Thursday, April 14, 2016

Running Running!

So marathon training has started!

I feel tired just typing that. I've run about a dozen half marathons in my life and this year I'm going to run a full marathon, and then be happy I did it, but never do it again. I always said someday I'd run a marathon, and as I'm turning 30 next year I'm pretty determined to just get it done now.

To prepare I've got my easy schedule reference that is tucked into my wallet with my debit card so that every time I buy something I see it and am reminded to see what I'm supposed to be doing that day:


I've got a kick ass angry chick playlist to make me want to hit the pavement and kick it's ass!

And lastly I have a cause to run for! Women IN Kenya walk about 10 miles per day to collect water for her and her family. Think of that. The AHA recommends you walk 5 miles per day, and most Americans aren't reaching that goal. How would you do in a 10 mile walk while carrying gallons of water? Where would you even find the time? Help women in Kenya by donating to MamaMaji today and helping me reach my first goal of $2,500 by the time I run the Portland Marathon on October 9th. My ultimate goal is to raise $5,000, but all goals, like a marathon, are made up of smaller goals and steps.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Cheese Please!

I tried so much amazing stuff over the weekend I felt the need to share what were the highlights of the weekend now that I've made it out of my lactose intolerant food coma. I know, I'm a bit of a masochist being that I love cheese and am lactose intolerant.

My hands down favorite food was the Bread & Butter Pickles from The Golden State Pickle Works who describes themselves as:

"Using the bounty of northern California to make artisanal fermented vegetables, fruit and thoughtfully crafted condiments, we carry on the traditions of the American food pantry while also contributing to the dialogue. By supporting local farmers and their beautiful produce, we practice one of the oldest and purest forms of preservation to be enjoyed throughout the year."

These pickles are so good there are only the dredges left in my jar, because I have no self control, and while cleaning the house left the jar open on the counter to just grab a pickle slice or 2 each time I passed it. 

I know you were most likely expecting me to open with a cheese considering it was a cheese festival, however when something is this good one needs to share how good it is with the hope you'll buy some so that they stay in business and can keep making pickles for me! Currently you have to go to either the Petaluma or Santa Rosa Farmer's Markets to get your hands on these yummy treats, but if you email the owner Samantha she'll figure a way to get a few jars to you.

To drinks I have to give nods to Korbel, which is my #1 choice for lazy Sunday mimosas, to the familiar North Coast Brewing, and lastly to Bucher Vinevards which served up a nice buttery Chardonnay. What took the cake, and Anna and I got 2 glasses of, though was Bite Hard Apple Cider.

The crisp apply flavor of the Dry Apple Cider was just what one wants in a cider, and left a clean aftertaste that brought out the sweetness of the foods we tasted.

Now the moment you've all been waiting for... THE CHEESE!

There were 3 cheese that I found awesome and one I'd been searching for for weeks.

First up is the Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor. This cheese is mellow, smooth, and familiar, and Anna and I first discovered it about 5 years ago in the cheese ends bin of Whole Foods. We, being our natural wine loving selves, ate it with fruit and wine, but without thinking threw away the wrapper before noting what cheese it was. A month later we still couldn't stop talking about the this cheese so we spent an hour talking to the cheesemonger back at the cheese counter, and we found it again.

Cypress Grove is a regular sight at my family's gatherings, and I think this has to be the one from now on.

Next is the Point Reyes White Cheddar. Before I tell you about this cheese let me tell you about the obsession I have had with trying to find it. I actually went to the cheese festival looking for this cheese without knowing the name of it. I sometimes pop into Molly Stones on my way to work for coffee and their cheese counter will sometimes have little boxes of precut cheese cubes that are perfect for lunch. Well I grabbed one that was marked white cheddar and fell in love with it over the 2 days I had it for lunch. I wanted more, but the label didn't have the creamery name on it, and I was never there while the cheesemonger was. Luckily I found it during the market day at the festival and the rest is now in my refrigerator.

Smooth texture that melts in your mouth, and a slightly sharp taste make this an easy pairing to fruit, or the Bite Hard Cider. I'm fond of it with a pear myself.

