Archive for the ‘Weekend & Random’ Category

21 Days Til T-Day

November 4, 2010

I am sooo excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family!  It’s always a very low key and comfy affair.  I normally get to my parents’ house on Wednesday night, sleep in on Thursday, and then we all head to the movies.  Last year we saw The Blind Side, which resulted in lots of tears.  Mostly mine of course.

Um, dear family, let’s lighten it up for 2010, shall we?

Post movie we head home, cook and of course eat!  Then we watch A Christmas Story 2.5 times before passing out on the couch.  It’s all lovely.  For food, we keep it hearty but healthy.  My family (minus me) has become a bit butter/cheese/cream-adverse in the past few years, so there’s not a lot of cheesy casseroling happening.  Still, everything is always delicious and I LOVE cooking with my Ma and sister J.  I’ve been busy snagging recipes from magazines and my fave blogs the past couple days.  Everything looks so good… I don’t wanna wait for November 25…

So, because I’m a hoilday-crazed, baking-crazed, and just generally crazed crazy, I am having an early Thanksgiving when my bestie Erica is in town in a couple weekends.  We’re going to have a blast cooking, baking, and destroying my teeny kitchen.  And no butter/cheese/cream will be spared for Thanksgiving Act I.  As a special treat for us, I bought these on Bake It Pretty:

Ammmazing.  I love everything on their site.  AND, I will be in Asheville next week so I get to visit their pretty shop.  I could do a lot of damage there. Oh boy.

Anyone been to Asheville, NC?  Any recs?

Party at the Mansion, Y’all…

October 21, 2010

Wow, I am CRANKY today.  I think it’s a Thursday thing.  It all began this morning when I hated everything in my closet.

Thank goodness for the holiday aisle at Walgreens.  And baby bunny pictures on Google Images.  And coffee.  Lots of coffee.  Otherwise it could have been a real bad day.

I’m having  a Halloween party next Friday.  If I know you, you’re invited.  I promise I won’t be cranky.  I’ll be party fun!  And there will be beer and bourbon ice cream.  What’s better than that?

Also, if someone could think of/create me the perfect Halloween costume, that would be awesome.

XOXO,

carly

San Fran Love

October 16, 2010

Trip Highlights:

I am back in Chicago, after spending the past three weekends out of town.  It feels good to be back… sleeping in my own bed, clean laundry, groceries in the fridge–nice home things.  Pics from above are from my trip to San Francisco.  It seems I’m never there long enough to do everything I want.  This is easily one of my favorite cities to visit.  I already kind of miss it.  One weird question… who thought it was a good idea to not only carpet the BART subway cars, but use upholstered seats?  Ummmm…

Guess Where?

October 3, 2010

What’s Going On

September 30, 2010

Hey people! I just got back from a work trip to Maryland. It was a short, and mostly sweet visit. Sadly I didn’t get to try anything from Cakelove, one of their local bakeries. I stopped in after dinner my first night just to check it out, but was so stuffed of tuna and coconut rice, I couldn’t bring myself to purchase anything. I vowed I would be back to devour a S’mores cupcake, but it just didn’t happen.

Boo.  Ah, well. I am headed to San Francisco tomorrow, so I think I’ll make up for it there with assorted baked goods & ice cream.

And then, a week from tomorrow, I will be en route to Kansas City to be in Jennie & Perry’s wedding!

I actually may have to rethink this San Fran Carly vs. Food thing.  I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into after all.  Hmm.

Speaking of health food, I found those Caramel Apple Pops on a recent Walgreens visit.  Different apple varietals–Green Apple, Golden Delicious, & Macintosh.  I should work for a candy company.  Seriously, how fun?  They were all delicious.  The Golden and Macintosh were a tad sweeter than the original Green.  I love the seasonal candy/decoration aisles at stores. Target is an especially dangerous place for me.  I lose all sense of time and purpose.  Just ask Roomie L.

I will try to keep posting during my travels.  Excited and just a bit tired…

XOXO

My Sister is Getting Married. And, Soon!

September 18, 2010

You know KC Jennie is getting married soon. In October. Remember? I made these for her bachelorette party.

Yep yep.

Well, my sis Michel is getting married in November! This week things have been getting more “real” and exciting as the bridal shower is tomorrow! My goofy family is making all the food AND desserts, so I will hopefully have a really fun shower post for you.  My contribution is nectarine sorbet and some cupcake decorating.

Two batches of nectarine sorbet?  MADE.  This is the only documentation I have.  Yet.  I’ll try to snap some pics when I’m serving it tomorrow.

In related news I finished up my shower gift-buying. I spent about 30 minutes staring at cake pans and OXO gadgets at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I resisted buying anything for myself, which I can assure you, was a true act of will power. Just look at this…

Dino Mini Cake Pan.  Love.

