Friday, April 29, 2011

To the Weekend!

Happy, Happy Weekend! After taking last weekend off, I'm going to need to work through this one- but I'm definitely going to take advantage of the sunshine we've been having and take at least one short hike with my husband. I'm also looking forward to the fact that I can finally open up all the windows, air out the house, and smell the fresh, blooming freesia I bought last week.

Have a wonderful weekend and see you here next week!


(Image via here)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cinnamon- Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake

I'm going to warn you right now- this cake is dangerous. Every time I pass it in the kitchen, those chocolate chips call to me- I take bits and pieces off the top until, before I know it, I've hand carved a crater into the side. It's delicious.

I made this baby Easter morning and the aroma of cake batter, chocolate, and cinnamon filled our house for hours. It was heavenly... which I found pretty fitting... it being Easter and all.


The Ingredients:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 ounce sour cream (That's right- the whole tub! I used fat free to feel a little less guilty)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.


Then mix in the egg yolks and vanilla.Sift flour...

Baking Soda...

And baking powder together in a separate bowl.

Alternatively add sour cream and dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mmmmmm... so good


Beat egg whites stiff, then fold into batter.

Mix last half cup of sugar and cinnamon together in a separate, small dish.

In a greased 9" x 13" pan, pour in half of the cake batter.

Sprinkle the top with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture...

And half of the chocolate chips.

Pour remaining batter on top...

And repeat steps with the remaining cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips.

Bake 40- 50 minutes, or until tester comes out clean (40 minutes was good for us in the mtns). And out comes this mouth- watering, breakfast cake.

Serve your self a cup of coffee and get to work... eating that is



(Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen)

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Yummy Tomorrow

Catching up from the weekend today, but come back tomorrow for this incrediby delicous take on coffee cake.



Friday, April 22, 2011

To the Weekend!

Today we say goodbye to our sad, scrawny, and limp down comforter. I found a stellar deal on one over at Overstock.com and it's arriving today- full of feathers and life and warmth. Yay! I love super comfy beds, and over the last 6 months I've been adding little bits of pure spa like bliss to ours.

Tomorrow we color eggs... meaning our kitchen will take the role of chemistry lab as we try out new colors and designs... we kind of get really in to it. I'll also be trying out a new cinnamon and chocolate chip coffee cake for us to enjoy Easter morning mmmmmm.... If it turns out as planned, I'll also be posting the recipe on here. And Sunday, we celebrate Easter- the day of our Lord.

Happy Easter. I hope your weekend is full of celebration and love




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Garlic Shrimp and Chickpeas

I made this last week for lunch. It's quick, healthy, and the chickpeas make this dish surprisingly filling. It's also really tasty and would be a great side or appetizer for a dinner party. I just so happened to have a half pound bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer as well (left over from shrimp scampi I'd make a few nights before). The ingredients shown below are for 4 servings, but if you're like us and there's only 2 of you, cut the ingredients in half. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
  • 2 150z. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 3/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails intact (I used frozen shrimp already deveined and cooked to speed the process).
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Toss the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large baking dish, then spread out in a single layer. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with 4 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Marinate 10 minutes.

3. Remove the baking dish from the oven and scatter the shrimp over the chickpeas. Return to the oven and bake until the shrimp are pink, 5-8 minutes. (Since my shrimp were already cooked, I did 5 minutes to simply warm them up). Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

(Recipe taken from April issue of Food Network Magazine)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Date-a-versary

Ten years ago today I told Danny I wanted to be his girlfriend. No pressure right? But I knew he was the one for me and I'm so glad I was able to build up enough courage to make the first move. Although we've only been married 2 and a half years, I love the fact that, as of today, we've been together a decade. Happy Date-a-versary Love! I love my life with you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

To the Weekend

I've decided to change the title of my weekend posts. Fridays just feel so celebratory... and the title should reflect that right? So from now on I'll be raising my glass (coffee cup) on Fridays- to the excitement and unexpected adventures that can come with those two sweet days. To the Weekend!

Image via here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting Outside

As of late, I've been huddled in my office working a lot. So a few evenings ago, Danny thought it would be a good idea to get out and breathe in some fresh air. And I'm so glad we did! We went on about a 4.5 mile hike through the snow... which is way more difficult than I thought it was going to be since the snow was still deep and we only had our running shoes on... but it was just what I needed.

