Pitman Photography

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fruit and Nut Fudge

Now, I am not a particular fan of fruit, nuts, and chocolate combined, but my wonderful father-in-law is. So for his birthday I decided to make him a batch. I looked through a few recipes and came across one from Taste of Home that looked to be the best...and it was! However, I did not read the serving size and ended up with almost 7 POUNDS OF FUDGE!!! So we wrapped it in parchment, tied it with twine, and dished it out to neighbors and relatives. We kept a few pieces for ourselves...well, really just for Graeme. I picked at the chocolate and took out the nuts. :)

I highly recommend this fudge. I think it might be a bit annoying to cut it in half...or fourths because most of the chocolate chip servings equal one bag so there is little measuring required. BUT if you wanted to, you can always save the extra chips for cookies!

Photo by Taste of Home

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cake of the Month

My crafty friend Claire and I have been talking about baking and crafting together for awhile now (since they moved in one house over from ours this past summer!) and finally decided that we are going to make a different cake each month. I thought it would be fun to blog and share about it with all of you!

Last Tuesday we decided to try fondant for the first time. It was fun and smooth and pretty and we'll definitely be using it again.

However, the cake was a little more work then we thought it was going to be...

4-6:30pm: bake cakes, make gum paste, look up designs
6:30-7:30pm: attend a very fun Magpie party hosted by Iuliana
7:30-11:30pm: crumb frost cake, roll fondant, cover cake, make designs out of gum paste, attempt and eventually succeed in attaching our designs to the cake!

Here are some pretty pictures -

fondant on the top tier

stacked tiers

birds made of gum paste

we were very excited for the finished photos to be taken because that meant we were done!

We're really excited for our next baking night when we'll be making Easter cakes. Yes, I did say cakes, as in more then one. We both will be traveling our separate ways to visit family for Easter and our only solution is to bake two cakes :)

Stay tuned, blogging friends!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Vintage Pearl: the key to my heart { a giveaway! }

The Vintage Pearl has super cute jewelry and I am happy to say that they are giving some necklaces away!!

Enter to win here:

The Vintage Pearl: the key to my heart { a giveaway! }

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Crafty Day Off

I had Monday off work and was in the mood to craft. I was inspired a couple of weeks ago to make a cake stand and decided it was time to try. I was at Target and came across these cute plastic plates and glass goblets. I bought one of each, brought them home, and turned them into a cake stand -

I'm happy to report that this was under $6 to make! I'm looking forward to going thrift store shopping and seeing the different kinds of plates and glasses I can find.

I also had time to sew! Which I have been in the mood to do a lot of lately. My sister-in-law Becky gave me some extra material and I decided to make a half-apron out of it. Do half-apron's have a proper name? Either way, it was easy to do and I love to wear it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lord of the Rings Marathon

Before marrying into the Pitman family, I had to take a vow to always and forever love The Lord of the Rings. It was an easy vow to take as they are three of the best movies ever made. :)

This past weekend Graeme and I, along with Graeme's brother Neil and his wife Beth (and their little elf Iain) had a LOTR marathon. We went all out and made t-shirts, a hobbit menu, lembas (shortbread) and other yummy food.

The lembas and t-shirts were made by Neil and Beth -

Iain was born a fan -

Gabby wanted to watch too -

Beth was smart to write up our menu. With all the food we had planned, we most likely would have forgot something -

Elevensies -

Sausage, taters, and mixed greens -

Afternoon tea & scones (recipe to come soon) -

Hearty stew and crusty bread -

Apple pie -

I have the best hobbit family!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

My grandma's birthday is on Sunday and we are headed to Waunkee, Wi tonight to celebrate! I made these cute little cheesecakes last night for her birthday dessert. They were super easy to make and super yummy to eat (Graeme and I had to taste test of course).

Recipe taken from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

42 oreo's - 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
2 lb cream cheese room tempurate (I know it's a lot. I used 1/3 less fat...)
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 C sour cream
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Make sure to do this, it's very easy to get chunks of cream cheese that have not been beaten hiding at the bottom of the bowl.
Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
Divide batter evenly among cookie-filled cups, filling each to the top. These will not rise so make sure to fill 'em up!
Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. My oven may be off but I found these took about 27 minutes to bake. When they appear set and a little wobbly in the center, they are ready to come out!
Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate (in tins) at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

**DISCLAIMER - the photos below were taken by me using my phone so they are a bit blurry and not pleasing to the eye.

Assembling cheesecakes -

Cheesecakes baked and cooling on racks -

Ready to eat -

I really think you should make these. I promise they are easy - one of the easiest cupcakes I've made yet! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Past Quilts

The first quilt I ever made was for our bedroom. It turned out to be much smaller then expected, but we still use it to warm up our feet!

The second quilt I made was for Graeme for our 2nd wedding anniversary - the anniversary of cotton. The back is fleece (so warm and cozy) and the front is of course, cotton.

The third and last (thus far) quilt I made was for my sister's 2nd birthday. This is my favorite of the three and I am quite proud of it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Madness

This blog is going to be all over the place! My husband suggested I blog once a month about new things I want and think I need (I must talk a lot about new gadgets and such), a crafty muse, or just anything I'm enjoying.

I LOVE cake stands. Every time I see a new one at Target, Crate and Barrel, or online I just want to buy it and bake a cake. A lot of times I'll use them for something other then cakes. Right now I have a bunch of oranges sitting on one, and seeing it everyday makes me love cake stands even more.

I have had my eye on this one at Crate and Barrel for awhile:

Things I Love That I Already Have
Kitchen gadgets are my favorite. Now, if you are an Alton Brown fan you would know that he says most uni-tasking gadgets are silly and a waste of money. But I'm pretty sure Alton would approve of this fun little gift I got from my hubby. Who doesn't love mini-pies? They are so easy and yummy.

Williams Sonoma

For Valentine's Day I got this cute little apron that I love and wear only when I bake!

My muse this month (and probably for many more to come) has been Martha Stewart. Her website has so many crafts that I want to try and I have about 50 of them bookmarked already.

I am excited to make this bag:

And these cards I might try for Easter:

Another favorite thing I love to do is read. I usually read about 3 or 4 books a month. I am currently reading this:

and this:

I could easily turn this blog into a place to review books because I am so passionate about reading, so I will be brief. Jodi Picoult makes me cry and Wallace Stegner is brilliant.


Monday, March 1, 2010


I have turned into the cake maker amongst close family and friends. The first nontraditional cake I made was a guitar cake for my brother-in-law's 30th surprise birthday party.

The second was for a friend's baby shower:

Red Velvet Birthday cake for my good friend Claire:

Chocolate Ganache birthday cake for my sister-in-law Beth:

I can't remember what this cake was or the occasion for which it was made, but I remember it being fun to make!