This blog is mostly going to be my little place to talk about the novel I am writing. Which is why I stole a quote from one of my favorite tv shows, as this novel I am writing, I plan to finish, and at times.. it feels like an impossible thing. Also this is to journal my move to the UK, and starting my own business as an Indie Yarn Dyer

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Goooooooodmorning 2012!

Soo… I’ve kind of sucked at the whole blogging thing in 2011. I either didn’t have much to say, or I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t talk about things right away, and the longer I took to say it, the harder it got to actually say. (Amanda Palmer just mused on this as well. I totally got it.)

Last year, I started a pattern club. I got married, and moved to England. Big stuff right? Yeah.. hence the overwhelming part. I had resolved to start blogging about my life in England, but unfortunately due to a chemical mix up in my birth control pills, I got horribly depressed and didn’t do anything other than be miserable. Oh, and I started temping. Been working at one place in particular for the last couple of weeks. They’ve been really awesome to me. Unfortunately today is my last day. Whether I’m back or not is a different story, but they appear to like me.. and I like what I do with them. (I do data entry all day and get to listen to my mp3 player. Because of that, I listened to the Dresden Files all day long and made my goal of reading 100 books last year. Boohyah!)

 

Now I’ve never really been shy of overly sharing information on my blog.. after all this my little corner of the world, I can do with it as I please. In an attempt to get me to get back in the habit of blogging every day (hell.. just writing every day.. since I’ve not done much at all this past year) I’m going to chronicle my new diet. Thanks to the horrible pill situation, I gained a ton of weight. All the weight I lost last year came back with a vengeance.

 

I don’t want to do the HCG diet again mostly out of deference to my husband and I don’t want to throttle him for tempting me with things I can’t eat.  So, I’m trying the Dukan Diet. And if it doesn’t work for me, I’ll go back to HCG and the hubs will just have to deal.

 

I’ll try to keep my diet posts separate from other posts (which I’ll hopefully get back into the habit of doing), so you can ignore them via tags if you want.

 

Another reason I’m blogging this, is to keep me honest. If it’s out there, then I’m accountable to more than just myself.

Somedays my list of food items are going to be really boring. Sorry, I’m not going to be getting creative on workdays.

Oh, and all weight measurements will be taken first thing in the AM. Crap, I forgot to do my body measurements yesterday. I’ll do them tonight.

So.. Hi. Glad to see you all again.

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Say cheese!

Sorry, shameless contest plug from another blog….

I love cheese far too much to not do it and risk not winning. I’ll blog about it if I win… And I promise I’ll give all my readers a proper blog soon.

 

If you want to enter to win the cheese as well.. go check out An Edible Mosaic… I like her recipes, and she’s got awesome photos from all her trips around the world.

 

“I’m just crackers for Cheeeeeeeese Grommit!”

Well that wasn’t so hard…

I realize I haven’t posted in a while.

I’ve been off my game, in depression, lacking my mojo.. whatever you want to call it. I’ll make no other excuse than that, and will promise to hopefully blog more often.

Today I made Chocolate Chip Meringues.

They are yummy

I’ve never made them before. A few weeks ago, Mother of Mine made some, and though they were good (don’t get me wrong, they were VERY good)… they were hollow. Which is not what we were expecting.

I decided then that I was going to attempt to make some Meringues myself and follow some tips I found on the web.

So when Mother of Mine made some Chocolate Bread Pudding the other day, which only needed the egg yolks.. I had 6 egg whites sitting in the fridge waiting to be used. So as to not let them go to waste, today I set out to do what I had decided on doing a while ago.

I used up every gram of sugar in the house (as most recipes call for only 2 egg whites, I used 6.. so I had to effectively triple whatever recipe I was using)

They were not hollow, but they didn’t rise very much. Next attempt, I will change the bake time/heat ratio and perhaps try the cream of tartar that I left out this time. But these are very good, and could easily be used to make yummy sandwich type cookies.

And not hollow. VERY yummy.

Now, I did not follow any one set of instructions…  The measurements I used are in parenthesis, but if you don’t want to make that many, use the first number.

Preheat oven to 175 F

2 egg whites (6) (Make sure they are room temperature)

1/2 cup sugar (1 1/2 cup)

1/4 teaspoon salt (3/4 tsp)

1 teaspoon vanilla (3 tsp)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup toasted nuts (walnuts or pecans) – optional

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt and vanilla. Beat gently until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in chocolate chips. Pipe or scoop out onto parchment lined baking sheet. (I used a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon as my scoop and gave each meringue 2 scoops because I wanted to make sure I’d get them ALL in the oven at the same time.)