The snow had stopped and the sky was a beautiful blue...

And after about 1.5 miles in, I finally got smart and started following Danny instead of walking beside him, this way I could follow in the compact steps he already made.

After that point, we didn't run into anyone else on the trail. The wind rustling through the trees and the stream beside us were the only sounds we heard... Just what I needed to clear my head and return refreshed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silver Pencils featured on One Eleven Almond Tree!

Silver Pencils is featured on Erica's awesome blog: One Eleven Almond Tree! And make sure to scroll down after the post, because Erica shares an adorable Paul Frank themed baby shower! Just look at how cute!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quinoa Tabbouleh

My husband got me hooked on tabbouleh a while back. He used to always get it at this place called Zinc Cafe in Corona Del Mar. It's light, refreshing, and kind of makes you feel like you're doing good by making a healthy choice. Flash forward a few years, and we still buy it almost every time we come across it.

So last weekend, I decided to try my hand at this recipe as well. Because how difficult could it be? And the answer- not difficult at all! It's so easy. And so much cheaper to make at home. So- no more tabbouleh buying for us- I'll be making this from scratch from this point forward.

This Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe is from this month's Sunset Magazine. They served it with grilled lamb and beef kebabs. I used it as a side with grilled salmon, and then with our sandwiches the next day. Light. Refreshing. And Healthy. Enjoy

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 bunch curly parsley, chopped (I used flat leaf)
  • 1 small tomato, chopped (I used multiple small cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly. (I let my quinoa soak for 15 minutes. Then I rinse repeatedly for a little over a minute. And then cook on the stove top for about 30- 35 minutes).

Mix tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in bowl.
Add parsley...
Cucumber...
and Feta Cheese.
Mix in large serving bowl and add salt and pepper.

Add quinoa and stir gently to combine.

And enjoy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Coconut Pie

My husband LOVES coconut. Coconut water. Coconut milk. Coconut juice. Coconut everything. That's why when I saw this recipe for Coconut Pie, I knew I had to make it for him.

How do I feel about coconut? Eh... I could take it or leave it- but even I thought this pie was pretty good... as in, I ate way more of it than I should have. Maybe because it kind of tastes more like a coconut cake than coconut pie. Either way- it's a good go to recipe with ingredients you probably already have in your house (a huge plus for me). I got it out of last months' Food & Wine Magazine. The recipe is actually from Jennifer Nettle's (of the band Sugarland) great- grandmother.

Ingredients:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup self- rising flour
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups milk (We're lactose sensitive folks over here so I used fat free/ lactose free milk and it still tasted fine)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter two 9- inch glass pie plates (as you can see I didn't use glass)

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.

Add the eggs and beat until smooth.

Stir in the flour...

Coconut,

and milk.

Divide the mixture between the pie plates and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour, until the pies are firm to the touch and golden.

Transfer the pies to a rack and cool completely before serving.

Danny suggests maybe having some sort of banana cream to go on top... something we're going to try next time. Enjoy

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday!

The weekend is here and boy do I need it. It's been crazy busy over here at Silver Pencils... I stayed up till 2 this morning just trying to answer all of my Etsy convos and I only made it a little over half way through... because more kept coming in. But wow I'm so grateful. What a blessing for business to be good and thriving. And the fact that I get to work with excited and happy brides just makes it even better. So this weekend, I'm going to get some much needed R&R so I can be refreshed and ready to go on Monday. Oh- And I'll be back next week with a recipe for Coconut Pie- yum. Have a wonderful weekend!

Image via here

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Living in a Snow Globe

Yesterday I woke up to birds singing, blue skies, and the sun shining- it was like Spring was finally here.

Today I woke up to silence. And when I looked outside, I realized why... we were back in winter.

Right before I shoveled our staircase, I measured the snow to see how much we had gotten overnight- 7.5 inches... and counting since it's still snowing

It's absolutely beautiful though. I love how the snow sticks to the trees, creating snow blooms all their own


So even though I miss the sunshine, I'm going to enjoy this little bit left of winter... maybe I'll even go sledding