Tag Archives: home life

baking project – apple cake

19 Jan

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( my sous chef )

As I mentioned in a previous post I thought maybe I would try my hand at baking with all this free time I have until the babe arrives in May. I figure I taught myself to cook (although, I still wouldn’t considering myself a master chef but at least I’m not afraid of the kitchen anymore) a few years ago when I started this blog, I may as well teach myself to bake too. As a working fit model I kept my consumption of baked goods to a minimum but as a pregnant lady I’m pretty open to them! So what better time to become a baker, right? This past weekend Brian was out-of-town for a bachelor party…in Hawaii. I know, I know…I felt terribly bad for him as well. Poor, dear. So with the house to myself and nothing but grey skies on Sunday morning I decided to tackle a recipe. I had plenty of recipes to choose from via my pinterest account. I seem to have an addiction to pinning sweet treats. I settled on an apple cake recipe because it seemed easy enough for my first attempt. I turned on a movie, The Time Travelers Wife,  to keep me company.  Have you ever seen it? Not sure if it was my raging hormones but I sobbed through most  of it. Such a sweet movie about love. I devoured the book when I read it many years ago and I think they did a beautiful job translating it to the screen. Anyway, back to the apple cake…

It was a very easy recipe- I didn’t get overwhelmed and freak out once while making it (that’s the true test) and it turned out quite good! It was a nice mix of cinnamon and apple flavors and it was incredibly moist- especially tasty with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The only problem is my crust ended up a tad burnt. Maybe I didn’t grease the pan enough? Any ideas? Because the rest of it was cooked perfectly so I’m not sure what I should have done differently?

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the bump snuck into a photo

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Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
powdered sugar, to dust

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 x 9-inch baking pan and set aside.
-Melt the butter in the microwave and combine with the sugar. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add vanilla.
-In a mixing bowl, combine together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until combined and smooth. The batter will be very thick, but that’s ok.
-Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan. Using a palette knife, spread to make an even surface and place apples in a single layer over the top. Gently press them into the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the top and carefully lever the surface. Scatter the rest of the apple slices over the batter and press them lightly into the surface.
-Bake for about 45–55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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fusilli alla vodka

26 Oct

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I’m a pasta girl. If it was appropriate to eat pasta for every meal I would happily oblige. In addition to enjoying the art of eating pasta I also enjoy preparing it. They are so easy to throw together and you can pretty much add any ingredient to them and it works…meat, veggies, spice, dairy, seafood…anything! Last night we had Brian’s parents over for dinner and we decided to make our new favorite pasta dish…spicy fusilli alla vodka. We first made this dish a few weeks ago when we had our friends Rachel & Pj (and their new baby Ben!) over for dinner. It was a big hit that night so we decided to give it another go, this time we upped the spice factor. Brian likes to sweat when he eats food. While I enjoy spicy, he takes it to another level. I gotta keep my eye on him when he’s adding the spices to our meals.

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I found the recipe on Bon Appetite’s website (they pulled it from the Italian restaurant Jon & Vinny’s in Los Angeles. I’ve been dying to try this place so we made reservations for our wedding anniversary in November. I plan to eat lots of pasta that night) The dish is incredibly easy to make, we usually make the sauce before our guests arrive and then reheat it once we are ready to eat.

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Frank is absolutely no help unless food makes it onto the floor and needs to be cleaned up. Otherwise he sleeps nearby with his beloved tennis ball.

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Voila! Dinner is ready- we served the pasta with an Italian salad & fresh bread.

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ingredients-
servings: 4
¼ cup olive oil
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
½ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons vodka
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 pound fusilli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

directions-

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is brick-red and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add vodka and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add cream and red pepper flakes and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta to skillet with sauce along with butter and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until butter has melted and a thick, glossy sauce has formed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 oz. Parmesan, tossing to coat. Divide pasta among bowls, then top with basil and more Parmesan.

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bedroom accent wall

28 Aug

 

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Painting a wall a dark shade of grey in our bedroom has been a project in the works for a while now…I’ve personally been brewing on it for almost a year. But as I mentioned in a previous post, Brian needs a little coaxing into anything to do with change- something very difficult for an impulsive person like me to understand. If I had my way that wall would have been painted a year ago- actually, probably the very day I had the brilliant idea. It also probably would have looked like crap because impulsive people like me tend to take less time and care painting walls in their home. But because marriage is all about compromise…I introduce to you…our new perfectly painted accent wall!

Originally, I wanted every single wall in our house to be painted a light shade of grey. But luckily (because my husband isn’t impulsive) I’ve had time to think about it (as well as many many many hours to pin various colors on pinterest) and ended up changing my mind. My new plan involves many different shades of grey throughout the house and one moody, dark and sexy accent wall in our bedroom. Considering, I am obsessed with the color grey (I’m guessing that is clear by now?) I knew the accent wall had to  mostly “read” grey but I also wanted it to have hints of blue & green.

