Monday, December 31, 2012

Insta-Year

Looking back on what a wonderful year 2012 has been and looking forward to 2013. 




We said hello to the new year in Ensenada with good friends, welcomed Bravery into the world, celebrated family & summer, had my worked published, graduated and experienced a Broadway tour. Got engaged, continued Julian traditions, moved into our first place, got married, traveled to paradise and celebrated Christmas! Such a memorable year full of God's blessings. Can't wait to see what's in store next. 



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

I am alive! It has been such a whirlwind since the week before the wedding I am just now even getting internet where we live. 

Onto the recipes! I was really excited to make this and even more excited about how it turned out. Now, I'm even more excited that my real camera is fixed so I can finally retire the iPhone pictures!

Since we have gotten settled in I got the amazing Weekly Meal Planner from Anthropologie. The one I have isn't in stock any longer, but they still have this one! It has made grocery shopping so easy, not to mention pretty cost effective. On Sunday, I plan out the week's meals. I focus on dinners because they always leave left overs that can be used for lunch! This Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole was fairly inexpensive to make and gave us a few days worth of meals. Budget friendly living for the newly-weds! 

Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole (a healthy alternative to the usual Broccoli and Rice Casserole)
Ingredients
  • One 10 ox can of Cream of Broccoli soup
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat mayo
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg (or to taste, it gives it a great spice!)
  • 2 cups of cooked broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese


Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray. Cook the quinoa according to the package.  Combine the soup, mayo, milk, cheddar, sugar, pepper and nutmeg until mixed well. Add the quinoa and broccoli. Spoon mixture into the casserole dish and sprinkle a few tablespoons of parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and golden. Makes about 8 1/2 cup servings. 



Super easy and delicious!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Eat Cake for Breakfast

It's November! This is the month of magic. Christmas music, christmas cups at Starbucks, Jonnie's birthday and my wedding!

Yesterday was pure magic. I went to the mall early in the morning to finish some errands, the air was brisk and I heard Christmas music playing. Heaven. Normally, I try to hold out with Christmas celebrations till after Thanksgiving so I can savor every minute, but I was excited. So I got myself a Pumpkin Spice Latte in my Starbucks Christmas cup and finished some last minute shopping for my wonderful fiancé's birthday.

I had to get creative with his birthday this year as we are on a tight budget, but those are the most fun presents to give! I decided that because his birthday is the first of November, the month we will get married, I will give him one small gift everyday until our wedding. This has been so fun to put together, it encouraged me to really think about the small things that would bless Jon without having to spend too much money. Some of the gifts are goofy and simple, some of them are "real" gifts (can't gift it away yet!).


For the morning of his birthday, I prepared this amazing breakfast cake, which I will share with you! I love this recipe, because it's serving size is perfect for these two 3 inch ramekins. 


Berries and Cream Breakfast Cake (adapted from Urban Poser
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or agave)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup raspberries (or another of your choice)
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Blend the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks until thick and pale then add the honey, oil and milk. Add the flour mixture and mix until well incorporated. Fill 2 ramekins 3/4 full. Break up raspberries with your hands and place them on top of the batter, press in gently. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake should "bounce back" when you touch it. 

Let the cake cool for just a few minutes. To serve, break up the top of the cake just a bit and pour in some cold coconut milk. Enjoy!



Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Baking Mission

Today, I was on a mission. Jon left today for his Bachelor Party Weekend in Arizona and we were going to have lunch so I thought I'd bake him (and the groomsmen) something tasty for the road. So he remembers what he is coming home to ;)

Since I still had some pumpkin puree left, I made chocolate chip pumpkin bars. I was in such a hurry that the only picture I got was in the car when they were already in a tupperware. They still look delicious though!


Adapted from Elana's Pantry
Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips


Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together and then add in dry ingredients until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips last and spread batter into an 8x8 baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes, cool and enjoy!

So easy and tasty!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Wish List

I can't stop browsing the web for all the amazing Fall products! Is it just me or does Anthropologie hit the nail right on the head every time the cooler seasons come around?

Here is a look into my Fall wish list, because, why not?


1. Anthropologie 2. Urban Outfitters Scarf 3. Anthropologie Polka Dot Cords 4. Seychelles Boots






Friday, October 12, 2012

Boots, Brownies and Disney

Today was the perfect day to wear boots, bake and watch a Disney movie. So that is what I did. It was raining this morning and even though that usually makes me want to keep sleeping, I was so excited that Autumn made an appearance. She is such a tease here in Southern California. Not only was I excited about rain, but looking out my window I could see the Disney cruise ship in the harbor and it honked its horn (which plays "When You Wish Upon A Star") to announce it's arrival. Could it be a more magical morning?

I took my wedding dress to the dry cleaners (I bought it right off the rack, so it is dirty from so many fittings) and came home to bake some goodies. First thing's first. I love almond butter. If you are ever lucky enough to try Justin's Nut Butter your world will be changed. I'm talking, spoonfuls of almond butter for lunch, but in accordance with my pre-wedding budget, I opted for Sprout's almond butter to create these delicious Almond Butter Pumpkin Brownies!






Ingredients (only 5!)

  • 1 cup of almond butter
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda


Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 pan. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, spread evenly in pan and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. It's that easy AND delicious!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Welcoming Fall with Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I love Fall. I don't know of any girl in my close circle of friends who doesn't! There is something so cozy and romantic about a season that gets chilly enough to put on a cute peacoat or snuggle up by a fireplace with a good book and cup of tea. Of course, I am referring to a San Diego Fall, which is really nothing like a season change around the rest of the country.

Well, as soon as the Autumn leaves start changing, and Starbucks releases their pumpkin spice lattes, that means it's time to start celebrating, even if it is still 80 degrees. I celebrated with grain-free/dairy-free chocolate chip pumpkin bread! I abuse pumpkin puree until January comes around and it is time to use another flavor to bake with.



This bread had turned out so moist and delicious every time I've made it. In fact, I'm eating a piece with my coffee as I share it with you!

Ingredients
  • Just under 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3/4 cup honey or agave
  • 4 eggs
  • chocolate chips to your taste
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients together (except chocolate chips) and in a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients. Blend dry ingredients into the wet mix until coconut flour is well incorporated. Add chocolate chips last. Line a bread pan with parchment paper (it is easier to remove the moist bread) or prepare a muffin pan (will make about 8 muffins). Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool and enjoy! 

What are your favorite Fall desserts?