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Showing posts from January, 2013

Homemade Hot Chocolate

What a treat!  I can't think of anything better to drink on a rainy, winter afternoon than a cup of hot chocolate, the homemade kind.  If you know how to heat milk on a stove, melt some chocolate, add a dash of salt and whisk all this goodness together, then you can have make some delicious hot chocolate.  Last spring I made frozen hot chocolate which was delicious with some melted caramel.  But for a cold day, sipping chocolate is perfect. 

For one cup of hot chocolate:

1/4 cup chocolate chips.  Feel free to get creative with the kind of chocolate you use.  I had a little bit of milk chocolate chips left over from my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies I made last week.  I think half white chocolate and half dark would be oh so good, too.  If you want your cocoa really chocolaty then you can use 1/2 cup of chocolate. 
1 cup milk
dash of salt

Melt chocolate in the microwave in fifteen second increments until melted and smooth.  Warm milk in a saucepan on high heat until its just ab…

Peach Crunch Cake

I found a peach dessert recipe that I love even more than peach pie.  Peach Crunch Cake is super easy to make and oh so good, especially with some vanilla ice cream.  I found the recipe on Bakerella, an incredible dessert blog with beautiful photos and incredible things to bake.  This dessert is so simple.  Its almost scary how easy it is to throw together and put in the oven.  Just take some canned peaches and put them in a pan with a yellow cake mix, butter, brown sugar and chopped nuts, then bake for forty minutes.  That's it.  Then enjoy warm with ice cream. 

You can find the recipe for Peach Crunch Cake here




A Visit to Oddfellows Cafe and Bar

This was my kind of meal.  Good red wine from Italy, a cheese plate with three different cheeses, macaroni and cheese and french fries.  My husband and I hadn't had a night out in a while and our meal at Oddfellows Cafe hit the spot. 

This was our first time at this cute place on Capital Hill.  Funny how we've drove past but not noticed it and stopped in for a bite.  But better late than never, right?

We got there right around 5:00 when the January light was fading.  The hostess sat us right by the front door but since huge windows lined the front of the restaurant, I was happy to have a tiny bit of light for some photos I wanted to take.  I started out with a glass of the house red wine which was light yet pungent and flavorful.  My husband ordered an Old Fashioned, a cocktail with whiskey, which was strong and well mixed. 

A few sips into our refreshing drinks, our cheese plate arrived.  Along with a bleu cheese, a goat cheese, then a cheese from Spain, there were blueber…

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

I need to eat dessert everyday.  How about you?  Even if its just a few bites of something sweet, I'm satisfied.  Luckily I love to bake, so "something sweet" can be mine if my cabinets are stocked with the right supplies. 

Plus you can forget your problems when you're mixing butter, brown sugar, eggs and peanut butter together.  When your kitchen starts smelling like something promising and possibly delicious could be coming out of your oven in about fifteen minutes. 

When I found a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips with Sea Salt I knew I struck gold.  You simply can't go wrong with a recipe like this.  You take the classic Chocolate Chip cookie that everyone knows and loves, then add peanut butter and one of my favorite things in the kitchen, sea salt. 

The sea salt makes an appearance twice in this cookie but I just used it once.  I don't know about you, but I think sea salt is strong and mighty stuff.  You're not going to forget its there.  …

Polenta Cakes with Carmelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Honey

Polenta is finely ground yellow or while cornmeal which is boiled with water into a porridge and eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled.  Polenta's place of origin is Italy and there are many uses for it in cooking.  I had never tried it until my husband made us Polenta Cakes.  He caramelized some onions, then put a dollop of goat cheese and a drizzle of honey on top of the Polenta disks.  The flavors blended really well together.  The Polenta tasted like really dense cornbread and was delicious with the sharp onion flavors, the nuttiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the honey. 

Here's how he made our Polenta Cakes:

1.  Saute onions on medium heat for twelve minutes until they're brown and caramelized.
2.  Prepare Polenta by slicing it into disks.  He used pre-cooked Polenta, San Gennaro, and it came in a tube.  Pour oil into a pan and cook it until warm, turning once on each side.
3.  Transfer caramelized onions to cooked Polenta cakes. 
4.  Top with Goat Chee…

Greek Yogurt Strawberry Banana Bread

I've been going overboard eating dessert again.  This is nothing new though.  A new year but not new eating habits.  But that's okay, I've been working out everyday and hopefully burning off those brownies and cheesecake slices. 

