Tag Archives: chocolate

Touristy

So, still recapping a trip from a month ago. I win at blogging.

But friends, I wanna tell you about two of my favorite places on the Oregon Coast.

We don’t have real beaches here. They aren’t sunny and warm and happy like you think of when someone says “beach”. They’re rainy and cold and for the most part only very determined six year olds actually go in the water. But we still have fun little towns on them.

We moved from Astoria over to Gearhart. Gearhart is a super tiny town, which as the perk of being absurdly quiet and peaceful
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There is one bakery in town. Our hotel was across the street from it. Winning. The vegetables on my tart balance out the puff pastry, right?
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If you’re an oregonian Gearhart being so chill is weird because just a few miles down the road is Seaside.

Seaside is touristville. You can rent those stupid bikes that hold 6 people, eat your weight in taffy, feed seals at the crappiest aquarium I’ve ever been to, buy shirts saying “Lifeguard” at the $12.99 store, and ride a carousel.

Seaside doesn’t half-ass the tacky, and I love it for that.

Because honestly, we aren’t too good for Seaside, we rode bikes there (Our hotel had bikes you could use for free. Rad. And my darling husband tried to crash his into me on Highway 101. There was blood. Not kidding)

There was a new ridiculous in the best possible way store in Seaside that sold chocolate covered everything
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Bacon? Oh yeah, in multiple flavors.

And chocolate covered poptarts. And chocolate covered nutter butters. And chocolate covered marshmallows.
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Seaside is popular with families, so the chocolate covered everything store (actually called The Buzz) had a big line. What’s a family vacation without chocolate covered twinkies?

We gave in. And bought fudge
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Six flavors of fudge.

It tasted like the world’s most delicious diabetic coma.

So tourist traps? Love ’em or judge ’em?

Given the number of sweatpants in our home from the $12.99 store (because you ALWAYS need hot pink sweats that say “Oregon” on the booty) I clearly love ’em.

That Darn Leprechaun!

You won’t believe what happened in my classroom!

I’ve been teaching kindergarten this week (a BLAST. Kids are hilarious. Did you know God has a girlfriend? Learned that this week. Also, with a hundred dollars you could by a lot of cars. And strawberry yogurt mixed with chocolate milk “tastes like vanilla!”. These kids teach me a lot.) and it seems that every year on St Patrick’s day a leprechaun comes and visits the classroom!

That darn leprechaun!  He made a mess!
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Chairs overturned, crayons spilled, books everywhere.

He even left paper towels all over the bathroom. “Mrs L he’s killing the trees!”

That darn leprechaun!

He left footprints all over too!
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Even on the windows! “Mrs L! How did he DO THAT?!”

That darn leprechaun! He’s tricky I tell you.

My day was spent hearing “Mrs L! Mrs L! Guess what else the leprechaun did!!!”

I emerged from kindergarten with a slitting headache, a bag full of crayon pictures, a kiss on the cheek from a 5 year old boy and green paint all over my arms.

Then I made the mistake of mentioning soda bread to my husband. Because what you should do after leprechaun wrangling all day is bake.

Labor of love my friends
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It was insanely good. Worth it.

Classic St Patrick’s day dinner
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Corned beef, colcannon, carrots, and soda bread.

And for dessert?

Our leprechaun friend lost his gold while he was in the room, and the leftovers came home with Mrs L.
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That darn leprechaun knew I’d need it.

Effortless

This weekend on our hike (WHICH WAS A HIKE) we watched some of the Shamrock Run

The 15 k runs near our house.
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We avoid running long distances near our house because the hills start up. More than 3 miles and you’re doing a lot of uphill.

These people were rocking out 9 miles. In the rain. Uphill.

Pretty fantastic.

(We might have not gotten around to signing up for the Shamrock before it sold out. Whoops).

But on happy running notes we’re signed up for Bridge to Brews and Baby Brother is coming to do it with us! Which means we get to run over the Fremont Bridge!

(Note: it’s depressing when your little brother complains about how he had taken time off running and was “so slow” when he started up again with his 12 minute miles. Our half pace group is 11 minutes. Thanks Baby Brother. I’m ready to see you kill my time next month)

Foot Traffic University is going great

(This is what you look like when it’s 8 am and you’re about to run 5 miles in the rain. And a really short person takes your picture. Sexy angles!)

