Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Retirement is for pansies

There seems to be this disconnect in my head. I know that I don't really have any extra money to be throwing around. But I still want to. Like, I need to. It's neither healthy nor wise, but it's there.

Take for instance the fact that even though I work at a coffee shop that let's me have a half pound of coffee for free every week and unlimited coffee while at the store, I still spent the last half hour checking out Storyville. Storyville is a small roaster in Seattle that I've heard good things about. They have an adorable logo and their website is impressive. That being said buying a half pound of coffee from them would cost me $12. $12 vs $0. Hmmmm....but the logo is really cute.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who needs a fancy espresso machine?

My favorite part of any fancy coffee drink if the foamy milk. But how does one get foamy milk without a steam wand you might ask? The answer is this:
That my dear friends is a Cocoa-Latte machine. My mommy bought it for me ages ago. For some reason it never occurred to me to use it to froth milk. Which is unfortunate, because it makes fantastic milk. I had a very delicious au lait this morning.

Oh, and the lovely Shannon made me a cupcake apron. I wore it this morning (afternoon) to make pancakes. Look how adorable:

I need this in my life

Anyone got $198.00 they aren't doing anything with? I've got the answer to your problem.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mondo giant super huge catch up post

I'm a bad blogger for many reasons. The top being that I seem to have misplaced a few of the recipes that I'm posting pictures of. If anyone decides that the pictures look so delicious that they simply cannot live without trying this food, I'll do my best to locate the recipe. So here goes...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Guinness cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (I've seen this recipe on so many blogs I wouldn't know where to begin to give credit)

(on one of Shannon's adorable appetizer plates)
For the cake:
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 bottle of stout (I used Guinness extra stout)
1 stick of melted butter (1/2 cup)
1 tbsp vanilla
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream

Mix the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
In the mixer combine stout (at room temperature so it doesn't cool the butter), melted butter, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time. Then add the sour cream.
Mix the dry ingredients in.
Bake cupcakes @350 for about 20 mins.

The cream cheese frosting was improvised, but I got the basic ingredient ratio from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook. It was about 4oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, a tsp vanilla, and then I kept adding powdered sugar until it was a consistency I liked.

Oh, this? This is just my adorable new teapot from Ikea. It has a little cone shaped insert to steep loose leaf tea. It's functional and cute. Needless to say, I'm smitten.

Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Just like mom used to make
(no, literally. She used the Tollhouse recipe too)

I'm pretty sure I don't need to post the recipe that's on the back of every tollhouse chocolate chip bag ever. I just like using the digital macro function on my camera.

Three-Layer Fresh Coconut Cake (From the LL Bean Book of New New England Cookery) w/ whipped cream frosting

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, seperated
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups cake flour (according to BH&G cookbook conversions, just back each all purpose flour cup off 2 tablespoons)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup fresh coconut milk (Shannon desperately wanted to crack open a coconut so she prepped this for me while I was at work. Apparently if you put a coconut in the oven @400 for 15 min it becomes easy to open)

Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg yolks an vanilla. Mix flour and baking soda and add to the sugar/butter mix alternately with the coconut milk. Beat the egg whites into soft peaks and fold them into the batter.
Bake @350 30 mins for a cake or 20 ish for cupcakes

The cake is pretty dense so I went for a light topping. Plus fresh whipped cream is one of my favorite things ever.

Crusted pork chops (from Cook's Country), Sweet potato fries, an garlic crusty bread (from stop and shop)

This meal was a-mah-zing. I really need to track down the recipe so I can make it again for myself. And sweet potatoes fries have definitely become a staple in our kitchen. Shannon is really good at cutting things even and straight. She's my defacto sous chef.

Lemon Chicken with Olives (from Real Simple)

2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pitted green olives
2 shallots (we opted for sweet onions instead since we already had them)
1/2 cup fresh parsely (we used dry, again since we already had it)
1/2 cup dry white wine

On a plate, combine the flour, lemon zest, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in this mix.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil and brown the chicken on both sides then remove.
Heat the remaining oil and cook the shallots/onions until soft. Add the olives, parsley, wine, and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked all the way through.

The lemon is really nice and fresh, but it's also tart with the olives. To sort of calm that down we put it over some pasta. It was delicious.

Phew. And now I need another cupcake.