Friday, November 19, 2010

Crochet and truffles? uh no, just truffles

One of my friends asked about favorite chocolate dessert recipes. So I had to go all overkill and do a post. Cuz that's just what I do. Following is what I used to make for Christmas Gifts, prior to the d-word and I just can't have truffles in the house without eating them. At All. So I'll share the technique and recipe here and wish you well, young one. The picture above is just plain funny. The pic below is a bad one of my hubbs spreading this same recipe on a layer of peppermint studded white chocolate for Peppermint Truffle Bark. What's better than men spreading chocolate on more chocolate? Not much. Keep reading:

Truffles of Doom

About 10 ounces dark-black as you can get chocolate,
a splash of cream or lowfat milk, depending on how rich you want.
About 2 tbsp coffee, or rum, or kahlua, whatever, more booze = less cream/milk/Eggnog(YES)
about a tblsp of butter

My recipe morphed from Master Alton Brown linked below, but has been modified to create a truffle that doesn't need to be dipped, and is a lot stiffer than the Masters. This could be the student exceeding the Master, or pure laziness because dipping them is a pita and messy. I am unable to do it without wasting good chocolate. That could, or should, be considered a crime in some places.

Throw the chips and butter in a microwave safe measuring cup or glass bowl. Glass seems to conduct and retain heat better imo, and I never like heating plastic in the microwave.

Heat at 20 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between heatings. It wouldn't be overly cautious to do it 15 seconds instead, the slower on the heating thing, the better. But it doesn't really take all that long, once the butter melts. It will take 4 or 5 times, maybe more but scorching is another chocolate crime so watch out.

Just before the chips are totally melted, like when a handfull of them looking like mini m&m's, take out and stir till they are fully melted. Should look like a nice thick pudding, and shiny. Add your pre-selected and properly tested liquid, be it booze or eggnog, about a teaspoon at a time. If it gets all grainy be patient, just add more liquid, but at like a teaspoon(or less) at a time, it's easy to overdo it. But also super easy to fix it, so fear not, Grasshopper. The beauty of it is, overdoing the liquid requires more chips which means more truffles. Just be patient with it, it doesn't take long, but it's easy to throw it out, thinking you effed it up, like I did a number of times. I shudder to think of all the chocolate I wasted(crime), it was like 20 ounces! ugh, 'shudders'. Just keep stirring and it will even out.

Only a session of frantic stirring so you don't screw the pooch at a party when you were bragging about how great your truffles are will teach you that more liquid, maybe warming it again and patience is a good thing. Because you don't have anymore chocolate and can't go get more (crime) so you have to make this work. And it did. Lesson learned. The truffle chocolate turned out fine, fyi, no sending the feds to my house.

Put the whole bowl in the fridge for 1-3 (or more) hours, covered by a paper towel. No plastic here, condensation is a bad, bad, bad idea. Did I mention it was a bad idea? Yes? Good, moving on. When fully cooled, use that nice cookie scooper, or melon baller(could never get this to work), or just regular teaspoon to make small(ish), round(ish) balls of awesome, put them on a cookie sheet, parchment's never a bad idea here either. Back in the fridge, at least an hour. Tasting for poison here is acceptable. If you hand roll, be fast, and only after at least half an hour in the fridge. Your hand heat will melt this stuff quicker than you think. Licking your palms is optional but must be done at the end of said hand rolling. I use gloves (slower heat transfer) but never get too fancy here. It's chocolate people, if someone really is worried about receiving a less than perfectly round home made truffle, then they just don't deserve one and you should eat it.

I haven't tested out the margarine or low/no sugar option and believe me...the Truffles of Doom will find a way into my newly diabetic life. Just not this year. *Shakes fist at sky*

Trust in yourself, youngling. Easy to make, truffles are.

Check out the link for the pre-morphed recipe: Master Alton provides a totally easy, and I wish I would have read the whole thing myself, way to coat them with chocolate.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crochet and Christmas

Last night was my first T.W.A.S. event at Sleighbells Gift Shop. It was an epic success, despite the leaf stripping winter hurricane that blew in, creating high water and many mud puddles.

For any of you who haven't yet been to Sleighbells ( ) it's over 10,000 square feet of awesome Christmas-ness. AND for those Halloween fanatics out there (you know who you are) there's even a permanent Halloween display, and not cheesy stuff either, cool stuff and little Halloween villages and etc.

So Mama got herself a new coffee mug. Because come on, who wouldn't want to drink coffee from this cup?

I have many scarf orders to fill, and a slew of new scarves and hats to make, so any of you ladies who want to join my sweatshop, now's the time. I'm going to be a super hooker for a while. My depleted scarf box is begging to be refilled. Yay for selling hand made stuff and meeting a crowd of lovely ladies!

