Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Too small to count as another WiP."

...Or at least that's how I rationalized it to myself. ;)

NIKM ABC's Freebie by Blackbird Designs
2/2 on 28 ct. Antique Ivory Linen
Recommended Fibers (GAST and WDW)

Strangely focused, but it shows how pretty the colours are.

My big blog seems to have fallen through, but in case anyone was wondering about my Manjula's Kitchen Experiment, here's the Baingan Bharta I made on that snowy Wednesday.

The end result was really good, and a big hit: Marc liked it, which is more than I can say for the restaurant version that inspired me to learn the dish. He's a "Good Eater", and has enthusiastically eaten everything I've ever made save 2 instances, though I'll spare you those anecdotes for today (at least. ;). It came out really "yellow" which I attribute to either a mistake in the quantity of Turmeric I added, or the fact that I had to make do with corriander powder, rather than the called-for seed format. I've already got 2 fat eggplants awaiting a similar fate in my kitchen. :D

The second "make" of my too-busy snow day was Snickerdoodle cookies! They are quite possibly my favorite cookie ever, and that's saying something. I'll say something else: Creaming Butter, Shortening, and sugar together until they are "fluffy" by hand is not for the faint of heart. "Where are the cookies? This is a lump of dough.", you say? Somehow, they were all eaten before I could get a pic. I won't link you the recipe, though, because I wasted at least half of the batter trying to find the baking Time and Temp. In NJ (or 2 of her ovens, at least) the magic number was 6 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit.

They were such a hit (the pickiest amongst our set pronounced them to be "perfect".), that I can say my efforts on the behalf of others' taste buds brought me back a *very* nice return in the form of...

An Artisan Stand Mixer from Kitchen Aid! I was admonishing the boys (Marc's college set; though they graduated one and all nearly 10 years ago, they are still friends who have a monthly "party". One year ago 4 of them established a bachelor pad together, and we often pass the evening there. They have three Playstation 3's, and a pool table in the basement--the draw reveals iself! Fortunately for my stitching eyes, a sister also recently gave them a lamp!) that they should be grateful for these hand-mixed home-made cookies--I suppose I was in a particularly shrewish frame of mind--when one of them pipes up that his family's got a stand mixer moldering unused and would I like it. I made all the proper protests due to the value of the object, and the fact that they not only have disused stand mixer, but within the last year or so also acquired a Dead Mother...Yep, this would be her stand mixer. Without going into the personal details of other people's lives, it is such a sad thing: Her son is only one year my senior, and she was a lovely woman. Though I never met her in person, I know her son well, and he is full of praise for her: A whip-smart (Yet retiring and sometimes uncertain of herself) gynecological nurse, she was the first in the state to earn special qualifications which allowed her unrestricted prescriptive permission. Dad was quite powerless against her knack for adding cats to the household. :)
The trompe-l'œil she muraled in her kitchen (with more enthusiasm than skill, admittedly) featured a stone hutch filled with cheese, grapes, and a garnet-filled glass. Hanging alongside, her favorite cheeky quote:

"I enjoy cooking with wine; sometimes I even put it in the food."

I've been charged with the proper use and good care of Eileen's Mixer. So, I tried making more Snickerdoodles (as you see above) they came out perfectly; now if only I'd remembered that I cut the sugar to 2/3 on my first run-through!)

Those of you who do own stand mixers: Any ideas for what I could/should make? Hints, secrets, dish on dishes?

Yours Somewhat Reflectively,


corinna said...

of course it's a WIP...looks nice
(life is a WIP too)
and as for the mixer I believe it has landed in most capable hands

DonnaTN said...

Stand mixers are great for cookie doughs, cake mixes, and especially whipping egg whites! Think of the first poor cook who whipped egg whites until stiff by hand! Enjoy Ms Eileen's mixer; it is good hands! I like your little wip too!

Deb said...

I would classify it as a WIP! And I'm glad you posted it, I forgot all about downloading it! It looks great! And Snickerdoodles are my most favorite cookie in the world too - love chocolate chip too, but Snickerdoodles have my heart! And I'm with you on the hand mixer. I always beat everything till fluffy with my bare hands. Then I wised up and asked DH for a mixer for Christmas one year. He thought I was nuts. That mixer has many happy cooking experiences under it's blades!

