Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Star Wars skirt.

My friend made this! DIY Star Wars skirt!  All you have to do is buy Star Wars fabric from a fabric store and know how to sew, somewhat. Easy, right? Seems a little impossible to me though.


I think it's pretty awesome...

Popovers.

I love popovers, but I also hate them. They taste so yummy, but they are also not super filling, so next thing I know I've eaten half the batch. Yeah. . .
This recipe is originally from the book Flour




Brown Sugar Popovers




2 C flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (a little more is acceptable as well)
2 TBL packed light brown sugar
2 C milk at room temperature
4 eggs
2 TBL butter, melted and cooled


1/2 C brown sugar
2 TBL melted butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a standard muffin tin and place it in the oven for 10 minutes or until hot. 


 In small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar. In medium bowl, whisk together milk, (at room temperature or else the butter will become lumpy, and who wants lumpy butter) eggs, and butter. Gradually whisk in the flour mixture into the milk mixture until combined. Batter will be loose and liquidy and not smooth.


Remove the pan form the oven and pour the batter into the cups, filling to the brim. bake for 20 minutes at 425, then decrease the temperature to 325 and continue to bake for another 40 minutes, or until the popovers are completely browned and poufy. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, open the oven to peak in at any time.  Letting the hot air out of the oven could deflate the popovers, and they won't look nearly as fun. Also, you will defeat the purpose of a popover. Let cool in the pan on a  wire rack for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. 


Place 1/2 C brown sugar in a large bowl and melt the remaining 2 TBL of butter. Coat the popovers with the butter and then roll them in the brown sugar one by one, placing them on a plate afterwards. They are best warm, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Scones

I love lemon-blueberry combinations. I love scones. I especially love scones for breakfast with coffee. Just delightful. 






Lemon Blueberry Scones


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


2 3/4 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/2 C  (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8-10 pieces
1/2 C cold nonfat buttermilk
1/2 C creme fraiche
1 cold egg
1 egg yolk
2 C fresh blueberries
2 TBLS lemon zest
2 TBLS sanding sugar, pearl sugar, or granulated sugar.


In a stand mixer, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and lemon zest on low speed for 10-15 seconds. Scatter the butter over the top and mix on low speed for around 30 seconds or until the butter is somewhat broken down. 
In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, creme fraiche, and whole egg until completely mixed. On low speed, pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour-butter mixture and beat for 20-30 seconds. The dough should just come together with a little loose flour mixture on bottom.
Add the blueberries and remove the bowl from the stand.  Gather and lift the dough and blueberries with your hands, turning it over in the bowl until the blueberries are mostly incorporated into the dough. Gentleness is the key, plus you don't want the cold ingredients to get too warm.  Dump the dough onto a baking sheet and pat into an 8 inch circle about 1 inch thick. Brush the egg yolk evenly over the surface and sprinkle the sanding sugar over the top ( to your preference of sugary-goodness).  Cut the circle into 8 wedges, much like cutting a pizza. 
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until entire circle is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. you will she to cut into the pre scored wedges seeing as thy will have baked together in the oven.  they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 


**Note**
 If you want flaky, tender scones, the butter should be straight from the fridge along with the buttermilk, creme fraiche, and egg. If these ingredients are warm, your scones will still taste delicious, but it will have a more cake-like texture.  






Saturday, May 26, 2012

Themed nails.

Well, if I haven't mentioned it yet, I went to disney World last week. And if I did mention it already, there is your reminder. But i thought some themed nails would be appropriate.  I mean, it's Disney. Really the only place you can get away with doing themed anything.  I bought a black nail art pen at Target (the greatest store in the world), and I think I may go back for more because there's just so much you can do with them.  Anyways, here are some Disney nails for you.



I had to go back with a Q-tip and some nail polish remover with that red, and then it looked much nicer, ha.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Braids that Stay.

