Monthly Archives

December 2010

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010

Hundreds of cupcakes baked. Red velvet, chocolate and vanilla. I’m thinking that the last eight hours of baking have made up for the lack of cooking I’ve done over the past week. Unless you count pouring milk into a cereal bowl or spreading peanut butter on toast.

I feel like this last week, and the entirety of 2010, has gone by way too fast. In some ways, I’m not sure I want it to end. It seems impossible that 2011 could hold things more wonderful than the year before, but then again, maybe it can.

Oh, and since I’m sure you’re wondering, the recipes I used for the cupcakes are below!

Red Velvet: Ina Garten’s Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (From her new “How Easy is That?” cookbook)
Vanilla Cupcakes: Ina Garten’s Coconut Cupcakes (minus the coconut)
Chocolate Cupcakes: Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cupcakes

Happy New Year, all!



Monster Cookies

December 27, 2010

Gosh I’ve missed you all! Over the past few days I’ve fallen off the face of the earth and into the hole known as family Christmas (all four of them!).

In other news, I’m taking the entire week of to be with family and friends. I haven’t exercised in days, eaten a few too many sweets, and have yet to get out of pajamas this morning. Send help.

And finally. I wish I had this recipe for Monster Cookies from Southern Living, but I left it at home, along with my changes, and forgot to take it home with me. So to recap: I’ve been eating too many cookies and don’t even have a cookie recipe to share.

Pathetic. I’m vowing to do better. 🙂



Wedding Wednesday

December 22, 2010

Since I got such positive responses about sharing wedding details as decisions are made, I have a few more specifics coming your way right…now!

After plenty of searching, both in stores and online, and buying (following by returning) the wrong dresses, we finally purchased bridesmaid dresses! I say ‘finally’ but really, I think we are slightly ahead of the game. Sticking to a budget and knowing I wanted to stick to a neutral color palette made it a little more difficult. But a huge discount coupon and plenty of searching led us to Ann Taylor for dresses that nicely compliment my own.

Girls out there, please tell me you wouldn’t mind wearing this if you were a bridesmaid??

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


Zucchini Spaghetti and a Winner

December 20, 2010
Happy Monday, everyone! First things first, let me say how much I loved hearing you all talk about what you’re thankful for. Each and every time I read one of your comments it brought a smile to my face and made me think a little more about being thankful in my own life. I really do have the world’s best readers. 
Secondly, a big congrats is due to Courtney Hughes, the winner of the Trader Joe’s Peanut Flour giveaway! Courtney, I’ll be getting you your gift over the holidays! 🙂
After last week’s confession about how very little cooking I had been doing, I decided to get back in the kitchen and make myself something worth eating – and sharing. This meal actually graces my table quite often, when I am craving pasta but know I need to eat a few more servings of veggies. 
The key to making this dish is to have a julienne peeler. If you don’t have one, it’s pretty much the best $9 investment you could make and a great gift idea for the hard-to-shop-for cook in your life. And the zucchini? Pretty much the best veggie to put it to use on. In both taste and texture, it’s amazing how similar the zucchini tastes to al dente pasta. 
Another bonus is the speed at which this dish comes together. For people like me, who are ravenous at the end of the day and can’t wait for dinner, it’s the perfect solution all around. Monday night dinner dilemma solved. 
Zucchini Spaghetti 
(Printable Recipe)
*2 medium zucchini, peeled into strips with a julienne peeler
*1/2 to 1 Tbsp. olive oil
*1/4 tsp. salt 
*1/4 tsp. black pepper
*1/2 cup marinara sauce 
*2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese or shredded cheese of choice 
*In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the zucchini to pan along with the salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, until zucchini is soft but still has a bit of crunch. 
*Add in the marinara sauce and cook 1 minute more, until marinara sauce is heated through. 
*Transfer to bowl and top with cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 1 as a main dish serving or 2 as a side dish. 
Happy Cooking!

Peanut Flour Pancakes and Giveaway

December 16, 2010

I’ve had a bit of a crazy week at work. It seems as if everyone is working extra hard, making the final push until Christmas. Paired with a company Christmas party and a couple coffee dates, the closest I’ve gotten to making dinner for myself has been opening up a yogurt container.

But even on those days when I don’t have time to cook dinner, I find time to make a killer breakfast. It’s always been my favorite meal of the day, and I find myself pulling out my cookbooks at 6 a.m. much more than 6 p.m. Totally normal behavior, right?!

So even though I’ve been eating some pretty dull dinners, breakfast has been fabulous. And yes, I realize my site already has three other pancake recipes, but I just can’t get enough of them! If you’re a fluffy hot cake lover, these babies will be right up your alley. Before I made these Peanut Flour Pancakes, I thought the only way to get fluffy pancakes was to use all-purpose flour. But as you can see, I was so very wrong.

If you’ve never cooked with peanut flour, here’s the low-down. It’s made from ground peanuts, as the name suggests, that have had a portion of the fat removed. The flour is gluten-free and packed with protein, making it great for vegetarians and athletes looking to add a little extra protein to their diets. The peanut flavor is mild and slightly sweet but not overtly peanut-like. Surprisingly, it also gives you incredibly delicious and fluffy pancakes that will brighten even the coldest of days.

Can’t find peanut flour? I feel for you! To remedy this, I am giving away two bags of Trader Joe’s peanut flour to one lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me what you’re most thankful for this holiday season! The winner will be announced Monday, December 20th.

Peanut Flour Pancakes

*3/4 cup peanut flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*3/4 tsp. baking soda
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 Tbsp. brown sugar
*1 egg
*1 cup milk
Sugar-free syrup or regular maple syrup

*Stir together the peanut flour and whole wheat flour, breaking up any of the lumps. Add in the baking soda and stir until well combined.
*Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.
*Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spoon pancake batter by the quarter cup onto hot skillet and cook, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
*Serve with pancake syrup, if desired.

Happy Cooking!