Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gluten-Free Magic Cookie Bars

As it is Thanksgiving, here in the USA, I thought it appropriate to say Thank You to my readers by sharing something delicious! After being gluten-free for several years, I find it is always fun to try to replicate favorite recipes without changing them overly much. For years my favorite cookies were on the back of the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk can, but the graham-cracker crust has wheat in, this year I decided to see if I could make a gluten-free version. So, here it is!
Gluten-Free Magic Cookie Bars ( makes 2 dozen bars)

2 cups Rice Chex, smushed
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 (14oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups ( 12 oz) semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut ( sweetened is fine)
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 1/2 stick of butter in 13x9 inch baking
pan, and put in oven until butter melts.
2.Sprinkle Rice Chex evenly over melted butter in pan
3.Layer chocolate chips, then walnuts, then coconut over Chex and butter.
4.Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the whole thing by using a can
opener to punch 2 holes, and in criss-cross weaving pattern, layer milk over
top of coconut.
5. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars. Store
covered at room temperature or freeze to deter immediate devouring of the whole plate of cookies.
To unfreeze, leave out for 1/2 hour on a plate. Calories: 205 each.
If you cut them in half, then it is only 100 calories each, and you can eat twice as many! Plus, they are full of omega 3s and antioxidants from the nuts and chocolate...what's not to like?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Simon Says

In the blogosphere, there are a few blogs I read often, and one of them is .Melody manages to delight and inspire me regularly, so it is always fun to see what she is up to. Last week she knit the fabulous Simon Cowl, out of leftover sock yarns, and it just delighted me. The lovely colors and the simple elegance of the design were in perfect harmony. I thought that would be a lot of fun to knit, and she so graciously shared the pattern here: .
Naturally, I don't have any sock yarn lying around, mainly because I don't knit socks, and I don't have any appropriate size 3 needles either  and so I had to consider how I would get the perfect yarn for this project, which probably is coolest if 2 alternating colorways are used. A trip to the yarn store was certainly in order.While there, none of the sock yarns enthralled me, but I got the idea to knit this in Blue Sky sport weight alpaca, of which I happen to have a bunch at home. I got another skein in white, a set of size 3 needles, and headed home after a lovely lunch with a friend who met me there to help fondle the yarn. On the way home, who could resist a church used clothing sale? I stopped in, and found the softest loveliest light blue Eileen Fisher sweater for $10! I had to buy it!So, pondering all of this wonderful wooly fun, it seemed a dyeing day was in order, so yesterday I got out my dyes, and searched the house for yarn to dye. I found a couple of skeins of sock yarn which were not blue enough, and some Blue Sky sport alpaca in a turquoise, which would do nicely to add variegation to the project. I mixed up a batch of brilliant blue acid dye, and a tiny bit of yellow, and dyed the white yarn green and blue, and overdyed all of the other yarn and the sweater with the blue dye. Here is a shot of the drying results:

So, now I have enough sock yarn and enough alpaca to play with, and a lovely mottled blue sweater, which is taking too long to dry! I am very happy with all of this blue! Isn't it amazing how many shades and types of blue there are? The lighter shades came to be as I dipped the yarn in the big pot at the end of the immersion process so the dye had nearly exhausted. It tends to strike pretty fast, and the pot I used was a bit small so the sweater dyed unevenly. Which is fine with me, actually, as I like a bit of shading and interest in that way. I'm looking forward to winding the yarn and playing around with it, and maybe even knitting the cowl that started this particular diversion! . It is sometimes difficult to read blogs, however, because my cat gets in the way:

Anyway, that is my plan...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Finishing up isn't hard to do

I bought this yarn with my friend Dot as a gift for her. The pattern was simple and this was my take along default project for 3 months.It took that long because it wasn’t blue! But finished in time for Dot’s birthday. I hope she likes it!

Pattern:  2 skeins Misit Alpaca  chunky, size 11 needles.Cast on 19. K3,P2to end, slipping last stitch wyif. Bind off. Done.
Next UFO finished:

A couple of years ago, I started this as a lace circular shrug, but ran out of yarn. It languished in the yarn closet for a while, until I got the idea to make it into a hat, after I discovered a lone skein of this yarn in the LYS stash of discontinued yarns. I had knitted about 15 inches in diameter of lace, but ran out of yarn. Now I had a bit more, so I  then I gathered it into an inch of ribbing on a smaller needle so it would snug my head. It is a very warm and fun hat! So nice to finish a UFO.Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky, size 10.5 and size 9 needles, one and  a bit more skeins ( 106 gm of yarn!) .

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Glove Love

I enjoyed making these warm and dense gloves!I started with Ann Budd's amazing "Knitter's handy Book of Patterns" basic glove pattern, using worsted weight alpaca yarn knit on size 3 needles to get 6 sts/inch, and plugged a 24-stitch celtic cable from The Knitter’s Bible into the back of the gloves, which provided interest and extra warmth. I modified the basic pattern also in length to give longer cuffs and tried on the gloves as I knit to customize the finger length to fit me. I also found that using kitchener to finish the tips after a round of K2 tog gave a nicer tip, and putting the ” resting” hand stitches on a small circular needle while knitting the fingers in sequence made things less fiddly and more fun. I love the color and warmth of this alpaca yarn, and removed most of the sparkles as I did on the sweater I made last month.