Thursday, February 28, 2013

thankful thursday - your birthday wishes.

oh my goodness, y'all know how to make a girl feel incredibly special.  from the phone calls & texts & facebook messages & instagram posts to the flowers & cards & gifts & banners...  i feel so loved!  seriously, you all are the best.

i woke up to my favorite picture of my sister & me as a birthday wish...

& then i arrived at work before "bright & early" to see amazing birthday decorations of "happy birthday" banners all over the kitchen & oven & refrigerators, bright orange flowers, & a beautiful note.  miss marygrace, you are truly the kindest person i know.  thank you for bringing so much joy to my birthday!

my super sweet husband stopped by urban to bring me a bouquet of beautiful & bright flowers!  he is so wonderful.

& then i received another bouquet of gorgeous pink & white flowers from the donatiellos!  THREE bouquets in one day!  that's incredible!  happiest girl in the world here, my friends.  happiest girl in the world.

after a fun afternoon with my husband, we decided it was time to open the cards & gifts i have been receiving over the past week or so!  lucky for me, my adorable nephew wanted to be in on the action, so we video chatted with malcolm & julie!

my super cute mother-in-law played a fun game of "how many ways can i tell kendall 'happy birthday!' this year??"  it.was.awesome.  phone call, voicemail, text, email, facebook, a note at work, a card, & the greatest of them all - she called ahead to the restaurant we went to that evening & ordered banana pudding for me!  she even convinced the fella to announce it to the whole restaurant.  priceless!

mrs holmes went all out this year for my birthday too!  in addition to the tanky + finley = love theme, she sent the most amazing fuchsia themed gifts.  hot pink pencils with "love, the porters" engraved on them!  hot pink & gold washi tape.  pink cardstock labels.  black & white twine.  & a fantastic "love, the porters" stamp!  & she even had little bags with ideas of how to use each item.

our birthday evening ended with a couple of beers, the best wings, & delicious nachos at moe's bbq with our church small group.  a fabulous fabulous birthday.  & we still have more celebrations to come!  i love birthdays.  especially because you all make them so darn special.

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

love love,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

urban standard + counter culture.

fabulous things going on at urban, my friends - we are now serving the ridiculously tasty coffee from counter culture!   seriously, this is some of the best coffee i have had in quite some time.

if you want to read our announcement about it {which totally sounds like we, urban, are breaking up with you, the reader}, check it out here.

it is a seriously delicious time at urban standard.  i'd love for you to stop by & try a cup & probably enjoy a scone or cupcake or donut & say hello! while you're at it.

love love,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

happy birthday to me!!

happy birthday to me!!  three hundred sixty-four days counting down to this day.  the one day each year i get to be ridiculous & celebrate all day long.  it's fun.  yay birthdays!!

{birthday last year at gianmarco's!}

we have fun celebrations this week - blakey has the afternoon off, so i get to open my birthday cards & packages that have arrived the last couple of weeks!  tonight, small group is meeting at one of our favorite hangouts, moe's bbq, for wings & nachos.  thursday night, we have a dual birthday happy hour for elyse & me at rojo with our birmy friends.  & this weekend, blakey & i are off to atlanta for a fantastic culinary tour!

AND we finally get to drink the rombauer chardonnay we bought on my birthday last year!!  delish!!

every year, you will trade a little of your perfect skin & your ability to look great without exercising for wisdom & peace & groundedness, & every year the trade will be worth it.  i promise.
{mrs shauna neiquist of bitterness}

love love,

Monday, February 25, 2013

a fun little weekend.

we had a fun little low key weekend at the porterhouse!  on friday night, i made a super delicious & super easy meal for dinner.  we roasted spaghetti squash, added some sautéed/steamed kale, tossed it with homemade marinara {that i made big ole batch of a few months back & froze the leftovers in double portions.  so easy!}, & topped with some parmesan cheese.  this is definitely going to be a new staple. 

afterwards, we headed over to the new octane for the opening night of their bar!  octane is a fantastic coffee shop from atlanta that purchased birmy's own primavera coffee roasters & opened a store in downtown homewood.  they have a fun modern atmosphere filled with so many of our birmy coffee friends.  during the evenings, they will become more of a bar with delicious beverages & small plates.  for this first evening, they had some local beers on tap & ridiculously delicious & addictive bacon caramel popcorn.  yeah, you read that right.  so so good.  we might have had four bowls.  & i might have eaten 90% of those bowls.

while blakey was on call saturday, tanky & i had a fun-filled day full of let's wear tanky out!  first we played out front, then we went for a long walk, & then we played fetch with mr green man out back!  fun fun day :)

{one of the gorgeous views during our walk}

sunday morning, i woke up to blakey getting home with breakfast in bed!  we enjoyed some fabulous blueberry pancakes before blakey fell asleep for the day.  love that man.

i hope your weekend was lovely & relaxing too!

love love,

Friday, February 22, 2013

donuts are the new cupcakes!

donuts are the new cupcakes!  #truth.

& i'm really excited about it.  they are super cute, appropriately sized, not topped with buttery frosting, very very delicious, & can be made in any flavor your creative mind can dream!

donuts even involve my favorite part of baking: piping.  i think that's the best way to get the dough into the donut pan.  fun fact friday for you!

donut week at urban began with cinnamon & sugar donuts!

red velvet baked donuts were next.  we are in the south, after all....

