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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

Hi!

I am here and alive, if anyone cares.

So what’s new? I have completed 3 weeks of class, i.e. on class down and…ummm… not really sure how many more to go, but definitely more than one. I think I did pretty well in the class and the instructor seemed to agree with me. This class covered basic cooking and knife skills, which my instructor says I have a good grasp of, according to my friend in class. Today we started a new class, intro to baking and pastry, and I think this one will be just as fun.

I bought a bike! It’s shiny! I have only had the chance to go on a couple rides because the weather declined right after I bought it, but I hope to ride it to work on Sundays and get in the occasional week day ride when I can. It’s a Specialized Vienna, which is a cross style bike, and I love it.

I have been knitting. I finished a pair of Nutkin socks in some Cherry Tree Hill Supersock  I received from Cookie A for sample knitting Cauchy for her book Sock Innovation

Nutkin

 

I also recently started Aquaphobia and totally love how they are turning out.

Aquaphobia

Now I should get back to typing my notes from class like a responsible student, or maybe I will just read my book.  It is getting good.

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I decided my sister needed an apartment-warming gift since she is moving into her first apartment this fall. Obviously, I wanted it to be something small since she will most likely be moving after the fall semester is over and is taking as little as possible with her. I decided to get her my most favoritest kitchenest tool ever..est. I am not going to mention what it is since it’s a secret, but those who know me may be able to guess. Anyway, while I was at the site I buy these things from I noticed they were having a sale. I couldn’t resist checking it out. I know I don’t have a job (yet, I hope that will change soon) after this Friday, but I saw the thing I have been in search of for months, a kitchen scale (ok, just to be pedantic it says “baker’s scale”).

I bought it, and I am ok with that. There have been so many times I skip over a recipe because the ingredients are listed by weight rather than volume. No more! I also want to be able to divide my sock yarn skeins so I can knit them two at a time because I feel so much more productive when I do it that way. It’s a multi-tasker! It may become my new favoritest kitchenest tool ever.

I am a bit excited.

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I wish I could blame the storm early this morning for my alarm not going off, but it wasn’t to blame since my power didn’t go out, as per usual. I swear I set the thing, but it didn’t go off. I did wake up and listen to the crazy thunder, lightning, rain and wind. It was a nasty storm, which I of course enjoyed thoroughly while I was awake.

I moved up some more stuff this weekend. I hope we will be able to get the rest of our stuff in one trip, with a few exceptions. The issues with the trucks kind of threw off our plans for this move. I guess that’s how it works.

My plan for dinner includes these little guys in a salad and strawberry cobbler/crisp/crumble depending on what I can scrounge up from the items I have left. I think I will have to make bread crumbs in my coffee grinder (after cleaning it, of course). I unthinkingly bought a large volume of strawberries because they were incredibly cheap and in good shape not thinking about how I alone could consume that many in a reasonable amount of time, hence the cobbler/crumble/crisp I will be making.

Well, it’s the beginning of my last week of work. I am not quite sure what I think about that yet.

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This moving to a different state has been a bit expensive. Luckily we have not had to add any hotel expenses (though, that would have been cheaper than paying two rents this month) since the gas for our trips north increased our credit card bill by almost $300 more than we usually spend. We also ate out more because we were out of town or just too busy/tired to grocery shop or cook. We put all our bills and other expenses on this card because we get a percentage back on whatever we spend. Everything is getting more expensive, and we are starting to feel it. I guess its good that only one of us will be coming back this weekend. Of course, I will be driving the vehicle that has a gas tank which holds about 8 more gallons and gets 50 miles less out of each tank of gas.

Groceries are more expensive, so I have tried to cut down on our expenses there as well. I started making granola for Josh because he eats so much of it. I should start making yogurt too since that is what he usually eats with his granola. I have also been purchasing more bone-in chicken because it is significantly cheaper and doesn’t require much work if I want to remove the bone myself. I have made pizza instead of ordering it, but I am not so sure it is much cheaper than getting one from Papa Murphy’s especially if you have a coupon. I plan to at least make some of our bread because I love baking bread, and I keep making cookie dough but not cookies. I figure I am saving on energy costs that way.

