Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall Colors

The best thing about fall is all the colors. In Kansas the colors last longer than what I'm used to from Denmark and you often see gorgeous trio-colored trees like this one outside my apartment. I snatched a couple of leaves to arrange with matching pumpkin macarons and pumpkin carvings.

Pumpkin Pie Macaron Recipe

Pumpkin Shell

4 large eggwhites
300 g powdered sugar
120 g almond flour
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsb natural pumpkin pie extract
orange food color

Beat egg whites and powdered sugar French Meringue style and add remaining ingredients. Mix well to avoid air. Pipe dots on baking sheet. Let rest for 40 min. Bake for 12 min at 300 F.


Pumpkin Buttercream

50 g butter
4 tbsp pumpkin puree
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
pinch of salt

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Ganache

4 tbsp Pumpkin puree
100 g Dark Chocolate

Heat the chocolate and pumpkin puree until melted and cool for at least 2 hours. Hope you Enjoy these delicious treats as much as I do!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Turon Saba AKA. Filipino Pancakes

While in the Philippines last fall I had quite a variety of banana dishes - and they were all amazing. I found a similar recipe online to one of the dishes called Turon Saba. Tasty- but not quite as tasty as the originals. Too bad I don't have a banana tree growing in the backyard with fresh bananas of all sorts.



3 eggs
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Brown sugar and frying oil

Cardava Bananas

Beat the egg whites first. Add in the yolk, the flour, cornstarch and salt. The dough should have a nice gooey and sticky texture. Heat up a pan, no grease. The pan should be warm enough that you can quickly touch the pan without burning your finger. Take the gooey dough ball in your hand and spread over the pan, scrape off excess dough with spatula so you have a nice thin pancake. After about 10-15 seconds its done; no need to turn it over. Slice the bananas and coat them in brown sugar. Heat up a skillet with half an inch oil and add 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Wrap sugar coated bananas in the pancake and seal with water. Place in frying pan on both sides until dark golden brown.

Vintage edge braid

I don't really know what to call this hairstyle and it was a bit of an experiment starting from strange side braids turning into a more vintage styled bun. Like a waterfall braid you add hair only to one side of the french braid. But to get this look you add hair to the opposite side of where the hair is taken from.

Spring Break Kick Off

Starting my Spring Break with a new pair of kicks. They have Nike Plus built into them so I can hook them up with my iphone and track my runs. Oh technology, so much to learn :-O To top my healthy intentions off, Jeremy and I went to Granite City for dinner and spoiled ourselves with this giant deep dish cookie for dessert.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Doodle Ring

I'm so excited to be back in metal class making jewelry. Our first assignment was a linear ring from a drawing or to be more exact, doodles that I drew during one of my other classes :-). Cast in Sterling Silver from a wax model.

Busy Bee

Sorry about poor posting. Life has been crazy busy lately. I've been trying to finish my portfolio website and my portfolio for the career fair. I finally finished everything, but because of Rocky, the crazy snow storm creeping across the states, it got cancelled - so anticlimactic. Here is a link if you'd like to check it out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

American Cookies

I made these cookies a while back and they are seriously the best cookies I have ever had. Chewy, crunchy and lots of chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (I used kosher salt)
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, grated
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. Mix cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mix well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Stir all chocolate into dough. Cover dough and refrigerate for 12 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.

French Fishtail braid

I've been wearing my hair like this a lot lately - love fishtail braids. Finally got a good picture of it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Photoshop Surgery Tutorial

Normally I use Photoshop for architectural renderings and drawings, but playing around with photography and portrait editing is also pretty fun. This tutorial shows you how to get a magazine cover look in just ten steps.

1. Duplicate and Organize layers
First duplicate the original image by right clicking on the layer on the right. Always work on the duplicated image. Do this before every step and label the duplicated layers. Doing this will make it much easier to control the final image.

2. Removing Blemishes with Clone Stamp Tool (S)
Identify blemishes and fine lines. Use the Clone Stamp tool to sample the skin tone and texture nearby the blemish area. Click the alt button to sample and then cover the blemish with your stamp. Change the opacity in the upper left corner to 60% and the size of the clone stamp sampler to accommodate the blemish size.

3. Flawless Skin with Gaussian Blur Filter and Eraser Tool (E)
Once you have cleared the skin of any blemishes you can smoothen it even further with a filter mask. Right click on the layer and duplicate it. At the top select Gaussian blur under filters and set it for 3.0. Then use the Eraser Tool (E) to bring back some detail around the eyes, mouth, nose and hair. Change the size to fit, hardness to zero and opacity to 40% to make a soft transition from the filtered to the non filtered. If you don't want such a plastic like look you can either leave out this step or set the pixel radius lower than 3.0.

4. Lush Lashes with Clone Stamp Tool (S) and Brush Tool (B)
You can either sample part of the lashes and clone them to another area to make them look fuller or you can draw in more lashes sampling the color of the lash with the alt button. Size the brush to the thickness of the lashes. 

5. Remove Under Eye Shadows with Dodge Tool (O)
Set the dodge tool to an appropriate size, 10% exposure and range midtones.  Gradually remove dark circles and shadows by lighting up the area.

6. Contour the face with Clone Stamp Tool (S) and Burn Tool (O)
This technique is similar to contouring with makeup. Adding shadow or highlight to certain areas can change the entire appearance of a face. Use the clone stamp tool to move the shadows on the face. You can raise the cheekbones slightly or narrow the nose. Change to opacity to 50% or less to get smooth shadows. Often when you take photos up close the lens cannot correct for things that are closer to the lens making your nose look larger than it really is. 

7. Correct Eyebrows with Clone Stamp Tool (S)
Clone stamp tool is an awesome feature in Photoshop and I use it a lot. You can sample areas of your brow and place it in areas where the hairs are scarce. You can also change the shape of the eyebrow sampling a larger area of the brow at 100% opacity and move the entire brow slightly.

8. Color adjustment with Hue/Saturation
Select the lip area with the polygonal lasso tool (L) then choose hue/saturation in the adjustment layers. This way you can add a little color to your lips. You can also choose color balance and play with the colors of the lips at a more extreme level. But that can quickly look strange. Then select the hair with  the lasso tool and adjust the color with same technique. I lowered the reds and the yellows in the hair to make it appear more “blond”.

9. Make Eyes Pop with Color Balance and Burn Tool (O)
Select eye area and add color balance adjustment layer. I just made the color a little bit more intense. But you can play around with it until you have the desired eye color. Then use the dodge tool around the edge of the round eye to intensify the look.

10. Stylize Image with Filters and Blending Masks
Duplicate the layer and choose soft light blending mask at 35% opacity. Then add a black and white adjustment layer and set it at 50%. Play with opacity or blending masks to get unique effects.

 Final Image