19 October 2014

Brains are silly things.

I'm going on a date with my husband. For the occasion I'm wearing large dangling hoop earrings. I feel really self-conscious . I know I shouldn't, but I do. 

They probably cost less than $5 and they aren't ostentatious at all. Yet I feel as though I am shouting, "Hey, Everyone! look at me! I'm wearing earrings!" 

Usually I can't take it and I take them off before I leave. Not tonight. Tonight I'm powering through. Im going to enjoy my dinner and look amazing (because those silly earrings really do perfect my outfit) and not feel awkward at all. 

I've decided. 

(At least that's the plan.)

18 October 2014

Always Double Tap

I've learned that flies are just like Jason Bourne. If you don't see the body, they're not dead. 

09 September 2014


As I'm lying on my bed with a 9-month little cutie-pie girl propping herself on the back of my husband, jabbering on about who-knows-what, I realize something. Those problems I've got and those stresses that exhaust me? How inconsequential. How blaringly unimportant compared to these loves. 

27 June 2012

batten what?

I slacked last month, but this month I'm back on board with the Daring Bakers and...


Traditional Battenburg is a yellow and pink checkerboard affair. Rather lovely but I was thinking a little boring flavor-wise. I opted for the walnut-mocha version. It's the opposite. The colors aren't so ravishing, but the flavor makes up for it.
A sweet and a sweetie.

Mandy of What the Fruitcake?! was the girl who did the hard work this month and prepared the challenge. Bravo! Mandy, because this dessert was supremo!

Not only does it look really awesome, but the cake itself was really, really delicious. To get the check-effect, one must trim the cake. And what does one get when one trims one's cake? One gets delicious trimming-snacks to nibble on! Huzzah!

Dame Battenburg
The darker cake is flavored with instant espresso. It didn't pop with flavor, but it had a lovely color. The whitish checks were speckled with walnut pieces. Soooo, soooo, soooo tasty. I'd make a plain cake just with the walnut layer. No need for icing or anything, just give me the pan and a fork.

Everything was glued together with an espresso buttercream ambrosia of delight. The chocolate plastique surrounding the outside, eaten with the espresso buttercream and then a nibble of espresso cake and walnut cake? Oh dear. Nom nom nom nom.

Highly, highly, highly recommend this baby.

And here's one more of my cutie-pie daughter...oh yeah, and the cake.

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

Recipe can be found here.

28 April 2012

armenia, how could you have hidden this deliciousness from me for so long?

Armenia! This month's Daring Bakers Challenge hails from the little country nestled between Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran in Western Asia. Jason from Daily Candor chose to honor his Armenian heritage and gave us Nazook, a classic pastry and Armenian Nutmeg Cake.

Armenian Nutmeg Cake
I made them exactly according to his recipe and oh. my. goodness. They were absolutely delicious.

The Armenian cake had a delicious crumb crust on the bottom with a distinct nutmeg flavor (1 1/2 tsp worth!) and a subtle molasses-y undertone. (I assume because of the rather large amounts of brown sugar.) The walnuts covering it made the otherwise visually-boring cake rather fancy-schmancy looking. Ultimately it comes down to flavor, though, and this baby is going into the permanent recipe box. Highly recommend! (FYI:I did have to cook it for about an hour, which is 30 minutes longer than his suggested time.)

Nazook, right out of the oven.
This challenge was actually two recipes and while at first I was a bit bummed at having to do both, I had no idea what I was complaining about. I didn't even know Nazook existed nor how empty my life has been until now. The recipe is actually very simple, but the results. Oh the results. I'm closing my eyes as I'm remembering the decadence...mmmm...

The cool thing about the Nazook dough is that there was no liquid. It consists of flour, sour cream and butter. This makes for such a flaky crust. Yum. The filling is butter, flour, sugar and vanilla. Such simple ingredients. Such excellent results. Those little rolled-ed up, browned bites of heaven are so incredibly exceptional. Seriously. Under the word synergy in the dictionary, a picture of Nazook should reside.

Thank you, Armenia! Thank you!
You can find the recipes here on Jason's post at Daily Candor.

The Daring Bakers’ April 2012 challenge, hosted by Jason at Daily Candor, were two Armenian standards: nazook and nutmeg cake. Nazook is a layered yeasted dough pastry with a sweet filling, and nutmeg cake is a fragrant, nutty coffee-style cake.

27 March 2012

delicious, but Daring Baker challenges always are

Since my life has calmed down seemed to stabilize has been truly missing the Daring Bakers' challenges, I decided to join up again. Luckily for me, this month was pretty simple. I make bread on a regular basis and Sara and Erica of Baking JDs challenged us to add a Dutch Crunch topping and then make a sandwich of our creation.

I forgot to pay attention to the reveal date of the challenge and this morning decided to see when it was. It was today! Eeep! So here I am, just finishing my loaves at 11:21 pm and hurrying to type up a post to make it by the end of the day, simultaneously hoping that the bread cools enough so I can cut it and make a decent-looking/-tasting sandwich. (This is not the triumphant return to Daring Bakers I had hoped for.)

You know, I think I'll just make a sandwich tomorrow. If the bread lasts...

Update! I got up this morning and made the sandwich. Mmmmm! So good. I went for pastrami, hard-boiled egg, avocado, chives (don't like raw onion, but like a little onion flavor) and topped with baby spinach. Delicious! Thanks, Sara and Erica!

Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

The recipe and instructions are here on their site.

15 February 2012

baby steps of progress

Squeeeee! They've sprouted! 

Look at that sweet, little, tiny baby lettuce!
Granted, these are radishes and leaf lettuce, which are notoriously easy. 
But still...my garden is growing!! 

Hello, row of radishes! A couple more weeks and I'll eat you!
(I way overexposed and supersaturated the pictures so the sprouts were more visible.)