Yesterday I did something I’ve been really really wanting to do for quite a while now – make a pie completely and totally from scratch. So I set to work peeling apples and rolling dough with help only by my ten fingers and two palms. I was beyond happy when it came out perfect. Seriously, perfect! I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty sure it could kick the butt of any premade dough and canned filling pie any day of the week (bring it on pillsbury dough boy!). The crust was flakey and soft and the apples were sweet and tender, what more could a girl possibly ask for?

The crust recipe was from Tartine via Bread Baby.

And the Filling was Martha Stewarts via Handle the Heat.

Terrain

February 25, 2010

Let me take you to a magical place. A place where plants grow and the smell of orchids fill the crisp winter air. A place that takes you back to childhood summers and make you want to plant a garden. You can find plants in handmade pots, plates for your kitchen, soaps that smell of lavender and a warm cup of coffee.

I came across Terrain on a trip to Glen Mills, PA and have fallen in love. I will most definitely by revisiting this summer.


Vegan Snickerdoodles

February 17, 2010


I have to be honest.

I’m not totally sure where the word snickerdoodle came from or what it means. I just know that to me it means “delectable little cookie all covered in cinnamon and sugar.”

Demi-Brooke is a lovely girl who takes beautiful photographs.
When she posted photos of her vegan cookies the other day, and one of them happened to be vegan snickerdoodles, my mouth began to water.

Me and snickerdoodles have always had a thing for each other. After all, what isn’t good all rolled in cinnamon?

I remembered that I saw a great recipe for vegan snickerdoodles from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur posted just a week ago and knew it was time to give it ago… after I kept getting asked when I would bring some more treats in from people at work, and I can’t very well let them down, now can I?

They turned out perfect!

A crispy, cinnamon-y outside with a tasty, crumbly interior.

Here is the fantastic recipe which I highly reccomend…

Vegan Snickerdoodles

(From Vegan Cookie Connoissuer)
Makes about 3-4 dozen

3/4 cup margarine
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup soy milk
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla, soy milk, and cornstarch and mix until incorporated.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Stir. If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add a splash of soy milk. It shouldn’t be sticky though.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for about 12 minutes until golden around the edges, but still soft on top, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

That’s Tight(s)

February 10, 2010

I seemed to find myself snowed in once again today.
I decided to get down to business and start crossing things off my “to-do” list instead of sitting around eating cupcakes and watching Audrey Hepburn movies (okay… well I still might be planning on doing that tonight….)

I don’t wear white tights anymore…
Last year I was made fun of for looking like “a little girl going to communion” in my clean white tights and little ballet flats. So I decided it was high time to do something with the pair that lingered lonely in my closet.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of tie dye. I guess my brain instantly goes to an image of a rainbow dyed shirt being worn by someone with dirty dreadlocks who hasn’t bathed in a week or two. But I wanted to give single – color dying a try a figured these tights were the perfect victim.

Personally…I adore how they came out.

But I’m dying to know what everyone else thinks.. good/bad whatever! Oppinions please :)

A letter to Cupid

February 8, 2010

Dear Valentines Day,

I realize you have become little more than commercialized holiday targeted at selling cheap diamonds and poorly made chocolates that taste like toothpaste to men who almost forgot your existence. And yes, you cause restaurants to be overcrowded and not nearly as enjoyable as they really are. But I can forgive you for all of that and I will tell you why.

You see, it’s been snowing.
I hate snow, and cold, and ice and every bit of winter in the northeast.
February is a horrid month, filled with shoveling snow and running as quickly as possible from house to car and praying not to slip and die on the ice.
I shiver and sniffle and curse the season at least once an hour, trying to remember the beautiful days of summer when I would lay on a beach or have dinner outside talking with friends and munching on burgers. But those days seem so far away and there never feels to be an end to the winter madness mid-february.

Then, out of nowhere – the stores are covered in pink and red and pictures of flowers appear all over. Spring, maybe?! no…but at least those horrid christmas colors which signify the season is only beginning have been replaced by something cheerier.

My first job was at a cafe in a little village surrounded by orchards.
It seemed like overnight the apple trees would go from being naked arms stretching towards the sky to being bright, beautiful, pink goddesses. Raining little pink petals all over the ground and floating through the air – and you knew it was officially spring and summer would be here soon.

Oh pink – how I love you. oh and red, you’re not shabby either (that is, as long as you aren’t being displayed on a large man
with a white beard and a herd of pointy eared helpers).

So, Valentines Day – for brightening up this horrific time of you I bring you these -

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

XOXOJosie

The northeast was thoroughly taken over by a severe case of snow-steria this week.
You couldn’t find a grocery store with a gallon of milk or a slice of bread from D.C. to Boston. Snow plows were ready and waiting at mall parking lots and trucks were filled with salt in preparation for our area’s second 20+ Inch storm this winter.

