Sunday, October 24, 2010

.spiced pumpkin cupcakes & my kitchenaid!.

if you've visited my blog before, i don't think its a surprise that i thoroughly enjoy baking. after our wedding and all the bridal showers were done and over, i think we practically had a new kitchen! luckily my hubby shares the same desire for good food and cooking - although he usually leaves the baking to me... ;-)

well as if we didn't feel blessed enough - we came home friday night to a big box on our door step (one of the many benefits to living in a secure condo building). as soon as i looked at the box i knew what it was - the kitchen aid stand up mixer we registered for! my sweeter than sweet aunt purchased us a very generous wedding gift. so naturally i couldn't wait to use it... i mean, look at how beautiful it is!

yes - if you look close enough you can see i'm signing 'i love you' to my dear aunt! :)

now - on to the delicious spiced pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese (om nom nom) frosting... i found the recipe at my favorite food blog - i'm used to pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, etc. i fell in love with the idea of pumpkin cupcakes. especially since i had pre-purchased cute october themed cupcake liners! lol. these cupcakes are soo moist on behalf of the pumpkin - definitely give these a shot! check 'em out!

and one more picture for good measure...

check out the recipe:


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

.we're married!.

so i haven't posted in a long time - but for good reason! i was busy! the love of my life and i got married on september 19 and left the next day for our honeymoon in st. lucia! ...we are still getting life and the house back in order so i will post more about everything, but until then, i leave you with a snippet of our wedding pics!

happy tuesday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

.brown sugar bundt cake.

for my bridal shower i got a ton of fun baking stuff! this whole time i haven't had a cooling rack and i got one finally! i also got a bundt cake pan (johnny loves bundt cakes) and an awesome cake dome! (plus some other amazing stuff!) so of course i so couldn't wait to use all of these goodies!

johnny loves cakes that are subtle, so i decided on this brown sugar bundt cake. but it called for a caramel drizzle over top which makes it more 'dessert' like and not so good for a coffee cake in the morning. so i ommitted the drizzle and decided to dust the pan with cinnamon and sugar. it turned out delicious! the cake was absolutely delicious! just sweet enough but not over powering.


i also attempted to photograph the cake in the cake dome but it didn't really work that well. the lighting in our condo is a toughy. we have really strange overhead lighting and large 'picture' windows. there really isn't a happy medium between natural and man made lighting for photography. when our windows are open it lets too much light in and our overhead lights cast a yellow tinge. i'm still experimenting with how to make the lighting work! nonetheless, here is the cake dome photo, mostly because i'm so excited that i have a cake dome! lol!

happy friday ya'll!


.its been a while.

wow! its crazy how quickly time goes when you're planning a wedding and still trying to maintain a nomal life. we are now 16 (SIXTEEN!!!!) days away from the wedding. we are soo excited! and thankful for a three day weekend coming up so we can finalize stuff! the next few weeks are going to go just way too fast! but we are beyond ready for this, we are so excited to finally be married!

because things have been so hectic i haven't had a chance to post anything lately. so i figured i would just post a 'collage' of pictures from my latest baking and cooking endeavors! yummy!

stuffed bell peppers!                        chicken enchi'mamas'!
island spice pork tenderloin!                 stef's homemade granola!
grandma c's lemon bars!

i also made some yummy coconut cupcakes for my bridal shower, but in the excitement of it all i forgot to photograph them! crap! lol. oh well.

the stuffed bell peppers were my fiance's idea. whenever he says he wants something i usually end up making it, after intense recipe research of course! :)

the chicken enchi'mamas' are a recipe i've made before but the second time around - OH MY GOODNESS! yuuuumy! its a totally 'from scratch' recipe, you make the enchilada sauce and the whole deal. soo delicious. and of course my fiance nick named them! ;-)

island spice pork tenderloin is recipe i found on, its seriously so simple and absolutely delicious. its a staple around our house now! we've made it multiple times since my first try.

my homemade granola is sooo yummy! it has everything in it and i am obsessed with it now! after the first try at it, my fiance told me he doesn't want us to buy cereal anymore! he loves it with milk, and i love it in my greek yogurt. its a very loved recipe now! i'm getting hungry just thinking about it!!

ohhh grandma c's lemon bars! where do i begin?? you know those recipes that bring you straight back to your childhood? this dessert is one of those! the recipe is perfect. the crust part is crisp, not mushy and the topping is gooey lemony goodness. LOVE this recipe. i finally got it from my mom, and made it during the middle of what us washingtonians refer to as a 'heat wave'. they're such a refreshing dessert during hot weather! :)

one last photo! what remained of my mini coconut cupcakes! they were so cute, they even had zebra cupcake liners to match the theme my friends came up with! they were a coconut cupcake with coconut buttercream! delish! :)

happy friday everyone!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

.blueberry cinnamon rolls.

