Monday, February 27, 2012

Zurker invitation

Hi, all.

Just wanted to extend an invitation.  There's a new social network being developed called Zurker.  It's still in beta, so membership is by invitation only.  The idea is that it's member owned, so new members will get vshares, which will be converted into real shares when it goes off beta.

If you'd like to check it out, click here for your invitation.  Once you're logged in, you'll find me in your contacts as amkb, and you can accept my contact request.

Let's see how this works out! :-)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dates with Goat Cheese, a snacking experiment

Tonight, we decided to experiment with a snack my older daughter and I enjoy making every now and then; goat cheese stuffed dates.  Normally, we just whip them together and have at it, but this time we decided to experiment a bit. We're pretty happy with how they turned out.  Here are the results.


Experimenting with dates

Plain goat cheese.  We usually buy the type that comes in logs about 6 inches long, and for the batch we made (24 dates), we used half of one.

Experimenting with dates

Honey. The first time we made this, we used maple syrup, but we're out of that, so honey it was. 

Experimenting with dates

Dates.  The kind with the pits still in them.

Usually, this is all we use, but this time we added...

Experimenting with dates

... bacon.  The slices were cut in half, half-cooked and drained on paper towel.


Experimenting with dates

The first step is to split the dates lengthwise and remove the pits, leaving the dates in one, hinged piece.

Experimenting with dates

Next, mix some honey into the goat cheese, adjusting quantity to taste, but enough that the cheese becomes smooth and creamy in texture.

Experimenting with dates

Stuff the split dates with spoonfuls of filling.  We did 1/3rd of the dates this way.  They can be eaten at this point.  They're quite bold tasting and very sweet, so it doesn't take much to satisfy a craving!

Experimenting with dates

Another third of the dates were wrapped in the half-cooked bacon, then they and the remaining plain ones were put under a 450F broiler.  For the plain ones, they were left until the filling started to show some browning.  The wrapped ones needed a bit more time to finish browning the bacon.

Experimenting with dates

The plain broiled ones were quite good; the flavours mellowed out a fair bit, and the dates had a much smoother texture.  Very nice.

Experimenting with dates

The bacon wrapped ones were AWESOME!!!!  That touch of saltiness made an amazing difference! 

Will definitely be doing them this way in the future.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Some food "crafting" for a change!

We have a guest staying with us at the moment, and today he treated us by making some Home Made Snickers Bars, based on the recipe here.

Home made snickers

The red pieces on top are watermelon and strawberry flavoured Pop Rocks.  They have a habit of popping unexpectedly!

These are sooooo good!!!  Thanks for making these for us, Jordan!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A better picture

I posted a photo of the finished Blankets 4 Canada blanket I'd been working on, using my phone.  Here's a better version. :-)

Finished B4C blanket

This is the first time I've ever done a joined blanket.  Any other blankets I've done have been all in one piece, with the exception of a hooded baby blanket that had a triangle added to one corner for the hood. 

These squares were joined by working 1 sc in one square, 1 ch, then 1 sc about a quarter inch down in the second square, while holding them wrong sides together.  For the joining yarn, I happened to have the same type of yarn in matching pale blue and one of the reds that was used in some of the squares, so I alternated between them - I didn't have enough of either to join the entire blanket in one colour.  I was rather pleased to not run out of the red right near the end!

I worked on this in one of the multi-purpose rooms available in the co-op we live in.  A very handy space, with plenty of tables to make spreading out such a project very easy.  The only "down" side was all the interruptions.  We live in a very neighbourly co-op, so whenever people went by the door and saw me, they'd pop in to say hello and chat for a bit. :-D  Enjoyable, but it did make things take a bit longer.

I can live with that. ;-)

Dyed paper, finished

Here are the finished results of my daughter's latest attempt at paper dying.

Dyed paper

She's not too happy with it.  The first batch was much lighter then she wanted.  They took longer to dry then she expected.  She dried them between layers of paper towel, weighted down with heavy books, changing the paper towel as needed.

I look forward to seeing what she uses them for.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I finally got to work on this blanket again.  Aside from sewing in ends (which has to wait until I get home, since I forgot my needles), it is now finished and will be delivered tonight.

Friday, February 10, 2012


My older daughter has been dying some paper today.  In fact, one of my kitchen sinks is black with a combination of ... red onion skins ... and ... stuff.

When the paper is dry, she does stuff like this.

Turgid by *Dynoknu on deviantART

Branching by *Dynoknu on deviantART

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Almost there

Finishing up the blanket I started at the joining party. Rows are done. Need to join the columns, then finish the edge all around. Should go faster now.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Joining Party

Today was our Blankets 4 Canada joining party at the Clareview Michaels.  Many thanks to those who were able to make it out!

Blanket 4 Canada joining party

These are the beautifully made squares that were in the bin when I got there - 155 in total.  Donations get picked up on a regular basis for joining by volunteers, so we were a little low.  I am in the process of finding out how many have been donated in the past couple of months.  I'll post it when I have that information. :-)

Blanket 4 Canada joining party

I spent some time trying to put together squares for an 8 x 6 blanket.  There were a whole bunch made in the same wonderful texture that matched sizes, but not quite enough to make 8 x 6, so a few simple crochet ones that closely matched in size were added to fill in the blanks.  I brought this batch home to finish, and the others were taken to be worked on by volunteers later.

Blanket 4 Canada joining party

Eileen from Blankets 4 Canada also brought this co-ordinated set of squares to work on.  Some of these were made with glitter yarn!  It's going to look pretty amazing when it's done.

Blanket 4 Canada joining party

Eileen was just whipping through those rows!!

Blanket 4 Canada joining party

Laura from the Wandering Woolies Meet Up group was able to spend some time helping out.  Great to see you, Laura!  Thanks. :-D

Blanket 4 Canada joining party

My daughter, meanwhile, volunteered to sew in loose ends.  She did the tall stack you see on the left, and all but about 6 of the small stack in front of her, in the time we had.  She collected quite the pile of snipped yarn ends by the time she was done! *L*

Thanks for a great evening, Ladies! :-)