hipstamatic and the kitchen

be warned….this can be addictive

wine glass
buttermilk pie
Mom’s plates
experimenting with brew
cute pot…but how does it work!
photo or brew?
The hipstamatic app requires lens and film selection prior to photographing the image, and the images have a small file size.
The GRUNGETASTIC iPhone app, however, allows post production image edits.
all images © 2011 Gale Reeves studio 1014


I have to write this…

Who have you influenced….unaware?

There are many versions, but this is my favorite:
King James Bible
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Hebrews 13:2
Thank you, Instructor Tanya, for giving of your time to teach the class, Baby Cakes, at Viking Memphis.
How could you have know the indirect influence you would have on a young person’s life.  Or, the extended benefit to our military, and one in particular stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
I speek of My Co-worker A, and her fiance R.
A is slightly unsure of her baking skills, yet, out of her love for R, she is baking and sending care packages regularly to R, who is at this time serving his/our country.
to slightly backtrack –  -
We mixed and baked Mini Mason Jar Strawberry Cakes during the Viking Baby Cakes class.  As is the norm for dessert Viking classes, the box of goodies I carried home was overflowing.  I took the box to work the next morning and shared with the ladies in the office.  From the box, A chose one of the mason jar mini cakes.

A few days later, A accomplished this – -

confetti mason jar cakes
A’s fiance R’s birthday:
we are forever thankful for those who serve…
Remember, this is a young lady who does not bake; but, Instructor Tanya, with your indirect influence, she has baked, packaged, and mailed mason jar mini cakes to Afghanistan.  
I feel like we should all take a moment and recite the Pledge of Alligience….through misty eyes….

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
     of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:

     one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

(photos courtesy of My Coworker A)

bake a sweet potato

…and then bake it into these sweet potato – cardamon – ginger – orange muffins

The muffins are crunchy on the top, soft and fluffy in the middle, and offer your senses a pleasant journey.

Rather than filling all 12 muffin tin wells, I distributed all the batter into 9 of the wells.  Remember to butter the top surface of he muffin tin; the batter will rise and form ‘muffin tops.’

The recipe was adapted from here.

Sweet Potato – Candied Ginger – Cardamom – Orange Muffins

1 1/2 T orange zest
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
4 T. butter
1/2 c. flour

Combine all topping ingredients in small bowl. Mix together with a fork, or your fingers.  Sit aside.

Mix into one bowl-
1/3 c. chopped Penzey’s crystallized ginger
1/4 c. melted butter
1/3 c. molasses
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 c. pureed baked sweet potato
2 eggs
1/2 c. full fat buttermilk

Into another bowl, mix the dry ingredients:
1 3/4 c. flour
2 T. ground flax
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cardamom

Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients; stir gently just until mixed.  Divide batter evenly into 9 buttered muffin wells. Sprinkle topping over each of muffins.  Press gently to adhere topping to muffin batter.

Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned, approximately 25-30 minutes.
Cool in pan 10 minutes then remove to cooling rack.

crunchy muffin top


nutella and oats — nutella baked oatmeal

I have grown to love oats.  Oats in cookies, or granola, or coffeecake – I’ll try most any recipe if it contains oats.  I think I’m being healthy if I eat oats, and…I think the oats offset some of the other calories in the dish.  Well…the plan has worked for me for over a year now.  I lost several pounds last year, and I will always believe the oats were my partner in the success.

nutella baked oatmeal

 I thank My Friend J for introducing me to Nutella a few years past.  Many months, the jar sits on the shelf in wait.  Conversely, some months two jars pass over that same shelf.

BELLA Nutella’s web site is such inspiration for the Nutella lover, and there I found the recipe for the above pictured baked oatmeal.   I baked this little heart of oatmeal a few minutes too long.  Since I don’t like my oatmeal swimming in milk, I enjoyed the oatmeal a bit crumbly, but warm from the oven, chocolate brown throughout, and with undertones of nutella swirling through.

The recipe is adapted from here.  This is half the original recipe.

Baked Nutella Oatmeal
1 1/2 c oats
1/2 c whole milk
6 T Nutella
1 egg
1 T ground flax
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. pecans, toasted-cooled-chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  Spread into three, slightly buttered, small baking dishes.  Three oven proof coffee cups would make nice serving size portions. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on size of baking container chosen.

I roughly calculated calories–about 475 calories per serving.


