Babbitty Rabbitty

I have spent the last week or so preparing to go to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two and by preparing I mean watching all the last three HP movies and reading the second half of Deathly Hallows.

This preparation also means that I am knitting quite a bit.  My current project is the rabbit from Itty Bitty Toys that I now fondly call Babbitty Rabbitty.  BR was commissioned by a friend for a baby gift and I will hopefully finish it today as I watch HP and the Deathly Hallows Part One.

butter balls

A friend is coming in to town today to play a show with the band Mount Moriah so in the tradition of making a few goodies for him and his band mates, I made butter balls.  I know they don’t sound that great but they are tasty.  The recipe is from a family member who gave me the recipe in late May and it is so easy to make.  If you have kids or aren’t that great at baking I would give this one a try.

 

Ingredients 

1 cup margarine

4 tbls granulated sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

2 cups Sifted Flour

¾ cup ground pecans

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream margarine, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla add flour mix well and fold in the pecans.

Shape dough in to small balls and place baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes or till cool enough to handle.

Gently roll balls in powdered sugar, let sit out and cool completely.  Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

 

Here is a pdf of the butter balls recipe.

moving

The new roommie and I have signed a lease, hired movers and started to complain about packing.  But all the moving pains don’t compare to how  stoked I am to live in a house with an office space, two kitchen aids and possibly a lazy boy recliner love seat!  I’m also pretty pumped to use my DIYness to decorate.  I’ve been pursing Design Sponge’s Best of Bedrooms parts 1, 2 and 3 to gather ideas because guess what I can fit more than my bed and a dresser in my new room!

Like I said before we have an office space that we plan to use for grading (new roommie will be student teaching this Fall), sewing table and “library.”  The walls of course are that horrible white that all the landlords in the world paint their walls, but neither of us wants to have to do the whole “paint the walls then paint them back,” so I’m looking in to this nifty DIY white wall paper.  It is a self adhesive wall paper that you can paint and then remove from the wall when you move out. I’m thinking it would be great for an accent wall.

Last but not least the first night you spend in a new place usually means eating take out and drinking an adult beverage from the local corner store but the first thing I plan to make when we have guests is this recipe for Slow Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Ketchup and Roasted Potatoes.

 

 

 

leftovers

It was Monday, July 4th and I realized that I had a dozen eggs in the fridge that were going to expire on the 7th, five bananas that I had forgotten I purchased the previous Monday and a curious amount of half eaten snack foods.  What was I to do?  Well, I made banana bread muffins, egg salad and tried out the Compost Cookie recipe I’d been coveting since my trip to NYC.

The egg salad recipe is from 101 cookbooks. If you’re thinking that you don’t need a recipe for egg salad then at least try out her hard boiled egg method (below), no joke it changed the way I view the hard boiled egg. Also, use greek yogurt instead of mayo it taste the same and it is better for you.

 

I’ve realized that 90% of the challenge here is properly boiling the egg. You need to boil it so the center sets yet stays moist. You also need to avoid the green/grey ring thing that surrounds the yolk in many hard boiled eggs. I use the same technique here that I learned camping with a hardcore egg enthusiast. It has worked for me flawlessly ever since. The key is to avoid over cooking, and to dunk the eggs in a bowl of icy water to stop the cooking after you remove them from the hot water. I always use good quality eggs – but something to keep in mind, the fresher they are, the harder they are to peel after boiling.

The photo above is the only image I will show you that I took of my Compost Cookies.  They taste great but they look awful. Next time I am going to try this version of the recipe from momofukufor2.  Note: when you make these cookies you need to refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week as individual cookie size (picture above) so make room in the fridge.

 

The Banana Bread recipe I used was from All Recipes and I would use it again but I’d like to have a recipe that bakes up a bit more moist.  Note: I doubled the recipe and I didn’t measure out the bananas, I just used the five that I had.  To make the muffins instead of bread: pour the batter into a lined cupcake pan, bake at 350 for about 30 minutes and take them out once a tooth pick comes out clean.

cake pops

Besides trying to figure out why someone would hack a baking blog,  I made cake pops over the weekend for my cousin’s bridal shower.  Long before cake pops were in Starbucks, they were being made by Bakerella, and this past Christmas, my cousin gave me a signed copy of her cook book, Cake Pops, that I lugged with me on my eight-hour bus ride from Chicago to Minneapolis.

 

To say making this fun treat was a breeze would be a lie, but they were easy enough that I woke up at 8:00 Thursday morning, and they were complete and ready to eat by 6:00 pm. Please remember that this was not all I did that day.

As you can see, I just stuck the pops in a Styrofoam block from the craft store and then decorated it with the paper from the bridal shower invites.  Once things were wrapping up, my S-I-L and I packed up the treats as party favors with plastic wrap and raffia ribbon.  I even got to share some with friends the following day for a birthday celebration.

Here is the recipe but instead of red velvet, use chocolate and instead of cream cheese frosting use vanilla and instead of chocolate bark use candy coating chips.

Tips:

If you’re in a time crunch, freeze the cake balls for the 15 minutes – no need to put them in the fridge for half the day.

Plan to fail when dipping at least the first four of your cake balls. Seriously, people will be just as happy to eat them.

You can get all your supplies at the grocery store and on Bakerella’s amazon storefront.

 

friday photos

My fellow knitters and I had a blast on Friday at Nina’s meeting author Susan B. Anderson.

The shop showcased all of her books, so we got to fall in love with Spud and Chloe and the animals, like these giraffes, from Itty-Bitty Toys.

We also got to chat with Susan and find out more about her creations and pick her brain on how she stitches on those cute little faces.   She recommend that we look over her tutorials in her books and view her “Face Embroidery” how-to video.  Also, you can buy the pattern for the baby owls on Ravelry.

Also, this weekend I started knitting Elisa Nest Tote to use while shopping at the farmer’s market this summer.

 

at the farm

Susan B. Anderson will be at Nina a Well Knit Shop a local shop in Chicago.  She will be signing some of her books and showing off her new pattern designs in Spud & Chloe at the Farm. I’ll be going with a few friends so hopefully I’ll have a few fun photos to share on Monday.

Click on the image and you’ll go to the free pattern!  You can check-out more of her free patterns on Spud & Chloe’s blog.

smash

This month I’ve felt like post-its are taking over my life.  Between apartment hunting, weddings, birthdays, classes and just life my desk, planner, computer and every moleskin I own are covered.

So yesterday I dug out my SMASH book that was apart of my SXSW swag and started filling it will all my wedding invites, gift ideas and bits and pieces of magazines that I’ve been ripping out over the last year.


Check out this great SMASH video or their blog on how you can use one of their notebooks.