Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

1 Aug

As some (but not most) may know, today, July 31st, is the birthday of Harry Potter. To commemorate one of the most loved fictional characters (and one of the most extraordinary)  of all time, let us remember the lovely cake made by Hagrid on Harry’s eleventh birthday. Happy Birthday Harry!

*FOR THE RECORD: Here in Georgia, it is in fact still July 31st, NOT August 1st.

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Grandma’s Banana Pudding

22 Jul

Banana pudding. It’s one of those few things that we’ll eat as a kid and still love (comparable to… macaroni and cheese?). However, when it comes to making one, it can seem a little daunting. I have always loved my grandmother’s homemade banana pudding with the many layers and frothy meringue, and when I went to spend some time with her this summer I made it a point to learn how to make one! To my surprise, it was actually quite simple and I hope to share the experience with you with some pictures (taken by myself) and simple steps.

To begin, you will need:

  • One or Two boxes of Nilla Wafers
  • Four bananas
  • Six eggs (set out ahead of time to let them reach room temperature)
  • Three packets of Jell-o vanilla pudding (you may choose Instant, but personally I think the kind that you cook is better for this recipe.)
  • A bit of Cream of Tartar
  • A few drops of Vanilla Extract
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A large pan (for the pudding)
  • Electric mixer

*These ingredients are for a large pudding. My grandmother says she “do[esn’t] use measurements. [She] just use[s] what looks right.” And… it always turns out perfect. So, if you are not such a masterful chef like I am, just make the large pudding with these amounts. Plus, you really can judge by look on this one.  

STEP ONE: Prepare

You need to set the eggs out long before anything else to let them warm to room temperature. This just helps the meringue work more smoothly. Also, peel and slice a banana or two. You may choose to do this as you go along.

STEP TWO: Cook the Pudding

Mix the powder and milk as directed and stir, stir, stir!

STEP TWO AND A HALF: Make First Layer

While you keep stirring (or have someone help…) you may want to go ahead and make your first layer of the pudding. This pudding will have several layers depending upon how large your dish is. Simply line the dish in Nilla Wafers and create some lines to fill it. Then, begin layering the sliced bananas in between like so…

STEP THREE: Separate Egg Whites

As you wait for your pudding to thicken and/or cool, go ahead and separate the egg whites. (*Note: You want your pudding to cool a bit so that you don’t turn your bananas brow… yuck.) They will look like this…

STEP FOUR: Pudding

Ladle a layer of pudding over your first layer of wafers and bananas until it covers them. Don’t make it too thick, but just enough to cover the first layer completely.

STEP FIVE: Add A Layer 

Next, you just repeat step 2 1/2 and 4. Sorry, that was slightly confusing. In other words, make another layer of wafers, bananas and pudding. Repeat this until you have three layers or so (or until you run out of pudding, which should be at about three layers).

STEP SIX: Meringue (check out good old Merrium-Webster if you don’t know how to pronounce this one…)

Don’t be intimidated. It is actually quite easy. Simply begin by beating the egg whites with a mixer on about medium.

 

 

 

 

 

Once the egg whites start to look frothy, add in (here comes the guesswork) a pinch of Cream of Tartar, a few drops of Vanilla Extract (does NOT taste like vanilla) and some sugar for flavoring. You will need a scoop or two of sugar.

 

Continue beating the egg whites on the high setting until the (now) meringue peaks. It should look like this. <—

 

 

 

 

 

STEP SEVEN: Add Topping

Now it is time to put the meringue on the pudding. Simply get a spatula and pour the meringue from one end to the other and then spread it out to the edges with the spatula. If you feel like getting fancy, you can make some peaks on the top!

STEP EIGHT: Brown Meringue

Or should I say, put the oven on broil and stick in the pudding for a very short amount of time until the top is a light golden brown.

AND…

TADA! A beautiful and delicious old fashioned banana pudding! I know this seemed long but it wasn’t all that bad. Was it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some New Great Looks from Ruche!

19 Jul

Do you remember our Friday Favorite Ruche? Well, if you have not checked out their website, it is a must! They recently released a new lookbook full of late summer styles that you will love. Give it a peek HERE!!

*Photo credit of shopruche.com.

 

 

The Sunday Slacker

17 Jul

It has come to my attention that I have neglected to post not one, but TWO Friday Favorites these past two weeks. This has only left one thing, the dreaded Sunday Slacker. This week’s Sunday Slacker is…

Me.

I must apologize for being such a horrendous blogger. Not that much of anyone is reading this right now, but if I DO want to keep your attention, then posting would help a bit. And I have had the most delectable post ready for the past TWO weeks. Tut tut… however, tomorrow I promise that I will reveal the long-needed post that I’m sure you will love and will find helpful/ intriguing. Please forgive my spell of procrastination.

Sincerely,

Emma.

P.S. Speaking of spell, what about that new and final Harry Potter movie? I went to the premiere show with some friends and I must say it was fabulous. Yes, they changed some things from the book, but I think it really stuck to the novel and made a great movie. Thoughts?

