Knitting

Not Your Mama’s Banana Bread


IN THE OVEN

Just a quick post to share a new take on an old favorite:  Nutella Swirled Banana Bread.  Moist, nutty, with chocolate and banana hints, it tempted me, a dyed in the wool unfan of bananas.  Thanks to Girl Versus Dough for blogging this!

IMG_2175

Each day provides its own gifts.  Marcus Aurelius

B

Knitting

Yum


IN THE OVEN

I’ve gotten a little bit out of the habit of blogging my baking adventures, but rest assured, they continue.  I’m trying to keep my cooking/baking obsession somewhat under control but so far, I’ve not been very successful.  I made a new cinnamon raisin swirl bread the end of last week which I had every intention of taking to Stuttgart and sharing but, naturally, it got left on the counter in the kitchen.  So, we’ve been enjoying it ourselves.  The only real rub is that Mr. Iknead and I just can’t eat the baked goodies fast enough and sometimes they go stale or even moldy.  I think I might start sharing with the neighbors, would that be too weird nowadays?  Growing up, we always shared back and forth with neighbors, but that was then and we knew our neighbors well.  Now, though, we don’t, really, just mostly to wave when we see them outside.  Could this be a sign to break out of my cocoon and reach out?  I think it might be just that.  I’m thinking of banana bread today, that would be a good start.

Anyway, I wanted to share this recipe I tried last night that was so good – it was comfort food and crazy easy – Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak.  Here’s the link.  I fixed mashed potatoes to go with it and it was divine!  Real potatoes, too.  I know what my lunch is going to be!

THE GRANDS

Can you stand a few more pics of the smartest, most beautiful grandbabies in the universe?  I thought you could!

IMG_2101

The Sprout and Me

That’s the Karma sweater I’m wearing.  Turned out well, don’t you think?

IMG_2070

The Papoose and a Cupcake

IMG_2056

Babydiva in her Tutu – How Cute Is That?

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.  Samuel Johnson

B

Knitting

Getting My Hands Dirty and Bread Love


GOING TO POT

I’m still love, love, loving my pottery class and look forward to it every week.  Yesterday, we learned about building with coils and how to use an extruder, which is a really quick, easy way to make them.  Takes a little bit more upper body strength than I have, but by standing on a stool and leaning my weight on the handle, I can get the job done.  Here’s my pottery WIP from yesterday – with emphasis on the WIP!  I’m starting to feel more comfortable with the clay, catching on to how it feels when it’s too wet to add details (too wet clay is floppy and will slump and collapse) and then how it feels when it’s dry enough to hold the details or embellishments added.  Cool stuff, I think.

4-15-13

I didn’t get to finish this little pot, I want to flare the sides more and then narrow and smooth the top; since I’m in a class at the Art Center, I can come and go at the pottery studio when I want, not just at class time.  I may go later today and work on it a little more, maybe experimenting some with different sized coils and bases.  I love this!!

FROM THE OVEN

The Sundried Tomato Basil bread was such a success that I want to share it.  This isn’t my recipe, so to give due credit, the original was submitted by girlversusdough on tablespoon.com.  She has a baking blog, girlversusdough.com, one I’ve enjoyed following.

Sundried Tomato Basil Bread

1 cup warm water

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tbsp chopped dried basil

1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add 2 cups of the flour and all other ingredients to the batter and mix with dough hook until just combined.  (I used the paddle attachment and it turned out fine.)

2.  Add remaining flour 1 tbsp at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.

3. Remove dough from bowl and place in a clean, lightly greased bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

4.  Punch down risen dough and shape into an oval, stretching from the top of the loaf to underneath the bottom.  Place shaped loaf in a lightly greased 8×4 inch loaf pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Once dough is ready, bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.  So good!

Thanks girlversusdough for sharing this recipe, it’s delicious!

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.  William James

B

Knitting

Think Out of the Breadbox


THE TOMATO BASIL EXPERIMENT

Babymama and I went to lunch earlier this week and I had my first taste of tomato basil bread and now I’m hooked. I’ve baked bread off and on for years – mostly traditionals- whole wheat, rye, white, etc. so today, I’m stepping out of the breadbox (a little baking humor) and trying my hand at a Sundried Tomato Basil Bread recipe that I found on the Tablespoon website.

Success!  Simple recipe, great flavor.  This one’s going in the recipe box to be baked again and again.  With cheese, fancy mustard and smoked turkey  – two words – different and delicious!  Such a pretty loaf!

