Monthly Archives: June 2010

Lizzie, Lizzie, How Does Your Garden Grow?

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At the beginning of Spring we planted a little garden and lined our patio with soil filled terracotta pots. We’ve waited and we’ve waited..and now are garden is in full swing!

And Elizabeth is really excited about it!

Or angry?

My jalapeño plant is staring to blossom.We are also growing bell peppers for Brian. And I’m trying to cross a jalapeño plant with a banana pepper plant.

Then we’ve got some flowers.This is our first wild flower bloom!

Then there is my personal favorite…my chocolate mint plant! It’s growing like a monster!One of its branches is actually resting on the plant in the next pot!

And you may have noticed my little garden decor..A sweet friend, who knows I am trying to start an herb garden, gave me the coolest gift.They are beautiful antique spoons turned into garden markers! How lovely huh? (Thanks M!)

Well that is our garden!Elizabeth thinks we did a good job!

She also loves her Daddy!Have a beautiful day!

-Sarah

Painting with Chocolate?

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Painting with Chocolate! Impossible you say? I say you’re wrong and look, I can prove it…

In fact, I think I may have found my calling in life.

This process is pretty simple and doesn’t require any special tools. You SHOULD try this at home. If you do, please comment and link to a picture!

I got this technique from Eye Candy, and she gives more details on how to get a good image. So, make sure you check out her blog too.

Yes, that is made out of chocolate and peanut butter. I will give you a moment to “oooooh” and “aaaaaah.”

Isn’t it crazy? I don’t mean to sound so prideful, I was just really excited and proud to see how it turned out!

Anyway, on to how you can make your own edible masterpiece.

First, you need a picture. Word of advice Uncle Sam is not an easy choice. I have no idea why I chose the most difficult image I could find. This decoration was for Memorial Day and i didn’t want to a cliché image. I guess my idea was vintage-y? Anyway, I just Googled this image. The awesome thing about this technique is that you can do portraits! Jojo, from Eye Candy, did a beautiful portrait of Audrey Hepburn.

Once you’ve found an image, you need to make it black and white. Then you need to reverse it if you have any writing. I don’t know a good way to do that, except for with Paint…yes, like one the “accessories” on a PC. I may be ghetto, but it was effective. You don’t always have to reverse it, unless you have text. Again, Eye Candy, has a video tutorial or something on how to make you image easier to work with. Basically, your image will be easier if there are only three tones to work with. I just picked an image and ran with it. I’m not a big planner..I guess.

Any who, now you have your black and white (with maybe a grey tone) and reversed if needed image. Next, you need to lay some parchment or wax paper over the image. (I think parchment paper will work better. I only had wax paper at the time and I think it left some residue.) What I did, was tape the image to a cutting board and then tape the wax/parchment paper over the image. If both are taped on to the cutting board, you can move if you need.

The best part! Now you need the chocolate. You have choices here. You can use milk (or dark if you really wanted) chocolate and white chocolate. To get the mid-tone you would mix the white and milk chocolate. Or you can use chocolate and peanut butter. I used the chocolate and peanut butter because it went with the dessert I made. (Check back soon for that yummy recipe) Another option is to use white chocolate with food coloring. This give you the option to have a more complicated design with color. I don’t know how well this works but you are welcome to try it.

What kind of chocolate? Well, you can baking chocolate or you can do what I did. I just bought chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. I guess this also opens the door for butterscotch painting since you can buy butterscotch chips. I did the chips because I needed peanut butter. I really don’t think it matters too much. Melted chocolate is melted chocolate, no?

You will need some piping bags (you know the kind you decorate cakes with) or just some plastic baggies. And you will need a toothpick or a bamboo skewer. These will be your painting tools.

Now, it’s time to melt your chocolate. Try not to eat it! Melt the chocolate and then some how manage to finagle your liquid chocolate into a plastic baggie or pipping. Then cut off the tiny tiniest tip of your baggie. You should probably give it a test squeeze and see how the flow is. If you are comfortable with you choco-flow, start working!

All you do is trace your design! Seriously, it’s like paint-by-numbers with chocolate. See…Okay, so my image was a little more difficult than paint-by-numbers, but if you have an easy image, it’s like coloring with chocolate. You will need your toothpick for detail areas and scraping away misplaced chocolate. I would also keep a damp paper towel on hand. You can wipe of your toothpick and use it again instead of using a million toothpicks.

To make your mid-tone, all you have do is mix your light and dark color. Then fill in the parts that are that middle color.

A warning, the melted peanut butter chips create a thicker consistency and I ended up kind of sculpting the peanut butter. I used my toothpick a lot! The chocolate was easier though, so if you aren’t looking for a challenge, maybe stick with white chocolate.

Then, let those layers dry for a few minutes….now, take you lightest color and fill the whole thing in. Bye-bye, Uncle Sam!

Just let your artwork firm up and then you can turn it over and take off the paper.

Here is my finished product.The first picture (at the beginning of the blog) is before I peeled the wax paper off. I don’t know what caused the white discoloration. I have a few theories: I let it dry over night, in the refrigerator, and that might just be too long. I used wax paper instead of parchment paper. The peanut butter might just do that. Those are my theories and I’m leaning toward the first one.

Regardless, it still makes my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake look extra yum-tastic! And there you have it! Now you can be the Van Gogh of chocolate! Have fun!

-Sarah

A Small Success!

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It has taken faaaar too long, but I finally did it. I finally opened my Etsy shop.

Introducing….Drop in for my Grand Opening of Essie LoveGoods.

I have all of two items! I know, exciting right?

Okay, maybe it isn’t that extraordinary, but this is a big step for me. I am pumped to have finally opened up my Etsy store.

Happy Shopping!

And for my readers, if you find something you can’t live without, comment on my blog first! If you do, I will give you a 10% discount.

-Sarah

The Zoo??

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Remember how we went to the zoo forever ago? Remember how I meant to post pictures? Well I really did mean to do that. I still don’t have the time to upload all of those great picture much less try and sort between the best ones to put on this blog. So, I came up with a solution! I will just provide the link to my Facebook photo album.  Let me know how it works!

Oklahoma City Zoo Trip- Spring Break 2010

This was by far the coolest picture we managed to take!

Enjoy the other pictures!

Before/After pictures of the kitchen are on their way, I promise!

-Sarah