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December 20, 2010

Perfect Waffle Batter



Okay Girls, looking for ideas for nice breakfast for this holidays season...well I'm planning to give you three nice receipts this week. Lets start with a basic one, this one you can combine it with any fruit combination of your choice..this was done with blueberries, but you can go wild... mango/strawberry! Pomegranate/Raspberry ...oh well your choice


Best Waffle Batter

Description:
A moist and slightly sweet homemade waffle batter
Yield:
4-6 servings
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour*
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder2 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions:
1. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, beat wet ingredients and then add to dry, stirring just until moistened.
3. Cook on pre-heated waffle iron until waffles are browned and test done. I like to set a timer so I don't have to keep checking, or risk forgetting to take the waffles out on time!

Cheers,Jackie :)

December 16, 2010

Shopping for a new Camera?

It is that time of the year when we take a look at what DSLRs, Point and Shoot Cameras, Lenses and Digital Camera Accessories have been popular with our readers over the last few months (October/November of 2010). The following is a compilation of the most purchased gear on Amazon – by our community.

Popular DSLRs


As usual over the last quarter we see Canon and Nikon battling it out in this category with sales between the two brands almost equally split between the two. The Canon T2i (pictured left) remained in the #1 spot with it’s predecessor, the T1i holding up #2 position. The Nikon D3100 was a clear third.



Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR
Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR
Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR
Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR
Nikon D3000 10.2MP Digital SLR
Nikon D90 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Canon EOS 60D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR
Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR
Nikon D700 12.1MP Digital SLR Camera


Popular DSLR Lenses
Similarly – Canon and Nikon dominate this category with their respective 50mm f/1.8 lenses heading up the list. In fact this month the top 5 lenses are all prime lenses – only 3 zooms even feature in the top 10 (dPS readers certainly love their Primes).



Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens
Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G SIC SW Prime Nikkor Lens
Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Telephoto Zoom Lens
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens

Popular Point and Shoots

Canon regained the #1 position this report after Panasonic hit it for the first time last time around. In fact Canon took back the first two spots with their popular SD1300 and SD1400 point and shoots.



Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
"Canon PowerShot SD1400IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 8x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 12.1MP Digital Camera with 18x POWER Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Canon PowerShot S90 10MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Canon PowerShot SD780IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Canon PowerShot SX210IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
Canon PowerShot S95 10 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

Popular Four Thirds Cameras



I decided to add this category of cameras last quarter in as it continues to gain popularity. There isn’t a lot of cameras to chose from but here are the 3 that we saw sold. The Panasonic outsold the Olympus PENs by 3:1 (I have one myself).
It will be interesting to see what impact the Panasonic GF2 has on sales of the GF1 in the next report.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
Olympus PEN E-P1
Olympus PEN E-P2

Popular Accessories

This section is always fun. This quarter many of the most purchased accessories for digital cameras came from our 15 Must Have Photography Accessories Under $25 post.
The list is a perfect place to look if you’re starting to look for stocking stuffers for Christmas for a photography enthusiast.

LensPEN Lens Cleaning System
Opteka Hot Shoe Two Axis Double Bubble Spirit Level for Digital and Film Cameras
Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large
Tiffen 52mm UV Protection Filter
Mennon Set of 2 Gray Card’s size 6″x8″ and 8″x10″, 18% Gray / 92% White
Adorama Filter Wrench. Set of 2. Fits 46-58mm Filters
Opteka RC-4 Wireless Remote Control for Canon EOS Digital SLRs
Interfit Strobies Small On Camera Diffuser
Kingston 4 GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Card SD4/4GB
Lowepro SlingShot 202 AW

Popular Digital Photography Books



Among the biggest sellers with dPS readers are digital photography books. We see literally thousands of them bought every year. Here are the most popular ones from the last quarter.


Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera
The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
How to Take Great Photos with the Canon D-SLR System
The Digital Photography Book
Capturing Mood, Ambience & Dramatic Effects: The Dynamic Language of Digital Photography
Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
Photo Trekking: A Traveling Photographer’s Guide to Capturing Moments Around the World
Digital Wedding Photography: Capturing Beautiful Memories
VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography
Wedding Photography Unveiled: Inspiration and Insight from 20 Top Photographers Read more: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/popular-digital-cameras-and-gear#ixzz18I8RQ0Lf


Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas to all!

Jackie :)
Ref.
Digital Photography School
Popular Digital Cameras and Gear
by
Darren Rowse

December 05, 2010

Food for the Holidays!- Maple-Walnut Apple Cake


I’ve decided that my baking repertoire includes far too few upside-down cakes. Apple cakes? A few solid options there, but none of the decidedly easy and homey upside-down variety.

I found myself last weekend struggling to close our crisper drawer, due to the fact that it was bursting (literally) with apples from our fruit share. Not that that’s anything to complain about; little A is an enthusiastically devoted fan of my homemade applesauce, but since she’s also just begun walking(!), my prep time to peel a whole boatload of apples is somewhat limited (that girl will find the one thing I don’t want her to touch in the blink of an eye.) So when I put her down for a nap, I had in my mind that I’d throw together an apple cake, and I set out to make this recipe from David Lebovitz’s new book* Ready for Dessert. His version uses pears, but what apple doesn’t love maple and walnut flavors?





