Friday, February 20, 2009

Quiet Disaster

It's been quiet around blogland the past few weeks. I haven't had too much to share. I don't have any big project that I'm working on. I've been enjoying working in the kitchen and baking like crazy. I had a Valentines day post for you but then disaster struck! More about that in a minute. First I wanted to share with you a few more gifts for baby. We had another baby shower at church last Sunday. I made 5 more receiving blankets and another hat. I can't show you all of it because I forgot to take pictures before the gift was wrapped. Mind you I finished with the blanket embroidery at 9:00am Sunday morning. I had a whopping 30 minutes to spare before we dashed off to church. Nothing like waiting to the very last minute. Why do I do that? Is it just me? I find myself in this predicament far too often. The hat I knitted is so easy peasy yet still kept my interest. The pattern is here.

The blankets were well received by the new mother. I have enough flannel serged to make 12 more blankets. I will try and finish as many as possible for the future. Anyway it was great getting to know my sewing machine again. I even had to dig out my instruction book. giggle

Back to baking.....I have been baking valentine cookies for all of my sweeties. I found this recipe from Ina Garten. It is a wonderfully yummy cookie.

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Copyright 2001 Barefoot Contessa Parties!

1/2 pound unsalted butte,r at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds good white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Add the cocoa and mix again. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Fold in the chopped white chocolate.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool

You can use white chocolate or any kind of chocolate chip. For my first batch all I had an hand were the Christmas red and green chips. I followed a friends advice and separated the green and red and only used the red ones. They turned out beautifully.

The dough is delicious and very chocolaty.

Anyone want a spoon?!!!

The smell from the oven is pure heaven!

They taste so good. It's a cross between a brownie and a cookie. Yum! I got so many compliments. While I was writing up my blog post last week for Valentines day I had a computer disaster. Early last week I had an alert pop up on the screen that warned about a Trojan horse. My antivirus program noted the file name and alerted me that it couldn't remove the vicious file. I tried to do it myself but it seems as though the file was hidden. I am not an expert or computer whiz. Three days later the virus took over. It started doing strange things like re-directing me to different sites. Locking out other sites I was trying to get to. All that being said we were dead in the water until Monday. My son was able to remove suspicious files and we needed to download another program to remove the nasty virus. Here is my question. I have purchased the original protection for 49.99 each year, Now I have to purchase a totally different blocker for another 39.99. My computer should be as safe as Fort Knox right? I'm still having issues. Even as I write today's post I am unable to load pictures like I was able to do before the attack. I also can't post comments on blogs like Tracy's. I'm reading, I can't seem to leave a comment. The system is so slow. I think I may need an expert. Has anyone else ever had these issues? Just curious. Anyway, I will not give up!
Thank you for stopping by. So, what's new in your life?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gifts for Baby

My hands have been busy working on gifts for babies this past few weeks. In a perfect world I would make baby quilts for each newborn. I have come to the realization that I can't make a quilt for each new baby. Now I make receiving blankets for each new child. Here's my process:

All blankets are made from 1 yard of pretty flannel fabric. I serge the edges and then fold under the edge and press with an iron. After searching all of the stitches that came with my sewing machine I pick up a complementary stitch pattern. I get comfortable and start sewing. The stitch patterns take a bit of time so be patient. After the pattern is complete I finish off the hem with a simple straight stitch.

Since my machine can embroider I stitch on the last name initial monogram. I have been making these blankets for several years. They are always well received.

It's been bitter cold in my area for the last two weeks. In this kind of weather you must wear a hat. I wanted to make a few hats to keep the new babies toasty warm. I did a ravelry search and found this simple pattern from Major Knitter. It's a great easy pattern. I knitted almost the entire hat while watching the super bowl. The yarn is from the Bernat cotton tot line. The colorway is wonder dreams. Size US7 needles. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I am planning to make another solid blue hat too. Thank you Jennifer for the great pattern!

I also cast on for these cute booties. Christine's stay on booties have been knit by many a knitter. Click here for the pattern. By the way it's a great story too. Since I have never knit socks I am having some trouble with this project. Size 1 needles are my first issue. How do you use toothpicks to knit?!!! I don't know, maybe this will get better as I go. For now the going is slow.