Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Stealing

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. Movie you love with a passion.

Love, Actually

2. Movie you vow to never watch.

Facebook

3. Movie that literally left you speechless.

Black Swan

4. Movie you always recommend.

Black Swan

5. Actor/actress you always watch, no matter how crappy the movie.

Ralph Fiennes

6. Actor/actress you don’t get the appeal for.

Gweneth Paltrow

7. Actor/actress, living or dead, you’d love to meet.

Ralph Fiennes

8. Sexiest actor/actress you’ve seen. (Picture required!)


Umm, Ralph Fiennes LOL Do you see a theme here?

9. Dream cast.

Harry Potter movies

10. Favorite actor pairing.

Jolie and Pitt

11. Favorite movie setting.

Victorian London

12. Favorite decade for movies.

Now

13. Chick flick or action movie?

Action, for sure.

14. Hero, villain or anti-hero?

Villain, all the way.

15. Black and white or color?

Color

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alphabet Thursday

This week's letter: O

O can be for...Ophelia, my beautiful kitty



Or the other Ophelia




Jenny Matlock

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Look What I Made-Chocolate Rugelach


Rugelach Recipe
(From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Ingredients:

For the dough
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces (See Note below)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces (See Note below)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling
2/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade ((I used peach jam)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup plump, moist dried currants ((I used raisins)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the glaze
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coarse sugar

Method:

For the dough
1) Let the cream cheese and butter rest on counter for 10 minutes. It should be slightly softened but cool.
2) Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine for 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds. Do not work the dough too long that it forms a ball on the blade.
(Note: I used a stand mixer and I find that it’s easier to process by cutting the cream cheese and butter into cubes of 1-cm)
3) Remove the dough from the food processor, divide into half, shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to a day. (Wrap airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

To make the filling
1) Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or microwave until it liquefies. Mix sugar and cinnamon together.
2) Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (Silicone baking mats are great for rugelach.)

To shape the cookies
1) Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.
2) On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar.
3) Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the chopped chocolate and half of the currants. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch.
4) Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or trigangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut into quarters, then cut each quarters into 4 pieces.)
5) Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each triangle becomes a little crescent.
6) Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (The cookies can be refrigerate overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don’t defrost before baking, just add a couple of minutes to the baking time.)

Getting ready to bake
1) Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

To glaze
1) Stir the egg and water together. Brush a bit of the glaze over each rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar.
2) Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden.
3) Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

ABC Wednesday Challenge


This week's letter: A

A for...Amazing Black Mamba (not my picture, but my favorite snake)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hoo's Got Talent?

NightOwlCrafting




Cinnamon-Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 12


Cake
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 cups cake flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Glaze
1/3 cup whipping cream
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
For Cake
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325ºF. Grease a 12 cup bundt pan and set aside. Place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each one, until the chocolate is almost melted. Allow the residual heat to melt the rest of the chocolate and set aside. (Alternatively, you can set the bowl over simmer water. Do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.)
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat eggs in large bowl until foamy. Add sugar and beat until thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in oil. Beat in milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat until just blended.
Transfer 1½ cups batter to bowl with the melted chocolate. Stir to combine. Mix cinnamon into remaining (non-chocolate) batter. Spread half of cinnamon batter in prepared pan. Spoon chocolate batter over. Top with the remaining cinnamon batter. Using small knife, swirl batters together to marbleize slightly.
Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 10 minutes. Using a thin knife, carefully loosen the cake from the pan. Turn cake out onto rack and allow to cool completely.
For Glaze
Combine cream, butter, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until mixture simmers. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts and glaze is smooth. Let cool until glaze thickens slightly but is still spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Place cake on platter. Slide waxed paper strips under edges of cake (this will catch drips). Spread glaze over cake. Remove paper. Chill until glaze sets. Serve at room temperature. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled. DT: In my experience, you do not need to chill this cake – it keeps well at room temperature, but be sure to cover it. Also, cakes like this freeze beautifully – without the glaze. Just wrap it well in foil and it will keep for about a month. Give it plenty of time to thaw at room temperature and then glaze it.)

ABC Wednesday Challenge

Badge Design By Troy


This week's letter: Z



Zebra at the Zoo

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday 9


1. Have you ever tried to rekindle a past relationship against the odds?

Nope.

2. Do you like your job, or daily routine?

I do, I'm lucky.

3. Do you find time to 'smell the flowers' so to speak?

Hmm. Not really, I'm a bit neurotic. LOL


4. Do you have any problems thinking of things to write about in my blog?

No, I only write if I have things to say, otherwise I wait until I do.

5. Do others consider you well organized?

Absolutely.

6. Do you always have a “Plan B” just in case?

Yes, always. I like to have my bases covered.

7. How do you find yourself adjusting to new situations?

I won't lie, I have a bit of trouble sometimes. I like to have things planned out, and with new situations I can't really have that.

8. Are you happy with where you are in this point of your life?

Um, sometimes. Other times I hit my head against the wall and wail.

9. Do you find the aging process we all go through easy or difficult?

Well, I'm 25, so I'm not really sure yet.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Stealing

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?

Black Swan

2. What book are you reading?

Murder in the High Himalaya by Jonathan Green

3. Favorite board game?

Clue. LOve it!

4. Favorite magazine?

Reptiles Magazine

5. Favorite smells?

Gardenia and cinnamon, not at the same time, though

6. Favorite sounds?

Music, bird calls.

7. Worst feeling in the world?

Depression.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

Check on my snakes.

9. Favorite fast food place?

Taco Bell, but I don't really go often.

10. What’s under your bed?

Books and more books.

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?

Buy a manor somewhere in the middle of nowhere with acres of land.

12. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

No. Never have.

13. Storms – cool or scary?

Depends, if it's a thunderstorm, cool. If it's a hurricane, scary.

14. Favorite drink?

Red wine

15. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?

Read a lot, lot more.

16. If you had to dye your hair another color, what would be your choice?

I would never dye my hair, but if I absolutely HAD to, probably red.

17. Favorite place to relax?

My room.

18. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?

Montevideo and Miami

19. Favorite sports to watch?

Hate sports, hate to watch them even more.

20. Would you like to be born as yourself again?

Yes, despite the bad moments, I like my life.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. If you had the opportunity to bungee jump, would you?

Yes, I probably would.

2. Would you rather go to the movie theater or to the drive-in?

The movie theater, for sure. Not a fan of drive-ins.

3. Do you have your groceries delivered?

Ha, no. I have to and get them myself.

4. Eyebrows: Do you wax, thread, pluck, or stay au naturel?

Pluck, and I do it myself. I don't like to have people at the beauty salon do it. I just don't like people touching my face.

5. Would the people you went to high school with be surprised by your life today?

I don't think so. I haven't done anything completely unexpected.