Pad Thai, Oblivion, & Bad Parking

This weekend was just what I needed. Although college is fantastic and I love my friends and most of my classes (that’s right, I’m talkin’ bout you chemistry), it can be very draining and fast paced. The life of a science major isn’t always the easiest! Luckily, I was able to take the weekend to head back home for some relaxation. It was filled with exactly what I needed: family, cooking, shopping, and my kitty.

Selfies!

Selfies!

As soon as I got back, I zoned in on these beauties and was in absolute heaven:

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I had a killer time flipping through what seemed like endless amounts of recipes. I tend to hoard them and am excited to add more to my collection ;).

Saturday was date night with Kyle. Since he lives less than 10 minutes away from me, he’s always game to car pool back and spend some time at home.

Outfit of the Day:

A simple blue dress from Forever 21 ($14!!) paired with a gold leaf necklace and my all time favorite pair of gladiator shoes. The dress has a cut out back and is ridiculously comfortable :)

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We chose to get some Thai food at a nearby restaurant that we love. Since we both love trying as many new things as possible (we’re good eaters!), we split three dishes and a Thai iced tea.

Beef Pad Thai and Green Papaya Salad

Beef Pad Thai and Green Papaya Salad

Coconut Soup!

Coconut Soup!

After dinner we headed over to Hoff’s Hut to pick up some cheesecakes for Mother’s Day. Kyle was so sweet and insisted on getting a strawberry topped one for my family to share! He also did a wonderful job at nailing the tricky parking spot we tried to get in!

that's my boy! ;)

that’s my boy! :’)

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*pass out*

Then it was off to Kyle’s house to grab his family to go see Oblivion. I thought it was interesting, but it got pretty confusing and hard to follow at times. It was also super long so my booty way definitely feeling the strain!

By the time I got home it was almost 12 and I was about ready to pass out. I slept like a baby and felt totally refreshed and ready to get my cook on for Mother’s Day! There will be lots of fresh, healthy, and delicious recipes coming soon, so stay tuned :).

I wish I could stay a couple of extra days, but I have to be up bright and early tomorrow to get in a morning workout and head to class!

xoxo Christine

Roasted Garlic Baby Dutch Potatoes

What is it about the simplicity of some dishes that make them more appealing than those of the finest restaurant? Humble ingredients come together in the minimalist of fashions to produce the most delicious of foods.

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These potatoes are a testament to the deliciousness of simple recipes that uphold the integrity of their ingredients and let their flavor shine through!

Grilling Blue Dress

 I paired the potatoes with fresh guacamole made with avocados, cilantro, limes, cherry tomatoes, and grilled corn and a spice-rubbed New York Strip steak. Cherry tomatoes on the side for a pop of color and extra flavor. My dad was happy to help wipe this plate clean ;).

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Roasted Garlic Baby Dutch Potatoes 

Ingredients:

  • Dutch Potatoes (Other would be fine too, just cut them small)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt/Minced Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut the potatoes and put them in a large baking pan. Coat evenly with extra virgin olive oil and season with garlic salt, salt, and pepper, using your hand to mix the potatoes together. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Serve hot, and watch them get gobbled up!

 

 

Elliptical Workout and Outfit of the Day!

It’s such a b-e-a-utiful day today! I wore my new red shorts with a lace top and my brown gladiator sandals. I usually don’t do anything with my hair on an everyday basis, so I’m sporting my loose beachy waves like normal. Smiles, of course, to complete the outfit :).

Red Pants 2

Smiles!

Smiles!

Workout

I also created a super fast but effective elliptical routine that I often use before hitting the weights! It’s perfect for getting your heart rate up and makes you feel like you’re actually working out and not just going through the motions. I hope you guys enjoy it!

20 Minute Elliptical Interval Workout

The Plan for the rest of the day is to head over to French class, grab some lunch, and then prepare myself for my Calculus section and 4 hour Chemistry lab (vomit). Dinner will be late (around 9 or 10) and will probably revolve around Vietnamese food and a delicious iced tea with Kyle. I hope all of you have a wonderful day!

xoxo Christine

Bench Presses & Italian Pottery

Today started off bright and early with an 8 o’clock trip to the gym! The weather has finally been getting nice! I’m such the spoiled SoCal girl. Anything below 60 gets me shivering and complaining ;).

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What's a girl like you doing in a place like this ;)?

What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this ;)?

I did 20 quick but intense minutes on the elliptical for a warmup, then met up with my friend Hot Ryan for a great lifting session! The name “Hot” Ryan teasingly originated at the beginning of the school year and has stuck ever since! It’s to the point where I can’t think of him by any other name haha.

