Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Recipe: Toasted Marshmallow Rice Pudding


Saturdays are our food crawl days. They’ve been for the last three weeks, at least. We spend the whole day either eating out or eating the most delicious, tasty treats we can possibly come up with.

After a short conversation with Chris about his mom’s love for chicken and rice, he said, “Now you’re making me crave rice pudding!” You know the beauty of rice pudding? You can make it just about any time, since it’s likely you’ll have all the ingredients on hand. We had all of them, plus a few extras that made our Saturday foodie experience phenomenal. Toasted marshmallow Torani syrup. Mmm! Mmm! So delicious!


I used a recipe from, but made a few exceptions. Since I was using a sugary flavored syrup instead of an extract, I used less sugar. I also opted for a 1/2 cup of cream instead of milk in the last step. It’s the perfect amount of creamy and sweet, in my opinion.


 Toasted Marshmallow Rice Pudding

Serves about 4 | Adapted from All Recipes

  • 3/4 cup white uncooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Torani Toasted Marshmallow Flavoring (or any flavoring)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cream

Boil 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, reduce to medium and cover for 20 minutes.

In a clean medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice with the milk, sugar and salt. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 15-20 minutes (it was 20 minutes at our house). Stir in egg, butter, flavoring and cream and cook for another 2-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Scoop pudding into an airtight container and cool in the refrigerator (if you like your pudding cold like I do). Allow 1 hour to set up.

Serve with sliced strawberries.



I hope you enjoy this twist on a classic comfort food recipe as much as I do! Mmm!

Food: Best Orange Cake on the Planet


Thursday’s glorious fog and cold rain made me do it.

It was my “day off” (aka no computer screen time, but I admit there was more than enough phone and TV screen time). Penelope was on Fall break and we needed something to do.

So we made a cake. Correction. I made a cake while I ordered Penelope to watch.


I guess my desire for making a pretty cake overcame the desire to make it fun for Penelope. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I do that all the time. I crowd her out so she ends up watching or getting bored and going to her studio to craft.

Hanging out with the kids Thursday opened my eyes to two (okay more than that, but I’ll only mention two here) shortcomings of mine as a mom. I take over our creative projects and I rarely get the kids out of the house. My mom took us to galleries, museums, symphonies at least once a week growing up.

Time for some resolutions.


Back to the cake. I used what I had on hand, which worked perfectly for Lizzie’s Orange White Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

I have no idea what happened to my regular cupcake tins so a tiered cake was in order.

I also didn’t have a white box cake, oranges or white chocolate. I substituted butter pecan box cake, clementines and dark chocolate for the missing ingredients. And it was a major win.


I also filled the middle tier of the cake with blackberry preserves. I could’ve done the ganache in the middle, but I love how the dark chocolate lattice work could be mistaken for a spider’s web.


This quite possibly beats out the delicious cake served at our wedding. And that was an amazing cake.

Chris and his brother kept sneaking bites throughout the evening and next morning. Between the 5 of us, we devoured the cake in a matter of hours.  I felt triumphant.


Orange Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Your Cup of Cake (the book) by Lizzie Early


  • 1 box butter pecan cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • zest of 3 oranges


  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Orange Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Line two 8″ cake pans with butter and cut out and place discs of parchment on the inside of each pan for easy cake removal. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Mix egg whites, oil, orange juice buttermilk and orange zests in a large bowl. Add sifted cake mix and stir until smooth.

Bake cake pans for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (it was 15 minutes for mine). Remove cake from pans onto a cookie sheet. Allow to cool completely.

For Buttercream: beat butter until smooth. Add zest and juice. Add powdered sugar a little at a time while beating until you get to the right thickness. I used 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 3 cups of powdered sugar.

For Ganache: mix chocolate and cream in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan on medium/low. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely melted.

Food: Grilled Pizza


I’ve become the grill master this summer. I bought the grill under the impression that Chris would start working his magic  with tasty meats. Not so. He’s let me take over this gadget, like I’ve taken over just about every gadget in our home (minus the steam cleaner and vacuum – those are still his territory).


I love a good pizza with a nice thin crust and a tasty variety of fixins on top. After happening upon Camille Styles’s grilled pizza post, I had to give that a go. I used Trader Joe’s pizza dough (since I’m terrible at making my own). And success.

Certainly this isn’t the freshest photo of pizza, but it was the only slice left (from two pizzas) that was photograph-able. Felix ate his weight in pizza, as did we all! Above, I topped our pizza with sesame oil, white cheddar, mozzarella, grilled thai chicken (a recipe for next week perhaps?), green onions, and red peppers. This is great dipped in Thai peanut sauce.

Check out the amazing recipe (with step-by-step instructions) over at Camille Styles. If you’re dough-impaired like me, check out Trader Joe’s wheat dough (my favorite!!) or Rhodes rolls dough. We recently tried Pilsbury pizza dough, but that wasn’t my favorite. I think I need someone to teach me how to make real dough.

