April 13, 2008

87 degrees this weekend!

It was so hot in our bedroom on Saturday morning, that we took off our thick/winter duvet cover and bought this new one.  We must prepare for the warmer days ahead!

I really love it.

opinions needed: should we keep this new duvet cover?

Our neighbors dropped off some beautiful lilacs from their garden….

from the neighbors

I fed my green grape addiction…


I did a MASSIVE amount of gardening around the house. I’m pretty sure I will be sore tomorrow….

working in the yard

I put some hot links on the grill and we had ourselves a mini BBQ dinner as the sun was going down….

(*It was to honor the Red Sox game*-Casey says)

bbq hot links for dinner

Casey helped me chop the onions…

onions galore!

Did I ever tell you how much I LOOOOOVE mustard??

i looooooove mustard

There was nothing left in the end…

hot link!

I also made chocolate chocolate chip cookies…but had a disaster!  I’ll share the recipe when I MAKE IT WORK.

It was a nice mellow weekend. I hope you enjoyed yours too!

Off to watch more of Carnivale!

April 9, 2008

prettie/vegan weekend!

I spent this past weekend with my prettie/vegan best friend, Erin. Every year we try to see each other at *least* twice. She came down to visit this past weekend and we had loads of fun trying some vegan treats in the Bay Area! Of course we’re both really into food- so we did some damage at a few places…..

I started off by making Penne with Pesto, Asparagus & Roasted Pine-nuts (all vegan) for dinner on Thursday:

vegan pesto penne


April 7, 2008

Girls Night! Taco Party & Strawberry Shortcakes!

It dawned on me that I forgot to post pictures of last week’s girl night!

Let’s start with dessert first!!

I sliced up some fresh strawberries…

prep station

I put them in a bowl with a tablespoon of sugar and a heaping tablespoon or two of thick aged balsamic vinegar…

(let that sit for at least 30 minutes)

strawberries in balsamic

I made us some whipped cream…baked a vanilla bean cake from Trader Joe’s and assembled the strawberry shortcakes…
strawberry shortcake

and then we brought them to my living room and watched movies…..

watching movies with dessert!

I brought the extra whipped cream in because YOU KNOW I’m not letting that go to waste!

Prior to all this….I made us tacos for dinner!

Here’s the spread:

taco night!

I like to fry up flour & corn tortillas instead of buying store bought ones. My mom taught me this long long ago!
flour tortillas

here’s one of the many tacos I devoured…..

first taco

I want a taco soooooooo bad right now!

April 2, 2008


i love bananas

on the road to getting better…. each day the % of wellness increases! hooray!

p.s.-  i think i just died and went to heaven looking at the martha stewart living prop room! guhh!!!

April 1, 2008


chicken soup

why is it so easy to take good health for granted? I’ve been sick for over a week now. STOP! STOP IT!! You DAMN ILLNESS!!! Get me better! I have important company this week!

interested in my super fast & easy chicken soup recipe? lemme know!

March 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary Carrot Cake!

our wedding date in a cake!

Casey and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary last week! I made him a cake to celebrate! Carrot Cake is our number one FAVORITE cake. I decided to try the recipe from The Magnolia Bakery cookbook my neighbor gave me.

The cake turned out FANTASTIC! It was the first time I used pineapple in a carrot cake and I really enjoyed the result. I did not use the toasted coconut though…I thought it might take away from the carrot flavor.   If you end up trying it with the coconut, lemme know how it is!!!

outta the oven

For the Cake Part:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (canola is preferred)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups lightly packed shredded carrots
  • One 8oz. can crushed pineapple in it’s own juice-with juice
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut (I omitted this part)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans  (1 cup for the garnish and 1 cup for cake batter)

To toast the pecans, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool

Preheat Oven 325 degrees.

Grease and lightly flour two 9×2 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with wax paper. (I used Pam instead and it worked just fine!)

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the oil and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until light & thick (about 2 minutes). Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until well incorporated.  Stir in the carrots, pineapple (with it’s juice), 1 cup of pecans and coconut (if you decide to use it). Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pan for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

frosting pit

For the Cream Cheese Frosting Part:

  • 2 8oz. packages of cream cheese (softened and cut into little pieces)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened and cut into little pieces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar (I used a heaping 4 cups cuz I don’t like it tooo sweet!)

In a large bowl, on the medium speed beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate the frosting for 2-3 hours to thicken before using. Do not keep it in the fridge any longer or it will be too hard to frost!

i over frosted inside...what else is new??

When the cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice the top and the sides of the with the Cream Cheese Frosting. Put the toasted chopped pecans around the edges. Tada!

get my fork NOW!

I quickly gave half of the cake to my neighbors.  There’s no way that cake would have lasted under our supervision! You’ll see what I mean….

March 20, 2008

breakfast is important

yesterday AM- breakie to go!

this morning

Breakfast Wednesday & Thursday of this week pictured above.

Every morning when I’m not quite awake…I dream about breakfast….It’s what sets my day off (right). Although this morning I almost chose carrot cake instead of toast. That would be so bad but GOOD!

good morning!