Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Let's Have a Party!!!! (Pinterest Style)

So first off I apologize for the delay on posts.  I knew it was going to happen right after school started, but I thought I’d get the blog going anyway.  But soon after, school took over my life.  Long story short, I’m now done with school, and I can try and focus on this blog a little more.
 So, this past weekend was crazy busy for me.  Easter was on Sunday, and so I made dinner for the family (a small get-together with my mom, aunt and nephew).  There was a ridiculous thunderstorm that happened early in the morning, that woke me up, and kept me huddled under the sheets.  I guess it was for the best though, because after I was assured that the storm was over, I was able to fill the eggs that I neglected to do during the week, chop the veggies for the dinner, and do a little baking.  Needless to say, I still hate thunderstorms.
 I also had a get-together with my math ladies (these are the girls I got to know and become great friends with while I attended UC Davis.  6 girls with 6 degrees in mathematics, that’s pretty cool).  Since we’ve all graduated (at different times), we try and keep in contact.  We all love Pinterest (well, most of us), and so we thought it would be a great idea to do what we call a “Pinterest Party.”  I wanted to share this with you, because I think it is the most clever way to take advantage of Pinterest.
 Every couple of months, we organize a sleep-over event that includes one Pinterest inspired craft and one Pinterest inspired food item.   We get to socialize, and craft together, and its just a super fun time.  It works for us, because many of us are busy with life, and don’t often have the time to try the 5000 pins on our Pinterest board.  But this way, we’re forced to scour our board for something everyone can enjoy and take home.  Our first Pinterest party had some hits and misses.  We did a spa themed party with a few appetizers, main dishes, and desserts.  The spa part of the party was fun.  We did facials (with recipes found on Pinterest), foot soaks, and nail painting.  I wish I had photos and details of the pins from that party but I didn’t think I would blog about it.
 For the party we had this past weekend, I think it was a success.  Morgan was the first to arrive at the party (since she had stayed the previous night), so we went shopping and she got the items she needed for a peach cobbler.  Since she is not a fan of Pinterest (making her so uncool),  her recipe came from a family recipe she remembered. 


Next, Jackie brought her recipe for cheesy bread (click cheesy bread for the pin.  You can also click on the darker words to go directly to the Pinterest board for the recipes or ideas).   She popped it in the oven while we waited for the others to arrive.  it was quick, but the results were amazing.  It didn’t last long at all.

Sheng came later (actually late, she was supposed to be at the party earlier, but we work on Sheng time) and made some really intensely chocolately (but very delicious) brownies.   Sheng is notorious for bringing the most intricate  things to make, but these brownies turned out awesome.  We waited for her to get the brownies in the oven by playing a game of Uno (I won the game btw).


After she got them in, we headed outside to work on our craft brought by Jackie.  She had an amazing idea for painting pots and planting succulents.  So we all headed out in the backyard and hung out while working on our artistic abilities.   
Sheng (left) and Jackie (right) in a "candid" moment.
Dinielle, Morgan, and Michelle working on painting their pots.
Jackie fine tuning the details.
The finished product.  The plant to the far left is an image of Bruno Mars.  
My little succulent.  I'm pretty proud of my pot.  :)
Before coming inside, we went on to work on some really nifty t-shirts.  This was my craft.  We are all going to a Bruno Mars concert this summer, and we wanted to have coordinating shirts.  I was inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest.  It was bleach shirt craft.
 So I went through images of Bruno Mars to see if I could find something that would look awesome on a shirt.  After spending a little while googling images, I came across one that worked out great.  I have a die cutting machine, and used that to make the stencil.  I used repositionable spray to keep the image in place while I sprayed the bleach on the shirt.  They worked out quite well.
Rocking the finished product.  Bruno would be proud.  
Being silly, while sporting our other crafts.  I love Michelle's glasses ;)

 After the shirts, Michelle started a recipe she found for mini tacos.  Last time she brought a dessert that turned out to be… well, we don’t talk about it.  But she made up for it with this recipe.  They were so good, I don’t think we even got a picture of them.  LOL.

Dinielle brought things to make sangria  and a healthy ranch dip (we needed something healthy after the brownies and the cobbler).  



After the tacos, sangria, and ranch and veggies, we worked on some more crafts.  Sheng brought a craft for making hair bows.  So we sat at the table, and sewed (some of us better than others.  My bow didn’t come out too well, but Dinielle saved it).


 After bows, we worked on constructing paper boxes with Morgan.  We used my die-cutting machine to cut out the pieces needed.  Once again, this craft did not specifically come from Pinterest (because Morgan wont join ), but you can find more info about how to do crafts like this if you have a die cutting machine, by going to www.SVGCuts.com, or following them on facebook at SVG Cuts.  The box we did was featured in their kit Maison de Madeline.   They were easy to put together, and everyone enjoyed the end result.  Nice storage for the bows.  LOL.

After we finished the boxes, we moved on to Michelle’s craft.  She brought everyone dollar tree sunglasses and we used jewels and mod podge and craft paper, and nail polish to make some really cool sunglasses.  We took our dollar glasses and totally turned them into designer frames.  
Wearing the crafts we made.  Sunglasses, bows, and shirts.

 We ended the night with nail art (ideas brought by Dinielle).
 In the morning I woke up and made cinnamon roll pancakes.


They turned out ok.  The cream cheese icing that went on top was really good though.  The party was super fun, and it was great to see the math ladies all together again.  I think the idea of having a Pinterest inspired party is a great way for you to try those pins you have yet to get around to, and share a great time with your friends.
 Stay tuned, because I do have some recipes I’ll be posting.  

