Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting crafty

I currently have about 20 plus things on my to do list for tomorrow. That being said, I wanted to give you a sneak peak at something I am working on for an upcoming dessert that I am hosting.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting started

This morning the sun peeked out for a bit so I could get my image traced on my fabric. This flower is going on the pocket of my soon to be sewn bag. I need to get it done because it will be my carry on when I fly to Wyoming in 2 months.

I used an image from Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching. . . which is just awesome!  If you've never seen her work and you love you some good old embroidery, I highly recommend her books. They come with a CD of all the images and you can print them out using WORD in whatever size you want.  It's great!

Then, on a nice sunny day, tape your paper with the printed image to your window (with lots of sun coming in) and then tape your fabric over the paper and trace away.  In this case, I highly recommend using a special pen (I got mine at JOAnns).  This one writes blue and erases with water. So, if you mess up. . . no biggy. . . just take a damp cloth and erase.  Let it dry and try again.  Super easy!

I hope you guys are having a nice Monday. I saw lots of post on FB on how stinky there Mondays were (to those friends, I am so sorry!).  I must confess that it is days like today that I really love being a stay at home mom.  I declared Mondays, as weekend recovery day a long time ago and it has really stuck.  We do laundry and a lot of hanging out, with minimal chores.  It's great.  It also happens to be one of my biggest baking days, since it is the beginning of the week.

See you later, friends!

oh yeah, and if you haven't done so already, please check out my facebook page and Like it.  If you already have done so, THANK you, THANK YOU!  You rock!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lemon bread

It's Friday.  I love Fridays!  Especially the ones that my husband has off.  4 day week are great but 3 day weekends are better.  Today we headed out for a morning of snow fun.  Can I just say that I live in the coolest spot (not temperature wise)?!?  Spring is here and we have finally been getting rain (It has been a super dry winter).  So, today my kids were able to bundle up and play in the snow (we only drove 45 minutes!) and came home and put on shorts.  If we wanted to, we could have gone to the beach. . . all in one day (we didn't. . . we chose a nice quiet afternoon of napping instead).  

So, tonight I am curled up on the couch watching a Crossing Jordan marathon (thank you Netflix) and my husband is sound asleep next to me. . . he opted out on the nap and did yard work. . . so he's been out since the kids went to bed.  Maybe we will watch our movie tomorrow night. In the meantime, I blog.

I am determined to use every lemon on my lemon tree without a single one getting gross. I am almost there (I have even given away a bunch!).  There are a few more lemons, so expect a few more recipes. 

This recipe was so incredibly moist!  I love the taste of lemon bread and I think I see a lemon poppyseed bread in our near future.  For the most part, the bread was incredibly simple.  I love the powdered sugar glaze over the top and the combination of sugared zest sprinkled over the top.  

Lemon Tea Bread
Source: Southern Living, October 2004 or here

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbs lemon zest, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy.  Slowly add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed until just blended.  Stir in a tablespoon of lemon zest.  Spoon batter into greased and flowered loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Mine took less time, as you can see by the crispier edges.  Let bread cool in pan for about 10 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Spoon it evenly over the top of bread allowing a nice drizzle over the sides.  Stir together 1 table spoon of zest and sugar and sprinkle on top of bread.

Happy baking.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cakes and Bread {technique}

Yesterday was my husband's birthday.  He was very specific in what he wanted (to be revealed later). All I will tell you is that it is not funfetti and frosting out of a box this year!  All those episodes of Cake Boss are paying off!

In the meantime, while I upload my pictures off my camera, here is a quick method that I just tried when making it. I got it over at Baked Bree
yes.  you are seeing right.  There are slices of bread sitting on my cakes.  

I took my cakes out of the oven, let them sit for about 10 minutes and then turned them upside down on my cooling rack and stuck the bread on top.  Then. . . I went to bed (it was late. . . I was tired. . . sleep is good!).  

