Monday, March 29, 2010

She's got the blues

So, I'm not really a big fan of Marilyn Monroe (bad role model in my book). I had to quickly choose a picture to paint for my art class last year. Since, her picture was one of the first I stumbled upon, I decided to give it a try. Plus, the structure of her face is very pretty, and I thought it'd be fun to paint. I wanted her skin a different color other than the usual skin type. I settled on blue. Had I more time, I would have blended the paint better. This picture was gathering dust in the back of my closet. But I realized my sister likes Marilyn Monroe, so I'm going to frame it and give it to her to keep.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Berry Coconut Bars

With my sister Elena's arrival, all the way from sunny California, I knew the request for something savory was imminent. I opened up my dessert cookbook, and while flapping through a few pages, I encountered something delightful looking. After much measuring, mixing, and a little trip in the oven (not I, the dessert), berry bars were assembled. They were a hit with the family. Rewarding enough.






No worries, the recipe is simple.
-Ingredients-
Filling:
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
Peel of 1 lemon

Crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose-flour
3/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Instructions:
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan.
2. for filling, combine fresh cranberries, granulated sugar, water and lemon peel in medium saucepan. Cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium-high heat until mixture is pulpy, stirring frequently. Mash cranberries with back of spoon. Cool to lukewarm.
3. for crust, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add flour mixture; beat until blended. Stir in pecans and coconut. Reserve 1 1/2 cups; pat remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven.
4. gently spread cranberry filling over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes or until set and crust is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
(I also improvised and added blueberries on top before baking for 18-20 minutes..a good addition I believe)
Note: You can make these bars when fresh or frozen cranberries aren't available. Prepare the filling using 2 cups dried sweetened cranberries, 1 cup water and peel of 1 lemon; cook 8-10 minutes. Use as directed in step 4. Enjoy. And once you make it at home, do let me know how you liked it.

*Recipe obtained from Favorite Brand Name, Made Simple Baking book.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cabin fever

For us college kids, it's currently the start of spring break. Can I hear a few hurrahs? It would be such fun to go on a trip this week, but I don't have anything planned. My spring break will consist of relaxing, hiking, baking, discovering new places, spending time with the family, playing soccer with my nephew, and sleepovers. I don't mind those as well ;). But if I could go on a trip, I'd probably go on a road trip. (Don't get me wrong, I'd take a plane trip anytime also.) There's just something about road trips that I love. And if I could take a road trip somewhere, I'd love to drive to a cool log cabin and spend time there with a group of friends or my family. That sounds so marvelous to me right now. Don't these log cabins look adventurous?







These awesome log cabins were spotted at http://lovely-little-things.blogspot.com/.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Renovation decoration

Your room is a place that makes a statement about you. Sometimes the pile of clothes says "he's pretty rushed". Or that teddy bear sprawled on your bed can declare "she misses being a kid." That stack of books can utter "she does want to learn". Perhaps the pearl strands announce "she likes pretty things". And the picture of your family placed on the stand can state "he holds his family very dear". Unfortunately, that unorganized stack of papers show that "she ain't too organized". Also, a secret chocolate stash shouts "yep, she's a typical girl". Whatever the room looks like and whatever it contains, it does say something about the inhabitant. I want my room to give off a cozy and inspiring feeling, so that it can put in a good word for me to any curious visitor who comes around; especially at unexpected moments. Your room should be a good place to chill, reflect, and work. With that said, here are a few items I want to get my hands on to dapper up my room a bit. In addition to that, I'd like to maybe paint it a pastel blue? And possibly paint my own design somewhere in a corner or something. I'm indecisive, I guess time will tell.
Random items wanted for my room:
-a globe
-necklace holder
-frames
-sweet pillows for couch
-vintage tea set
Once I renovate my room, I'll post some pictures up. But it won't be for a while, so patience please..
Oh and I'd like some neat bookends. These bookends can be found at Barnes & Noble. Great for a shelf and some books.



Monday, March 8, 2010

all wrapped up.






Sure there can be nice gift bags at the store, but I think decorating a gift for someone makes it all the more personal. A doily placed on top, crowned with some decorative tape or trinket and tied with a cute ribbon is all you need for a gift with your own special touch. What more can a friend ask for? These adorable inspirations were found at http://ohhellofriend.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Edible Ink


Searching the web, you do end up finding some sweet new things. This proved true a few days ago as I discovered something very cool. Three words: edible ink pens, also known as Gourmet Food Writers. These colorful and neat pens can write on fondant. Fondant is an edible type of play-doughy substance that you can dye and put on cakes, cupcakes, etc. You can make lots of cute things out of fondant. Anyways, these awesome pens can spruce up desserts and make them look creative. They can make a blah cupcake into something extraordinary. I am definitely placing an order for these magic pens. My friend Abby and I are planning a cupcake baking rendezvous and I'll be posting pictures from that in the near future.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My major

In my lifespan the total times of changing my choice of career would most likely have to add up to..a big number. I admit it, I was the stereotypical child who would want every exciting career on earth. Whether it was flying to the moon, exploring tombs, writing in newspapers, becoming an investigator, or pro basketball player, I'd want to be it all. But putting aside all childish notions, I decided to settle for something more practical. Because all too often the reply "that's not practical" would come up when I used to inform people of my future career choice. So I think I am finally settling on a major. I have always been interested in art, and I've also been an avid doodler ever since I had the ability to hold a pen. But I'd actually never thought I'd seriously settle for an art degree. I mean, it wasn't..what's the word? Oh yes, practical. But then something brilliant opened up to me, something my ignorance had been concealing from me. It's called graphic designing. You use creativity and computer skills to produce posters, business cards, etc. And if you're really talented you can make tags for stores and produce designs on shopping bags and such. Before, I actually didn't know what graphic designing was, but now I do and I'm interested. Could it be I might have found what I want to major in? I hope so. If anything I'll definitely notify you guys.