Friday, February 8, 2013


By Kimberly

So not everything I make is sweet.  Every now and then I need to feed the family, and I'm sure our dentist would kill me if the only thing I fed them was cake.  I LOVE mexican food.  And while I can't say that I'm an expert at making Mexican food, I'd like to think I'm an expert at making Guacamole.  If you love Chipotle guacamole, I think I have a recipe for you. Unfortunately for this recipe measurements are not exact, because ingredients really depend on the size of your avocado. You'll need:


4 large Hass Avocados
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 Lemon (or Lemon Concentrate pictured below)
1 large Jalapeno Pepper
1-2 Serrano Chile Peppers
1/4 Red Onion
1/8-1/4 cup of fresh Cilantro 

Start by cutting your avocado's in half.  I then slice them and dice them while still in the skin.  This makes it easy to remove the fruit.  You can either squeeze the fruit out of the skin, or you can scoop it out with a spoon.  

Next, I mash my avocado with a fork so it is slightly chunky.  I add my salt, pepper and lemon juice (if you're using the concentrate use about 1 tablespoon of juice).  The lemon will help the avocado's from browning while I chop my veggies.  

Dice your onion and peppers into a small dice.  Chop your cilantro, and add all ingredients to your mashed avocados to your liking (add the onion a little at a time until you feel you're satisfied with the amount.  the same for the cilantro).  Stir well, and chill for about 30 minutes.  This will give the veggies a time to season in the avocados.  

The Serrano Pepper really adds heat to the guacamole, but also, it is the pepper used in the Chipotle guac.  Don't sub this pepper.  I think it's what makes the guacamole.  

Thanks for checking out the blog. Let me know what you think of the recipe. Stay tuned for future posts.  J

Monday, January 21, 2013

Search for "MY" perfect chocolate chip cookie

By Juanita

So I have been hunting for the perfect chocolate chip cookie (CCC) for some time now. I decided to try a Levain Bakery copycat recipe because from the pictures its looks like heaven. Thick, chewy, crunchy, and gooey yum yum. I researched all the copycats I could find and did a little tweaking to the one i chose which came from cookieash.blogspot.com I only made a half batch so i halved everything except the nuts and chocolate chips because I always add more. I also added 1/2 T of cornstarch.and this is what i got:

First we start with the usual suspects

Standard creaming method

The hardest part for me is trying not to over mix. If I see chunks of butter i want it smooth but i restrained myself. Also the recipe called for cold butter so I knew it was not going to cream like other recipes.

The dough got thick so when I added the nuts and chips I just used my hands to mix just till incorporated.

When i formed the balls I grabbed a chunk and placed it on the sheet. No rolling in a ball or smushing.

I then put these in the fridge and preheated my oven. In my research I found that putting them in the fridge makes them gooey in the middle so they were in there about 15 mins. 





Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie Clone

2 sticks unsalted butter, cold

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar(i used dark brown)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

12 ounces (2 cups) good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts) (I used walnuts)

If using dough right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars just until creamy. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.
Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Divide dough into 12 big 4 oz lumps. Bake on ungreased cookies sheets (one sheet at a time).
Bake times:
Put the cookies in a 375 degree oven and set timer for 8 minutes. When timer rings, without opening oven or removing cookies, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until cookies appear set.


Delish :) My only complaint is that it has a little to much of a buttery taste that reminded me of those danish butter cookies in the blue tin you get for christmas. And I should have toasted the nuts before hand but thats my fault. But it was big, gooey, crispy, golden goodness. I would totally make this again. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Give it a try, until next time guys stay sweet.

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. ~Judith Viorst

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pancake Puppies

By: Kimberly 

 I love breakfast.  I could honestly eat it for all three meals.  So a lot of the time I’m in the kitchen making breakfast.  But since the purchase of my new kitchen gadget (The BABYCAKES cake pop maker), I thought I’d use it for making breakfast.  Before purchasing the cake pop maker, I read a few (more like a 100) reviews about how others used their machine (which is one of the main reasons I purchased it). One reviewer wrote about how they used it to make appetizers, a ‘spicy cornbread with chilies and sausage in them served with a cheese sauce.’  How yummy.  If this little machine can be used for appetizers it should definitely be able to accommodate my breakfast needs.  So I made pancakes this morning with them.  I didn’t have a specific recipe to use (one that would help the pancakes rise or one specifically for the cake pop maker), so this was a first attempt recipe.  I started with the following ingredients:

2 cups of Bisquick mix

1 cup of buttermilk

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder

½ teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

  I mixed the ingredients until the batter was lumpy.  I thought that a measuring cup would be sufficient for pouring, but the batter is just a little too thick with the buttermilk, so I used my CUPCAKE PEN to fill the reservoirs.  I had my BABYCAKES machine pre-heated.  I wiped the reservoirs down with a little cooking spray, and then added the batter. 

As recommended by online reviews, I closed the lid and held it there for about 30 seconds to prevent the Saturn rings.  The pancake balls were ready in about a minute and they were perfectly browned. J

I let them cool on the provided cooling rack and added some more to the cake pop maker. (This time without spraying it.  I was lazy, but I wanted to see if they would stick.  They didn’t!)  The second batch was lighter on the top than the bottom, but I just flipped them over and cooked them an extra 20-30 seconds.

The family consensus:  Delish!!!  My son loved them.  He loves pancakes, and he loves dipping them in ketchup (I know, it’s gross, but he’s just as picky as I am, so whatever gets him to eat them will make me happy).  Making them in ball form makes them fun for dipping.  They had a really nice texture to them. 


Will I make them this way all the time?

No.  But for a fun way to mix it up at breakfast, I will do it again.  Maybe next time I’ll add sausage in the middle or fruits.  But it’s nice to know that I’m not limited to just cake pops.