Posts Tagged ‘photography’

So I decided to embark on a rather daunting task this weekend: photograph and log my stash on Ravelry. Yup, you heard me correctly.

Malabrigo-Lace-500I must be a lunatic, completely crazed or just plain bored.

No actually this is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while and to tell you the truth, I kinda enjoy this sort of nerdiness. What can I tell you, I like cataloging and organizing things. The only piece that’s bothering me is I can’t remember where I bought every skein of yarn. I know right? What’s wrong with me?! Hmm, I suppose I could go back through my receipts and figure it out. Yea, it’s definitely a sickness.ClassicElite-Ava-500

The only thing I do recall is what I bought at Rhinebeck, cuz you know. Pretty much everything else was purchased online with a smattering purchased locally. Those are usually straight to the needles purchases anyway.

As I do typically, I’m approaching this in a very systematic way: pick a storage location, select a shelf/drawer/box and have at it.

I photographed, edited and posted 14 items over the weekend. Not a lot but hey these things take time. I was surprised to discover that several years ago I had actually logged some of my yarn. MadTosh-MerinoLite-500Who knew? Clearly not yours truly.

I’ve got lots more to go but that’s okay, a little at a time; I’m determined to get this done. So, want to see? Check out my stash page on Ravelry and who knows, I may put some up for sale or trade. Ya never know. 😉


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Brick Walls

Did you ever have one of those days where no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to match the yarn in your stash to a pattern you want to knit?

I chose these three different yarns, fingering/sport, DK and worsted weights. Different quantities as well. I looked thru Ravelry and my books – well skimmed them – and I kept running into the same problems: right weight/wrong quantity; right quantity/wrong weight; right quantity/right weight/wrong color way. (Meaning the pattern wold be better knit with a more subtle yarn).


It took the better part of the day – with the standard dog and laundry interruptions – before I finally stumbled onto something that was right under my nose the entire time: Brickless using Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein. I had the pattern in my favorites but somehow missed it. Or perhaps it was that I was looking for something with lace? In any case it so happens that her sample was knit using Yowza so jackpot.

And look at the size of this frickin’ ball of yarn!

Yarn and Pattern

So onward and forward.

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Rosh Hashanah falls really early this year beginning the evening of September 4th, right after Labor Day, yikes!

So we’re doing a kind of weird celebration, combining our numerous August birthdays with Rosh Hashanah. This was the only way we could get everyone together in one place anywhere near the holiday. As a result we are having a pre-Rosh Hashanah celebration this coming weekend at my in-laws and then a much smaller gathering on the second night of the holiday at my home.

I think I’ve pretty much got my menu worked out, finally, but in case you’re clamoring for some ideas, here are a few I’ve cooked up (pun intended) over the past years.

Chopped Liver 

Whole Wheat Challah
Apple Stuffed Challah Rolls

Maple Challah
Roasted Butternut Squash &
Apple Soup

Butternut Squash Apple Soup
Not Too Sweet
Honey Cake

Honey Cake

L’shanah tova!

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Funny how things work out, isn’t it? We had no intention of bringing a new basset hound into our lives so soon after losing Dassi. We were content with smothering Irene with lots of love. Yet here we are with a sweet new member of the family: meet 21-month old Kyra!

Kyra Looking Up

A simple call to the breeder to let him know what happened to Dassi and to ask him to put us on a waiting list for a slightly older puppy (8-10 months or so) turned into a rescue/adoption of sorts.

As you can see Kyra has a weight issue. The breeder had originally chosen her, the pick of the litter, to keep for breeding. She however had other ideas: Not. Gonna. Happen…twice. She just wasn’t interested, go figure. So he had her spayed and was going to put her up on his site but then he had a medical emergency of his own which put him out of commission for quite some time. Thankfully he’s doing well. Whether it’s an overeating or thyroid issue is yet to be determined but upon his return Kyra was overweight.

Kyra Hound

I was, at first, a bit annoyed that I was being shown pictures of a dog so soon but then I took one look at her face and it was all over. I cried.

Kyra Girl

Call it fate, say it was meant to be, whatever you want. There was no way we could turn her down. Maybe it was the idea that she needed to be saved, I don’t know but I think my husband and I need this as much as Kyra does. Besides, she’s a red and white like Dassi, her features and body shape (so far as we can tell) are much like Irene’s and her birthday is the same as the first Basset Hound we had, Betsy.

