June 30, 2021


Stephanie over at munchimunch was showing off all of this loot she got in the mail at the end of last month. I was a tiny bit jealous, so I figured it was time to look into it and see if I could get in on that action! Sure enough, there is a thing called Foodie PenPals. Created by Lindsay over at the lean green bean - you can check it out here.

The rules are pretty easy - sign up, send an e-mail to the person you are matched to and get their address. Hand select a few items and make someone's day! I recieved a package from Melinda and I sent one to Kelley.

I sent my package with a few items and these awesome butterscotch cookies! (You all need to try these!) I was thankful I sent them away, because I would have eaten every last one.

Anyway, on to the goods I got...

I got two packages of pretzel bites in two different flavors, chocolate granola, an m&m trail mix, mojito flavored lemonde packets, Melinda's favorite coffee, a chocolate bar and some fruit leathers. It was so much fun getting a package of goodies in the mail that someone else had put together. You can tell a lot of thought went into the gift. So far I've eaten the chocolate bar and the fruit leathers. I have had one package of the pretzel bites and a few handfuls of the trail mix. Everything has been delish and I can honestly say each product was something I wouldn't have tried without this program! Big thank you again to Melinda!

Want in on this action? Sign up.

June 28, 2021

Stuffed Zucchini

I have been meaning to make zucchini "boats" for almost a year now. But, everytime I got around to it the idea of just slicing and grilling won. This past weekend I went to the farmer's market though and I found giant fresh zucchini and I just KNEW I was finally going to make stuffed zucchini!

My husband has been asking me to make healthier dinners lately, and when I told him my plans for the zucchini he just gave me a look like "we'll see if I eat that". He's been predictable lately, because all he wants to do when the weather is as nice is swim in the pool at his parents house!

My in-laws are probably so sick of us crashing their house, but they always greet us (and Abby) with smiles! Lately, I bring dinner fixings, then I don't feel like I'm imposing too much!

So, once again Mike wanted to swim. I immediately started packing up dinner fixings and got ready to hit the pool! I whipped these up and a healthified (that's a word, right?) tuna salad in about 40 minutes!

Ingredients - makes two portions:
2 zucchini
1lb. ground beef, or ground turkey or even ground chicken
1/2 can of black beans
1/2 can of corn
1/2 can of garbanzo beans
1/3 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup of salsa - use your favorite
1/2 cup of beef stock
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 large handful of cilantro, minced
1 lime wedge, juiced into the skillet

1/2 cup of cheese - I used tilsit cheese and crumbled little bits of if over the top before baking

Preheat the overn to 350. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef until brown. Drain the grease and place the skillet back on the heat. Add the remaining ingredients except the zucchini and the cheese and heat through.

Cut the zucchini in half and microwave for about 2 minutes. This will make it easier to scoop out the insides. Scoop out the insides of the zucchini, you want a decent sized space to stuff the ground beef mixture into.

Generously stuff the zucchini and place on a cookie sheet. Add the cheese over the top and bake for about 20 minutes or until the zucchini is soft, but not falling apart. I baked ours for only 15 minutes, and it was still a bit crunchy.

I had some of the ground beef mixture leftover. I topped a salad with it and there might have been a taco of sorts! :-)

After we devoured dinner we were off to hang by the pool...

Does anyone have a dog that actually looks AT the camera?? I pull it out and she immediately looks away!

June 26, 2021

Roast Beef Quiche

That's right I said roast beef quiche! When I called my mom to tell her what I'd created she just said "I've never heard of roast beef quiche" I laughed, because I had simply made it up using the ingredients in my fridge! (There are many recipes for roast beef quiche on the internet, it's not like I'm the first person that thought this would be good!)

I was having family over for breakfast/brunch and I was going to just make two of my usual quiche recipes. But, after I assumbled the first one I opened the fridge back up and made a roast beef quiche for the second one instead!

