Ryker Newborn Photos

In case you missed our Twitter and Facebook posts, LaBranda and I welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Ryker, into the world on May 30th. It was a long labor process with many ups and downs but in the end we have a very healthy baby boy. A week after his birth, the ever talented Rebecca Mill of The Indie Image (you should really check our her new site – it is pretty awesome) came to our house to photograph some amazing shots.

I’ve shared some of our favorites below. If you want to look at some more, check out the full Ryker’s First Photo Shoot gallery.










 

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Maternity Photos

Early on in our pregnancy we decided that we wanted to invest in some maternity as well as newborn photos. We knew exactly who we wanted to capture these special memories for us – Rebecca Mill of The Indie Image. We met out at Joyner Park in Wake Forest one evening around 6:00pm and in just over an hour, she captured some amazing shots. Once Ryker arrives, we can’t wait to see what sort of newborn shots she captures for us. If you are in need of a photographer for any kind of event, connect with her on Facebook or Twitter. We hope you enjoy some of the photos below!

You can check out the full gallery on our SmugMug page at: http://photos.themanersfamily.com/FriendsFamily/Maternity-Photos/

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And Then There Were Three

A large state cup with diet sundrop, a medium state cup with diet coke, and a baby bottle with milk - symbolizing our family in May of 2013

A large state cup with diet sundrop, a medium state cup with diet coke, and a baby bottle with milk - symbolizing our family in May of 2013

That’s right folks – in just a few short weeks, there will be a new addition to this Maners Family! On (or about) May 23rd we plan to welcome Ryker Lee Maners into our family. LaBranda and I are VERY excited and can’t wait to share a lot of our new adventures with our little boy. While the blog hasn’t seen much life since this time last year, we plan to rekindle things with photos and more!

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Flourless Black Onyx Chocolate Cake

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One of the desserts I made for Easter was a flourless chocolate cake. The idea for this cake came when I asked my friends at Savory Spice Shop if they could get in raw cacao nips, boy did they ever deliver. I had little idea what I wanted to do with the nips, other that just snack on them, but I figured I better use them in some kind of recipe. I started racking my brains of what I could make, and thought back to my time at Johnson and Wales. I had made a few flourless chocolate cakes while in school, but somehow most of my recipes that I worked on are MIA. After searching high and low in the black hole known as our garage, I went to work trying to create one from what I remembered, while adding some new touches. Here is what I ended up with, and while it still needs tweaking, it turned out pretty good for this non baking and pastry culinary girl.

Flourless Black Onyx Chocolate Cake
 
A dense cake perfect for all of my fellow chocolate lovers!
Author:
Course: Dessert
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300℉
  2. Prepare 10" springform pan by buttering with 2 tbs. softened butter until there is a thin coating on all of the interior. Continue by dusting with the black onyx cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. This process will help to prevent sticking and will also give an extra dose of chocolatey goodness.
  3. In a double broiler, add and heat the chocolate, butter, salt, and vanilla until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.
  4. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until mixture is a thicker pale yellow (ribbon stage). Once the ribbon stage has been achieved fold chocolate into egg yolk mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture until combined.
  6. Pour into cocoa dusted springform pan, top with cacao nips and bake until center is just set, about 35-40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. You can either remove the ring and slice while it is still slightly warm, or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.
Notes
When I made this for the first time, I slightly over baked it, baking for 45 minutes. I believe that this led to a drier end product than I was looking for. If you find that reducing the time to 35-40 minutes still produces a drier product, I recommend baking the cake in a water bath to help keep some of the moisture.

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