Posts Tagged ‘sparkle’
It’s National Crochet Month! So I’m crocheting my first garment!
I spied this pattern for the Sparkle Slipon at work and it just screamed VEGAS. Now, I’ve never once in my life been interested in visiting Las Vegas but Jon has a business trip there in the spring so I am tagging along to get a little sun. And now I’m making this top to wear by the pool. (I’d worry about granny square tan lines but I’ve never had a tan in my life.) It’s just so glittery! Can’t you just picture it?
I’ve already gotten started. I’m using the suggested Vanna’s Glamour in Purple Topaz, Garnet, Gold, Moonstone, Jewel, and Topaz. I figure that, since it’s machine washable, it’ll work well to wear over my bathing suit and I won’t freak out if I get sunscreen on it. Arabia, the crochet queen of the Studio, gave me some help arranging the colors and gave me some advice.
It feels so weird to me being a novice in something. I’m really second-guessing myself with everything about this. Since I’ve made granny squares, I feel like I can handle this piece. It’s really just a big granny square. But working into the chain was incredibly nerve-wracking. My chain looks awful. Jill suggested I try a chinless foundation row. I’m not quite sure if that would work here since it creates a single crochet row but I really need to do more investigating there. Also, don’t even talk about gauge.
How are your foundation rows when you crochet? Have you crocheted a garment?
Happy New Years, internet! Hope we’ve all shaken off our 2010 hangovers.
New Years means champagne, of course! So I popped a bottle to make these desserts. If you’ve got an occasion to pop a bottle soon (bridal shower? birthday party? Tuesday night?), these are a really fun way to cook with a little bubbly.
I adapted a recipe from Allrecipes and halved it.
Champagne cupcakes with Sweet Champagne Buttercream (recipe follows)
Yeilds 10 cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup pink champagne
3 egg whites
(I’d like to try it again with 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. The champagne alone wasn’t sweet enough!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your cupcake pan. I used little foil cups. New Years is all about sparkle.
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. I use my stand mixer which I am in love with. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then add to the creamed mixture. I went about 1/4 of a cup at a time, alternating with the champagne.
If you’re using a stand mixer like me, you’re going to have to transfer your mixture into another bowl because you’re going to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. This was a bit of a pain in the ass for me because it meant transferring everything, washing the mixer’s bowl and then mixing the eggs (at medium and then on high). And then washing the bowl again…
At this point, your mixed ingredients don’t look like cupcake batter. Mine was thick, almost like a cookie dough but! after the eggs have reached a stiff peak, fold them into the batter. This makes all the difference and after a few minutes of aggressive folding, my batter became smooth and shiny.
Pour the batter into the cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Don’t forget to rotate them if you have a tricky oven like me!
Sweet Champagne Buttercream adapted this recipe at Gimme Some Oven!
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (might try almond next time)
a splash of Champagne
Start by creaming your butter and confectioners sugar. I was really patient and it turned out beautiful and smooth.
Then add the vanilla and champagne. I added more to taste. And I guess because I was having a glass myself, why not add more! Be careful, though, you could thin the icing too far with too much liquid.
I iced them and added some black glitter. The glitter was kind of on a whim because I had some left over from Halloween macarons but I think New Years Eve in New York City is all about black glitter.