Friday, July 29, 2011

To the Weekend!

I love birthdays! And if I lived by the above motto- I think I may have to start each day with cake in bed (yellow cake/ chocolate frosting), open presents, and then blare some Fleetwood Mac while I get ready... and then move throughout the rest of the day drinking coffee and doing whatever came into my head... which may be dangerous since I don't think I'd get any work done. But I really do love birthdays. Mine, friend's, family- any body's birthday is a reason to celebrate. And tomorrow is my husband's birthday! Yay! Danny's not as big on birthdays or surprises as I am- but I know he still secretly loves to be made a fuss about- which I will be doing plenty of. And even though he already found out 2 of his presents (because he bought them himself! Boy does he not understand the Birthday Rule of "No buying anything for yourself before your birthday!)- I still love him... and little does he know I still have a few tricks up my sleeve). So- I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And maybe live it up as if it's your own birthday this weekend. Happy Weekend/ Birthday :)


Photo pinned by Allanah Carrillo from galadarling

Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Pan Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookie

Yesterday evening I was browsing through some finds on Pinterest when I came across this very recipe. Already craving a chocolatey snack, this divine sign from above called out to me. It being after 5, I knew my time in the kitchen would be better spent on something for dinner, but it didn't matter. The image of this giant chocolate chip cookie was suffocating every other thought inside my head, and I knew that I had been claimed. Enjoy


Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet over medium low heat. (I only had a 10 inch but it worked out fine).


Stir in sugars...


...and vanilla. Remove from heat. Let rest until pan is warm, but no longer very hot, about 5 minutes.

Crack an egg onto the butter and sugar mixture, and use a fork to whisk it well into the mixture. (I was on the phone while making this and was having a bit of trouble cracking the egg, while also holding the phone and taking a picture... hence the lack of picture for this step :)

Place flour, baking soda, and salt on top, and very carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and well-mixed.

Stir in chocolate chunks. (I used chocolate chips since there were no chunks to be found in our house)


Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until starting to turn golden on the top and around the edges, but soft in the center. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Yum


(Found on Pinterest through tessabella76, Recipe created by Jaime at Sophistimom)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Listening to...

I've been listening to a lot of Atlantic/ Pacific lately. They're relaxing... and this song would go perfectly with a drive along the beach. But since there's no ocean in middle America... I'll just pretend for now. Enjoy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mimosas on the River

Normally when guests visit from out of state- we have plenty to entertain them with. Living in a tourist town definitely has it's benefits. We can take them white water rafting, up to Yellowstone or Teton National Park, hiking, around town to see the elk antlers and go shopping, etc... Being that this was my friend's 4th time visiting us in a year (love her!), I at first was a bit stumped on what to do. Sure we could sit around in our pj's all day and watch old FRIENDS episodes, but since she did pay a good chunk of money to fly out, I wanted to make sure it felt worth it.

Luckily, my husband came up with the awesome idea of taking us scenic rafting. We'd taken her on a commercial white water trip before, but this time he personally was going to take us down- and this time with mimosas... count me in!

I love him

Danny was awesome. He did all the hard work: Coordinating the trip, getting the supplies, blowing up the raft, arranging for someone to pick us up at the end of the trip. As for us girls? We were in charge of the mimosas and food. Easy enough. Getting the champagne out... Don't be jealous of my sexy PFD either

It was the perfect day to go rafting. It had just stopped raining, the sun was out, and there was a nice breeze in the air.

Bald eagle! And yes- I get just as excited as the tourists

We of course posed for a few pictures to remember the trip by...


And then Chris and I decided to give Danny a break and try our hand at the oars. Not as easy as it looks! Those things want go all over the place... and they're heavy



It didn't last too long before he jumped in again. I totally felt like I was at summer camp and the cute counselor was coming over to teach me how to row properly.

The next day, the activities just kept going and we decided to bike through Grand Teton National Park.

Helmets are not my best look...

It was another beautiful day...


Chris looking all cute with her wispy hair coming out from her helmet... why didn't I do that? You can easily tell she's a girl. Me? Not so much. I look like her bald little brother. Scroll up- you'll agree


We ended up cycling about 20 miles that day... this was definitely one of my favorite parts...


We finished off her trip with some camping that night about 30 minutes out of town. And woke up to this...

It was awesome.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My New Favorite Dinner: Carbonara

This recipe is my new favorite for dinner. I don't know- maybe it's because I'd never had Carbonara before- but between the basil aioli and the fried egg- I'm in love. And then add that with the cheesy pasta- this thing is good.


Ingredients:
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 extra virgin olive oil
*****************************************************
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 cup shaved Pecorino Romano cheese (about 4 ounces) (I used shredded cheese)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4- 6 large eggs (I used 2 since it was just the two of us)


Bring a largo pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the garlic,


Basil,


Egg Yolks,


Lemon Juice,


Mustard,


Salt, Pepper, and & Cayenne in a food processor and run the machine to mix.


With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the vegetable and olive oils.


Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl.


Add 1 cup basil aioli (amount created)


The shaved cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.


Combine.


Melt the butter in a skillet over medium- high heat. Add the eggs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fry to your liking. Place the eggs atop the pasta and serve. (I super fried mine this time, but in the past I've also done over easy and it was super good as well). And enjoy!



Recipe from Giada's Kitchen

Friday, July 22, 2011

To the Weekend!

Happy Friday! Since it's wedding season, things are super busy over here at Silver Pencils (hence the lack of blog posts this week). So... I'll be working again this weekend, but I am going to take tomorrow morning off to go garage saling with my friend Tracy... and maybe hit up the farmer's market too.

Here's how my last Saturday morning went: Stroll through farmer's market, bee line it for the flower tent and pick up some gorgeous peonies in pink, white, and magenta, snack on a chocolate croissant and salted caramel macaron simultaneously, filly my tote with a bunch of colorful, leafy veggies and fresh, baked bread, walk home, down multiple iced coffees, stick the peonies outside (sadness) because they were giving me a crazy headache, put everything away, nap, get up, work- and that was all before 11am

Here's hoping this weekend is productive, fun, and long. Happy Weekend!


(personal photo)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grilled Pork with Chimichurri Sauce

I love this dinner. It takes less than a half hour to make (a huge plus), and the homemade chimichurri sauce is soooooo good! Try it on a weeknight when you need to make dinner in a flash.

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup extra- virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 thin boneless pork chops (1.25- 1.5 lbs) (I use 4 chops)


Place the parsley, cilantro, olive oil, shallot, garlic, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor.

Pulse to form a coarse paste.

Heat a large grill pan over medium- high heat. Pat the pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Lightly brush the grill pan with olive oil, then grill the chops until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.




Pour the chimichurri sauce over the chops and enjoy!


If you're not a fan of pork, use the sauce on something else. Since we only made 4 chops instead of the 8, we had lots of sauce left over. My husband used it for sandwiches, leftover chicken, etc...

Recipe from May issue of Food Network Magazine

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meet Tera Part 3

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Today we have the final installment of Ryan & Tera's picture perfect Oklahoma wedding. Enjoy

I love this idea for the guest book
Yum...



How adorable is this photo? Can I seriously take both of those little girls home with me?!

Oh! And and this one too!




Tera, thank- you so much for sharing your wedding with us! I've loved every single photo!

I wish you and Ryan all the best!



Tera is wearing the Champagne Brunch hair flower

All photos by David Parks