Monday, April 30, 2012

Makin' it Monday: Apple Pie Cookies

I saw this recipe on the good old internet a few months back and was dieing to make it. But then, I was poor and living off of bread and cheese and so, forgot about it. But then, I remembered! My taste-buds are so very happy I did. If you guys swing over to Smitten Kitchen you'll find the original recipe in all its glory!

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T granulated sugar 
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 stick unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 c ice water

2 tart medium apples
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch of cloves
1 pinch Speculaas*

To finish
1 large egg
Coarse or granulated sugar for garnish

*Speculaas is a dutch spice usually used for cookies, I'm pretty sure this was brought over by family and am not quite sure as to where one would locate it in the states. There's no dutch stores that I can find in WNY! Boo. Moving on!

I used gluten free flour, which mayhap wasn't the best idea, but I knew my mom would be wanting some of these, so I wanted to make sure she could have some!

This is how I cut my butter! Into super tiny pieces! 

Here's the crust ingredients (minus the ice water) all combined! You can also catch a peek of my Freudian Slippers! I'm so very much in love with them!

Here is what my dough looks like! As a note on pie dough; when I'm usually making pie dough my recipe calls for 7.5 lbs of flour, if that can give you an idea to the sheer volume of pie shells I produce in one go. Everything gets thrown into a huge mixer and then it gets a. thrown in the cooler or b. frozen. Occasionally c. I make about 30 pie shells that I then stick in the freezer and put the rest of the pie dough in the cooler. It's a strange feeling to make such a little amount of pies dough!

I sliced my apples different than in the recipe, mostly because I'm a goof.

And so I began rolling them out!

These were some of the steps, the first one is filled and covered, the second is filled and the last one is wanting of fillings and coverings!

All ready to go into the oven!

With... not as visually pleasing as I had hoped results. With despair I sulked about this and almost refused to post about it. There's always a right way, and a wrong way to try something new for the first time. I'm pretty sure I tried this new thing the wrong way first. 

Lemme 'splain. 

Our household is unique, most of all when it comes to food. We're vegetarians, that eat fish. But we don't drink milk. We usually get our food from a CSA and we pretty much only and mostly eat vegetables and fruit and eggs. We also strive to be gluten free, which is where my downfall was. Gluten free flour has a way of not doing really what you had intended it too. I really didn't give it any thought as I delved into this, and was rather disappointed with the results- until I tried them.

Gosh golly miss Molly! Were they ever delicious! My mom tried them as well, and loved them too! This is something I really should have figured on, because with most food, it may have some bumps or bruises, but in the end it's still pretty delicious. 

So that is what I leave you with, because I'm going to go finish off those delicious mini pies before somebody else does!

Love and Strawberry Kisses xo

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday in the Studio!

I GOT A BIG GIRL CAMERA. So yes, dear readers, there will be a certain lack of instagram photos in my blog, thanks to my new baby. Moving on! I did promise a new blog schedule starting this past monday, with that said I had to work my 9-5 six days this week instead of my usual four (but soon to be five!) When things like that happen, I cope with buying myself a new dress.

 In this case I bought three. 

I do however have ulterior motives when it comes to dress buying! I've been doing my best to buy only handmade clothing , which is becoming a thing for me, and I rather like it. Since I'm trying my darndest to make a plethora of my own dresses, I find that having a sort of model to follow is quite handy. Since I'm allergic to patterns, I can take a dress and look how the sleeve fits together, or how the collar falls, or the waistline even and reconstruct it with some parchment paper and then play around with it and have (maybe a bit too much) fun with it.

 That being said, I've almost come to completion on my latest sewing endeavor, and when I said it may or may not be a dress, I meant may not! It's a cute little romper than I'll be showing off this wednesday! And now for some photos from my new (big girl) camera!

Below is going to get tattooed on my arm! Probably after I finish painting it. It's a fox and a raven!

Things around me always get so messy....

And this guy is no where near new, but he's a favorite! I did this my senior year of high school as a part of my AP Studio Art thesis. I took a see through (yet very dirty) tarp and threw it over Mr. Bones (the resident art room skeleton) and went from there! It's 18x24 and in chalk pastels.

I hope your weekends are full of awesome!

Love and Strawberry Kisses xo

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Earlier this year my friend David started a project called the artist catalogue. It's a collection of twelve artist's work that are featured along with an interview and an artist's satement. ANYWAYS, I'm featured in it!! In fact, I'm the first artist featured in it. So I'm a whole lot more than exited! You can check out the website here and you can see the low-res version of the magaizne online here! Now I'm going back to working on some new sewing projects!

