Month: May 2014

Working Hard on the Weekend

Hey Everyone!

When it comes to knitting and working on projects, I don’t stop just because it is the weekend. Sometimes I work even harder on my projects on the weekend. I am also working on not letting myself get distracted as much during the day, so that I am more productive and make better use of my time. That and I am not liking the whole going to bed past midnight, because I was not as productive as I could have been during the day, so I stay up later working on projects, thus sleeping later in the morning. It is a whole vicious cycle that I am trying to break.

The last couple of days I have been working all out on my sweater, just because I am trying to get it done, and so I have one less project just sitting around, taking up space. I am also tired of looking at these colors, and want to move on to something else. For the first week and a half after I bruised my tailbone, I was content with taking it easy and not doing much in the way of knitting. My tailbone is taking its time to heal, but I am tired of having the same projects sitting around, and seeming like I am not getting much of anywhere with them, I want and need fresh material for The Knitter’s Notes, not only just for having something to write about, but to also help me out, for exposure and getting new readers, and growing the blog and stuff. It is easier to come up with stuff to write about, because this blog is more focused on the day to day goings on, or what I have on my mind, so it is more about just blogging, writing and sharing my life and experiences with you all.

I also feel that the more projects for kids in need that I do get done, the more I am able to add to help bolster myself, and make my dream a reality, and give me more credibility for becoming a Charity Knitting Advocate. Have new and fresh content for the knitting blog is part of that, the more I get done, the more I have to write about, post pictures of, and the more I am able to put myself out there. What started as a hobby fourteen years ago, is now turning into what I want to do with my life as a career. Making your career goals happen takes time, perseverance, dedication, and if it were easy it wouldn’t be worth doing. I have spent a good 2.5+ year period throwing myself into knitting sweaters, and getting more and more done, and that was before I even knew that it was what I was wanting to work toward as a career. The career is not the final total of sweaters that I knit, but rather the process about what goes into it, the kids that are benefiting from it, and why people like myself choose to get involved. It is also a resource for those who want to get involved so they have aren’t struggling with how to go about it, or where to send their final projects. I want to help bring the resources that are out there, to knitters and crocheter’s who want to get involved but wouldn’t otherwise know how to go about it.

What I Ate Wednesday at the End of May

Hey Everyone!

I am trying to eat better, but it is a work in progress.

This morning I had a bowl of honey nut cheerios with come coconut almond milk, a serving of Brown and Serve Turkey breakfast sausages, a plate of fruit and a mug of coffee without sugar. I skipped the sugar because I am trying to cut back on how much added sugar I have.

For lunch I had a couple slices of the cinnamon raisin bread I made on Monday.

For an afternoon snack I had a few Van’s The Perfect 10 Gluten Free crackers.

For Dinner I had a bowl of homemade split pea soup, a few Van’s The Perfect 10 Gluten Free Crackers, and a bowl of homemade applesauce.

Gluten Free (and easily Dairy Free) Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey Everyone!

Here is the recipe I found, that makes great gluten free/dairy free chocolate chip cookies. This recipe can easily be halved for fewer cookies. A half recipe makes about 20 cookies.

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free) plus additional for greasing baking sheets
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons brown-rice flour mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
  • Whisk together flour mix, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum in a small bowl.
  • Beat together shortening (1 cup) and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture until just incorporated, then stir in chips and walnuts if using.
  • Drop heaping teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets.
  • Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden, 9 to 15 minutes. Let stand 1 minute, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool and continue making cookies using cooled baking sheets.

A few notes:

* you can skip greasing the tray if you use non stick baking sheets.

* this can be made dairy free using dairy free chocolate chips. I have found that the Ghiradelli Semi Sweet chocolate chips (in the gold bag) are dairy free.

*Chilling the cookies for an hour before baking helps them to not spread out too much, if they spread too much they will be too thin, and fall apart fairly easy.

*I keep a 5 litre container of the brown rice flour mix, as it is a good all purpose GF flour mix

Making Things that Taste Good

Hey Everyone!

Today is Memorial Day here in the States, which is the day we honor those who lost their lives while serving their country.

I am at home getting some baking done, I made a loaf of Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread and half a batch of Gluten Free/Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. For the cookies I use Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (there are no dairy or related ingredients in them). The Recipes are out of the Gluten Free Classics Baking Book, which I had purchased at Bob’s Red Mill (and can be found at least online from other retailers). While I don’t mind sharing recipes online, beings that I use this baking book for pretty much everything GF I bake, and the fact that the book is copyrighted, I am referring you to the baking book. I have found that with the cookies, if you chill the dough before baking (and only doing one tray at a time and then putting the bowl of dough back in the fridge while the tray bakes) the cookies don’t spread as much (and get to spread out and thin). I mixed up the bread first, so that it could rise while I mixed up the cookies. The cookies could then chill while I baked the bread. I try to be efficient with my time, and using the oven, so that the oven doesn’t just sit running or have to reheat in between projects.

Besides spending part of my day baking, I have also been spending time working knitting up the skein of Nature’s Brown Fishermen’s Wool I have been working with. I am working on a ribbed scarf (knit 3 purl 1 rib).

While working on my scarf I have been watching vlogs on youtube. I have to say that the SACCONEJOLYs and The Chick’s Life are my favorites.

 

Love the Fresh Fruit and Produce

Hey Everyone!

While I am not a huge fan of the summer heat, I will admit that I do love summer because fruit and veggies are the most plentiful and tasty in the summer.

While the berries and local fresh produce still has a bit of a ways to go before it is in its prime in the height of summer, I have notice here in the last couple of weeks that the berries are coming into season in the grocery stores. Their flavones are also better. They are sweet and amazing. I love fresh berries.

There is something about driving out to the farm and picking up a flat of fresh, Oregon grown strawberries, or going and picking your own Oregon Cherries, or Oregon Peaches. I also enjoy going to farmers markets and buying directly from the smaller local farmers. You get better quality by going to Farmers Markets.

I guess you could say I got spoiled living somewhere that has so much in the way of locally grown crops, and parents who would go out to the farm to get the fresh produce (how better to spend a couple hours on a beautiful afternoon).

Growing up, particularly in me preteen and teen years I would often help my mom can fruits and a few vegetables (namely dill pickles and pickled beets). It was a lot of work, but come fall and winter, having home canned fruit was worth the work to can it.