I got up and trimmed them (to make them even) and then stuck them in the freezer to frost later.  

It really worked. My cake was nice and soft after sitting out all night.  The bread was hard as a rock.  

Okay. . . so today is one of those days that it has taken me all day to write this post. . . so now it is past my bed time. . . going to bed now. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

From the archives {Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies}

Today.  Today I am getting my kids ready for a weekend at Grandma and Grandpas.  It's a bittersweet thing. I am packing for them to go away, and I am not going anywhere.  I will miss them the two days they are gone.  I will want to go check on them while they are sleeping and then remember they are not there.  On the other hand, I get to spend some wonderful time with my husband this weekend.  It's his birthday weekend and we are going to Ruth Chris Steakhouse.  Yep. . . not taking our kids there!   It's going to be great (I hope. . . I've only heard wonderful things. . . ).  I also have a spring boutique tomorrow afternoon (if you are interested in making an order check out my website).  So, I need to make a batch of cookies tonight (or tomorrow morning. . . I've got time).  This time, I am not turning to Pinterest or my favorite blogs for inspiration.  Instead, I am hitting the archives and pulling out one of my favorite recipes of all time!  I hope you enjoy.  I first made these in July of 2009. . . almost 3 years ago. I definitely think they need to make a return.  They were a part of my 2009 Cookie Challenge and one of our favorites.  I think you all should make them. . . tonight. . . as a welcome to the weekend treat.  It's well worth it!

You can find the original post here.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly greast two baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Whisk flour and bakign soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes more. Remove from skillet and transfer to a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons butter until completely melted. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter; whisk until funny incorporated. Stir in egg and yolk. Whisk mixture until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Let mixture sit for about 3 minutes, then whisk it for 30 seconds; repeat this process two more times. After about 10 minutes, mixture should be thick, smooth, and shiny. Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combine, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips. Use cookie scoop to place dough on greased cookie sheet, parchment paper, or silpat. Bake cookies, one tray at a time, until cookies are golden brown, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cook cookies completely on baking sheets.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ramblings {Proverbs 31}

I have a confession. 

I love Proverbs 31.  There are so many amazing words of wisdom in this chapter.  I think I might be one of the few people on the planet who may argue that this was one woman doing all these things.  I started studying P31 long before I was married. . . or even had a boyfriend (that's because my husband was my first boyfriend. . . but that's another story).  I met the Proverbs 31 woman in college during my personal study time.  I was a single 20 year old living in my college dorm and it reading it put such a spark in me that I wanted to study it more.  I was hungry to know more about her.  

This year in my Tuesday morning Bible Study we are studying how to be a Woman after God's Own Heart.. . (Based on the book with the same name by Elizabeth George).  Again, as we dig into the heart of how a woman pleases God, the more this woman, the Proverbs 31 woman shows up.  Really, When King Lemuel was asking his mom for advice, she gave him some solid advice . . . and I think it is something that we, as women, should strive for.I don't think it is overwhelming, either.  In fact, it just makes sense.   Some would argue that these qualities found in the chapter sum up qualities found in a variety of women.  Others might say she is one woman. . . in fact, some may even argue that she is Ruth.  I stand on the ground that she is one woman and look forward to meeting her one day in Heaven.  

I found this wall art here. I liked how the message states it. . . I think it makes it a bit more applicable to our lives in today's world (I mean, what are the chances we will go out and plant a vineyard?)   I think that I am going to print them out on card stock (they just happen to match my craft room) and frame them. . . to remind me every day how to be an a wife that pleases God.  I hope that you are encouraged by the words of a wise, wise woman.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Peanut Butter Cups + Blondies

Spring is here and I can't stop sneezing.  I have a love-hate relationship with Spring.  As in it's my favorite season but it makes me terribly miserable.  Today we walked to the library and I felt like I was at the beach.  Seriously. . . the sky was really blue with white fluffy clouds.  In fact, I think the air was pretty clean (i'd have to ask the hubby about that one, he would know).   The kids even went down for naps super easy (they slept in. . . thank you time change!).  

