Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Homemade Mocha Pudding

Homemade Mocha Pudding
Michael asked me to buy him pudding cups for work. I groaned and asked if I had to and he asked why and I told him how unhealthy they are and can't I just make you pudding instead??

"...Oh. Yeah. You can do that."

"OOOOOH can you make me mocha pudding?"

So here we are.
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Fun fact: homemade pudding really isn't tough to make. And this one in particular is ultra easy-there aren't even any egg yolks involved! And actually...I mean...in the scheme of desserts...it's not that bad for you. Really. Could be way worse-and it's definitely sooo much better than all the junk they put in the processed stuff. I'm totally gonna be "that mom" guys. #sorrynotsorry

Also, I can personally attest that this makes really delicious just chocolate pudding as well-you just need to omit the espresso/coffee powder portion of it. Then it's yummalicious chocolate pudding! It's thick and comforting and tasty. And hilarious how you can serve it in a little cup or bowl with a spoon and think of being a child, or all fancied up in little glasses with whipped cream and feel sophisticated. Life's all about perspective, ya know?


Homemade Mocha Pudding

Adapted from Foodie with Family

Homemade Mocha Pudding
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. instant espresso or coffee granules
  • 3 cups milk (any kind you prefer)
  • 5 oz. dark, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional-whipped cream and grated or shaved chocolate, for serving
Preparation:
  • In a dry, heavy bottomed, 2 quart saucepan whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and coffee granules-making sure to get any big lumps worked out.
  • Slowly add a little bit of the milk at a time, whisking after each addition until combined, until it is all thoroughly incorporated and smooth. 
  • Turn of medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it boils, still whisk constantly and boil for about 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  • Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract, whisking slowly until everything is fully melted and combined-when it has darkened and turned glossy.
  • Pour immediately into serving containers or storage container(s). You can serve hot or lay a piece of plastic directly on the surface of the pudding and transfer carefully to the refrigerator (it will be hot!). Chill for at least 2 hours or store for up to 4 days (pudding may start to separate a bit in the fridge, just give it a good stir before serving). 
  • If desired, serve with whipped cream and chocolate garnish. 
Homemade Mocha Pudding
Might I entice you to try a bite? 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/19/17)

The wedding I did last weekend with Perfectly Planned was awesome (two words: S'MORES BAR. With homemade marshmallows!) Then, Sunday, Michael and I just got stuff done at home (which included some setting up of the nursery which was so exciting). I had a photo shoot on Monday (uh hi apparently it's been a minute since I modeled because I feel like I look so old-and huge but I know I know I'm preggo-in the pics I saw. But, c'est la vie! Tuesday I had a dentist appointment and other than that I just worked on getting some cleaning and baking and such worked on to prepare for the baby shower (WHICH IS ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW!) which is also what I did the rest of the week.

Today I'm working and then going to a dinner with a bunch of family! What are you plans?

Additionally, Tina Fey in this clip is me. I am her. Get yo'self some cake.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Extra Crispy Baked French Fries

Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
I meeeean....we all love french fries, right?? But generally frying them is a messy and unhealthy thing we don't wanna mess with at home. That's why baked fries are so awesome--but I feel like they're never quite crispy and flavorful enough...

until now!
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
The two things that really help crisp these fries up is soaking them in water (this helps get some of the starch out, which gets a crispier result) and making sure to dry them after that. As far as flavor goes that's on you: salt the heck out of 'em. Put some truffle oil and parmesan cheese on them (that's what I diiiid!). Do garlic or a spice blend. Whatever makes your french fry loving heart happy.
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
Have I told you all my french fry shame? The kind of gross way I used to eat (specifically McDonald's) french fries as a kid? I used to....*deep breath* suck off the salt and then dip them in ketchup. They were soggy and gross and I don't know what was wrong with me....I'm so sorry. Please forgive me. I was a weird kid with weird food habits.
Extra Crispy Baked French Fries
I'm a changed lady, now, and am in fact a bit of a french fry snob. These were definitely the best fries I've ever baked at home and they will be getting made again (so that Michael can actually try them because I maaaay have eaten them all before he got home. Oops!)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/12/17)

I got a lot of stuff done this week-some cooking and making phone calls, stuff like that. But I had lots else happen too! Last weekend Michael and I traded in his dying 2003 Honda for a new Subaru Forester that we're leasing (aka I got a mom car lol). I love it so much and spent so much time playing around with it, Michael's enjoying getting my Elantra to himself now (since it's 2015 it's still so much nicer than what he was driving). The wedding I worked afterwards went great and I have another one today, yay! On Sunday, Michael had to study for his big comprehensive exam (he needed to pass in order to graduate from his master's program in December) but we also ran an errand, grabbed dinner with friends, annnnnd wandered into Target and bought our baby 6 adorable outfits. I did some maternity clothes shopping and got some super cute stuff on Monday (Michael also took his exam and passed! Woo!). Tuesday we had a pre-baptism class at our church and it was actually surprisingly nice. Friday I bought some more stuff for baby (who can resist!?) and then had a girls night with my boss, Val, and our mutual friend Evie. It was so nice!

