Friday, January 14, 2011

There is a first time for everything...

I'm going to admit it.
I have an addiction.

To food.

They really need to have an FA meeting for people like me...
(foodaholics annonymous)

So today, I had a craving for sourdough bread.
I decided to make some.

Unfortunately, making sourdough bread takes a little longer than I thought.
So I have to wait 3 days for my sourdough to be ready.
(no seriously... there was just a squirrel outside my apartment window.)

Here's the bread.
Well... the start of the bread.

(I figured out the hard way that when they said medium sized bowl...
they really meant it!
My start tried to escape over the sides of the bowl.
And intervention was needed... :P)

At least I know that the yeast was working right? haha.

Here's the recipe I used.
It comes from The Breadman's Healthy Breadbook... I don't have that kind of bread maker, but I found the book at a thrift store and since I can't get enough of recipes... I had to buy it.

Sourdough Starter
(makes 2 cups)
2 cups warm water (100 degrees)
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Put the water, yeast and honey in a medium mixing bowl. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the flour and beat until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 2 to 5 days, stirring occasionally. The longer the starter stands, the stronger the flavor. The starter will bubble and a sour smelling liquid may form on top. This is normal for a healthy starter, so simply pour the liquid off and discard.
To store the starter, pour it into a sterilized crock or jar. (To sterilize, pour boiling water into the container, let stand 5 minutes, drain and dry well.) Cover and refrigerate the starter in a jar until ready to use.
To use the starter, stir and pour off as much as required.
To feed the starter, use or remove and discard 1 cup of starter. Add equal amounts (about 1 cup each) of flour (the same kind as originally used) and warm water. Stir and let stand at room temperature until it bubbles again, about 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.
To keep the starter from turning rancid, use, or discard, at least 1 cup of the starter every week, then feed it as described above. The starter may be frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using. After thawing, pour off as much as required and feed the remainder as described above.

I want to try this recipe: and this one looks like it has some very yummy recipes too!
I have a sourdough coffee cake recipe... which is really good!
I won't get you too excited just yet though.

Today I am thankful for my hair.
Even though it is not cooperating with me.
And I am still thankful for the snow.
Even though it makes my hair all frizzy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yes. I know. I can't do anything consistently.

That IS why this blog has its very particular name.
Just in case you didn't get that memo.

BUT I did do something very exciting! I crocheted my first cowl!
I think it turned out pretty fantastic.
Not to toot my own horn or anything... ;)

By the way. I am not a model.
Just to avoid any confusion you might be having concerning my um... skills.
Talk about AWKWARD!

This little beauty is from a pattern I found when I was trying to decide what to do with a massive amount of yarn that I have been accumulating over the past several years (no joke!)... I followed the pattern pretty much exactly, but I just ended it early, so it isn't quite as full as the one in the pattern. I also just used super saver yarn that I bought at walmart (I doubled the strands to make it more bulky) AND I TELL YOU WHAT! This thing is a B.E.A.U-TIFUL thing! Especially in the ridiculously cold weather of late.

Everyone I know is jealous of my cowl.
*Smug grin*
And mustard yellow?!
How much more awesome and sunny can you get???
It makes me super happy on this cold, grey day.
(It snowed ALL day...)
Dear sun, I miss you. Can we hang out again soon?

And now for the main event!

Convertable Cowl
plymouth yarn baby alpaca grande (110yds)
220 yds, 2 skeins in your choice of color
yarn needle
10mm (N) hook
stitch marker

You will be crocheting in the round.
You will join but not turn.
Mark the beginning of each row with a row marker.

If working with a different yarn than recommded, make sure that your beginning chain will fit over your head leaving plenty of extra room. Remember that you want your cowl to be loose enough to pull up as a hood and still give plenty of coverage around your neck.

Chain 55 and join with a sl st into back of chain (do not twist chain).
Row 1: Ch 1, (working in back of chain) Sc in same Ch as joining. Mark stitch. Sc in each chain around and join to marked stitch (do not twist chain).
Row 2: Ch 2, (counts as first Dc), skip st and Dc in each Sc around. Join with sl st to top of Ch 2. (55 Dc)
Row 3: Ch 1, (counts as first Hdc), skip st and Hdc in each around. Join with sl st to top of Ch 1. (55 Hdc)
Row 4: Ch 2, (counts as first Dc), skip st and Dc in each Hdc around. Join with sl st to top of Ch 2. (55 Dc)
Rows 5-6: Repeat row 4
Row 7: Repeat row 3
Row 8: Repeat row 4
Row 9: Ch 1, Sc in each Dc around. Join with sl st to Ch 1.
Rows 10-17 repeat rows 2-9
Rows 18-23 repeats rows 2-7
Fasten off.

I actually just went to row 15 or 16... I didn't want mine to get too big and bulky.
It's perfect for wearing on top of a shirt and it still fits inside of a jacket and keeps my neck nice and cozy warm!

I want to think about what I am thankful for this year!
Today I am thankful for snow. And for hot chocolate and thick socks.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oh what do you do on a Saturday, when it's snowy and cold and you are a college student that defies conventional belief that all students should be starving and have a ridiculous amount of food???
You bake.
And you bake even more.
Realizing today that I had forgotten my promise to make one of my friends a cake for his birthday, my roommate and I rushed to remedy the situation. And what did we find in my cupboard? A box of orange cake mix. Yum? We did not know.
But we were going to find out.
So we threw cupcakes in the oven (in my roommate's brand-new silicon reusable muffin cups - BRILLIANT invention if you ask me...) and we moved on to deciding what kind of frosting we wanted to grace the tops of the mysterious tasting orange cupcakes.
We decided that raspberry would work well.

And oh, how well it did work!
(and I failed on taking pictures...)

BUT. We do know for a fact that they WERE GOOD! Because we left the apar
tment for 15 minutes, and came back to find every single one of the cupcakes devoured.
Who could it have been?

The roommate that never seems to leave her room?
The people that seem to come and go from our apartment like the ebb and flow of the tides?
Or maybe the random kid that is sitting at the counter with pink icing covering his face and crumbs on his shirt?
...This one is gonna be tricky...

Just so you can try this goodness for yourself: (by the way, it was not the orange cake mix that made these so fantastic...)

*Add fresh raspberries to a classic buttercream frosting and brighten both the flavor and the color of your favorite layer cake or cupcake recipe (yield 2.5 cups)
1/2 cup butter, softened (we discovered that completely melting the butter WAS NOT what "softened" means)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (we used raspberry jam... YUM-O!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (16-oz) package powdered sugar
1. beat the first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy
2. gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition
(note: be sure to wash and thoroughly dry raspberries before adding
to frosting... not a problem if you use jam!)
3. EAT and BE MERRY! (cuz you might actually die because of the awesomeness of this icing...)

Ok... so it's killing me that i don't have a picture of what we made... but i'll include this picture just so that you get a little bit of an idea as to how magnificent this was...

Again, this is not my picture... (I am a poor college student... do you seriously think I would have cute table settings like that?)
But it was that good.

I dare you to try some.
I double dog dare you.