Tuesday, 30 October 2012

tasty tuesday: cream puffs

Oh cream puffs. So simple, yet surprisingly finicky.  The first time I made cream puffs I had to make 3 batches until they came out right.  Yeah, that sucked.  What doesn't suck is when they come out perfectly....big, delicious, puffy balls of pastry.  

And whipped cream.  Whipped cream always wins.

To me, cream puffs taste like Summer....as it was tradition for my cousin and I to make these every year to eat while watching So You Think You Can Dance.  Every time I make them I think of her, and it makes me smile.  

These treats are seriously wonderful.  And if you just happen to dip (and scoop) your cream puffs into the bowl of whipped cream then you've found a friend in me.

Cream Puffs
from: Company's Coming by Jean Pare

1/2 cup of Butter (or margarine)
1 cup of Water
1/4 tsp of Salt
1 cup of Flour
4  Eggs

1) In a large pot, bring water and butter to a boil.  Stir in flour and salt until the mixture pulls away from the sides and forms a ball (*this step is very important).
2) Remove your pot from heat; then beat in your eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.
3) Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet (I used my Silpat).
4) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 425 degrees, until golden brown (and centers should be dry...not gummy).  Or 25-30 minutes if you choose to make them larger, like I did. And 10-15 minutes for the tiny ones!
5) Wait for the shells to cool, and then split them and fill them with whipped cream or pipe the whipped cream inside. (Or, if no one's looking...use them to scoop up whipped cream.)

One of the biggest problems I figured out with cream puffs is that you must make sure that you've cooked your dough enough.  That's the number one reason my batches have failed...so if you've mixed everything together, and it seems a bit runny (as in, your dough won't form decent balls on your cookie sheet without melting everywhere), then just stick your pot back on the heat until it thickens up a bit!

Another tip is to stick a toothpick into each of your cream puffs directly after they come out of the oven.  This helps let the steam escape, so you don't end up with a soggy cream puffs!

I used a small piping tip and piping bag to pipe the whipped cream into the mini ones I made.

For the larger ones, I cut them in half and just spooned the whipped cream on.  Either method is totally legit, I kind of like cutting and spooning....it has a higher whipped cream to cream puff ratio, yeah know?

Cream puffs are best served on the same day!  They tend to get a bit soggy if your store them....but if you have to, I'd recommend popping them in the freezer!

I hope you've enjoyed this week's tasty tuesday!  
Happy baking!

p.s. ♥ kelsey

Monday, 29 October 2012

weekly wrap-up: Happy Halloween!

So my week was filled with adorable animals and messy pumpkin guts.  

The kittens are back!  Well I guess they never really left, but we hadn't seen them for a while.  They moved homes, and are now residing on some hay bales right outside our house.  They like to sneak up on the deck and eat out of our compost pail!

On our farm we do school tours for preschool and elementary aged children.  They love going into the petting zoo and seeing all the animals.  
Chicks are always one of their favourite animals, they are so cute and fluffy, but they grow up so fast.  So once a week we get a few baby chicks so the kids can see them when they are really small!

 Every year my mom grows a giant pumpkin, and this year it is HUGE!  But believe it or not, this is not the biggest pumpkin she has ever grown, even though her estimated guess for it is 625 lbs.  

Kelsey and I had a few friends over on Friday evening for an exciting night of pumpkin carving.  These cookies made it on to the menu for the night.  They are nutella stuffed browned butter chocolate chip cookies [the recipe can be found here].  They tasted like happiness and rainbows.  Though I did have to  make some without nutella for Kelsey (because she is crazy). 

These are the pumpkins we carved!  They looked so unbelievably cool all lit up.

Mr. Peepers by Kevin, Trick or Treating Dino by Bobby, Spike by Jordyn, Buffy by Michelle, and Doctor Who by Kelsey.

For those of you who don't know, I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan!  At the beginning of the evening I had no idea what I was going to carve.  So when Michelle found these templates I was sold!  I am insanely happy with how they turned out!  I was really nervous, I actually haven't carved a pumpkin in about 6 or 7 years, so I felt a bit rusty, but everything went better than expected.

I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Halloween!  Leave a comment and let me know what you are dressing up as! 

p.s. ♥ jordyn

Saturday, 27 October 2012

outfit post: oxfords and elbow patches

So I found these gems amongst many a pair of scary second hand runners at Value Village.

Now they cost me a whole $8, which is a bit more than I like to spend while thrifting, but I can honestly say they were worth it!

I absolutely love the look of oxfords.  They are such a perfect fall shoe, paired with a lace dress, a cute skirt, or in this case cuffed pants!

Again, Kelsey helped me pick out this outfit.  I would never think to do cute things like layer a button up and a cardigan.

You may recognize this cardigan from Kelsey's post "fall transitions: mustard capris to pants".

Yet another matching sister outfit!!  We really need to stop shopping together, or not, since we are totally adorable when we match!

