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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Baked with Love.

Valentine's Inspired "Healthy-ish" Berry Pie.

If it weren't for my birthday, I would probably hate Valentines Day.
But... Since they both happen to fall on the same day, I embrace it!

Since my valentine doesn't like chocolate, or cookies, or anything unhealthy (aka all the fun stuff),
I decided to make him a "healthy" pie.
It is made with fresh berries
I used blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.

This was my first time baking a pie on my own so I cheated a little by buying the pre-made dough.
The trick to using pre-made dough is to make sure you let it thaw to room temperature after removing from the fridge or freezer. 
This helps the dough stay in one smooth piece as you unroll it. 
Then to spruce it up a bit, I sprinkled some sugar and a rubbed a little melted butter along the bottom. 

For the filling I used:
- 4 cups of berries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
you don't have to add the cinnamon but I think it's necessary

To make the filling all you do is combine the ingredients and let it sit for a half hour. This allows the corn starch and sugar to properly blend with the fruit. I also spread melted butter on the top of the crust because lets be honest, butter makes everything taste better.

Finally, you can top the pie with any shape, size, sprinkle assortment you'd like! 
This is where it gets fun!

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

If the pie will last more than 30 minutes (which mine did not), then you will want to store it in the refrigerator to make sure the fruit stays fresh.

In the future I would add tapioca balls to this recipe 
to help the filling thicken. 
I brought the pie to my in-laws within minutes of taking it out of the oven. I planned on letting it cool but made the mistake of leaving the room to return to the pie minus two slices. So... it wasn't allowed proper time to cool before being devoured. 
This caused the filling to become kind of soupy. 
I used frozen berries instead of fresh which also probably played a part in the soupiness (because they hold more water than fresh).

Either way.. it was DELISH!
Even my sugar-phobic husband went back for seconds.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Surprise Inside Cake.

This summer, Dan and I had the opportunity to live next door to my grandparents. 
We saw them almost every day, had lots of dinner dates, went to lots of movies, and of course did lots of shopping. 
One of my favorites things I did all summer was spend a weekend baking this cake with my grandma.  

We knew it would be a challenge but we are pro-skill bakers, or so we thought. 
We were a little disappointed with the result but it still looked pretty dang cool.

We nit-picked and figured out everything we would change next time we bake it.
Sometimes you have to put your perfectionism aside and just enjoy the experience. 
It was so colorful, and creative, and DELICIOUS.

Seriously.. the best white cake & frosting recipe I have ever made.
So if you don't want to spend hours and hours baking this masterpiece, then at least follow the recipe and bake a simple white cake.

You end up baking 3 white cakes and 2 batches of frosting.
I mean... what recipe that calls for 3 entire cakes could be anything but amazing?!
My grandma and I couldn't stop eating the colored scraps and dunking them in the frosting.
Speaking of dunking.. do y'all remember dunkaroos?!
Best. snack. ever.

How amazing would it be to own a bakery with your family and do stuff like this everyday?!
I have always dreamt of that.
But then I think about
1. My crazy family
2. Owning a business
3. Getting fat
And my dream becomes more of a distant thought.

We used the book "Surprise-Inside Cakes" by Amanda Rettke
But you can...

What you need:
  • 3 recipes white cake
  • 2 recipes basic buttercream
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple food coloring
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
Special equipment:
  • 4 8-inch cake pans
  • Offset spatula
  • 6 6-inch cake pans
  • Ruler
  • 3-inch round cookie cutter
  • Thin paring knife
  • Skewer
  • Glazing brush
  • Disposable plastic pastry bags
  • 1M decorating tip

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Wife of a Medical Student.

After a year of studying, test taking, applying, applying for secondaries, waiting, interviewing, waiting, flying, driving, stressing, (you get the point), Dan found out he got into The University of Washington Medical School. He didn't think he had the slightest shot but apparently he "wooed" them.

After celebrating and letting it really soak in, Dan let me in on a little secret.
He told me that he made a "little" deal with God that if he got into the University of Washington then he would start having kids right away.

It takes two to tango, buddy.
That's not a little deal you can strike up without getting permission from the other party. 
The kid is crazy.

