Sunday, January 31, 2016

Shrimp with Capers, Lemon and Feta on Orzo



Welcome to February, everyone! I don't know about you, but things are finally starting to settle back into a familar pattern around here. The holidays are over, my decorations are down and we are all looking forward to the next school bread with spring.

As always, I love fitting new, shiny recipes into our weekly meal plan. Today's recipe combines all my favorite flavors, from the lemony orzo, to the salt capers and feta... and of course, the shrimp! I don't fix shrimp at home often, it is not my husband's favorite, but I really should use them more. I love how fast and easy they are to work with.



I had a really hard time keeping quiet about this recipe. My Secret Recipe Club assignment for February with Thyme for Cooking Blog arrived in December and I was tickled that she had several drool-worthy shrimp recipes listed. We took a short break from posting with the group for the holidays, but it is back and I hope you will be as excited about this recipe as I was.


Katie's blog is full of amazing looking dishes with great instructions and fun personal stories. I was immediately drawn to her seafood section and would love to try her Shrimp in Green Garlic Sauce and Shrimp and Spinach Pie soon. But ultimately I decided to go with her Shrimp with Capers, Lemon and Feta on Orzo recipe.

It just happened to contain all my favorites. How could I not make it?

Katie is also a world traveler, and I really enjoyed reading her stories about navigating life in France. It reminded me of my own experiences abroad with cultural differences and hospital stays.



One small change was made (unintentionally) to Katie's original recipe. Though I would have made her recipe as written, I had to make a last-minute substitute. Her recipe called for red bell peppers and when I went to grab mine from the crisper drawer, they had all gone bad.

I am always irked when that happens this time of year.

Lately my youngest, who is almost 3, has been a real terror on shopping days. The worst experience was when he decided it was funny to scream the entire time we were in the grocery store! Oh, the horror! He wasn't upset or mad, he is just really interested in getting reactions out of strangers these days. So he screamed and screamed.

It worked perfectly for him, too. Every. Single. Stranger. Looked. So he continued to scream and smile and laugh from aisle to aisle.

I was mortified!

So, I have been trying to keep my shopping trips to a minimum. My husband has been traveling most weekends, so it is just me and the kids. Last minute trips to the store are not really an option. I try to grab everything I need for the week and if something goes bad, I find an alternative.

To preserve the need for color in this dish, and keep the Mediterranean flavor, I went with grape tomatoes. It did add a nice burst of flavor with the lemon and salty ingredients. I tossed them in last so they were warm but still firm.

If you decide to give this dish a try, which I sincerely hope you do, I would suggest using either the red bell peppers or grape tomatoes as fit your own tastes ... or crisper drawer.




Shrimp with Capers, Lemon and Feta on Orzo

Adapted from Thyme for Cooking Blog

You Will Need:

  • 12 oz. large shrimp, thawed and cleaned
  • 1 medium leek, sliced and cleaned
  • 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 lemon juiced (4 Tbsp. divided)
  • 2 Tbsp. capers, drained
  • 15 Kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 3 oz. feta, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 c. orza
Cook the orzo as directed on the package. Toss drained orzo with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Add the paprika and leek. Saute till tender. 

Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is evenly pink.

Toss with the remaining lemon juice, capers, olives and tomatoes. Warm through. 

Remove from the heat and top with feta and parsley.

Serve the shrimp mixture over the orzo and enjoy!




See? Isn't that easy? And look at that gorgeous dish.

Note - In case you are also living with someone who is not a huge shrimp fan, grab a bag of frozen, cleaned shrimp at the grocery store and make a half recipe for a quick dinner for one. This may be my new favorite weekend treat when I am sans hubby.

Ready for some more delicious meal ideas? Check out The Secret Recipe Club recipe linky below:


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Andrea
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Cinnabun Coffee Cake #TheBookClubCookbookCC


This no-muss, no-fuss Cinnabun Coffee Cake is the perfect pairing for early morning coffee and a good book.

