Saturday, May 31, 2014

Something Saturdays (5/31/14)

This week I really have started to feel settled, like we're getting a routine. We're still super busy but kind of in a good way. Like, Michael's mom and sister brought over brunch for Memorial Day. Or Michael and his brothers went to a movie Wednesday night. Thursday, Michael and I just dropped in on his dad and stepmom and hung out. We're going to church on Sundays (btw we loved the church we went to last week, but we're going to check out a few more to cover our bases). It's just....it's like we have a community. And it's wonderful. There are still a ton of people I need to see, our office still needs to become an office and not a junk room, but things are coming together. And I'm actually working now! (I mean....ok....like once or twice a week...maybe three times a week....but still-yay! Well...sorta yay. I obviously prefer not working. But I'm working for Barefoot wines-essentially going to stores and giving out samples and trying to sell Barefoot. Usually they're like 4 hour shifts. I've been doing stuff like this for the last 3 years so it's good that I'm familiar with it :P)

In wedding planning news we met with one company for DJ/videography: definitely loved them, but we have some more meetings and some more thinking to do (Michael's brother has his own little DJ company and, even though he'll be a groomsman, we're considering using him as well-he insists he can make it work. So, we'll see!) I've also got my eye on one company for my hair and makeup on the big day. 

Quick tip: Wanna make the best homemade garlic bread ever with minimal effort?
Buy yourself some Epicurean Butter Roasted Garlic Herb Butter or Tuscan Herb Butter. Liberally spread it on each half of a baguette (or whatever kind of bread you so desire). Then, if you want, top with some shredded mozzarella and/or grated Parmesan. Bake in the oven at 400F degrees for like 20 minutes-if it's not toasting up, move it up towards the top of the oven until it gets browned. Cut and serve! SO GOOD.
(Disclaimer-I was provided with Epicurean butter to try and to use. However, I was under no obligation to review and all opinions are my own!)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Goat Cheese and Chive Biscuits-Guest Post with Eat Your Heart Out

Yay! STEPHIE'S BACK! STEPHIE'S BAAACK!
You may remember Stephie, from Eat Your Heart Out, has guest posted on here before, and I have also posted on her site. So-of couuurse-my girl had my back to help out during this busy busy time! Stephie is the freaking bestest everyone, you should already know this, but I'm saying it again. She's brilliant and talented and fun and her mom is like the cutest food blog momma ever (hi Mrs. Swope!) and when I finally visit Chicago, I sort of just assume I'll stay with her. I should probably ask first, though, huh?

...Hey Stephie!....is it cool if I stay with you??

...and eat all your food?
Goat Cheese and Chive Biscuits
Hellooooo, friends! So glad to be chatting with you again here on Kayle’s corner of the internet. It’s always a pleasure to help out a friend and share a delicious recipe.

Let’s talk about this recipe, shall we? These biscuits. Hooooo-boy. Let’s not talk about how I inhaled 3 of them straight from the oven, ok? That would just be embarrassing.

I have an obsession with goat cheese lately. It’s getting pretty serious. These days, any time Boyfriend comes home and wonders what new thing I’m up to in the kitchen, there is probably goat cheese involved. I am currently beyond thrilled any time I have a chance to combine it with strawberries – take a gander at this Strawberry and Goat Cheese Flatbread or my Strawberry and Goat Cheese Freekeh Salad, for example – but there is something about combining that tangy goat cheese with chives that also makes my soul sing.

It only seemed right to but the two into a biscuit. I mean…it didn’t seem kind to deprive the world of such a treat.
Goat Cheese and Chive Biscuits
I did two things to make these biscuits even more spectacular. First, I used a whole wheat pastry flour to make them. This means that they are extra nutty and extra good for you. Go ahead and eat 4.

(Don’t take my nutrition advice. Ever. But the whole wheat flour is better for you than all-purpose, that is a true thing.)

Second, I made them into drop biscuits. No kneading, rolling, cutting, or making a generally large mess. Mix, drop, bake. They are super easy, stay nice and tender, and are generally pretty quick to pull together. Make these for a brunch or to go alongside your favorite soup – or just because you need a biscuit. You can’t go wrong.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Savory Cornmeal Waffles with Eggs and Salsa-Guest Post with Joanne Eats Well With Others

Guys-I have the honor of introducing you, today, to Joanne from Eats Well With Others! Joanne and I met at a brunch (ironically?) with a bunch of food bloggers in the city, about a year ago, and I totally fell in love with her and her blog! She is so down to earth, sweet, funny, smart, and omgoshhh her food is gorgeous AND delicious! Plus-this lady can totally relate to me right now. She is also in wedding planning mode (she actually recently shared some beautious shots from her engagement shoot!)-funny story: at the brunch, it was pretty evident that 3 of us ladies were at a "just about ready to get engaged" point in our lives (Joanne, I, and Tara)  and then time passed and I watched as Tara and Joanne both got engaged. And I stared at Michael, like, "See? THEY'RE BOTH ENGAGED! It is myyyy turn!" And then it was. And all was right with the world.

