Monday, January 30, 2012

what i made monday [oatmeal crisp cookies]

happy monday! i know i know, mondays kinda suck. however, i myself happen to like mondays. it's usually my day off and sean and i tend to hang out during the day and then i spend the evening with mi familia! i know that there will come a day when i will LOATHE mondays because it is the start of the work week but for now, while i am still working 2 part time jobs (1 part time + 1 part time = full time. right? i like to think so.) i will enjoy my mondays! 

on mondays, i like to try to get some baking or cooking in. tonight, i tried to make mixed berry scones for sean to take to his station tomorrow and dare i say it...THEY WERE TERRIBLE. i hate to admit it but they were! i can honestly say i have no idea what went wrong. maybe the use of defrosted frozen berries instead of fresh? or the use of almond milk instead of cream? ok ok so maybe a few things went wrong but i was trying to improvise gosh darnit! isnt that what "real" chefs and bakers are supposed to do? isnt that how they come up with their masterpieces? alright, well maybe i'm not a "real" chef and that's the problem here. atleast i tried :) sean was so sweet and said he loved them so he took them home for himself...but not to the station. exibit A they arent good! don't firemen eat e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g? apparently not. maybe one day i will attempt these said mixed berry scones with all the right ingredients but for now, i am going to introduce you to my little friend...oatmeal crisps.

last monday, i decided to make something that i could bring on our dub date with kaila and taylor to temecula so cookies was the first thing to my mind! who doesnt love cookies? the question was...who DOES love oatmeal cookies? for some reason, i feel like oatmeal cookies are something that you either love or you hate. i took a chance, and thankfully...they all loved them! phew.



oatmeal crisps

ingredients: makes 3 dozen cookies

1 1/4 cups butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups oats



1. preheat oven to 375F

2. beat butter, brown sugar and white sugar until creamy. add egg and vanilla, mix well.



3. combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. add oats.



4. slowly add the flour and oat mixture to the butter mixture and mix until all is combined. be sure not to overmix or else cookies will be tough!

5. drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet covered in foil or parchment paper. bake for 10 minutes.



6. leave on pan to cool for 2 min and then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.



you can enjoy these as is or i have a few delicious variations!

drizzle the cooled cookies with melted chocolate.



drizzle the cooled cookies with vanilla icing. 
(1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. mix well)



OR you can make a cream filling so you can make oatmeal cream sandwiches! like the old school little debbie oatmeal creams.


cream recipe:

1/2 cup soft butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. combine all ingredients and beat on low until well combined. then beat on high until light and fluffy.

i hope these make your monday a little sweeter! 

xo, lisa

recipe adapted from: blooming on bainbridge

Sunday, January 29, 2012

friday funnies

sometimes you just need to smile and laugh no matter what is going on in your life. hope these help :)






xo, lisa

Thursday, January 26, 2012

top 3 thursday

so to be honest, this week was a pretty amazing week. i had a really tough time thinking of my "worst" top 3 but thats a good thing!

january 19, 2012 - january 26, 2012

best

1. on saturday night, sean and i went to a wine tasting drinking party at his dads friends house. there were tons of incredible appetizers and delicious wine mostly from paso robles. we mainly sipped on red wines such as syrah and zinfandel (sooo good with dark chocolate! thanks laurie!) and then laurie gave christa (sean's sister) the opportunity to choose ANY WINE SHE WANTED from the cabinet. ok, first off...if you know christa at all, she is like the girl to go to about wines so of course she chose an incredible, expensive and rare bottle of red wine called isosceles. she was like a kid in a candy store! it was such a fun night with family, friends, good food, wine and conversation. thank you again to laurie and ray for hosting such a wonderful evening. 

