Sunday, August 30, 2015

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

I don't remember where I came across this recipe for peanut butter "cookies," but I finally got around to making them tonight.
  • 1 cup of peanut butter--Super Chunky Jif
  • 1 cup of sugar (These were extremely sugary. If I make them again, I want to try brown sugar, or at least, 3/4 cup of white sugar.)
  • 1 egg
Put the peanut butter, sugar, and egg together in a bowl and mix until the dough is fluffy and fully blended together. There was no way in hell this dough was going to come out fluffy. After a few minutes, it was like mixing cement! Then spoon out pieces of the dough, roll them into thumb-sized balls, and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Use a fork to press down and crosshatch the top of each round. Bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. When they’re ready, they should look nice and golden brown.

My take on these is that they are good for a quick sweet-fix. My husband even liked them, but he prefers chocolate chip cookies. But I wouldn't make these as a large batch.

However, as far as making them goes, I agree with the size of the balls described above: the smaller, the better. And you definitely have to flatten them out. They also will taste better and firm up after they've sit for a few minutes, after coming out of the oven.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Live Action Malificent Crocheted Turban

Nicole the Knitter had me make animal hoods for her friends but she's been so busy lately that she can't think of which animal she'd like for herself. In all actuality, she's got all kinds of animal hats already, so I decided to go a different direction: she loves Malificent.


·        --3 colors of yarn for live action Malificent (all of the yarn I used came from my stash):
1 skein of black, worsted weight (the kind I used was a very thin yarn)
1/2 skein of dark grey, worsted weight
1/2 skein of light grey, worsted weight
·        --G and I-sized hooks
·        --Fiber Fill
·        --Yarn needle
·        --Stitch marker

·        --Large bright green button (at least 1" wide)

Horns (Make 2 with G hook)
When you increase and decrease, you can get the horns to twist. If you like the diameter you have, then you need to increase and decrease evenly. For example in any given round you would have one decrease for every increase. Look at rounds 5-7, there are 2 increases and 1 decrease. This is to shape the horns and increase the diameter .

Round 1: magic circle of ch1, 5 sc. Secure with a slip stitch and pull tight. This is worked in the round. Do you chain 1 at the end of the rounds. This is the tip of the horn.
Rounds 2-3: 1 sc in each sc.
Round 4: 2 sc in the next 2 stitches, 1 sc in each of the remaining sc.
Round 5-7: 2 sc in the first 2, sc in the next 2, work 2sctog, then sc to the end of the round
Round 8-9: 1 sc in each sc around
Round 10: sc in the first 5, 2sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 11 -13: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest
Round 14-15: 1 sc in each
Round 20-21: 1 sc in each
Round 26-27: 1 sc in each
Round 32-33: 1 sc in each. Fasten off yarn at the end of round 33 with a slip stitch, leaving several inches to sew to the hood later on.


Turban
Round 1~ Start of by making a Slip Knot, then crochet 4 Chains. Crochet 11 Double Crochets into the first chain you made. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 4. You should have 12 double crochets now.
Round 2~ Chain 3. Crochet 2 Double Crochets into every stitch all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 24 double crochets now. 
Round 3~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 36 double crochets now. 
Round 4~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 2 stitches, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 48 double crochets now. 
Round 5~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 3 stitches, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3. You should have 60 double crochets now. 
Rounds 6-11~ Chain 3. *Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 11 stitches, then crochet 2 Double Crochets in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 12-13~ Chain 3. Crochet 1 Double Crochet into every stitch all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 14-17 ~ Chain 3. Crochet 1 Double Crochet into every stitch all around, but only through the back loop. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 18~ Chain 3. On this row you will also only be crocheting through the back loop.*Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 11 stitches, then crochet 1 Double Crochet Decrease into the next 2 stitches. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 19~ Chain 3. On this row you will also only be crocheting through the back loop.*Crochet 1 Double Crochet into the next 10 stitches, then crochet 1  Double Crochet Decrease into the next 2 stitches. Repeat from the * all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 3.
Round 20~ Chain 1. Crochet 1  Single Crochet into every stitch all around. Slip Stitch into the top of chain 1. Fasten off. Weave in any loose ends.