Did you have a good week?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Baby Update -- 20/21 Weeks


How far along: Currently 21 (and a half) weeks

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: According to my app, about 10.5 inches and 12.7 oz.

Total weight gain/loss: I've gained about 5 pounds.

Maternity clothes: Still wearing some normal clothes, but it's getting more difficult. Still liking these jeans from Target and I have a newfound love for stuff from Wren and Ivory. I also went on a mini shopping spree and got some tops, a dress, and a bra from Motherhood Maternity.

Stretch marks: Not yet!

Sleep: Pretty good.

Best moment of this week: Finding out the gender-everything feels so much more concrete! And seeing it on the ultrasound-at one point I could feel and see it jerking around at the same time, so surreal <3 I also had fun shopping at Motherhood Maternity, hehe. Oh! And a bunch of stuff off our registry is starting to get purchased so that's fun!

Miss anything: Not having to essentially buy a whole new wardrobe lol. So I miss money.

Movement: Yepp! Started feeling it a couple weeks ago. He's getting pretty active lately.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really! Just the normal stuff I've never liked lol.

Have you started to show yet: Yepp I am definitively showing now! It feels like all of a sudden I got huge lol--in fact, since that picture above was taken I'm pretty sure I'm already bigger.

Gender: 

IT'S A BOY! Even though I was in no way sure, there was a part of me (and Michael) that felt like we were having a girl, and the vast majority of friends family felt the same so we were a little shocked when the tech told us that we're having a boy! And apparently he was quite proud to show that he is, in fact, a boy lol. We're so excited!

Labor signs: Noooo.

Belly button in or out: Still an innie!

Wedding rings on or off: On, but I can feel it getting a bit more snug.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy happy happy!

Looking forward to: More movement and the baby shower-it's in about 2 and a half weeks!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Something Saturdays (8/5/17)

Woo! This week feels like it's been so busy! Last weekend was my family's family reunion, which is always lots of fun-and there were a couple babies there to play with this year so Michael and I were extra happy. Monday I got some stuff done at home and then also hung out a little with Michael's mom and sister (and her friend, Allie). Tuesday I, again, just got some stuff done. Wednesday was exciting because my friend Kevin took me along with him to the Shawn Mendes concert in Cleveland (with Charlie Puth as the opening act). We were in the fourth row and it was AMAZING. It was both of our first concerts and it was an awesome experience. They were both great, the music wasn't overly loud, my only complaint was how old I felt surrounded my squealing teenaged fangirls lol. Thursday I got more stuff done and then spent some time with Michael's mom, grandparents, and aunt. This was all to help keep my mind off how anxious I was for FRIDAYYY--when we learned the baby's gender!!! Check back for a pregnancy update on Wednesday for more about that lol. But then I ended up spending time with Michael's dad and stepmom and having dinner with them, which was super nice.

And today I'm working a wedding-so all good things!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies

Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
I don't hate these pictures! It's a miracle!! I've been sort of ho hum on my food photography lately-as I'm sure you can probably tell. But I had a bit of inspiration with the styling for this one and the light decided to cooperate so I can show you these cookies in all their glory.
Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
Chewy oatmeal cookies full of crunchy bites of Butterfinger=perfection!! I made these for Michael to bring to work one day for some sort of party or something that they were having. I will admit that I think my oats may have been stale and thusly I wasn't in love with the cookie I sampled before sending them off, which made me super worried. But Michael insisted they were tasty and all his coworkers raved about them soooo....I have no idea. I'm sure the recipe is still great--but just for safety, make sure your oats aren't expired...ha.
Butterfinger Oatmeal Cookies
Seriously, these are an ideal cookie for bringing to parties or mailing in care packages since they're pretty sturdy and the nature of the oats and butterfinger bits means they're super delish at room temperature (as opposed to my own personal preference of cookies being warm and gooey, usually). Plus-almost everyone loves butterfingers. Can you say "crowd pleaser"??

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-August (Back to School)

August Meal Plan-mainSay it ain't so!! It's almost August, which means summer is almost over! But don't worry-we have you set with simple recipes that should be perfect for all the busy days ahead.


