These Still Count As Goodies, Right?

October 7, 2013 21:54 by Suzy

These still count as goodies, right?

No, I haven’t completely given up cooking and baking goodies…I've just added knitted goodies to my repertoire!

JD and I moved to southern Ohio this past spring, and we’re loving the quiet, small town life. Definitely don’t miss the traffic, crowds, and high prices of DC. I was lucky enough to find a really good job fairly quickly, and JD is spending his days working outside with his grandfather…taking care of the house and 70+ acres of property, including a lake! We are both truly blessed.

So, in between my job, enjoying the peace and quiet of rural Ohio, and getting into Big 10 football in addition to the NFL (there go my Saturdays and Sundays!), I have been making food goodies in the kitchen and knitting goodies in the living room.

Most recently, I finished my Left Bank Cardigan and Moutons' Boutons fingerless mitts…

The Left Bank Cardigan is a design from Linda Wilgus of Wooly Mammoth Knits. It’s a great pattern, completely seamless, knit from the top down in an easy but distinctive rib pattern. I will confess, I did get a bit bored towards the end but the end result was so worth it! After finishing the body (whew!), the sleeves are knit in the round with a bit of the rib pattern at the cuffs. Then stitches are picked up along the edge and a seed stitch button band and collar is added.

The rib pattern is lovely, and gives the cardigan a nice fitted shape. I was very pleased with how this project turned out and it’s a perfect go-with-everything piece for my work wardrobe. I was also flattered and thrilled to hear from Linda Wilgus after I posted my finished project on Ravelry…she complimented my finished cardigan and asked if she could include my pictures on her pattern page! Wow!

I used Fyberspates Scrumptious yarn, in the Water colorway. Beautiful blend of Merino wool and silk.

Link to Ravelry project here.

Back in August I received my club yarn shipment from indigodragonfly yarns and OH MY GOD it was so gorgeous…a beautiful mix of purples, greens and blues in their super-soft-super-squishy MCN Sport base. I immediately began searching for the perfect pattern to match up with this treasure. A complex stitch pattern would get lost in the variegated colorway, so I looked for something simple and elegant.

Enter the Moutons' Boutons pattern. I loved the idea of surrounding my hands with the glorious Merino-Cashmere blend, and I even had the perfect buttons left over from the Left Bank Cardigan project!

The pattern is simple but not boring, and the sport weight helps make them a very quick knit…I finished them in 2 days! I love having the button band to add a little visual interest, plus you can get creative and a little wacky with your button choices. These would make great gifts that you can personalize.

Can't wait for the cold weather to get here so I can start wearing these mitts!

Link to Ravelry project here.

So that’s what’s going on here…I’m hoping to do some baking now that fall has arrived so you should see posts of that nature coming up. I’m planning to have regular posts to update “What’s On My Needles” and “What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’,” as well as make some general updates to the About Me and Index pages and other stuff.

Stay tuned!

So What Has Suzy Been Doing?

January 7, 2013 11:29 by Suzy

124 days since my last post...what's been going on with Suzy?  Is anyone wondering?  Do I have any readers left?  Well, for the remaining three of you, here's a wrap-up...

JD and I got "re-married" at our church...

We made several road trips to Ohio...

And celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with great family and friends.

But the real culprit in my lack of posts?

Knitting.  I took a beginner's knitting class on November 3, and that has consumed nearly all of my time ever since.  Poor JD rarely gets a decent meal any more, and I even skipped my usual crazy Christmas Cookie-Palooza, for the first time in many many years.

I was hoping I would like knitting, but I was really unprepared for how much I love it.  I find it so relaxing and so satisfying...not at all stressful or frustrating.  In the past I've tried sewing, counted-cross stitch, and several other crafty-type things, but nothing hit me like knitting has.  I'm officially obsessed.

So far I've made myself a scarf...

A cute beanie-style hat...

Started a hat for JD...

And a shawl for me is currently in the works.

