Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cookie Bar Surprise

This is one of those recipes where I took a basic chocolate chip recipe that I had, threw a bunch of "stuff" in and crossed my fingers, hoping it would work. :-)

After I mixed it all up, I decided that it was too hot to have the oven going any longer than necessary, so I decided to make them into bars.

What You'll Need:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant pistachio pudding
1 cup oats
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup mini choc. chips
20 mini heath bars, crushed/chopped
1/2 cup caramel sauce (I used the ice cream topping kind)

1 egg is missing... I started out with 2 and needed to add a 3rd. : -)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs.Next, add the flour, baking soda and pudding. Blend, and then add in the caramel, oats and chocolate chips. 

Next, chop up the mini heath bars.


....and After! : -)

Add the heath bars to the bowl and stir until well incorporated. At this point, you should have a big gooey mess in a bowl. :-)

Grease a 15x11 inch baking pan, and spoon the batter in a spread it in an even layer.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. I would normally say at this point, "Use a toothpick to check for doneness", but that didn't work in this instance. Between the caramel, chocolate chips and heath bars, it was hard to tell by that method. :-)   I do know that they were DELICIOUS. They didn't last long.

All done!

If you give these a try, please let me know what you think!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Knit Dishcloths: Seed Stitch

I find knitting to be very relaxing, especially when it is a simple, repetitive pattern. Several times a year, I add to my supply of dishcloths (and my Mom's as well!). Knit dishcloths are the only ones that I use, so I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite patterns with y'all.

The pattern used for these dishcloths is the Seed Stitch Pattern.

What You'll Need:
US Size 9 Knitting Needles
Cotton Yarn
Needle for weaving in the ends

Cast On 33.
Row 1: K1, P1, K1 - continue in this pattern to end of row
Row 2-50: Repeat Row 1
Weave in ends

So easy! I do 50 rows and it comes out square. Adjust the number of stitches CO if you want, just make sure, for the Seed Stitch, that you have an odd number of stitches.

If you need some help with the knitting stitches, go to Knitting Help. They have great videos that show you all you need to know; cast on, knit stitch, purl stitch, etc.

Here are a few photos of the ones I've made so far:

I LOVE lots of color in my dishcloths. May as well make washing the dishes as exciting as possible! : -)

The seed stitch is great, because you have little "scrubbie" bumps all over the dishcloth.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crochet: Granny Squares

Granny Squares. Something I've wanted to try for a long time, but didn't think that I could, so I talked myself out of it before every trying. I am a self-taught crocheter and haven't been very brave in trying new things. A few weeks ago, I found this tutorial on Ravelry. If you like/love to knit and/or crochet, and don't know about Ravelry, please leave this page immediately and go sign up (it's free!). It is a yarn-lover's paradise. Thousands of patterns. Some have a price tag attached, but so many are freely shared as well. This Granny Square tutorial is a free Ravelry download.

After reading through the tutorial several times, I jumped in and gave it a try. This is what my first attempt at a Granny Square looked like:

I was thrilled with how it turned out!

I used cotton, and once I got the hang of it, added a few more rows/rounds, and will use it as a hot pad.

I had a few friends on Facebook that were starting a private group called The Granny Square Exchange, and I wanted to participate. It was great motivation for me! We each make 8 squares a month, using the same pattern, and at the end of the year, we'll each have 48 squares to turn into an afghan.

This was the first square I made for July's exchange.

Finished! Over the weekend, I made all 8 squares. I love how they look together. : -)

What have you tried lately that you didn't think you could do?

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Trying To Find Balance

Hello Friends! I haven't posted anything. In forever. Okay, it's been 17 days, which is forever in blog land. I've been working on a few projects, but haven't finished them, and I have been struggling to try and prioritize my days, fitting everything in.

I work a full-time job, have 2 wonderful children that need and deserve most of my attention when I'm not at work, housework doesn't get done if I don't put in the effort, and I've discovered lately, that without adequate sleep time, I can't seem to function the next day. I've been trying to add exercise into my routine in the mornings, but I've been so exhausted that I've been over-sleeping. As much as I love it, blogging has fallen to the bottom of a very long list.

Okay, enough of my whining. :-)  I hope y'all had a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend, and I am looking forward to finding some sense of order in my life and get back to having fun in blog land!

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