Sunday, February 5, 2012

By hook and by cook

Here's my weekly (well, it's the first one, but I intend for it to be weekly) update on what I've baked/cooked in the past week, and what I've crocheted.  Where applicable, I'll include links to patterns and recipes, but I'm not going to type out anything that's not already online somewhere (unless specifically requested!).

In the Kitchen this week:
(see Monday's post)
Brownie Cookies
Also known as "deep dark decadence".  They're dark chocolate "brownie" batter, with dark chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.  Needless to say, they're a family favorite.  The recipe's from the Williams Sonoma Cookies book, so I'm not going to list it here. 
Brownie cookies - fresh out of the oven

 "Valentine's Day" meal

We celebrate V-day early, and ate at home to save money.  As shown below, my husband got pan-seared ahi while I had an oven-roasted portabello.  On the side we had apple, walnut, gorgonzola salad with maple-balsamic dressing that I found a recipe for at this blog.  For dessert we had chocolate mousse cups, which I didn't take a picture of because they weren't beautiful.  They were an experiment based on a triple-layer cheesecake that I make - I made a normal chocolate mousse mix, scooped 1/3 of it into the bottom of two dishes, and added increasing amounts of (extra) whipped cream to layers 2 and 3.  They were tasty, but a little grainy...and I didn't add enough cream to layer 2, so there was very little difference from layer 1.  Next time I think I'll just try this recipe that I found on Pinterest.
Valentine's Day dinner

Not much else was cooking last week, but I'm gearing up for Valentine's Day!  This coming week should be busier.

Crochet Projects
Chemo Caps
Two of my friends from church are going through chemo right now, and when I saw this pattern on Pinterest, I was immediately inspired to make them.  The first one (pictured below, stunningly modeled by my daughter) took me much longer than it should have because it took me about five tries to get the band around the hat to be the right size.  When I followed the directions as printed, it kept fanning out exponentially and just wouldn't fit.  I finally followed some directions I found (Pinterest again!) for making a foundation row without using a chain, and then crochet the rest of the band in a smaller hook size.  I made the second hat in red, and it went much more quickly.
chemo cap

Lance's Scarf
Isn't it beautiful?
At Christmas time, when I was making a number of scarves for presents, it occurred to me that my husband might like one!  So I asked - and he said he'd wear one if it wasn't "too phoofy".  So I searched through my pattern books, and through the yarn at the craft store to find some combination that would be both impressive and non-phoofy.  Here's the result.  And I must say (bragging!) that I love it...the pattern (basketweave stitch) and the yarn.  And Lance's does too.  He's actually worn it every day since I gave it to him. 

There was drama though, because I was (proud) enough to want to take a picture to post on Pinterest - and then I somehow forgot to put it away before he came home...and he saw it, and came out the next morning wearing it.  When I burst into tears (it was supposed to be a surprise! and I'd been so careful - I thought - about keeping it hidden), Judith said (in a conciliatory tone) "Daddy, you can't have this now." and took it and "hid" it in her room.  (She and I wrapped it and gave it to him before our Valentine's celebration.)

I'm also continuing to work on my afghan, as well as some secret gift projects that might show up here next week.

The Joy - do I even need to write this?  I love to be in the kitchen, especially when chocolate is involved.  And crochet gives me almost as much joy, especially once the project is done and I can give it to someone and see their joy.  And I took joy, too, in my little girl's efforts at playing peacemaker, even when her mama was irrational.

Joy to you!