About an hour later, a lovely, homey, maple-syrupy-sweet-and-moist cake emerged from the oven, punctuated by crunchy bits of walnuts. And it’s absolutely delicious, though not perhaps the prettiest on the plate (and I was a little dismayed to see that my pretty arrangement of apple slices was completely hidden underneath the walnut topping.)





Happily, it’s even *better* the second day, after the sticky maple syrup caramel has seeped into the cake. So, upside-down cake, please consider yourself added to the repertoire.



(I have my friend to thank for the book – hi Maggie! – and I only wish she lived closer so I could have shared a piece of this cake with her.)
___________________________________________________________________

Maple-Walnut Apple Cake
Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

The original recipe uses 3 ripe Bosc pears, which would be equally delicious. I love Grade B maple syrup for its deep maple flavor.

Ingredients
Topping:
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Make the topping by combining the maple syrup and 1/4 dark or light brown sugar in a 9-inch cake pan or cast-iron skillet. Set the pan directly over the heat on the stovetop until it begins to bubble; simmer gently for 1 minute, stirring often. Remove pan from heat.

Sprinkle walnuts evenly over maple mixture in the pan, then arrange the apple slices decoratively over the walnuts (i.e. an overlapping pinwheel pattern.)

Make the cake: in a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt.) In a stand mixer or by hand, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup light brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Gradually mix in half the flour mixture, then stir in the milk, then add the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined.

Scrape the batter over the apples in the pan and carefully smooth into an even layer. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan.

Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert a serving plate over the pan, and using oven mitts, grasp both the pan and the plate and flip them over together. Carefully lift off the pan and gently rearrange any walnuts or fruit that have gone astray.

Cheers,
Jackie :)


Reference:
Maple Walnut Apple Cake
NOVEMBER 6, 2010
by eggsonsunday

December 04, 2010

Rocking Christmas!

Here some LO's just to share some of the greats Digital Kits available at JessicaSprauge store!






Credits:
Rocking the Tree
Pattern Papers and elements by Carina Garner Studio-
Santa Sleigh- Holiday Notes
Santa Sleight- Christmas Basic

Artwork by Bethany



Cheers,
Jackie :)

Is that Time of Year! Enjoy!! HOT CHOCOLATE!


Today I’ve got something very special for you. The weather’s turning cold, and it’s getting to the point where folks want to spend their evenings inside, curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace or a good movie. And what’s the perfect drink for nights like this? I’ll tell you what: hot chocolate.

A big, steamy cup of chocolatey goodness is the ultimate comfort. There are billions of kinds of hot cocoa out there, from cheaper grocery store brands to expensive chichi varieties that will cost you almost as much as a bottle of wine. But what about the lost art of making cocoa yourself, over the stove, like our grandparents did before you could pick up a box at the grocery store?

Well, today I’m reviving the art of making hot chocolate recipes from scratch.

Today’s recipe is one I’m totally in love with. My favorite flavor combination in the whole world is chocolate and peanut butter. When my grandma would take me to the ice cream shop when I was a kid, I always asked for the same thing: chocolate peanut butter. Whenever my mom would make cookies, I would have the same request: chocolate peanut butter. When my dad would take us to store and let me and my brother pick a single candy bar from row after row of colorful wrappers, what did I grab? Chocolate peanut butter. This sweet, salty and creamy melding of tastes and textures still transports me back to the happy moments of my childhood.

So, today I’m going to give you a little glimpse into my chocolatey, peanut buttery dream-world.

This recipe makes a very thick, very rich drink. So rich, in fact, a full 8 ounce cup may be way too much for one person. I like to serve this cocoa in small, espresso-type cups, because they’re the perfect size to sip from and you can have more than one if you want.

As far as the peanut butter goes, you can use whatever kind you have in your cupboard, as long as it’s creamy. I personally prefer to use a non-salted variety so that I can adjust the saltiness myself, but if you’ve got a bottle of Jif or Skippy hiding somewhere, go ahead and use that. I don’t recommend using chunky peanut butter, which makes for a bizarre texture that doesn’t lend itself to slow sipping.

This recipe was adapted from a drink I used to enjoy at the Bittersweet Cafe, but they’ve discontinued their peanut butter cocoa. Sheer madness, I tell you. If I could marry this hot cocoa recipe, I probably would (sorry, honey).

Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa

My chocolate favorite peanut butter dream drink!

Makes half a gallon of cocoa, which will easily go in one evening! LOL

Ingredients:

4 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup half and half
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
Salt to taste
Whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

In a small medium saucepan, heat milk and half and half to 165°F, or until you see foamy bubbles begin to form around the edges. Do not bring it to a full, rolling boil.
Pour in chocolate chips and stir constantly until all of the chocolate is melted.
Add peanut butter and brown sugar, again stirring until completely melted and combined.
If your cocoa is not smooth or has chunks of peanut butter floating around that simply will not melt, run the cocoa through the blender and reheat again before serving.
Salt to taste and serve with an optional dollop on whipped cream.

Cheers,
Jackie :)

Ref:
Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa Recipe
by Stephanie Stiavetti in Beverages,Desserts,Gluten Free

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