July 30, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You woke-up at 4am this morning so I could make it to a Bridal Luncheon in Solvang.

2 - You're fun on car trips

3 - You don't get mad at me if I accidentally fall asleep on car trips.

4 - You like it when I paint my nails red.

5 - You're easily tickle-able :)

July 29, 2010

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

True story – I love warm blueberries and I love cornbread, but I didn’t come up with these muffins all on my own. There is a super tasty BBQ place near my office called The Beach Pit BBQ and their cornbread has blueberries at the bottom. Tiny little blueberries, perhaps they’re dried, I’m not exactly sure since I haven’t been in a while (watching my waistline) and haven’t examined them. Anywhoodle, I recently bought some new blueberries at the the farm and since I’ve been telling Hubs I would make him cornbread… you get the idea.


How did I make them?

Click Recipe to Enlarge



What is your favorite kind of muffin?

July 23, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You pour my Diet Ginger Ale into your beer glasses so I can "party".

2 - When I try to recreate recipes we've had a restaurants you always tell me mine is just as good or better.

3 - You love mashed taters

4 - Your new favorite show is Entourage even though you don't get half the Pop Culture references.

5 - You make silly jokes :)

July 22, 2010

Adventures in Dining Out: Public House – Temecula, CA

This past Saturday Hubs and I met up with another couple in Temecula to go wine tasting.


Temecula is only about 1.5 hours from our place in Dana Point, and I really don’t know why we don’t go there more often. I might have something to do with not wanting to drive 1.5 hrs after you’ve been sampling wine all day. Maybe.

We hit about 4 wineries, my favorite being Monte de Oro. The tasting room has only been open for about 7 months, but it had the best wine I tasted all day… but that is another post for another time… or trip because I didn’t take any pictures. Oops.

After wine tasting we needed dinner. A friend of Tiffany’s had recommended a place in Old Town Temecula (which I had no idea existed, but now love) called Public House. We’d asked the last winery we went to about it and he said it was good, but sometimes there was a long wait and then recommended something at the mall. The mall? No, thanks. We decided to try our luck with the wait. And, lucky we were because we were seated right away… outside, but right away. It was about 100-ish in Temecula that day, but since it was the evening the heat was cooling off and the patio had a ton of umbrellas for shade. Once we had water and more wine, everything was great.

Our waiter was AWESOME! He made an effort to learn our names and when one of us made a joke about giving him a fake name he offered up his stripper name (you know, pets name and the first street you lived on) as an alternate for his name. Soooo, we called him Sasha Cherry all night.

After examining the menu we decided to start with some Goat Toast because it sounded delicious, had cheese, and would buy us more time to decided on our main dishes.



I liked this so much I promised to recreate it at home this week (and did last night). It was sweet, yet savory. Creamy, yet crunchy. Light, yet a little heavy. Mmmmm.

Up next we ordered the Rueben Goes Public, Herbed Thyme Square and Missin' "R" Geeky Beefy.

It’s so hard to get pictures of people food when it comes to table, because everyone just wants to EAT, DANGIT! But here it goes, Hubs had the Rueben Goes Public…



When I asked him to describe it for you guys, he said, “Tas-tee!” Thanks for all the descriptive words, Babe ;-)

Tiffany had the Herbed Thyme Square…


She said the beef has really tender and the it was spiced perfectly. We had to ask what the purple herb was, because it was on both our dishes. It’s purple basil. Both of us were like, “huh? never heard of purple basil, but it’s delicious.” Once I Googled it, I totally remembered the plant, but never thought to eat it… probably because I had no idea what it was.

Jeremiah and I both had the Missin’ “R” Geek Beefy…



See more purple basil! I love tzatziki and I’m also really picky about my tzatziki. I needs to have the tart yogurty flavor, you know? Well, this met and exceeded my tzatziki requirements. Again, the meat was tender and excellently seasoned. Jer and I both ate our entire dish… I was FULL!

As you can see in the last picture beer and wine was consumed. Public House has an excellent beer and wine menu. Including my favorite Sauvignon Blanc, Kim Crawford.


After dinner we hung out on the patio, drank more wine and enjoyed the band. The patio had a great vibe and we met a lot of fun people. We will definitely be going back here the next time we’re in Temecula. Public House uses the best in local, seasonal, and sustainable products, so menu and specials change regularly. I'm excited to see what they'll have in the Fall.

July 20, 2010

My Morning Star Burger

A couple weeks ago, the week of my birthday to be exact, I took Thursday off to work on homework. I lead an exciting life people. I took a break and went to Trader Joe’s to get lunch and a couple other things. I decided to try a few new things in the freezer section. One of those things was Morningstar Farms® Tomato & Basil Pizza Burgers.

I’d never had a Morningstar burger, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but OMG you guys this is my new favorite dinner. It may have something to do with the toppings I added, but if the burger was gross, the toppings wouldn’t save it, right?

Wanna know what I put on it?
I took our left-over heirloom tomatoes and made a relish…


HTomRelish TomatoRelish 
Hubs melted the mozzarella on top, while the burgers were still on the grill. Once it was ready we just piled it all on and enjoyed.

