Thursday, June 30, 2011

thankful thursday #23

remember when i said i found the most beautiful kitchen tool i had ever seen {here}?

well, my super amazing & supportive & clever & sneaky & genius & wonderful family got the hot pink kitchen aid mixer for me for pastry school graduation!!!!!!!!!!

oh. my. gosh.

they are seriously the most fabulous people on earth.  but i already knew that.

& this is seriously the most fabulous kitchen tool on earth.  it is so gorgeous.  & looks quite divine in my kitchen.

what should i bake in it first?!  probably something great for the fourth of july.  wish you were here, huh?

thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!

i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful today.

love love,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the baby mr & mrs porters!

my little brother-in-law got married!  he is a husband & she is a wife.  & that is crazy & awesome all at the same time.

we are so very happy for beau & cara.  the wedding was beautiful & the reception was super fun.

from the amazing videographers that videoed our wedding, here is a little peak at the wonderful day:

cara cried during most of the ceremony.  beau cried.  blake cried.  two other groomsmen cried.  even dave cried.  it was so sweet.  

& probably the neatest, most touching part to us is that our siblings said the same vows we said.  that is so cool.

& if you thought i would just stop at don't read my blog often enough :)  many many pictures to follow!

on our flight out to oklahoma, i got to sit next to the most adorable 9 year old girl.  after chatting with her the entire flight, she told me she had hoped she would get to sit next to another kid or me.  my heart melted.  & she was totally a little mini me.  hot pink glasses & all!

{no, parentals of ours.  that does NOT mean i am ready to have children.}

we made it to t-town just in time for the rehearsal dinner, mexican style!  {we were so so excited to eat oklahoma mexican.  yessss.}  cara was stunning & beau adorable in his sear sucker suit.  it was so fun to catch up with all of our family, especially cara & beau and peyton & justin at the head table :)

{the porter boys welcoming our last porter girl!}

{my super cute husband}

on saturday while the boys were boys, i got to do three of my favorite things: drink good coffee, get some sun, & read a book.  doubleshot quickly became my favorite coffee shop in tulsa when i lived there {years & years ago}.  i knew it as a little coffee shop run by the owner that was only open when he felt  like going to work.  it has doubled in size since i was there but has equally as wonderful coffee that is roasted at the store.

{this little sticker keeps your coffee inside your cup,
where it belongs.

as i said, beau & cara's wedding ceremony was beautiful.  our wonderful friend & officiant of our wedding, rick hall, officiated this one too.  beautiful words were spoken about marriage & love & beau and cara.  i hope to hear him at many more wedding ceremonies, reminding us of the promises we made to each other  a short time ago.

& then the ridiculously fun reception!  we got to experience mr i.j. ganem & band as a wedding guest!  if you recall, i.j. was at our wedding, & we LOVED him.  cara & beau were the ones who told us about him.  so glad we listened.  & so glad we got to party all night with him again!

{the bro-brace}

{they took dancing lessons!}

{one of the best grooms' cakes i have ever seen.
perfect for beau.
& super deliciouus.}

{cara's kappaa blue wedding cake}

{THE porter champagne flutes}

{my super hot husband}

{& our favorite oldest porter siblings :)}

{all off the mrs porters!
alyssa, we are excited to welcome you into the group in a few months!}

{another fabulous bro-brace.
this time with momma porter.
a happy happy wedding.}

we were lucky enough to have the post-wedding brunch with the bride & groom.  we got to have breakfast at wolfgang puck's bistro in tulsa.  the food was great: crab cake benedict for me.  delish.  but how gorgeous is this bloody mary:

{i do suggest it.}

three porter boys are now very happily married.  & i am so glad & blessed i get to be a part of that.  

congratulations, cara & beau!

love love,

Friday, June 24, 2011

11. externship update: school is out!

can you believe my externship & thus school is over?!  i cannot.  classes, well, they did not go by quickly.  they were wonderful & i learned so much.  but they were not quick.  the last 11 weeks, however, went by so fast! 

i'm on my way to being a "real" pastry chef :)

this last week was all about fancy-ing things up, being a little more creative, & just making the customer smile a little bit more. 

since blueberries are now in season {yay berries!!}, we have now begun making blueberry scones from scratch.  these have been a huge hit.  probably my biggest success since starting at urban.  & i've actually gotten much faster at making scones.  it used to take about an hour from start to finish of clean-up to make 3 batches.  i now can make 4 batches in about 30 minutes.  nice.