Now for the best cheese I tasted, and the one I bought an entire pound of, is Orland Farmstead's Ricottage with Garlic and Dill. This creamy, spreadable cheese is a cross between a ricotta and a cream cheese. It looks chunky like a ricotta, but spreads on crackers and bread like a cream cheese. I've been having it on a thin slice of bread for breakfast the last two days an am glad I bought two packages so that I can willingly share it with Ben. Anna also bought half a pound while still licking her lips from the sample she got.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sweet Dreams are Made of Brie

This weekend Anna and I celebrated 10 years of friendship by doing something we've been wanting to do for about 4 years, we went to the Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, CA.

We stayed at the Hotel Petaluma, that is currently being remodeled, ate at wonderful Della Fattoria for 2 meals, shopped at Copperfield's Books and the Knitterly, and had amazing food Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

The Artisan Cheese Festival is just amazing. There is wine, cider, beer, cheeses that are to die for, there were these pickles I tried that I knew I needed as soon as they touched my lips. I had my wallet out before I finished chewing a couple of things.

This was the amazing view from the room

Anna and I got a pack of 100 literary postcards and split them

Anna isn't a morning person so I grabbed coffee and toast at
 Della Fattoria while waiting for her to rise

The things that I knew I needed and couldn't live without

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Braver Woman than I

Rachael Herron has been my friend for about 5 years now. We have never met in person, laughed over coffee, or gone to the movies. However, she is my friend, and when I noticed she was doing poorly I sent her knitting project bags, when she releases a new book I'm there buying 2 copies to help support her, and when she told me I should try dispatching, I went and it led to me the job I love, and my soulmate.

She is the bravest woman I know, not just because of her love for bright red cowboy boots, but because she has quit her longtime dispatching job and is now relying on her creative talents to make it.

Wearing said boots with a Colette dress she made

Dispatching is one of the most stressful jobs there is and recent studies are showing that dispatchers are developing PTSD. It's a hard job and I think Rachael has made the smart move for her health, physical and mental. I know when I went from dispatching to managing an alarm company my mental health improved over night. The long hours, the endless disgruntled people swearing at you (sorry dude, but it's not my fault your blocked driveway is only a level 1 priority), the rotating shifts (grave, swing, day), and low pay are enough to make anyone get a migraine.

She always looks so well put together

She'll no longer be required to work 56 hours a week, but as an artist and writer I have a feeling she'll be working even longer hours, because sometimes the muse thinks sleep is for the weak. She also lives in the Bay Area, which is stupid expensive (take it from someone that is currently looking for a room to rent). This risk is huge and she is brave.

I implore you to go buy one of her books, she writes about so many things I'm betting you can find at least one book that catches your interest, or would be a perfect gift for Easter or Mother's Day. Hell, it's never too early to start shopping for Christmas! I prefer reading her books at the cabin or river while sipping a whiskey sour. You should try both!

Good luck Rachael!

Psst! She's also on Patreon

Friday, March 11, 2016


It's raining and it's going to keep raining till we get a wee break next week, then we're to get more rain. I love the rain, I know we need it, but I also hate the cold.

My weapons against the rain are as follows:
  • Wearing Layers
  • Sturdy Leather Boots
  • My Red Peacoat 
  • Handknit Wool Socks
  • A Handmade Cowl/Scarf
  • My Plaid Umbrella
  • Lapskaus
Most of these you are more then likely familiar with, with the exception of the Lapskaus. 

I grew up in a very Norwegian-American family, and we did not have stew. I actually had no idea what stew was till my mother started dating my step father who grew up in England (trust me when I tell you that I know bland food). My mother couldn't cook, but my grandmother, and great grandmother Fugelseth cooked lapskaus when it rained and served it over rice, or tossed rice into it when it was getting to the bottom of the pot and we needed to make it stretch for one more meal. I still make lapskaus as the weather starts to turn cold, but it's not exactly the lapskaus of my childhood.

We all have those foods that we try to recreate from our childhoods, but having grown up thinking there were only 2 spices (salt and pepper), I kind of gather whatever hits my fancy when I'm at the store, or is on sale. My best friend Anna has my aunt Thea's lapskaus recipe, which is fairly close to what my grandmother made, but rather then rely on a ton of salt for seasoning I prefer a dark beer.


