Wednesday, April 9, 2014

10 steps forward and 5 back......

 Things haven't exactly been "humming along" this week but compared to what else is going on around the world I'm not complaining.  Prayers to all who are suffering from all kinds of atrocities this week and this month!  I can't even keep up with it all.
I was so enjoying my sock knitting but they look like they may be too small?  I'm not sure but when I measure it looks like I have about 11-13 stitches while Susan Anderson (whose pattern it is) says she usually has 7-8 stitches per inch for these.  So do I go ahead and just see it they work or take the hint now and go up a needle size?  I don't have size 2 dpns so I'll have to order them.  Will I ever have socks?  Good thing the warm weather is coming!
 I did make some delicious cookies though!  Does anyone remember the old Dutch Windmill cookies you used to be able to buy in the store?  When I was a child I loved those as they had an imprint of a Dutch windmill on them and they were crispy and yummy!  I finally found a recipe for them but it requires a cookie mold which I don't have so I decided to try and make them without one.
If you roll them into balls and bake on an un-greased cookie sheet they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside but if you roll them into balls and flatten with your fingers (you can see my imprint) they turn out crispy all the way through.  I can live without the windmill. 
 Here's the recipe:  (don't ask me where I got this....I get so hot on the trail of something I literally get lost on the internet but I definitely want to give credit where credit is due!)

Production Manager Mark Moynihan's Speculaas (St. Nicholas cookies)
By Sue Moynihan
This classic Dutch recipe is also known as St. Nicholas Cookies, or in northern Germany, Spekulatius. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th.
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add beaten egg and blend well. Sift the flour and all remaining dry ingredients together and beat into the butter mixture. Mixture will be stiff. Press dough into a special Speculaas mold or other cookie mold. Cut off excess dough -- wire or dental floss laid flat and drawn across the mold work best. Decorate the cookies with sliced almonds. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes until a light brown. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 36.
My Mom's Mom really loved Christmas. She wasn't satisfied celebrating only the 25th. She kicked off the season on Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day, by baking this delicious, buttery spice cookie.
I continue this family tradition by baking them with my kids just as I was taught by my Mom and Gram, using the same 60-plus-year-old mold. The spicy scent of these cookies in the oven is one of our family's favorite harbingers of Christmas; each one is a yummy expression of love from my Gram through four generations to my family. And it's not the only one. St. Lucia Day comes on Dec. 13 and we'll bake Lucia cats, but that's another recipe with another story!

I am testing cookies for the holidays too and this is definitely a "keeper"!

 Look what I found out in my yard leftover in a pot from last year
...bless it's little heart for blooming!
 Easter will soon be upon us and I am starting to do some little projects for the grand babies.
These are called Easter Marshmallow Babies by Doni Spiegle.  I'm not sure if they're on my Easter board on Pinterest but I think so.  I have a "secret" board too for presents for people who look at my boards (my daughter) so I can keep some things a!  She doesn't crochet though so I think I'm okay on this one.  They look just like the "peeps".
Here I go attempting to replicate them.......I just started........why am I getting those spaces in the middle?  I think someone jinxed me this week.  I'll keep practicing.  You make 2 the same, stitch together and stuff.
  Her's are so perfect and I'm using the suggested hook and yarn type.....oh boy!
Also, my painting of the bathroom ceiling is still ongoing.....2-3 coats it's you believe it?
I would like to see some progress around here if it's not too much to ask?  I am certainly putting in the hours but nothing much to show for it....everything in "limbo".  Oh well, it could be worse...lots worse!
I hope all is well and good in your world this week.   Happy Trails!
If anyone has any hints as to what I should do with my needlework dilemmas, please do tell!  Thank you all.


  1. I think you are doing great, if you have kept 5 out of 10 steps forward! My week seems to be 5 steps forward - 10 steps back! I love the "peeps". Good luck in figuring out the pattern, you are off to a good start.

  2. Keep on keepin' on; you are making progress.

  3. Thank you for the speculaas cookie recipe – I always liked these cookies and will try to make them.

  4. Those bunnies are awfully cute! No idea on your sock problem...finish them..a good pair for children if they are too small for you! :)

  5. The cookies look yummy and the socks look as if they will be fine - compared to the sock lying down, if you imagine yours flattened it looks like it would be about the same?
    The bunnies are so cute!
    Sounds like you're at that disheartening stage with the decorating, but you're almost there Sam!
    Have a great weekend!
    Gill xx

  6. Living in the Netherlands I felt a bit ashamed about the windmill cookies.. I thought "what cookie is she talking about?" then when I saw the word Speculaas, I knew ;-) I'm personally not a huge fan but how fun that you've made them! They look wonderful! Sorry to hear about your socks! I've never tried socks - they intimidate me - so I can't give you any advice.. Hope you can figure it out.. The peeps are cute!

  7. Sounds to me like your gauge is way off. Did you swatch for your socks in the round? A lot of folk knit tighter in the round than on straight needles.

    Lovely recipe :)

  8. Thanks you for the cookie recipe. As a kid it wasn't Christmas until our package from Gramma arrived from Iowa. She always sent a couple packages of those cookies. We couldn't buy them in the Northwest. They were such a treat. I'm going to try them this weekend, so excited!

  9. Look at those crochet peeps! How adorable is that! I would love to try to make one! WOW! So cute in any color! Sweet hugs!


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