Baking a Gingerbread House at Christmas has become a tradition in our family. The recipe I posted 2 years ago makes one large house. In the past I baked several batches, but this year I did not have much time, so I tried a different approach. My children all wanted to decorate their own house, so I decided on a new design: the A-frame house.
You can get 3 houses out of one large baking sheet by cutting the roofs 4″by 6 1/2″ ( 10cm by 16.25cm) and the triangles with a 5″ (12.5cm) wide base and 6″ (15cm) tall. My kids had a lot of fun and they turned out beautiful. The extra bonus is that the A-frames are much easier to put together than a regular house.
For my birthday I received several books about baking bread. One of them called “Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads” by Richard Bertinet has very detailed photos how to shape different breads. When I saw little star shaped buns I had to make them right away.
The dough for these buns consists of 3 parts whole wheat flour and 2 parts all purpose flour, but you can use any firm bread recipe you like.
In the book he used poppy seeds, but I used sesame seeds and Nigella ( black cumin) instead. I know Nigella from Germany where you can find it sprinkled on Turkish bread and I just love how it tastes. You can buy it at the Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver.
I want to show you how those little stars are shaped. First you divide the dough in small portions and shape these into little balls, which rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Then you flatten the ball into a disc, dip one side into water and then into the seeds.
Then you take a dough card and cut 3 slits into the disk so that there is still uncut dough around the edge.
As you can see there are now little triangles meeting in the centre. You take these and flip them over so that they point outside.
Now you turn them over, let them rise and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 250˚C or 480˚F.
It turns out that these stars are very tasty indeed. They offer a lot of crust and if you bake many and freeze them you can just pop one into the toaster to thaw it, because they are quite flat.
I think they would also work well with a sweet yeast dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I have to try that.
I have recently finished these socks for my niece with my leftover Poprocks yarn. As something special I have added small hearts into the heel. The heels are knit with slipped stitches, but the hearts are knit with regular stockinette stitch, which makes them slightly raised. I think they are very cute.
I have also tried a new cast-on recommended in The Handknitter’s Handbook. You cast-on using the tubular cast-on and on the first row you knit and purl almost like you normally would, you just twist the purl stitches. I think it works well.
Here is the chart, if you want to add hearts to your heels:
And here you can find it in a pdf document for easy printing.
Published July 12, 2009
cooking , Tutorial
Tags: homemade, iced tea, recipe
I love to drink homemade iced tea in the summer. Here is how I do it:
Fill a large cooking pot with 2 liters (quarts) of water and add 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil (it will take a while). Turn the heat off and add 6 to 8 bags of black, fruit or herbal tea and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the teabags and mix the tea with cold water in the ratio of 1 part of tea to 3 parts of water. It is important to cool the tea down quickly as this preserves the flavour.
You can add ice cubes, slices of lemon or mint leaves. My family likes lemon and summerberry tea best, but black tea is also delicious especially with lemon.
Published April 12, 2009
Crochet , Knitting , Tutorial
I saw Cat Bordhi’s videos on Youtube and decided to knit a Moebius Scarf with my handspun yarn.
The yarn is more or less worsted weight and it took 4oz. Here is how I did it:
Cast on 80sts ( Instructions are here) and knit first row as on the video, place marker
Row 2: *yarn-over, knit 2 together through the back loop* repeat until end of row
Row 3: purl all stitches
Repeat these two rows until you have yarn left for about four rows, ending with row 2. Use a matching crochet hook, pick the last knitted stitch and insert crochet hook.
Last row: *chain 3, slip-stitch around yarn-over loop, chain 3, slip-stitch into following knitted stitch* repeat until end of row, pull yarn through the last loop, darn in ends
This post is part of Fiber Arts Friday. Thank you for inviting me!