Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow caps of a different variety

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Usually, "snow caps" in the candy world refer to chocolate non-pareils. Tonight in my kitchen, that it not the case! Tonight, I have a snowy field of marshmallow caps on my kitchen table. Earl grey-flavored marshmallows to be exact.
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I used a recipe from Emeril Lagasse for lemon marshmallows. I'm on a constant search for the perfect mallow recipe so this year I'm giving this one a try. I've tried one from Gourmet magazine that used egg whites--didn't like it. They were oddly moist & squishy--not in a good way. I think I've tried Alton Brown's recipe. It was fine, but not enough to stop my search. And this year, it's Emeril's turn.

I've been dying to make earl grey marshmallows. I am in LOOOOVE with the scent and flavor of earl grey tea. I am intoxicated by the earl grey tea lattes (formerly known as a London Fog latte) at Starbucks. Why not infuse a big sugary blob of marshmallow with this alluring flavor?

I started by making 1 1/4 c of VERY strong earl grey tea. 1 1/4 c water, 5 tea bags. Intense. The recipe technically only uses 1 c of water total, but it doesn't hurt to have a little extra in there due to evaporation during heating and the liquid soaked up by the tea bags. I did not use any lemon juice or zest like the recipe said. Funny thing though, I trusted this recipe b/c of the lemon factor. I was nervous that the acidity of the tea might mess with the coming-together chemistry of the marshmallows (gelatin, hot sugary liquid, acid...who knows). With lemon prominently featured, however, I stopped worrying. Where Emeril says to add in lemon zest at the end, I added 1 tsp vanilla extract instead. In a perfect world where I have access to fancy ingredients, I would add some sort of bergamot extract. BUT I live in Ohio. Vanilla it is! Other than replacing plain water w/ tea & zest w/ vanilla, I followed the recipe exactly.

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I just piped them onto a confectionery sugar-covered sheet of parchment about an hour ago and they will sit out for the rest of the night. Tomorrow they will (hopefully) be slightly dried-out little blobs of sweet heaven to melt in hot cocoa or simply sink my teeth into. Also, they make great Christmas gifts. Who makes their own marshmallows?!?!? Not many people. And even if you're not a mallow fan...well, you'll probably like the homemade kind. They're not your average Jet-Puffed variety from Kraft! OOOOH. Take a round gingerbread wafer, place a small piece of chocolate on top & a marshmallow cap, microwave for a few seconds, and you have yourself a very dandy s'more. I think I just talked myself into making gingerbread cookies. UGH, the culinary adventures never end!!! Until next time...

RECIPE SOURCE: Adapted from Lemon Marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup VERY strong earl grey tea
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup VERY strong earl grey tea, cold
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the how-to, check out the link. (It's a long one so I'd rather not copy/paste!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pistachio & Eggnog

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So, first of all, is "eggnog" one word or two? Egg nog? Or Eggnog? Does it matter? Do you care? Anyway. The latest cupcake creation is my Pistachio Eggnog (yeah, I'm going w/ 1 word) cupcake. It. Was. Good. I don't really like eggnog. My mom LOOOOOVES eggnog. Also, it's worth noting that my mom loves eggnog, drinks eggnog during the holiday season a lot, and cannot drink alcohol due to certain medication so it's not just for fun & booze. Oh no. It's a real LOVE of the stuff. You would think this would somehow be hereditary and I too would hit the nog-bottle on occasion. But do I? No. I can handle it. I don't mind it. But I don't LOVE it. I don't search it out, for sure. For booze? Well, that might be another story ;-) but otherwise, no. Not on my list.

I did, however, feel strongly about eggnog frosting. How could that be BAD?!?! My vanilla malt frosting is a winner and a half, and this is in similar vain. I struggled with the pairing--what cake do I match it with? Vanilla is fine, but it's just so sweet and strong that I don't like pairing it with certain frostings. This is like wine & food, people. It's serious business! Chocolate could be a good contrast and it's not super sweet, so it would be good. But it wouldn't enhance any eggnog flavor really. I considered brown sugar cake. I actually came very close to making brown sugar cake. But no. In my heart, in my big, fat, cupcake-filled heart, I was feeling "Pistachio!!!! Specifically, Pistachio + Cardamom!!!" (I can't take full credit for the genius pairing of pistachio & cardamom—I was inspired by Duff from Ace of Cakes.)

