For a Saturday Snapshot I decided to post a picture of my sister and I when I was in college. This is a shot of my sister Anna and I tailgating before a Buffs' football game in 2008.
On Easter morning I made an old favorite monkey bread. Brendan had never had it before so I know I had to call up my Mom and get the recipe from a family friend.
-3/8 cups of butter
-1/2 cup of brown sugar
-2 1/2 tsp of sugar
-2 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
-1 package of 16 oz refrigerated biscuits
-Half a cup of pecans
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter is 100% melted add brown sugar. Let simmer and mix until contents becomes smooth. Remove from heat and let sit. Place pecans in a small freezer bag and smash until thinly crushed. Mix cinnamon, pecans and sugar in a gallon size freezer bag and shake until contents are mixed well. Rip biscuits into fourths and put pieces in the freezer bag. Again shake the bag until the biscuits are covered. Spray a bunt pan with non-stick spray. Place a layer of biscuits on the bottom of bunt pan, then sprinkle the layer with the mixture from the sauce pan, continue this process until there is are no more biscuits or sauce. After the oven has pre-heated to 350 place bunt pan in oven for 13-15 minutes covered with foil. Let sit for a few minutes and serve.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
It's only Wednesday? It has been a long week and that is why I am so happy to be celebrating Winey Wednesday this week with my new friend Melissa! Melissa has an amazing blog called The Scarlet Cardinal that you all need to check out after reading her Winey Wednesday guest post. Ok, Miss. Melissa, take it away....
Cheers, Elephant's Trunk Readers! I'm Melissa visiting from The Scarlet Cardinal where I write about life in Philadelphia, my hubs and pup, and other ramblings on life.
I love me some vino and occasionally do some posts on What I'm Drinking, so when Lauren asked for guest posters for her Winey Wednesday it was a no-brainer to volunteer! Plus, The Elephant's Trunk is one of my Daily Reads so it's really a pleasure to be posting over here. Thanks, Lauren, for having me!
I usually pick my wine by how pretty or unique the label is. Sophisticated, I know. This particular bottle, however, was bought by the hubs. He picked Plungerhead's Old Vine Zinfandel and oh my was it delicious!
The bottle, of course, was adorable with it's rubber (plunger-y) cork and quirky cartoon:
I was very surprised, though, by how complex and bold the wine itself was. Lots of overt berry notes, and a smooth finish, it was very drinkable and I may have had a few glasses for, ahem, research purposes.
It's a California wine, and like any good Zinfandel is subtly sweet. I would drink this with steaks, BBQ, dark chocolate...or all by itself. This would be a great wine to bring as a hostess gift, or to a get together because at less than $15/bottle it's reasonably priced, will be a fun conversation starter, and tastes lovely. Just don't bring this to your stuffy in-laws house...they might not appreciate a wine called Plungerhead... but among friends you can't go wrong.
Thanks again, Lauren! And since it is most definitely 5 o'clock somewhere...Salud!
|I made sure to pour a nice big glass--research!|
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I just want to win a shopping spree to Etsy is that possible? This Tickle Me Tuesday I am linking up some of the things I would buy if I was given a shopping spree to Etsy...
Monday, April 25, 2011
Looking for inexpensive advertising for your handmade business, blog or other small business? Sponsor the Elephant's Trunk and I would love to help get the word out about your business or blog. I offer two different options...
1 month for $10
3 months for $25
If you decide to become a sponsor of the Elephant's Trunk your button will be placed in the sidebar of the Trunk's main page for the entire run of your desired sponsorship. Along with your sponsorship you will also get a highlighted sponsorship post. If you have interest in becoming a sponsor of the Elephant's Trunk for the month of May or would like more information please e-mail me for more detailed information.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
As the summer months are slowly coming upon us we start looking for lighter recipes and the other night we made two great dishes centered around balsamic. These recipes were a couple of make up as you go dishes with what we had laying around the kitchen, let me do my best to explain to you how you can make these dishes for yourself. Trust me you want to because they were very delicious!
-Finley chop half a white onion
-Cut about a 2 cups of cherry tomatoes into halves
-Mince about four cloves of garlic
-Finley chop half a white onion
-Cut about a 2 cups of cherry tomatoes into halves
-Mince about four cloves of garlic
-Place all the chopped items in a sauce pan on medium heat
-Add a half a cup of olive oil to the sauce pan
-Add a quarter cup of balsamic to the sauce pan
-Let all the items caramelize in the sauce pan
(please excuse the mess on the stove- when we cook we make a mess)
-While the items in the sauce pan are caramelizing starting cooking whole wheat spaghetti noodles in a large pot
-When the noodles have finished drain, place in bowl and top with contents of sauce pan
-Add some fresh mozzarella balls to the top
-Top with fresh Parmesan and serve
Fill salad bowl with:
-Granny Smith Apples
-Top it all off with Balsamic dressing
-Toss and serve
Friday, April 22, 2011
I have this tray sitting in my kitchen and I love almost everything about it.