All in all, it was a great evening, even if power was spotty and hip waders were required to go in and out of doors which slammed closed with ferocity every time they were left open. Can't wait till next month!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crochet and rearranging the living room

We decided it would be a great idea to rearrange the living room today. I'm not sure why, but we always think it will be easy. Ah, the road to $&%% is paved with good intentions, right?

I had forgotten about the swiss cheese wall behind the giant mirror. This means we now need to paint the newly patched wall. And empty the book case so we can move that too.

And how the heck did my child collect so many darn toys and why are they all downstairs?!
Oh a lighter note, I finished Bethany's waterfowl-oriented-not-affiliated-with-any-particular-kickass-local -college scarf. I just need to block it and I'll get it in the mail tomorrow. Now I'm off to find some sort of lunch type meal since we're hungry. Does this mean I have to shower? Not it does not, this is what drive-thru's are for.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Pie and crochet

It's a little known fact that making a pumpkin pie and crochet go very well together. As long as you don't dip your yarn in the pie, or the accompanying cup of tea. This is easily accomplished by not keeping your yarn in the kitchen. Easier said than done when I have orders to fill! I'm about halfway done with Bethany's scarf and got the purple for DeeDee's scarf. Wheee!!

Today's experiment is a sugar free pumpkin pie on an almond crust. I wanted to check it out and make sure everything was good before the big T Day, which is coming up really fast! I have most of the stuff I need though except for a few small items we're golden. Looking forward to a long weekend with fam for sure.

Here's a link to the recipe I used. I just put in about 3/4 cup of splenda instead of the sugar. I've found that if you use the entire amount listed, replacing one cup sugar with one cup splenda, it's just too sweet. This also saves me money because you pretty much have to sell a limb or a child to afford it. 'sigh

Libby's(R) Famous Pumpkin Pie RecipeLibby's(R) Famous Pumpkin Pie RecipeLibby's(R) Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Friday, November 12, 2010


It surely is. I made this for my own selfish purposes last week, and have been totally taken by storm with all the compliments. Makes a girl feel good. Have to say, this is totally my own design, and I've got all sorts of neat ideas to zazz it up. Made from the Vanna line of acrylic yarns and some Caron's (I think that's what was in my stash) for the feet. Selling these at $15 a piece, with me making them as I get orders for now, since I have at least one order and haven't made more than the one I've been wearing around. Hats can be made too, from beanies to funky diva hats, I do it all.

Thanks for all the good comments!!

As I can, I'll get more up on at my shop:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Roasted Chicken Tuesday

chicken in milk

Dinner just went from "Well.....I guess I can put in a chicken...."


"HEY, I've got like 3 cans of coconut milk!!! Oh ya!! I can make that killer chicken with lemons and coconut milk! Yes, I rock, I am brilliant and should be given a medal for being so."

Recipe follows below, I twisted up a Jamie (not Jaime) Oliver recipe and included the links to the original inspiration blog and original recipe below that.

One Whole Chicken rinsed, patted dry and salted and peppered to taste (I like a lot of both)
10 big cloves garlic, don't even peel them (I love this recipe already).
a can of light coconut milk
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 stick cinnamon
a good handful of fresh sage.

I will probably use a mix of lemons and oranges. I have satsuma's so may just use some of them. In the past when we've made this we didn't sear it first, or at least I don't remember doing so, so I think I'll make that happen today.

Fresh sage if you've got it but could use any herb I think, fresh or dried. Thyme, oregano, basil would all be good. We're lucky enough to have a healthy and bushy new sage plant outside, so I'll go save some from the rain.

Now, the recipe below calls for like a stick of butter or something. We all know everything is better with butter, but I'm not into a butter induced heart attack, so I'm going to opt for a mix of canola and olive oil to brown this bad boy off instead. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Last time I did this I didn't look up a recipe and just dumped some stuff in the pot. It was good, but not magickal like it was the first time my hubby made it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Etsy scarves

I've decided it's much better to put off your blog posts, for as long as nearly humanly possible, and then you can be all picky choosy about what you put up. Makes you look wAy cooler than you really are. Not sure if this really is true, but I'm giving it my best shot. I'll let you know how that works out for me....sometime. Maybe in like a year.

Put a couple things on Etsy this am. I had originally listed these on a "new" payment system, and got a pretty surprising and strong interest in one of them. But I chickened out at the last minute, mainly because I started poking around and got concerned about using the system as it appears to be a scam, or possibly made by someone who ran a scam previously but no one really knows. It's all very mysterious and I'm keeping tabs on it to see if it is in fact legit(doubt it now...sigh).

