Rocky Mountain Wednesdays!

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Like many places around the USA it has been snowy and cold here. Maybe not as snowy as some places, or as cold as others, but enough that I’ve preferred to be home and warm rather than out and about in the weather.

Just a few pictures from recent days here.

Happy Wednesday!

PS – I do love how the snow sparkles when it’s REALLY cold!

Baking Buddies, a review

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I was recently contacted by Rizzi of the New York Baking Company, she asked if I would consider blogging a review of their silicone baking cups which they call Baking Budies. I’ve used them twice now and here are my thoughts.

I loved the bright colors as soon as I opened the package. These are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe. I baked some banana muffins (recipe on my food page) for breakfast on New Year’s morning. Jerry really dislikes having to peel the paper off of cupcakes and muffins so what a great chance to make use of one of the nice features of these cups. The muffins didn’t fall right out of the cups but they are pretty easy to remove, much easier than paper. I used these in a muffin tin for baking.

My second test was making cupcakes. These were a great size for muffins but I like BIG cupcakes. I wanted to see how these baked up if I didn’t use a muffin tin but just set the cups in a baking pan. Not everyone has a muffin tin and with these you don’t need one. I left the cupcakes in the silicone cups rather than remove them like I did with the muffins for serving. One thing I didn’t expect was how moist these kept the cupcakes over time. Cupcakes in paper liners dry out much faster than the ones stored in the silicone cups, even when stored in a covered container. The cupcakes were a little trickier to get out of the cups than the muffins were, the cake wanted to break apart so you have to remove it carefully. I wonder if this could partly be due to the texture of cakes baked in high altitude.

Washing up was very easy. I didn’t grease or flour the cups either time. There was a little stuck on batter and crumbs but it rinses right off. I would like to try these out as little jello molds next.

While I don’t see these as a complete replacement for paper liners, there are times when the theme of my cupcake decorating will call for something that coordinates better than these would, however these will be very handy to have around. I would love to see them available in a larger size, more like the cupcake liners I usually use but if you make cupcakes for small children or when baking muffins I think the size is just right.

You can find out more about Baking Buddies here.

I hope your week will be sweet!

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Happy New Year….Rocky Mountain Wednesdays

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I do wish you all the best in 2014. The end of 2013 got a little bumpy here, more about that in a future post, nothing awful…. I’m looking forward to leaving that behind and moving forward. We are enjoying the last few days of Jerry’s time at home as we move into what looks like lots of out of town work for him in 2014.

We got out for a drive on Monday. We don’t have much snow and it’s been quite mild weather wise here. I hope you enjoy your first peek at the mountains this year.

Happy 2014 with lots of Hugs and Kisses for stopping by to see me here!

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized

warm hands

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This is a bit of a Post-Christmas make and bake.

I made some mitts for my sister and sister-in-law, a scarf for Tyler’s birthday (warm neck in this case) and a pair of mittens for myself. I even knitted a pair of mittens for a child in Afghanistan.

The treats are pretty self-explanitory. Ethan’s favorite warm drink at the moment is warm milk with all the fixings….

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for my sister, Felicity Mitts, size small, Palette Yarn, Bluebell

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for Tyler, Rasta Rib Scarf, Malabrigo Rasta Yarn, Zarzamora

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for my sister-in-law, Snowfall Mitts, Stroll Tweed Sock Yarn, Garnet Heater

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for a child in Afghanistan, Basic Pattern for Children’s Mittens with 4 Needles, size small, Lamb’s Pride Worsted, Roasted Coffee

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for me, same pattern as above, size medium, Malabrigo Worsted, Geranio. I used my leftover yarn to make hearts for a Valentine’s garland. The heart pattern is here.

If you would like to knit wool, socks, hats, or mittens for Afghanistan they are accepting donations through the end of January 2014. Be sure to email them when you send your package and they will let you know when they receive it, donations are shipped to California for collection. You can read the guidelines here.

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Christmas Sweets & Treats

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I hope your Christmas was Merry and that the New Year will bring you Great Things!

We had lots of treats here, the sweet kind and a few new things for my kitchen.

Christmas morning we enjoyed a hot cocoa bar, I made a slight adjustment to a basic crockpot cocoa recipe. You can find one from Country Cottage Needleworks in the 2013 Ornament Just Cross Stitch issue and also on Pinterest. I only used about 1.75 cups of chips (I used mini-chips and saved the other 1/4 cup for sprinkling) and added a bit of sugar and baking cocoa to the mix. I had several other choices for dressing up each cup and of course lots of whipped cream!

I have a new color in my Fiestaware collection – Lapis. Very pretty and already in use. Santa also left a little gadget in my sock for poaching eggs. I’ve tried it out with pretty good results, it will take a bit of practice to perfect but it will be a handy thing to have around.

I still have Flamingo (a dark pink) Fiesta on my kitchen wishlist! I think it will look perfect with my other colors.

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Advent, Christmas Eve

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To find out more about this Christmas tradition visit the Advent page here at my blog.

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas!

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas make & bake (in progress)

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There’s a whole bunch of baking and making going on here today so I will be adding to this post. Jerry is home and using up his left-over vacations days for the rest of 2013 — Hooray! He’s off to do the Christmas shopping – don’t feel bad for him, he relishes the last minute madness and I must admit the stories he brings home are very good.

I started this star garland way back in October. I actually have about 5 knitted in various colors but only have this one in ‘finished’ condition. I’ve put off the garland til next year. Here is the pattern, I used up some fancy scraps of yarn, this one is cashmere.

I did a test bake of some dough for cinnamon rolls and similar yummy things. It turned out very well, for my test batch I baked up a large tea ring. I have another batch resting on my stove, I plan to use this dough for Christmas morning cinnamon rolls.

More later….

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A Christmas treat I first tasted in Michigan (need to remember this doesn’t HAVE to be just for Christmas) – Baked Brie with Mushrooms, Almonds, and tarragon leaves. Here’s how I made this –

slice and saute mushroom in a little butter, when they are nearly done add some sliced almonds, cook til almonds are toasted and shake on lots (lots) of dried tarragon leaves. Unwrap a Brie cheese, I leave on the rind just pull off the paper/foil wrapper. Place it in an oven safe dish and pile the mushroom mixture on top. Bake at 350 til cheese is jiggly on the inside of the rind, 15-20 minutes, don’t over cook it. Remove from oven, slice open the rind and enjoy on crackers or toasted bread. Y U M!
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