Category Archives: Random

Friday Favorites

I’ve recently come across some super crazy and fun products…and figured I’d share some with you! Enjoy!

1. The Selfie Toaster. Ever wanted to put your face on your morning toast?! Whelp…it’s now possible!

They have some other impressions that you can get on your toast, and I am loving the little coffee cup 🙂 This just makes me laugh. Maybe I would get a picture of Oreo on my toast??

2. Running Drawing: A friend of mine showed me this tumbler account and I couldn’t stop laughing. This girl uses her Nike+ to map her runs and draws while she runs.

It made me want to draw something on my runs, but I spent wayyy too much time trying to figure out what the streets around my house could be. The best I came up with was a weird looking whale-fish.

3. The Spiralizer– I recently went shopping with my mom and I mentioned how I really wanted to try this handy tool because Brent and I LOVE spaghetti squash, but how many times a week can you have spaghetti squash?? The spiralizer allows you to turn any veggie into pasta. How awesome is that??!

Source

I have used it a few times and can’t seem to get enough of it. I made a butternut squash noodle for some chicken teriyaki this week that was just amazing.

4. Travelling: In the past few weekends I have been all over the place and I am just loving being busy and traveling around. I visited Nashville for the first time and it just may be my new favorite city. There is live country music playing everywhere and the vibe is just so relaxed and fun.

Nashville

5. 26 SnapChats from your Dog…Yes…Hilarious.

What is making your Friday?

Delicious Rum Raisin Cupcakes

This past week was my parent’s Anniversary and I wanted to make something different for them. My father’s favorite ice cream flavor is Rum Raisin, and flowers just seem to be a staple for anniversaries. So, naturally I combined the two to come up with a Rum Raisin Cupcake Bouquet! Naturally!

I did use Bobby Flay’s Recipe for this and it is a phenomenal recipe. This will be making an appearance at Thanksgiving for sure!

 

Rum Raisin Cupcakes

 

Ingredients

Buttercream Icing:

1 1/2 Cups Golden Rum 8 Ounces Butter, Softened
1 Tablespoon Sugar 4 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Cup Golden Raisins 8-9 Cups Confectioners Sugar
2 Teaspoons Rum Extract

Cupcakes:

2 1/2 Cups Cake Flour 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Powder 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 1 1/4 Sticks Butter, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 1 Cup Buttermilk, Room Temp
1 3/4 Cup Sugar 3 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Rum Extract 6 Egg Yolks, Room Temp
3 Egg Whites, Room Temp

Directions:

Buttercream

1. Bring rum and cane sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiled, remove it from the heat and add in the raisins. Set aside for 4 hours or more. I started the cupcakes at this point. 

2. Strain the raisins and finely chop them. Set the raisins aside for the cupcakes. Bring the strained rum to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce it to a 1/4 cup. Remove it from the heat and let it cool completely before you add it to the buttercream. 

3. Combine the butter and cream cheese in a mixer at medium speed with a whisk attachment until it is light and fluffy. Add 3 cups of confectioners sugar and continues whipping. Then add in 3 more cups of the powdered sugar. Add the cooled, reduced rum mixture and rum extract. Continue adding the powdered sugar until you achieve the texture and flavor you desire. The thicker, the easier to pipe and mold. 

Cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 1/2 cups cane sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg together. You can use a sifter to make the mix even lighter. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter (cooled slightly), buttermilk, oil, vanilla, rum extract, and yolks in a medium sized bowl. 

2. In the mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs until they they are light and fluffy. Add in 1/4 cup of cane sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form. Set the egg whites aside. 

3. In a separate mixer bowl (or clean out the egg white bowl), add the flour mixture. Gradually add in the butter mix, while stirring at medium-low speed. 

4. Using a spatula, fold in the egg white mix. You will notice a drastic change in texture. Then fold in the cooled raisins. Spoon them into cupcake tins with liners. Fill the cupcakes 3/4 full and bake for about 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

5. Frost with the butter cream!

Rum Raisin Cupcake Steps

 

They came out fantastic! There are definitely a few steps to make these, but it’s worth it!

 

What is the craziest flavor of cupcake you have made?

Eggplant Parm Make Over

This weekend, Brent and I were sitting out on our porch talking about what foods we wanted to get for the week. After spending about a year with my parent’s, Brent picked up the love for Eggplant Parm. It’s become a running joke that it’s one of the only ways we can get him to willingly eat veggies.

I haven’t really been eating pasta all too often and wasn’t really feeling the heaviness of it. It’s not on my summer food loving list. Immediately, the idea was born. Spaghetti squash Eggplant Parm.

The recipe below is actually a combination of two that I have done before. Baked Eggplant and just a typical Spaghetti Squash.

