Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentine's Day! (Finally)

Warning! This post is super image heavy!
Also, sorry the pictures aren't great. You try taking pictures while cooking a feast!

It's been almost a week since Vday, so I'll (try to) keep this short.

Chris is usually the "doer" between the two of us. He's good at planning what we're going to do for such an occasion. This year, I wanted to do something for him, so I planned a picnic. There was even a picnic basket. Unfortunately, it rained and we didn't really want to sit in wet grass, so we picnic-ed in my livingroom floor.

I made homemade chicken salad sandwiches on croissants (those weren't homemade) with lettuce and tomato. I love chicken salad but I rarely make it. So when I do, it's one of Chris' favorite things. I make a sweet version with grapes. I even slice the grapes individually; it's very involved, but very worth it.
Chopping the chicken, pre-salad.
All done! Yuuuuuummmmm!

I also got some goat cheese, jalapeno havarti- his favorite, wheat thins, grapes, and apple chips as side dishes.
Yes, that is a giant Easter teacup as a bowl for the grapes.

Chris insisted on a picture of me with all my hard work.

Then there was the cake. Now, I am very excited about this cake. Let me tell you about it.
I made an angel food cake from a box, which was supersupereasy, by the way.

Then I heated a bag of frozen raspberries in a small saucepan with about 3 tablespoons of sugar until they were mostly liquid and boiling like crazy. Then I let them cool a bit.

After the cake was cool, I cut the top inch and a half off the cake and set it aside. With my fingers, I scooped and pinched out a little "moat." I used the pieces I removed from the moat to fill in the hole in the middle.Then in went the raspberries! Then I carefully put the top of the cake back on, and made a really simple topping/frosting. I used my mixer and creamed 8oz of cream cheese, then added a big tub of whipped topping and about 3/4 of a cup of confectioner's sugar. Oh! And a little vanilla. Always add vanilla.

I wasn't really all that careful in my frosting. I just tried to get most of it on the cake. I like to put it all on top to start with then slowly work it down the sides. This topping was really easy to work with because it was so light and creamy since it's mostly cool whip anyway.

I threw a few fresh raspberries on the top. I spent nearly $4 on fresh raspberries, but when I got them home I realized that they were mostly molded. These were the only ones that were salvageable.
I call this masterpiece a "Bleeding Angel Cake." Why? Well, just look at what it looks like when you cut it!

If you attempt this cake, you should keep in mind that it does need to go in the fridge, since it has cream cheese and whipped cream in the frosting. Also, we learned that this is NOT a two person type of cake. It needs to be shared! A week later and we have over half left. The good news is that it's still just as tasty.

As for the presents, Chris got me this:
My very favorite print from The Black Apple. I'm getting quite the itchy "add to cart" finger because of it. I really think it needs a friend. But two is a weird number. I like things in threes, so I'm having a dilemma about that. We'll see. He also gave me a box of chocolates and a mini planter kit for outside my door. It came with soil, the planter and flower seends. It will be something for my gnomes to look after!

For Chris, I (of course) counted all the food as part of my present but since he's been reading biographies lately (I got him two Alan Alda books for Christmas), I got him Barack Obama's first book.

All in all, it was a very nice Valentine's Day. Did I mention how good that cake was? I'm thinking of doing it with peaches next time. Mmmmm......

Have a happy weekend, everybody. I'm going home and will come back with clean clothes and new contacts and glasses! Yay for vision! See you next week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Very Sorry

I just realized that I lied. When I said "tomorrow" in the previous post, I should have said "someday." It really will happen. I just have to get the pictures all uploaded and Photoshopped. I really will do this. Mostly because I want you all to see the cake I made, which was possibly the prettiest cake I've ever seen.

Really, it will be soooooon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lovely Day

I just had the most wonderful Valentine's Day with Chris! I'll post all about it tomorrow (with pictures!) but for now I'm going to go watch the episode of Battlestar Galactica that I missed Friday night while I was cooking for VDay.

Sweet Dreams!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Happy Friday!

I know, shame on me. I usually don't go a full week without a post, but I guess I've been busy.

Jessica came to visit last weekend and we definitely geeked out the whoooooole time. There was talk of crafting, books, Buffy and other TV shows, and cooking. (Oh my!)
We made the most amazingly delicious Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (according to this recipe).

