Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sara's Version of the Weekend in Seattle

I can't believe it's been a week since I boarded an airplane for Seattle! I was very lucky that the sun was out for my arrival, although it was a chilly 46 degrees. I'd forgotten how many layers are necessary in places other than Southern California.  Katey and I shopped around U Village in the evening before meeting up with our EFS group (+ Spencer) for dinner. 
The beautiful weather continued to Saturday so we had a nice walk to Pikes to get breakfast and Starbucks holiday cups. 
We also visited the gum wall, the ferris wheel and the brand new Target! 
I got pho with my cousins at night and Katey and I were so exhausted from walking in the cold (me going from U District to Wallingford; Katey being outside at the football game) that we came home and crashed. 
But Sunday, we got up and went to yoga at U Village! A nice workout and stretch that made us sore for days after. We drove to the new market in a new dorm for breakfast afterwards. And I was incredibly jealous of the fancy provisions that the students get now! There was a full on fish and meat market, an Asian section, lots of baking essentials, a deli, and a produce section! How unfair! Since I still had $35 on my Husky card, I got us food and hot beverages and met up with Jeremy to take a walk about campus. 
It was absolutely beautiful. I've been waiting for a real autumn and it's coming a bit late for us in LA, so this was just the thing I'd been dying to see. Most of the buildings were closed but I got a nice peek at some of the HUB, the business building and of course, Red Square and the Quad. We made another stop at the market so I could use up more money and bought some deli salads, fruit, popcorn, and a bag of Cuties. We also stopped outside of where Lander was for a moment of silence. 
We took a trip to Trader Joes so we could dinner ingredients and for old times sake. 
While we watched 27 Dresses, Jeremy wore a snuggie and I started making soup. 
Sara's Veggie Soup
1 onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 zucchini
5 small yukon gold potatoes
1 bag of frozen peas
1 bag of frozen corn
2 boxes of vegetable stock (or whatever stock you like; this time I used 1 box of veggie, 1 can of chicken and 1 can of water)
salt, pepper, paprika (or any other spices/herbs that you like) to taste
1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil till soft. 
2. Cut zucchini into half moons (or just rounds) and add to pot. Cut potatoes in quarters and also add. Season with a little salt and pepper.
3. Pour in liquids and simmer over medium/low heat until everything is soft. Stir occasionally. Check for seasonings and add more. 
4. When potatoes and zucchini are tender, add corn and peas. Add more salt and pepper if need be. Once corn and peas are warmed, it can be served. 
* This recipe was made up and had no directions, so I apologize for the vague instructions. But you really can't mess it up if you base it off your own preferences. It's best to make the soup early so it has time to naturally thicken from the potato and corn starches. But basically, whatever you do is fine!

Katey and I switched places and we put in The Princess Bride while she made the prettiest little pumpkin cookies. 
Aren't they gorgeous? And they smelled just as good!
We played the hardest Christmas trivia game ever invented and then Brad came over for dinner. We had soup, sweet potatoes, and baguette with the cookies for dessert, while it was rainy outside.

Monday was my last day so we walked around Capitol Hill and stumbled upon Oddfellows Cafe. Katey got a big biscuit and jam and I got a latte to go with my granola bar. 
It was a pretty restaurant and I would definitely go back to try their food again!
I landed too late to go see Anna Karenina and Keira Knightley sadly. Especially sad because apparently the movie was stunning. I guess I'll have to cough up the $13 to see a movie or wait for it to come out on Netflix. 
That arrow is quite right. I want to emulate this hairstyle/headband accessory use. 
I got very sick on Tuesday, must have caught a cold on the airplane or from school. Wednesday was horrible too and it didn't help that I didn't get much sleep due to the fact that I couldn't breathe. 
Thursday was the annual KOST FM holiday party so my mom, dad, Justin and I went to California Adventure from 9 pm-1 am. Our first ride was the swinging ferris wheel, which was the scariest thing I've ever experienced (because I hate ferris wheels and heights) but I'm glad that I went on because it was also hilarious. Cars Land was definitely the best thing. They created a lifelike version of Radiator Springs and it was just adorable. 
The Racer ride was roughly a 40 minute wait (the longest I've ever waited on a ride at one of these events) but was worth it because it was the best ride. Little Mermaid was also cute and got extra points for the gay sailor suits that the employees wore (not my words, I know one of the employees and that's how he described them to me). 
It's supposed to rain all day today, which I'm happy about. However, that might also mean that not many people come into work today, so it may be quiet. I'm listening to my Rain playlist a friend made me, am drinking tea, and wearing cozy slippers so it's worth it to me. 
All I want to do is snuggle up and watch Coco Before Chanel, Hart of Dixie, and the Thanksgiving episode of Grey's Anatomy. Enjoy the fall! I know I will celebrate today with a rainy day latte! 
Thank you Katey for being the most incredible host! I miss you and it's only been a week :[
Oh and Happy almost Thanksgiving! And countdown to my birthday began yesterday!

xx S

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Elections, Pumpkin, and Christmascups Oh My!

Well, as many of you probably already know, Starbucks holiday cups made their annual debut today! Normally this would warrant a post in and of itself, but since I have yet to post since I got back into the country two months ago (my bad), the Christmascups will have to share space with some other updates.



Things have been madness since I got back, but I think the only terribly exciting highlight from before school starting was wine tasting in Walla Walla. It was absolutely gorgeous, and we had fabulous wine.

After that things got suuuper busy again, school started, and life became a delicate work-hard, play-hard balance. 

One thing I've been making more time for is baking! I've been on a serious pumpkin kick lately too. I wasn't exactly an expert on pumpkin things though so I bought this 4 pack of mix at Costco to experiment with.


It was alright, and it actually made really good chocolate chip bread, but it didn't translate well to cookie form, and my mini muffins were a little on the crisp side. I still have one thing left, so maybe I'll make more chocolate chip bread. I also made some pumpkin bread from scratch, but I really think it needed more spices. 

Anyway, I have lots of pumpkin still so I want to make this recipe of Martha Stewart's:

Ingredients

  • For The Cookies

    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
    • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For The Icing

    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  3. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
  4. Make icing: Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add butter to confectioners' sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time.
I'm not sure when I'll have time, because this week is absolutely crazy, but I was thinking next friday or Saturday might be a good time. Sara, would you be up for a little baking? Maybe we could even sell the cookies :)

That's right, readers. Sara is coming to visit!!!!!!! Next week!! I can't can't can't wait! And she's just in time for some wonderful holiday fun so be ready to hear about some adventures!

But back to pumpkin-related things, I celebrated Halloween last weekend by dressing up as Pippi one night and Madeline the next night.


It was pretty incredible if I do say so myself. And then last night Laura and I weren't quite up for going out, plus I had a lot of school things to do, so we did a Halloween night in. We got pizza and candy and Christmas beer because they were out of pumpkin beer, and then we watched Hocus Pocus, which is pretty much the best disney Halloween movie ever. Thackery Binx, anyone?

I hope you all had a lovely Halloween and that you're enjoying the holiday season. But most importantly, I hope you all VOTE!! It's very important, especially this year. Sara and I hope to one day be like these two old women:


They're two "sassy liberal broads" as Sara put it, and I hope one day she and I can have such an entertaining and informative blog. 

In the meantime, I just want to share this with you all, because it's awesome and has lots of amazing people in it:


Happy Halloween, happy holidays, and don't forget to vote!!

xoxo
K