Thursday, December 11, 2008


This is a Christmas secret is from my handspun, although the pictures are not very clear (on purpose!) I know the intended recipient will love it!

I have been a little worried lately after hearing that my LYS is going to be sold as the owners are moving... I love the atmosphere there, and the comfy couches that are always available to sit down and knit on. (I talked to my husband about wanting to buy it, but with 3 little kids running around I think it may not have been the greatest idea!) To my surprise they've already found a (possible) buyer who will, hopefully, keep everything the same. I'm still a little concerned it could turn into one of those cluttered little get in and get out places, but hopefully not!

Cake Topper

It's been quite some time since I've done any modeling work (for cakes!). I put this one together for a friend's baby shower, and I'm fairly happy with it, although I think I need to get into practice again if I'm going to be doing any more! Sorry for the crummy photo, but I was running out of light and wanting to take the picture already!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stocking Update

Coby's stocking is finished, and has been for a few weeks! Yahoo!! I like this pattern, although in my excitement to start I went to Michaels, as my LYS was closed, and ended up buying some acrylic. Now I'm wishing I had held off until I could have gotten in to pick out the good stuff. Oh well, he loves it, and is so excited that Mommy made him a Christmas stocking, that it doesn't really matter. I really like the monochromatic look though. Overall, I'm pleased with how this turned out! Pattern is Christmas Sampler from Knit Christmas Stockings! by Gwen Steege.

Isaiah's stocking is about half finished, but it shouldn't take too much work to get that one finished up before the big day! I haven't taken any pics of it yet, but will get them up here as soon as I do!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Busy, busy, busy.....

Well, it's been awhile. I've been around but busy, busy, busy. I've been running between the ski hill, skating rink and swimming pool for the past month and I'm exhausted.

I was a lifeguard and swimming instructor for 6 years before having kids and I always swore that my children would be swimmers, I would never have one of those kids who wouldn't put their face in the water...right? WRONG. My oldest is (at 4) just starting to put his face in the water, but won't jump in, won't float, won't blow bubbles, etc. My 2 year old is, well, a 2 year old! What he will and won't do varies depending on the day. We're going to continue with swimming lessons as long as it takes, it doesn't matter to me if my kids are the best swimmers, or if it takes them 10 tries to pass the first level. They need to know how to swim, I want them to be able to swim well enough that they can be comfortable in the water. Hopefully that happens, someday!

One of the other places that I'm splitting my time is the skating rink, which is great because it's right behind my house. A two minute walk tops (with 3 kids and equipment) so at least I'm not wasting any time driving! It's my four year old's second year skating, and he loves it. He wants to play hockey (like most small town Alberta boys!), but so far he's just in learn to skate, and actually doing surprisingly well. I'm wondering how long it will be before I'm a full fledged hockey mom!?!

Lastly it's been skiing. He loves skiing, I love watching him ski. He seems so little, but my husband started when he was 4 and went quite regularly with his family, and then me until we got pregnant and decided snowboarding might not be very good for our baby. So or the past 5 years or so we haven't been skiing or snowboarding much, but would like to get back into it with our kids.

After just 2 lessons he's pretty much mastered the bunny hill. He can do the snowplow, turn and stop fairly consistently, but his favorite part is the magic carpet, because that's what takes him to the top of the hill so he can do it again!

Although I've been busy with kids activities I have been knitting, and baking quite a bit. I'll get posting more regularly now... I hope!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Peach, Blueberry, & Thyme

I made these for the wedding. Interesting combination, but tastes wonderful. My husband who's not all that fond of cupcakes even enjoyed them!

Peach, Blueberry & Thyme Cupcakes
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/3 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1/2 c whole milk
1 peach mashed
1/4 c blueberries
2 t fresh thyme, chopped

Beat butter and sugar 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg and yolk, beating until combined.

Whisk together dry ingredients. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to butter mixture, beat well, add half of milk, beat well. Continue adding dry ingredients & milk, beating well after each addition, ending with dry ingredients.

Fold in mashed peaches, blueberries and thyme.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350.

Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 c (4 oz) cream cheese
1/8 c butter
1 t vanilla
2 c icing sugar
Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and icing sugar, mixing until desired consistency is reached.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I love fall, the crispness in the air that hints at the coming winter, the color of the leaves falling down, and the crunch they make as you walk through them. I also love the smell of all the delicious apple treats baking in the oven. Here's the recipe for some great apple cupcakes!

