Saturday, December 29, 2012

Krumkake or Pizzelle?

Several years ago Tom's mom and I found a used and somewhat rusty Krumkake iron in a thrift store. I bought it and Tom took it to work to get it all cleaned up for baking use. It ended up getting lost or taken from his desk. Sad! This year, his mom found another nicer one and brought it over for me to use. It was a little intimidating and ended up sitting in the kitchen for a few weeks before I decided to make it my cookie exchange selection. 

I didn't think I would care for the Krumkake recipe that I had (sour cream and lemon extract), so I searched and searched for something that was a little more appealing. Krumkake is a Norwegian cookie of sorts. I discovered that a Pizzelle, an Italian cookie, is similar. After searching for a while longer, I found a Pizzelle recipe that looked like something I would enjoy eating. In the end I modified the recipe and instructions a little. I made vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry cookies because I like the "Neapolitan" look. Mine were just flat and pretty, but you can buy a wooden spindle sort of tool that lets you make them into rolls or cones. (I tried my French rolling pin, but it  was too big.) Here is what I came up with. If you try it, let me know what you think! 

(Makes 12-18 cookies) 
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 TBSP salted butter + more for oiling the iron
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 TSP baking powder

Beat eggs and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes. You want them to be fluffy,
Melt and cool butter. (Hint: don't stick it back in the fridge and forget about it! Mine hardened back up again!)
Mix flour and baking powder together, set aside.
Mix in melted butter and extract.
Remove bowl from mixer, gently stir in flour mixture with a spatula. 

Heat your well oiled Krumkake iron over the stove on medium heat, both sides. Before each scoop of batter, place a sliver of salted butter in the iron. Close the iron for a few seconds, then add batter. 

Scoop 2 TBSP of batter into the middle of your iron. Close, and allow to rest for 25-30 seconds, flip and rest for a couple less seconds than the first side. 

Open and pull the cookie our with tongs (small bamboo tongs from Pampered Chef worked well for me.) If you move quickly you can lay the cookie on a cooling rack and make sure it is flat before it crisps up.

Chocolate Variation:
Substitute 3 TBSP cocoa powder and 3 TBSP sugar for the vanilla extract. 

Raspberry Variation: 
Substitute 4 TSP raspberry extract for the vanilla extract. Add a few drops of red food coloring if desired. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ten on Ten: Christmastiming

I hope you enjoy this month's pictures! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Photo Challenge :: The View from Here

Day 6 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge :: The View from Here

From the Backseat

Sleeping on the way home from Great-Grandma's

Happy/Sad views

One happy reindeer sitting on my desk at work.
One sad motorcycle napping at the mall.

Photo Challenge :: Burst of Red

Day 6 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Burst of Red

Back-lit Poinsettia Bract

I have amazing childhood memories of touring the largest poinsettia farm in the Northwest.  As a decoration, they represent the holiday season to me perhaps more than wreaths and trees.

Making a Card Wreath

Making a clothspin-and-plywood Christmas card wreath.  Below is the final result!

Photo Challenge :: Someone I Love

Day 4 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Someone I Love

At the Window

The love of my life checking her phone after a fun community group gathering.

By the time I took the picture, Halcyone was in bed so she did not make it into the photo, but the cat did...
I deviated from the Canon again  today and used my Galaxy S phone for a more candid shot.  Lighting and focus are a little the worse for the tiny lens, but it does capture the moment.

Photo Challenge :: Shadow Play

Day 4 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Shadow Play

Tom: Motorcycle by Mercury Vapor

I took this as I was leaving work.  6:30PM in December in the Pacific Northwest, even under streetlamps, is dark enough to render the camera almost useless.  I desaturated the image and adjusted the threashold levels until you could make out the shadow, path, and leaves scattered around.

Stacy: Little Tree

This is our daughter's Christmas tree.  She picked the blinking pink lights and can mess with the ornaments to her little heart's content.  The lights on the far side side make a shadow that is lit by the lights on the adjacent side

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Photo Challenge :: What You're Reading

Day 3 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: What I Am Reading

Stacy, by Choice and Request

A Homemade Life - Molly Wizenberg, Flip-Flap Body Book - Usborne, That's Not My Dolly - Usborne, Growing Up Sew Liberated - Meg McElwee, [Kindle: Don't Make Me Count to Three - Ginger Plowman, The Two Towers - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Complete Sherlock Holmes - A. C. Doyle]

My Current Reading List

This was taken with my cell phone and the captions were added in Inkscape.

The Kindle still has the last 4 books I read (all in the Wheel of Time series), as well as a number of classics, steampunk, and fantasy books too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Photo Challenge :: Elf

Day 2 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Elf

We have one of the Elf on the Shelf dolls that has been doing fun things around the house overnight, and then waiting for Halcyone to find her in the morning.

The first submission is from Stacy, who went the tricky route.  The picture is of the elf in front of the Christmas tree with a custom star bokeh filter.  With the effective aperture reduced so much by the filter, we had to use a flashlight (Fenix E11) to make the elf visible.  Gimp was used to change the input levels, increasing the brightness of the picture.


I am still amused thinking of what the elf isn't found doing, but did catch her being mischievous.
Apparently, we accidentally ordered Elf on the Top Shelf: After decorating the tree, she borrowed doll furniture to toss back some holiday cheer.


During the photo shoot, there were some pretty funny unscripted outtakes.  I did not pose these.  At all.

Cat Photobomb:

Peppermint Lightweight, or Elf under the Shelf:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Photo Challenge :: Yourself

Welcome to our first day of the #iheartfaces photo challenge! Day 1: Yourself!

On December 1 Tom put lights on the tree, providing a fun way to frame head shots.  After thinking about the need to accentuate the face rather than the other things going on in the picture, we decided to use a posterize filter to bring out facial features and highlight the depth of field.



December Photo Challenge

It's December, and at the prompting of a friend, we are doing a 31 day photo challenge.  Every day this month there is a theme, and we will each be taking a picture to go with it.  Some of the days it will be collaborative, and some days we'll each do our own thing.

Check out the link to the challenge:

I don't know of anyone other than Matt doing it, but you can find his submissions here.