Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm Thankful for Kittens and Cake!

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Mine was amazing! I haven't posted in a while so I have a couple things to talk about. First, as a gift to ourselves this holiday season Matt and I adopted a kitten for the kitty orphanage. His name is Oliver. Yes, that's him above:) Isn't he the most precious thing you've ever seen?? I've been wanting a pet so bad I could barely stand it. I haven't had a pet for over 10 years. He is a perfect addition to our little family. We have been having such a blast with him. Here's some pictures of his cutness!

This is the picture we saw online that made me fall in love. When we went to adopt him I was so thrilled that his personality seemed to fit us like a glove.

I wake up and come home to my yarn a completely mess everyday. Totally worth it:)

We spent Thanksgiving with Matt's family. It was great. We had such a great first Thanksgiving-married together. Mona cooked probably the most delicious Thanksgiving dinner I've ever had. My mouth still waters when I think about the corn rice thingy she made. Yuuuummmmm! It was just the 6 of us with visits from Matt's uncle and half brother as well. Everyone had a nice time. We always have a nice time there though:)
I decided to make a coconut rum cake to bring for one of the desserts. I used Tyler Florence's recipe and it turned out fantastic, if I do say so myself:) It was super rich so just a little piece was more than enough. I can't wait to make it again. If you love coconut you should definitely try this recipe!


Rum syrup:

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup light rum

Splash coconut extract

1/2 cup sugar

3 cups cake flour, plus more for pans

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans

2 cups baker's or superfine sugar

4 whole eggs

1 cup whole milk

Splash coconut extract

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Coconut Buttercream, recipe follows

1 cup sweetened flake coconut (long, lacy flakes)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Make the rum syrup. In a small saucepan heat the water, rum, coconut extract and sugar until the sugar dissolves completely. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat.

Sift together dry ingredients: cake flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Line and grease 2 (9-inch) cake pans with butter then dust lightly with flour.
In a bench-top mixer (with the paddle attachment), cream butter and sugar until pale in color and light and fluffy - about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula then with the mixer on low add eggs 1 at a time. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk, coconut and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides, if necessary. Once flour is fully incorporated stop the mixer.
Divide batter evenly amongst the 2 cake pans and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. When done, transfer cakes to wire racks and allow to cool completely.
Remove paper lining then carefully cut each cake in half horizontally using a bread knife. Remove the domed top off 1 of the halves so you have 3 flat disks and 1 domed disk (this will be the top layer).
Assemble the cake directly on your platter by layering 1 of the disks on the plate as a base. Using a pastry brush, wet the layer evenly with the rum syrup then spread with a 1/2-inch of coconut cream. Repeat this process of wetting and spreading until you reach the 4th top layer which will be the domed disk. Place on top and lightly wet the entire cake with remaining rum mixture. Cover the rest of the cake with the frosting and sprinkle all over with coconut flakes.
Set in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
Coconut Buttercream:

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 pounds (about 8 cups) confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon coconut extract

1 tablespoons vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt

In a stand mixer fitted with whip attachment, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the coconut and vanilla extracts and pinch salt and blend just until incorporated. Refrigerate until needed, but no longer than 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I know, I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet:) But, I like to get my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving so I decided to get started buying things here and there. I went to Target today and got bulb ornaments because the colors were perfect! I found some great sparkly and felt snowflakes and an adorable tiered pastry dish. I am so excited to decorate a tree! So fun!

Mona gave us this awesome Susan Branch Christmas cookbook. Isn't it so cute?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Knit, Knit, Knit All Day Long...

I have put all other knitting projects on hold so that I can finish these waffle dishcloths. I'm knitting them to put in our Christmas baskets:) So far I've completed 16 and I have 22 to go! I hope I can finish by Christmas... Yesterday I couldn't bring myself to lift a knitting needle; my fingers were so sore and cramped. After I'm done with all my Christmas stuff I want to tackle knitting a sweater!

I love this pattern because its so simple and goes really fast. Mona printed it out for me from Homespun Living.  Check it out so you can make yourself something really pretty to wipe your counters with!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Matt and I stayed in and relaxed all weekend:) I have lots of Christmas projects underway that I can't wait to share! Today I wanted to share the beautiful tree outside our kitchen window... Isn't it gorgeous? I don't know what it's called but I love it. I couldn't get a picture of them because they're so fast, but there are tons of little squirrels in it all the time. Davis has so many squirrels that they are having to give them birth control!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Sweet fellow newlywed, Kimmy at My Beautifully Blessed Life has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Thank you so so so much Kimmy! I am so thrilled and grateful! What a fun, nice award. It's nice to take the time to recognize other's for their blogging splendor. We all put our lives out there for everyone to see, and it's great to know someone out there is reading and appreciating. So, in the spirit of this award I will pass along the love!

For this award I'm to:

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on my blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
4. Name 7 things about myself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.

Okay, here are seven things that you may not know.... Sorry I'm not super interesting so they're probably all lame.
1. No matter how much I try to like it I still hate tea. I have tried iced, sweet, hot, flavored etc. etc. and it all tastes like I imagine urine might taste to me. I want to like it so badly. I keep thinking if I drink it enough times I'll acquire a taste for it like red wine or sushi, but it hasn't happened. Iced tea always sounds so refreshing on a hot day and hot tea sounds so good when it's cold or I'm sick. But, as soon as it hits my lips I realize it's never going to happen...
2. I'm legally blind in my left eye. I always have been. It's this really weird thing that isn't really correctable. I can see just fine with both my eyes open so it's never been much of a problem except that I have no depth perception.
3. I hate being tall. I'm 5'10" and I wish that I was 5'3". I would love to be able to wear tall heels but I look like a tree in them. It's really sad.
4. My worst habit is picking the mascara off my eyelashes. This usually results in me picking out my actual eyelashes. I have a school picture of me my freshman year of high school with only one eye with eyelashes and the other eye bare. I've been doing it since I started wearing mascara. It's one of those obsessive compulsive things I guess.
5. I could watch Disney movies all day. I will never grow out of them. I love them all. 
6. Don't laugh, but I was in the school band for 5 years. I played clarinet. I was even a drum major at one point. I quit my sophomore year in high school because I thought it was dorky, but I wish I would have continued because I really loved it.
7. I am madly in love with ketchup. It drives my husband absolutely crazy. I eat it on fries, mashed potatoes, rice, fish, sandwiches, veggie burgers and sometimes I will just eat it on a plain piece of bread as a snack. I'm like a small child.

Here are the 7 bloggers I chose to nominate in no particular order:
1. Happy loves Rosie is one of my very favorite blogs to visit. You can't help but get sucked into all the colors and lovely things she shares. There are so many wonderful ideas and fun pictures!
2. Poppy in Love is another wonderful blog that I love to visit! Sara is so darling and creative! I love to see what her and her husband are up to, what they're cooking and what she is creating:)
3.Farmgirl Paints is such a neat blog. Becky is so talented and inspiring. I love to get the views of women who are wives and mothers and christians. It gives me more to build on. 
4. Jennifer at Sis Boom is an absolute delight! I love reading her blog and love love love her fabric. It's such a great place to go and she is so sweet.
5. Loving Blakley is an adorable blog. I love all of Brandy's great ideas, decorations and fun photos. She has a beautiful family and her blog is so much fun to visit!
6. Twice Remembered is another one of my favorite blogs. I just love all the pictures of her renovations. It's absolutely amazing!
7. Wooden Nickel is a great blog to visit. I love Jennifer's writing style. I love her pictures as well. It's a great place to go to be inspired and for a little laughter:)

Thank you all for having such amazing blogs! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week:)