Baking Feed

It's Fridayyyyyy!!!

What a week, friends, amiright??

And what's with the snow today??  Isn't it supposed to be spring?!  So over it.

But onto more important things, like donuts.  Browned butter baked donuts from Joy the Baker, to be exact.  Because, delicious.

So, since it's Friday and it's snowing, and we needed something to make us feel better about life, I whipped up these bad boys, and glazed them with a light & luscious maple cream cheese glaze.

browned butter donuts from Joy the Baker

No, these are not on my candida detox diet, but I wanted to make them for my coworkers, since, you know, snow and all that crap, so I made them gluten free so I could taste one.  Good god are they delicious.  It's been so long since I've had sugar, so half of one was really plenty for me at this point since I'm not used to the sugar anymore, but I will definitely be making these again in the future.

That's how we're gonna be starting our Friday in the office - donuts.  And copious amounts of coffee.  

Happy Friday, friends!!

Sig


Mini Treats.

Today marks the second of two office Christmas parties.

It's the best day in the office.  Ever.

Food all day long.  Not even kidding.  From the second we all walk through the doors until the second we leave, it's wall to wall food.  Breakfast, lunch, desserts, snacks, you name it, we're eating it.  It's a bit ridiculous, actually. Throw in some holiday trivia games and a gingerbread house building contest, and it's a good day.  Then, it's off to happy hour to celebrate the season.

Remember that insane gingerbread cake I made last week because I was dying to have some?

Well, I made it again for the party, but this time as mini loaves, so I can give it to my friends.  Food gifts are the best.  And if it's gingerbread?  Total win.

  gingerbread mini cakes

Have you had your office Christmas/holiday parties yet?  Do you make food gifts to give to your friends and/or coworkers?  What do you make?

Sig


Sunday Things.

It's hard to believe, but it's about to be mid-August.  Summer is winding down, and I've only made it to the beach twice.  Tragic.

I do love Sundays, though.  For some reason, they're less chaotic than Saturdays.  At least for me, anyway.

Sundays are for catching up on summer reading.  I put down Elizabeth I (again), and started The Devil in the White City.  So far, it's excellent.

Scones also happen on Sundays.  Well, all weekend, really.  I made these blueberry scones this weekend (gluten-free/grain-free), and they're delish.  Gotta use up those blueberries while they're still in season, and baking with them is always a good idea.

Coffee and magazines are a favorite Sunday activity of mine, right before I ignore laundry for the entire day.  And the fact that I have to cook for the week.  Today's lineup:

IMG_9515_fotor

Happy Sunday, friends :-)

Sig


A Baby Gift | Cross Stitch

For the better part of a year, I was working on a pretty big project - a baby gift for my friend, Becky.  I gave some sneaks here and there, but for the most part, it's been super-secret-on-the-down-low.

I gave the gift to Becky yesterday, so I'm now able to do a full reveal of the piece...

IMG_9471_fotor

I actually had to lay it down on the dining room floor to get the whole thing in the shot.  

Some close ups....

IMG_9462_fotor

IMG_9463_fotor

IMG_9464_fotor

Considering all that backstitching...it'll be a long time before I do this pattern for anyone.  It was brutal.  BUT - the payoff is that it looks amazing.  The detail is incredible.

As always, Lise at my LNS did a phenomenal job with the framing.  It's perfect.  Thank you, Lise!

In case you want to try your hand at this, the graph is ABC Tapestry from Rosewood Manor.  I stitched it on 40 count Purely Primitive from Silkweaver Fabrics.  .

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  Happy Stitching!

Sig


Sunday Things.

Sundays are for pancakes.  And stitching.   And reading.  And maybe some scrapping. And really not much else. 

This week, I finished two books - In the Garden of Beasts, and The Fault in our Stars.  Both were exceptionally good, and not what I expected when I started reading.  Now, I'm working through finishing Elizabeth I, since I've been reading it for over a year now...

Although I have to be gluten-free for health reasons, I've really been trying to stay away from all grains over the past year, but today I was really, really craving pancakes.  God only knows why.  So, luckily I found this recipe for grain-free banana pancakes.  Heaven.

I also worked on some Christmas stitching.  Nora Corbett has a line of Red Ladies, all for Christmas.  I have almost all of them (I really have a problem...), and I decided to start with the one who's holding the black kitty, since I used to have one.  Just need to fill in with the Wisper threads on her dress and for the kitty & it's done!

IMG_9480

Happy Sunday, friends!  I hope you're enjoying your day!

Sig
 


Wedding Shower Goodies

We all spend so much time with our coworkers, so it's only right that you have some fun during the day.

In our office, we sometimes have too much fun, but when you become good friends with your coworkers, it's bound to happen.

