Here and There, Pt. 2

It’s been a bit since I’ve shared  random pictures and recent happenings, plus you want to see that final bridal shower cake, right?! That’s what I thought.

Here and There, Pt. 2

Hooray! Here it is! Remember back in this post when I talked about making a cake for my BFFs shower? I did it! I mean, I’ve made cakes before, but it was usually for someone’s birthday or something, not a momentous occasion like a wedding shower. I was nervous that I would end up a stressed out mess 4 hours before, trying to piece together a cake with wilty frosting that was completely crooked, but it went better than expected! Probably one of the best things that I did to make sure I wasn’t stressed was baking the layers and making the filling the day before (actually I made the frosting the day before too). This reduced down on the steps that I had to complete the day of and gave me a better cushion for if something were to go wrong. Everyone loved and it and ended up having enough to bring home, so I get to keep savoring it for a few more days! Also, I kind of love doing cakes now. I find that frosting the cake and putting everything together is sort of therapy, so if you need a cake and I need frosting therapy, let’s be friends.

Here and There, Pt. 2 Here and There, Pt. 2 Here and There, Pt. 2 sail

Moving on to my recent trip back to Door County (Northern Wisconsin)! If you remember, I went with  a group of food bloggers back in April, but the weather was still pretty chilly and just starting to warm up. This time around, the weather was perfect and we couldn’t have asked for more quintessential Wisconsin summer weather (think 70s all week!). While we didn’t get to do our usual kayaking activity, we did eat a lot of awesome food and see our usual Door County haunts. The upper left picture is the Cave Point, a scenic area I visited with the ladies in April, then returned to with my parents when we went a few weeks ago. It was crazy to think that the last time I was there there were HUGE chunks of ice and the water was much colder.

My other favorite new place we visited was Jorns’ Sugar Bush. We had seen the signs advertising the maple syrup being sold there for years, but never made the stop to actually try them out. When you first drive up to the place it’s kind of a ‘Are we in he right place?’ moment. It’s essentially just a very small store selling all sizes of maple syrup, but the best part is that they bottle all the syrup right there in the building! The actual retail space was only big enough for about 4-5 people to comfortably move around, but the lady working the shop made for a much more interesting visit, providing snippets about how long they had been making syrup and how the business came to be. P.S. Did you know you can freeze syrup until you need to use it? Me either!

Among other things I made this vegan ricotta pasta and this super cool cucumber/watermelon dinner and they are both things you should just go ahead and make ASAP. I’m trying to implement meal planning and it resulted in better lunches/dinners, so let’s hope I keep sticking to it!

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That’s all for now, I’ll be back with a recipe later in the week! xoxo

 

Sizzling Summer Blog Hop Giveaway {CLOSED}

Hi there! So since it’s finally decent weather and we are all in ‘eat all the popsicles’ mode, it’s time for a fun giveaway! My girl Phi put together a great group of bloggers with a lot of awesome prizes to give away. We went with a summer theme, so there are lots of popsicle molds, farmer’s market themed prizes, and cute bowls (the essentials in life, right?).

Here’s the deal, the picture below is interactive, so you can enter each giveaway by clicking on the picture of the prizes and following the instructions to enter for the specific blog’s giveaway.

For mine, I am giving away my favorite popsicle mold (to make these and these), a tumbler I’ve recently fallen in love with, and pretty gold striped straws, for sipping on all those cocktails you will be making.

To enter, leave a comment below telling me your favorite summer treat! Giveaway ends July 12th at 12am CST.

Image Map

Good luck!

From Milwaukee With Love Giveaway

Hey there! So it’s the weekend, and there’s a giveaway happening, hooray! Since Wisconsin has some pretty awesome food companies and products, I am participating in a From Wisconsin with Love Giveaway. All of the bloggers are from/live in Wisconsin and have hand-picked a few of their favorite products from the dairy state. You can enter into each giveaway by going to the individual blog and using the instructions to enter.

I am giving away a chocolate bar from Indulgence Chocolatiers (vegan), a jar of smoked paprika from Penzey’s Spices (this stuff is the best!), and a bag of Collective Coffee Blue Heeler blend (my favorite).

Enter the contest on my blog by leaving a comment below telling me your favorite food from your home state (mine is Spotted Cow, a beer that can only be found in WI). Winner will be selected on February 10th. Good luck and have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Food Photography Class

Hi there! I’ve been holding this one from you, this post about the photography class I took. Trust me, it was awesome and I learned so much, but you know how you can remember what your favorite outfit was in fourth grade (stirrup leggings and oversize obnoxiously colored sweatshirt, scrunchie optional) but forget about what you put in the microwave 2 minutes ago? Well, that’s what happened with this post and pictures. (more…)

Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella

Before you get tooooo excited, this is a pseudo Nutella-like spread if Nutella had a chunkier,  but equally as delicious cousin who doesn’t like to be too easy to bargain with, but is perfectly creamy when coaxed with some piping hot oatmeal or melted up and stirred into vanilla ice cream.

This is technically homemade Nutella, but it isn’t what you lick off the spoon out of the jar while wondering if you should stop because… umm there’s something called portion control (what even is that?).

Now, let’s get to getting! Roast those hazelnuts up! It releases the natural oils and makes the nuts extra savory and delicious, while also making your house smell you stuck your head in the Nutella jar.

Melt up the chocolate, we’re almost ready to blend it up.

Now ready, set, blend! (with the lid on!)

I had to stop and shake down the mixture several times, using a food processor would probably make the mixture much smoother, but I used a blender and it came together after some coaxing.

Nutella! Mix it into oatmeal, melt it and drizzle over a piece of rich chocolate cake, or just eat it out of the jar and don’t even think twice about it, because really, who can get enough homemade chocolaty spread on a spoon?

Homemade Nutella Recipe

inspired by Leite’s Culinaria

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts, skinned
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil, such as canola
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, more or less depending upon your preference

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

2. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 12 minutes

3. Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over gently simmering water or in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Let cool completely.

4. In a food processor or blender, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt and continue processing until the mixture is as smooth as possible–or as smooth as you like. Add the melted chocolate, blend well, and pour into a resealable container. Keeps for about 2 weeks at room temperature.