Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pumpkin Roll

Dipping my toes back into blogging post holidays. I'll catch up on holiday knitting a bit later. Tonight, I'm sharing my pumpkin roll recipe. I tend to take a pumpkin roll with me to most holiday gatherings and have received a lot of great feedback about them over the past several years. Enjoy!

Roll Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Filling Ingredients:
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

To Make Filling: Cut cream cheese into roughly inch squares. Place cream cheese in food processor evenly. Add butter and vanilla. Blend. Add powdered sugar by 1/4 cup increments, blending well after each addition. Set icing aside. (Note: Make sure to cut the cream cheese and place evenly in processor and add powdered sugar slowly or else the food processor may trip a breaker.)

To Make Roll:

1. In a large bowl, combine eggs and sugar beating well. Add pumpkin, mixing until blended. I use my mixer for this step.
2. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Make sure all baking powder isn't clumpy, baking powder clumps taste nasty in a finished roll. Add to egg mixture gradually, mixing well.
3. Spread batter into a greased and wax paper lined jelly roll pan. I use a 12x17 inch jelly roll plan, but I don't spread it over the entire pan. Can use a smaller sized deep sided cookie sheet just fine, too. Shake pan vigorously to evenly distribute batter.
4. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove the cake and waxed paper and place upside down on a cooling rack.
5. Remove the waxed paper carefully. A sharp knife really helps with the hard to peel off sticky spots.
6. Roll the cake up in a tea towel fairly tightly so it will cool in its eventual shape starting with the shortest edge. Set aside and cool for 20-30 minutes.
7. Unroll cake and spread filling over cake and roll it back up.
8. Place the cake, seam side down on aluminum foil, wrap in foil and chill for at least 2 hours in fridge or placed directly in freezer if freezing for future use.

I usually set aside an entire day before the holidays and mass produce these rolls. They're pretty easy to set up in a more production line style. While one roll is in the oven, another batter can be started. Also, the cooling step in #6 can last longer than 30 minutes until you've completed the baking steps for all rolls you're making. Finally, if you wrap the roll very securely in aluminum foil, the pumpkin rolls can be frozen for a few weeks with no degrading of the taste or texture. The night before an event, I can take a roll out of the freezer and thaw it in the fridge. Happy baking!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Be Still My Fangirl Heart..

cause AC/DC is coming to town on tour!!!!! Seriously, I've wanted to go to one of their concerts since I was in junior high. *crosses fingers for good-seat-foo*

Monday, September 15, 2008


I believe I should receive the award for the lamest "active" blogger out there. Enough posts on my blog right now that posts from March are still visible on my front page in September. *head desk*

It's been a trying week. After spending all day last Sunday and most of Monday evening completely engrossed in Spore, my main computer completely croaked Monday night. Lots of game progress and ~1.5 years of data gone when my hard drive took a permanent face plant. A replacement hard drive came in the mail last Friday. I had set aside Saturday for a rescue attempt at my files on the old one. No such luck, even as a second disk it couldn't be mapped. :( But, I was able to salvage my iTunes library from my iPod. *cheers* Note from the now very wise, take frequent back-ups of home PCs, too. I work in IT and should know better than keeping everything locally. >.<

Overall, the summer was pretty damned crazy schedule wise. I've been relishing a few quiet weekends at home lately, particularly getting in a lot of reading and knitting time. I'm a huge homebody at heart and judge how well a weekend or vacation goes based off the number of days I didn't have to leave the house. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's that time of the year again, Gencon Indy starts tomorrow! Can't wait, so stay tuned for gaming goodness :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What the Hell I've Been Doing All Summer

To say I've let my blog go to the back burner this summer is a complete understatement. Now time to start playing a bit of catch-up.

Hubs and I have been completely occupied by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel complete series DVDs since late June. Please don't do the math and figure out how many hours/days we spent in front of the TV. I have been marking the hours going by with tons of finished knitting projects and don't want to even think about it in terms of hours. :)

Last item off my needles, and largest summer project by far was the Serenity Baby Blanket made for buds Zoe and BP who are planning on starting a family this fall. This took me the vast majority of season 1-5 of Angel to complete, but I just had to knit a project inspired by Firefly, a show by Joss Whedon, while watching another of his series.

True to color shot
True to proportion shot
Mmmmm...cable-y and lacy

Cotton-Ease didn't block so well

Pretty center motif

I loved doing this project! If you want the knitty gritty details, see my Ravelry project page.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

With a Little Help

First off, a GINORMOUS thank you to Hubs, Marcus, Mary, Zoe, Sylvia, Phollower, and Betty Please for all your help moving on Saturday. We couldn't have done it without your help. :)

The past 5 or so weeks have been one of the craziest times in my life. I haven't been in the right frame of mind for much knitting, blogging, or much of anything other than pacing or worrying and attempting to escape in DVRed tv shows. I've been helping my mom and sister move and get a fresh start to life that they both needed. The biggest part of that being getting them into a place of their own which was finished yesterday afternoon. I cannot even say what a huge relief this is to me and my family. So, here's to second chances and good friends and family!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm Not Dead Yet

Been going through some, well let's face it, shit lately. May's completely sucked. Bring on July! I realize I may be getting a bit ahead of myself but that's the light at the end of the tunnel for me. :)

That's not to say that I haven't been busily stitching away. I have three finished objects I'm just now getting around to blogging.

