Monday, 22 October 2007

Sketch Book

I have been doing a bit of sketching in my sketch book and tidying up a few older drawings in there, I don't know exactly what I will be doing with these sketches but I think they lend themselves to alot of diffrent things, If I get a few of them properly scanned and not jsut take pictures with my phone then I think they might make some great t-shirts designs. Well maybe not the coffee ones. But I love the green man and the willow tree I'm very pleased at how they turned out. I still haven't gone to Harmony Yarn ( ) which is on third street. I'll wait and pop that on M and have him drop me off there and send him for coffee!

I finally managed to go to the yarn store and got some lovely grey wool.. and purple too, I haven't decided what to knit with them though, possible some wrist warmers and a scarf, but they are so lovely that I will be hard pressed to give the finished products away, well once I actually start that is. I'm also trying to get my head around paint shop at the moment, I knew it long long ago but now I'm such a technophobe.. well more inept that phobe I think.

M will be here on wedensday so its off to the shops today to get a few things for him, and some more drip filter coffee that is better than the bag I bought myself because it was awful. H will be happy too as he has been a monster the last few days missing his dad so hopefully he will be a good boy again and deserving of a real birthday party.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Odd Shaped Cookie

IF ever there was a way to describe me odd shaped cookie would probably fit quite well depending on what day it is. Today H and I made some chocolate chip cookies, the recipe? Toll House of course the only chocolate chip cookie recipe as far as I'm concerned. Real home comfort food, or it would be if my parents' oven didn't loath me for reasons known only to itsself, The turned out ok, though a little bit malformed as the cookie dough didn't spread out to form nice cookie shapes it just sorta stayed mostly rather lump shaped. They tasted good though so thats really all that mattered, H is happy and flying around the room on a chocolate and sugar induced high.

I have also been learning to knit cables, or one cable or something, i'm not hip to the knitting lingo, but I think I have gotten the hang of it so far, its only a small piece and will probably end up as a cup holder (what are those cardboard things called at Starbuck's?) for M. I hope to attempt something new and craft worthy soon, maybe even try the dreaded knitted pattern, and hopefully do better than the tangled mess I got into last time I attempted such a thing.

Next trip out of the house I hope to go to Boucle's.....yarn ( ) I went there about six moths or so ago on our last trip here and it was lovely, lovely beautiful yarns, though I only got about ten minutes before M and H were getting fed up waiting in the car. five more sleeps and M will be here, so that will make H a very happy boy, and thats means many trips out for coffee and bookshops and music stores and cinnabuns oh mi.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Idaho Cup Warmer

I'm not exactly sure if its right to call it a cup warmer, maybe a cup holder instead but I just finished it and thought I would share. Not bad for being jetlagged and tired. The wool is some Noro Silk Garden that I have been touting around and trying to figure out what to make with it. This is obviously only the beginning of the ball of wool but I wanted a really small project to do and as this goes perfectly with a cup of coffee well then what could be better. H and I are recovering slowly and managed to sleep till 4:30am almost heaven..well its not quite so hellish anyway. I don't know what to do with the rest of the wool, I'm tempted to make another cupholder for M when he gets here in 9 days, though I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want a flower charm on it. I'll have to have a think about that. ITs very foggy and misty this morning, that would probably have to do with being so near to the lake, Hopefully it burns off quickly becuse we have promised to take H to one of the playgrounds today if he is a good boy. and based on how he is acting now thats a big IF.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Travelling to Idaho

Ok we made it to Idaho, H was great on the flight he only slept for about three hours but was really good thought impatient for the plane to touchdown. The drive from Seattle to Idaho was ok, we mostly slept through it while my dad drove, H woke enough to have a few bites to eat then when to sleep as soon as he was back in the car, before he had a chance to eat the chocolate chip cookie he bought from a Starbucks on the way.

When we finally got to my parents place it was with a great sigh of relief to not be travelling anymore. We met the two new pugs, Niko and his mummy Sissy (the name she came with honest) which we nice though a bit to happy to meet H and there jumping made him cry. H is now one of the pack happily playing with the dogs and cats.

We have been awake since 3 am, well H has been awake I on the other hand have been stumbling around seeking coffee and wishing there was an espresso machine and barista in the house! Its 5am now, how do I know this well there are about a thousand clocks ticking and chiming in the house that my dad has restored and fixed. Strangely you would think it would be an awful racket but its not you get used to the noise rather quickly and I think its rather calming. Well Except for maybe the bird song clocks, oh and there is one that sounds a bit like pots and pans banging when it chimes the hour.

