Monday, August 01, 2011

Magnolia Experiments

Thanks to a lovely gift from my bud Sarah B., I have been experimenting with recipes from the Magnolia Bakery. This book is AMAZING. Everything tastes better, from chocolate chip cookies to buttercream frosting.

After a few successful tries with the more traditional outings, I mustered up the courage to try a few new things. For instance, the cookies below. In the book, these are called Chocolate Covered Logs. Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the name. So I renamed them Lindsayfingers. And boy are they delicious! The cookies are kind of a shortbread with orange zest, dipped in chocolate and rolled in hazelnuts. Never made anything like them before, but they were DELISH!

Another recent experiment were mini Key Lime pies. I used the Magnolia recipe for Lime Tart and added it to these Nabisco/Keebler/whatever mini graham cracker crusts. I added a generous glob of homemade whipped cream and brought them to a pool party. They were a huge hit! Only mistake I made was adding the whipped cream before the pies were cool (so it all melted and got messy, but I added more when it cooled off and no one was the wiser ;).

As I get more courageous, I'll keep you posted on the other experiments. Absolutely recommend the cook book for an average baker who is looking to add some OO! to your cOOkie sheet.

Groovy Curtains 1 and 2

When we first moved into our house, we discovered a few, uh, peculiarities left by the previous owner. These included a bathtub on a pedestal (read slipping/falling hazard), a few duct tape interventions and these:

Notice the sheen on the pure poly curtains. On one hand, it's way more disco than I prefer. On the other hand, it makes it harder to see all the oil stains.

So I finally picked out a new fabric and replaced those suckas. I also discovered the Ikea fabric corner, which is separated by color, has funky patterns and totally satisfies my need for organized and limited options (no offense to you SAS-lovers out there; I just can't handle pawing through mounds of fabrics to find what I want!).

I dragged out my little Hello Kitty sewing machine and busted these out in an afternoon:

I'm pretty proud of them. I only stitched up ONE opening, and the seams aren't straight (stop looking at my seams, you Neurotic Nelly!) so overall, pretty sweet.

And I get to cross off an item that has been on my to-do list since we moved in, 2 1/2 years ago. Yay!

Harry Potter treats

Over the summer we got to watch the final Harry Potter movie with our two nephews. To commemorate the occasion, and prove to the boys that their aunt is a hopeless nerd, I made some Harry Potter theme treats.

Pumpkin Pasties:

Assembled with pre-made pie crust (thank you Marie Callender's) and a number of fillings, but mostly pumpkin (made with canned pumpkin and evaporated milk and stuff). Later we added cinnamon apples, fresh apricot, Snickers, Nutella, and ham and cheese. We went a little crazy with the fillings.

I also made these Black Bottom cupcakes (from the Magnolia cookbook) and added chocolate licorice to fashion some Cauldron Cakes:

They were both cute and delicious.

I'm not sure the cuteness really resonated with my super cool nephews, but hey, it made me inordinately happy. Riddikulus!