my love of baked goods and sugar entirely contradicts my fitness and health goals... its pretty funny! i am a sugar and junk food junky but at the same time love to stay fit, run and work on toning my muscles... but just as much as that, possibly even more, i love, love, love to bake! (i'm sure you have noticed if you've viewed any of my blog posts)

a few weekends ago i was inspired to make blueberry cinnamon rolls by another food blog. i've been wanting to try to make regular cinnamon rolls, but it always seemed like i never had quite enough time for all of the rising steps. when stumbling across a very delicious post for blueberry cinnamon rolls, i knew i would just need to make time! however, i didn't love everything about the post so i ended up making my own... it was a combination of three recipes - one for dough, one for filling and one for a cream cheese icing/frosting.

i was pleasantly surprised with how easy the process was! it definitely was time consuming but it was a day when i had pretty much nothing but time! all in all i was suuper pleased with the outcome... they were soo yummy! next time i think i woud add a little more cinnamon filling because i love the cinnamon flavor so much!

yum. i'm dreaming about these delicious cinnamon rolls right now! i seriously wish these had lasted longer then they did... but i guess its a good sign that they literally disappeared!

but then again, how can you go wrong with cinnamon rolls, blueberries and cream cheese icing? ;-)

happy wednesday everyone!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

.cookies and cream cupcakes.

i get a lot of my cooking and baking inspiration from i absolutely love her blog! her recipes are always great and never let down. my latest endeavor is the cookies and cream cupcake! talk about delicious oreo goodness! these were so rich but so worth it...

i don't have a picture showing the inside - but these cupcakes are filled with oreo pieces and an oreo bottom! oh my goodness. these are great!!

well - off to get ready for work, just couldn't wait to post these delicious treats! :)


Thursday, July 15, 2010

.mt walker.

i'm not sure what it is, or why it always turns out this way, but it seems that the fiance and i always have horrible luck with weather when we decide to go hiking! it could be beautiful all week, with a pretty promising forecast but it is almost always the opposite when we wake up in the morning. i'd have to say its kind of ironic!

last year we did quite a few hikes, but this year we haven't had much time between planning the wedding and johnny working so many hours at work. well this last sunday we decided it was time to get our first hike of the summer in - for once we didn't have any appointments or prior engagements. we were so excited! so we went to bed saturday night with huge plans of getting up early and heading out to the olympic peninsula. fast forward to sunday, early am... we wake up, smile at each other, look out the window and are so disappointed!! it was foggy and overcast outside! go figure!

well, we decided to give it a try anyway... said the clouds were supposed to burn off. of course when we got close to quilcene it was still too cold, so we decide to keep driving and check out port angeles with the thought that we could do the hurricane ridge hike. we get to port angeles and the weather is still horrible! so we pull out our map and decide that we were all the way out there, we might as well do a mini road trip through the olympic peninsula!! :) and me, being the huge dork that i am, suggest that since we're so close that we should visit forks! haha.

washington is interesting in the fact that you can be in a rain cloud or thick fog, drive a few miles and be in patches of sun - we have one of the strangest (and unpredictable) weather patterns in the US (fun fact)! so as we were driving down the highway, we ended up climbing into a nice patch of sun by lake crescent. it was one of the most beautiful lakes that i have seen - crystal clear water, surrounded by mountains. it was gorgeous. but alas, we kept driving and hit more fog, clouds and icky weather - which meant that we must be getting closer to forks!

we drove through the town of forks to the chamber of commerce and checked out the (of course) twilight memorabilia and their super cool loggers memorial! it was fun! we didn't stay long and decided to start heading back. after making it through the 'san juan scenic byway' (which by-the-way wasn't so scenic in the fog) we ended up hitting more sunshine! all the clouds started burning off and the sun was shining all around. we crossed the hood's canal bridge and decided that we were going to go for it! off to quilcene to hike mt. walker!

the hike was great - although it might have been a little steep for our first hike of the summer - especially since i was already sore from working out the day before. but - 2 miles in and after a 2000 ft climb, we reached the top and it was beautiful! i always love reaching the top because you're tired, mentally exhausted, and then you see what you climbed to and everything you were feeling just goes away.

all in all it was a great - but long - day. i'm so happy we got to share that day together, it was awesome just getting out there, being spontaneous and getting our hike in! i love my man - he is so good to me!

that's all folks! :)


Thursday, July 1, 2010

.snicker doodles.

