Getting Back to Baking

When we decided to move to Greenville I was curious to see how and what would change. I have rediscovered my interest in cooking and baking. I enjoyed it so much growing up, setting up my "demo's" in the kitchen, donning a vintage apron, pretending to be Martha Stewart on my own cooking show. I would usually bake a pretty basic dessert but I felt accomplished in some small way. Upon moving out of my parent's home I didn't get much of a chance to cook and bake as it can require so many accessories a college and single woman just doesn't have. I guess when I moved to Hawa'ii and Hong Kong, skirts and shoes took precedence over cupcake pans and mixers!

Along with extra time on my hands, a husband who is consumed by grad work, and my much loved Cuisinart stand mixer I inherited from my mom (thanks, mom!), I am rediscovering baking and cooking. Although I can get frustrated by the process and don't have much patience if things don't turn out right, I'm learning to roll with the punches and just Take Joy. Being back in the poor student life again and no access to Trader Joe's, I'm learning how to make upbeat meals on a tightrope-budget and am liking it. I think I'm even starting to feel domestic! :)

 "Pirate Treasure" themed cake for friend's birthday back in 2009

Mrs. PacMan cake for a dear friend's bday... 2010

Moon Cake for Space Birthday Party. 2011

Birthday celebration for Dan's 32nd in 2011... the theme was "The Big Lebowski"... we went bowling, watched the movie. The cakes were to be mini white russians.

Mini Quiche Lorraine

Aebleskiver - our dear friends sent us yummy jams and a proper pan.. 
they were delish!

Chinese New Year 2012

 Vegan Curry

 Great spread...everyone contributed amazing dishes!

 First time we cooked frog legs... they were great!

 We moved the coffee table out of the living room so we could set up two tables... it was such a fun party.

 The CNY party favors... name in Chinese on the top and 
English on the bottom.

 Camo Cake and decor for Dan's 33rd birthday 2012. Dan's birthday surprise was to go to the shooting range with his friends... 
so I took the theme from there!

 The camo didn't turn out exactly as I wanted it to but it works. 
The bullet holes worked out though!

An Eventful Day for Blossom!

Thought I would share the latest photos of Blossom.  She is adjusting so well! She had a long day yesterday.... took a bath (she was AMAZING... just stood in the tub and was super happy), had a visit to the Humane Society to get her vaccination (also took a giant cookie cake to say thank you to all the great staff there), tried to go to PetSmart.... she almost made it from the car to the store front but the cars and sounds frightened her- She stayed in the car while we picked up bowls for her, (FYI, it was super cool and rainy yesterday so she was fine in the car), and then had friends over last night for a BBQ. She joined us outside until 3am! Sweet girl!It was a lot for her in one day and she was a super trooper!

 I've been having fun felting her some collar accessories... she can pull off any look, 
as you can see!

 Our friend Saxon is heading home to 
PA as he just submitted his thesis. 
He'll return in the fall to defend.

Danny, Dan and Saxon!

Sweet Blossom

  (FYI This was written on Thursday, June 19th but posted just today) 

Surprise! We are foster parents!... and it's a girl! :) Blossom is a sweet, peaceful 4 year old soul. She is so mellow... (so we rightfully are playing reggae for her). We hope we'll be her forever home but since our future options are up in the air re:where we will live, right now we are her foster home. We visited her today at the Humane Society (for the first time) and she's been home with us for nearly 4 hours! The Humane Society is an amazing place, with such wonderful caretakers. Many loved sweet Blossom so it was a bittersweet farewell when we left (thankfully we go back for vaccinations on Saturday! :)

I first learned of Blossom from a friend who writes for the HSEC blog...(http://humanesocietyofeasterncarolina.blogspot.com/). She posted about certain dogs whose adoption fees are waived this month. I read about Blossom and immediately wanted to meet her... that was 3 weeks ago. We didn't want to rush into it so decided not to worry about it. However, throughout the past 3 weeks, there has been reminder after reminder about sweet Blossom. First, the blog post, second, one of my students met her (and also fell in love) at a volunteer orientation for the HSEC, and then my hair stylist, who recently came into town, who has a wonderful relationship with the HSEC, knew Blossom super well! Susan created a calendar, fundraising for the HSEC and Blossom was featured for... July.. yes... this month! So... needless to say, I ordered a few things (collar, harness, etc...) a few days ago, just hoping we could meet. You obviously know how this story ends... she's home!

Here is a bit about her (taken from the blog): How could you not fall in love, right? "Blossom is a true lady, sweet, calm, and friendly. She's mastered the puppy dog eyes, so be warned! She is crate trained and housebroken. This mama sacrificed everything to raise her puppies, and when she arrived at HSEC, she was in bad shape. Now that she's been nursed back to health. As you can see from her picture Blossom is one happy dog! She always has a smile on her face, a wag in her tail, and lots of kisses to give! She came to HSEC in the Spring of 2011 with her litter of three puppies who have all since been adopted. Blossom was an outstanding mom but unfortunately she used up all her energy caring for her pups leaving her in bad shape. When we first met Blossom she was very underweight and had a variety of skin problems. Luckily we're happy to report that Blossom has recovered beautifully and all she needs now is her forever home!We suspect that Blossom spent most of her young life having back to back litters of puppies and that this sweet girl suffered a good deal before she came to us. Despite her rough start Blossom is a staff favorite because she's put her past behind her and loves just about everybody! Blossom is a genuinely sweet and loving dog who deserves nothing but the best!" 

So.. now she is home with us... the crate is set up, food and water bowls are filled (HSEC is so generous to let us borrow these), pig ears being munched on, we went on our first walk... it's been a great few hours. There was a precious moment when she gently jumped up to kiss Daniel on the cheek...adorable. I've been referring to her as Lotus Blossom... such a significant flower to me.... Blooms regardless of muck and mire.

Ready to visit us?