The past few weeks have been drenched in cold, windy, Oregon rain and added activities associated with family life. I really enjoyed stealing moments here and there to read Leif Enger's Peace Like a River. It was this month's selection for The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Crew and I have to thank Sarah, The Pajama Chef, for selecting it. It is the sort of title that I might have never had the opportunity to read, if it wasn't for this group and the diverse choices from the members.

I really enjoyed the goose hunting description early on in the story. With my own children always begging to go out in our corn fields for the honor, it is always interesting to hear about the surprises and mishaps.

Though I don't think my daughter would ever chase after a runaway bird, she did have an experience with a goose popping back up and jumping on the blind she was sharing with another little girl. They were quite surprised, but luckily one of the hunting dogs was quick to react before either girl could be pinched.



As with all the reading selections for #TheBookClubCookbookCC, there is one or more recipes inspired by the story, or recreated from it. Our group also is free to find our own inspiration from the food references to create or share our own recipes.

The recipe originally paired with the book was Mrs. Enger's Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Frosting. I have to admit, the recipe sounds yummy! Despite multiple attempts to make it.... I wasn't able to fit in the time.

It suggests you have the dough ready by 6pm, so it can rise overnight and then be baked at 5am the following morning. Despite living on a working farm, I am not up that early... and neither is my husband. I am lucky to roll out of bed at 5am for a half-hearted shuffle on the treadmill.

Yeah, the cinnamon rolls just didn't happen.

I finally decided that as a busy Mom with small children and irregular sleeping habits (the children, not necessarily me!) I needed a recipe that would make itself. Okay, it doesn't quite bake itself and all that... but, I did create this coffee cake with the help of more capable hands than mine .... my breadmaker. Thank goodness for modern conveniences!

The coffee cake is simple, but it does taste like a warm cinnamon roll and even tastes better with a little coffee frosting drizzled over the top.

Be sure to keep reading till the end for the giveaway.


Cinnabun Coffee Cake

You will need:
7/8 c. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. active yeast
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. confectioner's sugar
strong black coffee, as needed to create the right consistency

Place the whole milk through active yeast in your bread machine bread pan as directed by the manufacturer's instructions. My machine goes from wet to dry ingredients with yeast being added last. Set the machine for the dough cycle.

Spray a 9x13" baking dish with non-stick spray.

Create the crumble topping by mixing together the 3/4 c. flour, sugar, oats, pecans, and cinnamon. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingers to make moist crumbs.

When the dough cycle is complete. Flour your fingers and spread half the sticky dough into your baking dish. Stretch and push it into the corners. Sprinkle with a thin layer of topping, then top with the other half of the dough. Place the remaining topping on top. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising period,  preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While still warm, whisk together the confectioner's sugar with just enough strong coffee to make it pourable. Drizzle over the top of the coffee cake before serving.

Enjoy!


Giveaway
This month Sarah at The Pajama Chef, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from January 1st till January 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

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*Disclosure: Sarah received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.


Andrea
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Friday, January 8, 2016

Create Your Own Valentine's Day Seals


Now that Christmas and the New Year are behind us, my kids are already planning all the important details for the next big holiday - Valentine's Day! Around here, January is full of cutting out paper hearts, stocking up on cookie decorating supplies and designing our Valentine's Day cards.

Basically, once the heart-shaped candy debuts on store shelves, we start to discuss what we want to create and share for the big holiday.

I always encourage the kids to make something different and unique to gift. I am already excited about my daughter's choice, we will be making homemade heart-shaped lollipops in an assortment of flavors and hand stamping little bags for them to go in. My son is still thinking about it. I am guessing he will want something Star Wars related...

For my own project,  I decided to make special Valentine's notes to slip into my kids' lunches.  I wanted to make the notes extra special by designing a couple Valentine's Day Seals to stamp into red wax for the outside.

I love the novelty of sealing a letter with wax. A simple word, initials or a symbol would be a romantic way to seal up a special love note this Valentine's Day.  I think you will be surprised at how simple they are to create!


To make the seal, you will need:

  • Sculpey Oven-Bake Clay - any color
  • Letters or symbols for the impressions - I used alphabet beads
  • wire cutters *optional
  • red wax
  • envelopes


Start by selecting your word, initials or symbol. I found these great letter beads that just needed to be trimmed in order to make a clear impression in my seal.


