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posted by Jamie - Friday, January 29, 2010  |  Three To Share

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderfully fresh start to 2010! Can you believe that we're already heading into February? Hope you enjoy this installment of Three to Share.

The Loveliest Day of the year is just around the corner. I must say I disagree with those who say that Valentine's Day was invented by the card and candy companies. Though, it is hard to believe that when I saw speckles of frilly pink and red just beyond the Christmas decorations in the stores last month. This is where my New Year's Resolution comes into play: D.I.Y. Gifting. Yep, I thought it would be better for my soul and for my wallet if instead of running to the store every time there's a holiday or life event, I would try my best to make (or bake) something unique and special. First up, V-Day!

While perusing the blogosphere, I found all sorts of lovely ideas to share:
Handmade or Etsy Valentine's Day cards
Date night at home with dinner and a movie
Homemade Valentine's Day gifts

Hope those links help you create a Valentine's Day that is truly from the heart! :)


It's Mardi Gras time! Being back in Pensacola makes this celebration a lot closer to home we're only 3 hours from New Orleans! I have never celebrated this stateside Carnival over in the Big Easy and my husband has yet to experience that wonderful city. Soooo, I think this is our year!

To get in the festive mood, Meg has transformed her Christmas Tree into a Mardi Gras Tree and it is stunning! And I've decided to make King Cake a sweet, colorful, Brioche-like confection. I'm very excited about this. I'd like to share the recipe I'm going to attempt:

King Cake Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
* 2 packages dry yeast
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 4 to 5 cups flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
* 1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
* 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
* 5 egg yolks
* 1/2 cup finely chopped candied citron
* 1 pecan half, uncooked dried bean or King Cake Baby

Glaze:

* 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons water
* Purple, green and gold sugar crystals

Directions

Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Combine the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for about 10 minutes. Combine the 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon rind and add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top.

Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the citron and knead until the citron is evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a cylinder, about 30 inches long. Place the cylinder on a buttered baking sheet. Shape into a ring, pinching ends together to seal. Place a well-greased 2-pound coffee can or shortening can in the center of the ring to maintain shape during baking. Press the King Cake Baby, pecan half or dried bean into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool. For the glaze: Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. To assemble, drizzle cake with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar crystals, alternating colors. Cut into the cake and hope you do not get the baby. 10-12 servings

(image: Southern, eh?)



Coming soon, to an internet browser near you: Nonpareil Magazine! I'm sure all the brides-to-be will benefit from this online collaboration brought to us by Maddy from the Inspired Bride & Kristen from Papercrave. Their respective blogs are absolutely worth subscribing to if you have not already.

The online-only magazine will focus on inspirational craft and d.i.y. projects as well as and tips and tricks that you can translate and customize for your special day, regardless of your budget or skill level. The first issue will be launching soon, so be sure to join their mailing list to receive the latest news!














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