Nutella brownie bites

puffy, just out of the oven

beginning to droop and wrinkle (like a 50+ year old diva)

a swirl of cream cheese frosting covers most wrinkles, and adds so much flavor
before the unveiling
rich center
Nutella Brownies
Mix all together:
1/2 c. nutella
1 egg
5T all purpose flour
That’s all…just stir together and bake.
I used a #50 scoop to evenly distribute batter between 12 mini cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes.
After baked, allow to cool then add a swirl of cream cheese frosting.

red velvet mini cupcakes with cream cheese icing

Here’s a little Valentine’s weekend music…you will have to provide the audio- – -
Bobby Vinton
(Bernie Wayne/Lee Morris)
“She wore blue velvet
Bluer than velvet was the night
Softer than satin was the light
From the stars
She wore blue velvet
Bluer than velvet were her eyes
Warmer than May her tender sighs
Love was ours
Ours a love I held tightly
Feeling the rapture grow
Like a flame burning brightly
But when she left, gone was the glow of
Blue velvet
But in my heart there’ll always be
Precious and warm, a memory
Through the years
And I still can see blue velvet
Through my tears”

AUDIO – isn’t YouTube awesome:

This blog post really is about cupcakes, but “Blue Velvet” kept playing in my mind…..
just out of the oven – beautiful deep red color

mini cupcakes boast bold color and flavor

topped with a swirl of vanilla bean cream cheese frosting

This recipe is adapted from ‘Sweet Life’ magazine.

Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes

Sift together into mixer bowl:
1 1/2 c unbleached flour
2 T. cocoa powder
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. room temperature butter
3/4 c. buttermilk
2 1/2 t vanilla
2 whole eggs
1 T. red food coloring
In separate bowl, whip 2 egg whites to soft peaks.
Gently fold egg whites into cake batter.

I used a #50 scoop, level, and this was the perfect amount of batter to fill the mini cupcake liners.  The batter should make about 48 mini cupcakes.  I made 24 minis, and 10 hearts in a slightly larger pan.

The mini cakes baked for 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven, and emerged rich in color, and moist on the interior.

After cooling, frost with a swirl of cream cheese icing.  The icing recipe below makes toooo much icing for this small recipe.  One third of the recipe should be adequate, unless you choose to totally enrobe your mini cupcakes in cream cheese…which might be a great idea…

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter (4 oz), softened
8 oz cream cheese, very soft
3 c. powdered sugar
seeds from one vanilla bean or 1 t. vanilla extract

Combine butter and cream cheese well with mixer.  Add vanilla.  Add powdered sugar. Whip until smooth and spreadable.

I piped a small swirl on each cupcake, as I wanted the red cake to be clearly visible around the edge.
…two delicate bites, or one hungry country girl bite…

bourbon brownies

My heart is a little ‘off center’ after adding a few splashes of Eagle Rare bourbon to the brownie batter.

KY bourbon finds it way into my baking after a weekend trip through KY Bourbon country last fall.  The countryside is beautiful, the history is interesting, and the bourbon balls….aaahhhh.  Even ‘non-partakers’ will enjoy a couple of days along the KY Bourbon Trail.

Here’s the link to my pictures from the trip if you would like to take a virtual trip along the Ky Bourbon trail, with a short visit to Louisville.

This brownie is my Valentine version of my Christmas bourbon ball.

The brownies are very good; the texture is somewhat dense and spongy rather than gooey.  This recipe is adapted from the “Fat Witch Brownies” cookbook.

The bourbon flavor intensifies as the brownies sit for a few days.  My last few brownies and caramelized pecans are soon to become the brownie-bourbon-chunks in a quart of vanilla bean ice cream.

Caramelized Pecans
1/2 c pecan halves, toasted in 350 oven for about 10 minutes and cooled
1/2 c. granulated sugar, slowly heated in pan until melted and caramelized
Mix the pecans and caramel together and quickly pour onto Silpat to cool.  Break apart when cooled.

Bourbon Brownies
Melt in pan, then set aside to cool slightly:
7 T butter
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

In separate bowl, stir together:
3 eggs
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 t vanilla

Add the butter/chocolate to the egg/sugar mixture.

1/3 c. whiskey

1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 t salt

Stir until flour is incorporated.  Spread into buttered/floured 9″x9″ square baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour before cutting.
These will intensify in flavor after sitting overnight.

As you can see from the pictures, the brownies cut easily (cut when cold out of the refrigerator) with cookie cutters.