Its Sunday today and I don’t know what we will be doing later, I hope to go out for a bit, as caffeine and consumerism calls to me. If I put a dollar to my ear would I hear a list of stores? Old Navy, JC Penny’s, Cinnabun, Starbucks, Hot Topic, Jack in the Box, Gap, Macy’s, Borders, Barnes and Nobel… as they say money talks, or perhaps its just that living in England deprives me of certain favourite things.. Although Derby now has its own proper Mall, it only opened Tuesday and we were there for it, though it was lovely and shinny and new, with a Thomas Kincaid gallery of light, and a Colony Candle shop it just teased at being a real mall, there is no mall like an American Mall, they just don’t have that same mall smell.

Right I’m off to fight the effects of jet lag with another instant coffee! Not as good as a Starbucks but it’ll do.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Unbirthday Party

Yesterday was H's unbirthday party, his actual birthday isn't until the end of the month but as we are going to visit his grandparents he won't get to see all his little friends until we get back mid november. M took H out of the house for a few hours so i could bake and decorate the cake (pictured above) and decorate with a few baloons and frantically tidy and clean the house so that nobody thinks its the pigsty it really is most of the time. THe cake is a basic yellow cake recipe, I used the same recipe for the raspberry cream cake recipe listed on the right. The frosting is a chocolate cream cheese frosting and dont forget the malteasers!

I only got the tinyiest sliver of cake so I assume that means it was good, there was no arguing or fighting amongst the kids and H was very happy to get to play with all of his friends, he hugged everyone and sent them all on their way home.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

1/4 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup baking cocoa
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter, and cream cheese in medium bowl on medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually beat in cocoa, and powdered sugar on low speed until smooth. I used slightly less butter and icing sugar, due to the fact that I had run out of both but it still ended up very nice.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake


for the cheese mixture:
2 pkg. (250g each) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons caster (white) sugar
3 150g bars of dark chocolate 55% cocoa
1 tablespoon butter (i used slightly salted but you can use unsalted)

for the base:
12 biscuits (makes roughly 1½ cups crumbs)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Crush the biscuits and add the melted butter. Mix well and press firmly into a 8-inch pie pan. Pat down using the base of a glass. Place in fridge for 30mins to set.

While base is setting. Mix together the mascarpone and sugar using a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Break the chocolate into squares and microwave with the tablespoon butter until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Pour the chocolate into the mascarpone mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the cheese mixture over the base and spread evenly . Put cheesecake in the for at least a half an hour. The cheesecake is a very firm texture but very lovely and decadent. I served it with a dollop of whipped cream.

cooks notes: The cheesecake turned out lovely I was very happy with the taste of it, the texture is firm and next time I make it I shall try a higher percentage of cocoa in the chocolate but use less of it. The recipe is my own I searched in vain for a dark chocolate cheesecake recipe that was no bake and had no eggs, there was not one to be had so I experimented and the result turned out great, I think that I inherited a cooking gene from my dad.

I shall write up a recipe for the peach cheesecake when I figure out exactly what I did.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Experiments in Cheesecake

ok have been expirimenting with cheesecake today one a dark chocolate and marscapone cheesecake, the other a smaller cinnamon peach cheesecake, I haven't sorted out a recipe yet because we havent eaten them yet. The Dark Chocolate Cheesecake is for a dinner party tommorow night, and the peach one is for M for pudding later, although I'm sure he would rather have the chocolate one all to himself. The mixtures tasted nice if thats any help but I'm not sure yet how the chocolate one will set hopefully it will be ok and not turn hard as a rock but I won't really know till tommorow night. fingers crossed.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Antisocial Butterfly

Last week I got in contact with somone that I went to high school with, through the lovely myspace, and I realize that I didn't really know her then and I'm glad that we found each other now. Yes boys and girls I am that tragic, not only do have have myspace but facebook as well, admittedly they are mostly blank because I haven't the time to be mucking about on them all day, I'd say I have a life but that's a lie, I have housework and I have baking too and bloging on here obviously!

Back to the story, for the purposes of anonymity and unless she wishes otherwise we will call my friend J. I met J my senior year of high school though I think we may have had had a few classes together before that. I was always a bit of a misfit, to be honest with myself I was just a shy flower on the wall, antisocial buttery, that wasn't cool enough to be really outcast from teenage society. Goth I am not, I'm just not that cool, although my hair is currently nearly black, but that's a story for another day.

J and I have found each other on my space and we have something in common now that we wouldn't have before. We both have sons, and they both have the same H name. Small world I guess, but it proves that the Internet is good for something. It connected me with M and now it has reconnected me with another survivor from the Montgomery High Hell! J and I are e-mail now, or rather e-mailing through myspace, would that be myspace-ing? And it would be great if we could meet up in person if M and I ever sort out flying back to San Fran for a few days next spring before flying up to my parents in Idaho. Catch up on the gossip and all. Its nice to make new friends from old acquaintances, and J was always nice to me in high school and I think there are probably only about a handful of people I can say the same about. If she can remeber me that maybe I wasn't as much of a reject as I thought I was.. I still had glasses though so I was definatly still a geek!