  • 2 lbs of meat, pork preferred, any cut
  • 1 bottle of dark beer, I preferred Shinerbock for a light taste, Rasputin Stout for a strong flavor
  • 2-4 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3-4 medium red skin potatoes
  • 4 stalks celery
Note: You'll need to start this the night before and plan to toss the vegetables in the next morning.  
  1. Put the meat, whole, into a large crockpot and pour the beer over it. Cover, let sit for 2 hours on high, and then let sit overnight on low/warm.
  2. Chop all vegetables into bite size cubes and toss in the next morning. I like to chop them all while I wait for the meat on high the night before, pop all the chopped vegetables into the fridge overnight, and dump them into the pot as I get ready to go to work the next morning.
  3. Let cook for at least 5-6 hours.
  4. Serve & provide people with salt and pepper.
This is seriously the easiest thing to make and it makes the house smell wonderful all day long. You can serve with bread or rice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Take a walk

It's been a bit of whirlwind of activity around here so I'm going to talk about something that gets brought up at least once a week around here. My commute.

I live in the Bay Area and I commute via train or bus to work. I haven't driven my car in months, and only borrow Ben's when we need something at his house. Now most people wonder why does one volunteer to live without a car for 5 days of the week, and I give them the perks of not having a car each time:

I get to walk everywhere. I'm not afraid of a half hour walk, it keeps me fit, and it honestly keeps me from eating poorly. Can't hit the drive through without a car, and nipping out for dinner is a pain in the ass if you have to walk there and back. There is also no way for me to skip the gym if I don't have to hit it during the week.

I live in the Bay Area, and our transit system is one of the best I have ever seen in my travels. During my commute I can take the train from Ben's house or the bus from my house and both come every 15 minutes. Both require a 20 minute walk to catch a ride, but both also drop me off 1 block from my office.

I save $120 per month on gas and toll. I was shocked when I did the math but I love saving money and getting to help out the environment. By carpooling for just 1 day per week you can save 25 pounds of carbon from being released into the air per year.

I get 2 hours to myself per day. Who else can say that they get 2 hours of uninterrupted time to relax? I love it! I'm not dealing with traffic, I'm able to sip my morning coffee or tea in peace, knit while listening to an audio book, play Pokemon, and I get to see the great scenery of the Bay Area go by.

I highly encourage everyone to try taking the bus, train, or carpooling one day per week

Thursday, March 3, 2016


I was gone a little longer then expected. Work has been hectic and Ben is going through midterms, so things are crazy around here.

To bring you up to speed:

The Smokey Orchid yarn is taking a time out and is back in the stash.

It's about to rain for a couple weeks here so I've pulled my Uggs and winter coat back out (judge me all you want, but I don't care).

The high tea we at at Dori's Tea House was amazing. I bought the cookbook and made the egg salad because it was shockingly good at the tea house.

I'm currently knitting a scarf with some butter yellow lace weight yarn that uses the center panel of the Leaf and Nupp shawl.

I started by casting on 75 stitches, and knit this lace edging twice on size US3.

Your cast on will consist of the following:

2 extra stitches + 8 edge stitches + 14 stitches * 4 repeats + 7 edge stitches + 2 extra stitches

Keep in mind that you'll have 2 extra stitches on the edges of the lace edging, these I just knit. It makes the math easier then you start the center panel.

Once you knit 1 edge put it on a stitch holder, because you'll then knit the second edge, knit the center panel, and then using a kitchener stitch, attach the first edge you knit.

Also, I garter stitched the edges to match the nupp strips in the center, and added a fourth nupp to form a diamond rather then a V. You can do what you like.

After the edging just follow the directions for the center chart of the shawl.

I used one of my needles to help open up the pattern for a photo. Don't you just hate how lace just looks like a tangled mess before hard blocking? The yarn is Alpaca with a Twist, Fino (70/30 Alpaca/Silk) in colorway 5010. It's been sitting in my stash for a while, but I bought it at Green Planet Yarn.

Monday, February 22, 2016

At the Beep.....

Hi,you've reached the blog of Ka'a Christian. She is currently trying to spot river otters in Yosemite and knitting on top of rocks in the middle of rivers. Please leave a message at he beep and she'll get back to you on Wednesday. Till then enjoy this picture of her last trip to Yosemite with the girls:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Random 10

So I have nothing planned for today and since I leave tomorrow for Chinese New Year and then a girl's trip to Yosemite this is going to be a quick and dirty 10 random things about me.

