Monday, May 28, 2007

Hidden Emerald Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hidden Emerald Chocolate Chip Cookies
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1-2/3 cups Hershey's semi-sweet mint chocolate chips
1/3 cup Guittard green mint chips

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add softened butter to form a grainy paste. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add eggs and peppermint extract. Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture, mint chocolate chips and green mint chips. Blend at low speed until just mixed. Do not overmixx.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Makes about 42 cookies, depending on the size.


Now that my ankle is feeling better and it's alot easier to get around, I made a batch of these cookies for Max. Not only because they're his favorite (he loves mint) but also as a thank you for everything he did for me while I was recuperating. They're delicious, crispy and soft. Great with milk!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Driving alone

Major driving update!
I drove to the grocery store and back BY MYSELF!

The drive there was fine, there were almost no cars on the road. There was a man in the cross walk that stopped halfway so I could drive into the parking lot (which always worries me a little because what if he had changed his mind). I parked kind of far out but I did a pretty good job. Went to get groceries, including a few treats: fresh cherries, gemstone potatoes, challah bread, and heavy cream (to make breakfast tomorrow - banana fosters french toast).

After I left the grocery store I had a minor panic in the parking lot - I couldn't find the car! Argh, talk about stereotypes. I remembered vaguely where I had parked but when it wasn't the first navy blue SUV I saw then I started to freak out that maybe I hadn't locked the car after all and maybe someone had stolen it... and then I saw my car.

So I was a little out of sorts driving back but I did fine. I was a little worried that I wasn't driving fast enough, especially when there was another car behind me but that's about it.

I did it!

I drove to the grocery store by myself!

I drove Max and me to the movie theatre also! A little scary driving roads I had never driven before, including a very steep hill that even makes him a little uncomfortable and speeds going up to 45 mph, but we made it there just fine. My confidence is building and I forsee more driving in the future.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Namaste yoga mat bag

I finally finished the i-cord and sewed up the bottom last night. The weight of the bag pulls the top closed and the mat fits. It looks good and I like it. Which is good because it's going to be hanging out next to my desk for a long time!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Summer knitting goals

Lime Dragon alerted me to the contest that Skeins Her Way is having to win a copy of the Fitted Tank pattern and some organic cotton yarn. Go to her contest post for details.

Although my knitting motivation seems to take a dive in the warm weather perhaps making a list will help me keep it up. Here are my knitting goals for this summer:
  • -Finish my bamboo Clapotis
  • -Finish the next colour on my rainbow scarf
  • -Knit an Odessa baby hat with beads
  • -Knit the Debbie Bliss dress with eyelets
  • -Knit the Katja baby halter
As you can tell, there are quite a few "other people's babies" in my life. According to my calendar, summer begins June 21 and ends September 22. It's not many goals and alot of time but I know myself and getting even these done will take some will power. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New furniture

Last week we finally received the new furniture that we ordered in March from Restoration Hardware. After looking for so long and having a hard time agreeing on something we both liked, once we ordered it, the wait for delivery seemed interminable!

You can see from the carpet marks that our old leftover-from-college furniture was considerably smaller. And if you can imagine that our old dresser was unfinished wood and that our night stand we finished ourselves, well... it was time.

Ankle update
I'm doing alot better. Over the weekend I even ditched the boot and wore two shoes for the first time in a month! It felt weird but it was nice to not wear the boot. Still, had to put it back on for work on Monday. I do way too much walking during the day and it would just be too easy to over do it. I have a follow-up appointment today so we'll see what the doctor has to say. I hope it's good because I'm supposed to go to New York next week on business.

Driving update
I drove this weekend too! First time in over a month but it felt pretty much the same as last time. The major milestone was in the destination-about 10 minutes away from where we live. I was sweating the whole way and by the time we got there, the steering wheel was wet. I was scared but I still did it. Max drove back.

There has been some knitting but with the warmer weather I don't really feel like working on anything that much. I'm still finishing up the yoga mat bag, the Clapotis is on hold because I need to frog back a section, there's a poncho in my knitting basket that just needs to be blocked to be finished but I haven't yet, and I'm dying to cast on something new for Erin's baby. The only thing I have finished lately is a headband for Erin and one for a co-worker.

Friday, May 18, 2007


If you are a Blogger user and want answers to your comments, please take a moment to revise your profile.

