the ravenna girls

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happy valentine’s day February 14, 2011

Filed under: celebrations,food — ravennagirls @ 9:43 pm
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strange that valentine’s is on a monday this year…. did you have a great weekend?

{hearts around our house}

it is rainy here today, and I am drinking a whole lot of coffee…

B and I did quite a lot this weekend, while also managing to get in a little relaxation time, time with friends, and going on a small adventure.  oh, so needed!

I spent my Saturday night baking my small group girls their valentines.  Nothing is better than an edible valentine, in my opinion….

i baked these with my message in a cookie cutters.  then some simple powder sugar frosting and some red sugar….  Wrapped up in bags with ribbon to hand out…

I heart my small group girls, it’s true.

I heart all you readers too!  [and so does b!]

 

hope your day is filled with laughs and a glass of red and a little treat!

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The Strawberry Shortcake COOKIE July 2, 2010

Filed under: food — ravennagirls @ 9:58 am
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Perfect for any summer party you might be throwing or attending this weekend.

Yum strawberries!

Because really …………strawberry = summer.

 

recipe via martha… and makes about 3 dozen yummy cookies

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
  • Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
  • {special note from d, nothing to do with cookies….  kudos to the chalkboard writer at the capitol hill cupcake royale.  I walk by your sign at least twice a day.  Your writings on July 1 were genius.  And it worked –  I bought a cupcake. 

    Visit your local cupcake royale – if you are lucky enough to live in Seattle – and get the July cupcake of the month…. the Strawberry 66.  According to the chalkboard out front, if everyone eats one of these… summer WILL come. 

    And if you don’t, and we never get summer this year… I WILL hunt you down AND  feed you a Strawberry 66 until the sun remembers where we live.}

    happy 4th of july! 

    (and next week we will talk about how fast the year is going because it seriously was just january, right….????????)

     

    a baby shower fit for two June 16, 2010

    Filed under: celebrations — ravennagirls @ 8:33 pm
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    two babies that is.

    The twins.

    Dana and Blake’s son and daughter.

    We teamed up with Jackie to throw a double fun baby shower.  Yeah, it rained.  And we had to move inside and get creative.  But it was an overwhelming success.

    First, we made some invitations….

    with boy and girl buntings sewn on!

    The theme was “The best things in life come in pairs!”  and featured favorite pairings on the menu.

    PB + Js, peas and carrots pasta salad, tomato and mozzarella skewers, chicken and ranch (a dana fav), chips and salsa…

    Really though best of all was the dessert bar.   Cookies and milk.  YUM!

    We turned the living room into baby central with a clothesline of baby outfits picked out just for the babies.  (plus clean-up was easy… all the clothes went home with the mom-to-be!)  Guests sat around and played some games about guessing words in nursery rhymes and a trivia game we made up called “The Math of the Blana Babies.”  Clues had numerical answers (which could be found on the Blana Babies blog…) and were put into equations for everyone to solve.  It was challenging, but Dana thought it was quite entertaining.

    Presents were opened… and boy those babies are going to have the CUTEST outfits!  They got lots of great things in general, but clothes for the twins are just so so darling.  Because there are two cute babies!!

    Also, throughout the whole time there was a little photobooth going on in D’s room.  Jackie set up the camera on a tripod with a remote so people could go in there and snap away!  B made bunting like in the invitation for guests to stand under. At the end of the party, the bunting went to it’s new home in the nursery!

    Here are a few good shots, although my favorite goes to the expression on Baby M’s face when Dana tells her she is having two babies.

    Woohoo!

    Ok Babies, we cannot wait to meet you in August!!!!

     

    neither brownie nor cookie. April 18, 2010

    Filed under: food — ravennagirls @ 8:44 pm
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    It’s no secret our prego with a boy and a girl (yippee!) friend Dana likes our Molly Chocolate chips.  Salt and chocolate are two of her favorites.  And who knows… maybe one twin will love chocolate and one with love salt.  How awesome would that be?

    Anyway, making Dana the cookies has kind of become something that will consistantly make her happy during this pregnancy.  And, since making her cookies means that I will get to eat a few before giving them away… I am often very happy to oblige.

