Friday, March 22, 2013

All Signs Point to Spring

Spring Buds
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The flowers are trying their best to make an appearance here in the Northeast and we finally made it to the first day of Spring earlier this week.

Mother Nature needs to take a hint ... it's not winter any more. The average temperature here is suppose to be around 50. We've struggled to make it to 40. Here's hoping the days will warm soon.


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In case you missed my Raspberry Sour Cream Tart recipe, you can find it here. And if you're in the mood for a homemade Shamrock Shake you can check out the quick, easy-to-make recipe here.   

Thanks for stopping by. Make it a great weekend!


the long road Friday Photo Journal

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our St. Patrick's Day

Our St. Patrick's day was cold and snowy, but since we are Irish here, we couldn't let the day go by without celebrating a bit. We found the best place to start was in the kitchen. 

A week ago, Gina at Kleinworth & Co. posted beautiful photos the of Irish Soda bread she baked and the recipe she used. I thought it was something I would do some day, and even pinned it on Pinterest. But she really caught my attention when she told me it took her only about 35 minutes from start to finish! That did it for me.  

The recipe is so easy, uses minimal ingredients that most people have in their kitchen routinely, and truly didn't take long at all. The loaf was absolutely beautiful when it was all done. It looked rustic and like it came right from the bakery. And ... it tasted as good as it looked! We enjoyed it with a hearty potato soup for dinner and then toasted it the next morning for breakfast. I added a little butter and a spot of honey to mine. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my toasted bread this week. If not, you can see it here

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread Straight Out of Oven

Fresh-baked Irish Soda Bread

We also had to have a little St. Patty's Day treat. So we decided to make our own Shamrock Shakes. This too was very simple. I did a brief internet search and found several variations. We opted for a more traditional shake. 

shamrock shake

Shamrock Shakes

2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint (or mint) extract
10 drops green food coloring

Blend all ingredients together for two minutes. 

We sure did! :) 

Mmmm...Shamrock Shake

(And yes, you must wear green on St. Patty's day. Morgan is sporting her Dublin shirt my husband brought us when he visited Ireland with his dad in 2010. While there, they spent some time in County Clare, the region of Ireland where their family is from.) 

Enjoying Shamrock Shake

Shamrock Shake Tasting

Irish blessing chalkboardPin It

Hope you all had a great weekend and a fun St. Patty's Day. 

Happy WW! 

Live and Love...Out LoudThe Paper MamaKleinworth & Co., your best weekly button, DIY sharing, project sharing, recipe sharing, weekly Wednesday blog link up

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Raspberry Sour Cream Tart

raspberry tart with clip

framed tart with tape

Raspberry Sour Cream Tart title
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50mm, f/2.8, 1/60, iso 3200. 
Levels adjusted in Photoshop CS5 and enhanced with Greater than Gatsby's One Click Perfect Color action
Vintage Frames 22 by The CoffeeShop Blog
Paperclip and Sticky Tape by Fuzzimo

This is easily one of my very favorite dessert recipes. I recently made this for my daughter's middle school teacher appreciation luncheon. It always seems to be a favorite wherever I take it. As a matter of fact, any time I make it, I have to make two. My girls tell me I'm not allowed to make it for someone else without also making one to keep at home. 

The tart is easy to make and always gives a beautiful presentation. I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit

Raspberry Sour Cream Tart 
For the crust: 
8 graham crackers, coarsely broken
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling and Topping:
6 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 pint containers raspberries
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, grind graham crackers and sugar until coarse crumbs form. Add butter, process until evenly moistened. Press firmly up bottom and sides of a 9" tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until firm, about 8 minutes. Cool. 

Using mixer, beat together sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Spread filling in cooled crust. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (Can be made a day ahead, cover and keep chilled). Arrange berries over filling. Whisk jam in small bowl to loose consistency. Drizzle over berries. Serve immediately or chill up to 3 hours. 

This certainly doesn't last long around our house! I hope you give it a try. 


Live and Love...Out LoudThe Paper MamaKleinworth & Co., your best weekly button, DIY sharing, project sharing, recipe sharing, weekly Wednesday blog link up

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

White Tulips

Tulips Spring Collage

single white tulip

white tulip petals

soft tulip with frame

After the threat of another snow tonight, I think Spring may decide to show herself to the Northeast later this week. I'm looking forward to this weekend where our temperatures are projected to hit the 50-degree range!! I can hardly wait! :) Couple that with the fact that we turn the clocks ahead an hour, giving us an extra hour of daylight in the evening, and I am one happy girl!! :)

Enjoy these beautiful tulips! I certainly am!


Live and Love...Out LoudThe Paper MamaLittle by Little

Friday, March 1, 2013

Nuture Photography Winter Finale

I've enjoyed participating in the Nurture Photography Winter Challenge with Kristi and Rebecca over the last four weeks. I've practiced a few new techniques over this time including working with shadows and using low light to add an element of drama to my pictures. I've also used negative space to narrow the focal point and define the subject of my photos. This challenge has gotten me up and out of the house during these cold winter months. It is now March 1st and I am hoping Spring is soon on its way. It's been a long, cold winter and I am more than ready to see some color and warmer temperatures. 

Here is a recap of some of my favorites over the last four weeks' challenge:

 photo morganbycomputerlightDSC_0990withtop_zps6b375a91.jpg

 photo catshadowsDSC_0935withtop_zpsd1bab3af.jpg

White | Minimalism

 photo snowydayDSC_0573withtop_zps906bba15.jpg

 photo snowydayDSC_0574_zps0e8f6d58.jpg

Silver | Treasure

 photo xoxo_zpsf0f8d249.png

Blue | Breathe

 photo BlueskyDSC_1894_zpsed304851.jpg

 photo thebirdsDSC_9899_zps1b6acea8.jpg

The challenge has been fun. I've learned a lot from both Kristi and Rebecca through their many tips and tutorials throughout this challenge. As well, it has helped to make these long winter days pass by a little bit faster. Thank you Kristi and Rebecca for all your hard work and time you put forth for these challenges. They are always a great way for me to push my photography skills a little bit farther.

it's Friday! enjoy your weekend!


Nurture Photography - Winter 2013 Photo Challenge Friday Photo Journalthe long roadGive me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
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