Saturday, March 24, 2012

1,000 Journals Project

So I am in National Art Honor Society at school (it's like a club) and basically we do a few projects a year that will change the world through art (PLUS we get a rainbow cord when we graduate high school [NEXT YEAR AHHH] ).

Our current project is called the 1,000 Journals Project. So if you ever receive one of these journals (which hopefully, you will) get excited and get creative because you are about to make history. Here are the instructions for each journal:


If you are reading this, then you have been chosen (by the person who
gave this to you) to participate in a project that will unify the world a little
more through art. This journal is the first of many that are being sent out
into the world. Each of you that get it can create whatever you want on a page
or two or three in the journal: a collage, stickers, photographs, poetry, graffiti,
whatever you want to do to express yourself and your thoughts on the world. Please include the city, state, or country in which you live and your age.
After you are finished adding a little bit of yourself to the journal,
pass it along to a friend, a neighbor, a sister, a grandparent, a child,
a cousin in another state or country-to anyone you can think of.  
If you do not wish to pass it on, send it to the P.O. box address
at the back of this journal. If you have just completed the final page
in the journal, PLEASE return it to the P.O. box address. Whether it is
one year in the future, or twenty years, please RETURN IT. As members of the
National Art Honor Society in California (based at Dos Pueblos High School), we want to exhibit these journals to show our peers how people of all ages around the world are expressing themselves through art when given the opportunity. Hopefully, throughout this process, you will learn a little something about yourself and your fellow men that share your world.
Thank you, and enjoy.
Journal #1 Started March 23rd, 2012
in Santa Barbara, California.

Look out world, one of these bad boys might be coming your way!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Expressing yourself comes in so many different ways!

My friend Denise showed me this video today and I was like WOW. This girl plays violin and dances at the same time. She's a "hip hop violinist" ! Not to mention the AMAZING Utah scenery and videography job. It's awesome to see the unique ways people find to express themselves through ART! Check it out!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRPOztxXWlQ&feature=relmfu

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Some great songs.

I am starting to realize that I need to add more variation to my blog if its going to be an "everything art" blog, and so far I've done mostly recipes! So here's a thought. Look up these songs. They're great.

"I Won't Give Up" By Jason Maraz.
"Lovely" by Sara Haze.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recipe Number 4: SUPER EASY PB cookie cupcakes for V-day

So basically this is a little sum'n sum'n I made up that is SO EASY and SO CUTE and tastes really great!! 


Ingredients:
- One peanut butter cookie mix and all the ingredients it calls for (Betty Crocker is my personal fave, and it's usually a good price)
-One small bowl of sugar to roll dough in
-Unwrapped Hershey's kisses, Valentine's M&M's, or medium sized Reeses peanut butter cups, or a combination of all three!
-mini cupcake liners and pan or heart-shaped silicone baking cups (easily found at Michaels, cute and much easier to clean than cupcake pans!) 


Directions:
1) Mix peanut butter cookie dough as directed on package.
2) Roll dough into balls, then roll in sugar so a light coat of sugar covers the whole ball.
3) Put dough balls in mini cupcake holders or silicone baking cups and press down slightly with thumb to flatten top. 
4) Bake in oven at time indicated on package or when cracks begin to form on the cookies.
5)Immediately after taking cookies out of the oven, press unwrapped candy into cookie and allow for chocolate to melt and cookies to set before transferring to a cooling rack(If using silicone baking cups, wait until cookies are completely set and chocolate isn't too melty before popping them out of their conatiners).
 Silicone cups are THE BEST.
 The minis are great with Hershey's, a few M&M's, and Reeses :)





THIS A PERFECT WAY TO SAY "I LOVE YOU" TO ALL OF THE VALENTINES IN YOUR LIFE. Enjoy!



Sunday, February 5, 2012

#3: Banana Pecan Cupcakes with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting.

I have it on good authority that on scale from 1 to 10 these cupcakes are a TEN. And, my mom said it was THE BEST frosting she's EVER HAD. EVER. That means it's a keeper folks.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups), plus sliced bananas for garnish
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted in the oven for eight minutes at 350

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
  2. Reduce speed to low. Mix in any remaining wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Stir in toasted pecans. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days, unless otherwise noted.

Frosting:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled*
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream

Directions

  1. Sift together confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add sugar mixture; mix until combined. Mix in melted and cooled chocolate and then sour cream; scrape down sides of bowl and continue beating until smooth. Use immediately, or frosting can be stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth.

*I put in about half the amount of semisweet chocolate it called for and it still tasted delicious*
22 to go!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cupcake Numero Dos: Blueberries-and-Cream

Cupcake Recipe #2: (it went MUCH better than last time :) )
Blueberres-and-Cream Cupcakes (page 42)
Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Cookbook

**I did this with a variation: instead of using whipped cream as the topping, I used the same fluffy white frosting recipe from the yellow buttermilk cupcakes and it was SUPREME! Muy bueno.**

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish
  • **homemade whipped cream (or one batch of fluffy white frosting-recipe on previous post)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line standard or mini muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla.

3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each. Fold in blueberries by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until pale golden, about 25 minutes for standard and 15 for mini.

5. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

6. Dallop with whipped cream before serving or frost with white frosting and garnish with sugar crystals and extra blueberries.

 Straight from the oven
 Before baking
 Before frosting
 And after :)
Lovely! 

You may be thinking.....blueberry CUPCAKES? I definitely only thought that came in muffin-form...but this is not so. Blueberry cupcakes are perfect for when you are in the mood for a fruity dessert or when you are craving a little extra sugar for breakfast, brunch, after lunch, in between meals.....

My 2012 Cupcake Craze

My most exciting 2012 New Year's resolution by far is my goal to make 25 different cupcake recipes and blog about each one this year. To start off this journey with a BANG I made two different cupcake recipes in two days. I'm full of cake. 

Cupcake recipe #1: 
Yellow Buttermilk Birthday Cupcakes (page 26)
Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Cookbook

Ingredients:
  • **3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 TB butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Fluffy White Frosting (page 302):
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.
**I made a HUGE mistake and substituted regular flour for cake flour. DON'T DO THAT. It makes the cupcakes DRY and nasty nast. Instead, if you need to substitute, for every 1 cup of cake flour, substitute one cup of regular flour minus 2 TB mixed with 2 TB cornstarch. TRUST ME I TRIED IT. (But let's be honest, it's much easier to just bite the bullet and BUY CAKE FLOUR.)  

Frosting:

  1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
So funny story, I made these cupcakes for my friend Daniel's 16th birthday, and frosted them all cute and even made a "16" out of pretzels on one of the cupcakes. So I was decorating like crazy and when I was done I left the house and forgot the cupcakes to bring to Daniel. When I got back from his party, I decided to eat one and I SPIT IT OUT because it was SO DRY AND TASTELESS. Wow. At least I got pictures of how cute they looked. You can look at the pictures and just imagine that they tasted moist and delicious. AND as I was typing out the ingredients list here, a day later, I realized that I HAD FORGOTTEN TO PUT THE BUTTERMILK ! No buttermilk in my yellow buttermilk cupcakes, and no cake flour. What a fail. Well, at least I learned something. I think :) 1 cupcake recipe down, 24 to go!