Friday, February 22, 2013

I Love Giving Gifts!

I read this book once (SHOCKING, yes?) called "The 5 Love Languages." It was a very eye-opening book and has helped me with many of my personal relationships. One thing it taught me about myself is that my love language is that of giving and receiving gifts. And that is so true, too. I LOVE giving gifts to family and friends. I take great delight in choosing or making just the right thing, or something that was asked for, and wrapping it in neat different ways. I love reactions! I made a few things for my friend and college buddy, Laura, who has a really awesome blog called Laura Sews Stuff, which is about sewing (right?!), random notions, and Siamese cats (I love cats!). Her reaction is just the reason why I love giving gifts so much! I did not post any of the things I made for her, or the other girls, on my blog because I wanted them to be a surprise. But since she loved them so much, she is now in danger of receiving regular packages of yarny bits.

Currently, I'm working on a felted bag that I will probably sell on Etsy, a baby hat for a friend who just had a little girl, and still (FOREVER) working on the basketweave scarf for my oldest daughter. But I had this great idea to make catnip fish instead of the little trinkets I made for Laura's Siamese Ladies. Here's my three pattern ideas:

What is the best one of these options? I worry that the first one has too many strings to chew off! But the second one is kind of plain....

So that's all for now. Stay tuned for more on the felted bag, as I'm taking photos as I go along to chart my progress. And give more gifts!

PS-If you are unfamiliar with the Love Languages book, here's what it looks like; check it out:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Irish Lemon Pie

Pinterest is awesome, isn't it?! Whilst cruising around trolling for dessert recipes, I came across a pin for something called "Irish Lemon Pudding". Since my husband is Irish, I'm always trying to find ways that Irish-ness can become delicious. I adapted the Pinterest recipe into pie and voila! Heaven in Irish lemon-y form. Here's how I did it:

1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
2TBSP melted butter
Combine these in a bowl and press into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes, and set aside.

2 TBSP softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup flour
2 lemons, zested and juiced (*I used 1/4 cup of lemon juice plus 1tsp lemon extract since lemons are not in season for my location right now)
1 1/4 cups milk

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks, beat on medium for one minute. Add in the flour, then the lemon juice and zest, incorporating each ingredient. Add the milk and mix well. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk or whisk attachment until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the lemon mixture, gently. Pour the entire mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is very lightly browned and the center is completely set.

Refrigerate for about 1/2 an hour or so, and then top with whipped cream and some fresh nutmeg.

This is heavenly; the whole family loved it. A new dessert in our rotation, for certain!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens: what a fantastic name. His creator infuses his character with all the promise the name holds. Bod, as a nickname, is equally clever. This book is my first experience with the writing of Neil Gaiman, though I have seen Coraline and found it enchanting. The story of Bod Owens, I believe, would also make for wonderful cinema if done properly. Though a bit dark, this riveting fairy tale is full of surprises. It begins in murder, and ends...well you just have to read it to believe it. I highly recommend this tale for readers both young and old. I gave it my highest Goodreads accolade: five out of five stars, and a review besides.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Rampage

I haven't been writing, knitting, crafting, or cooking as much as usual. This is due solely to what I like to call a "book rampage". I go on binges of reading more often than bulimics go on eating binges (yes I am aware that was insensitive). So currently I am reading several books at once. I have read three books in two days. I simply cannot stop reading; every free moment is consumed with books! Such different books too. A Holmes-esque mystery; a heart wrenching YA cancer suffering saga; a frightening graveyard wrought fairy tale. Elephants. Giants. I have...problems. So what this means, dedicated reader, if you're out there, is to be aware you will be seeing a few more than usual book reviews until the planets realign themselves in the cosmos of my fragile and delicately balanced psyche. I would apologize but I have this book here...needing to be read...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Review: Knit Two, by Kate Jacobs

The sequel to "The Friday Night Knitting Club" is lacking in the details which made the first book so special. "Knit Two" is a rehash of old problems in many ways. It lacks the character depth I enjoyed in the first book. It's as if the death of Georgia (the main protagonist in Book 1) took the hearts out of the other characters. Her daughter has become extremely spoiled; no longer a spunky girl, she is just a willful and disrespectful young lady. Additionally, the little knitting blurbs between chapters were extremely vague and lackluster. Overall, I gave this book two out of five stars. It just lacked the purls (knitting humor!) of greatness the first book possessed.