You may have set your email address as "visible" when you first signed up, but Blogger did something a while back that reset everyone's profiles with "hide email address". That means that when you leave a comment, I have no way to respond to you.

There is a simple way to remedy this. Please go update your Blogger profile and while you are doing so recheck "show email address". This way I can respond to your comment personally.

I take no credit for realizing this. I read about it on Wovenflame. If you want to pass on the information but don't feel like rewording it all --- go ahead --- this one time you can copy and paste if you like. ;-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Secret Pal delivery!

Mailed on May 11

What's inside?

Baby Bobbi Bear pattern by Blue Sky Alpaca! I've been wanting this pattern for a long time.

Love the blue cotton yarn! Thank you Secret Pal!

Ankle update
I'm doing alot better. Even with the boot, I'm almost up to full speed. At home, without the boot, I can walk around almost normally. I still have to stop myself from tucking my leg under me when I sit on the couch or from walking down the stairs with any kind of speed though. Nonetheless, I'm really hoping that on Tuesday when I go for my follow-up, the orthopedic surgeon will tell me I can stop wearing it. Then I can go online and buy new sandals!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


So I need to buy new black sandals. Something that looks cute but still reasonable to walk around in all day at work (we're casual in the summer). These are the three that are in the running:

1) Bandolino
2) Chinese Laundry
3) Madden Girl

I asked Max but all he said was, "They're all fine." So obviously I need a second opinion. Please leave me a comment and let me know which one has your vote!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday sky past

I've been scanning some old photos lately to send to a friend... thought I would share a little.

Natalia, Nicole, and Alex on the BU Beach (1998) Nicole, Max, and Natalia in San Francisco (2002)

My ankle is doing better. I can even walk around at home without the boot on. Yah! I think I can ditch the crutches when I go to work on Monday. So glad!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


In lieu of practicing yoga (I miss it so much!!), I've been knitting the Namaste yoga bag.


I'm using a different yarn (Natura Sayelle in off white), knitting in the round (one less stitch), instead of breaking the yarn after knitting the bottom I cast on the stitches after row 8, and the cable pattern is changed to this:

Rows 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8: P1, [k9, p1] to end.
Row 3: P1, [C6B, k3, p1] to end.
Row 7: P1, [k3, C6F, p1] to end.

Less purling and less seaming in the end. The strap was once a too-bulky-never-worn cable belt. The curled up part in the front is the bottom.

Ankle update
I went to see the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Ubelhart yesterday. With another round of x-rays, he confirmed that nothing was broken. The ligaments have been sprained but now I need to start walking on my foot. I have a boot/walking brace. I'm going back to see Dr. Ubelhart in 2-3 weeks but I could be on this until June 1. It's progress though, really. I can put weight on my foot and for short distances I can get around on one crutch. It's a little piece of my independence and freedom.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Chocolate - keep it real!

I regularly read Candy Blog as a calorie-free way to enjoy sweets. Through this blog, it came to my attention that the FDA definition of chocolate is under attack. Cybele recently wrote this editorial to the LA Times, Hands off my chocolate, FDA! Since then, the deadline to submit a comment to the FDA has been extended to June 25.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Does bad luck come in threes?

Everyone is always saying how bad luck comes in threes.... first was my tail bone, then my ankle, and now? My tooth. I was chewing gum at lunch and it started to get crunchy. When I pulled it out, a large piece of filling was missing from my back tooth. Ugh. My dentist is out of town so I will wait until Monday to get it fixed. Luckily it's not painful.

This was my travel knitting for my trip to San Francisco. I successfully knit one skein of Alchemy Bamboo and finished Section 1 and 2. There was some major frustration trying to figure out what the pattern increases meant as some of the terms used do not mean what they usually mean. This chart helped out immensely! Once I had that figured out, it was smooth sailing and pretty easy to knit. I only had to pay attention to which row I was on and when to do the increases where.

Now I need to wind my next skein into a ball before I can resume knitting. Then buy 2 more to finish. The drape of the fabric is lovely, it's so soft, and I love the sheen.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Goodies from SFO

Ankle update
After almost two weeks, my foot is still swollen so I went to the doctor. He thinks I might have injured the ligaments. Ugh. So more prescription meds and a recommendation to go to an orthopedic surgeon. And Max thinks I may be on crutches for the next two weeks or more. Great. My secret pal let me know that another package is on the way - I can't wait! I could use a happy surprise.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

California wedding

Max and I just got back last night! It was an unusual trip for us, didn't do a whole lot because of my swollen foot and crutches. Still, we had a good time.