I made a new friend this week. And by “new friend” I mean I had a lady tell me it looked effortless when I run. If you say nice possibly untrue things to me we’re besties.

I shared my running fuel with her
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I hear some people eat things that are, you know, made for running or something on their runs. I on the other hand carry Dove Promises. I’m clearly a real runner.

Best part of running though?

When it’s 10 am and you’re sitting down to a post run breakfast
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And feeling totally justified in being lazy and shoving food in your face the whole rest of the day. Love it.

Any races coming up for you?

Fudge Fudge Tell the Judge

Mama’s got a brand new ba-by!

(Am I the only one who knows that jump rope rhyme?  When I was little my mom would sing it to me when we made fudge)

Growing up we’d always make fudge around Christmas.  Because Jesus loved sugar.

When I suggested making fudge to the husband he was kinda indifferent…. Until I suggested peanut butter fudge.
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He loves his PB and Chocolate.  If I let him the man would live on Reeses.

The only problem was that google gave me to recipes for peanut butter and chocolate fudge.  Recipes for peanut butter fudge, yes.  Recipes for normal fudge, sure.  But none together.

So I found two separate recipes and they made a delicious delicious baby.

I based my recipe on this peanut butter fudge recipe and this fudge recipe

You need:

For the chocolate fudge:

  • 2/3 c evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • a 7 oz jar of marshmallow cream
  • 1/4 c butter
  • dash of salt
  • 3 c chocolate chips (that seems to be a bag and a half)

For the PB Fudge:

  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 c powdered sugar

To make this, you wanna first fully prep.  Measure out all the ingredients and have them ready to go.  Butter a 9×13 pan before you start.  Get out your mixer (you need it!) and put your powdered sugar in the mixing bowl.
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because really, if your tummy is expecting fudge, you don’t wanna feed it burned condensed milk instead.

My timing was a tinnnny bit off, so these instructions were what I should’ve done:

In a larger pot melt together 1/2 c butter, marshmallow cream, sugar, and evaporated milk at medium heat.  (this will be the chocolate) Keep stirring this as you start on the next steps

When they’re fully melted and start to mix, start a smaller pot with 1/4 c of butter.  When the butter is melted add the brown sugar and normal milk.  Keep stirring both pots until they reach boiling.

(this is where it gets tricky-I started both pots at the same time, which meant my peanut butter was done a bit before the chocolate.  You don’t want that.  If the peanut butter pot is getting near boiling and the chocolate isn’t, turn it way down or take it off the stove for a minute)

Once it reaches a full boil set a timer and boil the mixture for the chocolate 5 minutes.  When the peanut butter mixture reaches a full boil, set a timer for 2 minutes.
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Timer done for the chocolate pot = dump your chocolate in and stir.  This will amaze your husband who is skeptical all the chocolate will melt.  Whisks can be helpful here to keep out lumps.

Timer done for PB = add 1 c PB, and stir.  Then dump it all into the mixer bowl of powdered sugar and beat until it’s all well combined.
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Pour the chocolate, then the PB into your pan.  (Do this quickly-they start to set!) Mix a little so it looks pretty (I used a spatula to just kinda lift and fold over).  Put it in the fridge to let it set.  Give your husband the spatula to lick.  Let him say he loves you more now.
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Then marvel at how you can make fudge on Sunday and be down to this much
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By Wednesday morning.  Whoops.

Worth it.

Totally worth it.

Stuffed.

As you guys know, my husband is all about football.  Especially Oklahoma.  So the Big 12 championship game on Saturday night meant we would be sitting in front of the TV at dinner.

This seemed like the perfect excuse to stuff ourselves with Trader Joe’s frozen ish we’d gotten
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Bacon wrapped steak?
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Yeah.  Seriously.

And scallops in puff pastry.  Seafood is HEALTHY.
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To balance it out we also had a ton of veggies, hummus, smoked gouda, and crackers.
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And I got bored with football and made peanut butter macarons. Stuffed with ganache filling.  It happens.
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Sooners won.  Go Sports Team!

Sunday we hit up the Co-Op for free chili and cornbread

The guy who makes soup there is GOOD.  (They make it in house).
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And stuffed our faces with free Baker & Spice cookies at Sweetwares

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This was a beautiful thing as we were so stuffed I didn’t have to make lunch.