This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Something Saturdays (7/29/17)

Hello hello, another work-less week passed for me. The baby is getting bigger, though, and I've been feeling it move more and more-Michael was even able to feel it move once earlier this week.

Last weekend we had a pool party at my Grandma's, which is always fun. Monday I visited my cousin and her baby (the sweetest, happiest little girl, I swear!) Tuesday I didn't do much but I did visit a bit with my little sister-in-law when I went to pick up a pie from Michael's mom's house. Wednesday I spent the day with my friend Jenna in Hudson, walking around and shopping. We also had a DELISH lunch/dinner at Peachtree Southern Kitchen. I had fried chicken and biscuits with gravy, she had chicken and waffles, and then we shared beignets for dessert.

I've also been getting my hands on baby photos to use for a baby shower game-which led to me making this collage of my mom, brother, and I as babies. Too funny!

Thursday was uneventful, then Friday I went and visited with Michael's mom and sister for his mom's birthday (and he joined when he got home from work). Today we're just getting stuff done at home, pretty uneventful! What are you doing?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie

Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
So this was supposed to be a Peanut Butter S'mores Pizookie--which is a copycat from a place called BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. However...this didn't exactly end up being close enough for me to call it that--I made a slight mistake and did a skillet brownie instead of cookie. So-it's not the same. BUT it is YUMALICIOUS and perfectly deserving of its own title. So PB S'mores Skillet Brownie, here we are!
Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
Essentially we have a super fudgy and dense and chocolatey brownie (with chocolate chips/chunks) baked in a skillet. THEN there's a layer of peanut butter. THEN we put some marshmallows on top and get 'em all toasty. And the result is gooey and rich and really just awesome.
Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
Michael would've liked this better if it had just been the brownie and peanut butter without the toasted marshmallows...because I've married a weirdo. BUT-more for me!!! Even though this is a medium sized skillet brownie...and even though I'm pregnant (although honestly my appetite has gone down if anything so far)-I did not finish the whole thing in one sitting! I cut off little wedges to eat over the course of a few days. But if you eat it all at once I will do nothing but love and admire you.
Peanut Butter S'mores Skillet Brownie
I mean...it's messy. And gooey. As all the tastiest things are!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Something Saturdays (7/22/17)

Last Saturday's wedding with Perfectly Planned was beautiful and went flawlessly!! And, on the topic, the styled shoot we did a few months back has been featured on Cake and Lace (if you like prettiness you should check it out!) 

Sunday Michael had a paper to write but every one of his aunts and uncles from his mom's side of the family were in town and at his grandpa's house (his mom has 10 siblings and their pretty scattered, so it's a big deal when everyone is in one place at one time)--largely because his aunt and new baby cousin were in town so everyone wanted to see the baby. So-I went without him, and it was so nice to see everybody (and get some baby cuddles)! 

My Barefoot wine work schedule is "currently on hold" (ask me how annoyed I am by that) so I'm currently not able to work until that's taken care of, so I spent most of the week just getting some stuff around the house done, making a few recipes for this blog (yay!), and generally relaxing and being lazy lol. Tuesday I did get to spend some time with our friend and his 3 daughters (the twins were a couple of our flower girls) because he had them for the week. And Thursday I got to spend a little time with my friend Molly and check out her amazing new dance/performing arts studio that she opened (if you're in the Canton area, I hiiighly recommend Inspire Performing Arts Center!) Today is a rare Saturday where...I'm doing nothing! So I'm going to enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here it is--my first recipe that I've made and photographed for the blog since that darned first trimester fatigue/nausea hit me. And-of course-the lighting was not my friend. So...sorry about the pictures. Bear with me.
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Now the important thing here is HOW GOSH DARN TASTY these are. They're are super duper peanut buttery, very very flavorful-and there's no flour or butter. Lots of winning. Full disclosure, though--forming the dough into balls was THE BIGGEST PAIN IN MY BUTT. They were so crumbly and it was rough. Now-this may be partly because I used PB & Co peanut butter which I thought wouldn't count as natural peanut butter but...maybe it did and affected the texture. I couldn't tell you. But but but seriously they're so yummy.
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Michael was a giant fan of these cookies-they got sent in his lunches every day (I love that I'm already well versed in packing lunches before even having given birth) and they were perfect for my occasional peanut butter cravings (which I'm attributing to the fact that I haven't been eating a ton of meat since getting pregnant so I probably needed the protein.) Whatever reason you may have for wanting them, you won't be sorry you made these cookies. Even if you're cursing their existence when you're scooping and shaping them :P

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Something Saturdays (7/15/17)

This has been a pretty good week, actually! Busy but not overwhelmingly so-the perfect balance :).

