Sunday is for FOOD!- Pumpkin Bread

I've noticed a new trend in my family's schedule that I am loving, Sunday is for FOOD! The kitchen is always busy on Sunday, with treats in the oven, soups on the stove , and snacks for the week being created, it's a yummy day!  I am going to start sharing more of my weekend cooking with you, sound fun?

Today my girl and I had a "double" playdate day, we both had friends over... Connie stopped by with her hubby, Maurizio.  She used to live in Ithaca and luckily she still comes back often so we get to visit multiple times a year!  Connie shared with me earlier this fall that she loves everything pumpkin, so I decided to make her my version of pumpkin bread.  I've found that it takes an hour for the bread to cook, so I always save some batter and make a batch of mini-muffins that cook quickly.  That way we have something to snack on while we wait for the bread.

Besides the ginger pumpkin bread we had cashew chili (vegetarian) going in the crockpot for a chili cook off we went to later in the day... my secret?...  a bottle o' beer!

Ginger Pumpkin Bread and Muffins

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (melted)
2 1/2 cups flour
(I mix whole wheat and white)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1 /2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (or pre-ground)
1/8 tsp cloves
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 can solid-pack pumpkin puree
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and a 12 count mini-muffin tin (I used papers in the muffin tin).

In a large bowl melt butter in your microwave.

While the butter is cooling, in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

Add the eggs, pumpkin puree and brown sugar to the melted butter and mix.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stir gently until combined.  Add chopped ginger and stir in.  (Sometimes I add chocolate chips, at this step since my family says EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH CHOCOLATE!)

Bake Muffins for 15 mins and Bread for 55 minutes.  You may want to make a tent of aluminum foil for over the bread after the first half hour if the top starts to brown too much.  Take out and cool 10 minutes before slicing and eating!  Yummm! 


Family Festivities

Here's one the many things I was secretive about this year:

Family Festivities
Coordinating skeins of Schaefer Nichole
Shown in Clara Barton and Indira Gandhi

This sock pattern is based on an easy slipped stitch pattern I was obsessed with last winter, add in a two color ribbed cuff and heel and you've got a design that really playswith color!  Sized for the whole family from 2 -3 years to a men's medium.  If you use Schaefer's Nichole you can get a few pairs out of the 2 skeins... perfect holiday presents for the whole family.

Here I am knitting away on them on vacation in Costa Rica last year,  the easiest "working" vacation I've ever had!  I don't know what's up with that scowl on my face, guess I was concentrating... and using my mouth as my third hand!


A little bit o' everything!

I'm fresh from a long weekend, well not actually fresh, cause I always stay up too late when left to my own devices and then when I have to get up at the crack of dawn for the school bus again I'm a bit bleary for the rest of the week; it's my cross to bear that I perk up around 10 pm!

First off, I'm going to Maryland this weekend:  My dear friend "Jay-Lo" is having a baby shower on Saturday. On Sunday I'll be teaching Migrations at Woolwinders and having a Schaefer Yarn "Petting Zoo" afterwards.  It's all sold out and I am really looking forward to meeting all the knitters there!  Hopefully my Squammie BFF Betz will be able to pop over in the eve for a visit!

Number Two: I did LOTS of knitting this weekend, see?

From right to left in clockwise direction: Tiny Shoe (see info below),  Beaded Cable Cuff (no edging or clasp yet) , New Design (with secret NEW Schaefer yarn...)

Number Three:  These are for my dear friend's baby shower this weekend, I'm just hoping she doesn't read my blog regularly... so Jen, if you are, STOP!!!! and don't scroll down anymore! 

About to be released Walking Spiral Socks (there's a super cute cap in the set too!)

I bought Whimiscal Knits from her at TNNA last June and finally got to make something from it!

Finally, my friend, and editor, Kara, is getting together a blog tour for her new book It's in the Bag... get in touch with her if you think you might want to take part!


And the Winner is...

First off, can I just say, THIS WAS FUN!  I got to listen to some music I'd never heard before, and some I hadn't heard in a long time. I'd love to share a few of my favs (I wish I could link to them all, you built quite a compilation for me to listen to today while I worked!):

Foundations by Kate Nash (with Billy Bragg) (thanks Kathy)

If I had a $1,000,000 by Bare Naked Ladies (thanks to Sam)

Papa was a Rolling Stone by the Temptations (thanks Hadley!)

I used a random number generator... and the winner is #22 Michelle, get in touch with me so I can send your goodies (Brickhouse and 2 skeins of Schaefer's Heather to make it) on their way.

p.s. I might need to do this again, I had way too good a time this go round!


Introducing: 3fer

3fer is three for one!  One skein of Schaefer Yarn's Nichole will make you all three items in this pattern, the cap, the mitts, that's right folks, and even the cowl... better than ginsu knives, I'm telling ya!  Using beads is optional, you can make all three items with beads, or without, or make the cap with beads for your mom, the mitts without for yourself, and the cowl for your kid's fourth grade teacher.  

3fer is based on an easy slip stitch pattern that is created by wrapping the yarn twice around the right hand ndl and then cabling it on the next row.  Directions are included in the pattern for cabling without a cable needle, which is SO easy!  As with all Nelkin Designs patterns the stitch pattern is both charted and written out.

I have to tell you that hilarity ensued when naming 3fer, as I brainstormed with friends and family some rather risque names emerged... do you want me to share?

You can purchase 3fer here or here.
3fer is shown in Nichole by Schaefer Yarn in colors:
(from top to bottom) Indigo, Mary Walker Phillips, and Jane Addams

P.S. There is still one more day left to the giveaway, feel free to join in!