January 7th, 2009 | 6 Comments »

I made these last weekend:

My mother gave me the book Hello Cupcake this Christmas. Ok, so it is probably the favoritest Christmas gift in the history of Christmas gifts other than the iPod. Oh and the George Foreman grill with interchangeable plates. But Hello Cupcake is the BEST cupcake book ever! Ok, so it is the only one I have or have ever seen, but I lurves it!

Anyhoo, I wanted to make the Aliens, but it was insisted that for a baby shower, I make the stupid babies.

So I did.

They were cute.

And tasty.

And messy.

October 1st, 2008 | 1 Comment »

One of my oldest friends Jen (of SugarChef fame) was on TV!  She looks so good… and so smart… and with such pretty cakes- check her out HERE. Um,  “Jade” didn’t seem to be paying very much attention. I noticed that my girl Jen had to repeat herself several times (I hate that.) I’ll bet Jade could use a session with my therapist on active listening techniques and not just waiting for her turn to talk, you know?

I’m mostly teasing. Jen rocked. Because she is a culinary rock star you know. Not many in the world so yes, I’m proud.

Of course I do like cake. Making them, not eating them. And reading about making them. Oh, and watching shows about making them.  Ace of Cakes is still my guilty pleasure show on the food network, mostly because I like to watch them flip their shit out over deadlines and cakes falling apart and then the stoner/cake designer/fix-it-man “Geoff” swoops in with his monotone voice and his bag of tricks and manages to always save the day just barely before the bride/client/celebrity/birthday boy walks in. Or it could be edited to heighten t.v. drama, I dunno.

January 24th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

Post’s Blueberry Morning changed their recipe and for months I have been struggling to find a cereal that Jeff will eat, the key ingredients being dried blueberries and the ‘perfect’ flake combination that isn’t too puffed and isn’t too grainy (?!) I didn’t really know what he is talking about either, but I’ve been knocking myself out buying cereals that might tempt him. “Honey, how is THIS one? No?” Ok back to the drawing board.

Jeff has two cereals that he likes right now, one is Peanutbutter Cap’n Crunch (which doesn’t count obviously because it is all sugar and What are you, seven? Not to mention, ew.) and the other is a praline granola I purchased at Trader Joe’s on a whim (for ME) which isn’t exactly right around the corner. So I had to get creative because lord knows the man would starve without me, or worse, increase his weekly bacon intake..

I made some homemade granola last night based on this recipe for Apple Flax Granola at one of my favorite cooking blogs, Vegan Yum Yum. I’m not a vegan, but I like to cook and I love eating as many vegetables as I can- and I’m inspired by vegetarian and vegan recipes with the use of unique ingredients that add nutrition to your meals. I had to make some minor alterations, of course. First I subbed dried blueberries for the currants (because we weren’t so sure what currants were and if they are in the raisin family I would lose Jeff, not to mention the previously stated blueberry prerequisite.) Also, since he has a tad of a sweet tooth I wanted to ‘enhance’ the sweetness of this cereal without adding any real ‘sugar.’ So I added sesame seeds and a small spoonful of molasses and increased the baking time so it would be very crunchy.

We achieved success! I am very happy with the results and the man is happily munching on yogurt, granola and fresh fruit for breakfast (two points for me and the great battle of nutrition!) But there are already some downsides, now I have to MAKE him his freakin’ cereal. Good thing I made a bunch, we should be good for at least a week or so, depending on how much he really likes it.

Posted in Cooking
November 13th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

Imagine it surrounded by blue jello and you have the finished project. It is two sheet cakes stacked (then frozen) then carved in the general shape of a naval aircraft carrier. (the most expensive part of this cake were the airplanes- but they were absolutely necessary for the success of the piece and they came with the bonus blue sky backdrop.) The tower is made from two mini-loafs, frozen then cut (a very important step) and then iced with pretzels stuck in for the antennae. All in all, it was a very cool cake to make and pretty tasty (so I’ve heard) so I think it to be a success. I do believe I may have peaked in my short career as a hobbyist/amateur cake chef. I don’t think I can out do this one, so I’m going to retire for a bit- maybe focus on pies. If you want to see REAL culinary talent, please check out my friend Jen at sugarchef.com. (Hi Jen!) She is a south-Floridian now and I haven’t seen her in ages, but she remains a pastry chef and artist that has impeccable taste and talent, and I love her dearly!

Also, I finished my Le Slouch last night (helloooo- free pattern over at Knit and Tonic!) Actually, it started as a Christmas gift, hence the no progress photos so as to not spoil the surprise, but then I remembered how last year, I made all these cute beaded fingerless mitts and never a pair for myself (sniff sniff) so I decided to keep her.

Besides, I had to retool the gauge a tad (I was using a finer yarn than the pattern called for.) And I swatched. Ok, I semi-swatched so it is a hair bigger than it could be, but it is a slouchy beret and I love it. Crap, don’t ask me to recall the yarn. I bought it at Hobby Lobby a month or so ago. I actually think it is actually a baby yarn, but it is cool with this little white and pink wrap around the black, made the seed stitch really ‘pop.’ Yes, probably asscrylic, but it is soft and I don’t care. I do have an affinity for black and pink together, so this was meant to be my hat. (See how I justify being so far behind on the holiday knitting and keeping an FO for myself?) I’m not going to sweat it, really.

Tah!