everyone from oklahoma knows about these cookies:  peanut butter swirls.  oh yes.  well, i've created my version of the best cookie:  peanut butter chocolate drizzle.  yum!

one day i was asking all of fellow urbanites what their favorite cookie from childhood was.  one of the fellas said it was the iced oatmeal cookies that came in a long package with a circle of icing on top.  certainly we can do that!  one of the awesome guys in the kitchen made applesauce from scratch for me when there was a little free time.  the cookies turned out pretty darn good.  no package cookie, luckily.  {wink wink}

sunday morning before brunch started, the chefs made some fabulous french toast with bacon & blueberries.  sounds so good, right?!  it was.  & i now have a huge crush on the bacon blueberry combo.  what should i make??  i am thinking candied bacon & blueberry muffins...

it has been a wonderful wonderful 11 weeks.  & i am happy to announce that i will be staying at urban as the pastry chef!  so excited.  so blessed.

love love,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

more okie fun.

the next few days in oklahoma were jam packed with some of our favorite things!

first up, the beller/donatiello/vandaveer/porter/stanley clan headed to a winery in oklahoma city called strebel creek vineyard.  a doctor & his wife in okc began growing grapes in their yard & have turned their success into a little vineyard & winery.  now, if you are thinking what i was thinking, you'd think these wines would be awful.  but they were actually quite tasty!  if you are in the area, definitely stop by for a wine tasting & listen to the great stories dr strebel has to tell.

next up was my top place i had to go while in okc: republic.  it is all about re-creating the public house.  there are many fantastic beers on tap & a unique twist on pub favorites.  blakey loves the republic burger: caramelized bacon, bleu & gruyere cheeses, & a fried egg.  yum!  so i got it in honor of him.  & armstrong stopped by to say hello & give me a hug while we had beers on the patio.  so so great to see her.

& then the best coffee in okc: slingers.  go there.  get their coffee.  love it.

on monday, julie, benny boo, & i headed to blanchard america to see my mom & ray!  it was a beautifully hot day, so we decided to play some bocce ball in the backyard.  {mom: repeat after me.  BAW-CHEE :)}  ben pretty much kicked all of our butts at this game.  well done, sir.  i am as horrible at backyard bowling as i am at the indoor version.

& then we had a little pool tournament.  although i am ridiculously bad at pool {really, really, really bad.}, i made it to the finals!  thank you to everyone who played before me for scratching on the 8 ball.  you made me feel like a winner.

{game on, julie byrd.}

fun times with the fams.  more fun times to tell you about.  we heart oklahoma.

{thanks for the war paint/pool chalk to the face, 
benny boo boo boo boo boo}

love love,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

my new favorite thing: homemade salsa.

while i'm waiting to get the pictures we took in ooooooooklahoma on julie's camera {that looks exactly like mine, as i stole her idea, & thus is difficult to tell apart}, i'm going to tell you about my new hobby:  making homemade salsa!!

if you have a food processor, this is the easiest recipe ever.  & it is super delicious!  you can even change it up to make it more like you like it.  is super chunky salsa your favorite?  great.  rather have the watery version?  totally doable.  spicy?  of course.  sweet?  got it.

here is blakey & my favorite version, although it always turns out new every time :)

super awesome homemade salsa

4 large tomatoes
1 large yellow onion
2 bell peppers 
{i go with orange & yellow.  there is enough red in the salsa already & i hate green.}
3 jalapenos {de-seeded, if you don't want it ridiculously spicy}
5 cloves garlic
a bunch of cilantro
a few limes, just juice
1 T-ish salt
2 tsp-ish sugar
some cumin

1. chop the tomatoes, onion, & bell peppers into big chunks.  i go ahead and finely chop the jalapenos & garlic to make sure it gets well distributed.

2. process away!  i like to do it in batches of the different items, to make sure they get chopped to the consistency i want.  

3. add in the cilantro, lime juice, salt, sugar, & cumin to taste.  

4. it's better after sitting a little bit.  let the flavors "marry".  really, they want to fall in love with each other.

5. eat eat eat!  if you are anything like blakey & me, it will be gone in a couple of sittings.  if you eat normal amounts of salsa, it is plenty for a party.

ps this makes a relatively "juicy" salsa, which is exactly how we like salsa to be.  if you want it less watery, strain the liquid out of the processed tomatoes.  if it is still too water, use lime zest instead of lime juice.  oooh, actually, now that i thought of that, i'm going to try that next time too.  i love fruit zest.

oh!  & one of my favorite parts about making salsa: tanky LOVES cilantro stems.  he was whining at me one day while i was chopping, so i tossed him a stem certain he would hate it.  he showed me.  he chews & chews & then asks for me.  cheapest treat ever.

love love,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

a beautiful wedding in oklahoma.

where have i been?!  {you asked.  you know you did.}  the answer:  oooooooooooklahoma!

while blakey stayed in alabama to work work work, i headed to my great state to spend a week with my family, see my sister for the first time in TEN MONTHS, & celebrate my step-sister getting married!  you, of course, will get to hear all about it.  so let's start with the wedding!

lindsey & her adorable now-husband, tony, had a super lovely ceremony in our parents' back yard.  lindsey looked absolutely gorgeous in her gown & tony could not have seemed happier.  it was a fun celebration.

friday night kicked off the wedding activities with a backyard rehearsal dinner with really delicious pizza & fun people.  please note the boys holding beers...during the rehearsal...  well done, fellas.

 {the bride & groom!}

 {my dad & step-mom}

my half-bro-in-law, aron, is pretty awesome.  he djed the rehearsal & wedding & reception.  we all loved the tunes, but i am pretty sure aron loved playing them even more.  check out the bromance here:

while i am bragging on my family, my half-sis, jenna, is the fancy schmancy wine importer of noble wine imports.  she has some fabulous italian boutique wines.  the sparkling wine: so fabulous.

oh!  lindsey & tony asked me to make the grooms cake!  it was an honor.  & a lot of fun to actually see tons of people enjoying my baking :)  tony is a big red sox fan, so lindsey surprised him with this edible boston cake topper:

& THEN MY SISTER {& BENNY BOO BOO BOO BOO BOO BOO} ARRIVED!!!  oh my gosh, i was so happy to see them.  so so happy.

so let the wedding begin!  among all of the pictures, lindsey & tony took a few in my dad's corn field.  so awesome.

 {a sneak peak from april mass photography}

 {my step-bro & his super cute gf, ally}

 {dad & ruth dancing the night away}

we all had so much fun & were delighted to see the newlyweds so happy.  congratulations to you two!

love love,

Friday, June 10, 2011

10. externship update: monkeys!

one of our customer favorites at urban is our monkey bread.  biscuit dough, butter, sugar, & cinnamon = delicious!

start with about 15 small biscuits worth of biscuit dough.  i make my own biscuit dough from scratch, but you could use frozen biscuits to make it SUPER easy.

cut the biscuits into quarters & roll each in a cinnamon + sugar mixture.

throw 6-8 biscuit pieces into little foil tins {bigger than a cupcake - a jumbo cupcake, if you will}.

then melt a stick of butter & a cup of brown sugar in pan until no longer grainy {just a few minutes).  ladle about 2 oz of the buttery sugary goodness over the biscuits.

throw those guys in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes {until the biscuits are done throughout}. & now you have monkey bread!

we used to take them out of the tins, so you could see the biscuits all squished together.  but we decided that makes you lose a lot of the ooey gooey goodness.

so now we serve them in the tins.  they look hip & urban.  good thing :)

only 1 more week of the externship!  can you believe it?  time flies...when you're not in night school :)

love love,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

thankful thursday # 22.

i get to see my sister in TWO DAYS!!!

it will be the first time since august.  crazy. 

so so so excited.  & excited to see all of my family.  yay!

i hope you can think of something for which you are thankful today.

love love,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

pre chiefs, UAB style.

the beginning of the end of intern year is upon us!

last weekend was the annual pre-chiefs party to send off the wonderful chiefs with a roast.  skits, songs, awards, & slideshows bid these wonderful seven adieu.  well done, third-years, well done.  i already look forward to seeing it done to you next year!

{with the beautiful intern girls
that weren't on call}

blakey won the "skinny jeans" award, along with a comment on his super awesome surgery glasses & eyeliner worn for our 90s party costume.  these southern boys just cannot handle his fabulous sense of style.  at least that is what i will believe :)

love love,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1 year in sweet home alabama.

can you believe it has been a year since we moved to birmy??  i absolutely cannot.

 {blakey driving our uhaul}

part of it went by fast, part of it went by so slowly {mostly the night class 5 days a week part).  

but it has been an awesome year.  we have been blessed with so many amazing friends, a beautiful loft that is now a home, & fabulous jobs.  i could never have hoped for such a great first year.

thanks, beautiful alabama for year number 1!  we are excited to see what is in store for #2.

love love,