Saturday night, Michael and I ended up checking out a new restaurant that just opened near us (Walther's Twin Tavern) and had a  super nice evening. Sunday we slept in and then got some things done around the house-such as putting together our new end table. Monday I checked out a sale and bought a ton of cloth diapering things before coming home and cooking. Tuesday and Wednesday I just got some stuff done (although I also, briefly, saw Michael's cousin for a bit on Wednesday). Thursday I hung out a little with my cousin before cleaning the kitchen (which I despise because of how quickly it gets dirty again). Friday I worked. Today I have a wedding-the better kind of work! 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Baby Update -- 17 Weeks

Baby Update -- 17 Weeks
How far along: 17 Weeks (I'll be 18 weeks on Friday, though)

Due Date: December 15, 2017

Baby's Size: 5.1 inches, 5 oz. (According to my app, it's the size of a white onion.)

Total weight gain/loss: Nothing, so far!

Maternity clothes: Mostly still in normal clothes, but I do have a pair of maternity jeans from Target that I LOOOVE.

Stretch marks: So far, none. Still early, though!

Sleep: Pretty great currently, although I have to wake up A LOT to pee-which is concerning considering I know it's going to get worse lol.

Best moment of this week: Going to the doctor's on Friday and hearing the baby's heartbeat with Michael. And buying pretty much everything I need for cloth diapering (although I did not love the price tag attached...I have to keep reminding myself that I would've spent that in a few months of disposable diapers!) I also found a pediatrician for the baby so that's a relief to have taken off my to-do list!

Miss anything: Being able to just eat stuff and not wondering about if I'm actually going to want it--I'm closer to normal now than I was in my 1st trimester but still not the same. Mainly meat has been tricky.

Movement: Nothing yet *sigh*

Food cravings: Meh nothing in particular. No more than usual, anyway haha.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not right now!

Have you started to show yet: Just got a little bump in the last couple weeks.

Gender: Gahh don't know yet.

Labor signs: Nononooo

Belly button in or out: Still in.

Wedding rings on or off: On at the moment.

Happy or moody most of the time: I've been lucky-I'm pretty happy and calm for the most part!

Looking forward to: Baby shower planning stuff, eventually feeling the baby move, and finding out the baby's gender next month!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Something Saturdays (7/8/17)

Holiday weeks are fun weeks. Holiday weeks are exhausting weeks. Saturday I was the head coordinator for a wedding that was lovely, but far away lol. Sunday I went to church with Michael and his cousin and her husband who are visiting from out of town, and then we all got brunch before coming home for me to be tired and Michael to write a paper for school. Monday I worked. Tuesday we celebrated the 4th with a pool party at my grandma's, which was fun! Wednesday I spent the day hanging with Michael's aforementioned cousin, and we had an awesome time. Thursday I just got some stuff done at home, and yesterday I had a doctor's appointment (baby is doing well!) and then I worked. Today is more work and then, *shrug*. We'll see! How did you all spend your holiday?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Something Saturdays (7/1/17)

Hi hi hi! It's July July July!

I've had a pretty cool weekend. Last weekend was nice, I did a little shopping with the hubby hubs (got a few things we needed-an end table, a drill, a patio umbrella...stuff like that). Then Sunday we spent the whole day together: we went to church, breakfast, got Michael a new phone, got ice cream, then came home and watched a movie and hung out. On Monday I ran a couple errands (and found this amazing place called The Breastfeeding Center that has SO MUCH information and amazing products, I just wish I didn't live 30 minutes away from it!) and then hung out in the evening with Michael's mom and sister and then later on he joined us, as did his aunt and cousin. Tuesday my boss and I got dinner and then went to our monthly collaborative networking group. Wednesday Michael's stepmom took me out to Chagrin Falls for a day of fun, burgers, and Jeni's ice cream. Then we hung out with Michael's dad for a bit before getting some wood fired pizza. Thursday I just did boring work. Yesterday I went to the rehearsal for today's wedding-of which I'm the head coordinator! So it's gonna be a cuhraaaazy day. But tomorrow I get to just recover :)

What are your weekend plans?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-July (Patriotic/Cookout)

July Meal Plan

We are deep into summer and I am HAPPYYYY. This is a time for fun! And these recipes are for those fun times <3

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Something Saturdays (6/24/17)

Now that the secret's out I can finally be fully honest with you guys in these posts! Hooray! (In case you missed it, I announced on Wednesday that I am pregnant!) However...this week forreals was boring. I've just gotten stuff done. I did get dinner with Michael to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary, but other than that it's just been work stuff and getting things done around the house. I also officially joined a parish near us and got all the info I need for baptism for the baby (which is semi-complicated because my brother is going to be the godfather but is in Hawaii with the airforce so I have to plan it around when he's in town). This weekend Michael and I have a couple projects to work on and hopefully can hang out and just enjoy some time together too :) 

Posts from this week 
Bake with Love Until 12.15.17...

