Happy Birthday Brenda!

 

I have a really great job.  I work for a computer software company.  We write software for municipal government.  This includes programs that generate municipal tax bills, water bills, dog tags and lottery licenses and address the myriad of other functions that municipal governments are responsible for.  It’s a small company.  Our office is located in an old farmhouse in the middle of the woods on the Sauble River.  The man who owns the company, Randy, lives in a restored log house on another part of the property.  Since most of our contact with our clients is via the telephone or the Internet, I don’t have to get dressed up to go to work.  Randy and his wife Brenda have cut trails through the woods that surround the office providing excellent opportunities for walking at lunch or breaktime.  In the winter, Brenda breaks the trail and I am able to snowshoe.  The office is only a five minute drive from my home and there is even a Tim Horton’s between home and the office.  It’s truly ideal. 

Randy and Brenda just returned from a Mediterranean cruise.  The trip was in celebration of Brenda’s birthday.  (It was an important birthday…but I’m not at liberty to say how old  Brenda is!)  On the day of their return we had a celebration at the office.  I made cupcakes and presented Brenda with a gift I had made.  The cupcakes were Lemon Blueberry and made from a recipe I found on one of my favourite blogs…”Annie’s Eats“.  “Annie’s Eats” was a strong inspiration for me in creating a blog of my own.  The gift was a bottle of red wine in a hand-knit wine cozy and a wine glass in a “wine glass holder”, also hand-knit.  Both patterns were free on my favourite knitting website, Ravelry.com

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

 

Yield: about 16 cupcakes

 Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided

¾ cup cake flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Zest of  1 lemon

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. lemon juice

½ cup plus 2 tbsp. milk, at room temperature

1 cup fresh blueberries

 For the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Zest of 1 large lemon

 Additional fresh blueberries, for garnish

 Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the ¾ cup all-purpose flour, the cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Blend in the milk.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.

 In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.  Using a spatula gently fold the berries into the cake batter.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling each about ¾ full.  Bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a large, unlabeled star tip to frost these cupcakes.)  Garnish with fresh blueberries.

Wine Glass Holder

Materials: 1 skein Grand Opera (Note:  I used Patons Brilliant.  Although it is a discontinued yarn, I was able to pick some up at the Spinrite Factory Outlet in Listowel, Ontario.)

#2 needles

#2 double pointed needles

2 buttons

Cast on 29 sts

Work in seed stitch (k1, P1) throughout entire pattern

Work 5 rows

Next row: Work 4 sts, BO 3 sts, work to last 7 sts, BO 3 sts,

work to end

Next row: Work 4 sts, CO 3 sts, work to next button hole, CO 3 sts,

work to end.

Work 3 rows.

Short Row Pattern:

*1: work 7 sts, W & T, work to end

2: work 14 sts, W & T, work to end

3: work 21 sts, W & T, work to end

Work even for two rows.

Repeat from * until piece measures 8½ inches from

tip A to tip B in a straight line.

Work even for 1 inch. BO all sts.

With double pointed needles, CO 4 sts.

Make I- cord 25” unstretched.

Attach to points “X”

Sew on buttons.

Pour a glass & enjoy!

Note:  This pattern was created by Claudia Olson.  It is available as a free download (in pdf format complete with a nifty diagram) from Ravelry (sign-up for Ravelry is free!)

Winecozy – the pattern for the Winecozy is available free on Knitty.com.  You can access the pattern here.  Once again I used Patons Brilliant.  The yarn used in this photo was a dark burgundy red with a dark red metallic thread running through it.  I have also made a winecozy and matching wine glass holder in white Patons Brilliant yarn which has a silver metallic thread running through it.  …one set for red wine and one for white wine!  I finished mine off with a crocheted tie.  I added crocheted hearts to the ends of the tie instead of tassels (another pattern I got off Ravelry).

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