Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cupcake Contest

I entered a cupcake contest on ravelry this month. I'm a part of a Hogwarts-loving bunch with a fiber addiction. We get along quite well.

The contest ends on Halloween and includes many yarn-related prizes.

I submitted these:

Raven Clawcakes

It's all the deliciousness of a bearclaw in a cupcake. Oh... and it's chocolate. I made them for my son's birthday party, and the kids loved them. They are also gluten-free, vegan, and use no cane sugar, though obviously, the frosting adds some sugar...

What you need:
For the cupcakes (makes 12) 
2/3 c almond milk 
1/2 t apple cider vinegar 
2/3 c real maple syrup 
1/3 c canola oil 
1 t vanilla extract 
2 t almond extract 
1/3 c cocoa powder 
1/2 c, plus 2 T soy flour (rice flour would also work) 
1/2 c millet flour 
3/4 t baking powder 
1/2 t baking soda 
1/4 t salt

For the frosting (enough for 24 cupcakes) 
What you need: 
8 c. powdered sugar 
1/2 c vegetable-based shortening 
9 T almond milk 
2 t vanilla extract 
1/4 t salt 
a small scoop of flour (any variety) 
food coloring

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Place liners in a 12-cake muffin  tin. Spray each liner with cooking oil for easy removal from the cupcakes after baking.
2. To make cupcakes: In a large bowl, mix together the almond milk and the vinegar and allow the milk to curdle. Then beat in the syrup, oil, and extracts. Then sift in the cocoa powder, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat to well mixed and fill each of the 12 liners 2/3rds of the way full. Do NOT taste the batter. The batter tastes very very bad, because of the vinegar, but trust me, it does taste good after baking. Bake about 20 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
3. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to cool. For frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, shortening, and almond milk. Add the vanilla and salt and mix well. Taste the frosting. If it tastes too sweet (and it will) add a small amount of flour to kill the oversweetness. A little bit goes a long way. Mix well.
4. If you want different colors of frosting, say blue and bronze, put a fair amount of frosting in a separate smaller bowl. For blue, add some blue to the frosting and mix. For the bronze-ish orange, add red and yellow together (less red, it’s overpowering). Then add a tiny tiny tiny bit of blue to give it that bronze tinge. Decorate cupcakes as desired. I personally found it irresistible to add three almond slivers to the top to mimic claws.
5. Eat and taste the chocolate almond goodness.

I'm going to win. Just look at that photo.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Twinkle, Twinkle

I've given myself a deadline on this new sweater I've been knitting. I want to wear it on Thanksgiving.

Don't let the picture fool you. I'm a lot further along on it than that. In 12 rows, I'll be binding off the back and starting on the front cast ons.

This is my second cabled sweater but the first one I've done with traveling cables. I love the look. Every few rows I have to stop and stare in amazement at how a few twists here and there, a knit a purl purl, can become something so startling. And the yarn? Part recycled polyester.

I can save the plant and knit all at the same time.

I have a nice cue by now of knitting pics to share, but I can't show off Christmas presents beforehand. What if the recipient should see? I do have the first blanket I've ever made. It's also designed by me, so I'm rather in love with it. I finished it well in advance of a cousin's baby shower, and now that she's got it, I can show it off.

It's done mostly in seed star stitch with a trim of seed and moss stitch. I did it about 30 in. square, a nice swaddling blanket size, in a cheery robin's egg blue, equally enjoyable for a boy or girl, though the baby in question has been confirmed male in-utero. I'm calling it "Twinkle," the blanket, not the fetus.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Clear Soup with Zucchini

The victory garden is at its end. But in remembrance of veggies past, here's a recipe that makes for some attractive pictures. I started with some stir-frying of mushrooms, zucchini, and kale, while simultaneously hard-boiling a few eggs.

Then, everything got put in a bowl with some broth and fancy chop sticks.

I'd give you the recipe, but trust me, you don't want it. It's so bland, the egg is what brought the flavor to this soup. The egg. It was good for warming the insides on a cold day. It would be nice, I suppose, if the person feasting upon it was ill with a stuffy nose that makes them incapable of tasting anything. And I just wouldn't wish that upon you, dear reader. This one, it's better in pictures.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The proper way to say goodbye to Borders

A show of my going-out-of-business sale patronage:

Admittedly, this is a fashionably late post and not a very thorough or interesting one, until you realize that this stack of books filled a very long bookshelf and took this apartment over 800 adult-level books (We don't count the literature of the youngster).

I'm teaching a class I've never taught before, so productivity in the blogosphere has taken a nosedive. For this, my apologies.