Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DB: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

This month's Daring Bakers' challenge was the Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake!

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.-

Since I currently do not have internet at home I will not be able to get the pictures up until this weekend when I am at the coffee shop. This challenge made me feel really proud of myself and was also very yummy. I was really excited to be making ice cream from scratch both with out eggs or an ice cream maker. I didn't know that you could make ice cream without an ice cream maker. So not only did I make both chocolate and vanilla ice cream from scratch I also made cake, whipped cream, & fudge sauce from scratch. I am telling you this recipe was so yummy. It was a bit on the time consuming side because of having to wait for the ice cream to set. You can find the recipe for the Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake here! This was so yummy. I loved the ice cream and the whipped cream although I wasn't too fond of the frozen cake & I think I would have like for it to have more of a chocolate flavor. I promise I will post pictures by the end of the week, so check back for yummy photos.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tour de Fleece & The Daring Kitchen

Let's start with the TdF. I have slowed down my spinning speed a bit so I don't run out of roving before the tour is over. I recently starting spinning lace/fingering weight yarn (trying to at least). I guess actually it is going pretty well. I am getting rather consistent singles and I am now able to draft and spin at the same time instead of having to draft in advance. So here is a quick picture of where I am at with my lace/fingering singles:
 So there you have it! Okay on to the Daring Kitchen. I will be blogging about July's Daring Bakers Challenge on Tuesday. Hopefully, I will get lots of pictures taken this weekend of the yummy challenge. This one is much more intensive than the last daring cooks challenge. I think baking is harder than cooking anyway, but that is what I love about it. Lots of people cook well, but few bake well. I also just found out what the Daring Cooks Challenge is and I must say I am so excited about it. I am doing four different variations on it & it is going to be so yummy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

DC: Nut Butters

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

Okay so I am a day late posting this and did not take any photos of my finished dish at the time. I will remake this weekend and update this post with pictures.So the challenge was to make you own nut butters. Think peanut butter but using other kinds of nuts (i.e. Walnuts, cashews, pecans, etc.). I chose to make Walnut White Bean Dip With Rosemary & Sage. I chose to make this for a few reasons. Number 1 being that we were on a tight budget this past month and this seemed the most economically friendly. Number 2 being that this one gave me the most use of my magic bullet. I love my magic bullet unfortunately, it just doesn't give the love it deserves sometimes.

So what were my thoughts:
1. I really need to invest in some teaspoon & tablespoon measuring devices.
2. The nut butter from the Walnuts was really yummy and had a really cool texture.
3. It was so yummy with chopped celery.
4. I guess my only complaint is that it was a bit thick for my preference. I am sure I could leave in some of the liquid from the beans next time.

You can visit the Daring Kitchen website here and read about the challenge as well as view the recipe that I used.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Okay so remember how my original goal was to just get one 4oz batch of roving spun during the TdF. Well, I did that in the first 5 days and decided I better slow down or I would run out of roving before the TdF was over. I just fell in love with spinning. I get to take it everywhere and I always seem to feel comfortable doing it. My arm no longer gets tired, my back doesn't hurt, it just feels right. I spent the 4th of July downtown at Black and Brew spinning away on the Sexy Hotness which was fun because there was a lot of red, white, & blue in the fiber with bits of pink and purple. Several small children walked by and admired my "cotton candy," that's what they called it. We then watched the Fireworks over Lake Mirror. Here is a picture of the "cotton candy" off the spindle but before being plied.
It really did turn out to be absolutely beautiful. So, what have I been spinning since. Well, I had some sample braids (0.5oz) from Into The Whirled and I figured they would be a good way to practice spinning thinner yarn. I really wanted to go for a lace weight but would be totally happy with fingering. So I spun one of the Into The Whirled sample braids and was pretty happy with the thinness. Last night I decided that I would start working on some more roving dyed by the fantastic Julie and aim for a lace/fingering weight. So this is where I am at with my spinning. I will be posting about the awesome shawl pin I won from Crystal who actually hand delivered it since we both live in Florida. Much more about that in the next post when I have take a proper picture of her fantastic shawl pin.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Just a quick Tour de Fleece Update.

Here is the Sexy Hotness (80/20 Wool/Bamboo) that I have been spinning for the Tour. Dyed by the incredibly talented Julie!!

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind (41-50)

This is the last segment in the 50 questions series and away we go:

41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? I would throw a party and invite everyone. 

42.  Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? No.

43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Truly living is experiencing things. You can be on life support and be alive but that is not living. You are just there. You have no way to experience things.

