Monday, August 23, 2010

a birthday, some cupcakes, and sparklers ... oh my!

Fun birthday celebrations this weekend for a dear friend!  The party had a coffee theme, yum!  I contributed mocha coffee cupcakes that I made from this great recipe from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski (found via the how to eat a cupcake blog). 

They were topped with this simple creamcheese icing (I substituted coffee for the vanilla).  These cupcakes are so moist and the chocolate-coffee combo is blissful!  These will definitely be made again in the near future.  Next time I would try a different icing as the creamcheese somewhat overpowered the coffee.

cupcakes cooling before frosting.

I couldn't resist modeling the cupcakes with my birdie salt & pepper shakers (from Urban Outfitters last December).  I love them so much!

Happy Birthday!

We enjoyed some more fireworks and a near-full moon...

...and played with sparklers too!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

when the moon hits your eye...

I am in love with homemade pizza. I have always loved pizza, but not with the same level of passion that I have for the pizza that Mr. kitchen-crafty has been making. He is on a quest to make the tastiest pizza he can, in the style of his beloved New York pizza, and I am along for the ride. And what a sweet ride it has been!

Apparently one trick to amazing pizza is to use a baking stone and to keep ingredients to a minimum, i.e. homemade tomato-basil sauce with cheese.  The little extra is crust stuffed with creamcheese!  I'm thinking goat-cheese stuffed crust would also be incredible.  Perhaps I can convince him that we need to work our way through the cheese alphabet.  Mmm...  

Edit: This site is a wonderful resource. It includes a recipe and detailed suggestions for how to improve your pizza.  Making good pizza involves experimentation and lots of trial and error, fortunately each trial is incredibly delicious!

p.s. Sorry for the crummy photo quality. We gobbled our way through the pizza faster than I could snap pictures of it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

canned goodness: dill beans

Until a few years ago, I ignorantly thought that dill pickles were made exclusively from cucumbers.  To my delight many other veggies taste incredible when pickled with dill.  Green beans, fiddleheads (baby ferns), and carrots are my personal favourites.

With dill growing on our deck and my boyfriend's mother's incredible generosity with her garden produce, it was the perfect opportunity for me to start dabbling in the pickling arts.

Pickling is not overly difficult.  Unless you're me and you have the penchant for: getting the wrong size mason jar lids, forgetting to ensure you have enough vinegar, forgetting to pick and add the dill until after the jars are sealed, or doing other such foolish things. 

The ingredients are simple and there are many recipes to be found online (I believe I followed this one).  And if you know an experienced pickler be sure to seek their advice.

After letting them stew for a week my dill beans were ready to taste... and success!  They turned out much better than I anticipated.  I'm inspired to head back to the garden/kitchen to try again!

What are your favourite fruits or veggies to preserve?  I'm on the lookout for more ideas!

Friday, August 13, 2010

yarn on display

Despite the hypothetical (ahem) argument that a massive substantial-sized stash of yarn is not practical, I would beg to disagree. Stash yarn has a destiny. It will one day clothe a loved one (or a loved one's teapot* perhaps) and will be utterly indispensible and purposeful.

(*teapot knit for a friend back in 2008 using Noro Kureyon yarn, that doubles quite nicely as a bonnet - for that I'll leave you to your imagination) 

In the meantime, I have decided to decorate with said stash yarn to inspire creativity, and also to stem my desire to acquire additional skeins of so-soft-it-makes-me-want-to-swim-in-a-pool-of-it yarn.

This is Canadian-made Fleece Artist Peter Rabbit yarn: handpainted, 70% angora, 20% nylon, 10% wool.  Divine.

Look who else has discovered this delightful fiber nest.  This mama sheep and her lamb were handfelted by my boyfriend's talented mother who knows my crafty loves (and addictions) well!

Any suggestions for what I could make with this one skein of angora?

Friday, August 6, 2010

lighting up the night

Last weekend we celebrated the New Brunswick Day long weekend at the camps/cottages of friends.  Our adventure included swimming, BBQing, campfires, and a sweet summer wedding.  Such wonderful times spent with friends and family, which after the craziness of the past few weeks, was much appreciated.   

And much to my delight, there was an incredible firework show (as mentioned previously, I LOVE these things)!  One of the most spectacular shows I've seen.  Here are a few photos of the beauties, taken by my kitchen crafty (and camera crafty!) boyfriend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ode to Amélie

How delightful to discover this homage on Design*Sponge to one of my absolute favourite movies! 

If you haven't seen this darling movie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain), it's a must!

And if you have seen Amélie but haven't seen Delicatessen (made by the same director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet), add it to your to-do list. Enjoy!