Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brunch and Baking

This past weekend we had family over for a Sunday brunch.  Mainly we were just gathering to have a family get together, but it happened to coincide with my birthday (the week before), Valentine's Day (the day before) and Presidents' Day (the next day).  So it was an all-encompassing celebration!

D&M brought my birthday gifts with them since we were supposed to get together the previous weekend to celebrate but due to illness we weren't able to visit.  They gave me two great books, a very generous "gift certificate," and the tea kettle pictured below.  Isn't it the coolest?  I'm so excited to get rid of my silver tea kettle that stains the second you look at it and was covered in grease spots that would never come off.

In honor of Valentine's Day we picked up (cheap!) these placemats and this one little dessert plate.  They looked great against the red table cloth E got on clearance back in December.  Of course we couldn't pass them up when they had both turtles AND owls on them!

Here is my semi-failed attempt at pie crust.  I did cheat and used pre-made refrigerated dough.  But for some reason this first crust shrunk in the pan.  It's a little hard to tell in the first picture but the side view tells the whole story.  I had to start over since the quiche filling would have poured over the side of this shrunken crust!  I really do know how to bake,  really I do!  

Of course one could argue I teach cake DECORATING not cake BAKING. Doesn't really apply to pie crust, does it? I didn't take a picture of the finished quiche, but it turned out pretty well.  The new crust was a little well done, but for a first attempt at making quiche I was very happy with it.  It tasted great and that's the important thing.  

I did break a cardinal rule of entertaining with this brunch: I made three recipes I had never made before. But they all were definitely edible. I'd even verge on saying two were really good. Of course there are things I would change (using the crock pot liner for the creme brulee french toast since the edges burnt and cooking the pie crust a little less so it didn't brown so much when baking the quiche) but all in all I was happy with the results.

Now to prove I really can bake - here are two pictures of cupcakes I made for E to take to work earlier in the week.  They are raising money for the MDA again this year - selling shamrocks - and this was for an internal fundraiser with the employees.  The cupcakes were yummy, though I cheated and used both boxed cake mix and canned icing.  But when you're making cupcakes at 9pm the night before (and after bathing and getting the baby man to bed) I think cheating is allowed.

I did go to the store after E's lunch break to check out the rest of the cupcakes made by others.  I'd say everyone did a great job and they raised over $100 so it was definitely a success!

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