Thursday, March 29, 2012

Baloo and Bernoulli Turn 4!

My (four-legged) babies are growing up so fast! I can't believe I've had a dog for 4 years now, that's like an entire college degree worth of doggy mommying! So crazy. Here are some pics of my babies from their 4th year of life (Noodle pics courtesy of Christine, Ben, and Jenn):
Awkward nap:
 Gentlemanly nap:
 Napping in his new home:
 Begging for a belly rub:
 How he likes to enjoy his bones, about 5 min at a time:
 Shredder we call him:
 Noodle hard at work:
 Making big friends at the dog park:
 Sunday football:
 Monopoly starts and everybody does their part:
 Noodle helping with Xmas stockings:
 Baloo 'hunting' at the park:
 Making sure they get his order right at the drive-thru:
 Enjoying a beachy breeze:
 Enjoying the view:
 Rediscovered his love for puddles:
 Discovering snow:
 Smiles at the park:
 Smiles (from me at least) while visiting the Noodle in WA:
 Look at that tongue:
 Space Noodle:
 Krolls at Xmas, where are Noodle's pjs?

Can't wait for momma Christine to visit Baloo in several weeks! Happy Birthday Boys!

March 2012 Foodzie Box

Just a quick peek into the March Foodzie box this time. I've decided to keep up with the Foodzie box until I've been doing it a year (in June) since it is so expensive $29.95/mo and I don't really need it (but it's so fun!). This month I chose the Brooklyn Box where all items were from Brooklyn businesses. Here are my goodies:

I literally loved everything in this box. I'm already obsessed with the peeled company and all their products (I often pay the ridiculous $2 for a package of dried apples at Starbucks), the ovenly peanuts were Old Bay flavored!!!! (hello I'm from Maryland, Old Bay is at the top of my condiments list and can often be found in my purse), the chocolate items were both yum, and the granola was filled with different seeds and nuts and no fruit (my favorite kind has no fruit). The only so-so item were the crackers, but they were pretty good with some cheese. Love me some Foodzie!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Needless to say, these were a St. Patrick's Day order from some of my favorite peeps, Todd and Lacy. They always ask for flavors I haven't tried yet and I love getting to add to repertoire! These babies are made by assembling together chocolate Guinness cake, Irish whiskey ganache, and Bailey's buttercream frosting. Peeps are freaking over these cupcakes! I made a half batch to test the recipe and the many people that taste tested them all were in love. One person even put in their own order for them! Check these out:

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (from Smitten Kitchen)

1c stout beer (I used Guinness)
2 sticks butter
3/4c cocoa
2c flour
2c sugar
1 1/2t baking soda
3/4t salt
2 eggs
2/3c sour cream

8oz chocolate (I used 4oz bittersweet and 4oz semi-sweet)
2/3c heavy cream
2T butter, softened
2T Irish whiskey (I used Bushmills on borrow from my whiskey drinking friends at Club Haven)

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
4c powdered sugar
1/4c Bailey's
heavy cream

Preheat to 350F. In a medium saucepan, bring beer and butter to simmer until butter is melted. Stir in cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth. Cool somewhat. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and sour cream until smooth. Add beer mixture to eggs. Beat until just combined. Add flour mixture and beat until combined. Bake for 16 minutes. Cool completely. Using a corer or knife, remove a small amount of the center of the cupcake, creating a crater for the ganache.

Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in butter until fully melted. Stir in whiskey until smooth. Cool overnight. Scoop into small balls and place in the craters of the cupcakes.

In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar slowly while stirring. Add Bailey's and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too stiff, add heavy cream. If it's too runny, add powdered sugar. Beat for a few minutes until fluffy. Pipe onto ganache-filled cupcakes.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Juliet's Baby Shower

Just one quick pic from this event:

Please excuse how I look as if I'm about to take a nap on Juliet, I was exhausted from an amazing weekend. Try to focus on how adorable and awesome Juliet looks! Only a few more weeks until Jaxon gets a little brother!

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 2012 Birchbox

Another big winner from Birchbox! Love these items, I even made a full size purchase this month to score one of the items! Check it out:

 Also: this box was curated by the editor of Teen Vogue, Eva Chen. You should follow her tumblr, she's awesome!
Kate Spade Twirl fragrance: so excited to see this, I've been wanting to sample this since it came out and it's just as lovely as everything Kate Spade (I'm a bit obsessed with the brand) 3.4oz=$80 so 0.05oz=$0.12

Essie Luxeffects Nail Polish: Still haven't tried this yet because I try to limit my use of sparkly nail polish (it's a devil to take off), but I love Essie so I'm sure this will come in handy in the future! $8

Twistband Hair Tie: another one of these suckers. I have already received one in black that I never use so this wasn't that exciting. Maybe I'll try them out soon, but I don't like to mess around with my ponytail for sports and I already have ties that I love. 6=$10 so 1=$1.67

Kérastase Elixir Ultime: this is another magical hair oil that can be used before or after blow drying to give your hair a silky, healthy shine. I loved this so much that I bought the full size! 125mL=$54 so 5mL=$2.16

Tarte LipSurgence lip tint in lucky: this was my favorite item and it was full size! I like that the color is not strong at all with one layer, but can achieve a bold lip look with a few layers. It is also a bit pepperminty so that is way better than the weird lipstick smell. $24

Total value: $35.95
Holy moly, good deal!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

RV and Laura's Wedding

Recently I was lucky enough to be asked by a friend of mine, Laura, to bake her wedding cake and after party cupcakes. First thought: this is terrifying. Someones wedding day is one of the few days of your life that you will remember forever and I really didn't want to mess it up. She asked for a certain flavor combination: lemon cake with lemon curd and raspberry puree topped with vanilla bean icing. The baking part I knew I had down pat, it was the decorating that I was worried about. There's a reason I generally stick to cupcakes: my hand-eye coordination is not exactly above-par (another reason I play soccer haha). Decorating was definitely going to be my challenge, but thankfully Laura asked for a more rustic look. Rustic I can do (if not by accident)! I made three tiers with three layers each. I don't have any pictures of the assembled cake because I delivered it un-assembled for easy transport. Hopefully the photographer at the ceremony will have some pics later. Update: Pic from the photographer at the wedding:

I also baked 100 cupcakes for the after party. The flavors were cookies and cream, key lime, champagne with raspberry frosting, and chocolate with cream cheese filling. 100 is a lot of cupcakes! I finished them all in time for the Friday night after party, though and I think the evening was a success! Here are some pictures from the evening:
The groom with some lifelong friends:
 Me with the bride:
 Dance floor action:
 Some of my cupcakes after the party had begun:
 Sweet moment:
 Me with the new Mrs and Mr!
Major thanks to Laura for putting her trust in me on this major life moment. Congrats and wishing you many happy years together!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Prohibition Houston, TX

After the Rodeo, Jesse and I met up with my friend, Stephanie, and some of her friends from college that were also visiting. We ate at Cyclone Anaya's (fave Mexican in Houston!) and then went to a bar called Prohibition in the Galleria. It's styled like a 1930s speakeasy and there are burlesque shows every Saturday night. It was definitely a new experience. Most notably, the drinks and snacks are to die for! I first asked for a drink with gin in it and I got this:

Also known as heaven. We also ordered some potato chips and truffle mac once we had gotten a table and even though I was beyond stuffed from Cyclone's I wanted to eat it all.

Luckily for my waistline, I shared. We had an awesome time and spent way too much on the most delicious drinks ever. You definitely need to check this place out asap!