and a happy new year

I’ve been fighting a pretty nasty cold all week, so I’m staying in this New Year’s Eve. I don’t really have the energy for a recap either, so just a few happenings since my last post!

My yule log was beautiful – unfortunately the cake was kinda dry. I really liked the frosting though – Swiss Meringue buttercream, flavoured with instant espresso powder and vanilla. I’d definitely make that, and the meringue mushrooms again.

yule log, complete!

I knit an Attabi cowl in one day, out of Berroco Blackstone Tweed – it’s a sample that I’m taking with me to the January TNNA show next week. I love the deep purple!

attabi cowl

Not so much a single day project (I had to keep ripping out for sizing), but on Christmas and a few days afterwards I knit this cowl out of Malabrigo Twist. It’s reversible, and super quick and fun! I used 2 skeins – look for the pattern in January.

new cowl, side B

That’s about it! Tonight I’m knitting, relaxing, and trying to kick this cold. Hope your New Year’s is fun.

pattern sale reminder!

Just popping in from my baking to remind you all that my pattern sale ends tonight!

Buy 2 patterns, get 1 free! Just add 3 patterns to your Ravelry shopping cart from my pattern store and use the coupon code HOLIDAZE2010 to receive a discount equal to the lowest-priced pattern in your cart.

Sale ends tonight, December 24, at 11.59 PM EST.

Happy Holidays!

happy christmas!

Friday morning I’m headed to my parents’ house for a few days there, most of which I think shall be spent making a Bûche de Noël! I tried making the meringues tonight at my house, but they didn’t really work out (I lack a mixer and metal bowls) so I’ll be making all the parts of the cake on Christmas Eve, then assembling it on Saturday for our big family dinner.

I’ve started a new circle scarf in Malabrigo Twist for Christmas knitting, and I could not be happier with it – I LOVE IT. The yarn, the stitch, everything. I think it’s going to be pretty quick, too, since I’m knitting it on 5mm needles. Of course, what with all the baking, we’ll see if I get through the two balls of yarn I wound up this evening, ha.

It’s getting pretty late to whip up a knitted gift, but homemade edibles are always appreciated! My caramel corn has been going over very well this year, and so I’m sharing the recipe with you all.

ultimate caramel corn

Ultimate Caramel Corn – inspired by gleek

12 cups popped popcorn (I do mine on the stove in a little oil, 1/2 cup of kernels)
1 cup or more unsalted shelled peanuts

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp fancy molasses

1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-1 tsp kosher salt or fleur de sel

100g each white and dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 250F.
Place butter, corn syrup, molasses and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes, swirling occasionally.
Remove from heat and add baking soda, vanilla and salt – I like to use quite a bit of salt.

Mix the syrup with the popcorn and peanuts, and any other mix-ins you’d like – other nuts, pretzels, whatever! I just eyeball it and pour some peanuts in. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look even, you’ll be able to spread the syrup around as it bakes.

Spread the mixture onto baking sheets in a single layer. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes to distribute the caramel, for a total of 1 hour. Let cool on the pans.

Melt chocolate one at a time in a double boiler or in the microwave and drizzle over the cooled popcorn. You may need to pop the sheets into the fridge for a few minutes to firm up the chocolate if you’re in a hurry. Store in an airtight container, but if you take it to a party there won’t be leftovers anyway!

I hope you’re having fun this holiday and spending it in a happy place.