Here's why. First, I love pistachio flavored stuff. No scientific thinking there. 2. Pistachio can be exotic. Pistachio & cardamom has a very Eastern Europe/Middle Eastern kind of feel. Eggnog is flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. While the roots of eggnog seem to be English or Middle European, nutmeg also pairs well w/ pistachio, cardamom, and other flavors/desserts of Eastern European inspiration. It'd be a wonderful pairing of flavors instead of a mish-mash of sugar piles. See, like I said—it's serious business.
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So here we are, pistachio-cardamom cupcakes topped with eggnog frosting & graced with a light sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg. And those cupcake wrappers—aren't they just ADORABLE? They're from Bake It Pretty. One of my friends bought them for me as a gift. She's very supportive of my cupcake business and she sent me a care-package of several different cupcake wrappers in the following CUUUUUTE designs:
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I know, can you even handle the cuteness?? I couldn't. I've been saving them to use for the perfect moment when they'll be fully appreciated. What better time than Christmas to break out some red & green polka dotted wrappers, am I right?

So that's my story. Pistachio. Cardamom. Eggnog. Nutmeg. It's delicious. They were well-received at work and I fully-approve of my own work (I am my harshest critic usually) so they're a seasonal winner. Want some? Let me know. They're only available for as long as eggnog season lasts. ;-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Tart

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Hey, looky there! What's that? It's a big chocolately ball of goodness, that's what it is. Here we have what I call a Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Tart. I saw the original picture of it on Tastespotting, and that led me to the recipe here. The recipe calls it a "Chocolate Truffle Dessert," which also works. But I was making mine for a party where I would not be able to explain to people what it is. Therefore, the more straight-forward the better. Chocolate? Peanut butter? Brownie? Check, check, & check. Serve me up a piece of that, s'il vous plait!

This is a multi-layered gob of deliciousness. Layer 1 = brownie. Layer 2 = chocolate ganache (don't get scared, it's just chocolate, cream & butter melted together). Layer 3 = peanut butter sauce (homemade). Layer 4 = chocolate whipped cream (yes, homemade). Layer 5 = chocolate garnish/flourishes. The edges are Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies. Layer 3, the peanut butter layer, is my personal addition to the recipe. For the most part, I followed the recipe closely (which is RARE for me), but I wanted to do something to make it my own. Plus...I love me some chocolate, but that's a helluva lotta chocolate if you know what I'm sayin. The peanut butter sauce adds a little something extra to help balance that all out. The great thing about this is that while it's rich, it's not overly sweet. You won't feel the enamel on your teeth start to fade away. Also, since it's rich, you don't need to eat a lot, meaning it may be small but it serves many!!! This was made in an 8" springform pan.

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So I made this little guy for my work Christmas party. My goal was to make something nice & quasi-fancy, but not kill myself over it. This is perfect for that. You know why? That brownie layer? Yeah, that's a box mix. (I know, GASP!) Normally, I'm very anti-box mix, but the problem is a lot of people can't tell the difference. Box mixes can produce decent stuff. ESPECIALLY when it comes to brownies. Cake is one thing. But brownies? Brownies, in my opinion, are HARDER to make from scratch b/c the box mixes have done such a good job of getting that perfect mix of fudgey-chewy-moist-melty texture with a chewy edge and a delicate flakey top... it's just hard to duplicate. And the time difference between a box mix vs scratch... well, you can guess. Box mix is faster...much faster.

Next time, if I DO have the time, I'll probably do the brownie layer from scratch. Then I can really kick it up a notch and go wild! But for now, especially w/ all the crazines of the holidays, a box mix will work just fine. :-)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Current project...