    Now, these chocolate chips should not be taken as just any old cookie.  They seriously are the best chocolate chips you will ever eat.  I used to swear by my Martha chewies.  Then one day I read this post by one of my favorite bloggers, Molly, aka Orangette.

    That’s when these delicious beauties came into my life.

    And it has revoltionized my baking.  The key to the recipe is really the fact that the batter sits in the fridge for 40+ hours.  If you taste the batter right after you make the dough, its salty and not great.  However, after 40 hours… the dough is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.

    Anyway,  you can find the recipe HERE for these amazing cookies.

    Now, after you have made the cookies a few times… you might look for a new thing to knock your socks off.  And the socks of friends, especially those pregnant with twins.

    In comes the Brookie.

    Yes, I said Brookie.

    We learned of it from Baked

    Its a cookie with a brownie around it.  It is heaven when your cookie is the Molly Chocolate Chips.

    Make both brownie batter and cookie dough.  refridgerate both for 30 min pre baking.  Then, put the brownie batter in your cupcake tins.  Finally, scoop one nice chunk of dough into the brownie batter.  Sprinkle with salt… and bake for about 20 min or until the knife comes out clean of the brownie portion.

    I don’t even know what more to say about this.

    besides

    amazement

    fit for no words or mouthwatering adjectives.

     

    I’ve got something to say… March 28, 2010

    Filed under: food — ravennagirls @ 9:19 pm
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    …So why not say it in the form of cookie?

    Seriously everything is better with sugar and yummy.

    B got me these (appropriately named Message in a Cookie)  from Williams Sonoma.  I love them!  {Rumor has it they are back ordered, sadly, but hopefully not  forever!}

    I tried them out a few weeks ago for a birthday at work… because happy birthday is better personalized….

     

    sing with me! December 13, 2009

    Filed under: christmas,food — ravennagirls @ 10:05 pm
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    And on the second day of Christmas,

    my true love gave to me,

    two cookie recipeeeeeesssss!

    Enjoy!

    Both courtesy of Martha Stewart, of course!

    FIRST

    Better than a GirlScout Thin Mint:

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 cup all-purpose four
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 6 TBS unsalted butter (room temp.)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (I like using the mini chips for melting ease)
    • 1/4 tsp pure peppermint extract (a little bit goes a long way–trust me)
    • sprinkles (optional for decorating)

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add egg and vanilla.  Mixing on low, add in flour mixture. Form balls of dough (about 1 tsp) and place on baking sheets.  Take a glass, dip the bottom in flour, and press the balls into 1.5-inch rounds (about 1/4 inch thick).
    2. Bake until slightly firm, 8 – 10 minutes.  Transfer to rack to cool completely.
    3. Make the chocolate coating: Place chocolate and peppermint extract in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 – 3 minutes; remove from heat.
    4. Martha then says: “Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.  Set each cookie across the tines of a fork, dunk in chocolate and tap the underside of the fork on the side of the bowl to remove excess. (This isn’t as clean of a process as you’d think it might be, so don’t be concerned if your fork stays covered in chocolate.  Get as much off as possible, then slide the cookie to the pan).  Decorate with sprinkles if desired and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  Store in the refrigerator.”                 I instead just dunked the top of the cookie in the melted chocolate and used a knife to spread.  Then i red and white sprinkled…

     

    SECOND:

    Jam Filled Cream Cheese Cookies:

    ingredients:
    8 ounces bar cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp. coarse salt
    1 large egg yolk
    1 1/2 cups jam, jelly or preserves

    directions:
    1.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  With mixer on low, add flour and salt; beat until combined (do not overmix).
    2.  Divide dough into 3 portions; flatten each into a disk.  Roll each disk to 1/8-inch thickness between sheets of parchment paper — but sprinkle some flour on the parchment before you start rolling to avoid your dough sticking.  Stack dough (still in parchment) on a baking sheet; refrigerate 20 minutes.  (To store, wrap in plastic and freeze on sheet, up to 2 weeks.  Thaw until pliable before using.)
    3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F., with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Mix egg yolk with 1/2 tsp. water.  Working with 1 dough sheet at a time, peel off parchment (save for baking).  With a 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  Spoon 1/2 tsp. of jam into the center of each and brush exposed dough with egg wash.  Shape cookies by folding point of the star into the center (see notes below); arrange, 2 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate 20 minutes (re-roll scraps).
    4.  Bake until cookies are light golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.  Let cool completely on wire racks.  (To store, cover and keep at room temperature, up to 4 days.)


