log cabin baby blanket

I recently knit two Bobbi Bears for two little cousins for their first birthdays and had about 3/4 of a skein of yarn left over from each.  I kept trying to think of what I could do with these brightly colored leftovers but kept coming up with projects that weren’t worth using such nice yarn (Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton).

Then a few weekends ago I found the Half Log Cabin Ombre pattern from Purl Bee and thought, “what a great unisex baby blanket pattern!” I just started knitting the first square last night but hopefully the seven hour car ride to and from Minneapolis this weekend will give me enough time to get through a skein or two.

Hope you all have a great weekend and if you’ve got some time this weekend, try one of these frozen dessert recipes from bon appetit!

Root beer cake

Root beer floats and fried cheese curds at LaGrander’s drive-in in Chippewa Falls, WI is one thing I miss during the summers here in Chicago; however, this root beer float cake helped ease the pain.

I started to make this cake on Sunday for my neighbor/friend’s birthday on Monday and made the frosting and frosted the cake before I went to work on Monday morning.  If you need to put together a cake but don’t have enough time right before the event (and you don’t want to serve a dry cake), you should this recipe. It is one of the easiest “do ahead” cake recipes I’ve made. Plus, it is a bundt cake, and who doesn’t love a bundt cake?

Click to download a pdf of BrownEyedBaker‘s Root Beer Float Cake recipe.


Tips:  My frosting came out way too thick, so I just added more root beer as I mixed, just like you would do with milk.  I turned my oven down to 300 and took it out after 45 minutes, and I think it still needed a bit longer.  Next time, I’m going to leave the oven on at 325 and just keep a closer eye on it.  You must eat this cake with vanilla ice cream or a vanilla-ice-cream-like substitute.

lemon roll

Last night, my friend Kate made a wonderful “family” dinner for a few of us and finished it off with a delicious summer dessert. I literally grabbed my dish back as she was clearing the table and demanded that she let me finish my last bite.  The great thing about this dessert it wasn’t even that bad for us because it was from the The American Heart Association Cookbook.


22 once can lemon pie filling

16 ounce package angel food cake mix

1 tablespoon confections’sugar

2 cups fat-free or low-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed

12 ounces fresh blueberries


Preheat the oven to 350 F

Line a 10×15 inch jell roll pan with wax paper

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the pie filling and cake mix,  Beat on medium for 5 to 7 minutes.  Spoon in to the pan, using a rubber scraper, smooth the mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean

Sprinkle a dish towel with confectioners’ sugar Invert the cake onto the towel Peel away and discard the wax paper.  Neatly trim the edges of the cake roll.  Starting from a short end, roll up the cake in the dish towel.  Let cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together the  topping and lemon zest.

Unroll the cake and remove the dish towel.  Spread the whipped topping over the cake; reroll.  Freeze for about 2 hours, or until the whipped topping is firm

To serve, cut into 16 slices.  Sprinkle with blueberries – don’t be stingy.


Click here to download the pdf of the recipe.



downtown sound

Music in Millennium Park has started!  So to get prepared for bringing a picnic and cold beverages down to the park I picked up this cooler messanger bag from Whole Foods.

I was super pumped but then I thought about how many other music/park goers would have the same bag so, in order to make mine a little different and that I can spot it at the end of the night I put this steely bow on it.

It only took me about 15 minutes to sew it on and if you aren’t that in to the idea of sewing it on you can use fabric glue or adhesive webbing.  If you can’t think of treats that you’d pack check-out these mason jar meals from the decorated cookie.

long weekend

It is a holiday weekend, and that means no work on Monday! However, instead of packing up and heading to Northern Wisconsin this weekend I’m going to stick around the city and get stuff done. Here is my weekend to do list:


Sew: Need to add a zipper in to the David the Gnome pillowcase I made a few weeks ago


Do laundry. Did you know you could make your own detergent?


Knit: a Bobbi Bear for little cousin M, sweater vest for me and start a baby blanket


Read: I have a stack of books next to my bed that I need to finish or, for that matter, start.


Go: Yoga class. I’ve been going to Core Power Yoga this past month, and I am pretty much addicted.


Plan: Be a good bridesmaid, aka finish planning a bachelorette party and plan purchases for bridal showers and go see Bridesmaids.


I hope you have you all have a safe, productive and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

“put an Oero in it!”

Some of you may be familiar with the saying “put a bird on it!” from the television show Portlandia on IFC.  Well, yesterday, my cousin introduced me to the saying “put an Oero in it!”

For example, don’t just make a chocolate chip cookie – make a chocolate chip cookie with an Oero in the center; or, don’t just make brownies – make brownie-covered Oreos!  This may seem a bit indulgent, but what delicious baking treat isn’t? Here are a couple recipes for Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies: Amandeleine’s recipe and Becky Bakes’ recipe and Picky Palate’s Brownie Covered Oreos.

circle scarf

A few weeks ago, The Needle Shop was having a 15% off all fabric sale, and I went a little hog wild on buying fabric; however, I didn’t really have any projects in mind.  So after a few weeks of looking at the pile of fabric, I chose to take the remnant cotton fabric and make a circular scarf.  Yes, it is similar to the style of the American Apparel circular scarf – it’s just a lot cheaper.  It was super easy, and I will have the step-by-step guide up later this week.