I'm a sucker for vintage vases and flowers. They make me so happy. There's no better way to bring some beauty into your home then flowers, even if it's just one in a tiny little vase by itself. And I love finding old jars and vases at flea markets to use in my home. I found this huge apothecary jar at the Rose Bowl Flea Market years ago. It's perfect when I go out and cut a ton of flowers from my rose bushes.
But the mouth is really wide so as I add flowers they just flop about. I don't have a large enough frog for the bottom so I simple add tape to the mouth of it. I usually use floral tape but most tapes would work fairly well too.
Happiness in a jar!
Although I try to give thanks throughout the year - to my family, to my friends, to my clients - Thanksgiving is always a good reminder of all that is important to you. I hope it doesn't feel to corny to tell all of you who stop by my blog and web site that I am grateful for you all. To be able to have a successful photography business has always been my dream and passion and so I give thanks to all of you. I give thanks to my kids for their patience when I work late or on weekends and I give thanks to the Firefighter for his unwavering love and support... and the fact that he cleans the house!
We are off to celebrate Thanksgiving this year at the firestation were he works. The guys make the best deep-fried turkey and all the families bring side dishes. They always request my mac and cheese, which is great because I'd make it and bring it anyhow! Every Thanksgiving morning I also make a batch of cranberry scones first thing. They sit on the table, warm and inviting, as everyone else starts waking up and making their way into the busy kitchen. Since I'm not cooking much this year, I thought I'd do a quick blog on the scones and wish you all a fabulous Day of Thanks.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, then cut a cup of cranberries in half...
Whisk 2 cups of flour with 5 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt.
Cut in 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I use all organic ingredients whenever possible. Stir in 2/3 cup half-and-half, just until moist.
I prefer to fold the cranberries in by hand.
The only time I love my granite counter top is when I flour the surface to work with dough. Knead it gently a few times then pat into a 1 inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges and brush with a little half-and-half and sprinkle with sugar. Bake approx 12 minutes for delicious, golden, yumminess.
My daughter and I actually did our third decorating class in mid-September but I forgot to blog the photos. (If you missed the first two installments, you can find them here and here.)
Assignment number three was a two layer floral design. If you've been following along, you know one of my challenges has been making my cakes too moist so they fall apart when crumb coating (no matter how water-downed my frosting is). This time I baked the cake just a bit longer and once it cooled I wrapped and refrigerated it. Things I learned:
Wrapping and refrigerating my cakes, along with the extra bake time, definitely helped!
When you do a two layer cake, you do a ring of frosting along the edge before you add your filling. I always wondered how to stop your filling from squirting out! lol My daughter did a chocolate cake with a chocolate fudge filling and I did a spice cake with regular frosting filling.
This is the crumb coated version... I forgot to get a shot of the frosted version before decorating it. Some times I feel a bit rushed by our instructors... and they always look at me funny when I whip out my camera and slow things down. You'll see in the last shots a cornelli lace pattern, made with tip #2. Thin consistency of icing is best for this.
Making Mums is frustrating. My flowers ended up looking like weeds. It's okay, though. I like weeds. I just wish I had more time to practice these. I think, again, that my frosting was too warm from my hand because the petals kept flopping over. We loved using the flower nail though, and we can't wait to try making roses. We started with a blob of frosting on wax paper and used tip #80 for the petals.
Cornelli lace is fun to make. The leaves were made with a #352 tip. Please note my weedy flowers. Actually, I think they remind me of a Yucca plant.
Its fun learning what all the tips do. The shell boarder was with tip #21. We have been keeping our tips in a very fancy ziplock baggy. I'd love to get one of those tip organizers though. We would feel so professional!
Thin your icing for the lace! Here is my daughter's...
Have you seen any of the user-created videos from xtranormal.com? The Firefighter and I love watching these - especially the ones about LAFD vs LAPD. Well, I just saw this photography one over at the Digital Wedding Forum blog. Photographers, you'll totally get this and clients, forgive me for trying to find humor in one of the most frustrating aspects of running my business. Enjoy:
I am looking forward to two things today. First and foremost is the new season of Dexter. I love this show and it just keeps on getting better. I can't wait to see how this season starts after the cliff hanger last season. Who is with me on this one?
The other thing today is I am setting up a booth at a Bar Mitzvah showcase in EL Segundo today. I have never done one of these before so when I was asked to, I thought why not? I love trying new things. Of course I want my table to look cute so since I'm a closet event planner (at least in my own mind) I decided to make cupcakes. Lots of them. Over 200 mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to be exact. From scratch. (The Firefighter asked why and I said "because"... isn't that good enough?) I thought it would be a nice giveaway and, well, I like baking, so my daughter I made them yesterday.
I was sooooo excited to find mini cupcake papers in my teal color! And the edible glitter had to come home with me when I saw the name of this color...
I usually use a scoop when I make my full size cupcakes and cookies so they are all the same size. I didn't have a mini scoop though so the spoon was an experiment.
I am a sloppy baker and my past experience with red velvet tells me my hands would be red for days. Since I knew I would be meeting with clients the next day, I did what any sensible girl would do. I wore gloves. Thanks to the Firefighter/EMT I found some of these in his supplies. I think I rocked them!
These started to look like ketchup cups from McDonalds to us. No wonder I was craving french fires all day.
I had to stop at some point and become a mom again. After hours of being gone, I finished up in the evening. Here is our sea of red velvet...
I also learned that a spoon doesn't make for even cupcakes... and that my oven is lopsided!
Frosting this many cupcakes is a cinch with a piping bag (tip #2A)...
The final result with glitter (what is edible glitter anyway?)...
Thanks to my girlfriends for lending me some mini muffin pans. I owe you some cupcakes!
Things I'm not looking forward to today? After leaving El Segundo, I need to head further south to pick up my son and his friends from Disneyland, then head back into the Valley. It's going to be a long day. At least I have red velvet cupcakes and Dexter to look forward to.