Anywhozzle, I love Joanne. You'll love Joanne. Commence the lovefest.
Savory Cornmeal Waffles with Eggs and Salsa
The Brunch Dilemma.

We've all been there.

You finally get seated at your (and everyone else's, apparently) favorite spot, ready to eat your own hand out of severe hunger.

And then you're expected to make all of these life (or at least mood) altering decisions!

Savory or sweet? Breakfast or lunch? Carb coma or protein overload?

It's a wonder our heads don't explode.
Savory Cornmeal Waffles with Eggs and Salsa
Thankfully, I have come up with a solution to this predicament of all predicaments.

Savory waffles! Topped with a hefty dose of spicy salsa and your eggs of choice. I happen to live with a sad soul who is afflicted with runny-yolk-a-phobia, so I went the scrambled route, but you should go with whatever your tastebuds desire.

This way you get your carbs, your proteins, breakfast, and lunch in every bite.

No decisions required other than how many people you want to invite over to brunch with you. And once word gets around that you'll be serving up these waffle treats, methinks your friends will be banging down your door for an invite.
Savory Cornmeal Waffles with Eggs and Salsa
Thanks so much, Kayle for inviting me to guest post! I'm sure you're breaking in your new home with lots of good food, and hopefully there's some brunch-ing included in all of that!

Monday, May 26, 2014

No-Knead Skillet Bread

Happy Memorial Day!
No-Knead Skillet Bread
Something about baking bread....it's almost elemental. 

It feels like getting back to your roots. 

And the smell...is like home.
No-Knead Skillet Bread
Which is why it's so sad that most people feel like baking bread is too difficult. Cuz guys IT'S NOT! Especially this recipe: no kneading, only a little over 2 hours start to finish (which isn't that long! And 1 and 1/2 hours of it are inactive, just waiting for it to rise--during which you can do some laundry, clean, watch TV, read a book...whatevs!) and it just bakes up in a gorgeous, rustic, cast iron skillet. And there's some pretty pretty rosemary on top. ooooh
No-Knead Skillet Bread
Once you've baked up the beautious bread, you can use the bread for whatever you want (I used it for some grilled cheese even) but may I suggest roasted garlic? Cuz...roasted garlic is the bomb dizzel.

Random sad fact: As I write this I have been out of garlic for almost 1 whole week and haven't had a chance to go to the grocery store. It's a tragedy.
No-Knead Skillet Bread
End of the day you have fluffy, golden brown, herbed, roasted garlic spread-ed, bread. That's a total crowd pleaser. Or just a you in your sweatpants pleaser. Either way, everyone is happy!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Something Saturdays (5/24/14)

Hello my friends! Happy Memorial Day weekend (for all my fellow Americans)-do you have any fun plans? Normally my mom's family opens my grandma's pool and we have a big get together on Sunday. However, this year the pool is having work done so we're not really doing anything. *shrug*

