Jumpin in With Both Feet!

I am just going to put it out there that I am stoked for 2011.

It is going to be a great year, I will make sure of it. 
Not that 2010 was awful, but it was a tough one for sure. I hope everyone is ready to dive into the new year strong and excited for the future. Right now, I am in Mexico loving life. 

Minus the fact that I got a throat infection and have had to get three shots over the last three days. I didn't even cry - if you know me well enough, you know that is a HUGE accomplishment for me. 23 years old and didn't cry at the doctors. GO ME :)

I am feeling better now and excited to bring in the new year with my Mom, Brother and Boyfriend. Should be a good time con muchos cerveza and guacamole. MM only the best.


Coming up next (when I get back from Mex):
Christmas Dinner
Cookie Jars
BocaDeli Desserts
Island Cupcakes

look for them! 



Partycakes...huh?? That is my code name for my cupcakes that got all dressed up for the party. 

My friends Jessica and Maria hosted a holiday party for a bunch of our friends just before Christmas. I have known these girls foreveerrrr. One of them I have known since 2nd grade, the rest from 6th grade and freshman year of high school. It has been a while and we have been through a lot with each other from school drama to boy drama to "what are we going to do with our lives" drama and everything in between.

We were all instructed to bring an appetizer or dessert to share with everyone so of course, what do I bring? Dessert, duh.

I brought red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and vanilla cupcakes topped with a fresh strawberry buttercream. I didn't want to make your standard cupcake because I think they are boring sometimes. Instead I made a few thin sheet cakes and cut them into little squares. I stacked three pieces of cake on top of each other with the frosting holding them together. The cupcakes were ready for the partay!

I hope everyone got to enjoy them. I know Jess sure did...



Cookie Madness

Last week my aunt called me up and asked if I could make her 13 dozen cookies for her upcoming cookie exchange and as some gifts for her clients. Of course, I said absolutely! Did it matter that I had work everyday including a back-to-back shift (meaning I got off work at 11:30pm and had to be back at work at 5:30am!) and that I was in a different town and was without my kitchen-aid? Nahhh.

About five minutes after talking to my aunt, my grandmother calls for an additional 2 dozen. Sure!

So the mission was: 15 dozen cookies - baked and gift wrapped in two days while working and driving to OC to drop them off each day. Good luck to me right?

I completed the mission and it was really fun. I had to go old school on this and mix things up with a wooden spoon and bowl because that is all that I had! Look at me..being resourceful. 

My hand hurt like a beast by the end but the trick to getting things like this finished on time is to not sleep and then throw a temper tantrum sitting on the kitchen floor at 2:00 am over snicker-doodles thinking about how you have to leave for work in 2.5 hours and cry like a five year old. Oh gosh, was it a long night.

Here is how they turned out and some recipes for you if you are around the house baking for Christmas today! 

Everything turned out great, somewhat on-time and pretty and despite the 2 am tantrum it was really a good time baking them and hopefully the people who ate them enjoyed it.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup AP flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup jam or preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix and beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add egg yolk and vanilla extract to combine
In separate bowl, combine flour and salt
Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix to combine
In small bowl, whisk egg white until frothy and lay out almond on a plate
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll into egg whites and then nuts
Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Press down into the middle to make a well
Scoop jam into the middle well of the cookie
Bake for 14 minutes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat butter, peanut butter and sugars together until smooth
Beat eggs one at a time, then add corn syrup, vanilla and water
In another bowl combine your dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda)
Add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients
Fold in chocolate chips
Bake for 12-14 minutes

Chocolate Fudge White Chocolate Chip
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup AP flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup instant chocolate fudge pudding
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy
Add egg and vanilla extract
Combine all dry ingredients and add to butter mixture
Fold in chocolate chips
Bake 8-10 minutes

Pumpkin Maple Cookies
2.5 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, soft
1.5 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine flour, baking soda, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in bowl
In another bowl cream together sugar and butter
Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth
Mix in dry ingredients
Bake 15-20 minutes
For frosting cream together cream cheese and butter then add sugar and syrup
Let cookies cool completely then frost


A Disney Christmas

I adore Disneyland and so wish I had been able to see it all dressed up fancy for Christmas. If you got to go experience the magic at the Happiest Place on Earth, consider me jealous. 

It is a few days before Christmas which is truly the best day of the year so here is a little Disney Christmas song to help get you in the spirit today!

I'm on my way home from Utah, sad to leave the snow and hoping that our house is not flooded or on the fritz because Orange County is in a "state of emergency". So, wish us luck! 


Two days left for Christmas shopping and trust me I am fully exercising my outstanding procrastination skills. 
What about you? Expecting something good on Saturday??



That's how I feel.. Blahhy.
It's been a whirlwind three days between work and the rediculous amount of time spent in the kitchen - update coming later - but I am leaving on a jet plane. Utah tomorrow for a few days of shredding powder (that's a lie I can't actually shred and I'm not really sure what the exactly entails but it makes me sounds cooler I think)..

Anyway, in the mean time I am working in a hotel that is closed...ya not one guest here so you can imagine how glacially slow it is. Hence me posting a blog right now while I sit listening to Pandora with my Starbucks red cup (thanks Talia!) and trying to stay awake on my 2 hours of sleep I've got - reason #1 why I am blahhy

What are you up to today!? I hope it's more exciting and smoother than my day considering I spilled my latte all over myself at 5:30 am this morning, on my brand new white shirt of course! Reason #2 why I am blahhy.

Happy Friday! Back to listening to pandora over the sound of jack hammers!

Good times.