so my last baking endeavor was a yummy batch of snicker doodles. i found the recipe off of my favorite food blog... her recipe choices hardly, if ever, let me down! i stumbled across a delicious recipe for snicker doodles one day on her site. it made me realize that i have been neglecting such a delicious cookie! i hadn't had homemade snicker doodles in, many, many years. so i decided to make them sunday night and all the while kept reminiscing of my childhood! awh. :)

anyway - they turned out delicious after a few tweaks to my baking times, since my oven of course has to bake differently then every recipe states. go figure! haha. anyway, they are truly delicious - you should go try them out for yourselves! yuuumy!

well - happy thursday everyone! in our case here in the great pacific nw, its a rainy one. sigh.... nonetheless - tomorrow is friday, and a three day weekend at that! time to celebrate. woo hoo!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

.87 days and counting.

well first off it is finally sunny here in good old washington... after 273 days of temperatures under 74 degres it is well welcomed! we have had more rain this "summer" then i can ever remember, and i sure hope the sun decides to stick around for a while... us washintonians are starting to get a wee bit depressed i think! :) i mean, cloudy, cold weather on the first day of summer is pretty depressing, isn't it?

on another note - i am getting so anxious for our wedding... according to my handy dandy facebook countdown, we have 87 days to go! woo hoo! everything is starting to feel so real, especially when i got my adorable garter in the mail!

how adorable is that?! its so simple and classy with the simple white, but then it has my something blue and a cute little gemstone. it was exactly what i was looking for after searching forever! i loove all the garters this gal has she is so talented. i got it from hellodesigncrew on etsy! love! ♥

anyway, just wanted to jot down a quick blog and brag about the sun as i sit here basking in its glory!! ahh... so refreshing to have a break from the rain and wearing a coat! yippee!

happy thursday people.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

.part deux: the road to delicious: pizza!.

mmmm! my pizza experiment was a partial success! it would have been a complete success if it were for a few extraneous factors. 1) i had parchment paper, or better yet, a pizza peel... 2) i had more time... 3) my pizza crust wasn't so thick. lol.

sooo here's how it came down... i got home after running wedding errands and pulled out the pizza dough which i had prepared earlier in the day. this way it would get optimal time to warm up (or so i thought). after pulling it out, i did random things around the house, and then decided to start the pizza sauce... after that i cooked the sausage... then i thought i should try to form the dough - but it was still cold! it had been out for over 30 minutes! so, long story short, i did the best i could but the dough was less then cooperative and ended up being suuuuper thick! which actually isn't a problem - it just became a deep dish! haha. then came the issue of transporting to the pizza stone - that was a debacle! i am quickly going to run out and get parchment paper to have on hand for the future. or maybe someone will be generous and buy me a pizza peel for my wedding gift! :D

anyway - the pizza was a success, although it had to bake a little longer to cook the center since the dough was formed so thick (oops!). but it was yummy! the dough was crisp on the bottom and the crust - but the best part? no grease! take that pizza hut! yuuum.

now for the best part! pictures!

sooo yummy - especially with extra pizza sauce to dip the yummy thick crust!!

i try (for the most part) to eat balanced meals, so we of course had to have a veggie! staying with the theme - i made us an italian chop chop salad! what better way to use some of the left over salami (yum!)?

it was the perfect accompaniment!

until my next food adventure...


Friday, June 18, 2010

.the road to delicious: pizza!.

i got this wild hair to make homemade pizza. i have never attempted it except for when i was a child... my mom would make the dough from scratch, let it rise, roll it out and let us do the toppings! it was so fun. so i decided to start the process early this morning; evidently from what i read, you can pre-make the dough and place in the refrigerator and bring it out later in the day. this is preferable for a working person such as myself - plus my fiance is working seven, twelve hour shifts and by the time he gets home, he wants to relax, eat and sleep! and i don't blame him! so i'm hoping to get this pizza in the oven and cooled by the time he gets home.

5 am
step 1: pizza dough

so this is the dough... its rising right now, but hopefully this project will all turn out - otherwise looks like its store bought crust or papa murphys for din tonight! haha.

so i will post updates on this process later tonight or tomorrow... wish me luck! i'm a homemade pizza n00b!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

.epitome of girliness.

saturday was an epitome of girliness for my bestie and i... we were initially supposed to go camping but because of various reasons it fell through. so whats the next best thing to do on a day off? girly stuff of course! ha ha. we had an awesome lunch - yummy wine and drinks - watched movies - did our toenails and my personal favorite - baked! :) it was a fun filled day!

the day made me decide that we need to do themed lunches/dinners from now on also! marissa wanted to make this yummy strawberry spinach salad recipe she has, so that was already on the lunch menu.

