Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brownie Mania

Have you seen the Wilton endcap in Michaels that is filled with really cool brownie accessories? (What?, you ask....brownie ACCESSORIES?....what could you possibly need other than a pan and a brownie mix?).

I used my 50% off coupon and bought a brownie bowl pan. It bakes your brownies into little hollowed out mounds that you then fill with ice cream, or fruit (bor-ing!), or better yet....chocolate mousse...yeah, that's the ticket....chocolate mousse topped off with whipped cream.

I may have to invent something that I can call 'hot brownie volcanoes'.

Anyway, I bought a batter stirrer, which is pretty nifty, a cool ridged brownie cutter (no more boring straight edge cuts on my brownie squares), some ultra cool powdered sugar dyed pink and blue (as DH pointed out...too bad you aren't having a baby shower...I never would have thought of that), and a pack of stencils to use with the colored powdered sugar (now how do they do that...colored powdered sugar).

I am going to be be a brownie-making machine this week. And I'm not even a real brownie fan...it's just that all the accessories were so cute that I couldn't resist. But I did pass over the individual brownie boxes (for gifting those brownies--seriously, I can't think of a single occasion where I received a brownie as a gift).

Fortunately, I had a gift card burning a hole in my wallet (from DD's boyfriend), so I could justify spending just under $40 on accessories to use on a $1 box of brownie mix.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Turning Over A New Leaf

Okay, so I fell way behind in posting once I started scurrying around with the travel and the Christmas decorating and entertaining....I put up 16 trees this year, did most of my wrapping on Christmas Eve, was still quilting a gift on Christmas morning, and served lobster risotto and herb-encrusted beef tenderloin to 23 on Christmas Day. Then I hosted another dinner for 12 on Sunday. Hardly a lot of time to blog....barely time to have a nervous breakdown.

My husband went in for scheduled open-heart surgery on the 30th of December (aortic valve replacement), so the past three weeks have been taken up with hospital visits, working from home to keep an eye on his recovery, more entertaining (his father came to stay for a week), taking down 16 trees and a dozen or so totes of decorations, and trying to get my life back on track.

Happily, it's getting there. Dwight is doing great, went back to work at the end of last week. No more guests, have most of the trees down (though there's still a few upstairs to tend to), and I've even managed to put in a little time in the sewing room starting on a new quilt for my daughter.

I did make a quilted throw for my husband's sister for Christmas. She loves purple, so I picked up a purple jelly roll and just drew out a design I thought would be easy to piece and just ditch-stitch. Here's a photo of that.

I'm in the process of posting all my holiday decorating photos to my webshots page, updating my MySpace page and I'm hoping to start blogging more regularly so I can post photos of the various projects I'm working on. I also need to update my Etsy page, as I've got more items to post for sale there.

Right now I'm in the middle of trying to wrangle the gingerbread tree down to the basement (everything is wired to it (except the topper stuff). That way I can just put a bag over it and not have to hang a hundred things on it every year. When you put up 16 trees, you've gotta improvise otherwise you'll be out of control time-wise and storage-wise).

This is one of my favorite trees...I like the base a lot, it includes all the ingredients and utensils to make gingerbread ...aren't I just so clever (eat your heart out Martha),

We're having dinner tonight at Mon Ami Gabi in honor of Dwight's birthday, so I most likely won't have a lot of creative time today. Hopefully tomorrow night I'll be back in the sewing room and I'll post a photo of the the blocks I'm working on for my next quilt.