Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quinoa Muffins

Yep. Weird right? Quinoa is an awesome grain (full of protein, meaning my brother would give the grain a HUGE thumbs up*), but I would have never thought to put it into a muffin.

I read Angry Chicken a lot, and she posted a Martha Stewart recipe for the muffins recently.

I liked them a lot. They taste super healthy (they pretty much are) and turned out very dense. I was into the denseness.

Some mornings I sliced the muffin in half, cut off the two "ends", and toasted the pieces. I spread peanut butter on the pieces and ate them with a big glass of milk (and sometimes even a banana.) The protein and fiber combo make this incredibly filling and I wasn't hungry for lunch early like I always am.

*My brother, at least since he was in high school, has been fixated on eating lots of protein. He always claimed it would help him "get huge". He was mostly joking, but I still hear that phrase occasionally. Once I was eating something high in protein and my brother said "Oh Mooch! Good choice, that will help you get huge!". (!?! no thanks.)

mmm, wurst tex

I went this week and got one. It was so good. So so good. I split a venison + pork one with Meg, and regretted not having an entire one to myself.

P.S. It comes on a fresh french bread bun. :D

dark chocolate raisins with sea salt


Today I stumbled upon a bag of golden raisins that are months old (2 or 3 months old?) They aren't too fresh anymore (obviously), so I had been considering throwing them into a baked good many times, but I don't think Eric would like that. I couldn't bring myself to throw them away, but I was getting closer to dumping them somewhere outside for an animal to eat.

I never did though and today it (finally!) occured to me that there was an option that both Eric and I would like. CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS. And sea salt on dark chocolate (well any chocolate) makes me swoon.

Heat some dark chocolate on the stovetop, making sure to stir continuously (chocolate burns very quickly). Use your lowest temperature on the burner. If you have a microwave, use that, and microwave the chocolate in 10 second intervals, stirring in between.

Drop in and stir around the raisins. Drop them in clumps on some wax paper. Grind some fresh sea salt all over them.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Jess!

Today is one of my favorite people's birthday!!

Happy Birthday Jess!

Meg and I went around Austin taking pictures of things and places she would love here and sent her a book of the photos:

(click to enlarge)

love you Jess! Hope you have a good birthday.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday!

Ah, it's Friday. It's really cold again.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

fancy hot dog

I'm craving a fancy hot dog of sorts.

There's a great food trailer in Austin that makes sausage dogs ("Wurst Tex" trailer). I've had the pork + venison one and it's delicious. They have sauerkraut and curry ketchup as toppings. Mmmm

back to work!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Very Delicious Chocolate Cake

Rich, super-moist chocolate cake with mocha icing.

The cake recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine and icing recipe is from allrecipes.com.

* Ingredients: Cake

2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water

* Preparation: Cake

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Generously butter two 9-inch cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.

Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes and remove parchment. Place wire rack atop each cake; invert again so top side is up. Cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap each cake in plastic and store at room temperature.

[** I divided into three pans and this cut the baking time down to around 30 minutes, if I'm remembering right}

* Ingredients: Mocha Icing

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup strong, hot, brewed coffee
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Directions: Icing

Combine coffee and cocoa in small bowl of electric mixer. Beat until blended. (I didn't use a mixer on that part.) Add sugar, butter or margarine, salt, and vanilla. Beat until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat icing until it has a spreading consistency.
Frost the cake, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired.

I made double this recipe since I had the use the icing for the layers and such. (I had a little bit left over though.)


Friday, January 14, 2011

happy friday!

long weekend, yes please!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Is it really snowing everywhere but here? I want some snow. really badly.

I already have been missing my SC friends a lot lately, and one of my best friends there just had a baby, AND it's snowing there this week....... I miss you guys a ton tonight. xoxo.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here are some highlights from my winter break:

homemade magnets for gifts: (thomas the train and spongebob were for my cousin who has little boys!)


The carnival ship had jokes from the cruise I took with my family last summer. Jokes included how often my dad frequented the ice cream machines and how annoying the everyday karaoke singers were.

The mock toothpaste for dinner magnet was given to my brother. A few years ago were home together in December and a tattoo show was on the tv (Miami Ink, probably.) An old woman came in with the "virgin mary grilled cheese". Remember that? (Revisit the picture here.) The woman saved the grilled cheese for god knows how many years and then brought it in to a famous tattoo shop and got the grilled cheese tattooed on her! It was hilarious and so ridiculous. (If you aren't familar, toothpaste for dinner is a funny cartoon. A friend turned me onto it my freshman year of college. there's often a new cartoon every day.)

sugar scrubs for gifts:


whoopie pies:


My family has made these for years with the help of my Aunt Barb. With the help of two four year olds running around and a slippery baking sheet, we managed to drop an entire sheet of unbaked cookies onto the floor. Face down, of course. The cutest part of baking the cookies with the little boys was letting them measure out flour. They would dump the full cup into the bowl and it would stay intact and they'd yell "a little cake!" everytime. cute.


My favorite picture: