Monday, May 23, 2011

Persistence Pays Off

Sometimes persistence pays off!  I saw this antique rack at an antique store being used to display old linen hand towels.  I literally begged to purchse it for months.  One day I got a phone call that a rack in much better condition was available and she was holding it for me!  People were wanting to buy it left and right before I got down there.  Isn't it interesting?  When I launder and then cold mangle my handwoven linen towels I hang them on it to dry.  Today I took pictures with some  wool skeins hanging on it for you to see.  Those legs stick out quite a distance from the base - so far that if you aren't paying attention you can trip over them and hurt your knee quite badly (this took some of the fun out of this antique for a bit!)  Maybe I'll learn not to chase the cat without watching what is around me!!
Now, for the winner of our recent Chocolate Contest:
Margaret, you are the winner of our Chocolate colored (brown) Silk 'n Colors and a tube of German Chocolate Bath Salts!
so I can mail out your prize!

Still dyeing - threads that is,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Mocha Cream

Makes 20 cookies.  From March 2002 Bon Appetite and recipe is by:  Elinor Klivans
1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C whipping Cream
1 T instant coffee granules
3/4 C powdered sugar
6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
1 C all purpose flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
 1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
1 large egg
2 t water
1 t vanilla extract
1 t instant coffee granules
2 C semi sweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)
1 C chopped pecans
For filling:  stir chocolate chips, cream and coffee granules in heavy saucepan over medium heat until chocolate melts and coffee dissolves.  Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.  Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and vanilla in bowl until blended.  Beat in chocolate mixture.  Refrigerate until beginning to firm up about 8 minutes.  Can be make ahead and refrigerated.  If you make it ahead you will need to allow it to stand at room temperature until just soft enough to spread. (2 hours)
For cookies:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into bowl.  Using electric mixer, in another bowl beat butter and both sugars until well blended.  Add egg, 2 t water, vanilla and instant coffee.  Beat well.  Stir in the flour mixture.  STir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drops by tablespoonful onto prepared sheets, spacing about 2" apart.  Bake until tops are  just tirm to touch and no longer shiny, about 13 minutes.  Cool on sheets 10 minutes and then transfer to racks to cool.
Place half of cookies, flat side up on work surface.  Spread with 1 T of filling, leaving a 1/4" border.  Top with second cooking, pressing to adhere.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.  Serve cookies cold.
Now for the blog give-a-way.  Add a comment regarding your favorite chocolate and if a specialty chocolate where you purchase it.  Spread the chocolate love by sharing a website if possible.  The random drawing will give the winner a few of our Chocolate/brown Silk 'n Colors and a tube of our German Chocolate Bath Salts.  It smells SO GOOD that you may want to eat some good chocolate after your relaxing bath!!  I'll do a random drawing on Friday!
Until Later,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chocolate & Lace

I've been learning how to make Bobbin Lace with a group of friends from my Weaving & Spinning Guild.  I'm still at the baby-step beginning stages of learning so I can't show you any wonderful lace, just yet.  However I wanted to share these beautiful bobbins that I just had painted by an artist in the UK.  She called them 'Chocolate & Lace' because they have the wonderful chocolate swirls with lace painted on the top.  Notice the tiny painted bead on the spangle.  In addition, I had the bobbins inscribed with my Mother and Father's names and birthdates.  There is hardly a word to describe their beauty.  They are a true keepsake that I will enjoy using as I make bobbin lace.  In case you are interested you can see other work by this artist at:    Now a glimpse of my lace pillow and my current lace lesson which is called 'spiders'.

Notice all the different bobbins I am using.  You also use many, many pins in the making of lace.  I'll be excited to show you some real lace sometime in the future.  It is all about thread I guess. . . .in stitching, lace making, weaving and of course all about color. 
Do any of you also know how to make Bobbin Lace?
Watch for a delicious recipe for Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Mocha Cream tomorrow and a chocolate give-a-way!
Still dyeing - threads that is,
Until Later,