Monday, February 28

A Must Have...


If you love cookbooks this is a must for your collection! Easy ways to prepare a variety of veggies that are absolutely delicious is what you'll find. I've struggled to want and be able to prepare foods like bok choy, turnips and beets but after reading Fast, Fresh & Green, it opened me up to understand the easy and best ways to cook those foods. 

Last night I cooked Roasted Turnips and Pear with Rosemary-Honey Drizzle from Fast, Fresh and Green. All I can say is awesome! The rosemary and honey highlighted the bosc pears and turnips that were cooked crispy and tender. It had a wonderful sweet but savory taste. I felt like the flavor combination of fruit and root was very creative!


Sunday, February 27

Buttery Almond Cookies


A simple and tasty recipe from my very first cookbook given to me for my 11th birthday!


1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds or whatever nuts you have handy

Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix until creamed together; scrape sides. Add flour and nuts and continue mixing until the dough looks like moist pebbles.

Gently squeeze the dough together with your hands; when it comes together place it on a large piece of plastic wrap. Using your hands shape the dough into a log 10' long, two inches in diameter. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, around three hours.

Preheat the oven to 350'F and line three baking sheets with foil.

Unwrap the dough and cut slices 1/4' thick. Place on the baking sheets about an inch apart (they spreed a bit). Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 14-16 minutes. When they're done place them on a rack to cool completely. Repeat for the other baking sheets.

Makes about 40 cookies

Thursday, February 24

Latest Discovery

I came across an amazing series from Gourmet called Diary of a Foodie, and I just cant get enough! Each episode takes a cultural look at a different area of food. I feel like it's answering so many questions I've had throughout my culinary education that my Chefs/Professors haven't been able to explain to me. It's fun to watch, extremely informative and shows recipes/tips at the end of every episode. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!



Saturday, February 19

Vegan Coconut-Lemon Bundt Cake



 Absolutely delish and super easy! It came out dense, moist and very flavorful.  I love to try Vegan baking every now and then because it gets you comfortable with different ingredients and techniques. Plus, the shock value of telling someone its Vegan after they take a bite is priceless!
  

Vegan Coconut-Lemon Bundt Cake

1 2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 (14 ounce can) coconut milk
1/2 cup rice or soy milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
confections sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350'F. Lightly grease an 8' or 10' Bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, lemon juice, coconut milk, rice/soy milk, zest and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in batches to the wet ingredients, mix well. Fold in the coconut.
Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or unitl the edges are browned and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Then place a cutting board over the cake, gently flip over and release the cake. Let cool completely then sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake.

green tea

Another easy craft to do on this very rainy day. Turn an unused tea cup into a perfect spot for a little succulent!


Friday, February 18

DIY Jewelery Frame

I feel in love with this Jewelry Frame from Urban Outfitters but didn't want to wait for shipping (patience is a virtue that I'm lacking). So I turned that lust into inspiration and decided to make my own!


It ended up being an extremely easy mission to fulfill!  Went to the Goodwill and found a pile of perfect frames. Then went to the hardware store picked some screening and had them cut and fit it to my frame. After that I popped it in and secured the screen with the frame pegs and... VOILA! 


Jewelery Frame that took me less than an hour to make and cost a little under five dollars!


Monday, February 14

love is in the air


Perfect time of year to make a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes!  I used a recipe courtesy of the Food Network Show: Throwdown with Bobby Flay. They turned out awesome!

  

Its so much fun to make your own Valentines. I sewed felt hearts and filled them with dried lavender.


Passed a sweet window display at Tiffany and Co. in Carmel last week...


Recently went back to the tree my Valentine craved our initials into...

Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 6

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Every year my parents and I spend the weekend in Carmel for my Dad's birthday. It's hands down, one of my favorite places in the world!

 
Baked his birthday cake: chocolate almond flour cake with a layer of blackberry whipped cream covered with chocolate ganache.... He's a chocolate lover for sure!

Amazingly beautiful Point Lobos State Reserve in the Carmel Highlands

  

  
My favorite spot in Carmel! Romantic courtyard with an art studio inside.



Friday, February 4

late night cravings

craving to die for Swedish kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls),


and Archipelago sunrises!

Wednesday, February 2

Tuesday, February 1

Needle Felting

I conquered needle felting! I made these little guys out of some wool I dyed a few years ago. It's super fun... and now I'm hooked!