1. I just got back from the salon and my nails are whore red (though the label said Red Apple) for the Chinese New Year tomorrow, and I'm typing carefully as not to screw them up.

2. My best friend Anna is Chinese and we go to the festival in San Francisco every year. It is the largest celebration of the Chinese New Year outside of China.

3. I'm supposed to make and bring a casserole for our trip to Yosemite. I'm always known for bringing something tasty. Currently I have no idea what I'm going to make.

4. I'm only 5'1", and a little on the dumpy side, however I can squat 250 pounds and run half marathons regularly.

5. I had asthma as a kid and told I would never be able to run. I also have been hit by a car and had a skiing accident that caused permanent damage to my knees when I was a teen.

6. I was born the year of the Rabbit and collect bunny stuff like jewelry, paintings, shirts, pillows, ect. Currently I'm looking to make Louise's hat from Bob's Burgers.

7. I didn't know how to knit well (could only knit and knew 1 cast on) till I was 22. I'm now 28.

8. I hate mint and avocados. I think this year I might be able to get over avocados, but I shall always hate mint.

9. I used to work at Kepler's Books as a Children's Specialist and Author Host. I have met many authors and have tons of signed and personalized books by them. My favorites are my matching hardbound Game of Thrones set, my collection of Francis May's books, and Ben's and my Patrick Rothfuss collection that we got signed on our 1 year anniversary.

10. I can usually tell where you know me from by what name you call me.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dear Smokey Orchid,

You and I were meant to be, that I'm sure of. I bought you while visiting relatives in Petaluma, and you were the only yarn I wanted at Knitterly. You were a little expensive, but I knew in my heart that your purples and browns where just what I wanted to warm my frozen little toes.

Recently you saw a harsh purge of the yarn stash. Three actually. I know you were worried when you saw the sweater yarn that matched you get tossed into the bag, but that was only because it was scratchy and the sweater knit from it was too small (though I got gauge and went up a size, it would have fit my 8 year old niece). You have been always saved due to your lovely colors, softness, and I knew you'd be perfect for socks.

You knew your number was called when I was halfway through my 2nd Santa Cruz socks, and though I can't find my ball winder, I hand balled you in the car, on the train, and cast you on as soon as my needles were free. That is where the trouble started.

My Cup of Tea has lovely lacework down the front, and working on US1, with my normal number of casted on stitches, you pooled only on the lace panel. Now I knew this was a risk, but I kept knitting you for FOUR WHOLE INCHES. I knew that I wasn't giving up on you and ripped out all the work (sorry for swearing, it was due to anger at the printer that had decided to become a paper holder). I read up a little on how to prevent pooling, I grabbed US0 needles, though they're sharp and kind of hard on the hands when knitting sock yarn, but You Still Pooled.

You've got one more chance to straighten up tonight when I not only change the gauge, but also the number I cast on. Otherwise there is still plenty of room for you in the purge bag.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Marching Along

I, like most Americans, have some weight to lose, and to help motivate me I bought myself a Fitbit. I love this thing, and it's connected to my friends, who are constant reminders that we are cheering each other along.

Features I love are the challenges, that it keeps track of Lifetime steps, and the badges! I am obsessed with badges and Lifetime personal goals, and this weekend I hit 2 of them! I have taken more then 1,000,000 steps since getting my Fitbit in November, and I have climbed more then 1,000 flights of stairs. These badges and personal goals remind me to eat better all the time, and one of my worst eating habits is not packing a lunch. This week I'm making it a goal to eat lunch in every day, with the goal to make March be an entire month of eating in for lunch.

To start this week I made myself a simple cucumber noodle salad with mozzarella chunks, chopped tomato, and a 50/50 balsamic and olive oil dressing that is seasoned with the lovely 21 Seasoning Solute. It turns out that cucumbers loose a lot of water after you chopped them up and it was kind of soupy. Next time I'll know to pat them dry after cutting.

