Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When in doubt, brûlée

I wish I could take credit for this; alas, it's thanks to following SomebunnysLove on Pinterest. Kimberly has incredible taste in food, and I swear I'm gaining weight just following her pins.

From Chef In Training, I give you the recipe, with my two slight adjustments. The first is substituting honey for corn syrup, the second is replacing the bread with croissants.

I also would recommend serving with bacon, whipped cream, and strawberries- all on the side. Mmmm.

This serves 6-8 people, and next time, I'm doing two batches. That's how good this is.


Overnight Creme Brulee French Toast


  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 2 Tbsp honey
  4. 10 croissants
  5. 5 eggs
  6. 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  9. Dash of cinnamon


  1. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, and honey over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture onto large, greased jelly roll pan (18x13x1"). Spread around to cover surface. Cut the crossaints in half, place them crust-side down in a single layer to cover pan. Mix together eggs, cream, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Spoon mixture over each piece of bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pull out of the fridge (about 1 1/2 hours before baking) so that the baking dish can come up to room temperature. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from pan and serve. If not serving immediately, turn each slice of bread over (this will prevent bread from sticking to the bottom of the pan).
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Bon apetít!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Oatmeal and butter

This weekend was challenging, and I am the only one to blame for it. Before I get into the challenging bit, here's something that is going really well:

Oatmeal CVM from Patti Sexton, Monterey Wool Auction 2010

Plying! I spun 9 oz of CVM singles on a borrowed Hansen Minispinner while I was expecting  DangerMouse. Since I'm getting ready to start my SPAKAL spinning, I thought I should ply the TWO sweaters worth of singles I have resting on the plastic weaving bobbins. (This is, for the record, the only issue with using the plastic weaving bobbins for storing singles.)

I spun this woolen, because the staple length is on the shorter side, and if I thought I loved spinning it, it wasn't as much as I'm loving plying it. I just need to set it and pick which Hannah Fettig sweater I'm knitting out of it. Plying this makes me feel really accomplished and incredibly talented.

It also makes DangerMouse sleeeeeeepy.

(This is important to point out. I'm not just being a bragger-sandwich.)

I spent Saturday in the kitchen. Between baking sugar cookies for Easter dinner with my in-laws and doing prep for Easter brunch (at our house), my kitchen was a'bustlin' with activity. I really, really missed cooking and baking and it's so satisfying to be able to get back to it.

I pulled out my trusty copy of Joy of Cooking and looked at the recipe for sugar cookies. We were looking to make cookies that look like these:

Image stolen from justcrumbs. But seriously, go check out her etsy shop.

So. Sugar cookies. I looked at the recipe, and the recipe says it will make 3 dozen 2" round cookies. My cookie cutter was a 3" egg, and my brain mangled the math. I read "3 dozen 1" round cookies".

So I quadrupled the recipe. QUADUPLED.

"This is SUCH a good idea!" I kept saying, "I'm so excited to be baking! And they're going to be SO CUTE."

That meant using 10 sticks of butter. Somehow, this made PERFECT SENSE to me. I went along, cheerfully mixing, rolling out, and refrigerating the dough. Then it was time to cut out the cookies and bake them.

I made use of Andrew and his excellent spatial skills, so he did the cutting out, and I fired up my oven to the "convection" setting. (Three sheets of cookies baking evenly, simultaneously. It makes my heart skip a beat. But that might be the butter talking.)

After AN HOUR of cutting out cookies, Andrew asks how many more we're planning to do. It was at this point that I realize, we will have OVER ONE HUNDRED 3" eggs. That we're going to decorate.

Andrew may have voiced some concern about halfway through, to which I kept insisting, "This is STILL a good idea."

After the cookies were all baked (minus the scraps, which Mom rolled and froze for later use), I looked at the stack and nearly wept at the idea of having to ice and decorate all. These. Cookies.

This is only some of them.

Andrew had the great idea to only decorate the 48 cookies we were planning to take to Easter dinner, and it was an INSPIRED idea. We set up an assembly line, and iced, ear-ed, eye-d, and tail-ed the cookies.

I felt really stupid pretty, and to be totally honest, I was pretty hard on myself. Straight-up abusive. To his credit, Andrew insisted that it was STILL a good idea, the cookies were delicious, and hey! When have we ever had a hard time finding people interested in eating my baking?

Lesson learned? If you're tired and having a "pretty" day, have someone ELSE check your math.

Unless, of course, you have neighbors like ours, who told me that they would *cheerfully* take one for the team and help us out with the extras. It's definitely a tasty, tasty way to get closer to your neighbors.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What I do for love

I have completely lost my mind. We announced the SPAKAL (SPin-Along-Knit-A-Long, pronounced "spackle") on the podcast, and I declared that I would not *only* spin a sweater on my spinning wheel and knit the chosen sweater, but I would ALSO spin for a sweater using a drop spindle.

It's a KCL modular spindle, and that's orange Targhee X I'm spinning on it.

Yes, drop spindle is technically slower than wheel spinning. But, it happens to delight one certain DangerMouse, and I am a slave to her moods. Especially the good ones. Also, you really can't beat the fact that it keeps her actively engaged and entertained for 45 minutes at a time. (This is further proof that she really and truly is my daughter. You know, if you ever doubted it.)

I mean, wouldn't you spin for this face?

"The most interesting baby in the world" (captioned by Kidbrother Sam)

That's what I thought.

Friday, April 6, 2012


There has been lots of baby talk on here as of late. I'm still amazed at how much time and attention tiny people (who seem to spend most of their time sleeping) require. Lest you fear that I have forsaken my love of All Things Fiber-y, I offer you a little proof that I have not.

Skeptical Houdini Socks for Andrew
I decided to try knitting a pair of Houdini socks for Andrew- mostly because they're really, really satisfying to knit - and partly because I know he likes his socks snug, and these totally fit the bill. He was skeptical that he would like the fit of any socks that weren't ribbed from cuff to toe (the one problem with having a man who knows his knitting), but I assured him that he would love the fit of these.

I can't explain *why* these fit better than a sock with (for example) a short-rowed heel, but they do. Someday, over a mug of coffee, I will ask Cat to explain it to me, and I will finally see the light. (I promise to tell you what the secret is, as soon as I know.)

These are further than they appear in the photo (first sock is DONE!), and I had Andrew try it on. I have a feeling that one Tall and Handsome Man will be having a serving of Crow with a side of Humble Pie shortly.

There are so many things I love about these socks; especially the yarn. Oh Regia, yarn of my heart. What I may love most is the bold 10-year warrantee on the label. Way to throw down the gauntlet, Regia.

The most appealing part of these socks might be the complete lack of a wretched heel flap. It seems to take me a year to knit a 2 1/2" square of fabric, but 12 inches of stockinette tube and seven inches of ribbing? I can knit *that* in ten minutes. (Not really ten minutes. Allow me some hyberbolic license here.)

I am enjoying the knitting on these socks so much that I'm actually *excited* about knitting a fresh drawer of socks for Andrew.

Somehow a drawer full of socks seems less daunting than finishing the sleeves on the sweater. It's all about perspective these days.