March 29, 2012

A surprise package

I was so surprised a few days ago when I got a sweet package from a really dear friend in NY. He sent me French Macaroons & a very touching letter. I'm happy have people in my life that love me and I love so much. These are from Macaron Cafe.

March 19, 2012

Instagram

I try to avoid joining so many social networking platforms, but this one kept looking so pretty for others. So . . . for now it's just really been photos of Koali, but I hope to use it as a tool to get me shooting for myself again. gramfeed.com/humunuku

March 11, 2012

Gaufre Liège or Belgian waffles

I've been wanting to try a Belgian Waffle for some time now. A real Liege Waffle, the ones with sugar crystals inside. On this website, I found a great recipe! Tried it and it was amazing. So dense and sweet in all the right places. Like a donut in the shape of a waffle. 

1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water (about 105 degF - too hot will kill the yeast)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 cup Belgian pearl sugar*

Mix the yeast, water, sugar and salt in a bowl and let it develop or sit for 15 minutes.

Place the flour in a separate large mixing bowl (we use the bowl of our kitchen aid stand mixer) and make a well in the center of the flour.

Pour the yeast mixture into the well and mix until blended on medium speed (we use the paddle in our kitchen aid mixer).

Add the eggs (one at a time), melted butter a bit at a time, and the vanilla and cinnamon. Be sure to mix well after each addition to the batter. Keep in mind the batter will be thick and VERY sticky (this is normal).

Remove the bowl from the mixer and let the dough rest until it doubles in volume inside the bowl.

Gently fold in the pearl sugar and let the dough rest for 15 more minutes.

While the dough is resting, heat the waffle iron (we use a Waring Pro Belgian Waffle Iron and I recommend Belgian waffle irons because they have the deep pockets).

Spoon about a 2" ball of dough into the center of the waffle iron (this should yield a waffle that is about 4" in diameter). I know that sounds small, but these rich waffles pack quite a punch. Waffles will take 3 to 5 minutes to bake (in our waffle iron, they take 3 minutes and 15 seconds on level 3).

Recipe makes 8 - 10 waffles.

March 9, 2012

All Natural Chocolate Dip

Growing up, I loved (& still love) a vanilla soft serve ice cream chocolate dipped cone. I noticed when I got older, that the chocolate began to taste fake, waxy and cheap. So I researched online and found a great all natural recipe here. What's great is you can use the best quality chocolate & coconut oil. (ps. if you use Expeller-Pressed it really doesn't have any taste of coconut.)

March 8, 2012

New Beginnings a Cafe & Bar

I guess your twenties are a time for figuring things out. So once again, we are about to start a new and exciting journey. Cisco & I will be running a small Cafe & Bar that is part of the Ely Park Golf Course. I hope to bring homemade baked goods, delicious locally roasted coffee, and simple and yummy meals there. It will be, and has been, a lot of work getting it going, but I'm hoping once the weather begins to warm up it will be great and a bit easier. 

Sadly, this does mean we will not be accepting many new photography jobs, or custom screen printing orders, at least FOR NOW. I still love both and plan to work on those things as often as I can. I hope to keep our progress updated here and through the Facebook page.

March 5, 2012

Birthdays & Carrot Cake

This past weekend was the birthday of my brother in law and a very sweet friend.  We celebrated by having a combined dinner at our house. We made Chinese steamed dumplings & thai beef salad, and ordered veggie pad se ew and pad thai. Drank wine and had CARROT CAKE. Probably one the best recipes I've tried. The secret? Oil instead of butter keeps it moist. I'd like to try replacing vegetable oil with coconut oil one day.

Found the carrot cake recipe here. Made a few changes.

Carrot Cake
Ingredients

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots

Icing 
8 oz cream cheese
2 sticks of butter
teaspoon vanilla 
pinch of salt
a few squeezes of lemon juice
1 lb confectioners sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Icing: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon, salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake.