Wednesday, December 15, 2010
1. new baby, Kate!
2. my sugar fast will be over and I'm already planning yummy things to make and eat!
3. mi familia
4. slumber party at Abbey's
5. Mexico Joe's with my college gals
And last but not least, I love Christmas because of the warm Christmas spirit that is all around. I wish I could bottle it up and keep it year-round!
I've already done a lot of fun Christmas activities:
1. Christmas decor with my roomies
2. Christmas shopping
3. Christmas devotional at church
4. watched people make gingerbread houses
5. work gift exchange & dinner
6. Christmas caroling
7. saw "It's A Wonderful Life" at the historic Lido Theater
8. Fashion Island Christmas tree
9. Ugly Sweater Party
10. sang in the church Christmas program
11. went to a church Christmas concert
12. another Christmas party
13. helped get two live trees with friends
14. biked the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights
15. learned how to play Silent Night on my guitar (thanks, Nat!)
Still to come:
1. Disneyland Christmas lights
2. LA temple Christmas lights
3. more shopping
4. golfing (no, it's not related to Christmas but we do it yearly before Christmas so it counts)
5. Balboa Boat Parade
6. at least one more Christmas party
7. slumber party at Steph's (including watching The Grinch!)
I'm sure I forgot some stuff. Such a fun month! Everyone enjoy! And spread the cheer! xoxo
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies III
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
- Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
- To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Too Much Chocolate Cake
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
- 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate. If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.
A few weeks ago, I made another cake for my friend, Vanessa’s birthday. She wanted vanilla cake, which I didn’t really even know existed, so I did some searching and found a recipe. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite cake but several of the girls absolutely loved it. Of course, I don’t use cake flour so I found the conversion for regular flour online (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour).
Basic Vanilla Cake
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- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch cake pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Beat in the butter one heaping 1/4 teaspoonful at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles fine damp sand. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and milk, and beat on medium-high, just until blended. Do not overbeat.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean — 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Un-mold and cool completely. Ice with Browned-Butter Glaze.
Here’s the recipe for the glaze:
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- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Melt the butter over medium-low heat until golden brown. Whisk the sugar, salt, milk, lemon juice, and zest together. Add the melted butter in a stream while whisking until smooth.
I also made a delicious pumpkin cheesecake for a dinner I went to on Halloween. I love pumpkin.
- FOR THE CRUST
- 1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (from 10 whole crackers)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- FOR THE FILLING
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) bar cream cheese, very soft
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin-pie spice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Assemble a 9-inch nonstick springform pan, with the raised side of the bottom part facing up.
- Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until moistened; press firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden around edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Make the filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth; mix in flour (do not overmix). Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, vanilla, and salt; mix just until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next.
- Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour filling into springform, and gently smooth top. Transfer to oven; reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stay in oven 2 hours more (without opening).
- Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. Unmold before serving.
I read this tip online and followed it exactly: To prevent the top from cracking, be careful not to overmix the batter, and do not open the oven door while the cake is baking or cooling inside the oven. Who wants a cracked cheesecake, right? However, what I didn’t read online was that I need to use parchment paper in the springform pan so that the cheesecake is easy to remove. Result: cracked cheesecake. I was very sad but it still looked pretty darn good and tasting amazing. Seriously, everyone should try this cheesecake.
That’s the end of my baking adventures for today!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
What a fun weekend! My parents flew in on Thursday afternoon. We ate dinner at my favorite local taco joint, Great Mex. Oh, how I love Great Mex! Cheap and oh so delicious. Mom and Dad didn’t love it as much as I do but they still liked it. One problem: they don’t like cilantro! Yikes! How can anyone truly enjoy Mexican food without cilantro?!?
Thursday evening we went to
We could have easily ended the night then and there, especially since Mom and Dad were worn out from their day of travelling, but alas, we went to a movie with Naco, Leni, Sarah Dawn, and Jackie. We saw “Secretariat.” That movie was sooooo good! Seriously, check it out. We all loved it, even though we had to sit in the front 10 rows because the rest of the seats had been removed for some reason. I guess we should have brought our lawn chairs.
