Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!



Happy Halloween all! I'm not really sure what the night has in store for me, but I'm hoping it will be a grand ol' time. On Sunday I drove down and visited the fam. We got festive carving pumpkins and making caramel apples. Yum!

Hope your Halloween is great! Oh, and do you wanna see the CUTEST costume ever? Head over to my aunt Britta's blog and check it out!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate Chip & Pistachio Cookies


Is there anything better than a delicious chocolate chip cookie? Other than chocolate chip cookie dough, of course. Warm and gooey in the center, crispy around the edges, with a cold glass of milk to wash it down...my mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

I got a craving for chocolate chip cookies Saturday night, and decided to do a little research regarding cookie recipes. Holy moly, there are so many out there! I finally decided on Lovin' From the Oven's "Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies", but wanted just a little bit of saltiness to them. Cookies, meet pistachios. 

I love the texture, color and flavor pistachios add to chocolate chip cookies. It's that whole sweet and salty thing. Nom nom. 

Recipe from Lovin' From the Oven

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio
  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pistachios by hand using a wooden spoon.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. When it's time, Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  4. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

life lately

Phew. Life has been a little crazy lately, but things are slowing down. In fact, I have a few days off in a row. Weee! I'm going to try and stay productive, but I'm also super excited to just be lazy.

Top to bottom, left to right.
Find me @amandakerz
1. Went to Clinique class on Tuesday in Seattle.
2. Pho! So perfect on a rainy day.
3. Leaf-face.
4. Finally found a kitchen table! Now to find some chairs...
5. My reading buddy.
6. Chia seeds on cereal. 
7. Lovin' my polka dot pants! 
8. Cool antique letters.
9. Atticus loves the fire.
10. Some art downtown.
11. Colorful bowl of thread.
12. Breakfast. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

atticus loves dress up!

If there is one thing cats are known for, it is their love for playing dress up (hah!). So when I was strolling around Target and I saw this kitty Santa hat...I just knew Atticus was going to love it (hah, hah!).  Clearly, he did.

This made me laugh probably a little more than it should have. It was the beard that really put me over the edge.

Tommy took a video of one of our many attempts to get the hat on him. You can tell by my annoying "pose faces" that I didn't know he was taking a video, and instead thought he was taking pictures.  I laughed so hard I thought I was going to choke. Man, animals are entertaining!

video



Thursday, October 18, 2012

a very mod halloween


Last year for Halloween Tommy and I just watched movies and handed out candy. That was fun, but this year I am ready to get dressed up and go out! I have been trying to figure out a fun and easy Halloween costume for a few weeks now, but just couldn't decide.

Then it hit me, MOD! Fun and dramatic eye makeup, bright tights, cute shift dress and maybe some awesome boots if I can find them. Halloween, let's do this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chocolate & Avocado Chia Seed Pudding

I love, love love chia seeds! I know I already proclaimed this love not long ago, but really guys, chia seeds are awesome.

One of my new favorite things to do with chia seeds is make pudding, because it's about the easiest thing in the world. Chia seeds thicken when introduced to liquid, so they are perfect for pudding! Simply mix ingredients, refrigerate and enjoy! I'll probably have a few more chia seed pudding recipes soon...I've got ideas.



You need:
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 & 1/2 cup chocolate milk (I used soy milk)
1/2 ripe avocado
1 tbs cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Extra Dark)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Mash avocado until extremely smooth. Resist urge to make guacamole.
2. Mix chocolate milk, chia seeds, vanilla and cocoa powder until well blended.

3. Mix in avocado.
4. Place in refrigerator and let sit for about 3 hours. Pudding will thicken over time.
*You may want to add more milk if pudding becomes too thick after a day or two.

 Keep away from kitties. They will want to get at that puddin'.

Monday, October 15, 2012

lately


The past two weeks have been super, super busy. It has been gift with purchase time at the Clinique counter, so all the consultants (ie: me) have been working six days a week. Luckily things are going back to normal soon, because I am exhausted! Tomorrow will be my seventh work day and then I have two days off! Yiiippeeeee! I will soon have energy for this blog again :).

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Bread with Chia Seeds (no butter or oil!)


I first discovered chia seeds in Synergy Kombucha teas while strolling the grocery store. I thought the drinks looked interesting (what are those little seeds floating around in there!?) and decided to give them a try. I wasn't sold right away...the drink has a gel like consistency and I wasn't sure if you are supposed to chew the seeds or just swallow them. It was just kinda weird.

Eventually I warmed up to the drinks in a big way, and even started to crave them! After doing a little research about chia seeds, I took a trip to the Co-Op and bought a bag to experiment.

Basically, chia seeds are a amazing. They are flavorless, and can be incorporated into your diet in so many ways. They can be sprinkled on cereal, blended in smoothies, ground to create a powder, and when mixed with water or other liquid (milk, etc) they create a gel like consistency that can replace eggs/oil/butter in baking recipes.

This bread is more a breakfast pumpkin bread, rather than dessert pumpkin bread. It's quite dense, and the chia seeds add just the slightest bit of texture.
**Next time I make this bread, I may try adding a little more baking powder. I really like the density, but I want to see if next time it will rise a little more. 

Oh, I highly recommend making this bread while drinking a pumpkin latte. I mean, might as well go all out, right?


Chia Seed Pumpkin Bread: (Recipe adapted from here.)



  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup chia gel (1 tbs chia seeds + 11 tbs water)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

  • 1. First, let's make your chia gel! Simply combine 1 tbs chia seeds with 11 tbs water, stir, and let sit for 15-20 mins. Bam! Chia gel. 


    2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. 
    3. Beat sugar and chia gel in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. 
    4. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. 
    5. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.

    6. Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.
    7. Top with cream cheese glaze.



    Cream Cheese Glaze (optional, recipe from here)
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

    1. Beat cream cheese until very creamy. Beat in powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla. Add 3 tablespoons milk. Totally combine. Add more milk to get desired consistency.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    it's soup season!

    Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons, one of which is the food! I mean com'on, fall means pumpkin flavors, casseroles, and of course SOUP! I love making a huge batch of soup to eat for several days after. It's comforting, delicious and often healthy! Here are a few soup recipes I would love to be eating right now. Seriously, get in my belly.