Friday, November 30, 2012

Too Soon For The Tree?

When is too soon to get the tree?  I grew up with a fake white Christmas tree, 1960's much, so our tree went up the day after Thanksgiving.  Apparently this is not how it always works with real trees.  

Mac is a fan of real trees and has been against getting the tree so early in the season, he's a second week of December kind of guy.  Something about the tree drying out, hundreds of hot lights, fire hazard, blah,blah, blah...but this year he's agreed to get it early.  We're getting the tree tonight!  We'll be at home with a couple friends drinking wine and enjoying the pine smell!

What's your tree tradition, real or fake?  How soon is too soon? 

Have you seen this? I swear my mom has said most of these things!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday Food Porn

Rainy, cozy December days call for peppermint hot chocolate!  Doesn't this just make you want to curl up in a floppy sweater with a book?  I found this recipe here, but my favorite version is the simple cocoa recipe with peppermint schnapps for an extra kick.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pasta Party

 A couple weeks ago my friend Abbey and I decided to take a pasta class and it was one of the funnest things we'd done together in a long time!  We both love to cook but the group setting, family style meal, and glasses of wine made it feel more like a party then a class.  

 The ten of us in the class spent three hours around a round table making four types of pasta: dill linguine with salmon, butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage, pasta bows stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a creamy garlic sauce, and lasagna in a spicy marinara sauce. 

 I've mentioned before that pasta has never been my forte and this class taught Abbey and I so much.  I learned that what I thought had been ruined dough just meant that I had not been working it enough to come together and that you don't need a pasta machine to make great noodles, but it sure does help. 

 Feeding the past through the machine took some practice, all of us ripped it at lest once. I felt like such a pro by the end of class though that I'm on the verge of buying the attachment. 

 Our stuffed bows ready to boil. 

Spicy marinara?  Yes please!

Our class at Hipcooks was so much fun Abbey and I can't wait to take another.  They even offer a cocktail and appetizer class,how fun does that sound?  Have you ever taking a cooking class?  What would you want to brush up on?  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kitchen Essentials: French Press

It's that time of year when we start thinking of gift ideas for the whole family...but also when the whole family starts asking you what you want.  This is one of the goodies I want this year.

I love my giant makes-ten-cups-in-one-minute coffee maker but sometimes I miss the flavor of the coffee from the little french press I had years ago.  So I started the hunt for a nice coffee press and now I can't make up my mind.  Aren't these all just too adorable!  

So here are some ideas if you're looking to add a new touch to your kitchen or if you know someone who would love one of these.  
Which is your favorite?  There are lots of alternative colors but unfortunately I can't find other colors of the pink press outside of the UK.  Links to all ten are available here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Bread French Toast

What's that you say?  You have a full house for Thanksgiving, you've never made a turkey, and oh have no idea what to make everyone for breakfast.  Ta-da, pumpkin bread french toast!  Quick, easy, cheap, and everyone will be impressed.  

I started with the Trader Joe's box pumpkin bread mix, it's so good you might as well save yourself the time of making it from scratch.  I also made the pumpkin bread the night before and let it cool while I slept, sleeping in is always a plus!  So whip up a batch for Thanksgiving morning or brunch with friends.  A full loaf of bread will serve 12 and should cost $12 or less depending on what you have in your pantry.  Recipe after the jump!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Over The River And Through The Woods

Wouldn't you kill for this table setting?

Isn't it funny how short weeks can feel the longest. Sitting at your desk knowing in two hours you'll be on your way to family, turkey, turkey, turkey, and champagne!  It's like being a little kid in school on the day before summer at 2:15.  

Well the car is packed and at 12:00 I am on my way to my family's for Autumn happiness! Have a very happy Thanksgiving loves, may your weekends be filled with love and pie!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Food Porn Friday

What do you say we give Fridays a little twist and add some food porn?  I mean who doesn't need more delicious looking food in their life?  Well my tummy pooch doesn't but what the hell, these pumpkin cinnamon rolls look scrumptious and I want them!

Depending on the timing and just how much room we have in my parent's oven I may have to whip up a batch of these for Thanksgiving morning. I have been wanting to try them for a while and at least with everyone around I wont end up eating them all.  

