Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm back

I've been back in town now for a few days, but have been running around trying to prepare for my summer class I might be teaching. The class actually started yesterday, but is under-enrolled. Tomorrow I'll find out when registration ends if my class will make or not. I may have a lot more free time starting next week if it doesn't make!

Eric and I had a great (short) trip to visit family in Florida. We had less than a week, but I could have stayed for a full two weeks more. I didn't have nearly enough time with my parents, my other family and Eric's family. There were some good highlights though:

  • ate my first raw oyster! 
  • went fishing with Eric and his dad and fed our catches to the pelicans hanging out on the bridge 
  • found a venue for our wedding 
  • more importantly, we made some decisions about our wedding (we've been on the fence about having something super small or a normal sized wedding)
  • had a perfect beach day with Tana, Eric and Tana's friend Brennan
  • got all of our family together, including my grandma 
  • spent two evenings with Eric's parents
  • visited Eric's aunt and uncle in the Houston area on our drive back

Mom gave me some fabric (well thanks to Aunt Robin for that too), so I'm going to sew something soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm out of town for another few days. Posts will return next week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Friday!

Eric and I get to see M83 for the second time this year here in Austin! And it's an outside show again (which I LOVE). If the rumors are true, M83 will be playing at ACL in October too..which would make all my dreams come true. Ok, kidding. sort of.

 Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing

Happy Birthday to my best friend Meg! Meg and I met back in college and instantly became close friends. My mom refers to us as "Laverne & Shirley" sometimes. :)
Meg and I May 2006.
December 2011.
Her birthday cupcakes are Devil's Food Cupcakes, recipe adapted from Martha Stewart and Salted Buttercream Frosting, recipe by My Baking Addiction.

Devil's Food Cupcakes
Ingredients (makes 32 cupcakes - I split the entire recipe in half and made it work for a dozen large cupcakes)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot coffee (Martha Stewart's recipe had 3/4 cup hot water...c'mon!)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 TBS plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot coffee until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled (a few minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add vanilla, cocoa, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each addition.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Salted Buttercream Frosting

4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup caramel syrup
1 1/2 lb powdered sugar

(I cut the above recipe in half as well since I split the cupcake recipe.)
Cream the butter with a mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup. Begin adding the sugar and mix thoroughly after each addition.

To be able to haul around the cupcakes in the afternoon, I made a disposable cupcake carrier. I cut plastic cups and hot glued them to the bottom of a box. The cupcakes fit tightly in their spots and you can shake the box pretty hard and the cupcakes don't move!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

lemon olive oil cookies

I felt like baking last night but discovered we have less than a stick of butter right now. I had a stock in the freezer for a while from packs I bought on sale, but we drained them I guess. These cookies are chewy, lemon-y, and delicious.

Tomorrow is my official last work day for the spring semester. I'm signed up to teach a section of trigonometry this summer, but I'm worried it's not going to make because of low enrollment. I'm not sure how often trig makes it in the summer, but I'm crossing my fingers the class runs.


  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup lemon olive oil (I was out and used regular, and they are still awesome)
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 ½ lemons
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together. In another bowl, stir together the olive oil, zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Roll dough into small balls.
  4. Roll in a  little sugar and place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Monday, May 7, 2012


My friends David and Carmen were just celebrating their anniversary and took a big road trip out west. I'm not sure where they are here, but Carmen's wearing the necklace I made her! (Photo by David.)
This is my favorite of the eye pin necklaces I've made so far.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Happy Friday! I've been a terrible blogger, and honestly I haven't made much of anything this week. Except for some cardboard-like flax seed crackers, ew! Some of my girlfriends convinced me to do a vegan cleanse with them this week- we've cut out all meat, dairy, cheese, sugar, and wheat. It's not so bad except I'm getting so bored of eating quinoa, veggies, oatmeal, veggies, veggies, .... I think I'll cheat a little this weekend, juice a couple days of the beginning of next week, and call it quits. I can't believe some people eat this exact diet all the time (you are superhuman?).

I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the girls' email exchanges this week:

"Well, I am privy to watching Stephanie's juice fast/detox here at the office. She is currently pale, watering at the eyes, clutching several packages of Aleve in one hand and some kale juice in the other. I think its going well."