Thursday, March 21, 2013

Banana Bread Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is one of life's highest pleasures. I will combine nearly any bread with nearly any cheese at least once -- just to see how they work together (or fight it out). For a sweet treat, whip up some banana bread grilled cheese with cheddar.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wedding: Ceremony Programs and Guest "Book"

For various wedding-related communications, I drew a bunch of pictures of the husband, the dogs, and I. Several of these went into our wedding invitations (which included some of husband's chain mail as well). Several went into our ceremony programs. I designed, and husband printed these ceremony programs, which featured a picture of the whole "family" (complete with my turquoise dress) on the front . . .

Wedding Ceremony Program Front
Photo Courtesy of Rabiah M.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Gingerbread Loaf

I'm a fiend for bread, especially quick bread. Especially somewhat non-normal quick bread, like this gingerbread loaf.

This ginger bread tastes, well, like gingerbread. A little too crumbly to make sandwiches, but perfect for breakfast -- egg yolk + gingerbread bread = bliss.

Taste: 7.5
Comfort: 8
Ease of Prep: 9

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wedding: Table Markers

I've been fighting a nasty cold this week but have muscled through to get you this next wedding update. I designed all of our paper products as well, including the table markers, the name tags, the program, and note cards.

Norton Wedding Table Marker
Photo Credit: Dad

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wedding: Octopus Cake Toppers

I love octopi. My love for octopi initially grew out of my fascination with the plural. "Octopus" actually has three acceptable plural forms. The first, octopuses, reflects the Americanized plural. The second, octopi, reflects what many people think should be the proper Latin plural, assuming that "octopus" is a second declension Latin noun. Finally, the most correct plural is octopodes -- as it turns out, octopus is not Latin, it's Greek! So, octopuses/i/podes were initially fascinating to me from an intellectual angle.

Then, I started seeing octopus art. And, wow. I never thought about it before, but those eight tentacles make for some fluid and striking artwork, both two- and three-dimensional. Rapidly, octopi became my favorite animal. So when it came time to make cake toppers for the wedding, I knew I had to make octopi in love.

Photo Credit: Dad

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wedding Outdoor Signs

Weddings are incredibly expensive. I didn't realize exactly how expensive they are until my husband and I began planning our own. Keeping costs down was difficult, but ultimately rewarding: instead of spending money, we opted as much as possible to spend time. As you already know, my friend and I baked the cupcakes for the wedding, and I also made some corn muffins for dinner. In addition to food, however, the husband and I also made most of the decorations. The wedding felt really intimate and really "us" as a result!

My parents live in the middle of the woods -- a perfect place to gather materials for sign-making. My dad and husband bonded over cutting and assembling the signs we had outside the mill on our wedding day. Then, my husband and I each painted our own sign. Mine? Beware of Bride, of course!

Wedding sign, Beware of Bride, DIY
Photo Credit: Dad

My husband made a groom crossing sign, with an octopus chasing the groom. These ended up being an enormous amount of fun to pose with for photos.

Wedding groom crossing sign, DIY
Photo Credit: Dad

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Browned Butter Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

I'm phoning this one in; I'm wiped after roughly 14 hours of work and traveling to and from and between work locations. I know, I know, everybody has those days. Unfortunately, knowing that the experience is shared doesn't make it less exhausting when it happens!

Shortly after the wedding, I decided to make one last batch of cupcakes for fun: Brown butter cupcakes with coffee buttercream. I don't remember enough about them to give them a full rating, but I do remember two things: 1) browned butter is not as hard to make as I expected it to be, thanks to the great instructions over at Bake Your Day, and 2) these were ridiculously delicious! My lack of memory notwithstanding, these are totally worth trying.

Browned Butter Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cheddar Ale Soup

Let's fast-forward to a more recent meal. I've been making more soups than usual lately, mostly because they're a little less expensive to pull together. Given my love of cheese, it is probably no surprise that this cheddar ale soup was irresistible to me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fruit Loop and Cookie Dough Vodka Cocktails

I am a big fan of cocktails made with strangely flavored vodkas. My first vodka discovery was Van Gogh Vodka. At the time Van Gogh had such exciting flavors as Acai-Blueberry, Mojito, and my favorite, Double Espresso. More recently, I've been getting into Three Olives. At first, I bought their Triple Espresso for the sole purpose of comparing it to the Van Gogh Double Espresso; Three Olives blew Van Gogh out of the water. Then I fell in love with Bubble -- Three Olives' bubblegum flavored vodka. Ridiculous and delicious. The husband and I even have bacon vodka (hint: scary) and smoked salmon vodka (good for Bloody Marys!) on our shelf. I know a lot of people are not huge fans of vodka, especially weirdly flavored vodka, but I can't help but love things that make drink-making easier. Typically, to allow the flavor of the (weird!) vodka to come through, all you need to make a delicious cocktail out of a flavored vodka is one to two other ingredients. It's simplicity itself.

When I visited my sister most recently, I left my hubs at home so we could have some quality girl time. To facilitate said quality girl time, we knew we had to stock up on strange vodkas for the weekend. Our choices? Three Olives Loopy (fruit-loop flavored vodka, what?!) and Pinnacle Cookie Dough vodka.

Fruit Loop Vodka with Sprite

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thanksgiving - Dinner

And here's the doozy: The big feast. Prior Thanksgiving feasts have heavily featured food baked in ovens. For example, the cider scalloped potatoes we made in 2010 obviously required baking. You just don't get that kind of gooey cheese without a working oven. In 2011, we made at least four dishes in the oven: Cornish hens, Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, and cider scalloped potatoes. Oh, and this year? Found out the day before that my parent's oven was down for the count. Only the broiler was working.

Dill bread

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