Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 6.22.11 Edition

Calli

Useful iPhone apps that work without service

3 Budget Alternatives to Expensive Camera Equipment

Travel Food

Such Lovely Images

Perfect for a Plethora of Rhubarb

I'm loving this simple yet complex-looking quilt idea

Garden Rose

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The State of the Knitting

State of Knitting

The knitting has been going full gang busters over here in baby mania land. I've made 2 1/2 sweaters, a few hats and a pair of booties.

State of Knitting 2

The booties were my way of telling my parents about the baby. They were unsure as to what they were when they opened the boxes containing one bootie each. It was fun watching their faces as they figured it out.

State of Knitting 4

I'd like to have a few more booties and hats made before the baby comes and I really need to finish up the Ella Funt sweater. I was roaring along until I got to the intarsia part where I hit the wall.

State of Knitting 3

I also have an item on the needles just for me. I'm hurrying to finish it as I really like a good FO.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Documentation

Journal

Now that everyone knows I'm having a baby, I've feel free to admit that I've fallen head first deep into baby obsession! My current obsession is documenting this pregnancy.

I've toyed around with the classic belly photos but to be honest, I started out with a belly so these aren't very exciting right now. Currently I just look a bit more jiggly. Wheeee!

I do however love what this Mom did to document her pregnancy and I'm thinking of taking inspiration from her.

I figure if I throw in a bit more inspiration from Pacing the Panic Room and Dooce, I'll end up with a great documentation of this pregnancy.

What are some ideas from you? How do you think I should document this journey?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Delight of the Week - Devil's Food Cake

DevilsFoodCake

Back in May, my Best Friend came up for a visit. Since it was very close to her birthday, I asked her what kind of cake she might enjoy as a birthday treat. True to her chocolate loving heart, she asked for a Chocolate Cake.

DevilsFoodCake1

I dove into my cookbook collection and began hunting for the perfect chocolate cake recipe. As soon as I opened one of my Nigella Lawson cookbooks, I knew I had found a winner.

DevilsFoodCake2

This cake is fun to make and delicious to eat. We gobbled up half the cake while my friend was visiting and then threw the rest out into the compost bin to keep ourselves from a sugar high. The raccoons loved the treat as I found chocolate cake crumbs all over the back porch in the morning.

DevilsFoodCake3

Nigella's Devil's Food Cake

Ingredients

Cake:
1/2 cup best-quality cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
3/4 cup superfine sugar
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs

Frosting:
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
11 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or 2 cups chips)
Special equipment: 2 (8-inch) round cake pans

Directions

1. Begin by making the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of both cake pans with parchment paper and butter the sides.

2. Place the cocoa and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar into a medium bowl and pour in the boiling water. Whisk to mix, then set aside.

3. Cream the butter and superfine sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy.

4. Stir the flour, baking powder and baking soda together in another bowl and set aside for a moment.

5. Add the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar - mixing all the while - and then drop in an egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of the flour mixture, then add the second egg.

6. Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl out well with a spatula. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Take the pans out and put them on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.

7. As soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting: put the water, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar and 1 1/2 sticks butter in a pan over low heat to melt.

8. When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.

9. Let it stand for about 1 hour, whisking now and again by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.

10. Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side down, on a cake stand or plate, and spread about a third of the frosting, then top with the second cake, regular way up, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

And Soon There Will Be Three

Pregnant

Scott and I are so very happy to announce that we're having a baby! I'm due December 1st so I'm just about 15 weeks along. We've named the baby Platypus which has been the source of a lot of jokes and laughs around here. We heard the baby's heartbeat today and it was one of the most fantastic sounds ever!

Baby Mongrain

I've been reading all sorts of pregnancy books and badgering Scott with baby topics. Luckily pregnancy so far has been pretty good me. Oh I've had the usual nausea, grumpiness and pretty much have slept the last few months away but so far, being pregnant has been good!

BurpClothes

I've also been knitting, knitting, knitting in between planning, plotting and scheming. I've knit two and a half sweaters with plans for many, many more.

Fuzzibunz2

I've also spent more time than I thought possible researching diapers and strollers. I've decided to go with the Fuzzibunz diapers since they grow with the baby. Also I found two great sites with so much information on cloth diapering and I was hooked. The first site is StyleBerry Blog and the second is EatCraftLive.

Be Prepared

I'll be taking all of you along on this journey with me and I welcome any tips for a new Mama! I'm pretty sure that my life is about to be rocked. Scott and I have an idea what we're in for but really at the end of the day, we do not have even a single clue what we just signed up for!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Movie Room (aka Man Cave)

Entry to Den

When Scott and I moved into our new house, he announced that he wanted a space for himself. He ALMOST got exactly what he wished for. We made one of the bedrooms (it doesn't have a closet so it's not a true bedroom which works for us right now) into the Movie Room.

Den from TV

I talked with Scott to find out what he wanted. Since this room was going to be his room (with me constantly invading to watch TV), I wanted to decorate the room to his liking. He indicated that he wanted a room that reminded him of a movie theater. He wanted a plush couch with lighting that could dim to create a dark space. And of course the TV would be the centerpiece of the room.

Vertigo

We added four movie posters after much discussion. Scott already had a one that featured "Clockwork Orange" so I wanted to work off the orange and red theme. We finally settled on "Amelie", "Trainspotting" and "Vertigo" which also happen to be movies that Scott loves. He also requested that Boba Fett be in the room. I agreed even though Seriously? BOB? the Paper Doll?

Den Side View

I still need to make pillows for the couch. I have the fabric, I have the pillows, I have the design plans. I just don't seem to have the motivation. It will come soon!

View from the Couch