Baking

we love mud pie!!!

Posted by Lauren

Facebook proves it.

October 22, 2006 at 9:05 pm – Sarah: “we love mud pie!!!”
December 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm – Lauren: “SARAH…. I want mud pie. right now.

we love mud pie

It’s almost been SEVEN YEARS since I first tried Cindy’s infamous mud pie, an event which forever changed my life. Plus, it was a reeeeally fun college night where my best friends from high school visited me and we went to a party in jewel tone togas.

po5 toga

Natalie, me, Katie, Sarah … we’re missing Vanessa :(

Ahh, memories. :)

So last month, after a tasty dinner at Cindy’s house and MINI banana split bites!!! for dessert, Cindy suggested that next month’s dinner be a birthday celebration for me and took requests. I immediately said mud pie because that’s one of my all-time favorites. I also suggested mushrooms, because anything with mushrooms rocks.

I was definitely spoiled last night with Mushrooms & Mud Pie!

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Patriotic, summer table setting…

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Fresh sunflowers and a blooming artichoke (love!)

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Birthday presents! My own succulent terrarium!

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Tasty peach sangria and spring salad with avocado dressing….

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Chicken and rice with sauteed mushrooms and giant broccoli….

And then it was time.

Cindy, Mike, and Sarah sang Happy Birthday and then we dug in!

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I literally sent that to 99% of my Snapchat friends because I was so excited haha.

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Cindy, me, Sarah!

Do you want the recipe? Because back in 2009 I asked for it and I still have it on file (aka my old yahoo email address from 1998)

30 OREO’S crushed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 Jar Mrs. Richardson’s Chocolate Fudge Sauce
1/2 gallon Mocha Fudge Almond Ice Cream
3 Heath Toffee Bars crushed (if can’t find can use SKOR bars)
5 additional crushed OREO’S
1 9×13 disposable pan

  • Mix 30 crushed Oreo’s with melted butter. Press evenly on botton of pan. Freeze until firm.
  • Soften ice cream at room temperature. Spoon over frozen crust. Freeze until hard.
  • Spoon fudge sauce evenly over ice cream. Sprinkle crushed Heath Bars evenly over top. Sprinkle
    remaining 5 oreo’s over heath bars.
  • Flash freeze if you are going to keep pie in freezer for a while.
  • FLASH FREEZE DIRECTIONS: Put pie in freezer (unwrapped) until frozen through. Remove from freezer, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, cover with foil and return to freezer.

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I will not confirm how many servings I had :)

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After a few rounds of mud pie, we joined Owie (below) and Binky on the couch for episode 6 of The Bachelorette.

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Going in to next week’s episode, we each have someone in the Top 5. Cindy is in a good spot, with 2 guys still in the running (Chris and Michael). I think Brooks has a shot, and Sarah’s kinda out of luck with #HashtagDrew. Oddly enough, we originally assigned the “extra” guy Zak to Mike and he’s still in it! It will be pretty funny if Zak wins, because then we’re treating Mike Jones to a pedicure.

bachelorette fantasy draft

I really think Chris and Brooks will be the final 2. Are you watching? What do you think?

mud pie 2006

Go make the mud pie.

Question: What kind of “birthday cake” do you make special requests for?

-Lauren

Double Father’s Day

kolache

Posted by Nicole

I’d have to say that our Father’s Day was quite a success. Not only was it a fun day to celebrate our dad and stepdad, but it was also a good chance to push our baking limits.

In the morning, David mentioned he wanted pumpkin bread from Starbucks and I figured homemade is much better. I found an easy recipe for pumpkin bread and adapted it a bit by adding dark chocolate chunks (crushed up Theo bar from our trip to Seattle). I also figured a little extra sweetness wouldn’t hurt, so I quickly adapted a maple cinnamon glaze from this recipe.

pumpkin dark chocolate chunk bread

pumpkin dark chocolate chunk bread

The bread didn’t last long, especially because it is best when warm!

pumpkin dark chocolate chunk bread

The bread recipe conveniently made two loaves, so we packed one up while still warm and went over to our Dad’s house. We hung out for a while and watched a golf tournament for entertainment. That’s a lie… the conversation was much more interesting than the golf!

