It's day two of the holiday weekend and I am enjoying my time alone. My husband went camping for a boys weekend away so I am left to craft alone! Saturday I met a friend and we went for an almost 3 hour hike in the San Bruno hills. It was amazing we just kept walking! The weather was perfect not too hot and not too foggy. When I returned home I received my weekly netflix movie, the last disc of season 3 of Weeds, the Showtime series. I turned it on to watch and let my feet rest. I did some blog searching on line and discovered this really easy tutorial on hand made cloth napkins by Charamichele. It turns out that in this tutorial I have the same fabric that was used. Here is my version of the cloth napkins. This would be a quick item to make for a holiday gift. In my version I used a pink thread as the edge of the napkin, I think it gives it a contrasting burst to the fabric.
I have always wondered how marshmallows are made, because they seem so simple. Most of my memories of marshmallows was eating them while camping with chocolate and gram crackers or out of the bag! I did some searching and found a really easy and good recipe from Mccauliflower of Brownie Points blog. I just recently discovered her blog, she is based in Portland, Oregon. After reading the receipe it sounded pretty simple so I tried it! It actually was really easy and simple, her instructions are excellent. Here is her what she recommends:
2 packs of gelatin
1/4 + 2T of water
1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 +2T of water
1/2 +2T of corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
Line a 9x13' pan with parchement paper and spray with vegetable oil.
Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine 1/2 +2T water and sprinkle gelatain on top. Bring to a boil with the lid on and with out stirring. Remove lid and continue to cook until it reaches 234-240'.
Add the sugar, salt and corn syrup and reaming water to a saucepan.
With the mixer on medium speed add the syrup mixer, very slowly. Once all blended together, turn mixer up to full speed and mix for 8-10 minutes. Pour mixture into pan and let sit a room temp for 10-12 hours.
In a separate bowl add equal parts of rice flour and confectioners sugar, cut marshmallows into desired size and shape and coat with the rice flour mixture.
Keep in air tight container
Instead of rice flour I used corn starch, this is for a 1/2 recipe. For full recipe and PDF print out go to Brownie Points Blog
My good friend just moved back to the bay area from Portland, Oregon. She was able to buy a brand new house in the San Bruno area and she had me over for dinner on Saturday. I wanted to bring her something as a thank you for having me over and a congrats for purchasing her first home. I decided to make her lemon cake. I also brought her a nice bottle of wine and a bottle of lavender soap. The recipe I used was from Ina Garten's book Barefoot Contessa Parties. Dinner was unbelievable! She made cooked salmon, potatoes and two yummy salads. One red onion and strawberry salad and a tomato, avocado, mozzarella salad. Here is the recipe for the Lemon Cake:
1/2 lb of unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup grated lemon zest
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350, Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2x 2 1/2 inch loaf pans.
Cream butter and 2 cups of sugar in electric mixer bowl with paddle attachement for about 5 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, add one egg at a time and then lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl add buttermilk and vanilla and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to batter starting with flour and ending with flour.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes.
With cake is baking...
combine 1/2 cup g. sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice in small saucepan until sugar is devolved to make syrup. After cakes are done take out of pans and set on rack to cool. Add syrup to cakes.
For the glaze combine confectioner's sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over cakes.
What I did a bit differently:
Instead of buttermilk I added Creme Fresh
After reading recipe I realized I did not add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to batter but it turned out GREAT!
Did not put glaze
I am so sad today. I have heard the news about LeRoi Moore, saxophonist for The Dave Matthews Band. He was my favorite musican in the band and he will be missed. He was an amazing musican who helped the band become what it is today. I have many good memories of hearing the band at different concerts since 1995 and from the first time I heard a song I was instantly hooked! Leroi was a very important part of the band and it will never be the same. Leroi will be missed. xoxoxo
Wow I am finally making progress starting my lace scarf. On my JOY Day I went to my favorite yarn shop in the area, Nine Rubies. I got two scains of 100% Merino Wool by Art Yarns. One of the ladies who was working in the store was making a scarf that had lace and beads and it was just beautiful. I had to find the pattern! She directed me to knitty.com and I found the pattern by Rosemary Hill. I am making the Delta Queen version of the scarf. This is week one of knitting this pattern. I have been so busy with baking I have been neglecting my other passions!
Sunday is a day I usually get the "blues". It's my cleaning day and day to get ready for the week but sometimes it's sad to think that the weekend went by so fast. Baking normally helps me get out of the funk! My husband and I eat bananas that sometimes I wish we had a banana tree! But, we don't and sometimes the bananas get too ripe and something has to be done with them. So! I turn them into yummy banana bread. I used a recipe from The Food Network.
It's a really easy and simple recipe. Here it is:
1 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs at room temp
1/2 cup of butter, at room temp
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Wisk the eggs and vanilla in a measuring cup with a spout. lightly brush a 9x5 x3 inch loaf pan with butter and preheat oven to 350.
In a standing mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add egg mixture into the butter while mixer is on. Add the bananas and remove from mixer, the batter with look curdled. (that's ok)
With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour until just incorporated. Fold in nuts and transfer into the pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack.
I added about 1/4 cup of chopped dark chocolate
This was so yummy! I brought to my work and the bread was gone before lunch!
