Monday, June 18, 2012

Eat your heart out, Violet Beauregard

We just got back from our annual blueberry picking trip and this year went SO much better than last year.

Last year we got a measly six pounds and were so depressed. And haven't been able to enjoy our favorite blueberry recipes in quite some time.

Thanks to some decent rain this year, we had a great picking trip! We stayed about three hours and got around 19 pounds. If you're in Houston, you should definitely head over to Moorhead's Blueberry farm - $2 per pound UPick!

Just arrived... thank goodness for cloud cover!

He can reach the high branches... we make a good team.

After, we stopped at Skeeter's for lunch. We went here on our first date back in 2002!

When you get home, wash the blueberries well and spread them out to dry. I let mine sit over night, though I would have preferred to do it all at once. Once they're completely dry, you can put them in freezer ziplock bags and enjoy all year. Just make sure they're all dry or they will clump together!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lightened up hallway

Remember when we said we'd never paint stripes again?

We lied.

I love how our bathroom turned out. It's one of my favorite paint projects that we've done. But... it's our bathroom. So no one gets to see it but us.

So we decided to do just ONE more stripe project (famous last words, right?) We rationalized that this one would be easy because it was just one, straight wall.

And really, it wasn't bad at all. It took two coats of Valspar Honey Milk, because we were going from that icky dark to a creamy off white. We used a chalk line to mark off the stripes... we measured the wall and subtracted inches for the new baseboards and crown molding and then divided by how many stripes we wanted. We also discovered that the left side of the wall is a full inch taller than the right side of the wall. Way to go, home builder. We made the stripes parallel to the ceiling, figuring the discrepancy would be less noticeable along the baseboards.

I love what a difference crown molding and big baseboards makes. And white trim. I've said it before and I'll say it again... what were they thinking with that dingy color?

Friday, June 15, 2012

On my phone

I came home to roses! And beautiful ones, too. 
My first fruit tart! Such pretty colors.
NOT my idea of a fun mutual activity. 
Been wanting Fiestware forever... finally got some this week! We started with four and we'll build up.... still trying to decide what color will go with the lovely turquoise

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Smores whoopie pies

Last week I went up to Girl's Camp to visit my young women who had been up there all week. I wanted to take them a little treat, so I whipped up these little babies.
And I might have eaten a couple myself... they're so tasty. Do yourself a favor and make them!

The cake/cookie part comes from Brown Eyed Baker. What you need:
1½ cups graham flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and salt.

Beat the butter and shortening until pale yellow and creamy. Add in the brown sugar and beat 'til fluffy. Then beat in eggs and buttermilk.

In a measuring cup, combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar. Add to the butter/sugar mix and beat to combine. Then add the flour mixture and beat well. Add vanilla and beat for about two minutes.

Scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes. Allow them to cool completely.

Then it's time to fill! For the chocolate ganache, you need:
12 oz package of semisweet chocolate chips/chunks
3/4 cup heavy cream

Put both in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals (stirring betweens) until melted and smooth. Use a spoon to spread onto the whoopie pies. Don't try to pipe it on.... it's too runny and just goes everywhere. Spoon is the way to go.

And for the marshmallow cream. Ah, I love this stuff. The recipe is the same one I used for Hans' birthday cake, found here. Then just pipe it on!

Good luck trying to only eat one.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cleaning and Organizing Part II

My ten-hour project for choice and accountability has been taking shocking long. I haven't worked on this since March when I did the kitchen re-organization and spice jars.

Last week I finally got around to finishing it off by cleaning out the office and organizing all my craft and hobby crap.

It took me three hours to sort through all the crap. Look at all the trash we had in that room! Why did we have all this? Ridiculous.
I was able to get all my crafts into plastic bins and labeled! I originally wanted to do vinyl but don't want to cough up for a silhouette or cricut. So I went with stickers. We moved up a shelving unit from the garage and it fits perfectly in the closet. So much better!

Oh, and as a total aside... in the boxes in the closet I found a bunch of stuff Hans' mom gave us before she moved and I found.... tons of baby pictures! Little Hans was so cute. Here's a sampling.... :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012


"Ebel... what?" you're asking.

They're like a combination of pancakes and filled donut holes. They're filled pancakes! And I heart them.

My mom used to make these when we were kids. I keep seeing pans for sale at Williams and Sonoma but I've never had the heart to buy one just to make one dish. But over Memorial Day weekend, they were half off, so I finally scored one!

Here's a pretty basic recipe for these little pancakes. This recipe makes about 30. What you need:
2 egg whites 
2 cups flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 tablespoon sugar 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 egg yolks 
4 tablespoons butter, melted 
2 cups buttermilk 

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites (hand mixer is good!) until they can hold a stiff peak. 

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar, egg yolks, melted butter and buttermilk and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites last. Doesn't that look pretty all 

Spray the pan with some Pam and heat over medium. Pour in about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each cup, if you're not doing filling. If you're doing filling, put 1 tablespoon batter and than 1 tsp filling and then the other tablespoon of batter. Try not to let the filling touch the pan or it'll burn.

Little bubbles start forming on the surface of the pancake - that means it's time to flip! You can use pretty much anything, but we use a large toothpick. I heard skewers and knitting needles work just as well. Push one edge of the ebelskiver and it'll start to roll over. You may have to use your fingers.

That's it! Eat up. Hans likes to dip his in syrup... I like mine sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Oh, and these beauties were filled with orange curd. And it's heavenly. Truly.

I found this recipe from Simple Bites. I  have never made curd before. The instructions on this blog didn't work for me. Probably my fault - i don't have a stainless steel bowl and so I used a glass one and I don't think it could get hot enough. 

But I digress. Here's what you need:

2 large navel oranges, zested and juiced
1 1/4 cups sugar 
1 teaspoon ground cardamom 
4 egg yolks 
2 whole eggs 
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 

In a small bowl, mix together the zest, sugar and cardamom. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs (yolk and whole) and whisk well. Add the zest mixture and orange juice and stir to combine. At this point, you can go the double boiler method and add the butter. You're supposed to stir for 10 minutes for the curd to thicken. This didn't work for me, even after 30 minutes. I got frustrated and threw it in my fondue pot. Bam! That worked. 

And then you have filled yumminess. Try one - or both - of these recipes! So tasty.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Help send Sarah to London

Meet Sarah.

She is my cute co-worker and friend. And, as of this week, she's also an Olympic athlete. Sarah is a Chaser for Texas Quidditch Team. Yes, I'm actually serious. There is a Texas Quidditch Team. As in.... brooms, quaffles, snitches, bludgers, house cups, the whole bit. If that sounds like another language to you, you're probably a muggle (and we still love you).

According to the International Quidditch Association (yup, still being serious here), there are about 650 Quidditch teams in the United States alone. Last year's World Cup was held in New York and had teams from around the globe. And this year, since the summer Olympics are in London, the IQA is sponsoring a Quidditch Olympic exhibition. And Miss Sarah has qualified for Team USA.
She heads to London the first week of July. And as she points out, since her broom only works in the game, she could use some help getting over the Atlantic.

If you're a Quidditch enthusiast, or just a kind heart, please head over to and make a donation. Anything helps. You could put down $5 and call yourself an Olympic athlete sponsor.