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1  COOKING / Dessert / Dark Chocolate Bacon Pecan Pie on: November 23, 2014 08:17:59 PM
This is some next level pie!
The smokiness of the chocolate and the saltiness of the bacon really bring out the flavor of the otherwise subtle taste of pecans.

1 1/2 Cups Pecan halves (crushed pecans will do)
1 package quality bacon cooked and the fat separated
1/4 (?) cup dark chocolate chips

3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

oh and a pie crust

First cook your bacon. I prefer the oven method its cleaner and I don't have to watch it as closely. Place bacon in a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Separate the fat. I got 1/2 cup if you get a little more or less it won't really matter.

In a mixer beat the eggs then added the sugars, then added the vanilla and bacon fat. Set aside.

I first added a layer of chocolate chips to the bottom of my crust.
(note: I am an neurotic perfectionist. Arrangement of the chips and pecans has no effect on taste.)

Then I added a layer of pecans.

and I crushed three pieces of bacon and sprinkled it them over the pecans (you can add more or less to taste, I like just a hint)

and finally the last layer of pecans (I ran out of whole pretty ones so I filled the center with broken bits of the rest)

Then I filled my pie crust with the prepared filling. Repeat after me- I WILL NOT OVER FILL MY PIE
Pecan pie filling expands then contracts. If you overfill your crust, some filling will overflow and when the pie contracts you will have an inderfilled pie. I had enough of the sugar egg mixture to make another pie but I didn't want to mess with he ratio of indredients.
I fill just to the top of the pecans, and I place the pie on a parchment lined sheet just for good measure.

Now pie filling cooks slower than pie crust so I make a tin foil tent.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 350 with the tent, then uncover and cook for another 20 minutes without it.

Pecan is a night-before pie because you want to let it cool and form a nice crust on top. Then reward your patience  a la mode.
2  COOKING / Dessert / Cookies, cookies, cookies on: November 17, 2014 08:14:24 PM
I haven't posted in a while but I have been busy...making cookies!
I'm officially addicted. Royal icing is a generous and forgiving medium. maybe soon I'll post a tutorial.
Anyway let he picture obesity begin.

3  COOKING / Dessert / That Snitch Cray!- and its a cookie on: October 01, 2014 11:14:46 AM
I'm teaching myself royal icing cookie decoration, and I just got a round cookie mold. There is definitely a learning curve, but as soon as I figured out how to get a round cookie I knew I had to make a snitch.

I used floral wire and old book pages for the wings. There are some things I would do diferently but all in all I love it. Don't think I could eat it though.

Like I said...a learning curve.
4  COOKING / Dessert / Delft China Cookies- easy (but labor intensive) on: September 05, 2014 01:05:52 PM

I found a new labor intensive hobby (my favorite kind). Cookie decorating!
It all started on pinterest when I saw some pretty cookies and thought "I want to try that." 8 hours later...

It was harder than I thought but the learning curve was steep. By the end of this batch I already had ideas for the second.

First off I needed a better cookie. I used found this recipe and I love it. The dough was a bit soft so chill chill chill, but the cookies are firm and most importantly taste AMAZING! Must be the cream cheese.

Then I decorated them in three distinct stages. Outline, fill, indigo. This was the key to keeping them from going all schloopy like a Dali painting. I used this tutorial and a cheap plastic paintbrush from a $1 watercolor palette. I also made the indigo color by making a vivid blue royal icing and adding a touch of black.

It was a lot easier than it looks but did take a good deal of time. In the end I'm super pleased with the result.
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Frida Kahlo Hat (mostly knitted) on: May 29, 2014 09:28:40 AM
I have good news and better news. First I finished grad school, thats right I'm a licensed therapist (insert applause here). And that means I can re-enter the land of the living. While I haven't been positing I have been crafting and taking pictures.

I made this for my mom for Christmas. We have a tradition of making each other gifts and she requested a Frida
Kahlo (or as she says it Frida Carlo  Tongue ) hat.

