Monday, April 29, 2013

Friday Night Madeleines

This past Friday night was near perfect for me. I did a few quick chores after work, showered and then met up with my neighbor, who also happens to be one of my best friends.

We had decided earlier in the day that we were going to have a nice relaxing night at home with some take out. After a little more discussion, we decided to still get the take out but to get some wine and dessert too! We browsed the desserts at a local market's bakery, but after not finding anything we loved - decided we'd make Madeleines after eating our dinner.

So on the whim, we our relaxing night turned into a little less relaxing, but with added deliciousness!

These really aren't that difficult to make, but keep in mind you need the special Madeleine pan. Take a look at how to make this these amazing cookies!!!

The Goods:
Lemon Zest

The special Madeleine Pan!!

Butter the pan thoroughly.

All buttered.

And floured too!

Zest a lemon.

Crack two eggs.

And melt the butter.

Mix the sugar and the eggs...

Until they're combined.

Add the lemon zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Mix well. 

Add the flour, incorporating it in small batches.

And mix that well too!

Then mix in the melted, cooled butter...

Little by little.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

And bake!

After baking about 8 or so minutes.

Cooling and waiting to be eaten!

Nom nom nom!
I want one NOW!!!

Go make some. You'll thank me! 
Also accepting cookies as thank you's!!! :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Garden Highlights

I don't have time to do a full garden update, but there are some fun and exciting things happening in my garden so I had to share the highlights! Since I'm limited on time, this post will be mostly pictures, but check back soon for a more in depth look at the ever changing garden!

The carrots have sprouted!!!

Holy Jalapenos!
20 peppers and counting folks. 

New Cat Grass. 
The meow meows are happy!

The FIRST Raspberry blossom!
I can't waittttttt to see what happens!!!

Three new Poppy buds. 

And a rose is blooming!
I can't remember the last time this happened actually.

Don't forget to check back soon for a longer update on the garden!!!

Homemade Green Juice

I recently started making my own Green Juices at home. After a few tries, I think I finally have a good mixture and couldn't wait to share on my blog! I don't have a juicer, but use my awesome blender and then strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. It takes a little longer, but it's totally worth it because the end result is just so tasty! 

Without saying more, here's a quick look at the juice making process:

The Goods:
2 Handfulls Kale
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 Anjou Pear
2 Kiwi
1 Cutie Tangerine
Juice from 1 Orange
Juice from 1 Lemon
Tiny bit of water and/or ice

Cut up the pear.

Cut up the apple too.

And don't forget the kiwi!

Peel and separate the cutie.

Now add the kale on top of all the fruit.

Squeeze the orange and lemon.
And add a lil bit of water.

Start the blender and watch it go!

Until it looks something like this!


You could drink it from this stage, but it's thicker and more smoothie like.

So I strain it through a fine mesh strainer.

Doing it a little at a time.

Pressing down to make sure I collect all the yummy green juices! 

Scrape the pulp out.

This is how much pulp I usually have at the end. 

And THIS is the yummy juice!

All ready to be devoured! that I'm done writing this post, I could totally go for a green juice but am feeling too lazy to go make one now. It's easy, but expect to spend about 15 minutes cutting, blending and straining.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Garden: New & Improved!

The building I live in is currently being repainted. That obviously includes painting balcony and if you follow my blog, you know how many plants I have on my balcony! While I'm happy for a newly painted balcony, I was not looking forward to moving everything.

I got a notice saying they were going to be painting my balcony on this past Saturday. It actually worked out great because I would have hated to take apart and put my balcony back together during the work week. It sounds like it's not that hard, but I have quite a few plants...

I woke up early Saturday morning and took all the small pants inside. The only thing left on my balcony was a tall storage unit, an old piece of furniture that I use for a multi-level plant stand, my lime tree, the climbing jasmine and a few succulents. Everything else basically took over my apartment den!

Plants, plants and MORE plants.

They were wasn't much room to walk.

This made me realize how many plants I really have.

And it's LOTS!!!

A different view from the hallway.

The almost empty balcony.

And the windows getting protected for painting!

They were done painting by about noon and I was outside setting everything back up a few hours later. While it was a little annoying to move everything in and out, it gave me a good opportunity to clean the balcony like crazy. I even decided to do a little reorganizing in the process. And due to that, I just HAD to buy some new goodies for the garden to fill empty space! :)

I rearranged the hanging flower boxes...

Added some new flowers...

And even added two new flower boxes too!

The climbing jasmine and flower boxes.

More flower boxes and other garden goodness!

White Geranium

Geraniums in two shade of PINK about to bloom!

A corner filled with many different flowers.

Basil, Mint and Flat Leaf Parsley

Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage and NEW Dill.
Trying it for like the third or fourth time... please work this time dill!!

The Jalapeno Plant 

There are just SO many peppers, blossoms and buds! 
I'm thinking, and hoping, it's going to be a good year for my jalapeno plant!!!

Look at my tomato plant take off!
There are already multiple little cluster of flowers growing. 

I moved the lime tree to a different corner.
And I'm thinking it's new placement is much better!

I decided to add a raspberry plant to fill some empty space! 

Oh and a blueberry plant too!

Check back soon to see the progress on all the new and old garden favorites! The weather has been amazing and everything is really starting to grow like crazy!!!