Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A lovely Christmas

We all enjoyed a really lovely Christmas this year. I hope everyone reading this did as well. I must report that I did manage to finish all my Christmas knitting in time. Yay!!

I really overdid it in the baking department and ended up with way too many sweets. Next year I'm going to have to restrain myself. I don't know why, but I think I have it etched in my brain somewhere that Christmas means lots of food and sweets!
IMG_0825Christmas morning we woke up to a wonderful breakfast of cinnamon rolls before we opened up our gifts. Usually I make the short-cut cinnamon rolls every year, but I can't find the big package of Rhodes frozen rolls in my grocery store any more. Last year I made my own dinner rolls and froze them before assembling the concoction the night before. In doing a google search this year I found a recipe for overnight cinnamon rolls on a blog. I was a tad skeptible because the directions said that the rolls raise in the refrigerator overnight and that you light the oven and let the rolls sit out at room temp. while the oven preheats. I followed the directions carefully. The only thing I did differently was making the dough in my bread machine on the manual cycle and I baked the rolls about 5 more minutes than was called for. They were perfect and were enjoyed by all! It was big hit and will now become a family favorite I'm sure. There are a few variations that I would like to try, but not until all of our sweets are gone. ;)

I made the usual apple pie and pumpkin pie. We celebrated my father's 94th birthday, so I had to make his favorite cake (1-2-3-4 cake with buttercream frosting.) IMG_0812and buttertarts andIMG_0813mini-pumpkin cheesecakes. Then we had IMG_0817chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps, butter cookies, pizzelles, and Aunt Louise's butterscotch cookies. IMG_0815Plus I tried to make some peppermint bark and failed miserablely. I carmalized the white chocolate chips in my microwave by mistake. Next time I must be sure and use a double boiler! IMG_0809 The peppermint bark tastes good and actually the white choolate chips that caramelized taste pretty good as well, but not very pretty to look at. My husband thought it would make a good topping for ice cream.

All in all we had way too many sweets. I gave away as much as I could. We were supposed to visit my husband's family (2 I/2 hours away without snow) on Sunday, but we had to cancel out because of the blizzard. I was going to bring most of the sweets there, but couldn't. It was very disappointing not being able to go. We toyed with the idea of just going anyways, but realized the trouble would have been in trying to get back home. My husband eventually made the decision to stay home. In our younger days we would have attempted it, but it was better to be safe rather than sorry. We ended up with a foot and a half of snow on the I'm glad we played it safe.

Today my baby had his wisdom teeth removed. My middle son had his done back in August before starting college. He had difficultly with the anesthesia and got sick before we even reached the car....he had a tough time of it. I hoped and prayed my baby would have it easier, but actually he had a really hard time waking up and ended up getting sick on the ride home. He is doing much better now, but I'm tired....running up and down the stairs with the ice packs on and off every 15 minutes. I'm just happy it's over and now hopefully he'll be all recovered before school starts again on Monday.

I will end with my ancient Christmas Angel IMG_0808 that I made I think when I was in junior high school. It's made out of a cardboard cone and wings covered with wrapping paper and yarn for hair with a glittered pipe cleaner halo. One of my old hair bows for a collar.  Every year since I was a kid it has been on top of our tree. I carefully put it away each year and she never seem worse for the wear. I'm always amazed that this piece of my childhood has survived. A crafty recycled  item made before recycling was in vogue. A very crude ancient decoration, but I love her just the same and my boys have never objected to her having that special spot on the tipity top of our tree every year :)

Stay tuned....I'll be having more posts about my Christmas knitting.
Happy New Year with lots of happy knitting!

Copyright ©2006-2010 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

I can't believe Christmas Eve is just one week away. I've been VERY busy knitting for Christmas. I definitely will have lots to show you after Christmas.

For now all I have to show you is a loaf of bread:

I'm back to making my bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I used a little bit of whole wheat flour and a little bit of rye in addition to the all-purpose flour. I LOVE this is so good toasted. I find the best way to bake the loaves is on parchment paper. I've tried dusting my peel with flour and corn meal and it always ends up sticking. Since I've been using the parchment paper it's so easy to slide the unbaked loaf on to my stone.

I'm even using the parchment paper for pizza. It makes the crispiest crust. The best recipe for the crust can be found here ( post/Ravelry Link) The only thing I do differently is the parchment paper. I don't have photos of pizza, sorry. It just gets eaten too quickly. One of these days I'll have to take pictures.

Tomorrow I hope to get started on my cookie baking. I don't think I'll be making as many cookies as I usually do...there is just not enough time this year.

Hope everyone is happy and enjoying the holiday season.

Copyright ©2006-2010 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Gift Bag Pattern

I'm at a loss for material for a blog secret Christmas knitting is to blame. I had thought I would post about the Christmas stockings I knit many, many years ago, but I did that post four years ago. I can't show you any of my current knitting, so then I remembered I wrote up a pattern two years ago when one of my readers asked for the pattern. I sent her the pattern and she was supposed to test knit it for me, but unfortunately she never did and I did not hear from her again. Guess she changed her mind.

Here's the pattern:

Click here "DYO"(Design Your Own) Drawstring Bag to download pattern in PDF format.

ERRATA******Please note that this pattern was corrected 12/16/2010. One more decrease row  of k2tog has been added. Sorry for any inconvenience. Many thanks to Nancy. She found the error in knitting her bag. Check out her beautiful bag here. ******

In the future, I think, I'll need some test knitters to check out my patterns' accuracity. Please let me know if you are interested and I'll make a list and contact you when and if I have another pattern to post. Thank you :)

spiral rib drawstring bag
spiral rib drawstring bag

I'm calling it "DYO"(Design Your Own) Drawstring Bag Pattern, because it is pretty much a simple pattern and it is easily adaptable to any stitch pattern that is a multiple of 10. Lots of possibilities :) Check out my original blog post, 3 years ago--yikes!
If you want a gift bag this holiday season, this is a pretty fast and easy bag to knit in holiday colors and it will be an extra little gift for that special someone.

Hopefully the pattern is without errors, but if you should find that you are having trouble -- please let me know.

Happy Knitting :)

Copyright ©2006-2010 hakucho, All Rights Reserved.