A bit later, we went to the store and got supplies for our baking experiment. Last week at dinner, David mentioned various foods that his grandma used to make. Though he didn’t have the original recipes, Lauren and I decided to try to recreate one recipe in particular for Kolaches. These pastry-like desserts are a balance between sweet dough and fruit filling. With much help from this recipe, we didn’t completely screw up!

kolache

kolache

kolache

The difficult part of this recipe was using yeast… something we don’t do often… or ever. We tried to figure the dough out while heating the dried prunes and apricots on the stovetop. During the third step with the dough it was supposed to double in size, but it didn’t. A minor setback, but we just continued baking as usual. When the fruits were done, we added in the other ingredients to finish up the filling.

kolache

kolache

kolache

kolache

Impatience hit and we decided to go ahead and fill the kolache dough even though it hadn’t risen too much. Lauren filled with prunes and I filled with apricots. We topped the desserts with popsika crumble and popped them into the oven.

While they were baking, we prepared dinner. A veggie stirfry, a giant spinach salad, maple cinnamon sweet potatoes, sliced sourdough bread, and barbeque chicken.

father's day

father's day

And the star of the show, our finished Kolache(s)! David was very surprised and we were very relieved that they were edible… and quite tasty.

kolache

father's day

father's day kolache

 

father's day

mason

It was such a nice end to the holiday and to the weekend.

– Nicole

Wedding Weekend Part 1

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Posted by Nicole

Hey, hi, hello. Sorry for that crazy blogging break!

As Lauren mentioned, a lot has gone down in the past week. Let’s start with last Thursday… a whole seven days ago! I was so lucky that my newly summer-vacationed self got to join in on the family fun. Let’s recap from the beginning.

Thursday

On Thursday, David’s sister, Amy and her three daughters arrived at our house. I went out with them to La Playita for delicious mexican food and then we enjoyed the backyard weather while finishing up on some final wedding crafts. I made some cream cheese frosting while the others made the seating assignment picture frame name tags. A couple of hours later, we prepared a big dinner – thanks in large part to our favorite neighborhood pizza joint, Amatos.

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My aunt Linda and her family also joined us for dinner. We had quite the mini party! I had fun getting to know some of David’s nieces.. They’re a fun group :)

Friday

We kicked off the morning with lots of SUGAR. Lauren and I lived up to our name as the sugar-coated sisters as we worked away in the kitchen. I started the cupcake baking extravaganza with carrot cake while Lauren worked on the coconut flavor. We had a minor kitchen snafu that set us back, but luckily we had enough extra batter to fix the mistake.

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After making those two flavors, I moved on to the chocolate stout while Lauren prepped the orange zest. It was so convenient having the frosting already made from Thursday (Lauren made five batches of Italian meringue buttercream like a boss)! All we had to do was pack up the mini cupcakes and wait to finish the frosting and decorating process until the big day on Sunday. We ended up with over 600 mini cupcakes!

After the baking-fest, we got cleaned up for a trip to San Francisco. We picked up Kyle, our cousin Alex, and his girlfriend and made the trek up to SF.

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In the windy city, we met up with our cousins Aaron and Krista and started some fun drinking games.

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When we realized it was almost 11, we hailed a couple cabs and went out to some bars. It was so fun to be out with our cousins…. Wish they lived closer! Lauren so kindly drove Kyle and I home at 2 am while we slept in the car; sorry for not entertaining you, sis!

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we packed up for the wedding weekend and headed out of the house. Before going to Aptos and the Seascape Resort, Lauren and I went to get spray tans. I have to say that getting a spray tan is such an awkward experience, but I’m so glad I did… I needed it and it sure beats laying out in the sun for hours!

