Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Odds

One time, I won a giveaway on Bakerella's blog.
Odds: Like 1 in 6000.

I thought I won a signed copy of her new cookbook. Which I already have. Signed even.
Odds: 1 in (6000)x(number of things I already own)x(something else but I don't know what)

Jess, if you are reading this, please ignore all my ridiculously incorrect statistics.

It turns out I didn't really read the email Bakerella sent me. I won a fancy new cell phone. Just like Nate wanted for Christmas but we don't really have money for.
Odds: I have no clue, but who cares I won a sweet prize!

Too bad I was too excited to keep my big mouth shut and I just ruined the perfect Christmas surprise.
Odds: Pretty much 100%

Oh well, now we can be excited together. Merry Christmas Nate!
and yes, I am doing my homework now :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Purple Party

It feels like this happened in another life, but here are the pictures (finally).

Invitations to set the mood.

The table.
Place settings.
Favors. Unfortunately this is the only food I remembered to photograph, but it is probably the best looking anyway.
Chocolate covered Oreos. Yum!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Couponing

Last week I decided to try my hand at couponing. I have been reading this and I got very excited about the prospect of free food. I have always been a sucker for free stuff. After spending a few hours searching the internet for coupons, figuring out how to get the rotten things to print, and scouring the local adds for deals, I came up with a plan. Smith's had a promotion going last week where and coupon worth less than a dollar would be increased to a dollar, plus a buy 10 participating items save $3 deal. Between deals and coupons, I ended up with 5 boxes of Cheerios and 1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch ($0.50/each), 4 boxes of Gushers ($1.20/each), 3 bags of goldfish (Free!), 3 Yoplait Greek yogurts ($0.30/each), 3 Totino's Pizzas ($0.60/piece) and various other items that weren't  necessarily great deals, but we wanted them anyway. The Totino's should have been free, but the cashier didn't understand what two of my coupons said, and I was too tired to fight with her over $2. The good news is I (mostly) avoided buying things I wouldn't normally buy, which is one of the major pitfalls of couponing, and I have already eaten the unnecessary purchases. More good news is I saved something like half our normal grocery bill. I also got a $2.50 same as cash coupon and a free Dannon Greek yogurt coupon at the register with my receipt. The downsides were I was completely frazzled by the end of my shopping trip (which may have been due to listening a whiny child the whole time) I ended up paying a lot for a bottle of Ranch because I was too tired to go to a different store to find a cheaper one, and we never finished picking up groceries for last weeks dinners, so we mostly scrounged up whatever we could find. Overall I think: Been there, done that. I simply have no motivation for couponing any more. We have far too picky of eaters at our house for it to be really effective. I do plan to keep my eyes open for extra good deals so I can stock up on good items, but there is no way I can go through the whole process every week.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I {heart} Faces - Fix It Friday #56

I know it has been a while since I posted anything that was actually about food, but if you can be patient it will be totally worth it. I have been planning a purple luncheon that it taking place tomorrow and I am so excited! I am hoping to get some really awesome pictures to show.



Speaking of pictures, this post is another fix-it-friday. This week I started with this:
Such a cute twin picture!

I set the brightness to 59. Levels are at 0, .83, and 255 (I only adjusted the middle one). And I tweaked the yellow/blue color balance to -5. I also made a duplicate of the original layer, blurred it ever so slightly (gaussian) and used a soft eraser at 50% opacity to bring back some sharper detail in the faces, wall, etc. The end result:







Yep, definitely still cute babies.

Now make your way back to I Heart Faces to see more Friday fixes of this darling photo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I {heart} Faces - Fix It Friday #54


This is my first time participating in Fix-it Friday, so here goes.

I started with this.















Using Adobe Photoshop CS4 software, I started by using the band-aid tool on the red spots, following which I bumped up the brightness to 76. I then made a duplicate layer and tweaked the color balance a bit (cyan/red to -17 and yellow/blue to +11). Then, merge or clipping mask the duplicate layer and the color balance and erase all but the eyes. Add a bit of darkening to the edges, and voila!















Now go back to I heart Faces for more Friday photo fixes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Sweets

Last week I discovered the minty dark cocoa Wilton candy melts - yum! I have never been a fan of the cocoa flavored melts, because while they are cocoa flavored, lets face it, chocolate candy is not the same as chocolate. However I am now hooked on the minty melts.

We kept Mother's day pretty low key this year. I made our moms a few chocolate lollipops and a card each.





















I think these cards are so cute! What can I say, I love my paper punches.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So Easy - Strawberry Tarts

Every Spring I get so excited for strawberries to come into season. I love eating them plain, and on shortcakes, and I especially love them in freshly made freezer jam! I whipped up these little tartlets for a morning much and mingle I hosted. They were so easy! They only need 3 ingredients (4 if you want to top them with whipping cream). I used a store bought pie crust from a can to make the little shells.

