A Dream Come True

>> Sunday, September 25, 2011

5 years ago, my husband bought me this as a stocking stuffer, promising me that one day he wanted to take me.


After 5 years, lots of waiting, a lot of good times, a whole lot of bad times, a cross-country move, new jobs, getting out of debt, and plenty of Italian meals -

We Are Headed To Italy!!

I can't wait to tell you all about it, and bore you with pictures for a month when I get back.


Happy Fall!

>> Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Ya'll!!

That's my Southern Girl talk for - I LOVE FALL!! I know I just might have mentioned on this blog at least 5 times how much I love the fall, so of course there's going to be a recipe dedicated to the FIRST DAY OF FALL!!!

What's the first day of fall without 90 degree weather?? California, known for 75 degree weather year-round, and being one of the most beautiful weather states in the entire U.S. has officially hit a heat wave. It does not feel like fall today, but I've heard we're in for a cool down this weekend. Cue in jackets, pumpkin spice lattes, and early morning weekend runs that have a little bit of a nip in the air. Perfection!

These little muffin doughnuts are a yummy little taste of fall. They have the consistency of little doughnuts - full of air, soft and yummy, but they bake up in muffin pans - no rising, yeast, or frying needed! A slightly healthier version of a fall-flavored munchkin (ahh! Dunkin Doughnuts how I miss you!). I followed the original recipe for the topping for half the batch and covered with sugar, and then I made a slight adaption to the Pioneer Women's cinnamon roll maple icing and dipped the rest of them in there. I think hands-down, the maple icing was the hit! With the addition of the nutmeg in the doughnut, it truly is a little taste of heaven in your mouth!
Baked Doughnut Muffins (Adapted from: La Mia Via Dolce)
Print Recipe Here

For Doughnuts
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (preferably Mexican vanilla)

For Topping/Icing
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar, for rolling

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
5-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (until thin enough to dip doughnuts without them crumbling)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3 mini muffin tins with oil (I used my pampered chef spritzer, and it worked great... no sticking)
2. In a large bowl, beat together egg and the sugar until light and fluffy.
You really can't make doughnuts without coffee.. it's a sin!

3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and the nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture slowly and stir to combine using hand mixer.
4. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla. Mix together until smooth.
5. Divide batter evenly among mini muffin pans, filling them about 3/4 of the way up.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool slightly.

7. While muffins are cooling right after baking, melt the butter and brush over the tops of the muffins. Dip the tops into bowl with sugar. Cool
AND/OR: Combine all ingredients for icing in small bowl and beat together until smooth/creamy. Dip tops of muffins into icing and allow to cool.


The Last of Summer's Glory

>> Monday, September 12, 2011

Sorry I've been a little absent lately.....

But I've been a bit preoccupied......

I had babies in my house!

Two of them!!!

Some of the cutest babies you will ever see!

And they're twins!

Our good friends Aimee and Chris were down for a quick visit and for Chris to pick up his degree - oh, I mean become a DOCTOR! :) We've been calling him Dr. Chris all week.

We kept talking them into staying a little longer and a little longer, and before you know it, they were supposed to leave on Monday, and I convinced them to stay until Friday!! :) It made me happy.

Is this not the sweetest picture you've ever seen!!

We had so much fun, Who knew sitting around, watching youtube videos, cooking dinners together, watching babies do funny things, playing a card game, and just enjoying each other's company could result in such a heartfelt time? Oh yeah, we had a graduation, and a graduation party in there too! :) (I'll share some fun pictures from the party/decor soon) So please indulge me while I share a few baby pictures!

While they were here, the temperatures soared up into the mid 90's, and then by the end of the week, fall appeared in the Bay Area (at least for a few days), and it's been high of 69 degrees during the day, and down in the low 50's at night. So we decided to soak up the last little bits of summer, and then officially take on fall!

This lemonade is made from fresh raspberries, fresh squeezed lemons, and a little bit of love. It's sweet and tart at the same time, and the best way to enjoy those lovely little berries that are popping up just a bit less at the stores right now. Savor them while you can! Then it's on to pumpkins!!

Oh, don't worry, I've already moved on... you know how I love the fall.

Fresh Raspberry Lemonade (By:Me)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6-8 lemons, juiced (depending on how sour you want it - I did 6)
zest of 4 lemons
2 cups raspberries
additional 5-6 cups water

lemon slices

1. In a microwave-safe container, place the 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Heat for approximately 2 1/2 minutes or until all sugar is dissolved. Pour into a pitcher

2. Juice lemons and place juice into pitcher with sugar water.
3. In a food processor or blender, place raspberries and lemon zest and pulse on high until completely pureed. Strain raspberries through a fine sieve or strainer to remove seeds. Place strained raspberry juice into the same pitcher with the juice and sugar water. Whisk all ingredients together.
4. Add additional cold water to taste preference and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with garnish.