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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Weekend Recap 2/26/12

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. I can’t believe February is on the brink of being over with March just around the corner. I continue to plan my weekends out for the rest of the year, I find myself not having very much down time at all but I’m not complaining. It’s a lot of fun stuff that is coming up!

This weekend we did quite a few things:

– We enjoyed the company of a new family member – a puppy! We took him out to the vet to get checked up and took him out to lunch with us.

– We checked out a ranch where we may be taking our engagement photos. There were so many beautiful horses there and a nice large area with tall grass for potential rustic photos.

– I went to a craft event at the local park. We made some really cute fabric flowers. I really enjoyed going to this event because I got to meet other crafters and go ooh and ahh over fabric and glue. I sat with a nice couple who were in the their late sixties. The husband was there to support his wife by cutting the fabric for her. He was so nice and a great crafter too. He made one of the best looking fabric flowers there. Here’s a how-to make fabric flowers guide.  Since I didn’t get a chance to take pictures as I made my flowers, I couldn’t make my own how-to guide but this one is pretty accurate.

You take your leftovers and you can make…

this!

– I made breakfast for my coworkers for our weekly Monday breakfast meetings. I found a how-to make circular egg patties on Pinterest and decided to make bacon, egg, and cheese English muffin sandwiches. You simply spray your muffin pan with oil, crack the egg and pour into each cup and then bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Take this, then add cheese, bacon, sausage and bread and you get

this (Image borrowed from Shortbreadsouth.com)

– We explored Tuesday Morning. I’ve never been in this store but warning, if you go in, you will find things you don’t need but think you do. Put those wallets away before walking in. It’s a hoarders paradise.

– I watched the Oscars and Amazing Race. Each year I become more and more fascinated by the dresses and the speeches (at the Oscars) and for the Amazing Race, I’m fascinated by the new tasks they have to take on as well the things that can bring people to tears. Here’s a fun short animated film from the Oscars. Really, another reason why I watch so I can see the stuff that doesn’t hit mainstream theater.

Here’s to another week!

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Panda Cakemania

I had a nice long four day break this weekend. I spent some time at the beach with Daniel (yes, winter in Southern California means you can hang out the beach!) having a little picnic and spent time with my family. My sister was visiting from college and with her birthday being in two weeks, it was the perfect opportunity to whip up a cake. I thought about what the perfect cake would be for her and alas, I thought why not a panda cake. It’s her favorite animal and we’re always oohing and ahhing over cute fluffy animals like Boo the dog. If you don’t know Boo the dog, all you have to do is type in his name and a cute little, almost surreal looking puppy shows up. He is adorable! Anyway, back to the panda. When I start thinking about cakes, my mind begins to be consumed with thousands of ideas. Do I want the panda to be cartoon like or do I want it to be realistic (with frosting that looks like real hair)? I went online and searched blogs to see what cute ideas were out there and I found a panda cake that looked like Sanrio made it. I decided to use that as my initial design template. In the end, I ended up with this:Imagebut the cake started out looking like this:

ImageThe ears, limbs and bushy tail were made out of Girl Scout Thin Mints. Delish! Hope you had a lovely birthday sister! Can’t wait to make another cake. 🙂

Happy belated Valentine’s!

I fell behind on my posts…but all for a good reason. I took a small vacation to Chicago where I got to eat eat eat, relax and sight see. Chicago is such a great city. This was only my second time there but I definitely want to go back again. The people are just SO nice; they really take the time to talk to you and always have a friendly smile.

While I was there, my friend and I tried to hit up several restaurants in the area in the span of 72 hours. This is quite a task to do as your stomach can only handle so much. We tried a Cuban restaurant, a Russian tea place, a Mediterranean place, a chic bar, sandwich shop and a pizza shop. The Russian tea shop and bar were the highlights. I got to try a great house tea that has Darjeeling tea leaves. You prepare the tea with one cube of brown sugar, one slice of lemon and as you are sipping the tea, you put a cube of white sugar in your mouth. After trying half a plain sugar cube while sipping, I decided the flavor of the tea was much more enjoyable without the extra sugar.

