About this Blog: Bread making recipes, knit and crochet projects, wood working, gardening, digital imaging, travel, cruise ships, Labrador Retrievers, and more....

About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wrapping Up - March, 2011

Good morning,

Here it is the end of March already.  It seems 2011 is flying by.
My Honey and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this month.  Time sure flies when you're having fun.
We had a romantic dinner for two at a favorite restaurant.  That's creme brulee cheesecake that we shared for dessert. 
We are happy to be home from the high seas and back to the family, friends, and comforts of home.
Spring is showing her pretty face...
 ...with some of the flowers we love to welcome each year...
...and we are back to where the cardinals live.  This image was taken through both glass and screen and although it is far from perfect, I am happy to have it.
Of course, one of the first things I did when I came home was bake bread.
The two batches of bread pictured are whole wheat (my recipe here) and Norwegian Cranberry Almond (my recipe here.)

After much encouragement from family and friends I opened my Etsy shop, Evensens Productions.  Will it be successful?  I have been working hard on it and was just delighted to make my first sales.  I hope folks will take a look there when they are shopping. 

And so closes the month of March, 2011.  It has been a good month for us.  I hope it has been a good month for you, too.

Very best,


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mug Rug - Knit

Good morning,

I got this brilliant idea from my blog friend Marit Johanne of Marits Hobbyblogg.

Marit makes little quilts as mug rugs.   Her little rugs are a place to park your mug with an area for a cookie or other snack, too.  They are absolutely darling in addition to being so convenient and fun.

I made this while sitting out on a ship with only one ball of cotton yarn left; this is a knit version of a mug rug.  I wanted to use cotton so that the little "rug" could be machine washed and dried.  I used a yarn forward stitch to add a little depth to the design to make it more absorbent than a single layer.  

So, if you want to try a knit version of my glorified coaster that is big enough to accommodate a little snack as well as a mug, the pattern is below. 

Ladders Mug Rug - Knit

Finished size: 6 1/2" x 6 1/2"

Size 6 needles, Lily Sugar N Cream - 1 2 oz. ball

Special Stitches:

yf = yarn forward

yb = yarn back

Cast on 28 st.

Side border is 4 st k every row

Bottom Border: row 1 - 4 knit

Row 5: knit

Row 6: k4, place marker, p20, place marker, k4

Row 7: k4, slip marker, k1, *yf, slip 3, yb, k2. Repeat from * twice. yf, slip 3, yb, k1, slip marker, k4.

Row 8: k4, p20, k4

Rows 9 and 10: Repeat rows 7 and 8.

Row 11: knit

Row 12: k4, p20, k4.

Repeat rows 7 - 12 five times.

Repeat rows 7 and 8 twice.

Knit 4 rows.

Bind off.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whole Wheat, Raspberry, and Cream Cheese Bread - Recipe

Good morning,

I've been baking again and here's another bread recipe.  Even the name of this one brings thoughts of good tastes.

If you'd like to make it, the recipe is below.  If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them.  Let me know how you like it.




Whole Wheat, Raspberry, and Cream Cheese Bread - Recipe


1 egg

2 T vegetable oil

1-1/2 t salt

4 oz raspberry jam (do not use sugar free jam)

2 oz cream cheese

8 oz warm water

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2-/2 cups bread flour

2 T dry yeast


Place all ingredients in large capacity bread machine in order given. Set on dough cycle and turn on.

The first dough cycle on most machines is about 40 minutes. Watch the action to be sure a dough ball forms at least 1/3 way through the cycle. Add a little flour or water if necessary to get the correct consistency.

When first dough cycle is finished, remove dough from machine and place in a greased bowl for first rise. Place the bowl in a warm place such as the oven with the light, but no heat turned on. If you place it out on the counter in a warm place, cover with a damp cloth.

This batch required about 1 1/2 hours for the first rise. Keep in mind that the temperature in your kitchen and the mood of the yeast can change the time required for the dough to rise.

After the first rise, punch down/knead gently the dough to remove excess bubbles.

If you are using crockery or glass pans/bowls for baking, set the empty bread pans in a warm place, too. I use my second oven with the light turned on.

If preheating pans, remove from oven.

For this batch, I am using a pan that makes 4 mini loaves.

Allow bread to rise once again; this batch should take about 1 hour for the second rise, then bake at 350 degrees F for 35 mins. Turn out to racks to cool immediately.

For more of my bread recipes click here.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Field Trip Across the River to Newport, Kentucky

Good morning,

My Honey and I took a field trip to Newport, Kentucky lately.  The image above was taken as we were passing downtown Cincinnati.  The twin buildings on the right are the world headquarters of Procter and Gamble.
Our destination was Newport on the Levee in Newport, Kentucky.
 This is a shopping, dining, and entertainment center.
 This big fish is outside Mitchell's Fish Market, a restaurant we have enjoyed several times.
 We passed the welcome center...
 ...and crossed the plaza to the Newport Aquarium, which was our destination.
 The Newport Aquarium is always a great photo op.  The first exhibits on the tour were of beautiful fish of Africa.
 We took so many pictures that turned out well that I'll share some of them in future posts.
Turtles are such wonderful creatures.  This shell is incredibly beautiful.  I prefer to see them in the wild, though.
 This lady is feeding an eel.  It was quite a process as she dangled and released pieces of fish in front of the eel who looked as if he might have needed that special treatment.

