Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My puppy is fat.

My puppy is fat. Calvin has gained 2 lbs seemingly overnight! He has a rolly polly belly (which is kinda cute and makes him get stuck on his back). I'm not sure what to do because he is at the 5 lb mark and he is only suppose to be 6 lbs full grown...I think he must be above average (said in a slightly positive but questioning tone). I think putting a puppy on a diet is inhumane (do you think?) ...And, no, I'm not feeding him cupcakes. Chocolate, I've heard, is like crack for puppies. Chocolate is also like crack for me too( but that's besides the point).

You may think this picture is sweet...but Calvin is running AWAY from me. He was not a fan of the beach. Look at that little pout! But at least he's active. That's one way to beat the bulge.

Speaking of bulge...It's time to start baking Christmastime treats! Mmmm!

I tried a new type of cookie...and it was good!

Chocolate Chile Cookies.

Sounds crazy I know. But I'm crazy. And you're not normal. Just Sayin'. Who gets to come up with normal? Not you. It's more fun to be crazy. Not crazy like lock me up crazy...just crazy enough not to be dull. Following? Good.

Okay.

Chocolate Chile Cookies 
From Martha Stewart

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs




Sugar-spice mixture
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chile powder, (or cayenne pepper, which I want to try next time)

1/4 cup sugar



Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chile powder (I used mexican hot chili powder). Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on greased baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

*disclaimer: the chile isn't strong, you actually can't taste it.  It just gives it a warm spiced taste.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Good news or bad news?

Do you want the good news first or the bad news first?

Don't you hate that question? It just makes me mad! Tell me both at the same time for goodness sake!

But since you can't choose which you want to hear first, I'll tell you in the order I want.

The bad news...This weekend was awful. I went to the ER, Calvin was scary sick, Muscle relaxers knocked me out for all of Sunday, and my computer crashed...with a paper due on Tuesday on it....and a group assignment.

The good news? The trip to the ER was probably unnecessary I just freaked myself (and Bradley...and my parents) out, Calvin is still alive and has more energy than ever, I'm not on muscle relaxers right now, and we have a friend that works for Apple...and he is a miracle worker. Oh, and we set up our Christmas tree.

More good news...we are still wearing shorts down here!


Merry Christmas from Florida!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The A-Z's of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for? My mom gave everyone a worksheet from The Gratitude Challenge to write down what you are thankful for A-Z. Take sometime and do this!

Apple Products (mac computers, ipod, etc)
Bradley
Calvin
Desserts
Exercise
Family and Friends
Grace
Home
Internet
Job
Kindness
Learning
Music
New Adventures
Oriental Food-especially the Great Wall of Chocolate from PF Changs
Preferred Care at Home
Quiet Times
Reading
School-the opportunity to go
Time together with my family
Universe-the beach, mountains, nature, stars, sky
Volvo (my car)
Writing
Xtra-I have so much, I'm so blessed
Yummy Food
Zillions more... :)

Perhaps the last one was cheating a little...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apple Spice Cake

There is not much going on in my life right now besides taking care of a little 3 pound furball. But, I did manage to make a Apple Spice Cake. I love baking with all these fall flavors!


It was great! Not too sweet so you could eat it for breakfast too. Next time I make it I'm going to make it as a sheet cake or layer cake and top it with cream cheese frosting. yum.yum.yum. Do it.

Apple Spice Cake

2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
4 tart, firm medium-size baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons sugar

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (I used buttermilk)

1. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and sauté the apples over medium-high heat until the turn golden brown, stirring them as little as possible as they cook.

2. Once cooked through, add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and cook until the apples cubes are nicely glazed and no liquid remains. Transfer apples to a plate and cool to room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F and butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan, tapping out any excess flour.

4. Beat the 12 tablespoons of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, scrape the batter down on the sides, as necessary.

5. In a medium bowl, sift together the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

6. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then mix in the buttermilk or yogurt. Then stir in the remaining dry ingredients until just almost mixed in completely, but do not overmix.

8. Fold in the cooked apples. Scrape the batter into the prepare bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Once cool, drizzle with sugar glaze (1 1/2 powdered sugar with a few teaspoons of water mixed well).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sleepy


Calvin likes to sleep.
He is zonked out here riding in the car. 
Passed out on the floor. 

but...he seems to get a little energy when it's time for bed. 


So Bradley "sound proofed" the breakfast nook (he can breath don't worry, the pillows aren't touching the crate). We slept 7 hours.
Someone's hungry! 


Look at that wittle face! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Puppy Love!

Meet Calvin.

He's my early Christmas present!
I am dying to put a red bow on his head. Dying.

