Saturday, July 31, 2010

Room Design

So I'm having way too much fun using!! You design in 2d and then switch it to 3d and you can see every side, zoom in, etc...!

I'm currently playing around with the layout in our basement family room. It's kind of an odd shape and we don't want to buy new furniture. I haven't added any proper colors on anything since I'm too busy looking at the fun details that you can add, like a Christmas Tree (come Christmas I'll probably re-design again!) or a turkey on the table, pans on the burner, and more. And I appreciate that they have a shark on the tv that looks like it's Nemo - appropriate for our house. On a more practical note - I'm using this to do the layout for my sister's wedding which will be outdoors. (They have trees, plants, etc...). Have fun!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shredded Chicken Cabbage Salad

Sorry about the picture- I took it a day later of the leftovers so it was a lot more vibrant when it was fresh! I love using cabbage for salads - it holds up well and you get a lot for your buck. (Cabbage salads make great reception/shower etc.. food.) I didn't write the measurements down when I was making it so these are VERY rough estimates. And since I was so pressed for time I used a rotisserie chicken which worked great! (I also didn't have to heat the grill or the oven.)

1 small rotisserie chicken shredded (chicken breasts would work for this too)
1/2 head red cabbage -sliced in the food processor
1/2 head green cabbage -sliced in the food processor
1 bunch of green onions - chopped
1/2 red pepper - chopped
1 c. (more or less) shredded carrots

Dressing: (these are major approximations! just do it to taste.)
3 T.-4T.  seasoned rice vinegar
pinch of chinese 5 spice
2 T. - 3T. fresh ginger - peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic - peeled and diced
2 t. sesame oil
pinch of sugar

salted peanuts
chow mein noodles

Mix everything but the toppings together and chill for an hour or two.  Then add more dressing/spices/etc.. to taste.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Anniversary Bray and Kajsa!

My sister got married 6 years ago and her wedding is still one of my absolute favorites! I know I'm biased and all but it was an outdoor ceremony right at sunset with pastel bridesmaids, pastel m&ms!, local u-pick flowers (which she let me pick and arrange!), angel food cake with local strawberries, and a bride and groom who love to have a huge party- how could that not be great?! Love you guys!
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lemonade Cupcakes

In summer I always get a craving for thick, soft, light pink, lemonade cookies.  They're sweet and tart and refreshing all at once.  But instead of making the cookie I decided to experiment with the similar idea in a cupcake.  And it worked out great!  They'd also be great bridal or baby shower desserts.

I also experimented with using nut and candy cups to bake them in instead of cupcake liners in a pan.  I LOVE the candy cups! 
They come in mini and standard sizes and both work great.  They've got a wax coating on the inside so the cupcake doesn't  stick.  Although to get them out you either have to rip the paper or push up like a push pop from the bottom. Not difficult.  And you get the added bonus of not having to use or clean a cupcake pan!  Wonderful!  Available at Michaels.
I started with this recipe for Lemonade Layer Cake and adapted it.  See below for the recipe.
I experimented with creating a filling on some - and that was also really good!  I didn't keep track of the measurements but I've included the idea below.
1 1/3 c sugar
6 T unsalted butter, softened
1 T grated lemon rind
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 T thawed pink lemonade concentrate
2 t vanilla
2 large egg whites
2 large eggs
couple drops red food coloring
2 c all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c whole plain yogurt

4 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 - 1 T thawed lemonade concentrate (add more or less as needed)

2 T butter, softened
2 1/2 t grated lemon rind
2 t thawed lemonade concentrate
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t vanilla
8 oz cream cheese
3-4 c powdered sugar
2 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk flower, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together.  Set aside.

Beat the first 6 ingredients (sugar-vanilla) in a large bowl.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix together the yogurt and buttermilk.  Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture; beating after each addition.

