December 29, 2009
The one thing I love about the holidays is the chance to get together with old friends and current friends who have just been too busy the rest of the year to see. Everyone slows down for a week or two at the end of December and just takes a short break from the hecticness of life. It was great to get together with some of my favorite girls and do a “girls brunnch”.
From Top: Whole Wheat Pancakes, Pillsbury spinach and cheese savorlings, Phyllo Quiches and “simple” Croissants
For the whole wheat pancakes I used the recipe from Whisk Kid but simply replaced the flour with whole-wheat as well as replaced the butter with vegetable oil. Unfortunantly, I forgot to bring along my almond extract to my friends house where the brunch was being held. They were still delicious but they are even better with almond extract – this recipe has become my new pancake go-to recipe!
I found the little Pillsbury “savorlings” in my freezer that morning and they were a great throw-in-at-the-last-minute sort of thing – tasty too!
For th Phyllo Quiches I loosely based my recipe off of this recipe from Planning with Kids. I emprovised with phyllo of course and threw in some parsley and pepper. They turned out great. The only thing I’d do dfferently would be to load up on more spices. Even with the addition of parsley and pepper they still lacked the strong sort of taste that I prefer, but were still very good.
As for the Croissants, I must admit, I was a little nervous. I’ve never made croissants before and was so afraid of messing up and not having them for the brunch (and afterall, what is a brunch without croissants?). But I followed this great recipe from Snippets and they turned out lovely. Not as flakey as some people like, but certainly buttery and soft!
October 28, 2009
As I’ve said before I haaate the fall and winter. I don’t do col by any stretch of the imagination. If I had to find something I liked about those two seasons the only thing I could possibly come up with is soup, chilli and a cup of hot tea every morning (and even those aren’t enough to make me run screaming as soon as the temperature drops below 75).
At least one morning a week I spend chopping up vegetables and scouring the house for chicken broth (which was no where to be found today) putting together some sort of random soup. I don’t even use recipes with either my soup or chilli, I just go with the flow. throw in whatever happens to be laying around. Today just happened to be a onion-garlic-celery-potato-carrot-corn-green beans-and chicken tortellini type of day. Deeelish. I try to always have some leftovers in the fridge. On days when I’m eating at home or at the office I usually get a total of absolutely no vegetables and soups and chillis are a tasty way to get those.
I started doing yoga about a year and a half ago or so. The place where I was staying at the time had a woman come in once a week and give yoga classes. My group of course would act silly and annoy the heck out of our teacher by constantly falling over or breaking out in laughter during her weird “meditation” tapes. But I did manage to develop a love for it. One of my little secrets is that I would love to become a yoga teacher someday. I can’t afford classes right now, but one day…
October 21, 2009
Ever since I can remember my two favorite ingredients have been cinnamon and pumpkin, so naturally pumpkin pie has always been a favorite (I have even been known to only scrape the pumpkin innards right off the crust, leaving a nice little empty pie crust). I also love love love waffles. I have them several times a week for breakfast and typically try to make them with my own whole wheat batter (sorry bisquick!) unless it’s a busy morning, in which case I’ll grab an ego (so blah).
SO you can bet that I was beyond excited to find the Pumpkin Pancake Recipe on Frugal Foodie’s blog (did I mention I’m IN LOVE with this blog?! I’m sure you can’t tell being that this is only the second day/blog in a row that I’ve made something using one of her recipes). For some reason my waffle-love does not carry over to pancakes so well…I mean, they’re okay, but I’ll always pick waffles in the end. So I decided to make them into Pumpkin Waffles!
They were super fluffy and sooo much more delicious then my plain ol’ whole wheat waffles. I had plenty of left over batter so I decided to make the whole batch and freeze ‘em for the week to come – YAY FOR DELICIOUS BREAKFASTS! It’ll be great for thursdays when I have to be out the door by 7:30 am to make it to class on time.
My only change to her great recipe in the future? maybe a little more pumpkin and cinnamon (I have an addition, and will soon need to go to therapy for it – I swear!)
September 3, 2009
Me and Frank have been talking about making a trip down to D.C. since last winter, and the sudden burst of chilly weather made us rush to find a day to make it work before it really gets cold (stupid seasons!). And after a horribly failed attempt at a nice day at Hershey Park last week, we decided to go ahead and do it.