Those are his little paws in front of his face. Can you handle this kind of cute? I can't. Bradley can. I CAN NOT handle how cute he is!

Run like the wind Calvin!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Post 100


"I don't understand," said a girl from class, "Do you just study and make cupcakes?"

Um...yes...

I also make some cookies...specifically for my blog...

Does that make me more or less of a loser? hmm...

Well the fun all started with this little post...

Cooking...aka ruining dinner

And then, thanks to a little in store browsing of "Blogging for Dummies" I made the plunge with: Cooking Advice...really? (In case you haven't noticed...I really like my dot dot dots).

Here are a few of my favorite baking adventures...

House warmining gift: My first time piping buttercream and it changed my life. You can tell by my blot title that I was freaking out: I can't handle the cuteness!

Graduation Party: First time working with candy melts.

Oh my goodness, Gina's engaged! I thought I was pretty clever putting the engagement rings on top of the cupcakes...also the chocolate icing was to.die.for.

These babies were just plain delicious. Peanut butter and chocolate equals love.

  

Nutella cupcakes and my backpacking adventures...which inspired my guest blog post at Iowa Girl Eats! It's the second half of the post.

 Somewhere amid all the butter and sugar...
We moved
 
had a couple birthdays (it's lame only 3 days apart)
had an anniversary!
started graduate school
and I dominated a 5k!

No wonder I've written 100 posts!

Thanks for all the...

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'd like to thank...

I'd like to thank the people who have eaten all my food...starting with my husband, who even eats the ugly food that I won't let out of the house.

I'd like to thank my mom...my number one fan
Who tells complete strangers about my blog and acts like they should already have heard about it.
Mom, I made you your own special cookies! Love you!

I'd like to thank all the people around the world that visit my blog...seriously, I don't know what you are googling to find my blog but I think it's awesome that you are here! Go soccer! (don't you like that sport?)

I'd like to thank *Hugh Jackman, I did a blog post on your look-alike and have gotten many google searches landing on my little baking blog.

I'd like to thank *Martha Stewart for her amazing craftiness and delicious recipes...

Like this!
Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how delicious this pumpkin bread is!

Which leads me to the next subject of my thankfulness...

I'd like to thank whoever invented running.  I know running was around at the beginning of the world, but it probably was only used to run from a caveman with a club. Whoever invented the running more so you can eat more idea is my hero!

Speaking of running, I'm running another 5k on Thanksgiving morning...My goal is first place this time.

And most of all...I'd like to thank YOU (if you've actually made it this far down the page)!  Thanks for reading!

Oh my word that's 99 blog posts! 

Ginger Pumpkin Bread
By Martha Stewart
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger, I added a teaspoon of cinnamon too
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Sugar Glaze: 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and a few teaspoons of water.
Directions 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour two loaf pans set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin, melted butter, and eggs; add flour mixture, and stir until just combined. 
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; invert pans and transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely.  Drizzle with sugar glaze. 
*Neither Hugh Jackman nor Martha Stewart have any idea who in the world I am...I'm just blogging about them just for fun...In case you were wondering.  :)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baking Problem?

You know you have a baking problem when...

5. You have buttermilk in your refrigerator
4. You have 3 types of flour in your pantry
3. Your husband buys you 4 sticks of unsalted butter whenever he goes to the grocery store
2. You have more pictures of food than of people
1. You throw your baking blog a party

 Wow, the last two make me sound super cool. :)

98 posts! 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's a party!

It's a party and you're invited!!

"What party? Why a party? Huh?" You ask.

My blog is approaching the 100th post mark!
 100 Wow! My friend Kendra is really excited!

Isn't that crazy?? I've written about a lot of randomness, a lot of chocolate and a whole lot of cupcakes.

So I want to have a party to celebrate. 

You should have a party too. We need to celebrate! (I'll look for any excuse to have a party).

You can dress up if you want too. Totally optional though. 

It's a time to celebrate the favorites! Any favorite post? Favorite cupcake? I have my favorites and I can't wait to share...

This is post number 97. The count down begins.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good morning to you!

Good morning to me. Life is good.
Starbucks ain't got nothin' on me!

Accept maybe pumpkin spice lattes, big pumps full of decadent chocolate, lots of whipped cream, and cool tunes playing in the background while a guy in skinny jeans and plaid shirt types on his mac....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's a winner!

I love food. This probably goes without saying since I have a blog dedicated to food and sweets. But, what I really love is delicious and easy recipes. When I find those I get really, really excited. I'll take a bite of a new creation, raise one eye brow and look at Bradley, "It's a winner!" says my encouraging husband. I have to agree, this Spicy Black Bean Soup is definitely a winner.