Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tag!

One of my favorite bloggers, B of I.M.T.L.Y. tagged me a few weeks ago and I didn't forget! So here we go, all about me:


see - it is all about me in this picture! haha!

1. What would your dream day consist of?
-Sleeping in (but not too late), spending time outside, a panini sandwich for lunch and then a full day of cooking for an amazing dinner and a movie. I'm pretty simple!

2. What's your favorite reality tv show?
-Easily Top Chef. I love this show and am just waiting for them to come to Seattle. Please!!!

3. How tall are you? How tall would you like to be?
-I'm 5'5'' but I tell people I'm 5'6''.

4. If you were stranded on an island, what would be 2 things you wish you had with you?
-Hmm that is tough. I would say an ipad and chapstick.

5. Do you look at the keyboard when you type?
-No way, I'm a typing pro!

6. What's your favorite ice cream?
-Anything homemade with chocolate in it! My friend Carrie gave me an ice-cream maker for my bridal shower and we use it all the time. A book with great ice-cream recipes is The Perfect Scoop.

7. Are you afraid of flying?
-I get a little nervous in small planes, but not afraid of flying in general. Nothing will stop me from a vacation!

8. Which restaurant has your favorite french fries?
-The truffle fries at Canlis restaurant here in Seattle. I could eat a plate everyday!

That was fun - thanks B! My tag goes out to all who are reading! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Club: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Out most recent book club choice was mine, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I hosted book club and made Pioneer Woman's mac and cheese for dinner along with parmesan roasted broccoli and a salad, to lighten things up from the mac and cheese.

I gave this book four stars, and had a hard time putting it down. It was a pretty dark book, but seriously, you can't put it down.

Interesting fact: the original title was "Men Who Hate Women."


reading the book on the honeymoon (yes, pictures are coming soon!)

image: Amazon

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cakes, cakes and more cakes

The final baking class in my series was the one I was looking forward to the most, cakes and frosting. I have to say, we did an amazing job!

Brooke and I made a fluffy yellow cake with real buttercream frosting. It was a little complicated, but totally worth it.




Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated
plus 3 large yolks, room temperature

1. Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch high round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/4 cups sugar together in large bowl. In 2-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and 6 yolks.

2. In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar; continue to beat until soft peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

3. Add flour mixture to now empty mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until incorporated, about 60 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth, 10 to 15 seconds.

4. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops.

5. Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pans and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pan with small knife, then invert onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again; cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.


Chocolate buttercream frosting
16 ounces semisweet chocolate , finely chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (cold)


1) Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over saucepan containing 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Increase heat to medium; add sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt and stir with heatproof rubber spatula until sugar is dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate, butter mixture, and cream to clean bowl of standing mixer and stir to thoroughly combine.

2) Place mixer bowl over ice bath and stir mixture constantly with rubber spatula until frosting is thick and just beginning to harden against sides of bowl, 1 to 2 minutes (frosting should be 70 degrees). Place bowl on standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula until completely smooth.


Meghan and Brynn did a beautiful strawberry cake and Miss Brynn did an awesome post about the cake you can check out here.


I am sad classes are over, but I have a feeling there will be more baking and cooking classes in the future for us.


The two best cakes in the class

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homemade bagels


Success in baking class last night! Homemade egg bagels from Brooke, Brynn and me! They turned out pretty well and were really easy to make. It's a pretty basic recipie, knead it, shape it, boil it, bake it and voila - homemade bagels!

Next week is our last class: cakes and frosting which I am so excited for!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Baking classes

It's probably pretty obvious from most of my posts that I love to cook. And while I like to bake, there is so much more precision and accuracy that is needed, my baked goods never seem to come out right.

Enter the world of "continuing education." Baking classes! My friends Meghan, Brooke and (fellow blogger) Brynn signed up for baking classes.

Our first three hour class was an intro and our latest class was pies. This was my first attempt at making a pie crust (and the tricky lattice topping" but I think our blueberry pie was a success for a first attempt!


Blueberry pie made by Brooke and myself

Meghan and Brynn's coconut cream pie



Brooke and baby enjoying the baked goods

Yeast recipes and cakes (including butter cream frosting) are next on the agenda!

Speaking of cakes - Nick and I decided to fast forward the tradition of saving the top layer of wedding cake for the 1 year anniversary and dove into it last weekend when we did dinner at my parents! (Yes, that is the University of Washington Huskies mascot cake...we are big fans!)




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