Buy it, use it, print it, tape it... (to the tune of Daft Punk "Technologic")
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As some of you may or may not know, I have another side business. I'm a graphic designer in my real everyday life and my other business (aside from my full-time job) is as a paper goods designer--Sweet Bippy Papers. My best sellers are the recipe cards, hands down. So anyway, here at the Sugarlush kitchen/Sweet Bippy Papers factory (otherwise known as my apartment), I'm busy working on some Christmas wrapping tags. My plan is to post them in my Etsy shop as a printable PDF. I might also post them as real, physical, pre-cut tags with adhesive. I'm not quite sure yet. But what I DO know, is that I hope to have these puppies up in my shop by Friday. That'd be ideal. There are also two more designs (a green & a blue), but that'll just have to be surprise for when they're posted! ;-)

*UPDATE: They're now available! Check them out here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Inspiration photo of the day. My fabric bin sits next to my couch, adjacent to my hallway. I just folded and stacked the fabrics I used for my cupcake photoshoot and they're sitting there, their pretty patterns and colors staring me in the face when I walk by. My favorite's the brown polka dot. I'm a sucker for polka dots. Maybe it's b/c they look like sprinkles.
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I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving holiday. I look forward to sharing some of my holiday ideas soon!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sugarlush Wedding Post No. 02

Vanilla cake, raspberry amaretto frosting & rainbow nonpareils.
Sprinkles are my ultimate weakness.
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My second round of cupcakes for a wedding! Actually, a wedding reception. The couple was married in Hawaii over the summer and they just had a reception here this past weekend. A college friend showed her some of my pics on Facebook. See? All those fb photos aren't just for show! They're good for business! Anyway. The order started out being 5 dozen. Alright, no prob. Later, the girl called me back and changed it to 7 dozen. Eeek! But, luckily the cake flavors were just additions to what I was already making, with an additional frosting.

Total Tally:
• 84 cupcakes
• 2 dozen carrot cake, cream cheese frosting
• 2 dozen chocolate cake, salted caramel frosting (the most popular order)
• 1 dozen chocolate cake, citrus glaze
• 1 dozen vanilla cake, citrus glaze
• 1 dozen vanilla cake, raspberry amaretto frosting

WHEW! Thank goodness, with a little bit of prep work each day of the week, it's completely managable. Before boxing them up for pick-up, I did the usual living room photoshoot. And away we go!

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Carrot cake, cream cheese frosting & slice of carrot

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Vanilla cake, raspberry-amaretto frosting & silver dragee

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Vanilla cake, citrus glaze & decorative piping

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Chocolate cake, salted caramel frosting & fleur de sel caramel topper

So those are the cupcakes. They only look half as good as they taste, and they look pretty dang good, right? ;-) Sometime I'd like to venture out and do cute printed-paper toppers that could label the flavors &/or state the names of the couple. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to do that for this one but if you give me enough notice, it's certainly a possibility! It'd be perfect for baby showers too.

And with that, I bid you adieu so I can go clean the mess in my kitchen. WOO!! Fun Sunday! :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Monkey Cake.

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My boyfriend has two friends (a married couple) who have a super cute little boy who just turned one. They commissioned me to do a monkey cake, as the party was Curious George themed. The cake didn't necessarily have to be Curious George, but it did have to be a monkey. It also had to be big. Big enough for a guest list of 30-40 people. YOW! That's one popular baby!

Knowing that I love to bake, they hired me to do the cake. They were going to do it themselves, but figured it'd be best to hand it over to someone else. This is the first full cake I've ever done. Sure, I've made like a 9" x 13" sheet cake before, but those were lame, especially compared to this.
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The rectangular part of the body was made from a 12" x 18" pan, and the head was a 9" round. The ears were from a 4" ramekin, cut in half and trimmed down. And that thing that looks like a belly button? That's from the heating core. Wilton makes these heating core things that look like the middle of a bundt pan. You stick it in large cake so they bake more evenly. They're hallow, so you fill it w/ batter and when everything's done baking, you take the cake out of the core and plug it back into the whole cake! BRILLIANT! Thus the belly button in Mr. Monkey here.
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The cake is vanilla. All the colored frosting is vanilla malt. The darker brown parts of the monkey are chocolate frosting. This was also the first time I ever made chocolate frosting. Out of all the crazy, nutty things I bake, I have never once made homemade chocolate frosting. Funny, huh? Everyone always orders the salted caramel, vanilla malt, or raspberry amaretto frosting. But since this was both adults and kids, it had to be pretty tame.
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Here he is! In all his vanilla monkey glory. Not bad for a first time big fat cake, right? He probably would look better in fondant, but let's face it. Fondant's gross. I don't know anyone who likes to eat fondant. Do you? I doubt it. Even Duff from Ace of Cakes admits its gross--that's why they cover the cakes w/ buttercream before putting the fondant on. That way you can just take the fondant off and eat what's underneath. So gooey frosting it is!
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The piping wasn't perfect, but for someone who's never taken a class or been trained in anything... not too shabby, I'd say.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Cocktail Hour

