...the things in life that bring just this...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

strawberry basil cupcakes

we have a great vegan bakery and coffee shop within walking distance of our home, so sometimes when we feel like taking a walk around the neighborhood, we walk there and get a toddy and occasionally something sweet. the last time we went there, they had strawberry basil mini cupcakes. they were amazing!! As soon as we got back home I went searching for a recipe. The ones that i made are not vegan, but i promise you that they are tasty.

what you'll need:

2 C flour
1 1/3 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 C milk
2 eggs
2 C chopped strawberries
a large bunch of basil

4 C powdered sugar
12 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3  tbsp milk
sliced strawberries and basil leaves to decorate

here's how you make 'em:

pour the 1/2  milk in a saucepan with the basil, roughly torn. bring to the boil then remove from the heat and leave for an hour or two to infuse, then remove the basil.

pre-heat the oven to 350.

mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter with an electric whisk until just combined. pour in the basil-infused milk and the egg and beat until just incorporated, then mix for another couple of minutes until smooth. fold in the chopped strawberries.

spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases so they are two-thirds full. bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and the sponge springs back when touched. Let cool.

for the icing, beat together the icing sugar, vanilla and butter with an electric mixer until well combined. add the milk and beat for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy. spread frosting on cupcake.

decorate with basil leaves and fresh strawberries!

(makes 12 cupcakes)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

clémence's first birthday!

it finally came! it was such a whirlwind of planning and handmaking things for the few months prior that when it was the actual day, it was so nice to just be able to relax and celebrate our beautiful daughter and the most incredible year for jeremiah and i. it was a french soiree that included a grilled cheese bar, mimosas, lemon rosemary cookies and madeleines, a photobooth with disguises, an awesome (if i do say so myself) and handpicked french 1960's pop music playlist, and the closest and most incredible 50 people in our life!

we asked a family friend (who also happens to be a great photographer...lucky us!) if she would be so kind as to take photographs that day so i wouldn't have to worry about catching everything and actually just BE in all those moments. you will have to forgive me for the amount of pictures that are to follow...there were so many good ones that it was hard for me to narrow them down!

the birthday girl!!

                                                                   photobooth fun!

cake time!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

backyard transformation

we have lived in our home for about a year and a half now. when we first purchased it, this is what the backyard looked like:

as we were focusing on things inside, it stayed this way for a little while, but slowly we began to fix it up. first, we had the fence fixed and painted...along with the storage shed after we moved that into the
far corner. 
 after that, we created an oval, bordered it with bricks, and grew some grass. then ordered 13 tons of rock and shoveled it ourselves because it saved us over a grand and honestly the weather has been so nice this winter i really didn't mind it much at all. once the grass grew in, we set up a play area on one side with a sandbox, some toys, and a swing that we built from a wooden, thrift store chair. we finished our pallet table (previous post) and called it a day (or more like a few months). here's our backyard now:

it is incredible the difference. where we once never really went back there (because what was the point?), now we play outside at least once a day if not more!