christa's wine of choice
2. so atleast once a month, sean and i have made a plan to go on a double date with kaila and taylor. last month, sean and i planned our date so this month was their turn. WOW they totally outdid themselves! they planned for us to go to temecula for the day for wine tasting. we hopped in taylors car and made our way through ortega hwy (almost got sick, but thats ok!) and found ourselves at south coast winery first. this is a beautiful winery with so many amazing wines. we had the best time there! 5 tastings turned more into about 10 because of the awesome guy we had. from there, we went to wilson creek winery to enjoy the picnic lunch sean and i made. we ended at thorton winery where we sat by the fireplace and enjoyed maybe a little too much wine! hehe. we got back to laguna beach and went straight for koffee klatch where we just sat, talked, and drank our coffee :) we decided to then head down to the montage and sat by the firepit while listening to the soft sound of crashing waves behind us. and last but not least, the boys grabbed 2 guitars and basically serenaded us girls in a parking structure. how does a day get any better? be jealous. thank you again for such a wonderful day. don't know how sean and i are going to top it next month!



3. wednesday was a great day in general. i got to go to dinner with 2 of my closest friends, christy and chelsea. our "dinners" always turn into about 30 min of eating and 3 1/2 hours of talking our heads off! i swear, if we didnt have a watch, we would sit there for days thinking only 2 hrs have passed. and also, wednesday was my great friend ANGELA'S 23RD BIRTHDAY!!!! happy birthday to a wonderful and beyond beautiful friend. i am so glad i got to spend it with you and i am so excited for this year to come! bridal shower, bachelorette weekend, YOUR WEDDING DAY and everything in between. love ya girly!

me, christy & chels. xoxo

 happy birthday ang :)



worst

1. ok so on monday, sunny orange county turned into rainy orange county and it made me so happy! this entire winter season has definitely felt more like summer than winter in any sense so to see some gray clouds and hear the raindrops felt great. but it ONLY lasted a day. and now it's hot hot hot. trust me, i know people all over the world would kill for this weather but i just wish the rain stuck around a little longer. my pea coats and scarves are starting to collect dust bunnies!


2. this week i drank a lot of wine so therefore, i have been extremely dehydrated! i can feel it in my skin (its all puffy!), my lips are chapped, my throat is dry and overall i just feel a tad bit unhealthy. i have been trying to consume as much water as possible but it still isn't enough so i guess i just gotta keep trying!


3. i miss my puppies :( even though i go home every week, time with them is never enough. you don't know this feeling until you have had a dog(s) that you care so much about. its so hard to be without them everyday! i miss the tail wags when i walk in the door, wet kisses, cuddling, them waking me up, and just their overall happiness about life and the joy they bring to mine. i know, i sound like a crazy dog lady but how can you resist these faces?!







until next week!

xo, lisa

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love is...a lovely rainy day

"we should find a place where we can have lunch, listen to the rain, and play a game. Maybe a place with a couch so we can sip hot drinks."

"Oh, like cappuccinos!"

"Yes! Can you think of a place like that?"

So to Sean's request, I began to think of a place where we could get a great lunch and enjoy the rainy day together. One place came to mind...Koffee Klatch in laguna beach.

I was introduced to Koffee Klatch a few months ago by my wonderful coffee drinking friends, Kaila and Taylor. Or Taila and Kaylor. It's an adorable and incredibly homey "koffee" house in the middle of laguna beach where you can sit and play games (our game of choice is scrabble!) sip delicious coffee (my favey is their dirty chai) catch up with friends, and enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner AND dessert.

chicken salad sandwich
Sean and I made our way to rainy laguna beach and you thought the beach was beautiful when it's sunny? It's also incredibly beautiful when it's raining. Sean ordered the Greek pita and 1. It was huge and 2. It was delicious and fresh tasting. I ordered the chicken salad sandwich on a croissant with a garden salad and that was also incredibly huge and delicious! In all honesty, we should have shared but if you know us at all...you know how much we LOVE to eat. We also sipped on a Mayan mocha and a dirty chai. Yummy :)


As we enjoyed our lunch, we played a game of scrabble. Ok, going into it I totally thought that I had that game in the bag because I play on the reg but Sean definitely surprised me! Except for when he tried to spell "awful" like "aful" (sorry babe, you're never living that one down!)

Sean and I were neck & neck the entire game but i was confident because I had gotten some big words towards the end such as AX for 29 big ones! But, then the time came for Sean to reveal the big winner...HE FREAKING BEAT ME! I was in such disbelief that he beat me by 8 stinking points, I accidentally spit water out on the the board. Little does he know, I let him win ;) ok...mayyyybe he won fair and square. But he doesn't have to know that. Rematch soon?


