Taking Back My Twenties

Baking

Thoughts from a Thursday

Posted on Jun 5, 2014 | 4 comments

How’s it going out there?

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Matt and I had a wonderful anniversary celebration – we had dinner at the famous Fearings (out of this world) and the enjoyed the top layer of our wedding cake afterwards.

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It was a little beat up from riding to Texas in a cooler for 3 days, but it somehow survived. I think we were too full to appreciate it right after dinner, but boy did in taste good the next day!

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This week has been a good one – I picked up an extra shift at work and attempted a few new recipes to pack for lunches. And I made more banana bread because the muffins make the most incredible snack with nut butter.

Last night, Matt and I went to see Belle – it was a beautiful movie! It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good love story and I really enjoyed it. Any other good ones? I’d def. like to see Don Draper in a different role….

And now it’s time for another weekend. I don’t have a thing planned and I like it that way.

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Friday Dance

Posted on May 23, 2014 | 1 comment

How’s it going out there?

I’m pumped for a long weekend. Matt has Monday off, and he’s been working like crazy, so I know he deserves a break. I have Monday off too, although I don’t really think I have earned a holiday working part-time:) We’re sticking around here and planning to check out Fort Worth on Saturday. A stay-cation of sorts. All I’m craving is a good burger.

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I haven’t been blogging much because there really isn’t much going on here! I feel so at peace now knowing that I have a job, and I’ve just been loving life. I’m appreciating the free time while I have it, by reading novels, doing week night activities, taking long walks, and just enjoying quiet time at home. I’ve been meaning to do more cooking too, but it’s just too hot to turn the oven on! I made this coconut flour banana bread last week (well muffins) and love it warmed up with almond butter. I can’t get enough nut butter these days – I currently have four jars going.

I’m off to the grocery store (one of my favorite parts of the week). I hope yall have a fantastic Memorial Day and take a moment to remember those soldiers!!

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Birthday Party + Couch Weekend

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 | 9 comments

This weekend involved both partying and resting. I made tons of cupcakes on Friday! Half were for my friend Liz’s birthday party, and half were for the Duke/UNC watch party we were supposed to attend.

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I made strawberry buttercream, but used too much strawberry – the flavor was great, but these melted under the patio heater later on. This has happened to me before so I should have known to be careful! Next time I might try freeze dried strawberries.

I hosted a paloma pre-game party before Liz’s birthday dinner at Mesomaya. I’d never made palomas before (they are pretty simple), but I thought they turned out well. I have way too much tequila left over though!

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A group of about 15 of us enjoyed dinner on the patio of Mesomaya. I ordered an avocado margarita, which was fabulous! Dinner was lots of guac and a delicious ceviche salad. I really liked Mesomaya (especially the cute courtyard), and I want to go back to try more entrees!

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After dinner and messy cupcakes, we moved on to the Ritz bar and enjoyed the outdoor fireplace. We ended our night at the Loon – I think the birthday girl had fun!

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My weekend snapshots end there because I spent the rest of the weekend on the couch:( Matt came home from a business trip and was pretty sick with some kind of stomach bug, so we just relaxed at home. Poor guy. We didn’t make it to the watch party on Saturday night, but I sent my cupcakes with a friend and we cheered Duke on at home. I enjoyed a beer while Matt sipped on a homemade sports drink concoction. I also made soup, although Matt couldn’t really eat it, so I’m eating all the leftovers. So that’s that.

Hope some of you got to enjoy the warmer temperatures and you all survived springing forward:)

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Hunter Gatherer and Bday Desserts

Posted on Feb 24, 2014 | 6 comments

The weekend was lovely. I hadn’t really seen Matt in a while because of Key West and his weekend soccer tournament plus weekday travel for work. It was wonderful to go on a date! HG Supply has been on our list for quite some time, so we were both really excited to have dinner there. HG stands for hunter gatherer and the menu is Paleo-inspired; the food is simple and clean, and so was the space! I had a fabulous vanilla cinnamon Manhattan in the lively bar while we waited for our table.

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We started with the bacon wrapped pork shanks with chipotle-cider glaze. These were giant and delicious.

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HG Supply is famous for their bowls of flavorful combinations of meat and vegetables. Matt wanted to try ‘The Hunted’ bowl consisting of duck confit, sweet potato hash, spicy broccoli & bacon. We both loved it.

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We also shared the quinoa burger with olive tapenade and hummus. We will definitely be back to HG supply, not just because we liked the food and atmosphere, but because of the chocolate kettlebell that arrived at the table beside us. It was the size of an actual kettlebell and the server poured hot caramel over it to melt the chocolate and reveal a piece of cheesecake inside. It was insane.

After dinner we watched Blackfish, a documentary about killer whales in captivity. I really enjoyed watching it, but also felt really sad about the poor whales and trainers. I dreamed of being one of those trainers after my first visit to SeaWorld when I was little and had no idea that so much information had been kept from the public:(

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Saturday, I baked up a storm! A friend was celebrating her 30th birthday, and I volunteered to make the desserts for the party. I attempted a new recipe for brownie surprise cupcakes, and made an old faithful mint whoopie pie recipe.