I felt weird not to put ketchup or mustard on my burger, but with the tomato and the cheese it doesn’t need it.

What are your favorite burger toppings?

July 16, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You surprised me for my birthday and took me to a fancy Marriott in Indian Wells for my birthday.

2 - You keep researching houses in Austin, even though we can't move for 1.5 more years.

3 - You're as excited as I am that I'll be done with class for the summer, on Monday night.

4 - You're the best snuggler

5 - You're fun on car trips :)

July 9, 2010

Embracing 30th

Today is my 30th Birthday!

It's weird to say that I'm 30. I remember when I was 9 and 16 seemed like a lifetime away, then 21 to drink, and 24 to rent a car etc. Now, there is not mistaking it - I'm an adult.

Unlike a lot of my friends, I'm actually really excited to be turning 30. Many people my parents age have told me their 30s where the best time of their life and I can feel the next 10 years are going to be exciting. I'm going to graduate college, pursue a career I'm really excited about, explore the world with my husband, try to make that world a better place, get dog, buy a house, have children...

Hubs is taking me on a mini vacay to Indian Wells (Palm Springs) today. I'm hoping to eat yummy food, drink tasty drinks and lay by the pool. I'm also hoping to squeeze in some shopping ;-)

Are/were you excited about turning 30? or does it freak you out?

July 6, 2010

4th of July Flag Cake

I mentioned on the last Five for Friday that Hubs offered to help me make this flag cake.


Last week my friend Laura of Happy Hour With a Housewife, posted this flag cake on her Facebook wall. I showed it to Hubs and there was no 'bringing guacamole instead'. The deal, however, was that I needed him to help me, because, HELLO, this looks involved Kids! (I totally overused commas in that last sentence huh? All my readers with English majors just hit ‘unsubscribe’… although, if you’re still here after all the other messed up sentences I’ve posted before, you must be used to it by now).

So, anywhoodle, Sunday morning (because why not wait until the last minute) I went to the store to buy 2 boxes of white cake mix. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile you know that I like to make things from scratch, when I can, box cake wasn’t my first choice. I just knew it would be easier and make to correct amount of cake I needed. Guess what? I wasn’t the only one who wanted white cake mix for the 4th of July. Crazy huh? That was when I decided to bake the cake from scratch and that was also when I decided to spend the entire morning baking and decorating a cake, that later NO ONE WOULD EAT!* But I’ll get there…

For the best directions on how to construct the cake So Wonderful, So Marvelous and read this post. Here is the diagram she, and her friend Stephanie, made to show how the cake is constructed.


There are also a couple of pictures posted on the process. I, of course, didn’t take any pictures of my process. I should have though because at my house there were many different sized bowl, a scale and math involved… FAR TOO MUCH MATH! and in the end, I didn’t bake enough blue.

See I don’t have 2 layers (1-red, 1-white) next to my blue, because my blue was too small. However, it still looks like a flag and no one at the party knew it was supposed to look better. So, GO US! Also, Hubs, who isn’t a big ‘cake person’ raved about how tasty it was – so I’m pretty proud of that. Take THAT, box cake :)

Which cake recipe did I use? I very very slightly altered this one and made 3 batches, although I would recommend making 4.

Click Recipe to Enlarge

Which frosting recipe did I use? I very very slightly altered this one.
Click Recipe to Enlarge

This was by far the best Cream Cheese Frosting I’ve every made. I credit the Crisco. Since, I can’t use butter because of the Hubs tummy, I had been using margarine. The Crisco makes it much fluffier and tastier.

I added some fresh (local and organic) fruit to make it a bit prettier and more festive.

You can see the mess I made of the counter behind. I loaded the cake onto my Wilton Cake Caddy just in time to change into my Red, White & Blue and head out the door.

* Okay, I mentioned no one ate our cake… which isn’t entirely true, but mostly. Our good friends invited us to their friends party in San Diego. Don’t get me wrong here, we had a lot of fun and the Hosts were awesome to have us and their friends were great. But, really how great can they be if they don’t like a flag cake? The more popular cakes present included a store bought hamburger cake, chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles, and chocolate chip cookies. Someone did cut my cake to show off how awesome the inside was, but didn’t eat the slice they cut out. Jane (my Bestie), me and the girl Jane talked into eating my cake where the only people that had a slice at the party. Hubs had to slices yesterday (1 for breakfast and 1 for dinner). I have half this cake left… I’m thinking of bringing it to work tomorrow.

Did you make anything festive for the 4th of July?

July 2, 2010

Five for Friday

Previous Fridays

1 - You talked me down from the ledge when I thought someone may have stolen the information to steal my identity and helped me notify every agency and send all the letters to save my butt, just in case.

2 - You said you'd help me make this cake for the 4th of July

3 -You bought us Tofurky Italian Sausage, and it was TASTY!

4 - You left me the parking spot last night.

5 - We've changed a lot since we've been married, for the better and it's been together :)


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