The Art of the Cookie, Dresses, and Frogs!

Working on resolution 2012-1 – using those cookbooks – again.  Seems however that I am drawn pretty exclusively to cookie cookbooks.  Noting that today’s dinner recipe came off the back of a box of lasagna noodles.

The most recent cookie was from The Art of the Cookie – and was a strawberry swirl, or at least that’s what I called it.  It started with their basic sugar cookie dough which is delicious and I put strawberry jam in the swirled part.  Unfortunately there is no picture of the finished project as we ate them all before I remembered to get the camera out.  Worth repeating, and of course we must repeat as I didn’t get the photo.  Here’s the book and the dough ready to be rolled out.

Let's roll

And just a side note, resolution 2012-2 was more charity work, and perhaps different charity work.  So, here’s a completed dress for a little girl in Africa.  It was the 3rd one I made and I have material for 2 more.  So 2012-2 is being worked on too!

Little dress (#3) completed

And the NEWS OF THE DAY !!!!!!!!!!!!

Phinneas the frog is back out of hibernation sitting in his reeds on the back of the pond!!!


Resolution 2012-5 Get Real

So resolution # 5 for 2012 I named “Get Real”.  This mostly relates to all of my craft projects that are in some state of completion.  So, they are either being finished or “frogged” (as in the case of knitting — ripped out) or thrown away or given away for someone else to complete.  My quilt guild has a challenge contest to be completed in September of 2012.  Those interested in competing filled out a form listing names and descriptions of WIPs (Works In Progress) or UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) that they are committing to finish by our September meeting.  For every project on our list, the entry fee was a fat quarter of batik fabric.  And for every project we actually complete, we get an chance in the drawing for one of the baskets of batiks.  I signed up for seven, though I could have listed many more, and now I need to GET REAL and GET QUILTING!
In the same vein, I aired my yarn stash and cleaned the yarn closet, uncoveing some UFOs there too.  What gave me the idea for the resolution was a thing I started in 2011 that I called “Finish It Friday”.  I started only working on knitting UFOs on Friday and actually got quite a few of them finished last year.  So – the idea for the resolution was born and I have had a bit of success so far in 2012.

2012-5-1 quick and cozy cowl

This one had been languishing on the bottom of the knitting basket for over a year just waiting on my sewing on the two matching buttons.  That’s all it needed — just two buttons — just 10 minutes of time.  Make sense to you?  Me neither.  I sewed on the buttons, wore it the next day and had several people who commented on how pretty it was.  Here it is finished and being modeled by Cheeks the bear who models a lot of my completed projects for photos.

Cheeks modeling the cozy cowl

2012-5-2 This Old Sock

This is an even sadder story.  In 2003 I took knitting lessons over in Bedford Hills New York with a wonderful young teacher and at a great yarn store.  I really wanted to learn how to knit socks, so she started me on a pair using 2 circular needles.  I was also learning other things at the time and thought my sock wasn’t too good.  But I continued knitting until all I needed to do was graft the toe (a smooth seam).  I didn’t know how to do that and apparently the class ended before I learned.  Anyway, the project sunk to the bottom of a bag in the yarn closet never to be seen again until this year’s complete emptying of the yarn closet all over the living room floor.  I uncovered the unfinished first sock and the remainder of the ball of yarn.  I cast on the second sock and finished it in 3 weeks (I’m a much faster and better knitter now than I was 9 years ago).  So, this project took me NINE YEARS to finish.  But it’s done – and here are the photos to prove it.  The only good news hear is that there cannot be any knitting UFOs older than this because I only started knitting 9 years ago.

This old sock found
This Old Sock - complete!

Second sock syndrome – cured!  They aren’t really different sizes, the photo distorted the front one a bit.  Can’t wait to wear them, but will have to get the air cast of my left ankle first.  The cast is held on by velcro which wouldn’t be good for the just-finished-after-nine-years sock fabric!

But I consider that resolution 2012-5 Get Real is off to a good start.

And the yarn stash – dumped all over the floor on February 20th is now back in the closet.  Very organized.  More on this later but this was the result of resolution 2012-2 Get Organized or Else.  So, I’ve inventoried and organized the yarn stash, inventoried and organized the knitting needles, and inventoried (a bit) some of the quilting projects.  Much work remains to be done — but we’re only at the end of the first quarter of 2012.  YIKES! We’re at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy

New Year’s Resolutions – Number 1 – Day 1

So, I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the new year, I usually reserve them for my birthday, look back at the year then, and make resolutions for what I want to accomplish before I become one year older.  These are usually fairly serious resolutions and not for public consumption.

So, I decided this year to work on some practical resolutions.  And for those of you worried that I will suddenly become a neat freak and start cleaning house more frequently — don’t worry.

Resolution 2012-1 involves my cookbook collection.  My cookbook collection is quite extensive and looks really good on the custom crafted bookshelves that were part of the 2011 kitchen remodel.  However, many of them have never been used — read, yes, but not used.  So, Resolution 2012-1 is to use my cookbook collection more and to keep track of what I cooked or baked and how we liked the results.  I do have a problem of trying a new recipe, declaring it a “keeper” and then not being able to find it when I want to recreate it.

Getting the new year off to a fast start, I have Almond Biscotti in the oven from the book Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunch, a 2010 cookie cookbook that I ran into in my local book store, Books on the Common,  last year.


So far, so good — the almonds needed to be toasted and I didn’t burn them.  The dough needed to be 12″ by 4″ to bake and it easily molded to that shape.  So, they’re in the oven for the first baking and in 25 minutes, I’ll slice them and put them back in for the second baking.  Delayed gratification, this cookie is.  I’ll be putting them out to cool and headed to bed — taste testing reserved for tomorrow’s tea-time snack while watching the Rose Parade.  Speaking of which, what’s a new year going to turn out like when the Rose Parade is scheduled the DAY AFTER New Year’s Day?