You may find a simpler alternative, but these beads just needed the loops snipped off.


Then I could create my words.


Take a small amount of Sculpey clay to form a stamp. I used roughly 1/4 of the package and created a flat side and comfortable finger grip in the other for stamping into the warm wax.


Press the letter firmly and evenly into the soft clay. XOXO was easy, but if you use a word, be sure to make the imprint reversed so the word will have the correct orientation when stamped.


Then carfully remove the letters from the clay.

Bake the clay at 300 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until dry. As the clay cools it will harden.


Once the clay has cooled, they are ready to be used to leave your seal!

Melt wax onto your closed envelope, enough to cover your stamp. Then wait 20 - 30 seconds for the wax to cool slightly. This will allow it to hold the impression. If you try to stamp it too early, it will get stuck in the impression. Since the clay is now hard, just use a toothpick to remove the wax. Reheat the wax and try again!


It takes a little practice to get the seal impression just right, but I am going to have a lot of fun with these this holiday. I know my kids are going to love opening up these Valentine's letters.


For more craft ideas, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:

Andrea
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Monday, December 7, 2015

Come Join the Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge!



My favorite adventures & stories, always begin with good food...

This year I have had so much fun on the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew that I am planning to read and cook my way through even more books in 2016. Our fearless cooking leader, Camilla, recently shared another fun reading challenge you can participate in called the Foodies Read Challenge for 2016.

You can link up on Based on a True Story and grab a button to display throughout the year!

 It is going to be lead by Heather from Based on a True Story, and it challenges bloggers and readers to join along starting January for monthly lists of the book review links from challenge members. It is a great chance to find some new "delicious" reads as well as share must-read books. Heather even has 5 foodie read challenge levels so you can set your reading goals high this year.

I would love to aim for the moon, but want to achieve at least Sous-Chef level with 9 - 13 books. While out Christmas shopping this past weekend I made a wish-list of books I found at Barnes and Noble.

I am hoping to read a variety of non-fiction, historical and new cookbooks. It is not required, but I hope to use the inspiration to share more great foods and recipes with all of you.

Come join in on the fun and be sure to come back in January to see my first book reviews. The first one I am working on is The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert.

Check out all the details and link up HERE.

Andrea
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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Moussaka - December Secret Recipe Club



This time of year I have been all about comfort foods. It just so happened that when I was given my Secret Recipe Club assignment for December (back in early November) we still hadn't had a hard freeze here on the farm.

That means there were still a few items holding on, out in the fields...

You might remember that I featured eggplant in November. I was sure that was the last few days, and last few farm eggplant I would be able to enjoy. But then when I saw this recipe for Moussaka and saw we still has some gorgeous Italian style eggplant left, I was convinced.


But, let me back up a little...

It is December and time for another fabulous Secret Recipe Club find. This month I was assigned a completely new blog (to me!) My Hobbie Lobbie and immediately loved all her fun and diverse recipes. I love to make a wide variety of dishes, so this was a lot of fun.  I tracked down the name behind the blog, via her Party Supply Blog, so if I messed up on your name, Trisha, I apologize!

Well, out of all the Greek dishes I have made here, one I have never attempted was Moussaka. So, I didn't have to look far into Trisha's  extensive recipe list. I made two small changes to her recipe for my own family. Here in the state of Oregon, and especially the southern part of the state, we have an abundance of fresh, locally grown lamb. Though you can make this recipe with other ground meat, and Trisha mentioned in her post that she is not overly fond of lamb and instead used ground beef, I went with the lamb.

I also made the dish twice and the second time around opted to put in a potato layer. It helped hold our slices of Moussaka together, soaked up the extra flavor from the meat sauce and I just happened to have a cold room full of russets from down south. I always love new ways to enjoy potatoes. Some recipes use the layer, others do not, but my family really enjoyed the potato base.

What is Moussaka, you ask?

It is an eggplant and ground meat casserole, kind of like a Greek lasagna. Whether you have a layer of potato or not varies by the recipe, but they all are topped in a beautiful, cheesy bechamel that is baked until golden.

