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Baking

At the moment, daily life for me consists of waking up, tea and breakfast, castings, and then home I go to do more packing, cleaning, and organizing. If you haven’t heard I am moving again. This will make four moves in less than four years.

Ask anyone who lives in New York, and they will most certainly agree that finding an apartment and moving in New York City is the biggest nightmare EVER. I am not exaggerating, people. For the time being I’m moving in with my boyfriend for a few months until I have enough money to officially move. Most apartments here require first and last months rent, and a security deposit, which amounts to your monthly rent. This is not including paying for movers, and a broker. So by the time you are moved you have spent anywhere from 6,000-10,000 depending on how much your rent is, how much moving costs, and the broker fee you agreed on, which is around 12-15% of your YEARLY rent.

Did I mention my boyfriend has four roommates who are all guys, all of them students? YEAH. So this should be interesting. The next couple weeks will be crunch time for me. Luckily, my wonderful mom is coming to help me move. She’s a saint. Stressed out me is not pretty and somehow she still comes every year to help me move and deals with my ‘tude. Thanks mom!

One of the hardest things about this whole situation is having to decide which stuff goes into storage and which will come with me to the Dude Palace. Obviously, some yarn will have to go into storage 😦 . Also most of my kitchen/baking stuff. Sigh…

Okay enough about moving, I have been on a cooking/baking roll (pun intended?) these days! I’ve made a 5 spice cranberry upside down cake, vegan chocolate chip cookies with sea salt, and attempted to make a pavlova (more on that disaster later). I’ve also been trying out new recipes and cooking out yingyang. I don’t always get pictures of everything. Sometimes I just want to enjoy the process and not have to stop every second and photograph all the steps. Sometimes I just eat the dang thing before I can even think about pictures. Sometimes the outcome just looks so horrendous I don’t even want it documented (pavlova I’m looking at you). That being said, the kitchen makes me feel so contented.

Here’s a peek into my week.DSC_0360DSC_0314DSC_0277DSC_0250Daniel and I are trying to do weekly menus. We’re hoping it will eliminate the whole “it’s 8 o clock, what do you want to eat, I don’t want to cook, let’s just get takeout” situation. The good news is I love looking at recipes. I love looking through cook books, I love trying new things, so this will be pretty easy, me thinks. Or at least, I hope so. DSC_0354DSC_0292DSC_0380DSC_0373DSC_0313DSC_0273Yesterday I made Danny lunch and brought it to him. It was spectacular weather, so we sat on his office roof and ate up some Greek style pork chops, and Israeli salad. I also brought the vegan chocolate chip cookies with sea salt, and some garlic hummus. SO GOOD, PEOPLE! It was such a wonderful treat to get to have lunch together. DSC_0332photo-30DSC_0303DSC_0324DSC_0348DSC_0312DSC_0238Daniel and I also had a rainy day adventure this weekend. We ate breakfast at the smallest Jewish diner you ever did see, we walked all the way cross town and had coffee and hot chocolate on the Highline, walked through Washington Square Park, and then came home to warm snuggly blankets, and hot soup with sandwiches for lunch. image-274photo-31I finished a book also! I finally finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and I must say, I loved reading this book. You know when you come across a book you love reading so much that you don’t ever want it to end. This was that book for me. Such a spectacular read!

This week has been hectic, but also so so sweet.

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New York City has finally gotten into Spring mode. I mean, it was still rainy and cold as the Arctic Tundra yesterday, but today is nothing but sunshine and chirpy birds. I’ve created a little knitting nook in my room near the window, which I keep open as much as possible these days. Want to know one of my favorite smells in the entire Universe? The smell of sun. Sunshine definitely has a smell. You know during those warmer days when you open the window and “that” smell comes through the pane? The smell of fresh air, sunshine, and just general outsideness? THAT is one of my favorite smells. Though, it’s not as strong here in the city, sitting in my little nook i can still get a few wiffs. If I close my eyes it’s almost as if I’m home.

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Lately I’ve been missing North Carolina more and more. Probably due to the nice weather. I long for watching thunderstorms on the porch with my dad, sitting in the yard hearing a distant lawnmower, and driving with the windows down. North Carolina, how I miss you. I can’t wait to buy a little homestead in the middle of the country someday.