Today I'm back to Thug Kitchen for Grilled Veggies Couscous Salad that I've only changed slightly (it's like a disease). I swapped out the couscous for quinoa since it doesn't go bad as fast. Couscous is actually a tiny type of pasta and only lasts about 2 days after being cooked. Quinoa lasts about 6-7 days which means that it's perfect for making a hug batch and then dishing it out a little bit at a time for lunches through the week. It's stupid simple to cook, and I grilled veggies for dinner and just added the few extra things I needed to the grill for lunch. It took 10 minutes to create!

BTW if you want to add me on Fitbit click here
Also, here is the noodle cutter I love and adore, but remember to try to pick it up locally!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Art, Drinks, and Chocolate

This weekend was packed full and I didn't even get today off from work! None the less I truly feel like I had a 3 day weekend.

Maybe it's May Day fever but mid February is a very popular time to have a birthday in Ben's and my families. I have a grandmother, an aunt, Ben's cousin, and a friend all with birthdays this weekend.

We went to visit my wonderful grandma Sue, who is an artist in Petaluma, and we walked, ate good food, and raided the local establishments for local brews.

Sue Heinz Landscape made with just ink and coffee
This almond tree near grandma Sue's home has
 informed us winter is over and spring is here.
I have mixed feelings/drinks about this. 

After driving all the way back home we took right off for a double date to and ended up seeing Hail, Caesar!, which I'll let you go see and make up your own mind on how it was because our party was of mixed reviews.

Valentine's Day was kicked off with eating See's for breakfast before heading out to a birthday party for the lovely Alex (who is the sister of Ben's cousin Nick, whom I hold dear to my heart), and then to Deadpool.

I cannot rave enough about that movie. I loved everything about it (well maybe not the part when the guy gets his head taken off by a motorcycle chain. I could have done without that). I want to see it another ten times, but alas we were having over friends for dinner, and we told them they had to see it before coming over because we needed to talk to them about it (we're all pretty geeky).

 Dinner consisted of a fine selection of beer, blackberry bourbon fizz, and in the spirit of Lady and the Tramp spaghetti and meatballs. Now it was not  just any standard spaghetti and meatballs, but I also made bean balls and zoodles (I swear my vegetable pasta cutter is a gift from my heathen gods).

I have a thing for Thug Kitchen and they turned me on to Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, which is my go to seasoning for just about everything for just $1.99 per jar! What says better tasting then quality ingredients at a bargain? Thug Kitchen makes these amusing pictures and they're motto is "Eat like you give a Fuck", which is something we should all remember.

Lastly, should you be in the Petaluma area, and have a love for food, jot over to Thistle Meats and get a gift card for yourself and promise to get over to support them in a couple weeks. A drunk driver hit their storefront, and such an disaster can have huge consequence for a small business.

Friday, February 12, 2016

An Outing of Ladies

My family is full of artists. We have fiber artists, painters, gardeners, sculptors, designers, musicians, and wood workers. For this reason we visit museums a lot. Oddest thing is that we never  go together as a group, until now.

Early yesterday morning, my grandma, my mom, her best friend, and I all piled into a car and headed up to the Legion of Honor, and have lunch there.

We saw Raphael's "Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn"

But the real gem of the Legion right now is the Bonnard exhibit. It was amazing, breathtaking, and I went through it twice to just stare in wonder at his use of color and peaking into his world. I'm rather a fan of impressionistic work and the works that came out from 1880-1920 are my favorites. I bought several postcards to put around my desk at work.

That yellow wallpaper is a show stopper
I brought my current socks in progress to work on while walking around the museums. It's my own hand dyed yarn and I'm in love. The colors remind me of Bonnard's Southern Landscape with Two Children, 1918. All the yellows and blues remind me of the ocean. I named this colorway Santa Cruz when I dyed it, and it makes me want to hit the beaches.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Very Black Sabbath

We're keeping it short but sweet today as I'm looking a little rough around the edges due to being at a Black Sabbath concert last night with Ben. The concert was our Valentine's Day present to each other (along with t-shirts) since we'd rather experience new things together then buy each other "stuff" (though we did get one another chocolate).

Enjoy the pictures!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Very Lemony Lemon Bread recipe

I know I'm evil. I mentioned the lemon bread recipe on Friday and didn't give you the recipe. Well I had to really search for it. I mean really search.

