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Sundays with Joy/Strawberry Lemon Bars (Lavender Lemon Bars)

Strawberry Lemon

Well, who can find lavender on a couple of days notice?  Not me anyway.  I went to a couple of places.  I made a few calls.  No luck.  I ended up adapting the recipe to make Strawberry Lemon Bars.  That wasn’t my only issue.

The other issue was my pictures.  I just didn’t like any of them.  Lately they are hit and miss because I am trying to get used to my husband’s camera.  Mine, although it was just a simple point and shoot, I miss because I knew HOW to take good pictures with it.  I had to stop using mine because after too many trips to the beach, it started to get spots behind the lens and they had begun to show up in pictures.  I have no idea how to take pictures with his camera and I am in the middle of trying to figure it out.  Plus, good light has been hard to come by lately.  Bear with me people…

Before baking and after baking...

Before baking and after baking…

Back to the bars, I couldn’t find lavender and I had bought strawberries with my weekly groceries without a specific purpose in mind for them and that never happens.  So I was like well, I have something extra lying around that I could use in this recipe.  The strawberry added a nice sweet element to the bar.  I do wish I had found some lavender to try it Joy’s way, though.  That’s what happens till you wait till the last minute to make your recipe.  All I did to change the recipe was to omit the lavender in the crust and used 1/4 cup strawberry puree and 1/4 cup lemon juice for the 1/2 cup lemon juice.  Then I diced up about 4 or 5 strawberries and sprinkled them onto the filling before I baked it.  With the powdered sugar on top, it was like a pink lemonade bar.  If you’d like the recipe, be sure to buy Joy’s cookbook.  Don’t forget to check out other adaptations over at Bakeaholic Mama.

My GeekyLink seems so super awesome I almost didn’t want to tell you for fear you would take my spot, because this is happening: Wanted: Mars Colonists to Explore Red Planet.  Except that if you keep reading you learn the selection process is going to be a REALITY show!  What a great way to make something wonderful and pure and almost magical (y’know except for all the science) into something gross.  I don’t like this AT ALL.  In other bittersweet news we have Fringe.  Next Friday, Fringe will air their last two episodes back to back.  While I am super bummed that Fringe is ending, they prepared us fans well in advance so I shouldn’t despair too much once it is over.  Let’s also not forget that the Science Channel is still airing old episodes.  What got me excited, though, for the last two episodes is that we get to see the crew from the redverse in the finale.  I totally shrieked when I saw Fauxlivia and Lincoln!

Strawberry Lemon

Banana Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins, Camouflage Cupcakes and Fringe

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I have had a hankering for some muffins for awhile now seeing as I spent all of last Sunday trying to adapt some.  I really wanted to get back to doing some baking with whole wheat flour and I just couldn’t make it work.  So I tried to think of some other whole wheat muffins that I have made and loved and then lightening struck. As always Joy was the answer.  Of course everyone knows of Joy’s Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins (I have even made a batch or two) but she also has another Blueberry Muffin that is a bit healthier with whole wheat flour and oatmeal that was ripe for the adaptation I was trying to do.  And even though I am thrilled with how they came out, I had to go and make them a tad unhealthier (but also a tad more awesome) by adding a streusel topping (that you can totally omit if you want).  Next time I think will use a berry that has a bit more kick and still goes with bananas, like well, maybe a blueberry.  You could even add some chopped nuts and make this a classic banana nut muffin.  It would be FANTASTIC and (kinda) healthy!

Those beauties had to wait till Monday morning, however, because Saturday I baked Camoflage Cupcakes for my nephew’s 11th birthday party on Sunday.  I got this idea from My Creative Way.  The cupcake was just yellow cake Cake Mix Doctored with a green basic buttercream frosting.  My Creative Way used brown and green food coloring but I used about two tablespoons of cocoa powder for the brown color.  Just spoon it into your muffin tin, alternating colors.  So easy and it looks great!  I frosted each cupcake with a thick layer of buttercream (piped on, then smoothed out) and then just one quick go round on each with a grass tip (Wilton #233 ).  I also sprinkled some green colored sugar on top which I had wanted to put on these just because but really worked out great because it helped make the grass look darker and added a little depth to it.  Top with a random army dude and you got yourself some Camo Cupcakes.

