We had a great 4th of July weekend with friends in the woods. We stayed in a tiny town called Dorrington, near Arnold, in a woodsy community that hasn’t changed since 1972. Our friend Keith’s birthday is July 3rd, so I made him a Star Spangled Pie with vanilla ice – his request. The vanilla is my new favorite simple recipe and the pie always changes. It’s not apple season but we have started to see some of the early varieties here at the farmer’s market. I used a combination of Dorsett Golden and Gala which made for a very juicy pie. Someday I’ll make the perfect apple pie with the perfect amount of bubbling juices but until then, we’ll just keep stuffing our faces with pie and ice cream and watch while the pie attempts to set us on fire.
You can click on the images above to see the rest of our trip. It was pretty much like adult summer camp with the addition of cute babies and Michael got to take some amazing night photos at Alpine Lake. Oh, and please feel free to comment and send recipes of your favorite apple pie. I need extra practice (and probably extra tasters too).
It’s been a while since I posted, which usually means life got busy. May was a crazy month! We celebrated Michael’s 30th. Michael’s parents came to visit and we took them on one of our favorite hikes at Stinson Beach, Steep Ravine to Matt Davis loop. We hiked again the next weekend just for fun and exercise near Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. In June, we celebrated our 7 year anniversary with traditional yearly photos and dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Frances! (try the grilled squid, it’s exquisite). Took two Architecture licensing exams. Played in the water with my nephews. Spent some time in the woods over July 4th weekend with friends. Ran a 10K with a friend. And are currently planning a trip to Europe in September! I’ve been baking intermittently too. A lot of baking doesn’t get photographed though. I do want to take pictures of things, especially the ones I haven’t posted about, but I also bake a lot of things late at night for the next day which leaves little time to take pretty photos.
This past week, I worked on an Ice Cream Sundae Party Kit that I donated as part of an AIDS Walk fundraiser. Gensler has a very active team of people who help raise money each year for the AIDS walk. There are bake sales and they also host a silent auction of items donated by vendors and people in the firm. They range from something small like my Sundae Party to huge items like a weekend stay in Palm Springs or plane tickets for anywhere in the US. This year they raised over 11,000 from these events.
The lucky winner of my kit requested today for his delivery date. It was so much fun to put together and I really hope they enjoy it! It included a bunch of things I’ve made before. Sometime I try new recipes but I stuck with the tried and true just to be safe! The kit included Chocolate Chocolate chip Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, dark chocolate brownies, salted caramel sauce, homemade chocolate sauce, cherries, whipped cream, toasted pecans and bananas. Who doesn’t love an ice cream sundae? This would be so fun for a kids party too, and no one says to have to make everything by hand, I’m just crazy. Remember presentation is half the battle. I wrapped each brownie in natural colored waxed paper and the rest went into jars. Red and white bakers twine and labels tied everything together.
I thought it would be fun to dye some eggs naturally this year. It’s amazing what you can do with items in your refrigerator or pantry. I decided to try Turmeric, brewed Coffee, and Red Wine Vinegar. They all turned out lovely and since eating a hard-boiled egg for breakfast in the morning is a regular occurrence of mine… eating a pretty hard boiled egg is even better.
How to hard boil an egg: Fill a medium pot with eggs and cover with about one inch of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let stand for ten minutes and put in an ice bath. Keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.
I have no specific recipe for the dyes I used. I added 1 tsp of vinegar to the coffee and used about 3 C water and 2 T of turmeric and 1 tsp vinegar for the yellow eggs. I like how bright they turned out with speckles, but I also really like the grayish-purple the red wine vinegar created. Check out Bon Appetit for some guidelines on other natural dyes.
If you’re not into chicken eggs, try Martha’s Chocolate Truffle Eggs even though they are so gorgeous you won’t want to eat them. Oh, who am I kidding, any kind of chocolate no matter how pretty must be eaten immediately! Happy Easter and Happy Egg Dyeing.