Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You're the POME to my GRANATE

Hey y'all! We are back from our month long adventure in Kentucky, which was so much fun and exactly what I had imagined. I will share pictures once I get all my stuff together! The Blue Grass state is
such a beautiful part of the country during the Fall! Right before we left all the leaves looked like they were on fire. It's like a breath of fresh air...seeing the leaves change. I came to realize that seasons are sort of my favorite thing ever, which is weird because I didn't really grow up with them. Maybe that is why I love them so much?!

Anyways in the meantime I wanted to post a little something. We got back to California just for a bit, to spend Halloween with family, then we make our trek to our final "spot". My parents had a huge Tupperware of  pomegranate seeds from their tree. I sat and ate about three bowl fulls. Since this pregnancy (oh you didn't know? Yes, we are pregnant with baby girl #3!! I announced it on my instagram...we are just so excited)! But anyways, more of that later, now back to pomegranates ;-). I crave them! Not sure if it's the texture, the taste, the way they pop in my mouth and are sweet then bitter. But I could eat them all day.

So I rounded up my most favorite things to eat with pomegranate seeds...OH and in case you didn't know (because I didn't until my old pops had to show me) how to seed a pomegranate check out this video.

10 of my favorite pomegranate recipes (some are perfect to try for Thanksgiving!!!)
1. Butternut Kale Pomegranate Pizza  (I don't even like Kale so this was a shocker)
2. Pomegranate Cauliflower Feta Fritters (Smitten Kitchen is my go to for anything delicious)
3. Sweet Potato Bake with Pomegranates 
4. Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Pomegranate syrup (so easy and so, so good!)
5. PB&P sandwich (don't judge til you've tried it)
6. Pears with Poms and Goat Cheese (a great little appetizer or snack)
7. Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Chutney 
8. No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tart
9. Harvest Salad (I had these at a dinner party last year and haven't stopped craving them since)
10. Muesli with Poms and Almonds (my latest morning obsession)

***if you try any of these let me know how you liked it...or if you have any other good Pomegranate recipes please send them my way! I am always up for a good recipe!

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall Layered Cake

I know, the title is super original...pretty much just stating the obvious. A moist (oh boy, yes I used that word even though I really kind of loathe it) four layered white buttermilk cake, with cream cheese frosting! I just felt like three layers wasn't quite enough *haha.  Each layer is the color of what this Fall season, yellow, copper, and red.

I was actually up in the Utah mountains this last week and the Aspen leaves are beginning to change. It was like the whole mountainside was on fire, and I was reminded why I love this season so very much...and so this cake just seemed completely fitting. :-)

I used this recipe for the cake part and this recipe for the frosting part. Have I mentioned how much I love's like butter to my bread.

***also the best, most vibrant food dye is Wilton food dye. I'm tellin' ya it makes a huge difference if you want the colors to be like "wazam!". I got mine at Joannes.

disclaimer: By no means am I a pro when it comes to cake baking. I mean seriously, for anyone who bakes a cake where the frosting looks flawless...I really need you to teach me your ways. However, I did love the way the colors turned out and like I always say, cake is good for any occasion. And on this occasion, it was because it was Tuesday. :-)
^^^My little helpers. Sometimes I wish they'd rather watch...but that is just never the case ^^^

bon app├ętit! 

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

San Fran as we know it

Hi there! We have currently been making ourselves at home in the Golden City (aka San Francisco) for the next few weeks. I know I had mentioned it on my instagram...but I never got around to posting about our vagabond-ish lives for the next few months.

Because of a few changes with my husbands work...we decided to sell our home in San Diego and go where we were (or should I say will be) needed. I was so sad to leave San Diego for so many reasons, it's one of the greatest places to live in the whole world! We have family, and so many dear friends that we left behind.

It's funny, right when me and my little family started feeling very comfortable and settled, almost complacent with the way life was was turned a little upside down. However, I am slowly realizing that change is hard, but a lot of times it is good. It has forced me to be comfortable with living much simpler...I mean living in a hotel with two little ones and a suitcase for each of us has most definitely forced me to simplify. It's actually kind of relieving to live with so little of things. I am sure when the time comes to start unpacking boxes I'm going to think, "why in the world do I have all this?!"

So now that you're caught up a little with a fraction of my sister Whitney, and I, went on a little weekend getaway to the city and then to Napa. Both such amazingly beautiful places that could not be more opposite.

Even though it was a very short time, I thought I'd share some of my new favorite finds:

-- Mama's  (like mamas cookin'...need I say more?!)
-- Mr.Holmes Bakehouse (the cruffins and stuffed doughnuts are pretty amazing...get there around   
   8:15 am so you get the first morning batch that comes out at 9 am)

-- Souvla (if you like Greek food...oh my)
-- Split Bread (great soups and sandwiches)

-- the French Laundry (fancy but worth making a reservation way ahead of time for this place!)
-- Farmstead (I don't even know how to say this but this has hands down become one of my favorite spots to eat...its in Napa and everything is organic and grown in their garden behind the restaraunt. Everything is so fresh and the flavors are ridiculously good. This is a must!)

***My new favorite place to shop in downtown San Fran is the Hayes Street Shopping District. So many eclectic little shops with so much character! (ie: Marine Layer, Fiddlesticks, Acrimony)
***Culinary Art Institute in Napa is worth seeing...there are only two in the United States. One is NY and one in Napa. The Chocolatier was my favorite, making chocolate is no joke people! :-)
 ^^^there was this crazy structure in the middle of Hayes Street, that people would write/color on^^^
 ^^^this was just one pic I took at Farmstead...I died over all of it. This burger was one of the best I've ever had...oh and so are their cheese biscuits and meatballs!
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Homemade Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream (with lots of chocolate chunks!)

Hey there friends! My rule of thumb is when I find a good recipe, I share it. This is nothing short of good, with a side of creamy and delicious. Plus, it even says in the cuisinart cook book that it's "one of the easiest ice-creams to make"! Im a sucker for easy how-tos and peanut butter, so this was a no brainer.

Below is the recipe and a few pics (b/c it's always nice to actually see what you're making!) So to all those who want to take a spoon to this goodness, here ya go...

peanut butter cup ice cream
1 cup good quality peanut butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup (or maybe throw in an extra 1/2 cup if you dig that sort of thing) chopped peanut butter cup candies. This ends up being about 20 mini peanut butter cups.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low to combine peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add the milk and mix on low until sugar is dissolved. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

Turn on your ice-cream maker...we used the THIS one. Pour the mixture into freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is complete add shopped candy. The ice-cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If you want a firmer consistency transfer it to a airtight container and put in the freezer for about 2 hours. 

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Eating at our Happy place...

Last week we went and visited my parents and stopped in at Happys Cafe in Old Town... one of our favorite shaved ice spots (they put ice cream in the middle, which, if you've never tried it you need to!) Sage decided it would be a good idea to get butterscotch flavor with sprinkles. I tried to get her to do something else, but she stuck to her guns and actually it was better then any flavor I would've picked!

So this last time we went it was extra special because my girls joined in on a group tour where they went "behind the scenes" to see how it's all done. They got to make their own shaved ice, have a snowball fight and free face painting.

My kids had a total blast, and I loved snapping a few pictures of all the colorful things that surround this "Happy" place.

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Red, White and Blue...

The fourth of July has always been a favorite holiday of mine. When I was little, we would go up to my grandmas (where fireworks were not only allowed but encouraged haha) and we would have a huge celebration. This year we decided to stick around and enjoy the fourth of July festivities here. Our neighborhood does a cute little parade which my kids loved (doesn't take much to please 'em I tell ya).

We then went over and enjoyed a day of swimming and BBQ'ing with family...and we even got to watch a firework show from my in laws backyard; which is always the perfect ending to this special holiday.

Probably more than any year I can remember, this holiday has really struck a chord with me this time around. I am not sure if it's just me getting older (that saying the older you grow the wiser you get...maybe is a true statement?!). Or maybe it's just that my kids are getting older, and watching them grow up has made me truly appreciate everything this country offers.  I am so, so grateful for it.

Here are a few photos of our little fourth of July celebration... chalk full of those iconic USA colors red, white and blue.

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