to go with it, and Part 2 was a vegetable fritatta with oven-baked potatoes and salad greens on the side. It was all, shall we say, delicious.

Sadly I have mis-placed my source for the fritatta recipe, but I am happy to share the scone recipes with you as they are an amalgam of 3 or 4 ones I found online. Be warned, though, once you make them you’ll want them every day…

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Savoury Buttermilk Scones with Cheese

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Mix 1st 4 dry ingredients in a bowl, using fork or fingers.
Add cold butter (in small pieces), and work into the dry mixture using fingers, until the butter is worked in – combined mixture is slightly sandy/pebbly texture.
Add shredded cheese, mix in with fingers.
Add buttermilk, mixing with fork then with fingers. Work the dough gently (don’t knead it or over-do it, just work it together with your hands) until it all holds together well. Adjust with teaspoonfuls of flour or buttermilk if too dry/wet, as necessary.

Divide dough into 2 parts. You can do 2 circles and then slice into wedges, or as I did above and do 2 long rectangles and then cut into slices. Place the pieces on a greased baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 18-20 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.

Cool on wire rack, brush tops with melted butter if desired.

Sweet Buttermilk Scones with Cranberry and Orange

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter
large handful dried cranberries
zest of 1 orange
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Mix 1st 5 dry ingredients in a bowl, using fork or fingers.
Add cold butter (in small pieces), and work into the dry mixture using fingers, until the butter is worked in – combined mixture is slightly sandy/pebbly texture.
Add dried cranberries and zest, mix in with fingers.
Add buttermilk, mixing with fork then with fingers. Work the dough gently (don’t knead it or over-do it, just work it together with your hands) until it all holds together well. Adjust with teaspoonfuls of flour or buttermilk if too dry/wet, as necessary.

Divide dough into 2 parts. You can do 2 circles and then slice into wedges, or as I did above and do 2 long rectangles and then cut into slices. Place the pieces on a greased baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 18-20 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.

Cool on wire rack, brush tops with melted butter if desired, then dust with sugar. (I am itching to drizzle them with a bit of icing, actually, but I worry that might go too far for breakfast food. Hmm.)

Enjoy as needed!

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Knitting is my therapy

It’s only Monday and I’m already having one of those weeks where I want to hide under the covers and whimper and hope some source of stress magically goes away while I’m under there. (Stupid thesis revisions that I stupid still have to finish and stupid course that I stupid still have to write lectures for and stupid snow day we could have had tomorrow until the weather report changed and stupid dishes that won’t stupid wash themselves and and why is it almost March already and and and and and…)

So even though I have already had a late-afternoon bagel (all the cream cheese talk really got into my brain) and then dinner when I came home, I am still contemplating the dessert options. Specifically, the leftovers from Saturday’s cheesecake endeavour:

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I decided to do a half-cheesecake recipe with 1 of the cream cheese packages, and saved the 2nd for eating with pepper jelly (I’ve had a jar kicking around since the holidays). But all the recipe suggestions you folks gave me last time nearly had me hurtling to the nearest grocery store for more cream cheese and everything else required to make the recipes. But as it is I went for the things most likely to use up other things in the kitchen, and this Smitten Kitchen recipe fit the bill. Instead of mango slices I mixed some strawberries and chopped mango because that’s what was available at the store. As my friend Trevor said, this cake is dangerous because it tastes like it’s good for you. The lime flavour in the cheesecake and in the fruit syrup sort of infiltrate into the whipped cream and you forget that there is anything in there that has grams of fat. it’s SO GOOD.

You know what else is good? Venezia. She is beautiful. I haven’t knitted on her in a few days but hope to do a few rounds tonight. Here’s where she’s at now:

Venezia2

I’ll be honest. I’m 99% sure I should have switched the garnet heather (dark red) with the merlot heather (brown), but now that it’s taken on a bit of length, I think I’m OK with it. I’m not annoyed enough with it to rip back, and even though the colour values aren’t quite the same as the original Venezia colour scheme, it still looks like a damn gorgeous tapestry and I’m OK with that.

