Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Cake

I will get right to it... dating your husband when you have an infant is damn near impossible. Once in a blue moon you will get dressed up (read: wear an actual shirt that was not meant to make breastfeeding easier) and go out for dinner and drinks, but rarely. It is easy to get lost in the hours, the days, the baby cheeks.

I know all too soon Rosemary will be older and we will have all the time in the world to date. So for now let's make cake late at night, drink cocktails while it bakes, and shamelessly eat half of it in one sitting, K?

This cake is a single layer dark chocolate cake. It is decorated with a bittersweet ganache (spiked with raspberry liqueur,) fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar.

A lovely date night in!

Single Layer Chocolate Cake
makes 1-8" or 9" layer cake

1 c AP flour
1/4 c + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (1/2 c) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 c brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 c hot coffee

1 c raspberry ganache (recipe follows)

raspberries and powdered sugar (for decorating)
- - -
pre-heat oven to 350F; line an 8" or 9" cake round with parchment paper and mist with baking spray
1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt
2. In another bowl, using a wooden spoon stir together sugar and melted butter until smooth
3. To the sugar mixture, add the eggs and vanilla mixing until fully incorporated
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined
5. Pour the hot coffee into the bowl and mix until the batter just comes together
6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes until center springs back lightly when pressed
7. Cool completely before topping with ganache and decorating with raspberries!

Raspberry Ganache
makes about 1 cup

3 oz heavy cream
1 1/2 oz Chambord
3.5 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks
- - -
1. Heat cream in microwave until hot but not boiling
2. Pour over chopped chocolate
3. Allow mixture to sit for a few minutes then stir until smooth and glossy
4. Gently stir in Chambord, mixing until fully incorporated
5. Allow ganache to cool slightly (it will thicken) before pouring over cooled cake

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Life with Rose: 9 &10 months in

It is hard to believe Rose has been here for ten months! To say Jeff and I are smitten is the understatement of the year. Spending time with her is the best part of my day. I secretly love when she wakes me up early because I get some extra time with her.
As you can tell from the side of her crib, Rose is teething like mad. So far she has six teeth. There have been a few rough nights here and there, but overall she is handling the teeth like a champ. I found this teething guide and it cracked me up. Rose is totally in rabid chipmunk phase.

Rose is on the move constantly and loves to play with her toys, crawl and pull up to stand on any and everything. She has started standing on her own so I have a hunch walking isn't too far off. She loves playing with us and other people/children but also enjoys playing on her own. She sits and babbles to herself, it breaks my heart (in a good way.) 

Rose has always loved meal times, but now is noticeably more interested in eating solid foods than milk/bottles. We have started more substantial foods with her, some favorites: peanut butter, hunks of toast (preferably with more peanut butter,) scrambled eggs, avocado with goat cheese, polenta, and plain yogurt with fruit puree.

We are currently puppy sitting a friends dog and it is going really well (so well that we are talking about getting a pup of our own once our pet sitting days are over.) I must say I have been enjoying having a jogging partner!

My workout buddy.

I have been eating a ridiculous amount of peanut butter lately, mostly on toast. One of my favorite combos: peanut butter, fresh raspberries and some honey.

Oh and my dad made me some granola that I ate in record time because I am basically a squirrel.

We are enjoying warmer weather and have been fixing up our yard so that this summer we can spend as much time outside as possible. My dad helped me put in a patio for our barbecue which was a lot of work but exciting! Last summer, cooking was my least favorite activity because the oven and stove heated up the house so much. This year I fully intend on grilling as much as possible. Warmer weather has also meant the return of my favorite drink...

Don't mind me, I will just be drinking a sparkling Negroni until September.

Exercise-wise I have been all about at-home workouts after Rose goes to sleep for the night (still loving the pop sugar channel on youtube). Circuit training and more core/stability work have been my go-to options. I also take the pup for a jog most days.

I am already planning Rosemary's birthday party- I know, I know... I am that mom. It is going to be beach-y. I can't wait.

That is the face of a girl who wants some cake!

My sweet June bug... ten months in and we love her more every day. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Road Trippin': Portland & The Oregon Coast

A few weeks ago Jeff and I took Rose on our first trip as a family of three! We went to the Oregon coast and stopped in Portland along the way. Here are some highlights/pictures of our little vacation!

Meeting Nana!

 Baby in a bar

Delicious curry mussels, OK beignets, & all of the beers

Playing at Powell's

These two...

Windy day on the beach

The best poppy seed muffin in the world & a buttermilk bar (a new favorite)

Baby in (another) bar... Bill's berry wheat is top notch

Rose eyeing Jeff's Pizza a Fetta

Travelling with an infant is a production, but overall went really well! We tried to stick to Rose's sleep schedule as best we could and as the trip went on she got more comfortable sleeping in her portable crib. Thankfully Pizza a Fetta does take out pies! Jeff and I wound up getting their pizza both nights we were at the beach. We would put Rose in bed and then enjoy pizza, a movie and wine. Not too shabby. We returned home with enough Sleepy Monk coffee to last a few weeks. All in all a successful first vacation!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pi(e) Day

Here is some pi(e) day inspiration for you! 

Make this pudding pie!

Eat pie for breakfast... this fruit and yogurt pie is one of my favorite ways to eat dessert first thing in the morning.

Smash-bang pie and crisp together with peaches like I did here... you won't regret it. 

S'mores + Brownies + Pie = A good idea. 

How about an early blackberry pie?

Classic apple pie works too.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rosemary Semolina Shortbread

I have a bag of semolina flour I am slowly working my way through. I bought it to make baby polenta for Rose (naturally) and while she loves it, she has hardly made a dent in the bag. Because the thought of making homemade pasta is laughable, I made cookies instead. 

These cookies are perfumed with dried rosemary and have a toothsome crunch thanks to the semolina. I am not sure how I feel about the word "toothsome." It kind of makes me cringe, but I also kind of like it...

Like most of my favorite treats, these cookies are snack-able and perfect to go along with your afternoon cup of coffee or tea. They are not to be eaten in the kitchen alone. In the middle of the night. Looking over your shoulder to make sure nobody is seeing you snack. That is what the Girl Scout Thin Mints I bought yesterday are for.

Rosemary Semolina Shortbread
Makes about a dozen cookies
1/2 c AP flour
1/2 c semolina flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 c +2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2-3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary (depending on how much you like the herb!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- - -
1. In a small bowl combine the sugar and dried rosemary, using your fingers to blend the two (this will perfume your sugar and spread that rosemary flavor throughout the dough)
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until fluffy; add vanilla and mix to combine
3. In a separate bowl, stir together flours and salt; add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low until a dough forms
4. Wrap dough in plastic and chill in refrigerator for an hour
5. Pre-heat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with a silipat or parchment paper
6. On a floured surface, roll dough out to about 1\4" thickness and cut with a small biscuit cutter; place 2" apart on prepared baking sheet
7. Reroll dough as necessary until all cookies have been cut out... You will get 8-12 cookies depending on the size of your cutter
8. Prick tops of cookies with a fork if desired
9. Bake at 375F for 10-14 minutes, until edges just begin to brown
10. Cool completely before serving