Monthly Archives: June 2013

Wedding: Cake

My wedding cake was seriously one of my favorite things about my wedding. I like to refer to it as “the best cake in the world.”

It was  so delicious. We choose three different flavors: chocolate raspberry swirl, white chocolate cake with strawberry swirl, and almond pound cake. I wish I would have had more of an appetite at my wedding because I would have eaten so much more cake than I did. Thankfully, we had some leftover and  got to stuff ourselves munch on it for a few days after we got back from our honeymoon.

It didn’t just taste good, it looked good too. Kathy and Company did our cake and they were so wonderful to work with. They took my ideas – pearls, bows, and a monogram (you’d never know I was from the South…) –  and turned it into the cake of my dreams. Maybe I’m being a little bit dramatic right now . I mean we are talking about a cake,  but  I was thrilled with how it turned out.

IMG_3082

Blog wedding cake

Isn’t it pretty?

In other news, Andrew and I made homemade ice cream again this weekend…so there’s that. Recipe to come.

We’re also heading to Colorado with Andrew’s parents later this week to go see his family out there. I’m going to attempt to take a carry-on for a 5 day trip. That’s right –  5 days. My mom laughed when I told her. If I pull this off, I’m going to classify myself as a packing expert. Or maybe I’m just finally packing like a normal person and not bringing 3.5 outfit choices for each day of the trip…

I like the packing expert option.   I’ll let you know how it goes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding

Recipe Review: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

There’s something about summer that just makes me want to make and/or eat ice cream all the time. It’s unfortunate that these cravings also coincide with swimsuit season, because I’m pretty sure I eat twice as much ice cream during the summer than I do the rest of the year. One summer during college, I worked right next to a TCBY.  Rarely did a “Waffle Cone Wednesday” go by where I was able to pass up the opportunity to get delicious yogurt at a great price.

When my boss told me to help myself to the abundance of mint leaves she grew in her garden, I started thinking of ways I could use it. I’m not a huge fan of mint leaves in recipes, but then it hit me that I could use it for mint chocolate chip ice cream. 

After a little searching, I found a recipe on TheKitchn that called for fresh mint leaves instead of peppermint extract. In fact, it called for a whopping 3 cups of mint leaves – that’s a lot of mint leaves.

This recipe is not the easiest homemade ice cream you’ll ever come across, but it was so worth it. It turned out so creamy and fresh, and the mint flavor was not overpowering like it usually is with peppermint extract. 

Image

You can find this recipe here on TheKitchn, but I also posted it below with my notes in italics. 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (makes two quarts)

About 3 cups fresh mint leaves
4 cups half and half (or two cups cream and two cups milk)
1 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
6 ounces good quality dark chocolate (I used a mixture of Ghirardelli and Hershey’s Dark Chocolate)

Tear the mint leaves off their stems and put in a bowl. Pound with a pestle or large spoon just until they are bruised and give off their fragrance.

Whisk the half and half, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until it begins to steam, then remove, add the mint leaves, and cover. Let steep, covered for at least an hour – preferably two or three. (You’ll be heating this up again, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria.)

After a couple hours strain out the mint leaves and bring to just under a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and add a cup of the cream. Whisk it all back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, until the custard reaches 170º to 174ºF (I used a meat thermometer to do this part). Stir in the vanilla. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Chop the chocolate into chunks and flakes. Set aside.

Freeze the custard the next day in your ice cream maker according to directions (about 30 minutes total), adding the chocolate about halfway through. Transfer ice cream to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap under the lid touching the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze for at least four hours before serving (not sure why you have to do this because the texture is great when you first take it out, but we still followed this step).

Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipe

Happy First Day of Summer!

Even though it’s felt like summer for a few weeks around here (minus all the rain we’ve gotten), today is first official day of summer. Andrew and I made a summer bucket list a few weeks ago and I thought I would share some of our ideas with you…

  1. Go on a hike
  2. Read a few books – some fun/fictional books and some non-fiction/learning books
  3. Make fruit cobbler (already did this once – many more to come)
  4. Make homemade ice cream at least 3 times (we are making some tonight!)
  5. Get a Peach Milkshake from Chick-fil-a
  6. Try to have friends over for dinner every other week (we are on track so far)
  7. Play tennis…should be interesting
  8. Go swing dancing
  9. Play Monopoly (this one was Andrew’s idea – not too excited about this one haha). 
  10. Have multiple picnics in the park
  11. Take advantage of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. 

The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a former railroad track that has been transformed into a 17.5 mile multi-use trail. Since the trail is basically in our back yard, we want to take full advantage of it while we’re living downtown. We frequently run or take walks along the trail, and I want to continue to do that throughout the summer. There are also plenty of grassy areas along the trail that are perfect for picnics. We packed a lunch the other week and found a nice spot to picnic, but unfortunately, our dreamy afternoon ended with us running back to our house to escape the torrential downpour that came out of nowhere. Next time we’ll check the forecast. 