It is filling, flavorful and hearty.



Start with a large 9" x 13" baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray.

Then I peeled and boiled two large russet potatoes until just softened, but still holding together. I sliced and layered the potato in the bottom of my dish.

You can see below that the centers are not completely cooked, but they sliced easily.


The I sliced and salted the eggplant. I left these in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes to remove any excess moisture. Afterwards I rinsed and patted them dry before laying them on a baking sheet and brushing them with oil to bake.

While baking I created the meat sauce with browned lamb, sauteed onion, the tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. This reduced down slightly and thickened beautifully.

Then it was time to complete my layers!

On top of the potatoes I placed the cooked eggplant slices, then poured on the meat sauce.


The last lovely layer is the bechemel, and I must admit it is the best!

Trisha didn't specify cheeses for the sauce, so I did a little online research and settled on the Parmesan and feta. Oh, my! So good.

I know that cream sauces can be thick and rich, but with the egg it wasn't heavy at all. It was light, cheesy and divine. Mmmm....

It all baked up till heated through and the bechemel became a gloriously golden color. Really, you have to try this for your family. It is a new comfort food staple in our home. I hope you enjoy the recipe below. Don't forget to check out Trisha's original recipe on My Hobbie Lobbie, and be sure to check out all her other amazing recipes in her recipe index. Next I have to make her Siracha Chinese Cucumber Salad and Torte di Ricotta.


Moussaka
recipe adapted from My Hobbie Lobbie

You will Need:
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 2 large eggplant
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt, to taste
B├ęchamel Sauce
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 c. hot milk
  • 2 egg yolks beaten
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c. Greek feta cheese
Prepare a 9" x 13" casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Boil the russet potatoes for 10 minutes, or until they are soft, but still firm. Set these aside to cool, then slice in rounds. Place a layer on the bottom of the casserole dish.

Then slice the eggplant into rounds and salt them to remove extra moisture. Place in a colander to drain for about 30 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry. Place on a sprayed baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned. Place these in a layer in the baking dish.

Then create the meat sauce by heating up some oil and softening onion in a large cast iron skillet. Brown the lamb and stir in garlic and sliced tomatoes at the very end. Stir in the tomato puree and oregano. Simmer till reduced by half, season to taste. Spread this sauce over the eggplant layer.

Last, create the bechamel by heating the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly stir in the flour whisking to avoid lumps and letting it cook till it smells toasty. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in the hot milk. Bring the sauce back to a gentle simmer and let it thicken till smooth and thick. Remove from the heat. Gently temper the egg yolks and temper with a ladle of hot milk mixture. Keep adding and stirring to not "cook" the yolks. Once finished, stir in the cheese to melt and pour over the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until heated through and the top begins to turn golden. All the Moussaka to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!




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Andrea
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Friday, November 27, 2015

Harry Potter inspired Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties #thebookclubcookbookCC

I was provided with a copy of The Book Club Cook Book to use for this year-long endeavor of reading and food fun. All opinions and experiences and individual book purchases are my own.





I hope everyone enjoyed an amazing Thanksgiving Day! My heart was full while I sat down to dinner. November started with birthdays and now I had a chance to take a moment to just reflect and be thankful.

One of the little things I have really been thankful for lately has been the ability to share a bit of my childhood passions with my 6 and 8-year olds. This month we have started on a journey into a "Galaxy Far, Far Away..." with Star Wars books and movies, then we watched Never Ending Story and Goonies. I think my kids are starting to think their Mom has good taste.

And though the books came out when I was graduating, I remember reading every one of J.K, Rowling's Harry Potter series. Then when the movies came out, I was over the moon!

So in anticipation of November's Book Club Cookbook selection, Erin from The Spiffy Cookie invited us to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I started reading it to my kids at bedtime. It is just amazing to watch their faces as Harry and Ron raced into danger to save Hermione from the Troll, or when Harry competed in his first Quidditch match. They have already fallen in love with the characters and story. I can't wait to show them the movie! It has been years since I reread the book or watched the movie adaptation, so I am a little excited, too!



