Tuesday, January 17, 2012

new blog

This blog has moved. Please go to http://cragsandclay.wordpress.com/ for further posts

Friday, November 18, 2011

chili cook-off

 Today we cooked chili. Papa and I. It turned out delicious and we were blessed to have the Bell family and Sara F. join us for dinner. There was lots of chopping and stirring and waiting...but it was worth it. 
 He studied the recipe fervently. We only left out one thing. Celery. I hate celery. I hate the flavor of celery. Yup, I just do not like it. 

 Isn't he so cute? He's one happy man who spent the morning in the kitchen. I love my Grandpa.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dream Awake

A trip consisting of 2 weeks, 7 states, and 10 seemingly endless flights means visits to countless coffee shops!  We went to the first Starbucks store ever in Seattle, Citizen Coffee, Tully's Coffee, World Cup Coffee + Tea, Dragonfly Coffee House, Peet's Coffee, Black Bear Coffee Company, MadCap Coffee, & Marie Catribs. I got an iced latte almost everywhere. Its so fun to experience the different atmospheres that each shop presents. Cozy, modern, classy, clean, woodsy, hippie, etc. 

Citizen was right by our hotel in Seattle. It was by far my favorite coffee shop. If I ever opened a cafe, it would be very similar to this one. Plus they had the best roasted potatoes I have ever had!

Dragonfly Coffee House had the best atmosphere. It was quaint, victorian, and so cozy. I just loved it.

World Cup Coffee & Tea had the best espresso out of all the places we went. Fabulous!

Coolest ceiling at Black Bear Coffee Company in Hendersonville NC. The whole ceiling was covered with coffee bags. Such a great idea.

Finished off the week with Turkish coffee at Marie Catribs with my best friend Jeanne.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

whale watch

We went on a whale watch yesterday. Breathtaking and magnificent. We planted ourselves at the bow of the ship and prepared for the hour and a half journey into the wide-open ocean. As Boston harbor began to fade away I rested against the railing intent on being the first to catch a glimpse of a resplendent humpback whale. With the wind whipping around the ship, the sun shining, and the water glistening I closed my eyes and felt the moment, committing it forever to memory. I absolutely love being on the ocean. I love the smells and the openness and how small it makes me feel. I love the calm of it and the immense power that it holds. We sailed into the horizon for almost two hours. I absorbed every moment.  Constantly scanning the waves. 

Looking intently for whales. A weird ripple brought a surge of excitement only to be let down. It was only a wave.  Or a fish. Or a bird. I never took my eyes off the water. Completely absorbed with the desire to see a fin or a tail breaking through the surface. As I scanned the waves a verse started floating through my thoughts. “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25) It surprised me. How amazing that God would bring this verse to mind. What a perfect reflection. A visual that broke through my clouded thoughts. What if I sought God as hard as I was searching for whales? What if I looked so intently into His Word; His Law? This verse is an amazing promise. 

The man who looks so intently into this freeing law and puts it into practice will be BLESSED! Blessed in what he does. And this is not just a one-time thing. I can’t just pick up my bible and flip a few pages. I have to look intently. And I have to continue looking intently. Daily. Hourly. Scour the pages for what God is teaching me and showing me. And as I do that, I know that I will begin drawing nearer to Him. I will begin reflecting His essence and blessings will begin to break the surface. How simple a command but so hard to carry out. How amazing my God is, all this tumbling through my brain as a result of looking for whales.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Whoopie Pies

So I'm on the search to find a recipe for whoopie pies like the ones you can buy in the North End in Boston. They are soft and chocolaty and filled with a creamy marshmallow-like frosting. MMMM!!!!

 shortening, brown sugar, eggs, cocoa...

 flour, baking soda, baking powder...

 spoon onto greased cookie sheets

 spread out into circles

 filling: shortening, powdered sugar, fluff, vanilla

 They came out a little flat, so maybe I won't spread them out so much next time. 
They should be a little bit thicker

 Put the filling on one cookie

 Smooooosh it together!


Overall they tasted amazing. I made two different fillings and liked the one with less fluff in it. The cookies were soft and chewy. I will try to make them thicker next time. 
Still in search for the PERFECT recipe!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A cupcake story

Always look cute!

making frosting

Guinness cupcakes

making the wrappers

I love to use sprinkles!

For my friend Gina's baby shower. Didn't they turn out so cute?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Here's a birthday cake I made for a friend. Just a little something I do on the side for fun :-)