And lo, the knitting calls to me. I’m going to go enjoy the last hour or two of my evening.
Keep the knitting close by!

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Filed under baking, venezia

December 12 of 12

First, allow me to extend a warm thank you to blog reader Melissa who is generously and flatteringly sending me wine corks from France. Never fear, Melissa, I will do my best to see the new recruits are properly clothed! ::salutes::

Anyhow, here I am again, back for my third round of the 12 of 12. (of 12!) On this day I was at home for work and miscellaney, so I thought hey! this will be boring! No bus rides to Toronto or dining out or anything remotely exciting. I’ll have a shot of my laptop and then one of my knitting and then I’ll be done. HAH. No siree bob, this day had other plans.

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(1) 6:55am – I am vaguely awake and hear snarling coming from the living room. Yes, this means Beatrice has indeed encountered Arch Nemesis Orange Cat at the front window and is expressing her frustration through the usual snarling and pounding on window. Orange Cat is immune. I toss Beez outside for a bit to get it all sorted out.

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(2) 9am (ish) – post-breakfast, post-knitting pause, I enjoy the look of the 2 Korknisse (see companion shot in my post from yesterday) I knitted. They are so adorable I want to just stare at them and smile giddily the whole time. And it was nice to see the sun coming out after the overnight freezing rain.

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(3) 12:05pm – walking down to the grocery store and post office. (Job application to send off. It’s never to early to get rejected! Whee!) We didn’t get the snow the weather report had been calling for – just freezing rain! Boo! – but at least the sun is out and I can navigate the melted and clear spots on the sidewalk.

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(4) 12:45pm – at the grocery store. No, taking a picture of my own shopping cart doesn’t make me feel odd. Not at ALL. Thankfully it’s the middle of a weekday, fewer potential gawkers in the aisles ;) Here are just a few needed items, several for the evening cupcake baking.

When I was in line there was a middle-aged man behind me, looking at my cart and then looking at me. I smiled nicely and said, “Um, yes?” And he sort of blinked and explained that “oh, I always look at other people’s carts and then I remember what it was I forgot to buy.” And I chuckled and said, “oh, so what did you forget?” And he shrugged and said, “I don’t know! Your cart didn’t help me.” Well, I suppose we’re not all making Egg Nog Cupcakes, what can you do.

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(5) – Some time between 2pm and 3pm.
So, I get back from the store and let Beatrice back in (she will rarely go outside unless you’re out too, so this was a solid hour-and-a-half of cabin-fever-prevention-tactic), and as I’m eating my lunch I notice she has some splotches on her coat. At first i thought, “oh, she got rain dribbles on her from a drainspout” or something, but then they weren’t going away. So I came and sat next to her and petted her, pulling at the splotches on the back of her neck (which she enjoyed, purring all the time), and discovered it was greasy. What the heck, B? Sitting under someone’s car?

Sure enough, I blotted at them with a dry towel and it came off as pale muddy-looking gunk. Sigh. While waiting for an email response from Beatrice’s mummy I applied a soapy wet cloth all over her, then another towel, then another wet washcloth. I managed to do a lot of this while keeping her restrained on top of the bed (thanks B, I appreciate you bringing your oily self to my sleeping space). She calmed a bit (long enough to be photographed), but then after further advice I did the whole works again with a kitty-shampooed-rag and another towelling. In all of this she fled around the upstairs trying to get away from me and was appropriately peeved during the bathing. (You may insert your own sound effects here, complete with kitty flailing, growling, and scrabbling of claws). Miraculously I came away unscathed, which is more than I can say for the times when I put her outside for an hour of recreation on any other day.

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(6) 5:30pm – Working. The dissertation draft is 99% done, I am going through it now and inserting miscellaney and checking my bibliography and, you know, praying that it has some semblance of organization and thought. Close proximity of knitting and cheetos are important for morale.