So while Dan goes to school from 6-6, I go to work from 8-6.
We don't get to spend as much time together as we would like but we make it work.
I keep telling myself, it will all be worth it, it will all be worth it!
(about 15 years down the road)

He loves to learn and is really enjoying all of his classes.
That's the most important thing right now.
I have to constantly pry his books away from him so he won't get burnt out...
which has already happened a couple of times, resulting in weekends spent watching football instead of studying. Whatever.

 White Coat Ceremony

Sunday, October 19, 2014

California Kind Bed. (air mattress)

After a series of interesting circumstances, Dan and I were finally all settled in to our $800,000 condo in the heart of Newport Beach. We are thinking about becoming professional house sitters and traveling the globe. Let me know if you know anyone looking to hire. 

You would think that we would have a nice bed in such a nice home but we were bed-less. Luckily we found a really nice, double layer blow up mattress that ended up really helping Dan's back problems. Whoda thought?! 
Soon enough we both found really fun summer jobs and we spent our time-off body surfing, eating at The Crab Cooker, going on motorcycle rides, and hanging out with family. 
The entire summer was a dream.

Dan was a valet attendant at Pelican Hill Resort.
Talk about lavish.
He is convinced that he has driven every single type of car on the market.
I also worked at the Pelican Hill Resort as a pool attendant for short time before realizing that working two jobs while living in Newport for the summer is idiotic. 

 View at the pool. I mean COME ON!
My sexy outfit

I ended up doing marketing/ social media/ waitressing for a Mediterranean restaurant in 
Corona Del Mar.
The hardest part about the job was learning how to professionally open a bottle of wine. 
Now I could do it in my sleep.
Try me.
We had live music every night out on the patio.
 Fundraising Event. How cute are my grandparents?
 I took all the food pictures to update the website and create a new takeout menu.
Favorite part of the job because after I take the pictures I get to eat the food!

This July was really special to us because we were able to be sealed in the temple in San Diego. It was a day we will never forget and we felt so lucky to be surrounded by family.

Now ill let the pictures do the story telling.
Isn't it always better that way?

1 year anniversary

Best donuts in Newport
 Dan's dream diet. 4th of July dinner at the Balboa Yacht Club.
 San Diego Zoo
 Love my mom
Dolphin 20 feet away from them

 Persian "gma" tried to cook for us every night. 
She included French Fries because she thinks Americans have them with every meal.

Met baby Sawyer!!!
 Baby looks good on him.
Dan's bullet bike. Honda CBR 1000. Way too fast but so fun and perfect for beach parking.
 Mom sold our house in Plano and moved to Dallas.
These are our height measurements in the pantry from over the years.
We had lived there since 1993

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My blog got me my job...?

Before last week, I had given up on blogging because...
1. life is busy
2. there are a lot of things I would choose to do before blogging
3. i don't have a large following or loyal audience (b/c life is busy.. right?)
4. basically I just got lazy

My lazy attitude quickly changed when my coworkers started talking about vast amounts of people that applied for my job and the strict, intense hiring process the office goes through before considering an applicant. I asked them what "got me the job" or made me "stand out" and I was completely shocked when they said, my blog
Yeah, I have it listed on my resume but I had no idea that they would actually take the time to look at it. Mind you, my job is in the financial industry (which I knew NOTHING about) and I am probably not as qualified, experienced, or educated as many of the other applicants. In the end, they wanted someone who could write and communicate well and professionally with our clients. My blog set me apart because it gave them a sample of my work and my writing style. 
After hearing that my blog got me the job, I would be dumb if I didn't take a little time each week to work on creating content and posting pictures. 

Financial Forum, LPL
Director of Lasting Impressions
I'm in charge of marketing, client relations, social media, event planning, website content, etc., for a financial advisement office. It is AMAZING that we never learn about finance or how to invest in school. It seems like that should be a required class, regardless of your major. 

I am learning SO SO much everyday, and I love the people that I work with.

I entered us in a contest for a free catered lunch and we won! 
Not a bad way to make a first impression :)
 Pink Day to show our support for Breast Cancer Awareness