Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Little Failures

So that happened last night.

I was trying out my take on a new-to-me recipe. A recipe that, as it happens, is pretty delicious and with a little more tweaking will eventually end up as an Eat Something Sunday offering, I'm sure. But a recipe that was not destined to be made in my beautiful ribbon loaf pan (my 9x13 cake pan happens to be 1/2 full of leftover Oscars party jello shots in my fridge). I had some yummy dried cherries and I decided to include them. Bad idea. This cake has a very light batter and that meant that, no matter the fact that the pan was properly prepped, the cherries fell to the bottom and stuck fast. After baking and allowing it to cool a bit, I went to turn the cake out onto the cooling rack to finish cooling off and it all started to move...and then the middle fell out.

Crap. (I believe I may have shouted a cartoonish "Nooooooooo!" at the time, in fact). But these things happen. I'd already mixed up a glaze-like icing. So I scooped all the good bits into that bowl, mixed it together and called it a day. It's sort of a trifle. Sort of a pudding (of the British variety). It's decently tasty, even if not what I had planned for.

Things happen. Life happens. You've gotta take it in stride. It's certainly not my first kitchen disaster, and it absolutely won't be my last.

What kitchen disasters have befallen you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project Life: Week 8

It baffles my mind that we are 8 weeks down in 2013. But there it is. A bit of a ho-hum week for me, but more exciting for the husband. He had nights out on Monday and Friday (though the pics he snapped on Monday didn't turn out). I mostly baked and cooked and crafted. Even though it wasn't a photo-heavy week, it was a good one.

The right side of the spread is dominated by photos of The Scot's Friday night adventures. I've blurred out a couple details (as the whole of the interwebs does not need to know about his work), but I was very glad that he was happy (or at least willing) to write up a journaling card about the evening. It really is documenting our lives and while I always get photos from him, it's nice to have his words and POV in there as well.

One thing I've noticed as I use the Seafoam kit is that many weeks I tend to gravitate to one or 2 of the kit's colors. Last week, for example, was all about the mustard yellow and the black. This week was much more about the actual seafoam color and tones. As I added my small embellishments I kept to that and I really enjoy how it worked out.

Our week 9 has started with a bang (our Sunday night party) and I can't wait to see what else this week will bring to document in our album. Really jumping into this project in 2013 has been great and sharing it each week on the blog keeps me on my toes!

FYI: each week I share my PL posts over at The Mom Creative's Project Life Tuesday gathering.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Way We Were

Alas, the Oscars are over. My week(and a bit) of excitement and anticipation is over. My party happened. It was a success! It ended up smaller than anticipated (which meant far more leftover fancy jell-o shots than I'd planned for) but everyone had fun, joined in with the games, and my food went over with lots of smiles and full tummies. Win!

As one last little Academy-themed hug of this awards season, I created a playlist of some of my personal favorites amongst the long list of Best Original Song winners of the years (a list which, to be honest, contains some doozies as well as some gems). I was more than elated that Adele took home that little man last night, and this whole collection (which is an interesting lesson in pop music over the last 75 years or so) makes me smile.

Best Song Winners by LK on Grooveshark
9th // 12th // 13th // 17th // 19th // 27th // 34th // 37th // 44th
46th // 51st // 53rd // 61st // 66th // 70th* // 76th // 80th // 85th
*ok, so "Miss Misery" was only nominated. It lost to "My Heart Will Go On."
I hope we can all agree that Elliott Smith > Celine Dion.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: Golden Carrot Cupcakes

Welcome to the Oscar day edition of Eat Something Sunday. I looove the Oscars (as you may have noticed the other day) and this year I'm incredibly excited to be hosting an Oscars party.

This morning I got up regretfully early to whip up these delicious carrot creations. A bit of a tweak from a standard carrot cake, this one includes a touch of sour cream and some lovely, rummy, raisins. Mine add to the spice factor as they've been soaked in Sailor Jerry, but you can soak them in water if you're not as fond of cooking with alcohol as I am. :) All dressed up in their golden liners and with a dash of shimmer on top, these little cakes are delightful enough to take a stroll down the red carpet themselves.

Golden Carrot Cupcakes
(adapted from Everyday Food)

makes 12
preheat oven to 375°F

1 1/2c grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
1 1/2c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt not pictured
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 Tbsp sour cream (or plain yogurt) not pictured
1/3 cup golden raisins, soaked in dark rum (spiced is even better!) or water for 15 minutes

1 - Grate your carrots into a bowl

2 - In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients except sugar

3 - Bowl #3! Huzzah! Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.

4 - Add your eggs, sour cream (or yogurt), and vanilla.

5 - Add carrots and drained (more or less...) raisins to the wet mixture.

6 - Pour in the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula.

7 - Load up your cupcake liners and pop 'em in the oven at 375°F for 25-30 minutes (rotate at the halfway point).

After they've fully cooled, top with your favorite cream cheese frosting! I've sprinkled a bit of gold lustre dust on mine for Oscars night. Definitely a winner!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Little Sunshine

Lately, it's been pretty grey around here. Lots of overcast skies and the occasional drizzle - but mostly just bleh sort-of weather.

The other day the sun was shining beautifully and I realized that I hadn't gone for a dolly photo wander in the longest time. So I grabbed 2 of my girls, got them dressed and prettied up, and in those 10-15 minutes the sun was gone. And it stayed gone for 2 days. Until today. With sun shining and blue skies I decided to actually take advantage of the park near our apartment and ventured out for a few dolly snaps.

This one is my favorite. It has surely brightened up my day (which will now progress into cleaning the apartment...far less fun).

