Sunday, June 29, 2014

And now for something completely serious

Its been a bit quiet lately, sorry for that. Normally I would be posting some summer crafts, or talking about my Christmas in July sale (it starts on July 1st-20 % off of the entire shop)!, but I've been running around trying to solve some medical mysteries and take care of a my car which is in the Saturn recall.
  To top off all of that, I had an eye exam at Target and they screwed up my prescription so I had to go back yesterday to go through everything again.
   What is the point of paying through the nose for medical and dental when they don't cover a damn thing?!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Garden Inspiration for a New Scarf

The garden is blooming and so is my inspiration. I love, love, LOVE Foxglove. Bell shaped flowers and vivid colors that last only a little while. So, its a little toxic....its damn pretty and I don't go and eat the flowers in my garden (vegetables and fruit, not so much..).

    I have some hand dyed scarves on my Etsy store that are inspired by various butterflies. I even had a scarf that I dyed using real acorn caps! Why not do a series of scarves inspired by flowers then?
    I already know what I am going to do. Dip dye the scarf so it is white in the center and purple radiating out. I will hand knot and use beads to make the dot pattern in the center and dip dye again. I am really excited about this and hope that it will turn out just like I am imagining. If all goes well, you can all look forward to some really cool flower, not flowery scarves! And its radiant orchid too! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Paper Flower Bouquet Done!

Finally finished all my paper flowers for the teal and yellow bouquet! Thank goodness for fringing scissors!
  I did 3 flowers that are green/yellow then 3 that are a reverse of that. Two flowers are all white and one each of yellow/white and green/white.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

St. Lucia (the island) Cake

  Last weekend I had grand plans of making a lemon curd cake with a pistachio brittle. I figured 3 days would give me plenty of time to make homemade curd, the cake, brittle and a white chocolate buttercream frosting.
   Then the air conditioner broke. This weekend I thought, two days is still enough time. Then the sink leaked......Thank you household appliances....
   So, something simple and quick was in order. I bought some Rare Bird preserves passionfruit curd and thought why not build a cake around that? I can never find passionfruit and their curd is the BEST-super tart and creamy. A simple white cake would do and how about a coconut buttercream frosting? I had just enough coconut milk from last weekend's Pineapple Wowie Zowies (frosty drinks are a must with no air).
  Dubbed "St. Lucia Cake"-since it calls to mind the petons and tropical fruits.

Tender White Cake

makes two 9" round cakes

2 3/4 Cake Flour (I like King Arthur)
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
4 large egg whites plus 1 whole egg (room temp)
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons really good vanilla extract
1 teaspoon really good almond extract

Mix all of the dry ingredients for 2 minutes on slow speed-this blends and aerates, just like your lawn. Add the soft butter a couple tablespoons at a time and blend until it looks crumbly or like sand. Add the egg white and then the whole egg-beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom to make sure everything is mixed evenly.

In a small bowl, whisk the milk with the vanilla and almond extract. Add that mixture in 1/3 increments and bland 1 to 2 minutes after each addition until the batter is fluffy.

Pour the batter into 2 round 9" cake pans. I put mine on my food scale to make sure each pan had an even amount-yeah, I'm like that...Make sure that you greased and floured or parchment paper lined your pans.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn over on rack and let completely cool.

When the cake is cooled, place one layer on a cake stand or plate, flat side up. Spread the entire jar of passionfruit curd on the top of the cake and spread out an even layer.

Place the second layer on top, flat side down to meet the curd.

Time to make the frosting!

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

1 stick of unsalted butter (room temp)
3 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tspn almond extract

On medium speed beat the butter with half of the confectioner sugar, until crumbly. Add the remaining confectioners sugar and beat about a minute. In a small cup whisk the coconut milk and the almond extract together; then slowly add that to the mixer and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy.

Frost the cake quickly-your frosting will melt and slide off! Put in in the fridge until the frosting sets, then slice and enjoy!!!