a little off topic :: zucchini bread

Most of my friends and family know me well enough to know I'm not really the domestic type. Sure, I'll do the laundry and do some basic cooking from time to time, but that's pretty much the extent of it. My hubby has been great and very accepting of this and he does a lot of the cooking and cleaning, which also (thankfully!) gives me more time after a long day of work to sit down and knit. Every once in a while though, something really special comes along the way and I'll get the itch to bake or cook something myself, which is what happened recently. A co-worker of mine brought a zucchini bread to the office and invited everyone to help themselves. I did, and it was love on first bite. I didn't skip a beat before asking for the recipe. It was that good! It's also so good that I'd like to share it with all of you!

What you'll need:
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini

What to do:
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans. (8x4 or 9x5 inch)
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla extract until smooth. Beat in the cream cheese. Whisk in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. 
  3. Fold in walnuts and zucchini. Evenly divide batter between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pans and allow to cool completely.

In a temporary lapse of excitement and pure newbishness, I dumped more than 2 cups worth of walnuts into my batter, so... you might notice that there are just a tad too many walnuts in the above photo of my first attempt at this yummy bread. Ah well! I'll know better next time :)


Julissa's getting a makeover

Hi all! Wow, is it really already March 11th? This month - no, make that this year - is just going by way too fast. I can't complain too much though. After what has been a pretty crazy Winter, Spring is starting to make an appearance here in Washington and the sneak peeks of sunshine we've had over this past week are much appreciated. I'm ready for Summer. :)

Anyway, about that title! For those of you who follow my projects on Ravelry, you may have seen my most recent Julissa work in progress. For my third iteration of my first sweater pattern, I wanted to change things up a bit, and what better way than to change the neckline?

After I posted this picture on Ravelry, I got several comments and messages requesting that I write up this pattern variation. It meant so much to get this kind of feedback, and I figured, why not?!

Unfortunately, since I had no plan whatsoever while knitting this lovely green version of Julissa for myself, I didn't take into account the things I normally would while working on a design piece, like, no fudging allowed! ;) So, this is only a rough prototype and idea of what the final pattern sample will look like. Since I do need a proper sample knit up for this new pattern however, this past Wednesday, I happily cast on my fourth Julissa (does that make me crazy?). I'm very happy with the way it's coming along:

I chose some very yummy Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Merino Cashmere Nylon worsted weight in the color 'Carmine,' which I'm absolutely in love with!

This version of Julissa will no doubt be more feminine, a bit flirty, less sporty, and also, perfect for a summer sweater worked in a cotton or bamboo blend yarn. I plan to make the bottom ribbing shorter since there will already be a lot less of the front cable and lace panel running down the center, and I'll also include instructions for super cute cap sleeves, in addition to the original 3/4 length.

I'll be knitting like a mad woman over the rest of the weekend and into the week, so stay tuned for more photos very soon! :)