nourishing & unapologetic
In preparation for Pi Day, I bought these beautiful berries. Then I immediately came home an made a pie that you're going to want to copy. Today, March 14th is a holiday. Albeit a math related day (and, well, math has never really been a fave of mine), I can get behind a play on words. So, we're having pie for Pi Day. But, actually it's extra special because it's our sweet niece's birthday too! Thus, we must celebrate twice as much.
In honor of her, I made a pie with two of her current favorite things: strawberries and Oreos.
Oh, and I snuck in a layer of ganache.
This is kind of a rarity on here, a recipe post without a lot of pomp and circumstance, but in the interest of all that is right and good, we should cut to the chase.
This three part recipe is mostly original, i.e. an experiment, so I hope it will find favor with you all.
Oh So Oreo Strawberry Pie
Mostly Original Recipe
Makes 1 pie (that you'll want to hoard, but it's nice to share. do with that what you will.)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Crush Oreos in a food processor OR enclosed in a ziptop bag with a rolling pin. (I prefer the food processor because it's much more efficient). Pulse until cookies create a fine crumb.
2. With a fork, mix in melted butter, until well incorporated.
3. Press into 9-inch pie pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
5. Let cool completely.
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk, semisweet, dark- your choice!)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Using a double boiler, combine chocolate chips and cream. Heat until melted through. Should be smooth, shiny, and a little thick.
2. Pour into cooled pie crust.
I think technically for a ganache, you should heat up the cream THEN stir in your chocolate, but I was multitasking with dinner and didn't want to have more than one step.
Strawberry Gel and Strawberries
(the non-original part; original recipe here)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 strawberry gelatin powder (I used JELLO)
1. Mix cornstarch, sugar and water in small saucepan. Whisk occasionally. Bring to a boil. Let boil for about 1 minute until thickened.
2. Whisk in strawberry gelatin power until dissolved.
3. Let chill in fridge for about 2 hours.
4. Wash and slice strawberries (according to your preference).
5. Arrange berries on top of cooled ganache layer.
6. Top with gelatin mixture.
7. Place pie in refrigerator. Let cool for at least 4 hours (and overnight if you can even handle that!)
Note, I am not really a fan of JELLO, but this seemed to be the most popular fresh strawberry pie coating so I went with it. I don't think I regret it.
This pie is pretty. And it is pretty rich, pretty grand, and pretty delicious. It's perfect for a birthday! (Plus it's the perfect transition to our pending spring and strawberry season!)
And since I can, we want to wish sweet L, aka Baby, a happy happy happy 3rd birthday! We love you to pieces, niece! May 3 be wild, wonderful, and all together fit for the princess you are. Can't wait to celebrate you soon!
I hope you make this pie. Moreover, I hope you enjoy every crumb of it.
Until next time,
Hey there. It's been a while. Like, an unacceptably long while. I could tell you that I've been reflecting/letting my new age marinate but let's get real. Life is full.
Freakin' full of mostly good stuff.
Since I've last posted I've legitimately launched my real estate business. I have a listing (yes, check out the home I got the privilege of taking on as my first listing! You might know someone for whom it would be the perfect fit...and if so, please refer them my way.) Plus, I have two buyers I'm currently working with. Albeit small, it's a start. Let's hope this is the beginning of a rocking' real estate career.
Anyway, I've have been 30 for more than a month now. Yep, I turned 3-0 on February 1st. Funny how time works though, because I am writing this post around the time my momma tells me shoulda been my due date. (5 weeks early folks, that's how I roll. I was supposed to be a Pisces. Looks like my proclivity to overachieve must have been developed in the womb.)
A lot of people have asked how I was handling giving up my twenties. And you know what, I was happy to kick them to the curb. I'd had them for 10 years after all (buh dum bump, haha!) But in all seriousness, I was pretty eager and open to my impending birthday. My twenties were predictably filled with milestones and unpredictably marked by awesome moments you couldn't even have dreamt up. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I did spend a little too much time in Sephora searching for anti-aging cream...but I think that's probably a rite of passage. (And, totally hit me up if you have any to die for rituals or products!)
Word on the street is your 30s are when all the good stuff happens. Maybe it's because at this point you've sloughed off most of your self-consciousness, loved and lost and loved again, built your tribe, fostered your passions, and grown into who you're supposed to be all along.
So what to do if you're nearing the big 3-0, or another big year? Well, in my humble opinion, I think you absolutely MUST:
5. Take an inventory of the good things in your life, all that you have to be grateful for, and the cool opportunities you have ahead.
4. Plan a trip during your birthday month (or within the year). It could be to anywhere-- near, far, or exotic, just get away for a while.
