Meg & Martha

it's a not-so-good thing

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Ways Pinterest Changed My Life

Oh Pinterest, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. With tutorials, photo guides, and DIY’ing my life into a craze. OK— enough with the Dr. Seuss. But seriously, I have made a general commitment to investing in myself and this website is completely helping me. Thanks to a referral from a certain friend, a fellow crafter, and all-around one of my Top 7 favorite people in the world (3 of which I have not met yet— Where are you Johnny Depp?!) I have been “pinning” myself to a revamped life. Currently I have started working on not 1, not 3 but 5 projects. Yes, this is typical “Megan” but I seriously am focused in getting them all done with stress to spare. I gave myself a banging manicure, made star decorations from an old book, started to upcycle t-shirts into a pillow, and two noted but undescribed christmas presents. I even sent the Pamster a link so she could collect materials needed from my parents home (branches don’t collect on Bethlehem’s sidewalks as one would hope). The next morning I wake up to a text that not only did she collect branches for me, she went ahead and made the candle holders all before 9am. Pinterest is life altering. Legit. And I’m done.

So I decided to post some pictures and links in my own blog in case anyone wanted to start crafting their way out of their stressful work week.

Here are some ornaments I made (with Jaim’s help). She gave me an old book she no longer wanted and Imade one lame snowflake and pasted it onto a ball filled with shredded tissue paper. Then I got a bit more creative and made a mod podge ornament using just the title of the book “A Magical Christmas.” Not only was it fitting, but it gave me an excuse to rip up the whole book and save the remnants of paper for my Round Two Recipe Craft, 3d snowflakes.

Martha would be so proud. I think.

Then I noticed that my brand new glitter covered ballet flats got a rip in them!! I was distraught but thought I would solve the problem with some crazy glue and fold the rip back on its self. That would have worker, except that I am Megan and shit always goes wrong. Needless to say, I crazy glued my hand to the shoe, ripping off more paper glitter in the process and leaving my shoe with a gaping white spot on the toe instead of a barely noticable rip. Again, problem solving mode kicked in and I thought that I could cover the spot on said shoe, plus the other shoe, and make it more of a fancy shoe… and Voila! Toe covered shoes.

 

Thanksgiving would NOT be complete without a batch of my pumpkin choco chip cookies. Its a family staple. Like turkey, or Jenga. This year, I decided to outdo myself and try this simple add-on. I think a plate of cookies always looks better with some candy on the plate. My mom found this recipe posted on someones facebook (Mom + Facebook= Lots of emails to me to ensure she is “doing it right”). Anyways, turns out she was right and these acorns went over better than my cookies. Not sure but it feels like a compliment wrapped in an insult, huh?

So cute— and it really did make the plate of cookies dissapear!

Then there was the manicure. I think it came out darling, but the pictures really make me look like I have man-hands and the manicure looks crappy. I thought it was such a creative idea to “pump up” a regular do-it-at-home mani. And of course to be even more challenging, I didn’t have a lick of scotch tape or gold polish in the house. What happened next was what I thought to be a a sroke of genius. I had a few red polishes, some electrical tape, and two hours before bed time.  I really think it looks great in person but catching it on film totally blew. Regardless, I am so glad that I get to have fly yet sophisticated nails for pennies at home. I’m sure Jaimee will LOVE being my hand while my nails dry. “Jaim, can you tie my shoes?”, “Babe, can you get my some tea?”, “Hun, I need to pee…”

So now I’m totally thinking about a new years resolution, really kicking this blog off (it’s been 9 months for Cher’s sake). Working my way through one “Martha” thing a week. Recipe, craft, DIY, anything. I think it could really be my saving grace in 2012.

Aren’t we cute in our Thanksgiving Day best?

More tomorrow next week 🙂

Megan

Our DIY Christmas

And so it began, thinking about Christmas in our new apartment together. I wanted to make it special but also, wanted to make it cheap, easy, and mind blowing. A tall order for me, but even worse in expectations. But I was committed to making this work. So Jaim and I started planning for what tree we would get, presents to buy, and where we would be traveling too. Then like a bolt of lightening, We decided that our house would become a hotbed for DIY crafts to make it completely our own. This was our way of starting our own traditions and making this holiday about us, instead of what we were missing at “home.”.

So this is our first project. A Christmas wreath. Jaim’s idea, Jaim’s blood sweat and tears. I just helped with the execution. It came out awesome, she did so well. I am convinced that this is one of many wreaths that will adorn our apartment this season, especially because I have control issues and no strong ties to playing cards.

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I think once it’s hanging, it will look great.

