Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Whoopie Pies

This post is so overdue. My apologies. I made these weeks ago for a family member's birthday and then proceeded to leave my camera at my parents' house. I've had it back for about a week, but I've been extra busy and in no mood to write this post. But, some of my work is done, and it was about time. My dear friend Kristin shared this recipe on her blog and they looked so amazingly delicious, I couldn't help myself. A few notes: my first tray or two needed to be cooked a minute or two more. They were tasty and fudgy, but not really traditional whoopie pies. Also, I used a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop and my whoopie pies were adorable and bite-sized. Traditional whoopie pies are a little larger, so if you want yours bigger, just use a larger scoop. The small scoop made 42 whoopie pies. Yes, I counted. It was slightly ridiculous, but awesome because I was able to bring the leftovers to a potluck for class. A smaller scoop would make less, so just plan accordingly. These treats were so delicious and really pretty easy. I had heard that they were hard to make, so I was pleasantly surprised by how easy they were. Also, the recipe calls for marshmallow fluff. I don't know the last time I bought the stuff. But the filling is amazing, so don't skip it!

Whoopie Pies
recipe from here

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk

2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 cups marshmallow creme
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 t. vanilla extract

Start by beating together the sugar and the butter. I didn't cream mine enough and it came back to bite me in the tushy later. You'll see what I mean. Add the vanilla and the eggs and beat again.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt.
Kristin made the excellent suggestion to combine the buttermilk and water in a large measuring cup. Alternate adding the buttermilk mixture and the flour and mix together. You will need a massive bowl.

Using a scoop, or a spoon, put balls of dough on a greased sheet or use parchment paper. They don't need to be perfect! Make sure you leave space between the balls because they puff up.
You can see how these look nice and fluffy and dry-ish. You don't want them to be dry or shiny. If you touch them, they should be firm. Bake for 5-7 minutes depending on the size at 375.
This photo shows what happens if you don't beat the butter enough. Little clumps melt and ruin the top of your cookie. It still tastes amazing, it just doesn't look as pretty.

Once the cookies are completely cool (cool them on wire racks), beat together the frosting ingredients until nice and fluffy.
Spoon some of the filling on to one side of the cookie and press on the top. I dare you to eat just one. Enjoy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Really Great Day

Thursday I played hookie. I have tons of work to do right now, but I planned this day with my mom months ago and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. First, we went to a salon and I tried on wedding dresses (!!!). The experience was amazing and made the whole thing feel super real. I also was beyond shocked because I was certain that I would fall in love with a specific dress...and I so did not. It was so blah on me. So very very blah. But, the first dress I tried on blew me away. I tried on a bunch of other and revisited the first and didn't want to take it off. Since it was only my first time trying on gowns, I'm going to try on some others, but I'm pretty certain I'll be returning for this dress. So that was a great way to start the day.

Then we went to the de Young museum and walked through the "Girl with the Pearl Earring" exhibit. It was breathtaking and so much more amazing in person than in the pictures. You just can't imagine the difference. Finally, we stayed at the museum for the Bouquets de Arts exhibit and walked through that at night. honestly, it was a bit overwhelming. There were so many installations I was exhausted by the time we got half way through. It was also paired with more modern art, which really isn't my taste. I think if it had been an Impressionist exhibit I would have been completely in love. Don't get me wrong, the flowers were beautiful and I'm so glad I went, I just think it has potential to be even more amazing. I took tons of pictures of the flowers on my phone and I thought I'd share. Some of the pictures aren't the best, but the colors and so beautiful and worth seeing.

Here is the set-up. On the wall is the art. In front of the art is a floral arrangement that a local florist has created. It can be an exact replica or an interpretation. Some of my pictures are just of flowers. Some include the art. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinner Series: Avocado Egg Salad Wrap

I have had this recipe on my pinterest board forever and I'm not sure what compelled me to make it this week. Maybe the fact that once the eggs were hard-boiled, it took me under five minutes to make. Maybe it was the abundance of avocados in my fridge. I don't know. But I am sure glad I did. It's super tasty and makes enough for about 3 wraps. I had one for dinner, one for lunch the next day, and still had enough for another meal. The wraps aren't huge, so for dinner you'd probably want to have something else on the side. But for lunches, it was a hit!

