Monday, September 29, 2014

One year later...

Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary.  We spent it driving 9 hours home from Oregon where we had spent the last few days at our friends' gorgeous wedding. 

We also announced some exciting news to our family and friends.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strawberry Oat Muffins {recipe}

We hosted Mother's Day this weekend, and I'm starting to realize you end up with loads of leftovers when hosting.  I really dislike letting food go to waste. So last night after making a delicious crust-less quiche thrown together from all our leftovers {recipe to come!}, I saw the flat of strawberries in our fridge and knew I had to figure out something to do with them.

Amanda's recipe has been my go to muffin recipe of late.  I switch it up depending on what fruit I have on hand and I've been substituting the olive oil with coconut oil that gives them a much more decadent taste.

I love flipping through Marina's recipe book and saw a muffin recipe with rolled oats, found them in my pantry and decided to give it a go. 

These muffins were quite possibly the best I've ever made.  I'm disappointed I only made 1 batch.

Strawberry Oat Muffins
{makes about 1 dozen}
inspired by and adapted from Amanda and Marina

1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
raw sugar, for sprinkling on top

It's best to make this recipe by hand instead of using a stand mixer.  Your muffins will come out lighter and fluffier that way.

Preheat over to 400 degrees F.

In large bowl combine flour, rolled oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. 

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with melted coconut oil (make sure the oil isn't too hot or it will cook the egg).  Stir in the greek yogurt.  Add sugar and vanilla and mix until combined.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into it.  Using a rubber spatula, give it 3 stirs.  Add in chopped strawberries (less 1/8 cup), and stir until batter is just barely combined.  Some dry flour may be visible - that's okay! You don't want to over mix.

Fill a greased muffin pan {lined or not} with the batter to the top for each cup. Place the remaining strawberries on top of each muffin and gently push into the batter.  Generously sprinkle raw sugar over the top of each muffin.

Place in 400 degree F oven. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and a cake tester or toothpick comes out dry.  

If using liners, immediately remove them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack. Otherwise let them sit a minute or two in the pan and then place on a cooling rack.

{Placing in a hotter oven will help the muffins rise, giving you a lighter fluffier muffin.}



I've been using vitacost for most of my grocery needs lately.  You can get $10 off your order through this link. **I get $10 too :) I promise you'll love it!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter 2014

I have a pinterest board named 'this is the dream I'm working on'.  I was inspired to create it after reading posts from here and here. I love finding pins that belong on this board. I'm probably even a bit too discerning with what I'll pin to it.

Last weekend we hosted Easter for our families.  This was the first party we've hosted together, the first as a married couple, and the first time having everyone over to our new home. Both our our mothers are amazing hostesses and amazing cooks.  Needless to say, I was a bit nervous.

By no small miracle, all of the food was ready at the same time. 
Dan and I were seated next to each other at the head of the table.  
I had the perfect view of our families around the table.


There was a moment at dinner where everyone was talking and eating and laughing, 
I sat back and looked around the table and had overwhelming feelings of contentment and joy.  
I was right smack in the middle of a life that I had dreamed of. 

I paused for a few moments and let myself experience it; hopefully locking away that image, feeling incredibly grateful and then jumped right back in to eating and laughing with our families.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas morning breakfast menu

For as long as I can remember we've had the same thing on Christmas morning.  It's funny, we all love this breakfast, but for some reason we only make it once a year.

What I love about it is that both dishes are made the night before so that the morning you (or in my case, my Dad) gets up first and pops them in the oven.  I'm usually sitting by the tree going through my stocking when this happens - yes, I still get a stocking :)

Spinach strada
 - 6 croissants, cut in half lengthwise (you may not use all of them depending on the size
 - 6 eggs, room temperature
 - 1 1/2 cups milk, whole or skim (I wouldn't use nonfat) 
 - 1/2 tsp salt
 - 1/4 tsp pepper
 - 1/4 tsp nutmeg
 - 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
 - 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded monterey jack cheese (optional - pepper jack cheese for a bit of a kick)
 - 7 oz crumbled feta cheese
 - optional - mushrooms, thinly sliced and then roughly chopped

Place croissants crust side down in lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle spinach out evenly over croissants (if using mushrooms, add at this time).  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg. Pour egg mixture over spinach and croissants.  Press croissants down so that liquid can soak into them a bit. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over strada. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take strada out of the fridge and let come to room temperature, about 15-20 minutes.  Uncover and bake 40-45 minutes.  If cheese gets too dark too quickly, cover with foil while baking.  Serve warm.  This is even better the next day or for brunch with a big green salad.