     

    DELANCEY [seattle] September 21, 2009

    Filed under: adventures,food — ravennagirls @ 2:58 pm
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    This post has been waiting patiently.  In the midst of life, we took a break from it all to have some amazing food mixed with some delightful company.  Why you ask?  Just because. 

    Because we have been waiting for this restaurant to open for forever months.

    Remember back to this book club?  Well, it is that author/blogger who opened this restaurant with her husband.  After reading that book, the rest of book club was dying to go.  So, I emailed Molly for a reservation (only taken for parties of 6-10 people)  and we were squeezed in during their third week of deliciousness.  Delancey is a popular place, but worth every minute of the wait!

    The atmosphere was grand.  We sat at a gorgeous mid century table under handmade light fixtures with photographs on the wall mounted inside old windows.  Little candles were on the tables in upcycled glass jars.  It felt comfortable, like I was eating at home, I didn’t have to cook or clean up.  Plus it was high time all us girls got together to enjoy something special and laugh. 

    candle

    lights

    Now, on to the food, {for you are probably tired of my babble}.  

    At first I was worried that my expectations of the food would not live up to the reality.

    But, let me tell you.  I was completely wrong.

    To start… Wine.  Great selection of reds and whites.  Enough variety that you can find the perfect choice, but not too much that you constantly reread the selection wondering how you are ever going to choose and cannot come up with an answer by the time your waitress arrives.  All of the wines were amazingly priced as well.  My favorite was this terrific Italian red … the “Geos” Rosso Piceno.

    augusto 020

    After that we were treated to a mini appetizer of fresh heirloom tomatoes and summer corn with a simple but oh-so-magnificent vinaigrette.  I must admit though… I was too focused on what was about to come to our table to properly photograph this course.

    And then, the moment we had been waiting for; that I had definitely been dreaming about. 

    The pizza.

    Delightful, divine, delicious.  Completely scrumtpious in every sense of the word.    The dough tasted like New York somewhere on Mulberry St or the Tony’s & Frankie’s of my NJ hometown.  I don’t know what the recipe is, or how perfectly it was cooked in the brick oven… but whatever happened between the flour and my {soon to be empty} plate was perfecto.  Then there was the sauce.  Simple.  Tasty and fresh while not overpowering the amazing toppings.  Yum. 

    Toppings?  We tried almost all of them.  Multiple cheeses combined with things such as pepperoni…the Patron which has chiles… basil…. chanterelle mushrooms.  One also was an inspired “white” pie — but instead of ricotta it was creme fraiche and topped with zucchini and parmesan.

     

    heathers baby shower and prezzies 176

    augusto 022

    I don’t really know how much I can yum about this.

    seriously.

     

    Alright, lets get serious.  We all know that famous desserts are on the table now.  After figuring out how many desserts we would need as a table to make it through [that was rough!]  — we ordered and tried one of each on the menu at the time.  … Summer Peaches in a white wine, a raspberry yogurt popsicle and the chocolate chip cookie with grey sea salt sprinkled on top.

    heathers baby shower and prezzies 179 

    All were incredible.  I don’t even know what thesaurus I can open to accurately describe to you the deliciousness that was dessert. 

    I think the table’s favorite dessert was the peaches, but mine was the cookie.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have dreamt about that cookie since my visit.  An internal debate has even brewed — I might give up my favorite Martha Stewart Chewy Chocolate Chip as my standby chocolate chip cookie and switch to Molly’s.  {disclaimer: this might however involve some more serious and thorough taste-testing} 

    augusto 026

    Next time I go back, I’m not sharing my cookie.

    Nope.

    Don’t even ask.

    cookie!