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Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

…i’m currently drowning in a sea of Higher Education literature… not that the information isn’t TERRIBLY book clubinteresting…  but there are other things i’d like to be reading right now too… and just can’t…

… i’m listing them for 2 reasons…

1) so i’ll remember what i want to read when my eyeballs and brain get a brief education break at the holidays

-and-

2) so, perhaps you’ll read them, sift through, and tell me which ones are worth my time and which ones aren’t… then i won’t waste what little leisure reading time i have….. thanks! 😉 (jk… sort of)

… extended list after the jump… with a brief description of my top 5 really-wanna-reads…

(more…)

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..every day i just blah blah blah about the various treats… both delightful and disastrous… that come out of my kitchen…

… but creating edible dishes isn’t the only thing i love about being in the kitchen… i am a genuine culinary nerd… and some of the accouterments that help me create  also bring me immense joy

… so i thought i’d share a few of those things with you…

… starting with my FAVORITE thing in my kitchen…my Le Creuset whistling tea kettle in Caribbean

...prettty...

...prettty...

… i know it’s not what you would expect me to say is my favorite kitchen item… because i can’t really use it to bake or cook… but for some reason… it just makes me happy… and i think it’s beautiful

(more…)

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wedding season that is… or at least it’s getting close…

..wedding time...

..wedding time...

… this may seem like a detour from my typical posts… since there won’t be a recipe involved… but i told you i love events too… and weddings definitely fall under the events category… as do wedding showers…

… now, don’t lie… if you’ve got a wedding coming up you’re thinking 2 things…

1. yikes… what am i gonna wear… i need a tan

…2. yikes… where are they registered… or… do i get *ahem* a personal gift for her…

…well… ahhhh… i have the answer to both… yehaw(can you tell i’m super excited)…

… last weekend i had the opportunity to get a little bit pampered here in La Jolla… and boy could i get used to it… i received an oxygen facial… and a spray tan… from super-cute Skin Care Specialist Chelsie Dillard at FACES Plus…  and it has pretty much become the answer to my summer…

…spray tan for me… facial for her(the bride)…………ok, and me too…

(more…)

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… so obviously i was going to bake some kind of sweet treat for valentine’s day… but i shied away from the traditional red and pink hearts…

… since i also had a pair of concert tickets up my sleeve for the evening… i decided to create an all-embodied theme… and make a photo cake with an image of the comedy team the tickets were to see…

…when he arrived that evening i sat him down… told him to close his eyes and put out his hands… where i placed this…

FOTC Picture Cake

FOTC Picture Cake

…a dark chocolate double layer cake… with mocha frosting… and an EDIBLE PHOTO of flight of the conchords…

…he  was completely shocked… utterly impressed… and totally excited

He was excited...

He was excited...

… i ordered the edible image from icing images.com… i was so excited to find this site… reasonably priced completely edible photos… that took literally seconds to add to my own baked creation… they can print photos on icing sheets sized for standard rectangle cakes, large sheet cakes, 8″ round cakes, and 24 cupcakes… and will add your own special messages

…you can tell from his face how well this idea went over… i would highly recommend ordering a photo cake for a birthday… wedding shower… anniversary… or any other special occasion you can think of… they are clever… personal… and of course… completely deliscious

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…let’s just start with the word OBSESSED… because i’m pretty sure i said it. repeatedly. on friday night during the first visit to our new favorite cafe…

… seriously people… if you like chocolate… of the baked-infused-hot–moist-eating-or-drinking variety… STOP what you are doing right now… and go to this cafe… eclipse chocolat

…friday afternoon i realized i should probably look into this place that sells plush puffs… (obvsioulsy out of obligation to my clamouring readers who need to know… ha.ha.h.a)… i thought i should see what flavors they offer… and ensure i could even obtain a box before adding this stop to the never-ending errand list… well OHMIGOODNESS was i pleasantly surprised when i checked out the website… lemme just highlight a few of the things i learned…

…not only do they sell plush puffs… but they downright feature them… with thier cupcakes and their cocoa… both of which… i’ll be honest… we sampled… and all i can say is… DELIGHT…

… and lemme tell you about this cocoa… oh it’s not just any rip-open-the-packet and stir-in-the-powder kind of cocoa… this is LEGIT DRINKING CHOCOLATE… the kind of drinking chocolate that is created by melting little shavings of actual chocolate into a drinkable state…  helllooooooo…. AND it’s flavor infused… we tried the rosemary mint drinking chocolate… (ok by we, i really mean he…and i drank half of it)… with vanilla bean plush puffs as garnish…

…then there is the happy hour… that i oh-so-happily indulged in… people this happy hour is a DREAM… with any beer or wine purchase… a patron may choose a gourmet chocolate truffle… strike me stunned… i was so excited i could burst… i had a relaxing glass of red wine and giddily chose a fresh-peanut butter/chcolate truffle to savor…

…friends… i went in wanting marshmallows… and left with a passion… and obsession… a purpose… TELL EVERYONE about this little cafe… ensure that all san diegans are aware of the attention to detail (and we all know how i love the details…)… and the artistry born in this *sweet* cafe…

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e-vite.com has become my new best friend and is insanely useful for the frequent party planner… there are hundreds of themes and categories to choose from…ranging from national holidays to boys night out or GIRLS night in… and copius options within each of the themes

…further increasing it’s appeal is the cost effectiveness of not paying postage and the expediency of not addressing envelopes… the site even offers food and beverage calculators to determine the amount of supplies you will need depending on the number of respondents…it is insanely handy to have an electronic account of who is coming or who can’t make it so that no one is forgotten, and you know how many guests to plan for…ADDITIONALLY, event details can be edited efficiently and all guests notified of the changes in a timely and organized manner…

…guests appreciate the CONVENIENCE as well… they don’t have to keep track of a psychical piece of paper with times, locations, or other specifics, as those tend to get misplaced or thrown away between receiving an invitation and the actual event… they are also able to leave responses on the invitation for all invitees to see… which i have found incredibly useful in potluck situations… so that susie sees that johnny is bringing potato salad and can decide to bring beans instead…

…my favorite part of the process though… i must admit… is the instant gratifcaiton of watching the rsvp’s appear as people check their e-mail throughout the work day…  once i’ve sent an e-vite i find myself checking back as frequently as i check my own e-mail to see who is excited for our next adventure or get-together

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte

mutter. mutter. mumble. MUMBLE. corporate america. blah. blah. blah…

… so mike subscribes to the hullabaloo that Starbucks is taking over the world and putting all of the little guys out of business…. which could very well be true… and believe me I am a HUGE supporter and borderline fanatic for random local coffee shops… but i’m certainly not opposed to a Starbucks stop or two. daily. …

… buuuuuuut, a few days ago, to appease mr. coffee-monopoly-SOAPBOX we ventured across the street to Peet’s… (please know that I realize this is a corporate chain as well– but we only have two stores where I live– rather than 2 per city block like starbucks– thus making it seem less franchised.)…

…i tried the “pumpkin spice freddo” expecting your average cup of fall delight… and was largely disappointed. too much pumpkin- not enough spice. the first few sips were pleasant… but it quickly became too rich, tasting essentially like straight pumpkin puree… it needed the cinnamon/nutmeg flavor to create a little bitter follow up to the syrup-y sweet…

…so for the rest of the season… until it’s time to transition into peppermint cheer… i will put my foot down… and head to my local (and yes that means i have LOTS of location options) starbucks for my daily fix of fall in a cup… because i’m not paying $4.00 for a sugar-induced coma…

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