Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Books

Yesterday, I was able to spend a nice, relaxing day with two of my sisters traipsing around the little college town of Claremont, CA.  We were worried that it might be very hot there, but fortunately there was a lovely breeze blowing through the town that day.  Although many of the stores are closed on Mondays, one of my favorites, Barbara Cheatley's, was open for business.  In addition to all of the unique gift and home-decor items carried there, they have a wonderful selection of cookbooks.  I couldn't leave without taking a couple of them home with me.  These are the ones I chose:

This has all of the recipes arranged by color.  Beautiful photography and 200+ recipes.  I think that I want to try the Berry and Buttermilk Cake first, since it's berry season.  I may also have to go purchase that ice-cream maker I've been wanting for a while- lots of delicious recipes in this book that I could use it for.

This book has recipes for cookies, cakes, doughnuts,  pies, tarts, custards, ice-cream and candies.  I will definitely have to try out the Chocolate Babka, as hubby is a huge Seinfeld fan.  Firstly, though, I think I would like to bake up the Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling.

Lastly, I purchased this book just for fun:   

I'll let you know how this one works out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

BBQ Party Mix

Here's a new recipe I tried for the 4th of July.  Beware!  It is addictive.  It has all the crunchy goodness of a traditional Chex Mix, coupled with a mild hint of BBQ tastiness.  Another winner from Cook's Country magazine (Dec/Jan '08).


BBQ Party Mix

1.  Heat oven to 250 degrees.  Combine 5 cups Corn Chex cereal, 2 cups corn chips, 1 cup melba toast pieces*, 1 cup pretzel sticks, and 1 (6 oz) can smokehouse almonds in a large bowl.  Whisk 6 tablespoons butter (that has been melted) with 1/4 cup barbeque sauce in a small bowl and drizzle over cereal mixture.  Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  Toss everything together until well combined.

2.  Spread the mixture on a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and serve.  Store airtight for 1 week.

*The original recipe called for melba toast rounds.  I had to go to 3 markets to find them, and ended up breaking them up into smaller pieces anyway.  Any plain melba toast should work.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My New Favorite Hat

One of my favorite gifts to knit for a boy/man is a beanie.  It's a quick, easy and portable project that looks good on most guys.  In the past, I never would have crocheted a hat for a man.  It just didn't seem masculine enough.  That was until I purchased a book called, "Get Your Crochet On!  Hip Hats and Cool Caps" by Afya Ibomu.  It's a book that's filled with soulful styles that make anyone look cool.  The first pattern I tried out was "The MC", as a gift for Uncle D's birthday.  He lives by the beach and is always in need of a cap for a chilly morning stroll on the sand.  I chose a blue/brown color-way and got to work.  The pattern was easy to follow and I like the ingenious idea of adding a row of elastic to help the hat keep its shape.  It also looks fly on Uncle D:

Sweetpea was ogling this hat so I decided to make one for her in a more feminine purple color-way:

I had enough yarn left over to make another girl-size hat in the light purple with the darker purple as the stripe.  It's almost complete.  The hard part will be deciding who to give it to!

Here are the links to my project notes on Ravelry: