Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Morning

I baked the Cake part of the Tres Leches cupcakes before I went to work yesterday.  It is such a beautiful batter, light and airy with whipped egg whites folded in.  They domed up beautifully!
Cupcakes

It was a bit hard to get the Tres Leches into the cupcakes.  I made little holes in the top and poured it in but the dozen cupcakes only soaked up 1/4 of the Tres Leches that the recipe makes.  I opted for Italian Meringue for the topping because the whipped cream topping that I used on the cake wouldn't be sturdy enough to pipe on.  It was my first time making Italian Meringue and it wasn't too difficult.   The piping bag was light as air and I had a lot leftover.  I torched the tops and these might be the most beautiful dessert that I have ever concocted!  Taste will be determined later today.  I'm thinking they won't be milky enough, and they are lacking the fruit and whipped cream filling that I loved so much in between the cake layers.  I may go with a cake instead. 
Cupcakes

Why do I have to get so carried away and feel the need to make life complicated by making so many different desserts for one party?  I have no idea, but I am fully enjoying the process, if not the temptation of having them around.  I will be forcing these on friends later today!  I think I would enjoy being a recipe tester and a pastry chef in a second career.
Cupcakes

The second recipe being tested today is Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder in an Achiote marinade.  It will be cooking away all day.  I've seen several versions of this recipe and went with the one in my Rosa's cookbook.  I will post the recipe for you later if it turns out as great as I'm hoping it will.
Cupcakes

Soup weather has arrived! We made Chicken Caldo for dinner last night. It is a staple, so super duper easy and beyond delicious. We used homemade chicken stock that was in the freezer and the rest of a chicken that Frank had smoked earlier in the week. That was his best yet smoked chicken, I do believe. He didn't have a beer on hand so he basted it with some limeade that we had in the fridge. Yum!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Like

It has been a while since I played around with wool.
The "cold" front that is coming is making me want to pull this project back out and putting me in the mood to make soup. 

Yarn

Yarn

Yarn

I took my second cooking class at Central Market last night.  It was Baking With Cheese, taught by Nick Malgieri.  I already had his cookbook Bake and really enjoyed the class.  He made, and we tasted: Cheese Souffle Toasts, Ricotta and Red Pepper Tart (which I want to make), Cream Cheese Scones, Lemony Ricotta Pie, Apple Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing (similar to the apple cake I made by adapting my carrot cake recipe), and Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits.  Nick had great stories to tell, and the class was a lot of fun.  I missed taking a class in September but do hope to take one per month.

I am thinking Tortilla soup for dinner tonight.  I also have some recipe testing to do for a party that we are planning.  Achiote Pulled Pork from my Rosa's cookbook, Peanut and Arbol Chile Salsa from Saveur and Tres Leches Cupcakes are on the list.  I'll let you know how they turn out.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Morning

With company sleeping on our couch my mornings have been spent with coffee watching Chow Channel in bed.  I love Chow Channel!  The only problem is they don't add new videos very often so I have seen everything on there now. 

My morning

I decided to gather my Mexican and Grilling cookbooks and do some menu planning.
My kind of morning!

My morning

I'm off to work soon.
Have a great weekend!
xoxo
Ashley

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cupcake Quest

I'm slightly obsessive, I'll admit that. I'm on a quest for a perfect birthday cake flavor combo. This is for my upcoming birthday, so I'm being a bit indulgent on top of obsessive. I love to bake, so it's not hard to see why I would want to bake my own birthday dessert. I have favorite recipes for Carrot Cake and Tres Leches Cake and those have been the birthday go to's for family and friends. I was wanting something different. After the Salted Caramel Ice cream with chocolate cake for an August birthday I am digging that flavor combo. I thought about the Sweet and Salty cake from the Baked Cookbook (which I have), but thought cupcakes would be easier. I'm not sure that's true but I'm going with it. So I obsessed some more and thought about this recipe  for caramel filled chocolate cupcakes, but it seemed like too much work. I settled on Chocolate Ganache Filled Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting and I tested the recipes yesterday. We had company coming, and were going over to a friends house so I figured that was a good time to make cupcakes and not have them sitting around here tempting me.

Four people, including myself will vouch for their awesomeness!
Chocolate Ganache filled chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

This was my first time frosting something will a frosting tip.  I bought the huge 1M wilton star tip.  A lady at Joann told me I could use that and the coupler with a ziplock bag.  It worked, but not perfectly, I still want to invest in some pastry bags.  Check out this post on Glorious Treats for Cupcake frosting how to info.  Isn't that picture so pretty?!
Chocolate Ganache filled chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

The Ganache settled to the bottom, you can kind of see it here.
It also sort of melds in with the cupcake making it super moist. 
Chocolate Ganache filled chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

I think these cupcakes would go great with lots of different flavors of icing.  Strawberry, raspberry, coffee, cinnamon, almond, peanut butter, mint, coconut, etc, etc.  You could even add flavoring to the ganache, I think.  I'll have to experiment some more.

I'm using pinterest to keep track of recipes, among other things. I love it, it really makes bookmarking things so much easier. I'm totally a visual person, so it works for me.

Painted nails

On a side note I was goofing around at CVS last night with the nail polish.  I never paint my nails, but am considering it now.  I need to take better care of my hands.  They get so beat up with gardening and jewelry.  I trimmed my cuticles and put lotion on but they are still rough.  I need to take an Omega 3 supplement, I know that would help my skin out a lot.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Etsy Metal Treasury

Another lovely Etsy Metal treasury that my Pebble Rings are in.  Don't forget to use the code ETSYMETAL to receive 20% off your purchase in my Etsy Shop through Saturday!

$20.00

$78.00

$82.00

$20.00

$80.00

$50.00

$36.00

$160.00

$55.00

$75.00

$77.77

$80.00

$139.00

$135.00

$53.00

$62.00

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Anniversary My Love

Yesterday was mine and Frank's seven year wedding anniversary.  I forgot to ask off work.  Oops!
I'm not used to having to plan so far ahead for a free day. 

Here we are with our family and wedding party.
It was a beautiful night.  We married under a tree in my parents backyard surrounded by our friends and family.  We were so happy, and still are.  I love that man so much, he is the best.
Our wedding day

He picked me up from work and we picked out flowers.  Central Market has the most beautiful flowers but for some reason I always talk myself out of buying them.  This was the first time that I have taken flowers home from work.  I'm hoping to change that habit because fresh flowers in the house make me happy.
Anniversary flowers

Anniversary flowers

Anniversary flowers

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Etsy Metal Anniversary Sale

I'm participating in the Etsy Metal 5 year anniversary sale! Today through Saturday receive 20% off your purchase in my shop with the coupon code ETSYMETAL.

I am so grateful to be a member of this wonderful group of artists. I consider my team mates my friends, mentors, peers and more. I love Etsy Metal! I would not be where I am today as an artist without them.

Birthstone rings 
Custom Birthstone Rings with Garnet and Emerald

A few of the participating shops.

$36.00

$360.00

$85.00

$50.00

$50.00

$100.00

$151.00

$80.00

$40.00

$188.88

$135.00

$147.00

$125.00

$175.00

$62.00

$94.00

Click here to see a list of participating Etsy Metal members.