phun times in phlorida [polaroids]

we brought the trusty polaroid. we snapped some shots.

i love them. 

phun times in phlorida

we took a little (early) birthday trip to florida. 

to say we had fun would be a major understatement. 

we laughed (a lot), danced, ate seafood, drank, soaked up that good vitamin d, explored
 and laughed some more. 

we got a not-so-good couples massage, snuck into the hot tub and pool late at night 
(where the chlorine turned my hair green. karma.), 
used "at home" face masks that made our faces burn and ate lots of oreos.

we sat outside and drank our coffee, we read books, we talked and talked and talked 
(and loved every minute of it).

we went on an adventure to captiva island where we ate oysters, sat in the sun, listened to live music on the beach, drank coronas and talked about future trips there. 

best (early) birthday ever.

most wonderful time of the year

every year i try to bake some sort of sweet treat to give as gifts to friends + family. 
this year i was feeling adventurous and went with marshmallows. 

3 1/4-ounce packages (7 grams) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (155 ml) light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red food coloring
Non-stick cooking spray
1/4 cup (30 grams) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Dark chocolate, melted

1. lightly spray a 9 x 9-inch pan. line the pan with plastic wrap + lightly spray the plastic wrap; this makes the marshmallows easier to remove from the pan.
2. in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the cold water and whisk together. allow to set for 5-10 minutes for the gelatin to "activate".
3. in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water. bring to a boil over medium high heat. as soon as the sugar begins to boil rapidly, set timer for 1 minute. when the minute is up, remove the mixture from heat.
4. immediately start mixing the gelatin mixture on medium speed and pour in the hot sugar mixture. once combined, add the salt and turn the mixer up to a high speed. continue mixing for about 10 minutes. the marshmallow mixture should turn white and fluffy and start to actually look like marshmallows :). add the peppermint and vanilla extract then continue mixing for another 2 minutes to combine.
5. spread the marshmallows into the prepared pan (it's gonna be sticky!). add small drops of red food coloring over the top and, using a toothpick, swirl the food coloring.
6. in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cornstarch. spread over the top of the marshmallows and allow them to rest for at least 3 hours to solidify.
7. to cut, flip the marshmallows onto a cutting board covered in a light layer of the powdered sugar mixture. spray a large sharp knife with cooking spray and cut the marshmallows into squares, spraying the knife after each cut. coat the marshmallows in the powdered sugar mixture to keep them from being sticky. brush off the excess sugar.
8. if desired (trust me, you'll wanna), drizzle melted chocolate over the top of the marshmallows and allow 10-15 minutes for the chocolate to set.

9. make hot chocolate + add marshmallow(s) or just eat that marshmallow all by itself. 

* marshmallow recipe via pastry affair

birthday boy is his name.

boy, am i glad this one was born.

we celebrated luke's birthday this weekend with good friends, in a cozy cabin, up in the smoky mountains. we played games, drank whiskey & some moonshine, and explored the funny little town. it was one for the books. 

comin' round the mountain

heading to the mountains this weekend with my fella and friends for his birthday. lots of fun sure to be had. brb.  

island in the sun

it's cold here in nashville. i'm talkin' big coats and gloves kind of cold. 

i happen to be a fan of the cold- layers, whiskey, holiday planning, more whiskey...BUT a tiny part of me wishes i was back in the islands right about now, wearing my bikini + drinking too many pain killers. 


carrots & cake, cake & carrots

i learned a few lessons with this here cake. 1. if you're going to be "grating" over a cup of anything, toss that cheapo grater in your cabinet and buy a damn good one. 2. read the recipe in entirety before you start (so you don't find yourself freaking out when the icing calls for creating a "bain-marie"). 

1 cup of walnuts
2 1/2 cups grated carrot
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
3 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup plain yogurt
zest of 1/2 a lemon
zest of 1/2 an orange
1 cup of raisins

1. preheat oven to 350F. grease  two 9-inch cake pans. place walnuts on a baking sheet; when the oven is hot, toast the walnuts for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they smell divine. remove the walnuts from the oven, and allow them to cool. (when cool, roughly chop the nuts, reserving a couple of whole ones, to garnish the cake with, if you like.)
2. peel the carrots and trim the ends off. grate the carrots *see cheapo grater lesson above*. peel the ginger (use a spoon–it’s easier than a vegetable peeler), and then grate the ginger. in a small bowl, stir the ginger into the carrots & set bowl aside. 
3. in a large bowl, beat together the eggs and the sugar. add vanilla. in a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, the kosher salt, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. fold the dry ingredients into the wet, alternatively adding the melted coconut oil and the yogurt as you go. zest both the lemon and the orange directly into the mixing bowl. add the chopped walnuts, the raisins, and the carrots/ginger; fold to incorporate.
4. divide the batter between the two pans & bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. remove the cakes from the oven, and allow them to cool completely before icing.

12 ounces cream cheese
two sticks of butter (softened)
3/4 cup of mascarpone cheese (softened)
2 teaspoons vanilla
lil bit of salt
8 cups of powdered sugar
4(ish) tablespoons of milk
*i found this recipe shortly after the bain-marie escapade. since it is intended for cupcakes, i doubled the original recipe. this meant a ton of leftover icing that i (of course) consumed while waiting for the cake to bake.

1. mix cream cheese until soft and creamy- about 3 minutes w/ mixer set on medium speed. 
2. add butter and the mascarpone cheese & mix until well combined,
3. add the rest of the ingredient. add more milk to reach desired consistency.
4. ice that cake & grab a fork.

*cake recipe via food52 / icing recipe via blahnikbaker

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