Friday, December 17, 2010

holiday decorations and a pizza

Yesterday morning I decorated our chalkboard for the holidays:


and we made a southwestern pizza from a recipe found in Self magazine:


It was awesome! I was thinking it would turn out okay, but we loved it.

1 100% whole wheat pizza crust
1 cup prepared tomato salsa (we used some corn and poblano salsa and used more than 1 cup!)
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese (we used some good monterey jack instead)
1 1/3 cup black beans
1 small sweet red pepper
2 scallions
1/4 cup cilantro
(We had some cherry tomatoes left so we added those too)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Top crust with salsa, cheese, beans, pepper and scallions. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. (We baked directly on rack.) Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro.

We put hot sauce on ours after taking it out of the oven. So gooooooood, quick and easy. pretty healthy too!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Accidentally Delicious Cookies


Okay, so yesterday I wanted to bake something. Cookies. Chewy, cocoa cookies specifically. I looked at more than a dozen recipes, read reviews, searched through food blogs...finally I stopped on a recipe. The reviews were good and the recipe used ground oatmeal. I love oatmeal in cookies.

So I measure everything, mix all the dry ingredients, get going on the wet...and THEN I realize the recipe is for chewy chocolate-CHIP cookies. crap. I only had 1/4 bag of chocolate chips, was craving cocoa cookies, and had already measured and mix everything for this recipe.

I tried to alter it. I put in 1/2 cup cocoa, a tablespoon of instant espresso, and added 1/4 cup of butter and 2 tablespoons of butter. At this point I was convinced that I had really fudged the cookies up because what are the chances of altering the recipe that much and them turning out okay?

THEY ARE DELICIOUS! Chewy, oatmeal-y, chocolate-y. I'm into them and will definitely make them again. This is the first time a mishap pulled through!

Original recipe:

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. oatmeal (powdered in blender)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 pkg. chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1 1/2 c. nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugars. Blend in eggs; add oatmeal. Mix dry ingredients. Mix will be very stiff. Mix in chips and nuts. Put 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 minutes - no more!

(from cooks.com)

My altered recipe:

1 1/4 c. butter
1 + 2 tbs. c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. oatmeal (powdered in blender)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tbs. instant espresso
1/4 pkg. chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

The instructions for preparing remain the same.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cake pop decorating class

My friend Kathy co-taught a cake pop making and decorating class yesterday and I got invited!

The owner of Objects of Confection was the other class teacher. She brought us dozens of her cake truffles. They are ridiculously good. and rich. And I love rich dessert.

Kathy taught us decorating tips and techniques. She had a few specific ideas planned including a santa, penguin, and a snowman.

I've thought about making cake pops, but still haven't. I'm really glad I hadn't tried baking them before I went to yesterday's class because they revealed a few tips they've learned through trial and error. I'm pretty sure at least two of the common mishaps would have happened and I get pretty upset after spending a long time making something that goes wrong.

Here are some of mine from yesterday:

(santa featured up top)




Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Friday!

Eric and I got to meet up for lunch in a food trailer park in East Austin. Eric had a huge bbq brisket sandwich and I had a black bean burger and sweet potato fries with homemade ketchup. The burger tasted really fresh and the ketchup was awesome. It had more of a salsa-ish texture I assume from all the water from the fresh tomatoes.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Last Week of Teaching

Yeah, that's right. This is the last week of classes for me! Of course final exams are next week, so I'll be here everyday for the same hours, but my last lecture for the semester will be given this Friday!

This semester has gone by so quickly. Sorry for not posting much; I've been really busy.

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving. I met up with my family in Louisiana and even my aunt from St. Louis was there!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

tacky holiday earrings

I love tacky holiday decor (well, not all of it..). I've always enjoyed over the top holiday earrings (see my valentine earring collection).

I made these last night: (I acquired a large Christmas themed bead collection from previous year's clearance items)




I also love making holiday themed drinks. This dates back to the one holiday party Meg and I went to in college where we made themed drinks, and named them something inappropriate that I cannot say here, but consisted of peppermint schnapps, cheap vodka, chocolate syrup, whip cream, and a small candy cane. They were disgusting but really funny (we make better tasting drinks now, I promise.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

farm flowers

Meg and I volunteered yesterday morning again at Green Gate Farm. We began the day pulling out weeds out of one of their gardens and then got upgraded to dead-heading flowers . We were gathering flowers to sell in bouquets at the farm stand, dead-heading older flowers, and getting to cut some to keep that weren't quite good enough to make it into bouquets.

