Saturday, March 28, 2009

Now With Baking!

I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies but I was feeling too lazy to bake them and too cheap to go out and buy them. I decided that chocolate chip muffins would be much easier to procure so I hopped on the interwebs to see what recipe my google machine would pop out. I found my recipe after I saw this:

I normally don't go for video recipes but I thought if Nigella has a chocolate chip muffin recipe then I should try it - especially since she couldn't wait to snuggle up to a magazine and have one. I watched the video twice to make sure I wrote all the ingredients correctly and then I set to work. So far so good, right?


I was all excited. I couldn't wait to curl up with a delicious chocolaty muffin and read a magazine - just like Nigella! My excitement was slightly dampened by the amount of time they spent in the oven (something like 40 minutes as opposed to the 20 stated in the video). And then I was skeptical when I pulled them out and they looked like this:


These were the better looking of the dozen. They smelled amazing. And I thought since they're just going to go in my belly who cares what they look like! My magazine cuddling was just going to have to wait because those suckers weren't coming out. At least not in one piece so I left them in the pan. When Paul came home from work he couldn't believe I couldn't get them out of the pan. So he tried himself...


and tried...


and tried.


He did successfully get the muffins out of the pan with much effort. Unfortunately most of the muffins were no longer muffin shaped after he was done.


We have now dubbed this recipe "Chocolate Chip Muffin Crumble." I will admit they were dee-lish but I wouldn't bring them to a bake sale. And I would definitely wear a bib if I were to curl up with a magazine and eat them.

Now I'm willing to assume that I did something wrong (I did butter the pan as opposed to using muffin cups and I used Frangelico in place of the vanilla) and with that assumption I am willing to try these again. Are there any suggestions from the bakers out there?

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Cooked Indian Food!

I'm a lady who loves food. I love eating. And I love going out to restaurants. However with the economy being the way it is I'm tightening my belt - both figuratively and literally. A crappy economy won't stop me from enjoying good eats. Luckily for me, I don't mind cooking and sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet about a particular something.

For example, I've been craving Indian food for a few weeks. And it didn't help or hurt that I stumbled up a Yellow Dal recipe. Then I found a super deelish sounding chicken recipe that would go perfectly with the Dal. And then I determined that I need to make Saag Paneer again. From there people were invited to the house and a dinner party was born.


I had cooked Indian food before. When Paul and I first moved to Toronto. We didn't know anyone and I wasn't working so it was the perfect thing to do. I made Butter Chicken and Saag Paneer and it took all day. Get details and photos here. To sum up: my Butter Chicken rocked but my Saag Paneer was totally tasteless.


Once again, I made my own paneer. It's an incredibly easy thing to do. You just have to follow the steps just right.


Here I am cooking the onions, garlic and spices before I add them to the lentil/tomato puree.


Here's the spinach before we chopped it up and added the paneer. Still not the best saag paneer but much better than my first try.


The chicken was outstanding! In fact it was the "best" of all the dishes.

All-in-all dinner wasn't half bad. I definitely will make both the chicken and the dal again. And I really want to get the paneer recipe right. I kinda wish I had gotten better photos of the finished food but we were too hungry to wait. Maybe next time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I didn't want it to end.

Unfortunately thought, it did. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was saddened by the finale of Battlestar Galactica. At first I was all like "That totally sucked. I'm pissed. Waaah!" But then I realized the finale itself was fine... maybe not THE best finale, but totally servicable as an ending. I realized that I was throwing a tantrum because the saga was over. I let my feeling get in the way and my reaction was completely human. I guess this is where one would cue the opening credits music, no?

In my lame attempt to have the journey continue, my next two projects are going to be BSG based. Thanks to Miko (and her crazy love for purple) I was able to score yarn to make the Cylon Centurian Hat. And thanks to Glenna (and her amazing pattern making abilities) I was able to get my hands on her Viper Pilot sock pattern.

I'm sooooooo dorky and I dooon't caaaaaaaaaaaaaaare!

