It’s been quite a while since this little website has seen any action. Why, you ask? Believe me, I ask myself the same question. And I always conjure the same combination of excuses: a lack of time in the evenings to compose posts, a general frustration with WordPress that wears on my patience which is already thin by the end of each weekday, a needed and costly website space upgrade which I’ve just been putting off (just call me Steph- Thrifty- Nienaber), a number of new competing priorities. If there’s one excuse that never makes the list, it’s a lack of cooking or baking or sharing the joys of good foods with good friends. And I’d prefer it that way. In other words, I’d rather still be living in my kitchen and spending weeknights and weekends cooking for friends but then not have the time to blog, rather than have the time to blog but not have any content to feature. So as frustrating as it’s been for all of you readers to continually visit this site and not see any new posts, know in your heart that there has not been a lack of new foods or new friends or new culinary fun. That’s gotta be worth something, right? It is to me, and since I continue to be the sole writer, editor and publisher of Sconemasters, that’s all that really matters ;)
Catch up on 4 months of noteworthy adventures in the picturesque vignettes below-
1) The Schaefer Dinner Club. Each month, a couple in this exclusive group creates a menu, tasks the other couples with a dish to bring, prepares the main dish, and hosts. We kicked off the rotation with our “Keely’s Farm” themed menu, featuring beef tenderloin as the main entree. Josh can be seen below seasoning this gem the morning of the event, shortly after I had returned from purchasing it at Whole Foods, and still recovering from the shock of the price. Let’s just say, the comments in the Saveur recipe included the following, “this recipe is awesome! super easy and delicious. easily the hardest part is finding a job that affords you the ability to buy beef tenderloin”. A part of me wished I had read that comment before volunteering to make this for 14 :) but the other part was too thrilled with the results to remember.
Kristi’s bourbon based cocktail-
Matt and Ashley’s Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tart. Incredible.
All those years as a child where setting the table was my nightly job are coming to fruition.
The final tenderloin. Wish it was as captivating in photos as it is in your mouth.
Ellie and Tim’s Brussel Sprout and Kale Salad.
Kate and Wyatt’s Roasted Root Vegetables.
Ellie and Tim also brought Caramel Apple Pie! Points for 2 awesome dishes.
2) November 2014 European Getaway. This adventure has already been highlighted in many other forms of social media but just to highlight a couple of photos which Josh may not have posted, I’m including a few here.
After getting lost in Harrods one afternoon, we clearly needed a sugary boost. I think French macarons would be a nice change of pace for me, right? ;)
This magical, whimsical cupcake cake was available pre made at nearly every corner store in Cambridge.
Long day onsite, let’s get drunk on the train into London… and refuel with… you guessed it.
This was a grand city center in Brussels where I had asked a stranger to take our photo, and while we were definitely not trying to make these faces or this pose, I think it’s a pretty comical capture.
Couldn’t write a blog post without paying homage to the waffle haven of the world.
A surprise from my most wonderful family upon returning from a long day or touring. Josh can verify that this expression is not exaggerated for the photo. Thanks again, Gwen and Glenn!!
Bruges at dusk. The most lovely medieval city I have ever had the pleasure of touring (and by touring I mean getting a sugar high off chocolate testing and a buzz off of brews).
He’s all about his Cath Kidston tote and Burberry messenger bag ;)
Zurich! Just lovely.
Swiss chocolate, because comparison (of belgian chocolate and swiss chocolate) is what makes the world go round.
Lucerne. We may have taken a few photos in this setting, trying to get the foreground/ background ratio juuuusssstttt right.
On top of Europe!
A $50 cheeseburger at our Woodrow Wilson Grand Hotel in Geneva.
Was it delicious? Yes.
Was it $50 worth of delicious? No, especially when I think that I could’ve bought 1/4 of a beef tenderloin instead.
3) Holidays. With Simba. and with other family members, but mostly with Simba.
So many goldens, so little time.
4) A Madison Rendezvous with my favorite humans. Just a Saturday lounging in the den. Probably looks like nothing to most, actually everything to me.
Birthday cake pancakes for the birthday Coco Bean.
5) Quick trip to Chicago where we used a limo for casual transportation. Why not?
And where we indulged in one of my favorite donut-eries, Glazed and Infused. If you turn this 90 degrees counterclockwise, it’s most definitely representative of a smile.
6) a Very Nienaber Christmas. 20 year Pappy.
The annual Ella-Steph-only-Nienaber-born-girls-in-the-family photo.
7) Post holiday culinary adventures with Matt and Kev. My introduction to raclette.
What a kitchen island should look like.
8) The most incredible red wine chocolate cake. Whoops, and some spilled in my glass while I was making the glaze.
Steph is speechless upon tasting.
9) A quick visit to my favorite host of munchkins in the south. They’re presenting a scene to their version of Frozen for me.
My Molls, showcasing our attempt to recreate Matt and Ash’s tart from above.
10) Obsession with my new spiralizer. Why make pasta pasta, when you can make zuchinni pasta? There are zero valid reasons.
11) The Schaefer Dinner Club, Edition 2. This time themed “Asian Fanfare”. Ellie hits the appetizer out of the park with her pork potstickers. And her rabbit vest.
Matt and Ash compose a very detailed and elaborate Bibimbap.
According to Josh “no utensils for this meal, only Porkchops!” (another way of saying ‘chopsticks’? )
My Cookie Dough Egg Rolls. An unexpected and glorious success.
12) Which brings us to this week, last night in fact, where I wanted to make a ho ho cake for Josh’s birthday week and a small get together we hosted with a few friends, but this cake was so moist and soft it wouldn’t dismount onto my cake plate in any semblance of a complete round. This is the “before buttercream” photo, where you can appreciate the size of the gauge in one side.
After, covered in melted chocolate glaze and funfetti sprinkles, I can’t even see with my critical eye where the issue was. A birthday miracle, I call this.
And with that, I close this hiatus-ending post, promising, in the words of Bubba Cutler, to “come again soon and stay longer”.