Friday, March 30, 2012

Fondant Class

I grew up baking cakes with my Mom and Nana who are both so talented at not only what's on the outside of the cake, but the moist, yummy insides too.

I love taking classes to build on what they taught me. So when I saw that there was a fondant class at The Cook's Station led by the pastry chef from Table 301 Catering and Soby's on the Side, Michal Jones Smith, I knew I had to sign up.

I definitely wasn't disappointed! Here's some pics from the informative class:


Michal first demonstrated how she makes her Raspberry Coulis and how she assembles her cakes.



Here's my cake that Michal had assembled and we added a final layer of buttercream frosting before putting it in the fridge for a final 20-30 minutes before adding fondant.



I added pink coloring to my fondant, rolled it out and folded over my cake.



I cut and created a bow tie and used letter cutters to decorate my cake that I took to the Carolina Cup that weekend.



Ta-da!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Wilton Decorating Basics

I've been wanting to try out some of the Wilton classes for a long, long time so I finally jumped on Amazon and ordered the Wilton Decorating Basics kit.

Well here I am calling out one of my biggest faults: patience. I couldn't help but dig into that kit and try out some of the tips before even starting to register for a class.

Oh and I forgot to take a picture before I cut into it too :). Here's my decorated Moist Red Velvet Cake with Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing. It was a few days after my Nana's birthday, so I had her over for a "late" birthday cake.





One lesson I learned quickly is that cream cheese frosting does not work well as decorating icing. Next step, learn how to make decorating icing.

I've always achieved a great amount of moisture with this recipe and everyone LOVES this frosting because the warmth of the bourbon cuts the sweetness of all the powdered sugar added. And don't worry, you can't taste the bourbon either, no one's ever been able to guess what the secret ingredient there is, unless I tell them of course.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cookin'

Remember that meal I was planning? Well here's how it turned out...


All the ingredients before prepping everything.



 Heirloom tomato salad with kalmata olives, cucumber, basil and olive oil.


Baked cajun fries.


New York Stip steak.


I was so excited to get this at the Fresh Market's buy one, get one Tuesdays!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Love...


...having time to sit on my couch and read cookbooks in preparation for a good meal!


 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chocolate. Amazing Chocolate.

I had a notion that I should try to start making my own chocolate.

And then I found out how intense it is and decided that will have to stay on the "someday I really will" list.

But along the way, I ran across this gem of chocolate decadence, Maison Bouche. I ordered two of the bars immediately.


You're going to think I'm crazy for all the pictures of a chocolate bar I'm about to post. But trust me, its that good.



This was the Chocolate Chip Cookie bar made with their "Noir" or dark chocolate.


One of my favorite lines about this bar from their site was, "If you're the person who liked the cookies closer to the sides of the baking sheet, whose edges were ringed in browned butter, then this is your bar."



Check out the cookie built into this bar.



Try it out, its definitely worth the $6 tag and shipping. At least for me and  my intese chocolate cravings it is :)



Friday, March 16, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Day to Remember

Today at the Greenville County Art Museum I was lucky enough to join my Nana at a presentation and book signing with Victoria Wyeth, the granddaughter of my favorite artist, Andrew Wyeth.  We were also excited to learn we would be one of the first groups to view "Andrew Wyeth: The Greenville Collection".



My love for Andrew Wyeth started young when I attended a similar event at the art museum with Nana. I was fascinated by the stories behind the paintings, I mean truly fascinated. I then proceeded to walk around the museum telling anyone who would listen those very stories I just heard.

The Greenville museum actually has the largest and most complete collection of Andrew Wyeth's art owned by any public museum in the whole world. Pretty impressive.

Here's Nana and I together with Victoria:


This was truly a day to remember. Thanks Nana!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Have you tried the Doritos taco?

Well my husband has. At 2am in the morning. Clearly, the only time this taco would be "utterly delicious".

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oh Hi Hat.

Herro.

So I decided that I was ready for a little baking challenge.

That resulted in my attempt at Hi Hat Cupcakes, as directed by the always dependable, Martha. (Stewart that is) The original pin directed me to a WONDERFUL Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe that I will use again and again and again. Foreva and eva.

Thanks Treats blog!







Delish.

The (Un)Designer

Ok so I'm not a graphic designer (duh), in fact I'm so far from it, it's not even funny. But I got a little bored with just a standard or photo background on my phone recently.

So what design tool did I head towards? PowerPoint.

Ha,  yes I know this is not a design tool. But hey, you gotta work with what you know.

Like every southern once-sorority girl, I absolutely ADORE Lilly Pulitzer anything. I'm even designing my guest bedroom completely from Lilly inspiration (stay tuned).



And to continue with the Southern once-sorority girl theme, I knew I had to incorporate my monogram into this new design venture. Here's the final product:



Now I'll share with you how a common design inhibited girl like my self managed to create this background, if you promise not to judge!

I headed over to Lilly's blog where they have downloadable screen backgrounds. The print "A Thing Called Love" just happened to catch my eye so I saved that as a picture (jpg) and inserted it in the  PowerPoint slide, stretching it to fit the whole slide.



Next step was the monogram.

I first inserted a shape (circle) and sized it to my liking. Then I formatted that circle by making the fill white and the outline bright pink, increasing the weight of the line.



Then it was time to insert my initials. I inserted three text boxes (one for each letter) and selected the desired font and color before playing around with size and position to get it just right.



Finally, I saved that slide as a photo (jpg) and emailed it to myself. Then it was a simple matter of saving it to my images on my phone and choosing it as my wallpaper.

Let me know what you think and share your backgrounds if you've created one!
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