Eye Candy Friday

cupcakes for carole knits

Actually, it’s Eye Cupcake Friday. Or maybe Cupcake Candy Friday? Yeah. That’s better. In any case, feast your eyes on those beeee-ay-uuu-tiful Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes. To be more precise, and to use the description from my friend Caroline of Buttercup’s Bakery, who baked these, dark chocolate cupcakes, filled with home made salted caramel, signature buttercream and caramel drizzle. Ohhhhh yesssssss.

Eat something delicious this weekend, won’t you? And then go to the gym and work it off! That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it. Have a good one, my friends.

P.S. Go Pats!

P.P.S. I almost forgot, Monday is a holiday. And that means I will see you back here on Tuesday.

P.P.P.S. Love ya.

Hullo, Bandwagon

I’m not exactly sure when I first became aware of the Instant Pot. It was sometime around the middle of December. Or maybe earlier. I started seeing it mentioned now and again by a friend or two on Facebook. You know the posts, “hey, I made this for dinner and it was fantastic.” I paid little attention because a pressure cooker? Me? Nah.

But those posts became more frequent and harder to ignore. Suddenly it seemed like every knitter I knew had an Instant Pot. Okay, so it was like 3 or 4. Still. I started researching. And thinking. I even mentioned to Dale that perhaps I’d like one of these for Christmas. He did not take the bait.

instant pot for carole knits

However, within a day or two after Christmas it became apparent that everyone else got one for Christmas. Okay, so it was like 3 or 4. Still. I really started jonesing for an Instant Pot. And before you could say what-the-hell-are-you-buying-another-appliance-for I had spent 2 Amazon gift cards and some Amazon Visa points and ordered one for my own self.

I have not regretted this decision for a second. I have used it a bunch of times already. Hard boiled eggs? Worth the cost right there – they peel like a dream. I’ve also made some great dinners.

beef with broccoli for carole knits

Beef with broccoli.

lentil soup for carole knits

Lentil soup.

And also – not pictured because some food stuffs just aren’t that photogenic – pork tenderloin and pork chops with mushroom gravy. I also plan on trying a whole chicken and making my own yogurt.

Am I a lemming? Perhaps. But I’m a lemming who can now make really great food really fast.

Cookie Baking With Joy

I was right when I said that yesterday would be filled with joy. So much! We measured and melted, stirred and pressed, baked and tasted, and had a great time together.

There’s something truly special about spending the day in the kitchen with a friend. We reminisced – we’ve been friends now for over 30 years so we have lots to reminisce about – and we told stories and we laughed and even cried a bit. 

And somehow, in the midst of all that talking and sharing, we managed to bake a lot of cookies. The final tally included spritz, thumbprints, peanut butter balls, ginger cookies, cherry chocolate kisses and salted chocolate toffee. Sushi, wine and a sleep over, too, if you want to know the whole story.

It was a wonderful day and I can’t wait to do it again next Christmas. 

Simple Christmas Appetizer

pepper jelly christmas tree app

This is my new favorite appetizer. A block of cream cheese, cut diagonally and then smooshed back together to form a triangle, topped with Stonewall Kitchen hot pepper jelly. For this one I used a scallion for the trunk and a yellow bellow pepper for the star but I made this again the other day and used a piece of butternut squash for the star instead. The Ritz snowflake crackers are the perfect vehicle for getting this yummy combo right into your mouth.

Fast. Pretty. Delicious. Perfect for entertaining.

Is NaBloPoMo Over Yet?

Hey, what’s going on? How are you?

I’m doing just fine. I’m busy prepping a turkey dinner for later this afternoon – it’s not another Thanksgiving, really, since the house is now decorated for Christmas (hullo, tired from that yesterday but also, hurrah, it’s done) but we eat Thanksgiving food. I guess it’s Thanksmas and it’s a tradition we started a few years ago with the kids and we all look forward to it so much. There’s no stress and pressure to get everything exactly.right like there is on Thanksgiving, it’s just a fun day to hang out together and eat a big meal and play some games. Oh, and drink wine. And wear paper crowns because Christmas crackers.

bourbon cranberry sauce for carole knits

We’ll be eating this Bourbon Cranberry Sauce. It’s a 21+ side dish, if you will, and it’s delicious!

Hope you all are having a delicious Saturday – the last one of November. Hurrah for that, too!

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