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(7) 7:00pm – Dinner’s on, now the cupcake preparation can begin. Oops, must let butter soften first. These cupcakes are once again from Cupcake Bakeshop, specifically the Egg Nog ones with dark rum. I went with the Canadian way and used screech as my dark rum ingredient. That’ll work, right? In retrospect, I should have also had a wee tot of rum just for me, given the cat shenanigans. Hm. Note to self: make up for this failure tonight.

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(8) 7:30pm – Christmas decorations in my room above the TV. Aren’t they soothing? I think they’re soothing. Let’s look at them for a little bit. Ahhhhh.

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(9) 8:10pm – Dinner and knitting.
A 4th Korknisse member joins the ranks and a 5th will be quick behind. Dinner is chicken curry, very warm and soothing on a cold evening. Also, if you look closely there you can see it looks like I’ve drawn a little “hrrrmmmm” crooked mouth on the little dude, but actually it’s just a crack in the cork. (I am clearly just a little bit touched to be getting so much fascination out of these.)

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(10) 9:00pm – The Korknisse number 5 at the end of the day. They are still so adorable I could squee. By this point the cupcakes are also done, waiting for frosting.

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(11) 10:15pm – The Ivy League Vest.
The progress is slow this evening, what with all the other occupations of the day. (I had another go at Beatrice with the damp towel. It’s OK though, she had a bit of kibble and we were friends again by bedtime.) But I did get to the beginning of the neck steek which makes me feel comfortable, and by the weekend I’d like to be on the armhole steeks as well. The rows will start to get shorter now with the neckline decreases! Woo hoo!

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(12) 10:30pm – Cupcakes.
MMMM. I frost them but don’t sample yet. These will be for the staff meeting on campus on Thursday, when we will all appreciate the good cheer. I’ve still got the egg nog in the fridge, which makes me wonder if I’ll need to actually drink it. I don’t really drink egg nog…but then, if you can put rum in it then that’s not all bad, right? ;)

And a 13th bonus shot, which this month is meant to be based on the word “Believe.”
Me? I believe that knitters are changing the world. I thought it was about time I donated again.

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And a happy Thursday to everyone out there in blogland. The Korknisse and I thank you for reading. ;)

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Filed under 12 of 12, baking, cats, holiday knitting, korknisse

Thankful

Pumpkin cupcakes

(Yum.)

Beatrice the cutie pie

My next post will be a Finished Object post, with cupcakes as my witness.

I must thank you all for the lovely comments. Also, I find it extremely comforting that when I expressed concern about becoming a hermit lady who holes up with her yarn and tea and cackles to herself, many of you thought this was not at all a bad plan. Julie in fact wondered if there was a questionnaire to determine such a status…To which I say, surely if there is one then any of us who qualify should get prizes. ;)

In any case, my life definitely does not 100% suck, and for that I am thankful. (And for all of you out there in blogland.)

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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Touch of Pink

Ribby3

I started the first sleeve of the Ribby this weekend, and if I can apply myself it’ll be done in the next day or so. (Re: button band yardage in the red – I think I’ll be OK. Am confident enough to go back to it post-sleeves.) This is where the element of risk comes in through the colour selection (self-inflicted since the pattern itself couldn’t be easier to follow). How will the pink work with the red? Is the pink pale enough? Is the red strong enough as a base colour? Is it all fun and bright in an antidote-to-winter sort of way, or brassy and kitschy in a Valentine’s-accessory-gone wrong sort of way?

This was my colour plan from the get-go, and you can be darned sure that I’ll be following through on it, although time will tell the bright vs. kitch factor I suppose ;) Either way, I’ll have no shortage of pink in hand for the sleeves. Of 6 balls, I’ve only just started the 2nd one and am almost finished the increases for on this sleeve. Can’t wait to get to the seaming stage, it’s getting closer and closer.

I managed to get the cupcake baking done in the early afternoon today, preparing for this Wednesday when I’ll finally get back to Lettuce Knit, and on the happy occasion of Emily‘s wee gal Clara’s first birthday (I guess this means she’s getting less wee). Mama requested something vanilla-based, but I did a batch of chocolate as well for me all me for other chocoholics in the crowd. If I can just work out the transport issues, we’ll be all good to go.

