Freshly Brewed

There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Maybe the taste. I started drinking coffee when I was around seven. My grandpa would give me cups filled with cream and sugar and a splash of coffee. Thus started my love affair.

Eventually, I omitted the cream and sugar and just started drinking it black, as I got older. Then I omitted the coffee altogether. No real reason, but I just up and quit one day.

I still, however, love the taste and smell, and when I have something sweet, I need the bitterness of coffee to cut through it.

Lately I’ve been baking a lot. Not cakes or cookies, but more sweets, and bars. I’ve somehow gained a sweet tooth over the last few months, and constantly need something sweet in the house.

I was on Pinterest again the other day, and stumbled upon this pin for S’Mores bars. They looked so delicious, that I had to make them.

The recipe calls for an 8×8 or 11×7 pan, but all I had was a 9×13, so that’s what I used. I used an extra chocolate bar and got by with the original amounts for the base and marshmallow.

I think when I make them again I would add another jar of marshmallow fluff, and possibly half more to the base to make it stretch a bit further. Other than that they turned out fantastic.

They’re gooey, sweet, and sticky. Everything you want s’mores to be. Now excuse me while I relax with a bar and a cup of coffee.

The Joys of Pinterest

If anyone follows me on Pinterest you’ll know I love food. I’ve gotten back into cooking and baking in the last few months, mostly thanks to watching cooking shows, and Pinterest. I have to admit, I’m slightly highly addicted to Pinning. Makeup, hair, house hold projects, etc., but mostly food.

There’s something about seeing a beautiful photograph that grabs you, and saying “I’m going to make that!” Often, I don’t make many of the foods I pin, but it’s more like, I want to try them. So it’s a sort of bookmark to save for a later time. But sometimes, sometimes I see something and just need to make it!

Like these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars. I saw them and knew I had to make them. The recipe is from The Girl Who Ate Everything, who says the recipe is originally from Paula Deen. (That explains the nearly one pound of butter.)

They were ridiculously easy to make, but it was the waiting after they were baked part that was hard. Drizzling the caramel on top made my mouth water, and I wanted so badly to just cut them up straight from the oven and shove them in my mouth. Obviously that would have been a bad idea, and I impatiently patiently waited for them to cool and stuck them in the fridge instead.

When they were cooled and cut, oh my god were they good! They tasted even better than the photo looked, oozing with caramel, and the crunch from the streussel mixed with the creaminess of the cheesecake, made for a little bite of heaven.

While I may not make these very often, I’ll definitely be making them again. I think they’d be perfect for a party or even a potluck. A little goes a long way with these.

2011: A Year of Photos

As many of you may know, I recently completed the 365 Photo Challenge for last year. It wasn’t easy, but I did it!

Over the year I discovered I like taking photos of things and not so much of people. A fact which I knew before, but was solidified in this challenge. Candids of people are ok, but I’d much rather take a photo of something inanimate.

There were days during the challenge that were very trying. It was quite hard to come up with something to photography each day, and often I found myself buying things on a grocery run, just to photograph them.

There were days that I loved my picture, and days I hated it. Once I almost forgot to take a picture, and had to scramble in the evening to pull something out of my ass, but I did it!

Overall I’m very pleased with my accomplishment, (even the days I hated), because I learned from it. I learned how to use my camera, that I love my macro lens and that it wasn’t a waste of $600+. I learned that if I decide to do something, that I’ll follow through. I learned that I like to shoot in the mornings, when the sun has just come up, and not in the harsh afternoon light. Also, that I prefer natural light over flash, and I’d rather have a grainy, noisy photo than one with flash spots.

So thank you to everyone who supported me in this project. Everyone who had to listen to me say, every day for a year, “What am I going to take a picture of?”, “I have to take a picture today.”, and “Shit! I still need to take a picture!”

Thanks for all the comments and follows, both on my 365 blog, facebook, and flickr. They all mean so much to me. And for those diving into the 366 2012 project, good luck, and I’m glad I didn’t decide to wait a year and have that extra photo to take. 😉