After many months of persuading, I was finally able to get Brian to agree to paint the wall. To tell you truth, I think he was just tired of hearing me talk about it.

Last weekend Frank, Brian and I paid a visit to our local paint store in search of the perfect color for our accent wall.

At least Frankie looked excited.

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Once we got home with the paint it was decided that Brian would paint the edges and I would paint the center with the roller. He’s better at the details.

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After the wall was finished I literally watched paint dry. I was a woman obsessed.

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Isn’t it strange how different the color looks in every photo?? It is such an interesting color. It’s grey in one light…blue in another…and sometimes it’s green! I’m pretty darn happy with it and I love the way pops of color look against it.

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the paint color is rocky coast by benjamin moore

 

 

happy list

13 Jul

happy post

(image found via pinterest)

things that made me happy this weekend…

The Girl On The Train. I literally did not put it down all weekend. I even woke up at 3am on Sunday morning and found myself strapping on a camping headlamp to continue reading it quietly in the dark as Brian slept next to me. To say I was obsessed is an understatement.

Dinner at Lukshon with my in-laws to celebrate my birthday. Hands down the best meal I have had in ages. Every dish was filled with such an intoxicating mix of flavors. I’m still dreaming about the lobster roll “banh mi”

That Frank didn’t drown in a koi pond this weekend. We were visiting our old neighbor at his new pad and enjoying some time in his garden when I heard a loud splash. It sounded like a bowling ball had rolled into the water. I immediately knew it was Frankie. I ran over to the pond just in time to see Frank pop up from under the water with his eyes as big as saucers. Poor little guy looked terrified. Luckily Brian was nearby and quickly yanked him out. PHEW. I’m not sure Frank will ever explore bodies of water again.

Masters Of Sex. Such a smart & sexy show.

A Sunday night pasta dinner made with love by my husband. He was so excited to use the cherry tomatoes from his garden in a recipe.

A cheerful bouquet of orange tulips my girlfriend Taline sent me for my birthday.

Long summer days & sunsets at 8pm

The project 30 Q&A that I will be posting tomorrow. It’s such a great read

Allowing myself to take it slow

This incredibly inspiring TED talk by our friend Adi Jaffe. It’s a very interesting fifteen minutes if you have the time! FUCK SHAME!

 

18 / 52

17 Nov

 

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“a portrait of my child, once a week, every week″

Every night when Brian walks through the door after work Frankie runs over to him so he can be scooped up.  Then he nuzzles his head into the crook of Brian’s neck and they proceed to hug. It’s the sweetest thing in the world. Although, I also get a bit jealous. Frank never hugs me like that- believe me I’ve tried to make him! I guess it’s their thing”.

happy list

6 Oct

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things that have been making me happy recently…

– My husband always makes my happy list. He’s my other. My rock. My best friend. My inspiration. My biggest supporter. Our marriage has been in a really solid place recently and it brings me such joy. There’s really nothing better than feeling connected to your partner.

– Pumpkin candles. I’m obsessed with pumpkin candles. OBSESSED. I light one the minute I walk through the door and it doesn’t get blown out until I go to bed.

– Movie dates with my momma. We saw “The Good Lie” and we both loved it. Such an incredibly moving film. I was blown away with the performances. See it!

– Yoga dates with my neighbor Eric. He just cracks me up.

– Long bubble baths with a stack of magazines and an iced coffee.

– Peanut butter frozen yogurt with almonds on top.

– My favorite tv shows are back (silly but true!). I love cuddling up on the couch for a good laugh or a good cry.

– We got a new car this past weekend! I’m in love and I am not even a car girl. But really is there anything better than the smell of a new car?

– The “Map My Walk” application on my phone. I use it every morning on my walk with Frankie. The handy-dandy app keeps track of all my stats. Frank and I average 2.5 miles a day. He’s a trooper that little guy.

– A travel essay that I wrote (and Brian shot all the photos for!!) is being published on one of my favorite sites. So excited to share it with you all…soon!

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“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

Audrey Hepburn

 

10 / 52

27 Jul

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I was sitting at my desk the other day when I got a funny feeling that I was being watched. I turned and looked down to see this. Such a little creeper. He proceeded to stay like that for a few minutes too. He’s so weird.

Side note – I have not been doing a very good job about keeping up with this weekly series. Sometimes I feel like people are sick of all my Frank photos. My brother even shamed me recently by telling me that I look like a crazy person on Facebook due to the amount of photos I post of Frank. What can I say? I’m a proud mom and it’s hard not to considering he’s so damn photogenic.

Anyway…I’m back…or should I say…we’re back.

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