I knitted he main body form a Princess Leia wig  pattern on Ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/princess-leia-wig and I just kind of fudged the rest. I chain crocheted the black and purpley red yarn together and braided that. Then I used the same color to crochet flowers. I kind of wish I used a redder color, or maybe made different colored flowers. Other than that I am pretty darn pleased with myself, and my mom loved it. She wore it for a month straight.

And this awesome lady is my mama!
6  COOKING / Dessert / Cheater Carrot Cake with Candied Carrots and Greek Yogurt Icing on: February 14, 2014 11:08:48 PM

It was my dads birthday on Sunday and I asked him what he wants. He said he wanted a carrot cake. ARE YOU S#%^ING ME?!?!? I am in my last 4 weeks of graduate school and this man wants me to bake him a carrot cake. Every recipe I looked at required more time and effort than I had to spare. And truth be told I dont like to bake. Its all so precise. I like to let Betty Crocker do the heavy lifting.

Imagine this picture with apple juice, a can of crushed pineapple, and greek yogurt instead of butter.


Cake Mix

1 cup shredded carrots

1 small can crushed pineapple drained

A bag of chopped pecans (or nut of your choice.)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

Cream Cheese Icing:

2 boxes of cream cheese

1 medium size container of plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup powdered sugar


2 Carrots

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Crushed pecans (or nut of your choice)

Sugar for dusting

1. Chop up the shredded carrots by going over them twice with a butcher knife (I was worried the carrot pieces were too big. )

2. Prepare the cake following the directions- substituting apple juice for water (that I happened to have in the fridge) and adding the chopped carrots, pecans, pineapple, cinnamon and ginger.

3. Pour the batter into two well greased and floured 8″ cake pans and bake according to directions until a fork poked in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven lets work on the garnish.

1. Slice the carrots thinly using your mandolin. Dont have one? Get one, its worth it.

2. In a medium size saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water. Boil the slices over a medium heat forsay20 minutes.  

3. Dust the slices in sugar and lay on parchment to dry. (This was the most tedious part.)

Now for the icing.

I googled recipes for cream cheese icing and the general consensus is  1 part cream cheese to 1 part butter. But this is my dad we are taking about. I want him to have many more birthdays. So instead of butter I mixed the cream cheese, greek yogurt and powdered sugar to make a perfect just-barely-sweet icing. Just mix until well blended. Then put in a frosting bag for ease of icing.

4. Once the cakes are cool stack and ice like so. I used the ring of a large mason jar to get a perfect circle of nuts. Then I places candied carrot slices around like petals.

I had to make the cake the day before (because I had class) and the sugar on the carrots dissolved. This made them look even better.

The cake tasted great. It wasn't brown at all, but it tasted like carrot cake. It was moist, but crumbly. Maybe an extra egg would have helped.

Here is good old patronis major making his wish.

7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Annies mitts with pattern on: February 05, 2014 02:28:21 PM

I know I know I have been MIA again, but I have a good excuse. I am 5 weeks and 20 contact hours from finishing grad school.

And I have had the best clinical supervisor. She has been amazing to me, and she is also resigning this week. She is an avid mountain climber so I wanted to make her some mitts to keep her wrists warm. To be honest I bought a pattern and I hated it. So I made up my own. And I am going to share it with you.

Now its my first pattern, and here might be (probably are) mistakes. If you have questions or suggestions let me know. And have fun.

Sock weight yarn I used a 240 yard skein and had plenty left over
Size B hook
1 Stitch marker (or a paperclip)

Slip stitch
Dc2tog, double crochet 2 together         
Dc3tog, double crochet 3 together

Chain 40 and join being careful not to turn

Left mitt
Row 1: Ch3, Dc2tog in 3rd chain from hook, *chain 1, skip 1 chain, Dc3tog in next chain *, repeat * to end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3.

Row 2: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * to end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3

Row 3-6: repeat row 2

Row 7: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space, chain 6, skip 2 chain 1 spaces, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space, *chain 1, Dc3tog*, repeat * to end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3. This is the thumb hole.

Row 8: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, chain 1,  Dc3tog in first chain, chain 1, Dc3tog in third chain, chain 1, Dc3tog in sixth chain, *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * till end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3.

Rows 9-11: Repeat row 2

Row 12: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, (chain 1,  skip 1 chain 1 space, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space), repeat ( ) 1 more time,*chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * till end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3.

Row 13: Repeat row 2

Row 14: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, chain 1,  skip 1 chain 1 space, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space, ,*chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * till end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Lay mitt flat with thumb hole to the right. Find and mark the center cluster.

Row 15: Beginning on the chain 1 space on either side of the marker- slip stitch to attach yarn, (chain 3, Dc2tog, chain 1, Dc3tog  in same space), *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * to last chain 1 space, in last chain 1 space (Dc3tog chain 1, Dc3tog), do not join.

Row 16: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, (chain3, dc2tog, chain 1, Dc3tog) in first chain 1 space, *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * to last chain 1 space, in last chain 1 space (Dc3tog chain 1, Dc3tog), do not join, fasten off.

Weave in ends to finish.

Right Mitt
 Follow pattern rows 1-14. Lay mitt flat with thumb to left. Continue rows 15-16.

8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Elven? crazy fingerless gloves on: August 31, 2013 07:17:21 PM

To start off I once saw a pattern that listed the experience level as advanced-beginner and I think that perfectly describes me. I can kind of do stuff but I'm still a beginner and if I can't finish a project in a weekend I'm probably not going to.
Secondly, I'm the last person you would guess to make or wear elven gloves. No judgment just not my style.

But I was looking for a pattern to practice Undecided lace and I found this Vogue http://store.vogueknitting.com/p-1902-fingerless-gloves.aspx one and talked myself into buying it. It's was awesome! I did it in two weekends, one for each glove, and it was fun.

I had the skien of Souk which I don't like because it breaks so easily but I loved the color. I bought it with fantasies of making a leafy something or other. The pattern wanted 2 200 yard skeins but I did it with just one.

The construction is what I love most. Basically you make two stars, stitch them together, then fold in half and stitch at the points.

There are a couple mistakes but hey for a first try I am proud, I love them, I think they are badass, and I would never wear them. So my favorite part of this whole story is that I wrapped them up pretty and left them at my friends door. She would totally sport them and I got to do a random good deed.

9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Yarn ball jar on: July 23, 2013 12:09:52 PM
Just a quickie.
I am having a bum day and want to my moms house for some pity and a hug. She said "when you can't solve a major problem solve a minor one." So I made a yarn ball holder for the knitting project in my purse. I found the pretty pasta sauce jar in her cubbies and all the thing I needed in her junk drawer. Hammer, nail, bigger nail, super glue, and the plastic casing to a drywall screw. And I hAve to admit it felt good to acomplish something.
Oh and I'm fond of using clip one earrings as stitch markers.
10  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Stash Buster Art Yarn on: July 11, 2013 08:05:13 AM

I made a mess. My yarn was a tangled jumbled mess. I saved most of it but this portion was unsavable.

But it seemed a shame to throw away such good yarn. There is some Noro in there and some Malbrigo. Most of it was wool, but there was cotton and some silk ribbon and a bit of acrylic too. I had that tangle for about a year now stubbornly refusing to throw it away. Then last weekend I got an Indian Head spinning wheel. Here I'll show you that too:

So I went through my tangle and cut of 1'-2' pieces and put them in no particular order in a container.

Then using the wheel I plied it with this yarn (originally because it was the finest wool I had but I love how the rainbow effect lent to the eclectic quality of the yarn)

I would show you the in process pictures but I'm still very new to spinning and it takes all the concentration I've got (plus some). But I ended up with this.

It's 199.75 yards by my measure. Now to think of a project to use it on.
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