Bake for 3 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.

I’m serious, under no circumstances should you open that oven.

After the 3 hours are up, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Simply turn off the oven and reset the timer for an hour.

They need to sit untouched in the oven after baking for at least an hour. But you can leave them longer if so desired. What I would do, is bake these right before you go to bed. Then you won’t be tempted to not let them sit that last hour.

Clean Caramel Popcorn

That is an oxymoron of course.. but that’s how it goes.

Today I was craving popcorn. I decided I also craved sweet. So I went to my obsession over at Pintrest and searched for a pin I thought I pinned a while ago.

 

I was wrong, it wasn’t on Pintrest, but I did remember where I had seen what I was looking for.

I personally made it with both Raw Honey, and a dash of Clover Honey. And I used Chunky Peanut Butter. I like the chunks.

And I do think that if I were to make this again, I would use less honey and more Peanut Butter. I liked the bits best where the peanut butter was the dominant flavor.

It was good… would be better with those changes.  Though since it was a craving, I think I should have just gone with my plain old airpopped non buttered non salted popcorn… Cause I do believe that is what I was actually craving at the end of the day.

 

 

Clean Eating Caramel Popcorn by The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients
1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
8-10 cups popped popcorn

Directions

Tip: Things move pretty quickly, and you are dealing with boiling sticky stuff so read through this first so you know what to expect and do.

1 – In a smallish pot, warm the honey on high heat. Bring it to a boil.

2 – Let it boil up in the pot about 1 inch. Remove from heat.

3 – Stir in nut butter with a whisk and whisk until smooth. You should be able to pour it.

4 – Pour over the popcorn and mix with a spoon. The mixture is hot, DO NOT MIX WITH YOUR HANDS. Unless you want a trip to the emergency room, and to not be able to work with your hands for a while.

Let it all sit and cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Peak of the Labyrinth Pattern Club

I realize I’ve been bad at blogging. Life has been super crazy. That’s my excuse every time though isn’t it?? Oh well.

 

I’ve decided to be generous today since it’s the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day to everyone.

 

I have mixed emotions over this holiday for very personal reasons, none to do with the actual holiday.

We’ll just say that it’s along the lines of “Something good started… then the next year something bad started… etc”

 

I’m going to focus on the good though.

 

But like I said, I’m feeling generous.

 

So I know that some of you can’t join in the Labyrinth Pattern club fun and games thanks to the economy sucking right now… but here’s what I’m going to do.

 

Bring a friend!

 

Yup, if you introduce a friend to the fabulous pattern club and they join the club (they have to let me know when they check out that you sent them.) You will receive $5.00 worth of credit in the shop.

 

This credit will be good on anything in the shop, be it patterns, or yarn, or a few of the knitted items I’m going to be posting up in there because I don’t want to pack them away for the move. Which means you aren’t left out if you’ve already joined the club. (Credit is good on the Club membership as well if you bring the friend and then suddenly decide at the last minute that you want to join in the fun as well)

 

And yes, the credit can be used on the future clubs (both pattern clubs and the yarn clubs… like The Three Musketeer’s which I’m still working on the details of… )

 

And here is a teaser shot of the “My Lady” hat.

 

I have also gone ahead and added the pattern for My Lady and As the World Falls Down to the Ravelry database, which is giving me problems (won’t let me add photos etc right now). Hopefully those issues will be fixed soon.

 

Remember, as of right now you can only get the patterns by joining the club.  After the club is over I will release the patterns individually for sale, but I don’t know when that will be.

 

Alright, that’s all from me right now. I’m going to go take care of a chore or two before the party at my friend’s house tonight.

 

Baking After Midnight competition

And now to blog about it…

Literary adventures in baking!

Hey everyone, we’ve got a fantastic competition for you. As some of you are aware, James and I devour books as well as having a love of baking. And after the success of the last of the last competition (and me being on a diet, thus needing to live vicariously through you all… ) we decided to do another one.

This one is going to be literary themed. That’s right.  Baked goods based off of books.

We are allowing items inspired by movies as well, as long as the movie was based off of a book.

The competition is running from June 1st, through till June 30th (I’m going to say PST that way people to the West of me don’t get ticked off about loosing an hour).  At which point we will randomly draw a winner from the submissions.  The more items you bake, the more entries you have.