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I had this splendid idea a few months ago to design a Cocktail-of-the-Month Calendar for 2010. I'm going to sell it on my Etsy site. Once it's complete, that is. During all this research & design time, I, of course, HAD to try out different cocktails to see what I wanted to include! I know, rough assignment, right?? I almost have them all picked out but I noticed I'm missing any representation from my favorite category... GIN! Perish the thought! You know what that means?? BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD! Or should I say "CUTTING BOARD" instead for some kind of pun?? Igh, maybe not.

My gin concoction will be for a winter month (the summers are all taken), which inspired me to use fresh rosemary to give it an alluring, woodsy aroma. "Woodsy" probably isn't a quality you put in the same sentence as "alluring" and "I want this in a drink," but lemme tell you... IT WORKS. It works, y'all.

I also thought, with all my drink explorations, a quasi-regular blog segment could be fun! Fun for me and fun for you! What do you think? Sunday Afternoon Cocktail Hour. It could be "Weekend Cocktail Hour," or whatever. But I find Sunday Afternoon a little more exciting. It just seems a little bit...naughtier. :-) And with that, I give you our first installment of (DRUMROLL PLEASE ........)


Blackberry Nymph

• 5-6 blackberries
• 1 tbsp simple syrup + 1 pinch sugar
• 1.5 ounces gin
• 1.5 tbsp triple sec
• 1 tsp rosewater
• club soda, to top (less than 1/2 cup)
• fresh sprig of rosemary

In a cocktail shaker, muddle blackberries with simple syrup & pinch of sugar. If you don't have simple syrup, go ahead and use 2 tbsp sugar for this part. After you've muddled the berries, fill the shaker with 3-4 ice cubes. Pour in the gin, triple sec, & rosewater. Shake the shaker (novel idea!) for about 15 seconds, until you can feel the shaker become cold. Pour the contents into a highball or collins glass. Top with club soda and garnish with rosemary sprig.
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Why the "nymph" in the name? First, try the beverage. Pretty good, right? The flavor & scent of the rosewater along w/ the aroma of the rosemary garnish create an ethereal, floral concoction. If you look up "nymph," the definition is "any of the minor divinities of nature in classical mythology represented as beautiful maidens dwelling in the mountains, forests, trees, and waters." Take another sip. Seems appropriate, right? I thought so.

This beverage would also be good with vodka, though you'll be missing the fine juniper flavor of gin. Maybe even use a citrus or berry-flavored vodka to enhance the fruit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Heart Macarons. Times 10... or more.

This is a picture I stole from Fred Flare. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to pretend its mine. I wish it was, but its not. I saw this on Facebook. I'm FB friends w/ Fred Flare, and therefore this little ditty was in my Live News Feed. A book entitled I Heart Macarons. (PS: Hi Fred, or should I say People of Fred. I've been a fan for a long time!)

Let me tell you. I. LOVE. MACARONS. I can't handle how much I love them.

See that? There I am in Beverly Hills (visiting one of my bestest friends who lives in LA) in front of Paulette, a macaron bakery. A STRICLY MACARON bakery. They are such wonderful, beautiful creations. I only wish I could go back to obtain more of the gorgeous goodies so I could photograph them in all their delicate glory. This photo is about a year and a half old now (a long-term love affair I have w/ this cookie) and looking at it makes me want to go into a whole new story (the packaging, the brilliant logomark macaron cut-outs on the bench, etc) but I DIGRESS. I'M TALKING FOODS HERE, PEEPS. I'm talking MACARONS!!

This photo? It's from Paulette Macarons website. I certainly did not make, nor did I photograph these beauties. But I do recommend you go to Paulette and indulge in a serious way. You'll be so glad you did.

