perfect for your easter brunch: cranberry orange scones

In case you are looking for a last minute addition to your Easter brunch this weekend (or any time, for that matter), these scones are perfect.

cranberry-orange-scones

Some scones are dry and break into tiny crumbs when you bite into them and these are not like that at all. They are soft and flaky with a hint of orange and sweet cranberries. The recipe is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Her cookbooks are amazing. Every recipe I’ve made of hers is an instant favorite (like her apple crisp and chicken noodle soup and coconut cupcakes). And the pictures are really pretty.

Okay, back to the scones. They are fairly easy to make. Just dump all the dry ingredients in the mixer, add the zest of one orange and cut in cold butter (just try not to think about how much butter you’re using).

ingredients-for-scones

Then you add heavy cream and eggs until just combined to form a sticky dough. Before adding cranberries (craisins, actually) she has you toss them in a little bit of flour. Genius idea, this flour-covered-craisin-thing, as they mix in to the dough rather than sinking to the bottom.

Gently roll out the dough on a floured board and cut with a pastry cutter. Or a cup if you don’t have one. #makeitwork

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Bake for 20 minutes, drizzle on a light glaze and you have the most delicious homemade scones ever.

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I made these for my college girlfriends when they came into town last month and again yesterday afternoon just because. I may even make them again on Sunday. Enjoy!

Cranberry Orange Scones

recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home

i n g r e d i e n t s

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

d i r e c t i o n s

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

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diy painted silhouette

Today is a continuation from yesterday’s post about how to create a silhouette. You can use your vector silhouette for many different things (stationery, a tote bag, necklace, web graphics) but today I’ll show you how I made these large framed painted silhouettes that line our staircase.

(nevermind the snowflakes … this photo was taken during Christmas when the kids thought it would be extra festive to tape coffee filter snowflakes all over the wall. It actually turned out to be my favorite Christmas decoration and it was a sad day when we pulled them all down).

diy-painted-silhouette

This tutorial shows you the exact method I used for making the large prints, only done on a smaller scale. The beauty of a vector graphic is that you can blow it up as large as you need without losing clarity – so select a frame and an approximate silhouette size and you can enlarge your silhouette to that size before printing.

Okay, here’s what you’ll need:

silhouette-tutorial-supplies

frame / printout of silhouette / good paper / pencil / black craft paint / small paintbrush

Let’s talk about the printout for a second. In Illustrator, you can format your silhouette on an artboard set to the desired size. In this case, the frame opening is 6×4 so I made my artboard that size. Then I resized the silhouette of audrey to fit within and gave it a stroke (rather than fully filled in just to conserve ink when printing). For both this little print and the large ones on my stairs, I added text. Set it to the size you like before printing.

You could just print on nice paper and frame as is. This is a great option especially if you are making them poster size. Send them to a local printer to print on large paper, put them in a frame (ikea has inexpensive big ones) and you are set. I wanted to go one step further with mine and give them more of a handmade look by painting them. So I’ll show you how that is done.

STEP ONE // transfer silhouette to good paper

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begin by flipping over your printout and scribbling along the outlines.

transfer-print-to-paper

Now flip your paper back over, center over the good paper and trace the printout lines (it helps to use a freshly sharpened pencil). The lead you scribbled on the back of the paper acts like graphite paper and will leave a faint outline of your original printout. This is such a simple method for transferring artwork. Tip: if you are transferring to dark paper, use chalk on the back instead of lead.

STEP TWO // paint

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I used regular acrylic craft paint and two different brushes. Let dry for a few minutes.

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STEP THREE // frame

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center your painted artwork in mat and tape to hold in place. Washi tape is great for this because it removes easily if you need to adjust the art.

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And you’re finished.

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Just for fun, I embellished this little silhouette with a mini headband cut out of scrapbook paper.

painted-silhouette-with-flowers

Assorted flowers and leaves glue-sticked on because, why not?!!

painted-silhouette-with-flowers-close

Hope this inspires you to create some silhouettes for your home! Don’t feel limited to children’s faces … try doing one of your dog or cat, a favorite landmark, or a special photo that can be transformed into a silhouette.

And don’t forget that registration for the next Simplified Graphic Design class begins Monday April 21st at 6am pacific. Last time it sold out in less than 24 hours, so make sure you grab your spot quickly! You can learn more about the course and what it will do for you here.

pencils-300-x-200

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how to make a silhouette (video tutorial)

(via country living)

Silhouettes are one of those classic art pieces that never go out of style … but are particularly in right now. They have been for a while, I suppose, but I’m still in love and think they’ll be around for years to come.

One of my favorite things in our house are these four large silhouettes of our kids going up the stairs. The snowflakes are not usually there – this photo is from Christmas, but you get the idea. Many of you have asked for a tutorial for how I made these large pieces so today and tomorrow I’ll be showing you how.

First up, is making the actual silhouette. There are so many different ways to do this but I prefer to create a vector image in Illustrator that can be blown up or made tiny without losing any of the clarity.  Because sometimes it is easier to just watch the process, I made a video for you:

If you don’t have Illustrator, you can probably accomplish a similar effect using a different photo editing software (or try this method), but you may not be able to enlarge without it becoming pixelated. I’m obviously a big fan of Illustrator and find so many different uses for the program. If you’ve been wanting to learn it, join our class! The next Simplified Graphic Design course opens up Monday April 21st. Last time it sold out in less than 24 hours, so make sure you grab your spot quickly! You can learn more about the course and what it will do for you here.

pencils-300-x-200

Tomorrow I’ll be back showing you how to turn your digital silhouette into finished artwork worthy of hanging on your walls. For now, start creating silhouettes!

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