Tuesday, January 29, 2013


My first cable project and all went well! Cables: not as intimidating as I thought.  They just require a lot more attention than stockinette or garter stitch...

I liked this pattern, Declan's Hat.  My complaints are twofold, though:  first, there are some mistakes in the PDF pattern that are sorta mentioned on the Ravelry page, but only sorta.  Round 9 should read, I think, "k2, p3, 2/1 LPC, p3, 2/1 RPC, p3."  I definitely had to frog a half made hat when I realized that line had not 1, but 3 mistakes.  Secondly, I had some trouble with the instructions "cddp" at the top of each cable.  I tried looking up the term on the internet, but I'm still not sure I did it right.  In the end, everything looked pretty good, though!  I added a pom-pom to cover up some of the messiness at the top of the hat.

Hat is made in Berroco Comfort yarn.

Monday, January 28, 2013

2 Cookies, 1 Bowl

It looked perfect for those times that you really, really want a warm, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookie, but you don't want to mix up a whole batch of dough, which you will inevitably end up eating, either raw or baked. 

Pretty awesome.  One bowl, two cookies, five minutes.  Mmm.  My only comment is that it took my cookies a little bit longer to cook than the recipe called for... maybe because they're pretty big or maybe because my oven is crazy.  Either way, be warned.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Top Knot Baby Hat

Made this cute top knot baby hat for Mr. Ben and Erin this week.  I used some Jo-Ann Sensation Cuddle Muffin yarn leftover from the little sweater I crocheted a while back.  I don't think I realized that the yarn knitted up in this cute pattern... pretty cool!  Nice, simple pattern, too.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato and Tempeh Sandwich

I want to preface this blog post by assuring my loyal readers that we have in no way turned our backs on bacon.  Delicious, delicious bacon.

With that said, this week Tim and I tried a new, healthier version of the BLT sandwich made using ingredients easier to find in Indonesia.  Specifically, this sandwich substitutes tempeh for bacon.  I am sure that statement will elicit many eyebrow raises, but this sandwich is actually pretty damn good (despite my weak photo).  You can't really think of it as a BLT substitute, but a new and interesting sandwich in its own right (Heidi from 101 Cookbooks calls it a TLT sandwich, but I think it's more accurate to call it a LATT, don't you?).

The tempeh is marinated such that it has a slightly sweet, salty, smokey flavor, and is then pan fried so it's crisp on the outside.  Layer it in the sandwich with creamy avocado, crunchy lettuce and flavor-concentrated roasted tomatoes... not bad, not bad at all. Good enough that I plan to make it again soon.

I followed the recipe for the most part, although I skipped the brown sugar when roasting the tomatoes, as I thought the tempeh had enough sweetness.  Give it a try!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crinkly Tag Toy

So, based on a survey of the internets and a small sample of real life babies, my understanding is that baby toys that crinkle and are covered in tags are the new hotness.  And, thus, since I am always attune to the new hotness (*snort*), I decided to take a stab at making one, loosely based on this tutorial.

I had some baby-themed flannel leftover from another project I am working on (baby swaddlers!), but only tiny little pieces, so I had to improvise.  I measured my crinkle material of choice (the tutorial suggests a baby wipes wrapper, but sans baby to wipe I went with the wrapper from some make-up removing wipes, which seems to have the same crinkly consistency) and then fussy cut some small squares from my teeny flannel scraps to sew together to make 2 larger squares equal in size to the crinkly wrapper.  Add some ribbon bits, sew and ta-da: new, crinkly, taggy hotness.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Jewels

I made some new jewels in anticipation of Christmas, both for me to wear and for me to give.  I used the same methodology as these wire-wrapped earrings I made a few months ago for all of them:

This pair goes with the batik tops I recently made:

This pendant, made from rose quartz and some sort of green stone, goes with the batik skirt I made for Jamie:

These turquoise babies are for me... I got these turquoise beads back in high school in Arizona and routinely change their setting.  They have had many lives as various necklaces, bracelets and earrings...  These babies go with a three-strand cuff bracelet I made a few years ago that stuck.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Crochet Legwarmers

These lovely legwarmers belong to Miss Dana (my friend from work!)  She had been asking for a homemade pair of legwarmers for quite awhile.  Found this simple pattern and got to work. The only change to the pattern I made was I ended how I began with single crochet.  Dana also wanted bright pink yarn, found this yarn in Bonbon print at Michael's!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Batik Basics

Some more batik stuff I made pre-Christmas:

A paneled elastic waist skirt for Jamie (figuring she could take wear it while pregnant and take it in post-baby)... made with the same batik and plaid combo as the outfit I made for Zoe a few months ago.

