I'm so happy to see Kate Middleton worn sleeves on her wedding day. For so long all we have had is strapless dresses to pick from. This will open the doors for ladies to have more to choose from. This does not mean the strapless will go away for those of you that that love this look, but others will have something else to pick. Here are a few classics...Would you wear sleeves?
Grace Kelly on her Wedding Day 1956
Maria in Sound of Music on her Wedding Day.
Audrey Hepburn on her Wedding Day 1954
Keely Shaye Smith on her Wedding Day 2001
Queen Mother on her Wedding Day 1923
The Queen's Wedding Day 1947
Elizabeth Taylor's Wedding Day to Nicky Hilton 1950
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:57 AM
Happy Royal Wedding Week-End to all! For our week-end movie I'm sticking with the Princess theme and bring you the most beautiful Princess that ever graced the silver screen...playing a Princess no less! Grace Kelly in "The Swan"
The film deals with the story of the daughter of a minor branch of a European royal house who is being considered as a wife for her cousin, the heir to the throne.
Princess Alexandra (Grace Kelly) is the princess, her cousin the crown prince, Albert, is played by Alec Guinness, and her brothers' tutor, a commoner for whom she thinks she may feel more affection than she does for the prince, is played by Louis Jourdan.
Posted by MyKidsEatSquid in Decadent DessertsInspired in part by a recipe, which appeared in Mexican Border Flavors: The Beautiful Cookbook (HarperCollins, 2003).
Dough for the puffs
2 cups water
1 cup butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet or white chocolate chips
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
¼ cup raspberry jam (optional, but good)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
To make the dough, place butter and water into a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Slowly, bring the water and butter to a boil.
As soon as the mixture begins to boil, remove it from the heat source and add the flour in all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a ball.
Let the ball cool for around four minutes, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat after each egg is added.
At this point, you could just drop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet, but if you’re up for a challenge, break out the pastry bag! I use what’s called a ‘Mechanical Pastry Bag’ I bought on sale at Michaels to create the swan shapes.
Assembling the swan: You’ll need four large, ungreased baking pans (I highly recommend using parchment paper to line the pan, even though the dough shouldn’t stick to an ungreased pan it may). One pan will contain the swan necks, one and a half will contain swan wings and the rest of the space can be used for the base and regular puffs.
First baking pan: Swan necks. Place 1/3 of the puff dough into your pastry bag fitted with a large, straight tip (you want a tip that is about the diameter of a pencil eraser top). Draw ‘2s’ in three rows on the pan–each one stretching to about two inches in height. The curved part of the ‘2’ is the swan’s neck and head while the bottom of the ‘2’ will tuck between the wings to support the weight of the head. Place this pan into the oven while you prepare the rest. The necks should cook for only about nine minutes or so—keep a close watch because these thinner puffs cook (and burn!) quickly.
Second baking pan: Swan wings. Change the pastry tip to either a large open star tip or even a large leaf tip (I’ve never purchased tips, I always just use what’s available in my kit). Working left to right, start with a thicker, rounded portion of dough and then draw the tip upwards and to the right—the winged shape should look like a sideways, slightly curved teardrop (these should be about one-and-a-half inches in length). Again, make three rows of wings. Keep in mind that the dough will grow to at least double what’s on the pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until slightly browned.
With the remaining pans and dough: Using open star tip create circular cream puffs (these should be about two inches in length). Some of these puffs you’ll use as the base for your swan; the others you can make into regular puffs. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until slightly browned.
Making the cream: Melt the chocolate and the heavy cream in the microwave at full power for about one to two minutes. Stir. If there are any lumps, microwave the mixture again at 10-second intervals or until the chocolate melts completely. (Stir in the raspberry jam if you’re using it.) Set aside and allow to cool.
Beat the cream cheese and the sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Once the mixture appears light and creamy, gradually add in the chocolate. (**Keep the chocolate pan handy with just a little chocolate inside to make swan eyes and beaks.) Whip the entire mixture again and place into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip.
Assembling your swan: Now for the fun part! Gently remove the swan necks from the pan (some may break, but that’s why you have several). Dip the swans ‘beak’ (the end of the ‘2’) into the chocolate mixture. (Obviously, if you’re using white chocolate you’ll have to melt some additional darker chocolate.) Allow the swan necks to harden on wax paper.