I also knit my own socks. Wait, I don’t think that is saving me much money, but at least I am entertaining myself. Does saving $10 on two skeins of yarn for a sweater count? I decided I wanted to use nicer yarn for this sweater so I am slowly accumulating the yarn for it and hoping the dye lots are close enough that I can just alternate skeins. The yarn is the aran weight version of the yarn I used for the Poms. It’s even the same color so I could have a matching sweater and sock set. Actually the socks may be going to my mom if she likes them and they fit her which means I would need to make another pair for myself. The sacrifices I make for my family…

My sister is in China for the next three weeks, and so far, it doesn’t sound like she has lost any luggage or missed a connecting flight which is usually what happens to her when she travels. Let’s hope this trend continues.

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I was smarter today and wore socks with my shoes and brought a sweatshirt, but my hands and nose are still cold. I usually use Josh’s shoulder as a nose warmer, but he wasn’t willing to come to work with me today. Apparently he has to go to work, too. I could really use one of these in this place right now. Actually, I think it could be pretty useful in most places during the colder months. June in Iowa isn’t supposed to be a cold month. I found an electric company in MN that lets you purchase blocks of wind generated energy each month for about 50 cents per 100kwh. I think it’s totally worth it.

My good internet friend Melanie posted a link to Musicovery, which I am quite enjoying. At the rather chilly lab, I usually listen to Pandora, but this is a nice change and a different way to approach listening to music based on mood rather than it’s musical qualities.

I have been knitting on the Poms and on my traveling socks (so far the heel flap of the 2nd is on it’s third iteration), but nothing yet for Summer of Socks. I think I will need to bust out the baby sock patterns for this one.

I need some pizza ideas. I have another ball of this dough in the freezer (leave it in the freezer for a week, trust me, you won’t be disappointed) and so far I have made taco pizza, white sauce with chicken, peppers and red onion, and something else, but I can’t remember right now. Josh has been adamant about no red sauce, so I better steer clear of that no matter how much I want a cheese pizza right now.

Josh and I are going to start moving stuff this Saturday, which makes me kind of excited. We started packing up the kitchen and my bookshelf as well as two of our three computers, so a truckload is heading north with us. It will be nice to get the boxes out of our current place. While in the throes of packing I noticed some sticky brown syrup dripping down our plastic shelves in our storage room. This is the shelf that Josh stores all his beer making ingredients on. Somehow, a bottle of malt extract broke and slowly leaked all over the floor. Luckly, since it is mostly sugar, it was fairly easy to wash away, but I had to use my bench scraper to get the stuff off the floor. Why was I cleaning it up an not Josh?

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I have really enjoyed our weather so far this spring and what has now turned into summer (June always seems like the start of summer no matter what the calendar says) other than the crazy amount of rain of course. We have barely had to turn the A/C on other than the random humid day. We did have to turn it one yesterday due to some humidity and a cake I made for a wedding for some of Josh’s parent’s friends.

The fondant is not as smooth as I would like, but I think I am learning. I had to turn the air on so the frosting holding the raspberries in place wouldn’t slide all over the place. The couple’s wedding reception was supposed to be at a restaurant that was damaged by the floods, so they are postponing it. I was supposed to make a 9×13 cake for that, but Josh’s mom decided her friends needed a cake anyway since they had the wedding despite the reception issues.

Yesterday while his parents were at the wedding, Josh and I took care of Scooter.

He is a great little dog. He listens well, is not very good at playing fetch, doesn’t bark at other dogs, and only shed a bit.

At Hy-Vee the other day they were giving out fabric bags for free, which I thought was quite nice. I think the bag is still working on it’s colors, though.

Read Full Post »

I have really enjoyed our weather so far this spring and what has now turned into summer (June always seems like the start of summer no matter what the calendar says) other than the crazy amount of rain of course. We have barely had to turn the A/C on other than the random humid day. We did have to turn it one yesterday due to some humidity and a cake I made for a wedding for some of Josh’s parent’s friends.

The fondant is not as smooth as I would like, but I think I am learning. I had to turn the air on so the frosting holding the raspberries in place wouldn’t slide all over the place. The couple’s wedding reception was supposed to be at a restaurant that was damaged by the floods, so they are postponing it. I was supposed to make a 9×13 cake for that, but Josh’s mom decided her friends needed a cake anyway since they had the wedding despite the reception issues.

Yesterday while his parents were at the wedding, Josh and I took care of Scooter.

He is a great little dog. He listens well, is not very good at playing fetch, doesn’t bark at other dogs, and only shed a bit.

At Hy-Vee the other day they were giving out fabric bags for free, which I thought was quite nice. I think the bag is still working on it’s colors, though.

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