Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pumpkin waffles

What is a girl to do with a four-day weekend, extra pumpkin pie ingredients, and a borrowed waffle iron? Make pumpkin waffles, of course! I'm not usually much of a breakfast person, but waffles sure are fun to make. I had great success making lemon yogurt waffles with this recipe, and then decided to make a bunch of pumpkin waffles to pop in the freezer for future lazy mornings. This pumpkin waffle recipe seemed a bit flawed to me. I'd say 3 teaspoons of baking powder is way too much, and the batter needed more flour and butter. I had the hardest time getting the waffles to keep from separating in the center, and an even harder time peeling them off of the waffle iron. I ended up turning the temperature down pretty low and cooking them for a good long while to drive off excess moisture. The lemon waffles had neither problem, but they did need a bunch of added milk to thin the batter. In any case, I love love love the idea of flavored waffles. They don't even need toppings, but could be a very nice vehicle for fruit.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shalom now available in 3 languages!

I am pleased to announce that the Shalom Cardigan pattern has been translated into French by Chaton mignon, from bazookatz. She did a wonderful job creating a new PDF with a mix of my pattern and her own lovely work. Un grand merci à elle! To get your very own copy of the French pattern, click here or visit the sidebar to the right.

If anyone would like to translate Shalom into another language, you are most welcome to do so. Please let me know so I can properly credit and link to your translation.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Southwest explorations

I spent the day exploring some nearby areas with a couple good friends. In the process I was able to experience some things uniquely Southwestern. We stopped by a Southwestern food heritage festival, which was small but nice. There was a woman demonstrating tortilla making using a very cool convex wood burning stove. She stretched the dough until they were paper thin--quite impressive!

We also stopped by the San Xavier del Bac Mission. The 'white dove of the desert' was very interesting--from historical, stylistic, and preservation standpoints. The imposing white building can be seen for miles around, and is really striking against the clear blue Arizona sky.

I love these religious candles--there's something very cool about them. The mission only allows candles purchased on site to be lit--I think they use special candles with low smoke/volatility so the newly restored wall murals don't get sooty.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

busy busy!

Hey there, strangers! Thanks for all of your lovely comments in recent weeks. I think of you often, but have been too busy in my real life to find time to work on my virtual life. I have done a bit of knitting and pattern tinkering recently--nothing I can share yet. But I can show you some of my pictures from exploring the Southwest and cooking.

Selections from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum:

I especially love this last one. It's from an alligator tree--so beautiful!

I found a new Indian grocery store to frequent in my neighborhood and stocked up on some ingredients:

Then proceeded to make two delicious Indian dishes from Tarla Dalal recipes. First, the rather complicated (but well worth the effort) Kofta Biryani. It was a delicious mixture of rice, falafel (with an Indian twist) and palak paneer, minus the paneer. Give it a try when you have a free afternoon and feel adventurous! I added potatoes, since I was in a potatoy mood.

I also made Shahi Aloo with a friend who wants to learn how to cook--I started him off easy with peeling and chopping. He did an excellent job. Shahi Aloo is a great way to prepare potatoes with a nice level of spices, and the sweetness and crunch of raisins and cashews, respectively:

My very good Chilean friend had a birthday last week. I asked her to describe her favorite cake, which involved layers of pancake, chocolate, marzipan and lucuma (a fruit I doubt is available here). I decided to make my own interpretation: a crepe cake with homemade chocolate frosting and marzipan creme.

I used a combination of three recipes, for the crepes, the frosting, and the marzipan. It came out looking a lot sloppier than I had wanted, but it was quite tasty and my Chilean friends got a kick out of it!

I also made a brief stop in Tombstone, Arizona. Not something I'd go out of my way to see, but it was entertaining for about 20 minutes.