I worked for a few hours Friday morning while M&D slept in. Then we headed to Wildomar to visit Tami & family! We took the
Friday evening we went to the
Saturday morning we went down to
of dolphins and some sea lions. The dolphins were so cool! There were hundreds of them and they swam along with the boat jumping around and showing off. My favorite ones were the babies…adorable. We all took motion sickness pills before the boat ride so the good news is that nobody got sick. The bad news is that we were so tired! Mom slept some in the car afterward and I crashed later that night.
After the boat ride, we ate lunch at Café Rio. Delicioso! Mom and Dad really liked this place and we all stuffed ourselves with chips & salsa, sweet pork barbacoa salad, tortilla soup, and a pork burrito! Then we drove down the PCH, stopped and walked around at
Sunday morning I slept in while M&D patiently read and ate breakfast. I had to go to choir practice at noon so they sat and listened to that. Then we were at church all afternoon. M&D met lots of people and enjoyed great talks and lessons. Oh and Mom picked out a son-in-law. I don’t know how she picked just one out of all those options! I’ll see what I can do, Mom.
Sunday evening we went for a walk at the
Monday morning I dropped M&D off at the airport at 5:45am for their 6:45am flight back to
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Almost equally exciting...Gossip Girl is back. xoxo
I’m having one of those days where I got dressed this morning in an outfit I’ve worn previously and everything seemed fine. Then shortly after I got to work, I realized that my v-neck is a little lower than I’d like it to be. Not a huge deal unless I turn my body in certain positions…then things get a little dicey! Maybe I should safety pin a sticky note to the shirt to remind me the next time I wear it…this shirt requires a tank top underneath!!
I also have a darling black dress that stretches out quickly after I put it on and becomes loose and a little too low cut. Criminy, what is it with these clothes?!? And, of course, I’m always super rushed when I get dressed in the mornings so I don’t have time to think about these things.
So there’s my slight wardrobe malfunction for today. Peace in the middle east.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Wendy, Lulu, and I being cool
I went to Pismo Beach a few weeks ago with this fun group. We camped two nights, went to the dunes and rode ATV's, ate at a famous cinnamon roll shop, roasted lots of marshmallows around the campfire, and had tons of fun.
I crammed Vegas into a day on Saturday. Luckily, my friend Lulu loves Vegas and has a friend there so went along for the ride. We went to my dear friend, Hilary's wedding reception, which was beautiful. And it was so good to see her! She got married in Salt Lake City on April 24th but she and her husband live in Vegas, so they had another reception there. She looked gorgeous!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
April 18...happy birthday to one of my very best friends, MiCaH!! Oh the stories I could tell! But I won't because how could I choose between our days of cheerleading, lifeguarding, and driving in the grass to our days of karaoke, dancing, Cozumel, concerts, and everything in between!?!? Good times, good times.
April 24...my big sister, Stephanie! Happy birthday, Steph! When Stephanie was in high school, we would go upstairs to her room while she was sleeping and ask her if we could borrow her clothes. It worked like a charm but didn't necessarily stop her from being mad when she saw us later! Four kids later and sharing everything, she's still my awesome oldest sister who I love dearly!
April 27...daddy-o!! Happy bday to my awesome dad! He is the best. I mean, seriously, he lived in a house with SIX females!! I don't ever remember him complaining about all of us girls...then again, he probably couldn't get a word in edge-wise! My dad has taught me so much...from working cattle and mowing lawns to taking vitamins and saving money (oops, didn't really catch on to that one!). If I could just get him out of Kansas to come visit this beautiful place I live in!
And I can't leave out Grandma Rose. Her birthday would have been April 22. This picture is from her last birthday, age 91. I think of her often and miss her dearly!! Her influence in my life will never be forgotten.
Happy birthday to all and to all a good night!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Here's what I have, though...a busy life of fun. Yep. I'm full of fun. Some might even say I'm a dirty little fun-haver. It's true. For example, I did the Warrior Dash on Saturday. It was a muddy, awesome mess. I'll get some pics and give you more details soon.
Side note: I love it when I have boys over for dinner and they do the dishes. That really happened! And not just once but THREE TIMES!! And the first two times my dishwasher was broken. That's legit.
PS I don't think blogophoric is a word but I made it up. It means fear of starting a blog. I should probably add it to Wikipedia.