I recently finished a delightful novel titled The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller that made me yearn to bake! There’s something so attractive to me about baking. The process feeds my need to follow a design (see: Knitting) and I thrive on making people happy (see: personality!). I mean who doesn’t love desert?
I think if I had all the time and money in the world I would definitely sign up for a pastry chef program. I would love to learn the craft and science of how to make things that people drool over.
Speaking of drool, these are my absolutely favorite – my cocoa brownies. I make them any chance I get whether it’s a barbecue with friends, hosting a playgroup or a Netfix and chill night with my husband.
First let’s start with the good stuff – the cocoa! The better cocoa powder you can use the better the brownies will be. Our old standby is Ghiradelli’s cocoa powder which can be found at most supermarkets. To me it beats the taste of Hershey’s any day and has the chops to stand up to the fancier Sharfenberger cocoa.
After mixing the sugar, cocoa and salt together with a whisk it’s time to add the melted butter. 45 seconds in my microwave usually melts a stick without overheating it. Sure, you can melt it over a stovetop but I’m quite impatitent when it comes to waiting for the butter melt and then to cool. Mother of 2 toddlers – I’m usually wanting to get those brownies in my mouth ASAP.
Now the eggs. One at a time and really work the batter until it’s completely incorporated. I can’t stress enough how this part really makes this brownie. Definitely put eggs in one and a time and don’t be cheap on the mixing. Keep going until your forearms burn and until the batter lightens in color a bit.
The last part is mixing in the flour. As fierce as you were with mixing in those eggs, you want to fold that flour in gently, as if you were making a merengue. Gently, gently until it all comes together!
Pour the batter into a greased 9×9 pan (I used coconut oil spray) and spread it evenly with a spatutula. Using a knife, scrape the spatula down and add the bits to any corners that need love. (And or feel free to lick ;-))
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Try hard to wait until the pan cools before cutting in and devouring. We find it a huge triumph if we haven’t eaten the whole tray in one sitting. We take our will power (or lack there of) pretty seriously.
Full Recpie Below
Adapted from Bon Apetit
Makes 9 3″ X 3″ brownies
1 stick butter melted
1 c 2/3 c. Sugar
3/4 c. Cocoa
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. Flour
Preheat the oven to 325
Grease a 9×9 pan and put aside
Melt butter in the microwave or saucepan, let cool
Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add butter by pouring in slowly while whisking until fully incorporated. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and whisk vigorously until each has been incoporated and batter is a little light and fluffy. Fold in flour.
Pour batter into a 9×9 brownie pan. Cook 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy with your favorite ice cream or alone in all it’s glory! Be the talk of the town or your couch! 😉
Love and brownies,
Woah people, I am in love. It’s real and it’s deep and I am so excited I wanna sing from the roof tops (but I don’t want to scare my neighbors)! The only thing I need now is for the temperature to drop so I can wear this (and buttery leggings) all DAY everyday!
Let’s go back shall we. Long time readers of this space know I am a lover of knits especially ones that are very wearable. I am not a knit “just to knit” kind of girl. I need purpose! I need couture! I need coffee!
I will always choose a garment that I can wear. So, two years ago when I was hanging out with the always wonderful Amy Christoffers (savoryknitting.com) and she whipped this beauty out and I fell hard. It wasn’t even close to being published and I was all “just take all my money!!” What made the whole situation even sweeter was that it took one ball of Jill Draper’s Empire which I happened to come across over that weekend. Pattern check! Yarn check! It was ON.
I am pretty sure I got home and couldn’t wait to cast on. Soon I had the sleeves and body ribbing done but stopped when I started the cable chart. Something was off and I couldn’t figure it out. My early version had a little hiccup which I totally didn’t have the brain capacity to fix myself so I put it away and went on to other knits.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I ran out of yarn for my current knit (Dotted Rays by Stephen West) I needed something to help keep my knitting mojo up. While searching around for various WIPs I came across the finished sleeves and knitted rib of Cinnamon Girl! Hurrah! A quick Ravelry check and sure enough the pattern was perfection and I was well on my way to my first finished knit in over a year.
Dudes. I don’t even care how bad my hair looks in this picture. My love for this sweater so big that I didn’t even make the time to fix it before posting!
I almost forgot how Blocking is Everything – and it shows with this sweater. At first when it was done I was worried the sleeves would be too short and snug all around. No, no. A bath in my fig scented Soak opened up those stitches beautifully and now they are almost “too” long but just the way I like it.
I can’t wait to wear this beauty at Rhinebeck this year! It feels SO GOOD to have a finished sweater to show for and wear and know every moment I had a chance to knit it was well worth it.
I actually have some knititng to show for!
I had been working on Steven West’s Dotted Rays for a few weeks but after I ran out of yarn (waiting on reinforcements) I decided to look through my WIPs pile and found that I had two sleeves done from Cinnamon Girl by Amy Christoffers!
