Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Already?

My new goal is to start doing short posts on things that inspire me around the web and small projects I would like to start (in the midst of all the chaos of classes). I am very happy to say that it already feels like fall here in Richmond (and will be officially in T-minus 11 days!) and I am in full blown pumpkin adoring/sweater wearing/cider drinking mode. Currently, I fawning over anything "cozy," Halloween/Thanksgiving related, or autumn inspired.

Pinterest is an obsession of almost every woman I know here in pharmacy school, myself included, and lately I have been inspired by pins that involve crafts and decor using items you already have on hand, or even recycling/repurposing items that you would otherwise throw out. The first project that I filed in the back of my head for some weekend devotion is yard wrapped cardboard letters! Here are the pins that inspired this idea:

Source: duitang.com via Becca on Pinterest

My sister is visiting this weekend for a bit, so I'm hoping this will be a fun project to start together! :) Wish me luck, and stay tuned for more project inspirations, decor ideas, and fall fever!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Little Love

So I haven't posted in ages, but I'd like to get back into the habit of blogging at least semi-frequently. Valentine's Day was Monday and I sent out a sizable pile of handmade cards and envelopes to my family and closest friends. :)

Here are a few pictures I took before sending out my little labors of love:

I can't believe that four years have passed already, much less that I'll be graduating from COLLEGE in about 3 months (on Friday the 13th!). But I'll save those thoughts for another post. I wanted to keep this short and sweet, Happy Heart Day everyone! <3

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers August Challenge

The challenge for this month was chosen by MeetaK of and Tony. The chosen recipe was Chocolate Éclairs from Chocolate Desserts By Pierre Hermé.

I made this dessert for a family dinner at my sister's a couple weeks ago. The combination I decided to use was lemon pastry cream (modified from this recipe) with white chocolate glaze. The Pate a choux dough was veryyy sticky but I managed to pipe them pretty well using a ziplock bag. My first sheet I was kinda nervous about and I think I took them out too soon because they deflated pretty quickly. The second batch turned out much better though! The glaze was a little runny, but tasted good! I definitely do get the eggy vibe from the dough, but overall the taste was good. I'm not sure that I would make this recipe again, as I like my cream puff one better, but it was a good experience.

To the pictures! :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Daring Bakers July Challenge

This month's challenge was Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream from Great Cakes by Carol Walter, and it was hosted by Chris of Mele Cotte. I was a little intimidated when I first saw this recipe, but it turned out pretty well, I think. I did make a few changes. I used pecan meal instead of hazelnuts, due to a few reasons: 1) I could not find hazelnuts locally, and 2) my family currently does not having a working food processor. Because of this, I ended up having to leave the praline paste out of the buttercream. I used Captain Morgans Spiced Rum as the flavoring in the buttercream. And speaking of buttercream, I used Rick's Special Buttercream recipe off Allrecipes.com, with a few changes: 1) I halved the recipe, and used equal amounts of shortening and butter 2) I used rum, instead of vanilla for the flavoring. I used two 9" round pans and did only one layer of buttercream and whipped heavy cream in between. Lastly, I used raspberry perserves for the cake glaze, which I thought complimented the pecans nicely.

The cake turned out beautifully. I was very pleased, visually, with the end product. It was probably the prettiest cake decorating job I've ever done! ^_^ (I know, it probably doesn't look that specical compare to some of the other DB's pictures, but for me, it was quite an accomplishment) This challenge, like last month's, was used as a birthday cake for my father's 58th birthday, which we celebrated as a family on July 12th (actual birthday was the 8th). My absolute favorite part of this cake was the ganache glaze! It was so delicious and sinful! That part, I will definitely be it making again. The cake texture, grainy and slightly dry, I must say was very disappointing to me though. It wasn't over cooked the slightlest bit either, I actually took it out at 22 minutes, because the toothpick came out clean. I should have anticipated the texture, since it did have nut meal in it. This was an interesting experience, and althought I will not remake this cake, I will definitely keep the ganache recipe! (the pecan dipped in my left-over ganache were to die for.. less than half of them made it to the cake as decorations! >_>)

Here are a few pictures of the end product:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Daring Bakers June Challenge

It's been a while since I posted, but oh well. Recently I joined The Daring Bakers and my first challenge, the June challenge, was to make Danish Braid. This was my first experience with laminated dough, and I definitely struggled! My most annoying problem was that the dough kept shrinking up as I tried to roll it out, even after I would give it extra breaks to relax in the fridge. But, I managed to turn out a pretty looking braid, if I do say so myself. It was quite depressing that it took me so long to create this braid only to have it gobbled up in less than 15 minutes! But, I suppose I shouldn't complain that my family liked it. :P I made this for Father's Day, so I decided to use the Apple Filling recipe that came with it because my dad is a big fan of apples.

I'm glad I had something special to make for such a special occasion, however I don't think I'll be making any laminated dough again in the near future as the multiple rolling outs practically killed my arms! >_< It was nice to make something outside of my comfort zone and I really loved reading about everyone else's experiences with the recipe! I'm really happy to be a part of Daring Bakers and I can't wait until next month's challenge!

Here are some pictures from this month's recipe:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's my birfffday ^-^

I meant to get some pictures posted and work on the layout of my blog some this weekend, but so far I just haven't had any time! After work Friday I went shop (got three amazingly cute sun-dresses and an assortment of other pretties), and then came home and baked Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes topped with rose flavored buttercream icing. They turned out very well and I was really pleased with the delicate rose taste of the icing (rose water was used in place of vanilla extract).

Today my sister Laura and I spent most of the day clearing out our dirty and cluttered office room and shredding old mail. We also went grocery shopping for my birthday dinner tomorrow night! Yay! I'm really excited about the menu I picked out:

Greek-esque salads (with green olives and feta cheese)
gyro burgers on homemade pitta bread with tzatziki sauce
homemade seasoned fries
deep, dark chocolate cake with orange marmade filling and tangerine-honey cream cheese
oranges and cream swirl ice cream

Sounds good, yeah?! ^-^ I'm pretty excited! Oh, and we purchased organic wine and minty Mojito's to drink with our meal! I'm definitely going to take some pictures tomorrow of the lovely foodstuff to post!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I blog? :)

After having experienced blog envy for quite some time now, I have decided to create my own, voile! I'm not 100% sure what this blog will end up containing, probably an odd assortment of baking and knitting stories, rants, confessions, ponders, and life events. I'm considering this one (of many) "summer resolutions" (more about that in a future post). As I procrastinate bed time (and in effect, work in the morning) a little while longer, let me clarify my hopes for the outcome of this blog. I hope to make entries and updates for this blog at least a semi-routine event. I'd like to branch out and make some blogging friends, especially ones with similar hobbies or interests. And finally, I'd like for this to be a place to hold my memories and experiences for me to look back on in the future. Wish me luck!