Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sugar & Spice

I know that I just posted a cupcake post, but I just had to use this one! And this one is totally appropriate for the season we're in. I have to admit one of my guilty pleasures is Harry's a family affair of marathons before premiers. We make butter beer, eat junk food, stay up late and paint our nails in house colors. 

For the last marathon, we went all out. I jumped at the opportunity to start experimenting for Halloween! I made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that were simple, warm and the best fall dessert I could think of! Also, I feel as though pumpkin pie is something that should only be consumed about once a year, this was the perfect way to get around that rule and still get my pumpkin fix.

I know this looks like a present from the neighborhood dog on the boulevard. However, these are cockroach clusters and they are delicious! They are so easy to make and fun to serve any age! Also, unlike most treats with chocolate and peanuts, it's not overly peanut buttery! There's not peanut butter! But it's like a pleasurably pseudo peanut butter cup with nuts.

Last but not least are pretzel wands! It sounds completely juvenile and perhaps they are, but that's what makes them fun and delicious. Again, they are beyond simple to make, a blast to decorate and so tasty!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sun Tea Time

When the weather takes a break from blustery rains, and the sun bursts through, I take advantage it. The sun shown, the weather became balmy and I was thirsty! Sun tea. Nothing better than I cool tea time. Sun tea is a deliciously fun drink. It can steep for hours in the sun instead of turning the kitchen into a sauna on warm days. 

1. Use one teaspoon of dry tea leaves for every cup of water.
2. Let sit for about 2 hours during the noon hours for medium strength tea.
3. Chill for one to three hours and serve over ice.
4. Depending on flavor add decorative fruit. (I had black raspberry tea and used raspberries. I also would recommend orange slices.)
5. Some people like to sweeten their tea with sugar. With this, I was able to use the juice from the raspberries as a natural sweetener. 
6. Serve with pita and hummus and various cheeses and enjoy!

Raspberry Reminiscence

The fall is officially here and I couldn't be more please. Sweaters, boots, wool socks, savory foods, and warm spice cakes. However, today was sunnier than it's been in weeks, and I could't help but crave for fruity flavors. Over the summer I experimented with cupcakes in the kitchen to fill my time as the bathroom was being remodeled. My favorite was the chocolate raspberry minis I baked for my mother's birthday. 

I used a basic chocolate cake recipe. Instead of adding a puree of raspberries like most recipes call for, I tried substituting the vanilla for a raspberry flavoring. (1/4 tsp. per batch) The benefits? No seeds in the cupcake, no mess with purees, and a perfectly candy shop sweet treat minus the sticky lips. 

The frosting is a butter cream with some gel food coloring added in. Add in small amounts!!! Also, I did some variations of piping and spreading along with raspberries filled with chocolate and powdered sugar. Delicious!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Color Spectacular

Endless Bridge
My weekend escapades didn't only include some amazing restaurants. We explore the Gold Metal Park and Riverside District. The Guthrie Theater isn't just for great shows; the building is incredibly stunning. The Endless Bridge and The Dowling Studio feature gorgeous color glass everywhere. There's amazing architecture including the Endless Bridge jutting out from the building, the glass floor nine stories high, photographic wall paper, and the many lounges featuring chic design.
View from Endless Bridge
Floating Glas Floor in Dowling Studio

Monday, September 19, 2011

Greasy Spoons

Annie's Parlour
With friends visiting for the weekend, I had a plethora of options for a tastebud tour. I opted for diner and dives instead of high brow cuisine. Dinkytown and Uptown offer so many delicious dining destinations. This weekend seemed to kick start fall (yay!) and therefor called for fattening foods. How could we turn down these greasy spoons both abundant in cholesterol and character? Yum.
The Uptowner

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Ben Folds

In only a few short days, I will be having some of most loved friends and companions come visit me in The Cities for a much anticipated concert. Ben Folds and the Minnesota Orchestra will be performing together at Orchestra Hall. Amazingly excited! I'm also desperately searching for something to wear! Ben=casual. MN Orchestra=dress. Dress casual? That phrase just brings nightmares of awkwardly dressed teenagers at high school band concerts! I'm partial to "evening chic" for events like these. Anxiously looking for great pieces; heavily leaning towards a sophisticate black skirt with edge (industrial zipper up the side) mixed with a sleevless,dark lady like floral top and funky fall heels. Basically, I'm playing with juxtaposition of heavy colors with classic fits. So fun!

*Photo via

Sunday, September 11, 2011

That's Epic

I've been looking for a few good fall reads that are different from "the norm". I love a sappy romance novel as much as the next girl, but I was searching for one of those intellectual reads. The ones that on a chilly fall day, you curl up with a cup of tea and feel sophisticated. These are the ones! I'd always known about the Homeric classics, The Iliad and The Odyssey, but then my eyes fell upon this fairly recent find, The Epic of Gilgamesh! Gilgamesh is a fantastically fast read for fulfilling our autumn intellectual yearning. Pull out a pair of glasses, wool socks, and tea to enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Different Strokes

Melancholic Forest
There is nothing more therapeutic than creating. Although seemingly elementary, home made, personalized artwork is a fantastic way to decorate a home. Not only is it completely tailored to your taste, it is a wonderful conversation piece. Being an artistic prodigy isn't necessary. It's easy and fun. Go to your local craft store and pick up canvas, brushes and a few of your favorite colors in acrylics and oils. Experiment with abstract and realism. Whatever you end up with is a amazing because it is a creation of you. 
Blunt Nonchalance

Have you ever decorated your home with artwork from you or your family? This includes pottery, photography, paintings, sketches, and more. Let us know how you like to keep some individualism in your abode!
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