Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It is time to reveal one of my "hobbies." Looking at wedding stuff.
I hate to admit it because it is such a typical girl thing to do, but yes, I do. I think it stems from my love of details and planning. And since I also have a love for cheap, it's a nice challenge to try to find really pretty wedding things for little money.

I will start off by saying that my tastes change frequently. In the past year I have had at least 5 different ideas that I loved. But for now, these are my ideas:

Here is the sort of overall feel that I would be going for:

Things that I care the least about: Invitations, centerpieces, flowers, shoes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I haven't updated in awhile because I haven't wanted to. Blogging is harder than it seems. I've decided that I'm just going to write about whatever I want to.

This post will be Martha themed. Not on purpose, but I just realized that I got this recipe and instructions from Martha Stewart's website.

First, I made these cupcakes last Tuesday, I believe. The liners are actually very adorable (you can't see them very well in the pictures), which I got in a cupcake kit from Barnes and Noble (I also got a felt craft kit, and since I had a gift card altogether it was 5 dollars. I was mighty pleased with that, and decided to share the fact with anyone who would listen).

I used Sprinkle's Strawberry cake recipe, it was good but it wasn't very strawberry-ey. I used frozen strawberries, so maybe if I had used they would have been better. I just used canned frosting, because I'm lazy.

And lastly, here is a paper flower bouquet. There are nine total, and with the exception of two of them, I made them on Saturday. There are dark pink ones, light pink ones, and peach ones. The instructions are actually for large pom-pom things, but as long as you use a 2-3 ratio, you can make them any size you want. I've found that 4 x 6 is the perfect size for flowers. And since I'm too much of a girl, wouldn't they be an awesome bouquet? I am totally doing this for my wedding bouquet.

Other than that, this past week I have "cleaned" out my photobucket (by "cleaned," I mean that I deleted some pictures but still have a gross amount), practiced for a skit for my debut as an actor (or for a VBS), and slept some. I liked this week.

Sprinkle's Strawberry Cupcakes from Martha Stewart

Pom Poms and Luminarias from Martha Stewart weddings

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Before I say anything else, OH YES TO AMERICAN IDOL. OH FREAKING YES.
And...those Guitar Hero commercials...WOW. Sorry Archie, I really DID NOT want to see that. It was just too weird. I will probably have nightmares about that.
On the other hand...David Cook's EXCEPT NOT REALLY THAT ONE WAS WEIRD TOO. David Cook's was a little less weird, though, what with him actually being a "sex symbol." Archie in his underwear? No.

Okay, I am sorry about that. I just got really excited about American Idol, this was the first time I've watched it, and I don't plan on it doing it again because I think about David Cook waaaay too much. Ha.

Now! This post doesn't really involve baking, but today is my sister's birthday! So last night I made "oreo cakes." I got the idea from a book called Tiny Treats that American Girl has, I've flipped through it at Michaels. What you do is you take two oreos, glue them together with frosting, frost and decorate them as you wish, then stick in the freezer/refrigerator overnight and they come out somewhat mushier and less cookie-like. They pretty much tasted like oreos with frosting (I wonder why???? It's a mystery!) and they were a pain in the butt to frost (it's just awkward...frosting oreos), but they were fun and cute.

Oreo cakes!

The birthday girl!

We went on a picnic then to the zoo, here's a baby gorilla!

And a giraffe!

I still smell like animals. Ew.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Peanut butter bars

Yesterday I went to my sister's college graduation. She also moved back in yesterday. A few months ago, my oldest brother moved back home, he had only been out of the house for two years. For two years my twin and I had peace. Now we have to share one of our two computers with someone who sits on it all day long, we have to share a bathroom with four people (which now has a dresser right in front of the toilet, because my brother had no where else to put it) and they've basically just invaded MY HOUSE. It's not really my house, but for those two years I got used to it just being four of us.

The good thing about siblings moving back home is that my baked goods get eaten really quickly. I made these peanut butter bars on Friday night, and they were gone by 6 o'clock on Saturday (and we were gone from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.). These bars were so good. Oh my goodness. My mom bit into one and had this face that said, "OH. YES."