Take your yarn needle, and thread a long piece of yarn through it. You want to use to strands of yarn at the same time. Using your needle, push it from inside of the turban towards the outside right above the 6th last row, or about halfway up the height of the hat. Now wrap it around the edge of the turban and pull tight. Push the needle back through the top again.
Take your yarn needle, and thread a long piece of yarn through it. You want to use to strands of yarn at the same time. Using your needle, push it from inside of the turban towards the outside right above the 6th last row, or about halfway up the height of the hat. Now wrap it around the edge of the turban and pull tight. Push the needle back through the top again.
Repeat winding until the "knot" of your turban is nice and secure and looks pretty.
Once done. hide any loose ends under the knot. 


Round 16: sc in the first 5, 2 sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 17 -19: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest
Round 22: sc in the first 5, 2sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 23-25: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest
Round 28: sc in the first 5, 2sc in the next 2, sc in the rest
Round 29-31: work 2sctog, sc in the next 3, 2sc in the next 2, 1 sc in the rest

Stuff horns firmly. They need to be able to stand up.

With the black yarn, back stitch from the bottom of the horn: up 2 rows and over 2 stitches each time until the tip of the horn, then work down again in the same way, granted you won't be able to do 2 over and 2 up once you are at the top of the horn, so just space them halfway apart (or stitches up 1 stitch over).



With the I sized hook, start with the widow's peak (separate piece). Ch 14.
Row 1: sc in 1st ch from hook and ea ch across for a total of 13 sc. Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Row 2: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts. sc2tog.
Row 3: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 11 sc sts in the row.
Row 4: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 7 sts. sc2tog.
Row 5: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 9sc sts in the row.
Row 6: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts. sc2tog.
Row 7: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 7sc sts in the row.
Row 8: sc2tog. 1 sc in ea of the next 3 sts. sc2tog.
Row 9: 1 sc in ea st across the row. You'll have a total of 5 sc sts in the row.
Row 10: sc2tog. 1 sc in next st. sc2tog.
Row 11: 1 sc in ea st across the row for a total of 3 sc sts in the row.
Row 12: sc3tog and 1 sc.
Row 13: sc2tog. Fasten off light grey yarn and attach dark grey.
Rows 14-15: Ch 1 and turn. Work a round of sc all the way around the edges of the triangle, working 3 sc in corners. The extra chs make the corners a bit pointier, and a bit more pronounced, so that they stand out more.

End off. Weave in your loose ends.

With the G hook and black, make the turban. Chains at the start of a round count as the first Double Crochet of that round.

Switch to the dark grey at the end of round 17.

Switch to the black at the end of round 18.

Turn the hat inside out. Decide which side of your triangle is the front, and lay it front-down on the hat, where you sewed the top up. Using the black yarn, whip stitch the triangle into the turban's front, on the inside, so the  sharpest point of the triangle is facing down (the starting chain should be at the top of the turban).

Flip the hat back to right side out. Sew the button on to the outside where the front of the turban was sewn up.

This is where things get a little hinky. You may either want to use a wig head or a willing participant, and maybe a curved yarn needle. Get the hat situated on a head, the way it will be worn. Look at the bottom of each horn. You'll see it has a bit of an angle to it. Position the horn on the head (so it's back even with the ears) and whip stitch it on, with the long length of yarn from the end of the horn.

Proper Care & Washing:
Always wash this item in cold on the gentlest setting. Do not use bleach. Washing in hot water may lead to shrinkage. Either line dry or allow to dry flat.  If you must use a dryer, dry on low or no heat.





Finished a Crocheted Cloak

At the end of June, I blogged a complaint about people who want stuff and then complain about the stuff they wanted when they get it, or they can't make decisions on their own.

Amazingly enough, when I got the complainer's second hood done, she went shopping with Nicole the Knitter for yarn for her own hooded cloak. She got 11 skeins of Lion Brand Yarn Landscapes in Apple Orchard, with a G sized hook. This was from a pattern that Nicole the Knitter bought several years ago.

I ran out of yarn a few weeks ago and was able to get up with her tonight for a quick "fitting." I told her I haven't trimmed off the loose ends yet, but I needed to how long she wanted it to be and if she wanted some sort of trim on the edges.

She got as far as being able to tell me she didn't want it touching the ground and then, the decisions stopped. She said she would leave it all up to me to decide what it would end up looking like.

