Books · Parties · Recipes


Tomorrow is Cookiemeggdon which, as I explained in my last post is the day all my friends come over and make their favorite cookie recipes.  It is a blast and I can’t wait. This year I am making Ginger Snaps. They were a great hit last year so I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of ground clove

1 Tablesppon ground cinnamon

1 Tablesppon ground ginger

2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/4 cup white sugar

Here’s what you’ll do: 

1. Preheat the oven to 375

2. Mix together the molasses, brown sugar, oil, and egg

3. In a separate bowl combine the cloves, cinnamon,  ginger, flour, baking soda and salt.

4. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture till a dough forms

5. Roll the dough into balls. Roll the balls in the white sugar.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes

7. Let cool or else they won’t snap.  Then Nom!  These are pretty spicy and great with a dark roasted coffee.

In other news today I had to do emergency surgery on a sock monkey.  I had to do it on site too because my 3 year old nephew refuses to sleep without the sock monkey I made him.  If that’s not the ultimate reason to keep making stuff I don’t know what is.

I also made those salt preserved Meyer lemons I talked about last week.  The recipe is from the book Canning for a New Generation by Lianna Krissoff.  The book is great. It’s got all kinds of preserving recipes from around the world and recipes to make with the things you’ve preserved too.  If you are interesting in canning check the book out and check out this particular recipe it is really simple.  No water processing the jars or anything. Truly canning 101.

Here’s a picture of the lemons all jarred up:

Salt Preserved Lemons

Well that’s about it for this week,   I am sure my next post will be full of cookie goodness.

Crafty Goodness · Parties

Thanksgiving, Cookies, Craft Projects and More Craft Projects.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Things are busy here at the Rabbit Hole.  we are getting ready for next weeks  Cookiemeggdon.  Let me explain how that works I invite a bunch of friends over,  I ask them each to bring the ingredients for one cookie of their choice.  Then we spend all day baking and gossiping and laughing and everyone goes home with lots of different kinds of cookies.  It is lots of fun, and lots of work but totally worth it.  This year I am making Ginger Snaps, I will post the recipe next week.

Speaking of food last Thursday was Thanksgiving, my husband is a born and bred New Englander, you know the kind, from an old New England family.  He has VERY definite ideas of how Thanksgiving should be done.  He has posted his rules for Thanksgiving in a very funny and profanity ridden post you can find it here .

Projects?  Why of course I have projects going on.  I just finished embroidering a tie with the Nerdist logo.


I am also working on at least 2 knitting projects that I hope to finish to give as Christmas gifts and the tote bag I started to embroider for myself weeks ago still isn’t finished either.

Oh and I bought some Meyer lemons to preserve that should be complete and ready to post in next weeks entry as well.  Like I said there is lots going on here, but it is all good, happy, creative stuff and that’s the best way to be busy.

Have a great week!

Parties · Recipes

Giving Thanks or It’s All Gravy

Another week is over already seems like 2011 will be over before we know it. Had a productive week spent a lot of time working on my highly unattractive knitting project. It started out to be a scarf but it has ended up being a very crooked blanket for my cats. I think I was a little over zealous but I got a lot of practice with a knit stitch. I will try to make a scarf again when I work on purl. It just goes to show you that even when things don’t work out the way you want them to.  They are still worth doing, if only for the lesson on what not to do next time.

Seth and I made a turkey for this weeks family podcast dinner. (Really it was mostly Seth)  I did make gravy though and since Thanksgiving is this week I thought I would share my method for lump free gravy.

I tend to make gravy in the pan I roasted the meat in I just put it over two burners on the stove, but,  you could move all the drippings to a sauce pan.  I just hate having to wash extra dishes.  Ok so lets talk about how to do this. Heat up the pan drippings until they are hot. This is important because if  you add the flour to the fat before the fat is hot the flour with lump up. When the drippings are hot add the flour about a 1/2 a cup at a time. Stir it constantly that is very important too.  Keep adding flour stirring until you have the consistency of thin paste, think white glue. It should also be a light tan color. Turn the heat down to low.  Now start to add the liquid. I use a combination of broth and white wine, but just broth is fine too. Add the liquid slowly still stirring till the gravy is a little thinner than  you actually want it. Now taste it and add salt and pepper. Let it simmer for five minutes. That’s it! Really easy right? And so nommy on your smashed potatoes.

One more thing before I close this entry I wanted to mention some of the things I am thankful for this year.  Monday family podcast dinners. My family in general because they are awesome. Especially the family we have built, you know who you are. I am thankful for the little humans in my life. Watching you grow and discover the world is the awesomest thing and it brings me so much joy. I am thankful for my son who is still discovering the world himself even though he is a great big human. And yes, it’s still awesome to watch too. A special note to my wonderful hooligan of a husband. Every single day I am thankful for you, it was worth the wait. I love you.