Chipotle Popcorn + Easy Paper Cones


Last week I bought a popcorn popper! I’ve been doing it on the stovetop until now. It’s not terrible, but it is nice to avoid standing over the stove for 10 minutes at a time.


Our neighborhood has this little tradition called “Street of Treats”. Each street is assigned a Sunday through out the summer and early fall months, and neighbors get together to provide and eat treats. Our street was up first for the summer! I wanted to do something fun, but I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time preparing for it.

I also wanted to do something besides brownies and cookies as I knew mine would certainly not be the best nor the only ones out. So I did a popcorn bar!


About an hour beforehand I realized I didn’t have enough paper cups for neighbors, so I had to get inventive. I certainly have enough paper on-hand, so I made cones:

Cut the 12×12 inch paper into fourths. Find some cute, but strong tape (this is masking tape from OHF).


Lightly crease the corner.


Overlap opposing corners.


But don’t overlap too much.


Secure with tape.

I believe I made about 50+ cones and about 10+ batches of popcorn last night. Neighbors and friends topped their own popcorn with cinnamon and sugar, butter, parmesan, Mrs. Dash Chipotle powder, Salt, Pepper and/or dill. The little kids loved dousing their popcorn in lots of butter.


My personal favorite combination? Butter, Mrs. Dash chipotle seasoning, lots of parmesan and kosher salt.


I’m pretty sure I need to host a movie night and do this kind of thing again. It was fun, easy, cheap and cute.

Does your neighborhood do any fun get-togethers like this during the summer months?

Food: Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Chicken


 This post is sponsored by MADHOUSE Collection. Casual entertaining shouldn’t sacrifice style. You can find statement melamine serveware, cool paper products and the neatest twig utensils I’ve ever seen.

I first experimented this recipe on Mother’s day. We had 11 people to dinner that night so I wanted to make something tasty and easy. I also wanted to use our new grill for the first time! I based this recipe off a traditional Sunday dinner my mom used to slow cook in the winters with cream of mushroom soup. They’re good, but the cream of mushroom soup is a bit to heavy for spring and summer dining.

Since Mother’s day I’ve perfected the recipe. It’s delicious, easy to double or triple and makes for great leftovers. If you have any.


Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Chicken

prep and cook time: 40 minutes, serves: 6-8


  • 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 9 chicken tenders
  • 9 strips of bacon
  • 9 toothpicks, soaked

You can use fresh minced garlic, but I’ve found that the minced garlic from a jar works best. I get better flavor and the garlic cooks all the way through. I would also recommend using regular bacon. Thick country-style bacon is too fatty, we had issues with the bacon catching fire and charring the bacon while not evenly cooking the chicken. I use chicken tenders because they’re thin and small. You can certainly cut chicken breasts down to about the size of a chicken tender. Start with a clean surface and be sure to thoroughly clean all surfaces that have come in contact with the raw meat.

Pre-heat your grill to medium heat.


Lay out 1 bacon strip, place one chicken tender in the middle, spread minced garlic on top of the chicken. Starting from one side, roll the bacon and chicken up neatly. Pierce the middle with a toothpick to keep the meats from unrolling. Set aside. Repeat for all 9 chicken tenders.


Once your grill is preheated (I heat it to 450, clean the grill bars and cool it down to 300), place meat on grill bars, bacon sides down. Allow to cook about 10 minutes on each side, cook until bacon is medium brown and chicken is all-the-way cooked. This is about 20-25 minutes. Remove toothpicks (or tell guests to remove them). Serve.


And if you already have the grill going, put a few ears of corn and slabs of sweet potatoes on the grill. You’ll have an entire meal without dirtying a ton of pans or heating up the house.


How was Father’s Day around your house? We had a really relaxed, low-key day. Chris isn’t one to make a huge fuss out of holidays so it was easy to make him feel loved and appreciated.

On a personal note, I’m so grateful to have Chris as my man. He is a wonderful Father and husband. He is awesome with our kids and he’s so supportive of me and my adventures.

So supportive, in fact, that he recently quit his job so that we can work from home together. He’s been working tirelessly on a project that we’ve been dreaming about for almost for a year. When he’s not solving crazy dev problems; he’s playing with the kids, changing diapers and tidying up the house. He’s doing whatever he can to help me grow this little business of mine. Sometimes I get anxious thinking about being our own bosses, but then Chris comes to assure me that we’re doing the right thing. And he’s right. I wouldn’t have this any other way. We work really well alongside each other. I’m grateful that we have this opportunity to do that.

I’m also incredibly grateful that my kids get to spend so much time with their dad. Both Chris and I have wonderful dads. They’re strong, hard-working, faithful men. I cherished those quiet moments with my dad in the car enroute to Home Depot on Saturdays. I’m excited that Penelope and Felix will grow up with cherished moments with their dad as well.

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