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quick and efficient!

Ryan came from an early morning Crew practice, but was still game to show me some new additions that I can add to my weight routine! I tried bench pressing for the first time and had a blast with it! It was great hour long workout and I’m excited to be extra sore tomorrow.

ARGHH! Get swoll!

ARGHH! Get swoll!

After the gym I rushed to Starbucks to pick up an iced coffee with a few pumps of sugar free toffee nut syrup. It was refreshing but not overly sweet. Totally hit the spot!

Sip-a-dee-doo-dah!

Sip-a-dee-doo-dah!

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Sweeet Nectar of College Life!

Lunch involved some fresh fish tacos with shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and sour cream. A salad on the side along with a bowl of grilled vegetable cous cous.

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At 3 it was time for some much needed shopping with my girls! I ended up getting a cutout dress, some shirts, and a really adorable pair of belted red shorts. The two shirts were from a thrift shop (Macklemore anyone ;)?) and were only $12 together!

Red Belted Shorts

Red Belted Shorts

Simple Blue Dress

Simple Blue Dress

I love cut outs!

I love cut outs!

Chiffon Dusty Pink Top

Chiffon Dusty Pink Top

Sheer Paisley Brown Top

Sheer Paisley Brown Top

The best buys of the day were a dusty pink Lululemon headband (I came thiiiiiiiiis close to buying a pair of back capris) and the perfect Mother’s Day present for the Mama! She LOVES Italian hand painted dishes/pottery, so I got her a petite olive oil container that would look perfect on our rustic wooden dinner table. I hope she likes it!

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The rest of my night will be consumed with homework and the usual See’s Candy/Latte date with my main man!

"You talkin' bout me?"

“You talkin’ bout me?”

Hope you had a great day :)

xoxo Christine

Rose Devil’s Food Cake

Boy do I have a recipe for you!

Rose Meringue CakeI first made this delectable cake for a party at Kyle’ house. I love baking, but I save more extravagant recipes like this one for special events. It does take a bit of time since every section is by scratch, but you could definitely speed it up by using a box mix for the actual cake part!

When finished, this baby is a hefty specimen that is guaranteed to get tons of “Oooohhss!” and “Ahhhhss!”.

Ingredients:

Devil’s Food Cake: From: Tartine by Elisabeth Prueitt

  •  1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 large egg
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Chocolate Meringue Logs:

  • Baking by James Peterson
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • ½ cup sugar

Espresso Buttercream

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 pounds cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 10 tsp espresso, or more to taste

Devil’s Food Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2.  Spray two 9-inch round pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3.  Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. In a bowl in a stand mixer, beat the butter  and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each one. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix fully. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 batches, starting and finishing with the flour mixture.
  4.  Divide the batter into the two cake pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Meringue Logs

  1. To make the meringue logs, reduce the temperature of the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
  3.  In another bowl connected to a stand mixer, beat together the egg white and cream of tartar on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Add in the granulated sugar and beat for another minute. Sift and fold the powdered sugar mixture over the egg whites.
  4.  Fill a piping bag or plastic bag with a cut corner with the meringue and pipe long strips on a baking pan covered with parchment paper.
  5.  Bake for one hour or until dry to the touch.

Espresso Buttercream 

  1. To make the espresso buttercream, bring the sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat. While the syrup cooks, beat the egg yolks in an electric mixer on high speed for 8 minutes, or until the eggs have quadrupled in size. Check to see if the sugar mixture is ready by taking a bowl of ice water and ladling a little of the sugar water in. Once in, roll the sugar between your fingers. If it forms a soft ball, it’s ready. If it forms thin thread, keep the mixture simmering.
  2. Once ready, turn the mixer to high and slowly beat in the sugar water into the beaten yolks, taking care to not allow the sugar water to touch the mixer’s whisk. Continue beating until the frosting reaches room temperature.
  3. Turn the speed down to medium and add in the butter a little at a time. Beat for 10 more minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add in the espresso and beat until incorporated.

Assembling

  1. When the cake has cooled, take one layer and cover the top with frosting, sandwiching it with the other layer. Frost lightly with a crumb coat and refrigerate until the frosting has set.
  2.  When set, use ½ of the remaining frosting to frost the sides and top of the cake.
  3. Cut the meringue logs to reach a little over the height of the cake, and press into the frosting. Take a piping bag and fill it with the remaining frosting. Use a 1M tip to make rose rosettes to cover the top of the cake.
  4. Pass out from baking exhaustion ;)