Friday, August 26, 2011

Yet another reason for me to miss winter this year

I love this coat. Too bad it doesn't get below like 50 here! And I tend to feel warmer than the average person. Eastern US, I will be back, someday.

see also: last year's coat sadness post. I seem to have a style.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pre-party baking - macarons and red velvet

Macarons (honey and raspberry flavors) and red velvet cake with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and fondant!

Honey macaron shells, pre-baking (the shells are actually plain vanilla)

Raspberry macaron batter (but really just vanilla with red food color)

Almost done baking!

So many shells! And a few cracks...

Raspberry curd for the macarons - I ended up mixing some buttercream in to thicken it.
Raspberry and vanilla buttercreams

All paired up, waiting to be filled. I'm bad at making them the same size, so I have to play a matching game.

Some finished macarons (see more in my previous post)
Cake frosting time!

Frosted, ready for fondant

The finished product - a little lumpy, but I'm happy with my first attempt!

Recipes: macaron shells from this book; swiss meringue buttercream; raspberry curd; red velvet cake; marshmallow fondant

A party!

Not mine, but my friends' - Richard, Jeff, and Brett just moved into a condo together and hosted a housewarming last weekend. And I got to make some desserts for it! Macarons, red velvet cake with fondant, and corn salsa. The pictures of the party spread make me sad - lots of blur and artificial lighting, and my meager Aperture skills can't seem to save them. To do: get some sort of nice flash thing to partially avoid this in the future.

Progress photos of my desserts in an upcoming post!

Honey and raspberry macarons, by me!

Someone switched the macarons and macaroons just because I have a weird neurosis about them
The dessert spread. Clockwise from top left: Macarons, Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate, Red Velvet Cake, Blanc et Noir cake, Chocolate Orange Almond Torte
Cheese plate and truffle honey -  mmmm.
Richard, one of the hosts, prepared sous vide pork!
Searing the pork

Finished - cous cous topped with seared sous vide pork, roasted red and yellow peppers, and caramelized onions.
Cutting the cake 
I'm pleased with the contrast, if not the photo

Better photo of the red velvet. and Tim. Matchy matchy!
Red Velvet and Blanc et Noir

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This week I love...

The photography in this marshmallow milkshake post. I love the icy blue nail polish. Also: why haven't I made toasted marshmallow milkshakes yet? TO DO.

Modcloth's Haute in Traffic skirt. While I'm on my "don't spend money" kick, I'm thinking this might go on the list of things to attempt to make... ?

This cozy looking fall outfit (it makes me want some navy Toms! and some fall weather...)

click through for source, or see the blog post that I found it on here (other cute stuff too!)

These gorgeous night/day composite photos of NYC

and speaking of NYC, I am way looking forward to getting some nice northeast fall during my visit in October!

The lovely paintings in this etsy shop. Seriously. Click through and look at them all.

More regular posts soon! I baked last weekend - macarons, red velvet cake, and fondant coming up!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week two

My second week off! This week...

I put the finishing touches on my first ever sewing project! My little sewing kit (mentioned here) turned out pretty well, although if you look closely you can see that it was, in fact, done by someone who has no training whatsoever.

I'm starting sewing project number 2! This time, seat cushions for my dining room chairs (I use the term "dining room" very loosely). I have crappy IKEA wicker-seated chairs with crappy IKEA cushions, so I figure the least I can do is spruce the visible part up. My local fabric store is pretty lame and I couldn't find anything else I liked so I bought more of the same. My chairs will match my sewing kit. :/

I biked a lot and got some much needed car and bike maintenance done, with more scheduled.

I took some outfit photos for the first time in ages! Mostly to show off my Ssekos and a new tie that I learned, as well as my toenails.

after painting them, I realized they remind me of cupcake sprinkles <3
I made some delicious fattoush - recipe here! I definitely recommend it. It is vegan, delicious, fresh-tasting, way healthy, and beautiful.

I got a bit of knitting done. I made a hot drink sleeve for my pint glasses (I recently bought 2 dozen), although it's a little rough. I'm now attempting a nicer one with cabling!

my morning routine - triple espresso via Moka pot, black

I prepped some food (macarons, red velvet cake with fondant, and corn salsa) for my friend's housewarming party tonight, and in the process I made a banner for the blog! Yay progress!

I'm also tentatively planning some around the country travel for October. I'm hoping to visit friends in a lot of cities and maybe stop by some relatives' places, too. Will keep you updated, and I'll be in touch with those of you that I hope to visit!