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March 30, 2012

Private Reading

Filed under: book review — mknit @ 3:08 pm

Thesis :)

Here’s a peak at my Kindle books… It’s a little embarrassing truth be told. I never thought that I’d be embarassed as to what i’m reading, but looking at this playlist, I wish I had more thought provoking titles in there, like something about the world war, or political or what not… but nope, it’s mostly fluffy work that I enjoy reading for fun, that and knitting patterns and children’s books.

The main reason I took a pic of what I’m reading is that my friend can see that I’ve loaded his thesis in my Kindle so that I can read it whenever the desire strikes me. I mean I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I will before he leaves taiwan.

I think I hadn’t felt the shame of revealing what it was that I was reading in awhile because I just read on electronic devises, and no one can stare at my device and see that i’m reading this trashy novel…oh wells, at least it’s in English, just purely reading that out in public here in taiwan, I have the chance of 50% of the people not understanding what I’m reading, so I’m safe.

How do you sort out your Kindle books? Do you hide them in collections?

March 29, 2012

Italian hard boiled yolk cookie

Filed under: cookies — mknit @ 3:00 pm

Italian hard boiled yolk cookie


These are yummy, pure butter, and nothing else. These are flakey & melts in your mouth. Who knew that eggs, butter & flours mashed together can make such yummy things. So simple, and so yummy. Sigh, the best kind of baking that makes one look like a wizard in the kitchen.

I first saw the recipe from a link that my friend sent me about chocolate almond cookies, I browsed around the site because let’s face it, it’s easier for me to buy ingredients when the ingredients are already in Mandarin.

As it turns out, this website is a blog for the food show, and they’ve uploaded their segments on youtube (bonus!!) I watched the video for this cookie, and it looked easy enough to make that I tackled it last night.

I had all the ingredients. This is how stocked my pantry is now. Although the original recipe does not ask fro vanilla extract, I put some in anyways, i like vanilla.

I was going to break out the large mixer my mother has, this fancy German thingy, but I decided against it due to it being a pain to clean up with the butter, so I just mixed it all by hand & a spatula.

Ready to eat

The indentations in the cookie are best made when they’ve come out of the oven, and not pre-indented. I did them half way thru baking, but they were still not indented enough to my liking, perhaps I made them too big. I think the next time I try them, I will not indent them at all until they come out of the oven, and just press them fresh out of the oven. It will be more obvious that way.

I will definitely make these again.

March 21, 2012


Filed under: nails — mknit @ 10:23 am

What girl doesn’t like their nails done. I don’t know how it happened, but nail flare has hit me. I don’t mean the types that you get at manicure places, since getting flare done at the salon costs a bundle, and you almost always messes it up once you step out of the salon getting your keys or something. I’m talking about the DIY tuts that have been popping up EVERYWHERE!

For some reason I have no patience at the Salon waiting for nails to dry…perhaps it’s the lack of video material to my liking, or the fumes in the enclosed area, but when I’m at home, I can just sit still for long periods of time to wait for the nails to dry.

I saw this pin from someone’s board the other day, and thought, hey… that seems easy enough…let’s give it a shot. Plus my nails were already that shade of pink. Perfect.  So I gave it a go.


my right hand cloud attempt. (the smudgy pinkie is due to trying to fix the curve of the cumulus & not waiting for it to dry properly before putting on the top coat…i admit, i am a smudger)

I did the right hand first, but experimented with the different blue base that I had, seeing which matched the best (the right ring finger blue is the best, IMO) Colors are: Big Spender by Essie (pink), PASTEL P06 (light blue), On the Beach by Debrah Lippmam (the darker blue).

The left handed clouds

and then the left hand. (you will notice that there are some splotches on the light blue cumulus, this is due to me trying the sponge effect for that. It failed, but I thought why waste a perfectly still unchipped fuchsia pink, just cover it up and try again.) I also added a fourth tier on the clouds…I think with my nail length, 4 tiers looks good. The heart was drawn on cuz I wanted to play with my nail pen.

The best combo & height to cloud ratio, on the left hand, also goes the the ring finger . The added colors are, PASTEL Pxx (i forgot the color number) & 740 by Essie, which I think might be the Go Overboard? (i will check)

There are tons of nail DIY designs out there, even if you aren’t inspired to do them yourself because you think you lack the skills, you can take the picture to your manicurist and have them duplicate it for it! Although I totally recommend bringing your own colors, just cuz the salons I’ve been to lately seriously lack good colors, but that’s just I’m pretty control-y.