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes
1 c butter, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c applesauce
1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Whisk together flour and cinnamon, add to butter mixture. Fold in apples and applesauce.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes at 350, or until tests done.

Mead Frosting
1/4 c butter
3 T milk
2 T mead
3 + c icing sugar

Cream butter. Add milk and mead. Stir in icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Well, I finally finished my Monkey socks by Cookie A. I started these socks in the April, and just recently finished them. It wasn't that the pattern was difficult, or I didn't enjoy it, I did, I just kept breaking needles. Every time I'd be at my LYS I'd either forget to check for them, or they'd be out. Finally I remembered, and after a couple of hours they were finished!

I used the Brown Sheep Company's Wildfoote in Sonatina. I used just over 1 skein, so now I'm tyring to think of what to do with the rest.... maybe some baby socks or leggings for my little girl?

I've also been working on some spinning lately, I changed my mind about the project I had originally started spinning for, so I've been tossing around numerous ideas, and we'll see what it turns into! Ideas?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Triple the Vanilla

Wedding cupcakes on the serving platters before going to the reception. I'll have some reception pictures later after I get my other camera hooked up. Meanwhile, here is another of the recipes I used for the cupcakes.

I love vanilla, the smell, the taste, but occasionally you taste something someone has made with far too much of a good thing, vanilla. These cupcakes are perfect for me a nice vanilla flavor without being too overpowering. These were also made for the wedding, and I received a lot of compliments on them.

Triple Vanilla Cupcakes

3/4 c butter, room temperature
1 2/3 c vanilla sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 2/3 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3/4 c + 2 T whole milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

Whisk together dry ingredients. Combine milk and vanillas.

Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture, beat well. Add half of milk mixture, beat well. Continue adding dry/wet ingredients, beating well after each addition, ending with dry ingredients.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 22-25 minutes at 350.

To make vanilla sugar combine sugar with vanilla bean (it's a great way to use up vanilla beans that have already had the seeds scraped). Let sit in an airtight container for at least 5 days, stirring occasionally.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 c butter
1 c (8oz) cream cheese
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4-5 c icing sugar

Beat butter on medium until creamy. Add cream cheese, and beat until combined. Add vanillas and 3 c of icing sugar. Beat on low speed, stopping to scrape bottom and sides of bowl, until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Busy, busy, busy...

Wow! It's been busy around here. Here's a quick peek at what I've been doing for the past couple of weeks.

That's right, cupcakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes! Trying recipes over and over and trying to decide which ones would be perfect for my cousin's wedding. Then I moved on to gum paste daisies, then even more cupcakes. I finally settled on 4 cupcake recipes, and they were an absolute hit! I made over 200 for the wedding, and by the end of the night there were less than 12 left! This recipe makes 32 cupcakes, but it is easy to cut in half, or even quarter if you're wanting a smaller batch.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

1 c butter, softened

2 1/2 c sugar

4 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c cocoa powder

1 c milk

2 tsp vanilla

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined.

Whisk together dry ingredients. Ina a separate bowl combine milk and vanilla.

Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to butter mixture, mix until incorporated. Add 1/2 of milk to butter mixture, mixing until incorporated. Continue adding dry then wet ingredients, ending with dry. Beat well after each addition.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake 22-25 minutes at 350.

Makes 32 cupcakes.

Chocolate/Strawberry Ganache

9 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 c heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

2/3 c diced strawberries

Put chocolate in heat proof bowl. Heat cream in saucepan until bubbles form around the edges. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit 1 minute; stir to combine. Add vanilla and salt.

Divide ganache in half. In one portion add diced strawberries. Transfer this portion to the refrigerator to cool. Leave remaining ganache sitting on the counter. (Yes, the ganache in the fridge will thicken faster, this is what you want!)

Strawberry Buttercream

1 cup butter

2 T pureed, strained strawberry juice (I used my juicer)

1 t vanilla

4-6 c icing sugar

Cream butter until soft. Add strawberry puree and vanilla. Mix in 4 cups of icing sugar, adding more until desired consistency is reached.

Now to put it all together....

