Wednesday, March 27, 2013

52 weeks of baking: 13 - strawberry cream cheese cobbler

It's strawberry season, y'all! Do you love strawberries like I love strawberries? They're pretty much the best. Minus the seeds in your teeth.

My mom sent me this little recipe (I think this is the same one) for a simple strawberry and cream cheese cobbler. The ingredients list is small and the directions are minimal. This is one of those recipes that would actually fit on an index card in a recipe box. What happened to those?

This recipe was a breeze to throw together and it will make your house smell heavenly. Better than the priciest yankee candle company candle. Mouth watering. For real. I found myself just staring at the oven.

Also, this cobbler is really good. Like straight up, delicious. The perfect combo of sweet and tart and creamy and crisp and mushy. Way to go Mom, this recipe is a keeper for sure. You all should make it. Right now would probably be best.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The video you've all been waiting for

Here it is. Mr. Hogan, busting a move on stage at the Mr. PharmD pageant. Also featuring, my annoying laugh! My husband has some sweet moves and is excellent at being super awkward. Hip thrusts all day.

You're welcome.


Whoohoo Sunday was muh burfday! Twenty-five you guys. Surprise, it feels just like twenty-four. Birthdays are bueno and this one was no exception. My momma and sister came up for brunch, I got to watch a ton of Glee while melting into the couch with Brendon, and then we went to one of my favorite restaurants downtown for dinner! Perfect day.

HA. Sorry Jules, I had to.

Extra super fancy bonus blu-ray edition of the Sound of Music! Came with all kinds of goodies.

My mom is the queen of wrapping. Not only did this bigger-than-me-box have an obscene amount of wrapping paper around it, it contained just this:

Hell yeah, cast iron skillet. This sucker is serious and I could probably end lives with it. Tangled style. It is heavy! Can't wait to use it! Mom, you know me so well.  Also, I am wearing a cat print shirt. Just saying. Preeeetty badass birthday shirt if you ask me.

We had brunch at Red's Porch. I had never been before but it was great! The view was awesome, the food was good, and it was totally affordable. However, the lighting was rough. Mom, you're the only one I got a good shot of.

Chicken and waffles! It's a thing!

That night we went to Eddie V's downtown and grubbed on fantastic seafood. I love that place. And booya, free fancy dessert!

I am a fool and because my glasses didn't match my outfit, I went without for the evening. Seeing clearly is overrated, right? Insta-headache as soon as we left the house. I need contacts, stat. Glasses are annoying and not everything goes with black.

It was a perfect birthday and I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life that spoil me rotten. Love y'all to the moon and back.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mr. PharmD

Saturday night Brendon was a contestant in a beauty pageant. Kinda.

Every year the University of Texas College of Pharmacy holds a Mr. PharmD contest for the future men in pharmacy to strut their stuff on stage and battle it out for a crown. Of course, Brendon wanted in on that action. So boom, we had us a pageant to prepare for. There were four parts to the thing, an introduction with an escort (yours truly, I walked on a stage and didn't fall), "cultural wear", talent, and a health platform speech. It was actually a lot of fun and really entertaining. There were only four contestants so it wasn't super long, and they were all great!

Ahem, look familiar? He definitely was grooving to the chicken dance.

The talent portion. OH IT WAS THE BEST. Everyone's was so good. Brendon did the Napoleon Dynamite dance, and he did it perfectly. I was so proud. We practiced a bunch and he knocked it out of the park. I was laughing so hard I cried. There is video and as soon as I figure out how to put it on youtube, I will share. It was brilliant and hilarious.

Brendon's health platform was obesity. Did you know that hunk up there has lost 60 pounds since high school? And still counting! He has worked so hard and it has seriously paid off. He's the healthiest dude I know!

Although Brendon was a rockstar, he didn't get that crown. The guy who did was awesome, so it's okay. Brendon will always be my Mr. PharmD. 

And here I am! Proof that I was there! Too bad we don't have documentation of my brief stint on stage, showing Brendon off. That will  probably never happen again! As much as I envy and aspire to be one of those Glee kids, stages aren't in my future. Brendon on the other hand, apparently that's another story.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

52 weeks of baking: 12 - chocolate cake

It's no secret that I love dessert. And I love cake. And I love chocolate. So naturally, for my 12th week of baking that happens to also be my birthday week (AND I had a request for chocolate cake, the stars aligned for this one, y'all), I made a big ol' extra chocolatey chocolate cake. Three layers, because I'm not messing around.