The macaron is, like I said above, VERY DELICATE. It's a curious little puffy shape, the entire constructed cookie sandwich looking hamburger-esque. Its sturdy but the second you touch it just a little too hard it will crumble to pieces. Its made of mainly egg whites, almond flour, sugar, and maybe some flavoring for the cookie part. The inside is usually a ganache, jelly, or jam concoction. My favorite flavors involve pistachio and/or anything floral--rose, lavendar, whatever. I'm a sucker for it everytime. Besides cupcakes & frosting, these are such a wonderful vehicle for experimenting with dessert flavors.

I've tried making these many a times. I wouldn't quite say I SUCCEEDED, but I certainly didn't fail (well, I failed once, but other than that...). I'm like...85-90% there. The basic idea is down. It's a tough nut to crack. Its a French creation, which means most recipes (even the ones in English) are in metric measurements. It's one of those moments where you feel like an American hick w/ the rest of the world all speaking metric and here I am, trying to translate 55 grams of egg whites into a measurement in cups. LAME. But its worth the struggle. I never went to any sort of baking school so I go into these experiments blindly. I just really want to try to do something so I don't actually realize how difficult or tricky something might be until the 4th time around b/c... I just don't know better.

In order to find recipes, I scoured the internet and generally fell into the same two or three recipes that were pretty widely used. I received Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook last year for Christmas which ALSO has a recipe for French macarons, which I have yet to try. (I KNOW. I KNOW!!! What have I been doing?!?!) BUT THIS??? This is like a godsend. Or maybe its not, I don't know. But it looks amazing. So between Martha & this? I have to think I'd be able to kick some Macaron ass, right? Maybe? Hopefully?

So this post is in honor of Macarons. It's in honor of this book, in honor of Fred Flare, and even Paulette Macarons. Thank you, wonderful people, for providing us with either the baked confections or just the resources with which we can create our own goods. I'd hold up a champagne toast but I've got no bubbly so we'll just have to pretend. Here's to making beautiful, colorful, luscious treats for one and all! *CHEERS!!!!!!!!*

And just for fun, here are some photos from Paulette's site. Really, if you're ever in LA (Beverly Hills, specifically), make it a point to stop in and take a few bites. The staff was incredibly kind, the space was chic, and the cookies were tops. And the logo & business card? Yup, even those are good too. ;-)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Buckeye Baklava!

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I'm in Ohio. Ohio, where our nickname is "The Buckeye State," and on any given weekend during the fall there's a colossal amount of people in scarlet & gray getting ready to cheer the beloved OSU Buckeyes onto (hopefully) another football victory. Pretty much, if it's Buckeye-themed or scarlet & gray, whatever "it" happens to be, you'll gather at following. And that's how these little babies were born.

It all started one day when I was driving back from visiting my parents (or "home-home" as I like to call it, as opposed to "home" which is where I am every other day of the year) and I had a brainchild. Just out of the blue. An Immaculate Conception of an idea. I...would create... BUCKEYE BAKLAVA.

I'm a baker who likes to give common treat-favorites a little twist so suddenly they're anything but common. I'd love to make a living having my own bakery someday. This just seemed... NATURAL. Here I am, in the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Buckeye State. WHY THE H- NOT???

Buckeye Baklava is a twist on the luxurious Meditteranean treat of walnuts, pistachios, honey, & filo dough. Buckeye Baklava is like traditional baklava and a buckeye candy had A REALLY GOOD BABY. It's peanuts (w/ some pecans), chocolate chips, some flavorings, layers upon layers of filo dough and butter, a magical peanut butter sauce full of layered flavors, and chocolate ganache. I can't tell you everything b/c it's a secret. You know how I said I'd love to have my own bakery? Yeah. I gotta keep this stuff close to the vest if I want to make a living off it, you know what I'm sayin'? No one wants to buy the cow if you get the milk for free. So... buy my baklava! Just kidding... no, not really. Buy my baklava. Please.

So that's the story. I CAN tell you my source recipes to which I referred for measurement approximations & all that. I used one from Epicurious and one from Food Network by Emeril Lagasse. I'm not going to lie--it's time consuming whether you're experienced or not. But it's worth it. Sooooo worth it. ;-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Effervescent Deliciousness.

