Sunday, February 28, 2010

Carrot cake recipe for Adrianna.

For baby brother's first birthday party I made a carrot cake, because they are the greatest. Adrianna helped me with the frosting and sampling of the mini cake I made in ramekins and wanted the recipe, so here it is, it is super simple, and super yummy:

for the cake:

1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups FINELY grated carrots
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
optional: 2/4 cup walnuts

for the frosting:

8 oz cream cheese - softened
5 oz unsalted butter - softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp salt

Start by soaking the raisins in water, preheating the oven to 350 F and cutting out parchment paper for the bottom of the baking pans (two 8 or 9 inch rounds). Oil and flour the pans. Whisk dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together, then slowly add dry ingredients, mixing on low until just blended. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until cake tester comes out clean, 30 - 33 minutes. Cool pans on rack for 20 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Beat the cream cheese and butter together, then add sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until fluffy. Frost and assemble layers of the cake, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Because you're never too young for ironic tshirts.

Baby brother turned one in the beginning of February, so I made him yet another onesie, this time celebrating my quirky love of tuxedo tshirts.

He officially wore it to church the day after his party.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Busy, busy.

The other day on one of my friend dates with Adrianna, I confessed to having a mental to blog list going in my head
about eight posts long. (Why yes that does make me feel like a major, major geek.) I have been filling my days with so many, and so widely varying tasks that my time hasn't been squandered, but it has been all used up. But I wanted to share that I resurrected my little dinosaur PowerBook that I loved so dearly, so now there is one fewer excuse for my interweb sabatical, and once I stop accidentally turning my iPhone's keyboard to French, I'll be in business.

Friday, February 12, 2010

it was all yellow.

I am 12 buttons away from finishing a horrifyingly ugly bright yellow shirt dress for someone (bitterness alert: I will NEVER ever sew anything for a member of my family ever again.) which took about 15 hours longer than it should have, and far too many mumbled swear words for me to have a clear conscience. (It would have been far worse had I not figured out how to use Tim Gunn's amazing buttonhole foot.) I have never, ever liked yellow, especially in its brightest form, and after this very embittering shirt dress experience, I thought I would be forever turned off of the idea, until I saw this:

While I would prefer it in another color, I think this is an amazingly gorgeous piece of furniture, and I think I might like yellow more than I did earlier today.
(Although, I'm sticking to my statement about saying no to sewing requests.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cinematographer for feature film

I found this job posting today. It makes me so sad I'll be out of the country for most of May...SHOOT. Sounds promising.

20 day shoot in May. Must have own equipment. Prefer two cameras. High def digital. Collaborative attitude. Fun project.
Identical twin sisters, one a lingerie model and the other a nun, must trade places. The lingerie model has an urgent need for medical treatment but no insurance or savings and the only way her sister can help is to trade places and let the Catholic church pay for the surgery. Double happy endings.
I'm working on a $25,000 total budget. The twins are SAG and must be paid $100 a day up front plus expenses. I would like to pay more, but think $150 to $250 a day is the total I can afford to pay.
For the right person, I can work around your schedule to some extent. For instance, if you shoot weddings on weekends I can have almost all the shoot days be during the week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

La recette des macarons à la fraise!!!

So, I wanted to share the recipe for Macarons that Adrianna and I used/adapted last night. We both like to bake, and thought these little beauties were way less complicated than we had anticipated. In fact, if you haven't made these yet, don't be intimidated. Try it today. Or whenever. No Pressure.


1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups blanched almonds
3 egg whites (room temperature)
3/4 t salt
3 T granulated sugar
1/4 cream of tartar
food coloring

5 T unsalted butter (room temperature)
pinch of salt
3 T strawberry jam
1 T confectioner's sugar
1/2 t vanilla paste

1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Trace circles onto the parchment paper with a pencil, then line sheet pans with paper, pencil marks down.
2. Grind confectioner's sugar and almonds in a food processor until it is a fine powder.
3. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer at medium speed until they get frothy, then add salt and cream of tartar. (The Ladurée recipe doesn't call for cream of tartar, but since it was raining, I added it for security, despite Adrianna's wishes. P.S.How do they make these in rainy Paris with no cream of tartar?) When soft peaks form, add granulated sugar slowly and turn up the speed to high, until they hold stiff and glossy peaks. Then add food coloring to desired color. (I am so anti-food coloring, but they are so cute all colored. Quandry.)
4. Fold almond mixture into meringue with a spatula, or by being a rebel and just switching your wire whip out for a quick spin with the flat beater on your kitchenaid.
5. Put into a pastry bag, then pipe onto parchment paper, filling the perfect circles you traced before. (If you fill the bag too full, kindly give the bag to a friend and make her pipe them, so she is the one with the mess all over her hands, that's what I do!)
6. Bake for 18-23 minutes, with the sheet pans on the top third and the bottom third of the oven, turning the pan around halfway through baking. Then LET THEM COOL COMPLETELY before removing them from the parchment paper. They are very fragile.
7. Whip all ingredients for the filling together, smear on the cookies, and then sandwich together for a super sweet, rich, colorful treat.
8. Share and enjoy.

Crafty friend dates.

My friend Adrianna moved to P-town a few months ago, and we've been partying like it's 1999 ever since. In fact, we've instated something we call "friend-dates." Tuesday and/or Thursday nights are spent being fabulous. Sometimes we watch movies, like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and eat frozen yogurt. Last Tuesday, we made throw pillows to give Adrianna some much-desired sewing experience, and make her future task of redecorating a bachelor pad slightly easier. We made these:

Then Thursday, we went to the GREATEST fabric store around, BOLT, on NE Alberta. Small, but ample enough, Bolt has an amazing selection of trendy and beautiful prints. Adrianna bought some fabric for curtains and a couple more pillows, and I got fabric that will be an adorable summer dress very soon.

Last night Birgitte joined us and we baked some macarons, because they are trendy and popping up everywhere, and we had never had one.

We made strawberry, mostly because we wanted to make pink ones. They are pretty yummy. Want one?

Then we spray painted something for her upcoming nuptials and planned out Thursday's line up - three more pillows out of the Bolt fabric.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sometimes I feel cool...

when my friends mention me on their blogs.

For example, the adorableDeanna commented that she liked my little hairpieces I posted, so I made her one, and sent it to her.

And, the craftyBeckie had a baby a little while ago, and I FINALLY got around to sending her something last week.

Thanks, ladies.