Tag Archives: baking

Frenetic Friday

Matty turns 25!

Today, Matty turns 25. I have a feeling this is going to be a big year for my Zim/Malawian/Aussie friend. Fingers crossed, he’ll make it through PGA qualifying school and on the tour. He’ll establish himself in America and create a beautiful new life here. I really truly love his friendship. It has been such a blessing having him come to live with me in Tempe and I hope he is here for a long time.

Hippie Recycling

Creative wrapping

{Meeting a friend this morning for coffee and I needed a container for cupcakes. Why not a Birkenstock box? Pretty sure this is the zenith of hippie domesticity.}

Tomorrow, I’m throwing him a small bbq with all of his favorite foods and new American friends. The menu is ridiculously scattered: meatballs, guacamole, raspberry margaritas, angel foodcake with strawberries and his favorite — “fluffy” chocolate cupcakes. (The secret is sour cream.) I suppose I should find some vegetables to add to the menu too. And maybe beer brats?

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April Domestic Bliss 2009 107

Meghann also celebrated a birthday this week. I’m telling you, I could not be more thankful for this woman. Our friendship has remained a constant for 15 years and not only do I consider her as close to a sister as I’ve got, but her family is a second to mine too. Her dad is my financial planner. Her mother is my romance adviser. Her husband is my confidant. Her little boy Roscoe leaves me speechless with his adorable curls and bright blue eyes. Meg and I talk several times a week and have the type of friendship that when one of us is out of balance, we don’t hesitate to speak up. Of all things for her birthday, she wanted a table runner. Dipping into my limited African fabric supply was a pleasure for this project. Apparently she just bought new cushions on a nearby couch that match perfectly, and so the table runner was a success. I’ve got to get out to California to visit this sweet family soon. Her husband — Scottie — is one of my favorite people. He’s super smart, works in a lab, plays the drums like a rockstar and loves Meghann fiercely. What more could you ask for a best friend?


Stop to Smell the Roses

Dizzy love

Yeah, yeah. I know this photo is awkwardly blurry, but it I find beauty in the way the colors blend. Something about out of focus roses makes me a little dizzy. Not my favorite flower, but these are certainly very pretty.

Today is Wendy’s birthday. Wendy is single-handedly one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. She’s interning with me, although most days I feel like it is the other way around. She’s smart, committed and runs circles around me. Plus, she and her boyfriend Dan are a lot of fun.  I am so proud of her recent accomplishment — being accepted to a handful of ivy league law schools — and will tell anyone who will give me a second of their time.

Vanilla with chocolate frosting

“Do you know where Wendy is going to law school in the fall?”

Rosey view


Rosey view

It has gotten to the point where she’ll walk away quickly when she can tell I’m about to launch into her CV.

Blurry but delicious

So, today we’ll celebrate with vanilla and milk chocolate frosting cupcakes (with sprinkles, per request), new music and a handful of kitchen roses.

Rosey view

As I was baking last night, Matt was hovering the kitchen making small talk.  First I handed him the frosting whisk, then the spatula and finally iced two of the cupcakes and left them on a plate. One was inhaled instantly and somehow the other disappeared overnight. He followed me around eating saying, “how do you get this so light?” “How are these so good?”

Well, he’s figured me out.


Kitchen Love

PB heart cookie

PB Heart Cookies

Heart cookie

Peanut butter cookie hearts

Stack of PB heart cookies

Some peanut butter cookie love for Rex. He’s my sweet Valentine this year. Thankfully his wife doesn’t mind. He always brings me something sweet for the holiday — each of which is even more wonderful since he beat cancer. This year? A giraffe Beanie Baby with red hearts on it. He was so happy to give it to me today at the gym. Little guy watched over me as I treadmilled it.

Scenes from a Valentine's kitchen

Heart cupcakes for delivery

Ready for a sprinkle

And while the oven was on, might as well feed the coworkers, bagel boys and bowling team too.

Happy Valentine’s weekend, friends!


Baked Love

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Take one red velvet cake (For Arizona folk, mixes are on sale for $.88 at Fry’s this week.)

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Add a recycled-tin foil heart stencil

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Dust generously with powdered sugar

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And voila! Valentine’s cake that says I love you in a fabulously frugal way.

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This is the first installment of a Valentine’s series this week — fabulously frugal ways to celebrate the holiday in style and with love, without worrying about balancing your checkbook in the process. I am pretty sure with the eggs, oil and sour cream I added to the mix (for moisture), and the electricity it took to bake, plus the powdered sugar, this baby cost about $3. Giddyup.

How cute would these be as cupcakes? With red cupcake liners! I think I know what’s next.


Que Viva La Sticky Bun!

Christmas Morning Tradition

While I foolishly poured myself a “healthy” bowl of granola and yogurt, the family prepared to dig into a Christmas morning tradition…

Christmas Morning Tradition

Christmas Morning Tradition

Christmas Morning Tradition

Christmas Morning Tradition

Christmas Morning Tradition

Christmas Morning Tradition

I only ended up eating half a pan…And I wish I could do it again this morning. If there is one thing that signals the holidays in our family, it’s the scent of brown sugar, pecans and doughy white bread baking in the oven. Sweet heaven, these were good.


Hit and a Miss

You know those days when absolutely nothing seems to fall in your favor? Yeah.

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Two trays of chocolate chip cookies that flopped. I think it was a bad mix.

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Brownies with a fudge swirl that apparently were pretty sticky too.

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And lemon bread that I didn’t let cool long enough. Holy Moses, there was some bad baking happening around here tonight. Thankfully, there was a bit of good too:

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A little brown, but edible lemon muffins.

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Fat-free pumpkin brownies for my new trainers.

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Good ole’ full fat brownies that came out okay, plus a dozen peanut butter cookies and two dozen cranberry cinnamon cookies. I am certain I still have enough to make my cookie platters to deliver Friday.

Next time, more patience and PAM.