Sunday, August 29, 2010

Flower Shower Power

Even though I am not currently working in any kind of pastry or baking job, I am- and forever will be- happy I went to pastry school. I had the opportunity to make the above cupcakes for a baby shower last weekend.

I have so much fun doing this stuff.

And I'm starting to sense a theme. Baby showers + flowers.

Remember these?

{Two other baby showers I baked flowery cupcakes for.}

That's me and the adorable Christi from flora+domus, who did the other 90% of the work for the shower.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I love these.


These paintings were featured on DesignSponge the other day. If only I could make it to San Francisco on September 6 to see their opening in the art gallery....sigh...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Goin' Campin'

I used to think camping was such an economical way to have a relaxing weekend.

I went with my family (and friend's families!) frequently when I was growing up. As a kid camping, I never realized just how many details need to be planned in order to ensure these weekends are, in fact, relaxing.

This weekend is going to be the first camping trip ever for my husband and I in six years of marriage. It's not that we didn't want to go sooner, but rather that we just never got around to it. But finally, a few weeks ago, we started buying supplies (including the above tent). $600 later, we realized that for that much money we could have gone away on a fairly nice weekend escape. HOWEVER, we're hoping these supplies will be more of an investment and at some point prove, in fact, economical.

My lack of experience in being the one in charge has left me at a loss on what to cook while we are there. Since it's just the two of us, I wanted to make things that are special and delicious but still centered around the idea of camping.

I started with these ideas from Food and Wine, but wasn't all that wowed. Next, I began searching Sunset Magazine, because they are centered around travel and the outdoors anyway. They had a list of "21 Great Camping Eats," which I found much more inspiring. I place on making Honey-Rosemary Lamb Sandwiches and if I have time to prep, these Thai Turkey Sausages sound amazing.

Other than that, I think I am going to cook up a batch of my chili, bake some cornbread the day before, and maybe go buy some ground chorizo to have with eggs for breakfast. Add some snacks (and S'Mores!), lunch meat for sandwiches while hiking, and lots of fruits and veggies, and we're set!... I think......

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Out of sheer laziness.

I officially really, really love quinoa. I know quinoa isn't the newest food on the market these days, but I kinda view it like I do skinny jeans: they have been popular for a few years now. At first, I shied away because they were different. Then, they got so trendy that I tried to avoid them out of principle. And yet, after awhile I grew to realize something- hey, this is awesome! (BTW- I officially really, really love my skinny jeans, too).

I could tell you that next to barley quinoa has the highest protein content of any grain. I could tell you that it serves the exact same purpose as couscous in every recipe I have tried so far. I could tell you that it really tastes so much better than brown rice (especially when made with chicken or vegetable stock). Yes, all these things are true, but if I'm honest, what's the real reason I started making quinoa so often?...because it cooks in 15 minutes.

Am I the only person who at least once a week has dinner hot and ready and then realizes that she forgot to start the brown rice 45 minutes ago? "Crap!" I say out loud in my kitchen, and then scramble to make something healthy and whole grain. (or sometimes I just give up)

Not only that, but you know what else takes 40 minutes to cook? Steel cut oats. I am not a morning person. I wake up crabby (I know what many of you are thinking right now. "No kidding."), and the last thing I want to do is wait 40 minutes for my breakfast to be ready. I have just discovered that quinoa is awesome when cooked in coconut milk and served as you would oatmeal; with maple syrup or brown sugar, fruit, and nuts. It's actually quite rich and filling.

If you don't want to start with a recipe, you can do as I did in the picture above and throw any and all of your leftover veggies together with a hot pan of quinoa. Then, throw in some chevre (simply because it never fails), and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Only a Day Late... I usually am.

Yesterday was National S'mores Day

Which is certainly no reason not to celebrate today.

Really, is there a greater combination of flavors?

If you somehow think so, you could always try a toasted marshmallow shake instead.

I'm all over it. {most of the photos courtesy Martha Stewart}

{Sorry about the bad quality, but I couldn't help but include this scene.}

"This is smores stuff. First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then, you roast the mallow. When the mallows flaming, you stick it on the chocolate and cover it with the other end. Then, you scarf."

Monday, August 09, 2010

I'm a Berry Tart!!!

"You enjoy life's luxuries, from fresh food to beautiful land. Like a fine berry tart, you approach life with great detail, care, and thoroughness."