December 12, 2011

CraftLife Episode 18 – Bah Humbug

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:31 pm by treacleandinketsy

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you”

Congratulations to MelodyJ, the winner of the Hello Kitty Online Premium edition giveaway!

Many thanks to Shine of Shine and Lee’s Christmas Trees for sharing a little about Christmas tree farming. You can find info about the different trees they sell, wreaths and decorations that are available, and pictures of the farm and family at the website, or on their Facebook page.

Shine and Lee got the idea for starting a Christmas Tree farm after visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. (BTW, Biltmore is one of my favorite places in the WHOLE WORLD)

“A soal, a soal, a soal cake. Please, good missus, a soal cake…” You can find a recipe to make your very own soal (or soul) cakes in this NPR article.

There has been much premie hat knitting lately, including my favorite red one which has the word “HUMBUG” duplicate stitched in green around it.   I have also put in a bit of work on  the Dovahkiin Gauntlets for Adam.  Here’s my progress so far:

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November 20, 2011

CraftLife Episode 17 – Bumps In The Road

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:56 pm by treacleandinketsy

Ebenezer Scrooge opens this week! Tech week is upon us, costumes and props are being worked in, sound and light queues are next in line.

Pearl Fryar is a master of topiary sculpture. You can learn about his story in the documentary “A Man Named Pearl”. You can check out the trailer at that link, too.

One of my favorite holiday movies, and where I first learned about Hot Buttered Rum, is White Christmas. Bing Crosby and Christmas music are synonymous in my house.

Hot Buttered Rum

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp clove

1. Combine sugar, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.

2. In a large bowl, beat ice cream, sugar/butter mixture, and spices at medium speed until smooth.  Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks, or in freezer for 1 month.

3.  To serve, fill a mug 1/4 – 1/3 with mix, add one ounce (2 Tbsp) of rum and fill the rest of the way with boiling water.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.

It’s giveaway time! Leave a comment in this post between now and 11:59pm CST on 12/1/11 to enter to win a copy of the Hello Kitty Online Premium Edition. The random number generator will be used to chose TWO winners, each of whom will receive a copy of the Premium Edition, which comes with $15 worth of in-game points to shop and spend as you play, an exclusive virtual pet to follow you around and assist on quests, and 2 Hello Kitty Online collector’s postcards. (System requirements include Windows 2000/XP/Vista (32 bit) and 512 MB RAM minimum)

Speaking of giveaways, Janeen of the Clothed in the Lamb podcast just had a 1 year podiversary giveaway, and I was the lucky winner! I’m looking forward to casting on the Gypsy tank with my winnings.

I’m working hard on the Dovakhiin Gauntlet’s for Adam. The Lustrous Extrafine Merino DK by Sublime Yarns is working beautifully!

Thanks to Fraydele on Ravelry for suggesting this week’s song!

Lyrics to this week’s song (based on the song “Whip It!” by Devo)

Rip it!

Frog that sweater
Then re-knit it better
Take out your sticks
Get right to the fix

When a problem comes along
You must rip it
If you want to fix what went wrong
You must rip it
One sleeve is far to long
You must rip it

Now rip it
Frog it back
Back it up
Don’t be slack
You must go backwards
To move ahead
When you detect it
It’s not too late
To rip it

Rip it good

If you mess up the design
You must rip it
If you put in a life line
Then you can rip it
It will look better in time
If you just rip it

I say rip it
Rip it good
I say rip it
Rip it good

Frog that sweater
Then re-knit it better
Take out your sticks
Get right to the fix

When a problem comes along
You must rip it
If you want to fix what went wrong
You must rip it
One sleeve is far to long
You must rip it

Now rip it
Frog it back
Back it up
Don’t be slack
You must go backwards
To move ahead
When you detect it
It’s not too late
To rip it
Frog it back
Back it up
Don’t be slack
You must go backwards
To move ahead
When you detect it
It’s not too late
To rip it
Rip it good

September 17, 2011

CraftLife Episode 13 – No Place Like Home

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:57 pm by treacleandinketsy

As I was putting together this week’s episode, I started to notice a not-so-craft-related theme emerging. Home. Not necessarily my home of today, but the familiar territory of my youth, and place where most of my family still resides. When I go there for a visit, I am “going home for a visit” – hence, this week’s title.  I hope you enjoy!

