Eight years ago today I took a risk and met with this guy that I had only been talking to for a few days online. We met up at the VIP Lounge. While I was parking a guy walked by who caught my eye and I thought wow he's pretty cute and went onto parking and calming my butterflies. When I walked up and realized the guy I just checked out was the guy I was meeting my heart skipped a beat. We grabbed a table in the back, he had a Jack on the rocks and I had a Shirley Temple. We t...alked for a while and I finally had to ask where his accent was from. When he said he was french my heart skipped another beat. We said our goodbyes and made plans to talk soon. On my way home I called my mom and told her about the date and to let her know I wasn't kidnapped or anything. Little did I realized that was the night I was going to meet the best thing that ever happened to me and the love of my life.
Every year Jack and I go to that same bar and reminisce. We talk about what we have accomplished in the last year and what our goals for the coming year. This year we are excited about becoming debt free and getting to travel more. We are looking forward to visiting his family and trying to make it a priority to spend more time with each other. The last eight years we have had our ups and downs, but each year we become stronger and more committed to one another. I'm looking forward to where we will be in another eight years. Happy Anniversary my love, I love you more than you will ever know.
Last month I helped my aunt finish cleaning out my Grandma's home. We had to go through decade’s worth of stuff, decide what to keep, give, or toss. It was a very emotional time and it was hard to not get super attached to things. So many items brought back years’ worth of memories. I kept some items that I felt were too special and couldn't bare to see it go elsewhere. I kept her beautiful vintage cake stand with lid, green glass vase, an ordinate vintage perfume bottle, a wooden cabinet that was from the 30's, a side magazine table, and two vintage cameras. I remember first seeing the two cameras when I was small and I was fascinated on how they worked. To me these cameras were priceless and something that I really wanted to keep. The Kodak was still in the original box! I know proudly display the two cameras on my new cabinet, sitting next to my globe and metal Eiffel Tower. I hope if you get the opportunity to keep something special that belong to a close loved one, you take it and display it somewhere will you see it every day and it makes you smile.
PS. I have plans for the wooden cabinet and magazine table but that all in due time!
January is soup weather, but I am not a huge fan of processed canned soup so I decided to make my own. I made a big batch of vegetable soup and sterilized my mason jars. After cooling the pot of soup in the freezer, I ladled out portions of soup into the mason jars, lidded and placed in the freezer. I love taking these to work, not only are they delicious once heated up, they keep my lunch bag perfectly cold as they begin to thaw out!
To reheat - remove metal ring and lid. Heat in microwave for one minute, take out and stir. Continue to reheat until desired temperature.
Earlier this month I talked about the pre-made grab and go breakfast biscuits, but today I wanted to share a healthier and lighter breakfast: pre-made smoothie bags. We don't eat overly processed food so I wasn't willing to try the frozen bags of smoothie mix found at the store. I decided to make my own. I went to the store and bought some fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables. I labeled each bag with type and how much milk to add. I put equal amounts of fruit and vegetable in each freezer bag and froze. The night before I would remove one of the frozen bags to defrost in the refrigerator. The morning of I would put the thawed ingredients into my mixer, add the diary and blend until smooth. These are so great on busy mornings; they are really healthy and keep you full for hours!
One of the major perks for living in sunny California is all of the great vineyards! Paso Robles is only a few short hours away so at least once a year we try to do a get together and tour some of the wineries. Last year we went for one of my longest friend's birthday so I decided to make some mini tasting cupcakes that were paired with certain styles of wine. Needless to say it was a big hit and this year they begged me to do it again. Due to time restraints and cake orders I wasn't able to make as many flavors as I did for the previous year. I decided on a simple strawberry cupcake with fresh strawberries baked in. I topped half with a rich chocolate buttercream and shaved dark chocolate, the other half was a lemon frosting with orange zest sprinkles. The strawberry cupcake works perfectly with both flavors of frosting. Chocolate flavors works best with a deep red wines and the tart flavors works amazing with the fruitier white wines. Wineries can be found in most states so search one out and visit with a group of friends and don't forget the cupcakes!
Today is Epiphany. This is my first Epiphany since being baptized in the Catholic Church and I wanted to do something special to celebrate it. My husband was raised Catholic in France so to celebrate they would eat Galette des Rois or an Epiphany Cake. After researching recipes I came across one that I was easily manageable. I tweaked a few things after getting input from Jack. The result was a very tasty dessert we enjoyed after dinner. Follow the instructions below for your own Galette des Rois.
1 package thawed puff pastry sheets
¼ cup almond paste
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
1 egg beaten
1 dried bean
Pinch of salt
I think Jack is the only person I have ever met that eats a full breakfast every single morning. He cannot start his day off without a yogurt, two scrambled eggs with cheese and half of a homemade chocolate chip waffle with syrup. I am just full from writing all of that!!! I on the other hand usually have coffee for breakfast, which is something that I am working on trying. In order to do that I needed pre-made grab and go breakfast because I know I would not be willing to wake up any earlier to make a hot breakfast before work. I came across this recipe and made a few tweaks to it.
After they cooled I put three in zip lock baggies and placed them in the freezer. When I was ready for them I would place them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds and enjoy!
We are trying to eat less processed foods and eating more "real" food. Simply if we can't pronounce the words in the ingredients then we are not going to buy it. Jack was really worried about this because every morning he would enjoy a frozen waffle for breakfast. After doing a little research I found out that I could make homemade waffles and freeze and when Jack is ready to enjoy them he can just pop one in the toaster like he would any other store bought waffle. This is the basic recipe that I use, he prefers his with extra chocolate chips, and I like mine original with fresh strawberries and whip cream!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup melted buter
1 tablespoon white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
One of the holiday traditions that we have in our family is having a big bowl of Black Eyed Peas on New Year's Day. My grandparents were from the south and traditionally Black Eyed Peas are said to bring you luck and prosperity thought out the year if enjoyed on January first. Apparently the tradition started during the Civil War and something that our family did as far back as I can remember.
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 bay leaves
1 meaty smoked ham hock (usually left over from Christmas)
I created this blog to share my creations with hopes that it will inspire others to show their creative side. I love to show case my friend's photography so a lot of the photos are from her. I hope you get inspired.