Eggplant Parm Makeover

Ingredients:

1 Large Eggplant 3 Eggs
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs 1 16oz Jar Tomato Basil Red Sauce
2 Medium Sized Spaghetti Squash 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste 1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded

Directions:

Spaghetti Squash:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each squash in half and remove the seeds. Spread the olive oil over the inside of half and place them face down on a baking sheet. Bake them for 40 minutes or until the outside has become soft or wrinkly.

2. Let them cool off to the side for a few minutes. Then take a fork to the inside of them and scrape the squash from the inside. It will turn into strings. Place the squash in a bowl.

Eggplant:

1. Slice the eggplant in even slices with 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch width, depending on your preference. It’s more important to make them even.

2. In a flat dish with edges, whip up the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water until it is uniform. Place the bread crumbs on a separate plate. Take a slice of eggplant, place it in the eggs mixture until well covered, then transfer it to the bread crumb plate and cover it with the crumbs. Don’t forget to do the sides!

3. Put the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Once all of the slices are finished, bake them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, flip them over and bake for another 15 minutes or until as crispy as you want.

4. To serve, top the squash with the eggplant and finish with some red sauce and mozzarella.

DONE! You can make the squash and the eggplant at the same time. So don’t wait for the squash to finish in the oven before starting the eggplant.

Eggplant Parm Make Over Steps

Brent took a bite of it and I quote, “This may be the best thing I have ever eaten.” Words like this are really rare because normally I get, “Yea, it’s good.” And it’s a plate of veggies!! This will be making another appearance.

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I used a new red sauce for this as well, and it was delicious. I would recommend you give it Rao’s Homemade Red Sauce a try. You could make this gluten free by just substituting gluten free bread crumbs.

Have you ever changed a favorite and had it turn out better?

 

Design-A-Bar

Just last week, I was contacted by Chairish to design a Bar space that was inspired by some of their bar stools. Initially, I was excited at the opportunity to get a bit creative and create a dream bar room, but quickly realized that designing rooms from scratch really isn’t the easiest thing. Especially when it’s not something I do on the norm.

Either way, when I first looked at their bar stools, this yellow bar stool really jumped out at me. I love bright and happy colors.

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When moving on from there, I decided to tone down the modern feel of them and bring out more of an outdoors, rustic feel. More my taste. So, when you throw it all together…this is what I came up with!

 

Chairish Collage

I also loved these two pieces as accents:

Chairish Collage 2

Just to dive into it a little, I found the table here and absolutely loved the natural wood look of it. They do have a bar height to work well with the yellow chairs. I then spotted the blue mason jar hanging lights and that was the deciding factor for me.

Chairish Collage 3

As a larger, storage piece for barware, bottles etc, this larger chest would do the trick. As well as this incredible, leather strap wine holder. I just LOVED the leather strap detail. The tall, vintage pots also added a nice country feel. I love that kind of pottery.

Chairish Collage 4

Lastly, for some smaller items and to tie the room together, I added some glassware as well as cow hide rug. It’s not everyone’s taste but I love them for some reason. Not to forget the walls, these burst wall hangings just added another piece of texture to the room.

Chairish Collage 5

All of the pieces, except for the bar table, were found on Chairish.com. It was quite fun looking through everything that had on their site. You can really find some interesting pieces that span just about any taste.

I had fun designing this bar room and I think it would be interesting to see what it would look like all set up.

How would you describe your taste and what would your ideal bar room look like?

A Happy, Throwback Running Playlist

Usually, when I’m running, I listen to Pandora and just select a radio station that I think will motivate me for the next 45 minutes. Pit Bull Radio is a favorite and recently it’s been Workout Radio. However happy and upbeat, or pumped up the song is, it’s rare that one will really get me excited about it.

Ergo…I’ve started back into the crazy world of making playlists. Considering I have just about no music on my iTunes (I lost all 5500 songs when my college computer died), I’ve been trying to be selective on which songs I actually download.

I made this playlist while looking for some motivating throwbacks. Songs that you don’t really hear on the radio today and songs that bring me back to training on teams in high school and college.

Running Playlist

Flashdance…What a Feeling: Irene Cara

Magic: B.o. B. (feat. Rivers Cuomo)

Gonna Make you Sweat: C + C Music Factory

All for You: Kate Ryan

I Wanna Dance With Somebody: Whitney Houston

Walking on Sunshine: Katrina and the Waves

Walking on Broken Glass: Annie Lennox

Hit Me WIth Your Best Shot: Pat Benatar

Let’s Hear it For the Boy: Deniece Williams

Barracuda: Heart

Call On Me: Eric Prydz

Heaven is a Place on Earth: Belinda Carlisle

Brent…thought this also made a great 5AM road trip playlist, so guess what we jammed to on our trip out to Michigan?! After that interesting car ride, I’m going to change it to an after 8AM playlist because I need my coffee before I listen to Brent belting out What a Feeling. It was a very enthusiastic rendition.

Barracuda, in this play list, was a great decision. I was just about sprinting when that song came on.

What is your favorite workout song??