Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

I love the fall. Of course, fall in California is a bit more subtle than most other states, but none the less, I love it. Mostly it's the leaves turning new and exciting colors, the need to wear heavy coats, and the fall harvest of exciting vegetables! Yes, vegetables totally excite me! And the smell of the holidays - you know, that spicy, cinnamon-y smell? It's so nice this time of year. Thanks to breakfast this morning, my apartment smells pretty wonderful right now!
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes did the trick! I don't know about any of you, but I like my pancakes chubby! Just add some pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg to any old pancake recipe and I'm telling you, it will feel lot like Christmas.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Coconut Ice Cream

I guess I'm on a bit of a coconut kick lately. It is one of my favorites! I especially love those coconut popsicles with the little coconut flakes in them! Those remind me of being a little girl and going to work with my mom. There used to be a guy who would sell popsicles in a little cart and my mom and I would always go for the coconut bars. I was really going for that same coconut popsicle taste with my ice cream. I think I achieved it with some sweetened condensed milk in my coconut mixture.
Coconut Ice Cream
And of course, I added a big handful of coconut flakes. The texture was good.
Coconut Ice Cream
Even as it melted in the hot LA weather!
Coconut Ice Cream
But the ultimate test was getting my mom's opinion.
Coconut Ice Cream
And the first thing she said is, "It tastes like a coconut popsicle!" Of course, the ice cream is creamier than a popsicle, but that just kind of made it taste better! I still have one more batch of ice cream to make! As tempted as I am to make another batch of coconut cream, I'm leaning towards something a little more seasonal...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Someone's Making Ice Cream

Uh huh. That's right. I'm at it again. I have a couple of flavors I want to experiment with and I'm pretty excited about both of them. They both start with a vanilla bean ice cream base. I just love a fresh vanilla bean.
Vanilla Bean
The smell is heavenly. I scraped the seeds and put them into my mixture of milk, and cream.
Vanilla Bean
I have to admit, I did use non-fat milk and portions of low-fat and non-fat whipping cream. This could be trouble!
Cream.. future Ice Cream
The vanilla milk tasted pretty decent, but when I added the eggs and sugar... well, I was excited! It tasted delicious!
Future Ice Cream
I'll be making two flavors out of this base, but those will be revealed in the next post!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Construction Paper Murals Complete

Pasadena Public Library
That's right, it's finally done! Both murals are!
Construction Paper Kids
I'm pretty excited about them, mostly because of the patron's reactions to them. So far, I've heard nothing but nice things - except for the reaction of one teen, who I heard say, "those little heads are starting to freak me out." Of course, she had no idea she was saying this in front of the person who made the freaky little heads, but oh well. Teenagers. More detailed photographs can be found here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chicken Bake

What do you do when there's nothing to eat? Well, what I do is put lots of things in a pot and bake at 375 for about an hour.
What do you do when there's nothing to eat?
It kind of looks something like this when it comes out.
What do you do when there's nothing to eat?
Chicken, carrots, snow peas, broccoli, rice, a can of soup, some spices and breadcrumbs made out to be a pretty decent meal. And, I made enough to have it for lunch the next day too! Yay leftovers!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Coconut Tarts

I think I should rename the subtitle of this blog to "adventures of a girl with ADD". I don't actually have ADD (that I know of), but I wouldn't be surprised if I did. I really can't give myself a break. Tonight I spent the entire night cooking and cleaning. It wouldn't be so bad, but I had a little frustration in the kitchen.
Pate Sable
Was it the tart crust?
Pate Sable
Nope. That actually baked quite well.
Pate Sable
I also made mini tartlets too! It was what went inside the crust that caused the frustration.
Mini Coconut Tarts
Sure they look fine now, but I went on another low-fat rampage and tried to bring non-fat whipping cream to form medium peaks. Friends, let me save you the trouble, it just doesn't happen. It didn't for me anyway. I also mixed in a can of sweetened condensed milk, coconut extract, and sugar, but I got nothing. I had to bring out the big bad full-fat heavy whipping cream to get that extra fluff. It was quite a mess actually. I still have bowls of thick liquid coconut filling in my fridge that I'm not sure what to do with. Perhaps an ice cream? For now, I just want a break from the kitchen, but if you know me at all.. that feeling will pass soon. I suspect I'll be baking again in no time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Everyday Is Like Sunday

I spent the better part of this morning wandering around the gardens at the Huntington Library. I spent a lot of time staring at this scene.
Japanese Garden
Not too shabby.
Japanese Garden
It was a beautiful day for a cup of tea in the garden, and to literally stop and smell the roses.
The Huntington Gardens
And oh, did I smell them!
The Huntington Gardens
Later in the afternoon, my mom brought me a fruit delivery. I think she must forget that I live alone sometimes, because I got a slew of Persimmons and Guavas!
Persimmons from my parent's tree
I'm not actually sure what to do with all this fruit, though I have a feeling it will involve some type of baking. Speaking of baking, tomorrow I will be making a coconut mousse pie! I accidently created the tastiest coconut mousse when making a coconut cake a few weeks ago. Recipe and pictures to come soon!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Construction Paper, Cupcakes, And Tote Bags, Oh My!

Another chance to work on my little construction paper project...
Finishing up wall #2
I think I need about one more short day to finish! It's already been a big hit with the patrons, which is always motivating! In other news...
Chocolate Cupcake from Auntie Em's Kitchen, in Eagle Rock
Yea. Need I say more? Unfortunately, I wasn't the lucky person eating this cupcake, but Auntie Em's sure makes one cutie cupcake alright!
The rest of my day is going to be dedicated to crafts and Felt Club preparation. For starters, I think I'll be busy sewing a few tote bags today. I found this neat fabric in my stash, just begging to become a set of totes!
Soon to be tote bags
More updates to come soon!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

More Fun With Construction Paper, Scissors, Scotch Tape, Staples, And Glue Stick

Before I move on to a new branch library, I had one more day to begin and complete mural #2! I had a general idea when I got there yesterday, but that evolved into something a little more involved than I originally imagined. I wanted to keep this wall simple, since I only had about 8 hours to complete it, but in a lot of ways, it became extremely detailed. I had a whole new blank slate to work with.
Wall #2
This board is even longer in length and width than the first wall I completed. Before I got to the library, I decided that I'd go for a plain black background, since the blue squares were a little time consuming. When I started setting up, I noticed that a lot of the characters that are going on the wall had black hair. This was a dilemma, because I didn't want the hair to fade in with the background. So, I decided to give the middle the blue square treatment and the edges a black border.
Wall #2 Background progress
Strangely, it went by super quick and I was able to finish the background in no time.
Wall #2 Background complete
I also had the kid's heads ready, but what took forever was making the kids books!
Wall #2 Kids in progress
I made 8 different kid's book covers yesterday, and I'm still not finished with them. I want to add little white page flaps to the inside. And when that's done, there's still more! Luckily, they extended my stay at this branch, so I have more time to finish before I move to the next. More progress to come!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Construction Paper Mural Continued

The kids on wall one are all ready...
Construction Paper Kids
And they're up!
Construction Paper Kids
I finished this wall, right before the library closed, so I had to be super quick in picture taking.
Construction Paper Kids
Saturday I will start and hopefully finish mural #2! I have a few ideas about what to make the background, but am a bit stuck!