February Grief

I want to know what happened to March? I mean, February I totally get as to why I fell off the radar for a bit. But March? Maybe I will just blame February since work was pretty grueling leading me to take an extended brain vacation. I'll also blame February for another reason.


That's right. I'm going to blame my absenteeism on the Lady February Sweater. There is something about knitting this sweater that is akin to being in a trance so it's been a bit difficult to put down. Proof that since I've taken this photo I've finished one sleeve and am 10 rows short of finishing the second.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Cowl

Started: March 11, 2009
Completed: March 12, 2009
Pattern: Gloria Cowl by Orinda5
Yarn: Haldespun
Color: Fall Foliage
Skeins: 1
Needles: 5mm/US 8 Knitpicks Options
Notes: It's a little wider and shorter than I would have liked but it's very pretty.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

2 FOs, a WIP and a muffin recipe

As with most people, February was a blur. Work was outta control busy which didn't leave me with a lot of free time to do the things I needed and/or wanted to do. So now we're in March and I have no work to distract me so I'm playing catch up, or catsup if you're hungry.

Speaking of hungry (which I am all the time) I've been trolling two food blogs. I think Michelle introduced me to 'em but I can't remember. These blogs make my tummy grumble faster than... well, something that grumbles. The Pioneer Woman Cooks! and Smitten Kitchen make me drool on a regular basis and I'm not kidding.

Now I've been craving muffins for a bit. But not the sugary/floury/carb-licious ones that are like little cakes. No, I've been craving a (fairly) healthy one. See Starbucks** used to have a fruit and bran muffin that I really, really liked and then they took it away from me. I've been on the hunt ever since. Smitten Kitchen added a new feature and its called "Surprise Me!" You click the link and it usually takes you to a recipe. Click it again and it takes you to an entirely different recipe. I was bonking on that link over and over seeing each surprise and thinking "I gotta make that some day." when the muffins I've been looking for these past long, lonely months popped up.

What was funny was that I didn't realize they were The Muffins. As I was reading the ingredients and looking at the photos I swear I could have tasted them but I knew that was impossible since I had never made anything off the site (yet). I convinced myself that I was just hungry and that I should make a list, run to the grocery store and bake them. And that's what I did. And I'm pleased as punch to report that my muffin craving has been satiated. Hurrah! The recipe? Sour Cream Bran Muffins. I used yogurt instead of sour cream and my dried fruit was a mixture of cherries, strawberries, cranberries and blueberries. And even Paul, who doesn't like blueberries (in any shape or form) was all over them. I ate two for dinner. I recommend them. The end.

Now that you're back after making your own muffins, let's talk about knitting! 2 FOs and a WIP. What could be better than that? Other than 3 MCs and 1 DJ*? I can't think of anything.


Started: Feb 1, 2009
Completed: Feb 28, 2009
Pattern: generic cuff down
Yarn: Lang Jawoll Cotton
Color: 8853
Skeins: 2
Needles: 2.5mm/US 1.5 Knitpicks Options
Notes: cast on 64, heel worked over 38 stitches
Ravelry deets here.


Started: Feb 24, 2009
Completed: March 3, 2009
Pattern: Sherbrooke by Lauren Weinhold
Yarn: Haldespun
Color: Clematis
Skeins: 1
Needles: 5mm/US 8 Knitpicks Options
Notes: length is 10"
Modifications: row 2: *k1,p1*
Ravelry deets here.

Whatdya think of the action shot, huh? Lady February Sweater coming 'actcha, yo! I'm loving this sweater. The yarn is so squishy and yummy I just want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George. I'm making better time on than expected since I was so busy. I'm going to guess this will be done by the end of March. More deets later.

*For those who don't get the reference, may I present Beastie Boys with "Three MC's and One DJ:"

** Please don't give me a hard time about going to Starbucks. Sometimes they do things right, like the bran muffin. I know most of the time they do things wrong, like taking away my bran muffin. My defense is "desperate times call for desperate measures."