Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Let it be known that on the 15th day of September
in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight
the house of Ladd has pledged its firstborn daughter

to the house of Reid in marriage to their secondborn son

Yes my friends I'm recently engaged to be married. I'm very
excited and very happy.
Look at him, isn't he gorgeous. Yep even his eyes shine with
love... well that or it's just the spark of his psychopathy.
Either way he'll fit in with my family just perfect.
Here is a peak at the engagement ring for all you out there
that wish to twitter over it.
It's actually a turkish puzzle ring beautiful and entertaining at the
same time woot!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Prison Plum and Strawberry Pie

Jack Horner
Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie:
He stuck in his thumb, and pulled out a plum
And said, “What a good boy am I!”

This was the poem that inspired me to make this pie. I had never had a plum pie before. I read about them in old nursery rhymes and stories, so they must have once been popular.
Well now I must know what a plum pie is like. Even if I don't stick in my thumb to pull out a plum. Also I found this interesting link that tells more about the history of this poem Here.
I took the two recipes from and modified them a bit for a personal touch.

So I was going to do this pie for the Pi week event, but then got so busy with my mom visiting and my car breaking down that I missed the deadline. So instead I made it for a dinner party we had. It is a spiced plum and strawberry pie. I call it prison pie because instead of doing a lattice top i just put the strips across it and it made me think of prison cell bars.

I also had fun decorating it with two leaf cutouts and a slice of strawberry. Also the top crust is covered with a light cinnamon sugar mixture that was baked onto it.

The crust recipe was very tasty especially with the added vanilla extract i put in it, but wasn't very cohesive (part of why the lattice top idea didn't work) I think it looks pretty cute anyways in its tin waiting for some filling.

Here is the plums and Strawberries chopped up and mixed with the filling ingredients all stirred together. Doesn't it look yummy?
Here are the prison bars keeping that naughty filling from escaping. Oh we'll show it who's boss later.

then sprinkled the cinnamon sugar across the top of it. Right before putting it in the oven to bake.

Final result a very delicious and amazing pie. Everyone loved it and raved about it. It was sweet with a perfect consistency. I definitely plan to make this pie again. It was fantastic!!!

Below is my version you can see the original recipe Here.

Spiced Plum & Strawberry Pie

2 pie dough disks

3 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds plums, halved, pitted, each half cut into 4 wedges
1 pound of sliced or chopped strawberries.

2 tablespoons milk


Roll out 1 pie crust disk on floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Refrigerate crust while preparing filling.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Place foil-lined baking sheet in bottom of oven to catch any spills. Mix 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl; set aside. Whisk 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Add plums & Strawberries, and toss to coat. Spoon filling into crust, mounding slightly in center.

Roll out second pie crust disk on floured surface to 13 1/2-inch round. Drape crust over filling; trim overhang to 1 inch. Press top and bottom crust edges together. Fold edges under; crimp. Using sharp knife, cut four 2-inch-long slits in center of top crust to allow steam to escape. Brush crust (but not edges) with cream. Sprinkle reserved cinnamon sugar over crust.

Bake pie 30 minutes. Tent pie loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Continue to bake until filling bubbles thickly through slits, about 1 hour longer. Cool completely on rack.

Friday, March 21, 2008

BBM Woot

Alright so there was this awesome event to participate in, and participate i did!!!
You can view our lovely hostess Stephanie's blog Here
Well me and my good friend kitten decided to join in the fun ooh but then she had a very clever idea. Lets up the play a bit and make identical twin boxes. One we would mail to our assigned bbm person and the other to each other.
I recieved Kittens box first. She must have been pretty excited to send it so quickly.
Look at this loot, its like freaking Christmas. You should have heard me squeal when I opened it.
Look at this beautiful site that awaited me. Doesn't this seem like soooo much fun!!!
That's because it was!

Clever girl that she is she put her treats in this super cute and perfectly sized, easy to clean pretty in pink mixing bowl. Included is green spatula (my favorite color) some little tart tins, vanilla bean sugar, some province french herbs (i cook everything with herbs woot) Green cake decorating spray (me and her have the same favorite color go figure.) some green M & M's, a firey chocolate bar (very exotic with chili flavor added)

Oh my friends but that is not all. Included cute little designed recipes that she made for me.
These are some of her favorite recipes to make and now they are mine mwhahahaha.
Be prepared.

She put these super fancy teas which smelled so good. I've tasted the ginger peach one already and it was so nice and comforting. There was also a blackberry one. Then this flavoring stuff in four different flavors to go in hot cocoa.

This is the weird chocolate bar. I wanted you to see I wasn't kidding when it said fire on it.
Weird isn't it. My boyfriend really loved the flavor of this since he adores dark chocolate.
I'm more of a milk chocolate person myself though.

This was my favorite of the dish towels she sent me. I think the gator with the heart in its mouth is just so darling.
Once again you can tell our favorite colors are green. Isn't this adorable. and one next to it is swirly hearts.

Okay I got some bonus prizes in here that her person didn't get. SSSSSHHHH don't tell.
One is this amazing porcelain plate to display my treats on. Also a ring pop since I'm her princess, and needed decent ring rofl. Already ate that since it was cute and tasty.
Thank you so much Kitten you totally made this month. Please check her out at her awesome blog Wyckedsweetdesigns.

