Sunday, December 23, 2007

Possibly Fatal Cookie Recipe

Memory did not fail me, and I found on the first real try (always a delightful surprise) a recipe I last made several years ago and only Dreamed about since. A few years ago, while still on a cookbook- and recipe-collecting orgy, I bought a little supermarket booklet of Nestle baking recipes. Ooh bad mistake.

The single most decadent recipe is for Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bars. I Dreamed about these bars rather than make them, for several years, as I did not wish either myself or my husband to die from sheer dessert overload. But this year I needed a baked Christmas present, and found the recipe, and made it...

Combine 2 sticks butter, brown sugar, flour. Press most of this crust into a pan and bake. Then pour atop it, 1 can of condensed milk and 1 cup chocolate chips melted together.

We could stop now. But why stop now?

Dollop the remaining crust crumbs atop the chocolate, along with chopped pecans. And raspberry jam. And another cup of chocolate chips. Bake.

Lick all bowls and pans clean. Have a big glass of milk ready for this part. Beware any tooth-destroying extra-chewy stuff clinging to the spoon that stirred the milk-chocolate mixture. I think I'm going to go nuts for a while figuring out every possible use for the milk-chocolate mixture, other than just eating it straight from the pot, pouring it on my husband, etc. (super-easy cake or cookie or brownie icing for one thing, mock fudge sauce over ice cream...)

Oh yeah the finished bars are pretty damn good. Gooey as hell. Best to let them cool thoroughly before cutting, use a non-stick baking pan and plenty of non-stick spray.

If I added coconut to the topping as well, I think it really might be the ultimate baked cookie bar. But I would be dead. Best to leave such things to the experts. After all, the same booklet contains Swirled Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars. And Outrageous Cookie Bars, which does in fact include coconut. And graham cracker crumbs, which automatically makes them healthy. They must be healthy, since I made them years ago too and didn't die. Likewise the Chunky Pecan Pie Bars.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Faster Pussycat! Knit! Knit! #1

Looking around at this apartment, I periodically become horrified by just how out-of-control the yarn stash still is. It once was far worse...I once had yarn sitting in a dozen separate places...some more visible than others. The bedroom is always the worst: there is yarn in 2 footlockers (one in the closet), in 2 boxes under the bed, in 2 heaps beside the closets, in at least three bags inside the closet, another bag under a chair, in several bags near the air conditioner, in several storage boxes atop the bookcase...then there are the live projects in the living room on the spare chair, two bags behind the rocking chair, and the box and bags of yarn by the sofa. "Bags" in the sense of Macy's moderate-sized shopping bags; not, thankfully, Bloomie Big Brown Bags, which hold about twice as much.


A partly tongue-in-cheek article of helpful ideas for yarn-stash storage propsed stuffing throw pillows with skeins. I actually tried this a couple of years ago. Perhaps I did it wrong, but I wasn't pleased with the results. The pillows were lumpy (should've stuffed them to bursting?) AND worst of all the yarn pilled from being elbowed and rubbed against! Never again!

Will I oh will I ever get to my Debbie Bliss Cashmerino pullover? Or my Cherry Tree Hill handpaint yarn great warm scarf? The yarn is there...mocking me...beckoning to me...

I tend to keep undesignated yarn in the bag of origin until I know what to do with it. Not great but I do know where it all is...well most of it. The live projects each get a unique knitting bag. I like to save especially sturdy and colorful mini shopping bags, like Godiva, and these are great for storing live projects. They are totable from room to room, and look nicer than plastic bags, especially with pretty yarn sticking out the top.

Pattern organization is a no-brainer. I already store too many magazines (orchid publications, Fortean Times, Cooks Illustrated), and years ago got frustrated not being able to easily find the patterns I wanted to use. So I took the magazines in roughly chronological order -- starting with my 1980's Vogue Knitting collection -- and tore out the patterns and articles I wanted, stapling the pages as needed, and sorting them in plastic expanding envelopes with dividers. They are sorted by the reasons I find them interesting: cables, lace, colors, yarn type, overall design, articles, how-tos. Kids stuff has its own section, and hats/scarves/socks/shawls are in yet another section. The "hot" couple dozen have their own folders, so I can remember to start working on them soon.

So if I can just get the yarn as well-organized as the patterns I'll be a happy woman indeed.

A fresh start?

Hm. Used to have a blogspot I did nothing with...had a knitting blog page on my now-dead we'll see what happens here.
Orchids, knitting, muffin baking, science fiction, alt & indie rock, microbrew beer, check.
Indie comix, webcomix, lols, yarn, House, Discovery Channel, blues, daimonic theorizing, check.
MST3K, strange history, Beatles, rubber ducks, yarn, dessert wine, old movies, check.
Testing, testing...