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I wouldn’t recommend the brownie surprise – freezing the brownie batter was supposed to keep it from cooking all the way through so that it would remain gooey, but it didn’t work at all. The brownies still cooked until they were dry and cakey. They weren’t bad at all, but I’m just not a chocolate cake person and that’s basically what they tasted like on the inside. The peanut butter icing on top, however, was incredible!!!

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And the whoopies were good!

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The party was awesome – they had one of my favorite wines and a wonderful spread of Mexican food from a local restaurant. I could not stop eating the sweet potato chips with salsa verde!!

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Sunday was nice and relaxing. Matt and I took a long walk to the tennis courts, but were sad to find them packed because of the nice weather. We eventually gave up.

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I picked up some cajun turkey burgers for dinner and we sipped on rose to end the weekend.

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And another week begins.

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Grub, Origin, & Football

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 | 8 comments

Lots and lots of good eats and fun with friends with weekend! Friday was warm and beautiful outside, so I met my friend Liz and her new pug (!) for a drink on the patio at Common Table just as the sun was setting. I love dusk!

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I had a hearty brown ale. Matt met up with us, and after saying goodbye to Liz, we continued on to dinner at new burger bar. Grub is in a bit of a random location in the bottom of an office building, but it’s cheap and the menu looked great, so I wanted to give it a try.

I can highly recommend the burgers and the service, although I would skip the four dollar rita next time – tasted like mellow yellow with no trace of tequila!

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Matt and I shared the Texas luau burger, which was topped with braised pulled pork, a grilled pineapple slice, jalapeños, and teriyaki & BBQ sauce, as well as the Ahi tuna burger with sprouts, arugula, pickled ginger, and wasabi-teriyaki dressing. Both were fantastic!
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Saturday involved my usual bootcamp class, laundry, watching the [sad] Duke game with Duke friends, and a wonderful date at Origin Kitchen. I had heard great things about the coffee shop/healthy cafe turned restaurant and was excited to try it. I ordered an interesting Zinfandel, but there was a great cocktail and beer list as well. We started off with the wild caught salmon belly bloody mary ceviche! This was awesome, especially since I finally like bloody marys.
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The menu was great and we had a hard time deciding, so we ordered the mussels in white wine as well.

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We shared the pork tenderloin entree and it was heaven. The pork was served with a mango and cranberry chutney over sweet potato hash with giant grilled plantains. I think this was one of the best entrees I’ve ever had!!
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On the side, we had a warm shaved brussels salad with toasted walnuts and mustard poppy seed vinaigrette.
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I’ve declared Origin my new favorite neighborhood eatery!
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We were invited to a Superbowl party on Sunday, so I obviously baked. I made cookie cups because I’m so obsessed with Earth Balance butter cream. I also made a mexican inspired quinoa salad to add something healthy-ish to the buffet. It was not a hit, but the cups were.
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Our friends had a ridiculous set-up, so I spent the evening in this recliner:)

Hope yall had a good one too. See ya.

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Gingerbread Cups & Holiday Gatherings

Posted on Dec 15, 2013 | 6 comments

Oh hey Sunday. Time is flying. I can’t believe Christmas is next week!!
Friday night was our usual low key evening.
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Matt and I grabbed beers at a cozy Irish pub and then ventured on to another bar for food – we shared mussels in a delicious tomato broth and the brisket enchiladas.

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I had two more parties this weekend, so I baked on Saturday! Confession: I used Trader Joe’s gingerbread cookie dough because it’s awesome and easy. I cut each round of dough in two and pressed the balls into mini cupcake holders to make gingerbread cups.

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And because I love Icing, I whipped up some ‘buttercream’ and put dollops in the middle. Mmmmm.

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I loved these and think I’ll make them again for Christmas. I just ordered new icing tips too, so I can make better dollops!

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After filling the apartment with wonderful smells of gingerbread, I finally finished decorating our tree! How funny is that one tall branch at the top? I can’t decide if I should trim it or leave it.

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We ventured out to our first party of the night – a going away gathering for our friends who are moving to Paris!

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I brought the gingerbread cups, but there were all kinds of goodies!

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After 2 rounds of drinks and conversation, we headed to our second stop – a Christmas party hosted by my college roomie. Here’s Matt with his bff Chris!

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There was lots more good food, this time with a Mexican twist – pork tamales and the best guacamole ever from Mi Cocina (as in a restaurant here in Dallas, not my actual kitchen:))

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I met so many new people and chatted for hours!

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Matt and I finally walked home at 1:30 after helping clean up millions of beer bottles. Miraculously, I was able to sleep until TEN this morning, so I didn’t feel that tired today. It was a lazy Sunday, but Matt and I took a long afternoon stroll because the weather was gorgeous.

I’m ready for a productive week and then it’s time for two weeks of family, holiday food, and pure relaxation. Night!

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