At the chic bar called the Drawing Room, we enjoyed a cocktail and fresh creme brulee. We also saw a couple get engaged (it was Valentine’s weekend after all). Speaking of love, I brought back a frozen heart-shaped pizza for my fiancee. He recommended a pizza place for us to try in Chicago (as he had spent many months there for work) and I decided to bring him a pizza  [my] heart when I returned to him on Sunday evening. Here are some random snapshots of the last few days.

Mmm pepperoni pizza.
Russian tea and Napoleon cake
It wasn’t that good 😉
Brunch at the Bongo Room
A giant Marilyn Monroe statue!
More dessert!
The wonderful cheese that Daniel surprised me with for Vday. It’s from Wisconsin!!!
My rooster chalkboard welcoming me home :).

It’s a bundt! A boont?

Once a month, my friends and I try to get together for ladies night. Ladies night consists of catching up, eating, playing board games, eating, chatting and eating. As one actor said: “You know the thing about good food – it brings people together.”

Last week’s gathering had a nacho bar. There were tortilla chips, ground meat, sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, beans, cheesy bread sticks from Dominos (a total must have as an appetizer), and a bundt cake (Not to be eaten together).  While it seemed like a hodge podge of foods, it was all enjoyable. The bundt cake idea came about as I thought about the dessert I would bring for the ladies. After looking through the cabinets, I realized I had never opened a generously large bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream that I received as a birthday present. I think after having sipped one White Russian at a friend’s house, she thought I would enjoy a rather large bottle of Bailey’s to myself. It has been about 1.5 years since I got this bottle and last Thursday was the first time I opened it. Anyway, this was the perfect occasion for me to crack the bottle, use my bundt pan for the first time (it’s really perfect for a potted plant in the center – My Big Fat Greek Wedding reference) and bring something sweet. I found an easy recipe for an Irish cream bundt on AllRecipes.com and must share it with you. Just a warning, if you’re a lightweight like me, smelling the Bailey’s will make you a little buzzed. Tipsy by osmosis!

Ingredients:

– One box of yellow cake mix (Pillsbury was my choice)

– One box of vanilla pudding

– Four eggs

– Water

– Bailey’s Irish Cream

– Sugar

– Vegetable oil

Directions (According to AllRecipes.com):

– Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bottom of pan (I did not do this – I don’t think the cake needs it).

– In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup oil and 3/4 cup Irish cream. Beat for five minutes at high speed (can also mix with your whisk :)). Pour batter over nuts in pan or directly into pan without nuts.

– Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto the serving dish. Prick top and sides of cake with fork. Spoon glaze (recipe below) over top and brush onto sides of cake. Allow to absorb glaze repeat until all glaze is used up.

– To make the glaze: In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Irish cream.

Note: If you don’t want your cake to be super moist, too sweet or buttery, don’t make the entire glaze. Cut the recipe in half. I made only half of the glaze and it was A LOT for my bundt.

Baked to perfection!

Ooey gooey sweetness!

Hope you enjoy this recipe with your friends like I did with mine.

New Year, New Crafts, New Blog

After failing to update my previous blog on a regular basis,  I decided it would be better to have a fresh start with a new blog name/site. I also decided it would be a great way to log my daily activities that include crafting and cooking. After crafting last week with my friend and her group of crafty friends and joining a Stampin Up group, I was excited and ready to take on the crafting world again.

With the crafty ladies, we made these amazing yarn wreaths that the craft host saw on Pinterest (the most addictive site ever!). After seeing several yarn wreaths on Etsy and Pinterest, I told myself “I can do that. Totally easy” but I never had the time. I’m glad that I was able to join this group to finally make these wreaths. Since Christmas is over and my pine wreath was falling apart on my front door, I was glad I was able to replace the wreath with something festive for the next ‘holiday’ season – Valentine’s Day. I decided on pink and white yarn to make it Valentine-centric. The best thing to do when you want to use different colors is to buy the yarn that is already semi- tie dyed. Since my yarn was already dyed two colors, it was easy to transition to another color without having to use two different balls of yarn. The total cost of this project was about $5 (thank you Michaels coupons). It took about two hours because the flowers are a little more tedious to make but totally worth it. You can even use buttons to decorate your wreath or fun cupcakes felt stickers like my friend used.

Here’s the finished product. Enjoy!