We also had banana nut pancakes for breakfast.... er.... lunch Saturday. That isn't really a recipe, so much as me adding mashed banana and pecans to a bisquick mix, but they were delicious anyway.

We also fiiiiiinally exchanged Christmas gifts. I made her one of my oh-so-handy crochet hook caddys.

And she made me this.

You're probably confused. It's a Tardis iPod case made from plastic canvas and yarn. There's even a little place for my earphones in the top. Don't know what a Tardis is? Go here. In any case, it's amazingly cute and I love it.

I also finished my first drawing project and turned it in this week. Now we're on to another. I'll post pictures as soon as I have a little more done.

And now I'll leave you with the funniest video ever. Somebody posted this on Facebook tonight and I almost peed my pants laughing at it.

Happy Pre-Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Posters From Days Gone By

Quietly tucked away on the website for the Library of Congress is a collection of 908 beautiful posters created from 1936-1943 for the WPA in order to promote health, art exhibits, musical performances, tourism, etc.

There's a plethora of colors and subjects. These are just a few of the ones I've found that I love.

(Click on them to enlarge)

You can download high resolution scans for most of these boldly colored gems. All they need after that is a little bit of Photoshopping and a little bit of love and you can print them out and frame them for some gorgeous and unique wall art.

Go check them out. You're bound to find one (or more!) that you love.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

All New for the LDQ!

See what I did there? It rhymes!

I finally finished this piece for the LDQ! It took me a good three weeks, but I finally have my favorite lyrics from my favorite song (Romeo and Juliet by the Dire Straits) quilt-ified! This will run down the entire length of one side of the quilt. It's in two pieces, they're shown side by side here.
All those little letters were extremely tedious, but worth it in the end.

After all that tedium, I wanted a few "just for fun" pieces. This is what I did. Both patterns are from Elsie's Etsy shop.

That little lion makes me smile.

And finally, I made these little peach cobbler tarts the other night.This is pre-baking, but they didn't look much different after, just a little browner and less gooey. They were SUPER simple to make. Want the recipe? Here it is:

Ginger Vanilla Peach Cobbler Tarts

1 can of peach chunks
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of AP flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ginger (Add more or less according to your taste, I like alot.)

Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl and divide among 3 or 4 ramekins (depending on their size). Don't worry about them overflowing, they won't rise that much. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top of each if you like, I did and it was tasty!

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until they aren't runny in the middle anymore. Wait for them to cool a bit then eat up!

Hope you had a wonderful Tuesday and will have an even better Wednesday!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I *Love* Etsy!

I'm supposed to be studying for a test and working on a drawing. Instead, I'm sitting on Chris' couch with his laptop, half-watching the Superbowl (mostly for the commercials). Even though I have alllllll of that going on, I thought I'd share a few of my very favorite Etsy finds. If you aren't familiar with Etsy, it is a website that allows individual sellers to sell handmade and vintage goods. There are some seriously talented people out there. Here are just a few of the wonderful things you can find on Etsy.
Here we go!

(Click on any of the pictures to go to the shop where it can be found.)

This purple owl lamp stole my heart. If I had $100 to throw away, it would be mine. Also, how cute is that little red dog?

I want it over my couch so baaaaaaad! This is a hand printed replica of a WWII era poster by sfgirlbybay (whose blog I also frequent). It makes me wish I was English. There are lots of pretty colors available.

Prints from AshleyG make me happy... especially this one. Loooook at that moustache! So cute. Speaking of moustaches....

This little Moustache Man bag is so precious and funny. And can you really ever have enough bags? Make sure you check out the Robot bag, too.

These are hand screen-printed votive candle holders. I am obsessed with all the colors and patterns. The Ferris wheel is by far my favorite, but I wish I could have one of each!

I saw this necklace last week and ever since I have had an itchy "add to cart" finger. It's just so pretty. Also, I think I saw it the same day as I watched The Secret Life of Bees, so that could have something to do with the bee theme. This shop has LOTS of gorgeous jewelry.

These photographs of miniature worlds by James Spicer are tiny little pieces of joy. I love how dainty they all look. The photographs themselves are even small. I just love them.

And then there's The Black Apple, whose prints just make me so happy. This is probably my favorite shop on all of Etsy. I would cover a whole room in these if I could. Her blog is also a favorite.

Okay, I think that's all for now. Enjoy your Etsy-ing!