Knit: Noah’s Placket Sweater

Noah modelling his new sweater!

Noah’s Placket Sweater
Pattern | Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn | fonty Soft Tweed in Rouille
Needles | 4.5 mm circulars

This was a quick knit despite me putting it on hold in favour of some design work. After finishing the Melange shawl, I decided to pick this up again, seeing that I finished the body and just had the sleeves & yoke left. It took me about two to three days of full on knitting to complete the entire project. In that aspect, knitting for kids is awesome because you don’t take forever to finish a sweater or pullover!

I have been gravitating towards seamless designs so finishing this was a joy! I made an error with the underarms for one of the sleeves and failed to put aside 8 stitches resulting in me having to decrease 8 stitches from the sleeve and figure out a way to cover up underarm when the entire sweater was finished. Still, it isn’t all that bad.

The tweed texture and colour wasn’t very appealing when I first received the yarn but now as a finished object and on him, I must say that it suits him quite well. I used KAM snaps (the same ones that you find on cloth diapers) in place of buttons as I find that they function better and are easier to place (lazy me!). In terms of sizing, I picked the 1-2 year old size to knit up and it still has some room around the chest and arms so I reckon he can still use this next season – hopefully it will still leave some room in his jacket.

The question now is this: what do I do with the remaining two skeins of yarn? Hm.

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

Continue Reading

Banana Blueberry Minis

Banana Blueberry Minis

The other flavour for Eva’s Christmas party tomorrow (I managed to make time in between knitting and reviews on church chairs to churn out TWO flavours!). This muffin is gorgeously springy and moist plus the whole blueberries lend a lovely texture and gives you a pleasant surprise with each bite despite it oozing during the baking process. You could replace the blueberries with other type of berries but why change a lovely recipe like this? Tehehehe.

NOTE: You can replace the coconut milk and oil with butter and regular milk. The quantity of the sugar has been reduced by 25% from the original recipe but you can go down a little bit more – just not more than 35% (it’ll change the overall flavour and texture of the cake).

Banana Blueberry Minis

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole blueberries
1 1/2 whole bananas

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. In a bowl, mash the bananas before adding in the sugar, oil, egg & coconut milk. Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon gently and when it’s almost incorporated, fold in the blueberries – take care to not overbeat. The mixture should look lumpy.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the dough into a muffin tray until it’s about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  5. Enjoy them fresh or store in an airtight container to keep for later.
Continue Reading

Citrus Poppyseed Minis

Citrus Poppyseed Minis

We received word that there would be a Christmas party at Eva’s school in the afternoon and parents were asked if they could contribute either clementines, chocolates or cakes. On a whim, I picked cake and decided to churn out mini muffins in place of cakes to make it easier for the kids (and parents) to eat. Because Noah is sensitive to citrus, I made two flavours – citrus poppyseed and banana blueberry. You can substitute citrus with just lemon or orange or lime, poppyseed with some diced almonds.

While churning these muffins out, I discovered that the moulds I had were not enough and settled on a mini financier mould that I had purchased months earlier. Financier is a type of French cake that is similar to a sponge cake and usually baked in a rectangular mould, making it similar to petit fours in shape and size.

The result is a very cute and yummy cake that is not too sweet or overpowering. My mum – who is here for a visit – loved the strong orange flavour while I like the crunch. The hubby wolved down five at one go…a clear sign that he loves it!

NOTE: You can replace the coconut milk and oil with butter and regular milk. The quantity of the sugar has been reduced by 25% from the original recipe but you can go down a little bit more – just not more than 35% (it’ll change the overall flavour and texture of the cake).

Citrus Poppyseed Minis

Ingredients

2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup orange & lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 large eggs
Zest from 1 orange & 1 lemon
2 tbsp poppyseed
1/2 tsp baking soda

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar and baking soda together with the orange & lemon zest. Stir until well incorpoated.
  3. Add in the eggs and mix to break the yolks (but do not incorporate it fully into the flour) before adding in the juice, oil and coconut milk. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon gently and when it’s almost incorporated, fold in the poppyseed – take care to not overbeat. The mixture should look lumpy.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the dough into a muffin tray until it’s about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  5. Enjoy them fresh or store in an airtight container to keep for later.
Continue Reading

Coconut Buckwheat Soft Cookies

Coconut Buckwheat Soft Cookies

We were down to our last two cookies so I decided to make up another batch. Since chocolate was out, I was left with the usual flavours – coconut, fruit or plain. I remembered buying a packet of shredded coconut a few weeks earlier and decided on a coconut based cookie. One of my cookbooks featured a coconut oat cookie which I thought was interesting but I didn’t have enough quick cooking oats so I decided to replace them with buckwheat flakes which I usually add to Noah’s morning cereal to give it some texture.

Buckwheat is a wonderful gluten-free alternative that is packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals. I have been giving buckwheat regularly in the form of whole groats; this seed is commonly found here in France as ble de noir or farine de sarrasin (simply put, it is buckwheat flour) and you use this flour to make savoury crepes. I use the groats in Noah’s food, flakes in his cereal (together with millet puffs) and yes, in baked goods.