Last week, we were able to celebrate our friends Angela & Joe's pending nuptuals (they got married this past Saturday - yay!) with a combined work bride/groom shower.  Yes, Ang & Joe both work in our office.  In fact, Joe works on my team and Ang works on my sister's team.

Ang is my baking buddy - she worked at a bakery during college, and makes crazy amazing cakes like this one that she did for another coworker's baby shower.  A.MAY.ZING.  We always seem to find ourselves chatting about opening a bakery one day.   

Oh, to dream.

Anyways.

My sister was in charge of most everything, but a bunch of us chipped in to help out with decorations and baking and buying gifts.

I put my Cricut to work, and made this banner for the event --

IMG_5767

Her colors were champagne and black, so I did a cream-ish color with the black background and lettering.

As for baking, I made these little maple cakelettes ---

IMG_5760
I didn't make these gluten free (I decided to back off the baked goods...I'd inhaled an entire orange spice pumpkin loaf earlier in the week....), but they were gone in no time, so I'm assuming they were fabulous :-)

Erin brought in these cupcakes for the event --

IMG_5783
Wicked cute, amiright?!  

Since we were doing a combo bride/groom shower, we had to have a few things that were more manly, so my sister made these a-freaking-dorable cupcakes ---

IMG_5771
OK!!!  And they were chocolate with some sort of Irish cream icing with beer batter or somethingorother.  I don't know.  They looked and smelled beyond delish.  

Here's the dessert table in all its glory -

IMG_5775

There were also pumpkin oreo bites which somehow didn't make it into the picture, but they also looked devine.  I'm obsessed with pumpkin this time of year, so I was drooling all over the place when they walked into the door.  

Ahem.

No shower is complete without gifts!  We had a table set up with all the gifts, wrapped all nice and pretty from Bed Bath and Beyond for them both to open --

IMG_5778
Yes, that one gift is wrapped in dish towels.  Eco friendly, and a great idea!

It was a team effort, led by my sis & Erin.  We had a great time, and Ang & Joe were extremely grateful.

Now they're in Hawaii, relaxing and drinking passion fruit smoothies.  Heavy on the rum.  And I'm totally jealous.

Ang & Joe - love you guys - I hope your honeymoon is off to a fantastic start!  Enjoy every second :-)  

Much love ~~~

Sig


Cake. | Baking

I've been on a bit of a baking binge lately.

I swore off sugar because I need to stop my cravings, but somehow, cake always ends up coming out of my oven.  It's the weirdest thing.

The other day, I thought, "These blueberries in my fridge look delish.  They'd look even better in a coffee cake." It was pretty much all downhill from there.

IMG_4574
This is a recipe I converted from one of my cookbooks to make it gluten free and refined sugar free.  It was outrageously delicious.  I shared a few pieces with a coworker who is also gluten free, and then shoveled the rest into my mouth.

Then, there were cake balls.  Not just any run-of-the-mill cake ball, mind you.  Oh no.

Snickerdoodle cake balls.

IMG_4622
They may not look pretty, but they're RIDICULOUSLY delicious.  These I made for the department picnic yesterday, and they were gone in no time.  Best part?  No one knew they were gluten free.  I feel like it's my calling in my baking life to take all these fantastic recipes I have in my cookbooks on my kitchen shelf and convert them to gluten free.  And, if I'm really feeling sassy about it, refined sugar free and dairy free, too.

Last, but not least, there was strawberry shortcake.

IMG_4616
Strawberries infused with sugar, making that runny glaze that seeped off the berries and ran down the cake.  Homemade whipped cream that had me licking every last piece of evidence off the beater and spatula.  Good lord there is nothing quite like homemade whipped cream.  This cake was not gluten free (this was also for the department picnic), but next time, it sure as heckfire will be.

It's been quite a while since I've been around, but now you know part of what's been keeping me busy!  I hope to pick up a needle and thread at some point this weekend, since it's been too long since I've done that, too.  

Next week is the big 4th of July holiday!  What's everyone up to??  BBQ's?  Parties?  Fireworks????  

Sig


Simple Recipe Cards | Scrapbooking

Hello lovlies :-)  I'm so sorry I've been absent for so long.  It's been kinda hectic in my house lately.

Not to worry, though...that hectic atmosphere has led to a few creative things happening around here, starting with fun recipe cards that I made last week (which you got a glimpse of on Instagram).

Most people have recipe card boxes, which come with cards.  I'm one of those people.  I have all kinds of recipes (most of them related to baking), and keep my box handy on a shelf above my counter.

I had the chance to write down one of my FAV.O.RITE recipes for some friends recently, and decided that they should get something different from the recipe cards I have in my box.

Now, we all know about my rather ridiculous obsession with kraft paper.  Naturally, this had to be part of my recipe card endeavor.  Because, well....it's awesome....and there really doesn't have to be any other reason than that in my book.

Since with kraft paper, you can do pretty much whatever you want to it, I got out my watermark stamp pad, and a flowery stamp.