& we ended the week with those blueberry & cardamom donuts at the top of the post.  aren't the so pretty, sprinkled with cardamom & sugar on top.

 {donuts make people even more happy}

happy friday, friends!

love love,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

thankful thursday - a meal by my husband.

my wonderful, adorable, super sweet, amazing husband cooked dinner for me last night!  he picked out a recipe all on his own & planned a whole meal.  by the time i got home from church, he made a ridiculously delicious thai peanut sauce & began chopping up veggies to steam & eat with the sauce.

how fabulous is that?!  as it turns out, blakey is a pretty fantastic cook.

thai peanut sauce
original recipe:

1 c natural creamy peanut butter
1 c hot water
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c molasses
1 T sriracha

1.  in a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together peanut butter, hot water, & apple cider vinegar.  when fully incorporated, add soy sauce & molasses.

2. continue cooking over low heat until hot, stirring often.  make sure to not heat too much, as the mixture can scorch & peanut butter burns rather easily.  

3. keep on super low heat while you cook your veggies!  when you are ready to serve, add sriracha & a little salt.  taste it!  this is a good time for it to be delicious.

 how to steam veggies

carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms...

1. chop up your favorite veggies to big bite size.  make sure all of your veggies are about the same size, so you don't have to steam them separately.  work smart, not hard.

2. boil a couple inches of water in your big pot on high heat.  when it comes to a boil, put the veggies in the steaming pot & put it inside of your big pot.  make sure to put the lid on!  {ps if you picked mushrooms as one of your favorite veggies, only add them with about 1 minute of steaming to go.}

3. allow the veggies to steam for about five minutes, or until the veggies have softened but still have some texture.  really, it's your preference.  but al dente is a good aim.  

4. as soon as they are done, throw the veggies in a colander & quickly throw some ice on top to stop the cooking.  enjoy!

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

love love,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

congrats, chief blakey!

introducing one of the new administrative chiefs for obgyn at uab for this coming year - dr blake porter!    pretty darn proud of you, husband.

blake, j.boone, & deidra are going to be three super busy individuals over the next year.  but they are also going to be great leaders.  what an honor.

happy blakey will be joining ogden & will in the world of chiefs.  {ogden & will are two of the new anesthesiology chiefs!}  a smart & driven group of friends we have.  so proud of all of you!

love love,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

love me & bring me treats.

as it turns out, other people like to show love through food too!  last week, i received two packages of food!  & that, my friends, is awesome.

my sister sent me a care package with cookies from the cookie fairy!  they were the original version of vegan mexican hot chocolate cookies.  {i made them here, but totally unveganized them with butter & eggs & whipped cream.}  my version were quite tasty, but, as it turns out, the vegans ones are super delicious too!  even when they are sent through the mail & are a week old.  fantastic job, julie byrd!!

{julie tried the pinterest tip of putting a slice of bread with cookies to keep them moist.
it worked incredibly well.  you can see the moisture.  crazy awesome.}

{she also included bright pink nail polish with my cookies!
& look at the name!  it's perfect!}

blakey spent the latter part of last week in san fransisco for a conference with work.  i was super sad i didn't get to go, as san fran is currently my favorite american city.  {i was pretty sure my manager would kill me if i left work over valentine's day.  sighhh.  but it was the right decision.}  but my wonderful husband brought me back some treats!  a fresh loaf of sourdough bread & cookies!  when we were in san fransisco a couple of years ago, we stopped at boudin sourdough to get a loaf of bread every day we were there.  it was incredibly good.  & i got to enjoy it again!!

love through food.  my favorite.

love love,

Friday, February 15, 2013

my valentine treats.

my favorite way to show love to others is through food.  i, very luckily, get to show my love every day through cupcakes & cookies & cheesecake & truffles & scones & ...

here is a little glimpse of my valentine love:

{chocolate cinnamon heart cookies dipped in ganache}

{a little old school -
sugar cookie sandwiches
with strawberry frosting}

{nutella cake bite truffles}

this was a fun experiment for me this week - i saw an idea for white chocolate cheesecake squares with strawberry glaze on pinterest, of course.  i started with my favorite tried & true graham cracker crust recipe with the addition of cocoa powder for contrasting color.  i made a rather traditional white chocolate cheesecake center.  & then i needed strawberry jam for the strawberry glaze.  we don't have strawberry jam at urban.  {ok, we do.  in teeny tiny packets that i was not about to go open a hundred.}  so i decided i could make something that resembles strawberry jam, right?  i pulverized some strawberries, cooked them down with a little sugar & a lot of cornstarch, finished with some vanilla, & chilled this mixture.  you know what, that is a pretty darn good play on strawberry jam!  

{enjoying the extra jam-like strawberry goodness on toast}

{white chocolate cheesecake 
with a chocolate graham cracker crust 
& strawberry glaze}

yesterday morning after i had finished my valentine treats, the food network posted a photo on instagram asking what sweet treats its readers were making for valentine's day...

{red velvet cheesecake brownies!
great minds think alike, my friends.}

i hope all of you feel so very loved today, on valentine's day, & every day. 

love love,