Have I told you about Stitch-It? It's a favorite podcast and there is a listeners group on Ravelry.com as well. We're a chatty bunch, share lots of good ideas, encourage each other, inspire each other, enable each other! We decided to start up groups to do charity baby blankets last year. I head up the Mid-west region and we pass this blanket around to each other, knitting 4" full of good thoughts, and then pass it on to the next knitter. It's very rewarding, fun to get to know your fellow knitters, and satisfying to see the finished project. I will be delivering the first batch of blankets to the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI shortly and wanted to share a photo of them.
Aren't they lovely? I think there will be some warm, snuggly, comforted babies and parents with these blankets!
Next, on the homefront, we've been busy! I have decided that I need to try new recipes and I'll share reviews of how they are. I want to eat a little better, a little healthier, incorporate more fruits and veggies, and expand our menus. (Sounds New Year Resolution-ish, doesn't it? But it's not, really. I don't keep those!) So, this past week we tried a Pear Pancake. Yum. Not exactly healthy, but there's fruit in it! And breakfast is tough to imagine when it comes so early in the morning. So sometimes, have your sugar early. :) It looked like this:
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. pear nectar
2 medium pears, thinly sliced lenghtwise
1 c. half and half
3 lg. eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. sale
Preheat oven to 425. In a deep 10" cast iron skillet, add 1/3 c. sugar and the pear slices and pear nectar. Sprinkle pears with 1 Tbs. sugar. Cook undisturbed over med heat until sugar carmelizes. Meanwhile in a blender, mix half and half, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, salt and remaining granulated sugar. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour batter over the pears and bake until lightly browned and puffy....about 15 min. Reduce heat to 350 and bake about another 10 min. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
It was tasty, though the bottom was a little too caramelized. Maybe the second 15 minutes could have been cut down to 5-10 minutes, or maybe I let it caramelize too long on the stove top. But still, great. I used Red D'Anjou pears.
Another very comforting thing I made was homemade French Bread! (Ok, forget what I said about the healthy stuff earlier) The recipe was from allrecipes.com and it was a little confusing with the amount of yeast. It called for 2 1/2 (.25 oz) packages of yeast, but one package is .75 oz. I only used one package and the consistency was great. I also would have used more salt than the recipe calls for. But it's fantastic and I'm having a hard time not scarfing it all.
One more tasty treat, a little more healthy too is Nigella's Breakfast bars. The recipe is all over the 'net, but I was first introduced to them by Meghan, again, of Stitch-It!. I love the raw oats and have trouble not eating spoonfuls before even baking! We added dried blueberries and cherries, a little coconut, flax seeds and pecans.
And finally, the last thing we made were anacondas. Why? Because they live in rain forests, and they start with letter A, which was part of our lessons this past week. :)
And, "hey! A starts with Ants too!" said Goosie, Just in case you didn't know.
Hey, forgot to add, there is a blog I'm enjoying and wanted to share. It's Reclaiming the Home http://reclaimingthehome.typepad.com/home/ There is also a Ravelry group for this and it's really inspirational as well. Who'd have thought I'd like to clean some days?