keeping warm

my latest knitting endeavours have been prompted by need - my, its still so chilly (as I type this, about 1 degree celsius)... for the little'un I knitted two aviatrix hats for winter outdoorsing - we got a month or two out of the grey one before it was really far too snug, and the dark blue one is still a bit roomy - though nothing an extra knot in the strap can't fix! Such a delightful easy-to-follow pattern, not to mention a wonderful way to use up yarn remnants from other projects.

and for me - the effortless cardigan by hannah fetig in lusciously soft n warm australian wool from Bendigo Mills which mum sent over at Christmas time... while I would not say this was an "effortless" knit, it was soothing to be repeating the same stitches, and it is (despite the slightly wonky edges) what I hoped it would be - warm and cosy, for wearing around the house especially in the cool wee hours of the morning (and the dye of the yarn is aptly named "oatmeal" hehe)

there has been a lot of warm cooking going on as well, and although we are giving up refined sugar (for lent), we have been enjoying baking with the natural sweetness of fruit and nuts. these prune and pine nut scones are especially good - and were inspired by loaf of bread we had in the south of france filled with prunes and pine nuts. this grain-free skill granola isn't too shabby either, for being grain-free that is, and its another way of using up the nut pulp from making almond milk.

~ scones with prunes and pine nuts ~

80g butter
3 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
3/4 cup chopped soft prunes

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt and vanilla (if using dry/ground), rub in butter with your fingertips. add milk, pine nuts and prunes and stir with a knife until just combined. knead gently on a floured surface until dough is smooth and just pliable. roll to 1" flat and cut as desired. lay scones close together (edges almost touching) on a lightly floured baking tray. bake at 200'c for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

~ grain-free skillet granola ~

you will need:
1 cup almond nut pulp (from making milk)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 flaked almonds
1 tablespoon linseeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tsp vanilla, ground
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil, or butter

In a heavy-based skillet or fry pan begin by gently roasting your sunflower seeds (for about three minutes, agitating regularly), followed by flaked almonds, sesame seeds and linseeds for a further 2 minutes. next add in your nut pulp and spices, followed a minute or two later by your coconut oil. With a wooden spatula or spoon toss granola around until it is golden and dry. Add in maple syrup or honey for sweetener if you'd like some! Store in an air-tight jar for up to a week.