The one thing I always do when I’m stuck in the house like this is bake.
The thing is, I’m still fairly sheepish about trying new things. I’ll spend and hour looking at new recipes and trying to figure out what to make and I end up making vanilla cupcakes or chocolate chip cookies.
So I sent out a call for help on facebook, asking what I should make this time.
My first response was from the fabulous owner of The Hope Chest (you can check out their blog here!) saying how she had just made cranberry walnut scones and almost instantly my mom piped in asking for some of them.

Scones may not be that adventurous, but I’ve never made them -
so I decided to give them a try.
The fridge just happened to be recently stocked with blueberries… a sign, perhaps?

So I set out trying to find a recipe that fit my tastes and used only ingredients that I already had, as there was no way I was going to pay a visit to the grocery store and have to knock down little old ladies and fight shopping carts and strollers just for some heavy cream or dried cranberries. I, of course, spent some time on taste spotting (isn’t it just the most lovely recipe site ever?) and found one that I could work with.
I finally settled on Food for Poems’ recipe for Scones with Currants and Yoghurt and decided play with it a little bit.

They turned out lovely, and oh-so delicious if I say so myself.
With just a little honey, they were the perfect breakfast along with a cup of my favorite tea.
The dough came together so easy too! I was surprised, and honestly felt as though I must have forgotten something and would inevitably end up with hockey pucks or some disgusting blobs of dough…but they came out perfect (insert happy sigh here)

Before I hand out my recipe though I do want to make a mention of my favorite tea,
which I cannot believe I have yet to do.

I first had Mighty Leaf Tea at the late Brasserie Perrier. You can ask Frank – it was love at first sip and quickly became my little obsession. Every restaurant we visited I would say a little prayer that the waitress would could back with a pouch of Mighty Leaf for me.
For christmas last year Frank even got me the huge sampler box of teas and about a minute later I had gone through them all.
Unfortunantly, it is both difficult to find in stores (the only place I know to get it is the Whole Foods in Philly) and also pretty expensive (about $7 for a box of 15 pouches) so besides having it at restaurants I have been missing curling up with cups of it before bed for almost a year now.

Well, I finally caved and week or two ago and picked up a box of my favorite flavor while I was in the city.
Their Green tea Tropical is my favorite tea in all the world – light, fruity and just a little sweet. All of their teas are whole leaf in these fancy little biodegradable pouches and individually sealed, so every single cup is absolute perfection.
I know its pricey for tea – but if you happen to be at whole foods in philly, or love your tea and want to do a little online shopping, I would absolutely reccomend it. And I’m a super cheapskate, so you know its worth it!

Okay! Recipe time finally!

Blueberry Yogurt Scones
Adapted from Food For Poems
Makes 8 small or 6 large scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks of about 1 cm sq.
1 6-oz container honey flavored greek yogurt (Plain would also work fine)
1/2 cup Fresh blueberries
¼ cup milk (I used 2%)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter using a fork, two knives, a pastry cutter, or your hands (I usually use my hands) until the mixtures is crumbly.

Add yogurt and blueberries. Add the vanilla to the milk, and stir in gently.

Stir milk into dough, sprinkling it to distribute evenly, and mix just until blended – I use my hands to incorporate everything and do a couple of kneads in the bowl before turning it out.

Pat into a round, flat disc. Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, divide into eight even pieces. Separate the pieces at least 2″ or so apart from one another.  Bake on parchment-paper lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, or until light brown.

Serve with honey and enjoy! :)

My Own

February 3, 2010

Thought I’d share some photos of some my own vintage little knick nacks :)

Have to Share…

February 1, 2010

Do you ever come across something are are just like…oh my goodness…who can I tell about this?!

That’s how I felt when I came across Red Velvet Art.

Their blog made me droll – so much cuteness! so much pretty-ness! what to do?!

I have never had a wanting to go to Missouri, but I would totally go just to see their adorable shop, seriously, have you ever seen anything so adorable?

I adore these paintings!

I don’t think “cute” could possibly describe this “I’m a Fox” craft kit

I want this bear ears headband sooo bad it hurts!

I may not eat fast food, but I’d totally rock this necklace.

Hope you enjoyed as much as I did :)

Lunch at Parc

January 22, 2010

We decided to revist Parc for lunch after picking Frank up from the airport from his latest excursion for work.

I had a Lamb sandwich that left a bit of spicy kick in my mouth
and he had a “very good” cheeseburger.

and of course, the pommes frites were salty and addictive
…and I don’t even like french fries.

Old School

January 20, 2010

I’ve been looking back on old photos.
I used to take photos all the time, for any reason, for now reason. If I was upset, I took photos, if I was happy I took photos, if I was bored I took photos – it didn’t matter. I miss that. I wish I did that more. I was like queen of self portraits especially. Some people may think that’s self obsorbed but it’d a lot more difficult than it seems to get a photo that’s actually interesting when you don’t have the actual camera in your hands and no one’s there to direct your movements. I want to get back into that – I miss it dearly.

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