I almost always have cooking on the brain but this weekend I am especially excited.  This Sunday my friend Abbey and I are off to a pasta making class and gourmet meal.  I've tried a couple times and have never been able to really master home made pasta aside from gnocchi so this will be a much needed class.  Anyone else have fun weekend plans?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Apple Cider Doughnuts

A few years ago my brother and his wife took an October trip to Vermont, visited apple orchards, took pictures of leaves, and came back telling tales of these wonderful treats called apple cider doughnuts.  Growing up in California we aren't surrounded by apple orchards but the ones I had been to never had cider doughnuts...I've been lamenting this since. 

This fall I decided the time had come to make some myself and after seeing this delicious recipe from The SoHo I got my butt in the kitchen.  I've made a few adaptations  and my expectations were high but these little treats didn't disappoint. 

I have to say I was intimidated by the notion of frying,I had never fried anything before in my life, turns out..I was intimidated for nothing.  The doughnuts are simple and I didn't burn myself once, not that I'm accident prone or anything. 

Go ahead, try them out, and let me know what you think.  How perfect would these treats be on Thanksgiving morning all snuggled up watching the parade?  Recipe after the jump.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


There are somethings I can't be without in my kitchen and lately I have been craving ginger.  Like crazy craving it.  The first time I really became a fan of ginger I was surfing the crimson tide in high school, hating life with nausea and a headache when my friend gave me some candied ginger to eat.  Amazing!  Eased my sweet tooth and helped with my symptoms holistically.  Since then ginger and I have been best friends.  

I've started drinking Yogi ginger tea almost every evening and when it comes to cocktails I've gotten just a little addicted to Canton ginger liqueur (I buy the sample size).  There's something so energizing about the smell of ginger, I find myself constantly buying candles to keep around my place. And let's not even talk about cooking with ginger, well let's talk about it but we'll save that for another blog post cuz honey I love that too!  

Here's a link to some of the benefits of ginger and a few ginger liqueur cocktail recipes, I just can't get enough!

1.Yogi ginger tea / 2.Candied ginger / 3. Versatile ginger root 4.In everything / 5.Ginger snap recipe / 6.Wanting this ginger candle 7.Domaine de Canton

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Cozy Friday

Happy Friday lovelies!  We are finally getting cold and cozy weather her in southern California.  There was rain off and on all day yesterday and I loved every second of it!  I took this picture yesterday on my lunch break at my favorite coffee house. The walls are lined with books, it's filled with overstuffed chairs, warm lighting, and has the coziest sitting area around a great big fireplace...perfect for a rainy afternoon.  

Anyone have weekend plans?  It looks like Mac and I will be having another quiet weekend.  I have more Etsy orders to fill and after talking to my mom about her baking adventures I am now craving apple pie.  Looks like a weekend in the craft room, the kitchen, and the gym.  Have a great weekend, whatever you end up doing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Eclairs With Chocolate Ganache

When I was a little girl and my family would go to the local bakery I loved to stand in front of the glass pastry case staring at the eclairs.  Dreaming of pastry filled with custard dipped in chocolate!  The first time I had one I was a gonner.  

Years later when I got to work behind the scenes at the bakery walking into the smell of eclairs baking I felt like I was in Willy Wonkas chocolate factory.  Sheer heaven and surprise.  Eclairs were far simpler to make than I imagined.  I thought they would be challenging like croissants but luckily even a novice could make them...and eat them.  

 It has been a few years since I made eclairs but I got to thinking about pumpkin filling and before I new it I was in the kitchen. I was so happy with the results that I have to share the recipe.  What's not to love?  We're talking pumpkin, pastry, and chocolate!  Recipe after the jump. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Go Vote!

Left, right, or center please get out there and vote today! 

Weekend Review

Starbucks red cups are here, what more do you need to have a great weekend?  How about a spa day facial and massage?  I love Living Social sometimes!  Saturday was a relaxing morning with my coffee, a great workout, then an afternoon at a fun eclectic spa.  Messy hair and no make up after my day there but my skin feels fabulous!  

We spent Saturday night watching college football and somehow I ended up at the one sports bar in southern Californa that was filled with Oregon fans.  I didn't make a lot of friends.  

Sunday was Crispin cider on tap at Whole Foods after lunch and an afternoon in my craft room filling Etsy orders.  Loved having a weekend with no set plans after all the Halloween activities last week.  A perfect reminder to take care of my self, get lots of sleep, and the importance of sitting with my guy for a little quiet time.  
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