Our flight left incredibly early at 6:45am, which meant waking up at 4:30am. I had emailed Continental airlines ahead of time to see if I could get a wheelchair and that worked out great. Max checked in at the airport and soon he was wheeling me through security.

Tip: Walk through the metal detectors if you can. The extra special pat down required if you wheel through is not worth saving yourself a few moments of pain. Trust me.

It's a strange feeling to be wheeled through an airport. Alot faster and easier than if I had been on my crutches but I felt like everyone was looking at me wondering what was wrong with me. I got on the airplane first - also weird being on an empty plane. We had a stop-over in Cleveland and there was a wheelchair waiting for me at the gate. Same for SFO. Max handled the car rental (waiting in line over an hour while I sat nearby knitting my Clapotis). There was major traffic on the way to the hotel so by the time we checked in, it was probably 3pm. And we were hungry! We had lunch/dinner at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. It was very good and so filling. Max talked to Natalia (the bride) and had a beer with Alex (the groom) that night after I had gone to sleep.

We woke up early (jet lag), had breakfast in the hotel, then drove into San Francisco. Our destination was Imagiknit. It took some effort to navigate the city with the maps we had been given but we made it there and found parking even! What a great yarn store. It is the biggest store I've ever been to and the selection is great. The staff were very helpful, especially considering my mobility issues. I spent an hour and a half there, looking around the store, looking through their binders of patterns and books. Max said I could buy whatever I wanted (within reason). I came away with two skeins of Art Yarns, one skein of Lorna's Shepard's Wool, two hat patterns, 16" size 3 Addi Turbos, a set of size 3 Susan Bates DPNs, a set of four (size 5) bone DPNs, and Viking Patterns for Knitting. That night, Max and I went over to Natalia's Mom's house for a little get together. I got to wear my new green and white summer dress, people came over to talk to me instead of me having to start up conversation, and Max brought refreshments to me on the couch. It worked out well.


We were able to sleep in a little. Max didn't want to do anything that would tire me out so after breakfast in our hotel room (Max made a run for me: blueberry bagel and cream cheese from Noah's Bagels and a vanilla latte from Starbucks), I went to Salon Salon. I got partial highlights, a haircut, manicure, and pedicure for $200 without tip. Took about 3 hours and they were all very nice. I would recommend it if you're in the area. Max went to Lee's Comics. The wedding was at 6pm and we arrived at Ralston Hall with time to spare. The ceremony was short, and with a Catholic priest (rogue or not) I was surprised. By the end I was crying and, of course, I forgot to bring a tissue. Luckily Max had one. The photographer, Noah Hawthorne, was very good - never once yelled at a guest for taking pictures at the same time as him. There was dinner and speeches and dancing and cake and more dancing. Max had a great time. I made him go dance with his friends, instead of just sitting with me all night. We both stayed until the end, which was midnight.

Natalia and Alex Max

We slept in and then drove out to Napa for brunch at the Napa General Store Cafe. I had blueberry pancakes and breakfast tea. Max had the Napa scramble. Then we drove through Napa and Sonoma. We stopped at the St. Francis Winery and the Ledson Winery for a wine tasting. On the way back to the hotel, we drove over the Golden Gate bridge and saw this amazing dense fog that ate up the land. For dinner we went to Mimi's Cafe. Then we had to pack our suitcase and go to bed early - we needed to wake up at 3:30am.

Our flight was at 6:45am. We checked out of the hotel, Max drove me to the departure gate and set me down with all the suitcases, I knit while I waited for him to drop off the rental car, Hertz drove him back to the departure gate so I didn't have to wait for him for so long, he checked us in, and then I had to use my crutches all the way through security and to the gate because there weren't enough wheelchairs available. It took so long. I was tired, I hadn't eaten and I was cranky. Almost made a scene going through security but we managed to get on the plane okay. There was a wheelchair waiting for us in Houston and again in DC. By the time we got home it was almost 6pm. It was a long day. We're both glad to be home!