March 20, 2012

I’m yoyo for YoYos

Filed under: yoyo, crochet — mknit @ 9:40 am


Although I’m knitting the aforementioned sock, I have also hit a lull. It’s called the heel…for some reason, whenever I get to the heel part of the sock, it always lags a bit, just like the last rep of the leg. I don’t know what it is with the heel, perhaps the daunting heel flap, gusset decreases and picking up stitches haunts me…

(yes I do know there are other options to do the heel that doesn’t require picking up stitches, ie short row heels, but heel flap, gusset & picking up is how I got started and it’s the one I’m most familiar with, plus with the Devil’s Snare socks, I wanted to try the modified Garter Stitch Edged Eye of Partridge Heel…i like how there is an edging)

Ok, it does haunt me…i’ve said it. So last night while the last leg rep & gusset decrease was sitting there haunting me, I looked around my UFOs and spotted my long since abandoned Noro that had only resurface recently, but recently I mean, a year ago, and thought, hey I wanna make some yoyos with that yarn.

The inspiration for the yoyos stands with the yoyo scarf. So Yoyos are easy. Basically you make a loop & than double Crochet 16 times into the loop, counting the chain 3 you start with. (i’m not writing this down for you, I’m writing this down for me!!)

If you’ve got scraps, this is the build upon project for you.

March 19, 2012

i have cold feet

Filed under: Knits, socks — mknit @ 3:15 pm

I finally returned to taiwan, and find that it’s dark, damp & cold. So what’s a knitter to do in this sort of weather? put on some hand knit socks. For reasons unknown to me, I pulled out my lone socks, and matched them into a pair. That’s what got me thinking that I should knit more socks, because it seems like there are plenty of cold weather left in taiwan.

First steps first. Finding my sock needles. I found them on the WIP of the advent calendar shawl thingy that never saw the finish line. So instead of putting the WIP on a line, and just taking out the needle, I thought why not send this puppy to the frog pond…in actual honest reality, it’s never gonna get finished. I should just end it’s misery, so that the yarn could be recycled into something else.

After I cleared the needles, selected the yarn (the recycled advent yarn), I went on Ravelry to search for a suitable pattern to fit my mood. My criterias were simple, cuff down, something that isn’t too difficult, ie, some k, some p, occasional increase & decreases, easy repeats.

I found the pattern I was looking for, Devil’s Snare.

It’s exactly what I am looking for. Currently I am still on sock 1, but I have made progress onto the heel flap…I am even trying out the slightly modified heel… If I keep at this, I might have another one sock finished by the end of the week.

Socks in progress

*one can’t see the pattern all that much, as the stripes overpower the pattern…but I don’t care very much about that.

March 7, 2012

Red Velvet chocolate Cookie variety

Filed under: cookies — mknit @ 2:50 pm

These red velvet cookies just look like brown cookies...
first attempt at making red velvet chocolate cookies. Got the recipe here. now, I don’t know what makes these red velvet, except perhaps the color, so I’ve just been making a variety of these cookies.
After these, I made green ones.
Ready to eat
After making these green, my brilliant brother said, wouldn’t it be great to make these with different flavors. So today we went in search of flavor extracts. I already had orange…was going to buy raspberry, but it was $8 bucks a tiny vail…so decided against it.
Then while I was in that aisle roaming around, my eyes settled on JELLO. They had a box for raspberry JELLO, and I thought, ok why not. Let’s add that in, it’s flavoring.
So I got these tonight.
Raspberry flavored red velvet cookie
the cracks were from the sugars (i think…as this is the conclusion I came up with) After I baked these I realised that perhaps I should have omitted all the sugars and just used the JELLO packet’s sugar. I used the whole pack of JELLO.

I like the cracks better, which I think was because there was more flour, it was denser, like the original recipe said it should be, whenever i’ve halved the recipe, it always seemed a bit moist, and not too hard to beat like the original recipe claims… but this one with the JELLO mixing, was harder to mix, so it leads me to think that this is the type of dough it’s suppose to be like.

*the original red velvet cookies were received well.

*The green ones… my sister refused to eat them. She thinks green is a weird color for cookies.

*the raspberry one… really sweet… the conclusion is that perhaps you can only eat these in smaller chunks, Nephew A liked it, and ate a second piece, but Newphe I, could only eat half of it.

It’s been fun making cookies.

