Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring Fling Pasta

A taste of spring for tonight's dinner, farro pasta with fiddle head ferns, fresh shelling peas, fresh ricotta and chives.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Par boil the fiddle heads then sauté them with garlic and olive oil until cooked, toss in peas to lightly cook them but have them retain their fresh crunch, toss in the pasta ricotta and chives. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heaven and Hell Cake

I always default to my grandmother's chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for birthdays but I've been wanting to try something different and I came across this Heaven and Hell Cake. We were having some people over for a cook out so I decided it would be a good time to try out this recipe.

It was as delicious as it sounds, even if it didn't look as beautiful my first attempt making it. But it was so rich that even though there were 8 people we didn't even eat half the cake! So I cut the left over cake into pieces and froze it.

Chocolate Ganache:
2 pounds milk chocolate
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

heat the cream on the stove to boiling then pour over the chocolate, mix together to melt chocolate
cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 4 hours

Angel Food Cake:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites (about a dozen eggs)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Heat oven to 325
Line the bottom of a 10 inch round cake pan with parchment
Mix together powdered sugar and flour
Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until frothy, keep beating and slowly add sugar, vanilla and almond until stiff peaks form
Add the flour mixture in two parts by gently folding in with a rubber spatula
bake 45 minutes
Let cool completely

Devil's Food Cake:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coffee
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Heat the oven to 350
Grease and flour a 10 inch round cake pan
Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder
Mix together coffee and cocoa powder
Using a mixer beat together butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs
Add half of the flour mixture to butter mixture, once combined add half of the coffee and repeat
Bake 30 minutes
Let cool completely

Peanut Butter Mousse:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
4 cups smooth peanut butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth
Beat cream separately until stiff peaks form, then fold that into peanut butter mixture and put mousse in fridge

Assemble the Cake:
Use a serrated knife to slice each cake in half so you will have two layers of each cake
Layer - devil's food cake, 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse, angel food cake, mousse, devil's food cake, last of the mousse, angel food cake and frost with the ganache
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bird's Nest Rings

Watching the baby robins in my yard inspired some wire wrapped rings. They're up in my shop now. 
I used different colors of wire and a variety of beads to create these fun rings. 

If you can't find them in the shop but are interested in these rings or a similar item such as a wire nest pendant, send me a note, I'd be happy to do a custom order for you!

Hostess Gift - pot of herbs

I was invited to dinner at a friend's house and told not to bring anything, she had food and drinks covered so I had to think of something else to bring. She recently moved and now has some outdoor space where she wants to grow a little garden so I decided to bring some herbs for the garden. I dressed them up a little by decorating a pot I had. 

I started by washing the pot and letting it dry
Then I used stencils to decorate the pot 

I did the whole thing with white paint and a foam brush 
There's lot of room to be creative with this but I had a bit of a time crunch

The three small herb pots fit together in the terra cotta pot, so I left them in their separate pots instead of adding dirt and planing them together. This will also allow my friend the flexibility to easily plant them where ever she wants or leave them as they are. 
It was a fun project and a nice twist on a hostess gift. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Checking out how the garden is growing. 

Baby Robins

I've been watching these sweet baby robins grown. They've nested in small tree between our house and our neighbors and just a little above eye level. The best part may be the fierce parents terrorizing the squirrels and keeping them out of our yard, which is great because the squirrels go after all our peaches and our garden.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dig In

I've been growing these seedlings inside and am ready to put them in their new homes in the garden beds today. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Festive Tissue Paper Flowers

These tissue paper flowers are a quick and easy way to add some color for every day or decoration for a celebration. I first tried them because I was looking to add some color to my Cinco de Mayo dinner. 

What you'll need:
tissue paper
wire & skewers or pipe cleaner 

Cut the tissue paper in to 6" x 7" rectangles
I layered 15 pieces of paper for the full look in my pictures but you can try it with less if you want your flowers to be less full

Use an accordion fold to fold the paper, folding so the length is still 7"
I then pressed them under a heavy book until I was ready for the next step

I didn't have pipe cleaner on hand so I used wire instead, I wrapped the wire around the center of the folded paper, if you have pipe cleaner you can use that instead 

 I wrapped the wire around the top of a skewer that will be the stem of the flower
Cut the edges of the paper, I did half circles on some and points on others, use whatever look you like
then gently fold up the paper toward the middle one sheet at a time to form your petals

I used a cocktail shaker as the vase to hold the flowers. I also like these has a hanging decoration, just remove the stick and use the wire to hang them.