Thursday, January 31, 2013

thankful thursday - here i am, Lord. send me.

{source:  god0fthiscity}

i thought & thought & thought & prayed & prayed & prayed about my new year's resolution this year.  usually, there is something tugging on my heart that is clearly going to be my resolution.  this year there just wasn't something shouting at me.

{have i mentioned my new realization that sometimes, oftentimes i need to be shouted at for me to get the picture?  it's a strange self-awareness.  but it certainly makes me understand myself better.}

during all of this thinking & praying, this verse kept coming to me:

then i heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"whom shall I send? & who will go for us?"
& i said, "here am i.  send me!"
-isaiah 6:8

honestly, i was quite scared to actually say this was my resolution.  "send me".  that's a big statement.  

we have quite the big decision/discovery this year - blakey will interview for fellowship positions & match & thus find out where we will be living for the next three years beginning june 2014.  

but alas, i knew i had to listen.  & anytime i think i know what i'm praying for, i later learn God has something else completely in mind.  so, here i am, Lord, send me.

& now that i've posted it, i have to follow through.  i'll let you know how it goes...

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

love love,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

bourbon chocolate cupcakes!

y'all.  these cupcakes are fabulous.  & so southern.  so grab some bourbon, use awesome words like "y'all", & make these.

bourbon chocolate cupcakes
with a bourbon brown sugar glaze
& bourbon vanilla frosting.
inspiration & compilation: amy!
original recipes:  myrecipes & myrecipes & myrecipes

1 c butter, room temp
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 c water
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c bourbon
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c sugar
2 c flour
1 tsp salt

1.  get about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes worth of tins ready for baking with paper liners.

2. in a small saucepan over low heat, cook butter, cocoa, & water.  stir constantly until butter melts & mix is smooth.

3.  in your stand mixer, beat buttermilk, bourbon, eggs, & soda.  with mixer on low speed, add butter mixture.  beat until blended.  in a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, & salt.  with mixer still on low, add the dry to the stand mixer.  once just combined, increase speed to medium & beat for 30 seconds.  {my favorite cupcake tip.  you're welcome!}

4. use a 1/4 c measuring cup to portion out your cupcakes into your paper liners.  {my second favorite cupcake tip.  you're welcome again!}  bake at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes or until they pass the cupcake test - press your finger onto the top of the cupcake.  if it springs back, it is done!  if your fingerprint stays in the cupcake, keep going.  {& my third favorite cupcake tip.  you're super welcome!}

bourbon brown sugar glaze:
1/4 c butter
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c bourbon

1.  melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  stir in sugars & vanilla.  cook, stirring a lot, until sugars dissolve, about a minute.

2. remove the skillet from heat & slowly stir in bourbon.  return to the stove, this time on low, & continue cooking for another minute or two, constantly stirring.  don't let it burn.  or catch on fire :)

3.  using a pastry brush, brush some glaze atop each cupcake.  & then do it again a second time.

bourbon vanilla butter cream:
1 c butter, room temp
1/3 c bourbon
1/3 c milk or half & half or cream 
{you know, whatever you have in your fridge.  
also, i cannot promise i used anything close to 1/3 c.  
sorry.  i don't measure with frosting.
i just pour.}
1 T vanilla
32-ish oz powdered sugar

1. in stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, a minute or two.  with mixer on low speed, add bourbon & some milk product & vanilla.  beat until as combined as it goes.  it will probably look curdled.  that's just fine.

2.  with mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar.  when it looks to be the right consistency, beat on medium speed for four minutes.  perfection!  {& favorite cupcake tip #4 - "right consistency" is when you dip your finger in the frosting & hold it straight up & it does the perfect dairy queen curl.  not too stiff but not too runny.  too stiff - add more milk.  too runny - add more powdered sugar.  you're super super welcome.}

3.  oh!  you should definitely glaze your cupcakes before making the frosting.  that way, if you have any glaze left, you might as well add it to the frosting.  delicious.

bourbon chocolate cupcakes.  i heart the south.

love love,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

happy 30th, dr og!

ogden turned the big 3-0 last week!  it seems a lot of our friends are doing that lately.  out of the twenties & into the thirties.  whoa.  at least i'm still in my mid-twenties.  that being young thing is finally paying off :)

but back to ogden & his birthday!  amy threw him an AMAZING surprise thirtieth birthday party!  friends, family, bbq, beer... fabulous party.  well done, amy, well done.

for the party, amy reserved a room at the new saw's juke joint in crestline.  it has all of the fabulous food of the original location but in an awesome modern building with a great bar & live music.

elyse & i got to help decorate while amy was surprising the birthday boy with a tour of their birmingham favorites.  huge 3-0 balloons, candy jars, & gigantic confetti!  we covered the tables with kraft paper to write on too.

amy asked me to make some treats for the party - bourbon chocolate cupcakes with a bourbon brown sugar glaze & bourbon vanilla frosting!  she found all of the recipes & i just recreated them.  & lucky you will get the recipes tomorrow.  believe me, you're definitely going to want to make these cupcakes.  delish!

 {ogden was super surprised & so proud of his wife for pulling it all off}

{ogden's family flew out to birmy to join in the fun} 

 {our way manly gift - alabama bourbon with a lighter rifle}
{blakey has been waiting to give ogden the lighter rifle for about 11 months}

 {happy birthday to you!}

{fabulous party with a fabulous couple}

happy birthday, ogden!!!

love love,

Friday, January 25, 2013

muffins & cookies & usa today.

happy friday, friends!  blakey takes his in service exam tomorrow morning & then we get to celebrate ogden's 30th birthday!  party time.  excited to have my husband back from those books.  & excited for another friend to get old :)

it's been a busy busy week at work.  with the new year & everyone's health kicks, we've had a ton of requests for gluten free baked goods.  one was actually quite tasty - gluten free blueberry & almond muffins.  after playing with the recipe all week, i think we have a winner!

there's also been a request for more fruit in the baked goods.  fruit i can do!  my favorite treat this week was blackberry & cranberry brown sugar cookies.  coffee cake texture in cookie form with fruit & brown sugar.  yummm.

oh!  there was an article in usa today this week about birmingham & civil rights & urban was atop the list of places to eat & drink!  pretty darn cool, my friends.  pretty darn cool.

we hope you & yours have a wonderful weekend.  cheers to blake on saturday for finishing his test!

love love,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

thankful thursday - the gentleman.

when blakey i started dating, i was quite adamant about him opening my car door for me when we walked to the car.  i, the oklahoma/southern belle, & blakey, the college midwesterner, did not see eye to eye on this.  but he eventually opened my car door enough to appease me.

years later, i am much less strong minded about car door openings, but blakey now very gentlemanly opens my car door anytime we are on date.

lately, he has decided that going to the gym is a "gym date".  so as we are walking back out to the car, all workout sweaty & gross, he hurries to my side of the car to open my door.  it is seriously the sweetest thing ever.

love my gentleman of a husband.  &, as always, for him i am thankful.

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

love love,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

delicious turkey burgers.

oh my goodness, these turkey burgers are so good.  & i'm not a turkey burger type of girl.  nor is blakey a turkey burger type of guy.  but we loved them.  & you will too.  so make them.  & love them.  & love eating such a healthy meal.

delicious turkey burgers!
idea from: pinterest & hannah
original recipes: use real butter & hannah

{makes 4-6 patties}
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
a big handful of parsley, chopped
2 oz fresh mozzarella, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
salt & pepper
1 egg

1 T evoo
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, sliced
the other half of that red bell pepper, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
dijon mustard

1.  mix all of the burger ingredients in a big bowl & form 4-6 patties.  they'll look something like this:

2.  heat your le creuset buffet over medium to medium-low heat with about a tablespoon of evoo.  cook the burgers on each side about 8-10 minutes, browning each side & assuring the internal temp is 165 degrees.

3.  meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of evoo in another skillet over medium high heat.  add the garlic & let it cook for a minute.  toss in the sliced onions, bell pepper, & mushrooms.  cook until nice & carmelized.  good luck not eating all of this before your burgers are ready.

4.  when your burgers are done, start stacking your delicious dinner with a piece or two of lettuce, then your burger patty, a couple of slices of tomato, the delicious onions & peppers & mushrooms, a little bit of dijon mustard, & another lettuce piece.

oh my goodness, you are going to love them.  enjoy!!

{blake totally thought it was possible to pick up this burger & eat it.
i, on the other hand, thought fork & knife was the way to go.
your choice.}

love love,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

we got a vitamix! & a recipe too.

& it's amazing!  seriously, we love it.  blakey is on his {& the rest of the world's} let's-be-healthy-in-the-new-year kick, & this is quite a nice addition.  we have so many fresh fruits in the house & we actually have a way to use them!  a very delicious way.  so i'll share it with you, friends:

our favorite banana & peanut butter smoothie
enough for 2-3

1 c unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c rolled oats
2 very ripe bananas
2 T natural peanut butter
1 pinch of salt
a handful of ice cubes

1. throw it all in your vitamix.  start on low speed, gradually turn it up to high, & toggle to high for about 30 seconds.  delicious!  & full of fruit!  & high in fiber.  

vitamix - it's pretty darn fabulous, y'all.  thank you, dad & ruth!!

{just don't try to make hummus in it.  stick with the food processor for that.}

love love,

Monday, January 21, 2013

#sparkle into 2013!!!

#sparkleinto2013, our beyond fabulous new years eve party, was a gigantic success!!  it was a blast to plan & cook & decorate & create with my dear cari.  & even more fun to dress up & celebrate the new year all night with our friends!

so, without further ado, please enjoy #sparkleinto2013:

{video courtesy of: grey stripes creative //}
{the original video can be found on HERE}

{pretty much sums it up}

{let craft time begin!}

our dinner table was gorgeous!  black table cloth, gold chargers, mini champagne bottles with black & white paper straws & pink ribbon, vases with gold sparkles, name plates & coasters in the #sparkle theme...

& the food was divine!  we had a skewer theme for the evening, which made every little bite quite festive, including our mini rock candy champagne!

{savory herb-stuffed mushrooms}

{pork belly sliders & prosciutto wrapped figs}

{& pink champagne truffles!}


{it was a bow tie kind of evening}

{playin cups o' flip}


{happy new years, y'all!}

love love,