Thursday, March 17, 2011

Autumn wedding bells!

My beautiful, blushing friend Emily is tying the knot in an outdoor wedding this fall!  She has asked me to make the ring bearer pillow and we've talked about a couple other handmade things as well, including a bow tie.

I put together this little virtual inspiration board so I won't forget what we discussed.

The bridesmaid dresses will be made of a taupe/champagne Dupioni silk and the flowers will be a variety of bold autumn colors.  While looking up trims and fabrics online I happened upon a few plum options, which is one of the colors she mentioned loving.

I can't wait to get started!  It's really far in advance, but that gives me plenty of time to raise the white flag and offer to buy her something on Etsy :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And the Cooke Razzie goes to...

My Andes mint cookies are award winning.  Best Overall Cookie of 2003.

Yes, the award was handed to me at a cookie party with about 10 other people present, but I'm running with it.

They served as a bonding tool between my grandma and I for many years, as the recipe came from her and we often baked them together during visits.  We even attempted variations on our own using different kinds of mints and wrote letters back and forth about the results.  We were great pen pals, Grandma Katie and I.

They're so good they won over my brother-in law.   Not won him over on my cooking...won him over on me.  Upon the first crunchy, chocolaty bite he instantly forgave all my previous transgressions: sarcastically challenging a decision he'd made (I was joking, but it was during intermission at a play and the lights went down before I had a chance to clarify), sweeping into the family as the only girl (therefore stealing a little bit of attention during his senior year of high school), and talking during the West Wing one time (how dare I?!).  He's now one of my best friends.

I'm telling you, these cookies are magical. 

So magical, in fact, my friend Lane asked several years ago if she could submit the recipe for the Junior League of Shreveport cook book – in her own name, of course :)  I then received a copy from my friend Shannon after it was published.  So exciting!

Last week I had an important occasion for which I needed to impress someone.  Well, I didn't need to, but I wanted to. So of course I decided to make my award winning cookies, which I hadn't done in a while.  The plan was to wrap them up on a pretty plate with this VIP's initial on it.  That way it just looks like a batch of homemade cookies and the recipient doesn't realize it's a cool gift until getting home and polishing off the sweets.  (Great hostess gift idea!)

But I couldn't seem to find my recipe.

You'd think I'd have it memorized after making them dozens of times, but I don't.  I finally remembered that hello, I've been published, so I whipped out my trusty Mardi Gras to Mistletoe cook book and flipped the purple ribbon bookmark straight to page 199.

I started taking pictures in order to share this recipe and baking process with my adoring 14 blog followers, but let me just refer to the foreshadowing title of this blog post and hint that something went terribly wrong.  So follow this recipe at your own risk.

I don't use a microwave for the chocolate.  I use the stove top.  If you've ever melted chocolate before, you know how precarious it can be, and I'd rather have a bird's eye view of the whole thing.

It was a pretty standard evening in the Kellerwoman Kitchen.  I didn't notice any textural difference in the dough, didn't make any substitutions, and definitely didn't foresee the awfulness that was to emerge from the oven.

The cookies were paper-thin and mildly resembled E.T. in the scene where he's in a coma.  That didn't matter as much as the fact that they were glued to the pan.  I went ahead and "iced" them with the Andes mint – an assured sign of denial – and asked KellerMan taste one.  The second he politely used the word cracker I cut my losses.

The next day our VIP received an assortment of Starbucks pastries.

I'm sure they were delicious.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One more try...

Check my blog again.  I think I got the video below to work.  Have a great Tuesday!