Thursday, December 29, 2011

Simple Projects-Elf or Wizard Hat

A couple months ago I bought this book

The main project that caught my eye was the elf hat on the cover.  Its very easy to make as you only need to know how to do the knit stitch and simple decreases.   

The hat is also a good introduction to using double  pointed needles and only takes about two hours to make.  I used Habu Thick and Thin which is a really fun yarn to work with.   You only need one skein to make a toddler sized hat.   Basically you just cast on about 42 stitches and distribute between three double pointed needles (I used size 13) and them knit in the round until the hat measures around five inches.  At this point you being decreasing two stitches at the start of each needle for every other round until you have done ten decrease rounds.  Then you decrease every round until you have three stitches left.  Cut  tail of yarn and thread the yarn on a needles and then pull it through the remaining stitches and down through the top of the hat.  I  made several of these fun hats, one for my friend Pat's adorable grandson Luca  Here he is in his hat at Steak Frites:

Me and Luca at the restaurant

The pattern describes the hat as an elf hat but since Luca's mom and grandma know what a Harry Potter nutter I am we referred to the hat as Luca's Wizard's hat.  It does seem to have magical sleep inducing powers as Luca napped most of the time he had it on.   Hopefully, the hat will help mom and grandma get more sleep.

Our friends at Brando and Bogart gave us the Liebster Award.
We are so honored!  This is our second time receiving the award.   Everyone should visit Brando and Bogart to see the adorable cavaliers and get their puppy fix.

Here are five blogs I want to pass the award on too:

Too Cute Pugs-Just as the name describes this great blog is about too super cute puggies

Sheltie Times-Two adorable shelties and their adventures

Shalloweir Stories- Beautiful pictures and uplifting stories

I Tell Ya' What- The adventures of one super cute good ole' boy pug

Embee Cavaliers-Gorgeous cavaliers and lots of wonderful information about the breed and about responsible breeding

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Wishing for Snow (and some blogger problems)

Norbert and Bob are wishing for snow.  So they can romp and play like last year.....

On another note-mom has screwed up our blog header!  She tried to change the picture to one of us in PJs and now she cant get the new picture on or get the old picture back.  If any more experienced or gifted blogger could help mom we would really appreciate it.   She has read lots of stuff online and no matter what she tries she cant get pictures in our header.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Puppy and Kitty Christmas

Christmas is our favorite holiday.  We make sure to spend the entire day with the dogs and cats.  We start with a yummy breakfast

 This year we had Custard Spoon bread, glazed bacon, and fresh grapefruit.

Custard Spoon Bread from Food 52

3/4 cups stone ground corn meal 

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons melted organic butter + 2 teaspoons to grease your pan

1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an un-greased 8x8-inch baking dish in the oven to warm.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients except the heavy cream. You will use the heavy cream at the end to finish off the dish.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly stir until batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  5. Remove heated dish from the oven and add the remaining 2 teaspoons butter.
  6. Slowly scrape the batter into the heated and now buttered pan and set dish on the oven rack. With the dish in the oven, slowly pour the cream over the batter, without stirring.
  7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top layer is golden brown and a knife comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
6 to 8 slices bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black paper

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with tinfoil.  Stir together sugar and peppers. Lay bacon on the foil and sprinkle with the sugar.  Bake 8 to 15 minutes turning once.   (I like mine very crisp so I bake longer).

After breakfast we open presents (wrapped of course) and watch The Wizard of Oz. 

This year we had a nice big pile.

Tubby got a gorgeous jelly bean sweater from Pug Notes
 A very cute I love a trekkie (mom loves star trek) t from Cafe Press

and Super cute PJs from Rebel Wag

Tubby also got some turkey jerky treats.

Norbert  got a talking babble ball (tons of animal noises),

a healthy Cranimals antioxidant from Olive Green Dog great for seniors!

A squeaky reindeer from Olive Green dog 

An antler chew

and a bag of tennis balls to share with Bob.
Ping got

A Pug Notes Jelly Bean sweater, the same as Tubby's.
 An I love a Trekkie shirt
 and some treats.

Dr. Zira got

 A candy cane sweater from Pug Notes.

PJs from Rebel Wag

 and organic Fromm treats

Bob got

 A retro Santa toy from Olive Green Dog

A bag of Tennis balls to share with Norbert
That he spent a good amount of time trying to open:

A red tartan bow tie collar from Pecan Pie Puppies (goes great with his Fleas Navidad shirt). 

 PJs from Rebel Wag

 Salmon Jerky treats and a Simply Fido toy to share with Norbert.
The cats got cute little catnip toys from Zoomies NYC (one looked line Sponge Bob) and one looked like a little Bird.  They also got a couple different treats (chicken, salmon, and turkey).  The catnip toys definitely got them in the Holiday mood!

After opening the presents we played with the new toys and watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

 Christmas always makes me thing of England so we had an English themed dinner

Bangers and Mash

  • About 12 sausages (I like a mix of Italian sweet and breakfast turkey or cumberland)
  •  cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • a bunch of fresh sage, leaves picked
  • olive oil
  • 3 stalks of fresh rosemary, leaves picked, plus  whole stalks. 
  • 4 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
  • 1¼ cupsmilk
  • 3 to 4 tbsp butter to taste butter 
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium red onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 beef or chicken stock cubes

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Drizzle a baking pan  with olive oil and put the sausages in
  3. Poke the sausage all over with a knife and stick in slivers of garlic.
  4. Scatter over half of the sage leaves and the rosemary leaves
  5. Skewer the sausages with a few sprigs of rosemary
  6. Place in the oven and set time for 20 minutes
  7. Five minutes before the sausages are ready, remove the baking tray from the oven, place the rest of the sage leaves next to the sausages, drizzle with olive oil, and return the tray to the oven.
  8. Meanwhile boil the potatoes in salted water until tender
  9. Drain well, using a colander, then return them to the pan. Mash until smooth, adding the milk, and 1 to 2 tbsp butter
  10. Season well with salt and pepper, then put the lid on the pan and keep warm at the back of the stove.
  11. Make the gravy while the sauges and potatoes cook. Fry the onions really slowly in a little oil, covered, for about 15 minutes until soft.
  12. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and, as soon as the onions become golden brown, pour in the vinegar and boil until it almost disappears.
  13. Turn down the heat, add the rest of the butter, crumble in your stock cubes and 2¼ cups (560ml) water and stir well. Let this simmer until you have a nice gravy consistency. 
  14. Serve sausages atop potatoes with gravy and make sure to serve include all of the tasty fried herbs.
Welsh Rarebit (fancy cheese on toast)
6 to 8 slices whole wheat bread (I use vermont bread company)
5 cups grated extra sharp Cheddar (Vermont is best)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
Tomato slices
Stir together the cheese, mustard, eggs, cream and salt and pepper.  Spoon the mixture on the bread.  Broil for about 5 minutes until brown in spots.  Serve topped with tomatoes and watercress.
After dinner Tubby, Ping, Bob, and Dr. Zira put on their new PJs and got ready for bed!