Friday, March 29, 2013

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake {recipe}

I have a meyer lemon tree in my backyard, so I'm always looking for recipes that call them. This recipe is from New York's Abraco coffee shop (printed in bon appétit), but I slightly modified it so I could use up some of my lemons.  

The tarty sweetness from the lemons goes perfectly with the mild flavored olive oil in this cake.  My favorite is from Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company but any good olive oil will do.

I'm using the term 'cake' here very loosely, since I have had this for breakfast with a large bowl of fresh berries. There's something about using olive oil instead of butter that makes me feel like it's healthy.

It's such a light and mild flavored bread it's really nice to serve with or after a big meal, like Easter brunch or dinner.


Happy Easter Weekend!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the star of the family: Love

One of the first time's that Dan was hanging out with my family, we were talking about one of my cousins basketball games.  Dan's a huge basketball fan and my cousin, Kenny is a senior on the varsity basketball team at my old high school. 

My mom said something that will forever go down in our family history.  When we were talking about Ken and what a great basketball player he is, my mom told Dan "he's the star of the family".

I think she may have meant the star of the basketball team or a star basketball player or something.  But she immediately caught herself and we all started laughing.

I think I responded with something like, "well that's definitely good to know."

It's now become a running joke between me and my cousin.  On his Christmas present this year, I put a glittery star and he jokes about getting to do what he wants since he's "the star".

It's all in good fun as he is one of the most humble people I know, as noted in an article about him in the local newspaper {here}.

One of his teammates is quoted saying that he is the most unselfish player on the team.  His scoring per game went down this year which a lot of people raised questions about.  It turns out this was a conscious decision he made, saying that he knew the team would be better overall if he passed the ball and made more assists than shots himself.

{the student body holds up hearts for his free throws}

Saturday was the last game of his high school career.  The team made it to the California State Championship, which has only happened 4 times in the history of the school.  It's the first time that the school didn't get stomped at the Championship.  Up until the last 3 minutes of the game the score was always within a few points.  It ended 58-52 with the other team winning.


I am so incredibly proud of my cousin.  He ends his high school basketball career with over 1,000 points scored and holding the school record for wins, 107.  More than that, you won't find a single person that could say an unkind thing about him.


One of my favorite sayings and something that I admire about him so much.

For you Ken Love:
#soproud #loveneverfails

Heck, maybe he is the star of the family. I'l have to let my brother know. :)


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

lovely weekend

I had a lovely start to the weekend.  Friday night was fantastic!

My friend and her fiancé came over with our mothers and we talked the whole night of their wedding plans.  Less than 2 months away now!

We munched on cheese and fruit, and stuffed peppers, a gruyère and asparagus tart and opened a bottle of prosecco.  My table looked so pretty.  I wish I would've taken a couple photos, but between Friday night traffic, too much time spent apart and 2 puppies running around - hunger got the better of us and we dove right in.

Pretend it looked like this:

I swear it kinda did though. :)

Pacino loved playing with her 11-week old, 1 1/2 pound, maltipoo, Pippa.  I don't think he'd ever seen a dog smaller than him.  He's 4 lbs.  No photos there though, either. (Worst blogger ever)  They were adorable together though, trust me.

I gave my friend her bridal shower gifts early.  I had made her a few things for the wedding and I didn't want her to feel pressure to use them if they weren't her style.  If she did use them, I wasn't sure she'd want all the guests at the shower to have already seen them.

Place cards for her and her fiancé and a glittery sign for the dessert table 
that reads - Love is Dern Good. (Dern is her last name)

"Carpe Diem" framed with her wedding colors - in remembrance of her oldest brother.

She is still trying to decide on all white flowers vs. colorful flowers so I played around on pinterest and blogs and illustrator and did 2 mood boards for her.  Her colors are grey with bits of tiffany blue, aqua, mint.



Which color scheme do you like better?