ImageI snapped this photo  a few weeks ago when Andrew and I walked downtown to get some ice cream one night. So lush and green.

Anyone have a summer bucket list? 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Recipe Review: Triple Berry Crisp

I’ve had a major baking itch over the past few weeks. Andrew and I made a “summer bucket list” the other day, and I’m not ashamed to say that several of the items included making different desserts. Let’s just say we’ll be having our fair share of homemade ice cream and peach cobbler.

To solve my dilemma, I decided to make  a berry crisp to take to my in-laws’ house on Friday night. Andrew and I celebrated Father’s Day with them on Friday and then headed to the lake to celebrate with my family.

We bought strawberries and blueberries last week and didn’t end up eating as many as we thought, so I wanted to find a recipe worked with what I had. I came across this recipe on allrecipes.com and was really pleased. The reviews looked good so I decided to give it a shot.

Triple Berry Crisp (makes 9 servings)

3/4 cup fresh blackberries
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar; set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan (I used a 9×9 inch pan). Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.

Instead of using three different types of fruit like the recipe calls for, I just used the strawberries and blueberries I had on hand (2 1/8 cup of each fruit).  I guess my dessert should have been called Double Berry Crisp, but it turned out great and was super easy to make.  If you want to make more or less servings, you can easily adjust the recipe on allrecipes.com (the original recipe made 18 servings).

photo

Doesn’t this fruit look so yummy? I snapped this before I mixed it with the crumble part.

Other than eating yummy dessert, Andrew and I also got to relax by the lake, catch up on some reading, and spend time with both of our families for Father’s Day. It was so nice and I’m not quite ready for the weekend to be over.

IMG_2446

Here’s a picture of me and my dad from our wedding. He’s taught me so much and I’m thankful to be like him in so many ways. Happy Father’s Day Dad!

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipe

Wedding: Save the Dates

I was what you would call a “hands-on” bride, meaning I had an opinion about most aspects of my wedding. When I didn’t have an opinion, I let my mom make the decision since I trust her judgement.

One example of me being “hands-on” was that time I decided to  design my entire wedding invitation suite. Looking back, I don’t know if this was the best decision, as it was extremely time consuming.

The upside is that I got to customize every single little thing and show my personality through my designs.

The downside is that I got to customize every single little thing. Of course, I wanted everything to be “unique,” so I spent a lot of time designing each item.

Side note: I took a design class in college, so this wasn’t some completely random skill that I decided to teach myself upon getting engaged.

Let’s start off with the Save the Date.

I decided to do a post card since they were a little cheaper to mail. Plus, you don’t have to stuff and lick any envelopes – you’ll have plenty of chances to do that later on.

Here’s what I ended up with….

Save the Date Front

photo (2)

Save the Date Backphoto (3)

It took me a good bit of time to decide on the design. After that, I had to piece together every little aspect of it (the wooden background, frames, pictures,  clothespins, etc.),  but I was happy with how they turned out.

Total cost: $40 to print 250 postcards – not too bad! This does not include the cost of stamps.  I also didn’t end up needing 250 postcards, but sometimes you have to order by 50 or 100 when ordering bulk.

Leave a comment

Filed under Wedding

Wedding: Engagement Pictures

Ok, I know I promised that I wouldn’t turn my blog into a wedding blog. The promise still stands, but I’ve decided to do a few posts on different aspects of our wedding. Now that all the craziness of planning is over, I don’t mind going through all the tasks that had to do get done before the big day.

We got our engagement pictures taken when I was living in New York last summer (I actually left for New York a year ago today). One of my roommates up there happened to be a photographer, so I asked her if she would shoot our engagement pictures when my family and Andrew came to visit for a weekend.

We were thrilled with how they turned out…

20120715-_MG_1993-2

20120715-_MG_1704

20120715-_MG_2458

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my wedding pictures, but I think my engagement pictures will always be my favorite pictures I have of just Andrew and I. I’m so glad it worked out for us to have them taken in New York.  My roommate, Joanna, did such a great job of capturing our personalities through the photographs. I love all the laughing, candid pictures she took.

20120715-_MG_1181

engagement

20120715-_MG_1622

I love how she incorporated our Southern roots into this picture through the menu.

20120715-_MG_2417-2

  I highly recommend that couples have engagement pictures taken. It’s a ton of fun and you have a lot more time to take the pictures than you will on your wedding day. While this wasn’t the case with us, it’s usually a good time for your wedding photographer to get to know you as a couple. Plus, besides your wedding pictures, they will probably be the only other professional pictures you have of you and your significant other for a while.

1 Comment

Filed under Wedding