Big occurrences of the week:
  1. Went garage sale-ing! Found some cool stuff but also got gipped on the boardgame of Life. They said it had all the pieces. They lied. (It was only $2, but still!)
  2. Went to Michael's cousin's bridal shower: it was stunning and so much fun to hang with his family.
  3. Took my first solo grocery outing. It was awesome.
  4. My brother came by to eat soup. Then he left. I think this is my life now.
  5. Went shopping for engagement shoot clothes (we're taking the photos on June 12th!). I got a red off the shoulder top from the clearance rack of Charlotte Russe and a red dress from the clearance rack at deb's. I also got this adorable rose print dress from Forever 21! Generally obsessed about engagement photos. 
  6. Officially committed to wearing my mom's wedding gown. It's going to need a good amount of alterations but I've always dreamed of wearing it and I think it can be really beautiful. But of course, because I'm not 100% sure what it will end up looking like, it's also super risky and is sort of giving me a bunch of anxiety.
  7. Drove to and around Cleveland. Hated it-had a million stressful wrong turns/hitting barrels/near-death experiences. Michael and I were very tense. We also went to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History which was fun and cute but VERY small. Then we went to Melt-which I liked (but didn't love) and Michael really didn't care for. Overall a pretty disappointing day.
  8. Worked! Babysat our friends' adorable baby and I did my first shift/shadow training for wine tastings. Pretty cool with it. 
  9. Also bought a new swimsuit (although Victoria's Secret had to order it in the color I wanted so I don't have it in my possession yet: but it is single handedly the best a swimsuit has EVERRR looked on me!): I got this top plus this bottom in "aqua reef" :D
  10. Tomorrow Michael and I are going to Mass with his cousin (the one for whom the aforementioned shower was thrown) and her fiance', who live just a couple minutes from us. We need to find a parish so let's see if this is the one! OH and also tomorrow I GET TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND! I haven't seen her since I got back (she lives 2-3 hours away in Columbus) so I'm sooo excited. Plus I'm going to meet her boyfriend for the first time (and they've been together-on and off-for like 4 years. eep)!
In other news, you guys remember by friend Susan, The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen?? WELL she is opening her own all natural, small batch, organic/preservative-free bakery!!! AND (there's more) she has a kickstarter page up to help her get her business going. This is where it gets fun: if you pledge certain amounts of money to help her, you can earn incentives such as one of her cookie boxes, a subscription to her cookie of the month club, a dessert party (or dinner AND dessert party), even a private baking lesson! SO MUCH COOL STUFF! So go help her out and get yourself some awesome stuff (seriously, I've tasted her baking: YOUWANTIT). Susan I am so excited for you! Go get 'em, girl! I know you'll be a giant success :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hazelnut Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Hazelnut Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hihiiii! *waves* I know, it feels like it's been forever since you and I just chatted, huh? Having guest posters has been amazing (and there are more to come) but it's nice to just share my own recipe, with my own photos, and my own words...on my blog :) I missed you guys!
Hazelnut Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Things are going pretty well here, we're settling in (although maybe not AS quickly as I would like but, it's ok.) And we have been more social than we've ever been. So many family functions, hang outs with friends, dinners with family....it is amazing and surreal! It's also been super fun to be able to actually share some of my treats with my loved ones! :)
Hazelnut Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Not these cookies though. Nope. The only person who ate these was me (and my former landlord). These were the last thing that I baked in my old kitchen and it was a great end to an era. These cookies were complex, salty & sweet, sturdy yet chewy...mmm yes. They were good. My landlord was impressed too!
Hazelnut Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
I used to be a strictly "no nuts in my baked goods" kind of gal, but I've been converted (somewhat. Still no nuts in brownies.) And hazelnuts are sort of my favorite right now (or pecans?) so yeah. These cookies are a win. Annnnd....that's all I've got to say about that.

It was nice talking to you all again :D I've got lots more good stuff coming, promise!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Key Lime Pie Bars-Guest Post with That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Hihihiiiii again, my lovely friends! Mmmmmm guess what? That's right-another guest post!! I really am SO grateful to all the ladies who have been helping me out-all these posts are making it so much easier for me to transition to my new home, driving, new work, wedding planning, etc.! Today's post is from the lovely Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake! Guys-CAN.SHE.BAKE! OMGEEEE! I wish she was my mom sometimes-partly for the thin genes (her blog name is not lying) and partly so she can make me all the goodies she feeds her actual kids! (sorry mom-I love you. I do. I just also love Liz.) There aren't enough words for the awesomeness, so really, all you have to do is gaze at the beautiful pictures and dream of the food. Then make it. Yes.
 Key Lime Pie Bars 
I am delighted to be guest posting for my adorable friend, Kayle today. She is a constant source of inspiration for me with her dreamy sweets and treats. We both obviously have that sweet tooth that needs continual feeding. While Kayle is busy unpacking, settling in her new locale and new house, AND wedding planning, I saved a yummy dessert to share with all you Cooking Actress fans. My hubby loves his lemon desserts, but gives lime the cold shoulder. Can you believe that??? I adore Key lime pie…with its tart and creamy filling in a sweet graham cracker crust. But I cannot make a whole pie for myself, can I? Nope, I'd never get my pants zipped if I did! I hosted book club last month and made these delectable Key Lime Pie Bars for my friends. Citrusy squares topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lime. SO darned tasty!!! Thank goodness I had guests to help me eat them. Key lime bars are such a cinch to make. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted buter and pat onto the bottom of a baking dish and pop in the oven till lightly browned. Mix egg yolks, lime zest, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk, pour over the crust and bake again till the filling is set. See? Easy as can be! I hope you'll give these babies a try.  
  Key Lime Pie Bars 
Kayle, I hope you're getting settled and adjusted to your new home. I'm certain all your mixing bowls and measuring spoons have been unpacked and the baking will commence very soon. Thanks so much for welcoming me to your blog today. For those fans of The Cooking Actress who haven't visited my blog before, here are all my social media sites. Thanks so much! (Kayle here: GO FOLLOW LIZ! YOU'LL LOVE HER, I mean...you obviously already do. So go on and follow awayyyy!):
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThatSkinnyChick

Monday, May 19, 2014

Strawberry Cobbler-Guest Post with Cravings of a Lunatic

I don't know about you but I am loving having so many of my bloggy friends here, sharing their amazing personalities and delicious treats, and helping me out! Today is no different. Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic (and Kiss my Smoke) is superwoman. She is a wife, mother, AND she has 2 blogs! TWO! And she is seriously one of the smartest, bravest, sassiest, sweetest, and most talented ladies I have ever encountered. I cannot wait to someday meet her in person and then beg her to make me something delicious. Like this baked fudge with peanut butter cups. Or steak. Or this strawberry cobbler she's sharing with all of us today!
Strawberry Cobble
Hello to Kayle's fine readers. I'm so thrilled to be here guest posting for her today. When she emailed me I jumped at the chance to help her out while she's super busy moving. That's what friends are for in life.

