Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Strawberry Mint Sangria

I'm back from Sweden! Our trip was perfect. I'll wait to give details until I do some Swedish posts. I have pictures and food to share with you from the trip, but it will be a few days before I can go through all of the photos.

I also spent a few days in St. Louis, where two of my aunts live. Yesterday was my cousin Denise's daughter's fifth birthday. Hannah cracked me up when she went to blow out her candles. She looked bummed (see picture at the bottom.)

Aunt Elaine picked out a recipe for Strawberry Mint Sangria. Here's our version of the recipe (we used Aunt Elaine's homemade limoncello instead of brandy.)

2 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces limoncello
740ml dry white wine
12 ounces club soda

Combine the strawberries, mint leaves (give them a gentle crushing before combining), and limoncello in a glass pitcher. Add the wine and chill for at least 2 hours before serving (or up to overnight.) Pour club soda on top only before serving.

(We didn't measure anything, so who knows what amounts we used of our ingredients!)

It's a great light, refreshing summer drink. If you want the drink more boozy, all you gotta do is add more limoncello!

Oh, and here is Hannah getting sung Happy Birthday:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

on vacation

I'm in Sweden until the end of the month. I might post a couple of pictures before I'm back, but if not, expect posting to return on June 1.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nutella Cupcakes

Nutella Cupcakes, recipe taken from here

Makes 12
10 tbsp. softened butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
~1/3 cup Nutella

Preheat your oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
Cream together butter and sugar, adding in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the (sifted) flour, salt and baking powder. Then stir the flour/salt/bp mix into the batter iuntil no flour remains (don't overmix!). Fill each muffin liner 3/4 full with batter. Top each with a large dollap of Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the Nutella.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Petits Pains au Chocolat

Yesterday we had a family brunch for Mother's Day. Amy had everything laid out to make little chocolate croissants.

Recipe modified from epicurious.com:

2 sheets frozen puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), thawed, each sheet cut into squares
1 egg beaten to blend with 1 water (for glaze)
(good quality) Chocolate chips

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Line a single row of the chocolate chips on one edge and roll up dough tightly, enclosing chocolate. Place pastry rolls on baking sheet, seam side down. (We pinched the seam slightly in hopes of none of them popping open during baking.)

Preheat oven to 415°F. Brush tops of pastry rolls with the egg glaze. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake until pastries are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

So easy. I have never made my own puff pastry, but can't really motivate myself to think about it when the result is so delicious with the store bought dough.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to my momma, the one who taught me how to sew and bake! I grew up with her sewing me clothes and she even sewed several of my prom and homecoming dresses while I was in high school. Love you lots mom.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Monday, May 2, 2011

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Great Excellent* muffins. I love adding instant espresso powder to desserts and baked goods. The result is richer without tasting the espresso. Amy gave me this tip a couple years ago when I was baking brownies and now I'd never bake brownies again without it.

The recipe I used for these muffins is found here.

*Edited this post the next day: These are awesome. They should not be described as "great".