April 28, 2011

The Drive In

This is Clarence. He's a shark. He went to his first drive in last week.

The adventure begins.

Car spotting.

Speeding along.

Abandoned cineplex.


Primo seats.

April 25, 2011

Strawberry Cream Whoopie Pies

America's Test Kitchen's Strawberry Cream Cake in whoopie pie form.

Start with one batch of vanilla whoopie pie cake parts from Whoopie Pies.

Whip up some cream cheese and whipping cream frosting from America's Test Kitchen.

Slice a bunch of fresh strawberries.

Assemble and add some fresh mint.


Dig in.

April 24, 2011

This Week in Crafts

Week of April 18, 2011

This week I picked up my crochet hook and started making something from my crafting to-do list--a snazzy lacey bolero from Happy Hooker. And I did it the proper way, to boot: I made a gauge swatch of the pattern. This was a great, albeit painstakingly slow exercise. The good news is that my gauge is spot on. The bad news is that I discovered that the pattern was a bit more complicated that I had thought. I've never hooked front and back post double crochet stitches before, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Today tried out my vision of a whoopie pie version of the Strawberry Cream Cake that I made last weekend. I used the vanilla cake recipe from Whoopie Pies, the frosting recipe from America's Test Kitchen, and farm fresh strawberries. They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. A post of its own later this week.

April 17, 2011

This Week in Crafts

Week of April 11, 2011

More crocheted things!

This week I made coasters. I used the small version of this pattern.

And today I assembled the very special dessert for which I bought all those strawberries. Yesterday was my dad's birthday and today I went home to help celebrate. I wanted to make something special, sweet, and fruity. Strawberries and whipped cream were a no-brainer choice. So I got out my cookbooks and decided on America's Test Kitchen's Strawberry Cream Cake:

A sturdy yellow cake cut into thirds that sandwich layers of cream cheese-whipping cream frosting, fresh strawberries, and a kirsch infused strawberry puree. The mint leaves were my idea. (I'm very proud of that.)

Despite my slight mishap in cake cutting skills I think it turned out pretty good in the looks department. And even better in the taste department as evidenced by the "after" picture.

I'm definitely making this again. And I'm even scheming on a whoopie pie version.

April 16, 2011

Farm Fresh Diary

April 16, 2011


I'm making something special and I need strawberries.

I was off at an appointment this morning and stopped by the farmers' market on my way home to pick up the berries. I forgot to look up the exact quantity needed and so I guestimated...and bought 1/2 flat.

Which, of course, turned out to be way too much, but that's ok.

Check out this monster!

April 9, 2011

Farm Fresh Diary

I shopped vicariously through others today at the farmers' market. Two of my friends (the ones who have the cats that I've been watching) have been our of the country for nearly a month. They come home tomorrow and I wanted to make sure that they would have a (somewhat) fully stocked fridge upon their return. So I broke into the "emergency" envelope and headed to the market with them in mind. Here's what they'll find in their fridge tomorrow:

Baby spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, onions, garlic, tomatoes, avocados, mandarin oranges, apples, and strawberries. Summer produce is here!

I picked up a few things for myself. I had a couple of dollars and couldn't resist some skinny asparagus and mint (I'm making spanakopita tomorrow).

3 samosas and one chocolate croissant also came home with me, but we ate them before I could get out the camera. The croissant was delicious.

April 3, 2011

This Week in Crafts

Week of March 28, 2011

It's a been a while since I've had the energy (or completed photographs) to do this post. But now I do, so let's get to it:

This week I:

made Darla for Iron Craft Challenge...

baked red velvet whoopie pies for a friend...

photographed all the potholders (and one granny square) that I made over the last 2 weeks.

Pattern from Mandy.

This one is Mandy's, too; though I had to improvise a bit on the border.

I had to use my crochet code-reading skills for this one: the pattern is in Japanese. Thankfully, the author includes a diagram.

Mandy's as well. I love this yarn!


No pattern in particular. Just a regular granny square, nothin' fancy.

I'm using a couple as decorative pieces and the others as place holders for my heavy duty cookery. You'll see...

finally put the finishing touches on my Spring cleaning project in the kitchen. Here are some before and after pictures:


We were using this icky bookshelf for miscellaneous crockery: our rice cooker, dutch ovens, baking pans. And the blue table for produce and my vintage Pyrex bowls. Both pieces first belonged to Evan and followed us with the move nearly two years ago. The set up was cumbersome and looked terrible. An update was desperately needed. (I'm pleased to say that we're getting rid of the shelf.)

The cupboards needed re-organizing, too. Ingredients and pantry items were scattered and the paper towels that I had laid down to catch any leaks needed to be replaced.


Ta-da! New bookshelf, with space for the dutch ovens, Pyrex collection, produce bowls, pannini press, and wine. So pretty.

I'm using the potholders to add some color and protect the shelves. Initially I wanted to make one to protect my cast iron skillet, but once I made one I couldn't stop.

Then I re-imagined the pantry: cleaned the shelves, added contact paper, and moved things around. This isn't all of it, but I'm sure you get the idea. There's also more to Spring cleaning to be done in other parts of the apartment, but that'll have to wait.

April 2, 2011

Celebrate with Whoopie Pies

My dear friend Jennifer is finishing up her last semester at Mills (my alma mater). She's a lovely girl and a talented visual artist. The reception for An Artist's Dozen, the senior exhibition, in which she is participating is today. I wanted to bring her something to commemorate her participation in the show and all the hard work she's put into her pieces. I decided against flowers because that's what everyone gives to artists at receptions. And I figured I'd make her something because, well, I like to make stuff. So I made whoopie pies: red velvet with cream cheese filling.

I used this recipe from Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker for the cakes. I the recipe for cream cheese filling from Whoopie Pies as a start off point for my filling.