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18
Nov

Recipe Review: Pumpkin Spice Cookies

   Posted by: Jennifer   in Cooking, Recipe Review

This morning I saw a Tweet from Boston.com for a Pumpkin Spice Cookie recipe. The recipe looked interesting, I had all the ingredients in my pantry minus the chocolate chips (how this happened is beyond me). I decided to try the recipe today.

The recipe is fairly straight forward, no hard to find ingredients or difficult to master techniques. If your butter is soft enough and you have some arm strength you could mix the whole recipe with out using an electric mixer. The dough is a little wet for a cookie dough, it can be spooned out but in the future I think I will refrigerate it before spooning it out onto the cookie sheet.  The cookies took 13 minutes to bake, they came off the pan soft but firmed up when cooled. The cookie is a soft cookie with cake-like texture. It tastes great not too sweet and just enough pumpkin spice. I don’t know if it needs the chocolate chips. I’m adding this my holiday baking recipes.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen

cups flour
½ teaspoon bakingpowder
½ teaspoon baking soda
teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons groundcinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanillaextract
cups semisweetchocolate chips
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt to blend them.

3. In an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter with the granulated and brown sugars and pumpkin puree until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

4. With the mixer set on low speed, blend in the flour mixture until well combined.

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

6. Drop tablespoons of the batter onto the baking sheets, setting them 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes or until just starting to brown. Rotate the sheets halfway through to ensure even cooking. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for a few minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Adapted from Cookie Lady Treats end of story marker

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18
Nov

Cooking: Pre-Thanksgiving Prep

   Posted by: Jennifer   in Cooking, Holidays

It’s Pre-Thanksgiving, time for panic and watching lots of Food Network. I’m not cooking the big dinner on Thursday but I will be cooking a turkey next weekend. I enjoy the whole thing. The smell of the turkey, the stuffing, mash potatoes, green bean casserole and the pumpkin pie. I keep the menu simple and portions small, it’s only for me and my boyfriend but we do enjoy leftovers. I will be looking for a small fresh turkey, not too small. I avoid frozen birds if I can, I never give myself enough time to defrost it. I like brining but I’m thinking of trying a dry rub this year. Did I mention lots of Food Network being watched? I’ve given up on making pies. I have failed making apple pie and pumpkin pie. I can make an apple crisp and brownies that only adults seem to like.

A few years ago I made an apple crisp to take to Thanksgiving dinner. I bought everything on Wednesday, or so I thought, Thanksgiving morning I peeled 5 pounds of apples, got the ingredient together and looked around “Where is the oatmeal?” then I realized, I forgot to buy oatmeal and I didn’t have any in the pantry. So while I was wondering what was I going to do I spot a container of brown sugar granola. I looked at the ingredients: oats, brown sugar, raisins, almond slivers. I decided it could work and I substituted the granola for the oatmeal.  When I got to dinner I told my mother, the best cook I know. She said it should be fine and don’t tell anyone unless they ask. When it came time for dessert I tasted the crisp and it tasted fine, my mom agreed then my Sister-in-Law stuck a fork into a raisin and asked “Did you put raisins in this?” I explained what happened and we all laughed and agreed I made a good substitution. From that moment on, my apple crisp has raisins in it.

The brownies I make are based on Nigella Lawson’s Snow Flecked Brownies. It’s the reason I have a scale in my kitchen because it’s the first recipe I used that gives measurements in weight not in volume. I have played around with the chocolate for this recipe. When I use dark chocolate, kids don’t seem to like brownies. I’ve made them with milk chocolate and they still taste pretty good. My favorite is when I use 1/2 dark and 1/2 milk. The recipe as it’s written makes a very gooey dense brownie. It’s a very fudgey brownie. The recipe makes a 9″ x 13″ pan and the brownies are so rich you can’t have a big piece. I’ve started adding more flour to the batter to lighten it up some. Making these brownies is something I reserve for the holidays. For some reason they never come out the same way twice but they always taste great.

