You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

i was so pleased to wake up on december 22, the day after the shortest, darkest day of the year, and find signs of life in the flowerbed in front of the house.

christmas is good, but i love summer.  all winter i look forward to the long, warm days, when it the sunlight extends long into the evening.  i feel at my best when i’m on our deck with a group of good friends.  barbecue smoking, dogs running around the lawn, and a delicious pitcher of sangria in front of us.  the funnest fun, the best times, to me, happen in the summer.  always have.  from running through the sprinkler on a hot day as a kid, to our more adult (read booze!) way of celebrating today.  it’s the best time of year.

this summer will be our first full summer in our very own house.  i’m really excited about it.  spending spring time in the back getting the patio and everything ready for many of those fun days.  for this reason, i squealed in complete delight when i saw the tulips making their way out of the dirt.   i’m looking forward to seeing what pops up.

so, here’s to the slow crawl toward summer.  i plan to enjoy every minute of it.  and, happy new year to you all!

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Delicious Dish Schweddy Balls::my favorite snl skit ever.

i’m still not getting much knitting in with the crazy puppy.  but, i continue to fit in baking here and there.

inspired by my favorite saturday night live skit, i tried bakerella‘s cake balls recipe this weekend.  i really, really wanted to make them with red velvet cake mix, but couldn’t find any.  mike and i went on a hunt and hit six different grocery stores in west seattle.  no sign of the red velvet cake mix.  i finally gave up and settle on lemon, which is actually my favorite desert flavor.

i made the lemon cake balls on saturday night and dipped them in white chocolate on saturday morning.  my chocolate dipping technique could use some work.  but overall….L.O.V.E them.  they are delicious and it is something a little out of the ordinary to bring to a party.  i made a tray of the lemon cake balls and pistachio bark for our family holiday celebration.  yum!

last weekend, when i couldn’t decide what kind of cookies to make,  i made holiday candy bar instead!  it turned out really, really good and i’m looking forward to making more this weekend.

i won’t go into the details as the instructions i followed are located at elle’s studio.

i made both the peppermint and the pistachio.  mike and i are more of a pistachio family, but people seem to like the peppermint too.  i was in williams sonoma this morning and bunches of shoppers where going ape shit over their peppermint bark, which costs $26 for a rather meager tin.

okay, so this is only one thing to do with sweet potatoes.  but, they are probably my favorite food item and i would love, love, love to have 100 good ideas for sweet potatoes.

this week, i finally used the sweet potatoes i picked up at the west seattle farmer’s market several weeks ago.  i made one of my very favorite recipes.  i can’t recall where i located the recipe.  it lives in my head now and i just kind of toss it together whenever i have sweet potatoes or yams to use.

i usually use yams, which have a more orange-y color and slightly stronger flavor that sweet potatoes, but the recipe worked fine w/ the sweet potatoes too.

it goes like this…

peel the sweet potatoes or yams and cut them into rounds about 1/2 inch thick.

put ’em in a bowl and add olive oil (enough to give them a light coating), plenty of crushed garlic, a little salt, dried thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes.

toss ’em about, so that the seasoning is well mixed and spread throughout.

place them one layer thick on a foil lined cookie sheet.

bake them at 350 for about an hour.  i like to flip them over half way.

so, so yummy.  i can eat them by themselves easily, but i really like them as a side for meatloaf.  i always make extra as they reheat wonderfully and are great for lunch the next day.  they even taste good cold.

that’s one thing to do with sweet potatoes.  what’s your favorite?

p.s. damn our dark, short seattle days.  i do most of my cooking in the evening and it is really hard to take good photos with my lighting.  sorry!

last saturday was one of my very favorite seattle events of the year, urban craft uprising!  the days before urban craft are as exciting to me as christmas morning (2 more sleeps until urban craft) and almost as excruciating as a half marathon (need to carb load and hydrate days beforehand).

jess and kim have been my urban craft partners-in-crime the past couple of years.  this year we decided to be early birds and get there just as the doors open at 11am.  it was insanely crowded this year.  i cannot remember it being nearly this packed last year.  we waited in a line a couple blocks long to get in and then the aisles were jammed.  i’m so happy for the crafters that the event is getting so much attention and so many people are interested in the event, but it kinda made for a challenging shopping experience.  it was really hard to move around and hard to see things.  i’m sure there were a couple of booths i missed just because i couldn’t see them or get to them.

trend wise, there were TONS of plush toys and felt project booths this year.  i fell in love with the plush candy corns from scrumptious delight.  there seemed to be a lot less jewelry booths this year.  i kinda missed that since i’m such a craft jewelry junkie.

i can’t go into too much detail about what i bought since i mostly bought christmas gifts, but here are some of my favorites:

figs & ginger – adorable, delicate nature themed jewelry

go robot – interesting, kinda industrial looking jewelry

laughing raven design – more handmade jewelry.  i said i liked the jewelry!

markhed – jewelry from montreal.  pretty pendants, some with cool city scape themes

paula deer – fun and funny felt hats.  with earflaps!

rachel austin – painting on maps.  i can’t afford one of her paintings, so i’d take one of the pendants

tako fibers – felt projects.  i bought a little kit from them that i’ll share once i do the project

i haven’t had much time for knitting or cooking or general holiday crafting lately.  those of you who are my buddies on ravelry or facebook already know why.  but, here it is:

lola puppy!  our now 14 week old pit bull puppy.  not only is she cute, but she is an awesome dog.  i feel like we really hit the jackpot when we found her at the seattle animal shelter.  she is sweet and snuggly and smart.  she’s full of beans and plays like crazy with her big brother dog mitch.  she’s completely attention defecit  and will only play with one toy for about 10 seconds before dropping it and grabbing another to race around the house shaking and squeeking.

she equally loves cuddling and wiggling her way as close as possible into any human (especially me!) that is willing to snuggle.  she quickly falls asleep and snores like an old drunk, which gives me the giggles every time.

she’s so little and cute that when she curls up on my lap for a nap, i don’t want to get up and get my knitting or any other project.  it’s been pretty quiet here on the blog because i haven’t been doing much other than snuggling with my girl or making sure she isn’t getting into things.

oh, she is totally getting snobby yarn knitted sweaters when she’s full sized!

Hello!

i'm chris. i knit and spin a lot. i cook and eat food grown and made locally. i fail at the "local" part more than i'd like. i am learning to be a gardener. i'm in love with two pitbulls and an advocate for the breed.

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