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an ice box cake…does it get much better than that? all that whip cream… i love whip cream ! i mean love it. i also use to love fourth of july. it was my favorite holiday growing up, i suppose because as a family it was our most social one. it was an all day event. we hit the parade in our subdivision out in the cornfields and then drove into town to go to the town parade. one of us kids was often in it too. we would head back home, generally with heat exhaustion, take a swim in our pool, and eat good all american food.  at dusk we walked to the lake covering ourselves in bug spray, set out blankets, and watched the fireworks. when i was really young my sister’s and brother’s friends would come hang in our area. they were funny and goofy… and in high school, and i pretty much thought they were the coolest. at the end of the night we would head back home and set off our own fireworks on our neighborhood street. it seemed the whole neighborhood was outside, roaming around, and just having a good old time. as i grew into my teen years we were hitting up different parties, driving golf carts,crashing motor bikes, and other general shenanigan activities! my friends and i from my home town often reminisce about those 4th of july’s and are all in agreement that no one does it quite like crown point, indiana.

this is a super simple recipe that i use to make for this holiday. i put a spin on the concept, trying it as an ice box cake.  i generally made this cake in a regular 9×12 baking pan, i didn’t layer it, and also made an american flag on top with the blueberries and strawberries. you can make this into a trifle and add custard or pudding. you can add mascarpone to the whip cream to make it a bit more stiff. you can add almond extract too for some yummy flavor. to make it a traditional ice box cake you could use vanilla wafers, shortbread, or any cookie you please!!! the ingredients are so simple, there are so many ways to doctor it up!

i used a spring form pan, but to my dismay, when i was trying to take it out, the whole cake went flying into the air and landed on the floor. which is why i do not have a photo of the beautiful layers from the inside. 😦  possibly, one of my worst kitchen disasters. however, a blessing in disguise because i probably would have eaten it all day long. none the less…hopefully your spring form pan has a little more give-way then mine. or just use a good old baking dish in case you are prone to error, like myself.

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these ingredients are so easy and the same ones i used long ago, except i used cool whip back then not homemade whip cream.

sara lee butter pound cake (i love this stuff) 1-2 packages depending on size of pan

homemade whip cream

strawberries and blueberries

cut the poundcake into thin pieces. begin to layer in the pan alternating with whip cream. you can also add in thin slices of strawberries or strawberry puree or strawberry jam. fill in the holes with broken pieces of pound cake. top the final layer with strawberries and blueberries in any design you like! let the cake refrigerate overnight! serve!

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i have been making, therefore eating, a lot of crepes lately. this is just one of two posts to come! one day, i started thinking about these yellow pancakes we were served every morning at our riad in marrakech, morocco. they had all these bubbles on top and though i can not really describe what they tasted like, they were tasty and kind of strange. i would fill mine up with the hard boiled eggs and butter that were also served with it, and maybe something sweet too. We honestly had no idea what to do with them, except eat em. recently, i started wondering if this was some sort of traditional moroccan food, and it turns out, they are!!!! moroccan crepes. why, it took me so long to figure this out, i do not know.

i decided i would give these a try! the base is semolina flour, which sounds like it would be gluten free, but it is actually very high in gluten. it is used in many pasta recipes because of the high content. the bubbles, comes from yeast. traditionally, they are served with honey and butter. i was such a tourist eating them wrong and still am! i decided to put a little spin on these. i added saffron and cinnamon to the crepe batter and made an orange butter with zest! obviously, served with moroccan mint tea!

PicMonkey Collagebihbl1 1/2 cups fine semolina

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tsp baking powder

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water

1 tablespoon yeast

Mix the flour, semolina, salt, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In a blender, measure lukewarm water to just over the 3-cup line.

Add the yeast and process on low speed to blend. Gradually add the dry ingredients.

Increase the processing speed and blend for a full minute, or until very smooth and creamy. The batter should be rather thin, like crepe batter.

Pour the batter into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave to rest for 30 minutes to one hour, or until the top of the batter is light and a bit foamy.

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir the batter, and use a ladle to pour batter into the hot skillet. Pour carefully and slowly into the center and the batter will spread evenly into a circle. (Do not swirl the pan as you would for a crepe; the batter should spread itself.) Make the beghrir as large as you like.

Bubbles should appear on the surface of the beghrir as it cooks. Don’t flip the beghrir. It only gets cooked on one side.

Cook for about two to three minutes, or until the beghrir doesn’t appear wet anywhere on the surface. It should feel spongy, but not sticky or gummy, when you touch it lightly with your finger.

Transfer the beghrir to cool in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Once they are cool, they can be stacked without sticking.

recipe from about.com

for the butter:

soften a half a stick of butter. add 1 tbsp of orange zest and a bit of juice. mix together and place in a dish.

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things are getting super busy round these parts again. (Currently sitting in the atlanta airport, traveling for work.) two weddings coming up in july. one, i will travel to finger lakes in new york state and the other, right here in colorado. just a good old 25 minutes from my house. natalie has been a very special part of my life for a long time now. since, the days in highschool when we would get taquitos covered in cheese and sour cream at the cafeteria and convince each other there was no guilt to be had. we became as close as ever in college, and that friendship has stayed strong since. we even share the same birthday! nat is so supportive. she listens, gives advice, and laughs. her family is throwing a beautiful shower next weekend in indiana, and i can’t make it due to travels for work. i wanted to still do something special for her, to show her how much i love her, and decided to throw her a little bridal lunch-in here in colorado. wait, did i mention natalie is one of two friends i actually do have here. and thank god for that!!!!