So, my future posts may either be few and far-between, or be knitting related.  That still counts as goodies, right?

As for kitchen goodies, I made Giada's turkey and this peanut butter pie for Thanksgiving, my usual standing rib roast for Christmas, and just last night, this yummy baked ziti.

Wish me luck in getting back on the cooking bandwagon!

Football is Back!

September 5, 2012 12:09 by Suzy

After a looooooooooooooooong boring summer, football is finally back!  Kickoff starts tonight with the Cowboys and the Giants...can't wait!

My will be a Packers-Ravens Super Bowl come February!  I love both teams so much I won't know who to root for, but that's a problem I won't mind having...

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers?

Ray Lewis

Or Ray Lewis?

Homemade English Muffins

August 20, 2012 20:45 by Suzy

With all of the yummy homemade jam goodness around the Suzy and JD household lately, we've been addicted to English Muffins.  For whatever reason those crumbly round muffins are the perfect vehicle for gobbling up said jam.  Unfortunately, store-bought "nooks and crannies" don't come cheap, so I started wondering about making them from scratch.  I had never seen a recipe, nor had I known anyone who made homemade English Muffins, but a quick search on Google and I was in business.

Many recipes did not look promising...the finished muffins looked more like biscuits.  Others looked like hockey pucks and just as dense.  Then I found this recipe at She Simmers and Eureka!  She was looking for the same perfect English Muffins that I was, and she found and honed the recipe it so all I had to do was follow along.  Perfection.

English Muffins
adapted from She Simmers, who adapted a recipe from Alton Brown

1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar, divded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening, melted
1 cup hot water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine nonfat dry milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, shortening, 1 cup hot water in large bowl and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Set aside to cool.

In smaller bowl, combine yeast, 1/8 teaspoon sugar, and 1/3 cup warm water.  Set aside until yeast is creamy and bubbly.

Pour yeast mixture into milk mixture and add flour.  Beat with wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.  Cover and let rest in warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat nonstick plan over medium-low heat.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray.  

Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda into the batter.  Place English Muffin rings in pan and spray with nonstick spray.  Before you ask, no, I don't have those either.  Another Google search gave me a sneaky work-around:  I folded heavy-duty foil into a strip, one quick staple and bam!  Instant English Muffin ring!  You can also use empty tuna cans with the tops and bottoms removed.

Using an ice cream scoop or large ladle, scoop batter into each ring.  Cover pan with lid or cookie sheet and let cook 5-6 minutes.  Remove the lid and flip each muffin, still in the rings, with spatula.  Cover them up again and cook 5-6 minutes, or until nice and golden brown.

Let cool completely before splitting.

Tin Roof Sundae ice Cream

August 13, 2012 19:01 by Suzy

Does anyone else think of the "Tiiiiiiin...Roof!  Rusted." line from "Love Shack" when you see this ice cream at the store?  Just me?  Oh well.

When it comes to ice cream at home, we usually have a stash of Ben & Jerry's or Haagen-Dazs pints in the freezer.  This past year, however, I've been trying to keep the food bill down, so I started buying Turkey Hill's Tin Roof Sundae ice cream for our occasional dessert treat.  It's not B&J's Chocolate Fudge Brownie, but it's actually quite good...with a nice ribbon of fudge and a hit of salty from the peanuts.

After the roaring success of my Coffee Ice Cream, I bought myself a copy of "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz to continue with my ice cream adventures.  I never would have thought to make homemade Tin Roof ice cream, but there it was!  I couldn't resist...

Honestly, I think this is one of my favorite things EVER to be featured on Suzy's Goodies.  Incredibly smooth and creamy with the perfect mix of rich fudge and salty peanuts.  JD said I out-did myself.  I must agree.  I'm also going to add the fudge ripple to almost anything that comes out of my ice cream maker...if I don't guzzle it straight first.