Love and Strawberry Kisses xo

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Working Wednesday: Necklaces, Paintings and Dresses, oh my!

Here are some snapshots of what I've been up to!

And these are paintings that I started back last year and am FINALLY going back to work on them!

Beginnings of a new project! That may or may not be a dress...

 And this is my favorite cup of tea.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Makin' it Monday: Pancakes

You can ask anyone who knows me, pancakes are my favorite food. Of all time. While in NYC the old gang all gathered for dinner. We were discussing food, and my friend Ariel did food impressions of different people and we had to guess them. Needless to say, it was hilarious and mine were, of course, pancakes. I suppose I could even have a spin-off blog and only discuss the deliciousness of pancakes, and different kinds of pancakes. I happen prefer mine with apples or blueberries.

There are a great many things you can do with pancakes. So I thought I'd whip out my Mother's Joy Of Cooking to peruse the ways of my pancake master making mother.

This book has not seen better days, it's seen the BEST days! 

There are so many pancakes to make!!

Above is the first page on pancakes, and below is one of the many reasons I love my mother. The recipe in the book makes 14 pancakes. I'm but me. She figured out how to make three pancakes.  Which is a recipe I divided in half (except for the egg, I just used a whole egg- no sense in dividing it!)

3 Pancakes:

1/2 c Flour

 1/2 c Milk (I used almond milk)

and the remnants:

1 egg
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt

Beat them together until everthing is all mixed and mingled

Out Stove-top clock has been stuck at 9:37 since sometime in the 90's. This stove however is amazing, and has lasted us for so long!

Sadly I can never get pancakes to flip nicely.

Delicious. These pancakes are slathered in Butter and Honey!

They look burnt for some reason, but my taste buds give you promises that they were not. (I may have gobbled them down too fast to take another picture.) In any-case, enjoy!

Love and Pancake filled Kisses xo

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Dear Reader,

I have been so very absent. I also very much enjoy it when a narrator in a book addresses us, me, everyone as "my dear reader" for complete unknown reasons. But not to stray from the point, I hopped on a bus Monday night on an exiting adventure on down to NYC! It was strange and wonderful being back. I did touristy things and even felt mostly like a tourist. Emma and I blamed this on the fact we were staying in the upper west side, when previously we were both Brooklyn-ites. But together we roamed up and down the city streets, played with puppies, ate so-very-delicious crepes, drank oodles of coffee and really just had a grand old time. 

When I came home my dad had made two additions to my room: another desk and bookshelf. My room seems to be the one where bookshelves, desks and table just seem to end up. Another thing I'm not sure of as to why. So I've spent the past night and a bit of this morning re-arranging everything as to fit everything in. I did have to get clever with where to put my clothes. I'm lacking in a closet and so have just been folding my dresses in a drawer. But no longer! I've found an old rod that came from my days as a sculpture student and managed to balance on the back of  my rather large easel next to my dresser. My bed is tucked behind a bookshelf and a table in the corner of my room, making it feel a bit like a hide-away place where I get to sneak more time for books and day dreams. 

Many of my bosses have equated me with a 5 year old.

ANYWAYS. I have several projects lined up that I'll be working on- including a new blog scheduled that I'll be bombarding you with come Monday! I hope that your week was as wonderful and crazy as mine!

Love and Strawberry Kisses xo

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Musical Monday!

In spirit of adventuring, here's Another Travlin' Song by Bright Eyes! And with that, I'm off on my own adventure to NYC for three days! Wish me luck!

Love and Strawberry Kisses xoxo

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday in the studio

It was my plan to have a restful, peaceful day off from creating things yesterday. Of course it didn't happen. But I did finish my dress! So here are some lovely little snapshots of the final outcome of my first dress!

So fun!

I tied these bows behind my back, so they're really not that pretty, but I think I'm okay with that for now!

Now it's back to watching Firefly!
 There can never be enough of that show in my life, of this I'm sure.

Love and Strawberry Kisses xoxo

Thursday, April 12, 2012

To Tell The Truth This Thursday,

I'm so in love with alliterations. Like lavishly loving life. And amazements all around. Continuously caring, certainly courageously. But that's not really what I wanted to blog about. I've been doing a copious amount of thinking this past week- mostly because I'm stuck in a rut. A really massive art rut. I'm pretty sure if I spread my arms out, it wouldn't quite even span the width of the rut. But I digress. When these sorts of things happen, I usually say "To hell with it!" And go off and do something else. This time, I seem to have run out of other things to go do. I sew, I embroider, I knit, I paint, I collect, I draw, I write. There's just nothing I've got to offer in any of these realms. 

