Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Upcoming Shows

I am very excited to announce that I got accepted as an artist vendor for Lexington's 2009 Mayfest! For those who are in the Lexington area and would like to stop by the festival, it will take place on May 9th, 10am-6pm and May 10th, 11am-5pm in Gratz Park. My booth will be located on Mill Street.

While tackling the end of my very last semester of college, I will be busy creating tons of new designs for Mayfest, as well as other summer fairs and festivals I am planning to take part in. I will be introducing several new lines at Mayfest including some really romantic, whimsical charm bracelets featuring vintage rose cabochons, lockets, various charms and freshwater pearls. I will also be debuting a new booth set-up with several handmade (by me) elements. I am streamlining my set-up while still featuring lots of the feminine details that I love.

I plan to share sneak peeks of the designs I will offer at Mayfest throughout the month. Here are photos of a necklace and earring set I am utterly smitten with. Click to view larger.

I repurposed a vintage Van Dell gold-filled brooch as the pendant on the necklace. A gorgeous ruby briolette dangles from a golden spiral and the gold-filled chain is accented with freshwater pearls. The earrings provide a sweet companion and feature freshwater pearls and ruby briolettes with gold-filled findings. This is a one-of-a-kind set and would make a lovely heirloom.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I recently ordered a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which I have heard so many good things about. I have been super excited to get started on a few loaves and finally purchased a 5 quart container to hold the dough yesterday. This morning I whipped up a bunch of the dough for the 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.

This is what my dough looked like right after I mixed it all up in my Kitchenaid and dumped it into the container.

And a side view.

Here it is again, two hours of rising later.

I will be shaping and baking the first loaf later. Pictures to come!

I also decided to make a big pot of homemade chicken stock using the carcass from a chicken I roasted on Sunday. I can't wait to see how it turns out and to use it in some soup later.

I will be posting "After" pictures of the bread and the stock later!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

As part of a little surprise welcome home dinner for the hubby, I baked some Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. They were very simple and unbelievably yummy! My husband is pretty picky about what he eats and he isn't very vocal about what he really likes. I know I have found a keeper when I see him go back for more and more and more... That is exactly what happened with these cupcakes.I was so pleased with how these turned out! They baked up so beautifully with perfect little dome tops. Unfortunately the liners turned a bit translucent once the cupcakes were baked. Half the liners had a sweet pink plaid design on white, the other featured a pink and brown floral print on white.

Iced and decorated. Some got pretty pink sugar flowers, other received demerara sugar sprinkles. This recipe is definitely one of my favorites I've tried. The cinnamon cream cheese icing was divine, sweet but not too sweet. The overall Snickerdoodle flavor was perfect, a great change from the usual vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream I typically do. Next time I need a treat for a crowd I will be making these again.

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, recipe adapted from I Heart Cuppycakes

Made 24 cupcakes


For Cupcakes:
1 package Betty Crocker white cake mix*
1 cup whole milk
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For Frosting:
8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To Make Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan.

Sift cake mix into the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer to remove all lumps. Add cinnamon and whisk or mix on low to blend.

In a medium bowl or large glass measuring cup, combine eggs, milk, vanilla and melted butter. Whisk to combine.

With mixer on low, slowly pour liquids into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, do not overmix.

Divide batter among cupcake liners. I found that two heaping "eating" teaspoons was the perfect amount of batter. You only want to fill them about half full as the rise considerably. I got exactly 24 cupcakes from the recipe.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To Make Frosting:
In the bowl of a Kitchenaid mixer, beat together softened cream cheese and butter, vanilla and cinnamon until light and fluffy.

Slowly add sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue adding sugar until your desired spreading consistency is reached. I was pleasantly surprised to find that after about 4 cups, I had reached the perfect piping consistency. Fit piping bag with desired tip, fill, and decorate cooled cupcakes.

*I am usually completely opposed to using any boxed mix when it comes to baking. The hubby, however, claims to love boxed cake mixes, and as these were a treat for him, I decided what the heck. I am so glad I gave this recipe a try as it was absolutely amazing.

The cupcakes were very fragrant and moist and the icing was perfect-slightly tangy from the cream cheese and sweet, but not too sweet. Overall I think the cinnamon was brilliant in these cupcakes. I am a huge fan of cinnamon in desserts as the flavor is lovely and I find that it helps cut sweetness. These are such a pretty and yummy treat. A must try!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Country Crust Bread

This is my beautiful Country Crust Bread loaf, recipe from Bread & Honey, before heading into the oven. One of my favorite things in life is watching yeast breads rise. This recipe produced two loaves, and since I only have one loaf pan, I kept the dough for the second loaf in the fridge for two days until I was ready for it. Today the dough looked so pleasantly poofy that I just couldn't resist baking it!

And here is the beautiful loaf, fresh out of the oven, top brushed with a little melted butter.

All sliced and ready to enjoy!

I think I may have to get some lettuce and tomatoes tomorrow and enjoy myself a BLT lunch with this delicious bread.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Housewife's Best Friend

With the first spring in my own apartment approaching, I've been feeling excited about doing some spring cleaning. Though the hubby and I just moved in in late October, and while we don't really have the need for a good spring cleaning, I'm planning to engage in the yearly activity nonetheless. I am the type of person who gets great pleasure from cleaning, and especially from organizing belongings, getting rid of old things and making way for the new.

Our kitchen is still far from how I would ideally image it (though it's come a long way). Our bedroom is incredibly empty and bland. And my studio is still a bit unfinished. I plan to focus my attention on these three rooms when it comes to my spring cleaning. For me, spring cleaning will be more like spring decorating as our apartment's biggest flaw currently is it's lack of decoration.

As for cleaning, this will be my best friend:

I first discovered Bar Keepers Friend when I was desperately searching for some cleaner that would remove years and years worth of stains from our 1940's porcelain kitchen sink. While this cleaner couldn't remove surface damage, I was amazed as I watched so many stains disappear before my eyes. It worked wonders on our kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and tub. I just read today that it beautifully cleans stainless steel cookware and I am eager to try it out on my two stainless steel frying pans that have become stained and discolored. I'll report back with the results.

UPDATE: So I found that the Bar Keepers Friend did a pretty good job of removing discoloration from the outside of my pans caused by high heat. However, stains inside from food and heat didn't seem to budge. I have previously tried vinegar and baking soda, both with little luck. Any suggestions for cleaning really cooked on stains on stainless steel cookware?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share Buttons