I adore Kayle, the lady is super sweet. She's incredibly thoughtful and so kind. I'm really happy to be able to call her my friend. Meeting her has been a huge perk of my job.

I was going to make a turtle recipe since that tends to be what my blog is known for. Then I saw some gorgeous strawberries and knew I had to make something with them instead. One thing led to another and cobbler was on the menu.
Strawberry Cobble
Cobbler is one of the first things I learned to make back in the day. My favourite is peach, but I love all kinds. There's just something so rustic and homey about cobbler. It makes me think of summer. And let's face it, summer can't come quick enough. It's freaking cold here in Canada. I could use some warmth.

Meanwhile as you're reading this I'll just be leaving Miami. I am attending a conference there for food blogging. Looking forward to a little fun in the sun with my bloggy peeps. Just wish Kayle was coming with us. She's busy doing her thing, moving and starting fresh. I am so happy for her, and proud of her.
Strawberry Cobble
You can totally change this up and use other fruits. If you find there's too much liquid it's easy to drain off. Or if you know it's a fruit that will soften up a ton add more cornstarch or even flour.
Strawberry Cobble
This is awesome hot out of the oven with ice cream on top. I'm all about excess. Cobbler is amazing. Cobbler with ice cream and whipped cream on top is freaking out of this world. You won't be able to stop eating it. I've been known to nosh an entire cobbler in one day. I wouldn't recommend it though, you'll get cobbler tummy. And that's never a good thing. I never learn and end up with cobbler tummy aches. It's so worth it though.

Thanks to Kayle for having me today. If you have some free time buzz by my blog, Cravings of a Lunatic to check out more of my recipes. Or you can visit my grill site, Kiss My Smoke for some summer grilling inspiration. I rock the grill year round, but I know most folks are summer grill fans. Be sure to swing by and check it out.

Toodles and smoochies! xx

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Something Saturdays (5/17/14)

First of all-Mother's Day was a success! It was so amazing to hear my brother tell me I made the best garlic bread ever. And also see him eat 5 of the s'mores cupcakes I made him (No...I am not exaggerating). And to be able to feed my mom too lol, and just have the 3 of us together again. It was a great day!

Ahh this week! My first full Ohio-living week! Michael has been happier than I can ever remember him being. It's been pretty fantastic. We've started getting more things done-we hung up the key hook, moved the dining room hanging light (it was so low that even I hit my head on it-now it's much higher!lol), hooked up our DVD players, unpacked all our movies and games (although they're not all where they go yet), I got back in the kitchen and got to start to try out my new food photography setup (it's gonna take some practice but I think it's gonna be really good!), we got a new couch (a huge thank you to Michael's dad and Jeanne!), we've been to so many family events, and have been way more social than I like even know what to do with. Oh and I've been driving a bunch, and no one has died yet (it's been going pretty well actually!) Oh and we met with 3 wedding photographers. And picked and booked one. !!!

Our wedding photographer is Joseph (Joe) Tate of JTate Design. His work is lovely and I'm so excited to get our engagement pictures taken next month and share with you guys!!! *happy dance* next up are dj's! lol #weddingplanningbootcamp

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake-Guest Post with Gotta Get Baked

Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake
Yay! Yayyy! *claps* Today we have one of my sweetest, dearest bloggy friends: Nancy from gotta get baked! Nancy is hilarious, candid, kind, and GIRL CAN BAKE! The food on her site...it never fails to amaze and enhunger me (yes. I made that word up. Wanna fight about it?) So I am THRILLED that she was lovely enough to get her cute little Canadian butt on this piece of the internet and share this chocolicious recipe with all of us!
Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake
Hi everyone, I’m Nancy of gotta get baked. I don’t know how I met Kayle but I’m so glad I did. We’ve been following each other’s blogs and chatting online for about a year and a half now and I’m so honoured to call this amazing lady a friend. Now, if you’re a regular reader of The Cooking Actress, I don’t really have to sing her praises cause you already know how awesome she is but I’m going to anyways. Kayle is incredible sweet, lovely, funny, warm, thoughtful and talented. I look forward to her Something Saturdays posts every week because of the warm, genuine way that Kayle writes: it feels like I’m just catching up with a good girlfriend over coffee. I laughed while watching Kayle on Rock Star CafĂ©, which is an awesome series (I highly recommend you watch it if you haven’t already). And this lady is the queen of cookies. And browned butter. I started using browned butter after reading Kayle’s how-to guide on making it and I haven’t looked back. My life was changed for the better, people!
Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake
All of you know by now that Kayle left New York, which has been her home for the past 5 ½ years, and she’s settling into her new life in Ohio. When she reached out to her blogging friends for help during this busy, stressful period, I was more than happy to volunteer.
Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake
I’ve been extremely lucky in that I’ve never had to move cities. I was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. and I’ll likely live here my whole life (unless my dreams of moving to Paris or Hawaii come true!). My zodiac sign is Cancer, which means that I’m a homebody. I have deep attachments to my friends, family and city. And I’m super lazy, so all that packing, moving and unpacking is out of the question. I’ve only done it twice – once when I moved out of my parent’s home at the age of 28 (I know, old right?!) into my apartment with the then-Boyfriend, and second, just this past December, when I moved into the house I’m currently living in with the now-Husband (yes, both the same guy).
Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake
I’m definitely not lazy when it comes to baking and I wanted to make something that’s easy and simple but still stunning for Kayle. Enter a chocolate cake stuffed with chocolate and then topped with more chocolate. Because seriously, more is more, amirite?
Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake
The cake is super soft and moist from the sour cream (I’m a bit obsessed with sour cream cakes for that very reason) and if you’re a chocoholic, this will be right up your alley. I don’t think I could’ve crammed more chocolatey goodness in there!
Sour Cream Chocolate Coffee Crisp Bundt Cake
I used Coffee Crisp chocolate bars in my recipe and now, in hindsight, I need to apologize to all my American peeps because much to my shock, horror and disbelief, Coffee Crisps aren’t sold in the US! Trust me when I say that they’re absolutely delicious but the recipe won’t suffer for the lack of it (I’m just sad that you won’t get to experience it). Start making some Canadian friends who will hopefully be kind enough to ship a few crates your way! Or substitute another chocolate bar that you love. Either way, it’s all good.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lemon Pudding Cookies-Guest Post with American Heritage Cooking

Lemon Pudding Cookies
Oh my friends, can we talk about my friend Lindsey? She's like-sophisticated and brilliant and fun and funny and generally awesomeness. She got married fairly recently, and when I announced my engagement she was wonderful enough to email me with advice and wisdom. Seriously. Love this girl. I was so excited to meet her in NYC and will hopefully be seeing her in the not too distant future (her husband's family lives in Cleveland so sometimes they visit)! I've been following her blog, American Heritage Cooking, for quite some time and I am always so excited to see what new and delicious thing she'll make next! So let's see what she made for us today!
Lemon Pudding Cookies
Hi! I’m Lindsey from American Heritage Cooking and I’m super honored to be guest posting here today! I am a HUGE Kayle fan! I actually started following her blog long before I'd even thought of starting a blog of my own! In fact I am on her site so often, my Husband has taken to jokingly calling me a stalker! But that sounds so…creepy! I prefer “friend”.

So you can imagine how excited I was that I actually got to grab lunch with Kayle only weeks before she left NYC! She introduced me to the chocolate nirvana that is Max Brenners and I left loving her even more! She is even more charming, bubbly and beautiful in person than she is online! Yes, that’s possible.
Lemon Pudding Cookies
I could tell you that I didn’t stress over what to post here while Kayle is setting up her new townhouse in Cleveland, but that would be a total lie. I wanted to post something chocolate, but eventually my recent obsession with pudding cookies and lemon overpowered my better judgment and these Lemon Pudding Cookies were born. They are soft and chewy and absolutely bursting with lemon flavor!

I mixed in some sprinkles because my birthday is this Saturday and sprinkles just seemed appropriate! Plus I cannot think of a time when sprinkles aren’t welcome. Can you?

If you like chewy cookies and lemon, then you are going to fall in love with these cookies! Lemon desserts don’t get much better, or more addicting, than these cookies!

Monday, May 12, 2014

50 Years of Stories: Nutella

50 Years of Stories: Nutella
OH MY GOSH!!!! STOP THE PRESSES! Nutella-you know, chocolate hazelnut spread sent from the gods, is celebrating its 50TH ANNIVERSARY on May 18th!!! And, even better,they are asking all of you (all of us!) to share our Nutella stories and get a free coupon in return! All you have to do is visit this link: http://bit.ly/1mKvqHJ, share your Nutella story-including #NutellaStoriesCoupon at the end-, and then you'll receive an email with a request for a mailing address where the coupon can be sent!  The coupon will be mailed to US residents within 4 to 6 weeks after the campaign ends on 5/18/14! HOORAY NUTELLA!