My GeekyLink this week is all about Fringe.  First of all, I am absolutely THRILLED that it was renewed for a fifth and final season.  Unfortunately, it is only for 13 episodes but something is better than nothing.  Yes, I was one of the first to find out via Twitter and it was one of the most awesome things to share among likeminded people.  If you are a fan you need to live Tweet it on Friday nights, it is one of the reasons it was renewed!  The fans came together and made it an event every Friday and aside from trying to avoid spoilers since I am on the west coast, it has just been one of the most fun fan experiences EVER and we do it every week.  Also, I am a big fan of The Fringe Podcast and I love, love, love their live show on Sunday.  Check it out!  So here is the trailer for the second half of the Fringe Season Finale.

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Strawberry Yogurt Pie for Pi day!

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Okay so this won’t post until late Pi day (3/14) but I figured I just need to get this up because I had made a pie, it was Pi Day and I needed to post something.  I was debating about wether or not to post this because I didn’t get a picture of the pie after it was cut.  Let’s just call it a brainfart and move on. I am sorry it has been awhile but SO MUCH is coming up!  I need to stop dreading doing things and just do them.  Things get done faster that way.  Things I am not dreading are the ideas I have coming up of things to bake for you.  I LOVE them!  I can’t wait to get started.  I really hope I can bang some stuff out tonight and tomorrow so I won’t be leaving you silent for as long as I did this last week.

I used butter too.

This is my second time making a pie crust and instead of trying to fit all the ingredients into my mini-chopper (I don’t have a food processor!) I decided to kick it old school and work the dough with two forks (I don’t even have a pastry cutter).  It totally worked!  Julie from Willow Bird Baking recommended using lard in the crust and I would have to say she was right.  May I recommend, however, not tasting the dough till it is cooked cause then you could get a crumb of lard in the bit you are tasting and that may make you want to spit it out and completely question what you are doing.  Once it is baked it will be completely awesome.

Are you drooling yet?

So in the interest of more and better future stories and recipes to make, I am going to leave you early with some GeekyLinks and the recipe.  First up is an awesome story about how How Dolphins Say Hello.  It is just the neatest thing ever!  Next up is some Princess Bride awesomeness.  Lastly, is something I REALLY want but will NEVER be able to afford Harry Potter Wizards Collection.


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Strawberry Pie and High School Football

My husband is gone now, like he will be 75% of Fridays from now till mid-December.  He is attending a high school football game, like lots of proud fathers are beginning to this year.

Our son is only 2.

My husband is just going because he wants to go!  He knows who the players are in our area, in our state, and sometimes a few superstars from around the country.  This is not college (which I LOVE watching by the way and he does too, but we have soccer games are coming up on Saturdays) or professional (which I can tolerate but he doesn’t watch too much anymore).  This is high school.  He goes to certain games that he thinks will be good that week.  He learns what kind of offense and defense each team plays.  He hates the schools that move kids in from other areas…

Are you bored yet?

I am in awe of how much he knows and love that he has something he likes to do but I HATE being alone with the kids on Friday nights.  Every other night he is home, only Wednesday and Thursday because of his schedule, I could take him or leave him but on Fridays we all just hang out.  Usually, I am more mellow because I tend not to cook on Fridays.  Now, any time we might want to go out on a Friday night (just us or as a family), it depends on whose playing.  Just sub Red Sox baseball for high school football and I am Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch.  At least, today, he was able to go with our oldest, usually she has dance and then he goes with his dad (who couldn’t go tonight).  I hope they are having a good time together.  I also hope he realizes that he will only get to go to two more games this month, because we have our anniversary coming up and he promised the kids we would go to the fair.  After that, we probably won’t see him on a Friday night till the week of Thanksgiving.  O well.  

Maybe if I can make this pie every Friday he will stay home?  Or at least some version of it, changing fruit as the seasons do?  This was the first thing that I had made in a long time, where he just shoved it in his mouth till it was gone.  If he doesn’t like something, he will just have a bite or two, say it was “alright” and not finish it.  This was gone in about two minutes.  He liked it.  He even had a great big piece the next night.  There would still be more if my two year old didn’t keep picking at it in the fridge during the day AND having slices for his dessert. Read the rest of this entry

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