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 piesand 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.
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.
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?
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.
We had a solid two years together, but I think oatmeal and I are breaking up.
We spent nearly every morning together. Sometimes with peaches or bananas, but most of the time it was with cinnamon and blueberries.
I used to love waking up just so I could have it, but then I got bored. And this girl can never be bored. For reals.
This could be because I started thinking about all those remarkable breakfasts I had before oatmeal came into my life. They were delightful and spontaneous. They were fun.
…Crispy banana stuffed French toast, melt in your mouth buttermilk Belgian waffles topped with peanut butter, and of course those oversized bagels that were completely heavenly when toasted.
Yep, it’s time to get back to that.
I’m going on a breakfast binge. And I’m starting with this bread.
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread.
I’ll keep it simple. This bread is extra delicious for those are fond of cinnamon rolls yet probably shouldn’t to eat one every morning. That’s me. The smell of cinnamon toast is an amazing way to start the morning. Yowza.
But watch out this bread is good. Too damn good.
Toast it to perfection and top with your choice of spreadable love. Do it now.
My Grandma told my Grandpa when she was in 6th grade that she was going to marry him. Now they’ve been married for almost 60 years. How incredible is that?
I’m visiting them in New Mexico right now. The tumbleweeds are just as common as the Walmarts here. Definitely not tropical.
I have been laughing non-stop since I got here though. For instance, my 76 year old Grandma does Zumba. I witnessed it today. Certainly was a sight.
Whatever she is doing though, it works. She woke up at 7am, did Zumba, and made me authentic Spanish rice. Not many Grandmas pump it out to hip hop these days. She puts spice into each day with her active lifestyle.
Thanks Grandma for being so sassy. You inspire me to keep grooving.
But now, back to you.
Let’s get YOU groovy. Like healthy delicious groovy.
The Food Netowork is teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.
It’s easy and the Food Network has some great resources to help you stay on track including recipes, nutrition advice and a lot more!
I’ve thought 3 reasons why you should do this:
1. You can lose weight before all of the holidays and be really ridiculously good looking while you pile turkey in your mouth at Thanksgiving. People will wonder how you do it.
2. If you’re single, you can attract a potential boy/girl with really delicious food that you will learn how to cook. If you’re attached, you can cook these meals together and both save money for a lovely evening of champagne poppin.
3. You can save about five dollars a day. That’s 100 a month. That’s a massage. Or clothes. Or some really expensive bubbly. Cha Ching.
Please excuse all the alcohol references, clearly I’m craving wine right now.
Don’t you love a good challenge?
I knew you would.
Alright, time to get your dancing shoes on and play that salsa music, because I made a healthy little Mexican dish to knock your socks off!
Pancakes in the morning. Ice Cream every other Sunday from Dairy Queen. Animal humane society visits. After school reading. Nature walks. Kite flying. Watching scary movies together. Poking fun at Grandma. Doing math homework. Making sandwiches. Watching America’s Most Wanted. Cooking fried chicken. Going to the State Fair.
Those are some of my favorite memories with my Dad.
He was special. No, actually he was more than that… He was extraordinary.
One of my favorite pictures, my Dad and I at the Minnesota State Fair
My Dad had bright blue eyes, a big smile, and a voice that could fill any room.
He was the type of person who loved getting up early in the morning, just so he could enjoy the day longer. The type of person who knew to enjoy the sunlight and appreciate every hour, every moment.
In my eyes, he could do anything. He could fix my brakes, paint my room, bake the best yellow cake, give advice on life, and even make me laugh in my worst moments.
Four years ago on August 29th, 2007, I lost my Dad. A day that I never knew was coming until I got a phone call. I’ll never forget it.
But, I’ll also never forget how much he influenced me and made me the person I am today. How much he is still present in my life.
I think of him often and miss him. I wish he could have seen me graduate college, begin my career, and even this blog. I know he would have been proud.
And so I bake. I bake for the memories. I bake for joy. I bake to soothe my soul.
I bake for you Dad.
Dad always loved a classic yellow cake with chocolate.
Bake these. Say I love you with them. Say Happy Birthday with them. Say thank you with them.
They’re extraordinary cupcakes, for something or someone extraordinary.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Dad's Extraordinary Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. You can also double the recipe to make a 9 x 13 pan cake or 24 cupcakes.
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Put aside for later.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
Next add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until smooth. Pour batter into cupcake liners, do not fill more than halfway. You may have extra mix left over.
Bake in the preheated oven for 23-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out nearly all the way clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Makes about 12 cupcakes.
For the ganache: put the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and coffee in a microwavable bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time until melted. Dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking about the title of this post. But before I can explain it, I have to tell you something.
I’m completely jealous right now. Like green eyed full of envy jealousy.
The blogger that inspired me to create my own blog, Emily from SugarPlum, is doing something that food bloggers only dream about… She’s cooking with Giada De Laurentiis! Big congrats Emily, you deserve it!
I love Giada. She’s authentic, adorable and she puts Italian words into English conversation. Plus she’s an amazing chef. I’ve been watching her religiously on the Food Network. Ridiculously addicting.
The Food Network is taking over.
Sandwich King, Giada, Bobby Flay, Paula… oh and Cupcake Wars! What a great show. I even emailed the people from Cupcake Wars to see if I could compete on the show, but they said you need to have your own business. Well guess what, my ‘business’ is baking ridiculously amazing cupcakes. Just ask my mom, friends, or my dog.
What? Animals have rights. And Lucky loves cupcakes. Point is, the Food Network is missing out on my lovely cupcakes.
But this isn’t about cupcakes or Giada.
This is about potatoes. Sweet ones. With a little bit of spice. Okay, okay and everything nice. Just cause I made them for you. ha.
Spicy sweet potato fries.
Super easy, super healthy. And they are super super yummy. Wait, what? Super is a weird word.
But listen, if you want to eat healthy and you crave fries, these babies will welcome you with open arms. Sweet potatoes have lower carbs and they are complex, meaning your body takes longer to digest them. That equates to you feeling fuller, longer.
That also means you won’t be going back for that second piece of pie… or third. And I’m sure you like making healthy choices.
Or maybe you don’t?
If that’s case, we should become friends. Because you’ll choose these over Mickey D’s fries any day.
Alright… I’m getting to the blueberry part.
No silly it’s not tomato ketchup, it’s blueberry ketchup. It’s sweet, but salty… and it’s good.
Spicy sweet potato fries and blueberry ketchup: A match made in heaven.
Where are your favorite french fries from? Do you make your own? Buy them? Are they from a restaurant/fastfood place?