We sat at Koffee Klatch for about 3 hrs completely enjoying eachothers company. I cannot think of any other place I would rather have been.


xo, lisa

Sunday, January 22, 2012

love is...another weekly tradition! [what i made monday]

so in effort to give my blog a mini routine, i have decided to dedicate yet another day to something specific. in addition to top 3 thursday, i will also be doing 'what i made monday'! on mondays, i will post something i made during the previous week. it can be anything from a craft, a recipe, or making someone smile. i am doing this in effort to keep my creativity flowing because making something is so rewarding. 
at least to me :) hope you enjoy!

january 16, 2012 - january 23, 2012

i am not sure if many of you know this, but at the end of december i got a second job at the cutest coffee house in the orange circle about a block away from my house. it is called "the chapman coffee house" and it has been such an amazing place to work. i am an early riser anyways so i absolutely love working the opening shift around 630-7am where i can wake up with the sun, listen to music in the peaceful shop, brew incredible coffee, and start peoples morning off right. we have so many regulars that i have gotten to know very well within the past month and we chat about school, their kids, grandkids, work and life in general. i never thought i would have the opportunity to work in a coffee house even though it always interested me and i am so glad i get to experience this work environment. plus, i get to drink coffee all day and that had me sold! if you ever find yourself in old towne orange, please stop by and see me. i will try to whip you up something special!

anywho--we accidentally purchased coconut milk instead of almond milk at the coffee house and obviously we did not want to waste it so i took this opportunity to make myself a coconut milk latte with 3 shots of espresso. YUMMMY! i am not a huge fan of overly sweet coffee so this was perfect without any added sugar because the coconut milk had just enough sweetness. i normally prefer soy milk lattes but this was a really nice change. i am trying to get the owners to add coconut milk to the store so we can offer our guests a little more variety and also to accommodate dietary needs. 

in case you happen to have an espresso maker with a latte wand at home, the recipe for a 16 oz. serving is:

10 oz. original coconut milk (i used silk pure coconut)
3 1 oz. shots of espresso (we use diedrichs 'weiner [pronounced VE-ner...get your mind out of the gutter!] menage bold roast)




i bet there are some coffee houses that have coconut milk now so give it a shot if you dare to stray away from your normal mocha choca double shot non-fat with whip latte ;)

xo, lisa

Thursday, January 19, 2012

love is...the beginning of a new tradition! [top 3 thursday]

my friend and fellow blogger Liz and i have decided to start a weekly tradition on thursdays where we talk about the top 3 best and top 3 worst things that have happened in our week. i'm sure some weeks will be better than others and vice versa so this is a time for us to showcase some great moments and maybe some not so great, awkward moments. years from now we are going to look back at these and smile ear to hear about the best times and hopefully laugh until we cry about the not so good times. here goes nothing!

january 12, 2012 - january 18, 2012

best

1. on thursday, some of my bestest friends got together to go out and celebrate liz being home from school. she was leaving in just a few days so we wanted a night out in old towne orange. we went to the district and had an amazing time...maybe too amazing ;) night out with good friends? can't beat it.




2. sunday night, sean and i actually got to go on a date! just the 2 of us. it seems like that does not happen often enough these days. we went to the mexican restaurant, caliente, in dana point. the food was delicious, cheap and best of all...i got to be with my man. 

not the best picture but the only one i took that night. look at those nachos...yumm!


3. on monday, some of my italian family came over and my dad made this AMAZING lunch. like he always does. appetizers, pasta, salad, main course and then i made the dessert (remember the blueberry galette?) the house was full of wonderful smells, the murmur of italian/english, and family.




 


 

some other great moments were: 
getting the brazillian blowout and hair cut by the wonderful bri while hanging out with kaila girl, tacos & margaritas with christa, watching the movie 50/50 and getting to spend a great evening with wine & a homecooked meal with christy. :)



worst


1. lizzy poop went back to indiana on sunday :( it was so great having her home and the next 16 weeks are going to fly by and she will be home for summer! always hard saying goodbye to loved ones.


high school graduation 2007.