I'm not comfortable to using it to sell items. So hopefully the lucky lady who did win my lovely scarf will be able to respond to the message I tried to send her, and contact me again about it. I have no way of knowing however, because I (along with a number of other people apparently) am unable to log in to see if there has been a reply to my message. I guess the thing that REALLY bothers me is that the blog for this mysterious payment processing is pushing for it to be accessible "with your debit card", which sounds a little phishy to me. Said mysterious site seems to be ignoring requests for help, asking for you to "enter a drawing for $1000" for Amazon and a click their link to manage your wish list ON and creating a fabulous debit card access so you can happily give them your debit card information too. I dunno, I'm not liking it. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly eat my words, but at the moment, if it feels wrong it is and I'm just gonna watch for a while.

Yes, talking about for all you 2 people who are wondering what the heck I'm talking about.

Anyway, didn't get on here to harp about sketchy websites, but to do my blog. Just ended up harping about sketchy websites for fun. The real reason for this post was to get some pics of the other scarves I have on hand that I haven't listed on Etsy yet. I'm putting up a mix of stuff that's available now, and a few that are still at the Oregon Heritage Farms- gift shop but were still available as of yesterday. Price range from $10-25, depends on how intricate the scarf is. I have like one hat here, that has a super cute brim that isn't shown in the picture. That one is $15.

Thanks for reading, have to take off to get child to preschool, then bfast with my newly married friend.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Paybox Pictures

Plum Dessert scarf
82" long and just
under 3 inches wide;
as listed on PayBox.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Paybox pictures

Attached here are pictures of the one listing I have up at the new auction site, It's a new eBay-esque site that I've been tinkering with. I like it loads, and it seems to work well. In fact, this post is specifically to add the pictures, as is in beta testing and I couldn't get my pictures to upload there. Thanks for looking! The pictures aren't professional and a little blurry, but not bad!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Halloween!!

Ok, I know I'm the absolute worst about posting here. It's the same with calling my friends and family. If I can text or email I'm all over it, but calling? Not so much. Blogging? It seems somehow that blogging has fallen in with the phone calls. I'd say sorry, but up to now, my hubby has been my only reader, and that's because he's married to me. 8^)

It's been a Halloween stuff-making extravaganza here lately. At least as much as something can be in my house. I'm great in the idea department, but the actual implementation of said ideas is maybe a bit trickier and requires the labor of my kids and hubby. Currently I'm working on a decent amigurumi crow, although shaping of current attempt looks more like a black Loch Ness monster. I'm hoping that jamming a few feathers in its behind and sewing on some beads will fix the issue.

I've been trying to paint my little handshaped polyclay skulls for my skull mobile. Will be working on that next week I suspect. It worked out great last week when I took it all in and sat there and painted while my little one was in his preschool class. Yes, I am enough of a nerd that I sat there in the lobby, at the little table and set up my little painting station. But it worked!!

Last weekend my awesome hubby and I finally got some good pictures of my scarves, so time and energy willing I'll get pictures of those up on here for your viewing pleasure later today. But since I have a friend coming over for some paper-fun while watching Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I may not get to it today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Potatoe Leek soup

About 4 pieces bacon chopped(not necessary but bacon makes everything better)
2 good sized Leeks, or 3 small
anywhere from 1/2 to 1 whole onion ( I use less bc onions hate me)
3 large baking potatoes or 4-6 small
2 tsp salt (or to taste) Potatoes suck up a lot of salt so don't be squeamish
either chicken broth or water

Brown the bacon and saute the onion with it for maybe 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile peel and chop up the potatoes and leek. If the leeks are dirty, then chop them up and let them sit in a bowl of water for a while, swishing well to dislodge the dirt. When bacon is brown and onion translucent (or caramelized if you like, I do). Then dump all of it in a crock pot and turn it on low. Takes about 7-8 hours or maybe 4 or 5 on high. Alternatively, you can put it all in a pot, bring to a simmer and let it do it's thing for 15 or 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Finish off with maybe a half cup of uncooked, instant mashed potatoes to make it creamy (thanks Jacques Pepin). OR, you can just cook the potatoes longer, they will start to break down the longer they cook.

You can add any of the following, or whatever else you may fancy:

Can of corn, or fresh if you roll like that.
Can (or 2) of chopped clams
Cooked, diced potatoes
chopped asparagus
Broccoli (add cheese too for broc-n-cheese soup)

Just about anything you want to add works. It's a great way to use up leftovers!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mr. Lunch Face

It's a contest! I do this all the time, and will put up my older ones. Lets see what we come up with!