As we were reading, I made note of all the food mentioned in the book. After growing up with his aunt and uncle, Harry described all the amazing foods around him on the train to hogwarts as well as served in the great hall for meals. I could have chosen just about anything to make!

The Book Club Cook Book gives a recipe for treacle tart, which sounds delicious! But, I was moved by the season and my own interests and decided to create an adult version of Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties.

This group, The Book Club Cook Book Cooking Crew, was created by  Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camillabrought together 11 food loving bloggers to take turns choosing books, recipes and sharing the fun. You can check out all the talented bloggers' sites below:


The pumpkin pasties made an appearance on the treat cart on Hogwarts Express. I decided to make a variation on my favorite pumpkin/candied yam filling with a little added crispy sage and browned butter.

I rolled out and cut pie crust to fit in my little dumpling press.


I picked up these presses for my kids to help me create pierogies since they are pretty easy to use. I also enjoy the small size for other sweet or savory treats like these pumpkin pasties.


Pumpkin Pasties

You will need:

  • 2 pie crusts, cut in 2" rounds
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin filling
  • 1/4 c. candied yams, mashed
  • 1 egg, slightly whisked
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • handful of fresh sage leaves, dried and stems removed
  • 2 tsp. water

Prehead the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together the pumpkin, yams, approximately half the whisked egg, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together the remaining egg and 2 teaspoons water and set aside. In a cast iron skillet, brown the butter and at the very end add the sage leaves to crips up. Don't let them burn. Removie the crispy leaves and roughly chop. Then add the browned butter and chopped leaves to the filling mixture.

Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of one pie crust round. Fold over the edges and crimp with a press or your hands. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and brush the tops with the prepared egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Enjoy!


And then I didn't feel like I could read and write about Harry Potter without a recipe for Butterbeer. Now, this is an adult version and uses Pumpkin Ale as a base. I have enjoyed several soda versions (butterscotch soda bottled as Butterbeer), but this warm Butterbeer is a little different and perfect for these chilly nights.

Butterbeer Recipe (with real beer)

You will need:

  • 1 Pumpkin Ale of choice - I used Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
  • 2-4 Tbsp. Homemade Butterscotch sauce *recipe linked up soon
In a small saucepan, bring the ale up to a simmer. Whisk in 2 - 4 tablespoon of butterscotch sauce, to taste. Serve warm and enjoy right away.



Giveaway
This month Erin at The Spiffy Cookie, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from November 1st till November 30th at 4 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclosure: Erin received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.



Andrea
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hot Chocolate Lavender Bundt Cake #Bundtbakers



It has been a few months since I greased up my bundt pan, but with the days turning colder I was ready to dig into a little cake, so here I am.

Inspired by this month's #BundtBakers challenge was to serve up our favorite hot chocolate in bundt cake form. Now, I have to admit that my favorite mug of cocoa would probably be peppermint with lots of extra marshmallows, but my November cake was inspired by a chart of Hot Chocolate Inspiration that this month's hostess, Stacy from Noshing with the Nolands, provided. It listed several fun twists on classic cocoa, but I was drawn to the idea of chocolate and lavender.

Lavender? Yes, this was a new twist for me, but after a few eye-opening google searches I found that it was not unheard of. Much like coffee can deepen the flavors of chocolate, lavender brings out the floral notes that we often overlook.


Of course, I just happened to have a big jar of lavender just begging to be put to good use. I have used some for other projects, but originally purchased it for scones.

Why not see how it faired in some decadent chocolate cake?

This recipe started by steeping my lavender in a cup of boiling water. This part made the whole kitchen smell divine. I hightly recommend it.


Then I put my infusing in a dark cocoa bundt cake that is moist and amazing. Truly a winning combination!


Hot Chocolate Lavender Bundt Cake

You Will Need:

  • 2 Tbsp. lavender (culinary grade)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. sour cream, at room temperature

For the Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp + milk
  • food coloring
  • lavender buds for garnishing
Start by steeping the lavender petals in boiling water while you prepare the rest of the cake.

Butter or spray a 12-cup bundt pan, then dust with dark cocoa. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides before each addition.

In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, set aside.