Recipes from the blog that I made this week

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Orange is the New Black-Just finished the new season and I really liked it but...man. What a sad ending. And it sucks because Tasty really did eff it up for everyone.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bake with Love Until 12.15.17...


SURPRISE!!!

...It's probably not that big of a surprise, is it? If anyone's been paying attention around here the past few months you've probably noticed I have been SEVERELY slacking off. And if you know anything about the first trimester of pregnancy, you probably know it can take it out of you. And that food is sort of super unappealing (which, as a person who loves food, has been tortuous). But anyway...I've been having a hard time keeping up with work and keeping my house fairly cleaned and feeding myself-everything else has sort of had to take a back seat during this crazy time. Even poor Michael has only been eating fast food or like...canned soup. (Although, now that I'm in my 2nd trimester this is getting better.) So-sorry I've been MIA. This is the reason!

A BABYYYY!

Michael and I have always wanted a whole bunch of kids, and he finally is graduating with his Master's degree in December so here we are! It's due December 15 (so I'm just over 14 weeks along), and we are SO EXCITED! (and TMI but, for those of you interested, the only thing we used to help with the whole "getting preggers process" was the Ovia fertility tracker app.)

I'll probably occasionally post baby updates on here-if that's at all interesting to you guys, cool. If not, no big-just skip 'em lol. It's funny because I'm still not showing much, and I actually haven't gained any weight yet, but when you see comparison pics you can definitely see that my body is changing!

How did we find out?
It was our first month of trying and I was a week late so we decided it was time to take a test. Neither of us could sleep all night with the anticipation and then in the morning I took 3 tests (Clearblue and EPT if you're interested). They all came up quickly with a very definitive YES. I told Michael and he cried and hugged me. And then we were so excited we had to tell our parents and siblings immediately (but I also went in for blood work to confirm I was definitely pregnant.)

How's the pregnancy been so far?
I'm not going to lie, the first trimester hit me harder than I thought it would. My mom had always said how easy her pregnancies were and I sort of just in the back of my mind thought I'd be the same. And, honestly, compared to many women I suppose it hasn't been bad. But it was hard for me. I got so fatigued and, worst of all, food had very little appeal for me. And I felt faintly nauseated all the time (no throwing up, and not even extreme nausea, just a little hint of it--unless I smelled something I found offensive, then it really got ramped up). I also had a lot of neck pain and trouble sleeping. Luckily, all of those things have gotten much better now that I'm in my second trimester. I still don't feel like...normal. But I have enough energy to do things, the nausea is gone, and food is more appealing (I'm still kinda meh on meat usually, though, which is weird because I'm generally such a carnivore), and I'm sleeping better (although definitely I need more sleep than I did pre-pregnancy, which I needed 8 hours before so now I aim for 9...10 if I'm lucky although that rarely happens.)

We've already got a crib for the nursery and I created a baby registry and have a pregnancy journal-so yeah, we've been making some progress! We don't get to find out the gender until our ultrasound that we have in August (if the baby cooperates)-and it is driving me crazy lol. I so want to know what it is!

And yeah. That's pretty much it. Yesterday was mine and Michael's 2 year wedding anniversary so we shared about the baby on social media which means I get to share with all of you! Thanks for hanging in there with me on this ride!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Something Saturdays (6/17/17)

Hihihi, I've been feeling slightly more productive this week. Which means I might have a new recipe for you coming soon (depends on how well I can edit the photos because ugh the light was not my friend-first it was too bright outside so that made the pics dark then it was overcast so...the pics were too dark. Ughhh).  I got my copy of Beauty and the Beast in the mail-woooo! So Michael and I watched it and it still makes me feel all the feelings.

Today I'm working a wedding so I'll be busy busy busy and tomorrow is Father's Day! So we'll be seeing Michael's dad.

Oh, and if I were you I'd keep my eye on the blog on Wednesday. I might have an important post coming up.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Something Saturdays (On a Sunday) (6/11/17)

So I totally forgot to post this yesterday and I am so sorry! But I'm here now with my little weekly check in! Honestly, not much to report on my end. We planted flowers, I went to some garage sales with my mom, Michael started his internship (which means he's essentially working 25 hours a week on top of his normal full time job sooo....I miss him lol), and we've just been working and such.

Now, I promise, very soon I will have some info to share, like in just over a week. So sit tight!

