Mandalas, Muffins, and Mimosas

I recently took a mandala rock painting class with a bunch of girl friends last month. I was surprised at how lost we all got into painting our mandalas and how fast the two hours they had scheduled for our group went! The art studio we went to also offered us muffins and mimosas while we got our painting on. Since I live in Tacoma I thought what better way to spread this idea than highlighting books from the library for patrons to recreate this activity at home!  Maybe even for Galentine’s Day, perhaps!

Mandala for the Inspired Artist: Working with paint, paper, and texture to create expressive ...Mandala for the Inspired Artist [working With Paint, Paper, and Texture to Create Expressive Mandala Art] by Marisa Edghill
This book takes on multiple mediums to create your own mandala art. “From making art with pencils, paints, and paper to tape, nature’s textures, and found objects, readers will discover a variety of ways to make unique mandala artwork.” This book is also for all skill levels so don’t be afraid to make your mandala in the medium that works best for you. In class none of us were familiar with this art type and each rock created was amazing, unique, and beautiful – just like the women who created them!

Mad for Muffins: 70 Amazing Muffin Recipes From Savory to Sweet by Jean Anderson
Muffins are pretty much just breakfast cupcakes, right? I had the most amazing Lemon Poppyseed muffin at the art studio, which are two flavors that I can never say no to! And this book has so many different kinds of muffins for those that prefer savory or sweet in every kind of variation you can imagine.

Let’s Get Fizzical: More Than 50 Bubbly Cocktail Recipes With Prosecco, Champagne, and Other Sparkling Wines by Pippa Guy    First of all this book is just adorable, but also takes the idea of the sparkling cocktail to another level. “An inspiring mix of classic cocktail recipes such as bellinis and mimosas, alongside exciting variations and twists, Let’s Get Fizzical offers tips, tricks, presentation ideas, and technical know.”

Happy Galentine’s Day!

~posted by Kara P.

Wild Sourdough

Meet my starter: Neko!

I love bread, but more and more it just tastes like filler. My husband and I started going to a neighborhood Farmer’s Market open year-round to incorporate more whole foods and seasonal finds into our meals at home. One of our favorite vendors is a sourdough bread baker. I started doing a bit of research into wild yeast and thought this is bread I would be more than happy to eat! After trying a few loaves, I started to wonder how I can do this myself Continue reading “Wild Sourdough”

October Takeover: Treats, Not Tricks

~posted by Kara F. 

Baked Occasions

Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

While not overly spooky, these two recipes, the milk chocolate malted brownies with chocolate ganache and chocolate cinnamon chipotle sugar cookies, were decadent and divine! I had to give it a shot. Continue reading “October Takeover: Treats, Not Tricks”

Baking Day Adventure!

Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned Favorites and Modern Classics came in recently and I was shocked to find it had no holds so I snapped it up and promised my co-workers that goodies would soon be on the way.

I had a whole day off set aside to bake! I read through the cookbook and decided on three recipes: Chewy Chess Tart, Apple Butter Hand Pies, and Quiche. After making a list of the groceries I needed to buy I realized I didn’t have a tart pan! And neither did QFC, Safeway, and True Value…dang! Luckily, I was able to find a spring form pan, which would have to suffice. I started off making the dough for the quiche and ran into another problem…I didn’t own a rolling pin either?! After running around my house trying to find a substitute I settled on my crystal vase…sad, but true. It worked out just fine, but so far it wasn’t the easy recipes stopping me, but my lack of Continue reading “Baking Day Adventure!”

BiblioBagels: My Adventures in Bagel Chemistry (Part 2)

In yesterday’s post, I was on a quest to make Montreal bagels with the help of the library’s resources. A friend had just told me about the process of retarding the dough (placing it in the fridge overnight before boiling and baking the bagels). I was curious about this mysterious-sounding process and decided to investigate further.

I found a delightfully technical article called “A Laboratory-Scale Bagel-Making Procedure” in the journal Cereal Chemistry. Although the library didn’t carry this journal, our wonderful interlibrary loan service obtained a copy for me. Eureka! Complete with scientific analyses of bagel texture and electron micrographs of dough structure, this study showed that retarding was indeed the key.  Continue reading “BiblioBagels: My Adventures in Bagel Chemistry (Part 2)”