When we finally arrived at Seascape, Lauren and I were amazed at the beautiful decorations. Not only that, the weather could not be better. We immediately had to take some pictures with the breathtaking views. I’ll let them do the talking…

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We helped prep the appetizers and then the real fun began when everyone arrived for the barbeque and bonfire. More on that next post…

– Nicole

Umami Burger + Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co

Posted by Lauren

I keep telling Nicole “ya I’ll draft a post probably in an hour… ” but the truth is I keep getting distracted by my other to-do list. If only laundry would clean and fold itself! I’m popping in to tell you about TWO new-to-me places in the Bay Area that I fell in foodielove with recently.

Thursday date night at a popular burger joint…

Photo from LA Times

Photo from LA Times

Umami Burger

452 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA
WebsiteYelp

Umami Burger is basically In n Out’s fancy cousin. What originated in Los Angeles has quickly (and finally) spread to Northern California! I wasn’t able to make it to the SF location, but to my surprise Kyle received a coupon for free cheesy tater tots at the UB opening in Palo Alto. I was really excited about it to say the least.

Umami Burger obsesses over high quality, fresh ingredients:

It starts with the house-ground, hand-formed patty infused with the Umami Master Sauce. It builds with the carefully crafted combination of toppings resting on the lightly toasted and slightly sweet bun [and] it explodes with house-made sauces. (source)

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The Original – parmesan crisp, shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, umami ketchup

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Hatch Burger – roasted green chiles, house American cheese, roasted garlic aioli

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The free tots! Hot and crispy! Their house-made ketchup is a great example of “umami”. After a little research, I learned that umami is the 5th taste element (think: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Umami) and UB’s creator Adam Fleischman did an umami flavor quest to learn what is so addictive about it. He tested 100+ items from a Japanese market in a lab to discover the three glutamic acids of umami. #Dedication

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We both thought the burgers were delicious. Special props to the bun being soft like a cloud and the perfect medium-rare patty. Thumbs down for the weird library decor. Afterwards we picked up Yogurtland for a different taste element ;)

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* * *

Location #2 that I want to tell you about is not a restaurant… it’s a brewery!

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Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company

111 Industrial Road, Belmont, CA
WebsiteYelp

Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company, located in the heart of the San Francisco bay area peninsula, produces award-winning, handcrafted beer… Prior to the 1780’s the canyon portion of Belmont and San Carlos was known as “la Canada del Diablo” or Devil’s Canyon. Since opening [their] doors in 2001, Devil’s Canyon Brewery has won over 35 awards. (source)

My coworker, Lorraine, invited me to join her and some friends for DCBC’s Beer Friday, a once/month event where the brewery opens its doors to the public for live music, food trucks and of course some craft beer!

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I had a pint of Belle, their California Sparkling Ale… they use champagne yeast to get a balanced, bubbly, slightly fruity, mildly hoppy brew. My second pick was their Silicon Blonde Ale and then I had a few sips of Kyle’s Deadicated Amber Ale. While the beer was delicious and refreshing, I was more excited about the lively crowd and music.

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That guy singing, Mike Annuzzi, is one of Kyle’s friends from Cal Poly!

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OK BUT THE REAL REASON this event was awesome? I found the puppy of my dreams. I spotted a tiny, white, furry thing in the crowd and forced my way through the crowd  to get a closer look…

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Everyone, meet Marshmallow. I AM OBSESSED.

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My mom, sister, and Kyle all agree that now is not the time for me to get a pup, but just look at HER!!! Gah. I. Just. Can’t.

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I chatted with her sponsor and he told me about Coppers Dream, the animal rescue group trying to find good homes for plenty of dogs. One day….. sigh.

Dog owners: how did you know you were ready for the responsibility of taking care of a dog?
Burger lovers: what are your favorite toppings? 

-Lauren