Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weekly Scoop 5/31/13

1. This is a beautiful thing. And I want all of it, especially the maxi dresses and all of the elephant stuff! Too much cuteness!! What summer fashions have caught your eye? Anything I should check out ASAP? That reminds me I need to work on another fashion post! Now I shall go stand in front of my closet for hours and proceed to throw clothes everywhere in search of the perfect outfit.

2. Watch any good TV or movies lately? I am still harping on Parks and Recreation! Can't get enough! It makes me laugh and smile every single time! I am almost all the way through all of the episodes on Netflix! Need to find a place where I can watch the fifth season! Also my usual shows are done for the summer season, what do you watch during the summer to hold you over until the fall premieres?

3. Make-up is a favorite of mine, I kind of hoard make-up. So, at the end of each month I get really excited because Jessica over at How Sweet It Is posts her latest beauty must haves from the month and I swoon over all of them and then my bank account screams at me. Speaking of hoarding make-up, I have over 20 nail polishes, but I probably use about 3 or 4 of them...any ideas for what I could do with the ones I don't use? I wish I could just finish a single bottle, but no the nail polish producers suck me in every few weeks with new colors! Can't. Get. Enough. My latest favorite is Essie's 'Sunday Funday' ! What nail colors are you loving right now?

4. In the past two weeks I have gained over 300 new Pinterest followers! Say WHAT?! I am really confused by such love, but it makes me really happy! Thank you!

It was a pretty color...kind of. 
5.  About two days ago I went to my local health food store and they have this juice bar thing. I was debating between getting a banana smoothie and the green lemonade. Guess which I went for? The green lemonade, I really am trying to eat healthier, but kind of failing. So, I thought I would like this opaque green liquid stuff, but ICK! I don't know how people drink that stuff! I think what really killed it for me was the ginger in it! I can tolerate ginger as a subtle note in a baked good, but center stage no way! I took about two sips, then I tried to mix in a banana and strawberries, did not work. Well, it was eight dollars out the window. So expensive. If you do juicing, what juices do you like? Any sweet ones that are not so overpowering and make me want to spit it out? I technically have a juicer, but have yet to rev it up. It kind of scares me, and don't even think that I want to pull it out, get veggies together, and then clean it up. No sir or ma'am, I am so utterly lazy.

6. The top picture is my first DQ cone of the season! Summer is finally here! Now, I have been to DQ already this season, but those times I got blizzards! I just couldn't pass up the sprinkles this time!

7. Latest Pins:

Contains an affiliate link, but otherwise I remain unknown to the rest of these people and companies. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Vanilla Whoopie Pies!

Today we honor the men and women who fought for our freedom! To our service men and women out there I just want to say thank you, and I really appreciate what you and your family's have sacrificed for this country!

Today also marks the officially unofficial start of summer to many, even though it was 40 degrees yesterday! So, let's fire up those grills, slather on that sunscreen and pull out your favorite white pants! I will be firing up my grill, I don't know about the sunscreen though, I am EXTREMELY pale! We shall see though! And that's a negative on the white pants for me, I don't even own a pair, but I do want some! I do have my red, white and blue on! Hope you do too! Have a great day! God bless America! Here's to our service men and women! And here's to summer!

Vanilla Whoopie Pies
Whoopie Pies:

  • 2 and 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons Shortening 
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 Large Eggs
  •  2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract 
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt mixed with 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
  • 1 Teaspoon White Vinegar 

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then sift this mixture into another bowl and set aside.
3. Cream together the butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 3 minutes. Then beat in the eggs, vanilla, and yogurt-milk mix until well combined and scraping down the bowl as necessary. The mixture will look curdled, don't worry, this is okay.
4. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the milk, baking soda, and vinegar. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the milk-vinegar mixture, beating until just combined. Then add in the flour mixture in two additions. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, and no longer.
5. Scoop dough, using a small cookie dough scoop, onto prepared baking sheets, leaving ample room in between each. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until set and beginning to become golden brown. Let the whoopies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Fluffy Filling

  • 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 Cups Sifted Powdered Sugar 
  • 7 and 1/2 Ounces Marshmallow Cream (One Jar)
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract 

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
3. Place filling in a piping bag and pipe onto half of the whoopie pies, place the other half of whoopie tops on each. Squish slightly, then roll the edges in sprinkles.

Recipe Adapted fromWhoopie Pies : Dozens of Mix 'em, Match 'em, Eat 'em Up Recipes
via Just Baked
Filling Recipe by Martha Stewart via Just Baked 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekly Scoop 5/25/2013

Okay, so lets try this "weekly scoop" again!

1. If you haven't already, check out my post about my trip to King Arthur Flour! Super fun and super sugar filled! So much sugar that I should probably have done a detox or juice cleanse. But I haven't, surprised much? I hope not at all.

2. What are you making for Memorial Day? I know I have to make something for a party I plan on going to, but I am having a really tough time deciding. I know it will be something sweet, any ideas?

Do you spy the security guard?
3. I saw Taylor Swift's new house. Let's just say there are a bunch of huge men in sunglasses and fluorescent jackets that stare at you. Creepy, but unfortunately necessary. I was so surprised at how close the house is to the public beach, it is literally right ON the public beach! Good luck to her security this summer! Must be nice to live on the beach.

