It’s Monday!

How was your weekend?

I spent 4 days in Albuquerque.  Then, Brooke and I successfully kicked off wedding season at Wente for Amy and Mark’s celebration!  Sunday was culling down wedding photos, eating leftover wedding candy, and finally cooking dinner for Nick and I after about a week of eating out for both of us!

In my cooking and baking excitement, I decided to try baking paleo muffins.  They turned out great so I thought I’d share the recipe!

Paleo-ish Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Bravo for Paleo)

2.5 C almond meal (I use TJs)
1 Tbs coconut flour (I bought mine at Costco – too much! I’ve heard TJs sells it)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs vanilla
1/4 C melted coconut oil
1/4 C maple syrup (grade b)
1/4 C coconut milk (I use the light from TJs)
2 eggs
1/2 C frozen blueberries
1/2 C chocolate chips (no longer paleo)2 Tbs cinnamon

1. Line a 12 count muffin tin and preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine the almond meal, coconut flour, salt, and baking soda in a stand mixer and mix until combined.
3. Add the vanilla, coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, and eggs and continue mixing.
4. Add the blueberries, chocolate chips and cinnamon and lightly mix until combined.  IF you are using fresh blueberries add the chocolate chips and cinnamon first, then gently fold in the blueberries – but honestly, don’t waste fresh blueberries on these muffins!
5.  Divide the mixture into the 12 liners and bake for ~25 min.

 

Addicting Orange Rolls

This. Was. Amazing.

So delicious, I really wish I was eating it now.

They were light, fluffy, with a hint of orange and the most amazing frosting (not glaze).  It tasted like an orange creamsicle!

Ingredients (Adapted from Little Sous Chef)

Rolls
2 C warm water
2 Tbs active dry yeast (roughly 3 packets)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter, room temp
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
5-6 cups flour
1 egg

Filling
1/2 c semi-melted butter
1/2 c sugar
zest of 1 orange (we used a cara cara orange)

Frosting
8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 c butter at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
zest from 1 orange (cara cara)
3 1/2 c powdered sugar

1. Combine water and yeast in the bowl of stand mixer, let stand for 5 min.
2. Add sugar, butter, salt, dry milk, and 2 cups flour
3. Turn mixer on low and beat until smooth
4. Gradually add the remaining flour until it starts to pull away from the bowl
5. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and elastic – we used the dough hook, scraping down a few times
6. Place dough in a greased bowl and let sit until it has doubled in size
7. Make the filling by combining the butter, sugar and orange, set aside
8. Make the frosting by creaming the cream cheese and butter, then add the vanilla and sugar.  Finally, add the zest.  Set aside – but also taste it, it’s delicious!
9. Split the dough in half, roll each piece into a rectangle, spread with half the filling, and roll lengthwise – you want a long log.
10. Cut rounds roughly 1″ long – we used string, but a sharp knife will also work.
11.  Place in a pan so they aren’t quite touching.  Let rise.
12.  Bake for 18-20 min at 350, until slightly golden.
13.  Spread with a generous amount of frosting and serve!

Note: these worked great as a make ahead.  Once they were placed in the pan, we put them in the fridge.  The next morning, we let them sit out for an hour or so before baking.  Delicious!

Potato and Sausage Galette

We had a hankering for something potato-y and crispy this weekend, so naturally we picked the most time intensive dish possible.  A potato galette.  Thinly sliced potatoes filled with sausge, onions and eggs.  Delicious.

But it’s not for the faint of heart.

Ingredients – adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

~4 Medium sized red potatoes, thinly sliced (1/8″ or less)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 package of Jimmy Dean Sausage
4 eggs
4 Tbs of butter
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Move the rack to the bottom of the oven and preheat to 425-450F
2. Rinse the the thinly sliced potatoes and dry completely.  We spread them out on towels and patted dry.3.  Melt 4 Tbs of butter and combine with cornstarch, salt, and pepper.  Toss with dry potato slices (I know….this seems counterproductive, but it’s worth it!)
4. Begin heating a nonstick, ovenproof skillet over med-high heat.  Melt the remaining 1 Tbs of butter and spread around the pan.
5. Beginning laying down potato slices.  Start with 1 in the center and beginning working your way out and slightly up the side, continue layering the potatoes until you’re out – I was able to do approximately 3 layers.
6. Continue cooking the potatoes until they are a little translucent
7. Spray a piece of foil, lay on top of potatoes and place something heavy on top – i.e. pie plate with weights
8. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes
9. While the potato cooks, carmelize the onions and cook the sausage
10. After 20 minutes, remove the pan of potatoes and add the onions and sausage.  Whisk the 4 eggs and pour over the top.
11.  Return to the oven and cook an additional 20 minutes.
12.  After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and serve!