A trifecta!

Sleepy Kyra

I woke up at 3am last Saturday (April 6th); desperate attempts to get two more hours of sleep were miserably thwarted. I lie awake thinking. In truth, this was both a happy day and a sad moment for me. I tried to quell the tears, getting out of bed to hide them from my husband. When I returned he pulled me close, held me tight and said “I miss her too”. More waterworks.

We drove from Long Island out to Centre Hall, PA, checked into the same dog friendly motel we’ve used on each trip, then went up to the breeder a few miles away to pick up Kyra. She’s even more beautiful in person.

Kyra Girl

Although our intent was to spend the night and leave the following day, we realized Kyra’s restlessness would not allow us to get a good night’s sleep. We packed up the van, strapped the dogs into their seats and off we went, caffeine and bad food in tow; we got back home around 11pm that night.

We are on a mission to get Kyra healthy. She’s much too heavy to carry up the stairs and she can’t manage them herself, so for now she and Irene are sleeping downstairs, bonding.

Couch Potatoes


I am going to chronicle Kyra’s weight loss progress on my blog approximately once a month, or when we can get her to the vet for a “weigh-in”. With that said, her starting weight is 83.7 pounds, yikes! We figure she should be around the same weight as Irene (or maybe a wee bit bigger) about 55 pounds.

Update: After one week of finicky eating, she’s lost 2.7 pounds!

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Sweet Dassi

My sweet baby girl Dassi.  She’ll kiss your face till you laugh so hard you can barely breathe, she’ll curl up in your lap and take a snooze, and she’ll cuddle with you when you’re not feeling well.  She’s way smarter than any other dog I’ve ever known.  She’s tuned in in a way that is really quite remarkable.
She’s full of spit and vinegar.  Opinionated, demanding.  She actually stamps her feet when she wants your attention and she’s not getting it.  She has many “words” and uses them strategically to get what she wants. There’s not a bad bone in her body.
She knows her commands (and even listens on occasion, especially when there is food involved) and  can do some tricks: sit, stay, come, speak, roll over, find-it; put a cookie in front of her, tell her to leave it and she does until you release her.
Dassi and Irene Cuddling

She complains when she knows you are about to clean her ears but endures it.  She runs to sit on top of her mommy (in bed) when her daddy is ready to put her in her crate for the night.  Mommy let me stay.
Dassi is a sweet, affectionate bundle of happiness, joy and love. She wags her tail so intensely her entire tush wiggles along with it; sometimes her tail wags in circles. She looks right up at you with all the love and trust in the world. I love her to pieces.

Dassi Loves Pillows
She is 6 years old and she has cancer.
We thought she was out of the woods.  We’d been here before, a bit over a year ago.
She’s been through so much in her life.  And through it all she’s been a trooper.
Now she needs surgery again to remove a tumor from her neck.  The surgery is tomorrow.  My husband is taking her and I will stay home with her the following day or two.  Neither of us will sleep tonight.  Nor will we sleep tomorrow night.  Despite the pain meds she will be hurting.  And that rips my heart out.

I love you Dassi, be strong my baby and fight!

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I begin this post with a heavy heart. One of the founders of #BundtaMonth has suffered a personal loss. My heart goes out to her and her family. I know there is nothing I can say or do that will ease her pain, only time will help to temper that sting. All I can offer is support, peace and healing thoughts from afar. Be strong my friend.

As far as I’m concerned grapefruit is an underused fruit when it comes to baking. Truly, it is a rare thing when I happen upon a cake or pastry that uses grapefruit as the citrus element rather than say lemon or orange. And I happen to really like grapefruit…so does my husband for that matter.

So I decided for my January #BundtaMonth posting I would use grapefruit as my citrus element. While we’re on flavors I favor, poppy seeds are a crunchy little favorite of mine too, so move over lemon poppy seed cake and say hello to Grapefruit Poppy Seed Bundt Cake! Mwah!

I started out with the aforementioned lemon version and tweaked the recipe just a tad, replacing the lemon with ruby red grapefruit and the crème fraiche with a sour cream/ half and half combo (you could use heavy cream, I just didn’t have any on hand). I also modified the leavener a bit. I was hoping the ruby reds would give the cake a pinkish glow, no such luck.

