Wednesday, December 16, 2009

i need to get something off my chest ...

I struggle. I have a battle that is a constant in my life & effects a good portion of it. It frustrates me all the time, and even when I think I've over come it, it always comes back to haunt me.

Procrastination. There I said it. Now you know. I hope this doesn't change your opinion of me, I swear I am trying to break the cycle. I found this article on the subject & even procrastinated reading it! That's when I laughed at myself & realized I had a problem! But today, or tonight I guess, I am here to kick it in the butt & do what I want to do. Time is my friend & I am choosing to use it wisely!

Now what does that mean to you?

Ok, so here is the deal. Hampton (the bff) & I have decided to attempt blogging together. We have talked, IMed, texted, & even registered for a blogspot but I procrastinated on posting over there. Don't ask me why, but I think we have a good thing going & this is a fun way for us to keep up with each other & share our internet finds. (which is alot!)

So head on over to ANAM CARA, which mean "Soul Friend" in Gaelic. I will update here every so often but mostly over there from now on. No worries, you'll love it over there too & I don't want you to miss out on all the goodness!

Now do what you have to, bookmark it, follow either of us on Twitter to get updates, or add it to your RSS Feed, but head on over! My first post is all about those Christmas Cookies!

Now Playing: Dashboard Confessional - "Even Now"

Friday, December 04, 2009

christmas cookies

i think i am going to start a tradition. (which goes against anything james ever taught me! ha!) i did this last year & i feel the need (for speed? not quite) to make some family traditions for pete & i. even though it is only the 2 of us, we are a family & everything gets better as time goes on right?! last year because funds were low to purchased everyone we wanted a gift, and even though i love gift giving i am a horrible procrastinator & end up missing out on what i really wanna give someone. but cookies keep me on track (must be because i have a huge sweet tooth) & you have to get them done before they are done! so, again this year, and here on after i will be giving the gift of baked goods!

sadly, i put a shout out to my friends & family on facebook for some good, shipping friendly cookie recipes & i didn't get a one. come on guys! really?! so i did the work this evening (trying to keep quite so pete could sleep) & found some amazing recipes. i wish i could make them all, and maybe some of them are a little ambitious, but i am determined!
** EDIT: my dear friend April did pull through for me, at least some one pays attention to my updates! haha kidding!
how could you not start off with a classic, chocolate chip cookies!

my love of red velvet in cookie form, red velvet black & white cookies.

these aren't necessarily very christmas-y, but oh man, when i came acrossed these i just had to share! penguins hockey jerseys, sugar cookie style.

my brother johnny loves anything & everything peanut butter (but who doesn't right? oh, wait grandma b doesn't! haha) so he is easy to bake for because him & pete both love peanut butter. peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips.

while i do not share my dad's love of oatmeal raisin cookies, its always a good bet that he would love a batch of these!

grandma b does not understands pete's love for the combination of chocolate & peanut butter. maybe its just a generation thing, but she thinks it's gross. however, grandma b is a woman after my own heart & loves coconut. so i think these coconut butter thins will be perfect for her. (& me!)

my mama is the ultimate chocoholic, better than brownies chocolate cookies is right up her ally.

ok, ok so caramels aren't exactly cookies, but candy is always a good gift in my mind. i think its the challenge that enthralls me!

i love toffee! i couldn't pass up chocolate toffee cookies, mmmhmmm.

every year pete's mom made him 7 layer cookies and since she has passed i have filled in for that duty. they have many different names, magic bars, hello dolly bars, but in our apartment they are 7 layer cookies. so in her memory for both pete & i, i make them every year.

of course 10 recipes aren't sufficient for me, so here are some other tempting cookie/bar recipes. maybe this year you can start your own family tradition! what are some of the things that your family does for the holidays?! any good recipes?! hopefully i can get a better response then i did on facebook, haha kidding :)

peanut butter blondies with milk chocolate frosting - oh, you know these melt in your mouth!
chocolate peppermint sandwich cookies - homemade oreos, come on!
lemon rosemary palmiers - for a different take on sweet, & a versatile recipe.
chocolate hazelnut biscotti - for the coffee lover in your life.
snickerdoodles - holiday classic.
lemon bars - i love anything lemon, & its something alittle different then the overload of chocolate for the holidays
cheesecake-marbled brownies - my boss loves anything cheesecake, i might have to surprise her with some of these.
the famed neiman marcus cookie - get high class at home!
almond macaroons fill with nutella - anything with nutella, sign me up!
chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons - again, i love coconut.