If you blog about it, you get an entry. (Make sure you link the blog to us otherwise we won’t know)

If you tweet about it, you get an entry. (Again, make sure you post that you tweeted, with a link to the tweet. Otherwise we will not know.)

If you get a friend to join the group, you get an entry. (Make sure that we know that the person joined because of you!)

You must tell us what inspired your entry. Come on people, get creative.  Will you be making bubbly pies in honor of Pern?  Scones fit for Sherlock? Lembas bread? Golden Snitch truffles?

Sweet or Savory, it doesn’t matter. But it must be baked.  ( After all, this is Baking after Midnight. So no Lucky charms in a cereal bowl claiming it was inspired by Flitwick’s class in Harry Potter. Now, you could use lucky charms to decorate cupcakes that way if you desire… if you want… Sorry, on a Potter kick at the moment.)

We have prizes for 2 winners. – Do you guys want to know what the prizes are? Or do you want to be surprised?

And just because I’m feeling generous… we might even do a “most awesome litabaked item” (yes, I just made that term up.) This is your chance to dazzle us. Make something fabulous. Or make something mundane. But either way, get your baking on. 🙂

Yeah… I’m a big old geek.

In which many things are planned

Look, new yarn! This one was dyed for some friends, as part of their baby blanket. I’m quite excited about this one as it is so subtle and beautiful and just glows.

It is part of my Neil Gaiman “Death and Dreams” series, and it is called Stardust.

I haven’t written anything on the novels in weeks.

I’ve been stressed, sick, and overwhelmed.

Even just last week, I started a dental emergency. Anyone who’s been a long time reader of mine knows that I’ve had problems with my teeth for years. Well, I’m finally getting things sorted out. Not in the way I want of course. This is more of an emergency situation.

Last Wednesday, I started having severe pain.  Then I woke up on Thursday and my face was swollen.

I did what I could do to help the swelling go down, but on Friday it was again swollen and I had been up all night in pain.  I hadn’t experienced that pain in many years, not since I had been living in Boulder and I had my wisdom teeth extracted and they hadn’t given me my syringe and I needed it.

Well, on Friday I managed to get an appointment at Peak Vista. Which I must say is an awesome place. I didn’t have an appointment, but they squeezed me in. And if I had gone to the emergency dentist I would have paid 300$. Well at Peak Vista, I paid a total of 29$, and that was including the prescription for antibiotics to get the swelling down. Yeah I had to sit around waiting a while, but that was fine. It wasn’t like I was going to be doing much that day anyway.

Due to the swelling they weren’t able to try extracting the tooth, which actually is fine. They couldn’t have given me more than just a local anesthetic shot, which from past experience… would have been bad. The last time I had a tooth extracted, a baby tooth mind you that they just used a shot.. it took 4 shots and I still felt every single tug and it hurt like a bitch.

So I’ve been referred to an oral surgeon. Which is most likely who I needed anyway since there isn’t much tooth for them to grab onto, and they have to remove the post that was left over from the root canal.

The tooth that has been giving me fits, was one that I wanted to have extracted years ago.  But I was naive and I let the dentist convince me to just get a root canal done.  Well, that was my mistake. I should have gone with my plan, my own gut instinct. My plan was to just get them pulled, and wear my retainers to keep my teeth from shifting, and then get implants some day. Good plan right? Well, the crown immediately broke on the tooth, and then I was generally in too much pain to wear my retainers, which means my teeth have shifted. Not much, but its noticeable to me. And means I’m most likely going to have to get braces again. I am going to start wearing my retainers again anyway, as theoretically the pain I was having that prevented me from wearing them will be gone. Now it’ll just be a matter of seeing if my teeth that have shifted slightly, will shift back in to place. (I’d be happy with that)

The hubs2be knows what plan we need to have for my teeth, and that I would rather have my teeth fixed than a sparkly necklace.

My cheek as of today is back to normal. Yay.

Now back to writing.

Yesterday I wrote over 2300 words. I am quite excited about this since I hadn’t written in weeks. Unfortunately it was all on The Q2-Files, and not Aether Horizons like it should have been, but you write when inspiration hits.

I’ve also figured out a lot of the direction that I want to take the Q2-Files in. So that makes me happy as well.  My first set of readers who have gotten the few measly pages, love it. Which makes me believe I have a real hit on my hands.

Oh, and the Minion and I are planning great things for Baking After Midnight; there will be a contest soon. We are just working out the details right now. OMG, the month is almost over. We really need to get cracking on getting those details sorted so that ya’all know about it.

Alright, I guess that’s all for now. Cheers!