Here's MY Nutella story:

I tried Nutella for the first time in my 2nd year of school (which was about 4-5 years ago. I know, I was late to the game!)-and I didn't think I was going to like it. I had a strict "no nuts and chocolate together" rule. But, my roommates at the time had a big jar and were making these things they "invented"--which essentially were tortillas where you spread one half with peanut butter, one half with Nutella, and then sprinkle in some chocolate chips and mini marshmallows and grill that baby up in a George Foreman--so I told them I'd try it. And at first I was like "Oh. It tastes like chocolate. OK." then I proceeded to become so obsessed with those darned tortilla things it was crazy. We were going through an insane amount of Nutella, buying new jars like every other week! Anyway, my love for those tortillas eventually dwindled-but my love for Nutella only grew. With time my palate matured and I began to taste the nuances and delicious hazelnutty goodness that it is (and I am now a huge hazelnut fan, btw. Thanks to Nutella.) and now I'm just an utter addict. What's my preferred topping at the Wafels and Dinges truck (AHHHH I MISS THEMMMM *sob* bestrongKayle!)? NUTELLA! That pretty much tells you all you need to know. There are a million delicious possible toppings, and all I ever want is Nutella. Cuz it makes the world go round y'all. Now, tell me (I'm curious) what's your Nutella story? (and don't forget to head on over and TELL that story-INCLUDING the #NutellaStoriesCoupon hashtag-and get yourself a coupon!!!)

Offer good only in the U.S.A., excluding Puerto Rico.   Void where prohibited.   Participants must be 13+ years to submit a story to nutellastories.com and be eligible for offer.  Offer begins on 5/5/14 at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends on 5/18/14 at 11:59 p.m. ET (the “Offer Period”).  Offer valid while coupon supplies last.  #NutellaStoriesCoupon must be included at the end of the story to be eligible for this offer.   After submitting a story, eligible participants will receive an email requesting a mailing address for the coupon.  Coupon will be delivered by mail to the mailing address provided by the participant (PO boxes will not be permitted).   Allow 4-6 weeks from the end of the Offer Period for delivery of coupon.  Ferrero is not responsible for lost, incomplete, damaged, illegible, postage-due or misdirected submissions to the program.  Limit: One (1) coupon per person/per e-mail address/per mailing address.  Ferrero reserves the right in its sole discretion to withdraw or modify the terms of this offer or reject any submission deemed to be in violation of these terms. 


And now, let's look at ALL the delicious goodies I've made with Nutella!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Something Saturdays (5/10/14)

Hello my friends! This week things were much calmer than last. We still have some unpacking to do, but are pretty much together, for the most part. I've been practicing my driving and inspected the local grocery stores (and library). I'm loving the area (I'm in a cute little town but also literally 2 minutes away from a huge shopping mall/area) and my house.

Annnnnd TOMORROW IS MOTHER'S DAY! This is the first time in 6 years that I'll be able to spend Mother's Day with...my mother. Michael is working so we're seeing his mom tonight and also going to see his sister in her high school musical (every single one of his siblings, including himself, were in the shows at our old high school-and obviously so was I). Tomorrow my mom and brother are coming over and I'm making garlic bread, salad, and my recipe for Skinny Alfredo. I'm also whipping up some s'mores cupcakes (recipe to be shared at a later date) for my brother's birthday, at his request-his birthday is this Tuesday and I'm not sure if I'll see him so cupcakes will be given tomorrow. I'm pretttty excited! What are you doing for Mother's Day?

Friday, May 9, 2014

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Smoothie

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Smoothie
And finally, it is week 4 (the FINAL WEEK) of the Knockout Peanut Butter Smoothie Sweepstakes!
(Read my posts from week 1, week 2, and week 3)

The final rundown: Peanut Butter & Co and Rocky on Broadway have teamed up with four food bloggers (including myself) to bring you 4 different smoothie recipes a week. From April 14th-May 9th (TODAY-THE LAST DAY!), with 4 week-long entry periods, everyone has been invited to vote for their favorite smoothie recipe at Facebook.com/peanutbutterco and www.KnockoutPeanutButterSmoothie.com for a chance to win two tickets to see Rocky on Broadway and a year’s supply of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter (50 jars). Winners will be randomly selected, totaling four winners by the end of the promotion period. There is no purchase necessary to enter the sweepstakes. Certain restrictions apply.

Rocky on Broadway (which opened March 13, 2014 at the Winter Garden Theatre) brings the story of Rocky Balboa (from the Rocky films) to the Broadway stage. I was able to see a preview and I totally fell for it. You should really go see it if you have the opportunity (or win!) Visit www.ROCKYBROADWAY.com for more information on the show and you can also refer to my post from week 1.

Some quick facts about Peanut Butter & Co: what began in 1998 as a little sandwich shop here in NYC (which I've been to!) is now one of the fastest growing natural/specialty food companies in the US! Their ten varieties of all natural, flavored peanut butters (made exclusively from USA-grown peanuts) are available in over 15,000 supermarkets and specialty retailers. So really you should make them your new favorite.
“Whether you’re training for a boxing match or fueling up for a busy day, peanut butter smoothies can make everyone feel like a champ!” said Lee Zalben, Founder & President of Peanut Butter & Co. “We’re so excited to be partnering with Rocky on Broadway, which is sure to be a knockout hit!”
White Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Smoothie
Today I'm sharing my 4th and final smoothie (featuring one of Peanut Butter & Co.'s peanut butters):

I'm pretty proud of this one. I'll pat myself on the back. This smoothie is so tropical and thick-almost like a coconut milkshake but so much healthier! And it incorporates one of Peanut Butter & Co.'s most popular flavors-White Chocolate Wonderful. You really just need to head over and check out the recipe guys. You'll see!