Effervescent. It's a good word, right? EF-FER-VE-SCENT. It just sounds...sparkly. Light. Airy. Positive. Uplifting. And DELICIOUS. Thirst-quenching. I've been craving effervescent beverages and because you can't drink champagne 24/7 (dammit!), I've been filling it in with other fruity substitutions when I need a serious fix. Izze does the job—I'm partial to the grapefruit and ginger flavors. How could you not be drawn in by the colors and simple, chic design? I've indulged in an Italian soda or two from Target's Archer Farms line or World Market. Blood orange soda? Peach Pear Soda? Yup! But you know what really strikes my fancy?

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ORANGINA. See the bottle in the bottom of the illustration? Isn't it perfect???? That's part of the fun, the Orangina adventure. That short, squatty little bottle that's bulges out like a bulbous orange is inside the bottle giving it its shape. But, as a graphic designer, you know what else I love about the stuff? The ads. They're pretty pleasures. And you can download them from their website (which is where these came from)! They have desktop images, as well as a gallery of their poster campaigns. These are a few of my faves that I pulled for you (and me) to enjoy.

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They make me yearn for warmer weather, sunny skies, and a bulbous little bottle of the good orange stuff right now. *LE SIGH* I guess these will just have to do for now!

Monday, October 26, 2009

i didn't mean to!

I didn't mean for this to happen. It was a total accident.
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See these? These are little shortbread cookies with a jam filling. I started digging out various jam jars in my fridge and got super psyched about using each one. I didn't intend for a color progression, but it's kind of a bonus. :-) Who doesn't love a good rainbow?!?!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apple Pickin' Perfect.

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I have a lot of blogging to do. I've been behind. Uber behind. I planned to do a big ol' cute post on a trip to Lynd's Fruit Farm out in Pataskala, only that was two weeks ago and I finally sorted through the photos. My boyfriend and I only started going to Lynd's last year but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a yearly tradition...mainly b/c I'll stomp around and whine if I don't get to go. PLUS, going to Lynd's means there's apples with which to make crisp and/or pie. So really, making sure I get to Lynd's is a favor to EVERYONE. (uh huh, yeah, sure) ;-)

See the sun? The pretty blue sky?? (Hang on, wait, let me find a picture...)

Just enough cool air to nip your nose but just enough sun and warmth that as long as you bundle up, you don't need a coat. Early October apple picking is PERRRRFECT. So perfectly fall. I always read blogs by people in fancier cities (LA, NYC, San Francisco, Belgium, blah blah) and they always have such gorgeous posts of their local markets and produce and ingredients. Well, I'm here in the middle of Ohio. We have that stuff, don't get me wrong. But it's not quite in abundance as oh, say, walking around France and picking up some fresh baguettes, cheese, and berries to get you through the day (sad face). Or maybe it is and I just don't have my trusty camera poised and in position ready to snap away (dang it!). But now it's my turn! My turn to post images full of vibrant natural colors, delicious foods, and plain, good old-fashioned seasonal freakin' fun. I could yammer on and on...but why? Heeeerrreeeee we go!
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Close-up of a suncrisp apple, my favorite. The red ones are melrose.

Inside the tent at the farm. If you don't find what you're looking for while you pick, you can find it here.

Silly me, when we walked past these really quickly (my boyfriend thought I was nuts for stopping for photos every two seconds) I didn't really notice what these were. Due to their color my brain just thought "blueberries." But uh, yeah. Isn't blueberry season quite over? Turns out while I was making my way around the tent a second time, I actually read the sign that said they were concord grapes. They're pretty, aren't they?? And I just LOOOOVE the little green baskets. I know, I know. It's the simple, little things, right? You don't get cute little green baskets when you buy your stuff from the big box grocers. Kroger, where is my cute produce packaging, dammit!

Back outside! Time to check out the pumpkin patch.
Um, yeah, the patch is actually...kinda gross. Mudtown. Super mudtown. Lots of bruised and rotting pumpkins. BUT hey, today is nature day, right? WE LOVE NATURE. BRING IT ON, PUMPKINS.

And that's it. I'll be posting these to my flickr account if you're wildly interested so once those are up, I'll let you know. Now don't all these pictures make you want to go bake a pie???? (okay, that might just be me.) :-)
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