I love candles except I don't dig how most of the candles come with those cheesy labels that are near impossible to remove! The "Ocean Breeze" label isn't really flowing with my decor. I decided to take matters into my own hands and cover this label up. I found some paper that I meshed a bit better with my tray situation.
Measured the candle jar and cut the paper according to the size of the jar. After I had the measurements and my candle label sized mapped out I cut the paper out accordingly. My trusty ModPodge came into play next as I glued the paper to the candle jar and covered up that unattractive label.
To add a little something extra I covered the top with a little gold ribbon.
The ribbon was added with a little hot glue. This all took me about 10 minutes. Here is the final product.
It's no Pottery Barn candle but hey its better than looking at my "Ocean Breeze" label all day long.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Today I am so excited to share a glass of wine with my friend Chrissy. Chrissy is going to share with us a great summer wine to enjoy as we start to feel that summer weather begin to roll in. Sit back and enjoy as Chrissy tells us how to cool down this summer...
Hi, My name is Chrissy and I blog over on my blog Hoot Designs and on my other blog Hoot Photography. I'm excited to guest post here on Lauren's blog, and since she has Wine Wednesday's I thought I would offer to share a fun wine I was introduced to last summer!
Thank you Lauren for letting me share a guest post.
It's called NEW AGE
It really more of a summer wine and believe it or not you serve it over ice with a lemon or lime squeezed in it!! Whoa, really you do, and it's great - super refreshing. It is a slightly sweet, semi-sparkling wine that has aromas of fresh flowers and fruit.
Wine: New Age White Wine
Grapes: Sauvignon blanc (50 percent), malvasia (50 percent)
Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Below are a few recipes that you can make with the wine
The Original Buenos Aires Drink – “Tincho”
Fill a rocks glass with ice add New Age White to cover add a wedge of lime
Or use the New Age Rose with a slice of lemon.
Blood Orange Sangria
6oz New Age Rose poured over ice.
½ tsp Simple Syrup (if wanted)
Pour 2 oz of Orange Juice down center of ice – Do Not Stir
Garnish with an Orange and Lime Slice
New Age Belini
New Age White with blended white peaches and raspberries
New Age Martini
Fill Martini glass with New Age White Add a splash of Raspberry Di Amore’
New Age Mojito
3 fresh mint sprigs
1 oz – ice wine (in place of simple syrup)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3+ oz New Age White
New Age Cooler – Big Easy Style
1 ½ oz Right Gin
4 oz New Age
a big splash of cranberry juice
a wedge of lime. Poured not stirred
New Age Sangria
Fill pitcher with ice
Add slices of orange, strawberries, lime, apples
Pour in one bottle of New Age Rose
Add Gran Marnier if desired.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
My boyfriend loves to cook and loves to watch cooking shows on television this weekend he began to watch a fairly new show on the Cooking Network titled, Extra Virgin. The show stars the actress Debi Mazar and her husband Gabriele Corcos and they make a bunch of delicious Italian recipes. The boyfriend decided this weekend to try out the pesto lasagna recipe from the show and it was yummy.
I highly suggest any pesto lovers out there to try the Pesto Lasagna recipe out, very simple to make and very satisfying.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Just looking at this post has me drooling of the possibilities that could come from mastering the skill of making Italian Meringue. You all are in luck today because Marnely is here from Cooking with Books and she is going to teach us all to become Italian Meringue magicians! Take it away Marnely...
Today I'll be talking to you about magic. Yes, magic. Not the kind Chris Angel pretends to do, or what you read about in the Harry Potter books. This magic is something you can do in your own kitchen, with simple ingredients and tools. The Magic of Italian Meringue is what I am talking about and once you make it, you too will feel the magic.
Meet the Egg. The Egg has been my fellow companion for years and I've always been a lover of the yolk. That soft boiled egg, that poached egg, that sunny side up egg all have one thing in common: yellow, sunny runny yolk that covers my plate. But I've never noticed the whites. I always laugh at those poor souls that ask for "egg white omelet". I wonder why they hate life and don't order yolks. An egg is 71 calories. If you can't consume 71 calories from an egg, you might as well not eat. Ever.
