Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday bake and Cook-fest


No, it's not Halloween yet! It's just the way I spent the Morning out on
the deck. Taking full advantage of some of my new Aveda goodies I picked
up yesterday from Spa-boy in Charlotte. I did a 50/50 mask on my face and a
fabulous smelling hydrating mask on my hair. Both feel soft as silk! 

Someone suggested that my Look might scare
away the Butterflies. But he was wrong...

If anything, I believe my look attracted more butterflies because
I'm convinced there are Twice as many as I saw last night!

I love Butterflies!

They're not afraid of a Little facial mask!

Time to take off my Masks and get to my cooking and baking!

It's a Triple-play Sunday in my kitchen today. First, I need to
whip up some Cupcakes. I know it seems like I just made him Banana
cupcakes - and, I did. However, they didn't hold up so well. Great recipe. But since
only one person in this house eats cupcakes, he need cupcakes that don't turn into
Hockey pucks two days after they are made. After I bake his cupcakes I'm making
Ina's roasted tomato/Basil soup again. Finally, I offered to bake Pioneer Woman's
best Chocolate sheet cake (ever!) for a work Birthday tomorrow... So let's Get started!

How cute are these Love-note cupcake liners I found?

Too cute!

While my cupcakes cool it's time to Slice up some tomatoes

These are probably the Last of his summer garden tomatoes

Too bad... Because growing tomatoes for me in Summer comes in
second only to his Pool-boy abilities. I'm going to miss both!

Minced garlic!

Now I remember what I loved about this recipe so much

It's so Easy!

Into the Oven they go for 45-minutes

While the tomatoes roast it's time to begin putting Together the sheet cake. One thing
I didn't like about making it last time is that I wasted nearly a whole Half-gallon of
buttermilk. It's not like you can just go Borrow it from your neighbor so I bought
it... Sadly, I could only find Whole buttermilk in the 1/2 gallon size. And, the
recipe calls for only 1-half cup... True that I did end up making the Cake twice,
but I still dumped the rest of the Jug into the sink when I couldn't use it
before it expired. Since then however, I've read that you can Freeze
buttermilk. So that's what I'm doing this time. In 1/2 cup amounts!

You know what this means, right? It means that if you're planning to
bake the Pioneer Woman's best chocolate sheet cake and you're
in the Neighborhood, you can just pop over to Borrow some!

Yum, yum, yum!

Time to frost some cupcakes! First, I'm going to use up the cream
cheese Buttercream I have left over from those Banana cupcakes

But before I frost cupcakes, I need to get our soup started!

Someone just asked me what Smells so good. I told him it's
garlic, Onions and German chocolate cupcakes. He said,
that's a Hellava combination you've got going there!

Like he's Surprised that I'm such a multi-tasker?

Silly man!

Look! He grabbed one Before I could get them all iced!

Now I remember Again why I love this recipe!

These roasted tomatoes are Good right off the baking tray!

Put them into the soup and It's just amazing!

Soup is simmering, Cupcakes are iced... Time for me to simmer a little too!

No place I'd rather simmer than in the pool!

It's clear Fall is on its way... The leaves are beginning to turn 

And, the flowers are beginning to disappear

Some of the Leaves are even beginning to fall. I miss Summer already!

It's been a pleasant and mild summer here. Unlike Monterey right now, where
poor mom and dad are Baking in 100-degrees. The fires burning in Santa Cruz
prevent them from opening the windows too, which makes it even worse!

Being the good Daughter that I am, I invited them
over for a swim. Truly a pity that it's a 3,318 mile drive!

Okay... I've simmered Long enough. Time to make a sheet cake!

Pioneer Woman calls it the Best chocolate sheet cake - I call it the Easiest!

this time... Thank you very much!

I hope no one at work has a Nut allergy besides me!

I guess we'll find out tomorrow at Two o'clock!

Frosting this cake is just as Easy as baking it!

a Few of my work collegues have made this cake
themselves on my suggestion. So I already know they'll love
it. Probably more since they didn't have to Bake it!

When Taste-tester asked me to make this soup for him
again I was surprised. Mostly because he has to know it
means he'll have to Clean my food mill again. Maybe
cleaning up the Food mill isn't as bad as I think. But
it's not like I'm in any hurry to find out for myself!

Truthfully, this soup is worth whatever Effort it takes!

That it pleases my Taste-tester is just icing on Top of my cupcake!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quick trip to Charlotte!

Every time we visit Charlotte I am reminded what a truly Beautiful
city it is. I can do without the Traffic, but the shopping is fabulous and I
love the big, Beautiful homes in the old, grand neighborhoods. We made
sure to get out before the Game and all the craziness starts downtown
though... The Panthers and Ravens play pre-season tonight. Sorry,
Panthers... But I'll be cheering for my Cowboys on week three!

We were in Charlotte today to visit with Spa-boy. We helped shuttle some things
over to his new place, and then we hit the Mall so he could introduce me to
some of his Team at Aveda. And, so I could hit Sur la Table - I love this store!

Next to Trader Joe's, we Really need
a Sur la Table. Oh! And, I need that ladle

We made it home just in time to Enjoy this pleasant evening on the deck!

The butterfly bush in front of the Solarium is full of butterflies!

It's almost like living back in Pacific Grove again!

Except we don't see many Monarch butterflies here...

But that's okay - North Carolina has pretty butterflies too

This one doesn't seem to mind Posing for me either, which is nice!

Thanks, little Butterfly...

Carry on!

Look what else I found at Sur la Table... Cookie Cutters! Cookie cutters on
sale too! Just $1.00 each, LESS 40%! For .56, I almost bought 1,000! I didn't realize
it until I got home, but my Ladle was 40% off too! I really should have bought two!

Thank you, Spa-boy! You take such good Aveda care of me! Taste-tester is
taking me to see a movie later, but I cannot wait to get home and try a mask!

See? The new Sur la Table ladle is Perfect
for my little German weisswursttopf!