Winter doesn’t last long at Squirrel Picnic. As much as I enjoyed the Christmas banner this year, I decided to bring back the summer one to give us something colorful to brighten our days until the warmer months actually return to the Northern Hemisphere. (And if you happen to live where it is sunny and warm right now, please go out and catch a few rays for me.)
I was so busy this summer that I really didn’t find any time to play outdoors, so now that it is fall — my favorite time of year, hands down — I’m committed to getting outside and taking advantage of all that this season has to offer.
Autumn is a great time to explore the outdoors, and there’s no better place than colorful Colorado! Okay, I’m more than a little biased on that one. I’m sure many of you heard about the devastating floods we had throughout the Front Range last week. Although communities both on the plains and in the mountains were greatly affected and recovery efforts are ongoing, some parks, and the roads up to them, are still open. Here are some of my favorite parks that are currently open for business: Golden Gate Canyon, Rifle Falls, and White River National Forest. I would still recommend calling ahead as conditions could always change.
We’re looking forward to spending a night beneath the stars and pines later this month and hopefully get in a good hike too. Though I prefer hiking to skiing and snowboarding, it won’t be long before snow season is upon us, and from what I’ve heard, this could turn out to be a record-breaking ski season for Colorado.
It’s a bit of a sin to mention the S-word so early in the year, so I won’t get too far ahead of myself. While we’re here, I’m going to love the heck out of autumn! It’s the season for harvest festivals, amber sunsets, and of course, fall foliage (in some areas, the aspens are starting to turn!). And for the squirrels, it’s the season of acorn hording and — from the looks of Hodge and Podge — falling in love.
I hope you enjoy the new fall banner. In case you’re interested in making any of the components, here is a list of patterns and materials I used.
Made using the pattern in 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield
with Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand yarn in Rust.
Made using the pattern in 75 Birds, Butterflies & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield
with Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand yarn in Brick.
Adapted from the large leaf pattern in 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield
with Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand yarn in Mustard.
Made using my own pattern
with Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand yarn in Chocolate and Bernat Satin in Sable.
Made using a pattern by K and J Dolls with Caron Simply Soft in Red.
Made using my own pattern
with Bernat Satin in Sable for Podge and my grandma’s old yarn in brown for Hodge.
These red velvet pancakes are perfect for a Valentine’s Day breakfast in bed.
Makes 6 5-inch pancakes.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 0.3-ounce bottle of red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toppings: whipped cream and strawberries
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl mix together the egg, milk, oil, food coloring, and vanilla.
- Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.
- Lightly grease a skillet and bring to medium heat. For each pancake, pour about a 1/3 cup batter onto skillet. Cook about 2 minutes on each side.
- Top with whipped cream and strawberries.
Additional Toppings to Drizzle Over Red Velvet Pancakes
Cream cheese drizzle: Beat 2 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar. Beat in enough milk (about 3 tablespoons) to reach drizzling consistency.
Strawberry sauce: Blend 3 cups fresh or thawed frozen strawberries in a food processor. In a medium saucepan, stir together 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until thickened. Cool to room temperature.