Dudes, sleeves can be a downer so naturally when I saw they were done I was all “let’s get this finished!”
There’s something great about a cabled sweater, because you have so much to do it makes it move along quickly. So quickly in fact that I was cruising along nicely until I realized I did the cable chart wrong. I doubled the diamond part without realizing it. I blame knitting while watching Stranger Things! (Which by the way lives up to the hype! So good! Winona Forever!)
I thought for a hot moment that I would just rip back the cables and not the entire row but it would have proven too complicated. I could also have left it and doubt that many would notice but I know I would.
Ripping hurts a little bit more in this stage of my life where knitting time comes at a premium. All those precious minutes spent working all for naught. While I like to think I knit just to knit – I am very much driven by the end product.
I cannot tell you how excited I am to finish this sweater. Did you know I haven’t finished a sweater since 2013? I realize that may not sound that crazy but you’re talking to a girl who could knit 14-15 pieces in a year down to 1 every 3.
I hope to wear this sweater at Rhinebeck this year and who knows if I’m lucky (which I doubt) maybe I’ll finish a 2nd one in time! (My eyes are on you Flaum. ;-))
One of the many things I’ve dipped my hand in these past few months is working a direct sales gig with Jamberry. Since I haven’t been able to do much it’s been a wonderful way for me to exercise my brain in a non-mom way!
I bought my first nail wrap in a fundraiser for AHCkids.org, the sister organization to CureAHC.org, and fell immediately in love. I threw a party of my own and soon after decided to join up. I figured if I didn’t go anywhere with it at least I have a product I love!
Well, it’s been more successful than i could have ever imagine. I use the business to spread awareness of Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood as well as donate my commissions to CureAHC.org. Everyone who I get to talk to about nail wraps hears my story about James and I think feel good about getting a beautiful manicure for a wonderful cause.
After working for a few months I decided to do reach out to one of my favorite designers (and former blogger) Jessica Jones to see if she’d be interested in designing some nail wraps! To say I was thrilled she said yes is an understatement. I had a complete fangirl moment! (I sure did, Jessica!)
With her flair we designed 8 beautiful wraps that are going to be sold on a limited run to help fundraise for CureAHC.org.
I call them Jams for James!
I can’t even pick a favorite, I love them all so much! What makes this whole campaign even sweeter is that I have a secret benefactor aka “Team James Guardian Angel” who will be matching my donation to CureAHC.org! So get while you can!
If you are interested in trying a sample of Jamberry wraps go here —-> Sample Request!
Ready to have a beautiful manicure for a wonderful cause, order here —-> J for J Order Form!
The best part of Jamberry nail wraps? Doing your nails and not having to wait for them to dry in order to knit!
I miss you. I miss all of you. I miss blogging about my life and interests but feel so disingenuous if it’s not about knitting.
Lately, my knitting has been sitting dormant on my night stand, collecting copious amounts of dust. I try to take it out and work on it but ultimately I can’t seem to get a stitch done AND what I’ve come to learn and accept is that it’s OK. It’s what my life is at the moment.
I can’t however stop creating and doing. I’ve picked up new hobbies, have concentrated on a new business (tentenjams.jamberry.com) and have been engulfed in the mommyhood more than I’ve ever anticipated.
So we are evolving into tentenLOVE. I want to share more stories about my amazing family. I want to share my dabbles in other fun creative activities (hello Hand Lettering!). I just want to be able to use this space and in a way that reflects more of who I am now.
So I will tentenKNIT or tentenBAKE, maybe even tentenDRAW, and definitley tentenDANCE. I will tentenSHARE all the things in my chaotic life including stories of my sons and their lives.
I hope you stick around to see what’s in store!
Oh the ever inevitable blog hiatus.
Friends and knitters, life throws us curve balls, hail storms and road blocks. In this year of 2014 I think I got thrown all three (and MORE).
It all started in January when my son experienced a very long hospital stay. Things had been fishy from the time he was born. There were moments when he wasn't himself and no doctor could exactly tell me why. We had two shorter hospital stays which resulted in diagnoses of reflux or migrane headaches. In wasn't until after that last major hospital stay he was finally diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood. It's one of those, "Wait, that exists?" type of things. You can read more of that story on the Cure AHC website. To say it was a blow to me in every way is an understatement.
Despite my ever positivity on the matter, the anxiety and stress of that dianosis sucked every creative juice from my body. In fact I am a surprised I got my part of the From Mama,With Love out the door but I had such a wonderful support group in the other designers that it wasn't as hard as it could have been. I even squeeked out a project for Knit Collage in there (more at another time!). But honestly, overall I didn't feel like knitting a single stitch… and that lasted for a long time.