I’ve been feverishly knitting away on socks for birthdays, past christmases, just because..I’m definitely loving it, but getting a bit drained. I’m not great with deadlines..at all, so creating things in a certain amount of time just spells doom for me. Oh well, at least the people who know and love me expect this. HA!

Perusing at my near and dear yarn shop Downtown Yarns I found the most amazing, beautiful, colorful sock yarn. It’s Colinette, Jitterbug sock yarn in Red Parrot color way. I’m obsessed. The more I knit the more excited I am to see the colors come together. What color’s next? How will those two look next to each other? I love it! Knitting is very, “live on the edge” as you can see.

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My camera was out on loan for about a week, so these first photos were taken with my phone, as I couldn’t wait to capture the wonderfulness that is this yarn.Image

I mean look at that beautiful cuff!!!!! a;lkdja;fldfa;ldkfImage

I even got some knitting done in Central Park yesterday. I worked through the finger numbness!!!

And here is my day today in the nook:

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I made some chia pudding today! It’s dessert AND healthy. HELLLOOOOO I needed this in my life. It’s so tasty. I added 1/3 cup ofchia seeds to about a cup of almond milk, a couple squeezes of honey, and a dash of cinnamon. I love sweet cinnamon things.

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I’ve also been working on the green tweed socks for my friend Giorgia. LIke I’ve mentioned before these are my first “toe up, two circs” socks. I like the method, however, I think since I’m making them for a friend I need to just do them cuff down. It’s hard when the pattern says, “when the sock reaches the front of your ankle start your increases”. Well that ankle I need isn’t here right now and we don’t have the same size feet. So I think I will start over doing cuff down.

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This week was also baking-heavy. I made two pies: one original pecan, and the other coconut pecan. The original was for a friend, so I didn’t get to try it, but man, oh man, was that coconut pecan pie GEWD.

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I highly recommend adding coconut to your pecan pies, people! Image

I also got dreads at a shoot this week for Paper magazine. Just wanted to share because when the heck am I ever going to have dreads again?!!!! I think it’s a pretty good look for me, personally. My boyfriend wasn’t so convinced. HA! I’ve been working quite a lot lately. I’m going to Paris and maybe even Germany soon! I’m so excited. I’ll be sure to visit lots of oversea yarn shops. I can’t wait!!!!!!!! I haven’t traveled in a while. I’m going to LA for shoot next week also. It’ll be nice to be around some serious sun.

I hope everyone gets outside and enjoys the weather!!!

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Love and snuggles!

 

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In honor of Spring’s first day I’ve been doing some spring cleaning this week, and as always it seems, things have to get messier in order to get cleaner. My room has been an absolute disaster but I think I’ve finally conquered the beast. It feels really good to be sitting in a clean room, with the windows flung open, knitting away.

ImageOf course it won’t stay clean for long..it never does. Sigh..I also was able to hang up some artwork in my room finally. I’ve been living here almost 6 months, and I’ve just now gotten around to it. Now, it’s home.

A bit of good news is that I’ve finished the socks I was knitting for my dear friend, Giorgia. I was so excited/anxious to give them to her that I forgot to get a snap of the finished product, but she was kind enough to send me a picture of them last night. ImageI’ve begun working on her second pair, which is the same knitpicks yarn, just a different color. I’m also doing this pair, toe up, on a pair of circular needles. Exciting! However, it wasn’t a very happy start. Going in I thought toe up on circs would be A LOT easier. I ripped out  and started over at least 10 times. BUT I have gotten the hang of it at last! Did I mention I loOOOVE this color?! The green is so beautiful. In some light it looks black, some green, some blue. In the sun it is a beautiful emerald.ImageSee?!! SAME YARN!! Totally different. LAHVES it. ImageImageImageAll the toe up patterns i had been reading were incredibly vague when it came to the increasing part. None specified which way to increase. I suppose that’s because everyone has different, and preferable methods to do this, but I don’t do increases too often so I was pretty clueless. The ones I did find all said to do M1L or M1R (make one left slanting, make one right slanting). So I youtubed, and figured them out, but I always ended up with huge holes in my work. Anyone know why this is? I was picking up the correct bar. I dunno any who..I figured out that K1tb (knit one and knit one through the back) works just dandy for me. So voila! Here is the toe. This method sure does feel like it takes a lot longer than dpns. Maybe I’ve just gotten quite good on dpn’s :p. I’m hoping now that I’ve gotten to the instep part it will go pretty fast.