Poking Holes
I decided to give the cake a flavor boost by brushing a soaking liquid onto the just-out-of-the-oven-stabbed-with-a-skewer-cake and the topped it off with a wee bit of glaze. I had fun.

I picked up a new pan for this one, it’s the blossom Bundt and while I like the shape I’m not sold on this gold tone pan. My cake came out a bit darker than I like but not over cooked. I’ll give it another chance before I relegate it to the back of my closet.

Slice of Cake

Interested in joining the citrusy fun? Here’s how you can be a part of Bundt-a-Month:

  • Simple rule: Use mandarin, orange, lime, yuzu, lemons, Key lime or ANYTHING citrus – and bake us a Bundt for Tangy January
  • Post it before January 31, 2013.
  • Use the #BundtAMonth hashtag in your title. (For ex: title should read #BundtAMonth: Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt)
  • Add your entry to the Linky Tool below
  • Link back to our announcement posts
  • Follow Bundt-a-Month on Facebook where we feature all our gorgeous bundt cakes. Or head over to our Pinterest board for inspiration and choose from over 350 Bundt cake recipes!

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Cake
Adapted from Cake Simple by Christie Matheson”

Ingredients – Cake
3 cups AP flour
1/4 cup Poppy Seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar in the raw
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated grapefruit zest
1/3 cup sour cream mixed with 1/4 cup half and half (you can use heavy cream if you have that on hand)

Ingredients – Soaking Liquid
1 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Ingredients – Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 teaspoons grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon half & half (or heavy cream, or milk)
Pinch of salt

Instructions – Cake
1. Grease and flour your Bundt pan, set aside
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F
3. Whisk the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time mixing between additions.
6. Add the vanilla, grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest and combine.
7. Turn your mixer down to low. In three installments each, alternate adding the flour and sour cream/half & half mixture to the butter mixture (Begin and end with the flour).
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes, checking at the 50 minute mark for doneness by inserting s skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
9. While the cake is baking, make the soaking liquid.
10. As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, take your skewer and poke holes into it without going all the way to the bottom. Immediately brush the glaze all over the cake. I used about half of it.
11. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
12. Invert onto a plate.
13. Drizzle Glaze over cake and serve.

Instructions – Soaking Liquid
1. Add the sugar and grapefruit juice to a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently to dissolve.
2. Lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally until it has reduced to about half. This should take approximately 10 minutes.

Instructions – Glaze
1. Whisk 2 teaspoons grapefruit juice and 1 teaspoon half and half into confectioners’ sugar. Add additional juice if needed to get a thick but flowing consistency.

Almond Clementine Bundt Cake by Carrie from Poet In The Pantry
Citrus Bundt Cake with Sparkling Wine and Fiori di Sicilia by Laura from The Spiced Life
Citrus Cocktail Mini Bundt Cakes by Renee from Magnolia Days
Citrus Lust Mini Bundt Cakes with Lemon Curd by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
Dried Tomato Cherry and Yuzu Cake by Ann from Anncoo Journal
Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake by Alice from Hip Foodie Mom
Grapefruit PoppySeed Bundt Cake by Deb from Knitstamatic
Grapefruit Yogurt Bundt Cake by Kate from Food Babbles
Lemon Bundt with Lemon Curd by Holly from A Baker’s House
Mini Orange Bundts with a Grand Marnier Glaze by Tara from Noshing With The Nolands
Orange Chocolate Marble Bundt by Paula fromVintage Kitchen
Orange Olive Oil Cake by Katerina from Diet Hood
Orange Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Bundt Cake by Anuradha from Baker Street
Soaked and Glazed Lemon Cake by Dorothy from Shockingly Delicious
Zesty Lemon Bundt Cake by Anita from Hungry Couple NYC

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Some additional photos from our Christmas Day lunch spot. Sandy did quite a bit of erosion damage…


…and took out the steps down to the beach, such that it is.
Missing Steps - Old Dock

A view across the Nissequogue River at Short Beach:
View of Short Beach

And a view from Short Beach at Old Dock:
Across the Way

It’s still a beautiful, peaceful spot.

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