On Saturday afternoon I went to a baby shower for a co-worker. It was very sweet to beable to share this special memory with my co-worker. She was registered at Target, which made my shopping so much easier! All you have to do is print a list out and buy something and you can't go wrong. The person picked it out and would forsure love it and not return! I felt I should also give her something that was a bit more personal. So, I made her a blanket. Thanks to Sew MaMa Sew a found a really easy blanket pattern to follow. If you are a beginner at sewing and have a baby shower to go to make this blanket! I used a green terry cloth and a cotton pink polkadot fabric, even though she is having a baby girl, I thought I would get a way from the pink everything and give her a something a little different.
On Sunday I went to my mother in law's house for dinner. It was her birthday, but she insists to cook! So, I decided to make her a cake. I thought about making something a bit different, a banana cream pie. This is the first time I made a banana cream pie so I was a little scared that it was not going to turn out right. I used a recipe from Elinor Klivans "The Essential chocolate Chip Cookbook". The recipe seemed pretty straight forward since it used a graham cracker crust. The one hard thing about it was the cream custard filling. I had to make the filling twice, the first time it turned out I had the temperature too high and made scrambled eggs! The second, I was more careful and had the stove on lower and took the filling off faster. Although, the picture does not do the pie justice, because it was very good! Here is the recipe:
Crust and topping:
2 1/4 cups of grahm cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of melted butter
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips (mini)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
whipped cream topping:
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 bananas sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Make the crust:
preheat oven to 325
butter a 9 inch pie pan and baking sheet
In large bowl: mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. Add mini chocolate chips
In the pie pan, evenly press 2 1/4 cups of the mixture. Put the rest on the baking sheet form a circle. bake for 6 minutes and let stand for 45 minutes to completely cool.
Put the 1/3 cup of chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl and melt. Drizzle over the extra toppings from baking sheet.
Make the filling:
In medium saucepan, heat milk on low until it hits 150 on a instant read thermometer. At the same time, in a medium bowl, whisk eggs and yolk, and sugar until smooth. Whisk the flour until its smooth. Add the mixture to the milk, and stir constanlty with wooden spoon. Just until it thickens. Reduce from heat and cook at a gentle boil for about a minute.
Pour cream mixture through a fine stainer and add the vanilla. Refrigerate for a least two hours, with plastic wrap directly over the mixture. Remember to poke holes in plastic.
Beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla together until cream becomes stiff and there are peaks to the whipping cream.
Assemble pie! First add the banana layer, pastry cream and then whipping cream layer. Add the topping of crumbled crust and chocolate.
During my perfect day, I went to a really cool fabric store, WhizBang Fabrics. I found some really cool fabric to make zippered pouches with. This is the one thing I can do pretty well with the sewing machine. I don't know where I learned how to make I just have picked up tips from various people. If I come across a good tutorial I will pass it along. I have made several pouches for different people in the last year. I have made all different sizes for different uses. I once made 15 for one bride to give to her 15 bridesmaids, I made one for all my friends who attended my bacholette party, friends for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and I am still making them! I love them, easy to make and it can help spice up your purse!
On Tuesday night my condo complex was having it's annual BBQ for the neighbors to get together. Being new at this complex I thought it would be good of me to show up with some yummy baked goods. So I thought about what I wanted to make, I found a recipe for Blueberry Crumb Bars on smitten kitchen it looked really fast and fuze free. So not having alot of time after work I decided to make the bars. Everything was going perfect then 45 minutes later I peaked in the oven and it was done! But, it needed that golden crust on it, so I figured to leave it in for a few more minutes...But, I forgot to turn my timer back on and I burnt the bars! I was so sad! It was the first thing that I have ruined it a long time. I thought I would share my experience with you all since I know I am not perfect! Maybe you can have a little laugh....Please go to smitten kitchen to find the correct way to make this!
To add to my perfect day the few days ago, I took a picture of the wonderful ice cream that I ate at Bi-Rite Creamery. About half way through eating my ice cream it started melting! I had to eat it way too fast but still enjoyed! Please, if you live anywhere near (100 miles) please try this creamery, it is really worth the drive and the hassle of no parking in the neighborhood!
When ever possible I bring my own reusable bags to the market and always carry a extra bag in my purse. Sometimes I find myself stopping at the market for that one item for dinner and I don't have my stash of bags, so I carry one in my purse. I found this great tutorial by Beth on SewMamaSew. This tutorial was wonderful, easy to follow, I have been sewing for most of my life but recently in the last two years really dove into, and her instructions were so easy! This is the first one I made but I think it turned out great. I still need to work on sewing in a straight line! This bag is a great way to keep myself from using plastic bags once. Thanks!
My best friend is in town from San Diego and I was able to hang out with her for the day. We first went to Filmore Street in San Francisco to get atea latte at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Then we headed over to Chestnut street to The Paper Source. For lunch we went to the Ferry Building and ate at Out the Door. Last we went to the Mission and headed to Bi-Rite Creamery. Oh my gosh! That was the icing on the cake. I had the Vanilla ice cream with peanut brittle! Wow, was it wonderful! The day was almost over but I had to take her to a fabric store that I had been dying to go to! It's called Wizbang Fabrics. It's a small store with an amazing collection of fabrics. I have to admit, I took my friend here because I wanted to go, not her. My girlfriend grew up in the Bay Area but had never gone to the Ferry Building or really have never been to the Mission neighborhood. So, it was nice to show off this beautiful city called San Francisco. This was my perfect day!