4. I finally saw Silver Linings Playbook! Loved it! Then I wasted my time watching Young Adult, I thought it was supposed to be funny...nope it was kind of sad actually. I don't want to end up like Mavis. I also started watching Parks and Rec, it is so gosh darn funny! It always gives me a fit of the giggles (see below)! And I kind of want to marry Aziz Ansari/ Tom Haverford. Next on my movie list is Hunger Games, but I have to admit I have been really hesitant to watch it because I am totally going to cry and I hate crying at movies. BUT I totally teared up at the end of Silver Linings Playbook, happy tears though! So it's all good. What have you been watching lately? Anything good that I should be watching?

5. Please read this article. Do you find it funny?  Please let me know, I just need to validate my thoughts about it. Thanks. By the way not looking forward to the cicada invasion.

6. Some of my favorite recent Pins and bookmarks:

7. I love to laugh, and I have a really lame sense of humor. You know that kid in your class that used to laugh at the teacher's horrible jokes, like they were trying to be the teacher's pet? Well, I am THAT kid, but let me tell you we are not trying to suck up, honestly we just have really lame and dry senses of humor. So this is only appropriate.

Have a good weekend! Have a safe Memorial Day! Let me know about your celebrations and noshings!

King Arthur Flour Pastry Class

Whoa! What a whirlwind these past two weeks have been! I cannot believe that today it has been one week since I finished my pastry course at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, VT! The week since has flown by and so did the class itself! That is why I have been away from the blog, and remember I had warned you about this, but here I am sitting and trying to pull words out of my head and organize them into readable English (currently struggling to do so). And if you follow me on instagram you may have seen just a few pictures from my class.

Anyhoo WE MADE SO MUCH FOOD. Ahead of time I had thought we would be taking home some treats, but I never thought it would be entire pies, batches of scones, two cakes, palmiers, cream puffs, and eclairs! It was insane, I should have planned a party after the class each day. Seriously, each day I had made enough pastries to serve an entire party (small-ish party, but you get the point)!

So, about the class! The class was Pastry Principles and Practice, and I would highly recommend it. It was a four day class that met for five hours each day. Now I sometimes had trouble staying on task the whole time, remember when I told you about my brain and how it's all over the place...yeah that, but on our break I would head to the cafe and grab some  savory grub to counteract all the sugar I consumed! The class is held in the almost brand new Baking Education Center, or the BEC as is engraved on all of the kitchen utensils! The center is well equipped including huge ovens, this giant refrigerator thing that I was totally afraid of getting stuck in, but I kept that to myself...until now. All I can say is wow, wow, wow, I loved taking this class not only for the experience, but also the food was delicious! If you are going to take this class, I recommend working out for the week before, bringing friends to eat your treats and to then tell me all about it! I liked it so much I already signed up for another one! Now enough of my rambling, and onto the pictures! I hope the pictures convey the greatness of this class that I am not able to put into words!

Oh, and DO NOT FORGET to go the store! I spent way too much money there, but it's okay because I will share it with you through the web (that's how my brain justifies the insane amount of baking stuff I buy :)). I kind of went crazy in the store, we are talking new waffle iron, flour storage container, new rolling pin, rolling bands, apron, and oven mitts among other things! And I got all of it in the name of my blog, woohoo!

Also pardon some of the pictures, the baking center had really intense light and my hotel room was not the most ideal for taking food pictures. Onto the pictures for real!

Close-up of my workstation. For the first time I got to use a Viking mixer, the
 release leaver did not like me at all. Other than that it was a very nice mixer! 
This carrot cake totally made up for my botched Easter one!
Delicious whole wheat scones!
Piping practice with homemade Italian meringue buttercream! 

And me totally geeking out! 
I would love to share some of the recipes! Which would you like to see? 

I paid for this class, it was not a gift. The people at King Arthur probably know very little about my blog, but hopefully it will be a bigger and better entity in the future that they will know of! (Me, being optimistic!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Life Lately

This gave me a good laugh.

P.S. I am thinking about changing my blog name again...sorry...not really...stay tuned. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Refreshing Watermelon Spritzer

Have you seen some of the gorgeous cocktail and drink pictures on Pinterest? Oh my gosh talk about making me drool all over my keyboard! I never realized that something with such an ugly name as 'beverage' can be so beautiful! Beverage, BEV-ER-AGE, what a weird word! You know those words that just make you uncomfortable, well I have got a few. Want to hear them? Great, and I would love to hear some of the words that make you shiver! Here are some of mine!

Moist, crusty, beverage,  gelatin...okay so I guess I don't have a long list. Maybe more will come to me soon because in my brain the list seemed much lengthier. Things always seem to be better in my head, except for this drink! Delicious!

Let's bring it back in from that tangent. Sometimes I have no idea how my mind goes from blog post beginning to middle and then somehow finishes it up and then tries to relate it to whatever recipe I am sharing. Honestly, I wonder how you follow my thought process on this bloggy blog. Well I hope you somehow manage because y'all are awesome! And to celebrate how awesome you are here is a light and refreshing watermelon drink that can be enjoyed by all for Cinco de Mayo!

Refreshing Watermelon Spritzer 
Crushed Ice
1/4 Cup Watermelon Juice (See Note Below)
1/4 Cup Coconut Water
1/2 to 3/4 Cup of Unflavored Seltzer
1. Fill glass with crushed ice.
2. Add watermelon juice, coconut water and seltzer to taste. 
3. Gently stir drink. 

For watermelon juice:
In the bowl of a food processor, puree mostly seedless watermelon. Once liquefied, strain puree through fine mesh sieve and press pulp to extract as much juice as possible. If desired, strain again. For super freshness, either use immediately or freeze. Then defrost for a short time on the counter or overnight in the fridge. 

This makes one big glass, or two small ones (pictured). 

Recipe loosely adapted from How Sweet Eats