Last month, I made these amazingly wonderful bars for our lunchtime snack.  They were the perfect treat because. . . what's that you see on top of them. . . yes. . . it is just what it looks like. . . Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  Seriously, could it get any better?  
 They were delicious.  I promise you. . . they did not last long.  I mean, can anything that has peanut butter cups both on top and mixed into the dough really last long?  I think not!
Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Borrowed & adapted from Gingerbread Bagels

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 cup light brown sugar, packed firm
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla (i just pour it in. . . no measuring needed)
1 large egg at room temperature
9 regular sized peanut butter cups or a bag of miniature ones cut in half.  (It may actually be cheaper to do the miniature ones than buying 5 packages of cups).

:: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
:: Lightly grease an 8x8 pan.
::  In your mixer (I used my stand mixer with paddle attachments), mix sugar, butter and vanilla. Add large egg and mix to combine.
:: Slowly add in your dry ingredients and mix until they are ALMOST all combined.  Then take the bowl out of the mixer and fold it all in together.  Thrown 6 chopped up Peanut butter cups into the batter and carefully fold them into the batter.  Spread evenly in your baking dish.
:: Bake for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the chopped Peanut Butter Cups by pressing them gently into the top.  Bake for 5 more minutes.  Let cool and then cut into squares. . . if you can resist waiting. :)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Lemon Crinkles

I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but my lemon tree is overflowing with the potential of lemony- goodness.  Seriously.  My only hope is that I will get them all made before they go bad.  I haven't taken them all off the tree yet, so there's hope. 

So, I've been making a lot of yummy sweet that are just filled with lemon-y goodness. . . I made these cookies for Jon's lunch this week and they were so yummy!  They have a nice lemon taste that will make you think you are eating lemon bars. . . in cookie form.  They even have that powdered sugar on the outside and it is delicious!  

Lemon Crinkles
Source: Sweet Pea's Kitchen (slightly adapted)

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Get your favorite cookie sheet out and line it with parchment paper, or my favorite, my Silpat (if you don't have one, I highly recommend them . . . they are great!)

In your mixer, mix together butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix well.  You will probably have to get your spatula out and scrape the sides.  I just got a new paddle for my kitchen aid mixer and it scrapes the sides for me . . . Awesome!).  Add the vanilla, lemon juice, zest and mix until combined.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until nicely combined.  

I used my cookie scoop and scooped up my balls and dumped them in a  cereal bowl of powdered sugar.  Roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place them on your cookie sheet.  The dough is really soft. . . it's supposed to be like that.  I almost stuck it in the fridge to harden it, but cooked a batch and they came out beautiful.  They were so yummy and soft.  I just ate one today (i made them on Monday) and they were STILL soft. . . no joke.  I will definitely be making these again. 

oh yeah, bake for about 10 minutes. 

Have fun.  

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

for Ethan. . .

Ethan asked me a couple of months ago if I would make him a bag.  Well, it was more like "make me a purse."  Now, that didn't exactly go over well with my very loving and understanding husband.  It's okay that  our three year old enjoys playing house, carrying around a sock monkey, tending to its every need, and basically mimicking me.  I love it. . . he's going to make one awesome daddy. . . he even will change diapers! 

 So, we compromised and I made him a small version of a messenger bag.  He loves it!  He plays grocery shopping and Post office with it (delivering my mail of hot wheels to me on a daily basis!).
 Now, being a girl myself, it was my mission to not make it very femine . . which is hard to do when you are sewing a bag.  I picked out some large scraps leftover from making Weston stuff when he was born.  Both are from Dwell Studios Zoo line made for JoAnn's.  (I can't find it anymore. . . bummer!).  We also went with a plain brown button.  Did I mention I was able to do this in less than 2 hours!  That's how awesome it was!
Look. . . it even holds legos!  


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