Pour batter into the nut and party cups about 3/4 (just a touch past) full. *(Place a small scoop of filling in the center of the batter and gently press it down.) Place on a flat baking sheet and bake until they spring back and a toothpick comes out clean. (10-15 min depending on the size of cups.)
Cool completely.

Beat butter, lemon rind, lemonade, lemon juice, vanilla, and food coloring together.  Slowly add powdered sugar and beat till blended.  Put in a large ziploc bag and if the frosting is a little runny throw it in the fridge for 15-30min.  (Until it is stiff enough to pipe large swirls.)  Cut the corner off the bag and make a large swirl on the cupcake.  Refrigerate the ones you don't eat!

Let me know how they turn out!  And if you find some fun thing to add - send me the idea!

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Pictures of Laura and Cole

Here's some of the professional pictures of Laura and Cole taken by Erica Ann Photography.  There's oodles more on her blog so go take a look. Fantastic pictures!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Money Shirt, Tie, and Pants

  Here's the shirt and tie video I used and the shirt and pants.  (These are great for Father's Day money gifts.  Also fun for leaving tips except that I have to follow the instructions step by step right now!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Growing Blueberries in Idaho

Yesterday I purchased and planted my first blueberry bush. We live in Northern Idaho and our soil is not sandy nor very acidic so this might be a complete flop. I've added coffee grounds to the soil and I'm going to get more peat moss. There are already around ten blueberries growing on them so I'm hoping for a mini harvest!
Does anyone have advice on how to help them survive?
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Feature Flower: Dahlia

Dahlias have become another one of my favorites - right up there with peonies and anemones!

They are tuberous perennials that grow well in the garden, esp zones 7-11.  They prefer light, sandy, well-draining soil (unlike a lot of our clay-like soil in Moscow) so add peat moss. And since our winters are so cold it's best to dig up the tubers after the first frost. 

In bouquets they are absolutely splendid!  They provide a lot of show and shape especially since they come in so many varieties. So if you're getting married in summer - don't forget the dahlia!  

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Laura and Cole

I got to do flowers for a wedding up in Spokane this past weekend.  (You might remember the inspiration board.) Laura's colors were red, black, and white.  She wanted to go for a simple classic look of all red roses and baby's breath but no greens. These are freedom roses and million star gysophila (i.e. baby's breath).

I'll try and post some of the photographer's pictures with the bridal party later but for now here's the few we grabbed when we dropped them off.  (Here's my sister modeling the bouquet.  She'll be holding her own pretty soon...)
Corsages for the young guest book girls.  I also love bridal and bridesmaid bouquets of just baby's breath (see the inspiration board for a picture.)

A shot from underneath so you can see the ring of baby's breath surrounding the roses.
Congrats to Laura and Cole!!
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wedding Invitations

So here's the wedding invites I designed for my sister, Carolyn's, wedding. Her colors are red and ivory so these will be printed on ivory cardstock. We're getting them printed through FedEx Office since they're printing fees are a little lower and I'm really happy with the result!

I was working on creating  a blank version of the invitation and rsvp card when my computer crashed! As soon as I'm up and running again I'll put the blank versions under Templates and Tutorials if you'd like to use them (free!).  I'm still working on the programs and extra details to go along with it and I'll share them with you when they're done!

Computer Troubles

My computer crashed and got a virus so no pictures I'm afraid until my new computer gets here next week.
We're hard at work on prepping for a wedding this weekend and getting big items checked off the to-do list on my sister's wedding. Pictures of both soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July on the fly

We went to a big potluck for the 4th and I had grand ideas to try out on a new cake but the weather was nice enough that we ended up boating instead of baking. So my dessert changed to boxed red velvet cake (that was already in the pantry and could be done in 20min) with marshmallow buttercream frosting and sprinkles! And honestly I have to admit I love that a box mix will never flop. (I need to keep experimenting with using marshmallow cream in frosting but so far it's worked pretty well. The William Sonoma liners helped make it festive too!)
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Inspiration Board: Green and Black

Here's the inspiration for pure white flowers in a green and black wedding!
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