March 4, 2012

Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cashew Cookies

Filed under: cookies — mknit @ 9:52 am


I signed up for martha stewart’s cookie a day email, and today’s email was a Flourless peanut-chocolate cookie. It seemed easy enough, plus I had all the ingredients, and i was itching to make more cookies.

I halved the recipe because I just made matcha sugar cookies last night.

It’s easy enough, you just dump all the ingredients in a bowl, and mix. I didn’t have to take out any butter ahead of time and set it for room temp.  I didn’t have any roasted and salted peanuts, but I did have some cashews that are roasted and salted, so I dumped those in. I used white chocolate, yum.

Since i couldn’t half an egg, i just used one full egg, and put in the whole 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (in my weird mind, one full egg = 1/4tsp baking soda). I didn’t use the mixer for this, I just spatula mixed.

I don’t have parchment paper, so I used muffin liners, and my new “ice cream” scooper to put out uniform sizes. (I had thought the liners would flatten out a bit more, but I guess I didn’t flatten them, so it wouldn’t do that on it’s own.)

In the directions it says to set top & bottom shelves, and rotate back to front in the middle of baking, while I set out to do so, I completely mis-read the time. (Oops)  What I did was, I placed mine on the top shelf, then I set my timer at 12mins, when the timer went off, I did rotate it front to back and move the cookies to the bottom. BUT when I re-read the directions, i realised that I should have done this at 5-6 mins instead, so by the time I realised this 5 more mins into bottom shelf baking, I just pulled the cookies out from the oven.

Upon removing the cookies, it formed a shallow muffin cookie chunk, but still pretty chewy. It’s got a little bit of a crunch, and I love the chocolate & cashew chunks in the cookie.
Flour-less peanut butter chocolate cashew cookies

If I had a coffee shop or a daily cookies selection for my imaginary shop, this cookie would definitely go on the list.


1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2+1/8 cup sugar (this is how i calculate half of 3/4 cup)
1 large egg (lightly beaten)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2+1/8 cup semisweet white chocolate chips
1/4 cup roasted salted cashews

Do this:

1. In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Stir in white chocolate chips and cashews.

2. Preheat the oven for top & bottom shelf @ 350 F. Use a ice cream scooper, or a tbsp and scoop the mixture into a ball & place it 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

3.Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer cookies to racks to cool completely

4. eat

February 29, 2012

cupcake in an eggshell

Filed under: cupcakes — mknit @ 12:02 pm

Egg cupcake

I remember coming across this post a long awhile ago and thought it was such a cute idea, but immediately forgot about it, and a few days ago while browsing pintrest, I came across it again, many clicks later… I don’t know how I got there, but I was glad I got there.  I “pinned it” for later, in case I forgot it again, as often the case with me, out of sight, out of mind.  This is why Pinterest works for me, cuz it’s never really out of sight, all tacked up there. Anyways, I digress.

I got started working on it right away. How? By going out and buying brown eggs (why Brown? cuz I thought it would give the cupcake & eggshell more of a contrast, ie it would photograph better…although now that i think about it, I should have done one white one just to see the difference..oh well too late)

So thus began a whole week of eating eggs…it was painstaking since I used the method mentioned in the blog by Stef of Cupcakeproject, by poking small holes and than slowly enlarging them and shaking the egg out. Towards the end of the week, I had gotten pretty good at getting the egg out of small holes.

(For the eggs, I started making my version of McMuffin, with English Muffin, egg, Turkey bacon, & sometimes cheese.  I usually put some sort of hot sauce on mine, but others like it plain.)

The recipe called for 9 large eggs, but I went with a whole dozen, I just thought it would look cuter all contained in it’s original egg container. I also didn’t use her recipe for the lemon sour cream cupcake, i just went with the vanilla from the magnolia bakery. I really like the magnolia vanilla cupcake recipe, it mixes up really thick and puffy, and moist.

First I soaked the eggs in saltwater like she said to. Then I went about gathering ingredients, measured out and ready to go. (the first thing I’m gonna do when I get back to taiwan is by an electronic mixer, it’s so much easier mixing things with it than by hand.)
After following the directions carefully…

oh my notes on the magnolia cupcake recipe is that, when it says to mix the dry ingredients in 3 parts and alternate with milk & vanilla… What I did was, add 1/3 (measure by eyesight) flour, then add some milk, then mix til blend (never over blending it).