Then I had an idea after going to craft fair this weekend it make styrofoam trees in little Tera cotta pots. It gives the feel of a whimsical garden. The large one was incredibly heavy since Jaim and I thought using little glass pieces for green would be best. Turns out, it weighed it down and was so hard to glue on. I wasted over twenty hot glue sticks on this project, nineteen on the large one. I want to make more, but maybe a less heavy version.

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Next of our list
— ornaments, pillows, and some presents for our friends and family.

Happy Holidays!
Meg (and Jaim).

Falls here, Bitches

It’s October and that feels all-things-fall are in the air. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is my favorite holiday for many many reasons. The food, the holidays, and pumpkins. I love anything almost anything that has to do with pumpkins. I mean, Dunkin Donuts pumpkin syrup is a gift from the devil that should destroyed upon first sip. I kicked off fall with a surprise for my dearest pumpkin, Jaimee. I made her a delicious rendition of broccoli cheddar soup that I found on the cover of the october edition of Food Network Magazine. It was such a process, but completely worth it.  I would say to prep first, because trying to prep while cooking just made me stressed and it went smoother when I chopped/peeled everything. Also, I learned that peeling celery really enhances the flavor, Thanks Alex. And I definitely reccoment thining it out with water while cooking the last step

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And while I didn’t make this centerpiece, I think it looks so easy and can not wait to do it for my Thanksgiving dinner. It makes such a nice presentation and sometimes, you can’t find a vase when you’re trying to entertain too. This solves all problems. Jaim, her mother, and I went to a Pumpkin Patch to enjoy the beautiful weather and these were on every table at the Hard Cider Tasting (bought a bottle of the Cherry Moon- delish!) Maybe I will be doing these for some upcoming nuptials for two of my very dear friends.

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And this was the crowning jewel. It even looks like a gemstone. Well, maybe that’s just the butter making me delerious, but this acron squash was just about the most delicious thing I have ate in a long time. I even put a little less butter than it called for and it was still melt-in-you-mouth good. I highly reccomend going to your local farmers market befor winter comes and grabbing up some squash. Find a good recipe online by a simple Google search. I found a simple butternut squash recipe that involved 2 tbs oil, a garlic clove, and some parmesean cheese. Thats it. and it was just like roaster potatoes. Try it.

 

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Hope you can all get out and enjoy the beautiful fall we are having— despite the rain today.

Happy Harvest everyone,
M

once, twice, three times a lady

Err, make that Caramel. Triple salted caramel cupcakes that is! Although, after completing the recipe it should have been Quad Salted Caramel— but it just doesnt run off the tongue as nicely.

The recipe I borrowed is from Sprinkle Bakes and was so so so good. Scrumptious. Brown Sugar (Caramel) Cake, Caramel Center, Caramel Icing (buttercream that you put actual cooled caramel into) and these gorgeous little caramel disks that look great. My only issue is the dense cake. I like a fluffy cake and know that my Papa loves a fluffy cake. I’ll play with the recipe soon to figure out how to make this even scrumptiouser ?

All my ingredients, lined up in a kitchy way that shows off my adorable kitchen and gadgets.

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First you put the dry ingrediants together

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Then cream the good ingrediants (sugar & butter)

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Once combined, they start making this beautiful brown sugar cake.

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Three sticks of butter (and that all goes into the caramel center, caramel icing, and caramel do-dad’s on top)

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and yes— I realize my salt shaker appears to be bleeding from the breast.

Cupcakes pre-bake

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Cupcakes post-bake

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Sure— the caramel doo-dad’s definitely did not turn out like Sprinkle Bakes, but they were super cool nonetheless.

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And from a far, they all look like little works of stained glass. Delicious, salty sweet stained caramel.

 

Then I had to drive them to NJ the next morning for the party. I could put them in an enclosed  carrier, but the tops were too tall. I could take the sugar squiggles off, but the I’d ruin the icing. I could say “Fuck it” and not take them— but thats not how I roll. Thats how I decided it would be best to bring a carrier with me for the hour drive to Jersey.

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How else was I to transport these but to hire my own Cupcake Carrier— should have gotten her a little hat!

Once the got there, there were the hit of the party. So much so, that I forgot a picture! I’ve gotta say, these cupcakes went over GREAT at my Uncle’s 41st birthday. Everyone loved them and ,believe me, these are brutally honest people who will tell that that your hair looks like shit (that happened too that night, thanks Emma) and they have seen better.

All that I can say is that perusing the internet while at work for cool recipies has paid off yet again!
Maybe the corner store across the street will be interested in my baking after seeing this blog?!

