Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Long Week

This is one of those weeks that you know beforehand that it's going to long and tiring. We have a massive catering event on Friday night as well as normal restaurant hours. 4000 people are going to show up outside our doors for a kick-off event for the Alive After Five that runs through the summer. Thankfully we couldn't even begin to turn the tables in the restaurant enough to feed half of them (something I'm very thankful for). Though we are providing food for 2 tents outside. I'm ready for the week to be over and it's only Tuesday!

Other happenings this week is that I have an interview on Saturday. The position is for a nanny for twin girls. This position would pay me twice what I'm making now, benefits, and most importantly I would be working 8-5, Monday through Friday! It would be a schedule almost exactly like Nathan's. It would be such a blessing to be able to have this job so please pray that the interview goes well and that I find favor with this family.

Oh and the bread has nothing to do with this post but I made it last week from this recipe and I hate to post without a picture. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Compost Pail

I've been searching for one of these since we started composting last fall. I found this on craigslist last week for $10! It's brand new from Williams-Sonoma the lady just never used it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Strawberry Heaven!

One of the grocery stores that I frequent every week has had strawberries for 99c a pound for the last 2 weeks. We've been eating a lot fresh and I froze some for smoothies but last week I made jam!
I grew up canning with my grandmother and mom when I was little. My grandparents always had a huge garden and we'd can salsa, tomatoes, pickles, pears, green beans, pickled okra and it goes on and on.

I used this recipe that I found on Darby's blog because she made jam 2 weeks ago.

It turned out great; all my jars pinged and it's starting to set. I purchased my jars used from a local greenhouse/garden shop down the road.

Grandma would be proud! I can't wait to can all kinds of things from the garden.


We finally finished the pantry a couple weeks ago! It started out as a closet for the water heater but they switched to a tank-less heater so it was empty when we moved in. With a little money and a lot of time it is now a much needed pantry!!

Started out looking like this...

...and ended up looking like this

We've already filled up the 1 ikea shelving unit we bought so we're going to add some more shelves so we can have room for all the things I'll be canning from the garden.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ricotta Pancakes

I made these twice last week! This is a whole new level of pancakes. It's pretty much eating dessert for breakfast which is totally acceptable.

1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Set ricotta in a fine mesh strainer about 30 minutes to drain off excess liquid. The ricotta I used was pretty dry so I didn't need to do this so skip it if it's not needed.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined. Whisk in a small amount of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.

Heat griddle to medium-high heat, and brush with butter. Use a ladle or scoop to pour batter onto the griddle. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Serve with lemon curd or fresh berries & cream...dust with powdered sugar! Ahhh! Heaven!

Front Door Makeover

Our poor faded front door needed a new coat of paint a long time ago but I finally got around to buying the paint and painting a couple weeks ago. The first couple coats made it look like Barney's front door but the finished looks great! I love the name of the color...'Spiced Wine'.

We've had a lot of wind this winter and my poor wreath needs a spring update. It's looking pretty sad.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend

Saturday we worked really hard on projects. We put the finishing touches on the pantry, Nathan finished the herb garden, I cooked Easter lunch, cleaned and ran project errands.

After our long day we headed down to NoDa to grab something to eat and some Tasty Yo! We ate some yummy cheese and I had a glass of wine at Dolce Vita Wine Bar . We drove the bike so Nathan didn't get to partake of the delicious wine :(

It's a really neat place with large wine barrels as tables and a garage door so everyone can enjoy the beautiful weather.

This art gallery is across the street. I love the name and logo! How cute is that beet!

Our cheese board: Dutch Blue, Aged Asiago, and Gruyere.

Easter wardrobe! I took the blue and white striped ribbon off of this hat that I bought at an antique store and replaced it with the cream ribbon and brooch of my grandmothers.

Easter Food!!! We tried all new recipes and they turned out great!

Zucchini Carpaccio with Ricotta Cheese

Dijon & Dill New Potato Salad

Bacon Wrapped Pork with Roasted Fennel

We had the Carters over for lunch. We had a clover patch under our table and Chris found a 4 leaf clover for his Amy.

Chocolate Cake + Guinness = Wicked Awesome

My wonderful husband found this recipe from one of my favorite chef's Nigella Lawson. I made it a couple weeks ago and it was beyond amazing.

Preheat oven to 350 F, and butter and line a 9 inch springform pan.

Pour the 1 cup Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add 1 stick plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter in spoons or slices and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should...

...whisk in 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa and 2 cups sugar. Beat in 3/4 cup sour cream, 2eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla.
Add Image
Finally whisk in 2 cups all-purpose flour and 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda.
Pour cake batter into the greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
When cake is cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the frosting.

Lightly whip 8 oz. cream cheese until smooth, sift over 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar and then beat them both together.

Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency.

Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of a Guinness.

It's a very rich cake...went well with coffee.