First up is a little trip back to last Tuesday, when I tried out a second recipe from my new cupcake book. I decided on the Sticky Buns cupcakes, mainly because Bill said I should. And who am I to say no to a mix of brown sugar, maple syrup and pecans? I tried to be better about taking pictures during the process, and I am happy to say I succeeded. Of course, last time I only took a picture of the finished project, so anything would have been an improvement. Here we go!
|A shot of the recipe. I decided to make large cupcakes, rather than minis, for a number of reasons. Including the fact that I did not want, yet again, 96 mini cupcakes, and I was out of mini-liners.|
|Ingredients! Creme fraiche (this stuff rocks!), 3 eggs, ground almonds, brown sugar, flower, salt, and cinnamon.|
|Butter was an ingredient, too, but I always let it soften in the bowl, so I couldn't include it in the shot above.|
|My favorite thing about this recipe? Besides eating it, you mean? It only dirtied two measuring cups!|
|The finished product. They were more like bread than cake (though I expected that - the batter was pretty thick!), but they were delicious, nonetheless.|
|Okay, so I'm in this one. Aren't my babies so cute, though? And yes, this is how Sensei sits. He does it on the steps inside the house, as well.|
|Being attacked by Preston.|
|Obviously, this is the calm, sweet one.|
|Muddy Preston, sleeping in the car.|
I may not have pictures of those plants, but I did take some shots in the backyard. I am slowly learning the names of all these cool trees we have!
|Can someone tell me what this is? It smells so good!|
|Wisteria. Bill says it smells like licorice. I am still undecided on that issue, but the sprig we have in our kitchen smells like heaven!|
|It's a little odd-looking from far away. Apparently it will grow like crazy, all over everything if we let it. And we might, it makes our whole backyard smell great when the wind blows.|
|Red bud tree. Excuse the weird bird house - we recently pulled that out from next to the fence, and have yet to decide what we are going to do with it. (AKA, it won't fit in our trash can.) Can you spot a doggy in the background?|
Finally, a little note about books. I (finally) finished The Codex Alera last week. All six books. I've been reading this series since Christmas break! (They're all 500 - 800 pages long.) It was really good. I don't know what genre it is exactly - maybe fantasy? But more than that. There's mystery, fantasy, romance, war, betrayal, and so much more. Bill received the first book as a Christmas gift, read it, loved it, and bugged me to read it. I read it, loved it, and over the next three months, bought, read and loved the other five! (Please note, Bill has yet to read another one - silly Star Wars books getting in the way.) Anyways, I was really sad about the series ending. For three months, I lived and breathed Tavi and his world in Alera.
My sadness soon ended, though, when I realized that I had a new series to start - The Hunger Games! My sister-in-law Sonja has been telling me about these books, and how much I would enjoy them, and I downloaded the first one onto my Kobo recently, when I noticed it was only $5 on borders.com. I thought it would be nice to have a book ready when I finally finished First Lord's Fury - that particular book took almost a month to read. The books are really dense, and sometimes I could read for two hours without stopping, and sometimes just a couple chapters was enough for one day. Wow, nice tangent. Back to The Hunger Games. I read the first one in just 24 hours. I had the day off Friday, and I spent all afternoon on the back deck reading. Thank you, self, for having a productive morning, and thank you, sunshine, for being so warm on Friday! The book was great, and I am about a third of the way through the second one. I already read the Wikipedia entries about all the books, so I know what happens, but I do that with most books. I still can't wait to read them, though!
Oddly enough, when I logged on to check Michelle's blog today, she had read the entire series - this weekend! Could we be any more similar? Seriously. It's a little freaky sometimes.