It’s A Wrap!

I was never so happy to see a crocheted project end as I was when I finished this shawlette.

South Bay Shawlette

The pattern is called, South Bay Shawlette by Lion Brand.

South Bay Shawlette

For the yarn, I used 100% Suri Brushed Alpaca, fingering yarn (which is now discontinued) and a size F crochet hook.

I love the feel of this yarn. It is light and airy and blocks beautifully.

South Bay Shawlette

My frustration came about when I would make a mistake and have to unravel the error. If you didn’t go slowly to unravel, that is when the fun began.  Because this yarn has tiny hairs, the stitches would fuse together with any friction.

Natural fibers have a tendency to do that.

At one point, after finishing a long row, I made a mistake at the beginning and had to sloooooooooooowly and methodically unraveled the whole row.

Grrr!

However, it’s finished and I am happy about that!

Twenty-five years ago, when we had this house built, we didn’t realize that one of the kitchen cabinets would be too small to keep anything in there save herbs and spices.  Then again, it was still too small to hold any significant amount of spices and herbs.  It is only 8 inches wide with three shelves and not very tall or deep (the top shelf had to be reached with a tall stool or chair-not very safe and so inconvenient).  For 25 years, we wrestled with jars in trying to find the one spice that we needed.  We had to take out jars of spices and herbs to find the one that was needed, then put them all back.  Some would fall out onto the counter…it was frustrating!

Finally, we came up with a solution.

This is what we built a couple of weeks ago.

Spice Cabinet

It fits between the refrigerator and wall. It has 4 casters attached to the bottom, and a handle at the end, so it will roll out and back in easily.  After putting all the spices, herbs, etc into it, my spice collection doesn’t look as big as it did in the tiny cabinet.

It makes it so much easier to cook and bake when you can see everything in the front of you.

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Adding Color and Cappucini To Life

Last week, I crocheted four mandala-type hot pad.  I tried very carefully not to make two alike. I didn’t know which patterns I was going to use. I just made them up as I went along.

hot pads mandala

After I finished the first one (the one with the pink yarn), I noticed that it came out in a hex shape. I guess I wasn’t paying close attention when crocheting that one.

I used the cotton yarn, such as Lily Sugar’n Cream, that I had left over and a size F crochet hook.

mandala hot pads

For the past three days (instead of my afternoon tea) I’ve made cappuccino.

cappuccino

It has been a while since I’ve used our moka pot and the frother.

moka-pot

Today, Tom and I took our cappuccino out to the front stoop, and drank them while enjoying the milder temps. It was an absolutely beautiful day weather-wise.

cappuccino

Tom on the bench, and me in my rocking chair, just taking in the day.

great things

liz_bunny

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All Warm and Cozy

I had worked on a teapot cozy and wasn’t happy with the outcome.  Last week, I picked it back up and finished it.

Tea Cozy

For something that I made up in my head, I guess it didn’t turn out too badly.  It fits my one-cup teapot and does keep the tea hot while it steeps.  I used Peaches & Cream cotton yarn.

Tea Cozy

I do have another idea for a cozy.  If it turns out ok, I will (hopefully) write the pattern down on paper.  I hesitate to write down a pattern.  If I am on a roll, I don’t want to stop to jot down notes.

What usually happens is, “What I see in my head isn’t the same as the outcome”.  Argh!

I had purchased some new blended, signature, teas, Wizard’s Grey and The Evening Star, from Adagio online (sample tins are no longer available).  Both blends were very good, but as for my go-to-tea, I will probably just stick to Earl Grey.

These signature blends are perfect if you wish a treat now and then.  I just don’t want to depend on an online store to keep me stocked in tea.  It’s more convenient to go to the local store if I run out of tea.

Tea Grey Wizard

A cup of Wizard’s Grey, from Adagio, in my pretty little tea-cup.

I also wanted to share the flatbread that I baked.  I love how it folds without cracking.  I found the recipe for this flatbread at Mel’s Cafe Kitchen.

flatbread

To go along with the flatbread, I also made mulligatawny soup.

mulligatawny soup-flatbread

Years ago, after watching “Seinfeld’s” The Soup Nazi episode, I was curious about the recipe and found it online.  It is delicious!  I omit the eggplant and add more of the potato, pistachios and cashews to the pot.

Of course, everything that should be eaten in moderation is what I add more of…of course!

bluebird-siggy

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Tapestry, Tea and Whoopie Pies

Over a week ago, I was working on a crochet tea cozy and added some crochet tapestry to the piece.  Not happy with the outcome of that project, I put it aside. However, last weekend, I had an urge to do a little more crocheting.  I decided to use some of my cotton yarn stash to make dishcloths.

dishcloths

My inspiration, for two of these patterns (the tapestry), came from my little tea cozy and Little woolie’s blog. If you are a crafter, Little Woolie is worth checking out.  She has “a love for crafty things, crochet, knitting and yarny makes in particular”.

The other one (yellow and blue) is something I just made up.  It’s just rows of extended single crochet.

dishcloths

The two, on the end, are ‘Flat Tapestry crochet’. If I could use both hands to crochet, the patterns would be sharper. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot crochet using my left hand or crochet backwards.  I want to learn, but on the other hand…

To see what I mean, take a look at this video “Flat Tapestry Crochet by Carol Ventura“.