After ogling dinos and mini tart pans (why are mini versions of things so adorable?), I regained focus and picked out a few registry pans.  What I’m most excited about though is this…

Love Flo Braker.  And want this book.  Sigh.  Good thing it’s already wrapped all pretty so I can’t steal it for myself.  I hope my sis will like it!

 

 

 

Apple Picking

September 14, 2010

We had our second annual family apple-picking outing this weekend.

My little brother wasn’t there. Tear. He’s too busy being smart in Minnesota. BUT, I had a great time with Jen and my rents. And it was about 50º warmer than when we went last October. No hats, gloves, or scarves required.

The best thing… one of my favorite bloggers, Joy the Baker, posted this apple pancake recipe. I can’t wait until next weekend to whip up a batch, so there will be a brinner dinner this week. Featuring apple pancakes. And probably bacon.

Also on the agenda, two batches of nectarine sorbet, and frozen pumpkin custard. If I commit my plans in writing here, that means I gotta do em, right?

I will go to the gym I will go the gym I will go to the gym I will go to the gym.

Am I Ready for Fall?

September 9, 2010

Am I ready for fall?  Let’s see… my electric bill for August was over $200 (90° days + antiquated mammoth AC window unit = trouble), I’ve lost both my pairs of flip flops, and my office declared last Thursday and Friday “wear shorts to work” days.

Yep, I am ready.  I’m ready for sweaters and tights and boots.  And I’m so so ready for caramel apples and tea dates.  And holing up in my apartment during stormy weather.  I have all my moody Fall things ready…

Moody, gothick novels.

 

Moody movies.  Hitchcock. Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Jimmy Stewart.  Yes.

Double Shot Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Very necessary.

 

And speaking of pumpkin…

!  I am ready for baking.  FALL baking.

Also secured: trench coat, umbrella, red lipstick (so as to emulate Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Jimmy Stewart, and Kim Novak).  All important things for stormy weather.

Now all I need is the perfect Halloween costume idea and the leaves can start turning.  Any thoughts?

Happy.

August 30, 2010

I had an amazing weekend!  A brief breakdown:  It involved fam and friends, train rides, car rides, and farmers markets…

bubblegum plums (tiny!), witnessing the marriage of a really sweet couple at a boat wedding, and a lovely Lake Geneva B&B…

getting thrown around at the Iggy & The Stooges concert, nighttime walks, popsicles, and cookies!

Finally.  I was super stoked to make this recipe ever since the Pioneer Woman posted it a few months ago.  I love chocolate malts, and this cookie, especially with the milk chocolate chips, really captures the flavor of that classic dessert drink.  I split the dough and tried half with these milk chocolate chips, and half with semi sweet.  Go with the milk chocolate for sure.  You won’t be disappointed.  Note, HIGHLY addictive.

Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies


from the Pioneer Woman

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup, rounded, malted milk powder
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, and malt powder until just combined.  Gradually mix in flour mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by the teaspoon or 1/2 tablespoon onto a cookie sheet.  Be sure to leave a couple inches between each cookie as they spread and will completely flatten out.  I used about a 1/2 tablespoon of dough for each cookie and I ended up with 4-5 dozen.

Bake 7-8 minutes, but start checking them at minute 5!  Because they are so thin, these cookies burn VERY quickly.  As you watch them in the oven, you will see them first puff up and then fall.  You will want to remove them as soon as they fall, maybe even when the middles are still puffed on a couple of the cookies on the sheet.  The cookies will be a medium brown, see above pics.

Cool on baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Enjoy!

A list, because it’s Monday.

August 23, 2010

This past weekend I…

  • went to Whole Foods.  Twice.
  • consumed cantaloupe gelato.
  • celebrated Mego’s birthday at Bull & Bear.  Go drink their Dirty Money cocktail… vodka lime ginger goodness… served in a copper mug… do it.
  • made an edible pasta dinner in 12 minutes.
  • bought two pairs of shoes.
  • decided I spend too much money, made plans to return the shoes.
  • contemplated getting a second, part-time job to pay for things like gelato and shoes.
  • got sick of thinking of things like money and played Beatles Rock Band.  A lot.
  • wanted to make/eat  marshmallow pies.
  • decided to be economical, and ate this sorbet, made with the last of my orchard peaches instead…

Peach Basil Sorbet


Adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.

I didn’t like any of the pictures I took of the sorbet.  Ah well.  I think this recipe turned out pretty good–even a certain picky boy liked it.  Next time I will try a lemon basil flavor… maybe as a gelato.  I love fresh basil,  mmm.  Taste the sorbet mixture before freezing to see if you need any additional sugar.  I used 4 white and 3 yellow fleshed peaches, so either work.

7 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted & cubed
1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your peaches)
2/3 cup water
5-7 fresh basil leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, heat peaches and water, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes, until peaches are cooked through.  Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature.

Add basil and lemon juice to peaches.  Puree mixture in a blender until smooth.  Chill in fridge for 2 hours.

Remove from fridge.  Taste mixture and add more sugar if desired.  Freeze mixture with an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

How was your weekend?