Then 1/3 dry & a bit more milk & all the vanilla, again mix til just blended, then the last 1/3 & the rest of the milk.  I do it this way because it’s easier to blend the ingredients together thus you don’t over blend it.  (over blending is the death to fluffy & moist cupcake… i didn’t come up with it, i read it in the comment section). 


Once everything was set up, I then quickly dried the eggs, as it’s just about the time stated to soak (about 30 mins and a bit more), and put the cupcake batter in the piping bag with the help of a tall cup to fill it better. I used the original egg carton to help me fill the eggs with batter (muy helpful).


Then I used the mini cupcake pans to hold the eggs, at first I thought I could just put it in without the liner, but then the liner helped to sorta hold the egg straight up and not hobble around as much…I don’t know why, but it just does.

After I’ve filled it up, I had more batter left over, as I’ve expected, and so I filled the mini cupcakes.


I set the timer at 10mins @ 350F, half the time of the regular cupcakes, and basically stood by the oven watching the cupcake bake.

OK, so Stef adviced 3/4 of the egg filled.  I don’t know what 3/4 looks like, nor could i really see that clearly what was going on inside the egg, so I just sorta filled it where i thought 3/4 was.  (it was too much…i think for this recipe, a little bit over 1/2 would be enough.)  Because I overfilled, a lot of the cupcake spilled out, and it took me forever to clean up the eggs.  Which took me scraping the cupcakes off the eggs shells, and then wiping it with the damp paper towel to make it look presentable again.


In the end, the Mini Cupcakes were done about 15 mins…I did rotate the cupcakes (both mini & egg) at around 5 mins cuz the inside cupcakes looked like they were getting cooked MORE than the outside ones. The egg cupcakes were about 20 mins. These are estimated time as I’m not really good at keeping time, I set a timer, but then when it goes off, I don’t immediately go check the baked goods…

I think these eggs are a good alternative to the Easter egg kiddie version for grownups, perhaps those who celebrate Easter with breakfast would enjoy these.

and now I have way too many cupcakes..someone come over to help me eat them.

February 28, 2012

::echo echo::

Filed under: cookies — mknit @ 5:13 am

hellooooooo….  anyone there?

maybe cookies will lure you out of the darkness that has descended on this blog.
Do these look done?! (they are not peanut butter cookies)

these cookies were made on the whim. The recipe originally was for “chunky peanut butter cookie“, but I didn’t have chunky peanut butter…I didn’t even have creamy peanut butter, so I went with what I had on hand. Toblerone bars. (The T-bars were for the “Chunky Toblerone Shortbread“)

I put them in the oven for twice the time of the original recipe called for because at 7mins, it looked like the picture above and no way looked brown like how cookies should look.  Even at twice that baking time, the cookies were a bit undercooked.

How did they taste? Blah.  The cookies had no flavor.  It tasted like baked flour.  I had my sister taste it because i thought perhaps I was just having taste bud issues because i’m a bit recovering in sickness, but she also confirmed that there was no flavor to the cookies.

When she questioned it, I said that it was suppose to be peanut butter flavor, so maybe that’s why, since I omitted the peanut butter part of the cookie.

It was only when I re-read the recipe that I realised that, the missing flavor is also due to the fact that I forgot to add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar.  (roll eyes at self)  This is just what happens when I try to make the recipe from memory…I didn’t print out the recipe as usual, I just read it, and tried to commit it to memory, and then tried to refer to it back on the computer screen, which was not close to my kitchen. Ugh!!! lesson learned.  ALWAYS have the recipe printed, or readily available for referral.

Cookies squished in a mini cupcake

In order to savage what is already a disastrous cookie… I smooshed the rest of the dough into the mini cupcake tins.  They amazingly formed themselves in a mini cupcake form, which is totally adorable.  I love it. i just really wanted to try the mini cupcake tins since i’ve gotten it, and hadn’t had an opportunity to make mini cupcakes yet.

I think I will add frosting to these cookies to sweeten them, or dust them with powdered sugar… or just hand people some sugar with the cookie to eat it with.

Failed cookie attempt, but try try again.

February 21, 2012


Filed under: Knits — mknit @ 10:17 am

i love making cupcakes. somewhere on the internet I found this receipe for the magnolia cupcakes. It really is fluffy to make, when you get it right. The real key is, not to over beat.

I haven’t gotten the frostings part down yet, but maybe one day.

frosted cupcakes

the above with the blue frosting is from the first batch…they were not that fluffy. these were my first cupcakes.

these second set of cupcakes were fluffier.

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