Monkey Bread

3 cans biscuits

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 cup light brown sugar

1 stick butter

    1. Cut biscuits into quarters with scissors.
    2. Shake biscuits quarters in a bag with sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Layer cinnamon/sugar coated biscuit quarters in a greased tube pan and sprinkle chopped nuts, raisins, or both between layers if desired.
    4. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil, and let it boil for 1 minute
    5. Pour butter and brown sugar mixture over the biscuits.
    6. Bake at 325 degrees fahrenheit (163 celsius) for 35 minutes. Let it stand 10 minutes before removing from pan.
    7. To serve, just pinch off a piece and eat with fingers.

(Recipe by Ophelia M. Leitzsey from the “Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Newberry, South Carolina” cookbook)

I had a great time talking to Stephanie about her artwork.  If you’d like to get in contact with her, just shoot an email to treacleandink@hotmail.com and put “STEPHANIE” in the subject line.  And, if you want to take a peek at her paintings, they will be available during the month of October in the Treacle And Ink Etsy shop.  Want to learn more about that Christmas tree farm she mentioned?  Head over to Shine and Lee’s Christmas Trees.  That’s my mom and dad!

Congratulations to Redsknits for winning the iMake giveaway!  If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out Martine’s podcast and blog, iMake.

My Ishbel has been completed! (And with much pride, I might add.)  They say that pride comes before a fall, but I hope that is not the case since I am currently working the stockinette section of the Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilks. And if you’d like to get a first-hand look at her inspiration, head to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

Got any extra fiber?  As if “extra fiber” wasn’t an oxymoron.  I’m looking for something to put on my drop spindle.  The majority of my meagre stash is up for grabs, if you’re looking for a trade. I’m adding more things bit-by-bit, so if you don’t see anything you like, try back later.

Lyrics to this week’s song (based on the song “Part of your World” form Disney’s The Little Mermaid)
Part Of My Stash
Look at this stash,
Isn’t it neat?
Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl,
The girl who has too much yarn?
Look at this store,
Treasures untold.
How many fibers can one yarn shop hold?
Looking around here you’d think
It’s got everything!
I’ve got acrylic yarn skeins aplenty.
I’ve aluminum needles galore.
(And my 10” size 5s?
Well,they’re a bit bendy…)
Synthetic
Does the trick
But, I want more.
 I want a hank of Blue Moon Fiber Arts.
I want to play with a ball of Knit Picks.
Walking around, I see…
(What’s that over there?)  Ooooo, Noro.
Knitting with Red Heart only gets you so far.
I’m ready to move on to something nicer.
Strolling these aisles I spy,
(What’s on that shelf there?) Malabrigo!
I find Madeline Tosh,
And Debbie Bliss.
Is there anything better in the world than this?
All around me,
Wish it could be
Part of my stash.
What would I give
If I could knit
All day with cashmere?
What would I pay
To get to play
With some qiviut?
What would it take
To get to make
A project with Rowan Kidsilk Haze?
Cabled sweater
What could be better?
I’d love to find out!
I know there’s a shelf of indie hand-dyed yarn
Somewhere around here,
I’ve got to find it.
All of this fiber calling out to me,
What can I do?
A hopeless case
In the face
Of all of this yarn-y goodness I see
All around me
Wish it could be
Part of my stash.

July 21, 2011

CraftLife Episode Ten – Only The Beginning

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , at 10:53 pm by treacleandinketsy

Episode ten is up and running!  I hope you enjoy this mini-milestone, and I’m looking forward to being back with you in August. 🙂

If you love to laugh (and who doesn’t?) and knit, The Knit Wits Podcast will be right up your alley. You can listen to them on their website as well as on iTunes.

Do you have dreams of becoming a Southern Belle? This humorous list, courtesy of About.com, will provide you with a few simple steps to help you on your way.  And, if you would like a classic example to model yourself after, spend a few hours with Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With The Wind.

Fried Green Tomatoes

2 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch sliced

1 egg

1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

cornmeal

oil for frying

salt and pepper

    1. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a frying pan over medium-high heat.
    2. Beat together egg and milk.
    3. Coat tomato slices in egg/milk mixture, then dredge in cornmeal.
    4. Fry slices in oil until golden brown on both sides.
    5. Drain slices on paper towels.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Try a little pepper jelly or chow chow with your fried green tomatoes.  Oh, and they’re not just a delicious food, Fried Green Tomatoes is also the title of a most excellent movie.