IMG_4311
I inked the stamp with the watermark inkpad, and stamped only along the edges of the kraft paper.

IMG_4312

Since I want these to be used as actual recipe cards, I cut them slightly smaller than 4x6 (you'll see later why) so that, when complete, they'll fit into a standard recipe box with no problem.  You can see my stamping along the edges, which I did totally at random; no rhyme or reason to how I decided to place the stamp.

After stamping the image, I took my heat embossing gun, and dried the ink.  This caused the ink to set just a little bit darker than it would have had I let it dry by itself.

Plus, I'm impatient, and I wanted them to be dry immediately.

Ahem.

This is the part where I had to stop the creative process (which is never a good thing, but for this project, it was necessary) and go handwrite the recipes onto the front of the cards.

Once that was done, I went back up to  my project table, and cut pieces of scrapbook paper for backing for the cards.

 

IMG_4317
You can see in this pic how the heat embosser dried the watermark stamp just a little bit darker than it was in the previous image.

Ta da!  I'm not done yet, though.....shocking, I know.  I have a YourStory machine, which doesn't just bind books........it laminates. 

If you own a label maker, you know the kind of obsessive behavior that comes along with it - you want to label EVERYTHING in your house.  Not just one thing...everything.  Same goes with laminating - I legit have to reign in my compulsion to laminate every gd thing I see..."just because".

Not this time, though.  No one likes their recipe cards to get all mangled and gross from sitting on the counter while you're throwing flour, sugar, eggs, etc. all over the place.  A perfect reason to laminate these - protective coating.

IMG_3444
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic of the back of the card - the scrapbook paper I used was double-sided, so the back at least had a design on it, even though I left it blank.  I wrote "From the kitchen of," put my name,  sent 'em through to get laminated, tied each one with a pretty ribbon, and gave it away :-) 

There you have it!  Simple, pretty, handmade recipe cards that took (minus the writing of the recipe) about 10 minutes each to complete.  Give it a try next time one of your friends asks for one of your recipes! 

You don't have to use the watermark inkpad like I did, but by using it, you can write over the stamped image if you're pressed for space like I was.  You could do something just as simple as stamping a colored image in one of the corners, and writing all around it.  You can distress the edges.  Anything!  And, if you don't have a way to laminate the cards, no bigs!  There are protective sleeves you can get that are a perfect fit.  It's seriously so simple to make a personalized card like this to give to someone :-)

Much love ~~~

Sig


I Finally Took The Plunge | Baking

My Sunbeam Mixmaster and I have a tumoltuous relationship.  So, this weekend, I went out and made a purchase.

This came today. 


I may never leave the house again.

I'm also reconsidering opening a bakery.

Wait.  0300.  Nevermind.  

I'll just have to go overboard with the stuff I bring into the office.  I doubt my coworkers will mind.


Weekender post.

Happy weekend, everyone :-)

I don't know about any of you guys, but this week was particularly mentally draining.

So much so, that I would find myself daydreaming about opening a needlework/fabric shop in a town like Asheville, and never looking back.  

I was organizing some pics on my computer - putting them into albums, deleting duplicates, etc. - and came across some that I'd forgotten I'd taken.

IMG_0943

Took this at Barnes & Noble one night when I was there reading my nook & sipping some coffee.  The endless books just captivate me, much like libraries do, and I always feel like I need to start reading every.single.book.  One of my goals for 2013 is to read more, since I definitely didn't do enough of it last year.

IMG_1582
This is a splice of a giant metal sign outside the King Arthur Flour baking education center that I snapped just before my gluten-free baking class I took last summer; the right side is a snap of their store.  I could have wandered around there for hours looking at all the amazing baking supplies they have.  Being there around all those bakers made me want to open a gluten-free bakery when I got home.  Then I remembered bakers have to get up around 0300 to start baking.  So.....nevermind.

IMG_2489

Working with paper, stamps, and all the fun embellishments is so much fun.  From making little gift tags like this one with the shoe (adorbs, amiright?) to cards or big scrapbooks like I made for my sister, the art of papercrafting is addicting.  Maybe one day I'll do some custom mini-albums or even a big album for all those brides out there who need help preserving their memories...

IMG_3886
But, as most of you know, cross stitch is my passion.  Without my needle and thread, I just don't know how I'd get through some days.  Most days, when I'm sitting at work totally exaspirated, I think of how and where I'd open a needlework shop, what classes I'd offer, and how much sewing fabric I'd stock, so that those stitchers who do their own finishing (for pieces they decide not to frame) have one-stop-shopping.  I'd even have a sitting area so you can bring your stitching, have some coffee from my pot, and join me for the afternoon for stitching and chatting.  

That, my friends, is my idea of Heaven on Earth.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you so much for stopping by my little piece of the Internet world.

Much love to you all.

Sig