Have I ever told you about our first “date”?

16 years ago Nick called me on the telephone.  You know, the single land line in your home. I’m sure I answered on my super cool headset.

Did I want to hang out?  Sure!

It was a crazy Friday and I was always up for an excuse to leave my books for an evening (party animal, I know).  I suggested the mall and he agreed.  And the rest is history.

10933734_10103727890828798_2238875543792864766_n I’m still not sure how many years passed before I realized he didn’t actually care for the mall AT ALL!  He calls it the “malo”. Which is Spanish for “bad”.  Go figure.

I also thought he wasn’t super smart because he was always calling for help on his homework. Turns out it was just an excuse to call.

Anywho.

Today marks 16 years since that night at Bellevue Square.  And 5 years since that infamous day at SF City Hall.

The other night Nick mentioned celebrating 6 years of marriage.  I told him not to count his chickens because we were only on year 5.  He was bummed because the gift for 6 years of marriage is candy!

Do you know what the 5 year anniversary gift is? Wood. Get your head out of the gutter.

Guess what he did? He stripped half the dining room table.  Get it?! I couldn’t have been happier.

SFHall.jpg (3)

How I picked my NCAA bracket

Nick in golden gate park I don’t know why I always complete a March Madness bracket.  Basketball is not and area of expertise nor is it even a remote interest.  I’ll pay attention if UW is in the tournament – and I’ll fill out 2 brackets. 1 where they win it all, and another where they lose in the 2nd round.  I was going to sit this year out, but Nick had a group and I decided to join.  Not realizing when the games started, I ended up choosing my teams before I left for work, the morning the tournament started.  In general, this is my strategy:

1. Do I have a connection to the school.

That’s about it.

Oh, and if a team is undefeated, I’ll pick them to go all the way.  We’ve got some friends that went to Wisconsin, easy.  Gonzaga is the only Washington school in the tournament.  And our good friends are from Michigan.  And I always pick Oregon to lose.  Always.  Some of these strategies work, some don’t, but I currently have a 93% ranking on ESPN….whatever that means :)

Did you have a good weekend?  I accidentally booked back to back shoots in the city – Saturday and Sunday.  The weather was great…..which meant the city was crowded.  But Nick tagged along on Saturday and worked under the shade of a small tree and blogged while I shot photos for a friend from work.  We had some delicious Vietnamese food (but not as good as the real stuff) and saw this hilarious sign outside an adult store.

Then Brooke and I spent a MARATHON day in the city on Sunday.  Ironically, the Rock n Roll half marathon was being run in SF on Sunday….not my first run in with marathon chaos 😉  And now I’m pooped.  I need a weekend from my weekend!

Happy Monday!

Did you celebrate Pi(e) day?

I don’t normally celebrate this nerdy day, but since it was Saturday, and an epic Pi day (3/14/15), and I own a Pi(e) plate….you get my drift.  Nick actually suggested we buy one, then I offered to make one instead.  The rest, is history.  Delicious, delicious history.

Do you have a go-to pie recipe?  I’m an apple pie girl, through and through.  Warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  My current favorite is the sour cream apple pie that we make every year for Thanksgiving.  It’s delicious.  Apples with a touch of sour cream, it’s a delicious combination.

Want to give it a try?  Here’s the recipe!

6 to 8 Apples: Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, Macintosh are all good – peeled and sliced
1 Egg (beaten)
1 c Sour cream (you can add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg)
1/4 c Flour
1/2 c Sugar (use ¼ if you are using a sweeter apple)
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Pillsbury crust
Crumble
1 stick Butter (1/2 cup): soften and cut into pieces, using a pastry cutter
1/2 c Oatmeal
1/2 c Flour
1/2 c Brown sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
Combine filling mixture and pour into crust, bake for 30 min at 400F
Combine crumble and add to pie after 30 min of baking. Bake an additional 35 min at 350.
 Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Happy Monday!

We had an eventful weekend! How was yours?

Ours mainly revolved around eating, although there was lots of walking as well.  We had seen an ad for “Mr Burns” – a Simpson’s based play at ACT.  So we bought tickets and headed into the city for some ramen and mochi before the show.

The show was definitely a bit odd, but we still enjoyed our dose of culture.  However, I’ll be sticking to musicals for awhile after that one 😉

We stumbled upon the Chinese New Year parade on our way out of the city….and then got stuck in Chinese New Year parade traffic.  Oy.  The city of San Francisco does a pretty horrible job of organizing the streets for an event like this.