When I go to a theme park, I'm going to ride as many rides as possible and multiple times.  Especially all the roller coasters and free-fall rides out there. Seeing as I didn't want to deal with my hair, I needed sturdy hairstyles. French braids really are the best for this. They're like steel. 




 Two french braids on the side and then take the remaining hair from the back and braid it all together.




 We went to Star Wars weekends at Disney, so we tried to have Star Wars hair. Sort of.  It's just a french braid headband across the front and it's pinned back into a bun....which later became a high ponytail.




Can't go wrong with two french braids. The smaller the strands from the sides are, the stronger the braid will be. These braids survived, multiple roller coaster and water rides.  I was pretty impressed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Twisty Hair.

It's been awhile. That's what happens when you entertain guests (or guest) and then go to disney World on vacation. It turns into more of a mission to not die, but when you look back on it, it's great.  I think.  Luckily on my vacation, many up-dos were required, seeing as the temperature outside was sunny, 90, and 1000% humidity, so I kept myself busy. Well, I kept myself and my partner in hairstyles busy. 




I like doing twists instead of braids every so often. You take two a small section of hair, preferably from the side, separate it into two smaller sections, then twist them in the same direction. Once both twisted, twist them around each other in the opposite direction you twisted each section. . .got it? It sounds confusing and I confuse myself doing it, but you can always tell if you are doing it right, or wrong. I did two twists on each side, then tied them together, and then incorporated them into a simple braid in the back. Proven theme-park proof.




I did two twists again but tied them separately. I gathered all the hair into a low ponytail, then looped the ponytail over and under. Instead of pulling it all the way through, I left it gathered int he middle (shorter to medium length hair is best) and the  pinned it in place. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And....

Buy this book! It's the best baking cookbook I've ever purchased. Every recipe is perfect and original. :P


Getting Ready.

I know, I haven't been updating, but I've been so distracted with everything that's going on. I'm going to Disney World tomorrow, and my friend flies in tonight for it. There's a whole list of things that need to be baked, sewn, and packed.  Not to mention the projects that are spinning around in my brain just for here. Sigh. In fact, right now, I'm in the middle of painting my nails Disney themed.  I'm going all out.  And hopefully, it will turn out nice, and I can post it on here later. Ha. . . .




I tried out the three buns style. Just separate your hair into three sections, twist each section, and then twist it into a bun against your head. I pinned these in place, but I only had small bobby pins, and it was hard.  There's going to be a round 2 of this. 




4-Stranded Braid

 Put your hair in a low ponytail and separate into four sections.
 It's easier to keep the sections separated if they're braided. 


Essentially, you want to weave the hair. Under, over, under. Then braid. Then weave. 
The front section was left out to wrap around the hair tie, but you don't have to do that.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Typical Saturday.

Hair bow made from Newspaper.




Two French braids on each side, stop at the nape of your neck. When each is completed, you can do a few things. My friend braided the two french braids together in a normal braid, but left some hair down and braided that into a smaller braid, which she then wrapped around the big braid and then clipped into the ret of the hair. What a mouthful.  For the more hair challenged, like myself, I just put the two braids into one ponytail, so I had a regular ponytail down the back. My hair is naturally wavy and will curl at the ends, but if your hair doesn't do that, I would take a curling iron and loosely curl the ponytail.




French lemon poppyseed poundcake. The recipe is from the cookbook "Flour." If you don't own it, go buy it. Right now. Seriously.  It's by Joanne Chang, and she is a genius.  I would never change any of her recipes.  In fact, on my list of things to do in my life, is to go to Boston and actually sit and eat at one of her bakeries.  I'll get there one day!


