Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Instagram Strategy

Sometimes I make a fool of myself when I'm taking pictures of food that I've made. I take things outside for "better light". I think about the background. I create what I imagine is a good composition. Basically, I pretend I'm a photographer. It's ridiculous.

Why do I do it? It's fun! I enjoy creating, and it's a pretty convenient way to quickly create. I'm not trying to get rich or famous, but I can't deny I enjoy the "likes".

Now that you know how much I get into it, you can imagine my surprise, delight, and horror when I posted a quick, careless photo to Instagram and it quickly became my most liked image. I didn't strategically pose or filter. I snapped a picture of what I saw to be a failure. 

This picture...

I was bugged that the cookie had spread so much.  It created odd, spaceship-like cookies.  Delicious, yes, but not beautiful.  For some reason, people didn't care about it's ugliness.  This is super confusing to me. Now I have to question everything. ;)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Three of my Favorites

So, I was nominated for a award by my friend and fellow blogger at Hazel Haven.  It means a lot that she thought of me. There are a few steps to accept the award, so I'm going to skip out on accepting. But, one of the things I really like about the award is the opportunity to highlight some blogs/bloggers that you admire.

So, here are three of my very favorite blogs... 

My bff decided to abandon me and move to Germany. Okay, that's not the whole story, but that's my side of it. ;) She has been having some interesting adventures since she relocated. Thankfully, she's bringing us along on her new blog. The photos are filled with beauty. It's like a mini-vacation when you read a post.
photo courtesy of No Directions Needed

This blog is going to be as famous as it wants to be. This post is one of my favorite blog posts ever, ever. When you read this blog and look at the pictures, you will want to have it all. It's totally decadent.
photo courtesy of Sugar Coated Inspiration

This blog comes to our screens from Toronto, ON. It's filled with recipes and travel adventures. I really like her story and recipe about The Last Granola. The recipes are for both sweet and savory, and there is a focus on using seasonal ingredients (love that!).  I appreciate the travel posts too. The pictures are thoughtful, and I like how she caps off the travel posts with a mini travel guide.
photo courtesy of Seven Grams

There you have it. Those are some of my favorite hiding spots on the Internet. I'm super thankful for these blogs. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Baking Bootcamp + Joy the Baker & King Arthur Flour

I'm wild about Joy the Baker (have you read her blog?). I'm crazy for King Arthur Flour (have you seen them on Instagram?). Put them together for a Baking Bootcamp...it's irresistible!  For the record, this is not fake excitement. There is a contest, but the winner is chosen at random. I just really, really like the bootcamp thing. Remember these apple pie biscuits and these cheesy olive rolls from the last one?

This bootcamp starts with Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls made with a quick puff pastry. Yeah, you read that correctly. You make your own puff pastry! It was easier than I expected, and I really enjoyed the experience. 

It starts with a lot of butter. Like, 20 tablespoons!

Then, flour, salt, and water create this crumbly mess of a dough. 

After some rolling, folding, and repeating, you end up with this lovely, laminated dough. 

After some chill time, you roll it waaaay out (hand for scale purposes). 

Spead and sprinkle it with your fillings (Nutella, hazelnuts, and dark chocolate!).  

Roll it up. Slice it. Bake it. (raw on the left and baked on the right)

Finally, snap a picture for the Instagram contest. Try to get a good one before grabby hands sneak in. :)

The recipe by Joy the Baker and her detailed instructions are all right here

Monday, October 5, 2015

Switchel aka sWITCHES Brew

Every self respecting hipster and foodie has gone through a kombucha phase. Kombucha, it's not the worst trend to ever come around, but to remain "hip" you have to keep it moving. 

This past summer, switchel became the next big thing to be served to cool people everywhere. Hipsters and foodies rejoiced! It happens to have some similar benefits to kombucha. So the transition was quite natural. 

Now that the temps are cooling off, switchel is seeming more appealing to me than in the summer. It can be served warm, like a hot tea. It's also believed to help fight off colds. Whether this benefit is real or imagined, I'm in to anything anti-sickness. So, here's my warm version of switchel just in time for the cooler months. 

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/4-1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup warm/hot water
Combine the apple cider vinegar, honey, and ginger. While stirring pour in hot water. Drink it. 
*I don't consider myself to be a hipster or a foodie, but I like to keep tabs on their activities.) 

*It isn't actually purple. I just thought it looked more witchy filtered this way. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Shopping Saturday

These three things have been on my mind lately...

Of course, as soon as I declared that I wouldn't buy clothes until January, I realized that I had a strong desire to own a pair of jeans with a higher rise.  Specifically, I would like a pair of High Riser Skinny Skinny Jeans by Madewell.  I don't think it's breaking the rules if they are a birthday present. ;)

The other thing that has come to my attention is my need, ahem, of a disher like this.  I could make beautifully scooped cookies or muffins.  Just imagine the glory!  I like how heavy-duty this one appears to be.  I get quite intense, and I'd hate to have a flimsy tool that might snap.

Lastly, this tea towel.  I can never have enough tea towels, and who doesn't want love and good vibes?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Creepy Crispy Treats

I can really get behind a holiday that celebrates with candy. It's not like I need an excuse, but I'm happy to have one anyway. 

These Creepy Crispy Treats are super simple and fun to make. You could definitely involve your kiddos on this recipe. 

To start, whip up a batch of basic Rice Crispy Treats. Then, press your sticky mess in to a buttered 9 inch cake pan. While it's still warm, press candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins, or whatev on top. Let it cool completely. Completely. Don't rush it. 

Once it's cool, run a knife around the edge, and flip the whole thing out on to parchment (or anything else that won't be super sticky). Cut in to 12 wedges while it's upsidedown. If you flip it before cutting, your knife will push the candy in to the crispes and make them look like you sat on them. That wouldn't be appetizing. 

To finish, drizzle with melted chocolate and garnish with eyeballs for extra creepiness. 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies Get European

You know that I'm WiLd about chocolate chip cookies. I mean, who isn't? Only crazy people. On this blog you've seen me make...

basic chocolate chip cookies,

ice cream cookie cake, &

chocolate chip macaroons.

I've dipped cookies in chocolate, &

even given you a round up of my favorite chocolate chip cookies.

So, when I saw this post by The fauxMartha, I was totally intrigued.  It was a new and different chocolate chip cookie.  It uses Kerrygold European Butter.  European butter in a chocolate chip cookie? You have my attention.

I quickly procured my ingredients and whipped up a batch.  The butter is incorporated while it's cold! Wackyness! The proportions of ingredients are adjusted to work with the extra fat in the butter. The dough looks a bit dry when it's mixed, but don't worry. After baking, they look a bit under cooked.  Again, don't worry.  Once you transfer them to the cooling rack, the recipe becomes a lesson in extreme patience. You (try to) wait for 1 hour before taking a bite! 

When you finally get to munch, you find out that they are totally fantastic! They are rich. The outside has the best crunch. It reminds me of those cheeses that have little crystallized bits in them. You know what I mean?  The inside is creamy and soft. Oh, my.

I really hope you'll treat yourself to a batch of these soon.  Well, don't treat yourself to the whole batch.  Eat one or two, and use the rest to impress your best friends and family.

Here's the link to the recipe and post by The fauxMartha.  FM, thank you for sharing this treat with the world.