Do be forewarned, this recipe will give you a soft cookie due to the inclusion of buckwheat flakes. If you don’t have buckwheat, you can replace it with quick-cooking oats OR quinoa/millet/corn/wheat/rice flakes.

Coconut Buckwheat Soft Cookies
Adapted from Best Ever Cookies’ Coconut Oat Cookies recipe

Makes about 30 cookies depending on the size

Ingredients

175 gms / 2 cups buckwheat flakes
75 gms / 1 cup shredded coconut
225 gms / 1 cup butter or margarine
40 gms / 1/4 cup white sugar
40 gms / 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp yogurt
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
115 gms / 1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  2. Spread the buckwheat flakes and coconut on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter or margarine with both white & brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the yogurt and vanilla essence. Fold in the flour and baking soda before adding in the toasted buckwheat flakes and coconut. Stir to incorporate all.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the dough about 1-2 inches apart onto a baking tray and flatten slightly. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Enjoy them fresh or store in an airtight container to keep for later.
Continue Reading

Knit: Melange Shawl

KNIT: Melange Shawl

Melange Shawl
Pattern | My own design
Yarn | 100purewool.com Merino Lace in Lace Blue and overdyed in turquoise
Needles | 3.75mm and 6mm circulars

My first “proper” design!

The last time I worked on designing was in 2008/2009 and it was just putting together stuff I found from a stitch dictionary and hoping that it would work out fine. I would do my designs admist watching a movie, surfing the net and looking at things like discount swisher sweets cigars (for fun). But this time, designing this shawl was a wonderful journey – I focused only on this, I didn’t just stuff from stitch dictionaries but I also modified it and at least I knew what I was doing in terms of making sure the shawl increased properly in size and so forth. It is currently being tested by a group of wonderful ladies and it appears that they are moving quite fast. With any luck, the pattern should be released after the Christmas and New Year holidays which is just great!

I’m still undecided about making this a free pattern but I also don’t want to price it too high. I reckon I’ll have some time to truly decide on that bit. In the meantime, I have put aside designing (I did started work on a lace-cable pair of socks but will most probably churn out another shawl soon) to finish up a sweater for Noah since I just have the sleeves and neckline to finish up. Can’t wait to finish it! Tehehehe.

KNIT: Melange Shawl - Edging

Continue Reading

Lemon yogurt poppy seed cake

Lemon yogurt poppy seed cake

I’ve been making a lot of cakes this month to add some variety to Noah’s breakfast; on some days, he has cereal with fruit or yogurt with his cereal but I wanted to include something different in terms of texture into his meals. Hence the cake recipes thus far.

I chanced upon this while surfing the Internet (in between hunts for a stand with mount) for lemon poppy seed pound cakes and ended up making a variation of this instead. The poppy seeds gives the cake added crunch. The lemon flavour and taste is just nice and not too overpowering on the palate. Unlike my previous bakes, I used white sugar for this as I was trying to finish up whatever that I had left – I’m not very keen on using white sugar in baked goods as it doesn’t lend much flavour or moisture.

Do note that this is a dairy-free version – if dairy isn’t an issue, you can replace the margarine and soy yogurt with regular butter and cow’s milk yogurt. I reckon the cake would be even more fragrant! Tehehehe.

Lemon yogurt poppy seed cake
Adapted from Bake Your Day’s recipe here

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup margarine
Slightly less than 1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup soy yogurt
Zest & juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C and prepare a pan of your choice.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a another bowl, cream the margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until fully incorporated
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients, alternating with the yoghurt, to the creamed margarine, eggs and sugar. Mix just until incorporated – be careful not to overbeat. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest and poppy seeds, and stir until blended.
  5. When ready, pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10-15 mins before transferring to a wire rack.
Continue Reading

Banana & raisin bread

Banana & raisin bread

Because we’re in a need of some bread and the bananas were “dying”!

The original recipe called for 120 gms of sugar but I cut back on this as the bananas are already sweet plus I don’t like to use too much sugar in my baked goods. It can be overpowering! Raisins adds a nice, chewy texture to an otherwise light and fluffy bread that is still quite moist.

Banana & raisin bread
Adapted from Cooking Crave’s recipe here

Ingredients

3 large overripe bananas, mashed
50 g butter/margarine, melted
85 g brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda
200 g plain flour
1/2 cup raisins (I used golden, dark and sultanas)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C and prepare a grease pan of your choice.
  2. Add the melted butter/margarine into the mashed bananas and mix well before adding the sugar, vanilla essence and egg. Mix in well.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking soda and fold in until just incorporate. Add in the raisins and fold in. Be careful to not overmix.
  4. Pour into your pan of choice and bake for 50 minutes until golden brown. I like mine a little on the darker side but if you want yours to be light, cover the top with aluminium foil about 30 minutes after baking.
  5. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing. Stand on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy as it is or store in an airtight container in the fridge (to keep for a few days) or leave at room temperature (for 2-3 days).
Continue Reading