Recipes from the blog that I made this week

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)
S'mores Doughnuts (A Cozy Kitchen)

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Married at First Sight-Just gotta say, I'm loving this season. I really feel like all 3 couples have the potential of working and I reeeeally want them too. Also, Anthony reminds me a lot of Michael so that's fun lol.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Something Saturdays (6/3/17)

Wooo...this week feels like it's been super busy. With all the insanity (but fun) of family times for Memorial Day weekend, then Tuesday I went to a venue walk-through with my July 1st bride.  And last night we had dinner with friends and their daughter. Other than that I've just been working and being generally boring. I'm sorry I'm so lame lately, guys.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-June (No Bake/No Cook)

June-main

It's almost June! Which means summer! Which means warm weather--which means we may not want to turn on our ovens. Which is why every recipe in this month's plan is no bake and no cook-yayyyy!

This month's recipe round up was brought to you by:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/27/17)

Happy Memorial Day weekend!!!

Last weekend the wedding I helped coordinate went great (the ceremony was in the middle of the woods!) Then Sunday I worked and then celebrated my 17 year old cousin's birthday and played games with the family. Monday Michael and I ran a couple errands. Tuesday I had dinner with my dad and grandparents. And then I just worked Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday I hung out with my cousin and then my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Today I work and then we're going to Youngstown to see one of Michael's cousin's who is in town (he is getting his master's degree in Wales).


Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Jane the Virgin-Yay Ro&Xo! And all the Michael feels. (And ew Tyler Posey is Adam?? He's so young to me. NO. I VOTE RAFAEL.)

Law & Order: SVU-That was a rough one.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/20/17)

We had a fun, but busy weekend last week, followed by a fairly uneventful week. It's been pretty boring, actually. The highlight was checking out an ice cream place near us that we ended up really liking! Today, I'm working a wedding so I'll be busy busy busy. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Salted Caramel Pots de Crème

Salted Caramel Pots de Crème
PSA-if, while making these and filling up the pan with the hot water bath, you accidentally get some water in one of your pots de creme, it will still come out pretty tasty, if just a bit thinner in texture. Glad I could do that bit of research for you. Totally intentionally, not at all accidentally.
Salted Caramel Pots de Crème
Smooth, creamy, rich, decadent, PERFECTION. These pots de creme (which are essentially little custards/puddings) are so insanely full of salted caramel flavor (...even the one that had some water get into it before being baked...) and they're sort of kind of MIND BLOWING. And they actually aren't even hard to make. So there's no reason not to have them in your life.
Salted Caramel Pots de Crème
I feel like this is a dessert to impress, it's the kind of thing you serve guests and sound fancy when you offer them their pot de crème and they ooh and ahh over the little single servings of custardy goodness with the pretty flecks of sea salt on top. It's going to make you the coolest person around, really. That's why I'm not cool, I just haven't thrown the right dinner party yet...ha.

But seriously...I loved digging into these while sitting on my couch in my pajamas, so they're appropriate for all occasions, really.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/13/17)

I'm slacking. I know. I'm sorry. I have no excuse for you. :(

But let's chit chat.

Last Sunday I was with Perfectly Planned at a bridal show-super fun but I was exhaaausted afterward. Monday-Wednesday I sort of just hung out and got stuff done. Thursday I had a doctor's appointment and worked. Yesterday I worked. Today I work and then Michael's dad and stepmom are coming over for a late dinner. And tomorrow is Mother's Day! I'm making lunch for my mom and then we're going to Youngstown with Michael's mom to see her side of the family. Do you have any fun plans?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Something Saturdays (5/6/17)

Woo! What a week! Last Saturday I helped coordinate a beautiful wedding (for an amazing couple) at Gervasi Vineyard and everything went amazing. Sunday I enjoyed a day off, and got some food at Table 6 with the hubby. Monday I just relaxed at home. Tuesday I watched a dress rehearsal of my old high school's play (Dracula) and gave them some notes. On Wednesday, Perfectly Planned put together a completely amazing styled shoot that I am SO EXCITED about. I worked on Thursday (and I'm working today). Yesterday, I did an Escape Room with my family. My mom and aunt and grandma and some other "adults" from my family did one room while me and my teenaged cousins/their s.o.'s did another. We got out and the elder group didn't, teehee. 

Today I'm working then going back for another hangout night with the fam (we have a cousin in from out of town). What are you doing?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Monthly Meal Plan-May (BBQ/Memorial Day)

043017 Monthly Meal Plan May-main

It's already almost May! Yay! And we have some recipes that are perfect for summer weather and barbecues. ALSO if you scroll past the food, you'll find a giveaway (that is perfect for Father's Day!)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/29/17)

Hey guys, sorry for being pretty absent. I've not been feeling too well lately and I've been somewhat busy as well. Forgive me?

