Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chocolate fruitcake

Based on a recipe from There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber, adapted for Max who does not like marachino cherries or dried pineapple. We tried it out over the weekend and Max has decided that he likes it. Yay!

2 cups dried currants or blueberries or cranberries
2 cups dried rainier cherries (from Trader Joe's)
flaked coconut
chocolate chips
whole wheat flour
9 eggs
creme de cacao

Fruitcake before and after going into the oven:

Monday, December 29, 2008

5 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... one blue light special. I have used it every morning since then. So far so good. It came highly recommended so I have high hopes. We spent the day reading and cooking, taking a nap in the afternoon and watching The Family Man after dessert.

On the second day of Christmas, we had dinner with Laura and Bob and played Settlers of Catan. Laura won.

On the third day of Christmas, I went to Knit Happens to buy some yarn to make Shedir for a friend. Picked up two balls of Rowan Wool Cotton. I love knitting with this yarn. Such a treat! Already finished one repeat. Pictures soon.

On the fourth day of Christmas, we went to the gym and then watched the New England Patriots play their last game of the season. It was a good game.

On the fifth day of Christmas... well, it kind of feels all over now that we're back at work. But it was a really great Christmas. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday after work, Max and I decorated some Christmas cookies.

My favorite Christmas cookies are shortbread cookies.

Hope you're all having a wonderful day.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A pink scarf

The yarn I bought in China. It's very soft in the thick parts and very textural in the thin parts. On size 9 needles, it knit up surprisingly quickly - despite the 30 stitches in k1p1 rib! Here's the cake of yarn:


The colour is true in the cake picture, but not in this one:


The recipient loved the scarf - and was excited that the yarn was from China. It's very soft and squishy. And I still have tons of yarn left!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

43 Things personality quiz

At Lime Dragon's request, I took the quiz. Here's the results:

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Traveling Self-Knowing Tree Hugger

Mostly I agree... not sure I'm really all that "self-knowing" but definitely the other two.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


When our friend Missy goes out of town, Max goes to her place to take care of Callie. Sometimes I go with him but really he deserves most of the credit - especially since I usually end up falling asleep on the couch while Max is getting the mail and feeding Callie. She's such a good kitty and we enjoy hanging out with her.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas cards

It's been raining all week so I haven't been to get the mail in several days. Today I got to open several Christmas cards! I love this time of the year. Here's a sampling:

From Eunice From Erin & Simon & Lucy
From Peter & Katie From our real estate agent

Friday, December 12, 2008

Baby girl in blue

Not every little girl has to be dressed entirely in pink and purple. I picked this yarn because the mom has a wrap in the same yarn. The shower is on Monday.

Sweater with mittens on a string

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Hat with pompom


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Elfish hat


Trying to use up some odds and ends of worsted weight yarns. I was going for a Christmasy theme. It's a little small so it will be for my friend's daughter. Max assured me that it wasn't too boyish. :) Hopefully it will be super cute.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Pumpkin bread pudding

This recipe is based on this recipe. Needed a way to use up the leftover pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cranberry Relish

1 15-ounce can of fat free evaporated milk
8 ounces canned pumpkin (about half of a 15 ounce can)
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3-4 cups pumpkin bread, a little dried out and broken into 1-2" pieces
1/2 cup raisins

Cranberry relish
1 orange, quartered and seeds removed
1 12-ounce package cranberries, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup sugar

Whisk milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, spices and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Add pumpkin bread pieces and raisins. Transfer mixture to 11x7" glass baking dish. Put into the oven and turn oven on to 350°F. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, set the timer for about 50-60 minutes.

In a food processor, combine orange, cranberries, and sugar. Cranberry relish will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Serve bread pudding warm or at room temperature with cranberry relish.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Weekend recap

- Nicole's company holiday party in DC. The food was good, though nothing amazing. There were prizes but I didn't win any. We were home by 11pm and totally sober.

- Christmas lights outside (despite really cold temperatures and high winds)
- Christmas decoration inside (pictures to follow)
- James Bond: Quantum of Solace

And Max studied alot both days. Some things just don't change! His final exam is this weekend and I can't wait.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Visit http://www.coraline.com and use the code: sweaterxxs.

There’s more to see if you’re willing to look.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Meme

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags - they're recyclable!

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take down the tree? As late as I can get away with... usually mid-January.

5. Do you like eggnog? I like my Dad's, hate the store bought stuff

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I was really excited about a NKOTB t-shirt I got when I was a teenager.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? No.

8. Hardest person to buy for? There's always someone...

9. Easiest person to buy for? The person with a wishlist!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both.

11. Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Family Man.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cookies.

13. Clear lights or coloured? Both.

14. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night.

15. Travel or stay home at Christmas? Depends on the year.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer? Maybe...

17. Angel or Star on the top of the tree? Star

18. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve but everything else in the morning.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The oversell.

20. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees? A combination.

21. Gingerbread or Sugar Cookies? Yes please.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Russian join

Using the instructions from the Knit Picks catalog, I decided to try out the Russian join. I made this hat for a friend at work. The places where the two colours join is obvious, but not the join itself - which I love. Awesome, right?


The "hole" above my eyebrow is where I increased a stitch. The yarn is Lion Bran Woolease and the pattern loosely follows Turn a Square. Was well received and fit well too.

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Christmas! At a mall a couple of weeks ago...

And then our house...

Close-ups on the new star and some ornaments...

Star Topper from the Metropolitan Museum Cornell University ornament ball from Marvin Beijing Olympics cellphone bling

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

What was on the menu?

Good Eats Roast Turkey with our Ayrshire Farm Heritage Turkey

Wild Mushroom and White Wine Gravy

Cranberry Orange Relish

Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia

Sage Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Holiday Sweet Potatoes

Caramel Cranberry Nut Tart

Pecan pie

Pumpkin pie

Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lavender hat

IMG_7036 IMG_7038

The colour is totally off in these pictures. The yarn is Red Heart Soft in lavender, looks more like this but at this time of year it's getting hard to get a good photo. The pattern is Toasty Topper without the scarf. I made it for a little girl I haven't seen in years. She and her Mom are staying over with us tonight, on their way from Boston to Tennessee for Thanksgiving. It fits tightly on my head so it should last for awhile on hers.

Monday, November 24, 2008


The other night I felt like knitting something on big needles, something sparkly, and maybe something for Christmas that would decorate the juniper tree outside our house - once Thanksgiving is over that is!


I knit this up in one evening. Very gratifying.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gearing up

It's been cold and all I want to eat is hot, carb laden foods. Yum. Here's a sampling of what I've made in the past month.

Wild mushroom risotto with parsnip and radish gratin

Acorn squash soup with roasted garlic

Orange pancakes

Blueberry scones

Pumpkin bread