With Valentines day in the near future, you may need something to wrap your little gifts and chocolate in. We came up with a simple pillow box for just that. Get the free downloadable template over at You Are My Fav Blog.
If you haven't been able to tell by our instagram, we are in Hawaii. That's my grandpa being funny with his sun protection. Although it's been crazily cold at night here (we are from the mountains), it's so bright that maybe I'll need to buy some new sunglasses. I'm pretty plain in my style, but maybe something different would be fun. I'll try to post more pics on instagram as the days go on, it can be difficult though, wanting to just be there and enjoy it . . . :)
Cisco loves shoes. That may be an understatement. I have a very hard time committing to any one pair and when I do, I wear it to pieces. He on the other hand can barely walk by a shoe store without buying something. He lost his favorite pair of Clarks on a trip to Boston once. It was sad, but luckily he's found another similar (not quite the same, and they stopped making it). I was surprised to find shoes not just for men, but adorable women's wear too! I'm loving these ankle boots.
Today I made Blue Green Algae Ice Cubes that I keep frozen. Each day I pop one into a large glass of water. Since I have been taking Algae, I've noticed a huge difference in my focus, body, and overall health. A little pricy, but worth it.
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” Eckhart Tolle
I've decided that each week I want to share something that is not of my own making. It may be photos, words, other's work, whatever. Something inspiring, interesting, or uplifting. Thank you for reading.
I've been on the hunt for a really tasty & moist yellow cake, so I found this one from Smitten Kitchen. Which I have to say is pretty tasty. I notice that cakes with some sort of tangy ingredient, like sour cream, or yogurt, or buttermilk come out best. And although I usually like a swiss meringue buttercream to ice it, I was craving something super sweet and nostalgic. So I made a good old fashioned batch of American Buttercream. There was some leftover caramel filling so I mixed it with some buttercream for the filling.
Best Yellow Layer Cake
Everyone needs a killer yellow cake recipe. This is mine, and dare I say, it should be yours too. It just works. Every time. And if you’ve ever tried a yellow cake mix and wondered why yours didn’t come out that consistently plush (but not freakishly unnatural) at home, dare I say it’s because you hadn’t made this one yet?
Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake (I have yet to audition the cupcakes, shame on me)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt 2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened 2 cups (400 grams) sugar 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract 4 large eggs, at room temperature 2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.
Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.
I'm not sure if I've shared this pdf with you, but since I've found the macaroon recipe, and tips I've never used another. Demystifying Macarons has great information on how to almost fool proof your baking experience.
Caramel Fleur de Sel Filling
I found this recipe at Mad Baker and it is absolutely delicious! You could probably use this filling for cakes and other cookies. Using a digital scale helps make measuring precise. Sufficient quantity water 1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod 200g whipping cream, warmed 3g fleur de sel 140g unsalted butter, well-chilled and cut into cubes 1. Place the sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add just enough water to dampen the sugar. 2. Cook the sugar to 160 degrees C without stirring. The sugar syrup should take on an amber hue. 3. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste or the scrappings from the vanilla pod. 4. Add in the warm cream a little at a time - be very careful here as the caramel will foam up and sputter. I recommend wearing an oven mitt. 5. Add the fleur de sel and stir to make sure that all the caramel has dissolved. 6. Allow the mixture to cool to around 40 degrees C. 1. Place the sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add just enough water to dampen the sugar. 2. Cook the sugar to 160 degrees C without stirring. The sugar syrup should take on an amber hue. 3. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste or the scrappings from the vanilla pod. 4. Add in the warm cream a little at a time - be very careful here as the caramel will foam up and sputter. I recommend wearing an oven mitt. 5. Add the fleur de sel and stir to make sure that all the caramel has dissolved. 6. Allow the mixture to cool to around 40 degrees C. 8. Line the surface of the caramel with cling wrap to prevent a layer of skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator until needed.
Yesterday was a very chilly day outside in Upstate, New York, but cozy inside. We shot a new born for the first time. He was only 10 Days old and so adorable. The light was perfect and his family sweet.
Our home has a sunroom connected to it. It has large sun-light windows, which give tons of natural light goodness for photos. But I am thinking of turning it into a little meeting room for clients. We have a couch and coffee table in there but not enough seating for meetings. I'd just need something simple like a couple of footstools or chairs.
A year ago, I would have described 2012 as a difficult and painful year. I went through some crazy & amazing things. It was a year of extremes. But now having gone through those things, the bad at least, I am able, cliche as it is, to see that they were a necessary step for me to achieve a much higher level of clarity, understanding and most importantly gratitude about what it means. What it all means for me. I've always been searching for more and in the process, I've gained so much good and I have so much, I know. But in some areas still, I struggle. It wasn't until it hurt so much, not only mentally but physically that I was able to transcend into a new mental space that is everything-ness for me. My surgery and the scars it left are a reminder of what I was, what I've become, and what I’ve yet to be. When there is some bad, it's easy to forget how much good there also is. 2012 gave me so much success and joy. I am more grateful everyday. I am blessed completely and my life full. Always going toward the more, but this year, much more peaceful, present and appreciative now.
I am so thankful for this life and that I am able to do what I love and that I have people who appreciate what we do. Thank you for reading and being a part of our life!
We here at Humunuku are beyond EXCITED for what 2013 has to offer!