Monday, December 15, 2014

Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies & The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Can you believe that this is my third year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap?

Me neither.

This year there were about 566 participants in 7 countries and we raised over $12,000 for Cookies for Kids' Cancer! That came from the small donation we all had to make to enter ($4) plus those of our amazing sponsors this year you matched every donation! (Thanks to OXO, Dixie Crystals, California Olive Ranch, and Sheila G's Brownie Brittle)  It's crazy to think about how many bloggers there are that participated but also how many COOKIES were sent around the world? I did some calculations and there were over 20,000 cookies shipped. SO MANY COOKIES.

My three matches this year were some wonderful bloggers. I got to send these brown butter shortbread cookies to Lynna from Hearts in my Oven, Carrie from Fresh from Oregon, and Cora from That Dang Cook. In return, I received a dozen peanut butter snickerdoodles from Lisa at Blogghetti, molasses crinkles from Melissa at Served Up With Love, and chocolate pinwheels from Melissa at Fried Ice and Donut Holes. Ladies, all the cookies were delicious! My roommate and I ate way more than our fair share of cookies.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Crepe Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

Guys, tomorrow is December 1. WHERE HAS TIME GONE.

It's already a few days after Thanksgiving (which depresses me, since it's my favorite holiday and I don't have any leftovers here in LA) and today is the First Advent and I don't have the candles to light for it (Ikea trip in my future today!). And then it's December and then I have 2 1/2 weeks before I go home for Christmas and then I come back to LA and work everyday through New Years. And then it's back to normal. So weird. Time is flyyyyying.

Anyway, this post today is happening because of Love and Olive Oil. She's hosted various kitchen challenges and I've wanted to take part in a few of them but then I would miss the deadline or I'd be a little too intimidated by the ideas. This one though - I saw it and I knew I had this. Crepes are very similar to Swedish pancakes and I can handle those no problem, so I was excited for this challenge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Granola

This past weekend was our Friendsgiving and it was so lovely. There were over 20 of us and everyone brought something to the table, whether it was stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, cheese, rolls, gravy, or mini pumpkin cheesecakes (that one was me). We drank wine, ate delicious food, and just enjoyed everyone's company. I didn't know half of the people there but it was nice to meet new friends!

I've talked about it before but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I love anything pumpkin related. So clearly, match made in heaven. So, when thinking of what I want to eat for breakfast for the next week or two, the thought of pumpkin granola popped into my head. It's seasonally appropriate (but something I could eat all year round too because, well, I can) and something delicious that has kickstarted my week and will make sure I'm not a hangry person by the time Thanksgiving dinner hits the table.

Because I'm not the best hangry person. I either get really frustrated and snippy OR I start crying. And I never know which side is going to come out. Trust me and my friends. It's both funny and sad.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Confession 1: I actually made these muffins back in October for Big Bear so we would have breakfast/snacks/delicious baked goods to munch on.

Confession 2: The first time I made these muffins was actually 3 years ago in my house at Wesleyan and they were a huge hit and disappeared way too quickly.

So this is the first pumpkin recipe I had made this year. I don't know why it took me so long (until October 24) or why it's taken me this long to post it (November 21), but the great thing about these muffins, is that they're good all year round. They're good to eat on a cold fall or winter morning with a cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate (whatever you're into). You should make them for Thanksgiving breakfast or to eat while traveling for the holidays.

It's no secret that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it's only a week away and I am SO excited. I'm sad I won't be home with my family for it, but I will be in San Francisco with my best friend and her family, so that's a good alternative. The turkey, the gravy, the potatoes, the stuffing.. I absolutely live for Thanksgiving food (except for the cranberry sauce - not a huge fan) and for sitting around a table with family and just being with each other.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

thursday things

1. Saturday I made cookie dough cupcakes with cow and pig fondant toppers for a friend's birthday. It was SO much fun. I've never decorated with fondant before and it was so easy to make my own from scratch. The only hard part was kneading the fondant but it came out SO well.

2. I also have attempted to cook more. I made one pot pasta (which I talked about last week) and I also made butternut squash soup which is SO going to make an appearance in my dinner rotation. Probably next week.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

thursday things

1. I was in Florida this past weekend and it was so nice to get out of LA. I had a great time with family and it was really nice to be there for the memorial service.

2. My first night down there, my grandma cooked dinner for the whole family and it was delicious. One of my favorite parts was probably the tortellini we made, partly because I made the sauce and partly because the sauce was garlic and butter. what could be better?!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hot Fudge Sauce

Writer's block is rough. I'm gonna chalk it up to jetlag, considering I was in my bed at 10pm last night trying to write this post. I also deleted the first 5 things I wrote. I was trying to be all clever and observant about hot fudge sauce but... it's hot fudge sauce. That's it.

I was in Sarasota this weekend for my grandfather's military memorial. We had the "main" memorial in July in NY which everyone in the family was home for. This past weekend we had a smaller military service at the National Cemetery with the Air Force. I wanted to be there for that and to represent my immediate family (since they couldn't make it) but to also have some time with my Grandma.

There was a lot of family time, but some of my favorite moments were my grandma and I sipping on wine, watching a movie on TV (I watched and she slept), and getting a head scratch (actually my favorite things in the world). It was just really nice to recharge and get away from Los Angeles for a few days.