Don’t think I’ll have any crafting time this week, but the long holiday weekend brings out the nesting instinct and I tend to start planning my holiday crafting.

3
Nov

UFO: The Dr. Who Scarf

   Posted by: Jennifer   in Dr. Who Scarf, Knitting, Loom, UFO

In crafting terms a UFO is an UnFinished Object. In most cases it’s a forgotten unfinished object but in the cast, I can’t forget it. It lives next to my couch and stares at me when I’m doing anything but working on it. Also the voice of my friend who I’m knitting it for is in my head nagging encouraging me to finish it.  I told him I would have it done by Christmas, I never said which Christmas.

As you can see it’s about 25% done and I’m knitting on a loom not with needles. Also my cat Baxter likes to help. I tried knitting this on a straight loom but the stitch did not meet the approval of the recipient, because of this I have to do this in a way that will take longer. So really it’s his fault (hear that Ernie? It’s YOUR fault). On the straight loom the stitches looked like this:

Instead of horizontal rows, I got a ribbed effect that isn’t true to the design. Instead I’m doing a row of knit then a row of purl on the round loom. It’s working out pretty nice I just can’t pay 100% attention to what I’m watching on TV. I have to listen the TV and watch the knitting (That’s why I’m behind on Big Bang Theory, Ernie, once again, it’s your fault :P )

The pattern I’m using I got from WittyLittleKnitter.com. I’m using the Season 12 original design. For those of you who don’t know about the Dr. Who Scarf. Here’s a very brief history: It was worn by the Fourth Doctor. According to the story it was a gift to The Doctor from Madame Nostradamus. According to the costume designer it was knitted by Begonia Pope. It was originally 20 feet long because she used all the yarn she was given.  It was shortened some before filming began. Over the following seasons the appearance of the scarf changed but I’m going with the original and maybe someday I’ll try one of the other variation.

I’m using Vanna’s Choice yarn for my scarf. It’s an acrylic, while wool would be more traditional, I was looking for ease of care. All the yarn looks like this:

And once again my feline assistant is assisting by making sure none of the yarn escapes. I’ve decided if the scarf is done according to pattern and I still have yarn, I’m just going to keep knitting. Ernie’s tall, he can handle it.

1
Nov

It Has to Start Somehow

   Posted by: Jennifer   in Uncategorized

 Blog /blôg/

Noun:  A Web site containing the writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other Web sites.

Verb: Add new material to or regularly update a blog.

 

After years of saying I want to blog but I don’t know what to write. I’ve just decided I’m going to blog and hope the words come to me. I plan to blog about my life because really isn’t that what a blog is about? It’s about someone’s life. Whether it be about just a single interest or a public diary, it’s something that someone felt passionately enough about to write it down and share it to the world. For me I’m hoping to talk about my passions, which I have many. I am in the process of organizing and cleaning up my craft room. During this process I’ve come to realize I enjoy many types of crafts. I’ve learned a lot about each of them and I’m still learning. I’m hoping to pass along the information that I had the hardest time finding and maybe saving someone else the headache.  But this isn’t just going to be about crafting there might be days I write about technology, cats, cooking or car maintenance. All things that interest me or things I’ve have been forced to take an interest in, most likely kicking and screaming along the way.  As the second definition says I will do my best to update regularly even if it’s a just a sleeping cat picture. Besides a full time job, I have a wonderful boyfriend, two demanding cats, a mountain of unfinished sewing projects, a craft room to reorganize, an apartment to simplify, and craft projects to finish, just to start the list of things I could write about.

On a technical note, this site is basic now, I plan on growing it, customizing it, and adding on. For now I just wanted something to put out there that didn’t hurt my eyes. I plan on stealing ideas from some of my favorite blogs.

So gentle reader, thank you for your time I hope this will be worthy of it.

-Jennifer