Sunday Happy

IMG_0964What a week. Was it summer where you  are this week as well? I mean jeez, talk about one extreme to another. Oh well, at least the world has turned green, the winter stuff is completely out of sight and I found the box that contained all of my shorts and summery clothes (pants and long sleeves in 90 degrees is just gross)  And honestly, it's been great. In between work, chores and just plan old being busy, we have manage to get a few bike rides and long walks in. Plus all the veggie starts are doing great, the flowers are coming up everywhere and life just has a little bit more of a relaxed feeling. So what if my allergies are turning my face into big red puff or that the past few night have been so hot that the act of sitting has caused me to break a sweat. I'll take it.

Oh and I can't forget…. 

Happy Mother's Day ladies!!!!

Here I give you a few thing from the internet this week ...

- I didn't believe they were paintings at first. Hyper-realistic Cactus Paintings that Bristle with Detail by Kwang-Ho Lee

-I'll take any one of these The 5 Fanciest French Press Coffeemakers We Could Find

-Love love the floors in This house.

-Spending a bit of time making summer camping plans here...Vermont State Parks. I can't wait to get the tent out!

 -I think this should be happening everywhere. Recycled Drinking Water: Getting Past the Yuck Factor

- And there is thisABC Brings Muppets Back To Prime Time As News Emerges About Fall Shows

And that, here are a few pictures from the week.

IMG_0944 My boys. I long socks and sneakers… these guys know cool. IMG_0951Took the super cutie cuties out for an ice cream cone.IMG_8217Our first bike ride picnic down on the waterfront. I love bike ride picnics!IMG_8240-1So many succulents. I didn't actually buy any because I need to stop being a plant whore.IMG_0614I have made a batch of this stuff evey day this week. I can't stop eating it, it's like eating summer. So good

Have a wonderful day and to all that it applies to...

Happy Moms Day!

-C

Happy Mother's Day Blueberry Scones

IMG_0927It's Mother's Day weekend which means that you and I and everyone out there should feel the slightest bit obligated to at least do a little something nice for your mom for the mere fact that you were borned. And really what better way to celebrate mom than with food… It really is the least that you can do. (I think mom's also like flowers and cards and handmade pasta necklaces) My mom is defiantly about the food. (she has had her fair share or pasta necklaces)  A many years back on Mother's day, this sweet little girl (me) made her mother a special  breakfast treat…blueberry scones. And ever since that day, for every freaking holiday, birthday, whatever day, my mother requests (demands) a batch of those scones. She is always saying that these are her favorite treat and that no one has ever made them as good as I do. (I guess that just reiterates that I am her number 1 child)

And for the last few months my mom has been up my butt, trying to get me to make her some. Not going to lie, I have been saying I'll get her a batch, but for some reason, I haven't gotten around to making them. So two birds here.. Make the scones and she gets off my back for a least a little while (a month.. maybe 2) and I give her a fantastic Mothers day gift that I know she will love.

So here they are , oh mother of mine. Blueberry scones!

IMG_0813The stuff. Flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. A bit of sugar, vanilla, buttermilk, and butter (use vegan butter and nut milk if you want to make them vegan) And of course we need the blueberries which can be fresh or frozen. I usually use fresh, but the store I stopped at only had really big containers of fresh that were like $1000 dollars a piece and the organic frozen happen to be on super sale. So you know, the cheap in me won that battle. IMG_0823So into the bowl goes all the dry stuff; flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and the sugar. Give it a good whisk.

Now for my special trick for a perfectly distributed cold butter in a pastry. Freeze your butter and grate it!

With a large wholed grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the bowl with the dry, stoping a few times to toss the butter chunks around so you don't end up with a huge pile of grated butter. When it's all grated, gently toss around so the butter is evenly distributed. IMG_0825Now dump the blueberries into the flour mixture. Toss them around to give them a coat of flour. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla and give a little mix until liquid is absorbed. We are trying to handle the dough as little as possible.IMG_0839Turn mixture onto counter. It's very loose, but thats what it should look like. IMG_0841 Very gently and with as little handling as possible, gather dough up, knead a few times till everything  just comes together. Press dough into a disk that is roughly an inch thick…. and it doesn't need to be perfect. IMG_0851Cut the disk into even sized pieces. Do 6 big, 8 normal, maybe even 10 smaller. Whatever size you like. (I did 8) Place the scones onto a baking sheet, using a spatula to transfer, and sprinkle the tops with a little bit of sugar. Into a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.IMG_0892And when the scones look all nice and browned and a tester comes out clean. remove and either serve right away warm, preferably with huge cup of coffee or tea, or stick on a rack to cool before storing in  air tight container.