Last week's wedding went well! Today I have another one at a vineyard nearby that should be lovely (although I'm hoping it doesn't rain all day). The rest of the week I got things done and worked. Tuesday was a monthly meeting of creative professionals that I attended with my wedding planning boss, and then we had tacos afterward (well I had fried ice cream but you get the idea)! Fun fun fun. 

What was the best part of your week?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

6th Blogiversary

6 years ago today I started this little blog!!! It's hard to believe it's already been that long, but it also feels like I've been blogging forever lol.

All I can say is THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all of you who are reading this, and anyone who has ever read this blog or come to it for a good recipe or a laugh. I hope to continue to provide the tasty and the fun for a long long time. <3


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/22/17)

First off--sorry no recipe this week. Things have been crazy. So sorry!

Anyway, if you celebrate--how was your Easter weekend? Saturday Michael and I met up with a few of his cousins and hung out and played games, which is always fun. Sunday we had lunch with his stepmom's side of the family then dinner with his mom's. It was nice, as always :) Michael had Monday off from work so we kind of just relaxed and hung out. Then I just did stuff around the house and ran a couple errands on Tuesday. On Wednesday, my boss and I had a meeting with our July 1st bride. Thursday I worked. Friday I babysat my cousin's baby all day. Today is the official beginning of wedding season for Perfectly Planned this year--we have our first wedding! I'm so excited :) And tomorrow we are having belated Easter with my mom's side of the family. Funsies funsies. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/15/17)

It's Easter weekend (for those of you who celebrate)! Doing anything fun??

Tomorrow we're having 2 Easter meals, one with Michael's stepmom's family and one with his mom. My mom's side of the family is doing theirs next weekend (my grandma and mom are both in the Bahamas right now and coming back next week).

Last weekend the weather finally got nice and stayed that way, so Michael and I got some dinner at Main Street Grille again, which was really nice. Sunday we spent a bit of time with Michael's mom and siblings. Other than that I've pretty much been just dealing with some stuff and working this week :) We did have dinner with Michael's dad and stepmom on Tuesday (they left for Florida on Thursday so we won't be seeing them tomorrow) which was super nice. But yeah...that's pretty much it lol.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}

Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}
These are the best cookies I've made in awhile. Like...can't get enough of them. Which makes sense because they're modeled after another cookie I couldn't get out of my head: the kitchen sink cookies at Panera.
Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}
At one of our meetings with a bride, my boss and I had a couple kitchen sink cookies at Panera. And I knew I needed to recreate them. They were HUGE (like...bigger than these ones. For the first time in my life I struggled with making cookies big enough!) And had pretzels and little bits of caramel and chocolate chips and...of course...there was sea salt on top. So-pretty simple to recreate actually. I amped up the flavor an extra notch by using one of my favorite browned butter cookie bases, because--why wouldn't I?
Sweet & Salty Kitchen Sink Cookies {Panera Copycat}
I think my version might be even better. They're sturdy but chewy and full of so many fantastic textures-crunchy pretzels, gooey caramel, melty chocolate. They're so so good. Addictive to the max. They also freeze really well if you-like me-can't be trusted with an entire batch. I froze some and then just pulled out when I needed a special treat ;). 

They're also great for sharing with new friends to endear yourself to them-hence why I brought along some for my "girl-date" with my boss/friend, Val and our new friend, Evie. They both loved them. Of course!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/8/17)

My obsession with the new Beauty and the Beast movie is still going strong, in case you were wondering. Particularly with Dan Stevens (who plays Beast) and I keep listening to Evermore on loop (but without the Beast voice effects, because I enjoy Dan Stevens) and crying.

Then to lift my spirits I just watch the transformation scene and swoon. Then, on Tuesday, I went and saw it again. I had to.

LOOK AT THE EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE

Anyway...

This week Michael went back to work and school-boo. But, while still on break, on Saturday we had a nice dinner out with my boss, Val, and her husband, Darrin, at Table 6-which was SO GOOD. As always. Monday-Wednesday mostly I just wallowed in my BATB obsession, although I did meet up with one of the brides whose weddings is this month at her venue with some other vendors. Other than that this week has just been boringness and work. And BATB obsessing. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Creamy Chicken Pasta

Creamy Chicken Pasta
I've been doing a lot more experimenting in the kitchen these days when it comes to cooking. Less recipes and more throwing things together. It's a little bit freeing! But...when you throw together the same recipe again and again and you love it and you realize...this recipe must be shared....then you write it down. And take pictures. And share it on your blog. This is what everyone does, right?
Creamy Chicken Pasta
Naming recipes is hard. I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but it is. Trying to succinctly but accurately sum up what the recipe is like is SUPER tough! Like this...you pan fry chicken. Then you add the sauce ingredients into the same skillet (thusly using the delicious flavor left over from the chicken) and make a creamy sauce. And you eat it with the cooked pasta and chicken. And it's like...what do you call it? I feel pretty good about Creamy Chicken Pasta, but I don't know-what do you think?
Creamy Chicken Pasta
It's really just comfort food. Like super flavorful creamy pasta and crisp chicken...it's a feel-good kind of meal. And I mean...feel free to mix some veggies in if you are so inclined. Personally that sounds terrible to me but I have an unfortunately strained relationship with the vegetables, and if you are one of the lucky people who likes them then I am envious and encourage you to enjoy them in this. Or not. Either way (as long as you like chicken) make it. It's gonna become a new favorite of yours like it is a new favorite of mine!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Something Saturdays (4/1/17)

Happy April Fool's Day! Michael's favorite day and the day I am suspicious of everything lol.

This week has been SO NICE. I love having Michael home!

Last weekend we enjoyed the beautiful weather on Saturday by checking out the patio on a new-to-us restaurant nearby, The Main Street Grille--we loved it and will definitely be back! Then we watched Moana and spent the rest of this week having all the songs in our head.

Monday and Tuesday we went down to Marietta, OH (the oldest city in the state, a super cute small river town). Michael was helping with some trainings for work so I spent my days exploring. I spent most of my time at Front Street, Marietta's downtown. I started with lunch at Boathouse BBQ, a spot right on the river-it was pretty tasty but the view was definitely the selling point. Then I checked out some local shops (SP Curated and The Cook's Shop are a blogger's DREAM!) I also grabbed dessert at The Buckley House and had a chocolate caramel mousse that was TO DIE FOR. When Michael was done with work we had dinner, and he had a beer, at Marietta Brewing Co. (Michael loved their milk stout and grilled chicken sandwich, and I really liked the Brewhouse pizza-it had braised ribs, turkey, bacon, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and bruschetta...OMG). The next day I had a few chocolates from Putnam Chocolates (I actually wasn't a fan), did some more shopping (Whit & Whimsy was my favorite of the day!), enjoyed the park and saw some steamboats. Before we headed home we got dinner at The Levee House where we both loved our appetizer (fried ravioli and spinach artichoke dip that came with salsa) but were both meh about our entrees (burger and root beer pork). Wednesday, back home, Michael and I spent the whole day shopping/running errands and then had dinner with his family. Thursday his friend David came over and they hung out and also hung up some paintings in our living room. Friday we saw Beauty and the Beast (EEEE!) and did some more shopping. Today we're having dinner with my boss Val and her hubby, and then showing them our house! Fun fun!

Also....we're attempting to decorate and are terrible at it. We like simple, clean, modern decor and it's ridiculously difficult to find what we want apparently. If you have places to shop let me know!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Raspberry Pie

Raspberry Pie
Michael loves pie. Like...on ultimate Pi day, a couple years ago, he was sincerely upset that I hadn't made him pie (oops). He particularly likes fruit pies...which is tricky because I don't really dig fruit pies. So I only make them for him on occasion. Thusly, it's a special event when I do.
Raspberry Pie
Sometimes Michael sits around and questions why certain pies don't exist...and then I tell him they do exist. One time that was grape pie (although admittedly it sounds weird, it apparently exists). And then another time he questioned raspberry pie. Before looking it up, I knew that it wouldn't be difficult-it should be the same premise as blueberry or blackberry pie, and of course I was right and I found various recipes online. So I was a nice lady and made him some raspberry pie. And right before this year's Pi day, so he finally got his Pi day pie. 
Raspberry Pie
It's actually fitting that I share this recipe today, because I'm spending the whole week with Michael while he's on spring break (and he took off from work today-Friday). I so rarely get to spend this much time with him, between work and school (and the fact that on the weekends I am usually working) so this is a special treat! Just like pie :D
Raspberry Pie
Anyway, more about this actual pie. It's my first time making a lattice top crust-I thought it turned out pretty well! You do not have to do a lattice, you can kind of do whatever you'd like. The lattice is so evocative of a classic berry pie though, you know? And I used my favorite butter pie crust recipe which was flaky and delicious. The filling has a pleasant tartness and lots of pure raspberry flavor-I mean the ingredient list for the filling is beautifully short. It's essentially just raspberries, sugar, and cornstarch. I love that, it really let's the raspberries true flavor shine through. Michael was super super happy about this pie, and I bet you will too!
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I love it when you try & want to share recipes you found here! Please just rewrite in your own words, use your own photos, & always link back to me! Thanks!

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