Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 NIV

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

{Evan Elizabeth} etc.




























The most beautiful cousin in the world. And, yes Grandmother, I'm still your favorite :) AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!

XoLou

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lemon Indulgence

Today I embarked on a dangerous mission. My mission? To make a Lemon Indulgence cake. Did I succeed? YES.

It was dreamy. Thank you Whisk Kid you are dream come true. Literally.

For those of you who are willing to risk your cooking sanity, see recipe below:

Lemon Cream via Fanny of FoodBeam

This is the most delicious stuff I have ever tasted. My little brother even loved it. I'm so good for my family, I bring a little culture into their lives. :D

1/2 c (100 g) sugar
1 1/2 lemons, zest of
2 large eggs
1/4 c (65 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
10 1/2 Tbls (150 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into big chunks

First thing: fill the sink with 3-4cm of cold water (I use a large bowl). You will be placing the hot pan of lemon cream in it, so make sure whatever you're using is large enough!
Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl (I use the bowl of my Kitchenaid stand mixer) that can be set over a pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic.
Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.
Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, and start stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 185F, stirring constantly – be prepared, as it can take quite a lot of time.
As soon as it reaches 185F, remove the cream from the heat and place the bowl into the sink and allow to cool down to 140F. Gradually incorporate the butter, whisking after each addition (at this point, I like to use my Kitchenaid fitted with the whisk, hence the use of the Kitchenaid bowl).
When all the butter as been used, blend the cream with a hand-held blender for 8 minutes. It might sound long, but will ensure a too-smooth-to-be-true lemon cream.
Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of cling film against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate overnight. (if you're pressed for time, just chill the cream)


Chiffon Cake via Alton Brown

It's official; can I just eat chiffon for the rest of my life?

1/2 c (62 g) cake flour (I used whole wheat :D)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 egg whites, at room temp
2 egg yolks, at room temp
1/3 c + 1 Tbls (85 g) sugar, divided
1/8 c (31 ml) water
1/8 c (31 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 325F (160C) and prepare two 6" round baking dishes by oiling them, lining the bottom with parchment, and oiling again.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Place the egg yolks and 2 1/2 ounces of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale yellow and 'ribbons' when lifted. Add the water, vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients and whisk just to combine. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl while you whisk the egg whites.
Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into a clean bowl and whisk on high using the whisk attachment, until it becomes foamy. Decrease the speed to low and gradually add the remaining sugar. Increase speed to high and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, approximately 2 minutes.
Transfer 1/3 of the egg whites to the batter and whisk until well combined. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in gently. Transfer batter into prepared pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean or the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Remove from the oven to a cooling rack, and cool in pans 10 minutes. Cut around the perimeter and invert onto cooling rack to cook completely.

Italian Meringue Buttercream
For step-by-step directions for making Italian Meringue Buttercream, please click here!

1/4 c (63 ml) water
1 c (210 g) sugar
5 egg whites
1/4 c (53 g) sugar
1 c (237 g) butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla, more if desired

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer.
Heat the 1 c sugar and water on the stove to 245F stirring occasionally only after the sugar has been dissolved. When it is within the range of 230F to 235F, begin whipping the egg whites. When they get to soft peaks, begin adding the remaining 1/4 c sugar and continue whipping to medium peaks, being careful not to overbeat. When the syrup is the correct temperature, slowly pour it into the eggs with the mixer on high.
After fully incorporated, beat the frosting 7-10 minutes until the outside of the bowl is room temp (I usually go a little longer than this; often times the bowl is not room temp when I begin adding butter. If the mix seems to soupy, put it in the fridge for a few moments or try briefly chilling some of the butter in the freezer before adding). Begin adding the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon, beating until fully incorporated. The frosting will deflate a little, but it's ok.
Keep whipping until the frosting comes together, add the vanilla and continue whipping until it's light and fluffy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm Back :)

Hello All!