However, I decided to be healthy and bake some banana bread for our dessert.  This banana bread is filled with bananas, strawberries and strawberry greek yogurt.  It turned out to be super moist- probably from all of the above ingredients.  I ended up baking mine for quite a bit longer than the sixty minutes the recipe said to.  I loved the smell of strawberries while the bread baked.  I think this would be the perfect breakfast along with a cup of coffee.  Oh wait, I'm supposed to be good and have this as my dessert.  Why not have the banana bread as both? 

I found the recipe from a website called Amazing Pinterest World.  You can click here to see how to make it. 


Alki Beach in January

What another chilly day in Seattle! I had to run a couple of errands today and found myself at Alki Beach in West Seattle at sunset.  I've been playing around with the video feature on my new phone.  Here's a video of Alki Beach in January on a particulary cold winter day.  This is my first youtube video I've done and uploaded.  How fun! My hands about froze off when I was outside and you can hear the wind blowing.



If you'd like to see some of my photography of Alki Beach in the summertime, you can click here.

A Song by Owl City - How I Became the Sea

I love music and Youtube makes is super easy to listen and watch videos.  In going with my "sea" theme, I thought I'd share this song by Owl City.  I own no rights to this song.  Enjoy!

Warm Memories for January

Seattle has been experiencing some cold temperatures lately.  This morning when I woke up it was 28 degrees outside.  We even had some snow flurries the other day.  Brrr...for Seattle that's cold.  I've been blasting the heat in my house and that's a bill I won't be looking forward to.  I would love to jet off somewhere warm.  Maybe to a Hawaiian island, L.A, Miami, the Bahamas.  Something like that.  But since that's not possible, I'm going to post some photos of past times in the sun. 





Just imagine yourself laying on a beach towel somewhere in the tropics.  You're covered in suntan lotion so the air smells like coconuts.  The sea glistens and sparkles like diamonds in the distance.  You just enjoyed a nice lunch and peach daiquiris were consumed.  The sun beams down on you and you can feel its warmth.  There's not a cloud in the sky.  You slowly drift off for a nice catnap.  Ahh, this is the life, you think.  Rainy, cold Seattle is far, far from your …

Cherry Cheesecake

I'm a cheesecake fan.  Always have been.  I can even remember my first bite.  It was Cherry Cheesecake and I thought, " what is this awesomeness I'm eating?".  When I was a teenager, along with cookies, cheesecake was a favorite of mine to bake.  I've always had fun using a springform pan, peeling away the sides to unveil a perfectly shaped cheesecake.  I love the taste of the graham cracker crust, the creamy, fluffy, delicate cream cheese filling and the toppings- fruit, chocolate or caramel and more.  My go to Cherry Cheesecake recipe comes from my mom. After I left for college, she created a cookbook for me and Company Cheesecake is one of them.  I don't remember where she found the recipe but I'm going to share it with you. 

Company Cheesecake
Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients:

1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. sugar
3 T. butter or margarine, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese plus 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
2 t…

Chocolate Brownies with Frosting

Happy 2013! I went out to dinner with my husband's family on New Year's Day and the waiter greeted us with "Welcome to 2013". I felt wowed, like the future is here and we've arrived. Like no matter what this year brings I'm going to choose to be happy.

This years' New Year like all of the others before it, left me feeling invigorated, inspired and ready to start fresh. That feeling lasted all of two days. Then I got a late Christmas gift, a cold. My throat felt like I was trying to swallow knifes, my nose was running like a faucet, my sleep schedule was off and then I lost my voice.

I don't know about you but I needed some chocolate. Today, my cold didn't feel so bad and I really wanted to whip up a treat for my husband and I. He needed chocolate therapy too so I baked some brownies. They were pretty simple to make and there's even frosting on top. Don't tell, but I doubled the frosting recipe. As the smell of baking brownie…