Once I went to the train station to pick Kelsey up, and we were both wearing: black skinny jeans, converse, the same shirt in different colours, the same necklace and a grey cardigan.

And no, we hadn't called each other that morning to coordinate...

I am absolutely in love with these shoes.  They are one of my new favourite fall items!
What's yours?

p.s.   jordyn

Thursday, 25 October 2012

diy: simple headband

I was wandering the many aisles of Dressew (the most wonderful CHEAP art/craft/fabric store in downtown Vancouver), when I stumbled upon a beautiful roll of trim.  It was a soft blush colour with delicate gold thread wound through it.  I grabbed the roll, wrapped the trim around my head as a measurement, and promptly went up to the counter to get it cut.  It only cost me 19 cents!!  The mennonite in me rejoiced!

And on a bit of a side note: my apartment is currently undergoing some serious construction, and we've had workers in and out of our house installing new windows, a new door, and redoing all of the trim as well.  It's been a bit frustrating, especially in cases such as this morning where they (very politely) asked if my roommate and I could leave while they finish up.

So, at 8:30am I left my house with my backpack (full of books), dslr, laptop, and approximately three dozen cupcakes (for a halloween party later this evening).  I volunteer in the late morning/early afternoon, and didn't have class until 3:30, so I ended up wandering down to the beach.  

It was absolutely stunning, and the golden sunshine and salt water soon erased my bad mood.  I sat on a bench and looked out onto the water, laughed at the dogs playing in the mini tidepools, and then I took a few end shots for this headband tutorial (I got A LOT of strange looks from joggers and dog owners).  

So long story short: what seemed like a bad start to my Thursday turned into something wonderful.

p.s. I found out that it's quite difficult to take decent photos of yourself wearing a headband! hah!

-piece of trim or fabric measured out to an inch or two smaller than your around your head
-flat elastic
-needle and thread

1)  First make sure that your trim is measured out to an inch or two less than your head.  
2)  Then cut out a piece of elastic about two inches in length.
3)  Thread your needle, and measure out a bit of thread (you don't use very much! so I measured out about a foot of thread and had a lot left over!).
4)  Line up your elastic with the trim (you may need to cut your elastic to be the same width as your trim/fabric), and start sewing!  I didn't really used any special technique for this, basically just in and out from either side, until you reach the end.  Then make a few knots at the edge, and trim the thread!
5)  Repeat step 4 for the other side of the elastic.

The goal is for the headband to be slightly smaller than your head, so that when you put it on, the elastic will stretch a little...keeping it in place!

That's it!  I was so happy with how it turned out....and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more cute patterns in the future.  These would also make wonderfully cheap presents!

p.s.   kelsey

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

tasty tuesdays : pumpkin cookies

om nom nom.

There is seriously nothing better than having pumpkin in fall. pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin scones, pumpkin soup, and of couse...these absolutely scrumptious pumpkin cookies!

{  I  N  G  R  E  D  I  E  N  T  S  }
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups pumpkin

2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour

Pre-heat oven for 350 degrees. Beat together the first four ingredients. Then add the next four ingredients to the mixture. Put dough in mounds on cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until the bottoms are slightly golden.  
{  I  C  I  N  G  } 

cook & dissolve : 1/3 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup brown sugar
let cool then add: 2 cups icing sugar & 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
drizzle over cookies & enjoy!

enjoy the smell of your house after baking these.
mmmm, love the smell of fall!

p.s.   clara

Sunday, 21 October 2012

weekly wrap-up : snapshots

This week I... enjoyed a date game night at home with my hubby =] 
Ate: these delicious pumpkin cookies...keep an eye out for them on the blog!
They'll be coming your way in a Tasty Tuesday sometime soon.
Made: this diy. I love the cozy look of elbow patches!

Enjoyed: waking up beside this handsome man every morning =] So blessed! Marriage is the best.  
Shot: my first wedding, a maternity shoot, and an engagement shoot. It's been insanely busy, but I am absolutely loving photography! When you've got a moment, go check out my photography blog/ like my facebook page & leave me some love!

I was sooo excited to shoot my first wedding! 

Hope you all had a lovely week as well!

p.s.   clara

Saturday, 20 October 2012

outfit post : the little black dress

So this week's mini outfit post is of my current favourite little black dress: a little crocheted number from Banana Republic, stolen from my mama's closet! (yes, we're the same size & I am so infinitely blessed that my mom is just super stylin' & fashionable) 

I paired the dress with some black tights and comfy black Toms to wear to my first wedding photoshoot! I was SO excited & honoured that this couple trusted me to be their wedding photographer and can't wait to share of my photography ventures in the near future with you all =]

And many thanks to this wonderful lady, Kirsten Buyer, for being my second shooter! 
We had an absolute blast together & I definitely couldn't have done it without her. 

p.s.   clara
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