It’s been a long time since I shared any knitting projects with you. I have several finished items that I’ve been meaning to show you for months. I need closure!

Since there are quite a few projects, I will just give a quick comment and a photo for each one. I will link to my Ravelry projects if you would like additional information about the yarn I used or how to get the pattern. Often I will have additional photos and details there as well.

Oh, and before you get all impressed about the number of projects I have completed, this represents about a year’s worth of knitting. Some people knit this much in a month or two. Still, I am pleased with my output.

Yellow Hat

My daughter does not generally like wearing hats, but she does love the color yellow, so I thought, “Why not a yellow hat?”. She will wear this hat when it’s cold out (success!), but it tends to fall down into her eyes a bit. That means it has growing room!

Ravelry Project: Yellow Hat

Namesake Cowl

This was a fun mystery knit-a-long hosted by Michelle Hunter (Knit Purl Hunter). I like the way the cowl drapes and I wore it quite a bit this past winter. I had hoped to get a picture of me wearing it, but it hasn’t happened yet, so here you go:

Namesake Cowl

Ravelry Project: Namesake Cowl

Fingerless Mitts

I had a small amount of yarn leftover from my Corkscrew Hat, so I made some matching fingerless mitts. I had to modify the pattern a bit so I wouldn’t run out of yarn. I am happy with the finished product, and like wearing these when it’s chilly, but not cold.

Roku Mitts

Ravelry Project: Roku Mitts

Endgame Scarf

Yet another mystery knit-a-long project put on by Knit Purl Hunter. I do love her KALs! This one went to my sister for her birthday! I had fun making the cables, and I loved working with the yarn. I might need to make one of these for myself.

Engame Scarf

Ravelry Project: Endgame Scarf

Kaika Socks

My very first pair of socks! And another Knit Purl Hunter KAL. I just finished these a week or so ago so I haven’t had a chance to wear them yet, but I am very pleased with the fit for a first pair of socks.

Kaika Socks

Ravelry Project: Kaika Socks

There you go! I have a few projects in the works that I hope to share with you soon. One of them is probably another Knit Purl Hunter KAL (I just can’t resist them! And doing a KAL helps me actually finish projects. And the mystery part is so fun!)

Have a great week!


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TWD: Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

I’m back! I enjoyed my summer off from blogging, but I hope this marks the beginning of more regular posts from me. We’ll see…I have to get myself back in the habit of both blog reading and writing. With the beginning of the new school year, my family is getting used to a new schedule. School starts two hours earlier than we have been used to in previous years! I feel like I have done a good job establishing a new rhythm to my day, now I just need to insert blogging into that new routine.

I am getting my blogging feet wet with a Tuesdays with Dorie recipe: Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies. These are a simple shortbread-like cookie with your choice of jam filling. I used a homemade strawberry-vanilla jam.

Jam-Filled Sandwich Cookies

Yum! What a fun recipe! These were easier to make than I expected. You just need to leave plenty of time for chilling the dough. I used a biscuit cutter with a two-inch wide circumference and found that a generous 1/4 teaspoon of jam was just about right. More might have seeped out the sides, and less tasted too skimpy.

If you are interested in trying these tasty cookies, you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s latest book, Baking Chez Moi.


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TWD: Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

Hi! How are you? I have been taking a bit of a blogging break. With the end of French Fridays with Dorie and a busy summer schedule, it seemed like the perfect time to take a break and focus on spending quality time with my daughter (who’s growing up way to fast!). But, I’m back briefly for Tuesdays with Dorie because I just couldn’t resist this recipe: Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta. I’ll be back to more frequent blogging in late August or September.

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

We love puddings and creamy desserts and Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta called my name. When I saw it on the TWD schedule I knew I had to make it. I have never made (or eaten?) panna cotta before, so I wasn’t quite sure what it was. It turns out panna cotta is an Italian pudding, thickened with gelatin rather than cornstarch or eggs. It is often served unmolded on a plate.

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta is served in a glass or bowl because of the layer of pureed mango. The mango is left uncooked, and flavored with a bit of lime juice and optional honey (I left the honey out, but wish I had used some to round out the flavors). The mango layer is topped with a rich and creamy vanilla bean pudding.

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

This dessert was delicious and refreshing! It is perfect on a hot summer night, but because you can use frozen mango, it would also be nice in winter when you are longing for summer flavors.

You can find the recipe for Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta in Dorie Greenspan’s latest book, Baking Chez Moi.


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FFWD: The Grand Finale!

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

Wow. Here we are at the end of French Fridays with Dorie. We finished cooking through Around My French Table last month, and this week concludes the four weeks of celebratory posts.

When I started on this journey over four years ago, I had no idea I would actually cook through every recipe in the book. Though I am pretty stubborn when I set my mind to something! I am proud of myself for finishing, and proud of everyone who finished or came close to finishing. We tried new ingredients, learned new techniques, and made new friends. It was fun cooking the assigned recipe each week knowing my FFWD friends were out there cooking the same recipe, perhaps with their own special twist. My only regret is I haven’t had a chance to meet any of the lovely Doristas in person. I hope to some day!

Chocolate Mousse Cake

For the Grand Finale we were to choose a recipe and adapt it, try a bonne idée, or simply remake the recipe. I chose to remake Michel Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake. When we made this the first time I ran into trouble. Since I was pretty sure I knew what went wrong, I have always wanted to try this recipe again. Besides, what’s better for a grand finale than chocolate cake?

I had two problems the first time I made this cake: 1) My pan was too big; and 2) The egg whites deflated when I tried to fold them into the hot chocolate mixture. I bought the correct size pan a few years ago and solved the egg whites problem by using lukewarm coffee instead of hot coffee.

My fixes worked and the cake was delicious! This is a great make-ahead dessert because it really tastes best after a night in the refrigerator. A wonderful way to celebrate the end of the book!

I don’t quite know how to end this post, except to say that this has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to keeping up with my fellow Doristas as we embark on our next adventures!

Happy cooking!


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FFWD: The Play-It-Again-Dorie Recipe

Happy French Friday! It’s our 3rd of 4 “celebration weeks” for French Fridays with Dorie. This week we are to share the recipe from the book we have made the most often.

First, a confession: I haven’t actually repeated many of the recipes from
Around My French Table. I have been so focused on completing all the recipes that I forgot to use the book for everyday cooking. Besides, I have all those other cookbooks on my shelves that needed some love, too. After poring through the book during these celebration weeks, I have a long list of recipes I want to make again. Now I just have to remember to actually use this wonderful book!

Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse

The Chicken for Lazy People I discussed a couple of weeks ago is one of the few recipes I have made several times. Another is Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse.

The Chocolate Mousse won our hearts when I first made it during the recipe’s assigned week. My husband declared it his favorite recipe yet, and I think he would still place it at the top of his list. I love it because it is delicious. But also because it is quick and easy to make (you can whip it up after dinner!) and doesn’t make a large amount. Perfect for when the two adults in this household want an indulgent treat!


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FFWD: The Never-Doubt-Dorie Moment

Happy French Friday! This is the second of four “celebratory” posts to ease ourselves to the French Fridays with Dorie finish line. This week we are to choose a recipe that “taught you a technique or gave you an idea or provided a lesson of some kind”.

One of my favorite aspects of participating in French Fridays with Dorie was that it pushed me to make recipes I may have otherwise skipped over. Perhaps they sounded too difficult to make, or just didn’t appeal to me. Sometimes I was right to be hesitant about a recipe, but other times I was pleasantly surprised. Either way, I learned a new technique or tried a new ingredient or combination of ingredients.

Dilled Gravlax on Bagels

One such recipe was Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce. I had seen gravlax recipes in other cook books I own. Maybe I didn’t know what to expect as the end result, but whenever I would read through one of these recipes, my eyes would glaze over and I would think “too difficult”, or “not worth it”. So I passed them by.

Then came the week we were to make Dilled Gravlax for French Fridays. By then, I knew I was going to attempt to go the distance and make every recipe from the book. So I made the gravlax. And guess what? It was easy and it was delicious! Who knew?

There are a few other recipes I would like to call out that I probably would not have made if not for FFWD, but that pleasantly surprised me:

Olive Oil Ice Cream – A flavor I wouldn’t expect in ice cream, but that was delicious (especially with chocolate sauce).

