Thursday, May 25, 2017

a trip to the beach

Jeff, Rose and I just got back from a little vacation on the Oregon coast. It was such a great, relaxing and much needed trip. We started off in Portland for Mother's Day and then spent the rest of our trip in Cannon Beach. I am already missing the sunny beach and our midday trips to Sleepy Monk for coffee and donuts! Here are some pictures!

flight/pretty downtown Portland/peek!/Mother's Day coffee walk/donuts...the orange olive oil one was my favorite/post-donut fit/post-fit crash

love at first sight/classic/straight for the water!

another flight (love Pelican!)/jellies/sunset/all of the pizza, please/these two...

baby wet suit/morning cocoa and cereal/relaxing/running/my happy place/beach yoga

berry beer/fire light/fish&chips/can you tell we like beer?/my two goofs/one last gander at the ocean/post-trip detox

All in all, a successful vacation!

Friday, May 12, 2017


Rose is waking up slowly, I am listening to the right music and the rain is pitter-pattering outside my window in such a way that just makes me feel like I need to sit down and write.

This past week has been a blur of travel and tears and sunshine and furrowed brows. There has been laughter and anger and frustration and grief. It has been a hard week.

It is in times like these that I find comfort in the idea that we can do hard things.

It is a simple statement that I read somewhere once. It leaves no room for interpretation. It is just a fact.

Life is so many things, both good and bad and unfortunately often too short.

Here is a bit of what we are up to, currently...

...watching: cars drive through the rain covered streets below our apartment.

...reading: not much these days! We are heading out for a vacation in a few days and I am in serious need of a book to read at the beach (when I am not toddler wrangling)... recommendations???

...listening: to Rose watch How to Train Your Dragon. Also, Ray Lamontagne.

...making: a packing list for vacation. So far I have beer/wine, clothes and snacks... am I forgetting anything?

...drinking: (cold) strong coffee with half & half

...feeling: missing family/excited for our family vacation!

...planning: vacation prep. I am going with the less-is-more philosophy on this one.

...loving: my family!

Jeff, Rosie-B and I were in Arizona this week, here are some pictures!

daddy&daughter in the dessert/cactus in bloom!/ Arizona reminded me of Roxaboxen... remember that book?/I like purple cacti best/the cactus that attacked my husband/FINALLY WAFFLE HOUSE!/big sky on the way to Phoenix/post-flight Rose after she screamed in my lap for a solid 15 minutes

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Poke Cake

The first cake I ever made was a three layer Neapolitan cake. I was ten or eleven I think. It took me all day, I trashed the kitchen and I underestimated how much cake 3 boxes of mix would yield thus leaving us with the gigantic cake and a freezer full of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes (not a bad problem to have.)

I have come a long way in my baking since then, but I still love a good boxed cake. Don't even get me started on Funfetti! One of my favorite ways to prepare cake mix is in the form of a poke cake. If you have never made (or heard of) a poke cake you are seriously missing out.

There are many variations, but to me poke cake is a cake that has been poked (duh) with a fork or dowel, soaked in jello and topped with copious amounts of whipped cream. My favorite flavor combination is vanilla cake and lime jello. Orange and lemon are good options too!

You can totally make this cake from scratch. You can use your favorite vanilla or yellow cake recipe, homemade gelatin concoction and freshly whipped cream. But I find there is something so wrong it is right about the combination of cake mix, powdered jello and Cool Whip.

Jello Poke Cake
makes a 9 x 13" cake**

1 box yellow or white cake mix, prepared, baked in a 9 x 13" pan** and cooled
1 box Jello (the flavor is up to you- my favorite is lime!)
8 oz whipping cream + 1 Tablespoons sugar (or a small container of good old fashioned Cool Whip)
- - -
1. Bake your cake, cool slightly
2. While the cake is cooling, make your jello according to the package instructions
3. Once your jello mixture is done (it will still be a little warm) use a fork to poke holes all over the cake, making sure the fork reaches the bottom of the pan
4. Pour the liquid jello mixture evenly over the surface of the cake
5. Cover cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours
6. When you are ready to frost the cake, whip the cream and sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (or open a container of Cool Whip!)
7. Spread the whipped cream over the refrigerated cake before slicing and serving
8. Store the cake covered in the refrigerator

**When I made this cake, I halved the recipe using 1/2 a bag of cake mix and half of the prepared jello mixture and made it in an 8x8 pan

Thursday, April 13, 2017

COB Smoothie

I don't really believe in "juicing," not in the sense that I am going to subsist on juice for three days. I get hangry if I skip my morning snack, so I can't imagine enjoying a juice cleanse. I will keep any toxins that may be in my body, thank you very much! That said, I love a glass of fresh juice as a snack or with a meal. I especially like fruit and vegetable combinations.
This smoothie is inspired by my favorite juice bar treat called the COB House. COB = carrot, orange and beet.
To the tradition COB I added some kale (always trying to sneak in greens,) frozen cauliflower (surprisingly this makes the smoothie super creamy and adds protein,) Greek yogurt (because I love it) and a little honey (for added sweetness.)
This smoothie is hot pink, delicious, and won't leave you crashing from a sugar high like some juices/smoothies do! I love making it for an afternoon snack or for a breakfast smoothie bowl!
My most brutally honest food critic approves!

Carrot Orange Beet Smoothie
serves 2

1 small beet, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 orange, peeled
1 handful kale (about 1/2 c), washed and de-stemmed
2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1-2 teaspoons honey (to taste... more if you want it sweeter!)
1/2 c ice
optional: 1/2 c frozen cauliflower (I use this to make a thicker smoothie for smoothie bowls!)

- - -
1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend, on high for 45 second-1 minute until smooth in consistency
2. Drink up!