**All recipes and photos via/copyright their respective blog sources**

Now Playing: The Used - Blue & Yellow

Thursday, December 03, 2009

"who i am & who i wanna be"

hello?! anyone out there?! y'all still reading?! i can't believe that november has come and gone! there is so much i want & need to share.

so hello decemeber! my my, what a year it has been, but good thing the year isn't over just yet!

it may seem alittle early to start talking about what we are hopeful for in 2010, and i am in no way wishing my life away but i am excited for a fresh start. this year has had many twist and turns, regrets, triumphs, and all that falls in between. i feel like i have learned so much about myself and i am ready to make good on that knowledge.

reading through the many blogs i follow, a common theme for the last week or so has been "what are we thankful for?" & even though it may seem generic to name off the norm, family, friends, faith, and so on, it is all very true for me. i often miss what is right in front of my face & take for granted the amazing things i already have. i've always been a dreamer, never really realistic (at all!) & even though i might come off as very mature, i feel like man?! i am i really an adult?! i am sure this is all something that we go though at one time or another, i guess this is my time.

not sure that all makes sense, but i feel a bit of peacefulness for getting it out. i am happy. i am lucky. and i am blessed. thanks for reading & some super cool stuff coming up soon! xoxo

Now Playing: The O.C. Supertones - "In Between"

Monday, November 02, 2009

view from heaven

it's hard to believe it's been 2 years. i hope you know we miss you so much & love you with all our hearts. can't wait to see you again <3

And I'm sure the view from heaven
Beats the hell out of mine from here
And if we all believe in heaven
Maybe we'll make it through one more year
Down here

I hope that all is well in heaven
'cause it's all a shot to hell down here
I hope that I find you in heaven
'cause I'm so lost without you down here

You won't be coming back
And I didn't get to say goodbye
I really wish I got to say goodbye

Yellowcard - "View From Heaven"

Sunday, November 01, 2009

"sing a long goodnight"

next up! was a recipe i got from my sweet dear friend, april. she calls is "April's Ginger Apple Crumb Pie" & it is mmmmmmm gooooood! it is a super easy recipe and the end result was just perfect. pete said it was his favorite.

here is her recipe ...

April's Ginger Apple Crumb Pie
1 pie crust
1/2 cup of butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
about 5 apples (pre soaked in pineapple juice)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

preheat oven to 375

in a food processor pulse the butter, flour, and 1/4 cup of sugar until forms large clumps. put in a bowl and put in the fridge until your ready to use it.
toss the apples, ginger, cinnamon, salt, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour.
transfer apple mixture into the crust, sprinkle the crumb topping and bake until the top is golden and the apples are soft. (about 55-60 minutes)

the only thing i did different, was i added a 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and chopped pecans to the crumb mixture just because i had some extras. i even took a slice to work and it was perfect at room temperature. thank you to my lovely april for sharing some amazing recipes.

i still have a few apples left, & i'm not sure what i might make next. hell! maybe i'll eat one just as is.

Now Playing: The Get Up Kids - "Long Goodnight"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

"I don't know why it is, isn't it obvious to me?"

the first thing i made with my apple pickings was Sticky Spiked Double Apple Cake with a Brown Sugar Brandy Sauce. (whew that's quite the title) although the recipe looks some what difficult i found it fairly easy & i even made a few changes. i didn't use brandy or raisins for the simple fact that i didn't have any. in replace of the brandy i use apple juice & instead of using the dried apple pieces i just made up for it by using the fresh apples i had. either way i think this cake would have turned out just as amazing! i love recipes that you can customize to your preferences and needs.

the cake to me was almost brownie like, it had a crunchy outside with a warm chewy inside. and the sauce was just the icing on the cake. this would be perfectly paired with ice cream or a tall glass of milk. (or both if you choose!) the making of this cake reminded me alot of the texas sheet cake and i bet i could make a brown sugar brandy version of the icing to top this off too.

i can feel my culinary mind expanding!

Now Playing: The Get Up Kids - "Sympathy"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

farm field trip!

this past sunday, the crew from work (& respective husbands & boyfriends) went to the farm! we picked apples, took a hayride, picked pumpkins, ate donuts (which i had no idea was part of the experience) & had a blast doing it all! it was nice to get away from make-up (expect the few that wore lashes :P ) & the daily grind of crazy customers.

of course i picked a green pumpkin, that's just how i roll

mostly i was excited about apple picking, there were sooooo many varieties. red delicious, granny smith, fuji, enterprise, roma, ect, ect! i got a few of each & even sampled a few out amongst the beautiful trees. they were all amazing & i couldn't wait to get to baking! (i'll post those later :) )
i feel really blessed to work with such wonderful people. for a good while i was very unhappy in my various job situations but i totally lucked out with my crew! i can honestly say that no matter what, i've made some great life long friends & i feel so lucky to have them apart of my daily life. i've learned & grown so much over the past 2 years & i owe alot of that to them & mac. love you all, xoxo.!

Now Playing: Yellowcard - "View From Heaven"