I had two of them for breakfast yesterday with milk. Healthy? No. Absolutely amazing? Yes.

They also taste good while watching America's Next Top Model (go Anya!)

Peanut Butter Bars
from Williams-Sonoma


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter, then line it with parchment paper, letting it hang over 2 sides.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and stir with a whisk until well blended. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Turn off the mixer and add the flour-oat mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended.
5. Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake until the top of the cookie is golden and looks firm, 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Remove the baking pan from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely. Lift the cookie from the pan, dust it with confectioners' sugar and cut it into 1-by-4-inch bars.

Makes 16 bars.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cinnamon cupcakes

I was watching a rerun of Throwdown with Bobby Flay the other day, and he had to make a wedding cake. He challenged a woman named Michelle Doll. Michelle Doll made a cinnamon-vanilla cake with Mexican hot chocolate frosting. I needed to make this cinnamon cake. I wasn't too into the frosting, though, so I decided to just go for vanilla frosting.

Luckily, there was a potluck at church coming up, so I had the perfect excuse to make some cupcakes! I like potlucks because I can make something, and I generally don't have to bring home any leftovers. I mean, I like cupcakes, but if they aren't great, I have about 23 left that my family and I don't want to eat, so they get thrown away, and that's not very cool.
They all got eaten, by the way. And I got to see a cute little girl stick about half of one in her mouth. Awwww.

I made the cupcakes in the afternoon, and they were REALLY GOOD. They had a slight cinnamon taste, and they were moist and mmm. Gooooooood.
I made the frosting that night. It was very sweet. It was butter cream, you know. At least this batch didn't taste like butter like the rest of my butter creams. Are they supposed to taste like butter? I don't want it to taste like butter. And I don't have a stand mixer so I don't want to attempt Swiss Meringue butter cream. Blah.

I didn't take any pictures of the process because I was too lazy. My camera was in my room, and it's about 20 steps away from the kitchen. That is just way too far. Anyway, here's the finished product!

Cinnamon vanilla wedding cake

Vanilla frosting

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pound cake

Yesterday I had this big hankerin' to bake something. I'm going to bake cupcakes tomorrow for a potluck at church, so I couldn't make cupcakes. I just made cookies the other day, so no to cookies as well. What else is there to bake? POUND CAKE. I wanted to make a pound cake.

Since there are 50 million recipes for pound cake out there, I decided to just refer to good old Betty Crocker to see what she had to say on the matter.

She told me to make this "Loaf O' Gold" cake. I guess "pound cake" is just too simple for Betty.

The recipe said to just dump everything in the bowl and mix it up, which was weird because I'm so used to creaming the butter and sugar, adding the eggs and vanilla, slowly incorporating the flour and milk, alternating in three and two batches blah blah blah. I liked it. And it only took about 20 minutes to measure and mix and put it in the oven!

An hourish later, I had a pound cake! About half of it was eaten within 30 minutes of it being done.

Oh yeah, the best way to eat pound cake?

I really freaking love whipped cream.

And sorry for the shadow, it was all stormy and tornado-ing today, and it was dark and impossible to get a nice picture and other excuses.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Alton Brown's Redemption

These cookies. Oh man.

This is the best recipe I've found for cookies. It more than makes up for the funnel cake puke-fest. I knew Alton Brown wouldn't fail me again.

I extremely embarrassing amount of these cookies. Extremely. I'm not one to care about eating too much, but seriously...I ate way too many of these cookies. I wouldn't be surprised if I gained about 10 pounds just from the cookies I ate. But that's more because I'm a pig. Not that they weren't amazing, they were. I just have a lack of self-control, thus why I have decided that I'm only allowed to make things for events. Because SERIOUSLY. You have no idea. I ate so many cookies. So many.

The recipe is for plain chocolate chip cookies, but I wanted white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, so I substituted. I got around 2 dozen cookies from the recipe.

Cookie dough. mmm.
Cookie family.

"The Chewy" Chocolate Chip Cookies from Good Eats
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
3. Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.