I had big plans for Saturday and Sunday too: french macaron making, spring dress shopping at the Old Navy and GAP weekend sales, her bridal shower, cake tasting, food tasting, etc.  

Unfortunately, a migraine rendered me completely useless from Saturday to Monday afternoon.  
I had ONE glass of champagne, ONE.  And it felt like I'd been doing shots all night.  

Is it possible to be allergic to alcohol.  
I'm pretty sure they'll take away my wine country residency if it is.  

My mom ended up picking me and Pacino up Saturday evening where I laid on my parents couch for the next 24 hours alternating between an ice pack and a heating pad on my head, watching Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy try to figure out if they loved or hated each other and the Bluth family also trying to figure out if they loved or hated each other.  (How did Arrested Development get cancelled?!)

Does anyone else get migraines?  Any tips on preventing or relieving the pain?

Hope your weekend's were fun and pain-free!  


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

superhuman happiness

I haven't much felt like posting lately.  Stress baking, yes, but posting and reading 
and commenting blogs, no.

You see, there's some stuff my family is dealing with and as much as I'm trying not to let it, 
it's pretty much consuming my thoughts right now.

  (Apologies for the vague-ness.  I've always hated vague posts and swore I'd never write them, 
but the story isn't fully mine to share.)

Today I had to post.  

In the middle of all the craziness there is happiness - Superhuman Happiness.

My brother's band is in The Wall Street Journal.

That's my brother, second from the left. The article is about one of his bands, Superhuman Happiness. Read it here.  

A few months ago, they were also featured on the homepage of Rolling Stone's website.  

My favorite part from The Wall Street Journal article
"When I started making demos, I played them for all the major producers. They all passed," he recalled. "They said: 'You need a front man with a charismatic voice.'" But the members of Superhuman Happiness were convinced they have something special as they are.

"It's wonderful to feel creative rewards for being patient," Mr. Bogie said. "When you mean what you play, you're sending something out to the universe."

am so extremely proud of my brother.  There are not many people in this world who have the courage to do what they truly love.  He is so talented and so patient and so determined.  

A few weeks ago, this review was written about my brother:

"most guitarists plug into amplifiers. but after settling down at our table in the soft luminescence of club b10 at MASS MOCA, i slowly awakened to the reality that this electric guitar was plugged directly into the space-time continuum. had the concert begun already? were the gently swelling chords part of the show, or had they always been there from the beginning of time?
whatever their origin, these notes were not played; they were invoked. the soloist didn’t take the stage; he merely existed alongside the audience. he was a musician without ego, a sonic force without presence, a true rarity in the universe. i was experiencing the first stage of superhuman happiness; serenity." by christopher brownfield

In reference to this review, my brother said "finally someone who gets it". ;)


*check out more at

Monday, March 4, 2013

blueberry muffins {recipe}

I was driving home from Dan's yesterday and realized that this is the first weekend in a while that I haven't baked something delicious.  I was sort of getting used to a wonderful smelling kitchen and having food to eat during the week.  (This doesn't happen often.)

I realize I've shared a similar recipe before here before.  But I tweaked this one just a bit and like it so much better.  I love this recipe so much because it's all things you might normally have on hand.

  • Set aside about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the blueberries.  After I spoon the batter into the pan, I press a couple of berries into the top of each muffin.  This just makes them prettier once they're baked, like the muffins are bursting with berries.
  • Before you fold the blueberries into the batter - lightly toss them with a bit of the flour mixture. This will help "suspend" them in the batter so that they don't all sink to the bottom of the muffin. 
  • If you use the full 2 1/2 cups of blueberries, use paper liners for the muffins.  It's easier to get them out of the pan without falling apart.
  • This recipe is really forgiving.  If you only have 2 eggs, that's fine, the muffin will just be a bit more dense.  If you want to use all whole wheat or all white flour, totally fine too.  Use what you have!
  • Be generous with the sprinkling of raw sugar.  I promise, it's delicious!
  • Serve warm with butter or honey butter  {1 cube butter + 2 tbs honey}

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