2. i got this really great loose leaf tea strainer from teavana for christmas and i am OBSESSED with it and of course...i dropped it. and it shattered. everywhere. the day after i went and bought 2 amazing teas. but it's ok, i am planning on going to buy another one very soon! unless someone wants to buy it for me! hehe. but i miss my tea :(


3. so remember that wonderful date that sean and i went on? well...sean may have gotten food poisoning from our beloved caliente. he woke up the next morning feeling so sick to his stomach. poor guy. we was able to sleep some of it off and we relaxed and watched 50/50 (incredible movie btw). 

suffering through this hot ginger drink i forced him to have because it helps with nausea! and jakey boy by his side :)


so that concludes the best and worst of my week! so thankful for all the wonderful things in my life and happy that i can express some not so good times while still smiling


xo, lisa

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

love is...a blueberry galette

today was a wonderful day. some of my italian family came over for lunch and what a lunch it was! [more to come about our delicious meal in my next post] my job is always to make a dessert. i know it's coming...my dad asks me what i am going to make and i automatically freeze and draw a blank and usually resort to some of my staples: fruit tart, cookies, peanut butter pie, etc. but this time...this time was going to be different! i was going to be more creative with my baking. see...i am sticking to my new years resolution :)

because i knew we were going to have an extravagant lunch, i wanted something that was light. preferably something fruity and simple. i picked my brain (and pinterest..) for the perfect dessert and came across a simple 6 ingredient blueberry galette. incase you are confused on what a galette is, the proper definition is: 
a flat round cake of pastry often topped with fruit.
basically, an open faced pie.



let me just stress how EASY this dessert was. it came out tasting beyond fresh and delicious. my family could not stop raving about it. we accompanied it with some homemade lemon whipped cream (recipe at the bottom of page) and REAL italian...like straight from italy...limoncello gelato. amazing.

ingredients:


1 9inch store bought pie crust, thawed
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
dash of cinnamon
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 egg, beaten



1. preheat oven to 450F

2. lay out the thawed pie crust on a baking sheet covered in foil

3. combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch cinnamon, and lemon juice. 




4. pour the blueberry mixture onto the pie crust leaving about 1 inch of the crust to fold over



5. fold the edges of the pie crust over the edge of the blueberry mixture


6. take the beaten egg wash and brush it over the edges of the crust with a pastry brush or clean paint brush. this will create a golden crust


7. bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the the crust browns. if you feel the crust is getting too brown way before the end of the baking time, cover the galette with foil


8. enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or lemon ice cream. yummy!

lemon whipped cream recipe:

1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2-3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest

combine all ingredients and with a hand or stand mixer, beat until stiff peaks form!

i am fully aware that it is january, but this is a perfect summer dessert. 

xo, lisa

recipe adapted from: http://www.dinneralovestory.com/five-reasons-to-make-a-berry-galette/


Monday, January 16, 2012

love is...the ocean/beach/la playa/heaven on earth

growing up in beautiful orange county, i have been SPOILED ROTTEN by summer beach days, late night bon fires, grilling hotdogs over an open flame, napping on the sand, reading a book while listening to crashing waves, playing frisbee, getting sunburnt, salty [wavy] beach hair, snorkeling, dolphin sightings, smores, and just basically having the pleasure to put my toes in the pacific ocean any time i want. need i say more?


i am thankful that ALL my friends are beach people to the extreme. where do we spend our days off? the beach. what should we do today? go to the beach. the sun is shining in january? off to the beach. we want to have a fun summer evening together? bonfire at the beach. what i am trying to get at here is that the beach is the answer to anything and everything. the beach is home.

it might be the sound of crashing waves or the warm sand between your toes or the feeling of looking out and seeing no end in sight that makes the beach such a peaceful...yet simple, place.

i have tried to capture the beauty of such a magnificent place yet no picture can do it justice. its all about the feeling you get when you're there that makes it so special.







"At the beach, life is different. Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun." 

xo, lisa