Thursday, March 29, 2012

friday senses

real life.
kya1 copy
Missing: nephew. niece.
Reading: What should I read right now? I want something gripping and hard to put down. I just finished Helen Keller's The Story of My Life, and while fascinating.......not really all that thrilling, 
you know?
Watching/Still thinking and dreaming about: The Hunger Games. Did you see it? SOOOOOOOO well done. I'm usually not the biggest lover of books-to-movies and this was just amazing. I can't believe they are making us wait a year and a half for the next movie. terrible.
Loving: fresh flowers in my house. from now until fall, they will be there.
daffodil copy
Planting: Ok this better be the weekend I finally get something in the earth. I had all these big plans to get some early stuff in over the last few weeks and this weather has been lame. So so, so so windy. This weekend. It will happen.
Hating: The Wind. (see above)
Photographing: my tiny new niece.
kya6 copy
Eating: beet chips! delicious! I don't know why it took me so long to make these crunchy little gems. They have been a huge hit around here (blogged next week)
Running: the snow is melting! the trails are full of the sloppiest mud--it is hilarious and awesome at the same time. Enjoying the heat and running in shorts.
Yoga-ing: This week I finally figured out eight-angle pose.  Although I'm sure I don't look as happy and pleasant as that lady does.
Anticipating: Spring Break! Hearing our church leaders speak! The boy's birthday! Easter! So much! aaaaahhhhh!!!
Asking: I am getting more and more people asking me if I would sell some of my photos. I asked on facebook and had a great response. Are you interested in this? What types of photos? Any specifics? Let me know, and maybe I will get on that.
Seeing/Smelling: Blossoms! Everywhere, every color.
Hearing: I love waking up to the birds singing in the morning.
(although ask me if I love it in the summer when they are singing at 5am)
Craving: camping.....stars, campfires, clean air, hot breakfast on a cool morning.
Tasting: cupcakes. Robby's birthday was last week.....
bday copy
.....and he requested a coconut and almond combination.
This is what I came up with:
almondcoconutcupcake copy
Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Coconut Buttercream
Almond Cupcakes
makes 12
(a twist on Sunset Magazine's Butter Cake)

2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla, almond extract, and coconut milk. mix.  Slowly add in flour mixture, and mix until just combined--careful not to over mix.
2. Line cupcake pan.
3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 13-15 minutes.
4. Let cool before frosting.

Chocolate Coconut Buttercream
this is my recipe from THIS cake last year, so is makes a little bit more than you need--I put it in the freezer for next time I need some frosting know, like 10 o'clock on a rainy night.

3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2c-3/4 cup coconut milk,
1tsp pure coconut extract

Beat butter, cocoa, powdered sugar, and coconut extract, and add coconut milk a little at a time until you reach a consistency you like.

Toasted Coconut
Heat oven to 475°. Place a few handfuls of unsweetened coconut onto parchment lined baking pan. Place in oven and watch closely, turning coconut over as needed. In 10-15 minutes it should be toasty brown.

Frost cupcakes and top with toasted coconut.


feel free to play along with friday senses in the comments or over on your own blog!

Happy Weekend!


Unknown said...

oh my heavenly! first of all, why do babies have to grow up and become stinky sweaty toddlers? i guess those stinky sweaty toddlers are fun sometimes... and that yoga pose? i would die. literally (everytime i say this i think of p&r). also snow and wind-BOO!! headed up north this weekend if i could ever get my work done and totally not excited for wind-this 80 degree weather has been spoiling me.

and a happy birthday to the mr, seriously he is cool in my book ever since that ragnar video-and your beach video of you two? cutest thing ever. (can you tell i was distracted tonight showing my friend your amazing video talents?)

and i still have not planted anything or watched hunger games-a little disappointed about that...

happy happy conference weekend!!!

kate said...

Oh, that first photo took my breath away. So, so beautiful.

pakosta said...

I just read a bunch of GREAT books!!

here is my list for you:

1. The Soldiers Wife
2. The Wives of Henry Oades
3. Cutting for Stone AWESOME!
4. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet (loving it so much, I didn't want it to end, so I put it down for a bit and picked up a different book, I know I'm weird, but it's GOOD!)
5. now reading The Forgotten Garden and it's sooooooooooooo good that I can't put that down either lol!!!
6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society LOVED IT!!!

I also have heard that The Kitchen House is good!
heard Divergence is great and a lot like the Hunger Games! haven't read that yet though.
here is another list of books I heard were good, but are on my list to READ:

1. Major Pettigrews Last Stand
2. Look me in the Eye
3. Same Kind of Different as Me.
4. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
5. The Fault in our Stars
6. The Elegance of the Hedgehog
7. The Bakers Daughter
8. We need to talk about Kevin
9. THe Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks
10. Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt
11. The Violets of March

some of my old standby favorites that I always recommend:

1. Still Alice
2. Kite Runner
3. The Other BOelyn Girl
4. Those Who Save Us
5. Sarah's Key
6. WHistling in the Dark

I think that's enough to get you started LOL!!!!!

p.s. if you go on Goodreads you can find tons of good books and even Amazon has great recommendations!
have fun reading!


Tara : Damon : Ellis : Hudson said...

I just finished These Is My Words, it was so incredible and real, and I couldn't put it down. And my all time favorite, East of Eden (Steinbeck) is I think, the most well written beautiful and heartbreaking and triumphant novel there is.

Tyler and Ariana said...

A few randoms:
1. I wish you lived in England and could come take pictures when my first little one arrives in July. That is the most beautiful mother/baby picture I have ever, ever ever seen.
2. Please sell some of your pictures. I will convince our graduate student budget that some of your redwood shots are a need, not a want.
3. I loved your healthy post, so much.
4. Thank you for being you.

Unknown said...

I cannot recommend the Night Circus enough. It is just fabulous.

MONster said...

Have you read Book Thief? or, I Capture the Castle? probably...I am a little late to the party. But I loved them both.

Unknown said...

Oh, that cupcake nearly leapt out at me on FG. Now, I've discovered your delightful blog and adorable newborn.

Maria said...

Just finished Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It was sooo good!

Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

This might be the fastest Pin I've ever done in my life! That's the most DELIGHTFUL LOOKING CUPCAKE I'VE EVER SEEN!!

jacobmontereal said...

Aw, those little things make me smile.

weekend getaway Philippines

sarah@mysleepykitchen said...

MONster made some great book suggestions - those are two of my favorites, and I just finished The Book Thief for the second time! A Fine Balance, The Cider House Rules or Prodigal Summer are a few that I return to again and again.
LOVE the photo of you and your niece!

Caro Peguero said...

ooh sheena yes please please set up a photography print shop!!!!! i love your photos and would die for them to adorn my room! food photos, people photos, nature photos... love them all. you're so talented.

Making Vanilla said...

Thanks! Try this with my homemade vanilla recipe. I have step by step directions to make it at

Amy @ Amy Day to Day said...

These cupcakes look divine. I am a huge fan of anything with almond extract. I grew up sniffing the bottle and loving the flavor in baked good. Question - is the coconut milk you refer to in both batter and frosting the kind in he can or the kind you would drink?

Amy said...

These cupcakes look divine. I am a huge fan of anything with almond extract. I grew up sniffing the bottle and loving the flavor in baked good. Question - is the coconut milk you refer to in both batter and frosting the kind in he can or the kind you would drink?

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