Winter Squash Brownies. Say what? You heard right.

Happy Solstice, everyone!  This is my favorite day of the year.  Why?  Because beginning tomorrow, the days start to get longer!  We have finally reached the shortest, darkest day of the year.  And on this longest night, it is going to be bitter cold outside so I am sitting by the wood stove while I edit my video.  We got about 8″ of snow in town yesterday and our local ski hill, Great Divide, got 18″ of snow.  We’re supposed to get several more inches in town tomorrow so we are going to take Friday to ski before the bitter, bitter cold moves in.

So…about those brownies.  I didn’t get a chance to let them cool completely before taste testing on camera, so the final verdict lies within this paragraph.  It’s pretty simple, really:  THESE BROWNIES ARE FREAKIN’ AWESOME!  The squash, which I could taste while the brownies were still hot, could not be tasted once the brownies cooled.  The wine taste wasn’t all that strong, which was a little disappointing for the cheesecake in particular.  But these went over really well at dinner Monday night, and some of the patrons are perhaps a little picky about what foods they like and don’t like, and winter squash is not high on the list of ‘likes.’  So since the picky eater(s) ate these with reckless abandon, I take that as a compliment.  If you have a hard time getting kids (also read: hubby or yourself) to eat veggies, this is a sneaky way to get more nutrients in your diet without even knowing it.  And they are much lower in fat than traditional brownies.  Bonus!

Check out the video below & the recipe is here:

Busy little knitter gal

The first week in November I had two people contact me and ask if I could knit them something for Christmas gifts.  Sure!  It’s what I do!

The first request for for a pair of socks.  But not just ordinary socks.  These were to be thick, chunky, lounging-on-the-couch-by-the-fire-reading-a-book kind of socks.  I had just the yarn in mind, and it was in a color that he was sure his wife would love.  I got her shoe size and then I was off to figure out how to make these socks.

I have a sock pattern.  But it is for a worsted weight yarn.  So I was going to have to make some adjustments.  And the pattern, though trusty and reliable, is very…meh.  It’s got a basic rib on the cuff and that’s all there is to it.  I wanted these socks to be more than just functional, I wanted them to be beautiful, too.  So I decided to add a cable knit down the front of the leg.  And although this photo does not do these socks justice, they turned out pretty awesome, if I am allowed to say so myself and pat myself on the back just a bit.


Both of my stepdaughters cooed over these socks while I was knitting them (“Just so you know, I wear lots of socks,” one of them not-so-subtly said), so as soon as I finished them up, I made sure to contact my client so I could get the socks to him as quickly as possible–I had a feeling the socks might disappear if I held onto them too long.  Now I am working on a second pair for the not-so-subtle hinting stepdaughter…and her sister will receive a pair later.  And eventually I’ll make a pair for myself.  They are sooooo snuggly warm and soft!

This same client also wants me to knit him a pair of mittens.  He is my best repeat customer (the mittens will make 4 items I’ve knit for him)!  Gotta love happy customers!

The same week the sock request came in I had a request for a knitted bag.  A woman at the gym apparently really likes my bags and so her boyfriend’s mother contacted me.  We worked out a custom design and color scheme and I got to work.  We went back and forth on a few swatches with different colors of yarn until we found just the right match.  I think it turned out really well and I really love the hummingbird brooch.  The colors of the brooch work perfectly with the green and purple of the bag.  They were obviously meant to be together.  I hope she loves it.


My final commissioned project is one that I really love.  It’s not really obvious in the photo, but the black yarn has a little bit of sparkly silver thread in it, so it adds another layer of depth and texture to the bag.  And it is because of that silver thread in the yarn that the brooch works so well with this bag.  Without it, I’m not sure I would have chosen to use it.  I hope its owner loves it as much as I do.  I think she will.


On some of my earlier bags, I sewed buttons onto the corners of the bags as my little signature.  But for some of the bags I have used old broken brooches or other old, unused jewelry that has been neglected and potentially destined for the landfill.  This allows them to be repurposed and given new life.  I like that.  It’s the farmgal way–to use what you have and to make use of something old, breathing new life into it again.  And this now gives me a reason to poke around in thrift stores.  Who knows what kind of old gems are out there waiting to be given a second chance at life!


Blueberry cake donuts with lemon icing– baked, not fried

I’ll post the recipe later this week, but holy cow, these are absolutely terrible!  Don’t even bother trying to make them and certainly don’t blame me if you make them and eat 4 of them just so your significant other doesn’t find them and discover how terrible they are, too…

Recipe is here.