28 March 2012

M.I.L.C.K.

Named MILCK for the items its meant to hold:
 money, ID, lipstick, cell phone, & keys, this Ela clutch is an easy "going out" bag. 
You don't need much else to go out besides MILCK.


In an array of colours, you're sure to find one (or five) that appeal to you. As DailyCandy stated, "We expect nothing less from co-founding couple Ela Kowalewska (a former Herm├Ęs and Burberry PR rep) and Martin Aldorsson (former Havaianas brand manager)."

My favourites? The cobalt blue, taupe stud, purple, hot pink, coral... I could go on & on. 

27 March 2012

Brown Sugar Blues

When I should be studying for my Geography exam, I (no surprise) found myself baking. Development, Agriculture, & Industry OR Brown Sugar Blueberry Cookies?


 For my mum and probably my brainy brother (unless he's eating the cookies- not baking them), they'd choose studying. Booorringgg. What better way to say, "bring it on, GEO exam" than with a fresh batch of these delicious cookies?


 I've made these numerous times. In fact, for Mum's birthday instead of cake, she wanted these cookies. That's how unexplainably fantastic they are. Jessica over at How Sweet It Is really hit the nail on this one. The first time I made these, only about 3-4 of the cookies made it to their destination (dinner with friends). I just couldn't help but STUFF MY FACE with these cookies. 


I baked a batch while my sister-in-law was in town to take back to my brother. I got a phone call not too long after she returned saying, "Sis, those blueberry cookie/scone things were awesome. They're the best thing I've had that you've made." Now I know you don't know my brother, but he can't resist the majority of my baked goods. And I live off of compliments from him and my sister (in law) about my baking. Needless to say, his voicemail made my day. Today's batch is going to the RCC Kids Town Hall, so if you go to RCC, you know you want to come to the meeting tonight!


Blueberry Cookies
(only slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is)

makes 12-15 cookies

· 1 stick butter, at room temperature
· 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
· 1 egg
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 1 tablespoon whole milk
· 3/4 cup fresh blueberries (note: I've made these with frozen and fresh, and fresh is definitely the best)

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mixing for 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, stir in flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix until dough comes together. Add in milk. Fold in blueberries gently with a spatula. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Cool on wire racks. 

26 March 2012

Spring Cleaning

The most frequent ways I procrastinate are getting lost in my computer and cleaning. When I'm going through my room, I'll find random things that should've been thrown away ages ago...  
i.e. packaging from J.Crew.

Thursday night I was up until 4AM just making a huge mess in my room. I found an old LG phone. 
I got excited to sell it when I saw prices on Amazon were $70+. I visited multiple "sell your old cell phone" websites and my best offer was $8. Depressing

It is officially spring for us here in Florida. Time for some Spring Cleaning, anyone? Check out College Prepster's Spring Cleaning Checklist:

 I brought out all my spring clothes and packed away my boots and wool skirts. I could not be happier to wear J.Crew chino shorts on a regular basis. Helllo springtime!
(photo from breakfast at toast)

One of my goals this spring is to make a 101 Things in 1001 Days list inspired by the oh so stylish Mackenzie Horan. Check out this gal's blog and her {new} boutique! Thanks to Sweet Lemon Magazine for doing a spread on her, as that's how I found her blog! I.Love.It. 
New life goal: Be More Like Mackenzie Horan.

21 March 2012

Gluten, Schmuten. This Bread is LOVE.

Have you ever made a pull apart bread?

(photo from Joy the Baker)

For a handful of weeks, I have been drooling over Joy the Baker’s Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread. Just look at the pictures – you'll want to take it out of the screen and eat it RIGHT.NOW. 

(photo from Joy the Baker)

Clearly I don’t have much patience… I want what I want and I want it now. As you will soon realize, I am a cinnamon fiend. It’s the best spice God created. No exaggerations. I put it on everything I can… Cinnamon toast is my breakfast 70% of the time. I toss cinnamon with my sweet potato fries, sprinkle it in butternut squash soup, and sprinkle it on yoghurt. Anything that can have cinnamon on it will as far as I am concerned. So, when I stumbled upon this recipe – I knew I had to make it. 

My mum was being quite impatient – so I didn’t get a picture post-baking, but here’s the dough before I stuck it in the oven. 

I know - I haven't perfected the "making it look absolutely delicious" skill quite yet, but I'm working on it. And for the record, it IS absolutely delicious.


Due to mum’s lack of patience, I didn’t bake the bread for the entire time the recipe called for. The edges were a golden brown and the center was cooked, but still gooey & yeasty. So, if you’re not a yeasty (ew) gooey bread person, I’d say keep it in the oven until the top of the bread is a golden brown and not just the edges. Twas yummy, but I would have preferred if it had been a tad more cooked through. 

Cinnamon.Sugar.Bread. life doesn’t get much better. You know you want to make it.

So go on over to Joy the Baker and make the Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread.




18 March 2012

stay tuned...

This past week was spring break. So wild & out of control was I...in the kitchen, people, c'mon! I had some unsuccessful as well as some relatively successful concoctions/recipes this week. Stay tuned, as they most certainly will be posted...


