Monday, 18 February 2008

Oat and Peanut Butter Cookies

Here's what I made for the lab meeting last week, after a pilot run the weekend before which went to the knitting group in Newburgh. You can see my new multi-storey cooling rack in action, it's perfect for batch baking!

Peanut butter and oat cookies (makes about 40-45)

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups wholemeal plain flour
3 cups rolled oats
1 to 1 1/2 cups choc chips or choc covered peanuts roughly chopped

Beat the peanut butter and vegetable oil together, then beat in the sugars, baking soda and baking powder, then the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and then the oats. Add the choc chips/peanuts if using, and a little more flour if the mixture seems too greasy (it was fine for my first batch, but I added a couple of handfulls of extra flour for the second batch).

Shape the mixture into cookies and bake at 180 for 12-15 minute. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Peacock Progress

The peacock shawl is coming along reasonably well, I'm almost half way through the fourth chart due to a monster knitting session on Saturday. I probably should have stopped a row or two earlier than I did because on Sunday I had to rewind a few rows and start chart D again. All is ok again now though, here are a few pics that I took after removing the needle to do the rewinding...

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Shrove Tuesday

I couldn't let pancake day come and go without a quick post on the matter. There was some debate over whether we should have traditional thin or Canadian-style thick pancakes last Tuesday. I'm definitely on the side of the thin pancake for pancake day - it wouldn't be the same without the tossing and the lemon and sugar! I had to strike a deal in order to have thin ones however, it was only on the condition that we also had thick ones at the weekend. Here are the thin ones...

I managed to eat 5 of them. Is that something to be proud of? I'm not sure! How did everyone else do??

'Thin' Batter (makes about 15)

250g plain flour

2 eggs

500ml milk

pinch salt

Sift the flour and salt, make a well in the center and gradually whisk in the eggs and milk until the batter is smooth. Allow to rest for half an hour or so before pouring.

For the thick Canadian-style pancakes we ate this morning, I used a very special and very detailed recipe that is in the form of an email to Rebecca from her mum. I don't think I should publish the Schuler family secret pancake recipe here or I might be in trouble (!) but it's a thicker mixture than the one above, with the addition of sugar and baking powder.

They ooze out into a smaller circle than the thin ones as they hit the pan, and although they still look almost liquid on the top you know it's time to flip when lots of bubbles rise to the surface. You can actually see the entire thing rising and getting thicker once the second side hits the pan. They're ready as soon as they come away from the bottom of the pan. Very yummy with the maple syrup Pete and Candi brought over for us, bacon optional.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Jean's Chicabean

I've had another quick diversion away from all the mainstream WIPs - this time to make a thankyou present for Jean after she gave us a lot of lovely pyrex cookware. It's been hiding until now, but they've been handed over to their new owner so I can show you the pics.

I used 4 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in cream and 5mm needles to make the Chicabean hat and scarf by Kelly-Green Rogue. The yarn is really lovely, and I'm pleased with the results. So much so, I think I'm actually going to get back on ebay and buy some more to make a set for myself while it's still on sale!

Hat mods: an extra row of the 1x1rib, and one less pattern repeat before starting the decreases. Glad I did this because it's a good size as it is, I think it would have been too big with another repeat. I used just over 1 ball for the hat, and the rest went on the scarf.

Scarf mods: I did 2 lace sections rather than 3, and put the cables right on the edges rather than having a flat edge. I wanted to make the scarf look ok from the back too (who can wear a scarf and only show the 'front'??), so I made the cables reversible by doing them over 8st in a 1x1rib. So all in all I cast on 8+5+8+5+8=34st. I was a bit worried that it would be too thin, but the blocking sorted that out and it was a fairly standard scarf width in the end.

Oh, and here's ANOTHER WIP. This one's a bit of an emergency, because it's for my mum's birthday which is on 12th March. I've finished the first two charts and am just about to make a start on the section with the peacock eyes. Argh! All those little stitches and lace patterns! I bought some Addi circular needles especially designed for lace knitting (sharp and pointy!), and they're really making a big difference. It's so much easier to get in and manipulate the stitches. Hopefully I'll be able to show you some nice pics of completed peacock eyes by the end of the weekend...