Monday, April 27, 2009

Life update! Exciting things!


Life has gotten quite exciting lately!

My gallery opening was fabulous. Really an amazing end to the semester, and a highlight of my year. Now all I have to do is write my thesis! Ha ha. But seriously, if you are in the area and haven't seen it yet- come see the senior show, everyone's work was great. It's at the Davison Gallery in the CLC.


S.J. and Anna and I found out that the apartment downtown that we have had our eye on will definitely be ours! Yay! It's right in the middle of the Neighborhood of the Arts, a block from the Memorial Art Gallery and a block from Starry Nites Cafe.

What I'm even more excited about is this: I just got a job, to start the Monday after graduation, as a baker at Dinosaur BBQ! Other than the fact that it's biking/walking distance from our new apartment- I WILL BE A FULL TIME PROFESSIONAL BAKER! They have a baker now, but they just expanded their dessert menu, so they needed to hire a dessert baker. They added some more pies, cheesecakes and desserts... AND CUPCAKES. I. Love. Cupcakes. In case you hadn't noticed. Also, they do a weekly dessert thing, so I will get to make up a dessert every week. Whatever I want. As long as I can make it all week. I'M SO EXCITED. A little nervous, but mostly excited.


Also, the weather has been beautiful! I'm so excited to take a bike ride!

Daring Bakers April Challenge!

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.


Cheesecake! Not uncommon, but oh so varied! This recipe was good- they say the best. I don't think I'd venture to say it was the best, but it was quite good. I made mini cheesecakes in cupcake tins because... well... I love cupcakes. I flavored the cake and the whipping cream with caramel irish cream and went for the "simple dollop" approach. I adore these confetti sprinkles too, so they were employed. I made them for Easter. We had a small dessert menu this year- just my cheesecakes, a chocolate cake for Joan's birthday, and a coconut custard dessert, the latter two made by my mom.

Here is the recipe and notes given to us in the challenge:

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.


3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.


Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!


Shutterbug Sunday: Abstract

Started this yesterday, and just didn't get to the "publish post" button! Here's my idea of abstract photography! Thanks Stephanie for this fun idea! Take a look at her pictures over at




Monday, April 20, 2009

Shutterbug Sunday: Rich

So I'm kind of bad at this, but my camera has been on the fritz and I'm awaiting the replacement in the mail. Here are some older pictures though. "Rich" made me think of relationships, food, and color. Also, my life being rich with these things!






Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shutterbug Sunday: Pattern

It is 2 in the morning, and so technically Sunday. I have decided to post this now so that it will be up for today, just incase I do something completely uncharacteristic and forget or something.....

Here is my photographic response to: Pattern!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Shutterbug Stephanie

My lovely Stephanie over at Sugar Bell decided to start a themed photo post every week, and I think it's a fabulous idea. It is called "Shutterbug Sundays" and is supposed to be posted on Sundays. I thought of it Sunday, and promptly forgot until today. This week's theme was miniatures. Here is my contribution:


Tiny daisies in Mom's kitchen. :)

Theme: SJ, and food.


I made these cupcakes last night, per SJ's request. Her favorite: vanilla cake with dark chocolate frosting. Pretty darn delicious, not my absolute favorite though. Also, Mom gave me these sprinkles, which I'm pretty sure are my favorite ever. They're called "spring confetti." Perfect!

SJ and I made biscuits this weekend. They turned out really tasty.


The other day SJ and I also went to Jitters for tasty food and drink.



I really love her. I think that she is absolutely top-notch, and feel very blessed to have been living with her for the past year, and look forward to the next year.