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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Raspberry Jam Oatmeal Cookies


As soon as I saw the "Jammy Bits" in the King Arthur Flour catalog I knew I had to have them. They advertise that they will melt into little pools of raspberry jam in your baking.


I tasted the bits and found them to be pretty sweet, so I decreased the sugar in the oatmeal-raisin cookie recipe I found under the lid of my oatmeal, and added whole wheat flour.

The results are the perfect amount of sweet: a cross between sweet oatmeal cookies and jam on toast, crispy around the edges from where the jam leaked out and crystallized.


The recipe makes 4 dozen cookies, so I baked one tray of them and froze the rest in cookie-sized lumps of raw dough. I'll put them into a freezer bag when they're frozen through, and then we'll bake off a few over the next several weeks whenever we need a warm, home-baked pick-me-up.


Raspberry Jam Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 lb butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c AP flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 c old fashioned oats, uncooked
1 c jammy bits

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Cream butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix flours, soda, cinnamon, and salt

Add eggs and vanilla into butter and sugar. Beat well.

Add flour mixture, beat well.

Stir in oats and jammy bits.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown OR freeze for 24 hours and then put into baggies to save and bake next time a friend drops by for tea.

Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet and then remove to a wire rack.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WIP: Eastlake: we have a vest!


This is pinned at the shoulder with stitch holders, not sewn yet. I'm having a little...conniption? Many of the Eastlakes I have seen feature a line of purl stitches that falls right across the nipple line. It's not a look I am going for. My purl line just barely hovers above the girls, and that's on me...I think my mother is a hare shorter in the top-half department and I'm afraid this isn't going to fit her, and then I'll have to go back and take out a few rows of yolk, and will that make the sweater as a whole too short, meaning I'll have to go back to below the purl line and add some body?! Oi. This, of course, would be easier to determine if I had the tiny scrap of paper on which I wrote all the measurements we took the day we took measurements and determined the dimensions of the perfect sweater for her. That tiny scrap of paper which I am horrified to admit that I think the office has eaten, because it is nowhere to be seen. A few choice cuss words may have been uttered as I rifled through non-measurement-baring paper scraps today.


We got lots more snow, and I took these pictures from the window, conveniently still too sick to go out and help...


Sunday, February 20, 2011

So sick

The Hubbs put this trash bag by my pile of tissues. Think maybe he's trying to tell me something, but I just can't figure out what...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Scrapbookey


I have not made a physical scrapbook in a few years: I've been addicted to Shutterfly albums and their speed and lack of having little bits of paper spread throughout an entire room that tends to happen when I have a scrapbook going. It also carries a certain amount of guilt with it: "I should have this done, I should have my college book done, I should do this more..." so I end up just not doing it because I feel like I'd have to start back 5 years, and I really don't like doing hobbies out of guilt. But anyhoo, I have decided to try and streamline the process: no cute little backings for every picture, handwritten captions, lack of obsession over perfect chronological order. My goal is to get all of the photos I have from Omaha into a book over the next five days that I have off of work, and I'm already making progress. Love these photos of the beautiful Emily's wedding...from 2 years ago.

And I'm remembering why I liked doing this. It's fun and soothing. Note the pile of photos and memorabilia "organized" on the floor.

I don't like to use a lot of stickers, I think it can look cheesy and its expensive. But I opened up my grandma's sticker binder (in her scrapbooking rolley-suitcase, of course!) and oh, the stickers, they call to me! Must resist the siren call of adorable Halloween stickers!


If I could have my Grandma back there would be a lot of things that I would say, a lot of things that I would ask. Now I add to that list: Grandma, when the heck did you think you would use 18 creche stickers?!


In other news, the Ypsi band had a great concert last night at the Washtenaw Community College auditorium. It was a great performance featuring a professional piccolo soloist from the US Army Band, and featuring one Mr. The Hubbs on Euphonium. I really admire the way he has gone out and found activities since we moved here: this plus hockey is really keeping him busy. He is doing a better job of it than I am. In Omaha I ran right out and joined a knitting group, but since we've moved here I've been, for some reason, even more of a homebody than usual. Must work on that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's wrap-up

The Hubbs and I say I love you every day, and we have never celebrated Valentine's before. This year, I planned a few surprises for him:

Baking...
I found this cookie cutter set at Micheal's and decided some valentine's cookies would be in order to take in to work. The cutter has a little plastic pusher, so dough doesn't get stuck in the little spaces. This, I'm sure, will eventually break, but for now it's super fun! The included recipe is a basic sugar cookie recipe with the addition of some ground almonds and cinnamon, and the cookies were great. You bake the tops and bottoms, then add a teaspoon of jam on the bottom cookie, dust the tops with powdered sugar, and smoosh together. I used raspberry jam homemade by one of my coworkers, and they were delicious! The cutter set includes hearts in several variations, plus lips and "XO"...which I stood on it's side to make scull-and-crossbones.

Crafting....

I made The Hubbs a card and left it on his driver's seat on Monday morning. The Eiffel Tower is one I printed from Google Images and then just traced over with a blue pen. Mounted on brown, It has some chunks of folded paper between it and the card so it stands out.

The Hubbs was going to bring the card back home and tack it to the tack board.
Me: why don't you put it up at work?
Hubbs: I thought you'd want it at home
Me: you don't have any pictures of me at work. (emotional blackmail implied...)
Hubbs: yes I do, that picture from our wedding of us walking down the street.
Me: you mean the one of us from the BACK!?
Hubbs: alright, I'll put it up at work

Yeah. That's right.


The ribbon is Martha Stewart, found in the scrapbooking section. The back peels off, making it a sticker. Genius!

Cooking...

I told The Hubbs I was planning a secret V-day dinner, and he bugged me all week to tell him what it was. We had dinner Saturday, since I had to work Sunday-Tuesday nights. I wanted to recreate the foods we loved on our honeymoon in Paris: steamed mussels in a shared pot, fries to dip in there, of course, salad with goat cheese toasts, cheese, grapes, and a fruit tart. Going with Ina's "make 2, buy the rest" theory, which I usually cannot bring myself to do, (must...prove myself...by making everything from scratch!) I bought the tart, and the salad was mostly assembly, so it was really an easy meal to prepare.


The mussels were surprisingly easy to make: saute shallots in butter and oil, add wine, boil, add mussles, clamp the top on, keep on the heat for about 5 minutes, a-shake-a-shake-a several times to mix them up in there, and eat-em-up as soon as they're all open. Yum! (and yes, other than this transgression, I don't eat meat. I don't use the word "vegetarian" any more, because for the 9 years I was one, it really bugged me when cheaters called themselves vegetarians. It confuses people who see "vegetarians" eating fish or some other cheat, and then those people think fish is a vegetable they can serve you.)

The oven-baked fries were...pretty good. Let's be honest, a deep fryer the oven is not, and no oven-baked fry will ever really be as good as a fried one. But you can get pretty close.

For the Salade de Chèvre Chaud, a staple on every french menu, I lightly pre-toasted in the toaster baguette sliced on the bias, (an improvement, I think, from the traditional french method, in which the toast that ends up under the piece of goat cheese never gets crisped and ends up a touch soggy), then very lightly rubbed one side of each toast with the sliced end of a garlic clove. Then threw on some runny, aged goat cheese (usually they use fresh, but this stuff looked so good at Plum Market) and broiled for a minute. A simple salad of romaine tossed in balsamic with a little mustard completes the dish easily.


...Then we watched Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yup, I know how to please my man.