Posts Tagged 'travel'

Favorite Shots: One Frustrating Thing

frustration 2

One frustrating thing is when I can’t capture how big the sky is/how small I feel sometimes.


“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?”

Psalm 8: 3-4

frustration 1

Pipe Dream #187: To Face Off – Butterus Rex v. Fatimus Snickerdoodles


Welp, here you have it, folks. Lauren Unedited.

Actually, just these photos are unedited. They’re from my phone because I was lending my camera for the weekend. I know. What was I thinking? I ate some cookies. Life turned out ok.


In fact, I made two types of cookies. I wanted to make snicks, but I couldn’t decide which recipe to try, so I just made half batches of both. It was like a snickerdoodle showdown. Face off of the fattest.


Learnings: The key to fat, fluffy cookies is to stick the dough balls in the fridge or freezer for a while so they don’t flatten out as much when they bake.


Final score: Butterus Rex wins for taste, and Fatimus wins for texture. If you make just the fat version,  your snickerdoodle craving will totally be satisfied, but if you taste it next to the brown butter version, you might find it lacking. But hey, you will have eaten two cookies so…no loss, really.

Like I’ve ever wanted to be a gladiator,


But I did go to Rome once.


Brown Butter Snickerdoodles (Butterus Rex)

From Ambitious Kitchen
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt

For rolling mixture:
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer, whisking frequently, until the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.  Transfer the butter to a bowl, and set that aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low speed just until combined.
Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer. Ambitious Kitchen recommends at least 3 hours in the fridge or overnight, but I was overeager. You’ll probably get better results/puffier cookies if you do it her way.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure about 2 tablespoons of the chilled dough and roll into a ball. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place dough balls on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Cool the cookies on the sheets at least 2 minutes, then remove the cooled cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes around 32 cookies.

Fat Snickerdoodles (Fatimus)

From How Sweet It Is

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon for dipping

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar with a stand mixer until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well until combined, about 2 minutes. Dump in the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, mixing on low speed until dough comes together. Add the milk, and mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate in the bowl for at least 30 minutes.

In a bowl combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Remove the dough from fridge and roll into big 1 1/2 inch balls; this should make about 24 cookies. Roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly press down on dough to flatten it. Bake for 10-12 minutes, let cool on the sheet for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Inimitable Heather & Polaroids

heath visit 8

This is my friend, Heather, and she came to visit me once, and it was the best weekend of my life, probably. We took a couple pics on my camera, as you can see, but the coolest pictures were on her little mini Polaroid camera. It is a freakin’ sweet little camera, and makes everything look sweet.

I’ve tried to imitate its effects below, but to no avail. No one could imitate Heather, either. She’s too sweet awesome and beauteous and far more chill than your average American. Obviously.


heath visit 4

heath visit 7

heath visit 3

Favorite Shots: It’s Probably a Compliment

Nighttime? Waterside? Flash? Lace tights with boots? Film grain?

Probably should start shooting for UO, I guess.



Pipe Dream #148: To Not Nitpick My Baking So Much – Coffee & Walnut Traybake

She’s at it again. The Great British Bakeoff cookbook was calling. This cake jumped out at me when I first paged through, partly because walnuts are delish and partly because I thought it would be feasible to attempt making this for 200 people. My other option with walnuts was the Coffee & Walnut Battenburg, but if you’ve ever seen a battenburg, you can imagine my disinterest in the idea of making that for a crowd.
Even after I left school, though, I still thought it sounded good. And besides, what is a “traybake” even? I assume it is what we in the States call a “sheet cake.”
Overall, it was a pretty ok cake. I thought it was a little lacking in the moisture department, but everyone at work raved it, so it’s possible that, as with cookies, I have pretty specific tastes when it comes to moist-ocity/underbaking. Another aspect of its okay-ness: I made the icing a bit too thin. It worked out all right, but I would have preferred a more swirly type icing.
Thank you for listening to me about how I could have done things right. It is therapeutic for me.
Coffee and Walnut Traybake
225 grams butter, softened
225 grams light brown sugar
275 grams self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water, cooled
75 grams chopped walnuts
For the icing
75 grams butter, softened
225 grams sifted powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk or cream
2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water, cooled
Walnut halves, broken roughly

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan)/ 160 degrees/gas mark 4. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan, and line the base with parchment. Grease the parchment.

Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add the sugar and beat well until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Fold in the flour and coffee liquid. When combined, fold in the walnuts.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed.

Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Let cool 20 minutes on a wire rack before turning the cake out. Let cool completely.

To make the icing, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the warm melted butter, coffee and milk. Stir until smooth. My frosting was a bit too thin, so you may want to reduce the amount of milk you add. Let sit until it is a bit more firm, then swirl over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the walnut pieces, and leave until firm.

Keeps in an airtight container for 4 days.

Pipe Dream #144: To Emulate, Appreciate – Beignets

These beignets are kind of embarrassing, so I’m just going to show them to you. Saturday breakfasts, babyyy. They pretty much look like sugared chicken wings, but they were pretty much delicious. I mean fried dough and Paula Deen? You know what’s good.

Once, I went on the second best mission trip of my life to New Orleans. My 15-year-old self was young and inxperienced in the ways of the world. For example, I was oblivious to the horror that my youth pastor must have experienced when our 15-passenger van took a wrong turn and chugged down Bourbon Street. But more importantly, I was completely unaware that the day we went sight-seeing, we ate beignets at the most famous beignet place ever, the Cafe du Monde. And so I totally took it for granted.

After making these, I regret taking that experience so lightly. These donuts are an attempt to copy what was the best unappreciated donut experience of my life. Now, beignets are a bread, so you have to deal with the yeast issue, and then you have to deal with the cutting and the frying and the artery-clogging…

But that does not mean that these were not delish.



French Quarter Beignets

Slightly adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
Nonstick spray
Oil, for deep-frying
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the butter and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then plate them. Sift a generous amount of confectioners’ sugar over them. Serve warm

I Got It Right: Ingredients For A Perfect Picnic – London

London was the biggest treat a girl could ask for. Notable events: Playing The Tourist Game. Hyde Park picnic. Camden Market. The most fabulous Sauvignon Blanc. The Kilcawley Family (who, incidentally, are super talented and personable musicians. You can check them out here.)

x <– !,


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