Sunday, December 27, 2009

in the morning

Most of the Christmas mornings in my memory seem sort of grey and cloudy. That can be nice in its own way, but this year when I woke up there was the most beautiful light streaming through my window. I couldn't resist running outside in the cold to take this polaroid. I hope you and yours had just as lovely of a Christmas day as I did.

Friday, December 18, 2009

things to wish for

The thing about Christmas shopping is that it's really hard to do without spotting things you'd just love to have for yourself. Here are some of the things I've been seeing and loving.

I would love to keep track of 2010 with this dreamy calendar.

These boots would keep me happy through rainy days and winter slush.

concentric's entire shop is so lovely, I hardly know which item to choose. But this plankton hoop just might be my favorite.

I love, love, love this print by esan01

Rust Feather Earrings by anotherfeather

Pink Dahlia Ring by linkeldesigns

Sunday, December 13, 2009

hello mr. owl

On Friday I went to the store and wandered around amid all the fake trees covered in glitzy ornaments searching for the perfect thing to hang on our tree. And just when I thought there was nothing there that would suit me, I found this little owl. My first ornament for my first tree in a house that is not my parent's. And it may sound silly, but shopping for this decoration made me feel just as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the perfect day for a little black magic...

Alas, this morning's snow has turned into this afternoon's rain and everything is quite grey and mushy. Nevertheless, there is a tree in the dining room (giving the whole house a lovely pine-scent), gifts to be ordered and cupcakes in the oven. Because, really, what is there to do in this type of weather except bake?

Lest you think I am about to consume 24 cupcakes all by my lonesome, I will tell you that these beauties are actually for a birthday celebration at work tomorrow. I thought of trying a number of different new and exciting recipes, but trying new recipes when you actually need a cake to be in a certain place by a certain time and to be, you know, edible and in one piece is kind of like tempting fate. If you're me anyway. So in the end I went with this old and reliable favorite. It's the recipe my mom always uses for any special occasion and it has a tendency to elicit wild reactions from people. It's that good. It's that moist. It's that caffeinated.

Black Magic Cake
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee or 2 tsp. instant in i cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 9 inch pans. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. If making cupcakes bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on racks and then frost. I think cream cheese frosting goes great with this cake so here's the one I use.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 package cream cheese
1 tsp milk
1 lb box confectioners sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add milk and sugar and mix until smooth.

I topped the cupcakes with some shredded coconut for a little something extra.