Cherish Yesterday...Dream Tomorrow...Live Today

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Something to Celebrate

Hi all and happy Sunday night.  I have had a busy week and it only promises to get busier as Christmas gets even closer.  My oldest son is officially engaged to his girlfriend.  He gave her a ring on her birthday this past week.  They are close to graduating nursing school and will be taking their boards and getting jobs in the field they have prepared for.  I am happy for them.

On the Christmas cookie front, I welcomed a yummy newcomer to my cookie bunch.  These sugared date squares are different from the usual cookies I make this time of year.  A coworker and good friend made me a batch of these for my birthday this year and everyone that had one asked for the recipe.  They are that good!  In a large saucepan, combine 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter, and 8 oz. package chopped dates.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until almost smooth-about 5 minutes.  Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 cups rice krispies and 1 cup chopped walnuts.  Spread in a buttered 9 inch square pan.  Cool and cut into squares.  Dredge each cut square in powdered sugar.  They make a wonderful addition to any cookie tray.

I also wanted to share an easy scarf I made to go with a green coat with an unusual hue of green.  It may not look like it matches in this picture, but one of the greens in the variegated yarn matches exactly.  I used Deborah Norville's serenity chunky yarn in Forest.  I used size 17 needles and cast on 8 stitches using 2 strands of yarn.  I knit the first 6 rows.  For the next row, I knit 1 and then wrapped the yarn around twice and knit another one. I continued like that all the way across the row.  On the next row, I knit 1 and then dropped the extra wraps from the previous row and then knit one.  I continued that on that row and then knit the next 3 rows.  It was an easy pattern and with only 8 stitches in each row, it went quickly.  

I hope you all have a great week ahead.  I have several gatherings with friends to exchange gifts which means several dinners and lunches out this week.  We are also doing our secret Santa swap at school this week.  It will all be hectic but fun.  Take care.  Nancy

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Knitting and Baking

Hi everyone and happy Sunday to you.  I can't believe how time is flying.  Christmas will be here before you know it. 

I wanted to share this fun scarf I knitted and completed in time for my son's girlfriend's birthday.  It was a lot of fun to knit and a little different from my usual-which is a good thing as I easily get caught in the rut of using the same pattern over and over again.  I used a soft yarn with sequins in it and an eyelash yarn.  She loves pink and black so I hope she likes it.  I followed the instructions for the snow bunny scarf from Knit and Crochet Now   tv show.  I watch that show every week and have learned so much from their visual tutorials.  Their patterns are free.  You should check it out.  This season, they are doing a different scarf every week.  I love scarves because they are perfect for my crafting attention span! 

I also wanted to share some delicious cupcakes I made last week. 

They are strawberry filled cupcakes.  I was impressed with the cake's texture.  They were dense without being heavy or dry.  To an ordinary cake mix, add 2 cups of sour cream(thus the wonderful texture) and 2 eggs.  Combine on low speed and beat for 2 minutes.  Fill 24 muffin cups by half  with the batter and make a little well in each one with a butter knife.  Put 1/2 teaspoon preserves of choice in and put the rest of the batter on top.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to a rack to cool completely.  Frost as desired.  I am going to try lemon cake mix with raspberry preserves next.  I think they will be fantastic!

My jewelry of the week is a set that I personally thought turned out quite well.  I am not sure if it is because red is my favorite color or something else, but I really took a shine to this jewelry.

I wrestled with the idea of keeping it, but instead I sold it.  I thought the silver discs were especially cool.  I am also experimenting with putting chain in my jewelry along with the beaded segments.  It is a lot of fun just putting beads together and deciding what looks right.  I always have the option of making another set just like this to keep.  I may do that!

We had an anniversary party for my in-laws yesterday.  It was an informal open house at my sister-in-law's home.   They will have been married 60 years this Christmas Eve.  They are a wonderful and loving couple and I feel blessed to be a part of their family.  I am cooking a nice dinner for my son's girlfriend this Thursday on her birthday so we are looking forward to that.  I also have my Secret Santa exchange coming up in the school I work at.  I want to make a bracelet as part of my recipient's gift so I better get crackin'!  I hope you all have a great week ahead.  Take care.  Nancy