The Friday Favorite: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

1 Jul

So many people have seen this iconic image of the lovely Audrey Hepburn.

 But where did it come from?  This image came from the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn. However, so many have not seen it. I had not seen it until a couple of weeks ago and just yesterday watched it again with my grandmother (it is one of her favorite movies). Let me suggest, if you have not seen this movie, watch it. I suppose you could call it a romantic comedy/ drama of the early sixties, but don’t let that turn you away. There is something about it that makes it so real. Rather than having cliché characters that just scratch the surface of reality, Audrey Hepburn creates a “phony” character who is a “real phony… because she honestly believes all of [the] phony junk she believes in.” She is a “wild thing” who is afraid of being trapped. All she longs for is a place like the jewelry store Tiffany’s.

” [Tiffany’s] calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!” – Audrey Hepburn 

This famous quote gives a classic feeling of what home is. While we may know that there is “no place like home,” what is it, exactly? Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this wonderful film. It will be a great option for staying in on a Friday night!

The Friday Favorite: Ruche

24 Jun

Every Friday’s post will be designated to a favorite of the week. This “favorite” may not just be a weekly whim, but nonetheless I hope that you like it! Please leave comments or contact me about your idea for a Friday Favorite!

This Friday’s Favorite is…

RUCHE

If you have not come across this  website, you MUST give it a look. If there were one website that could completely describe my style, this would be it. Ruche is “a modern boutique with a vintage touch.”  They have a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether it be dresses, jewelry, or anything else fashion related, this is a phenomenal place to look. Although it can be a bit pricey (for me, anyway) it never hurts to dream (or get a little bit of inspiration!).

7 Things I Love About Georgia Summers

17 Jun

1. Hydrangeas.

2. The shade of Bradford Pear trees.

3. The spectrum of colors and potted plants.

4. And the wild early risers.

5. Home grown tomatoes with an unlikely counterpart.

6. One that is not like the others.

7. And of course, walks with a scruffy friend.

(All of these photos were taken by me and belong to me. Thanks!)

A Pick-Me-Up

25 May

I know that I promised to keep my personal life out of this blog, but already I am about to fail. It just so happens that recent events have inspired this post. I will be as vague as possible and try to keep the sappiness out of it for your sake…

So, when a chapter of your life ends (specifically dealing with one person), or in my case, a whole year of your life ends,  it is very hard to know what to do with yourself. You may choose to do one of the following (not limited to these options):

  1. Get extremely angry and throw something.
  2. Cry
  3. Sit and dwell.
  4. Not care and move on.

Now, it is very typical for #1 and #2 to occur, and when attempting to convince yourself that you are looking like a pathetic slob you are likely to do #3. Unfortunately there are few of us who are able to fully achieve #4. It just doesn’t happen. Most of the time, you end up looking like this…

Yeah… not so pretty. Just a truth; the chocolates just make you fat and have cavities. That is, if you are too miserable to brush your teeth. I have tried to avoid this stage and at least I have not succumb to the chocolates. (Though, who doesn’t love chocolates?) I have discovered that the only cure (so far) to my misery has been laughing at others’ misfortunes. Yes. It is terrible. They are not great, grievous misfortunes, only the ones that you may laugh at later. So, if you happen to be in need to some enlightenment, it wouldn’t hurt to lower yourself to reading something such as Seventeen Magazine and laughing at the absolutely ridiculous stories from readers. Trust me, it will make you feel good about yourself. Very good. That is all.

An Introduction and Miss Austen

18 May

Being completely new to the entire blogging experience, I thought perhaps the best way to begin this blog was to explain a bit about it. I made this blog not to vent my life’s trials and tribulations to the entire world (because frankly, it may be quite monotonous…) but to share a few happy thoughts, guilty pleasures, and the delightful little things that we find joy in every day.

For my first post, I had to begin with a little bit from my favorite movie and one of my favorite books, Pride and Prejudice. Miss Austen was simply a genius when it came to capturing women’s (and men’s, although they don’t like to admit it) attention. I really love both adaptions of the movie, but the second portrays the story so artistically and tends to make me so shamelessly giddy. I mean, look at this face.

How could anything be more perfect? Anyhow, let’s take a look at the infamous Mr. Collins, the ultimate stalker and fumbling suitor.

This look positively says, “I find you highly attractive, and I believe that I will bestow upon you the honor of being my wife.” Oh, how charming. In fact, Mr. Collins “was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society” (Ch. 15, Pride and Prejudice). Most definitely a charmer. He even compliments the ladies on their cooking. The modern woman loves to be complimented on the potatoes that her cook prepared! All joking aside, Mr. Collins’ pursuit of Elizabeth leads to one of my favorite quotes from the dry Mr. Bennett:

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

Just beware of the many Mr. Collinses of the world. That is my advice for the day. Oh, and don’t listen at doors…