Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Decisions, decisions

I've been making a lot of those around here lately.

First, I picked a dress!

Finding this picture online really helped secure my decision, not only with regards to the dress, but also because...

We picked photographers! Gabriel and Carlie (who took the picture of the dress, above) are not only EXTREMELY talented, they are super cool, and we can't wait to work with them!

Check out their beautiful work at their website, or on their blog.

We also booked our honeymoon today - a 7-day Mediterranean cruise, leaving from Barcelona, and stopping in Monte Carlo, Rome, Naples, Florence and Palma.

And finally, the most important decision of them all: the guy.

Tonight, I got home from a stressful 2 days of work (following on the heels of a non-existent weekend) and walked into the cleanest home I've seen in a long time. A had worked hard all day to clean up our place, and he told me possibly the sweetest thing I've ever heard - he did it all because he couldn't wait to see how happy it would make me when I walked through the door.

I may not be making any other good decisions (wedding, life, what have you) but I know I got at least this one thing right...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What have you been doing with your new presents?

I got a microplaner and a candy thermometer and I've been busy in my kitchen since Christmas!
First up I made these:

(Image courtesy of The District Domestic)

(My own slightly less professional quality photo)

These are DELICIOUS. Chewy, buttery, sweet, salty, everything a caramel should be. I followed this recipe verbatim, and it was pretty easy. But, it's VERY important to follow the recipe meticulously.

A couple pointers (that I may or may not have learned the hard way):
1. Leave the caramel on the parchment paper while cutting it into small squares. This caramel is sticky. (I turned mine out onto a cutting board, and it promptly began melding itself right onto the plastic. Not fun.)
2. Cut one row of caramel at a time, and wrap immediately. Again - because the caramel is sticky, I noticed that if I left a couple pieces sitting to close together for more than a couple seconds, they started to merge back into each other.

My next culinary experiment: Meyer Lemon Curd

(Image courtesy of put up or shut up>

This might be better than the caramels. I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with the Meyer Lemon these days.

I gambled a bit more on this recipe and made some modifications, but I wasn't about to take any chances with the instructions. So of course, I consulted the most trustworthy source I know for all things culinary/scientific: Alton Brown.

Meyer Lemon Curd

1 C Splenda
4 whole eggs
1 C Meyer Lemon juice (4-5 medium lemons)
1/2 C Meyer Lemon zest
6 T butter, cut into squares

Then just follow Alton's step-by-step instructions. I was hoping that substituting Splenda for sugar wouldn't affect the consistency, and so far it seems fine.

I also had to whisk mine a bit longer than 8 minutes (I'd read somewhere that it should reach about 160 degrees) for it to thicken.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!