Carefully cut the base pieces in half. On the bottom portion, add a generous swirl of the chocolate cream. Gently cut a swan wing in half. Pushing in gingerly with your fingers, place the swan neck base (so the bottom of the ‘2’) into the cream swirl. Place a wing on either side of the neck base to cover it. Repeat with the remaining parts. Once you’ve assembled all of the swans, use a toothpick to dot each side of the swan head with a chocolate eye. Refrigerate until firm. Just before serving, dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
At the end you’ll have mismatched cream puff tops (leftover from the bases), which you can use to create regular cream puffs.
For white swans, use white chocolate in the cream filling and omit the raspberry jam. For a stronger chocolate flavor, opt for semi-sweet.
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:41 AM
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Happy Easter Week-End! I hope you all have a great day:)
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown
While most of the Peanuts Gang is getting ready for Easter, Linus, certain it is all a waste of time, tries convincing everyone the Easter Beagle will take care of everything, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Only Sally believes him, though she still has some suspicions after the Halloween fiasco.
Easter Beagle Cadbury Pancakes
3 Cadbury Creme eggs
225ml milk, plus an extra 10ml (2tsp)
75g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
15ml (1tbsp) sunflower oil
1. Carefully cut the creme eggs in half down the seam and pull apart. Using a teaspoon scoop out the “goo” and place in a small saucepan. (Alternatively place the “goo” in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high power for 10-20 seconds depending on microwave rating.)
2. Break the milk chocolate shells into pieces, then place in a small bowl with 125ml of the milk. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate and milk has melted together. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Place the flour in a bowl, with the egg and remaining milk and chocolate milk, whisk together to form a batter.
4. Dip a piece of rolled up kitchen paper into the oil and rub over an 18cm pancake or crêpe pan, then heat over a moderate heat. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter into the pan, tilting it so that the batter covers the base thinly and evenly.
5. Cook for about 1 minute, or until the pancake is set and coloured underneath. Loosen the edges with a palette knife then either turn the pancake over or toss. Cook the second side for about 30 seconds, or until just set.
6. Slide the pancake onto a plate, cover with baking parchment or foil and keep warm. Use the oil to cook the remaining batter in the same way, to make another 7 pancakes. Add each one to the warm plate, layering with baking parchment.
7. Place the pan with the “goo” over a moderate heat with the 10ml of milk, until melted. Try not to stir the mixture, just gently shake the pan. To serve, fold the pancakes into triangles and drizzle the “goo” sauce over the top.
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:58 AM
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Happy week-end everyone! For your week-end viewing I give The American President. Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all aboveboard, but "politics is perception" and sparks fly anyway. Enjoy with..."As American as Apple Pie Cookies"<>For the cookie base: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup salted butter, cubed and kept cold 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup milk For the apple filling: 2 Granny Smith, or other firm, apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon all spice 1/8 teaspoon cloves 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 2 tablespoons bourbon 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon cornstarch For the caramel sauce: 1/4 cup water 1 cup sugar 4 tablespoons butter 1 cup cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup bourbon Heat the oven to 350F and have a mini-muffin pan ready. Begin by preparing the apple pie filling. In a medium skillet over medium heat combine the apples, sugar, butter, and spices. Once the butter melts and the apples begin to soften turn off the heat and add the bourbon. Return the pan to the heat and reduce it to low. Combine the water with the cornstarch and add to the apple mixture. Stir until the mixture thickens. Allow to cool while you prepare the cookie base. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and milk. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a log and divide into 32 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place a ball of dough in the cup of a mini-muffin pan and, using a dough tamper or your fingers, press down until the dough reaches the top if the cup. Fill the cups with a rounded teaspoon of the apple filling. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. While the cookies cool prepare the caramel. In a medium pot with tall sides add the sugar in an even layer. Pour in the water and gently stir to combine. Using a pastry brush and some water wash the sides of the pot to make sure no sugar crystals are clinging to the sides. Cook the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pot occasionally but do not stir, until it is a dark amber color. Add the butter and whisk to combine. Turn off the heat and add the cream slowly, whisking constantly until the caramel is well combined. Add the vanilla and bourbon. Heat this mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling cook for one minute. Cool for thirty minutes. Once the caramel is cool pour about 1/2 teaspoon over the top of each cookie. Allow the caramel to set for two hours before serving.
Posted by Pink Peony at 12:11 PM