Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Cafe au Lait Mitts
Why another pair of fingerless mitts? Because you can never have too many fingerless mitts in your wardrobe!
The yarn was a spontaneous purchase while visiting a LYS (Yarns on First) in Napa, California. That's actually one reason I love to visit a LYS. I often discover yarns that I would otherwise overlook.
There was a large bowl overflowing with these skeins and I immediately fell in love with the colors and feel of the yarn. It didn't hurt that the bowl was strategically position near a pair of fingerless mitt which whispered as I lingered "go on... make me....you know you want to." I'm so easily influenced.
Particulars: Free Pattern: Cafe au Lait Mitt; US 4 double pointed needles; 1 skein Classic Elite Yarns, Fresco (wool, alpaca, angora). I have been very pleased with Classic Elite Yarns in general and with how well my Cherry top (knit with Classic Elite Yarns Premiere - cotton/tencel blend) has worn. Upshot. This is a great pattern and knits quickly into a pair of soft cozy mitts.
Changes For the New Year
We have all eaten far too many goodies over the holidays. I'm not naming any names but, frankly, some more than others.
Hence, at the start of this new year I have formed the intention that we shall all eat a more healthful diet rich in whole grains. I say an "intention" because like Andrea of At Home Mommy Knits I think a resolution can feel too imposing and I would never want to seem dictatorial. That being said, I do all the shopping and cooking and as a consequence I do have a certain amount of power over the members of this household.
Since you, dear reader, might not be quite ready for the mung bean casserole I cooked for dinner last night, I'm going to share a honey soaked bran muffin recipe instead. The source for this recipe is Grains, a gourmet pantry cookbook, pictured above (which has several recipes that I enjoy). I have slightly modified the recipe to make the muffins smaller and to include honey, which is more to my taste. These are also great without the honey if you don't want a sweet muffin.
Not so Giant Bran Muffins, Soaked in Honey
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts - toasted
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup dark seedless raisins
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar (I use brown sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 12 muffin cups (or 6 large muffin cups for giant muffins).
2. Place walnuts in baking pan and toast, shaking pan several times for 8 to 10 minutes or until nuts are lightly toasted. Tip immediately onto a plate to stop cooking.
3. In large bowl, combine bran and milk and let stand, stirring 2 or 3 times for 10 minutes or until most of the milk is absorbed. With a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs, molasses, and melted butter. Stir in raisins and toasted walnuts.
4. In a separate bowl, stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to bran-milk mixture and stir until just incorporated.
5. Here's my honey part: Add approximately 1 tablespoon honey to muffin cup just before adding the batter. If you want to skip the honey just spoon the batter directly into the muffin cups.
6. Bake approximately 18 minutes (I have reduced the cooking time due to these being smaller muffins) or 25-30 minutes for 6 giant muffins. The muffins should be firm to the touch, but you don't want to overcook them or they will be dry.
7. Turn out onto a wire rack and drizzle the bottom with more honey (if you want to) and leave upside down for the honey to soak in.
These are nice warm with a pat of butter and go well with salads or eaten as a quick breakfast snack along with an apple.
Have a great week everyone and make sure to cook at least one dish that uses whole grains!