Riviera Fish Soup – Pureed fish soup? Yes, when it has the wonderful flavors this soup has.

Cold Melon-Berry Soup – I could not get my head around this one, but I found it refreshing and delicious.

Curious about other Never-Doubt-Dorie Moments? Check out what everyone else thought here.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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FFWD: Favorites

Welcome to the first of four celebratory French Fridays with Dorie posts! This week we were tasked with choosing our very favorite recipe from the book and explaining why. We are also sharing our Top 5 favorites. This was not an easy task! I may have cheated a bit…

The Favorite

Roast Chicken for Lazy People with Asparagus and Bits of Bacon

Roast Chicken for Lazy People with Asparagus and Bits of Bacon

Roast Chicken for les Paresseux!

Why did I choose this one? Several reasons:

  1. I have made this recipe many times, perhaps the most of any other recipe from the book.
  2. I love roast chicken and this is a good recipe (and easy!).
  3. The bread trick!
  4. My whole family loves this one.
  5. This recipe represents the quintessential Dorie recipe that is more a technique than a recipe. I love the options she gives us: Add root vegetables. Or not. Make a sauce. Or not. Share the super-tasty, sinfully delicious piece of bread. Or not.

The Top 5

Choosing my most favorite recipe was actually easier than choosing the top 5. My initial pass-through of the book started with a list of favorites nearly 30 long. I had to be ruthless! Here is the list, with links to, and comments from, my original posts:

1. Roast Chicken for les Paresseux

Roast Chicken

“The chicken was fabulous with crispy brown skin and tender meat.  My husband especially loved the garlic that roasted along with the chicken.  My mother-in-law and I both enjoyed “the bread trick” (the chicken is roasted on top of a piece of bread which soaks up the cooking juices and gets wonderfully caramelized).”

2. Curried Mussels

Curried Mussels


3. Navarin Printanier

Navarin Printanier

“… I loved Navarin Printanier.  The lamb was tender, the broth rich and flavorful, and the vegetables were perfectly cooked.”

4. Spinach and Bacon Quiche

Spinach-Bacon Quiche

“This was a very yummy quiche that my 7 year old daughter loved!  But what’s not to love about bacon, eggs, cheese and spinach?”

5. Tomato-Cheese Tartlets

Tomato-Cheese Tartlets

“These tartlets are a real winner and I will be making these every tomato season!”

Honorable Mentions: Saint-Germain-Des-Pres Onion Biscuits, Provençal Olive Fougasse, Salmon Tartare, Armagnac Chicken, Café Salle Pleyel Hamburger, Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote.

Top 3 Desserts

You may notice that the list above does not include any desserts. That’s because I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one to include on the Top 5 list. So I made a top desserts list instead! These three desserts are the ones I think about most often and dream about making (and eating) again.

1. Tourteau de Chevre

Tourteau de Chevre

“I’m SO glad I had an excuse to make Tourteau de Chèvre.  I love, love, loved it!  I served it with sliced strawberries and drizzled with a little honey.  The strawberries paired fabulously with it!  The dessert was a big hit with everyone, even my chocolate-loving husband who seemed skeptical when I described it to him earlier in the day.”

2. Paris-Brest


“This was a huge hit!  Everyone loved it.  My daughter ate hers very enthusiastically and then had seconds.  My 5 year old niece wasn’t sure she even wanted to try it, then ended up loving it so much she gave it “20 thumbs up”!  I will be making this one again for sure.”

3. Orange-Almond Tart

Orange-Almond Tart

“Why did I wait so long to try this tart? I knew I would like it because, you know, dessert. But I didn’t expect to love, love, love it! I loved the unexpected burst of orange juice. The flavor went so well with the creamy almond filling and the tender, sweet crust.”

The Husband Top 5

I asked my husband to pick his top 5 recipes, since we didn’t always agree. Here are his favorites, keeping in mind that he chose from my already narrowed-down list of 30:

  1. Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse
  2. Roast Chicken for les Paresseux
  3. Armagnac Chicken
  4. Pancetta Green Beans
  5. Crab-Avocado “Ravioli”

There you have it! There are many other recipes that didn’t make these lists that are still delicious and I would make again. I can’t wait to read the other favorites lists! If you are interested in seeing what the other Dorista’s chose as their favorites, check out the links here.