Le sigh...

I told her it was her cloak so she had to decide for herself what she wanted. Then she tells me she's not very good at making decisions. I told her to take the cloak home with her and try it out for a bit and then tell me what she wanted me to do with it.

I have got to stop crocheting for people who can't make decisions.


Sometimes, the Simplest Crafts Are the Most Appreciated

Our cat, Orion, still has all of her claws and really loves her scratching post. She's had the same once since the day we brought her home, a little over a year ago. It's a simple one, just rough rope wound around a square post, with a dangly mouse and bell on the top. My husband bought it for her at PetsMart.
This is what it looks like after abut 14 months of daily use. Orion was a little concerned about what I was doing with her scratching post in the kitchen. There was much close watching and a little crying. This is an important part of her little life! :)
Since I am trying to not contribute anything too sizable to the landfills, instead of replacing it, I wanted to fix it up for her. And because I'm a little weird like that. :)

I was ordering some stuff from Amazon the other day and decided to get Wellington Manila Rope, 1/4" X 50' for just $7.39. I knew I wouldn't need the full 50 feet so this will be enough for a couple repairs.

I unwound the really loose rope and cut off some of the more frayed sections. Originally, the rope was glued and on throughout its lengths but stapled on at the ends. That's a little dumb. But with just a couple staples from the staple gun... viola! The new rope is about the same size as the original.

Cat tested.
Cat approved.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Another Mahogany Cutting Board

Earlier this month, I posted the cutting board my husband made for me. As of today, we have a second board finished for Nicole the Knitter.

Top

Bottom
I couldn't do a test fitting in my own sink, because our kitchen sinks are different sizes. But here it is, in all it's finished, seasoned glory.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Blurred Lines" Parody

I've got a little case of Halloween on the brain tonight, after hearing "Blurred Lines" on the radio on the way home from work.



Everybody get busted, BOO!
Everybody get busted, BOO!
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
BOO!
Hey, hey, hey
BOO!

If you can't hear what I'm trying to say
If you can't read from the same page
We're on two different planes
Maybe you're in some pain
You know I can't let you reign
Everybody get busted

Ok, now we were close
Tried to ghostbust you
And you're a spirit now
Baby, it's in your nature
Just let me ghostbust you
You don't need no slime trail
Ray Stantz is not your hauntee
And that's why I'm gon' be a

Ghostbuster
You know I want it
You know I want it
You know I need it
You're not a good ghost
Can't let you get past me
This is kind of drastic
Talk about getting busted
I hate those crossed streams
You know I want it
You know I want it
You know I need it
You're not a good ghost
The way you grab me
Must wanna get scary
Go ahead, get at me
Everybody get up

What do we make proton packs for
When we got them coveralls on
What do we need traps for
You the hottest ghost in this place
I feel so lucky,
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna slime me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with slime me?
Hey, hey, hey
Hey!

Staypuff Marshmellow,
One thing I ask of you
Lemme be the one you try hauntin' to,
From Central Park to Lower East too,
Venkman had a girl, but she wasn't as bad as you.
So, hit Winston up when you pass through
We'll give you something hot enough to melt your ass into,
Swag on 'em even when you dress casual
I mean, it's almost unbearable.
In a hundred years, not dare would I
Deny the Keymaster, let you pass me by.
Nothin' like your last guy, Gozer was square for you.
He don't throw that lightening and knock you down like that.
So I'm just watching and waitin'
For you to salute the four true gods.
Not many ghosts can refuse this offer,
I'm a nice guy, but don't get confused, I'm a buster!

Shake your aura
Get down, get up-a
Make it like we bust, like we bust
What you don't like us?
Hey!

Slimer, can you breathe?
I got this from Spengler,
It always works for me
From Columbia U to Sumeria.
No more pretending
Cause now we're winning
Here's our beginning
I always wanted to be a

Everybody get busted, BOO!
Everybody get busted!
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Look Back At Al Doumar

It's been a little over a year since May 14, 2014: a day that stands out as a sad day in Norfolk's history. It was the day that Al Doumar, the figurehead of Doumar's on Monticello in Norfolk, passed away from bladder cancer. And it's been almost a year since his beloved wife, Gracie, joined him.

