March 20, 2010

Rainbolt Wedding

I got to do the photos for a friend's wedding last weekend and it was such a blessing! The wedding was in Estes Park and it was a beautiful day! Click on the photo below to see just a few of the pics.
March 12, 2010
Bobby & Alexandra, I sure love you guys!

March 10, 2010

Hummingbird Cake

Another recipe from my Food Network magazine that I just had to try. "Why is it called a hummingbird cake?" Great question... some say it is because of the 'nectar-like' sweetness and others have said because it tastes so good it will make you HUM. So, you be the judge. It is one of easiest cakes to make!

AND... for those of you that are big cake lovers, the texture and flavor are actually more like a bread and it is delicious!

Unsalted butter, for greasing
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup pecan pieces
3 ripe bananas, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (I used canned)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil

For the Frosting:
2 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each), at room temperature
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment and dust with flour.

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and toasted, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then roughly chop. Toss with the bananas, pineapple and 1/2 cup flour in a small bowl.

Whisk the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Beat the eggs and granulated sugar in a separate bowl with a mixer on high speed until thick and light, 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the vegetable oil.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture, then gently fold to make a thick batter. Fold in the pecan-fruit mixture, then transfer the batter to the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pans on a rack, 25 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with a mixer until fluffy, then gradually beat in the butter until combined. Sift the confectioners' sugar over the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread about half of the frosting on top, then cover with the other cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

March 6, 2010

Cranberry Walnut Scones

3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
Grated zest of 1 orange
¾ c. (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ c. dried cranberries (can also use chopped figs or dried cherries)
½ c. chopped walnuts
1 c. cold buttermilk
2 T. sugar mixed with ¼ t. each cinnamon, allspice, and mace, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease or parchment line a baking sheet. In a medium bowl using a whisk or electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest. Using a fork or electric mixer, cut in the butter. The mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in the cranberries and walnuts. Add the buttermilk to the dry mixture, stirring just until a shaggy sticky dough is formed.

Turn the dough out on to a light floured surface and knead gently about 6 times, just until the dough holds together. Divide into 3 equal portions and pat each into a 1 inch thick round about 6 inches in diameter. Using a knife, cut each round into quarters, making 4 wedges. The scones can also be formed by cutting out with a 2 inch biscuit cutter to make 12 to 14 small scones.

Sprinkle tops with spiced-sugar mixture. Place the scones about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

Makes 12 scones.