Fantasy Serene

fantasy-serene-I-darkened-edge-oval

I just can’t get enough of it – playing with GIMP I mean.

It’s great.

Just see for yourselves.

fantasy-serene-original

This is the original picture.

I took it in a little Hungarian town called Esztergom.

In case you wondered what that could represent, it is a part of a gorgeous fountain. It looked absolutely stunning.

Nevertheless, the picture obviously needed some adjustments.

So I cropped it to improve the composition, ramped up the contrast, sharpened it a bit, adjusted color balance, blurred the background and added soft glow.

fantasy-serene-I-darkened-edge-oval

And here we go!

It is dreamy and takes me away to the sweet land of fantasy.

Lovely…

fantasy-serene-original-II

And another one before…

fantasy-serene-II-dark-edges-oval

… and after.

Wow, I love this one too.

Cat’s Eye Sandwich Cookies

cat's-eye-in-bowl

Do you feel like sandwich cookies with jam filling today?

Then let’s prepare some CAT’S EYES.

They are very delicious, easy and fun to make.

~~~

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup (80 grams) confectioner’s sugar

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons lemon zest

jam (any flavor you like; stronger is better)

~~~

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Mix the flour with sugar and salt (set aside some sugar for sprinkling).

4. Add the egg yolks, butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest to the mixture.

cat's-eyes-dough

5. Mix by hand until you form a ball.

cat's-eyes-cutting-dough

6. On a floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch (1 cm) thickness.

Using a round cookie cutter cut out the dough.

cat's-eyes-on-sheet

7. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of HALF of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small “window/eye” in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.

Re-roll any scraps and cut out the cookies.

cat's-eyes-out-of-oven

8. Bake for 9 minutes or until very lightly browned.

cat's-eyes-jam

9. While the cookies are cooling place the jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until it becomes smooth.

Let cool.

cat's-eyes-jam-on-cookie

10. Spoon about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of jam on the full cookie.

cat's-eyes-powder-sugar

11. Roll the top side of the upper cookie in the confectioner’s sugar.

cat's-eyes-close-up

12. And sandwich the two parts together gently.

Enjoy dear friends!


Little Sunday Art

Things like these don’t happen very often I suppose.

You are surely familiar with the situations when you really want something, you spend hours thinking about it, imagining what life would be if you had it but for some reason you are not so sure whether you should spend that money … . You just can’t decide.

So you rather end up running those sweet dreams in your head over and over again.

I wanted Photoshop.

For quite a long time.

But it is expensive.

And I should be frugal.

But I wanted it… .

I wanted it SO MUCH!

And then, that one bright sunshiny day, while I was lying on the sofa writhing in my usual photoshop-craving agony, my boyfriend came to me wondering what was wrong.

He asked (in that careless kind of tone as if he was saying that he’d just finished his meal or something) why I wasn’t using GIMP. “It’s like photoshop but for free,” he said.

“Well, why I don’t use it?”

“WHY???”

“Ehm, because I didn’t know about it.”

“That’s why!”

That was a straight jump from agony to ecstasy.

So I downloaded it (for FREE, because it is for FREE!!!) and have used it happily ever after.

In fact, I still am a beginner, I have much to learn.

But it is so much fun and excitement to work with such a lovey.

Today I played with my older picture from here.

I was in a mood to express my deepest artistic feelings, so, with pleasure, I gave in to them.

early-fall-treats-A

This is the original picture.

early-fall-treats-van-gogh-glow

Here I applied an artistic filter.

It is called Van Gogh.

I like it’s dreamy glow.

early-fall-treats-impressionit-canvas

The “GIMPressionist”. On canvas!

early-fall-treats-oil-painting

Oil painting.

early-fall-treats-cubism

And Cubism.

This one is wicked!

I love it.

What about you?

Chocolate Chunk Muffins

chocolate-muffins-II

Today I have prepared something lovely for all you chocoholics out there!

You surely can’t escape this.

THE CHOCOLATE CHUNK MUFFINS!

They are soft and moist and the chocolate chunks melt in your mouth and …,

… they just make you close your eyes and go “Mmmmmm…”.

By the way, did you know that the word “muffin” comes from the French word  moufflet which is often times applied to bread and means soft?

Well, I didn’t… .

And did you know that three states in the United States of America have adopted official muffins?

Minnesota has adopted the Blueberry Muffin, Massachusetts fell in love with the Corn Muffin and New York took on the Apple Muffin as its official muffin of choice.

Isn’t it great?

Today I am officially pronouncing the Chocolate Chunk Muffin my official muffin of choice!

~~~

Ingredients:

3 cups (390 grams) plain flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar

200 grams (8 rows) dark cooking chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk

3/4 cup (170 grams) butter, softened

2 eggs

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 356 F (180 C).

chocolate-muffins-flour-mixture

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl.

Stir to combine.

chocolate-muffins-chocolate-chunks

3. Add the chocolate chunks and stir again.

chocolate-muffins-whipping

4. Whisk the eggs, butter and milk.

chocolate-muffins-final-mixture

5. Then, using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the two mixtures together until everything is moistened.

Yes, there will be lumps but small lumps are fine.

chocolate-muffins-filled-muffin-pans

6. Spoon the mixture into muffin pans…

chocolate-muffins-out-of-oven

7. … and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Mmmm, lovely!

Leave in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.

Muffins are best when freshly made, but for muffins anytime you want them, wrap them (cooled) in plastic and freeze for up to two months.

Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.

This lovely recipe was adapted from here.

Go to page:1...2040...172173174175176...180...180