2 C cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C plus 3 TBLS butter, melted and cooled to slightly warm.
1/4 C heavy cream
3 TBLS finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons0
1 TBLS fresh lemon juice ( about 1/2 lemon)
3 TBLS poppyseeds
4 eggs
1 1/4 C granulated sugar


Glaze: 
1/2 C confectioner's sugar
1-2 TBLS lemon juice (1/2 to 1 lemon)


Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 by 5 loaf pan. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together, butter, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds. The consistency should be a thick liquid. Using a stand mixer with the whip attachment, beat together eggs and granulated sugar on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and lemon colored. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Fold about a  quarter of the egg-flour mixture into the butter-cream mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg-flour mixture until just combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. I checked mine at 55, and it only needed two more minutes after that. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Waterfall Braid with Curls.

I was in a wedding party recently, and I enlisted my friend to style my hair. And she just did a fabulous job.  She curled my hair with a curling iron (copious amounts of hairspray were involved) and then did a waterfall braid starting from my left side. She started another from the right, and where the red flower clip is, is where the braid meets together and looks odd, but I conveniently needed a clip in my hair anyways. After about an hour the curls relaxed some, and after hours of dancing the curls and braid were still intact!




Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nail Fun.

So, first I painted my nails with a base coat then the light green in the pictures. 

Then I took my sponge brush ( a cheap one) and dabbed the green polish on again, but this time only the tip of my nails. 
Next, I mixed a teal color with my green. 


Then I dabbed the resulting color on the middle part of my nail. 


For the bottom of my nail, I dabbed the teal color alone. You're fingers are going to get a fair amount of polish on them as well, but don't worry, all you have to do is take a Q-tip and dip it in nail polish remover to remove the excess on your skin. As seen below.



Bam! Tri-color nails and super fast and easy. once they dried, I put a top coat on too. And you can do it with whatever colors you like. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More than just Desserts

I usually try to keep my actual food pretty healthy, believe it or not. i do go crazy with the desserts though. But, I broke from my usual healthy dinner and made this super delicious garlic cream pasta.  The only healthy thing about it was the garden vegetable spaghetti I used. Other than that, it was basically a garlic Alfredo pasta. 




2 tsp olive oil
1 clove elephant garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta (or whatever you like really)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream



Place the olive oil and minced garlic in a pot on medium low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Mix in butter until melted, and then add salt, pepper, and chicken stock. raise the that to high until it comes to a rolling boil, then add pasta and cook according to the box's instructions. Once the pasta is cooked, reduce the heat to medium and mix in the parmesan cheese until it is completely melted. Turn off the heat and mix in the heave cream. Serve immediately. I added some fresh grated parmesan on top as well as some salt and pepper to taste. It was fabulous!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Par-tay Mix.

Okay, so I tried this out for the first time in a long time, and I think it went pretty well.




Honeycombe Party Mix


1 Box honeycomb cereal
1 Box rice & Corn chex cereal
3 sticks butter
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1 C peanut butter
Cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350.


Melt butter, peanut butter, and sugars together in a small pot on medium low heat. In a baking dish, I used my pyrex, 9 by 13, pour the two cereals out, mixing evenly (you'll probably have cereal leftover if you use this size).  Once the butter mixture has melted and mixed together completely add a few dashes of cinnamon and mix. Then pour the mixture over the cereals, making sure every piece was covered. I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on the top too before putting it in the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or longer if you like crispier dishes.  I let it cool at room temperature, but it could be a good idea to let it cool for about 15 minutes, then transfer it to a bowl and put it in the fridge.  Though, ideally, you've made this party mix as an easy and tasty dessert for your own party and everyone eats it, and you won't be tempted to eat it all yourself.  Which will happen.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Two Braids. One mind.

Actually, my friend did one, and I did the other, so that's probably also two minds. Oh well. 




Hope just started braiding small side sections and then pinning them back. She did that twice, but then she braided (or twisted) the strands leftover from the braids and pinned them back into the other braids. Looks complicated, right? But then she just did a fat, loose fishtail braid at the end.


