Oct
06

I must stop eating cupcakes.

Yes, I can.

Yes, I will.

Do you have this problem too?  If so, let’s practice the art of resistance together. It’ll be fun! Sort of like a club.

Except I’m not giving out fancy membership cards. Sorry to let you down like that.

Seriously though! Not baking is hard when you are an addict.

I need a support group. Maybe we could be friends on Facebook, or we could follow each other on Twitter?

Social network support groups for baking addicts would be totally acceptable.

Healthy things would happen more often in the kitchen.

Read more.


Oct
03

I’m going to be honest with you. This is no healthy banana bread.

Although, I only used a half of stick of butter.

But then I put in more than cup of Reese’s peanut butter cups.  And sprinkled some on top.

Peanut butter cups are my favorite candy.

This bread didn’t win the bread baking contest that I was telling you about here. An Earl Grey bread did.

What?!

Confusing, I know.

Read more.


Sep
30

It’s Friday night.

Usually I’d be looking fancy wearing high heels.

I’d be drinking a glass of red wine, noshing on sushi, and laughing with my girlfriends. But that’s just usually.

This Friday isn’t usual. I’m sipping a hot Chai Tea,  listening to John Mayer and writing this blog post.

…No, I’m not depressed silly. But thanks for your concern, you’re sweet.

 

You see, this girl is happily content spending an evening in.  Sometimes you need a little time to yourself.

…Watching reruns of Dexter, staring at food blogs, lying around. Not that I did any of that.

In fact, I baked three breads! Yes, three!

I’m entering a bread baking contest.

First I made a delicious, healthy breakfast this morning. I needed lots of good energy for bread baking!

I started by mixing together some honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of ground cloves, and fat-free vanilla greek yogurt.

Then I put the yogurt mix all over the top of my acorn squash, and sprinkled it with extra cinnamon just because.

My breakfast love concoction went into the oven for an hour. Waiting was the hard part.  The house slowly filled with a cinnamon aroma.

My hair smells like cinnamon now. I swear it.

But waiting was worth it.

Out came a beautiful creamy squash.

And I filled it with some more yogurt, honey, and cinnamon. Then I sprinkled some pecans for good measure.

The result?

Amazing. Incredible. Perfect. Lots of other adjectives.

The yogurt got warm and über creamy when I put it in the squash.

Favorite new breakfast? Yep.

This was also my dessert.

I’ll let you know how my bread baking contest goes. And of course post the recipes.

Ciao!

Baked Acorn Squash filled with Warm Honey-Cinnamon Greek Yogurt

By Monique of Ambitious Kitchen

1 acorn squash

1 cup of fat free vanilla or plain greek yogurt

2 tsp of honey

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

1 tablespoon of chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place foil on a cookie sheet.

Using a BIG knife, and cut the acorn squash in half from stem to the end.  This will be difficult, so watch your fingers!

Use a spoon and scoop out the seeds that are found in the center.

Mix yogurt, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves together in small bowl.  Spread 2 tablespoons on each half of acorn squash and make sure it is evenly covered.  Place the leftover yogurt mix in the fridge.

Place squash face down on foiled cookie sheet. Bake for an hour to or until squash is very soft and tender and edges begin to brown a bit.  After removing from oven, let cool for about 10 minutes.

Spoon rest of yogurt mix in each half of squash. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pecans.

Serves 2


Sep
27

Are you ready to learn five things about me?

Okay, good! Here we go.

  1. I love the movie Beauty and the Beast. The soundtrack is ridiculously great and that little clock, candlestick, and teacup friendship is pretty adorable.
  2. I am obsessed with Salty Dog chocolates from BT McElrath. Dark chocolate with butter toffee pieces and sea salt… I don’t need to explain further.
  3. I need to date Curtis Stone. He’s Australian and likes to cook. We’d make a good match.

4. Two of my best friends are totally the coolest people on earth. You should meet them sometime.  You’d laugh your butt off. You’d wonder how we got so sassy. We have fun. I love them very much.

The Ginger, Asian, & Blonde trio.  Totally awkward hair colors. Totally different personalities. It just works.

We took on Chicago once. One of the best times of my life.  I’m still laughing about it.

Here we are at graduation. Totally cute.

I miss seeing them everyday. I used to come home and we’d cook dinner, laugh about our days, and dream about our futures.

I sound like I’m 80 years old! Gosh, time to pop a Werther’s butterscotch candy.

Read more.


Sep
25

Hi.

How was your week?

Mine was pretty fabulous, thanks for asking. (You’re just so nice, I knew you would).

I hope you are feeling fabulous too!

 

You know there is a story behind these cupcakes. But first let’s start with why I made them.

Well you know how I said I was fabulous, and you may just be wondering why that is. Let me tell you it seems that everything does happen for a reason.

The choices we make lead to the places we end up. For me, things are beginning to fall right into place.  It’s weird how that happens all of a sudden.

But they happen and you can only wonder why, but when you know things are good, it’s happiness.  And it’s been an explosion of happiness lately!

First of all, I got my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.  Put that on your Fall to-do list. ASAP. Top that baby with whip cream and sprinkle with cinnamon. Happy day ahead.