I made some buttermilk biscuits a couple days ago. Having attempted this feat once before, I was a bit nervous. My first time making them they were terrible. Absolutely disgusting, and coming from the south I felt as if I had disappointed all southern cooks. But I was determined this time. They turned out absolutely wonderful! I wish I would’ve baked them for a couple minutes longer, but they still tasted of home.

Image ImageThey definitely hit the spot. You might be thinking “aren’t biscuits round?”. Yes, most times, but the problem when you do that is you have leftover dough and when you squish it together to make the last couple biscuits, they are always tougher and never as good as the first rounders, so the solution to this problem is square biscuits. That way they are all tender and amazing. I just used the side of a metal spatula to cut them.

SO. PROUD.

I’m going to go continue work on the toe up socks for Giorgia, sit by my open window, and listen to some good tunes. Everyone enjoy your weekend. The weather is going to be phenomenal. I can’t wait!

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Sunny days are ahead. It’s supposed to snow this Thursday, but I’m just going to ignore that fact. This weekend has been full of vitamin D and outside time. I love sitting in my room with the window open hearing the birds chirping, rare as those birds might be in New York.ImageI’ve just been a lazy lump this week. Didn’t get much of anything done. I did make some cheese scones, which turned out amazing. I also got my hair dyed! I love it. I think I look like a vampire..sppooookkkyy!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageHope everyone has had a most sunny week/weekend. I am promising myself right now that I’ll get more fiber arts done this week. No more excuses, Vic.

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There are many days when I crave to do something with my hands, well most days actually. Whether it be knitting, baking, cross stitch..which ever mood strikes me. Today it was baking. I wanted to make something different, not too hard though, a fruit I hadn’t used before, but knew. Ah pears! I love pears. They are an incredibly underrated fruit. Apples get all the fame, while pears sit quietly in the background observing.

I decided on making a galette, a rustic version of a pie. Voila!

ImageHere we go!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageJust wanted to show off my new bowls! ^^ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageI’m so impressed with the way this turned out. Galettes–half the stress of pie. Sursly. I’m on the galette wagon for life. I’ve already have three slices of pie today. THREE! There’s just nothing like being tucked in all cozy under a warm blanket, eating a fresh slice of pie.

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I’m always very fascinated to hear the different traditions of families on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Who’s house they go to on what day, what they eat, what they do. On Christmas Eve we always head up to my grandmother’s house for a nightly dinner of grazing on snacks and present opening.

ImageOne of my favorite Christmas treats are the homemade cheese straws my grandma makes. So good! She makes hers into flower shapes..so I suppose they’re more like cheese..flowers. Ha!

ImageLook at this divine tree my cousin decorated for my grandma! We all think she should be an interior decorator. I mean..helllooo this thing should be in Better Homes and Gardens. And she said she got most of the ornaments at the Dollar Store!

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ImageHere’s the whole family!

ImageDaniel after opening his stocking. I think I was more excited than he was. HA!

ImageAs you can see below my mom is one of those people who can wrap gifts in less than a minute and they still looking amazing.

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ImageHere’s everyone wearing their handmade gifts from me!!

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ImageI also made a Christmas Day cranberry pie. My sister gave me a pie bird and some pie weights, and my mom and dad gave me a new pie dish so I just HAD to use them right away! By the way a pie bird is used for pie with double crusts or a top and bottom crust. It helps the steam escape to prevent a soggy crust and a runny filling.

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ImageSooo yummy! I also tried a vodka pie crust for the first time. I’ve always made the traditional all butter crust. When looking up a recipe I could only find the one vodka pie crust from Cook’s Illustrated and it calls for shortening. Well..I didn’t have any so I just made my usual all butter crust and then substituted some of my water for vodka and it turned out just fine. Will be using this again!

Apparently I’m a messy baker…i.e. the evidence below. Hehehe :p

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From my family to yours, we hope you had a wonderful and merry Christmas!

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