Perfect to serve as a breakfast pastry, at brunch, or even as a dessert. A nice little treat for a special lady. (dudes can eat them too) 

Happy Mothers Day Mom! Thanks for having me!

And Happy Weekend!!!

-C


Blueberry Scones 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons  to sprinkle on top
  • 1  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted  butter frozen or really cold (use non dairy butter like Earth Balance for vegan)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla 
  •  3/4 cup buttermilk (use non dairy milk for vegan)

Preheat oven t0 400 degrees

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Take the frozen butter and grate directly into flour mixture, tossing around to evenly disrupted. Add in blueberries and toss around till coated with flour, then lastly, add vanilla to buttermilk and mix into mixture until just barely coming together. Turn mixture out onto counter and with your hands, knead mixture a few times until it forms a solid dough. Shape into a disk and smoosh down until about an inch thick. Cut into 6-10 triangles  and place on a non greases baking sheet and sprinkle tops with remaining sugar. Stick into oven and bake for 20 minutes or until tops start turning a golden brown and a tester in the middle of a scone comes out clean. 

Remove from baking sheet and serve warm or let cool on a rack.

Mom gets first dibs, and if she is willing to share, eat one yourself with your face. 

DIY Marbled Watercolor Stained Glass

IMG_3084I don't know if I have bitched enough about it, but I only have one window in my living space. And as much as I love love love our little tiny loft, I am a person who needs the sun. So when I am home I spend a lot of time siting in front of the window.  Over the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of watercolor painting in front of that window and somehow  between drawings of carrots and  vintage fans, I ended up making these marbled window stained glass hoops. And I am glade I did because these little watercolor gems really do make a big impact on my one source of sunlight. Even when the day is kind of gray and gloomy, having these in the window make the light seem brighter and happy. 

We can all use a bright happy window.

IMG_2825So this project is really easy and fast. I recommend that if you are going to go to the trouble (it's really no trouble) of making one, you might as well make 2 or 5. I actually made a bunch (think Mothers day or Easter presents) and ended up only keeping a s couple. I am going to have to make a few more soon.

You will need-

  • Watercolors 
  • water
  • paintbrush
  • Sketch paper*
  • A pan or tray with a bit of water 
  • Embroidery Circles * (As many as you want to make)

*Notes

  • -I tried to use a few different types of paper and found that the sketch works the best. Watercolor paper was a bit to thick and printer paper just kept ripping.
  • -You can buy embroidery circles at any craft store and they usually have a good variety of sizes. Use the sizes that you like.

IMG_2830Take a piece(s) of paper a little bit bigger then the hoop you are working with and stick it into a pan or tray of water. Let it sit there for a few minutes until the paper is completely soaked.IMG_2832Take the wet paper and, oh so gently, crumple into a ball. This part can be a little tricky. You want to make as many creases as possible without ripping that paper. (I ripped a few pieces) I found that if I folded that paper a few time, then crumpled that it was less likely to rip.

IMG_2850Uncrumple the paper and lay it gently onto the inner part of the hoop. Now the fun part. Go to town with the watercolors. I used 2 colors per piece, but you could do 1 or 3, or more. When applying the color, use big gentle strokes and let the colors kind of meld together. Watch as all the crumple veins soak up the paint. Try using different dilutions of color. I applied some color on thinly and some on the thicker side. But really, you can't go wrong, just keep applying paint until you are happy. I stopped a few times and held it up to the window just to see what it looked like. When it looked good, I was done.

IMG_2844When you are happy with the colors, let the paper dry for a while on the hoop  until it is not longer super wet. I would say about an hour or so, but if you stick it near the heater, it might dry faster. (Just don't stick it in the oven while you are making bread like I did with one.. It just ended up setting on fire. Oops)

Once its pretty much dry, take the outer ring of the hoop and gently place around the inner hoop and tighten. Being super careful, trim the extra paper from the back of the hoop.IMG_3089

Place your pieces in a window and watch them glow.  Yow now have a happy window.

-C