Happy CupCaking,
M

Cake Balls Can Suck It

I am having a hard time calling Bakerella a bitch, however that is exactly what I want to do! Maybe it’s my fault for not following the recipe exactly. Or because I used chocolate cake mix and not red velvet. Or because I didn’t use cream cheese canned icing. Listening to myself—sounds like it is all my fault. FUCK! In that case, let me give you a rundown.

 

 

1) I mixed the cake mix

2) I baked it all lovely-like.

3) Let it cool and crumbled the shit outta it

4) Mixed in the icing into the mixture

5) Formd balls and thought to myself “Man, these are sticky”

6) Put balls in fridge/freezer and left for a few hours

7) Came back and melted the chocolate.

8) Began to dip balls in chocolate and thought to self “Man this looks like jizz”

9) Started to get pretty angry because things weren’t going my way (at least I know how crazy I sound)

10) Went MEGATRON all over the cake balls that were too sticky, covered in cum, and misshapen.

(i.e., flattening them with a skillet while crying)

All in all, I am looking forward to the day that I do try this again. Maybe I’ll do it more towards Bakerella’s guide and not pulling a “Whatever I Feel Like” attitude.

     Happy Carbing.

Round 2 with Royal Icing

My first bout with royal icing was a few weeks ago when I decided to have a creative weekend. Lesson learned: Don’t try new things out with girlfriend. Because when things don’t go my way, I tend to revert back to my toddler ways. I believe I slammed everything down on the table and was more frustrated that I couldn’t make cookies with royal icing how Martha does.

With that being said, I thought Easter would be the perfect way to re-do this experiment. I’d be able to be alone (except for my parents— and my mother’s watchful eye on her stainless). And without the pressures I put on myself when performing in front of others (see I’d throw in a little social work now and again).

First I had to make dozens & dozens of egg-shaped sugar cookies and then wait for them to cool. In the mean time, I made the royal icing in our standing mixer. Separated into three parts and dyed the white icing to be delicious colors. Of course, I couldn’t decide for myself. “Mom, I made pink & yellow icing, what color should be third?” pause-pause-stares at piping bags already filled “i think the pink would look great on the yellow, and vice versa.” “No! I need a third color, purple or green?” pause-pause “I don’t understand, the pink & yellow are so nice.”—“FORGET IT!”

Dial her up— “Jaim, I need a third color, green or purple?” and from there—purple was born!

After this exciting experience of chosing which rainbow color to grace my cookies, I realized I had NOT made enough icing and would definitely need to be doing this again tomorrow (which is how lavender, lime and periwinkle were born)

And so I started piping outlines and it made each cookie look a little bit more special.

And then I got a little crazy with visions of sweetheart plaids in my head

Then came the filling in (or flooding) and decorating.

Lining, swirling, and polka dotting.

Look at the masses 🙂

All in all, this was a wonderful and beautiful project for Easter. Especially the first Easter with the new girlfriends family. Or girlfriends new family. Or new experiences with girlfriend’s old family. Yes, it took two days to complete the icing and another to package, which came out incredibly sweet and I must take pictures the net time of the final presentation. After all, that is how the Queen would do it.

The best things I learned about flood icing/royal icing was from Sweetopia. It was the most comprehensive resource guideline for flooding cookies. And her pieces are too cute for words.

Peace, Love and Carbs to all,
Megan

Blogging cherry is now Popped!

Alright world, here I am at work. Wait, I’m actually at home on a Wednesday morning, yeahhh that’s better. Here I am sitting in my chaise lounge and I’m dreaming of all the wonderful items I want to create (almond cupcakes for Friday, Mom’s chili for Saturday, those adorable little petite fou I saw on that blog) and how there’s a good chance Social Work is not the right path for me. Bigger than good chance, HUGE chance!

It’s a common feeling that I have been noticing the recent graduates are having. Is it just Kutztown Social Work Graduates? Actually, no. You wouldn’t believe the number of LICENSED social workers here at my agency that bake on the side, with hopes & dreams of opening a bake shop.

My dream morphs every couple of days, depending on the mood that strikes. I want a food truck, a stand at a farmers market, or my own “cupcakery.” Thought I invented that word— turns out, I didn’t. For right now, I want a food blog. A place to work out my ideas and write about the complex world that is giving up social work to go after my passion.

As it stands, I want to pull a “Julie & Julia Project” but I know going through a Julia Childs cookbook is NOT how I imagine my pastry career! So here it is, my attempt at bettering my baking techniques WITHOUT destroying my mother’s kitchen (and after last night, I need to figure out how to ge royal icing off stainless without her noticing).

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