We went to the Aquarium on a week day thinking it wouldn't be too crowded, but we were wrong.  There were plenty of kids and a little too often one or two managed to run over and knock on the glass (as we wanted to yell, "No, don't do that!" and their parents just ignored them) just as we were setting up our camera shots.  Kids are so cute. ;)

We did get plenty of good pictures of gorgeous aquatic life; I'll share more of them here from time to time.

I hope you enjoyed this part of our field trip.  It is so much fun to be a tourist.  :))



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Flowers, Kids, and Kitties

Good morning,

I get a kick out of seeing all of the beautiful flowers appearing on blogs of people in different areas. 
Some are far ahead of our blooming season, some haven't started at all.  This group of tiny daffs once graced the side of a bench beside the catalpa tree in our front yard.  That tree and the bench are now gone, but these pretty daffs continue to bring a smile every Spring.
The crocus came and went very quickly this year, probably because of the heavy rain that arrived as soon as the crocus began to bloom.
That is what is so good about cameras.  We can continue to enjoy these long after the rain knocked them down.
And, on another note, my granddaughter settled into a chair the other day and her sister's cat moved right in to a comfy spot.  
Katie said, "Grandma!  Come take a picture of us and put it on your blog!"  Well, here it is.  ;)


Lois  (aka Grandma)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Lost Viking Hoard

Good morning,

Sometimes you just have to do something different on a Saturday afternoon.  We are charter members of Sons of Norway in our area.  About twelve years ago I got a phone call from a lady trying to start a lodge and we couldn't pass up such an outstanding offer to help.  We met some very nice people and although we don't get to see them often since we travel so much, we do enjoy the time or two we see them each year.   And, I am the webmaster of our Sons of Norway lodge web site so I guess I am still pretty involved. I can do my webby duties from afar while we are traveling.  ;)

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may remember my post about the swim party last summer where we had much too much good food and great fun with the kids including our Shark Boy at a member's pool. 

But, I digress...
For the meeting last Saturday at the IHop (ooooooh, I Hooooop) we were pleased to have Ed Vallette, Leader of The Lost Viking Hoard as our speaker. 
Ed and his wife were there to tell us all about the Ashville Viking Festival that will be held April 30 - May 1, 2011.
Ed brought a great Power Point Presentation to show us how much fun it was to go into the forest (ok, a park in Ohio) to live as a Viking for a couple of days. 

Seriously, there are many, many things for the kids and adults at the festival to learn about life during the times of the Vikings.  We saw pictures of many crafts being demonstrated which I would love to see in person.  Sadly, we will be out of town this year at the time of the festival or we would go.  What a photo op it would be!
 We all not only enjoyed meeting Ed and his wife last Saturday, but spending time with friends of many years.  I got pictures of everyone there except the server and me.  That's me behind the camera.
 In addition to the Viking Festival activities I asked Ed if he had ever had any encounters with the law while dressed in his Viking garb.  The answer was, "oooh, yes...."  It seems there was more than one event, but the one he told us about was when he was driving a rented van of about ten folks dressed as he is dressed in these images when they were pulled over at 2 AM returning from an event in Maryland.  They weren't ticketed, but there sure was lots of explaining to do about who they were and where they were going.

So, that's what we did last Saturday afternoon.  It was fun and I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the pictures, too.  If you're in Ohio at the end of April, beginning of May you may want to put the Viking Festival on the activity list.




Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dance Team Performance at the Basketball Game

Good morning,

One of the first things we did when we got home from Port Canaveral was to go to our granddaughter's dance team half time performance at the 8th Grade Boys Basketball Game.

Above is the introduction of the home (our) team. 
 And, this is the opposing team in red.  Both of the school names started with "V" so it was St. V vs. St. V.   
We truly enjoyed seeing these 8th grade boys play.
The first half of the game...
...was fast and furious...
...and our team (in white) was ahead the whole time.
 It's good to see the kids play and exhibit such good sportsmanship.  Before we knew it...
 ...we here near the end of...
 ...the first two quarters and...
 ...after one more point scored for our side it was time...
 ...for the dance team performance.  That's our Kate second from the right.

Below is a video of these young ladies.  Wow, what a performance!

We had another obligation with the kids right after Kate's performance so left before the game was over.  I called the school the next school day and asked about the score, but no one in the office knew what it was.

We certainly are proud of our Kate and hope you enjoyed seeing all of the kids, too.

Very best,