BeckySC said...

Oh, it's looking so lovely, Berit! I TOO am glad tou shared with us :) Lovely work :)

Have a most lovely evening :)

Melissa said...

Well, Berit, I'm sure you will do Eileen's mixer proud. (Did that sound right?)

Anyway, I have one too. Which, when our son was a wee laddie he affectionately named "chicken-aid" from which came numerous yummy baked things.

Yes, it will be great for the usual cookie dough etc but it's great for making bread dough! Homemade bread is heaven! ;-) Have fun!

Sharlotte said...

I'm like Deb. I forgot that I had downloaded that pattern. I need to get it stitched up too, when I can. My sister just got one of the stand mixers.She loves it! Snickerdoodles are a favorite around here as well.

Myra said...

Oh the colors in the BBD piece really are very pretty - now I see why you liked it so much. Yours is coming along nicely. I must admit I am jealous of the stand mixer, however you may have come by it. :o) I am sure you will do it justice in its new home.

Cari-in-VA said...

what a lovely WIP, you're the first person I have seen stitch this piece. I have a KA as well and love it - I vote for cookies, cookies, and more cookies. How thoughtful that he offered it to you.

MyLifesAStitch said...

Thanks so much for the lovely compliments, Berit! And, you may rest assured, your secret is safe with me, lol!! (Secret? What secret? I have NO idea what she's talking about!)

The camera you use is on your PHONE?? That is a suh-weet camera phone, gf!!

Yeah... I have to say that qualifies as a WIP - if you don't finish it in one sitting... buuuut... take comfort - It won't be a WIP for long! It's looking great!

GFY on the stand mixer! How sweet of them to be willing to part with it - you must be special to them! I adore mine... I got it for Christmas one year (a truly fabulous story - my DH is famous for making Christmas memories for me! Maybe I'll post it some time.)... I must admit I don't use it to its full potential... what have I done with it... cookies (obviously), mashed/ whipped potatoes, whipped (real) cream, ummm... cupcakes... oh man. Now I'm feeling guilty that I haven't done more with it, lol!!

Sounds like you had a great day!

I hope you don't get clobbered too badly with this next one making its way up the coast!!

mainely stitching said...

Too weird. One of the shops I went into with Patti this past weekend had the same mixer (but in silver) marked down to half price and I'll tell you it was agony to leave without it. A-G-O-N-Y. But I did because even at half price it was about twice as expensive as Niek thinks mixers need to be. Sigh. But hey, I love yours. Go crazy. Cook EVERYTHING. Show pictures.

Annemarie said...

Alas. Notonly do I not have a mixer, I also lack any basic cooking/baking skills, so I can't share on that front, except to say that everything looks totally yummy and that the apparatus looks super (and *pretty*. What a lovely colour!)

Your wee freebie is looking lurvely!

I'm arse-deep in deadlines, so will e-mail later!

Siobhan said...

I am sure Eileen is happy to know that her mixer is being used and appreciated! I don't have one so can't help with any tips! Love the new freebie WIP, I really have to get cracking on mine.

Sadie said...

Such a pretty start Berit, it's lovely :-)
Your cooking looks so yummy. Be sure to share pics of the things you make with the new mixer. I am sure it will be well used and that the previous owner would wholly approve x

Littlebit said...

What pretty colors on the little BBD!

Carol said...

Oh, I love that mixer, Berit! I have one, too, but it is just plain old vanilla color. Your navy one would perfectly complement my navy and white kitchen...

Love your little WIP--haven't seen this stitched up before so I guess you are a trendsetter :)

melissa sews said...

Berit! You'll LOVE your Kitchen Aid!!! I use mine for everything. Creaming is a breeze... you'll wonder how you managed without it. They're total work horses. I kneed my bread and make my own butter with mine. I wouldn't attempt to do either (maybe I would kneed bread *occasionally*) without mine.

And they have so many fabulous attachements you can purchase. On my wish list are the pasta maker and meat grinder attachments. There's even a grain milling attachment.

How fortunate you are to have acquired one this way. Oh-so-sentimental. And I just love that cobalt blue. Enjoy! :) Melissa