- I decided to try and highlight the Capella Tower.
All of my friends love to laugh at my obsession with taking pictures. I am constantly taking them of things that I like or want to remember for later. I would by no means call myself a great photographer but thanks to a new app I got on my iphone I can sort of fake it. (Color Splash)
A ton of the buildings in the Twin Cities have been going pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. My new favorite building is the Capella Tower
(if you want more info on it- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capella_Tower) I noticed it when we were driving to dinner one night and saw how the top was lit up pink and of course I had to take a picture… a couple of them.
Do you remember the instant camera from Polaroid? Apparently it got a face lift.I hope I have inspired you to get out and take pictures.
I read Allison Lewis’s blog Ingredients, Inc. (http://www.ingredientsinc.net/ ) today and was inspired to make Caramel Corn. I pulled out my air popper and started to pop the popcorn and that was when it all went wrong. My popcorn kernels would not pop in the air popper so I was fortunate to find two mini bags of smart pop in my pantry. I popped them up and then followed her recipe a bit with what I had. After an hour in the oven and 30 minutes to cool I was quite impressed with my homemade caramel corn. I mean its no Candy Land or Garrett’s popcorn but it’ll do.
Caramel Corn a la Erica
2 mini bags of smart pop (popped, make sure to throw away not popped kernels)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour the popped popcorn on the cookie sheet. In a saucepan melt butter and then add brown sugar and honey. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over popcorn. Stir popcorn until evenly coated with caramel mixture. Place in oven and bake for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely before breaking apart.
Barefoot Contessa is back with a new cookbook and I could not be more excited. The cookbook is named how easy is that?. My mom and I share the same love of reading cookbooks and I’m sure she is heading over right after she reads this post to buy this new one. The passion to cook comes from my mother but also comes from Ina Garten (“the Barefoot Contessa”). Many of the recipes my mom makes that I love have come from the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and TV show. I will name just a few for you: Chocolate Chunk Cookies, String Beans with Shallots, Tequila Lime Chicken, and the Parmesan Chicken (my little brother has requested this more times than I count). I cannot give you too much of a review yet because I just got the cookbook , but I did see her on the Today Show on Tuesday. Her Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake looked delish. Here is a link to the article and it has recipes! (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/39837298/ns/today-foodwine ) My mom says that the Barefoot Contessa Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake will be an addition to the Seligman Thanksgiving Dessert Table this year. (I’m sure it will be fantastic!) I have looked into pricing on this cookbook and I found that I got the best deal at Borders but they do also carrry it at Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and Amazon.
How cute is this? It's a Halloween decoration at my in-laws house.
This weekend we went over to Justin’s parents house for pumpkin carving. I can’t remember the last time I carved a pumpkin but luckily there were plenty of people to help me and I only nicked myself once with the knife. I think I got a little giddy with all the circles I was making. I decided to go against tradition and make our initial in our pumpkin. How did you decorate your pumpkin this year?
My father-in-laws pumpkin!
- My nephews pumpkin!
My mother-in-law, Gail makes the best garlic bread in the whole entire world! We all have family recipes that we fight over the last crumbs. This bread has minimal ingredients and is always devoured before the night is over. Justin’s brother, Evan still tells us every time we have this that he doesn’t forget when we stole the bread off his plate when he was changing his sons diaper.( yes, this bread is that good that you will want to steal off others plates when there is none left)
Garlic Bread Pull Apart
2 loaves Rhodes French Bread, thaw six hours
Cut each loaf into 20 pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball, dip into mixture of;
1/4 pound melted margarine
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 C parmesan cheese
Arrange balls in greased bundt pan. Sprinkle with parmesan and top with left over butter mixture. Raise 2 more hours uncovered.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Take out of pan while warm.
My aunt says that unfortunately she has never found red food coloring on sale.
I know the gloves are weird... but I had no red food coloring on my hands afterwards.
I woke up this morning and I decided I was going to make a cake. Now not just any simple boxed cake (as Justin had hoped) I decided I was going to tackle a red velvet cake. I found a great recipe on Bakerellas (www.bakerella.com ) website so I dove in. I called my Aunt Bobbye this morning and consulted her (since she is known for her red velvet cake and chocolate cake). She told me that the recipe was correct and that I did need 2 ounces of red food coloring. Now I’m not sure if y’all know this because I didn’t…. 2 ounces is 2 bottles of red food coloring and I am not talking about the little ones that you find in the boxed set with the blue and green I’m talking the sold separately ones. (wowsa… a new baking fact that I am tucking away).
On a separate note Happy Birthday to my cousin Jodi who turned 22 today! She goes to Ohio State (which I do believe the colors are red and white?). I remember every year we had red velvet cake for her birthday. Her mom (Aunt Bobbye) would make it for her and my family would come to their house and celebrate. I wish I could send you a piece Jodi but in celebration of your special day I will just eat one instead
Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease two 8 inch cake pans.
- Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients (including food coloring) and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
- Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl ( I used my kitchen aid stand mixer) and stir well
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
- Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes (mine were done at 33 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
My first attempt at red velvet cake looks pretty good so far.
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Sift sugar and set aside.
- Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
- Then, add the powdered sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.
- And frost away.
Let’s hope this is a winner because it is coming with us to Sunday night dinner!
My mom introduced me to Merle Norman Mascara and it is still my favorite mascara. I used to watch her put her make up on. Her mascara has always been the same since I can remember. People have introduced me to drug store brands and different department store ones but I always go back to this one mascara. It never clumps and it is like an old friend, completely reliable. I finally found a store in Minneapolis so today I stopped by and grabbed some. If it is time for you to get a new tube of mascara I would recommend this one.
Who knew that a tube of cookie dough, a bag of candy corn, and a can of vanilla frosting could make a delish dessert? It’s MEA Holiday for schools in Minnesota so while I was with my little 5 year old (that I nanny for) we made a cookie cake. I was so impressed with her ideas and execution of this that I had to post it.
Do you have a go to recipe with 5 or less ingredients that can wow people? I’d love to see it.
I’m officially counting down the days until I get to leave for Thanksgiving. Right now the counter on my phone says 31 days, 18 hours, and 9 minutes . I’m not sure who is more excited my mom or me. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and the fact that I get to spend a whole week in Bama is like a big cherry on top of a sundae. ( more on Thanksgiving lata) It’s been a couple of months since I have seen my mom and dad which is so not fun but… you know what is fun? Care Packages…. Leo and I just received one this weekend which was perfect because I think that the puppy and I were coming down with some Bama Blues. In our package we found an ALABAMA Pez Dispenser for me, an adorable t-shirt and little Leo got 4 new squeeky balls (which are currently the toy of the week to him). Leo and I sure feel better after opening our package.
What helps you cure the blues?
Leo managed to chew a hole in the purple one an hour after he got it.
Every single one of my friends has expressed how much they LOVE Trader Joe’s . Each one of them has some sort of item they buy there that they think is fabulous. I like shopping there because a lot of the stuff I buy there is pretty cheap. For instance whenever I make Brie I make sure to have their water crackers on hand. They are really cheap and go great with any cheese or dip.
Recently Justin and I also tried there chocolate croissants. OMG…. these are fantastic. It is a little nutty that they have to sit out over night to proof but oh well. Each package has 4 croissants in them.
What is your favorite thing from Trader Joe’s ?