Of running the business his father was known for, working there since the 1930's when his grandfather moved it from Ocean View, first as a manager and then as a cone maker extraordinaire, Thaddeus Doumar said it definitely has been different.

"A lot of people came just to see Dad making cones," Thaddeus said. He made it his job to continue using the world's oldest ice cream cone machine, giving the restaurant it's steady supply of crispy cones.

"We used to joke that Dad was the most photographed man in Virginia that wasn't a politician," Thaddeus said. "He was just an everyday guy that did what he did, everyday. He was a celebrity type of guy from old Norfolk, and he was a gracious old gentleman."

To someday work in his place, Mr. Doumar trained Thaddeus, grandson Hunter, and Randy Windley to make cones on that iconic maker.

The day-to-day business has managed to hold up, according to Thaddeus, but for some people, Al was the business itself. After his father passed, Thaddeus said there was some business that dropped off. This year, the diner has seen an uptick in tourists coming in.

Thaddeus said Doumar's business is at its best when the temperature is 40-90 degrees: any cooler or hotter, people don't want to leave their houses for ice cream. Because Doumar's is known primarily as a take out/carside diner, they can plot out an average of what business will be like, based on the forecast.

Despite June being so unseasonably hot, Thaddeus said business had an unexpected boost during Memorial Day weekend, thanks in part to a rebroadcast of the episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," hosted by Guy Fieri on the Food Network.


However, it wasn't a straight rerun of the original episode that aired in the summer of 2008. This was a recap of Guy's six favorite places to eat and featured a memoriam to Al Doumar at the end of the episode.

After that episode, tourist business picked up, making up for the locals that hadn't been coming in.

"Dad was media savvy, so he would have been excited to see all the publicity [surrounding his passing]," Thaddeus said. "He would have been very humbled by the publicity...Dad treated everyone the same, regardless of their status, and people appreciated it."

But because of Al, Doumar's appeals to everyone across the board. Al used to sell cones on his birthday, priced to sell for the cost of his age, every March.

Of that tradition, Thaddeus said, "I think we'll continue it for a few years, because people still remember him. Will we continue it for years? Who knows. Small business is a challenge every day, but we can try new things every day."

Al and Gracie were each briefly married prior to marrying each other. Of his mother, Thaddeus said his father's passing was a new tragedy for her to deal with everyday when she woke up.

Thaddeus said he asked his father once what was the smartest thing he ever did in life, expecting a different kind of answer than the one he got.

"He said the smartest thing he ever did was to marry my mom," Thaddeus said. "They were a great team. They were one of those couples that were so well suited for each other."

Thaddeus said his father kept a grammar school picture from the 1930's and an article in his bedroom. The picture was from James Monroe School, and the article was about the school's patrol guard program. He once asked his father why he kept that picture.

"He said one third of those guys died in World War II. I think he felt he was saved for something else. His life had to matter. He was in the service, but it wasn't something he talked about," Thaddeus said.

But the best way Thaddeus could describe his father was like this: "For a little man, he had a great presence. He was 92 years old. I'm grateful to have had him as long as I did...He was the greatest man I'll ever know."












Friday, August 14, 2015

Mahogany Cutting Board

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, let me set the record straight right now...I didn't make this cutting board. My husband did but I still need to post about it.

A couple years ago, Nicole the Knitter came across a large piece of mahogany at a yard sale. She said she knew right away it would make some amazing cutting boards, if she could just find someone to make it.

Fast forward a bit to Christmas 2014, when my husband and I went to Luray County, VA. The kitchen of the cabin we rented had a cutting board made to fit the sink. I thought this was the coolest little kitchen thing ever (click the picture to make it bigger and look closely, you can see it in the sink) and I decided I needed one for our kitchen at home. My husband said he'd make one for me.


Fast forward to July of this year. Nicole mentions the wood and I mention the cutting board I wanted. It turns out that she wanted the same kind too. She said she'd supply the wood if I found someone to make the boards.

I initially didn't ask my husband to make these, because his work schedule is crazy. I was hoping his dad would be able to make them while he was here, but he kept pretty busy. I started looking for someone to cut the board for us, but everyone I talked to said they'd want $100-$140 PER BOARD just for labor.


Ummm, how about, "No?"

