Wednesday, April 29, 2009

These are from my new camera!!!!!! A Nikon D40x.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home PA Tilt Shift

Playing around with a tilt shift tool since I don't have a fancy pants lens.
Tilt shift photography explained.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wedding cakery! (cake is not leaning; the pic was taken at an angle)

The sad aftermath

Cake brooches

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spicy Gingerbread Cookies

For Administrative Professionals Day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sourdough Pizza with feta and parmesan

These are a few days late, it's been a busy week. I made sourdough pizza dough and John made the pizza: mozzarella, feta and parmesan cheeses. (also, the plate was $ 0.50 at a Kroger after Easter sale!)

Marbled Cheesecake

I made marbled cheesecake for my paralegal. The first one, I forgot the sugar, so this is the second attempt!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bake sale cookies in the windowsill.

Our garden at night. The candle is in a broken champagne glass that I re-purposed for a candle holder.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One of the first pictures taken with my new CAMERA!!!!! Forgive my as-yet lack of editing savvy when working with NEF format instead of JPEG.. These are the beginnings of our herbs. Starting closest to the camera: culantro (you can only see one leaf), sage, dill, thyme, basil, and parsley.

And the corner of our yard where our garden will be, starting this weekend!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The sunset tonight was too gorgeous not to go onto the roof. The cats took the opportunity to drink the rainwater and check out the neighbors.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

French Onion Soup

John is sick (I was too, before I gave it to him) so I took pity on him tonight and made him some french onion soup. I'd never made it before but it seemed simple enough. We both agree it's the best soup I've made!

Sourdough Bread

My first loaf of "real" bread: aka required yeast and kneading. Sourdough from great starter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Azalea bush in our back yard and charlie, the blind deaf old man.

Lemon Cupcakes w/ Lemon Curd Filling

Birthday time rolled around again at the office and one of our attorneys asked for some cupcakes involving citrus and coconut, these turned out pretty good.

Lemon Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Lemon Curd:

3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces

In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream) (160 degrees F). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate until cold. The lemon curd can be made several days (up to a week) in advance.

Buttercream Frosting:

4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
Assorted food colors (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and butter or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

For the Cupcakes: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use 1/2 inch round cookie cutter to remove center of cupcake and fill with lemon curd.

For the Frosting: In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk or sugar, if needed. Tint the frosting with desired food color (I use the paste food coloring that is available at cake decorating stores and party stores).

Sprinkle frosted cupcakes with coconut.

Makes about 24 cupcakes

Friday, April 10, 2009

one of the last camellias and some of the first azaleas

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Guinness Cake: mmmmmm!! I got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I made it for John's mom's birthday! I was glad for an excuse to make it :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wedding cake practice.. Three layers of white cake with vanilla buttercream outside and pink buttercream inside. I wish I'd brought my camera to get a shot of the inside.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mm.. Roast beef with mushrooms and parmesan polenta.

Some of the cabins where we stayed for our missionary retreat this weekend in Pigeon Forge, TN. I'm totally getting married here, fyi.

One of the four balconies in our cabin. I love it.

The view from one of the other balconies. I love it.

Two little missionary pups, Darien (5) and Kemuel (2). I love them.

View from the pavilion. Guess what I love? This.

The view upon leaving, and the top of my car. I could have stayed there all week. I loved it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Corned Beef and Cabbage

My amazing boyfriend made me some delicious corned beef and cabbage. Thank goodness for after-st. patrick's day sales!