Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tasty Menus

I really don't even know what to say for this post. Yep, that is a menu card. Made of CHOCOLATE. If you love chocolate like I do, there is not much that completes an event quite with the same unique, tasty, elegance that chocolate does.
To top it all of this chocolatier is from Texas!
(yet another great find from weddinggawker)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Great Find

A few weeks ago I discovered a horribly wonderful website. Horrible because it sucks me in and I could spend hours on it. Wonderful because... it is wonderful! (If you already knew about it, we all know I can be a little behind the curve.)

Foodgawker is a beautiful site of other blogger's beautiful pictures and wonderful recipes. I've made several recipes from this site already, but most recently I made Chicken Pesto Meatballs this weekend while my grandma was in town. It was a hectic evening and we didn't really get to start cooking until about 7 (which I'm sure my grandma wished she was already getting ready for bed). Luckily this was the perfect dish. They were so easy and so delicious!

You should also know Foodgawker has a sister site for weddings (AWESOME!) and crafts (not my greatest love, but still really cool)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hear me out...

You love chocolate, right? That cake looks awesome, right? It is super moist and yummy and good for you... kinda.
Okay, now don't go running when I tell you it is a Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake (no, I'm not vegan, but never hurts to cut fat where you can). I was hesitant too but please trust me, and if you don't go to Joy the Baker and read her blog and all of the raving comments.

Here is the recipe if you are up for it, I promise it will not disappoint:

The Cake

3 cups of flour
6 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed (about 1 medium avocado)
2 cups water
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Sift together all dry ingredients except the sugar. Set aside
Mix all wet ingredients (including super mashed avocado). Stir sugar into wet ingredients.
Add wet and dry together and mix with whisk (by hand).
Pour into two (greased) 8 or 9-inch rounds. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before frosting

Avocado Butter cream Frosting (Alton Brown)
2 small to medium avocados
2 tsp lemon juice
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mash avocados very well. Put in stand mixer (using whisk attachment) with lemon juice and whisk until smooth and color is slightly lightened.
Add powdered sugar a little at a time (adjust to the sweetness you like). Add vanilla.
Put in refrigerator if not using right away. Don't worry, It won't brown.

I've been cooking up a storm lately so there is more to come, but I had to share this!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Detox in Santa Fe

(I'm really struggling and this is the only picture it will let me up load)

I am a horrible relaxer. I've never been able to sleep in (9 o'clock is pushing it and I truly can't tell you the last time I slept that late). I have trouble enjoying just sitting when I know there are things (laundry, errands, baking, yoga) that need to be done. I constantly need to be doing or at least thinking about doing something.
This past week I relaxed. refreshed. and reloaded. I spent the week in beautiful Glorieta, New Mexico. My friend's band was leading worship at the collegiate week and in between morning and evening services but I had no real schedule. We ate many great meals. This place, featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, was so great that we made sure to go 3 separate occasions (one dinner, one breakfast, and maybe just to take pie back to the hotel)
Some mornings I read at the lake with a coffee. Some mornings I went to service. One day I actually think I slept in.
We spent some time at the square at Santa Fe. Reading, listening to an awesome cute old band play folk music and watching the couples dance. I was on a mission for the perfect turquoise ring. I had the color, size and shape in my mind and I was not really willing to settle when I was a city covered with the stuff. I ended up finding a stone I love and I am going to have a family friend back home make my ring.
We went to an art gallery that a local man told Jenny about. My words mean little here. Go to her website. I have so many favorites and so many that just took my breath away.
I spent a lot of time a several tucked away coffee shops or one of a kind book stores.
We spent a day just driving up a mountain stopping at different looking points... once to eat a piece of pie :)... but also just to sit and be still and talk about anything, hiking a little, reading some more.
So no, maybe I didn't completely stop. I think for me to do that I would have to go to a monastery. But I did slow down. People in the city move so quickly, always aware of the time. Last week, I had no agenda and wore no watch. I haven't been able to really enjoy a book in forever. I had about 10 great meals which is always counted as success. Lots of good conversations, but also lots of good quiet. I am refreshed and trying to retain some bit of that piece of mind.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The perfect noncolor

I love a beautiful crisp white wedding.
It is not for every venue or personality type, but when done right it is one of my very favorites.

Clean, classic, and even whimsical.
Thanks to the wonderful StyleMePretty