Beatrice has had a long hard day of waking me before dawn, stalking the backyard, and napping in her favourite chair, but declined to comment for the paparazzi. She’s lucky she’s cute. ;)

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Filed under baking, cats, ribbi cardi

Productivity (sort of.)

There is baking in this post, (it’s been far too long!) but since this does still remain a knitting blog, I’ll start off with the Ribby Cardi. I’m onto the 2nd front piece, fuelled by a sort of escape-velocity speed of knitting wherein I hope that if I knit fast enough I’ll still have enough red left for both the fronts and the buttonband. I think it’ll be okay. I think. But if I have to place a Knit Picks order and try to only order 1 ball of yarn? Shee-yeah, right, that’s likely to happen.

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Before I get to the baking, lemme tells ya about the food. The veggies this week have once again been met with my full force. The swiss chard subbed in for escarole in this skillet recipe, the butternut squash became this fantastically awesome pasta recipe which I’d forgotten about, the tomatoes got sliced up with some basil and vinaigrette, and some potatoes and carrots became this yummy soup. If I can stagger back to the kitchen this evening, more of the tomatoes will be turned into some pizza with olives. YUM. It’s a lot of cooking particularly on the weekend, these last few weeks, but it’s worth it to have leftovers for the rest of the week. There are sadly no pics of any of this – I don’t seem to have as much patience to stop and take pictures before devouring my dinner – but I’ll personally vouch for all of those recipes. MMM.

And I did say there was baking. Oh yes. I’ve started taking cupcake requests. My friend E who works in the same office as me on campus, requested something in chocolate-mint. This isn’t my favourite flavour combo, but I am a big fan of Junior Mints candies, so essentially I tried to approach this by trying to make a cupcake version of a Junior Mint. I think it worked. I can’t say that I’ve tasted one yet (waiting until after dinner), although I have tasted all of the constituent parts and those tasted darned good to me. Also, my sister and our friend C stopped by post-baking and there was a lot of this going on:

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Mint-Chocolate Cupcakes

I know this is horribly unseasonal – in the markets there are apples and pears and pumpkins for crying out loud! and I’m sitting here making chocolate mint cupcakes? – but hey, whatever. This prep will come in handy come the holiday season. For this adventure, I combined a sour cream chocolate cupcake recipe with a mint creme filling and a simple chocolate glaze. My sour cream chocolate cupcake recipe came from Cupcakes Year-Round, but this recipe is pretty close. I like the way it turned out, just smack dab between cake and brownie texture.

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For the mint creme filling, I started with 1 can sweetened condensed milk, added 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (add more in very small increments to increase the flavour), and kept on mixing in more powdered sugar until it got to a nice spoonable consistency. You fill the cupcakes by cutting a little cone shape out of each cupcake, slicing off the pointy end of the cone, spooning (or piping) in the filling in the little hole, and then putting the top back on. Now, it’s ready for glaze.

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For the glaze, I warmed 1 cup of heavy cream to just-bubbling, and poured over 200g of chopped dark chocolate. (Dark chocolate for that nice Junior-Minty flavour, mmm…) Let it stand for a few minutes and then stir it up until it’s a good drizzly consistency, but not so thick that it needs spreading. Drizzle it over the cupcake tops until smooth, then let stand. (it will harden up.) Garnish with some crushed up peppermint candies for easy identification purposes. Mmm.

So that pretty much brings me up to speed on the weekend. Miss Beatrice the cat has had a long hard weekend of defending the backyard against her evil arch nemesis, Skinny Orange Cat (as opposed to Fluffy Orange Cat), so she’s been a bit restless. I on the other hand, have some resting up to do before dinner begins. Off I go to clutch the knitting and pretend tomorrow isn’t Monday… ;)

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Filed under baking, chocolate, cooking, ribbi cardi