Archives for the month of: March, 2013

I realized I’ve had a string of sewing/crafting posts so it seemed like well past time to share some baking delights. And this morning provided a couple tasty subjects.

We had a baby shower for a good friend today and I’d been trying to think of what sweet things to make for her. She loves salted caramel, so this recipe from Smitten Kitchen was a no-brainer since I know I can trust that her recipes will turn out even on the first try.  So what to pair with it? Something non-chocolate? Then it hit me… this baby made her mama extra nauseous early in the pregnancy and one of the only things that sounded good were pop-tarts (and hot chocolate, but now that the sun is out that didn’t seem as appealing). Yup, time to try homemade pop-tarts. And this recipe for strawberry nutella pop-tarts seemed like the perfect place to start.

Happily both turned out – especially the brownies, those will be a new go-to favorite I’m sure!

Ready for a morning of baking

Ready for a morning of baking

As much as I bake, my little secret is that I pretty much avoid any dough that has to be rolled out – it scares me. But I was too excited about the pop-tart idea and besides, my friend is worth it. I also had a duh moment when I realized that just because I have a baby food processor that doesn’t mean I can’t use it. I needed two balls of dough anyway, so I just mixed it up in two batches and just like that – pastry dough! I just might be able to add a whole new category of baking into my repertoire.

I know it's not an exciting photo, but I was so proud of these two little balls of dough that I'm sharing anyway.

I know it’s not an exciting photo, but I was so proud of these two little balls of dough that I’m sharing anyway.

Then came the rolling and cutting and filling stages of the pop-tarts; not so bad. And more importantly I got a complement on the flaky pastry dough!

Pastry with nutella and strawberry jam.

Pastry with nutella and strawberry jam.

They're starting to look like pop-tarts!

They’re starting to look like pop-tarts!

Ta da! Homemade pop-tarts.

Ta da! Homemade pop-tarts.

Next up… the brownies. Which started with homemade caramel (getting over that fear really opened up a whole new world of goodness).

Caramel bits ready for the brownies.

Caramel bits ready for the brownies.

Gooey chocolate with caramel bits? yes please.

Gooey chocolate with caramel bits? yes please.

Salted caramel brownies. These were a chewy, gooey, decadent treat that I'll be making again for sure!

Salted caramel brownies. These were a chewy, gooey, decadent treat that I’ll be making again for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve been inspired lately by my “Super Nephew” – the bonus of sewing for a two year old is that things are small and projects are quick.

First up for the little chef was an apron. A good friend made a bunch for little ones in her life for Christmas so I borrowed her pattern and experience while it was fresh and whipped up this cute one.

owl apronThe best part is that he’s turning out to be quite the little baker and loves the Kitchen-Aid!

mixin it up

Of course when I first gave him the apron he tried it on like a cape which prompted his parents to encourage him to ask for a cape (meanwhile all I was thinking was noooo, I don’t want to sew with shiny fabric). With a few suggestions he decided he wanted a shiny red cape with a star on it.

I wasn’t so excited about this project, but texts from my sister letting me know he was asking about his cape and even remembered it was red with a star two weeks later gave me some much needed motivation. I got a little more excited when I got to the fabric store and realized I could work a chartreuse green into the mix and a fun blue too (I did go with a nice traditional red at least).super cape colors

Turns out the hardest part was picking the pattern (cause I’m not a wing it kind of girl). I ended up going with this one. Then I invited my sewing buddy over knowing there was a much better chance of avoiding throwing the project on the floor if I had a witness. Turns out that sewing with shiny fabric isn’t so bad when the pieces are small and you use lots of pins. I finished it in an afternoon (and may have already made a second one, but that’s a secret…) and it is ridiculously cute – I had no idea I’d be so excited about sewing a cape.

super capeI was going to wait until I saw my nephew next, but that was two months away and seemed like a mean thing to do to an excited two year old. So I packed it up and put it in the mail and was rewarded with photos like this:
super cute

pantslessThe cape & no pants look is quite the classic and has been making me smile all day!