Years ago my best girls and I went to The Gingerbread Mansion  for Stina's birthday and my best friend Anna saw on their website a lemon cake recipe and she suggested that I bake it for a birthday cake for Stina. Well the day of the trip I printed the recipe and baked it without nuts (Stina is deathly allergic) and off we went.

It's been nearly 4 years and the website with the recipe has been redone and I found out that they had removed the recipe. Gasp! I have a hand written recipe book that has all my personally tweaked recipes in it, including this one, but that is still packed away. So what was I to do?

I thought about how I had cooked it, printed it, and where I was living at the time and about my computer. Well at the time Anna and I lived together and she was the one with the printer, so I checked my email to see if I had emailed it to her and it turns out I had, back in 2012.

Does anyone else do this? Do you ever search for a recipe and think back and try to relize the day you last made it or how you found it? I can't be the only one!

 Very Lemony Lemon Bread recipe

1/4 c milk
1/2 c Finely chopped nuts
1/4 c Butter
1 ts Baking Powder
2 Eggs; slightly beaten
1/2 c Flour; sifted before
1/2 c Sugar

1/4 ts Salt
1 c Sugar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
Lemon; (juice of)

Recipe makes 1 Loaf

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs. Sift flour again with baking powder and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and the milk to butter mixture, stirring constantly. Mix in the nuts and the lemon peel. Bake in greased 5 x 9-inch loaf pan for 40 to 50 minutes at 350F. Make topping while bread bakes. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, poke holes in the top with a fork and spoon over the topping.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Lemon Cake

You didn't think I just made cookies with those lemons now did you?

I was honestly on a baking spree last weekend and while searching for a long forgotten lemon bread recipe I ran across a lovely upside down lemon cake recipe, which I then proceeded to screw around with while baking.

I think it would be perfect done as single servings in cupcake tins for Easter, but Ben protested and I'm leaving it up to his mother (the hostess) to decide if I'm bringing this or my famous carrot cake that he loves.

Isn't that an amazing yellow?

Couple things to know. After you turn it onto a plate the brown sugar syrup will drip down the sides. Be prepared by using a plate that is larger then the cake

Don't worry if it looks more brown then golden when it's done as you really want the center to be fully cooked and no one will see the bottom. I had to bake it a full 15 extra minutes then the original recipe suggested to get it fully cooked.

Also, always use a very clean stainless steel bowl and whisk when beating the eggs to get them to peak. Any grease (butter, oil, ect) will cause them not to peak, and you're cake will be as dense as a pound cake.

Lastly, use lemons that you have candied, otherwise you will have to warn guests that they are really tart, or you can watch in anticipation for who will find out how tart they are first (though this plan risks your reputation as a baker).

Upside-Down Lemon Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 thin-skinned lemons, candied
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter to your pie pan (I use a glass one) and pop into the oven till it is melted, stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. If it's still grainy, return to oven and check and stir every 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and arrange the lemon slices in the melted brown sugar.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the egg yolks, one at a time. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk.

In a stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar beginning at a low speed and increasing to a high speed until firm peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten whites into the batter, then fold in the rest. Scrape the batter into the prepared pie pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What hat?

The hat is having issues and therefore is not complete. Actually the hat is in a little time out as I had plan on only using one ball of my Pioneer yarn that costs $26.00 for 50grams. It's pricey because it's grown by sheep here in California, milled in the US, and then dyed in small batches at the wonderful A Verb for Keeping Warm. I've knit an entire short sleeved fair isle sweater from it and adore this yarn for all it stands for (though I would love for it to be 3 ply instead of 2), and am using the leftover yarn to knit a matching hat. It has plowed through the first ball and while in the second ball my increasing and decreasing math left something to be desired.

I have been knitting these instead:

Currently on the heel flap of the
second sock

This is my take on the Dublin Bay Socks knit with Malabrigo, bought at Knitterly, in a colorway I cannot name because I lost the label a while ago when it was destined to become another pair of socks that went the way of frogging. I grabbed this yarn because it reminds me of rain and since it has been raining recently I thought is was appropriate. I'm a simple kind of gal.