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.  Buddha

B

Knitting

Cookie Heaven, Josie’s Disappointment


NOT HALF BAKED, NOT HALF BAD

I’ve not done much baking blogging here in the last little bit, I’ve been obsessed with other, newer and sexier ideas and things, but today I wanted to share the Iknead family’s favorite cookie recipe.  I hope you love it as much as we do.

BEST EVER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES – REALLY

2 1/4 cups unsifted flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli bittersweet chips and dump in the whole bag)

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Stir flour, salt and baking soda together and put aside.  Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until blended and creamy.  Add vanilla and eggs, beating well after adding each egg on low speed until blended.  Gradually add flour mixture, stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop by tbsp onto parchment covered cookie sheet (this just makes for easy clean up, parchment is not essential) and bake 9 to 11 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on rack and enjoy!

I baked a batch of these yesterday morning at Mr. Iknead’s request and decided to photograph them and share the recipe.  Josie Pug is EXTREMELY interested in anything that goes on in the kitchen and was underfoot the entire time, as usual.  I know better than to put Josie within snatching distance of cookies, but I got distracted by something and she sneaked out the door behind me.  Before I realized it, this is what went down:

Cookies?  What cookies?  Just smelling the flowers is all.

Oh!  You mean these?

Well, maybe a little taste.*

*No pugs were harmed during this photoshoot.  Much to her disgust, I chased her down, took the cookie away, trashed it and banished her from the yard. I kept pushing her away but she got away from me on the last photo.

**Chocolate is extremely poisonous to dogs, the smaller the dog, the less it takes to sicken them.  Please keep chocolate, any chocolate, out of their reach.

Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you.  Ralph Emerson

B

Knitting

FO Friday 03/01/13, A Stash Tour


OFF THE NEEDLES

It’s finished and is all I’d hoped for and more!  Introducing –

Etched Rio Wrap!  TA DA!

I love it – it’s the perfect weight (not too hot, not too cool), the perfect color (love caramel), it stays put (not falling off one of my narrow to the point of almost nonexistent shoulders or the other) and the drape (OMG).  After some initial misbehavior on the yarn’s part, we came to an understanding and this project truly became a labor of love.

STEP UP, STEP RIGHT UP

After reading a post on uknit2, I decided to document my stash status and share a little of it here.  At the moment, it’s relatively neat and more or less organized, sock yarn, sport weight, lace weight, bulky, you get it, you’re a knitter but the more I looked the more odd I thought part of my stash was.  Here, you be the judge.

Stash as of 2/28/13

Sock Yarn

Stash as of 2/28/13

Sport Weight

Stash as of 2/28/13

Odds and Ends

Here’s what I think is sort of odd

Stash as of 2/28/13

A Ziploc/Shopping Bag Stash

Actually, come to think of it, it’s not odd at all that I hoard ziplocs and shopping bags.  After all, fiberphiles use more ziplocs than anyone else on the planet and for your safety, don’t get between me and a nice, heavy, handled shopping bag.  I won’t pretend to speak for other crafty types, I’m trying to stick with what I know – but no, it’s not odd at all, it’s more than a little smart, green and best of all, frees up more bucks for my fiber fixation.  So, strike the odd.  Smarter than the average bear, us fiberphiles.  I rest my totally turned around case.

IN THE OVEN

Not yet, kneading takes more than a little energy and I’m still promising Mr. Iknead to take it easy, but soon, very soon there will be fresh bread.  I knead it (get it?)!  I know, I love a corny play on words.

Fly by Tami Amis for more FO Friday treats – you’ll be glad you did!

Live so that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.  Will Rogers

B

FLASH – Bigmommy and the babies are in town and are headed over!!  Pics and report tomorrow!  Yay, getting a little lonesome!

Knitting

Hit and Run, FOF 02/01/13


OFF THE NEEDLES

They’re finished!  The Phloem Socks are finished, with ends woven in, tried on, pictures taken and finally, shown off for this week’s FO Friday.

This one shows a little more detail.  Turned out well, I think.

ALMOST ON THE NEEDLES

OK, let’s see –

Towels in dryer – check

Beds made – check

Banana bread in oven – check

Fire started – check

Fancy coffee in cup – check

Dishwasher loaded and running – check

I swatched my newest project last night, Etched Rio Wrap in Metalico Gold Dust, got close enough to gauge, wound the six skeins and I’m good to go.  I love the excitement of a new project, this must be what opening night on Broadway feels like!  Oooh, there’s my cue!

Sorry about the hit and run blog style this week, I know you understand, it being a new project and all.

What lights a fire under you?  Shopping for yarn?  Looking at patterns?  Winding?  Admiring someone else’s project?  I’d love to know!

Head on over to Tamis Amis for lots more FOF love.

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.  Demosthenes

B