Saturday, April 21, 2012

In Memorium....

You will be missed! Rest in peace Dad.
I have to say that I as far as father's in law go mine was the best.  Paul was a quiet man, he spoke only when he had something important to say.  He served in the 101st Airborne Division in the Vietnam War. He worked harder than anyone I know.  He went out of his way to help everyone, friends and strangers alike. He raised an amazing son. He always had a twinkle in his eye. And most of all he loved and took care of his family without fail.

In the early morning of April 19, 2012 Paul passed away with his wife at his side after a long illness. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.  

I will miss you always!

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Rest easy Dad, I love you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Cake

This Easter was the first holiday that Mr. Lucky and I have spent away from our families.  It was kinda sad when we thought about our dinner being just us.  Not that we don't like each other or anything but as with any holiday or celebration we wanted to share it with our families.  Thank God for Skype!

Fortunately, Mr. Lucky works with some wonderful people, several of whom also relocated from Massachusetts. One of these coworkers and his family invited us to share the holiday with them and their family.  It was such a nice gesture, we were thrilled.  Because I cannot go somewhere empty handed I volunteered to bring dessert. Of course, right?

I decided that I would make two desserts and we'd bring an assortment of cookies from the amazing bakery/cafe that we found near the house. (If you are ever in the Salt Lake City area you need to check out Schmidt's Pastry Cottage. We fell in love right away!)

I had grand ideas of making an elaborately decorated cake as well as some delicious lemon squares.  Lemon squares are my absolute favorite springtime (or anytime really, I love 'em) dessert. Due to time constraints, code for we got home too late, I scaled back on the cake ideas and went with something simple along with the lemon bars.

Sadly, only the cake and cookies made it to Easter dinner. There was a citrus disaster in my oven.  There was a little cursing and a few tears but I am trying to get over it.  Here is the recipe I tried to use for the lemon squares.  It is from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion.

Yield: 16 squares   
Baking Temperature: 350 degrees  
Baking Time: 20 minutes for the crust, 25 minutes for the squares

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter


4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. grated lemon zest or 1/2 tsp lemon oil
Confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch, 11x7 inch or similar sized pan. 
To make the crust: 
In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, your fingers or a mixer, cut in the butter, mixing it to form coarse crumbs. Press the crumbs into the prepared pan.  Back the crust for 20 minutes, or until it's light brown.

To make the topping: 
In a medium sized bowl, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Stir in the 
flour, salt and lemon zest.  

Pour the topping over the hot crust, return the pan to the oven, and continue baking for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the squares appears set.  Remove from the oven and cool in the pan.  Sprinkle with the Confectioner's sugar just before cutting and serving.

I have made this recipe several times with no issues. This time I decided to use part of the recommended variation that is included in the book by using a removable bottom tart pan (the variation also recommended adding raspberry jam, I skipped that). This was a big mistake! Everything seemed to work out fine, at first.  I pressed the crust into the tart pan.  I popped it in the oven and made the topping while it baked. I took the crust out of the oven and poured the topping in and put it back into the oven.  As soon as I got it into the oven all of the liquid lemon goodness started leaking out of the the bottom of the pan.  All over the bottom of the oven.  It was awful! Awful!!!! There were no more lemons or any other citrus fruits in the house so there was no chance for a lemon square mulligan.  I don't think I am over it yet.  Probably won't be until I successfully make some lemon squares. Soon.

I bet you want to see the cake now.  Here it is....

 Yes, I do have an unhealthy obsession with my grass tip.  I love it!  The cake was just a boxed white cake to which I added some vanilla bean and vanilla extract.  The butterfly is made from fondant.  I used a cutter/embosser that I got at some cake show.  I can't remember which one.  I used my food markers to color it and some pearl dust to give it some sparkle.  I put it over a round container in the oven with the light on overnight to dry.  I love how it came out. The flowers are another cake show find.  I am sorry but I just can't remember the vendor. 

Unfortunately, on Easter morning I had a horrendous migraine so I was not able to go to the dinner.  I still sent Mr. Lucky though.  He had a great time and the cake and cookies were a hit. 

Talk to you soon!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Slowly but surely....

We are so close to being done with our unpacking.  We only have a few more boxes and they are mostly full of stuff to hang on the walls.  Hopefully I will be totally done in the next week or so. Hopefully!

My kitchen, the most important room of the house, is all unpacked.  I keep changing my mind about where I want things to go so that is taking the most time.  I want everything in the right place, I just have to find the right place for everything.

Here is my empty kitchen....

Can you believe all the counter and cabinet space?  I can't!  My previous kitchen had about four square feet of counter space and 4 lonely cabinets.  This is like heaven to me.  As soon as I have everything organized to my liking and the decorating done I will show you the after picture and maybe some pictures of the rest of our place.

I have been doing some cooking and, yes, I have been taking pictures.  When I remember to load the pictures onto my computer I will have some more interesting posts for you. 

You'll be hearing from me soon!