Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pinterest is Where We Go

Pinterest is where we go to plan imaginary weddings, dress children we don't have, and decorate homes we can't afford.  That maybe somewhat true.  But I have to say it is quite inspirational for me.  I have worked today on my washroom.  I am bound and determined that I will get it cleaned up, organized, and creat my special place for my crafting and sewing.  And I actually think that I may be able to do it all on a budget.

 I have a six drawer chest out in my shed that I plan to pull into my home and paint to start storing my stuff in.  I will build shelves from cardboard boxes for storage to go on top of that.  I also have a desk that I can pull in from the dining room (this will also give me some much needed space in that room as well).  And I will put my sewing machine on top of the desk.

Today I got started and it has been a real chore since that room is as large as about any other room in the house and has played catch all since I moved in 10 years ago.  But I got a tall cabinet moved from one corn to another and all organized for starters.  It is probably going to take me months to get it all the way I want it and right now the wall that I plan to move this all too has exercise equipment and a large box ready to go to a yard sale.

So...all in all I'm off to a good start I think.  And back off to Pinterest for more inspiration.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gingerbread Nativity

I did a gingerbread house this year.  Placed is on a Lazy Susan and on one side it had a modern scene with a tree and star.  On the other side it had a manger scene and the star for the modern scene and the nativity were the same.

The Nativity Side

The Modern Day Side
The family this was made for has a set of triplets with one older brother.

Joseph, Angel, Mary,
The baby Jesus
The baby Jesus

The three wise men

Friday, December 30, 2011

Citrus Ginger Cake with Spiced Orange Compote

  • 1/2 cup(s) honey
  • 1/4 cup(s) mild-flavored extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 2 tablespoon(s) freshly grated orange or lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup(s) fresh orange or Meyer lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoon(s) chopped crystallized ginger, divided
  • 1 cup(s) whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 teaspoon(s) confectioner's sugar
  • Spiced Orange Compote (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil an 8-inch round cake pan (see Variation), line with parchment paper and oil the parchment.
  2. Stir together honey, oil, egg yolks, zest, juice and 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger in a medium bowl. Sift whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high in another medium bowl until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the honey mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Gently fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula until they are well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool completely.
  5. Just before serving, sift sugar evenly over the top of the cake and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Serve with Spiced Orange Compote on the side. Variation: You can use a 9-inch cake pan for this recipe, but you will get a thinner cake. Reduce the baking time to 25 to 30 minutes. You can find 8-inch cake pans at well-stocked kitchenware stores or online at
  6. To bring an egg to room temperature, either set it out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
Spiced Orange Compote
  • 8 small oranges, preferably seedless
  • 2 cup(s) water
  • 5 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  1. Use a 5-hole zester to remove zest from oranges into long, thin, spindly strips (see Variation). Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the zest to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small strainer (reserve the cooking liquid). Rinse with cold water; separate and drain on a paper towel.
  2. Stir sugar into the reserved cooking liquid; bring to a simmer. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the sugar water and add the pod along with cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise. Continue to simmer until the sauce reduces to 1/2 cup and thickens slightly, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, slice off an end of each orange so they stand upright steadily. In careful sculpting slices, remove all the remaining peel and white pith from the oranges with a very sharp knife. Slice the peeled oranges into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Remove any extraneous pith or rind and any stray seeds.
  4. Discard the vanilla pod and whole spices. Stir the zest into the sauce. Layer the orange slices in a serving bowl, spooning the sauce between layers to distribute the zest evenly throughout. Variation: If you don’t have a 5-hole zester, use a vegetable peeler to remove long strips of the outer skin (zest) of the orange. Cut the zest into thin slivers.