First up, I've taken up cross stitching. Cross stitching had a bit of a rocky start for me as Bandit devoured two skeins of floss in one night. Let it be known that if an emergency vet ever gives you the instructions to dose your dog with hydrogen peroxide and have him exercise until he pukes that you're in for a long night. >.< This sampler is destined to be hung in our office at home.

Modified "Bite Me" Sampler from the Subversive Cross Stitch book

Also, I've finished the Pinwheel Blanket for Astro Knotts.

Such an easy pattern, but oh so cute and modifiable

Also finished a pair of socks for Mother's Day only 2 weeks after. Loved working the twisted stitch cables in this pattern.

Conwy Socks from Knitting on the Road using Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn

And, I'm over halfway completed with a pair socks for Hubs. Only been working on these since January! :-/

Gionormous Hub Socks

I'm sort of between projects at the moment with only the huge Hub socks to work on. I think I may have to pick up a lace project soon, too.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Posting a Question

Do kids still TP houses this day and age? I see there are videos as evidence of the practice's existence now, but I don't recall seeing it in YEARS.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


1) One book that changed your life

Systems Analysis and Design Methods by Whitman et al. Course book for my first systems analysis and design class where I first learned the basics of data modeling which was my first area of computers that I felt that I could excel.

2) One book that you had read more than once
Rather hard one for me since I tend never to re-read books. I have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy a few times, but that's been a few years ago at this point. I've listened to the Harry Potter audiobooks many times, too.

3) One book you would want on a desert island
Probably one of those ginormous Bathroom Reader books. Really, where else would I have learned that Queen Elizabeth and I share a liking for Dick Francis novels?

4) Two books that made you laugh
Small Favor by Jim Butcher. Bob the Skull is awesome!
At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much. The Yarn Harlot is freakin' hilarious. Can't wait for her book tour stop in Indy at the end of this month!

5) One book that made you cry
Oh, only the last 3 Harry Potter books made me outright sob. The Earth is Flat was depressing enough to make me want to cry.

6) One book you wish you had written
Wikinomics by Dan Tapscott. Completely opposite tone from The Earth is Flat, made the US tech industry sound viable and exciting :) Plus, Dan made a very inspiring keynote speaker at the DAMA conference last March.

7) One book you wish had never been written
Bless the Beasts and Children and Moby Dick. I was forced to suffer through these books in high school. Bless the Beasts and Children was such whiny drivel. Moby Dick contained an entire 30+ page chapter describing "The Whiteness of the Whale". That chapter could be summarized as "Whale is white. The end." Talk about long-winded!

8) Two books that you are currently reading
The Book of General Ignorance by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd is my current hair drying read. (Yes, I keep a book for reading while I dry my hair.) Did you know that the nose of the Sphinx wasn't blown off by the Nazis or Napoleon? It was long-gone before either of them!

The Unnatural Inquirer by Simon Green is my current fiction book. Front cover recommendation by Jim Butcher and modern fantasy setting made it look appealing, but I'm just not into it.

Molecular Biology Made Simple and Fun is my on-going non-fiction book.

9) One book you have been meaning to read
Next on my to read pile is the Twilight series, so no spoilers, Sylvia :)

Completely Hypothetical, of Course

Say, your dog just ate the vast majority of two new skeins of embroidery floss. A call to an 24 hour emergency vet gives you the advice to give said dog hydrogen peroxide and make him run around in the yard to make him get rid of the floss quickly. You'd be in for a long night. Especially if your dog has a cast iron stomach like Bandit.

All is well now, and I need more embroidery floss to finish my first cross stitch project. All floss will now be stored in a zippered bag. :-/

Monday, March 31, 2008


Apparently, I write much differently than I talk.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Subtle Hint from Bandit

that we've been on the computers too much these past few evenings.

Subtle, eh?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Finishing and Starting

The Idella scarf was washed and blocked last Sunday. I was shocked when I washed it as it grew several feet in length. It's pretty and over 7 feet in length. I was quite thankful for the blocking wires Hubs gave me for Christmas. I can't even begin to imagine how long it would have taken if I had to use individual pins. I used one skein of Malabrigo lace yarn (barely had a yard or two left in the end!) and did 17 pattern repeats per side.

