Monthly Archives: October 2011

Hawaii Done Me Real Good

Greetings from Hawaii! I need to take this moment to give a shout out to the best Juevos Rancheros I done ever ate!

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‘Fall’ing for Brunch

Me and the hubs are madly in love with all things brunch! As mentioned in my earlier Doh! nuts! post, we had a brunch at our apartment last weekend.

Here are a few of the other goodies that were prepared for the fall-themed brunch:

I'd have to say that these Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes were probably my favorites!

I was most excited for the Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes! I looked online for some pumpkin pancake recipes but when it came time to actually make them, I decided to experiment with the ingredients and add some of my own. The end result was pretty darn good if I say so myself :).

Eggs in Haystack

These Sunny Side Eggs in a Haystack looked really cool and most importantly, they matched the fall theme!

Fruit Salad with Ginger Dressing

How can you make fruit more ‘fall-ish,’ simple, add ginger syrup!

Pear Whiskey

No brunch is complete without a cocktail! This Pear and Sparkling Cider Cocktail recipe may look like it doesn’t call for enough whiskey, but believe me, it is definitely enough! The sippy cup and mocktail was for our special toddler guest :).

Donuts Galore!

I know I know, I’ve already posted about these baked apple cinnamon donuts. I just loved them so much I decided they needed another shout out!

There were a few more items in the brunch line-up, but nothing as exciting as the pictures above. But to be fair, I’ll show you a picture of the full spread.

Suddenly I’m starving…

Doh! nuts!

This weekend we had a brunch at our apartment. And what better breakfast/brunch food is there in this world other than delicious, fluffy, deep-fried, donuts? I’ll tell you: delicious, fluffy BAKED donuts! You heard it, these puppies are baked instead of deep-fried. Makes you feel better about eating more than just one…or five!

The major difference between baked donuts vs. fried donuts is obviously the exclusion of oil. But to make sure your baked donuts turn out nice and fluffy, the leavening agent (in this case the baking powder) is key.

Of course being the brilliant chef that I am, I forgot to include the baking powder in my donut recipe. Take a look at these sad little donuts :(.

Donuts minus baking powder

After using a few choice words (directed towards myself of course, I decided to reboot and rebake. And boy was it well worth it!

Check out the new and improved ‘Baked Apple Cinnamon Donuts.’

Freshly Baked Apple Cinnamon Donuts

And now it’s time to top them with Cinnamon and Sugar!

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These donuts were the hit of the party! They were well worth the effort and a true representation of ‘Practice Makes Perfect!’

Full Recipe

Pumpkins and Pinecones and Ragweed OH MY!

Fall is hands down my favorite time of year. What better way to celebrate fall than to spruce up the apartment with some fall decor.

Here are some of my nature inspired creations:

Bundle of Fall Foliage

I signed up for a rewards card at Anthropologie and they packed it up in this cute little sack. Of course I asked for one more, filled it up with couscous to weigh it down (I recently discovered that I really don’t like couscous so now I am trying to get rid of it any way I can), and inserted the ‘fall foliage’ (which I later discovered was ragweed…whoops).

Fall Basket Centerpiece

For my centerpiece I emptied out my fruit basket and filled it with some pinecones, acorn squash and baby pumpkins.

Creepy Branch

This branch was a great find! When I found it I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with it. But, after I dropped it in this bubble vase, I realized nothing else needed to be done. This was one spooky branch all on its own!

Pinecone Vase Topped With a Pumpkin

Ragweed Close-up

Despite figuring out this is ragweed, I thought this was a pretty picture…

Happy Fall Everyone!

NOT a Scratch and Sniff Card

How ‘stinking’ cute is this diaper shaped card I made!

Diaper Shaped Greeting Card

Don’t worry; it’s an unused diaper :).

Cauli-Failure

Remember, this blog is about the journey.   That includes successes as well as failures.  And there have been many, many failures.  Including the disaster that was last night.

Attempted recipe: “Mock” Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Actual recipe: ‘Disgusting’ Garlic Mush Cauliflower

I grabbed this recipe (the attempted recipe) from FoodNetwork.com which was described as being a healthy, yet tasty alternative for mashed potatoes.  The recipe received 5 stars and was classified as ‘easy’. 

So where or where did I go wrong?  The answer is really easy.  If you don’t have the appliances that are required for a recipe, there is a high likelihood of disaster.  The recipe called for an immersion blender or a food processor.  I don’t know what an immersion blender is (oh so much to learn still) and I have a very small food processor. Therefore, I thought it would be a-okay to use my regular old blender as a substitute.  No friends, this did NOT work.  My end result was roughly chopped, soggy cauliflower.  I should have taken a picture, but I was so disappointed I chose to have a mini breakdown instead.  Sorry husband. 

Moral of the story: Think long and hard if your substitute appliance is really going to cut it (or in this case, blend it) for your recipe.

Secondary moral: No matter how you slice it, cauliflower does not taste like potatoes.

Do You Know Wilton?

In 2011 I made a New Year’s resolution. Okay, so I made several New Year’s resolutions. But this one, I actually fulfilled.

New Year’s resolution: Make one solid attempt at learning how to bake professionally.

I was on a mission to find some sort of baking class. After much Google searching, I realized that this would be harder than anticipated. These suckers cost a lot of money. And I started thinking; do I really want to invest in something that I’m not even sure I love/want to pursue/am good at? Google was slowly crushing my momentum.

One day I went to Michaels with my trusty 40% off coupon to buy a scrapbook for my niece’s birthday.  In the front of the store was a bulletin board with a list of baking classes.  It had never occurred to me that Michaels offered these types of classes.  And what shocked me even more was the price.

Course 1: Wilton Decorating Basics

$24.99 with the purchase of the Decorating Basics kit.

Sold! Considering I had no supplies to begin with this was an ideal situation. It was fate. So I did it – I enrolled in my first class. And here is what came my friends:

Cupcake Cake

I was hooked, next I took the Gum Paste and Fondant class. Here were some of my creations:

Fondant Calla Lily

Fondant Carnation

Fondant Rose

Fondant Cake

I know these babies aren’t perfect. But I had started my journey. And getting started is half the battle people.

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