Tin Roof Sundae Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop

3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fudge Ripple:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate-Covered Peanuts:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup roasted, lightly salted peanuts

Make Custard:  Combine the milk, sugar, salt and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until hot and steamy but not boiling.  Add the vanilla bean paste, stir and remove from heat.  Cover, and let steep for 30 minutes.

Place remaining cup of cream in medium bowl set in an ice water bath.  Beat egg yolks in another bowl.  Return the saucepan to medium heat and again cook, stirring, until hot and steamy.  Slowly pour hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs do not scramble.  Pour egg yolk/milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until custard thickens and coats the back of a spatula (run your finger across the spatula and it should leave a clear path).  Pour custard through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl of cream and stir until cool.  Stir in vanilla extract.  Chill, tightly covered, in fridge until very cold.

Make Fudge Ripple:  Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder in small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it starts to boil.  Keep at a low boil, whisking, for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  Let cool, then cover and chill in fridge until very cold.

Make Chocolate-Covered Peanuts:  Line dinner plate with plastic wrap.  Place chocolate in dry microwave-safe bowl.  Heat chocolate in microwave, stirring every 15-30 seconds, until melted.  Add peanuts and stir until evenly coated.  Pour onto plastic-lined plate and spread out in an even layer.  Chill in fridge until cool, then break into bite-sized pieces.

Make the ice cream:  Churn custard in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.  When finished, fold in chocolate-covered peanuts.  Layer ice cream in storage container with spoonfuls of the fudge ripple (you probably won't use it all).  Don't stir or you won't get the "ribbon" effect.  Cover tightly and freeze until firm.  


Pull-Apart Buttery Dinner Rolls

August 6, 2012 18:55 by Suzy


***this is all that was left of the pan after JD and I got a hold of it***

I went into the weekend with a craving for homemade bread of some sort, but didn't have a specific recipe in mind.  We're still in the swampy-hot days of summer so I knew I didn't want to go crazy and have the oven on for a huge amount of time.  Enter these rolls.  Holy crap they were good.  Think traditional holiday dinner rolls but a million times better...soft and fluffy and just a bit sweet.  JD and I devoured nearly an entire pan of them for dinner...we'd had a late lunch so hot buttery carbs were all we needed Yum.

Pull-Apart Buttery Dinner Rolls
adapted from King Arthur Flour

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1-2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing

Combine all ingredients in mixer bowl and knead with dough hook until soft, smooth and a bit sticky...about 7 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.

Grease two 8" round cake pans.  Gently deflate dough and divide into 16 equal pieces (divide in half, then in half again, and so on...).  Shape each piece of dough into a round ball and place into cake pans, 8 pieces evenly spaced in each pan.  Cover pans and let rise again for 60-90 minutes, or until the rolls are puffy and crowded up against each other.  Towards the end of rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes, or until golden brown.  Brush with melted butter and serve warm.

Blackberry Jam

August 5, 2012 12:43 by Suzy

I'm in mourning.  I had such high hopes for homemade apricot jam this summer.  Apparently I completely missed apricot season...I had no idea their season was so early, or so short!  Apricot jam has always been my favorite, and here in my first year of making jam I completely miss out.  Sucks.

I've been trying to console myself with my peach jam, which is incredibly delicious (seriously, you need to make some!) and then with this blackberry jam.  My batch turned out a little thick but still very good.  Next time I will trust my instincts and not the candy thermometer and take the pot off the heat a bit earlier.

Blackberry Jam
adapted from Food in Jars

6 cups blackberry puree (press fresh blackberries through fine mesh strainer)
4 cups sugar
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 packet liquid pectin

Prepare jars:  wash pint or half-pint jars and rings in hot soapy water, rinse and set aside.  Put lids in small saucepan of water and bring to a simmer (do not boil).  Keep lids in saucepan over low heat.

Prepare canner:  put rack in bottom of canner or large pot and place clean jars on rack.  Fill canner with water and bring to a boil.

Combine blackberry pulp and sugar in large heavy pot and bring to a boil.  Add lemon zest and juice and continue to boil, stirring, until thickened.  Stir in liquid pectin, return to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Remove jars from boiling water.  Carefully fill jars with jam, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Wipe rims with damp paper towel and apply lids and rings.

Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Remove from canner and let cool on towel-lined countertop.  When cool, check seals and store in cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Coffee Ice Cream

July 31, 2012 19:07 by Suzy

This is one of those occasions where the third time was indeed the charm.  I finally got around to buying myself an ice cream maker a month or two ago, and I've been searching for the perfect coffee ice cream recipe ever since.  First batch - icy texture and odd after-taste.  Second batch - better texture, but not great, and too many coffee grounds in the mix.  Third batch - pure bliss.  Perfectly creamy with an assertive coffee flavor.  Yum.  JD even compared it to Haagen Dazs.  This was my appetizer before dinner the other night and I was in heaven.

My next batch, I think I'm going to add chopped dark chocolate in the last 5 minutes of churning.  Or maybe chocolate-covered chopped espresso beans!

Coffee Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop (thanks to SimplyRecipes for featuring it on their blog!)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee

In saucepan, heat milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream over medium heat.  Cook until hot and steamy but not boiling.  Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for one hour.

Pur remaining 1 cup cream in bowl set in larger bowl filled with ice.  Set aside.

Return saucepan to medium heat and again cook until hot and steamy.  Slowly add the hot milk/coffee mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs don't scramble.  Pour everything back into the saucepan.

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat, until thickened and the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon (you should be able to run your finger through it and leave a clear path on the spoon).  This will take 5-10 minutes.

Pour custard through fine mesh strainer into bowl of cream.  Press on the coffee beans with a wooden spoon to get as much of the liquid as possible.  Add the vanilla and ground coffee and stir until cool.  Chill, tightly covered, in the fridge until nice and cold.

Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Transfer ice cream to freezer-safe container, place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream, cover tightly, and freeze until firm.

Bread & Butter Pickles

July 30, 2012 21:52 by Suzy

More pickles!

I was very happy with how these pickles turned out.  Not too sweet and with just the right amount of spice.

Bread & Butter Pickles
adapted from Food in Jars

6 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
2 cups sliced onion
2 cups sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup kosher or pickling salt
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine sliced cucumbers, onion, red bell pepper, and salt in a large bowl; mix well.  Cover and put in the fridge for at least 4 and up to 12 hours.  Rinse and drain veggies.

Set up canner with rack and place 4 pint jars on rack.  Fill canner with water and bring to a boil.  Put lids in small saucepan of water and bring to a low simmer.

Put vinegar and sugar in large saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Add spices, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Add the drained veggies and boil for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the hot jars from the canner, drain, and set on towel-lined countertop.  Fill hot jars with the veggies, using tongs.  Ladle brine into jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.  Stir with plastic or wooden chopstick to remove any air bubbles.

Wipe jar rims with damp paper towel, place the lids on each jar and apply rings (not too tight).

Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove jars and let cool on towel-lined countertop.  Let pickles cure for 48 hours before eating.


Iced Coffee

July 29, 2012 12:34 by Suzy

Iced Coffee

Apparently the earth has taken up residence a mere 100 yards from the sun, and has no plans to move.  In addition, the world's largest quilt has been soaked in sweat and draped over the Mid-Atlantic to keep us as swampy as possible until winter.  My survival has depended on quick transport from one air-conditioned area to another, and gallons of this iced coffee.

Iced Coffee

1 cup dark roast coffee grounds
2 quarts cold water

Combine coffee grounds and cold water in large container and stir to mix well.  Cover and leave out on the counter overnight.  Strain through a fine sieve into pitcher and chill.  Serve over ice (duh), with a bit of half and half and superfine sugar.  Repeat as needed until you are no longer melting in a pool of sweat.