This year I have a goal to knit myself 7 pairs of socks so that when Ben and I go to the cabin on the lake I will not freeze like I normally do. Wool socks are a must there as there are no carpets, and it's not heated unless someone is there, which is never during the winter. We love going in the winter as not many people are in town. We spent our anniversary there and went to the country club nearby for a great dinner. It really is the best way to vacation. I'd honestly live there year round if possible.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Lemon Tea Cookies

I bet you're wondering why my blog is named The naked Baker and why the first two posts were not about baking.

First part, I bake often in the morning on the weekends. This means I roll out of bed, toss something together to eat, and  either mix my cookie dough or bread and leave it in the fridge or to rise and go on with the rest of my morning. When I come back to check on things I'm often times fresh out of the shower, or I'm switching batches out of the oven, right before I get dressed. It's dangerous, and I've had a couple burns. Not as bad though as an old roommate that upon first meeting decided to demonstrate our clothing optional rule and whipped off his sole piece of clothing (his board shorts) while frying something. But it's how I roll.

As for the post topics, since they were made on a Wednesday and Friday I had nothing to show. I had already eaten my baked goods from the weekend. But Mondays are the days that I will show you what I cooked!

I received this recipe from a friend in Russia, and spent the better part of an hour translating it and discussing spoons and their uses.

I suggest doubling the recipe because you can't stop at just one!

Makes 32 cookies


1/3 cup butter, melted
3 tbsp powered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 pinch salt
zest of a lemon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp starch, corn or potato
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup powered sugar for tossing hot cookies in

While mixer is running add the butter, sugar, juice, salt, baking soda, and starch together.

Once well mixed begin to slowly add the flour till you have to knead the dough together. The dough will be greasy, but don't add extra flour!

Roll into logs that about 1-1.25" think. Wrap tightly with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour.

Top one is already wrapped

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with ungreased parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife cut the logs into coins that are about 5/16" thick and place on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-15 mins. Prep a baggy with the remaining powdered sugar.

Once cookies are removed from the oven pop them into the baggie with sugar and shake it up so that they are covered.


Friday, January 29, 2016

A Hat

I'm knitting a hat. I started on Tuesday night and was reading the poorly scanned pattern on my phone (computer was too far away and I was using my nook to watch Netflix).

The pattern is one that I found while looking for a hat to match the fair isle sweater I'd just completed. I wanted something that matched, had some leftover balls of Pioneer (which is a rather nice but expensive yarn), and decided that no pattern but this one would do.

The Katie Beret is a lovely fair isle pattern that reminds me of golfing in the 1920's. The colorful fair isle sweaters were made popular by then playboy Prince Edward VIII.

There were a few problems that I ran into however when I decided to knit the hat.

First was getting a hold of the pattern that was published in 2009. It's currently supposed to be available online, but the website had been redone and I hit a deadend there. Rather then give up on the hat I began to message people that had knit the pattern and asked them for a copy of it, explaining that the website no longer had it posted. More then a few got up in arms over copyright issues (and a couple of them also proved that they hadn't read my message fully when they told me to go find it on the website), but one blessed person understood the problem and got me the pattern within a couple days.

The lovely Althea from Australia copied and emailed me a scan of the page from her magazine. I was off to the races now right? Wrong.

The pattern is blurry and hard to read, also after knitting the ribbed band I found out that the hat is knit flat and then seamed up the back. Think about this.

Fair Isle
Seamed up the back

Who does this designer think she it? Who does fair isle flat? Why knit a tam flat? This is insane.

With all this running through my head I'm knitting it in the round and we'll see if I have a had come Monday.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A First Post

I've had a couple first post for some blogs that I quickly lost interest in , but now that I'm on an even keel I want to start up blogging regularly.

Why do I want to blog? Well here 5 reasons:

1. I have things to say and sometimes no one to say them to. Sure I could turn towards Ben and ask him what he thinks about the differences between my cast iron pan and my crepe pan when it comes to nonstick, but he wouldn't respond.

2. I'm busy and writing is an outlet for those wandering thoughts.

3. I have interests! Running, baking, knitting, cleaning to name a few. Wow now I just sound boring.

4. Interesting hobbies are Larping, traveling, hiking, and food adventures!

5. I learn something everyday and realize that others might also not know something and feel like spreading this knowledge!

Though in all reality this blog will be all over the place topicwise.