Smoothies shared from the last 3 weeks:
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Monster Smoothie
Honey and Pretzel Peanut Butter Smoothie
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Apple Banana Smoothie

Disclaimer: I was provided with product, tickets to a preview of Rocky on Broadway, and monetary compensation for my participation in this program. However, I was under no obligation to write a review and all opinions, as always, are my own.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tart Lemon Bars-Guest Post with Confessions of a Baking Queen

Tart Lemon Bars
Hello my friends! I have ANOTHER fabulous guest poster for you todayyy and you are in for a treat! Her name is Elizabeth and she is a BAKING QUEEN! Seriously...I go to her site and I am GUARANTEED to drool. And get extremely hungry. But I love her so I keep on going back and going gagaaaaaa. She's so pretty and so fun and so adorable and her food is soooooo ahhhmazing...!!!
Oh and-you guys remember Hayley? Hayley and Elizabeth are like buds and Hayley and I are buds and I just feel like the 3 of us would be the bestest of friends if we could all 3 just get together. So...yeah. Needs to happen. We're all fabulous and young and bake yummy things!

Anyway. I'll let Elizabeth take it from here:
Tart Lemon Bars
Hey y'all its Elizabeth here from Confessions of a Baking Queen! This is my first guest post evvvvvvvah so be gentle with me here. I was so happy to help the beautiful Kayle as she embarks on this huge move, I have lived in the same house my whole life so moving just sounds too cray cray for me!! I have done tons of traveling and that packing is hard enough for me. And then the thought of moving out of state and then moving out of the city, ugh that just sounds dreadful. But I am sure your move will go tots smooth Kayle :)

Speaking of traveling I  got back from Australia a few weeks ago. While I was there I was hit with a craving for lemon bars, yet some how I never came across one. So naturally as soon as I got home Lemon Bars were the first thing I made. I was going to make Raspberry Lemon Bars, which I probably will do one day but I went with a Tart Lemon Bar instead. Be sure to check out my blog for some berry lemon bars soon.
Tart Lemon Bars
I am happy to say these were a huge hit with my family and co workers. In fact, I thought I lost these photos so my sister was over joyed because that meant I was going to re make the recipe right away, but I found the photos ;) She was bummed, but I am sure it wont be long until these bars are made again...

Thanks for having me Kayle, good luck with the move .. and then the wedding!!! XOXO

Monday, May 5, 2014

Double Chocolate Cashew Cookies-Guest Post with Baker by Nature

AGHHHHH-haaaa! Hi all! I'm in the midst of the insanity that is this move. So-while I'm still unpacking my kitchen boxes and unable to get cookin' I'm having some of my best bloggy buds share some of their tastiest treats with you all! Aren't you lucky!!? I know! The first guest post is courtesy of Ashley from Baker by Nature. I was able to meet Ashley last month in NYC and I am so mad that it took us that long to meet up! We hit it off right away and realized HOW MUCH we have in common (like...to a freaky degree. Did you know our blogs are the same age? And we're both film/television actresses...and nannies....and bloggers. And we both moved to NY around the same time? And her boyfriend is a Philosophy professor and Michael's BA is in Philosophy?  And tons of other random commonalities!) I'm missing her a ton and hoping I can coerce her to visit me and see Cleveland ;)

In the meantime I'll just satisfy myself with our virtual friendship and drooling over her amazing creations! You guys have already been introduced to one of her brain childs (brain children?)-these cookies that I made and then adapted! Yeah. So. You see why I love her! Anyway, enough of my gushing, Ashley: over to you!
Double Chocolate Cashew Cookies
Greetings all! I'm Ashley from Baker by Nature, and I am beyond thrilled to be guest posting for Kayle today. I'm lucky enough to have met Kayle in real life, and she is just the sweetest little thing! I will miss her in NYC very much. Wah wah waaah.

...

I think we need something sweet!
Double Chocolate Cashew Cookies
Double Chocolate Cashew Cookies
Let's talk cookies :) I made these especially for you! They're soft in the center, chewy on the edges, and packed with goodies!!! These goodies include white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, and salty cashews. I am obsessed with adding salty ingredients to my sweets lately! Have you guys tried it?

I baked these up last week and they FLEW off the pan! I mean, we could hardly wait until they got out of the oven. They smelled soooo amazing baking up! Just have your milk chaser ready ;) xoxo

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Something Saturdays (5/3/14)

Right about now I'm probably working on unpacking and generally settling in. WHOO! So forgive me if I'm a bit more MIA then usual! Now, don't worry-you are totally still getting posts, as usual! I have a bunch of my food blogger buddies doing guest posts for me over the course of the next month or so to help me out, and you all are in for a TREAT!

