My first pair of socks

Cozy cottage socksI finished my first pair of socks! I don’t know why, but the concept of knitting socks seemed so intimidating…I used a bulky, inexpensive yarn for these.
Overall, I am very happy with how they turned out – while they are far from perfect (one is slightly wider and longer than the other, my gauge must have changed slightly between the two), they are so comfy, and they were very easy to knit.I
Some day, I will probably look at this post and think “those were so imperfect…how could I have even posted this?” But for now, I happily slip my feet in these soft, warm socks, and I am already thinking about the next pair to knit…

The project details are on my Ravelry page.

Lemon tart with spelt rosemary crust

img_0003For the crust

1 1/3 cup spelt flour
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
pinch of salt
5 1/3 tbsp (1/3 cup) cold butter, cubed
1-2 tablespoon ice water

For the filling

7 oz (200 gr) – 1 container plain Greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage)
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Place the flour, sugar, rosemary, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse until little pea sized bits start to form. Add ice water, starting with just 1 tablespoon. Pulse a few more times, then check the dough to see if it holds together when pressed between your fingers. If not, add the 2nd tablespoon. The dough may still seem crumbly, but as long as it holds together when pressed it will be perfect.

Dump the dough out into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Starting from the center, work your way out to the sides by pressing the dough firmly into the pan. Make sure you press it up along the sides evenly. Pierce the bottom with a fork a few times and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before filling.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Place the yogurt and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, add the pinch of salt, then add the lemon juice and zest. Whisk until smooth and everything is evenly combined.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set and only slightly jiggles when shaken lightly.

Allow to cool completely then place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Tart can be made the day before and kept covered and chilled in the fridge. Serve with fresh raspberries and a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from happyolks.com

Buckwheat mocha tart

This was my second try with this tart. The first time I made it, I used buckwheat flour only in the crust, and it crumbled. It was still tasty, but certainly not presentable. So the second time, I decreased the buckwheat to regular flour ratio 1:3, and it worked much better. There is still the taste of lovely, nutty buckwheat, AND you can slice it without the tart falling apart. Once you make this tart, you’ll see it disappear very quickly…it is very rich in chocolate flavor, without being too heavy. Enjoy!

Buckwheat mocha tartFor the crust
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (such as Medaglia d’Oro), or 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS
Make the crust
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Mix the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the flour and mix just until well blended. Don’t worry if the dough seems too soft. Press all of the dough very thinly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch removable bottom tart pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
Make the filling
Place the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and cream in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking, until the mixture is blended and smooth and begins to simmer around the edges. Remove from the heat and stir in the coffee powder and vanilla.
Just before the crust is ready, whisk the egg thoroughly into the hot chocolate mixture.
Pour the filling into the hot crust and turn off the oven. Leave the tart in the oven until it quivers like tender Jell-O in the center when the pan is nudged, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a rack then in the fridge for at least four hours.

Recipe adapted from leitesculinaria.com

Michael’s cardigan

cardiganIt took me a little over a year to finish this cardigan. I first finished it in July of last year – but the cardigan just didn’t fit right. So I had to disassemble it, rip it back, re-knit it, sew it together, and block it again. But it was all worth it – the final product fits perfectly.

 

 

 

 

cardigan close upMy favorite details on the cardigan are the buttons – handmade walnut buttons purchased on Etsy. The details of the project are on my Ravelry page.

Cinnamon cardamom waffles

Cinnamon cardamom wafflesINGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups less 1 tablespoon room temperature almond milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoons agave syrup
1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat your waffle iron.
In a 2 cup measuring glass, add 1 tablespoon vinegar, and fill up to 1 1/2 cups with almond milk. Stir and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom). Pour the milk, egg and agave into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in coconut oil until mixed in.
Cook the waffles as directed by the waffle iron manufacturer.

Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com

Vegan banana chocolate chip coconut oil scones

Vegan banana chocolate chip coconut oil sconesNormally, I would bake this with some sort of whole grain, or a mix of whole grain flours – whole wheat, buckwheat, or spelt – but due to a temporary dietary restriction in our household, I had to use regular unbleached flour. Feel free to sub all whole wheat, or half AP and half buckwheat or spelt flour for a more healthy version of this tasty breakfast scone.

2 cups AP unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup solid coconut oil or 5 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1/4 cup yogurt or milk
2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used 60% cocoa chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk together.
Use a pastry cutter to cut the coconut oil or butter into the dry ingredients. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use a fork to cut the coconut oil into the flour, or use a knife to cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix it into the flour.
In a liquid measuring cup, measure 3/4 cup mashed banana. Add yogurt or milk until you have a total of 1 cup liquid. Pour in the syrup and vanilla extract, and mix well.
Pour the banana mixture into the dry mixture and combine with a big spoon, then add the chocolate chips. At first it will seem like there isn’t enough liquid to wet the dough, but keep mixing until you have thoroughly incorporated the wet and dry ingredients. If you must, use your hands to knead the last of the flour into the dough. Even if the dough seems dry, do not add more liquid.
On a rimmed baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper, form dough into a circle that’s about an inch deep all around. Use a chef’s knife to cut the circle into 8 even slices, and separate slices slightly.
Bake for 15 minutes to 17 or until lightly golden brown.
Allow to cool on wire rack.

Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com

Macaroni and cheese – light

Macaroni and cheese - lightDue to dietary constraints, I had to use regular pasta, but in the future I would definitely try whole wheat pasta instead. Also feel free to experiment with different kinds of cheeses.

1 lb. pasta shapes, such as shells or elbow macaroni
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups almond milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
8 oz. shredded light Jarlsberg
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup panko (or homemade bread crumbs, finely ground)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta for a few minutes less than package directions, drain well. Return to the stockpot off the heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook until light golden brown and it starts to foam, whisking constantly, about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Stir in the salt and mustard. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 6-8 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the cheese a handful at a time, mixing until fully melted before adding more. Once all the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, transfer the pasta in a large casserole dish, and pour the sauce over the pasta. Stir well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat, add panko and brown – being careful not to burn the panko. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover.
Bake for 30 minutes and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from annieas-eats.com and allrecipes.com