then i stumbled across a homemade strawberry wine cooler! what a fun idea! and boy oh boy it was amazing... refreshing and different. i was immediately in love. it was either that or a combination of wine, pedicures and 80's movies? ;)

then i followed everything up with a recipe i was dying to try - coconut cupcakes with a delicious coconut butter cream frosting! mmmmmm! of course, the consistency of the frosting wasn't up to par for me and my frosting skills were a bit off - but that's what happens when two of you finish off 2 bottles of wine. especially when you're about 5'! ha ha.

anyhow, hope you've enjoyed the food/drink/dessert pictures. of course, i could post recipes, but i'm not sure anyone ever reads this. sigh. if you want recipes let me know! more then happy to share.

ciao! sc

Friday, May 28, 2010

.rainy day blues.

so, it is currently raining. i guess that shouldn't be surprising to most since i live in the seattle area... however, on top of the rain, its been raining for a while and its freeezing! we are about 10 degrees cooler then normal. our high for the day is 56 degrees! eeeeek! all i can seem to do right now is dream of my upcoming honeymoon... 115 days isn't that far away, right? sigh. guess pictures from our last hawaii vacation in february will have to tide me over. anyhow.. tgif everyone! (if there is anyone even out there reading this... if not, tgif to me! haha)


Thursday, May 27, 2010

.mission: attempting clam chowder.

i absolutely, 100% hate clams... or pretty much any shell fish with the exception of crab. its a texture issue, plus i think they are all chewy and gross! however, my fiance ♥loves♥ clams. he went clamming with a buddy a few weeks ago and brought home tons of the gross little critters. luckily they were all cleaned, vacuum packed and ready to freeze.

he knows i love to cook and bake, but i drew the line with the clams. i wasn't going to fry the critters, or do anything with them. he looked so disappointed, so i decided to compromise (which, i believe is the source of a great relationship) with clam chowder. i've had it before - it reminds me of potato chowder, but i always end up picking out the gross little clam pieces.

i had a heck of a time finding a recipe that looked good. everyone called for canned clams - what about the real deal fresh kind? finally a co-worker showed me a recipe she's been dying to try. i read it over and almost gagged - i had to go buy clam juice?? really? sick! but, i love my man and i'd do anything for him, including cooking something i absolutely cannot stand.

so, i get home, get a quick workout in and run upstairs (we live in a condo building) and rush to start his clam chowder. things were going really good at first, it was pretty much like making any other soup... saute the onions in delicious melted butter goodness, yadda yadda... i mean, until the very end it was alright. then came the moment of truth, i had to cut open the sealed baggy of clams. siiick! but, being the woman that i am (trying to be an awesome future wife), i soldiered through. the things were so stinky and slimy and disgusting. but i made it through.

when the chowder was all done, i was more interested in trying to get a decent picture of it to show to my mom then i was interested in actually eating the stuff. (my mother hates clams more then i do! lol. and she didn't believe i would actually cook them.) the chowder wasn't bad. i liked the flavor, minus the clams. although, in my defense, i did try multiple of them... i just can't get over the texture. yuckie!

anyhow, here is the picture... east hampton clam chowder with home-made biscuits!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

.strawberry rhubarb deliciousness!.

it feels so great to be able to bake again! johnny and i took a break from eating sweets/desserts and that meant my baking also went on a hiatus. i have been able to start baking again starting april 20, and boy oh boy am i a happy camper!!

last weekend my mom was very busy with moving/packing, etc. so we decided that we would spend time together and celebrate mother's day this weekend. i was given some rhubarb at work by a co-worker this week and i immediately began reminiscing about my childhood! my mom always made such yummy desserts with rhubarb because my grandparents have a big rhubarb plant in their garden. so in memory of my childhood, i decided a strawberry rhubarb crisp was in order! yuum!

can't wait to dive into this deliciousness tonight!

ciao! sc

Friday, January 29, 2010

.b f f.

yes, you read my title right - bff! haha. this blog is about my best friend kindle. we have been best friends since the day we met in 7th grade - which doesn't sound that impressive, but as we get older i'm certain it will. when we were 19, she decided to move to texas, get married and have a baby - it was a big year for her. lol. anyway, i hardly see her, maybe once or twice a year. and she is currently visiting washington (home) for a few weeks. i got to see her this week, tuesday and again on wednesday... and man, i sure miss her already. i just wanted to share a few pics of her and her adorable baby girl, kylee who is almost three. time seriously flies! i remember holding her when she was only hours old. gah!

stefanie and kindle

so cute! kylee and mama!

Mariss and Stef :)

the other cool thing about tuesday was that we did a big ladies dinner - and my two best friends marissa and kindle got to meet each other :) mariss is my maid of honor in my wedding, so i only thought it appropriate that she should meet the other bestie. lol.

me, amber and rach!

awwwh fun times.