Look at how lazy the frathound was over break...couldn't even stand up to eat. 

Clearly he had way.too.much.fun at Dogwood Dog Park with his buddy, Camo.


Camo's "sister", Allie, made the dogs homemade treats for our play-date! Even picky eater Dutch liked them. In fact, he gobbled up the crumbs in the container...which I know you're thinking, "SG, dogs eat crumbs. It's a fact of life." Well, folks, not with my pup. He leaves crumbs from treats he eats all over the rugs, but not these! I'm going to get the recipe Allie used and share later this week!

Sweet Potato Fries

Nothing accompanies a meal with more ease than sweet potato fries!


They are so yummy and versatile — make 'em salty, spicy, sweet, or a combination of the three. So many options! I like to use Simply Organic's Cinnamon Sugar on my fries as well as cinnamon, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, garlic powder or fresh garlic, cayenne pepper, freshly ground pepper, parsley, chili powder, paprika, & sea salt. 
GET CREATIVE!

Toss them with olive oil and whatever spices you've got a hankering for {I always include cinnamon} and you are set! Who knew it could be so easy?? A lot of people, apparently, as sweet potato fry recipes are a dime-a-dozen on Google.


With the sweet potato fries, maybe it's just me, but you really have to watch them in the oven. I know mine aren't exactly uniform in cut, so that's most likely why, but I do try to cut them in roughly the same shapes and sizes. After about 20 minutes, take off of the tray any fries that are starting to burn or have dark marks on them. As for the ones that are not done yet, flip them over and put them back in the over. I check on and flip the fries every 5 minutes after that. I know it's tedious, but that's how I have figured out how not to end up with 183 burned fries and only 12 good ones.


Although Jessica, from How Sweet It Is, has a b r i l l i a n t idea: she bakes her S.P. fries on a wire rack! That way you don't have to flip them as often as I do. So.Stinking.Smart. I, however, have not yet found a non-coated wire rack to use for this. My cooling racks are coated and my over racks are too wide for the cut fries. I need to put that on my wish list though!


You could just go to the market and grab a bag of Alexia Sweet Potato Julienne Fries... they are tasty! I prefer making my own as I can add whatever spices I want and can say that I made them without my guilty conscience saying, "shoving frozen fries in the oven & reading directions on a bag does not count as making them." But that's just me.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries
(adapted from Whole Foods & How Sweet It Is)

· 2 large sweet potatoes/yams
· 3 table spoons olive oil
· 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
· 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon {depends on how much you adore cinnamon}
· 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
· 1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 450°

If desired, peel sweet potatoes. Cut into wedges. In a large bowl, add olive oil, pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Toss potatoes with olive oil mixture until well coated. Spread potatoes in a single layer onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, take off any fries that are beginning to burn &/or have dark marks, flip fries that are not done yet, and continually flip/check on them every 5 minutes after the initial 20 minutes. Once fries are done, sprinkle sea salt on top & serve.

P.S. by waiting until the fries are cooked to sprinkle salt on, the fries refrain from getting soggy

How do you like your sweet potato fries?





11 March 2012

Better Batter!

I just got my first package of Better Batter! I have been reading Gluten Free On A Shoestring who is sponsored by Better Batter. I was {overly} excited to use this flour as I am a baker and love my cookies, muffins, breads, etc. 


As soon as I possibly could, I broke out the Better Batter gf flour and got to baking! 



My biggest fear about going Gluten-Free was still is baking. I know I've been terrible about being gf {especially lately}, but...gluten is love. Warm, fresh, french baguettes...cinnamon sugar popovers... ugh. I just hope that with this Better Batter gf flour everything will taste somewhat normal.


And, for the most part, they did taste normal. 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about two dozen cookies

3/4 cup Coconut Oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup Turbinado sugar (or packed dark brown sugar)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
14-18 ounces chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Foods Mega Chunks)

Preheat over to 350°. Beat coconut oil & sugars at medium speed {with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer} until creamy. Add eggs & vanilla, beating until blended. 
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. 
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a well-greased baking sheet.
Bake for 10-14 minutes. Let cool on wire racks, about 15 minutes.

Note: My cookies did not spread like regular cookies. As you can see they came out roughly the same shape they went in as.



catching up on Sunday

Well folks, it has been quite a long week. There was a great tragedy at my high school, Episcopal, on Tuesday. It is horrific and upsetting.

Isaiah 25:8 (NIV) says,
 "He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all the faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken."

During this troubling time, we are all leaning on the Lord as we just try to comprehend the situation.


04 March 2012

A Delicious Mess

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Rice Krispies® Treats



These are so tasty! Look at that ooey gooey deliciousness.


You might not want to share these with anyone else...I'm the only one in the house that has eaten these treats so far and I've got half of them left - they are gooood. I have been stuffing my face with these sticky marshmallow treats.

GF,CF Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 package kosher marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free cereal

Directions:
In a large saucepan melt coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. 
Add cereal and stir until well coated. 
Evenly press mixture into a greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Cool. Cut into squares.
ENJOY!