Since then, I've slowly been coming out of my creative fog. I started a new pattern (my own) and a new simple yet beautiful project from Carrie Bostick Hoge, her cardigan/shrug - Maeve. The simple stockinette and garter stitches of that pattern have been a lifesaver – slowly knitting me back to my former self.
Of course, just when things are getting good they get a little bit crazier…
Soon after we learned of James diagnosis we found out that we were expecting another baby!! A bit of a surprise but one we are so thankful for. As James grows and explores his world we are so grateful that he'll have a best friend along for the crazy ride. While I am speeding closer to my due date, I am still not over the fact that I am going to have TWO children at year's end but I am beyond excited.
Finally, perhaps the best piece to my return to form is that we moved to a new home in July. This transition has been so uplifting. It's amazing the change in attitude and mood one can have when you are in a space you love. I even think James' overall self and attiude has improved. It's definitely a change that has been a blessing.
All these mega, huge, and colassal things have brought me back to a point where I feel like I can blog again. I am excited again. I can share again.
I am not promising a ton of posts but I think I owe it to myself to enter back into this arena. I feel ready and am inspired by so many projects and knitting relationships!
I do plan on sharing my experience with raising James with AHC and may throw in some anecdotes of him and our journey. So bare with me on that. You can always skip forward to the knitting! But if you know me, you know I am so proud of my son and I know his life is going to be a truly fulfilled and blessed one.
If you happen to still have my link dear reader… thank you! I appreciate not being deleted. And thank you in advance for your thoughts, prayers, congrats and hopes… it's truly community that strengthens.
While I haven't knit much, knitting is always on my mind, especially Elizabeth Zimmermann and her powerful words of wisdom:
Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises.
And I believe me I certainly will try.
Love and Knitting,
Starting tomorrow, From Mama With Love is going "On TOUR!" (Shake those rock fingers!)
We are so thrilled that our knit friends and sponsors will be reviewing our new e-book. Please check them out as some are doing giveaways (both the e-book and some YARN!).
Friday, April 4th, Carol Sulcoski of Black Bunny Fibers
Monday, April 7th, Melissa LaBarre of Knitting School Dropout **Designer of FM,WL!
Tuesday, April 8th Tanis Gray of Tanis Knits **Designer of FM,WL!
Wednesday, April 9th, Connie Chang Chinchio, **Designer of FM, WL
Friday, April 11th, Susan B. Anderson
Monday, April 14, Kate Gagnon Osborn of Things for Charlie (And KW) **Designer of FM, WL!
Wednesday, April 16, Vickie Howell, Host of Knitting Daily
Friday, April 18, Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches
Monday, April 21, Kate Chioccio of Dragonfly Fibers
Wednesday, April 23, Julie Crawford of Knitted Bliss
Friday, April 25, Katie & Kara of Nice & Knit
Monday, April 28th, Ysolda Teague Guest Blog Post!
Tuesday, April 29th, Karida Collins of Neighborhood Fiber Co.
Friday, May 2nd, Cecily Glowik McaDonald of Winged Knits
Monday, May 5 - Carrie Bostick Hoge of Maddermade
Wednesday, May 7th – Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails
Friday, May 9th – Kate & Courtney, of Kelbourne Woolens
Tuesday, May 13, Jessica Correa, of Dream in Color Yarn Co.
Thursday, May 15, Kristen Kapur of Through the Loops
Tuesday, May 20, Tanis Lavalee of Tanis Fiber Arts
Friday, May 22, Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting
And be sure to join our From Mama, With Love group on Ravelry. We're kicking off a KAL very soon!
James will be waiting for you!!
Introducing a new 5 designer, 15 pattern collection, From Mama, With Love.
I am so thrilled to be a part of an all-star design team: Tanis Gray, Connie Chang Chinchio, Kate Gagnon Osborn and Melissa LaBarre! We are all moms who wanted to make knits for our children to share with you.
I have 3 patterns in the collection: The above Ferris Vest (which yes is named after Ferris Bueler – an omage to the coolest teen from the 80s), the Debonair Hat and the Snuggly Boppy Cover.
Did you know that there's actually no boppy cover pattern in Ravelry or on the interwebs?? I've looked! I've been using my boppy religiously since James was born. Even now as a playroom pillow. I thought, how great would it be to have a knitted cover?? The shape was a bit of a challenge but add in a few short rows it turned out to be pretty simple.
I am so thankful to be able to make these pieces for my son and hope you all will check out the collection and start knitting asap!
Check out the rest of the collection in Ravelry!
Another day, another scarf!
The Anita cowl, named for my mother, is knit in Quince & Co's Puffin yarn. Using a 10.5 needle, it's a super quick knit!
Not only is this model my style with the curly hair but the yarn color is named Merlot. Wine & curls? Yah, that suits me fine 😉
The cowl is a super long loop that can be worn up to three times around the neck. Perfect for these Polar Vortex mornings! I am so thankfully that I got to be a part of this collection for Quince & Co.!