3. Throw yourself a kickin' party and invite as many of your crew as possible. Be sure to serve your favorites sips and sweets!
2. Wear an outfit that makes you feel comfortable, spectacular, gorgeous (insert your own adjective here).
1. Own it :: Rock it :: Be it
And to help soften the blow for my friends and readers who've not hit thirty yet (or those who are struggling with whatever age comes next), I've compiled some of the redeeming qualities your birthday brings.
PS For those of you in the Forever 29 camp, there are plenty of us who will enjoy 30 for you. But, consider joining us soon! You've earned it!
In case you're wondering how I ushered in my big birthday, I coordinated a fiesta at our home with some of our nearest and dearest (minus those who couldn't make it). We had a "It's NACHO birthday" bar and plenty of dessert and drinks. Here's the high level recap in photos. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us! And, I so appreciate all the birthday love I received throughout the month. Y'all are the best!
Until next time!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! wooooooooooooo.
2016, holla! Let's revel in its blankness and its possibility. This the time many of us: jot down goals for the next 365; silently commit to eating less or exercising more or whatev other way we can be better to ourselves; or resolve to somehow rock the new year with a new hobby, skill, or job. Whether or not you make resolutions is absolutely a personal choice. If 2015 you was stellar, hey, keep it up! If you wanna make 2016 yours, take action!
Either way, here are some suggestions for totally killing it this year:
1. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. (you can stop reading now if you want, this is enough for a great year.)
2. Find your tribe. You know, those guys and gals (fam and friends or strangers) who support you best. Do your part to cultivate those relationships. #squad
3. Our outdoors are great, if you haven't heard, so get some sunshine. (but, probably wear your sunscreen.)
4. Put your time and energy into things that build you up and bring you joy. No one has time for fun sponges, obligations for obligation's sake, and time suckers.
5. Serve somebody or something without expectation. I promise your soul will smile.
6. If something isn't working, make the change. Take the leap. You owe yourself and those you love the best you. Find and keep that perspective. (on a personal note, thanks for that lesson, 2015!)
There you have it. You can now take 2016 by storm.
Wait, were you expecting 16 quick tips? Well, obviously that would have made sense. But don't feel short changed. Honestly, 16 statements might have belabored this post. So, you get six. Let's be frank, these are reminders of what your brilliant self already knows. 2016 is yours for the taking and making. We are already on our way to being our best selves. It's Day 1 of 365... let's do this.
I'm eager to see what incredible, challenging, and rewarding things our New Year brings. Thanks for the privilege of sharing this space with each and every one of you. Peace 2015! Bring it 2016!
Until next time,
Oh, and just because I love #flipagam, here's the 2015 #mrandmrsborn highlights:
One more thing. #bonus
There is no "perfect." Life is as grand as it is messy. More than anything, it is personal. Let's give each other that. I'll be me. You do you. Live the life that is yours now.
Ahhhhh, hello, long weekend! When you're young, holidays were relished with enthusiasm. As an adult, holidays are still great, but I think a solid long weekend is perhaps more eagerly anticipated than Christmas. It's a bonus day for productivity or lack there of.
If you've got a gathering to go to still, and are in need of a dish to take, consider these simple party cheeseburgers. Now, I'll concede cheeseburgers in their traditional form are incredibly easy, but these are lower maintenance and great for a group. Plus, you don't even need to fire up the grill. The original recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, Kevin & Amanda. Their recipes are generally practical and approachable.
I first made these cheeseburgers as the main dish for the teens we feed on a monthly basis at local organization. These teens face hardship, including hunger, shelter, stability, safety, and a lack of clothing, daily. So we're always trying to provide a little bit of comfort through some great home-cooked food. Since we're cooking for a group, I try to find recipes that are teen-friendly, cost-effective and relatively quick. This one surely fits that bill.
You'll need some pretty basic ingredients and about 35 minutes. If you take these to a party, I bet you'll bring home an empty pan!
I have to disclose: I don't have any pictures to share with you. I could have sworn I took a few but I can't locate them. Food blogger fail! My apologies! But they're so good, I can't not post. Luckily, Kevin and Amanda's post have excellent photos it you're a visual person. AND, I'll update this post when I make them again.
Cheeseburgers for a Crowd
Original Recipe from Kevin and Amanda
1 pound lean ground beef (we had 90/10 on hand)
1 large onion, diced (I had a large sweet onion)
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1 can of tomatoes with diced chiles, drained (i.e. Rotel)
12 Hawaiian Rolls
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Seriously, that's all there is. I told you they were easy. No one wants to waste time on a long warm weekend with involved recipes. Make them. Take them. Let your friends reap the rewards of your kitchen wins.
