Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Knitted . . . and made red velvet cupcakes

I made the Red Velvet Cupcake recipe from Ina Garten's How Easy Is That. The cupcakes are good. I'm not jumping up and down about them. They are a little dry.

I don't know if I left them in the oven too long (don't think so) or they dried out while cooling (maybe). They don't have as much flavor as I would like, not chocolatey enough. That could be because instead of the name-dropped Pernigotti unsweetened cocoa powder, I used my home state's Hershey's. Or maybe red velvet is supposed to have a subtle chocolate taste. I never had it before.

The cream cheese and butter frosting is yummy, but the recipe made enough to frost quite a few more cupcakes than the 15 the recipe called for. So there I was with with 12 leftover cupcakes to store. I didn't think they were worthy of gifting.

How to store them in the freezer to keep them fresh as I keep consumption down to no more than one a day? I dug out my old Tupperware large cake keeper/transporter. It's a plastic tray (harvest gold colorway from the 70's) with an opaque white, deep, snap-on airtight lid. I placed cupcakes on the tray, but not enough fit. Stacking was messy and unstable. Hmmmmm. I turned the lid over and placed the cupcakes in layers inside. The side of the deep lid kept the layers stable and less messy. The tray became the lid. I snapped it on and had airtight cupcake storage for the freezer. Am I resourceful or what?!!!

However, the big, round container takes up too much space in the freezer so off I went to Amazon to find something more suitable. A rectangular, three-tier cupcake keeper (in an up-to-date greenish color called lemongrass) is on its way to me along with a vegan cupcake cookbook.


I knitted quite a few rows on a purple stocking (Ladies' Useful Stockings) I'm making from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. Yaaaay! I got my knitting mojo back . . . somewhat.

Bona Fide Knitter

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not Knitting

I have not knit a stitch in weeks. Volt lays mouldering in my knitting basket, i-cord edging almost half finished. Deadlines of 2/15, 3/15 and now 4/15 are dead. I'll finish when I finish. Spouse's health status has taken such a turn even knitting doesn't work as my go-to therapy. In fact the i-cord was starting to show my stress. I'm not liking the i-cord along the side. It's not nearly as neat and nice as the top edge. There is a loopy stitch along the right side of the edge.

I'm not even sure my stress is the culprit. It might be just a rogue occurrence. The wrong side of the edge looks fine.

What's up with that? I'm thinking of crocheting a chain stitch into that loopy i-cord stitch, or maybe ripping the whole side out and redoing the i-cord from the wrong side of the shawl so that the good edge winds up on the right side. Are you totally confused by it all and wish I'd move on? Okay!

When the going gets too tough, the too tough gets baking. I've made Ina Garten's apple cranberry cake from How Easy Is That. It was the next choice of the cook-along I'm stalking. I've made the cake twice now. That is just a small indication of how good I think it is. The recipe calls for cranberries and a Granny Smith apple. The tartness of those two comes through and the slight sweetness of the brown sugar that has been tossed with the fruit and the white sugar in the cake are perfect foils for a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on a warm piece of the cake.

Hmmm, hmmm, good!

Ready for the oven . . .

Hot from the oven . . .

First piece cut . . .

Ready for the first taste . . .

I'm going off on my own for the next recipe. I'm doing Red Velvet Cupcakes today. I feel a cupcake phobia coming on. I've been watching too much Food Network's Cupcake Wars. I have two new cookbooks devoted to cupcakes only. Look out world!

Bona Fide Knitter