Did you miss me? Just pity me and tell me that you did. Where have I been you ask? Pennsylvania!
What, Pennsylvania? What's so fun about ol' PA? I LOVE IT. THAT'S WHAT. :)
It's peaceful.....and beautiful.....and has lots of fattening desserts from German bakeries and apple cider to last a millenium. *content sigh*

The Amish up there sell teeny tiny pumpkin (okay, they're gourds, but they look like pumpkins) decorations on the side of the road for like...$1.50. It was unbelievable. I was so excited. I had a heart attack...but I'm okay now.

Are you all loving Fall as much as I am?






XoLou

Sunday, September 19, 2010

{Leah}

This past weekend I had the immense pleasure of taking pictures of one of my best friends: Leah.
Now, there is absolutely no way to totally capture the complete essence of Leah in one picture. I am aware of that. But, I love the way that you can just TELL that she love's the Lord, she is a genuinely sweet person, and that she is willing to listen to anything you say just by looking at her smile. :)


























XoLousky Lou

Thursday, September 16, 2010

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Mark 16: 15-20
XoThe Author

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rescued

Rescued
I am drowning, drowning. Engulfed in the sin of this world.
The waves of immorality come gushing over me, stealing my every breath.
I am sinking, sinking. Suffocated by my wretchedness.
Oh, woe is me, this suffering I cannot bear alone.
My heart beats faster as I realize the state of my soul, as my eyes are opened to the wicked deeds of my heart.
My feelings have become numb. I can no longer perceive the pounding beat of my very self.
I long for touch, for feel, for anything that will rescue me from my dilapidating state, from the coma in which I live.

Just as I thought that I could feel the flames of Hell in my lungs, a beam of light drained the ocean of sin that I was drowning in.
A Heavenly being descended from above the dark waves of death, of which were about to become my grave.
Light radiated from His every pore, love was in every move of His beautiful body.
I shut my mortal eyes and wept, for I had never seen anything so magnificent.
He smiled, as only the King of Heaven can, and reached for my ever sinking hand.
He pulled me out of the grips of my despair and wrapped me in a garment of pure white, and with that, lifted me onto His ever sufficient chest.
My body, still sick with the disease of the world, molded into His strong arms.
Never had I felt such remorse for the sins that I had committed toward Him, the One who rescued me from the pit of fire.
He gently rocked me back and forth until me silent sobbing ceased.
And then, he lowered his lips to my ear and whispered, “Daughter, I love you with a love that never fails, My passion for you is everlasting. My daughter, arise and take my outstretched hand, arise, and let me lead you out of the torrent waters of death. Arise, my love, and let me set you free.”

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Just Don't.

Don't ever go away.
Don't get married, don't grow up, don't go out of the country (scratch that, city), don't grow up, don't go to college, don't grow up, don't ever stop bossing me around (it's kinda cute), don't ever grow out of those adorable itty-bitty hanes underwear, don't ever wear sunglasses (those eyes are just to beautiful to hide) don't grow up.
Please stay this way forever? And ever? I don't think your big sister can take anymore of this foolishness.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Confessions of a Big Sister: Part 1

Scene 1: Christopher (little brother) sitting in his room playing with toy soldiers.

Christopher: "Laura, get me some water."

Laura (big sister) getting very upset because Christopher has been acting very bossy lately.

Laura: "Christopher Gabriel Franklin! NO! I will NOT get you any water! You ASK me if I can get you some water! Not tell me! So, NO, you can get your own dang water!"

Big, monstorous tears welling up in those rather large, blue, puppy dog-like eyes.

Christopher: "Laura...I'm..I'm.... sorry! I didn't mean to be ugly to you. I will just get my water."

*heart breaks*

Laura, now feeling very wicked step sister-ish, kneels down and hugs Christopher.

Laura: "Buddy, you just need to ask a little bit nicer. You can't boss people around and expect them to do whatever you want."

Large tear rolls down Christopher's cheek.
Laura's heart officially breaks into two parts.

Christopher: "Laura, I'm very sorry. I will go and get some water."

Laura: "No bud! You sit your cute little bottom down and I will go and get you some water!"

Christopher: "Tanks Laura."

Yes, he says 'Tanks' instead of 'Thanks'

If he wasn't my little brother, I would marry that child one day......when he grew out of wearing his tiny spiderman underwear.

XoStolen Heart

Friday, September 3, 2010

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