Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Contest?

I am seriously addicted to {these cookies}. While I wait for another batch to bake away in the oven. It occurs to me that I am doing what I have always ALWAYS wanted to do - I'm at home baking, I have a guy I love, a little {bad dog} and a {sweet sweet baby}. I hope that it is always this way. That being said, I really want to start getting back at photography a bit more too... I don't want to do (as many) weddings. I guess it's because I recently had a baby of my own, that I want to focus more on the Maternity/newborn/baby side of the 'portrait' world. I now think I should've worked my prenatal class contacts! (lol) I am considering having a blog contest for a free baby session - that is only good if you're local... I was also thinking of doing a blog draw for a custom designed birth announcement...I will have to think that one through more...I would want to use pics I took...lol... any other ideas? comments? suggestions? about anything?
I leave you with a picture of my sweet boy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bones and Chocolate Biscoti

A beautiful day yesterday was. The boy and I had a playdate with a group of local mommy's (and one daddy) and all kinds of cutie pie kiddies. We (the boy and I) made some easy Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti. The original recipe is Chocolate Pistachio Biscoti by Martha Stewart (who else could it be?) But I have loads and loads of farm walnuts and hazelnuts, so I use them. and I don't bake them until they are as crisp as regular biscotti... I like them a bit cake-y.
I use (this time anyway) white chocolate chunks. the recipe follows. They are awesome with milk or a latte...
After the playgroup we went to the farm for a walk...on which we saw something dead..I thought it was a snake, M said it was a mink or something. Whatever it was.. it was interesting. Doesn't this mink pic make you want to rush out and make the biscotti right away?

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or white chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease a baking sheet
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar, and stir to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and white chocolate
  3. Form dough (on baking sheet) into a flattened log, 12 by 4 inches.
  4. Bake until slightly firm, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  6. On a cutting board, using a sharp knife, cut biscotti - 1-inch-thick slices.
  7. put biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet, and bake until crisp but still slightly soft in the center, about 5-8 minutes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marshmallows, pretzels and immunizations.

Today my boy had his first shots. Boy oh boy that was hard on ME... he cried and cried and cried... and I couldn't do a thing to make him feel better. that was NOT fun. I was just about crying with him. He got over it much faster than I did, and in no time he was sitting (ok, leaning on me) playing with toys and another cutie named Aiden. We had to hang around for 15 min afterward to make sure there wasn't going to be any allergic reaction (WHAT??) We are to watch for a rash or a fever. ugh... poor little guy...what did we (I) do to you? Once he seemed like he was going to be fine, we were off to our fave Sally Ann, and managed to spend a whole $6.47 - salad spinner, a down throw, roots hoodie for the boy, an old board game "ginnykub" (based on Gin-Rummy) - which I plan to slaughter M with...lol... and a pair of yellow rain boots for the boy... yay!

we headed back towards home (only to stop at our Fave BFM, where we picked up some pants for my niece C. The boy is now semi-sleeping in his swing (gasp...I should put him in bed, but he's just so comfy looking...) and while he napped, I made more of these above!
White chocolate (actually...PINK chocolate) dipped pretzels with sprinkles...

They were so good... I ate all but about 4 of them. and yes, I just said I made more...I plan on eating all of them too...it seems to be all the 'meal' I have time for these days. The other day, I was reading {THIS BLOG} she was talking about how she read about these marshmallow lollipops on another blog and was going to be making them. As soon as I saw them, I thought....hey, I can do that! and so I did. And this is what they looked like... I don't actually like marshmallows *except when it's in rice crispy squares and hot chocolate* but I do like CUTE and these were cute indeed!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cora Paige

So sad... I don't know the McClenahans, I found them through one of the blogs I read...
my heart breaks for this poor family. A site has been setup to accept donations toward building a playground in their sweet daughter's memory.
Also, various sellers on Etsy have donated their time and talent with the proceeds of sales going toward this project, click the pink graphic to be taken there.
nameofbutton

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sweet Boy. Pile o Quilts. Birthday Cake. Tasty Cookies.








My dear boy. He made editing difficult today.... Only happy when held. He did NOT want to nap today at all... I am good and tired, but it is SO worth it.
My birthday was last week (ugh...not having anymore!!) and I was given a 'surprise' cake by Cindy what a nice treat! Her husband dropped it off..I was in the midst of changing a poopy diaper when he arrived and when I got to the door, this was what awaited me... YUMMY, and yes, I ate the WHOLE THING.. thx again Cindy!

These tasty cookies are made from the Feb 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living. I copied it out of the mag at the library (too cheap to take a photocopy...though I guess I could've taken a photo....hmmm) I don't know the name of them, but I've been calling them Cinnamon Bun Cookies - they're dee-lish...

Cinnamon Bun Cookies
::Dough::
2.5 Cups of Flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
8oz of butter, softened
1 Cup of sugar
1/4 tsp orange zest
2 eggs

::Filling::
2 oz butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon

- Make dough: sift flour, salt & baking soda in a large bowl.
- Beat butter, sugar & zest in a mixer on medium speed til smooth (3 min)
- beat in eggs (I forgot them, and still, they were delish!)
reduce speed, add flour mixture.
- beat until just combined.
- divide dough, wrap, chill 1 hour.
- turn onto floured parchment, roll out to 10x12 rectangle (I found the dough too hard to roll, I let it soften a bit, just enough to make rolling possible)
- trim edges (I didn't... still yummy)
- repeat with 2nd half of dough
- chill 10 min.

Make filling:: Mix all ingredients
- crumble mixture over 2 rectangles.
- starting on long side, roll into log (I used the parchment paper to help with the rolling up)
- chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven 350 deg.
slice dough 1/4" thick
Bake 19 min, til edges are golden

cookies keep for 3 days, covered (ya, like they EVER saw three days..)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Chocolate Shortbread Hearts


Early Valentine's pressie for myself?? perhaps!

Chocolate Shortbread Hearts
(actually it's Martha Stewarts Cocoa Shortbread Diamonds cut like hearts.... with a few changes...)

NOTE: these are really fragile until totally cooled... even then, handle gently!


* 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup cocoa powder
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- mix flour, sugar, cocoa , salt in a mixer bowl to combine.
- Add butter and vanilla, mix until mixture comes together.

2. roll on floured surface - 1/4 inch thick;
- cut with heart-shape cookie cutter.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sneak peek

I had a very lovely belly shoot on Saturday, with the cutest couple.
As promised, here is a peek of what I'm working on. She has the sweetest belly.
Welcome Baby