Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Not tricks, not treats, this holiday it's all about knitting, MY knitting!

Expert online shopper that I am, I purchased the Berroco Link yarn from Noble Knits and size 35 knitting needles from Amazon and orchestrated them to arrive today--both on the same day. Actually, their arriving on the same day was just a lucky coincidence. Amazon was a day late. Noble Knits came sooner than expected.

I chose the colorway Earthen, which is a somewhat muted version of the bright colors of the picture on the ball band instructions. I thought it would go well with a particular coat of mine. I should have a scarf knitted in a "Wink." Pun intended.

Bona Fide Knitter
is about to knit!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Knitting, It's About Knitting!!!

Okay, so it's not about MY knitting. It's about a couple of new (to me) patterns that have put a little knitting fire in me.

You may recall my ongoing hexapuff project, the Beekeeper's Quilt. Yes, it is "ongoing." I just took a little (spring) summer (fall) break from them. 

The pattern is from Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits, my newest favorite designer because yesterday I happened upon her Moonkoosa Boots and video. I'm thinking the woman is a forest nymph and I'm enchanted by her woodland patterns. The Moonkoosa Boots led me to her book which led me to her Wanderwillows, something I have a real use for. I can picture them in yarn colors to match a couple pairs of my shorter boots. They will be an extension of the boots. In my advanced years I'm finding I like more warmth up my legs in the NE winters, but not the bulk and weight of knee high boots.

Stephanie (I'm using her first name like we're old friends since I've made it through two of her videos which can become a little bit of a trial. If you've watched her Moonkoosa video, you get my drift.
However, I love her! Her patterns are new and different. She designs to a different drummer. The Moonkoosas are fun, but without orthodics, are not or me. The Wanderwillows are for me. I neeeeeeed them. I can leave the house in them with regular boots on my feet. They will go over the calves of my jeggings or slim leg pants like leg warmers, down into the boots and make me look young and hip.

And then there is this scarf. The pattern is Wink knitted in a Berroco yarn called Link. How cute is that! AND it's giant knitting on size 35 needles. A scarf in an hour! The pattern is on the ball band--FREE!. I decided a quick project like this would be like a shot of penicillin to cure my not-knitting-itis. I could finally get something finished. No excuses.

I need a doughnut,
Bona Fide Knitter

Monday, October 21, 2013



Two posts in two days? Surely this one is about knitting--NOT!

I'm still on the doughnut kick even though I did have the knitting needles out for a nano second yesterday.

I have to keep making doughnuts for quite some time to use all the equipment, tools and food supplies I had to purchase. I vaguely remember saying something similar about my sock yarn stash.

You're not going to believe this:

     3 doughnut pans
     1 electric mini donut maker
     1 3-tier cooling rack
     6 Mason jars  (actually Ball brand, to store the flours and sugars)

     3 kinds of milk
     4 kinds of flour
     4 kinds of sugar
     baking powder
     baking soda
     canola oil
     unsweetened applesauce
     pumpkin pie spice
     Dutch processed cocoa (sub. Hershey's)
     maple syrup

And all this was for just six types of doughnuts!

In all fairness to my compulsive self I must explain that I had some of the food items on hand, but needed more or a fresh supply because carbs, cholesterol, sweet things and oils are not frequently used in my diet. Anyway, the shopping for all of it gave me purpose and something to concentrate on while I mourn the loss of both my LWDs.

Now, as for the eating of all the doughnuts, I am not eating them! For all you Facebook Friends who wonder, most of the the doughnuts are in the freezer. The ones I make in the next few days will be joining them. I have a monumental birthday coming up next month and am determined to be at my goal weight (or so close I can touch it before November is over). Speaking of birthdays, the spouse's birthday is next week and most of the doughnuts that pass the taste test will be going to his celebration.

I'm spelling it "Doughnuts" today because I made the Buttermilk Doughnuts, glazed, from the book that started this latest obsession of mine, Baked Doughnuts for Everyone, by Ashley McLaughlin.

They look a little like bagels, don't they? These were baked in the oven in a doughnut pan. They are a regular size, not minis. It was an adventure to bake away from my home oven. I didn't have an oven thermometer to check the accuracy of the oven temperature so I had to play it by ear  . . .  or by eye in this case. When they looked done, the color of the pictures in the cookbook, I tested for doneness with a toothpick and took them out. Some were more brown than others.

