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.

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This is the original picture.

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Here I applied an artistic filter.

It is called Van Gogh.

I like it’s dreamy glow.

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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

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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).

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

Stir to combine.

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3. Add the chocolate chunks and stir again.

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4. Whisk the eggs, butter and milk.

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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.

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6. Spoon the mixture into muffin pans…

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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.

Apple Turnovers

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What kind of fall would it be without delicious apple turnovers.

These are juicy, full of walnuts and have that great christmasy taste of cinnamon.

When I tasted them they left me completely and utterly speechless.

And the same happened to my boyfriend.

So it has been a pretty quiet household today.

~~~

Ingredients:

3 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

3 larger apples, peeled, cored

6 tablespoons chopped walnuts

3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon corn starch

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

~~~

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

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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3. Cut apples into tiny little dices (about 1/4 inch – 0,6 cm).

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4. In a bowl, mix together the apples, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and corn starch.

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5. Unfold the thawed pastry sheets on a floured surface.

Cut them into 5-inch-by-5-inch (13cm) squares.

Place about 3 teaspoons of filling on each square leaving about 1 inch (2,5 cm) border.

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6. Use a pastry brush to brush the lightly beaten egg on the border of the pastry.

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7. Fold each pastry into a triangle.

Try to give the filling no chance to leak. (But still it will, that’s the rule.)

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8. Crimp edges with a fork.

Brush the tops with the egg.

Cut 3 small steam vents in the top of each turnover. (Do it after you’ve applied the egg, otherwise you would seal the vents shut again.)

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9.  Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Enjoy!

Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

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Oatmeal cookies, they are loved by everyone!

These are crispy and full of nuts. And their fragrance… . Oh that cinnamon fragrance!

Mmmmm… .

I highly recommend them!

~~~

Ingredients

3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups (220 grams) oats

1 cup (110 grams) walnuts, toasted and chopped

~~~

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

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2. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them for about 10 minutes.

They will become lightly browned and fragrant.

Let cool and chop into pieces.

crispy-oatmeal-cookies-creaming-butter-and-sugar

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth.

Then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.

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4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon.

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5. Add the flour mixture to the creamy mixture and beat until incorporated.

Then add the nuts and oats and mix again.

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6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

I used an ice-cream scoop to divide up the dough (dipping the scoop in water makes the dough slide off easier).

Space the cookies-to-be about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

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7.  Dip a teaspoon in water and flatten the cookies.

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8. Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges but still soft and a little wet in the centers.

Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool!

Yummy!

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