Mushroom & Lemon Orzo

mushroom lemon orzo with pinenuts!

Let me start my telling you that it was never my intention to make this Orzo for Casey’s Birthday dinner. I waffled with the idea of Mashed Potatoes (even bought some potatoes) or a Creamy Pasta. But the morning of the dinner, I was flipping through a magazine cutout that had a recipe for Lemon Orzo and decided I’d wing it and make some.

It turned out to be a GREAT idea. Having a 4 year old and a 5 month old in the house made it tough to time dinner. It’s such a tricky thing when everyone is on different schedules…or engrossed in a movie. I had to get Cooper fed before we sat down to eat, so it was really easy to make this Orzo before I started cooking the steaks. If I had made Mashed Potatoes or a Creamy Pasta, the results would have been GOOEY and gross. The Orzo held up well, and was still really good at room temperature. I have to say that it was EXCELLENT the next day too. I ate it cold. Freshened it up with some lemon juice and added feta. It was a very satisfying lunch. (see picture above)

Mushroom & Lemon Orzo

(inspired by a Rachael Ray Mag)

-1 lb Orzo pasta
-3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
-1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 10oz. package white mushrooms
-1 10oz. package shitake mushrooms
-juice of two lemons, plus the grated peel of 1 lemon
-handful…or more grated Parmesan cheese
-salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook Orzo pasta according to package.

2. While Orzo is cooking, heat up a skillet with 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Should take 7-10 mins.

3. Drain Orzo and return to the pot. Stir in lemon juice, lemon peel, parsley & pine nuts. Add two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil…stir it up! Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add mushrooms to the top and serve!

March 9, 2009

Birthday Celebration continued…

I had a birthday celebration for Casey & his sister on Saturday to celebrate their birthdays.

Here is a peak of the table!

I wrapped Lauren’s present first, and it became the inspiration for the table decoration.

happy happy birthday


March 8, 2009

Magnolia Bakery’s German Chocolate Cake

Happy Birthday to Casey!

oh boy

This year I decided to try something new for Casey’s Birthday. I made him his second favorite kind of cake–German Chocolate!

What you see here is my first attempt! It turned out SUPER good. Very light and fluffy- So light that it didn’t hold it’s shape like a regular cake might. But when it gets into your mouth who really cares? My 4 year old nephew even chimed in “So good when it hits your lips.” ha!

This cake is a show stopper. Soo rich! Soo gooey! I think I caught a few people in my kitchen putting swiping their fingers up against the frosting for a taste!

We had some for breakfast this morning and it didn’t disappoint! I am currently suffering from a sugar coma. So shocked I am able to type this!

fluffy fluff i've never liked cake batter....but i LOVED the taste of this!
layer cake i need a glass of water to look at this

and here’s a little peak of our breakfast this morning!

worth getting out of bed for

breakfast anyone?

Magnolia Bakery’s German Chocolate Cake

For the Cake:
-4 oz Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, broken into squares
-1/2 cup water
-2 cups all purpose flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
-1 cup butter, softened (two sticks)
-2 cups sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 cup buttermilk

For the Frosting:
-1 1/2 cans evaporated milk
-6 egg yolks
-2 cups sugar
-1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
-2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease and flour 3 9×2 inch round cake pans, then line bottoms with wax paper.
3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate with the water, stirring to melt the chocolate, and blend well. Set aside and cool for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, the baking soda, and the salt. Set aside.
5. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, about 1 minute.
6. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
7. Add the egg yolks, beating until well combined.
8. Add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla extract.
9. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with he buttermilk, beating after each addition, until smooth.
10. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on the high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into batter.
11. Divide batter among the prepared pans.
12. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Be careful not to over bake, as this cake has a different, lighter texture than most.
13. Let cake cool in pans for 10 minutes.
14. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
15. In a large saucepan, beat together the evaporated milk and the egg yolks.
16. Stir in the sugar, the butter , and the vanilla extract.
17. Stir over medium heat about 15-18 minutes or until thickened and bubbly and golden in color. Remove from heat.
18. Stir in the coconut and pecans.
19. Transfer to a large bowl and cool until room temperature and of good spreading consistency (about 2 hours.)
20. When cake has cooled, spread frosting between layers and over top of cake.

***I had a hard time frosting the sides because the frosting turned super gooey. I just popped the bowl in the fridge and let it cool for about 20 minutes and it was perfect for spreading!***

March 7, 2009

Current Favorite Snack:

my favorite afternoon snack

Fuji apple slices with fresh lime juice squeezed on top. I think I’ve had this for an afternoon snack every day for the past two weeks. You should try it!

March 2, 2009

it’s march!

i can't believe it's already march!

I can’t believe it’s March! That means spring is almost here! We’ve been experiencing white/gray skies here mixed with TONS of rain. I can see all the budding leaves ready to pop from the trees soon. It’s so funny how it all happens in a day!

today it's raining. we are staying in.

This past weekend I had a visit from my bff. Soo good Soo good. It was really nice going for a long walk and having girl time. It’s amazing how much of my days are spent doing baby talk…It feels good speaking like a grown up again!

We went to Herbivore in San Francisco (Valencia location). Super Super good.


We got a vegan glazed donut

vegan glazed donut

I ordered Apple, Carrot, Ginger juice

carrot apple ginger juice

I had a char-grilled veggie sandwich with pesto



char-broiled veggie sandwich with pesto on french bread!

Today we are hanging out. Missing woot. Even the cats are beside themselves.

pinot misses woot

It was a very good weekend. Hopefully we will see some bits of sunshine this week. Happy Monday, internet!

February 25, 2009


casey got me some blossoms

It all started with my husband bringing home some cherry blossoms the other night. They make me swoon instantly! Spring is near! I can see it through my kitchen window!

Right now, my head is stuck in spring and my clothing is stuck in winter! What I would give to bury these freezing feet in a warm sandy beach right now!

What I love about spring:
-the bright/fresh colors
-dishes with asparagus
-the blossoms
-the slight chill in the air
-the budding leaves
-Whoppers Easter Egg Candies

In a matter of months I’ll be begging for a cool breeze!

What do you love most about spring?



February 22, 2009

Raisin Scones

your scent is intoxicating!

A small warning…these scones are highly addictive and extremely easy to make. After the batch came out of the oven, I thought “OH CRAP. THIS IS TOO EASY! I was immediately panic stricken…thinking that I might be making these in my sleep and eating all of them before I woke up.

hmmm…so that’s why I was dreaming about scones….

In about 30 minutes I had 10 hot scones sitting in my kitchen cooling. Not a great idea for this carb addict! So utterly good and tempting! I’ll save these for a special occasion….like only on days that end in Y.

butter cubes


puncha puncha

topping with sugars


Super simple. Very VERY very tasty. Buttery…yummy… like a biscuit procreating with a scone. I suppose it would be more scone-like if there was a little more sugar. You decide!

Raisin Scones

(recipe Everyday Food-except with Raisins instead of Currants)

-2 cups All Purpose Flour, spooned & leveled
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3 tablespoons sugar
-1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsatled butter, cut into small pieces
-3/4 cup raisins
-1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
-1 large egg, lightly beaten
-1 tablespoon milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar.

2. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in raisins. Make a well in center; add buttermilk and egg, and stir just until combined. (do not overmix)

3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface; knead 5 or 6 times. Pat into an 8 inch disk. With a floured 2 1/4 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds. Reroll and cut scraps once.

4. Transfer to baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Brush rounds with milk, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until scones are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

how casey eats his

Add some butter and honey on top! That’s how we roll!