The darker ones up front in the picture were actually baked in the doughnut cups closest to the back of the oven. Evidently they got more heat than the others.

I baked the final two using the remaining batter in the middle cups of the pan and tried to center the pan on the oven rack. I think they could have stayed in a tad longer. Their uneven color seems to indicate the oven left something to be desired in having an even temperature throughout. It runs on propane gas. Could that be a factor?

Cooled and glazed, it was time for a taste test.

Hmmm, not as good as anticipated. The last two, baked with the remaining batter, were smaller so I picked one of those to taste. There was a slight raw ingredients taste to it. Although the toothpick came out clean and the one I bit didn't look raw or wet inside, I think those two needed to bake longer. Later I had the nice brown one on top and went "Mmmm" instead of "Hmmm." Now that was more like it! Then I put the rest in the freezer. I must remember when I thaw them days from now that the smallest one is a dud and should be throw away like its counterpart was.

Some things I've noticed about baked doughnuts, both oven baked and machine baked: they don't look like fried, the tops do not brown like the bottoms, the bottoms are rounder than the tops, glazes and icings solve aesthetic problems, the pictures in cookbooks use the bottoms as the tops, the presentation side. And last, but not least, they are delicious no matter how you bake them.

My next attempt will be Baked Apple Donuts. I found the recipe in a blog. More information after the taste test.

Bona Fide Knitter

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Doughnuts or Donuts

Any way you spell 'em, they're delicious.


Baked cinnamon-sugar mini donuts. Thirty three of 'em!

They were baked in my Baby Cakes electric mini donut maker using a recipe from the book Mini Donuts by Jessica Segarra, creator of The Novice Chef Blog.

The machine is a cute little thing that has somewhat of a learning curve. The first batch of six left a lot to be desired. They were left in too long.

All six had pale tops (see column 1) and rather dark bottoms (column 2).

The next batch was an improvement.

They were taller, which made for more color on the tops and almost perfectly colored bottoms. Too bad the holes darkened so much.

By batch three I had it down to a science. I needed a good 1-1/2 tbs of batter in each well and I had to work fast or the first ones would bake too much on the bottom before I got the sixth one in the well. The last three, baked by themselves with the last of the batter, had not so pale tops (the middle one), not so dark holes and the bottoms were not too dark.

The process needed tweaking, but once the tops were dipped in butter then cinnamon sugar, all was forgiven.

Going . . . going . . . almost gone!

Bona Fide . . . Knitter?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Columbus Day

The blows keep coming. A week ago today I had to let my little girl Bichon Frise, Icecream, go to the Rainbow Bridge. She was failing. Aggressive treatment for 24 hours overnight at the veterinary hospital ICU didn't make her better. It was so hard. She would have been 17 years old in December. I'd already lost Snowball this year. I am left with their paw prints on my heart.

French Vanilla Icecream
(a Bichon Frise, not the frozen dessert)

December 21, 1996 - October 7, 2013

So, the days after were a real challenge to keep spirits up and find something else to focus on. I had already had a small seed planted by a blog I read. A new book came out on October 1 and I used all my time and energy trying to get a copy, researching, ordering everything I would need to take advantage of the book's content and generally obsessing. What is this new book you ask? It is . . . drum roll, please . . .  BAKED DOUGHNUTS for everyone.

No, it's not knitting. When the going gets tough, these days this tough girl gets cooking. Actually I find a new cooking/baking skill to get deeply involved in. For this time it's doughnuts. And because I am determined to be "fit and fine" by the monumental birthday I have coming up in November, I decided to concentrate on baked rather than fried. Following this folly might be my downfall. However, I also plan to gift and not eat most . . . err . . . many of the doughnuts I make.

So far I've amassed two doughnut cookbooks with two more arriving this week. I've purchased two pans and an electric mini donut maker. I've ordered the flours required for making the gluten-free doughnuts. They should arrive this week as well. But I have not made a doughnut yet!

Knitting? I'm working on Beach Socks 2013 . . . barely.

Back soon,
Bona Fide Knitter

P.S. to Melodye: Really soon and definitely before Thanksgiving!   ;-)