Fast forward to this month. Shane noticed the wood in the laundry room, and having forgotten about it, asked what it was for. His dad had gone back home, and I told him about trying to find someone to make it into cutting boards. He told me to stop looking and he was going to do it. :)

He got mine finished first, because I only wanted a one basin board. The underside is cut to fit inside the basin, with the top resting on the edges of the basin. Shane also routed off the long sides to give it a little more of a finished look.

I did just minimal sanding on this, because I didn't want to take anything away from the original finish of the wood.

I went to Home Depot yesterday and found butcher block oil. I bought only one bottle of it, because it will last Nicole and I for some time.

To make your own cutting board you will need: untreated hardwood, a circular saw or table saw, sandpaper, food grade mineral oil and a clean cloth. Be sure the hardwood you choose is untreated if you plan to actually use your cutting board for cooking. If you're unsure, just ask someone at your local lumber yard. And for the mineral oil, make sure you use food grade (most are food grade). I did 4 coats of the oil over two days, wiping it on with the grain and letting it dry completely in between coats. Give your cutting board a fresh coat of mineral oil every 3-6 months to keep it looking fresh and new.

The oil gives the wood a nice sheen, even after it dries.

As someone who likes to fart around with crafting and making things for other people, it is so nice to get something made for me! :) Just a month ago, Michelle the Cook came over with a box of goodies for my kitchen. She bought hand towels in colors she knows I like, sent them to her mom, who crocheted button tops to them (and matching dish cloths) so you can attach them to appliance handles. I haven't had any of those for some time, and I love having the towel handy right there, because I tend to toss them over the oven door handle and they slip onto the floor a lot. I end up washing a lot of towels because of my carelessness! :)

Nicole's cutting board had a quick test fit on her sink tonight. She wanted a double wide cutting board. and it needs about 3/4" cut from various sections to make it fit. After that, it'll be ready to be cleaned and oiled, and it will go to her house then.



Norfolk Animal Care Center and The Tide Team Up

You may have seen the brightly decorated light train traveling along the tracks in Norfolk. It’s the one wrapped with animals up for adoption from Norfolk Animal Care Center (NACC) and it hit the tracks on June 1, 2015.

The Tide is Virginia’s first light rail system, and the 91 foot long train car is wrapped in vinyl, allowing NACC’s pets to really stand out and have their message seen until autumn.

Kimberly Lovett, Advertising Coordinator for Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), said, "We customarily do about a six month run. Leaving the vinyl wrap on too long increases the likelihood of paint damage to the train during the removal process." The advertising agreement between HRT and NACC is for a two-month period.

NACC provides care to animals that are abandoned, lost, abused or neglected, and those turned in by people who are no longer able to care for their pet. Animals are never turned away, regardless of species, age, health or temperament.

All dogs, cats and rabbits adopted from NACC are spayed or neutered, micro chipped and vaccinated before leaving. NACC cares for 6,000 animals each year, including small pets such as mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles and birds. Its primary goal is to find forever homes for these animals.

“The goal of the Friends of NACC was to deliver the message of adoption, spay and neuter, and general awareness of NACC in a large impactful way. [It’s] something never seen here in Hampton Roads,” Missy Abrams L'Hoste, Chairperson for the Marketing Committee for the Friends NACC, said of the partnership. “The Tide allowed us to create a larger than life image of our NACC alumni.”

The wrap of the train was sponsored by Friends of NACC, PETA, Team L'Hoste Real Estate, Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Pet Care Veterinary Hospital, and Bayside Kennels, as well as private donors, to support NACC's goal.

Daphna Nachminovitch, Senior Vice President of PETA's Cruelty Investigations, said their production department came up with the train's design, for NACC, for free, as well as sponsoring the wrap.

"It's about the message, not the organization," Nachminovitch said. "We consider NACC and the Friends as partners in animal homelessness. We need to help support our local shelters."

Abrams L’Hoste said, “The Marketing Committee of Friends of NACC has been working on a Community Outreach Campaign for the last several years. The goal is to raise awareness of the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center, and how all of us can help the shelter and the animals. Through adoptions, volunteering, fostering, donations, we are able to help support the needs of the shelter.”

On an unexpected upside, Abrams L’Hoste said many of the animals featured on the train have already been adopted.