Last night was the opposite of our TV dinner the night before.  We sat at the table, lit the advent wreath
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And oh yeah,  I cooked a turkey
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Before Thanksgiving they were 24 cents a pound at WinCo if you spent $50.  I kinda couldn’t NOT buy one.  So we had a full turkey dinner.
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I am going to pretend this isn’t weird.

We stuffed our faces like it was thanksgiving all over.  But no stuffing.  Neither of us eat that

And leaving out the stuffing meant we weren’t so stuffed from dinner that we couldn’t eat dessert.  So we made fudge.  Peanut butter and chocolate fudge.
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There’s a theme in our kitchen.  I’ll post the recipe later this week!

Do you have any appetizer things you love?  I always forget how wonderful appetizers for dinner are.  I think I adore all appetizers.  Because I hate forks.

Easy Peasy

When I student taught kindergarten, one of the things my cooperating teacher would say a lot was “easy peasy”

The kids would then add “lemon squeezy” and laughhh their little heads off.

She’d use the phrase after showing what they’d be doing; “so you draw a picture of the setting in the story, then write a sentence about it.  Easy Peasy”

I realized after a while, she was tricking the kids.  Not everything was easy peasy.  But the biggest thing that stops kids is thinking something will be hard.  We do it as adults too-if it seems hard, or labor intensive, or whatever else, we’re likely to try and skip it.

But if you stop thinking it’s too much, and tell yourself it’s easy peasy, you’ll be surprised how many things are, well… easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I used to rarely rarely make brownies.  They involved too many dishes-melting the butter, putting the chocolate on a double boiler. I’m a messy enough cook already, I didn’t want more to clean up.

But brownies are delicious.

So I set out to make them easy peasy.

Easy Peasy Brownies

  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of vanilla (i pour it into the lid, i guess it’s about a teaspoon or so?)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • about 1/2 c chopped up chocolate or mini chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350

Mix up the oil, sugar, and vanilla
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Add eggs and stir
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Add in flour
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(Whole wheat = healthy.  So you can eat half the pan. Right?)

Cocoa powder
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(I buy the Trader Joe’s because it has a pretty canister)

Salt and baking powder. Stir.

Chop up chocolate
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or use mini chocolate chips.  The idea is to add little extra bits of delicious in there, rather than full on making chocolate chip brownies.

Mix all together, and pour into a greased square pan.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Easy peasy
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The best part?  It takes maybe 5 minutes to mix this up.  And if you set the tray in the freezer when it’s done, their cool enough to eat in just a few minutes.  So in under 45 minutes you have brownies.
This is extra good as the pan has a pesky habit of going from full to this Photobucket
Way too fast

What’s something you avoid doing because it feels like it’ll be to much work?

In my head the dishwasher takes foreveeeer to unload, so I always put off doing it.

Me Time

The wonderful thing about having a whole month where I don’t work before the wedding is that I get a lot of me time.

Some me time looks like this

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Spaaaaaa.  (facial = birthday gift from the fiance.  Who then make lots of really funny jokes about facials.  Really funny baby, really funny.)

Aveda tea is my favorite thing.

Seriously.  It’s a motivating factor in where I get my hair cut.

Me time is about more than just a day at the spa though.  Littler things can be me time too.

Making meals for myself?

Total me time.

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That would be brown rice, corn, zucchini (farmers market!  what what!), olives, all sorts of spices, and sour cream on top.

Rice + veggies is honestly one of my very meals.

In fact, lately, it has been my lunch pretty much every day.

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here it’s carrots, peas, zucchini, with the rice, plus cumin and smoked paprika to season.

Not that I’m totally eating on my bed in this picture.  Me time friends, me time.

Other me time in my life?

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Candy I don’t have to share.

Smarties = not so easy to find in the states.  Last time I had some the fiance was unaware of that fact, and ate them all.

Did I cry over chocolate?

Maybe.

Ok, yes.

But still.

We finally found some and the fiance’s guilt at eating them before = ALL mine baby!

On possibly the same sorta lame level as the veggies and brown rice being me time, know what feels totally indulgent to me?
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Melons.  The fiance has no love for ’em.  And honestly, I can’t always eat through a whole one (looking at you 15 pound watermelon in the fridge!)

But I love them.  And knowing I’m getting one just for me?  Kinda makes me happy.

But my favorite me time?

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Bear-faced kitten sleeping on me.

What little things have you done for yourself lately?