I took photos at my co-worker’s son’s birthday party this afternoon. It was a lot of fun!
The weather was perfect, the monsoon rain and thunder-storm came just as the party was scheduled to end!
Dylan is a sweet 2-year-old, who was pleasantly tolerant of me following him around all afternoon! I even followed him into the bouncy house! (That was a good show, I’m sure, as when I attempted to climb the stairs to go down the slide the whole side of the air-house collapsed under me, dragging two little kids down towards the black hole – haha good times)
Look at those eyes!
He also loved his cupcakes! I think the frosting was his favorite part! ;)
I found out recently I am the proud “owner” of a 4′ x 20′ raised bed in the Edgewood Community Garden! I guess applying for a plot back in September paid off! :)
I started some seeds a few weeks ago in anticipation of planting season, and most of the little seedlings are showing their little heads now.
I have restructured the planter box I made last year into a roughly 4 foot by 4 foot box, since at this apartment we’re on the bottom floor and I have a little space in the dirt for such a thing.
My plan is to plant my leafy greens here; kale, lettuce, spinach, and other partial-shade plants, and use the community garden plot for the full-sun stuff such as tomatoes and peppers. I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to get these guys in the ground!
I have wanted to try this for some time now, and so when I came across a magazine article with well described steps I thought I’d give it a try!
Even though I knew that it was going to consist primarily of eggs and sugar with a little butter thrown in for good measure, I wanted to follow the recipe to the letter since I have never made this type of this before.
This is my typical MO when trying any new recipe, really. I like to get a feel for what each ingredient does before I try to replace that ingredient with something ‘healthier.’
I’m proud of how it turned out. There are a couple things I will know to do differently if I make this in the future.
It was much more time consuming than I expected it to be, but it was a fun process; first the doubt that the steps would actually work, then happiness when the custard started solidifying and the meringue began to fluff like they were supposed to.
I think I added too much lemon juice to the custard, which ultimately resulted in a less firm center then I would have liked, so next time I will have to watch out for this. And I don’t think I whipped the custard long enough before baking it, longer whipping would result in stiffer peaks, which would in turn look cooler. :) Things to remember for next time.
If you feel inspired to try this out for yourself, I followed the recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine, April/May 2012 edition.
And it was delicious! So delicious. I think I might go have another piece now.
Some days, when I’ve been working, or the dog is annoying, or it’s been raining non-stop since I woke up, or whatever, I don’t end up spending a lot of time taking photos.
Then, around 11pm I start to get panicky, haha. This is day 72, and though I have gotten this far before, I really don’t feel like starting the whole 365 thing over again. If not this time, maybe never! (*gasp*)
So anyway, 11pm. And I’m sorry.
Chewie found my Easter Candy.
The scene of the crime.
Photo taken earlier, capturing the culprit in action
I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately, even more than usual. I am going through ingredients like nobody’s business, and find myself in the bulk section of WinCo at least once a week stocking up on staples like flour and sugar. (Note to self: Go to WinCo after work today)
No complaints though! I’m enjoying experimenting with my recipes.
Today’s treat? Chocolate cupcakes! :)
When I first try a new recipe I like to follow the instructions as closely as possible to get a feel for what each thing brings to the finished product. Then, I like to try substituting vegan (no eggs or dairy) and healthier (applesauce instead of oil, etc) options.
This recipe, for example, originally included whole milk. I had buttermilk, which made the final cake super yummy. Today, I substituted Almond milk, and these taste pretty darn delicious too! Next time I try these I’m thinking I’ll substitute applesauce for some or all of the sugar (1 and a half cups all told), and maybe even whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose white.
No, no, just kidding.I’m not growing birds. I’m growing birdseed.
I figured since it’s still too cold to start my veggies, and I wanted to plant something, so I prepped one of my homemade planters (I broke that guy apart and redesigned it into two separate planters). I sprinkled birdseed in there and covered the whole thing with plastic, for warmth. Today, about a week later, I headed out to check on it and found many little seedlings start to push free from their pod casings.
And I also found a bonus carrot from last year. He’s a little misshapen, but full of character!
I’ve been experimenting with muffins lately, and I found one in particular, a lemon poppy-seed muffin, that I like a lot.
Technically it’s a cake recipe, but I first made it as regular sized muffins, and they were delicious, light and fluffy, but still kinda too big. So, today I tried them in my mini muffin tins, and they turned out still tasty, but the paper wrappers I used get stuck under the muffin top when you try to peel it off. :/ Very sad, since it detracts from the experience of eating one of these little yummies.
The main thing people seem to like about this recipe though, is how the top gets perfectly crispy while the rest of the muffin stays soft and light. I think the next thing I will try with this recipe is to turn them into cookies, or basically, just the muffin top. So stay tuned!