Finished Idella

I started a new project Wednesday night, a Pinwheel blanket using Cotton Ease in "Lake". Round projects bring up an interesting question, how in the hell do you get a decent picture of a flat round project when it's in the hairnet looking bagging off the circular needles stage?

Laid flat and focused on middle - not too shabby!

Zoomed out a bit to see size, but it looks lumpy

Well, it DID look like a ginormous beret...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

E is for E Flat

Which is the lowest and my favorite note on my bass clarinet! Too bad Bandit doesn't seem to appreciate it.

E-flat key is the lowest key in the picture.

As of Friday, I'm the ecstatic owner of my very own Selmer Paris bass clarinet. Grenadilla body, no fake plastic could compare after playing a wooden one for my college years. New Vandoren mouthpiece because I really dislike the idea of a used mouthpiece. *shudder at germies*

I call her Vera

Friday, March 07, 2008

It's MINE!!

All mine!! *Squeeeeee* Introducing my fresh, new eBay purchase, a Selmer Paris bass clarinet. So.Excited.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Still Alive

Crap, now I'm going to have the Portal song stuck in my head all day...

Hubs and I are back on the mend though still under the weather a bit. It's been a few phlegmy weeks around these parts.

New Lace Project

My hands haven't been idle. A new lace project was started over a week ago - the Idella scarf from "Stahman's Shawls and Scarves". Little bit over halfway finished with it now, only 14 repeats of the lace pattern left. My hands deserved a bit of a break after hefting the Saffron Cables blanket around for a few weeks. Loving the pattern and the Malabrigo lace yarn. Goal is to finish this by this Friday evening.

D is for Diet Pepsi

D is for Diet Pepsi, my sweet elixir of life and go-go juice of choice since high school. I can skip the big frou-frou frozen coffee drinks that I enjoy as long as I have my daily dose of Diet Pepsi to keep me going.

Monday, February 25, 2008

House of Pain

Well, at least House of Body Aches and Fevers...

I've been knocked on my duff for almost a week with a sinus infection and assorted yuckiness. Today's the first day since last Tuesday that I've felt human again. Cue Hubs to enter with flu-like nastiness today. Bleck!

Monday, February 18, 2008

C is for Chumby

Chumby is my wireless internet appliance that acts as an alarm clock, internet radio, electronic picture frame, YouTube browser, white noise generator, and general interwebs awesome-ness viewer. Hubs gave me one for Christmas, and I love it! Allessia the Chumby lives on my nightstand. The photo above shows half of my morning info channel; it also displays current local traffic conditions. The virtual Chumby below shows my news and information channel. I really like the fact that I have a lot of information at my fingertips without the need to turn on a PC or TV in the morning. :)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Taming the Beast

Recent cold snaps have been chilly enough for me to rescue my Saffron Cables afghan out of the bottom of the works in progress basket. The first pattern repeat is completed and the second is nearly halfway there, too. I've finally been able to find the pattern's rhythm and haven't had my eyes glued to the pattern charts. It makes for great TV knitting - lots of episodes of Monk and What Not to Wear have been sucked into this blanket. Bandit is trying to lay claim to it - every time I work on it, Bandit's on my lap with at least his head cuddled up to the completed work. Very cute, but it makes an all ready heavy project feel like it's made of lead! Sunday, I hope to be able to log a bunch of knitting hours on this between doing loads of Mount Laundry. :-/

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Favorite Concert Piece

In the spring of 2001, Purdue's Symphonic Band tackled David Holsinger's In the Spring, at the Time When Kings Go Off to War. For weeks, I disliked rehearsing it; all the weird vocalizations that depicted a battle scene were a bit too "out there" for me. Eventually, after we learned to trust in our director and really go after the vocalizations, the song quickly became one of my favorites. The huge chord at 1:21 in this video used to send chills down my spine. That chord and the ones at the end of the song won me over, and I loved performing this piece.

Seven years later, I'm kicking myself in the pants because I was too cheap in college to buy recordings of all the Symphonic Band concerts. But thanks to the YouTubes and a renewed longing to play bass clarinet again, I have unearthed a concert recording of a different band playing it. Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

B is for Bandit

As if you didn't see this one coming for my "B" in the ABC Along. :)

Bandit's patented "pet my belly" paw move

Life's not always been roses for our rather spoiled little guy. He started off his life at ~4 weeks of age abandoned in a cat carrier with his 7 brothers and sisters in the countryside on a hot Labor Day weekend. His luck turned when found by a postman, and he and his littermates were taken to a few local farms - Hub's father's house was one of them. Hubs met Bandit before I did, and he called me to ask if we could get a puppy. How could I say no? He was less than 5 pounds when he came home with us that night. I couldn't find a dog collar or halter small enough for him, so here he is in a kitten halter that was small enough to fit.

