Monday, July 23, 2012

Braided Headband.

Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm in the process of working extreme hours and trying to find a new place to live. It gets stressful and disheartening. 

Anyways, a simple french braid headband.  

Just section out a piece of hair and separate.  I left my bangs down and some of the front sides. Then french braid the separated section. I pinned back the front pieces but left the braid still hanging down.  My hair was kind of crazy that day...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Coffee Ice Cream Floats.

It's exactly what it sounds like. A root beer float, except the root beer is replaced with coffee. In my opinion, this makes the dessert about a million times better. I even have the cute little ice cream glasses to go with it (thanks Ashley).

All you need is french vanilla ice cream and some iced coffee. I made my own strong batch of coffee and shoved it in the fridge for a day. Then I stopped out some ice cream and poured the coffee until I had the desire ratio of deliciousness. It was like a vanilla latte. But better. I'm thinking of making some chocolate syrup and pouring some of that on top. Or caramel....mmmm, yum.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Maple Cornbread

It's cornbread with a subtle sweetness. Basically, pure deliciousness.

Maple Cornbread
from The king Arthur Flour baker's Companion

1 C flour
1 C yellow cornmeal
1 tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 C milk
1/4 C maple syrup
1 tbl dark brown sugar (optional)
4 tbl butter, melted
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 square or 9 inch round baking pan. I had neither and used a 9 x 5 bread pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. in a small bowl, whisk together milk, maple syrup, melted butter, eggs, and sugar. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. 

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake the cornbread for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. It is best to serve warm with butter or maple syrup on top. but it's not bad in the mornings if you refresh it in the toaster oven for about 30 seconds to a minute on the toasting setting. Mmmm, I want more just thinking about it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Braid Crazy

Start by taking two small strands of hair from each side of your head, four in total, one from the top and one from the side, and then twisting them together and securing with an elastic. Twist the two strands together and then tie them together with another elastic. See the top of the braid in the picture below if these instructions are confusing. I'm utterly exhausted as I write this, so I'm sure my clarity is nonexistent. Once the twists are secured, start a french braid, incorporating the twisty pieces. Leave the bottom layer of hair out of the braid. Split the bottom layer of hair into two sections and then each section into two more pieces, so once again four in total. Twist the two strands around each other (the way described in hair twists continued) so that you should have two twists on either side of a braid.  then braid it all together and you're done. Sorry if that is massively confusing.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Such a simple cookie, yet one of the hardest to perfect.  Maybe it's because it's so popular. Or because so many companies spew out these chocolate chip cookies in bulk and then throw them in a plastic bag to sit on a shelf for months.  I've made a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my life, and this recipe is by far the best. With or without the sea salt. I discovered the recipe on epicurious, and took several pieces of advice from different reviewers about modifying the recipe. And some of my own thought s well. And now, I'll never make a different recipe again.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

3 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp sea salt, divided
10 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
1 C vanilla sugar (vanilla sugar can be made by adding about 2 C sugar to an airtight container and adding an empty vanilla bean, or you could add the beans and pod to the sugar as well and then letting it sit at room temperature for at least a week).
1/2 C brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract 
12 oz choc chips, half milk chocolate and half bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets

Sift together flour, baking soda, and 1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt (it depends on how salty you like your sweets) Also, if you don't want the sea salt, just substitute 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and it's regular chocolate chip cookies, and they are still so delicious. 

In stand mixer, whisk together butter and sugars until pale yellow. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. If you used regular white sugar instead of vanilla sugar, which is totally acceptable, I would recommend adding an extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. If you're really feeling crazy add 1 whole extra teaspoon. Pour in flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with remaining sea salt (or not if you opted for no sea salt).

Bake for about 12 minutes and cool on a wire rack. 

Makes about 60 cookies. I got just under that, and I make my cookies too big usually.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hair Twists: Continued

Seriously, they're the easiest thing ever and look really pretty and really cool. 

Make four small twists on the upper side, two on each side, of your head. Remember a twist is just two sections of hair twisted in the same direction then wrapped around each other in the opposite direction in which they were twisted, heh. Make the four twists into two larger twists by...yes...that's right, twisting them together. At this point you could tie the two twists together and call it a day OR leave them untied and make another twist on each side of the head lower than the first two twists.  Finally, you're going to braid it all together. I used the twists on each side as two sections and what was left of the hair hanging down as the last section. That way, the twists are weaved through the braid. Yeah, that was a lot of words, but it takes no time or effort at all really.

Monday, July 2, 2012

One-Sided French Braid

Pretty self-explanatory. But part the hair over to one side. For a more dramatic look, you could part more hair than I did to one side, and I'm sure it would look nice if the braid was on the side of your head instead of on top too.  Pretty simple and elegant. 

 Just the side french braid.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Brown Sugar Pancakes

What a mouthful. But trust me, they are totally worth it.  I originally found this recipe on forever ago, and it has served me well many times. I mean, I ate almost all of these by myself... 

Lemon Blueberry Brown Sugar Pancakes

Makes about 10 pancakes

1 large egg
1 TBL lemon zest
3/4 C milk
3 TBL dark brown sugar
2 TBL butter melted
3/4 C and 2 TBL flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C blueberries

In small bowl, whisk to ether egg, zest, milk, brown sugar, and butter.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk together until just combined.  Stir in blueberries gently. 

Heat a medium pan to medium low heat and add butter. Let the butter melt completely before adding the batter.  Pour batter in 1/3 C measures. Cook until golden brown on both sides.