Besides that, I made risotto for the first time. Perhaps I’ll post that so you can enjoy too!

I’ve also have a lot of potential career changes coming up that I’m pretty excited about. Okay, that’s an understatment. I’ve been incredibly crazy happy! More details to come on this later friends.

Lastly, I’m going to start contributing to The Bakery Spot. I’ll be writing about all things bakery. Now come on, how perfect is that?  I hope you check it out!

Anyway, I was feeling pretty fabulous about all above the above. Of course you know that calls for a celebration with sinful sweets. Duh.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes 

…Topped with Raspberry Whip Cream

 

Read more.


Sep
21

How do you know when you are a grown up?

Is it when you start drinking coffee? Maybe it’s when you start doing your own laundry or when you move out of your parents house? How about when you learn to cook fancy meals?

But maybe you aren’t grown up until you get married? Maybe you have to get a big kid job in the city and own a ritzy car and house.

Who has the answer?

Even if you do, don’t tell me.  You’ll ruin my fun.

See I think I’m still a kid at heart and I’d like to remain that way for a while.  I’m happy making other people happy.  If that involves  making fancy pies and exotic banana bread, then great.  But I could always be happy with a giant bowl of tomato soup or a peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwich.

Comfort food love. Kid style.

Confession: sometimes I put marshmallows in the microwave when I don’t have a fire.  This is entertaining only for about 10 seconds because they expand to look like balloons. However, they don’t have that crispy brown roast flavor like when you put them over a fire.

But it’s Fall now, so I can make s’mores that are perfectly golden and warm.

Plus, I was kinda feeling fancy and made Homemade Cinnamon Graham Crackers

But I felt like I wanted something a little more grown up than your typical s’more.

Read more.


Sep
18

There are so many wonderful things about Fall.  Most of them involve food.

Fall baking, Halloween, Thanksgiving, apple picking, pumpkin carving.  I can’t wait!

I highly suggest spending one day doing the following:

Throw on oversized sweatpants and a sweatshirt and cuddle up with a nice big mug of Mexican Hot Chocolate with lots of marshmallows.  Do not worry about hair or make up.  You’ll be watching chick flicks anyway from dawn until dusk.

You could get fancy and throw in a batch of Dark Chocolate Brownies.  If you get lonely and want friends over, then make Sea Salted Caramel Brownies. Also… you might want to peep in a mirror or take a shower.

Now it is Fall so you might want to consider baking Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Obviously bound to be a favorite.

… but since you are a great host (of course), you’ll need to make the perfect Fall meal first.

How about a Quick & Spicy Tomato Soup from Giada? Viola! Warm and delicious Italian.

But wait! You’ll need an appetizer to keep blood sugar levels stable and to keep friends happy.

And of course, what’s better than my Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini Bruschetta with Basil and Feta on toast?

The combination of all of the above makes a great meal for that relaxing Fall day, even if you aren’t watching The Notebook.

But seriously, invite me over if you are.

  Read more.


Sep
16

Has something you created ever started out as nothing special and turned out to be extraordinary?

Example: putting sea salt on chocolate and baking items.  Whoever started that was pure genius. Chocolate turned into sensational magic that becomes best friends with sea salt and dances with your tastebuds.

I need to start making some genius decisions that turn things into extraorinary magic like that.

Example: Dining with Shamu.

I went to Seaworld while in California, and you can actually dine with Shamu!

I wish I could have had dinner with Shamu. As long as I wasn’t on the menu, it would have been one of those extraordinary genius decision things.

But, what about decisions to help you live better and be healthier?  That could be pretty genius, right?

Small decisions yield BIG results people.

Read more.


Sep
12

Sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile, I just got done visiting my grandparents.  It was an amazing trip.  I’ve picked a few highlights to share with all of you!

 Yoga at 10,000 feet on top of the Sandia mountains

This was the perfect day.  My grandpa drove my Mom and I to the Sandia mountains.  I packed my Grandpa a Ham & Swiss sandwich, which he loved of course.  Afterwards we went to a small thrift store, where I found some old cookbooks and random treasures.

Visiting a french pastry shop. Yum.

I found this place in Santa Fe.  It was absolutely fantastic! I think the best part of it were the amazing crepes. Blueberry, raspberry, and nutella too. Highly recommended.

Eating authentic Mexican street food

The best part of the southwest is the amazing Mexican food. I love spicy food, so of course I didn’t mind eating it everynight. Mmmm Sopapillas, tamales, and green chile!  My grandma gave me some of her recipes. Look for them soon!

riding the train to Santa Fe

This might have been my favorite day.  We took the train to Santa Fe and shopped in the plaza and in old town.  It was full of unique street vendors selling food, jewelry, and art.  It’s easy to fall in love with the culture.

The zoo with my Grandparents

 Look at these cuties! We got to spend the day at the zoo.  My grandpa even found a wild snake wandering around. He’s such a sly guy. I’ll miss them.

 

I wish vacations didn’t end… What would you do if they didn’t?

I’d eat waffles every morning. Maybe even for dinner.

Read more.

 
 
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