[belated] 3 year blogiversary!

It’s been a little over 3 years since I started this blog. I had every intention of making an adorable little cake with crazy candles until I opened my timehop one morning and realized that my blogiversary was that day (uh oh) and that I had no time the next couple of days to bake anything (double uh oh). Which, with my recent track record, meant that I was “going to just” post a cute little picture which turned into “well I’ll just write a post about it” which turned into “it’s been two weeks is it too late to say something? I need to say SOMETHING!”

So, here’s something. When I started this blog, I didn’t really know how to make a delicious fluffy buttercream. I didn’t know how to properly cook for myself (the college dining hall took care of my food). I didn’t feel comfortable tweaking recipes even the slightest bit. I didn’t know how to decorate cupcakes or cakes, which is a serious life skill. I was just a senior in college, not really knowing what the next three years had in store for me, other than graduating and not having access to that amazing dining hall. Seriously. It’s been 3 years and I still miss the Usdan dining hall (insert sobbing emoji here, please) and think about it WAY too much.
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thursday things

1. I had the most delicious epic cookie ice cream sandwich: Chocolate Chip Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie. AMAZING.

2. Just under 3 weeks left in Los Angeles and it’s starting to sink in. I’ve given in my official notice at work, even though they knew 2 months ago. I’m making good headway through my LA Bucket list. My mom and I have booked all the places we’re staying on our roadtrip. I’m starting to not buy groceries so I can just eat up everything I have, so I can waste as little food as possible. It’s real.

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hope you’re all having a good time today eating Irish Soda Bread, green bagels, drinking Guinness (or Guinness floats – check back tomorrow for how to use up your leftover beer!), maybe eating some of these Guinness & Bailey’s cupcakes. I know I’ve been eating my fair share of the Irish Soda Bread that I made last night (for the first time!) and don’t know if I’ll have any leftover  to share with my friends.

I know it’s been VERY quiet on the blog the past month, but a lot has been going on (good things, don’t worry). I decided to move back to the east coast, so I’ve been spending my time going through my LA bucket list and spending time with friends, so I’ve barely been cooking meals, let alone baking. But I promise that will change, especially since I need to try and use up all my flours and sugars!

Anyway, I’ll do a whole post on the move eventually. Today is about Soda Bread. Now, I love quick breads. Beer bread, pumpkin bread, banana bread, etc. But I’ve never had Irish Soda Bread! I’m only a very small fraction Irish, but I’ve seen recipes for it all over the place and have always wanted to try it! The only problem is I don’t like raisins, and all the recipes I saw had them. Now I know that they’re easy to take out, but I wanted to do more research.

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Snickerdoodles

Let me tell you, the internet is a dangerous place. Seriously. You can start down the google search and emerge 2 hours later, not knowing how you wasted so much time.

That was me last week when I was trying to find snow boots. The hard part about finding snow boots beginning of February in Los Angeles? Or even online? All the normal sized shoes are out of stock. Because the east coast has been getting slammed with snow and why would people in Los Angeles ever need to buy snow boots?

 

So I struggled. And apparently spent 2 hours on google this past Monday looking up different brands of snow boots as well as where the hell I could find some in my size that I would get before TAHOE THIS WEEKEND. Sorry. I’m excited. I’m excited to ski but mostly excited for a girls weekend filled with hot chocolate, marshmallows, and wine. Oh the wine.

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thursday things

1. My phone is filled with pictures from all the hikes I’ve been on over the past few weeks. Like, think 2-10 pictures per each hike (and I’ve been hiking 2-5 times a week). Not that I’m complaining because I absolutely loooove hiking.

2. GUYS I’M SO EXCITED! Me and 8 of my girlfriends are going to Lake Tahoe next weekend and I am SO excited. I bought winter boots since I’ll need them next winter anyway, but I’m excited for skiing, hot chocolate, and just good friend time 🙂

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Greek Yogurt Cookie Dough Dip

Surprise! I love cookie dough.