One last thing I am thankful for, the opportunity to share the things I am passionate about so, thanks for reading.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Books · Crafty Goodness

Weddings and Birthdays and Snow Storms Oh My!

So much has been going on here at the rabbit hole.  Two weddings, a new nephew,  our first anniversary and my birthday, with karaoke.   Also craft projects, lots of Monday night family podcast dinners and a snow storm.

There was a snow storm here in New England on Saturday the 29th of October.  October is a little early for snow even here in the frozen north.  As a result much of Connecticut was without power for days and in some cases over a week.  We were very lucky we did not lose power though much of our town did and a lot of our friends didn’t have power for days.  We had our friends here nearly every night charging cell phones and keeping warm, it was like a week long epic sleepover,  and mostly I was just glad I could help them out when they needed it.

About my lack of posts lately,  I have set a personal goal to update at least once a week likely on Fridays.  I am trying to get posts written ahead of time so there won’t be anymore long gaps.  Maybe you will forgive me if I tell you about the projects I’ve been working on.

Secret Project X – A gift for my friend Jeri.  Jeri is a Shakespeare scholar  and maybe a tiny bit superstitious.  She refuses to say the name of the play “Macbeth” out loud, because it is considered bad luck in the theater.  If someone else says Macbeth she will respond with the phrase  ” Angels and ministers of grace defend us.”   So as a gift I stitched the “Angels and Ministers” quote on a canvas  (yes, and actual artists canvas).  Sort of like an old fashioned sampler.   I have never stitched on canvas before, it’s a little bulkier to work with and the needle has to be very sharp to get through the fabric.  Other than that it was just like stitching on a hoop and actually easier than things like tote bags that have less room for your hands to move around.  I did the entire thing in a satin stitch and it came out pretty good.  Here’s a picture of Jeri with it.

In other news got some awesome home crafty books in the last few weeks, one filled with canning recipes from my awesome husband.  Canning is one of the projects I have been dying to take on.  I am thinking of doing salt preserved lemons first.

The other book is a beginners knitting how to book.  I am teaching myself to knit.  So far?  My stitches are terribly uneven and I am clumsy at it, but I think I am figuring it out.  I promise to post picture of what are sure to be my less than beautiful results.

That’s it for now, leave me a comment and let me know what you are working on.  What you’ve made or what you want to learn.  And have an awesome weekend!

Garden · Recipes

Failure, Pests, and Chicken Soup

It’s started to feel like the end of summer here at the rabbit hole.  My tomatoes and peppers are coming in nicely, and taste great.  I didn’t do so well with the squash.  It seems to have succumbed to some sort of mold.  I have white spots on all the leaves.  I am still getting flowers but,  no squash.  So I will, have to try again next year.  That’s really the point of this blog.  To keep doing it, even when it doesn’t work out,  because the learning is half the fun, and nobody REALLY wants to be Martha Stewart anyway. That’s an awful lot of pressure.

Speaking of those household things that go wrong lets talk about bugs.  Nobody likes them or wants them in their house but sometimes they show up.  So I have an all natural pest removal tip for you.  This tip  comes courtesy of Plunder Bunny, who is a pretty fantastic,  crafty,  geek-chic,   homemaker herself.  It concerns fruit flies.  To get rid of the nasty little critters she puts out a shallow bowl of balsamic vinegar with a couple of drops of dish detergent in it.  She covers the bowl with some plastic wrap and pokes some holes in the wrap.  The flies attracted by the vinegar fly in,  get trapped and meet their doom.  So simple yet so genius.

The Hooligan has come down with a terrible summer cold.  So I decided to make him some chicken soup.  A friend of ours asked me to post the recipe so here it is..

What you need:

A Chicken – A whole soup chicken is best but chicken parts will work too

Carrots – About a pound

Turnip – One medium or two small

Parsnip – Two or three

Onions – Two or three

Celery – One rib

Parsley – fresh is best about a cup

Salt and Pepper

Rice or noodles or what ever you like in your chicken soup

What you  do:

Roughly chop one of the onions,  and the heart of celery.  Put chicken in a big pot with the onion and the celery and some salt.  Cover it with water.

Put it on high heat for about an hour till the chicken has cooked through.  Take it off the heat and let it cool a bit.  Remove the solids from from the broth.   Put the broth back on the stove and shred the chicken,  discard the bones and everything else.

Put the chicken back into the broth,  chop the rest of vegetables and the parsley and add them to the pot too.  Add some more salt and pepper.  Let that cook over medium heat for another hour or so till all the vegetables are tender.

Cook the pasta or rice,  but don’t put it in the soup.  Put it in the bowl,  and pour the soup over it.  If you put it in the soup it will soak up all the broth.