Sunday was spent taking some photos and baking a cake!  My first cake in forever!  Sure, it was from a box, but it was totally delicious!

We added a little maraschino cherry and bacon decoration.  The bacon was A-MAZING!

And speaking of food, the winner of the Blue Aprin giveaway is Erin!! Congrats!  I’ll be emailing you with the details on how to sign up.

Have a great week!

 

Why the Dollar Shave Club is AWESOME

My list of least favorite things:

  • Going to the dentist
  • Paying taxes, all 3 versions I now get to enjoy
  • Getting rid of moldy food (I was dry heaving the other day after I found a moldy orange and accidentally grabbed it without looking)
  • Buying razors

Don’t ask me why, but I really can’t stand it.  In college, I happened upon the leftovers of a random sorority giveaway.  Each bag had 1 free razor + 1 free pack of refills.  I scooped up 10-12 bags and was set for the remainder of college.  No joke.

Fast forward to being an adult and running out of free razors.  I was astonished at how expensive razors could be.  Like completely flabbergasted!  4 little refills for $10+.  What?! Yes, you can get the single blades for much cheaper.  But who shaves with a single blade?!  Barbaric!

Luckily for Nick, I buckled down and bought razors from time to time.  But I sure didn’t like it!

Then Nick signed up for the dollar shave club.

The general premiss is that razors shouldn’t be expensive and they should show up in the mail.

For $1/month, you get a handle + 4 double blade cartridges
For $6/month, you get a handle + 4 quad blade cartridgesand for $9/month, you get a handle + 4 hex blade cartridges (6 blades)

You get the handle and with your first delivery of blades and then just blades from there on out.  You can also determine the frequency with which you get them! Every other month? Totally fine!  They just show up in your mail box.

Nick cuts his own hair these days :)  So he signed up for the club first.  Then, I ran out of razors….and the rest is history.

We get the quad blade cartridges.  It seemed like a nice compromise.  I mean, 6 is kind of overkill, right?!

Interested?  Use his referral link to sign up!  Or don’t.  But seriously, if it allows you to cross something off your “least favorite things” list, why not?!

I WANT CHEAP RAZORS THAT TOTALLY WORK AWESOME!

PS and don’t forget to sign up for my Blue Apron giveaway!

Try Blue Apron FREE for a week!

Have you heard of Blue Apron?

Basically, they send you a box of uncooked, pre-measured food.  They pick the menu and do all the shopping, all you need to do is cut and cook!

We’ve had 2 weeks worth of meals delivered.  Each week comes with 3 different meals, ~2 servings per meal.  I’d say that we’ve enjoyed 5 of the 6 dishes and it has been a great way to try out new flavors and ideas!  There seems to be more prep required than our usual meals, but it gets both of us in the kitchen, which is always fun!  And if you have little ones, you could probably get away with giving them a portion of your food.  Most of the 2 serving recipes provided enough food for dinner + 1 lunch.

So are you super excited about Blue Apron?!  Well guess what, I’m giving away a 1 week subscription to Blue Apron worth $60!  1 lucky ready can try it out!  This is not sponsored by Blue Apron, just me!  Must be NEW to Blue Apron and must live in one of the areas where they currently deliver.

You can enter by leaving a comment and telling me your favorite/go-to meal and by liking me on instagram.  I bribe people to like me.  I’m not ashamed.

The giveaway closes at the end of the day on Friday and I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Flourless, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies

We had a hankering for something sweet on Saturday night.  After a major kitchen cleaning, we found a large amount of oats.  So instead of brownies from a box (which are delicious), we decided something with oatmeal would be good.

A google search for “healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies” came up with all sorts of recipes with applesauce and bananas.  And I don’t have those things just sitting around the house.  And I didn’t really need them to be that healthy.

I finally stumbled upon a recipe for flour-less, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies. (Original Recipe from Tasty Kitchen)

The cookies turned out great and will probably be making their way into the cookie rotation, at least until we eat up our oats!

Ingredients

2/3 C Rolled Oats (I used closer to a cup and am going to try a little more oats the next time I make them, Nick isn’t excited about this modification)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Peanut Butter (I used TJs creamy, salted)
2/3 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2/3 C Chocolate Chips

1. Combine oats and baking soda in a bowl
2. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a mixer until smooth.
3. Add oats/baking soda and mix
4. Add chocolate chips and mix until just combined
5. Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet (I used a cookie scoop and a jelly roll pan with a silpat)
6. Bake at 350F for about 10-12 min.
7. Let cool on a baking rack and enjoy!

Note:  The recipe made roughly 20 cookies, 2 batches of 10 in the oven, ~10×17 pan