Friday, August 31, 2012

Apple Pie Cookies

Happy, Happy Friday!  I have to admit this is one of my favorite times of year.  When the days are just starting to get shorter, and you can just feel the autumn is coming.  Even though I have not headed "back to school" in four years!  FOUR Years!  I still feel like this is the best time of year for new beginnings, to get a fresh start on things at work.  A great time to really get focused and organized, which may happen to involve a new planner.  It might seem strange, because its not the "new year" or anything, but for me its the start of a new meeting season.  "Summer break" is over and its time to get focused.

Totally loving my Maybook and getting organized!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Plum Tart

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I know, I know its the middle of the week and we are all counting down the days to the long weekend ahead.  It is that time of week where its really about the everyday things that help us get to the weekend.

Morning coffee is one of my simple everyday pleasures that REALLY helps me get to the weekends.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Avocado Cookies

We are less than a month away from the official start to fall, so in these last few weeks of summer let's pack as much "summer" fun stuff in as possible...

I plan on wearing as much white as possible this week...don't judge.

This week, is also the week, in DC to pack in those free outdoor last movie night in Crystal City tonight and only one more Jazz in the Sculpture Garden Friday.

In the next few weeks before my favorite summer produce is out of season again, I plan on stuffing myself with blueberries, peaches, plums, tomatoes and zucchini.

Plum tart to come later this week.

It is also time get one more beach trip in, before Florida is the only option.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gluten-Free Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Something happened last month, well I guess it started back in July after I posted about wanting to slow down and enjoy the everyday.  The following Saturday I was driving back to North Carolina when I found myself passing a car with a license plate that said ENJ2DAY.  I haven't been able to get this off my mind.  This doesn't mean I have stopped planning in advance.  I have just started to plan out activities that I really want to do, so that time doesn't pass me by.  Since, my birthday I have been telling myself that I want to make the most of the next year.  Now I am telling you, and I want you to be a part of it.  Let's make plans, cook, bake, hangout, grab drinks, go for a bike ride and maybe go bungee jumping.  Let's make big plans and enjoy the little ones too, because sometimes the smallest things turn into the biggest.

I have started by trying to get the most out of everyday, to smile even though things aren't perfect, or there is crazy pounding outside my office window from the apartment building that won't be ready until 2014.  

The pounding stopped for a minute when this gentlemen decided to take a little nap.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Garden Harvest Bread...A Perfect Summer Breakfast Bread

I have a new love, a love for early morning runs, before the sun rises, before anyone can really see me running and judge me for running funny.  (I totally run with my elbows out and have been called out for it.)  Running when foxes and owls are out, because they too think they are invisible.  When yes, I need a light so that cars can see me, BUT hey that's exactly why I bought a light.  There's something about being up before the sunrises and getting to be a part of it.  No matter how many times I see the sun rise over the Potomac, I always want to stop and take a picture.  Maybe one like this....

Plus on days when I am running slowly, which happens often at the beginning of runs, you can notice things you wouldn't normally notice.  Like somehow in the dark this bridge looks awesome.  There are so many angles and the lights are just bouncing off so many different areas.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Guest Post #10: Strawberry Peach Salsa

Well here goes nothing...this is the first non-baking/dessert post to go up. Am I venturing into a new a area?  Maybe...I mean I do cook too.  My life isn't always sweet...I have ventured into the savory a bit with savory scones, empanadas, tarts, quiche and even savory waffles, but they have always involved baking.  We shall see, but this one is a special post from an old friend who came up to DC for a weekend to visit.  Karl and I met in high school, even though we didn't attend the same school.  We dated for a bit, attended a school dance together, had German class "together" through a TV and went with a group to Germany.  We have stayed friends through college and after...even with two states between us.  Karl is a great cook!  I can remember him grilling even in high school, so this is not a new thing.  

It was so much fun having a foodie in town to not only cook with, but to go out to eat with.  So, when he suggested we make a this salsa to go with the fish, I said go for it!  He made the salsa, I made the fish and they paired terrifically together. Although I have to admit, the fish was a bit salty, but had a lot of kick to it.  Any who, you should definitely try this one out!  Its simple, easy and refreshing!  Enjoy!

From Karl
When visiting a friend who writes a blog about cooking great food, what else is there to do but try to use my limited culinary skills and enjoy the great food that comes out of the kitchen? That’s exactly what I did when visiting DC. After an offering of a few recipes, I decided on fried catfish with salsa for dinner. However, I thought I could switch the suggested salsa recipe with a strawberry-mango one I’ve used before.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vegan Gluten-Free Zucchini Brownies

I need to go on a healthy baking kick. Seriously, between last weekend and the weekend before, I have been on a food and desserts overload.  BUT I still want to have a little something for my sweet tooth.  So, over the next few weeks I am going to aim for healthier desserts.  We shall see what happens.  I just need this, there is some serious training needed in my future because the Nation's Tri is just around the corner...and I don't want to let my team members down.  Plus, it has never hurt anyone to try and eat a bit healthier...for a while.  So here goes nothing...

These brownies, well let me just tell you that you would seriously have no idea they are vegan and gluten-free AND have zucchini in them.  They are light and moist, with the right amount of chocolaty taste to cure a sweet tooth.  Courtney even went so far as to call them "amazingly delicious."  They really are very I might have to make another batch to take to Philadelphia for LiveSTRONG this weekend tasty.  I would HIGHLY recommend these!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Snickers Ice Cream

This past weekend was one of those great weekends.  A friend was in town from Atlanta and he was completely up for doing anything, which was awesome.  It started on Thursday and the fun didn't end until Sunday.  There was a fundraiser for LiveSTRONG...where cookies were made for SWAG bags.

This is my tower of Milky Way Cookies...

That went into these super cute little bags, along with carrot cake cookies.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday = Boozey Margarita Cupcakes

Well I have to say, I had one of the best birthdays I have had in a long time this year.  My coworkers are the BEST, and got me the delicious 15 layer carrot cake from The Source in DC.  Seriously, if you count the frosting and cake there are 15 layers!  Check out the picture below if you don't believe me.

Then, the girls made it up with plenty of time to spare...even though they passed a a truck completely on fire, on the drive up from North Carolina.  Once again not even joking on this one, and I really thought they were when I first heard about it.  So, the bachelorette weekend started with drinks at POV and a fantastic view!  It really could not have been a better way to start the weekend and to round out my birthday.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy Friday! Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I am so excited for this weekend!  I feel like I have been planing it for months and is has been really hard to concentrate this week.  Not only is it my birthday weekend, but it is also one of my oldest friend's bachelorette weekend.  Seriously, we are talking daycare here folks.  Lets just say when the idea came up of doing it in DC, I could not have been more floored, while having my mind go in to detail over drive about what we should do, where should eat and where to go out.  So, she and three of her bridesmaids are driving up from Raleigh and we have a full weekend planned!  In preparation, I thought a little hotel room sustenance was needed...aka champagne and peanut butter swirl brownies!  I need to say a quick thanks to the Wedding Chicks for their free printables for the bucket and champagne.