Some green batik Big Butt Baby Pants to pair with a monkey t-shirt I bought in Bangkok, for Miss Monkey herself, Zoe:

Another Butterick 5625 baby romper, this one with the batik scraps from the skirt above and Zoe's outfit:

And finally, some batik boxer shorts, made using a pattern from the book "Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders," which Colleen generously gave me.  They came out pretty well, but I will say that the fly part of the pattern and instructions totally blew my mind.  And not just mine, but the Real Martha's, too, so you know it was difficult/confusing, as she is a pro.  I'm working on another pattern from the book right now and the instructions are fool-proof, so perhaps this one was a fluke.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chili-Lime Roasted Squash Salad

Continuing our health kick, we (well, I) picked out some tasty looking salads for us to munch on in the new year, trying to avoid meat and processed carbs where possible.

Our first foray into the salad world was this chili roasted squash salad with a cilantro lime dressing.  I had seen it in the November Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine (RIP!) and then again on The Bitten Word, so I thought it was worth a try. Squash (we used the readily available (in Jakarta) kabocha squash, or Japanese pumpkin) roasted with chili powder, lime, cilantro and honey dressing, feta cheese, pepitas (we brought some home from Trader Joe's... I cannot explain to you how much I miss TJ's...), your lettuce of choice (we went with a mesclun mix). 

I thought this was a solid and really easy recipe, but nothing spectacular to write home about (and yet here I am, writing home about it).  I'm not sure what it was missing, but perhaps a little bit of spice?  The chili powder I have is a dark chili powder and it's not too spicy.  Maybe I should have jazzed it up with some cayenne powder...?

Maple Coconut Granola

While in the U.S., I picked up a copy of the new cookbook from Deb Perelman (the blogger behind my go-to recipe source, Smitten Kitchen)... good stuff!  Her photos are beautiful and the recipes look like they stay true to her trusty simple/easy/beautiful style.


Tim and I are trying to make morning workouts and breakfast more of a priority in the new year (especially after recently overindulging in all of the things we rarely get here, including pork products and good booze), so I am on the hunt for fun and healthy breakfast options.  Deb's book had just such an offering: homemade maple granola.  Yum. Paired with tart yogurt, fresh passionfruit (markisa here in Indonesia) and a banana, it's a pretty healthy and satisfying breakfast.

The recipe doesn't require anything too crazy... oats, dried coconut (unsweetened), maple syrup, wheat germ, walnuts, a hint of cinnamon.  It uses an egg white to stick everything together and achieve the large clumps/clusters that Deb was striving for.... somehow that didn't work out for me, but I think perhaps my Indonesian eggs are smaller than the typical American egg.  Alternatively, it may be because I overloaded my mini baking sheet in my mini oven.  In any case, I did not get clusters, but I'm not too worried about it because it tastes great- crunchy, nutty and a little sweet.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sir Knits-a-Lot

 My latest knits:

Another Baby Sophisticate sweater, also known as the Grandpa or Old Man cardigan, this one for Baby Dos, knit in Lily Sugar n' Cream in Poppy with some buttons from the never-ending button walls of Toko Maju at Pasar Mayestik.

This super cute scarf-hat, based on this pattern.  I'm quite proud, this being my first knit-in-the-round project that required decreasing using the double-pointed needles.  Came out pretty cute!  One knitted in Lily Sugar n' Cream yarn in Violet Veil (phew, finally rid of this yarn- got 3 projects out of it, though!), one in Lily Sugar n' Cream in Poppy and one in Bernat Handicrafter in Love (for babies Izzy, Alex and Zoe, respectively).  I followed the pattern for the most part, but skipped the cable, as it is not centered on the scarves when you knit the larger size (weird) and it was just too much going on with the multi-colored yarn.

For the orange and pink ones, I kept the ribbing going all the way around the hat for several inches.  I added a pompom, like the one I put on Zoe's birthday hat, using this tutorial.   Also, as a side-note, I think that the largest size of the pattern may be a little off when it comes to the decreases.  You don't need to knit 3 stitches at the beginning and end of each decrease round... the stitch numbers are off.

This massive scarf/cowl/wrap thingy is made from some beautiful yarn that Jennifer gave me for my birthday last year, Cascade Magnum in Lake Chelan Heather, a nice teal color with an aura of bright green throughout.  I wanted to make this cowl I found via Ravelry, but didn't have circular needles big enough to handle this super fat yarn (my local craft store doesn't carry the tools to deal with heavy duty yarn like this), so I improvised and knit it flat.  This thing is like a blanket.  I love the texture of it, though- check out the close-up shot of the seed stitch:

I made Zoe some pink mittens (using this pattern) to match her hat, but forgot to take a photo. They came out a little bit big, but I like the pattern!

Finally, some baby legwarmers for Miss Zoe with the remainder of my pink Bernat Handicrafter yarn.  Followed this pattern: