Monday, May 25, 2015

A Long Weekend

Hi there,
It's been a wonderful long Memorial Day weekend! It started with a day off in the middle of the week!

Biltmore Estate

Steve and I took the day to go to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. It was the last week of their Downton Abbey costume display. Really cool! If you're ever traveling to or through North Carolina, please take the time to visit the Biltmore.

Summer is the time for some homemade ice cream! Our favorite is Key Lime Pie!

Key Lime Pie ice cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup key lime juice (Nellie & Joe's)
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1/8 tsp salt
8 graham cracker squares, roughly crushed

In a bowl combine milk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to directions. After it has set up mix in the graham cracker crumbs. Put into plastic container(s) and freeze for at least 30 minutes until firm. Serve with graham cracker squares. Yield:  between 1 1/2 and 2 quarts.

I also made a batch of my special Oatmeal Scotchies cookies. This recipe has been around at least since the early 80's.

But the recipe on the package has changed over the years. I still use the original recipe, which contains a secret ingredient!

Oatmeal Scotchies
1 cup butter, softened*
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon water
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Quick Oats, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon Orange extract** or grated peel of 1 orange
1 12 oz. pkg Butterscotch Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, brown sugar, eggs, and water. Beat until creamy. Gradually add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in orange extract, oats, and butterscotch chips. Form each cookie into a disc and place onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

*I always use Butter Flavor Crisco in place of butter in my cookies.

**This is my secret ingredient, no longer listed in the recipe ingredients on the back of the butterscotch chips package.


Tonight we're headed to our town's Memorial Day celebration!  

xoxo Tammy 

Monday, May 18, 2015

How perfect!

Hi there,
You may recall . . . back in April I finished the first sock of the cabinfour School Girl Socks in DK Koigu Kersti. Over the weekend I finished the second sock.

The finished pair, knitted perfectly. Awwww.

The perfect cat, sitting by the perfect socks. Awwww.

Okay, really??!! I'm lying. Sully is not perfect, she is shedding all over the house and has the worst habit of whining for her breakfast way too early on the weekends. AND, those socks are not perfect! Not even close. One is a bit bigger than the other, I don't know what happened. And there are noticeable holes around where the gusset starts into the leg section! Oh well, these are for me for at home lounging so it doesn't matter.

But one of the many things I've learned from Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting is to make multiples of a pattern. If you like it, wear it out! So that is what I intend to do until they are perfected!

Yarn is quince & co. [chickadee] in Leek, knit with my new KnitPicks Caspian Wood 6" DPNs. LOVE!

xoxo Tammy 

Monday, May 11, 2015


Hi there,
It was really a lovely weekend! I came home from work on Friday to find a balloon on the mailbox

and flowers from my son waiting for me. A balloon on the mailbox is a big family tradition, there has to be one for all celebrations! Sunflowers have always been one of my favorites because I remember my mom grew them around her huge garden on the farm, so they remind me of her. My mom was extraordinary, and the most important thing I learned from her was dedication to family.

Granddog Bear spent the weekend with us. He was exhausted after a long walk around the neighborhood.

I am so grateful each and every day for my wonderful family.  

xoxo Tammy 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tracey's recipe swap

Hi there,
Tracey at Clover offered an invitation to participate in a recipe swap. That is perfect timing for Mother's Day weekend! Since this was also Cinco de Mayo week, I have requested a Tex-Mex meal on Sunday. We'll be making Steak Fajitas, along with some yummy sides. Below I'm sharing what we think is the perfect guacamole recipe. It is delicious every time, but somehow it is most delicious when my daughter prepares it.

Creamy Guacamole
4 ripe avocados
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small garlic glove, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon salt

CUT avocados in half. Scoop pulp into a bowl; mash with a potato masher or fork just until chunky. Stir in remaining ingredients.

My amazing daughter is also bringing a side dish, Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad, that she found on Pinterest. I can't wait to taste it! My amazing son will be bringing his appetite!  Ha!

I'm thinking hard about the perfect dessert to accompany all of this. One possibility high on the list is:

Chocolate Brownies with Mocha Icing
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Mocha Icing (below)

PREHEAT the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, adding the sugar a little at a time. Beat the mixture until it is thick and pale. Add the butter and beat until smooth. Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt, blending the batter well. Stir in the vanilla and pecans.

Pour the batter into a buttered and floured 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. Spread with Mocha Icing. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until icing is set. Cut in squares before serving.

Mocha Icing
2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
6-8 tablespoons hot strong coffee

Cream together the sugar, cocoa, butter, and vanilla. Add the coffee, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the mixture is spreading consistency.

And . . .

I finished the second wee baby socks.  I am just tickled with this pair, I may save them for Christmas ornaments!

xoxo Tammy

Sunday, May 3, 2015

More socks!

Churchmouse Wee Baby Socks

Hi there,
I've become a little bit excited about hand-knit socks!

I had every intention to start on the second School Girl Sock in dk weight Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe. But I got sidetracked! Churchmouse offers an Addendum to their basic sock pattern called Wee Baby Socks. They also 'encourage' the use of Karbonz 6" DPN sock needles. I DID NOT KNOW that DPNs came in different lengths (duh!) So I was compelled to order a set of size 1's to play with some leftover Serena fingering. They are just the cutest thing; I'll tuck them away for the next time I need a baby gift.

I decided I want to make another pair (or two) of School Girl Socks with the quince&co. [chickadee] sport weight used in the original pattern.

Chickadee in Egret & Leek

Whenever possible, I like to use PayPal when ordering online, just because I don't have to get up and find my credit card to punch in the number. But I use my hubby's PayPal account, so what I love is that my yarn/knitting purchases are addressed to him. Q included a handwritten 'Thanks Stephen*!' Gotta love that!  

xoxo Tammy