Monday, June 30, 2014

Fudgy Vanilla Brownies

            
             Fudgy, chewy, vanilla amazingness... basically the perfect brownie for vanilla lovers.

Ingredients
2 cup flour
2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter {room temp}
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cup powdered sugar {sifted}
Instructions
Preheat oven 350F
-Grease and flour jelly roll pan or rectangular cake pan {15x10}
-Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
-In large pot, combine butter, heavy whipping cream and white chocolate chips. Stir until the chips 
  have melted and the liquid begins to boil. Remove from heat.
-Add flour mixture to the pot, stirring to combine.
-Stir in sour cream, beaten eggs, almond and vanilla extract, spread evenly in pan.
-Bake 25 minutes or until the tip of your knife comes out clean {poke the center of the the sheet with 
  the tip of your knife}. Set aside to cool.
-Make frosting {blend butter, milk, extracts and powdered sugar together in an electric stand mixer. Start mixer on low speed and end on high speed. Stop mixing when frosting can hold stiff peaks}
-Spread vanilla brownies with frosting





Thursday, June 26, 2014

Over The River & Through The Woods

My Mom, Dad, Dan and I hopped into a mini motorhome last week and made the 12 hour trek to Brookings, Oregon to visit my Grandmother for a few days before heading to Halsey for a wedding. Here are some fun pictures that I took along the way. Wedding pics are soon to come...


^Dan relaxing in the motorhome like it's his job.

^The things you can make on a loooong drive.

We stopped at a little cafe to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. I love this picture that I snapped of my mom while we shared a piece of rhubarb pie.

 The Human Bean has the cutest coffee ^ complete with a chocolate covered coffee bean on top!



 Dan skippin rocks



Grandma's new car...
it's going to be a metallic gold with glints of green. She's a wild one.

Burgers on the beach and our last evening with Grandma and Don.

We loaded up the motorhome and hit the road for Halsey, Oregon to help our friends get ready for a wedding on their farm.

My parents rented a little trailer so each of us could have our own humble abode. I loved waking up to a cup of coffee and views of the grass fields -- it's so different from home. Don't get me wrong...I love home, but there is something special about the smell of sweet grass, silence and open land!




I love the 2nd story barn door...one of my funniest childhood memories was when Josh bet Pat that he couldn't pee into a fishbowl on the bottom floor. Josh lost, Pat won. And I was bummed I couldn't partake in this hilarious game...oh to be 6 again. Where were our mothers?


^My great grandparents lived in a farm house next to the grassy hill on the right. He passed away before I was born and she lived to be 99. I love hearing stories about Great Grandma Dodd. She sounded like quite the character. She would hike the hill every morning, can homemade blackberry and strawberry jam by the 100's and crack open crab shells with her bare hands. What a woman!

These little ladies were so sweet. We all became fast friends and enjoyed braiding each others hair, talking about school crushes and taking silly pictures in the sheep run.  

We helped prepare lamb and pig for the wedding. 

^Snuggles with Rosco

Scrubbing potatoes for the wedding!
Wedding pics to follow!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Vanilla Chai Chia Seed Pudding
























It tastes just like a creamy chai tea. This is an incredibly easy recipe and convenient to take with you on the go. I like to make mine in a mason jar and screw on the lid so I can toss it in my purse when the morning gets busy. 

Healthy benefits of chia seeds …"they add fiber to your diet and are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your brain, heart and skin. Chia seeds have a high source of Calcium, Manganese and Phosphorus all of which support healthy bones and teeth. They are chock-full of protein and can fight belly fat" according to The Huffington Post. Sign me up!

Ingedients
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 cup cold milk (or almond milk is you prefer non-dairy)
2 tbsp. condensed milk (or 1 tsp stevia for a healthier option)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of allspice
pinch of glove

Directions
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or large cup. Let sit for 15 minutes to activate the natural gel that surrounds the seeds. Simple as that.

*I like to eat mine cold so I suggest placing it the the refrigerator until you want to eat it. You can also heat it up if you prefer it hot. 






Saturday, June 14, 2014

Italian Iced Lemon Cookies

























Italian Lemon Cookies

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter {2 stick}
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powder sugar {sifted}
2 tbsp. lemon juice


Directions for cookies
-Preheat oven to 350F
-Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
-Rub the sugar and lemon zest together to separate any clumps of zest.
-Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy {about 3 minutes}
-Add lemon juice to the creamed butter mixture and stir for 1 minute
-Add eggs to the creamed butter on low speed until incorporated
-Combine dry and wet ingredients, mix on low until batter is evenly combined
-Chill dough for 20 minutes in the freezer.
-Roll dough into 2 inch balls, slightly flatten between your hands and place on a lined cookie sheet {I use silpat}.
-Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cookies will be done when slightly firm to the touch with light brown edges.
-Wait until cookies have completely cooled before dipping the top side into the glaze.
-Set on cooling rack with wax paper below it {to catch glaze drippings}.

Directions for lemon glaze
Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice together until the sugar has dissolved. 



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rose Infused Greek Yogurt with Dates, Oats, Berries, Walnuts & Fresh Mint



Ingredients:

1 1/5 cups Greek yogurt
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp rosewater
2 tbsp oats
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
1 tbsp chopped dates
small handful of berries
sprig of mint

Directions:
Super simple. Mix the Greek yogurt, honey and rosewater together in a small bowl or cup. Add the oats, walnuts, dates and berries {you can add them on top or get fancy and layer them with the yogurt}. Sprinkle with mint.
*I used a big sprig of mint for the sake of a pretty picture, but I would suggest finely chopping it.

Such a fun, flavorful and healthy breakfast...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Wedding Dresses


My best friend Shan is getting married to her dreamy Naval Pilot Justin and she asked me to be her matron of honor! Double stoked! And it gets even better...Dan is going to be one of Justin's groomsmen! It'll be fun to walk down the aisle again with my hub ;) We are so excited to help with the planning and join in the celebration of their big day. They have already picked their dream venue at Twin Oaks. Swoooooon! And we've started the hunt for the perfect wedding dress. I've been reminiscing about my own hunt for the dress and have been pinning some beautiful new styles. Here are a few of my current favorites -- similar to dresses we've been looking for Shanny. Cheers to the wedding season, happy friends and all the fun to come! 

{Links and original sources are listed below each picture}








































via Farah Gown Style 5010B