Now. Looking back at this week...
Monday: Last day babysitting Uma. I literally missed her already by that evening. She's such a little cutie pie and her family is SO sweet-they actually gave me a Coach wallet as a thank you present and it was too sweet for words. Almost cried. Then, I went to Martha's one last time to get some food for the next 2 days. Totally delicious and worth it.
Tuesday: The perfect goodbye to the city. Me and my cousin Emily went to the neighborhood that I first lived in in Brooklyn Heights, went to the promenade, then we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (which neither of us had ever done!) We saw a Wafels and Dinges truck so had to have wafels. Then we went to the Staten Island Ferry and said goodbye to Lady Liberty. Then we went to Laduree so I could try some of the often raves about macarons (I had the salted butter caramel and the chocolate Peru and they were awesome-esp. the chocolate!) and then Max Brenner's--for one last goodbye and one last mac n cheese and Italian Thick Hot Chocolate. We took a little detour to the food blogger paradise that is Fishs Eddy's (of course I never buy anything-want to but am too broke, Emily does though lol) and then headed over to Times Square and the Rockefeller Center. It was a long day but it was just...perfect.
Wednesday: Returned stuff to TWC. Mom and Michael and Michael's cousin Joe arrived. Then we had to wait for the moving truck. Then we spent the next 3 or so hours (with Emily and our friend Christian) loading the truck and my mom's van. Oh and did I mention it poured rain the whole time? Around 9 we got on the road and then, in New Jersey, not even an hour into our journey, my mom's van got side swiped by a semi-truck. The good news is, although we had damage, the van was drive-able (after one of the tires was replaced-but that was the next morning). So we stayed in a hotel in NJ.
Thursday: Woke up. Waited for the tire on the van to get changed. FINALLY headed out. FINALLY....eventually (around 7) got to our new home and Michael's family and my brother came to help us unload and put together the furniture. It went pretty well and it was really nice to visit with everyone. And I LOOOVE my house!
Friday: Some more settling in, unpacking, the cable/internet got installed (although of course I have bad luck and it took about 4 hours due to some issues).

And today? Today I'm doing more unpacking-of course! And-if the weather is not favorable for fishing (I know)-my dad will bring over and install the dryer we bought. I think he also might bring over our kitchen table and dining room hutch. My mom called him. It was a pretty big deal lol. Also, my grandma and 3 little girl cousins (who are all teenagers-waaaaah) are going to stop in! Busy busy busyyyy.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Apple Banana Smoothie

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Apple Banana Smoothie
It's week 3 of the Knockout Peanut Butter Smoothie Sweepstakes!
(Read my posts from week 1 and week 2)

Sum up: Peanut Butter & Co and Rocky on Broadway have teamed up with four food bloggers (including me!) to bring you 4 different smoothie recipes a week. From April 14th-May 9th, with 4 week-long entry periods, you're invited to vote for your favorite PB smoothie recipe at Facebook.com/peanutbutterco and www.KnockoutPeanutButterSmoothie.com for a chance to win two tickets to see Rocky on Broadway and a year’s supply (50 jars) of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter. Winners will be randomly selected, totaling four winners by the end of the promotion period. There is no purchase necessary to enter the sweepstakes. Certain restrictions apply.

Rocky on Broadway (which opened March 13, 2014 at the Winter Garden Theatre) brings the story of Rocky Balboa (from the famous Rocky films) to the Broadway stage. I was lucky enough to see a preview and I LOVED IT. If you want to read more about Rocky on Broadway visit www.ROCKYBROADWAY.com (you can also refer to my post from week 1!).

And, to give you a bit of background on Peanut Butter & Co-they began in 1998 as a little sandwich shop here in NYC (which I've been to!) and now it's one of the fastest growing natural/specialty food companies in the US. Their ten varieties of all natural, flavored peanut butters (made exclusively from USA-grown peanuts) are available in over 15,000 supermarkets and specialty retailers. GOODNESS.
“Whether you’re training for a boxing match or fueling up for a busy day, peanut butter smoothies can make everyone feel like a champ!” said Lee Zalben, Founder & President of Peanut Butter & Co. “We’re so excited to be partnering with Rocky on Broadway, which is sure to be a knockout hit!”
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Apple Banana Smoothie
All of this means 4 new smoothie recipes from me (featuring one of Peanut Butter & Co.'s peanut butters)!

So far I've shared these two smoothies:
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Monster Smoothie
Honey and Pretzel Peanut Butter Smoothie

And today?? The most fruity fresh tasting of all the smoothies. This one incorporates apples and bananas and then...I mean...because I had to...my favorite: Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter! Sweet and light and lovely! I'm so sad Michael wasn't able to try this one, it would have been his fave, I am sure!


Disclaimer: I was provided with product, tickets to a preview of Rocky on Broadway, and monetary compensation for my participation in this program. However, I was under no obligation to write a review and all opinions, as always, are my own.
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