So I cleaned. And completely rearranged my room. Now, I'm going to go to bed, sleep for at least eight hours and then I'm going take the whole day off from feeling like I need to create something, or even get something done. 

With that being said, I'm going to leave you with this lovely quote from Lord Bunn, and bid you goodnight!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When did it get to be Wednesday?

It probably happened when I wasn't paying attention. I've been busy with so many things- I'm putting the finish touches on my new dress, baking some molten lava cakes for my Dad's birthday, and going on so many adventures! Including going to NYC next week to visit some of my favorite people!! But to make up for my lacking blog-post yesterday, I'll regale you with my molten-lava-cake adventure!

We have no chocolate in the house, because my mother an I are fiends for chocolate. My mother loves baking chocolate especially, while I prefer my chocolate to be no higher than 65%. Almost every recipe I've found for lava cake requires dark chocolate, which we've of course finished off. With no respective way of getting to the grocery story, we turned to the internet in search of a recipe that called for cocoa powder instead of chocolate. And with luck, we found this recipe! 

So we gathered our ingredients:
8T (1 stick) Butter
1/3 c + 9T sugar
3/4c unsweetened natural cocoa
1/4tsp salt
1/3c all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla

As a note on the ingredients- all white sugar that is not labeled organic is not vegan or vegetarian. It's run through a bone charcoal when it's being refined. Our family has been vegetarian for over 12 years now, and last summer I worked in a vegan bakery which is where I learned all this! But continuing on, all of our cocoa is fairtrade and organic is well, to read more on fair trade you should take a look here! The salt we used was sea salt and our vanilla is homemade! I've left you the recipe for it at the end of this post!

So, first you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then take a muffin tin and butter 5-6 of the cups, and coat them with those 9T of sugar! You then whisk together the butter and cocoa powder in one bowl, and in another whisk the eggs and sugar until foamy. Gently mix the two together. Then add the flour and salt, stirring the mixture well. Divide bewtween the muffin cups, making them almost full. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the centers are stiff and not jiggly when touched. But don't overbake! Because then these tasty morsels are really just muffin shaped brownies. Serve up with some icecream or whipped cream and enjoy! 


My Momma's Homemade Vanilla Recipe

2 vanilla beans, sliced lengthwise in half
1 liter bottle of your favorite Rum or Vodka (she uses dark rum) make sure the flavor of the rum isn't too strong or it'll mask the vanilla flavor!

Place sliced vanilla beans in bottle and let sit for 2-3 months and viola! Your vanilla is ready for use!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A really late Super Sunday update.

Yesterday my parents and I made the drive up (over, really) to see my younger sister who's currently at college. Along with getting out to hang out with the awesomeness that is Beth, we went to an underground flea market! So instead of a studio update I have a spoils update for you! The best part of all this was getting a fifty cent coin, and a two dollar bill from 1928!! So incredibly amazing!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A fabulously frivolous Friday.

I'm so in love with browns and blues together! But previously I really only wore my black doc martens (everywhere. all the time.) and my younger sister told me that I should really invest in a pair of brown boots. So I bought the sweetest pair off of etsy, and they arrived in the mail yesterday. They're vintage boots from the 70's and absolutely perfect. In any case, I'm off to go enjoy the sunny weather while it lasts!

Love and Strawberry Kisses xo

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Workin' Wednesday

I've been spending a great deal of my spare hours working on a new dress! As my mother likes to tell me, when it comes to creating things I'm "constantly trying to reinvent the wheel!" I just have so much fun figuring out how things work all on my own without having instructions, I guess it makes things seem more like an adventure and are then all these things are made of my own invention. It comes with it's trouble, like me having to pull so many stitches until I figure things out and finally get them right (after a few too many tries...) But ever onward! Here are some snapshots of the dress to be, and one of a new embroidery piece!      

 One of my favorite quotes from Where The Wild Things Are.

I figured out my pattern using some parchment paper, it took a good few tries to get everything right!

And now, I'm going to get back to sewing it!

Love and Strawberry Kisses xo

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Musical Monday.

I swear there is nothing better than this song to wake you up in the morning. Okay, okay, I have a few more songs that I swear to be this as well- but right now there's nothing I enjoy more than listening to this as I first begin my morning!

Also, this song was the opening song for Benny & Joon (which is one of my favorite movies) and it features clips from it! Super bonus!