Friday, October 14, 2011

Christmas Knitting Has Begun!

A few weeks ago, I received a box of yarn I ordered from It was full of Wool of the Andes, a beautiful, worsted-weight, wool yarn, in a gorgeous evergreen color. This was the yarn that I had ordered for a sweater for my brother. With how crazy life has been the past few months, I missed his birthday. So I decided to make up for it with a hand-knit sweater for Christmas this year. I hadn't had the box opened for an hour before I had cast on for my gauge swatch. I love Love LOVE this yarn. It's beautiful, it's fairly soft for wool and it knits up into a wonderful fabric.

I chose this pattern to use, with the help of my sister, Suzy. She's the fashionable one in the family. I, however, was known for wearing turtlenecks under my sundresses as a child. I rely heavily on Suzy's opinion when it comes to clothes, especially when knitting for other people.

The sweater pattern is beautiful and very simple, a basic all-over rib pattern with minimal shaping at the underarms. This one is really knitting up quickly. I love that. I love the instant gratification of knitting with heavier yarns. And I just love the color. I really hope Aaron (my brother) likes it and will wear it. Because even though this pattern is quick to knit, knitting a sweater for someone really is a labor of love. Yes, Aaron, that means I love you.

I'll post pictures as I go along. StumbleUpon

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm A Slacker and I Love Pumpkin Muffins

It's been over a month since I've posted anything new. What a slacker! Well I'm here to change that now. I have been in love with pumpkin lately. I'm talking big love. It seems to hit me every year about the same time the weather starts turning cooler. Very appropriate, since this is when pumpkins are ready for harvesting.

My last recipe was a pumpkin bread and this one is similar, but different. I was skeptical about this recipe before I made it, but my whole family loves it. I had never considered baking with protein powder, but it works really well. The recipe can be a bit involved, but it is worth it. I'd post a picture, but they disappear too fast for me to snap one. I'll just have to make them again when no one else is around and hope I can get a picture before I eat them all.

Pumpkin Protein Muffins

1 c pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c whey protein isolate powder
2 Tbsp coconut flour
3 eggs
1/4 c honey or maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin.
In a small pan, cook down the pumpkin over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. This concentrates the pumpkin flavor. If you want to skip this step, cut the amount of pumpkin back to 3/4 cup. Set aside to cool.
When oven is hot, toast pecans for 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring once. Set aside to cool. When they have cooled, coarsely chop them.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, honey or syrup and vanilla. When pumpkin is cool, whisk it into the egg mixture. Fold dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture.
Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tin. Sprinkle pecans on the top of each muffin.
Bake for 25 minutes.

These are great with the cream cheese frosting I posted with the Pumpkin Pie Bread and a few extra pecans. Enjoy! StumbleUpon