Friends create Rainbows

photo by Andy
Last weekend a friend from college, Andy, was up in Seattle for business so we all got to hang out, also snagged a fellow college friend, Christine, for the fun.We kicked it off with some disco ball mood lighting in our apartment, we now own 3 disco balls, then headed to Sea Monster for some live funk music, followed by the traditional post-funk trip to Dick's burgers.

Next day we all made it to brunch. Then we took a long stroll around Discovery park. Lo and behold we got quite the rainbow sighting- at the time we may have even claimed we conjured it. Next up a taco truck, coffee pit stop, pinball, fries with curry ketchup, brewery, beer under the bridge in Fremont, meet up with some other people he knew in Seattle, dinner which included tater tots and finally back home.

We had a lovely time and rounded out our weekend doing adult things like laundry on Sunday.


Concerts, Euchre, Rain Rides

This past weekend was lovely! On Friday night we started the night with tacos. Saw Sturgill Simpson- whose voice is amazing live. Grabbed a hot dog with cream cheese from a cart. Had a Moscow mule at Montana Bar and hung out outside.
Saturday we went to a euchre tournament, our team name was swing state swingers. We hung out with a bunch of people from the Midwest and we all instantly became friends. Started off winning and ended in 4th place. Somehow we shoved 6 games of euchre into one night.

Sunday we hopped on our bikes and had brunch downtown with our friend Liz. The ride home was quite rainy but it was really nice to be back on our bikes. Spent the afternoon baking for a United Way bake sale and Joshua fit in a little work.


Bee Pollen Sprinkles

Every year at my office we host a United Way Campaign. Every year I am put in charge of the bake sale and cake walk. Also every year we have to explain the cake walk to a bunch of people who aren't from the Midwest- what did they do at their elementary school carnivals!?!
This year I made sweet potato scones with maple glaze, candied ginger & chocolate shards cookies, & this chocolate cake draped in honey buttercream and topped with bee pollen. Bee pollen is the prettiest natural sprinkles ever. All different soft shades of yellow in the perfect little size.

Since no one was paying me for the cake I went with an easy but fabulous one bowl chocolate cake from here.
Honey Buttercream:
6 tbs honey
2 cups butter; room temp
8 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp almond extract
4-6 tbs cold milk
3 tbs bee pollen
1   once cakes are cooled brush the top of each one with warm honey
2   beat butter until light and fluffy, slowly mix in all the powdered sugar
3   beat in salt, vanilla, almond extracts
4   drizzle in about 2 tbs honey and mix well
5   add in 4 tbs milk and beat well, if it needs to be thinner add in 1 tbs of milk at a time until it reaches desired consistency.
6   frost the cake any way you'd like and top with some bee pollen sprinkles


Fresh Mint Frosted Chocolate Cake

Last weekend was our friend James' Birthday. We started out the evening innocently with pizza cake and beers with a bunch of friends at his place. Mozied over to Seamonster which is a live funk band that plays at the bar all night. We danced around all night, drank some whiskey and twirled around a battery operated disco ball I brought. The disco ball was a big hit. Headed over to Dick's burgers to end the night. It was a bit crazy and a very great time.
The cake I made was a chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and topped with a fresh mint frosting which was very tasty.
Fresh Mint Frosting:
1 cup butter; room temp
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbs mint leaves; finely chopped
1   beat the butter until light and fluffy
2   slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix well
3   beat in the milk 1 tbs at time, beat in vanilla
4   finally mix in the chopped mint

photo by Molly Putnam
And last night we met up with our small group to drink some beer and get in a little scavenger hunt action. Got to spend some really lovely time with a lady who moved away and is back for a stint too!


Apple Pie

Saturday night I finally used up the last of the 40lbs of apples we had. I made an apple pie to finish them off and to provide instant gratification because we hadn't eaten any of the apples yet. (they are all canned) Also got to use the cute maple leaf cookie cutter I made which makes me happy. Our friend was over so we all ate apple pie and watched a few X-men movies as it poured rain outside.

The consistency of this apple pie was my ideal- crunchy but cooked apples, cinnamon flavor dominating a sugary flavor, and plenty of flaky crust. I topped each slice off with some homemade vanilla whipped cream.
Apple Pie:
recipe altered from this one
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
13 tbs cold butter
1/4 cup ice water
1 cup toasted pecans; crushed
8-10 cups peeled, cored & sliced apples
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs flour
2 tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
5 tbs water
3-4 tbs honey
2 tbs butter; diced into small cubes
1    mix together and salt, cut or grate in butter until all the butter is about the size of a pea
2    add water 2 tbs at a time, mix together and add water only until it holds together when you make a ball. Gather half the dough and knead 3-5 times, cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge. Repeat with the other half of the dough
3   Mix sliced apples with lemon juice. In another bowl mix together flour, cornstarch, salt and spices.  Sprinkle flour mixture over apples and mix until they are coated.
4   Grease a 9" pie pan. Pull the first disc of dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Roll it out until it is large enough for your pie pan, test this by placing your pie pan upside-down on top of the dough- the dough should be about 2" longer on each side than the pan.
5   Cut the dough into a circle 2" bigger than your pan, fold dough in half, in half again, place in pie pan and unfold.
6   Press dough into pan and create top frill with your fingers. Sprinkle pecans into bottom of pan. Fill pan to top with the apple mixture. Drizzle on honey and sprinkle in the water. Push the butter cubes into the top layer of the apples.
7   Roll out the other dough disc and cut into desired shapes. Place over top of pie. Put pie back in fridge and preheat oven to 425 degrees F
8    Once oven is preheated bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven to 375 degrees F and bake for about 40 more minutes. Check the pie after about half hour and if the edges or top start to brown to much cover lightly with aluminum foil.
9   Remove from oven and let sit for about 15-20 minutes

We also finally got around to brewing beer this weekend. Joshua tried out the wort chiller he acquired. Since he is back and forth to his machines for work he just happened to have the tube we needed to make it work!