Enough of that, let's get down to business. How to transform runny, gloopy egg whites into luxurious, thick stark-white Italian Meringue. First, your egg whites: they MUST have no trace of egg yolk, so separate them with care. It's preferable to use older egg whites, as the protein strands in them are weaker and will make for more volume in your end product. You'll need a stand mixer (KitchenAid) or a hand mixer. I once made Italian Meringue by hand, with my balloon whisk. Outrageous and too much work. Make sure your bowl and whips are SUPER clean. Any presence of fat in them and your whites won't rise to their maximum potential.
Now that you have a clean bowl and 4 old egg whites. Let them sit out for a while, just to take the chill off them. This also improves the volume, so just crack, separate and leave out. Of course, common sense. If it's 100 degrees F in your kitchen, don't. You just want to take the chill off!
Let's now think sugar. Those raw egg whites won't get cooked by the mere action of whipping, so you're going to want to cook them somehow. Italian Meringue is cooked by the addition of sugar syrup cooked to 235-240F. You might want to use a candy thermometer. Place 1/3 cup of water and 12 ounces of sugar in a small saucepan and cook to 230F. Start whipping your whites, slowly when the sugar hits 230F. Turn up the speed to medium (your whites will be foamy/soft peak) and when your sugar is at 235, add it slowly into the running mixer. Don't start your whites too soon, they won't wait for anyone and will die.
MAGIC will start to happen. Those whites will be transforming. Help them transform by adding 4 tablespoons of sugar into them. Whisk, fast speed! Fast, Fast! You'll see it happening and smile. Flavor with lime zest, or vanilla paste or any extract you'd like. Color it if you want, but I honestly love the white meringue with just vanilla specks running through it. My mom likes to top it all off at the end with one tablespoon of confectioner's sugar. She says it gives it that extra ommph!
Now, what to do with a bowl full of Italian Meringue? Top cakes, pipe onto Lemon Pies or Tarts and then torch; fold into a flavored curd or custard like pastry cream and use as a light mousse dessert topped with berries. The possibilities are endless!
|Nut Covered Italian Meringue Cake -- Lemon Tart -- Tres Leches Cupcakes|
Impressed? Aren't you? Keep up with Marnely and all the food heaven she writes about:
Cooking with Books (blog)
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Yes, you read that title right I said guilt free shopping. Guilt free shopping is easy when you know your purchase goes directly to a good cause. I've mentioned handmade with purpose a few times before on The Trunk but were about halfway through April and I wanted to remind you all. I am raising money for the Special Olympics this month by donating 100% of sales of my wine blooms sold from my Etsy shop to the Special Olympics.
What's a wine bloom? A wine bloom is a way to dress up a bottle of wine when giving a bottle as a gift. Simply tie the flower and ribbon around the neck of the bottle and gift the bottle to a friend.
Wine isn't your thing? Wine blooms can also be used to dress up a gift bag.
If wine blooms aren't your thing I encourage you to check out the Handmade With Purpose Blog and see all the other handmade shops that are participating to give back. There are lots of great causes that are being donated to. I know I've already done some guilt free shopping myself and it has felt great :)
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Sewing to me is such a foreign talent and a foreign skill that I become extremely envious when I meet someone that can create by sewing. Allow me to introduce you all to a a lady that possess this incredible talent, Candice from Squirmy Worm Studio.
Candice has some of the cutest items and now for those of you who can't sew can't you empathize with me on with having sewing envy?
Here are all the places you can check out Candice and Squirmy Worm Studio:
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
If you haven't noticed lately- everyone seems to be on a bit of a cupcake kick, but I'm a bit of a different kind of cupcake kick...
This kind of cupcake kick :) Yum! Cupcake Vineyards is located in Monterrey, California and all the wine is made by hand (double bonus points in my book).
My favorite of the wines that Cupcake makes is the Sauvignon Blanc. I am usually not a Sauvignon Blanc kind of gal because they can be a bit too sweet for me. You would think that with a name like Cupcake that this Sauvignon Blanc would take sweet over the edge, but after my first sip of this wine I was completely proven wrong (and shocked because I'm rarely ever wrong-ha) this wine was a perfect blend of sweet and rich flavors. This fantastic blend lingers on your pallet (I guess you're supposed to use that instead of saying tongue) until that very last sip from your glass. I highly recommended purchasing this delicious vino the next time you are make a wine run.wi
While I was browsing the Cupcake website I was pleased to find a section where they pair different recipes with their different wines and I am just dying to try out this spicy spinach dip with pine nuts. Maybe now I might just help to start a new Cupcake trend ;)
If you are ever interested in guest posting for a Winey Wednesday please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Don't forget to enter this giveaway going on now!**