I took these home:


Aren't they beautiful? I love having fresh flowers at home.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Friday!



(I made this for you while eating dinner one night :D)

I've had a great week -- Wednesday night Eric and I met up with Meg and Sean to go to Gordough's (famous Austin food trailer for wacky donuts.) I split a chicken & waffles donut with Eric. A big donut covered in battered-fried chicken and honey butter. Delicious. And next to Gordough's is the Odd Duck food trailer that has gourmet food (with a wood grill and all veggies come straight from a farm.)

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

math cupcakes

Yesterday my university had "Ram's Day", where local high school seniors (mostly from Austin and Houston) come to visit HT. For the math department's table, I baked over 100 mini cupcakes and decorated them with math-y stuff.


I didn't post a picture, but last Sunday I got the cutest goody box left at my doorstop from Amy:


Notice the siamese squash and baby eggplants! So cute! I've had great veggies and herbs to be eating all week.

Friday, November 5, 2010


This week went by so fast!

I don't have happy friday picture today. I'm sorry. But I have been busy making stuff this week, including over 100 mini cupcakes, so I'll be posting stuff this week.

This should be a great weekend: date with my bf tonight, math thing in the morning tomorrow followed by the gypsy trailer park food festival (see below), and something fun with meg and sean (I think) on sunday.


(Austin is one of the top cities for food trailers: we have them ALL OVER THE PLACE in Austin. Some of them have been featured on the Food Network. Anthony Bourdain loves Austin and our food trailers, too: Anthony Bourdain on Austin (towards the end of the clip features some of our food trailers)

Check out my friend's Kathy's posts about some of Austin's food trucks:

Ice Cream Sandwiches
Korean BBQ Tacos

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!

Midweek I started to have a bad feeling and the last couple days have been strange. I don't know where it came from, but I'm hoping it all shakes by the end of the day so the weekend is nice.

I'm running my first 5k on Halloween.

Have fun and be safe!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

sugar scrub

Today was stressful.

Stressful days call AT LEAST for a run or a bubble bath. Preferably both.

I got home from work after dark, so I tossed the run but decided that a bath with some treat would be nice.

I threw together my own sugar scrub:

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sesame oil (would have preferred grapeseed or almond, but I don't have any)
4 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops chamomile essential oil

(sesame oil isn't nearly as thin as other oils. It was nice, but very oily.)

This is a nice site for some ideas for salt and sugar scrubs: sugar and salt scrubs

Saturday, October 23, 2010



Happy Birthday Keeley!

One of my best friends, Keeley, is in her second year of law school and has made time every night to make a nice, often fancy, meal. Baking her own breads (feta artichoke), making her own pies (usually hand-whipping her own whip cream), and cooking things I've never even heard of. I'll never understand how she has made time to do this with the million things she's involved in with school..on top of just being a law student.

Happy birthday to the cutest homemaker I know! Meg and I felt that the appropriate gift to buy you would be..


a subscription to Martha Stewart's magazine. Your first issue should come soon.

We love you!!! Happy Birthday!! Love, Meg and Mon

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Friday!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I'm running late and can't find a happy friday that I haven't used before :/

Tomorrow I'll make a happy weekend picture.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza


Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, and Goat Cheese Pizza
5 ounces fingerling potatoes
Cornmeal (for sprinkling)
Pizza Dough
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
1 1/3 cups grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces)
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
8 ounces asparagus, trimmed, each spear cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place potatoes in small saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Cool. Cut potatoes into thin slices.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll and stretch pizza dough to 16x11-inch oval. Transfer to baking sheet. Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic in small bowl. Brush garlic oil over dough. Sprinkle 3/4 of green onions over, then mozzarella, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Top with potato slices and goat cheese. Toss asparagus and 1 tablespoon oil in medium bowl. Scatter asparagus over pizza. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then lightly with salt and generously with pepper.

Bake pizza until crust is browned and asparagus is tender, about 18 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Sprinkle with remaining green onions. Cut into pieces.