And many thanks to all of you who have left me great iTunes reviews!  It is much appreciated.

July 10, 2011

CraftLife Episode Nine – Happy Knittapendence Day

Posted in Podcast tagged , , , , , , , at 7:22 pm by treacleandinketsy

The heat is really wearing us down in TX this week.  As I write this the thermometer reads 100 degrees.  I’ve heard of people trying to fry an egg on a hot sidewalk, and I’m thinking of seriously giving that a try this Wednesday when it’s supposed to be back up to 106.  Ugh!  Wherever you are, I hope you are staying cool.  And whether or not you celebrated Independence Day on July 4th in your part of the world, I hope you get the chance sometime soon to celebrate your creative independence.

If you’d like to learn a little Mandarin while getting your knitting podcast fix, you should give a listen to Clothed In The Lamb.

Let’s have a go at that recipe sharing!  Here’s your first one:

Classic Pecan Pie

1 cup Light OR Dark Corn Syrup

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans

1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen** deep-dish pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (178 °C).
  2. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
  3. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below). Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.
  4. **To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.
  5. RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F (93°C). Tap center surface of pie lightly – it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.
  6. High Altitude Adjustments: Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and increase butter to 3 tablespoons. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (163°C).

*This recipe is courtesy of Karo.  Pictures and a how-to video can be found here.*

Here are some of the bracelets I have been working on.  Thoughts?

Along with the bracelets, I have been working on the Tangled Branches hat by Grace Akhrem. You can click here to have a peek at her many other designs.  And, the kits for the breast cancer awareness socks are available through Pagewood Farm.

February 4, 2011

Let it Snow!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 12:45 pm by treacleandinketsy

 

This is me, shamelessly showing off my dogs. They love the snow almost as much as I do!

Ahhhhh, Texas in the wintertime!

You know, they tell me it’s not the norm here, but for the past two years, we have been hit with some serious winter weather in February.

Now, there are some who would scoff at my excitement to see a few inches of this beautiful white stuff.  You know the people I’m talking about – the ones who reside in areas in which they daily shovel their sidewalks before walking to work (up-hill, both ways…in short sleeves), who join “Polar Bear” clubs, and who eat snow cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  These people probably smirk at the way the whole of Dallas shuts down from a few days of ice and snow, and react to yet another day of snow the same way I react to yet another day of rain.

Needle Felting kit, Needle Felted Snowman - by bearcreekdesign

But, oh, the magic of snow still exists for me!  Whether it’s getting outside and making snowmen and snow angels, staying inside and succumbing to my sudden urge to bake, or enjoying the view from my cozy living room, curled up with some knitting or a good book, I love a snow day.

If the idea of snow cream for, well, at least one meal out of the day sounds good, and you’ve never tried it before, here’s a quick recipe to get you started.

 

What you’ll need:

Snow – Place a bowl outside to catch some while it’s still coming down. [Toss out the snow and start over again if it has “yellowed” ;)]

Milk or Cream

Sugar

Vanilla Extract

Snow Cream - Vanilla Fudge - Southern Style - by VeesWear

Once your bowl has filled with snow, bring it inside and add just a little milk or cream.  Too much will make the snow too slushy, and remember, you can always add more.  Add a teaspoon or two of vanilla, and sugar to taste.  Voila!  If you don’t eat it all the first time around, snow cream can store pretty well in the freezer for the rest of the day.

Have you tried snow cream before?  Do you just love it, or is it something you could totally live without?  Leave me a comment below and tell me about it!

November 16, 2010

My Education In Treacle

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:42 pm by treacleandinketsy

I had someone ask me last week where I got the name “Treacle and Ink”.  If you haven’t been reading this blog from the very beginning, you may have missed this post where I answered that very question.  Since I’ve already addressed the question, I won’t dive into the answer in today’s post (check out “Treacle = Molasses” for more info), but instead, I would like to take this treacle education a little further.

According to Dictionary.com, treacle is defined as:

“a.  molasses, esp. that which is drained from the vats used in sugar refining.
b.  also called golden syrup. a mild mixture of molasses, corn syrup, etc., used in cooking or as a table syrup.”
Now, I have known that since I was young, and therefore been able to ask the occasional “What is treacle?” inquiry.  But, up until a few weeks ago, I had never actually messed with the stuff.  In fact, my first treacle taste was as a part of that treacle fudge I sampled over this past year’s summer vacation.  So, after I posted my Last Minute Halloween Party Round-Up, I did just what I said I would, and set out to make some Treacle Tarts.

British Emporium in Grapevine, TX (photo courtesy of british-emporium.com)

This experiment began with a trip to British Emporium.  Fortunately, I live in an area in which you can find specialty stores for countries all over the world.  Not only did they have a stack of lovely cans of Lyle’s Black Treacle, but they also had a stash of Kinder Bueno bars, which I love. Now, if you don’t have a British specialty store in your area, you might just be able to find some treacle in your local grocery store.  I’ve seen some in a few on the international foods aisle.
I trucked my treacle home and popped off the lid.  What was inside was about the consistency of tar, very thick and very sticky blackness.  It was so thick that it was difficult to spoon through and even more difficult to get into the pan without leaving sticky trails across the counter.  The recipe called for heating the treacle, which worked like magic on causing it to thin out and become more manageable.

Treacle Tarts

Once I got the tarts mixed and baked, it was time for the taste test.  They were very sweet, and quite bitter at the same time.  The tart had about the same consistency as a brownie right out of the oven, but as they cooled they began to get more and more dense.  I liked the flavor, but they were almost too bitter for me.
Bottom line:  I liked the flavor, but I think if I make them again, I’ll use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead.

October 29, 2010

A Last Minute Halloween Party Roundup

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 4:36 pm by treacleandinketsy

Halloween is a mere two days away, but the trick-or-treaters around here are headed out tomorrow night.   If you haven’t even begun to think about Halloween festivities, no worries!  Here’s a little last minute Halloween Party roundup to give you a hand.

Treats

Pumpkin Pasties – I found this recipe over at britta.com, a website dedicated to throwing a most awesome Harry Potter party.  I made these pasties last Halloween, and everyone loved them!  They’re really quick and easy, and are a great finger food alternative to making a whole pumpkin pie.  While you’re over there, check out the other recipes that are listed.  Those treacle tarts just might have to be made in my kitchen this year…

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies by PACountryCrafts

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (because at Halloween, you can never have too much pumpkin) – This recipe is brought to you courtesy of Lindsay who blogs over at PACountryCrafts.  While I haven’t tried out this recipe yet, rumor has it that Lindsay is a whiz with pumpkin.  Don’t believe me?  Check out her posts on How To Cook A Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Muffins.

Owl Cupcakes from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

Owl Cupcakes Here’s looking at you, kid.  I Am Momma Hear Me Roar is one of my favorite blogs!  It’s always full of wonderfully creative ideas for cooking, crafting… you name it.  Many thanks to Cheri for sharing some of her last minute treat ideas.  While you’re there, check out the “Crow’s Feet” too.  Oh, my tummy is grumbling just looking at all that goodness!

Decorations

Spooky Glowing Eyes – This first decoration idea is thanks Sister Dianne, who heads up another one of my favorite blogs, CraftyPod.  Trust me, you don’t need to have a crafty bone in your body to pull off this quick and easy decoration idea.  Click on the link to watch her short tutorial video.

Needle Felted Eyeballs – Yes, more creepy, eerie eyes.  This decoration idea is brought to you via Michelle from Etsy and Nguyen Le from KnitKnit.  If you’ve got a little extra fiber laying around, I’ll bet you could churn out a few new sets of peepers in no time.

3D Blood Spatter Effect – Think your home could be the setting for a new episode of CSI?  This decoration idea is for you!  This is a Halloween how-to that Etsy put out last year, with the help of Meg Allan Cole from Threadbanger, and I thought it was so cool, I wanted to share it with you this year.  I like their idea of using it as a photo-op area.

These are just a very few last minute ideas.  I hope they help get your creative juices going!

 

October 17, 2010

Sunday Scripture Snippet – P31

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 10:29 am by treacleandinketsy

Proverbs 31: 13-15 (NIV)

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.”

Adam overslept this morning, so we are heading out to the late service today.  I, on the other hand, got up and got ready for the early service.  I was, therefore, left with a few extra hours on hand that I hadn’t planned on.  I went into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, and wound up also making a pot of grits, a side of gravy, and two loaves of zucchini bread.  So, I’m feeling a little P31 this morning.

Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks to “A Wife of Noble Character”.  I’m not saying that I’m there yet, but it’s always somewhere in the back of my mind – a goal that I will always be striving to attain.

And on that topic of zucchini bread, here’s a little recipe for you.  This is a vegan version of the zucchini bread recipe that was printed in the 1996 Newberry Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church’s cookbook.  The original recipe belonged to Mrs. Frances Goethe, but it has been altered to comply with a vegan diet by me.

Enjoy!

Vegan Zucchini Bread

3 Tbsp Flax Meal

9 Tbsp water

1 c. canola oil

2 c. sugar

2 c. grated unpeeled zucchini (about one large)

3 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c. white flour

1 1/2 c. wheat flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 c. nuts, chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together flax meal and water and set aside to let stand for at least 2 minutes.  In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Add nuts.  To the flax meal, add oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla.  Mix lightly, but well.  Add this mixture to the sifted ingredients, and mix until just blended.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour in 2 greased and floured loaf pans.

 

In the oven.

 

 

Out of the oven!

 

Personal notes:

*The original recipe just called for 3 cups of plain flour, so you can certainly use that if you don’t have any whole wheat.

* I used walnuts because that’s what I had on hand.  I’m a big fan of using whatever you have on hand!

*I think if I make this recipe again, I’ll go for one loaf with a longer bake time.  These two loaves just seem a little short to me.

And, in an effort to maintain honesty, and full disclosure with you…

…here is how the first loaf ended up when I tried to turn it out from the loaf pan too soon.

 

Please allow the bread to cool completely before trying to remove it from the pan, or this could happen to you too!

 

Oh well, like I said.  P31, still a work in progress. 🙂

September 27, 2010

Two Weeks As A Vegan

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 8:00 am by treacleandinketsy

Fitted Shirt Organic American Apparel Dinosaur Vegan Vegetarian 100 Percent Cotton - Herbivore - S M L XL - by ScreamPrinting

Well, I have hit my two-week mark on my new adventure as a vegan, and I’ve learned quite a few things so far.

Number one, I still don’t really care for firm tofu.  I attempted an egg-less egg salad last week that was, hmmm, okay.  But, it still pretty much just tasted like tofu and onion, so after the my second taste test, I had to toss it.

Number two, eating out can be tricky.  My first dining out experience occurred at Applebee’s… not the most vegan friendly place.  I ordered the endless soup/salad combo, which was the only thing I found on the menu that I could eat.  There were four soup choices: chili, chicken tortilla, tomato basil, and french onion.  I asked for the house salad (no cheese), and the tomato basil.  After about two bites of the soup, I realized that it had cream in it, so my next choice was the french onion.  After dutifully removing the wonderfully pungent and gooey layer of swiss cheese and toast from the top of the soup, I made it about half way through the soup before remembering that french onion is made with beef broth.  So, no vegan soups at Applebee’s!  By that time, I just laughed and called that meal a loss.

Number three, I’m still a meat-eater at heart.  I awoke from a nightmare on Thursday morning.  I had dreamed that I was eating a sausage link and looked down at the last bite in my hand only to realized it was made out of meat!!  Panic ensued, and I awoke feeling completely silly.

But, it has not been all bad! 🙂  I have discovered some very tasty recipes so far, and here are some links to my top three from the past two weeks.

Vegan Colby Cheese Dip – I make this both weeks, once to use just as a cheese dip, and once mixed in with some whole wheat pasta and re-hydrated sun-dried tomatoes.  Yum!

Curried Eggplant, Lentil, and Quinoa Burgers – This was a great veggie-burger.  I didn’t have quinoa flakes on hand, so I used quick cook oats instead, and they turned out wonderfully.

Creole Black-eyed Peas – I love black-eyed peas, and these had just enough spice and liquid smoke seasoning, that I didn’t miss the ham seasonings at all.  I made these with canned black-eyed peas, and that really helped cut down on the prep and cook time.

Let me know if you give these recipes a try!  I’ll still be here experimenting and trying new things in my own kitchen, so hopefully I’ll have some more recommendations for you in the near future.

And, don’t forget to be on the lookout soon for details on the next Treacle And Ink giveaway!  Things are rolling right along behind the scenes here, and new things will be popping up soon.

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