Monday, 29 March 2010

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

I wonder why it is that I think pies are worthy of a post. Cakes - no. Cookies - definitely not. It's funny, cause pies aren't that much harder than cakes. But whenever I make a pie, I'm proud enough of it that I feel like it deserves a mention. This one especially!
It's a chocolate pumpkin pie and I made it for my work's pie contest. How cool is that? This is the third annual contest!
I didn't win... but I thought my pie was pretty tasty!

I mashed two recipes together and did this:

Pumpkin Chocolate Pie

Graham Cracker crust
2 Cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 18 crackers)
1/2 Cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 - 5 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep 9 1/2" pie dish. Bake until firm. 8-10 min.
2. Removed from oven and sprinkle chocolate over bottom of the crust. Return to oven to melt. About 1 min. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up the sides. Let cool.

Pumpkin Pie filling
3/4 Cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
dash nutmeg
2 eggs
15 oz can of pumpkin
12 oz can of evaporated milk

1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Combine sugar, salt, spices in a small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into COOLED graham cracker crust.
3. Bake for 55-70 min. (I baked for 55 min and then continued to check on it every 5 minutes until the center was firm.)
4. Chill.

Garnish with a drizzle of melted semisweet or milk chocolate.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Simple Gathered Scarf

I took two balls of yarn to NZ. Both grey. With these two balls I made a set. One hat. One pair of fingerless mittens (to be posted). And this scarf.

I'm not in love with it. I started it in the Auckland airport and was more than half done by the time I landed in the San Francisco airport. Easy pattern!

That said, it's just sort of boring. It was a little boring to knit. And it's not overly lovely. What do you think? It does have some texture to it. And I like the small ruffles that result... but it doesn't really have much wow factor. Maybe the fact that it's grey doesn't help. Maybe it's going to be a good go to scarf because it will match a lot of things. ?
It was perfect for knitting on the flight. I didn't have to look at the pattern. Almost ever. I read it online. Wrote it out quickly. And after the first round through, I just kept going until the ball was done.
But now that I'm back, I am looking forward to knitting something that takes a little more concentration! :)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

I'm back!

I'm back from my trip Beside Down Under. Did you miss me!?

... no?
Well, I suppose I did have my automatic posts going on while I was away, so that makes sense. I'm glad you liked the Olympic hats!

I have so much to tell about New Zealand. So many little stories, but I'll only share one now.
New Zealand has a lot of sheep. I've heard numbers like, there are 7 sheep for every 1 person in NZ. So, as one might imagine I was really hoping to buy some wool as a good NZ souvenir. Good idea right?
Well, the only yarn I saw in the three weeks that I was there was made in China! WTF? How disappointing is that? I couldn't even find a real yarn store!
In NZ's defense I didn't have a lot of time to look for one. I looked some up online, hoping to get to one in Auckland, but they were all too far away from the downtown area that I was in and I thought I'd have to see at least one shop with NZ yarn. Nope.

Oh well. The rest of the trip was incredibly, crazily amazing! Not one complaint here. It is such a beautiful country and I loved traveling with my bro& his family.
And luckily I brought two balls of yarn from home. I made this hat on the flight, but didn't have much chance to wear it there. The weather was too nice.

(Sutro Heights Hat pattern here.)

But my niece liked playing with it, and it is she who is modeling it. Yes me and my 1yo niece can share this hat. It's way long on her and just the right length for me. And with the ribbing it stretches to almost any head size (and was still a little bit big on her).
And best thing? When she got bored with having it on her head? The hat became a puppet. And that obviously was even more fun. :)

So, glad to be back! And I have a few other finished projects to share in the days to come.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

#4 - Fairisle

Project #4. The last of my Olympic watching hats! :) I hope you've enjoyed them!

This one was by far the hardest. (Okay. It was still pretty easy...) Why? Because the colours are worked all the way through the decreases. And because I had to flub the pattern I got here because I was trying to change it on the go to be a kid's hat. Did I succeed? Not sure.

Because of that my tension isn't very consistent throughout the hat. Look at those long tails around the top. Ew. It looks like a horrible rat's nest. (Compare it to the red fake fairisle hat and you'll definitely see a difference!)

Still, of al of the hats, I think this one looks the best. It probably looks the best because of the pattern around the top!

So there we go. My 4 colour work hats. Which one did you like the best.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

#3 - Candy stripes

I totally changed the pattern of this hat!

I had to because of the yarn that I used. It's supposed to have a whole other set of white stripes on it. The hat would have been totally the wrong size had I done them!

My thoughts: I like the ribbing (k3, p2) and the feel of this hat. But again, I'm not sold on the colour combination. Funny how for the frog hat, I didn't like the definite contrast in the colours. For this one I wish you could see the difference between the white and pink a little more.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

#2 - Swirls

While I'm not sold on these colours, I love this hat.

It looks very Hallowe'en-ish.
But I do love the swirls back and forth. And it knit up super fast!
I also really like the fact that the pattern comes with instructions for how to make it so that you can't see the start/end of a row. It's called an Aunt Jean invisible jog. Easy to do, and it makes the hat so much nicer. (Doesn't have a bad name either! :) )

The only thing I would change about this hat is the ribbing on the cuff. It's k4, p1. I don't like how wide the sections are. I like it when they are more uniform.
But all in all, a good hat!

Monday, 1 March 2010

#1 - not even fairisle

It begins. Three cheers for colour work projects!!!
See how this hat is two colours? See how it's not stripes!?

Funny thing? This hat is a fake!! At least it's a fake when it comes to colour work.
To make it you really only have to be able to knit with one colour at a time. How is the pattern done? You slipping some stitches (not knitting them in that row) but knitting others with the contrast colour. Can you tell by this picture?

Genius! Pure genius I tell you! (I got the pattern here.)

So hat #1 is a success! I love the results. (Even if I did make a small mistake in it...) I love the crisp lines in the design. All in all, a great first colour work hat.