Now, go forth, and enjoy the extra day! I'll be back with some other great stuff soon.
Until next time!
One of my dearest friends, Rachel, just celebrated her 9th anniversary earlier this month, but I suspect the anniversary took the backseat because she and her hubby's dear babe turned 1 month old on the same day! Baby C made his grand entrance a few weeks early and has captured everyone's hearts from that minute forward. Okay, let's be honest, he had everyone swooning before he arrived.
I had the privilege of planning the baby shower for his dear momma with his auntie B. I love any reason for festive food and decor that's a little over the top but this was a special occasion. Initially B and I brainstormed a few theme ideas but one idea left the others trailing behind. This momma-to -be is a bookworm and movie buff so we had felt we must let one of her favorite book series inspire us. Thus, the very Harry Potter Party was born.
I hear J.K. Rowling celebrated a birthday semi-recently, so, in the spirit of "birth"days of all sorts, let's recap the shindig for you. And as the HP series is lengthy, so is this post.
And, in the interest of full disclosure, I've only read the third Harry Potter book and watched the third movie. Yes, yes, I know. I've missed out on a classic. I just missed the boat on this one and I've not made the effort to catch up. This party was made possible because of inferences, transfer knowledge from Rachel and B, and Pinterest research.
We introduced the guests to the theme with a custom invitation created in standard Microsoft Word with a few downloaded fonts from dafont.com, and a few free clipart images. If you've not checked out Dafont, you must. If you love typography and textual effects, it is a great resource. And they just so happen to have a Harry P font that is remarkably Potter like. I printed the invite on the parchment colored paper. I addressed in deep red ink and included a stamped white owl on the same colored envelope. Because I love all things themed, I created a House crest and included this verbiage.
The House of (Name) proudly announces:
A baby boy is on his way
bringing with him lots of
Mischief, Magic, and
snuggles for his Muggles.
Join us for a baby shower celebrating
Saturday, June 13, 2015
We hope you join us for what is sure to be
an afternoon of wizardry and well wishes
for the Momma to Be.
For decor, we wanted to keep it themed and fun, but not overdone. So we opted for some statement elements as well as some that could be used in C's room.
We scheduled the shower post-lunch on a Saturday so we didn't provide a full meal, but had lots of yummy appetizers and desserts. I continued the theme into the menu. We had some savory, sweet, and some shower staples.
Some of my favorite menu items to make for the shower were the golden snitches and the kettle corn.
While you might not have many occasions to make the snitches, they're easy and fun. There's no real recipe and Pintereset can provide you lots of ways to make these. I opted to use the gold-wrapped Ferraro Roche (hazelnut chocolates) as the base. Then I hot glued a large white feather folded into a "V" onto the bottom where the foil gathers. Warning, they do take a little bit of time and the feathers, of course, are messy.
Popcorn is an easy, cheap, and popular party treat. When I threw Nick's little sister's shower, we incorporated popcorn (because she was ready to pop, ba dum bum!) so I wanted to include it this time around too. But to make it a little more interesting, I wanted kettle corn. It was important that it could be made ahead of time AND use an air-popper. I found a recipe on another food blog, but since I stumbled across it, the blog domain has been vacated, it appears. So, I'll give you my interpretation of the recipe.
Air-Popped Coconut Oil Kettle Corn (aka Hufflepuff Popcorn)
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
Place kernels in air popper and operate according to popper instructions. Once popped, set aside.
1/4 cup stick butter (unsalted or salted)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp water
1 tsp salt
1. Melt butter, oil, sugar, salt, and water in sauce pan. Let cook until it comes to frothy boil.
2. Once the mixture will begin to thicken, remove from heat.
3. Pour over the popped corn and stir well to make sure the gooey goodness is evenly distributed.
Now, you can enjoy immediately. Or store in an airtight container or package individually.
Neither Rachel, nor B or I are big shower game lovers so we opted for Movie and TV Mom trivia and a rendition of What will Baby C Look Like? To play, you need multiple copies headshots of each parent as a baby. Slice the photos at the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, and chin. Then ask each attendee, or a group, to use the pieces to build what the bundle of joy will look like. It's always interesting to see which dominant characteristics the family members predict.
We organized this shower during the time Nick and I were packing up our rental and moving into our new home. While I don't recommend managing such big events simultaneously, it all worked out wonderfully. It was an honor to host this shower with B and incredible to celebrate Rachel and Baby C!
Now Muggles, go forth. I challenge you to celebrate in wizardry ways!
Until next time--