Avocado and Egg Salad Wraps
4 hard-boiled eggs
1 large avocado
2 tablespoons plain Greek Yogurt
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

Note: my camera is still at my parent's house, but I'm getting it back today! Yippee! But unfortunately I made this dinner with the company of my phone :(. So the pictures are few and of bad quality. Forgive me?

Start by mashing up your avocado and eggs with a fork. Add the yogurt, curry, salt and pepper and mix together.

I scooped some of the mixture on to the tortilla and then rolled it up. My picture doesn't really do it justice, maybe because the tortilla was fairly thick.

Here is the pinterest image that first seduced me. The appeal of this picture is sure better than mine, but the taste of mine was great!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Irish Spring

I was going to share an amazing recipe with you today, but I left my camera at my parents' house over the weekend along with all of my recipe pictures. Blast. So instead I thought I would honor the holiday yesterday with some amazing green finds. Green seems to be the "it" color this year, both in home and personal decor. It is also my personal mission to eat more green, so I think green is here to stay in all aspects of my life!

Mint green seems to be all the rage in the fashion world!


These dark green pants are fab. I got a similar pair from Gap and I love them! Although they are slightly longer on my very short frame.

This subtle green is a nice touch that isn't too intense.

These chairs are so rich and decadent and add such an amazing punch of color.

I like the idea of painting the outdoor siding for a rustic, country porch. It's a fun color not used too often for the exterior of the home.

How cool is this idea? I have always been a big fan of using furniture to create unique bathroom spaces, but love the green paint. I always think of basic colors, but the green is so fun for a powder room!

I've been meaning to make this salad for over a week now. I'm sure it would be delicious and I'd love it, I just have trouble getting excited about making a salad for dinner.

I bet this green harissa sauce would be fantastic on fish.

This idea is so fun for a party or bbq! And much easier to eat than all spread out on a plate.

Chickpea, feta, and parsley salad.

Ok, so it's not healthy, but it's green! I think a Mint Chip Ice Cream Cake would be perfect for a summer birthday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Inspiration Take Two?

I had so much fun writing Monday's post (how could I not? It was an excuse to play on pinterest), that I decided to do it again. This time with my personal style. The thing I love about clothing is how easily it is to change up to reflect your mood. Pinterest is also a great help because it provides great ideas for outfits. And unlike furniture or house decor which is harder to change in the blink of an eye, it's pretty easy to replicate an outfit based on what you have in your closet. So let's begin, shall we?

Lesson One: It's not surprise people don't believe me when I say I'm from California. If there was ever a case of someone being an East Coaster at heart, it's this girl.

Any of these looks would earn me some serious stares in my current town. And not the "damn she looks good" stares. The "wow she looks out of place" stares. Not exactly the goal.

Lesson Two: Much like my love affair with grey interiors, in the style world that is stripes for me. Wide, thin, doesn't matter. Pitter patter goes my heart.

Lesson Three: I aspire to a more sophisticated look. I think I pull this off when I'm in DC. Or at least come closer. But the dilemma mentioned in lesson one means that I sometimes fit myself into other peoples' standards. I need to start wearing more of what I like and disregard everyone else. Think blazers, heels, etc.

Lesson Four: Dresses, dresses, dresses. When I'm lazy, I tend to fall back on a sweater, jeans and boots in the winter and a loose tank and pants during the summer. But my heart really belongs to dresses. If only my toes were only painted and my legs weren't so blindingly pale. Not kidding. They reflect light. If I could win those two wars, I'd always be a dress. I think women are just prettiest in them. Maybe I'm old fashioned. Ok, I'm definitely old fashioned. But this game is all about honesty right?

I'm having way too much fun with this series of posts. We will see if I can come up with more excuses to continue! Anyway, by taking the time to go back through my pins, I feel like I've really learned some things about myself, rather than just condemning my pins to reside forever on my boards. I hope it inspires you to evaluate your tastes as well!