Whisk together the milk and sour cream. Add half to the mixer, then alternate with the dry ingredients. Mix to incorporate. Strain off the lavender blossoms and add the water to the mixing bowl. Just mix through. 

Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 50- 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before inverting. Let it cool completely, then wrap overnight before glazing.

For the glaze, whisk together the milk, powdered sugar and food coloring. I made mine purple, but it could easily be omitted. Pour a thick glaze over the cake, then sprinkle with lavender buds to garnish.




Ready for even more amazing November "Hot Chocolate" bundts? Check out my fellow #BundtBakers for even more clever twists on the classic drink.
BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage. Andrea
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Monday, November 9, 2015

Glittery Chipboard Gift Tags - November Silhouette Challenge


I know, I know... it was just Halloween and it is not even Thanksgiving yet, but I am already looking ahead and crafting to Christmas. I was really excited to jump back into the Silhouette Challenge with these simple and fun chipboard gift tags. November's theme is for $5 and Under Projects with a bonus challenge to use glitter. Getting started early on homemade wrapping solutions seemed like a great place to start.

I was able to accomplish both the price limit and the glitz with these easy jumbo gift tags. I was also able to finally use the double-sided adhesive, I have had in my stash, on a project. I am not sure why I waited so long to try it out. The adhesive was very durable and worked well for the intricate snowflake shape pictured above. I always worry about tearing complicated images, but this stuff was very easy to work with.


Luckily, this project only requires a few supplies:

  • Chipboard
  • Gift Tag outline for the Silhouette or Punch
  • Double-Sided Adhesive
  • Glitter
  • paint brush *helpful but not necessary
  • spatula *helpful but not necessary
  • Baker's twine
  • scissors


Why jumbo tags? Who says the tag doesn't matter when it is homemade and covered in glitter, right?  I wanted these to really pop and make a statement on our gifts this year.


I started by cutting out my chipboard gift tags. Then I selected 4 images from my library that would fit my Christmas theme as well as look darling in glitter. Big, simple outlines work well with the adhesive and the glitter.


Before cutting, I selected the double-sided adhesive paper and adjusted my blade as directed.

Weeding this project was easy, the hardest part was separating off the yellow backing before fixing them to my chipboard tags. I used my Silhouette spatula to help separate the layers.


You can see here that my most complicated design was the Christmas tree since I used 3 different colors of glitter. I started by sticking down the outline first, covering it in glitter, then adding the next piece and another color of glitter, etc.

I used a brush to make sure glitter was covering all the exposed adhesive before I shook off the excess glitter. It did a great job of getting the glitter in an even layer, especially around the edges of the image.


I also created some monochrome tags like this reindeer in gold, a Christmas star in blue and a snowflake in white.


This snowflake photo doesn't quite do the tag justice as the image stands out better offscreen.


And here are all 4 of my finished designs. What do you think?

So, how would you design your own glittery gift tags?

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

DIY Birthday BibSimple and Stunning Winter ArtGlittery Chipboard Gift Tags"Come Thou Fount" Stenciled Burlap Table RunnerHappy & Vibrant Greeting CardsBunco Water Bottle - White Elephant GiftMonogrammed Christmas OnesieBeautiful Thanksgiving Decor for Under $5Wine Sippy Cups with Funny SayingsThrifted Jewelry Box MakeoverDIY Decorative Vinyl Christmas Gift JarHarry Potter "Free Dobby" Odd Sock CollectorReindeer Candle Hurricanes with Washi Tape PlaidStar War Paper Play ShipsGlitter & Paper Christmas BannerUpcycled Measuring Cup
1. From Wine to Whine // 2. Creative Ramblings // 3. Adventures in All Things Food // 4. unOriginal Mom // 5. Small Stuff Counts // 6. Alayna's Creations // 7. Single Yet Married Mom // 8. Comfort and Yum // 9. Tori Grant Designs // 10. Cutesy Crafts // 11. The Crafting Nook // 12. Whatcha Workin' On? // 13. Architecture of a Mom // 14. Havalah // 15. Create & Babble // 16. A Time For Seasons
Andrea
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