Archive for October, 2009

Last night I decided to make breadsticks and pasta for dinner.  I doubled my normal breadstick recipe and made the second tray into dessert breadsticks covered in cinnamon, sugar, and glaze.  MAN, were they good! 

I’ve said for years that one of my goals in life (at least with cooking) is to make something so good that my husband stops in his tracks and says something equivalent to “Wow, this is GOOD.  Please make it again!”  He had a major operation when he was 12 and ever since he hasn’t had much of an appetite.  Food doesn’t taste that good to him or sound that appetizing most of the time.

So, last night he said “I guess I’d better try one of these” (amid much protesting from the kids of “no FAIR, Daddy!  You didn’t eat your dinner yet!  Those are supposed to be DESSERT!”).  We all watched as he took a bite of warm breadstick, chewed, swallowed.  His eyes widened a bit.  Then he said, “Someone deserves smooches!”  (Translation of John-speak: “YUM!”)

I guess that is pretty close to my goal for him.  For now, anyway. 🙂

This recipe came from my sister, Kaatia Larsen.  I’m not sure where she got it but I’ve used it for years.  I will put the recipe below and then my notes and comments.  Sorry I don’t have a picture! 


Yield: one cookie sheet full of breadsticks

1.5 cups hot water (hot enough to make yeast work)

1 Tb. honey

1 Tb. yeast

1 tsp. salt

3-4 cups flour

1/2 stick soft butter

garlic powder


3/4-1 cup parmesan cheese

Add yeast to water; pour honey on top of yeast.  Let yeast work 5-10 minutes till top of water is covered.  Add 1 cup flour.  Pour salt on flour.  Mix.  Add flour 1/4 cup as a time as needed and knead till dough is almost not sticky. 

Grease cookie sheet.  Roll out dough evenly on sheet.  Spread butter across dough. 

With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut down the middle of the dough lenghwise and then into 1-inch strips across the tray horizontally.  Sprinkle salt/pepper sparingly, then cover in garlic powder and parmesan cheese. 

Put in oven and turn oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook 25-30 minutes until done (golden-brown on top and middle is done).


Now, I know it says to turn the oven on when you put them in, but last night I used rapid-rising yeast and let the dessert breadsticks rise for a few minutes before baking.  The oven was also on from cooking the regular breadsticks.  They were equally good and maybe even a little better.  So use your judgment or what you have time for!  They’ll work either way.

Variation for Dessert Breadsticks:

Follow the recipe to the point of spreading the butter on.  Once the dough is covered in butter, sprinkle all over with sugar and cinnamon.  Bake as directed.  While the breadsticks are still warm, you can mix up a glaze if you want of 2 or 3 tablespoons of soft butter, 3/4 cup or so of powdered sugar, a splash of milk, and a bit of vanilla.  Mix till smooth and somewhat runny.  Taste and adjust if needed.  Pour over warm breadsticks. 



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My wonderful husband said I could order from KnitPicks again, so I did, and haunted the FedEx website daily to track the progress of the package.   My needles arrived on Wednesday!!  I ordered some of these:


They’re perfect for making smaller things in circles, like hats!  I am so excited to make a bunch of hats for the kids for Christmas. 

Bran wants a stocking hat:

Clicking the picture will take you to the pattern.

I’m thinking white, burgundy, and darkish blue.

Ciara and Nia haven’t decided yet, but I think they’d look cute in one of these:

by Katie Ahlquist on Ravelry.com

by Postscriptlove on Ravelry.com

by ilikelemons on Ravelry.com

by minhers on Ravelry.com

by Kirsten Kapur on Ravelry.com

by crankyalyson on Ravelry.com

When I learn to do colorwork really well, I’ve GOT to make this one for Bran:

by myjewelthief on Ravelry.com

Would he not just die of happiness??

If John would wear it, I would make him this:

Seaman’s cap by helloyarn on Ravelry.com

And as for me, am I a hat person?  I really have no idea.  I’d like to be!  I’ve never worn one in my life, really.  But I would love to have a massive collection of hand-knit hats and I hope when I make one for myself, it looks decent!  Here’s some of my favorites from Ravelry.com:

cool ponytail hat by Blake Ehrlich

slouchy hat by turtlegirl76

“Gretel” by Ysolda Teague

Newsboy cap by raschi

flower cloche by Mac7

beautiful entrelac hat by myyarns

Well, I could go on for days.  We haven’t even covered adorable baby hats yet.  But this post is getting really long.  Let me just take a second to say that Ravelry.com is THE best website on the planet for anyone who loves knitting, crocheting, spinning, or just loves to drool over patterns, yarn, and beautiful designs.  It’s free to join and SO much fun.  There’s thousands of free patterns on there and about 500,000 nice folks in this gigantic fiber-lovin’ community.

So, to sum up: I have needles now that are perfect for hats!  Yay!  I hope I can get at least one for each of my children done for Christmas or sooner.  We’re going to try to make nearly all of the Christmas/birthday presents this year.

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On Sunday morning we got up, took showers (ahh!!  Cleanliness!!), and went to John’s old ward.  We also drove by the house he grew up in and that was really fun for the kids, to be able to see it. 


John’s house

After church we had a lovely visit with John’s sister Rachel and her husband, Dave.  They fed us a delicious spaghetti dinner (thanks, guys!) and the kids had a wonderful time coloring and painting. 

We consulted with relatives and decided to drive up to Lake Cleveland to see if we could get a camping spot for the night.  It was hard to find the right road, but we got on it without too much trouble and besides the scariness of the sheer cliffs and curves on the edge of the mountain, made it up and found a campsite.  (On one of the scariest curves—right on the edge of a terrifying cliff—someone was building a house!!  WHO in their right minds would do that?!?!?  I didn’t get a picture because I was too terrified to look.  Even John was in shock.  The half-finished house was for sale, too.)

We got the tents up before dark, which was awesome!  The stars up there were beautiful (until the clouds and wind rolled in and covered them up).  It was pretty cold.  But the worst part was the wind!  It shook the tent so hard that I almost thought it was going to collapse.  John and I were awake at LEAST two hours before falling asleep.  At 5am the kids were all awake, needing to use the bathroom, and they were so cold that I crawled into their tent and cuddled up with them, bringing my blankets.  Even though the ground was rock hard and on a slant we were so tired that we went back to sleep till around 8. 

When we woke up John had a nice fire going and we made instant oatmeal, hot chocolate, and ate some canned fruit.  During breakfast we were surrounded by swarms of hornets.  They were everywhere!  They got so bad (they were covering the front of the van….NO idea what was so fascinating about it!) that we packed up and left, against our will.  It was unbelievable.  Meanwhile, the kids had a great time running around and playing.  I wish so much they could be in the outdoors like this all the time, or at least a lot more often.

We stopped for about 15 minutes on the way out to skip rocks in the lake.

We drove down the mountain and out to City of Rocks.  The kids had been looking forward to this for a long time.  They had a blast climbing rocks and didn’t want to leave.  John climbed all the way up Bathtub Rock (you can see the videos on his Facebook page) and Ciara and Bran went partway.  Nia and I were content (i.e., too chicken to climb up) to have fun scrambling around on the small rocks at the base and collecting some pretty pebbles and stones to take home.

We had time for another hour of climbing before we went home.  When we finally got home around 7pm we were exhausted and filthy and glad to be back.  But in spite of wind, cold, dirt, getting lost, and hornets, it was great to get away from everything and just do something fun and new with just our family.

(Lots more pics on my Facebook page.)

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