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TWD: Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake

Happy Tuesday! I hope those of you in the United States enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. We had unseasonably rainy weather, so we didn’t get out as much as we had hoped. It was kind of like a typical Memorial Day weekend in the Pacific Northwest!

For Tuesdays with Dorie this week, we made a delicious cake called Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake. I made it for my parents last weekend when they were here to babysit.

This cake is exactly what the name suggests: an upside-down cake, with rhubarb in the fruit layer and a brown sugar-based cake. What makes this cake so good is that the rhubarb is sauteed in lightly caramelized sugar before being placed in the bottom of the cake pan.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake

I went the simple route when serving my cake. I did not use the optional glaze, nor did I adorn the cake in any way. Dorie’s suggestions of whipped cream or crème fraîche and sliced strawberries would be wonderful. Vanilla ice cream would be good too.

This cake was a huge hit! My parents love rhubarb desserts, so my Mom plans on making this one again. My daughter scarfed her serving down. I loved the flavor of the brown sugar cake with the sweet-tart rhubarb. The cake was moist, but light. A winner!

Altitude Adjustments

I made two minor adjustments to the cake layer for my altitude and dry climate:

  • Reduced baking powder by 1/8 teaspoon
  • Added 1 tablespoon water

They must have worked, because the cake was wonderful!


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FFWD: Chicken in a Pot – The Final Recipe!

Chicken in a Pot

Here we are! The final recipe from Around My French Table! It’s hard to believe I have been doing this for four and a half years (the project began in October 2010; I joined in January 2011). When I started, I thought it would just be a fun thing to do for my new blog. Back then I had no idea that I would actually complete every recipe and what a tight knit group us Doristas would become. It’s been a fun adventure!

Chicken in a Pot

Now, about the recipe, Chicken in a Pot: the Garlic and Lemon Version. We saved the cover recipe for last. This recipe represents classic French home cooking at it’s finest. Dorie’s version has us toss preserved lemon peel, sweet potatoes, pearl onions, carrots, celery, a whole lot of garlic, and various herbs into a big pot (after sauteing them for a bit). Next we add browned chicken pieces and a bit of wine and broth. I used a combination of thighs and breasts. The pot is sealed with a simple dough made from flour and water. This locks in the flavors and infuses the chicken and vegetables with wonderful herbiness.

Sealed Pot

My parents had great timing. They drove down from Seattle this week to babysit so my husband and I could enjoy a few days to ourselves. The day they arrived I made them this. It was a huge hit!

There are many reasons why this recipe was the perfect choice for our last recipe. Not the least of which is it contained some of my husband’s (and the rest of the family’s) favorite foods (chicken, sweet potatoes, and garlic), so it was sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The chicken was so flavorful and juicy. The vegetables were delicious, though a few of them could have cooked a bit longer. We all loved spreading the garlic on the crusty bread. Nice to end on a high note!

Chicken and Veggies

Even though this is the final French Fridays with Dorie recipe, this won’t be my last French Fridays post. We will be doing a series of retrospective posts to look back on our favorite recipes. It will certainly be bittersweet.

Have a great weekend!


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TWD: Nutella Buttons

Nutella Buttons
Happy Tuesday! It’s been a while since I did a Tuesdays with Dorie post, but I couldn’t resist these little Nutella-filled cupcakes called Nutella Buttons.

These were fun little cupcakes to make, and very easy to whip up. They are a simple, vanilla-flavored cupcake made light and tender by folding in whipped egg whites. The fun surprise is the dab of Nutella in the middle of the cupcake!

Nutella Buttons

I like that the cake is not too sweet; it provides a perfect foil for the sweeter Nutella. I also like that the recipe does not make too many mini-cakes. I got only 19 cakes out of my mini-muffin pan. Perfect for every day snacking!

Altitude Adjustments

None! With all those whipped egg whites (4 total) and only a small amount of baking powder, I did not have to make any adjustments to this recipe. Yay!

Nutella Buttons

If you are interested in baking Nutella Buttons, you can find the recipe on Page 188 of Dorie Greenspan’s latest book, Baking Chez Moi. I also found the recipe here (this link also includes and interview with Dorie).


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