Christmas Come Early

I had to give my Christmas gift a tid bit early this year but I am pretty sure it was worth it. It was fabulous. One of the wars raging between Mike and I is Alternative versus Country music. I adore country and he is pretty much the opposite of a fan. I have gotten past it..and even cooler of me, over the years I have given in to alternative music and it is some good suff..no joke. Mike's gift from me was tickets to Kroq's Almost Acoustic Christmas!

Check this out:
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Broken Bells
Temper Trap
Neon Trees
Florence and the Machine
Brandon Flowers
The Black Keys
Vampire Weekend

aaaawwweeessooommmeeee!!! So to Hollywood we go!

We checked into the hotel which had this great view of the Hollywood Hills and I got my first glimpse of the Hollywood sign! You would think growing up an hour from LA I would have seen it in my 23 years? No, not until this moment. Then we were off to this amazingly incredible concert! Not before stopping at the Christmas tree of course.

Vampire Weekend was hands down our favorite! Wish you could have seen our jam sesh and Mike's air guitar skills. Florence and the Machine, Temper Trap and Brandon Flowers were unbelievable too. The whole concert was just insanely awesome! Did I mention how amazing it was??! 

What concerts are you excited about? I am looking for a new playlist..any song suggestions??

To close out the weekend we stopped by a local meat shop on the way back to SD called Tip Top Meats  and picked up some yums for dinner. Since I apparently drive like a grandma Mike had time to beat me home and stop and pick up the nicest "thank you" surprise ever!
I (not so) secretly want to be a Cullen. There, its out. BAH!

So we popped a bottle, cooked up a storm and chowed down on some pasta with sausage, bell peppers, onions and garlic and some baked mozzarella bread with tomato and garlic topping. 
Super delish, super full but still devoured that Yogurtland like it was going out of style.

So far the Christmas season is treating me well! How about you all? What are you giving and getting from loved ones and Santa?? :)


A Day in OC

I experienced a slight miracle this week: I had two days off work in a row! For most of you, that is the norm but for me that is a rare occassion. So on my grand 42 hour sabatical from the hotel I drove up to Orange County to take advantage of my mom's large kitchen, my own big bed, Boomer Loomer and other lovely wonderfulness.

I spent most of my time baking and experimenting with new flavors. I'll explain these experiements to you all in due time (get excited!!). On top of that I made some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for Mike's secret santa

and an incredible and easy to make recipe for candy bars that I got from my Godmother Mary. It is a mix of flavors that is to die for! Chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, mallows...is just heavenly and impossible to stop eating. It is one of those things you find yourself cutting another peice from the fridge before you actually realize that you are doing it....dangerous stuff.

After surrendering from the kitchen I turn around to see my dog being a rebel and laying on the couch. He must have known that mom and dad were gone because he was reallyy livin' on the edge pulling that off. But really, who could be mad at this face??

It was also time to decorate for Christmas and I started going through our box of ornaments and found some of my most beloved belongs including some fabulous artwork by 5 year old Brittany.

What are you doing to celebrate the holiday season? I hope you are feeling the holiday spirit!


Battle Burger Continued

We are onto competitor numero dos this week: Rocky's Crown Point Pub

Now, to give you the background of my expectations for this burger joint, I have always heard Hodad's was the greatest burger in San Diego until the last year or so I have been told that Rocky's owns Hodad's. So I was obviously going into this with pretty high expectations. 

That being said, I can say the burger actually lived up to them! It was super delish! The fries were nothing special - very standard and I could have done without them, but the burger lives up to its stellar reputation.

 The scores are in:
Brittany                Mike
Burger: A            Burger: B+
Fries: C                Fries: C

Have you been to Rocky's? What do you think about their burger??


Latte Lovin'

I wish so badly that Starbuck's had a frequent buyer/caffeine addict card - that would make me feel much better about the amount of money I donate to them each month. However, during the holiday's I feel justified going there on an almost daily basis because of the red cups! I adore the Christmas red cups..like a lot. I even have the red cup Christmas ornament :)

My favorites: Cafe Latte, Caramel Macchiato - iced, Peppermint Mocha.

Let me introduce you to someone who loves espresso more than pretty much anyone I know.. Mike's Dad.
Meet Mike's parents:
He is also my future barista trainer and his birthday just passed and I promised him some form of a chocolate mocha cake. Although it was a belated birthday gift by a week or two I created a cake and an even better frosting that I think he was happy with. 

I'm not gonna lie. I have been nervous about attempting an espresso flavored cake because it seemed like a daunting task but I am more than excited about how it turned out. MM MMM good!

The secret ingredients??

So we can check "espresso cake" off my checklist! Happy Birthday to you Mike and I hope you enjoyed your cake!  

I will get you guys the recipe and soon as I remember what I put into the cake. I was too busy dancing around to "Baby, it's cold outside" to write down what I was doing.

Happy December!
where did the year go??


Meet My Apprentice

This is Jenna.
15 years old.
Horseback rider.
Asian eyes.
Smartie pants.
My sister.

Jen likes to bake and make creative little dittys too. Must run in the family. Yesterday at Thanksgiving she took the reins on dessert since I was working during the prime cooking time. Her creation was a homemade style reese's peanut butter cup. Ohh yaaa.

Now, did I mention that peanut butter cups are my absolute favorite candy ever made?? Well it is. Second place goes to York Peppermint Patties - I love the sound they make when you break them :)

Jen's peanut butter cups are just scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!

What does your family do for Thanksgiving? What are your traditions??
Oh, and what is your favorite dish on our oh so American holiday?
Mine? 1. Stuffing 2. Sweet Potato Casserole 3. Turkey

We had a great holiday with loads of yummy food, dessert and my favorite bottle of wine. Finishing it off with a competitive game of Taboo - my brother and I won of course. Would you expect anything less?

I hope your Thanksgiving was warm and fuzzy! 
Now get excited for Christmas music all the time!! YES!