Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Herbs

So I'm growing my very own herbs!

The problem is I can't remember which one is growing which herb. I wanted the pots that had the name of the herb on it, but when I went to check out the last "parsley" pot was broken *tear*. So I switched it out for these three troublemakers...basil, parsley and thyme.

Day 1...Nothing... (growing your own herbs don't exactly offer instant gratification).

Day 3...Nothing...I'm pretty sure they are dead.

Day 5...Oh my sweet little home grown basil (or thyme...or Parsley)! SPROUTS! One of them finally started sprouting...I was relieved since I'd forgotten to water them.

Any herb growing advice? Any idea how long before I can cook with them? Will they be ready by the weekend?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Crafternoon Part 2-The Details

Hello! Thank you for reading today! Are some of you wondering what happened to the punch recipe that was suppose to appear on Monday? You don't have any idea what I am talking about, do you? Okay. Click Here to catch up.

Anyway, I love details. They stress me out, make me crazy, make Bradley crazy, scare Calvin, and drive me to the brink...but then, after it somehow comes together, they make me smile, and when I smile, Bradley smiles and Calvin wants to cuddle.

So because I spent so much time on "The Details" I want to show them to you. 

1. White Chocolate Dipped Oreos

The oreos drove me crazy. I thought it would be cute to dip them in white chocolate and decorate them with red candy melts...well as you can see they didn't dip smooth. And un-smooth oreos make me crazy.
But, I let it go. Because I had two types of olives.

2. Vegetable Tray

A whole can of black olives disappeared by the end of the afternoon. That makes me nervous...
I also really love baby carrots. When I was little, my mom had me drink freshly juiced carrots. I turned a lovely shade of orange. True story.

3. Fruit Tray
 I don't have any stories about the fruit.

4. Lots of Appetizers

Some lovely friends brought lots of other delicious snacks.

6. My "welcome" station

Calvin spilled that green paint all over the porch and all over himself.

6. "Crafty" Decorations

All the craziness of trying to pull it all together was worth it..for sure. It always is. :)

Oh, I almost forgot...

7. (The number of completeness, thank you seminary education) The Punch

Slush Punch*
Slightly adapted from Simple Recipes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage, gingerale or champagne.
  1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin. Boil for 3 minutes. Stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Divide mixture in half, and freeze in 2 separate containers.*You can double bag gallon ziplocks and lay them flat on a baking sheet to freeze.
  2. When ready to serve, place the frozen contents of one container in a punch bowl, and stir in 1 bottle of lemon-lime soda until slushy.
*This recipe makes 2 large punch bowls.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate, cream cheese and strawberries...

This is my new favorite cake.

I cannot even tell you how delicious it is. 

There are fresh strawberries in between the layers.

 And lots of Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Sidenote:  I would like for you to meet Julie. She's my Valentine's Day Orchid. Yes, I named my orchid. Isn't she beautiful?

Did you have a good Valentine's Day?

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberries

Chocolate Cake Recipe Here

-Bake cake in 2 round 9in pans. Cool on rack.
-Once completely cool cut the rounded tops off with a serrated knife.
-Spread a layer of cream cheese icing over bottom layer and slice fresh strawberries over top. Spread more cream cheese over strawberries.
-Stack your layers and crumb coat your cake (don't worry about it looking pretty)
-Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes
-Now you can smooth out your icing and add more for a clean look.
-Pipe on roses, optional

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting*

-2 Sticks (1 cup)  unsalted butter, room temperature
-2 packages (8 oz) Cream Cheese, room temperature
-8 cups Powdered Sugar
-2 Teaspoons Vanilla
-1-3 Tablespoons Cream or milk

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Add milk in teaspoon increments to reach desired consistency. If you plan to pipe on your cake make sure the frosting is stiffer by adding less milk.

*If you are not going to pipe on the cake than half this recipe.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crafternoon Part 1

Crafting + Girlfriends (I feel like an old person calling girls who are friends "girlfriends" but I like that better than gal pals or just plain "friends" or  girly girls. I'm saying it more in a "Hey Girlfriend!" tone...if that makes sense). Okay, That parenthetical statement/paragraph was way too long so I have to start my equation again.

Crafting + Girlfriends + Cupcakes = CRAFTERNOON

Of course the cupcakes were pink.

Here's a hint as to what flavor they were...

Pink Lemonade!
 It was definitely a tart cupcake. If you like lemon cake you'll like this. If you strictly like chocolate cupcakes...this might not be the dessert of choice for you. I thought they were cute and fun! I enjoyed making something a little different than usual (and not the typical red velvet cake for Valentine's day).

Get excited...tomorrow I'm going to reveal the punch...too much fun to handle. 

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
 From Confections of a Foodie Bride

3/4 cup frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed
3/8 cup water
1 White cake box mix
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients together on medium speed for 2 minutes (Do not mix any longer, it will dry out the cupcakes).  Pour batter into lined cupcake pans. Bake for 20-23 minutes at 350 degrees.

Lemon Buttercream

2 sticks butter (1 cup), room temperature
-6 cups powdered sugar
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-3T Lemon
-1-3 teaspoons milk, depending on desired consistency.

Beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Add liquid ingredients to reach desired consistency.

Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine's Day is coming!

Valentine's Day is 14 days away...And I may have already made cookies...

And some decorations...

and some Valentine's...

and even given a gift...

It's all about sharing the love! And I love Valentine's Day...mainly because it gives me an excuse to decorate everything pink.