Friday Musings

March 30, 2012

Yellow Lilies Off my needles.

I'm grateful for...

The stormy weather. It reminds me of the beach.
My knitting mojo has finally returned after almost two months absence.
It's still cool enough outside for my cat to cuddle.
My apartment, though I'm ready to move on.

And, of course, the fact that it's Friday. Hope you all have an excellent weekend!

Citrus Salt

March 26, 2012

Citrus Salt

Citrus Salt Citrus Salt

I just made two batches of citrus salt that were inspired by this post from 101 Cookbooks. The first batch was made with lemon zest, which I think is perfect over air-popped popcorn with a little melted butter and sugar (think toned down kettle corn). The second batch I made with lime zest, which is delicious over fish, or in guacamoles and salsas.

Speaking of lemons and limes, one thing I've noticed lately is that there are many people who can't (or don't) taste the difference between them. I agree that they can often be used interchangeably, but for me, I tend to like lemon juice in my baked goods and glazes, whereas I prefer lime in my more salty/savory foods. For instance, I'd be able to tell if someone used lemon instead of lime in my salsa, and I'd probably find it somewhat disappointing.

What about you?

Doily Easter Baskets

March 22, 2012

Doily Easter Baskets

Doily Easter Baskets

It's officially spring! And it's snowing. There are daffodils and cherry blossom, and... snow. It is a rather strange phenomenon. Still, despite nature's insistence on keeping things super cold for just a little while longer, I'm looking forward to all of the florals and colors associated with the new season.

With Easter just a few short weeks away, I decided to experiment around with my doily collection and some fabric stiffener. Check out my tutorial over on My Own Labels if you're interested.

And happy spring!

Best Hot Chocolate, Ever

March 16, 2012

The best hot chocolate.

So last week it was sunny and warm, and there were daffodils springing up everywhere. I was feeling giddy and excited for all of the spring colors and the warmer weather, and especially for all of the massive changes Matt and I have been working toward this year. And then this week happens, with all of its cold and rain and snow, and suddenly I’m forced back down to reality.

Hello reality.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years, it’s that I’m impatient. Once I make up my mind about something, I generally do what it takes to get things done, and the sooner things get done, the better. As a result, I often find the days between rather excruciating, and I have to force myself to relax and enjoy the moment.

  The best hot chocolate. Chocolate

So that’s what I’m doing right now. Good things are coming – that’s a fact. The weather will get warmer, the flowers will bloom, and all of our hard work will come to fruition. So for now, I’m trying to embrace winter’s last hurrah, because once we’re in the middle of summer, I’m really going to miss today.

Chocolate

So cheers to the end of winter with what is possibly the world’s most amazing cup of hot chocolate. I ran into this idea for hot chocolate made from homemade chocolate ganache on Molly’s blog – Remedial Eating, and I immediately knew it'd be worth trying myself. It was.

This homemade chocolate ganache stuff is definitely going to be a staple in our home, especially during the cold months. It wipes the floor with powdered hot chocolate packets, even the high end stuff. The only change I made to Molly's recipe was to lower the amounts of each ingredient so that it would fit happily into a wide mouth pint jar.

Chocolate Ganache
9 oz. dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe's)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Chop up the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Heat the heavy whipping cream until just before it comes to a boil, remove from heat, and pour over the chocolate. Let the cream and chocolate sit for 3-4 minutes, and then stir (don't beat) with a whisk until well combined. Pour into a pint sized jar or any air-tight container, and store in the refrigerator.

To make hot chocolate, heat up your milk. Add 1-2 big spoonfuls of the chocolate ganache to each mug, top with the heated milk, and stir with a spoon. So, so good.

An old project.

March 7, 2012

Striped Tube Scarf

Striped Tube Scarf

Do you remember that old red and gray striped scarf I was working on just before Christmas? Well, after ripping it out in frustration ten too many times, I decided it needed a long rest in time-out. I actually wasn't sure whether I'd pick it up ever again, but I finally figured it out this week. For starters, I swapped out the gray for a wheat color. Then I decided to knit the whole thing up as a giant tube so that I could alternate five rows of wheat and two rows of red without worrying about how it would float down the edges.

I'm really happy with my scarf now. And although it's a simple knit, I really don't mind. It has served me well while watching Sherlock on Netflix (the one with Benedict Cumberbatch) - if you haven't seen that show, you really should.

Oddly enough, this is the first knitting project I've picked up since the end of January. I guess you could say I lost my motivation for awhile, but it's definitely back. I'm excited to start on my Hawthorne now, especially since I was able to contact the designer for a copy of the pattern in written form (as opposed to the chart). I still plan to learn how to read charts, but this will help ensure that I do it correctly for my first time.