Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream and Chocolate

The colours are a bit wonky in this one, but there's only so much I could try using my primitive editing program...the kiwis looked much better than above.

I made this fruit tart a couple weeks ago when D's parents came to visit, and it turned out well - tasty and pretty. The recipe is from the Bouchon cookbook, which I can't post, but it's easy enough to make something very similar. Martha Stewart lists this pate sucree recipe that is practically identical to the one I used. For a thick pastry cream, try this recipe, which uses cornstarch instead of flour (you may want to increase the cornstarch - if it is too thick after cooking, you can always loosen it slightly by adding a little milk).

After your tart crust has cooled, brush the bottom with melted chocolate before topping with pastry cream and fruit. This was how they made all the tartlets at my old bakery, which I thought was pretty common to prevent sogginess, but everyone I served it to commented how much they liked the chocolate, so it's worth mentioning I suppose.

Off to my volunteer shift - see you later!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wee Update

The Knitticrafty household is seeing some big changes this year. First a house...

...and now Gatsby is getting a sibling!

I've been sitting on our happy news for a while, and now seems as good a time as any to share it. We'll get to meet the wee one in February, and in the meantime I've got lots of little baby projects in mind to keep me busy. I figure that once baby arrives, my crafting life will be put on hold indefinitely. Must fit in as much as possible between now and then!

Today was a good finishing morning - I finally sewed in loose ends, kitchener-stitched toes together, and blocked. Here is my first FO for baby, the placket neck pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I know, I've already made it four other times, but it's just so cute. And you can't beat the minimal seaming - it's all knit in the round! The yarn is Kraemer Tatamy Tweed DK, an acrylic cotton blend that should be easy to machine wash. It's made right here in Nazareth, PA too!

Yarn: Kraemer Tatamy Tweed DK in Birch
Needles: US 7 dpns and circulars
Pattern: Placket Neck Pullover (Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Hoverson)

Next up, my mom's socks are done!! Yippee! I don't think she'll mind the fact that one is slightly taller than the other - can you tell in the photo? I guess I over-enthusiastically added half a pattern repeat. Not sure how that happened since I was trying to follow the chart...

Yarn: 2 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet (from Conversational Threads in Emmaus),
with enough leftover for a pair of baby socks

Needles: US2 dpns
Pattern: Pomotamus Socks

Amelia is coming along as well...I've got the sleeves pretty much done, minus a couple more increases on one arm, and I've got about 4 inches to go on the body. Sadly, this cardigan is not going to fit around the girth of my ever-expanding middle - I should be able to button it up at the top for now. I've made a few mods so far: cast on for size 34" sleeves, but for the body I cast on 191 stitches to get approximately a 36" size (the pattern jumps from 34" to 38") and I played around with the positioning of the stitch markers to get more or less the right ribbing placement. I'm a little worried about washing this yarn...I touched it with a wet hand a few weeks ago and ended up with deep teal streaks across my palm. There's probably something I can wash it with to help set the colour or remove the excess dye.

Have a great week! I'm off to knit night tonight for a piece of chocolate cake...mmm.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Beef Liver Pate

Check out my pretty liver pate, made with the other half portion of grass fed beef liver:

The recipe was really simple, and quite tasty - I have unintentionally been on an Emeril kick lately...somehow all his recipes keep popping up whatever I search for. His calls for chicken livers, which I think would be smoother, sweeter and lighter-tasting. Nonetheless, D gave a thumbs up for this version. I made him eat it on crackers with lunch which he (politely acted as if he) enjoyed.

The recipe made enough for three small ramekins, so I froze two of them. Apparently they freeze really well, but who knows when I will want to dig these out from the ice box again.

Gatsby seemed to be curious about the liver, and was making it a challenge for D to eat his lunch. That, or he was still mad at us for going on vacation without him, and in need of some cuddles at the most inconvenient times...