Thursday, October 30, 2008

29 by 30

29 things to do before turning 30 - gives me a year and a half:
1. visit at least 5 "middle" states
2. go rock climbing
3. pay off all loans
4. start licensing exams
5. read the pillars of the earth
6. cook lasagna from scratch
7. buy flowers for myself at least once a month
8. save money
9. make an amigurumi
10. work out at least 3 times a week
11. treat myself to a massage at least once a year
12. take at least one international vacation (cambodia?)
13. take a pottery class
14. bike the burke-gilman trail
15. spend a day in west seattle
16. do a real detox
17. knit a scarf
18. purge the closet (dressers & shoe racks too)
19. visit the olympic peninsula
20. go to whistler
21. go fishing
22. have dinner at canlis
23. visit the capilano suspension bridge
24. watch a live nfl game (steelers would be good, but id settle for the seahawks)
25. learn how to turn (all the way around) on a snowboard
26. go camping
27. buy a gift for no reason for three friends
28. use my dutch oven at least once a month (at least when its cold)
29. get a kitty

is it halloween already?

next year i need to think more before i buy so many pumpkins.
i just got back last night from my visit home (and i have to say my nephew is the cutest thing ever), and that didnt give me much time at all to prepare for halloween. still need to finish a costume, just finished the pumpkin that i didnt put enough thought into, didnt carve the third i bought, and i didnt even get to make anything for the office potluck tomorrow. ugh. next year i'll plan better.

so i thought i was excited to have warm weather rather than the cold fall weather..... i forgot how hot and muggy it is in hawaii. ugh. there was even more rain there than there has been in seattle. three days of heat rash (i think thats what it was) and not much sun. but i did get to spend a lot of time with my nephew! im now going thru withdrawls.

pictures to come....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

1 of 3

im going back home for my nephew's first birthday this weekend.... so excited! and while i do love fall... crisp air, leaves changing colors, and so on, im looking forward to the 80s versus the 50s and seeing my nephew!

but i dont get back til the 29th... so with that in mind i have 3 pumpkins that need carving
and not much time to do it.

so i got a head start last night and after much debating on what to do, i decided to go the less creative route and just use a pattern from one of those books they sell.
i always forget how time consuming and exhausting carving pumpkins is... especially when theres lots of little pieces that need careful carving and not just hacking out.



Monday, October 20, 2008

red velvet

i have to say, i love red velvet cake. i dont know what it is either cause im not a chocolate person... but maybe thats why, cause its not too chocolatey.
i found this recipe on dulcedo and knew i had to try it. i thought all signs were pointing to a less than favorable result as i early on realized i didnt have enough food coloring or vanilla bean paste, and later on realized i didnt have enough sugar for the frosting. but it actually turned out pretty well if i do say so myself.

and this


after modifications my recipe turned out to be like this:

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from dulcedo
makes about 30 cupcakes

3 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 cup unsweetened, cocoa (not Dutch process), sifted
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 oz red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp white vinegar

cream cheese frosting
24 ounces (3 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
6-7 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the cake flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Set aside

In a larger bowl, place the oil and sugar and beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add red food coloring and beat slowly to combine. Add vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined.

Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar until dissolved, and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

Fill your lined cupcake containers 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting or decorating as desired.

In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add 6-7 cups of confectioners' sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add more sugar until you reach your desired consistency and sweetness.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

follow up

yum. i must say it was quite good. and even better the next day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

dutch ovens and pot roast

after researching this week, i decided on cheaping out on an ikea dutch oven instead of splurging on a le crueset one from williams sonoma.... oh if only i were made out of money. the only downside of the ikea one, i didnt take time to notice when i bought it, is that it is only enamel coated on the outside and not the inside. we'll see how it holds up over time.

i did manage to find a pretty simple pot roast recipe from the pioneer woman cooks thats smelling great right now. 15 minutes and we'll find out if it tastes as good as it smells.