I've actually made a two layer version of this cake before for a friend, but I only got half a piece before it disappeared so I thought I deserved my own. Also, I botched the icing the first time around, my butter was still a little cooler than room temperature so the icing ended up a little piecey. Delicious, just not as cute as it should be. This time it was perfect. I used this recipe for the cake and this recipe for the icing. Chocolate on chocolate.

This may be the richest cake, ever. It is intense. Cut yourself a sliver, for real. But it is damn good and I think it may be even better chilled. The icing is like mousse descended from heaven and the cake is fudgey and dense and moist and perfect. Eat it with some ice cold orange juice. Chocolate cake and OJ is pretty hard to beat.

And hey, check out my bakeware collection:

This is one cabinet's worth. This does not include my baking sheets, muffin pans, glass bakeware and of course, my ridiculous Pyrex collection. I was trying to find three little 8 inch pans and was attacked by basically everything as it tumbled out of the cabinet. Organization is not my strong suit. But now it's all neat and organized and I even got rid of a few redundant bowls. So many mixing bowls.

I've gotten a couple suggestions for future weeks-o-baking, and I'm excited to try them out! Plus of course a gazillion and one things I've been dying to make. I thought it would be challenging to come up with something to bake every week but, NOPE. Bake on, y'all!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Half a decade of birthdays

Because it's the birthday week, I decided to roll on back through my photos and check out my last 5 birthdays. Feeling a bit nostalgic since I'm turning 25. Quarter of a century, y'all!

20th birthday, celebrated at Brendon's desk in his crazy little apartment in Denton. I'm definitely wearing Abercrombie, Hollister, and plastic earrings possibly from Claire's. I was in college, okay? Also, t-shirt-vest-hoodie-combo? SHEESH.

21st birthday, celebrated at a bar I can't remember the name of on the square in Denton with my girl Kristy (AHH KRISTY LOOK AT US!). Celebrating being able to drink legally! Woooo, and what's up with those bangs?

22nd birthday, celebrated mostly in our sweet little apartment on Teasley Lane in Denton. Oh and Brendon proposed, setting me up for a life time of birthdays that will never top that one (kidding, although it was fantastic and one of the best days of my little life). Plastic earrings, again. And no mas hair!

23rd birthday, celebrated at home at my momma's in New Braunfels, lookin' like a hot mess. Testing out my rehearsal dinner/fiesta outfit in preparation for the wedding weekend. It was full blown wedding planning madness at that point. Damn that was fun. Someone let me plan your wedding!

24th birthday, celebrated right here at our little home in Austin. Definitely blew my mix-matched candles out on a piece of bread. And I'm wearing the only decent outfit in this post, my absolute favorite dress in the world. Can you wear a birthday dress on more than one birthday? I feel like there's some kind of rule.

How I've grown, eh? Someone needed to step away from the tanning booth. I think I currently look nothing like any of these younger versions of me, but I remember all those days and they were all good days. I've generally kept the stance that I dislike my birthday because it always seemed like a let down, but looking back, I've had some really great birthdays. And they were usually filled with celebrations with really great people. Except that first one, my twentieth. I think Brendon took me to Black Eyed Pea (yes that happened, and  yes, at least one still exists, in Denton, TX of course). I will never let Brendon forget that one, mostly because it is hilarious.

But really, birthdays are good and I think I will like them. 25, be a good one okay?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Zilker Park

Texans, are you not in love with this weather? Can it pleeeease stay like this forever? Every year I forget how wonderful our few weeks of spring are. March, you are my favorite (October, I still love you too). We have been taking advantage of this awesome weather and trying to get outside as much as possible. Before it's 105 degrees again.

Thursday morning we hit up Zilker Park. This was the first time that we just visited the park, usually there's some sort of event that brings us there. Turns out it's a really great park! SO big. And so many puppies (and children) running around everywhere! Brendon suggested bringing our gloves and playing catch soon. I am going to have to take him up on that offer. Our softball spring season just started and I've been conned into playing catcher. Just wait for the bruises y'all, I can't catch anything.

Cardigan on cardigan, y'all. There are never too many cardigans.

Also, I think I have previously discussed how people just seem to love offering to take our picture. I am impressed with the kindness, and I will never turn them down, but the photos always come out terrible. And people get so serious, getting down on their knees for a "good angle", ridiculous. Sweet, but ridic. Here is one of the most recent offerings:

The flash was definitely on. Thanks kind strangers who think they are professional photographers. We've got quite a growing collection of random snapshots.