Monthly Archives

August 2011


A Fund For Jennie Auction! (Now Closed)

August 24, 2011

There have been many times since I started blogging that I’ve been thankful and proud to be part of such a caring and giving group of individuals. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been blown away with the love and support that the blogging community has shown Jennifer Perillo, who I mentioned a few weeks back lost her husband to a sudden heart attack, leaving behind two young daughters ages 3 and 8.

In the wake of his death, bloggers around the country have come together to raise money for Jennifer and her girls. If you want to read more about the project, you can do so HERE. All of the money raised will go directly to Jennifer and her girls to help cover expenses and provide a fun for her girls’ future.

{Whole Wheat Flax Seed Banana Bread}
{Molasses Crinkles}

A friend and fellow food editor at work, Amy of Things We Make, thought it would be great to join forces to raise money. So we’ve put together a pretty amazing baked goods gift basket for the highest bidder. The basket can be redeemed any time between now and the end of 2011 with two week advance notice, making it perfect for the holidays or a large gathering.

The basket includes:
*A loaf of my Whole Wheat Flax Seed Banana Bread
*A batch of my Homemade Larabars (the most popular recipe on this site!)
*Two dozen cookies from Espresso and Cream (you choose any recipe on this site)
*1 quart of Amy’s Homemade Granola
*A loaf of bread of your choosing: Zucchini, Chocolate or Cherry Nut
*A batch of Amy’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pretty amazing, right? Bidding will begin at $50; all bids can be posted below so you will know where the bidding is at throughout the process. Bidding closes on Wednesday, August 30th.

Thanks in advance for your generosity in supporting this amazing project!




Photos From My iPhone

August 23, 2011
{Snapshots from the home office we now rent out (left), on location at a photo shoot (top right), and my necessary items for workplace productivity (bottom right).}
{My pre-wedding breakfast (top left), on my way to family dinner two nights before the wedding (right), and my dad helping out my personal attendant, Cassie, stuff something into her trunk (bottom left).}
{My mom doing last minute set-up before our wedding (above left), little sister Taylor with our crazy little dog (above middle), my cute hubby driving to church last week (above right), wishing I could always have good hair days like this (bottom left), and our crazy, begging dog before dinner (bottom right).}

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream

August 22, 2011

This weekend, something so amazing came out of my ice cream maker that I can hardly believe it was me who made it. Chocolate and peanut butter are a killer combination in every form, but chocolate and peanut butter together in cheesecake ice cream form? Absolutely killer.

I could keep rambling about how the subtle chocolate flavor compliments the creamy peanut butter perfectly. Or comment on how the cream cheese adds a perfect bit of tang and makes for the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

Or I could just encourage you to make some for yourself and actually taste what I’m talking about.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Go forth and make ice cream! What are you waiting for?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream
Inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home

*2 cups 2% chocolate milk
*1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
*2/3 cups granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 1/4 cups heavy cream
*4 oz. cream cheese, softened
*1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)

*In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the chocolate milk and the corn starch until smooth. Set aside.
*In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining chocolate milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for four minutes, stirring frequently. (I had issues with the mixture boiling over a bit, so watch carefully and remove from the heat for a second or two, if necessary)
*After four minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the corn starch mixture. Return to heat, bring to a boil and continue to boil for one to two minutes or until mixture is thickened slightly. (A good test: it’s ready when it thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon.)
*Remove from heat and whisk in the cream cheese and peanut butter. Whisk until smooth and well combined. Whisk in the heavy cream. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve and into a bowl.
*Place mixture in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours or until mixture is completely chilled.
*Transfer chilled mixture to the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store mixture in an airtight container in the freezer.

Happy Cooking!



The ‘After’ Photo

August 21, 2011

Guys, I chickened out. Me, the girl who is typically fearless when it comes to hair color, decided ‘why mess with something I’m happy with’ and stuck with a shade of blonde.

Of course, I couldn’t do the exact same thing, so I went slightly darker with a few more lowlights and warmth, which I think is fitting for fall. And I added some longer bangs, too. Although it’s not all that different, I’m thrilled with the subtle change.

If you live in or around the Des Moines area, I can’t say enough good things about Jess at Bella Salon. She did my hair for my wedding and I can’t tell you the number of compliments I got.

I’m dying to hear your thoughts on the fall-ish blonde color. As someone who isn’t a natural blonde, I’m always looking for that perfect shade that meshes well with my ultra-dark eyebrows and skin tone.

Happy Sunday!



Snapshots of Our Week

August 19, 2011
{My loves, getting ready for a walk}
{This is what happens when I give my camera to Joey}
{Stop it right now!}
{A mid-week love letter…}
{And a dozen roses}
{Another after-work walk before going to the gym}
{Tuckered out}
{Hello there, handsome}
{My breakfast every morning as of late: green smoothie and peanut butter toast} 
Signing off for the weekend! On the schedule tonight: a trip to the gym for a light workout before our 10k tomorrow morning, a movie, and perhaps a little pizza, too.
What do you have on the schedule this weekend?