i told nat to pick a place for lunch and we invited just a handful of people. the theme became about flowers. there were these beautiful poppies growing all over the property out here and i wanted to do something with them. natalie is always taking pictures of flowers and she LOVES beautiful things. her excitement for simplicity in beauty is intoxicating. slowly, i came up with more and more flower themed knick knacks to create little prizes for everyone. i got tiny terra cotta flower pots (painting them would be cute too!) and filled them with flower seed packets, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, a homemade rosewater and thyme lollipop (recipe link below), a hand drawn rock and watercolor print, and of course, a small bouquet of flowers wrapped in brown paper and twine. simple, but sweet, and something everyone can appreciate.

since, we were having lunch at a restaurant, i didn’t want to play games, but i borrowed an idea from my friend stacy over at revisinglonliness. for her wedding she set up this big display with mason jars and people could write in suggestions for things like travel tips, ways to say i love you, rainy day, monday night. stacy’s were a little different, but the idea is the same and so unique. so, say on a rainy day they can pull out a piece of paper and take the suggestion into consideration. i love this idea!

for the lollipops, i followed a few different recipes. i did not have a mold, so i used this brilliant idea of using powdered sugar as a mold. if you don’t want to buy a mold, this is a great alternative! there are tons of recipes out there, here is a martha one! i just added rosewater and fresh thyme for my flavor.

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i have been meaning to do a colorado post. when i came back from LA, everything was green and blooming! i was ecstatic and have been since. it smells like home to me, like summer days growing up in indiana. then there is the mountain air and  that smell of a pine tree under the sun’s heat intoxicates me. i find myself inhaling these huge deep breaths. i love it.

i leave again tomorrow for a work trip. i admit i am a little anxious about traveling, having just gotten back, and i hate leaving my boy wylie, not to mention my battle with flying anxiety! then i come back and its more work here, then a few days off. and then on and on until the end of july really. just about that time, i will have to start really considering my next move. and i have absolutely no clue what it will be. i just can’t even talk about it.

i do like being busy, but when i first got back from the last trip, i really took the time to appreciate my surroundings and the warm weather…as you can tell with all my feet photos relaxing by the river! it has been such a treat. new friends, bonfires and bbq’s at neighbor’s houses, flowers blooming. i am still waiting for a good thunderstorm though! i miss those.

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PicMonkey Collagehwt1. the big thompson river. snow melt/ 2. the view down the road

3. the cabin in spring / 4. i have a new roommate

5. the water is cold / 6. a butterfly wing my neighbor brought me

7. neighbors / 8. flowers on a tree

9. lazy me / 10. lazy wylie

11. decorated the side yard / 12. and the back porch

13. poppies-before / 14/ poppies-after

15. twig teepee at a friend’s down the road / 16. met some baby goats

17. the property / 18. the neighbor’s river beach at night

19. more relaxation / 20. prepping my job at an actual western store in my town

21. a snake skin

 

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there is so much rhubarb growing in my garden right now, though i didn’t actually plant it, i figure someone should be par-taking in this glorious, crazy, edible stuff.  i have been slowly harvesting it and trying to come up with recipes other than the classic rhubarb strawberry pie. i mean, who doesn’t like pie? but with so much of it growing, there are only so many pies one can make.

my neighbors across the river had a bbq this past weekend. i made potato skins with a chipotle sour cream and rhubarb ice tea! it was super easy to make and i thought what a great way to celebrate in the bountiful beauty of our neighborhood then to share the rhubarb from the garden.  it pretty much tastes like sweet tea. living in the south for 3 years, i never caught onto sweet tea, but this was actually really tasty and everyone loved it! i have a feeling i will be making this all summer!

don’t just stop at rhubarb, any infused simple syrup is a great addition to an ordinary glass of tea. though, i still love mine with lots of lemon!

ps. if you didn’t already know, the leaves of rhubarb are poisonous, so discard them right away!
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what you need:

10 bags of black tea

10 cups of cold water

2-4 stalks of rhubarb, chopped, depending on how tart you might like it

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

in a pitcher combine the cold water and tea bags. place in the fridge for a few hours to brew. no need to heat up the water. the cold brews it kind of like sun tea!

boil the sugar, one cup of water, and rhubarb together. once at a boil, turn down to a simmer. simmer until it becomes like a syrup. let it cool.

pour the syrup into the pitcher of tea. serve over ice with your choice of garnish!

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i happy to announce, after a few months of work, that freckles & honey is up and running!

a few months ago, i went to NYC to help a friend style the photos for her new line of soaps, scrubs, and candles.  maybe you remember a few of the photos? i also helped her create the website and lookbook. i have posted some of my favorite shots from the finished product! i LOVED getting to work on this and style such a fun shoot and great product. not only am i proud of us as a team, i am  proud of her. dahlia is a hard worker, talented makeup artist, and great business woman. there is lots to learn from her ambition.

 BUT not only all of that, this line is so incredibly yummy. chemical free, handmade,  and truly simple. the smells are intoxicating and the quality is genuine. you aren’t getting a bar of soap that is overwhelming with perfume, but a bar of soap that you could almost take a bite out of! i have had the pleasure of trying out the soaps and scrubs and candles! i love them all. the scrubs are luscious and that oatmeal soap, good lord i want to roll around in it!

for today’s giveaway one person will win TWO BARS OF SOAP AND A SCRUB!

that’s  a pretty good deal!

in order to enter, please post the website (http://frecklesandhoneysoap.com) on facebook, twitter, instagram, your blog, or whatever social network site you prefer to use, using the hashtag #frecklesandhoneysoap where applicable. after doing so, please leave a comment below telling us where you have done so and your name will go into a drawing!

let’s spread the word on this great product!

http://www.frecklesandhoneysoap.com

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