You just un-roll the dough, and it is ready to bake. I used a scallop edged cookie cutter about 3" across and baked the dough in a muffin tin for about 7 minutes. They might be even tastier if you used sugar cookie dough instead.

The I spread a layer of strawberry glaze in the bottom of each tart. You can make your own if you would like, but I just bout a tub I found next to the strawberries in the produce section.

Check out that gorgeous red color!

Fill the tarts the rest of the way with sliced strawberries and tah-dah!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I {heart} Desserts


I feel that I must begin this post with a disclaimer. I did not choose this photo so I could suck up to the judge. Although, who wouldn't want to suck up to Bakerella? While I have many skills, photography really isn't one of them. I love to edit pictures, but I wish I didn't have to ALL the time. Also, the entry info said to post your BEST ever photo of a dessert, and I am pretty sure this is it. So, here it is - the picture that I got from sheer dumb luck, (and a really great cupcake pop tutorial. See? This is sucking up) no editing involved.
(Click the photo to see a larger view)
Try not to notice the stove in the background. Do try to notice the awesome chocolate swirl. At least the background is blurry, which I have a really hard time doing with my plain old point and shoot digital camera. Help, anyone? I use a casio exilim ex-s880.

Now travel back to I {Heart} Faces to see some more delicious desserts.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patty's Day

We went to my sister's Saint Patrick's day party, and she had TONS of green food! Sadly, I only got pictures of one item (the one I brought home). Here are green chocolate shamrock pops. Very tasty, and very easy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I ♥ Faces Week 11 - Bundled Up


This is from our snowshoeing trip on New Year's Eve. More about the story here.

This photo is for a contest here (http://iheartfaces.blogspot.com/2010/03/week-11-bundled-up-photo-challenge.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Iheartfaces+%28iHeartFaces%29)
Now it's your turn!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cupcake-in-a-jar

I read about making cupcakes in jars a while back, and sort of became obsessed with the idea. So, I have been saving baby food jars for nearly a month now, and tonight I made cupcakes . . . in jars.

I think my least favorite part was trying to spray the jars with cooking spray. Cooking spray grosses me out. Really, as much as a pain as it can be, I prefer the good old fashioned grease and flour method. But, we have two cans of Pam I am trying to use, plus, as much as I hate to admit it, it is kind of convenient.

I made orange cake, yum! This is just a white cake mix, mixed as directed on the package, plus a small package of orange jello mix. Not only is orange cake delicious, it looks neat in the jars. Speaking of the jars I completely overfilled them with batter. Oops.

I am pretty sure using a squeezy ice cream/cookie scoop would have been an excellent way to get the batter in the jars, but we don't have one, so I made a big mess, and then had to wipe down the tops of all the jars before baking. Not that it mattered since the cupcakes poofed out of the jars anyway. 


So, I scooped out some of the cake. It kind of looks like baby food again . . . eew.

But, with the help of some vanilla frosting and some sprinkles, the turned out all right. I even covered the lids in cute paper and ribbon. You would not believe how difficult it is to find cute paper that goes with orange. I guess next time I will have to make pink cake.

 
  
 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I ♥ Oreos

To me, Valentine's day is a home-made holiday. So for our Valentine treats I made heart shaped Oreo truffles. Not only are they ridiculously delicious and cute, they are pretty easy to make. There are only 3 ingredients. 1 package of Oreos, 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, and chocolate for dipping. If dipping things is too much of a hassle for you, just put the centers in the freezer and eat them plain. Mmmm!

To make the mixing process easier, it is best to crush your Oreos before mixing in the cream cheese. I separated out the creme filling and put the cookies in the blender.

 
  
You could also us a food processor or electric cheese grater.  Once the cookies are crushed, put the filling back in the bowl and add the softened cream cheese. Stir it all up until it is the consistency of cookie dough. This part can be exhausting! 

I rolled the "dough" out so I could use my heart shaped cookie cutter, but you can just roll it into balls if you would rather. Don't forget to taste it!

This turned into a multi day project for me, so I froze the middles overnight, but half an hour in the freezer should do the trick. Then comes the fun part -- chocolate dipping!
One side is dipped in pink candy melts, the other using milk chocolate chips.
I also found these little bags that were left over from a previous project, so I decided to make the truffles extra cute!
 
  
Happy late Valentine's day!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tee Time

I made these for my brother-in-laws birthday cake that was covered in green coconut. The white ones have Lindor balls in the middle, and the milk ones have a peanut butter filling.

Happy Birthday Travis!

Faux Pho


Ingredients:

1 pkg. oriental ramen noodles
Hot Italian sausage, cooked and broken up
Sriracha

So easy, so good.