** Note if you aren't using raw dough (our local grocery store sells awesome partially baked pizza dough), then the timing will be off and your crust will become really crispy before your asparagus is roasted. You'd probably want to cook your asapargus for a couple minutes before putting onto the pizza you put in the oven. Your baking time would probably cut down to around 12 minutes. ***

(Recipe: Bon App├ętit, May 2009, by Jeanne Thiel Kelley)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ACL > weekend of crafts

This weekend was Austin City Limits. I didn't buy tickets ahead of time because they sold out really quickly last spring.. And they are really expensive ($185 for 3 day).

I had Friday off from work and could hear the festival through the windows at my house and that morning I went for a run down to Zilker Park (where the festival is). The energy beaming from the whole thing was sort of contagious and I was really itchy to go.

Friday came and went and Saturday I was hit with the bug harder and pretty much had to go. I convinced Meg to come with me Saturday so we spent most of the afternoon searching/meeting up with people to buy tickets from.

So all the crafty things I thought I might do this weekend are now post-poned.
(Meg and I actually had some things planned to make, went to Michael's, and inside Michael's is where I flipped out about wanting to go to ACL and couldn't think about anything else).


Friday, October 8, 2010

friday WOOT


Monday, October 4, 2010

organizing our fridge

Eric and I started keeping a log of our fridge contents. He had a little chalkboard so we hung it above our oven.

Tonight's grocery bill was SUPER high...I'm not sure what happened, but neither one of us could say no to anything tasty - so we ended up at home with 2 different types of juices, 3 different kinds of soups, and tons of produce...among other things!

Our attempt to not let things go bad:



Sunday, October 3, 2010

farm veggies

Saturday afternoon Meg and I volunteered at a local farm, Green Gate Farms.

Green Gate is one of the local farms where you can get a farmshare from in Austin. Meg and I have been considering signing up for a farmshare and splitting the goods each week. (If you're unfamiliar with farmshares, you pay and pick up a box from a farmer every week full of the current veggies/fruits/flowers/herbs that are ready at their farm).

You can actually sign up to volunteer for a couple hours on some farms and then get a discount on your weekly farmshare. Meg and I are interested in doing this in the future, so we thought we'd link up with a local farm and start volunteering some.

We helped de-clove garlics for growing, we planted some cloves to grow, and we helped set up a small irrigation system. We both don't know much about gardening and farming, so we're hoping to learn a lot through our volunteering. (I actually didn't know that a new garlic plant would grow if you stick a clove of garlic underground).





After volunteering, one of the farm owners loaded Meg and I up on zucchini, pattypan squash, hot peppers, garlic, okra and cucumbers.

That night Eric and I made whole wheat organic linguini with the sauteed zucchini, pattypan squash, garlic and onions. We used olive oil, parmesan cheese, fresh squeezed lemon juice and sea salt for the sauce. Delicious!

I've never had pattypan squash before. It's really good.

Look how cute the zucchini is! It's ribbed, so when it's sliced it has these adorable ridges:


pattypan squash:


Today I sauteed some more of the squash and some spinach and made a sandwich on chia bread. (Newest love = Chia bread. So yummy)

Eric got me into putting dijon mustard on the outside of your bread (along with a little butter) before making pressed sandwiches (or grilled cheese).


Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Friday!


(you may recognize this one...I made it a while back)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

FRIDAY!! I made you a cartoon.











Happy Friday! Hope 5:00 comes fast.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Blondies > Brownies


and boys love the batter:


We used some basic blondie recipe, like this one.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

fresh squeezed orange juice mimosas

This weekend has been good. Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the very first Whole Foods store in the U.S...and the location is right down the street from me! They had a big tent set up with lots of free samples of coconut milk ice cream, coffee, wines, beer, salsas, and small foods. Inside the store they had several more set up of wine samples and few more food samples. They also had a stage set up where the music/stage was completely powered by solar power.

I also got to make and eat brunch with Meg and Sean at their cute place. Veggie biscuits and gravy, cheesy eggs, fruit, pumpkin muffins, coffee, and mimosas. I brought over several oranges and Meg helped me put them through her fancy juicer. We made mimosas with the orange juice and they were delicious. The juice got really foamy when we poured the champagne in.

I highly recommend a mimosa with the fresh juice..and also highly recommend Sean's veggie sausage gravy. But I couldn't tell you his recipe. I'll ask Meg and maybe that will be another post sometime.



Willy was cute waiting for us to come outside: