Cornbread

When I think of cornbread, I tend to think of KFC. Man, did I love me some Colonel’s fried chicken with a little rectangular piece of sweet buttery corn bread when I was growing up! I can’t actually remember the last time I had KFC though so I’m not even sure if they still make it anymore.

This past weekend I wanted to make some baby back ribs. At first it was just going to be dinner for me and the fiancé, but then my future brother in law also had a date with us to help us with our wedding website. So I thought, hey why not come over for some ribs with us? And then of course I got into dinner hosting mode.

I decided to make my brussel sprouts with bacon as a vegetable side. I considered creamed corn as another side but I’m not even sure I’m a huge fan of creamed corn except for that stuff they have Lawry’s. But cornbread! A lightbulb went off. Cornbread is an awesome side for barbecue anything. And I had some leftover cornmeal from making polenta another night so this was perfect! I ended up using the Betty Crocker recipe after perusing a few and it was so simple and yummy!

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Blueberry Pancakes


Over the weekend, I had a craving for brunch and pancakes or waffles in particular. When I woke up on Sunday, I told my fiancé this and he suggested we go to a diner for breakfast. But pancakes are one of those things that I think are very easy to make by yourself at home and not exactly worth spending $10 a plate on. Plus, we were both kind of sick and I honestly didn’t want to get out of my PJs.

So I decided to make my own! I remembered I had bought blueberries that were waiting to be used and why not tackle my new year’s resolution of eating more fruits?? My coworker had also given me a delicious little jar of praline sauce/syrup from New Orleans that I wanted to drizzle on my pancakes.

These pancakes were super easy to make and very fluffy! I got it from the King Arthur Flour website but I didn’t use King Arthur Flour per se…any flour will work, although I’m sure they wish you’d use theirs. Once I got the hang of the temperature to use on my pan, it was like clockwork. I did wish I had a griddle so I could flip more at a time, but you do what you can! I also remembered later on that I could have used chocolate chips in them too, so I might try that next time!

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Farewell 2015, Welcome 2016!

I swear 2015 literally flew by. I guess time flies when you’re having a good time, right? :) I have to say this was one of my favorite years in the books! So here’s a quick recap below, and my resolutions for the year!

I know 2016 will be an amazing year because we’re finally getting married! I’m also super stoked that it has been raining because California needs it and maybe the hills will be a little greener by the time of our wedding :)

Resolutions:

  1. Hydrate skin more. Use lotion after every shower and daily facial moisturizer. 2 years ago I made a resolution to drink at least 8 cups of water a day, which now I definitely do when I’m at work! (I should work on doing that outside work too.) But this year I want to take better care of my skin and use more moisturizer, and remember to use SPF daily!
  2. Go to the gym at least twice a week. I was going to say 3x, but twice is very realistic so let’s set it at 2 or more times!
  3. Successfully complete a pull up. You only need to do one to save your life if you’re hanging over the edge of something, right? :P
  4. Eat more fruits. I have been lazy after moving out of my parents’ that I don’t eat as much fruit anymore. We got a blender/juice extractor for Christmas so I’m hoping I can use that to incorporate more fruits in my diet!
  5. After the wedding, I want to try a new recipe each month and hopefully blog too.
  6. Yelp more! I can’t believe I’m on year 7 of Yelp Elite but my writing has stalled a lot. My goal is at least 50 new reviews this year!

 

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Gingerbread House Parties and Royal Icing

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The last time I made a Gingerbread House was probably in Kindergarten! I really wanted to host some sort of housewarming party for our place since it’d been a year since we bought the place and now it’s finally furnished to a presentable degree…heh heh. There’s still work to be done! But besides for white elephants, I thought a Gingerbread House-Warming party would be different and still fun at the same time! I had a blast, and I think we’ll be making Gingerbread Houses each year from now on!

Now, we didn’t use actual gingerbread because I didn’t have time to bake for 15 some people to make houses with. So, we resorted to graham crackers. We gave everyone a limit of 7 full graham cracker pieces and told them to be creative. Some people pre-make houses for guests to decorate and this might be a good idea for young kids, but for a bunch of 20-somethings, it’s more fun to see what they come up with! I mean, one person even made a Gingerbread Strip Club!

The frosting is where I had to experiment, and after this year, I have a better idea what to do for next year! Read on about how to make Royal Icing!

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Spiced Apple Cider

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Growing up, I remember cold winter days after school and wanting something warm to drink at home. I was usually the one baby-sitting my sister, heating snacks for us to eat after school, and getting us started on homework. One of the things I remember a lot of is drinking apple cider. None of this fancy homemade stuff, but just powdered packets you add hot water to that they sold at Costco. Sometimes, even the non-fancy stuff can hit the spot, but especially if you don’t know what you’re missing. My sister and I loved drinking this stuff more than hot cocoa, and apple cider always brings back cozy memories of winter for me!

Flash forward to last weekend–we hosted a Gingerbread House Party as a very belated one-year later housewarming for B’s friends to come over and see our place! I wanted to make some light bites and bring some Christmas cheer, so I decided to look up some recipes for homemade apple cider! I’ve had it before at some holiday parties in grad school and it was positively delightful and warmed us down to the core.

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