Wednesday, August 24, 2011

lake loving

We're doing a whole lot of this in Minnesota, and loving every minute. 
found: houzz

Saturday, August 20, 2011

off to the lake!

So we are off to Minnesota for a week! We're going up to Deer Lake for the week, then heading down to Duluth, Minnesota for a wedding! It should be tons of fun! 
Here's what we did last year:
surfed behind the boat! 
Can't wait!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

pics of the day

Just because these beds look so comfy. And I can't wait to get into mine tonight! 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Almond Funfetti Cupcakes

This was my first time using actual vanilla beans in a recipe, and it was SO much fun! I want to use it in all my recipes from now on. I love how you can see the vanilla bean specks in the icing and batter. I'm not exactly sure if you can get them at every grocery store, but I found it in the organic section at Wegmans (best grocery store EVER). I made these for a bake sale so I figured I would do a semi-simple flavor combination to appeal to everyone's taste buds. I added sprinkles to the batter to make it funfetti, just for fun! And someone bought an entire dozen from the bake sale, so I guess it was a success!? I used blue and white two-tone frosting, just for fun using this technique. 

Taste: SO delicious! I'm obsessed with almond extract, so I was in love with these cupcakes. 
Texture: soft and moist

Would I make this again?: Yes, definitely! 
Homemade Vanilla Almond Funfetti Cupcakes
slightly adapted from: The Curvy Carrot
Servings: 48 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
5 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 whole vanilla beans, split length-wise and seeds reserved
8 large eggs
4 egg yolks
3 cups whole milk
Sprinkles (I used a whole container)

For the Vanilla Almond Buttercream:
3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, split length-wise and seeds reserved

2 teaspoons almond extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing well.

In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Slowly add in the granulated sugar, almond extract, and vanilla bean seeds and mix until well-combined, about 2 more minutes. Add the egg yolks, and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.Add the flour and milk mixtures alternatively (start and end with the flour mixture) to the mixing bowl at low speed, mixing until the flour is just combined. Evenly distribute the batter among the prepared baking pans. Bake for 20 minutes total, rotating the pans halfway during the baking time.When a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.

For the buttercream frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce your mixer speed to low, and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar slowly, making sure to frequently increase the speed of the mixer for about 10 seconds increments to aerate the frosting. Add the vanilla bean seeds and almond extract, mixing well, until frosting is smooth and creamy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

S'more Rice Krispie Treats

I made these for a work party, and they were a hit. These are really easy to make since you microwave the marshmallows! 

Taste: Pretty chocolate-y. And you could barely taste the graham crackers, but delicious! Chocolate rice krispie treats? who can say no?! I didn't like them as much as the Cake Batter Krispie Treats though.. 
Texture: Soft and chewy
Would I make this again?: Yea, but I would use Golden Grahams instead of Rice Krispies, and add more marshmallows. You can never have enough marshmallows! 
S'more Rice Krispie Treats
found: Tasty Kitchen

(I doubled this recipe to make an entire 13 x 9 pan of them)
3 cups Marshmallows
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup Graham Crackers, Broken Into Coarse Pieces
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips

Butter an 8 x 8 inch square pan.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, place the marshmallows, butter and vanilla in the microwave until the marshmallows begin to soften, about a minute. Mix with a spatula and microwave for another minute until the marshmallows are fully melted. Add the rice krispies, graham cracker chunks and chocolate chips to combine.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan. I drizzled white chocolate over the top just for fun. Allow to cool and enjoy! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

move, learn, eat

I am so incredibly jealous of these guys, and the movies are awesome!!

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage... all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ....into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films.....

= a trip of a lifetime.

move, eat, learn

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

happy shark week

Hope everyone is loving Shark Week on Discovery Channel. I know I am! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

hello August

This summer has already been SO hot! So stock up on fruits and just chill this month..
 found:  img fave