Welcome to 2009 everybody! I hope that everyone had a safe and sane (to quote my dear, darling Betty) New Year's Eve, and I hope that everyone's hangovers were spent in a quiet environment the day after!
I thought I'd kick this post off with a little Meme of my own making!
So here we go:
5 Things that 2008 Drilled Into My Skull
*1. Being lucky in life all year long means that something is going to kick you in the ass at the end of the year and seriously make you lose all sense of cheer, very quickly!
*2. Apparently, my fingers and toes are not, in fact, body parts but playthings for a puppy!
*3. It is possible to knit eight Christmas gifts the week before the Holiday!
*4. Family will always be your saving grace - no matter what.
*5. Being a happy housewife is hard work, but rewarding!
Feel free to do this, if you like! :) I know some of you guys like to do Memes!
And going back to #1 on that list, what I thought was going to be a really shitty Xmas, turned out to be a surprisingly pleasant one! DW managed to find a way to surprise me with not one, but four gifts (two of them really BIG ones!).
The first one, as all my Plurk friends know by now, is my fabulous Sunbeam Mixmaster Heritage Series stand up mixer! I have to say that I was thrilled to see this under all the pretty wrapping paper that DW attractively arranged around the box!
Here it is in all it's glory. Not a Kitchen Aid, but I'm no appliance snob and this one came with a 4.6 quart bowl, a spinning turntable, V-groove beaters, dough hooks and has a little switch that you can push to move the bowl from side to side. Plus, it has 12 Speeds! The only think I'm missing is the whisk attachment, but I know where I can buy them, and a paddle. However, I find that the paddle isn't really a necessity. I've already put this mixer into action several times, which excites DW to no boundaries!
First, I used it to whip up some icing for the meltaways I had to make for Christmas. I forgot to take pictures...but I'm sure I'll be making them again in the future and will endeavor to remember to do so then! And then I used it to whip up Peanut Butter Blossom dough.
They came out perfectly! The cookies were tender with a slight crispy-chewy thing going on, and I made them right this time! I remembered to put the kiss in the middle AFTER they'd been baked (doing this before they go in the oven results in a nummy cookie, but a rock hard Hershey's Kiss with a very burnt flavor - trust me, I know these things). If you decide to make them, be warned. You have to wait until they cool COMPLETELY before you put them in a storage container. When you put the kiss in the cookie, the kiss melts. Doesn't lose it's shape, but it does melt. When it's completely cooled, the kiss will be solid again. It's almost like magic! :)
Then I decided that if I was making those, I might as well make some whoopie pies too!
That's the filling for the pies. This mixer is the best, because before I was hand blending the filling with a wooden spoon, and now all that stress on my arms and hands is over thanks to my nifty stand up! And it makes the fluffiest frosting ever!
That's what they look like when they're finished. And believe me, they're dangerous. Mostly because they're addicting. And despite the fact that a lot of people are making resolutions to lose weight (me included...*shame faced*) I've decided to include the recipe for these wonderful confections. They're great to make for parties too! You can double the recipe easily, or you can make the cake parts smaller for more bite sized pies! :) It was passed down to me by my wonderful MIL Debbie Helme A.K.A. ScottishNana, and trust me, they're incredibly popular!
For the frosting:
2c Confectioner’s Sugar
4 tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat together until mixture is light and fluffy.
For the Cake
½c Vegetable Oil
1c White Sugar
½tsp. Baking Soda
½tsp. Baking Powder
Mix all ingredients together and drop in 1tbsp rounds on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes. Cool. Pipe frosting on one part of the “pie” and then put the other part of the “pie” on top and enjoy!
I know, this is not a fat-free recipe, but they're delicious! And since this is my last week to eat whatever I want (I'm saying this merely because I have too much junk in my house and want to eat it all up before I go shopping for healthy stuff...don't wanna waste money after all!), I'm doing it up proper!
My second BIG present was a new family member! If you haven't met her yet, meet Holly!
I haz a kyoot.
I iz an angel!!!
Getting those pictures was really, really hard being as she's barely eight weeks old, she has a hard time sitting still. Also, she is a plastic magnet. I don't know how, or why, but I have had to remove vast amounts of tape from her jaws as she seems to like to chew it. And, she appreciates the internetz as everytime I'm sitting at this thing she doggie-meows at me until I put her on the desk...where she will rest her head on my arm and she'll watch me type. Sometimes, she'll put her paw on the keyboard and try to type too! She's a goofball!
Also, my hand made gift baskets were a HUGE success, and everyone was completely impressed with my mad baking skillz...especially the marshmallows. For something so easy to make, they really impressed everyone - including my grandpa (the baking KING of the family). He has to master everything sugar-related, so I of course shared the recipe with him because he was kind enough to share his PB&J sandwich cookies with me!
Also, the handknits that I gave out were well-appreciated!
That's my younger brother Derek, wearing the hat I knit for him. He loved it, and as you can see it fits him perfectly!
That handsome fella is my mother's main squeeze, Michael, and he really, really liked his mitts. Said they were perfect for keeping his hands warm while he worked outside. And he liked the color and /feel/ of the yarn. Impressive, isn't he, that he'd worry about the /feel/ of the yarn! What a guy!
And then finally, my mom!
She was thrilled with the neckwarmer. Totally thrilled and couldn't wait to try it on under her new black coat. Also, she wore it around the house for a while too. Unfortunately, my camera sucks and was unable to capture the way she really looks...and this picture is horribly unflattering. The lighting in the room sucked too.
Now...onto the typical portion of my first post of 2009. Resolutions! I have them divided into knitting and miscelaneous!
First, we'll go into knitting!
My Knitting Resolutions for 2009
1. To try and remain faithful to one project at a time so that I may efficiently produce more FO's.
2. To knit when I feel the urge to snack due to boredom!
3. To try to learn one new technique a month (ie: stranded colorwork, or toe-up sock knitting!)
4. Try to blog more regularly (not exactly knitting but still related to knitting being as this is mostly a knit-blog!)
Now onto the hard stuff!
Miscellaneous Resolutions for 2009
1. To uphold a weight loss goal of losing 1 lb. per week, and once I've lost 35 lbs., to maintain that weight!
2. Eat healthier! - No more late night junk food binges, and no more excessive unhealthy snacking. Treats occasionally are okay, but not every day!
3. Get active again! - Start taking the doggies for walks, get into the Yogalates again, and look up some belly dancing classes and other types of excercise that are fun!
4. Find a job. - Not something full time, just part time. Something that will get me out of the house and help with the bills and such so DW doesn't have to work so much!
5. Keep positive about life! - For every negative that happens, find something positive about that negative. It's hard, but it'll help keep me from being depressed.
6. Find a therapist. - Just for me. I need someone to talk to that can remain unbiased about what I say and feel. Just someone that could help me with my depression and anxiety issues. My worrying tendencies too!
7. Quit that stinkin' thinking! - In other words, don't worry so much! I'm the type of person that even if things are going extremely well...I'll dig and dig until I have something to worry about. Or I'll make up reasons. It drives DW crazy, and me even crazier!
And well, that's all folks!
See ya either later on in the week or next week!