Archives for category: Food

Well hello there!

I hope you have all had lovely holidays, if you are in the United States we’re talking Thanksgiving, and if you are anywhere in the world celebrating Hanukkah! This year my husband and I spent our first Thanksgiving on our own without either side of the family, here in Ames, Iowa. We really didn’t make any plans, considering he would be away at work until around 5 p.m. that evening, we just didn’t know what would work for us. But then on Wednesday, Nov. 27 (our anniversary, no less) I was starting to become very bummed about being away from family and not making any plans of our own. So, I jumped in my truck and headed to the grocery store. I picked up all of the fixings for a full-scale Thanksgiving meal for 4-6, including enough to make 5 different types of pies! I was a little over excited maybe. I planned a menu of Cornish game hens, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, glazed carrots and pie! I also picked up a few Turkey breast chops to cook with the stuffing for leftovers.

On Thanksgiving, I fixed the apple pie in the morning and started the crock-pot with the turkey chops and stuffing. I managed to talk myself down from baking all five pies that day, instead, we will have a pie a week through Christmas! Then I spent the day relaxing until around 4 p.m. when I began working on the rest of the meal.

 

This was my first attempt at cooking Thanksgiving dinner and overall the outcome was great, granted there was no full turkey involved. As we move away from our family, I have found it’s important to begin creating our own traditions so that we have special memories, rather than another night of an average meal and television. So, following the meal, we built the tree, a silver tinsel tree inherited when my Grandma passed away last spring. But decided to wait and purchase new decorations to transform it into our tree the following day.

Again, I really hope you are enjoying peaceful and joyful times with your family during this special time of year. The winter brings us together in close proximity, like no other season. Whatever your faith, or lack thereof, appreciate those around you and share joyful experiences and hopeful wishes as we move into the new year.

xo,

Erin Myone

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I always start my blogs with the best intentions! I intend to write every day, and for a while I do. I intend to craft everyday, and for a while I do. I intend to improve on the appearance of the blog, win the hearts of my readers, gain sponsorship and live happily ever after, and well I’m not sure if those things have ever happened. But I try…

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However, I am also a student. I really try to keep the two lives separate – the crafter/blogger life and the academic life. But, c’est la vie, the two seem to battle each other for my attention and typically the academic life wins!

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So here I am a student, a researcher, and some semesters I am even an instructor. I love it, honest, I do. But darn if I don’t start to miss my crafty-bloggy days. This August, I began my PhD studies in Apparel Design and Product Development at Iowa State University – and it’s excellent. I love the department, the faculty, the facilities and equipment, the research, the classes, the general passion for knowledge.


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But I am also, still in the final pages of my Master’s thesis. My thesis has been a true trial in patience and endurance. I started working on this research January 2012, and here I am, fall 2013 still working on it. The thesis definitely adds a lot of stress and anxiety to my days as it really, really needs to get finished, ASAP! And it’s another thing I try to fit in around being a new PhD student, taking a full load of credits and working a 20 hour assistantship each week.


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Don’t even get me started on my successful summertime diet… The best I can say on that front is that if it isn’t raining, I ride my bike to campus everyday.

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I am so lucky for my supportive family, without them I am pretty sure I wouldn’t make it some days!

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And the things in life that happen, that are unplanned. The things that aren’t the PhD, the Master’s thesis, the diet and exercise, the crafty/bloggy time, those things really matter too. The unexpected trip that brought the family back to the middle of America from all across the world (literally).

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And the friends who stood by in support through the worst of it. Life throws all kinds of lemons at you, and the extra hands to help juggle them are what really makes it possible to make the lemonade.

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On Saturday, my husband and I were lucky enough to both have the day off of work. It also happened to be the first Saturday of the 2013 Iowa State Fair. Originally, we had hoped to drive back to Kansas to visit a few good friends and see family this weekend, but life got in the way and we couldn’t make that trip this weekend. So instead we drove a little over 30 minutes to enjoy the fair.

By the time we arrived a little after 10 a.m. the parking was full and the midway was buzzing! We went straight for the typical fair fare, hand dipped corn dogs! I had the standard corn dog while Eli went for a veggie corn dog, I was shocked and pleased that there are a few more healthy options at the fair these days (though I did enjoy my pork corn dog!)

After our corn dogs we headed out in search of ongoing fair events and caught part of the dairy cattle show.

We then moved on to check out some of the other large animals. Including some sheep that had amazing curly wool.

We also saw this amazing elk, they are so incredibly huge! But not as “huge” as the fairs biggest boar which weighed in at 1,103 lbs!!!

And there was this beautiful bantam hen…

And an amazing balloon sculpture being built while we watched!

We finished our day with a healthy blooming onion and funnel cake… Guilt free day of the week!

After we headed home, we went to the public library for some free entertainment. I found some excellent quilting books and a calligraphy book and can’t wait to share some of the results!  Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend!

Erin Myone

Classic Vanilla

I think I may have mentioned my part time job at the local cupcake shop in Ames, Iowa, the Cupcake Emporium. You see, I have a thing for beautiful, sweet, adorable, delicious things in my life. I’ve been dreaming about decorating cupcakes and cakes for many years, ever since I learned that my paternal grandmother was a wonderful cake decorator before I was born. I have purchased many decorating books over the years, but never seemed to have a reason to make a bunch of cupcakes and definitely didn’t want to add a couple dozen to my own waistline… So it never really came to fruition.

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But after we moved to Ames, I started watching the Food Network Channel particularly Cupcake Wars. I learned that the Cupcake Emporium would be on an episode that aired at the end of June. My husband and I watched, and I friended the shop on Facebook.  The very next day they posted a need for new “Cupcake Minions”. I suppose I’m not the typical minion, being that I am in my late 20’s, married, and starting my PhD. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to finally decorate cupcakes! Below is the creativity portion of my application, a cherry chunk cupcake with cola frosting, potato chip crumbs and a cola gummy, on a hand decorated paper plate. It must have done the job, because I got the job!

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It’s been just over a month now since I started at the Cupcake Emporium, and recently I have been training on decorating.  My first cupcake to decorate was the “C is for Cookie”, a chocolate cupcake injected with cookie dough, topped with chocolate ganache and decorated to look like the Cookie Monster. There isn’t an easy way to mess up this cupcake, since it’s supposed to look like a messy monster, so it was a great starting point for me!

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Next, I began decorating the Dirt & Worms cupcake, one of the newly voted Daily Specialty cupcakes ($2.25). The Dirt & Worms is a chocolate and Oreo cupcake injected with whipped chocolate pudding, topped with chocolate frosting, crushed Oreos, and a gummy worm. Again, this cupcake is not easy to mess up so it’s a perfect learner cupcake!

Finally, the past week I have begun working on the classic cupcake curl. The classic cupcake decoration is a beautiful 3-tier frosting with a curl. This particular frosting takes a little more practice as I work towards achieving, the perfect coverage, tier height, and tails (starting and finishing). When practicing this frosting we typically work with either the chocolate or vanilla whipped frosting because they are the easiest to learn with. Initially, we practice in a bowl so that we may reload the frosting again and again, as many times as it takes to perfect the look. Then we move onto practicing on a saran wrapped cupcake so that we can practice the actual size of the frosting. After multiple attempts the shape and size all starts to come together and we achieve the perfect swirl and curl frosting! Today was the day, when I perfected the swirl and curl!

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The next time you are in Iowa make sure to visit Ames, and stop by the Cupcake Emporium at 300 Main Street for some delicious treats!