Monday, October 26, 2015

Live Awesome!

Hi there,
Everything I've heard about Plucky Knitter yarn is true--squishy, spongy, plush, soft, indescribable really except to say I adore it! Sharon @abbysitznmomanitz gifted me (thank you, muchas gracias, merci beaucoup!!!) a skein of Plucky Knitter for Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Traveler Sport, colorway Ferry Schedule. This one beautiful skein is just more than enough to make the CM Welted Cowl.

I knit a small swatch using my very favorite brand of needles, HiyaHiya Sharp Stainless Steel (size 5). The gauge is perfect, but the stitches about got away from me. So I decided to slow it down by using Clover 16" bamboo circulars, size 5. The newer Clovers have a much sharper point than older versions. This makes for the perfect combination of yarn on needles. The project has been in my bag and gone everywhere with me these past several days.

Last Thursday, Steve and I took a day off and drove up to South Mountains State Park to see some fall colors and hike a bit. There is a beautiful trail a little over a mile up to a breathtaking waterfall. It was nice to be there on a weekday so there were very few people around.

Saturday was the 6th annual Live Awesome Foundation flag football tournament to benefit germ cell cancer research. This event is extra special to our family, so we were all there to assist:




And how about those Panthers!  6-0, YAAAAAAAAAYY!!!

xoxo Tammy 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October love

Hi there,

Meet Cora

and Mabel

and Bessie

These cute girlfriends are from The Pioneer Woman's new cookware line at Walmart. I have wanted one of these charming cow creamers fOrEvEr! The first one I saw was during a French Club field trip in high school. We ate at a charming French restaurant in Lyons, CO called La Chaumiere

Google tells me it went out of business in 2008. I don't remember the food, but I remember the white tablecloths, beautiful dishes, and the adorable white cow creamer on the table. I've wanted one for my kitchen ever since, but the ones I would occasionally find were not the right size or just not cute enough. So I'm just delighted with the PW's version, now at home with me, Steph, and Suz.

The French Club field trip senior year was a 4-hour bus trip to the Denver Art Museum, followed by a stop at the landmark Mexican restaurant, Casa Bonita, a place with average Mexican food, but spectacular entertainment. The behind the scenes video brings back memories of a haunted cave, mariachi bands, sopapillas, and cliff divers! That place is still in business! Have you been there?

Another October weekend, another pumpkin dessert:

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake (Paula Deen)

1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 Tbls butter, melted

1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
8 Tbls butter, melted
1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter, and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking pan.

To make the filling:  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over the cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes*. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream**.

*I turn off the oven after 50 minutes and let it bake another 5 or 10 minutes while the oven cools down.
**Mix 1/2 pint Heavy Whipping Cream with approx 1/4 C powdered sugar at high speed with whipping attachment.

xoxo Tammy 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fall preview

Hi there,
It's been a beautiful autumn day. We're finally getting to enjoy the pretty fall mums following many days of rain and clouds. Some leaves are starting to shed when the wind picks up, but it will be later in the month before we see a color change in the trees.

I added about six (really long) rows to The Stole, a project I love but didn't work on over the summer. I'm officially at the half-way point and look forward to the four remaining colors. I had forgotten about the soft and luxurious feel of the Isager Strik Alpaca Merino yarn.

Wednesday I heard (on the news) there was going to be a shortage of canned pumpkin, so I stocked up a bit. Then on Thursday I heard (on the news) that was not the case, and the store shelves would be fine. Oh well, I'm very happy to see those cans in my pantry and decided today would be a good one to whip up a pie. I'm very much a snob when it comes to my pie crust.  I've tried every method there is: all butter, all Crisco, half of each, mixed with the Kitchenaid, etc. After many tweaks and tests, here is the recipe that works best for me:

Tam's Perfect Pie Crust
(Makes 2 single crusts)

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (keep very cold)
1/2 C Crisco shortening
1/2 C ice water, plus additional tsps

Use pastry blender to mix flour, salt, sugar with the butter and Crisco. Drizzle in water to form dough. Halve dough, wrap in plastic, and press into discs.

Chill for at least an hour. Remove from fridge and roll out into crust.

I love this short videoclip from Southern Living for the best method of putting the dough together by hand. That's exactly how I do mine, although I use the butter/Crisco mix.

Recipe from back of the Libby's pumpkin can

xoxo Tammy 

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Hi there,
Mr. Punke was a Biology teacher/tennis coach at the small high school I attended in my hometown in Wyoming. His son, Michael Punke, has written a book called The Revenant, which is based upon the true story of a frontiersman named Hugh Glass who was left for dead and came back angry. The movie version will be released Christmas Day starring Leonardo DiCaprio!

Link to trailer:

The Revenant

This is not the type of book I would normally choose, however I am 29% in and really hooked! When away from my Kindle, I keep thinking, "I wonder how Hugh is doing" or "I wonder if Hugh has been able to stand up/find food/avoid Indians." I haven't been this absorbed in a character since the first time I read about Jamie and Claire.

The author, Michael Punke, has quite the interesting day job as a high-profile U.S. government official. Read more about him in these articles in Maxim and the Calgary Herald. Pretty awesome for someone who grew up in rural Wyoming. I also learned that his sister Amy has a son who is a starter on the UWyo men's basketball team.

We've been pretty fortunate as far as the storms hitting the East Coast this week. We received a much-needed 3" - 5" of rain and no power outages on this side of town. South Carolina was hit much harder.

I'm off to watch the Homeland finale from last season to be prepared for tonight's season premiere! Carrie Mathison . . . "where are you", "what are you doing"??!!

xoxo Tammy