Using the cone method fill the cooled cupcakes with the strawberry portion of the ganache. Next glaze the top of the cupcakes with the remaining ganache. After this has set ice with the strawberry buttercream.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hockey Night in Alberta

Well hockey fans, tonight is the night. What night? you may be asking yourselves. This is it, the first regular season showdown in the Battle of Alberta!! Although our Flames whooped the Oilers pretty good in the pre-season we're now playing for points, so the stakes are definitely higher!

In honour of the occasion my boys (all decked out in their John Deere aprons!) and I got down to business this morning and baked up some of their favorite (well...okay mine too!) chocolate chip cookies! There's still plenty of time to whip up a batch for the game tonight, or for any other occasion, or maybe just because you're like me and love chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 t vanilla
2 c flour
2 t cornstarch
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto greased baking sheet.

Flatten slightly and bake for 8 minutes, until edges are golden.

Cottage Cheese Crescents

This is a recipe from my Nana, whenever I taste them it brings me back to her kitchen helping her make them. She always keeps some on hand in the freezer to share with whoever might stop by. My boys love them, and if I happen to step out of the room while they are cooling I might just come back to find them all gone!

Cottage Cheese Crescents
1 c butter
2 c cottage cheese
dash of salt
2 c flour
4 t milk or cream
1 c icing sugar

Bring butter and cottage cheese to room temperature. Beat with paddle of stand mixer until well combined. Add salt and flour and beat until smooth and elastic. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a 6" circle (about 1/2"thick). Cut each circle into 8 wedges, and roll up each wedge starting at the rounded edge. Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet, curve slightly, and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake 30-40 minutes until nicely browned. Cool on racks.

Combine milk or cream and icing sugar and drizzle over cooled crescents.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Wow, I'm really getting into Christmas mode. I found the book Knit Christmas Stockings! by Gwen Steege and as I was flipping through it I decided to make my baby girl a Christmas stocking. I used the recommended Tahki Cotton Classic, and I am so happy with the way it turned out! I haven't blocked it yet, but I was so excited I just had to take some pictures!

My oldest son now "needs" a new stocking, because he just has "an old yucky one from the store." I've currently got a few projects on my needles, and one that I'm still spinning the yarn for. I'm hoping to have them all finished by Christmas.... hopefully I find the time to make a couple of stockings for my boys!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Beer Sweater

My family draws names for Christmas. The deal is that you buy a gift for whoever you draw, but you have to make something for everyone else. This can make for quite an experience Christmas morning. Last year we had styrofoam ball chickens, flowers made with forks that had been welded together, sock monkeys, soap, etc. This year I've been a little more on the ball, possibly due to the fact that I'm not pregnant and having to deal with morning sickness, so I decided to make practical gifts. I've finished the mittens for my sisters, and was thinking about what to make for my brother, finding a gift to buy for an 18 year old guy is hard enough, but trying to figure out something to make him is next to impossible. I was searching Ravelry for ideas and I came across the Beer Sweater. Perfect for my younger brother, won't his friends be impressed that cares so much about his beer that he has a cute little sweater for it?

The best thing about this project is I started and finished it in one afternoon. I used up some leftover yarn in my stash, and I've got another Christmas "present" finished! Thanks for the pattern Melissa!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Road Trip

My family and I recently got back from a road trip to California and New Mexico. We had 5 days of non stop driving, which meant lots of uninterrupted knitting time! First I finished off a pair of mittens for my sister for Christmas.

The pattern is Yellow Harvest from Vogue Knitting's Fall 2008 magazine. I used the recommended Manos del Uruguay yarn, and loved it!! I really enjoyed using the handspun, single ply yarn, and ended up buying more after I had finished these for an upcoming project! I really liked this pattern, (even though I'm not crazy about bobbles) and I found that it knit up quite quickly!

After those mittens I completed mittens for my other sister, also a Christmas gift. The pattern for these is Green Autumn (Druid Mittens) by Jared Flood and can also be found in Vogue Knitting's Fall issue.

For these mittens I used Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, which was okay, I wasn't crazy about the yarn. I found that it broke quite easily, there were a couple of times that it broke while I was looping the yarn around my needle. The other thing that I found about this yarn was that the first skein I used didn't quite complete the first mitten. I was halfway through the thumb and had to break into the next skein. The second skein finished the first mitten, and the entire second mitten, with a little left over at the end. I'm not sure about the length difference, the tension was the same throughout, and I undid and used my sample guage... Despite my not being crazy about the yarn I love the pattern, and am very happy with the finished product!

2 Christmas gifts down, many left to go!