44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? There are probably lots of moments where this should apply however, I think from a really young age we are taught to way the risks and rewards of things (i.e. don't touch that it's hot!).

45.  If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Well, some mistakes could be fatal not only to you but to others. Plus, you are often shunned for making mistakes. You could be fired from your job, laughed at in class, not graduate. I guess basically mistakes could lead to failure and most people (myself included) are afraid to fail. 

46.  What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Nothing really. I don't really live my life based on others opinions. I am fortunate enough that those opinions that do matter come with very open minds.

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? When I woke up in the middle of the night last night.

48. What do you love? I love lots of things. I am guessing since the question is not 'who' do you love that it is referring to things. I love spinning.   Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? Yes, I have been spinning a lot lately, made a niddy noddy, & I am participating in the Tour de Fleece.

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? I think there are moments that I will remember. I tend to cherish the little things and I hope that I will be able to remember lots of them when I am older.

50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? I am making them for myself. Not saying that some of them aren't influenced by other things but ultimately I am making them myself. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tour de Fleece

So the Tour de Fleece officially starts tomorrow! It runs from July 3rd to July 25th. Am I really going to take a 21 break from knitting?? The answer yes! I am still a super new spinner and to be able to accomplish anything during the tour I am going to need to spend every waking moment spinning. That means during 15 minute breaks at work. My hour at lunch. While dinner is cooking. And so on. My goal is to just get 4oz of roving spun, plied, & set. It probably doesn't seem like much to those people spinning on a wheel or those that have been spinning for a long time. I just finished my first 4oz on Tuesday. It took me about 2 months, granted there was lots of knitting going on in that time and a lot of learning taking place. Hopefully, I will get this done and maybe even be able to start on some other roving. For those of you who are not spinners and are not aware of what the Tour de Fleece is you can read about it here! Basically, it is a challenge to see how much you can complete during the Tour de France. You are not competing with other spinners just seeing what you can accomplish for yourself and there are others spinners there to motivate and inspire you along the way. I really excited about the inspiration portion. Seeing new techniques that I haven't seen or stumbling upon tips that will make me a better and more efficient spinner. You can join different teams...I have joined the rookies since this is my first year and I have also joined a wild card spindlers team. There are prizes to be won and so much more. If you are on Ravelry and have not yet joined you should do so. Since I will already be spinning for 21 days I am going to go ahead and extend it an extra 9 days to complete one of my 101 in 1001 challenges, which is to spin everyday for 30 days.  

In other news I have picked up some ingredients for the daring cooks challenge and I just found out the daring bakers challenge. I went to the store without my daring cooks challenge recipe list and lets just say I had looked at 2 recipes and kind of got a few of the ingredients mixed up. That's what I get for shopping without a list. The good news is I was planning to make them both anyway so I already have a few ingredients on hand for the second one. I can't wait to share pictures and recipes with you unfortunately the rules state that I am unable to do some until July 15th. Well, off to get some knitting done before I am cut off!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind (31-40)

So here I am again tackling those 50 questions. I feel like I should have finished this by now. I don't know what happens to all my time. I wake up at 10am on Saturday and think okay I have 14 hours to get stuff done today and before I know it the 14 hours are gone and all I have done is knit or spin. I really want to get some cleaning done. It's hard for me to do when Walt is home. Sometimes I want to just ship him off for the day and get some work around the apartment done. Not that I don't love him because I do, he is just so darn distracting. :) Well, onto the 50 questions.

31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Two days ago when Walt was wearing the Jackson hat that I had knit. It is the first thing that I have seen him wear that I have knit. I was so excited I was jumping up and down on the bed like a little kid. He looked so cute in it.

32. If not now, then when? Hopefully soon. Somethings got to stick, right?

33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? Everything! I don't have a lot which makes achieving lots of things tough at the moment but I certainly don't want to lose everything I have by making stupid mistakes.

 34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? No

35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? They are always going to be going against people that are naturally violent. The spoken word doesn't seem to count for much anymore. People lie.

36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? Nothing is black & white.

37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? Absolutely!!

38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? More work that I actually enjoy doing. I enjoy being busy.

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Yes.

40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? Three years ago, when I decided to date Walt. It was a great decision but a very scary one. There were lots of challenges in the being and lots of unknown but it was the best decision I have ever made and I don't regret it for a single minute.

Those are the questions for today. Maybe I will do the last 10 tomorrow and will have one more thing to check off my list. I am 5% complete on my list. I only have 66 items currently and a lot of the task span the entire time so a lot will be checked off on the last day (hopefully).