It’s super yummy and the best thing for a husband with a terrible cold.

That’s is for this time, leave me a comment and let me know what you are making this week.






Grown up Ice Pops

I just got a new ice pop mold, a gift from my wonderful Hooligan of a husband.  It arrived today,  we broke it in with some Ginger Peach White Wine Pops. Thought I’d share.  Here’s what you need:

2 lbs Peaches pitted skinned and roughly chopped

2 cups White Wine we used a Pinot Grigio if you go with a sweeter wine you might want to use less sugar

2 Tablespoons Ginger fresh chopped fine,  powdered will work fine too

2 cups of Sugar

Here’s what you do:

Toss it all into a blender,  mix it on high till it is the consistency of a fast food milkshake. Now taste it.  It should taste sweet, the pops  won’t taste quite as sweet after they are frozen so keep that in mind.  Then stick them in the freezer I recommend leaving them over night.

I haven’t tried it but I bet you could replace the wine and some of the sugar with ginger ale, if you want a non alcoholic version.

If you make your own ice pops, post your recipe in comments I’d love to try it.


Hooligan’s Awesome Pulled Pork and Other Obsessions

Lately I have not been posting enough. I  have had lots of other things going on. Hockey games,  podcasts, addiction to a certain series of fantasy books, a new tattoo, killer boots, dancing with my girls, parties, summer.  I would promise to be better about posting but I am pretty sure that will just come back to bite me in the ass, so I won’t.

I promised you the recipe for the Hooligan’s awesome pulled pork.  I know that our friends love this recipe and it is so easy to make, but it takes a while so plan for that.  Here’s what you need:

A big hunk of pork,  we use pork loin because it is very lean.

Ginger Ale a 2 liter bottle

1 Onion cut into big chunks

2 cloves Garlic finely chopped

7 Allspice berries

10 Whole peppercorns

3 Cinnamon sticks

1 Bottle of barbecue sauce whatever kind you like

You will also need a crock pot,  these are useful appliances.  So get one.  Or just borrow one for the day,  your mom probably has one.

OK so put the Pork, Onion, Garlic, and Spices into the crock pot, cover with the Ginger Ale .

Put it on high for about an hour, then turn the pot down to low for another 5 to 6 hours.

Now check it.  It should kind of fall apart when you pull at it with a fork.  If it doesn’t leave it in for another hour or so and check it again.

When it’s ready pull it out of the pot and use two forks to shred it.   Smother it with the barbecue sauce put it on some yummy buns and feed all your friends.

Super easy, right?  If you don’t feel like sandwiches you can also use it as a pizza topping. Or as filling for quesadillas. Or for something I haven’t thought of yet.

I mentioned other obsessions in the title.  Lately I have my completely enthralled with the idea of community vegetable gardens. I have been reading about community garden programs in other states and trying to figure out how to bring the idea closer to home.  The growing season is fairly short in Connecticut,  but I really think the idea could take off .  Especially in a lot of the towns and cities the have lost their industries and have empty space in their downtowns.   If any of my readers know of any programs like this going on in CT.  Or want to help me start one.  Or even just have some ideas please let me know.  I’d really appreciate it.

Just Stuff..

Computer Management for Everyone

My real job is answering the phone and helping people get their computers online. I have been working in the computer industry for over ten years.  As a result, my family and friends often come to me for help with their computer issues.  You may not have a tech around but,  there are some things you can do to keeps your computer running.  Also if you have a problem regular maintenance will help your tech get everything back up and running faster and easier.

1. Have Antivirus software and keep it up to date.  Most people actually do this one.  There are many good antivirus programs out there pick one and use it.  when it asks you to update take a few miutes to do that.

2. Have a firewall and use it. If you turn off your firewall every time you go online,  it won’t protect anything.

3. Backup your data. If you think you may want a file later, back it up. you can use an external drive, an online backup service, or another computer.  If you don’t backup your files and you lose them, it is not your tech’s fault.

4.  Restore points.  Every now and then save a restore point on your computer. do this at least once a month.  Also create a restore point before you install ANY software or hardware.  That way if the new program or device messes up you computer, you can go back to before you installed it.

5. Use secure passwords.  If your passwords for everything are password, or you dogs name, change them.

6. Downloads.  If you are stealing files from the internet and you get a virus,  I really have no sympathy for you.  Sorry.

7. Secure your wireless.  That way when your neighbor downloads all 27 High School Musical movies, Disney and you ISP won’t come after you.

8. Be smart. If something seems sketchy, don’t click on it.

This is by all means not a complete list.  Just some basics everyone can and should do to keep their computer running.  besides if you do all these things then your computer geek friends will be much more likely to help you if something goes wrong.