I know, right? Such a shock after last week’s post with the cookie dough cupcakes. [/sarcasm]

Sarcasm aside, I love cookies and I love cookie dough. I’m sure I’ve talked about it before, but cookies were one of the first things I started baking on my own way back in the day. It’s still my go to for a quick dessert to bring somewhere or if I’m just itching to get in the kitchen. And don’t even get me started on cookie dough.. There were definitely a few different occasions, but I remember hiding with a few friends down by the lake with a HUGE monstrous tub of cookie dough from the supermarket eating spoonfuls of cookie dough. I don’t remember much else other than that we were laughing so hard from the sugar rush.

And while I love eating plain cookie dough, as evidenced by the various truffles and cookie cups I’ve made, I’ve had my eye on a few different cookie dough dips. Like, cookie dough that’s creamy enough you can dip something (whether it’s a pretzel, another cookie, or fruit, if you’re trying to be healthy) into it. Because why not.

So, when a couple weeks ago, one of the guys from Chobani’s social media team reached out to me and asked if I had heard their new #MadeWithChobani campaign? I knew I wanted to participate, especially considering it’s called “The Delicious Bowl” and all about creating healthy recipes for the Superbowl? I said yes and it didn’t take me long at all to figure out what to make. [[and with full disclosure, they only asked if I wanted to be involved. No compensation or free yogurt. The yogurt I got to make this recipe with was purchased by myself. I just thought it would be a fun challenge to do!]]

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Mini Pecan Pie Bites

So yesterday all I could see in my Newsfeed on Facebook or on instagram was talk and pictures of the impending blizzard. And here in LA? It drizzled. Maybe that’s the west coasts way of trying to be sympathetic? It was more annoying than anything. It was wet enough you didn’t want to be outside but it wasn’t actually raining-raining so it wasn’t cool. It was kind of a let down. Which is what I heard the blizzard was in NYC/NJ. A few inches instead of a few feet. Womp.

 

While my friends were quick to remind me that I wouldn’t have to clean up the snow, I kind of miss the feeling that comes from knowing a possible snow day is coming. The excuse to sit inside with hot chocolate, Netflix marathons, drinking games if stranded with friends.. There’s something just so nice about it.

Granted, I don’t know how much I miss the snow shoveling bit, especially since my mom’s driveway is now gravel. But hey, at least it’s a workout? Maybe?

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Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I love lattes, especially when they come in mugs. It’s not a secret and my friends tease me for it, but I still get way too excited when I see that any coffee drink comes in a mug.

Part of the love comes from my time studying abroad in Stockholm. The amount of times I would go to a cafe to do like 20-30 minutes of homework, just to sit at a cafe and enjoy a latte, were too many to count. There was one street I loved – Götgatan – because part of the street was just pedestrian access and it was right down the street from the bar that we frequented.

Also – sidebar confession – I just spelled cafe “caffe” because I was trying to say “kaffe”. Swedish translation problems.

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Pumpkin Bread [Mini Loaves]

I love pumpkin bread but I don’t nearly make it enough. I made it a few years ago and a draft of the recipe has been sitting in my drafts folder since Fall 2012. Yes. It’s taken me almost 2 1/2 years to finally post about it. I actually had found a recipe I liked a little more on Sally’s Baking Addiction so I’m happy I waited. And speaking of waiting, I made this back in November when my roommate (hi Alicia) was home sick, I was off for the whole day, and one of our best friends came over (hi Molly) and we watched Buffy and TV all day. It was awesome. Not that she was sick, but spending a day with the two of them was.

Something I’m trying to do more of are girl’s nights. Like on Wednesday, my friend Nicole and I drank whiskey gingers, watched the Little Mermaid and cuddled with her dog. I’m trying to do one with my work girlfriends since it would be nice to sit down and actually hang out instead of chatting in between running to tables. And this past Sunday? Sunday was awesome.

 

My friend Kelly and I have been talking about watching Moulin Rouge together for FOREVER but for some reason it has never worked out. She works as a bartender, so while our schedules are more similar than most, they’re still different enough that our days off never are the same. Until Sunday.

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thursday things

1. Happy New Year! I took a break from Thursday Things while I went home, worked, and reveled in the end of the year. Now that it’s 2015 (still think it’s crazy that it’s 2015..)

2. I’ve celebrated the new year by going on 3 hikes (one of my favorite parts of LA) in 4 days. Definitely something I’d like to keep up. Keep weekends for longer, nicer hikes out in the Pacific Palisades but with Runyon only 10 minutes away, that might replace some of my gym workouts.

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