We’ve driven in a lot of different cities, especially him, but Washington is a whole other animal. We got turned around and lost and driving back and forth for quite a while before we finally found ourselves.
Getting lost in Washington isn’t nearly as bad as some other cities though, at least there’s a lovely monument everywhere you go anyway.
Finally we parked and, by that time, were starving and quickly found ourselves a cute little pizzeria and ducked into Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza for some lunch.
It wasn’t at all what I expected, both in a good way and bad way I guess. It’s a little bistro-type pizzaria, and being so, I was hoping to get a nice sandwich or something, but the menu is limited to personal sized pizzas and salad, and oddly enough, a long list of wines. This was slightly disapointing since I wanted a little more than a salad but knew I could never finish a pizza.As far as service goes, we had what I refer to as a “corpse waiter”. Basically he seemed barely alive, but just enough to take orders from people. The food was pretty good, my salad was interesting and delicious and the pizza was nicely done, but in the end it’s definitely not a favorite place.
Finally we got to our destination, the Smithsonian! It was fantastic! We didn’t do even 1/4 of the building we were in, much less the entire collection of museums, but what we say has us wanting to go back to explore some more. One of my favorites that they have right now is Julia Child’s kitchen! very cool! Frank of course was in love with the science exhibit and especially with the exhibit on the history of electricity (he’s a cutie!). Unfortunately we had to leave a little early to get our dinner reservation…
On the drive home Frank asked me what my favorite part of the day was, not including the fantastic dinner. I had to think a moment. The museum was great and I loved it, but my favorite thing, as is with most cities, was seeing the architecture. You can ask frank, I have an odd obsession with architecture. I really know nothing about it, but am completely fascinated by it. Washington is an amazing city when it comes to architecture. You have such great historical buildings against these lovely modern ones and, to me, it’s such a great comparison and contrast of where we’ve been and where we’re going.
In all we had a beautiful day in the capitol and cannot wait to go back and visit again.
May 27, 2009
I was taking my boyfriend to the airport memorial day morning when Emily called inviting me to come over for some memorial day grilling and saying I could bring over some dessert, “if I felt like it.” Do I ever not feel like making something for dessert? dessert is the most fun thing to make in the world, I swear. Especially if it’s something that you can lick off of a spatula while its baking in the oven.
On my way back from the airport I decided to stop at Walkers Produce Stand to pick up some veggies for my mom. As soon as I walked in I smelled something other than veggies….JERSEY STRAWBERRIES. Oh that smell! Oh how I’ve missed it and longed for it over those long winter months! Import strawberries have never and will never smell and taste as super-ripe, fresh-picked Jersey strawberries. At that point, it didn’t matter how much those things cost – I would have given them my Marc Jacobs bag to have a quart of those things (luckily, it didn’t come to that). On my way home, I indulged in that smell and spent the ride dreaming of what I could make with those beauties.
I know it’s cliche, I know it’s overdone, but I couldn’t help but succumb to making the obvious: Strawberry Shortcake.
but I didn’t want to do just the regular strawberry shortcake, I wanted to do something as grand as these strawberries (can you tell I really love strawberries yet?). So…Strawberry shortcake cake!
I got the recipe for the cake from good ol’ Martha, and the Whipped Cream Frosting from CupcakeProject (although, at the last minute I decided not to put strawberries directly in the frosting). The strawberries were so ripe that I didn’t even need to use sugar to pull out the juice, I simply put them in a food chopper and they became a juicy, chunky, delicious mess!
Memorial day is a great excuse to just eat and sit around making stupid jokes with friends. Emily and Phil have the perfect house for this sort of thing too, with a great porch looking over their back yard where you can hear the kids running around a being crazy, as they always are.
The shortcake cake went over great. When I was leaving with the leftovers the guys shouted out at me, “wait, you’re taking that?!” I would have left it with them, but I had already promised any left-overs to my family who had been drooling over it when I left.
I went back to the fridge this morning to try to get a better picture of the cake, but this is all I found…
Apparently someone was feeling snacky last night! oh well!