Bubble bread
(also known as monkey bread)
 - 1 package frozen white dinner rolls, thawed
 - 1 box (4 oz) butterscotch pudding (not instant)
 - 1/4 cup white sugar
 - 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
 - 2 tsp cinnamon
 - 1 cube butter, melted
 - optional - chopped pecans

Cut dinner rolls into 2-3 pieces each.  Mix pudding, sugars, cinnamon and nuts. Sprinkle a bit of the sugar mixture on the bottom of a lightly greased bundt pan.  Dip each piece of dough in melted butter and roll in sugar mixture.  Place dough in pan.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar and pour remaining butter over rolls. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Remove bubble bread from fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Leave covered and in a warm place to allow the rolls to rise. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover and bake 35-45 minutes. Cover with foil if top browns to quickly.  Let stand in pan for about 10 minutes.  Place plate upside down on bundt pan and flip over.  Tap bundt pan if bread doesn't fall immediately. Serve warm and with lots of napkins.

Hope your Christmas morning is filled with family, friends and yummy, delicious food!


Thursday, November 7, 2013


I love that there's a time dedicated each year to focus on being thankful.

I started this list over a year ago and although (technically) I didn't meet my goal of 1,000 things, I more than met my goal of noticing and being grateful for life's everyday gifts that sometimes we are too busy / too tired / too stressed to notice.

Since starting that challenge, daily something jumps out at me that I am thankful for - whether it's a phone call from a friend to keep me company on my commute home or the gorgeous pink sky at dusk (I'm a sucker for a pink sky).

Of course, those things happened before, I just didn't always take notice of truly what a gift they were.

I am constantly reminded that gratitude mostly definitely changes everything.

So for this month I'm hoping to write a weekly list here to help me focus on being thankful for life's big and small gifts that I'm sure I take for granted all too often.

Here is my short and very incomplete list for today:

I am grateful for:
the wonderful man I just married 
(almost 6 weeks as newlyweds)
having so many friends and family that live nearby
working for a company I love
living near the ocean
a morning cup of hot coffee
leg warmers
sweater weather

What are you grateful for?


Friday, November 1, 2013

chocolate pumpkin bread {recipe}

I was looking for two things when I decided to make pumpkin bread:

 1 - I wanted to use one whole can of pumpkin purée 
Seriously, what do people do with the leftovers in the can from most recipes?

 2 - I wanted something that both the adults and kids would like at last weekends sleepover

This totally delivered on both.

Chocolate pumpkin bread
yield: 2 loaves + 12 mini muffins


 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 - 1 tbs cinnamon
 - 1 tbs nutmeg
 - 2 tsp baking soda
 - 1 1/2 tsp salt
 - 3 cups sugar
 - 1 (15oz) can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
 - 1 cup canola oil
 - 2/3 cup water
 - 1 tbs vanilla paste
 - 4 large eggs
 - 1 cup chocolate pieces (I used 72% dark because then I can pretend it's healthy)

Muffin topping - I stole this from Amanda and now keep a cinnamon sugar mixture in my baking supplies to add to all my muffins
 - 1 tsp cinnamon
 - 1 tbs raw sugar
 - chocolate pieces, chopped


Preheat over to 350 degrees F.  Spray pans with cooking spray.

Chop chocolate chips and set aside.  I like to chop them so that there are some really fine pieces and some big chucks.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.  In separate bowl or stand-mixer, combine all of the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients 1 cup at a time.  Mix just until combined.  Gently fold in chocolate pieces.

Pour batter into muffin tins; I fill them almost to the top.  Evenly distribute the rest of the batter between 2 loaf pans.

Bake loaves for 55-60 minutes and mini muffins for approximately 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.


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