A while ago, I made these (see photos below) using the tapestry technique.  They are done in the round. Therefore, the patterns are sharper.

crochet tapestry change purse crochet tapestry

I don’t have to use my left hand for tapestry if done in the rounds.

And, to add a little sweetness to our lives, I baked Whoopie Pies.

whoppie pie

I filled half with marshmallow (Fluff) and vanilla cream, and half with marshmallow and peanut butter-vanilla cream.  A New England tradition, my mother made these for my sister and me when we were kids.

whoppie pies

I purchased some new blended teas from Adagio online.  My purchases were these two sample tins along with a couple of Earl Grey pouch blends.

grey

 star

It is time for my afternoon pick-me-up.  I am off to make a cup tea.  I think I will try the Wizard’s Grey.  I am hoping it is as good as it sounds.

teapot

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Downton Abbey Cooks Online Guide to Afternoon Tea

Liz:

An online guide to afternoon tea. I stumbled upon this wonderful blog (Downton Abbey Cooks ~ Great food has a history) by a woman who is “a cook and historian fascinated by the fine, yet simple food of the post Edwardian period of Downton Abbey”. I love the idea of afternoon tea and I love that she posts about my favorite show-Downton Abbey.

Originally posted on Downton Abbey Cooks:

Award Winning Afternoon Tea at the Manor House, one of 25 grand houses featured in Beyond Downton Abbey

Every week I host Tea Tuesday, a virtual tea party which was inspired by Christine, a follower who lives in France, who was curious about English tea traditions. The British may have failed miserably in other culinary areas, but they excel in the tea ritual. Each Tuesday, I dish on Downton Abbey and share other topical tea issues one might discuss at tea, served up with a tea treat with a history.

The Online Guide will be updated weekly as I add new recipes, so bookmark and return to whenever you are looking for tea history and new recipe ideas.

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The Sweeter Part of Life

I have been working on a couple of crocheted item, but I don’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to finish them.  Lately, I just can’t sit still long enough to crochet. My mind wants to wander to other things rather than the task at hand.

Two weeks ago, to satisfy a craving, I baked a Victoria Sponge Cake.

victoria sponge cake

It does go very well with a cup of hot tea.

There is one problem with this cake.  The problem being that I am the only one here that likes it.  I ended up throwing more than half away.  I could have-believe me-eaten the whole cake all by myself.  Nevertheless, I was good and only had two slices in a two-day period.

I suppose I could make half the recipe and find a smaller pan-I suppose.

victoria sponge cake

This recipe makes one 9-inch cake.  Rather than cut the cake in half horizontally, I chose to cut it in half.  By doing it this way, the cake was too thick and I lost the flavors of the cream and raspberry. I should have just stuck to the way I normally do it.  However, if you would like a thicker cake, double the recipe and divide between two 9-inch cake pans.

victoria cream cakeTo print, click on recipe and save from there to your desktop.

Later that same week, I made Orange Swirl Cinnamon Rolls.

orange cinnamon swirl rolls

Everyone here loves these rolls.  I had no leftovers like there was with the Victoria Sponge Cake.

It has been my experience that not many could resist a hot, yeast roll fresh from the oven?

Thank you for visiting!

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Casa di Pizza

I am finding it a little difficult to find things to post that are positive.  What I will say is, “I can’t keep up with the rising cost of food and other things!”  Going out to eat has been non-existent for us.  We cook or bake everything rather than buy prepared or packaged foods.

A couple of Saturday’s ago we made homemade pizza.  It is a little time-consuming, but it is much cheaper and taste better.

I make the dough-

pizza dough

and I made my quick pizza sauce.

homemade easy pizza sauce

I made six individually sized pizzas.

dough pizza

Each of us added our favorite toppings (the one below is mine) and there you have it!  A delicious pizza costing you less than a delivery pizza or going out for a pizza.

pizza

Buon appetito!

liz siggy

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Afternoon Tea

Between two and three in the afternoon, I find myself totally exhausted.  Between those times, I make myself a cup of hot tea in a pretty little cup with a saucer.  As I take in the aroma of fragrant bergamot and sip the bold flavors, I ponder about the days ago or the days to go. It’s a chance for me to indulge in a few moments of peaceful bliss in a ladylike fashion.

Pinkies out, please!

tea and scone

Very rarely do I eat something while I take tea.  But, the other day,  I made orange cream scones to go along with tea.

orange scones

Delicious!

The flavor of the citrusy, orange bergamot in the tea and the orange (peel) in the scone paired together nicely.  This scone has a touch of sweetness and didn’t need a jam or butter to enhance the flavor.

The other evening I crocheted tiny hearts adding little glass beads to the end tips. I wanted to make a nice long streamer. Again, I got bored with making tiny hearts (as I do with anything that has to do with crocheting lately), and ended up with a tiny, ugly little streamer.

sm heart garland

I nominate this little, heart streamer as “what not to crochet“.

Put the hook down and just walk away!  

liz-teacup

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