I just did three regular braids. One straight down the back. On the right i took hair from the left side and pulled it under the middle braid. And the braid on the left, i pulled hair from the right side and pulled it over the middle braid. Voila! Then I curled the ends with a curling iron. And it's fancy! I can even do this on my own hair, so there are no excuses!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hair Stuff.

My friend had fun doing this.  And I could totally do it on my own too.  After a few tries.



 Put your hair in a low, loose ponytail, sectioning off the side of front parts.

 Loop your ponytail through the hole you made (over and under).
 My friend braided the tail-end of the ponytail, but you don't have to.  But tuck it into the twist you made and pin (or clip) in place.

 She braided and twisted two sections on my left side.

 She french-braided the right side, but you can do what you did on the left as well or something different!

No hair product used except some water to calm the fly aways!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cookies for everyone.

I really am trying to get this baking thing going. and I've been thinking about it, and maybe I should be posting some healthier recipes, but. . . . I just don't like making healthy food as I do delicious fattening baked goods.  Plus, I work out, so that means I can eat whatever I want, right? This is what I tell myself. PS...Jillian Michaels is AWESOME.  


So anyways, I bought those hershey's Cookies and Creme bites awhile back and decided to try out some choco-cookies and creme cookies. And they are. . .  just delightful. 




Preheat oven to 375.


1 C butter room temp
1 1/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C dark cocoa powder (I used Nestle Tollhouse, which is regular coca powder)
2 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp sea salt (I thought I might be on sugar overload and added the whole sea salt crystals for a change up and a little bit more of it too)
1 tsp baking powder
1 C mini semi-sweet choc chips (I used 1 C of regular milk choc chips and I enjoyed it fine).
12 oz. hershey's cookies and creme drops (seen above in photo...the bags I found war 8 oz each, so you'll need two)


In stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. On low speed, add eggs and vanilla until combined. Add cocoa powder, and after thoroughly incorporated, add rest of dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips and then the cookies and creme drops.  Drop cookie dough by large spoonfuls onto baking sheets. My batch made about 23 cookies.  Cook for 10-14 minutes.  Mine took around 14, and they were perfect. They don't expand much, so don't let that fool you! Let cool on a wire rack, or consume immediately, as I did. I stored the remains in an airtight container at room temperature. 


:)


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crafting about what I Like.

So, I like pretty nerdy stuff most of the time. Or all of the time. One of my favorite shows of all time is Avatar The Last Airbender. It's amazing. It plays on Nick and is animated, and yes, your kids can watch it, but you can also watch it and love it. Basically, I have some crafts that I've done involving this show and more to come. I've even made shirts, okay. . . .




It's four symbols: Water, earth, Fire, and Air.  My friend and I found pictures of them online and then enlarged them and traced them. We then had to cut them out, which was, the hardest part of it all, I promise. But then we put it on a brown paper backdrop, traced, and then started modge-podging.  Old catalogs, and some paper from Michaels, and bam! Really cool Avatar poster that looks legit.  I put it on poster board and then framed it, but you could do whatever you want with it. Or make all the symbols separate too. 




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hair Break.

So, all my life I have been a little hair challenged. And when I say a little, I mean a lot. i can do buns and ponytails and that's it. Even the simplest braid becomes a mass anxiety attack that leaves me fighting off the urge to chop all my hair off. That being said, I have finally grown my hair out and stopped chemically murdering it and would like to actually wear my hair differently once in a while. 


It just so happens that I have this friend who has some pretty nifty hair ideas that are quite easy. . .

It's pretty much a fancy half up-do, except with gaps in the middle. So take two strands from the front sides of your hair and then pull them to the back. Overlap one over the other (doesn't matter which one) and whichever one is on top, pin in place with a bobby pin or hairpin.  Repeat this and make sure to leave space in between each strand.  She only did it three times and it literally took about 3 minutes. After practice I could probably get it down to 30 seconds. I imagine you could spritz  a little hair spray over this, or before styling use a light holding gel to make it stay more, but I'm a natural kind of girl and hardly use that stuff.