That isn't the end my lovely viewers.. oh no we have more.
Then just when I thought things couldn't possibly be more awesome possum I recieved this awesome package from Britain. Looking at the box I grew excited trying to think of how things might be different in Britain when I recieved a humorous surprise.
The Masterful, Majestic, Magnificent, Michelle from GreedyGourmet decided to pull one over my head and actually made a delightful box of treats from the place she grew up South Africa.
How freaking cool is that!!!

She made sure it was extra secure with this foam, and warned me if something was missing that customs stole it. Luckily for me everything was there.

Her letter was fun, informative and funny. I laughed quite a few times and think she's probably a sister soul.

She put all these interesting treats in the box. All from South Africa. I've never seen any of these in the states before so found it to be quite an educational and tasty experience.
My favorite was the "p.s. your looney bar"

There was also a cute zebra bookmark (great since I'm a super bookworm) a cute hand carved wooden lucky keychain. And the most magnificent hand dyed and painted african cloth. Also just happens to be in my two favorite colors of Green and Black. How cool is that.
So this event was a blast and I totally made out like a bandit or a pirate... you know what i mean.
Thank you ladies for a fantastic wonderful plethora of gifts.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cute Finds

So exploring the dollar store and local Asian market I found some cute finds for my growing bento obsession/ collection.
I was so excited too, although after a bit of a row with the owner of the Asian market who didn't speak English very well and was trying to force me to buy an item that another woman had knocked off the shelf and broke, because I took the time to point it out to him, I don't think I'll be returning to this particular place.

I got this very cute afternoon tea bento set. It includes bag, single tier bento with divider, and a fork in matching fork case. Its super duper cute!! Some onigiri seaweed wraps pre-cut in the right size, some cute wooden picks, yun yuns (sooo tasty), some Tupperware containers soon to be used as bentos, chopsticks, Panda bear treats, and instant miso soup packets.

Here is a close up of the bento, and the cute wooden picks.

All in all quite a successful set of finds. Also from this place I got my mom a cute green bento that has little removable cubbys in it to separate the food, and a matching bento bag. I will try to get pictures of that one this week too.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Daring Bakers February Challenge

Daring Bakers:
Bakers who dare to do recipes that are outside of our comfort zones.

Bakers that live on the wild side whether it is melting mixing bowls by accident, or setting off smoke alarms.

Bakers that share each others successes and defeats, holding each other up giving advice and encouragement.

Most of all Daring Bakers HAVE FUN!!!

Well I certainly strive to be a daring Baker!

Well this month I was going to cop out, but the Daring baker in me just wouldn't have it.
It was so hard to find time, for this marathon recipe and I wanted to do it justice.
So here with out much ado, is my attempts at our February challenge provided by the beautiful and talented Mary and Sara
They chose an epic piece by Julia Child's. Her amazing French Bread. Here is the Recipe.

I started with kneading the dough by hand. I don't have a kitchen aid so it was the good old fashioned way like my Grandmother and Mother both do.
This cute little dough ball I named "Doughy" and I spent much of the kneading time singing and humming to doughy and begging him to grow up into a nice set of bread.

Doughy was kind of tired after so much kneading so I laid him to rest in a nicely greased bowl for a nap. He even has a little blanket to keep him warm.
What a spoiled dough!

Doughy slept for a very long time, but it was time to get him up again.
He was kind of gaseous and needed to be burped.
So I flattened out all the gases in him and kneaded him a bit more for good measure.

Then I placed him back in his bowl to finish his nap.

Doughty liked his nap soooo much he grew three sizes bigger.
What a big boy!!

Don't you think he's cute? I thought so.
but then something went horribly wrong ....dun ... dun ... dun

Then came the time to cut and shape him. He tried really hard, I really can't think that it's his fault. So it must have been me. I think I either didn't shape them right, or perhaps I didn't cut the pieces evenly. Either way poor Doughy was kind of small and skinny and looked a bit weird.
I think he was probably the geeky kid in dough school.

Well after all that time spent I wasn't going to just give up, although a fit of hysterics did feel pretty close to the surface. I sprayed them with some cold water and put them in the oven.
I even added the tray of water in the bottom of the oven hoping to help.
They looked a bit burned to me when they came out of the oven.

Yet they had a nice golden color to them.
I once again brushed cold water on the crusts and left them on my cooling racks for the two hours.
This was hard because I wanted to see if the insides were all hard or not.

Two hours later we checked them ... and.......

Much to my delight even though not the best shapes the crust was the perfect crusty texture somewhat hard, and the inside was nice and soft and fluffy.
The taste of it was phenomenal.

Good Job Little Doughy You've grown into some beautiful breads in spite of my mistakes!

We celebrated this wonderful turn out by slicing up one of the thinner ones into little crackers and having them with some polish sausage and sharp cheddar cheese.

This was a truly delightful and European meal to finish off the baking marathon.
I think next time though I will cut it into two portions instead of three, and make two nicely sized baguettes instead.