November 12th, 2007 | No Comments »

This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. Friday was Megan’s Birthday and we went to an awesome Middle Eastern restaurant in Alpharetta called Byblos. We managed to behave ourselves, although I did boogie a little with the belly dancer. On Saturday morning I had to come to the sad realization that I wouldn’t be able to bake a cake in the shape of a naval aircraft carrier for Charles’ big send off AND get amply beautified AND go to knitting, so alas, I had to miss yet another meeting.

Let me tell you, Rachel outdid herself on this party. Little brother is going into the Navy this week and will be missing all sorts of holidays, so she had Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s represented Saturday night. We all got all fancied up and took some photos, it was a great send off. And since I behaved myself so well the night before, I took this opportunity to eat very little and imbibe the entirety of a bottle of wine. I was pretty pickled when we got home and by all accounts I didn’t make an ass of myself- just giggly- so that is a good thing. The cake was a hit, photos to follow. This one was a real challenge with the instructions “make a boat or something.” But I somehow pulled it off. No more cakes for a while, I’m caked out and I don’t think I can top this one.

Yesterday, Jeff’s friend August was in town from Los Angeles for a brief visit. So we went to Virginia Highlands for sushi followed by an evening at the Punchline (Ted scored some free tickets through a site called freecycle?) We saw Kenny Rogerson, he was very funny. Now, I normally don’t go out all day and evening on a Sunday- I neglected both house cleaning and laundry- but it was well worth it for some much deserved fun.

So, I’m exhausted, I need a day to recover from my weekend. Getting a flu shot today (bleech.)  But I don’t want the flu. Nope. No flu for me.

Posted in Outings
October 25th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

So, first- I finished Sheldon and I used a retro yarn color palette (and the yarn itself is probably ‘vintage’ since it was once a friend of mine’s Grandma’s Stash.)

He is far from perfect, and might be a tad over stuffed, but he is a cute little f*@&er! I added a little turtle ‘smirk’ to cover a minor flaw and now I love him even more! (He is to be a gifty for a special friend this Christmas!)

Next up, I cooked dinner last night. And not just any dinner, I was inspired by this recipe in the recent Southern Living- Corn Waffles and Cajun Shrimp and Vegetables and I made up my own “Spazz” version with what I had already in stock. And OH-MY-GOD everyone should make their cornbread in waffle irons, seriously, it is like all crust (like this brilliant brownie pan that I covet, covet, covet.) Anyhoo, I took no photos because I was too busy making an Apple Pie. I’ve been thinking about pie for weeks- maybe months. I dunno, just cuz. And I got to talking to my Mom yesterday about wanting to make a pie (crust from scratch and everything) and that Sarah Lee or whomever in the frozen food section just wasn’t going to cut it. So I did. I Googled “Apple Pie” and came up with this recipe.

This is me in full on pie mode- which was then served a la mode- so that is a good thing.

P.S. and by the way- God Bless the Cuisinart with dough blade. Moo-moo watched my every move. I suppose in her own way she was ‘helping.’ My pie wasn’t as pretty as the one in the photo online, but it was mighty tasty.

Yes, that is an mmm-mmm good Campbell’s soup bowl. Because hot pie and Häagen-Dazs could get sloppy on a plate, you know? We ate pie and watched my new favorite show, Pushing Daisies. If you don’t watch it- you must- it is one of the best things on TV right now (other than Heroes) and it comes on at 8 PM on Wednesdays.

And now for a work-in-progress. I teased that I was actually making a corset to go with a yet-to-be-revealed Halloween costume, and yes, I am indeed making one. Jeff doesn’t understand how it is going to hold anything up without boning, but it isn’t really a structural garment, it is more like a really wide belt. Can you handle it?

Now, it only looks like a big, ribbed, square, I swear. In actuality it is an ultra-sexxy corset fit for a queen. Hmmmm. I think the super-sexiness must come with the crochet border, right? Nothing sexier than crochet. I’m almost finished really and not worried at all. Nope. I’m sure I’ll find the time tonight- er- no, maybe tomorrow, um, wait going to this concert, ok, then on Saturday, the day of the party, sure thing, I don’t have anything else to do that day, no problemo.

All you SAFF-heads, have a rip-roarin’ good time and please, please, bring your schwag to the next meetin’ so I can ooh and aaah and rub my face on your fiber. You don’t mind, right? My face is normally pretty clean.

September 27th, 2007 | 5 Comments »

I don’t know why I do it to myself- I don’t even really enjoy eating cake all that much- but I feel the need to bake for people’s monumental occasions that celebrate their birth (i.e. birthdays.) Sick and sad as it seems- some folks apparently like this tradition and I may have just screwed the pooch on this one as, it seems, the birthdays keep on coming and I’m having to outdo myself time and time again. (but seriously, will it ever be better than the great Pirate Cake collaboration 2007? I think not.) In this particular instance, I made a birthday cake in the shape of a purse for Rachel’s 30th birthday from a recipe I found here.

Totally cute idea. I followed the instructions exactly (well, a minor strawberry cake mix substitution) but almost exactly. I got this late Friday night:

Now, I must interject that as I made it, Jeff was expressing his concerns from a basic construction standpoint. But I wanted to follow the directions. And for him to shut up. (Not necessarily in that order.) I should have listened to Mr. Erector-Set (tee-hee- erector) because at 6:30 AM on Saturday morning, I had this:

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