Bandit and me in the fall of 2002

Now, he's our ~70 pound lap dog, and we wouldn't want him any other way - spoiled, sock-eating, calzone-thieving, constantly shedding Bandit. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hello Me, It's Me

Inspired by Zoe's post today.

Dear 17 year old Lk,

Heyas - omg look you're like all old and stufff 10 years later. First off, senior year is going to completely SUCK. You'll be a bitchy, bummed out shell who spends way too much time on this new thing called the interwebs. Have no fear. After 10 months of lonely, hellacious school, you’re going to embark on one of the best times of your life - college!

Pointers for senior year, trust in Hubs, he is all ready at college, but he won’t forget about you. He's a keeper. When an uppity cheerleader states “I never thought I’d have something in common with a person like you” after quoting Monty Python skits while handing out band uniforms, have a witty comeback. Don’t just stand there dumbstruck with your jaw dropped at her lack of tact and obviously over-inflated ego. Remember the witty comeback you did have that shut up a jerk on the bus back from an Academic Super Bowl match. If you don’t, you’ll be wracking your brain years later to remember what you said that worked so effectively.

Academically speaking, check citation formatting in your senior term paper; it may be the difference between an A and a rather disappointing B after months of research and planning. >.< Stick with music in some form, you'll meet a lot of great people and learn a lot from these experiences.

Now this one is a bit harder. People that you’ve considered to be friends for years will prove otherwise. You’ll be lonely, feel horribly left out, and wonder if there’s something wrong with you, but you can get through it. It’s best you don’t follow their lead. Besides, you will hardly ever talk to these “friends” after high school graduation. It will take you all of college and a good couple of years into your working years to find your social groove.

Don't be afraid to rethink your long-held dreams of being a psychiatrist. You can’t listen to people’s problems all day. You’re too empathetic and would need serious therapy yourself after all that. Oh, and being a psychiatrist would require you to talk to people all day – yuck! Don’t be worried about announcing that you’re changing majors two weeks after getting to college. IT work is a much better fit for you.

Basically, stick with it, persevere and you'll get through whatever is slammed at you, blah blah blah...

With much nostalgia,
Older (and wiser!) Lk

P.S. Don't get too hung up waiting for the newest installments of the Dark Tower series, the ending really blows!

P.S.S. Patent the words Google, flickr, Facebook, and MySpace...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Nostalgia TV

On our way home from dinner tonight, Hubs and I were discussing shows that we used to watch when we were little. Of course, I had to come home and look up old clips on YouTube. I used to love this old HBO intro clip. In my 2 or 3 year old brain, I knew that this music meant Fraggle Rock was coming on - woot!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What the Hell Have I Been Doing?

Finishing things, albeit slowly. This weekend marked the official end to the holiday gathering season - horray! Finally finished the first book of the Wheel of Time after succumbing to the vastness of Christmas knitting. And, getting pretty darned close to finishing a pair of socks.

More Fun with Hubs' Light Tent

Monday, January 07, 2008

A is for Alapaca

I've joined a new Flickr pool/bloggers doing an ABC Along throughout this year. Every two weeks, I'll be posting pictures I've taken that correspond with the current letter of the alphabet for the group. Hoping to improve my photography skillz and blog posting frequency, too. :)

Without further ado, A is for Alpaca. I <3 alpaca yarn, so warm and fuzzy. Add alpaca to sock yarn, and you get a yarn that I just couldn't resist - Alpaca Sox.

A is for Alpaca

Alpaca Sox in the "Garden" colorway.

A is for Alpaca

Just the thing to chase away those dreary day blahs.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

And Another Thing...

One more item for the stuff I want to do in 2008 list. I want to stitch at least one Subversive Cross Stitch kit. :)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A New Year, A New FO

So long 2007, don't let the door hit you on the way out! Now is the time for me to reflect on the past year and take a look at my past resolutions. Only item which I resolved to do in 2007 on which I didn't make any progress was finally knitting a sweater; something which I've resolved do to for the past two years. For 2008, I'm admitting to myself that I'm just not a sweater knitter. My goals for the next 12 months:

  • Take my look up a notch...or 12 - Too many Tivo-ed episodes of "What Not to Wear" have opened to my eyes that I need a more polished professional look.
  • Admit defeat with Christmas knitting - Being up at 3:30 in the morning on Christmas morning with horrible achy hands stunk. I've got to learn to keep the scope of holiday knitting in check and manageable.
  • Try colorwork - I'd really like to try my hands at a colorwork project this year, maybe a Fair Isle hat or something along those lines.
And now for the recent knitting!

Pattern: Dashing from Knitty
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathered yarn with a long-lost ballband
Needles: US 7 Crystal Palace dpns
Project Thoughts: Mom's poor 2 year-old, much loved fingerless gloves popped a few stitches. Trying to fix black yarn made by eyes go buggy, so replacement gloves it is!

Having some fun with Hubs' new light tent for macro shots