Iris in the tree

Spring can't be too far away now, can it???

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Movie Award Night Freebie

Edit: 2014 edition also available

On Sunday, I'm hosting a party. I am super excited about this party. I've got some great tips from around the web for fun things. I'm making little cardstock statues (via Twig & Thistle), have some awesome little chocolate moulds I ordered from afar and have some gold dusting powder at the ready, and I'll be printing off pretty Oscar ballots and bingo cards (via How About Orange). Cupcakes in fancy wrappers, magic popcorn, homemade dips, fancy jell-o shots: I have a lot planned. I would like to thank the Academy for making such a fun night for movie lovers. Having not been in the US to watch since 2008, this year I'm even more excited than usual. It's not going out in the middle of the night, the broadcast isn't dubbed in a language I do not speak, and I have an excuse to make tiny chocolate statues! What could be better?

Oh, yes. I'll also be taking photos of our party. And while some will very likely end up in my "traditional" scrapbook, I'll definitely be including a few snaps in my Project Life book. And so, there is this:

download them > > > here < < <

This freebie is a bit different from others I've offered:
- 6 PNG files
*PNG = Best Picture only.
- PSD categories card = all 24 categories (can I hear it for Best Documentary Short!?)
- 2 PDF pages
*5 main cards
*5 very popular categories that will suit most desires!

I hope you enjoy these cards for a variety of movie-related crafting. As always, I'd love to see what you do with them! Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Project Life: Week 7

Week 7. Also known as The Week With Lots of Inserts. As the early part of the week was the tail end of our trip home to Wisconsin and Friday night turned into an epic night out in Manhattan, I ended needing more than just 2 Design A pages to tell the story of our week. Even with 2 inserts, I found myself getting better and better at the process of editing what to include and finding creative ways to include the photos I wanted to use within the constraints of pocket shapes, etc.

Here's how the week looked. (Left side, center, right side)

The left "main page" mostly focused on Monday and the time we spent with my wonderful and adorable niece. She turns 15 months old this week and is very much into being read to. Even without words, she is great at bringing a book over, signing "please" and causing whoever has been brought the book to instantly bend to her will! I plan on including a couple of these and other photos in a regular 12x12 spread about the weekend in my non-PL book.

The back side of my first insert was all about Valentine's Day and I used 2 of my Modern Valentine freebies on the page. In addition to the chocolate cookbook I snapped a photo of, The Scot also got tickets to BlytheCon UK 2013 for us. It's in Glasgow in October and I'll be a vendor as well as just attending. I am so excited!

Other details included writing about my first Bond movie experience, printing a silhouette of Wisconsin (with a heart over my hometown) onto a card from the Seafoam kit, and just a good bit of text on photos to help tell the story.

Project Life seems to get better and better each week. This week will be calmer around here, but our week 9 will start off with a bang as I'll be hosting an Oscars party on Sunday with games and food and generally a good bit of fun. Please stop back tomorrow for a freebie featuring that little gilded man!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: Grown Up Grapefruit

Grapefruit with a boozy kick. What could be better? Very little, my friends. Very little.

Yes, I know. There are a number of recipes and approaches for baked grapefruit out there in the land of the interwebs. But over the past few months I took ideas from a few of them, melded them together, and now have this trusty standby that is, in my humble opinion, pretty amazing. Not something you necessarily want to have before driving off to work in the AM (though really, a lot of the small bit of alcohol cooks off - or occasionally starts on fire), but excellent for a weekend treat. And it's broiled, not baked, which makes everything all caramelized and amazing.

Grown Up Grapefruit

- 1 Grapefruit (color/type of your choosing, but the bigger the better)
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- up to 1/4 cup brown sugar (to taste)
- a hearty glug of dark spiced rum

Turn on your broiler (or, for my British friends, your "grill"...)

1 - Cut your grapefruit in half and cut around the outside of each half. You could cut each little section too, but I'm not that bothered about such things. Place in a broiler-safe pan. I use a metal loaf pan (silicone grips removed to avoid burning), but a pie plate is workable too.

2 - Sprinkle on cinnamon. Sometimes I also add nutmeg. Yum.

3 - Crumble on the brown sugar and press it into the grapefruit with a spoon. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you just leave the brown sugar in small clumps, it might just burn under the flame of the broiler. As you push it in, it will start to soak up the juices and will end up looking lovely like this:

4 - (Yes, I numbered the photo wrong). Pour on the booze!!

Now put it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until the fruit starts to get golden around the edges. The time will vary depending on the type of broiler you have and the distance from the heat source that your fruit is. My broiler is a drawer type separate from and below the regular oven, but yours may be at the top of the main oven space. Be careful as you first put it in. If you've gone a little rum happy and have a gas flame, there is a chance it might flame up. Don't worry. That's just the alcohol burning (a la Bananas Foster). But it's better if that doesn't happen, because more of the flavor stays in.

Remove from the oven and carefully place in a bowl. If you like, pour some of the gooey carmelized juice/rum/sugar mixture that has no doubt collected in the pan on top of the grapefruit. Enjoy!

Around here {instalife}

Post-weekend away has been rather busy here. I may have taken a 3+ hour nap in the late afternoon/early evening today after brunch with friends (after a late late night out with most of the same friends) to avoid falling over with exhaustion. I meant to blog a bit more this week, but life happens. I was up to lots of things.

Lots Of Things:



*** = snagged from The Scot

Feel free to join me on Instagram. Have a splendid Saturday night (or Sunday morning, as this blog will be timestamped since I've chosen to keep it on London time). I'll be back tomorrow with something yummy from the kitchen.