1 roll out pie crust
1/2 cup of tilsit cheese - any sharp cheese will do, I like parmesan-reggiano too!
3 green onions, sliced
Worcestershire, to taste - I just used a few dashes all the way around the pie tin
Roast beef to taste - I used deli sliced roast beef
1/3 cup of red pepper, chopped
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups of milk

Instead of a roll out pie crust this time I had one that was frozen in a pie tin already. You can use either. I sliced up the roast beef first and layered it into the bottom of the pie crust. Then I added the green onions, red pepper, cheese and worcestershire sauce. Beat the eggs and the milk together and pour over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for an hour. Check in it periodically - if the crust starts getting brown too fast - add a layer of tinfoil over the top so it doesn't burn. The eggs are fully cooked with they no longer jiggle in the middle. Let them cool for a while - they are REALLY hot when they first come out!

My apologies for the iPhone photos - I seriously wasn't expecting it to turn out!

Mike and I are still trying to decide what to do for the fourth of July this year. It is hands down my favorite holiday -  I mean seriously is there anything better than fireworks!? We have an invitation for a party at our friends house - ourdoor games, BBQ, etc. We always have the option of watching the parade in Chanhassen with my parents, and of course the cabin up north! Decisions, decisions...

What are your plans for the fourth of July?

June 25, 2021


I think every Monday I complain about the fact that the weekends are too short and it’s already Monday again and how I’m not ready for Monday. So, I won’t say it this time. I’ll just give you the weekend re-cap.
Friday afternoon was spent by the pool at my in-laws house.  We whipped up a quick stir-fry for dinner and headed home as the sun went down. It was as relaxing as my weekend got!
Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and went for a 2.5 mile run - if you follow me on Instagram you already know this! J I ran the whole time without stopping and felt really good. However, when I got back home, I realized that my knees and the balls of my feet were really sore. Mike has been telling me to buy proper running shoes for a while, but I just haven’t felt the need to spend the money. (I hate when he’s right.) I caved on Saturday afternoon, but more about that later.
I quickly showered and got ready to meet Brit at Starbucks. Caffeine felt necessary since I was so tired and I knew it was going to be a long day! Then we got in the car and made the trek (it’s really not that far) to the St. Paul farmer’s market! I have never been to one before, so Brit ended up showing me the ropes.
I came home with some giant zucchini and squash, black bean and chipotle hummus and original hummus, tilsit cheese and a giant bouquet of flowers for my momma!
After that it was time to pay attention to the birthday boy! We had an awesome lunch with my mom and step dad - Tilia again, we love that place. Little did we know they had brunch! Chilequiles for me (pulled pork, with mexican type staples and two poached eggs, and cornbread waffles with lobster benedict for Mike. We left full and happy!

Then we ran to the grocery store and stocked up on items for the grill and set up a few things. The afternoon flew by and before I knew it party tanks were on. (I hate when Mike wears party tanks - to the point where I hide them after I wash and fold them.)  This year’s pool party marked the 5th annual pool party - Abby even came this year! (She was SO tired from all the attention she got all night!)

Sunday morning I created roast beef quiche. It was kind of fabulous. I was making my usual quiche and since I had an additional pie crust I figured I’d make two - recipe to come later. My dad and step mom and little brothers all came over and ate breakfast and then helped me trim trees galore. I have a huge pile of branches and leaves that I need to dispose of! It was so helpful!
Sunday afternoon was a baby shower for Kristina! There was a Hawaiian/Tiki theme! Anne and Erica did a great job planning it! I was impressed with the way they stuck to the theme - seriously how awesome is this dip? It’s a cream cheese spread for crackers full of pineapple and shaped like a pineapple which made it perfect for the theme. (Anne CLAIMS she can't cook, but she pulled this off no problem!)

We decorated onesies - seriously how cute are these??

THEN - Mike and I went out with his parents for dinner at Manny’s. You can never go wrong celebrating at Manny’s. The steaks are massive and so delicious, the wine is good, the service is awesome and the cake was to die for.
Whew. Now I understand why my weekend went so fast.

How was everyone else's weekend??

June 21, 2021

Creamy Mac and Cheese

You guys - I just might have found the big secret to creamy mac and cheese! Like the deathly cheesy and creamy mac and cheese. The kind that is served as a side item at fancy restaurants and you just want to order three and make it your dinner. I of course stumbled across this on Pinterest and I got so excited! I immediatelt went and bought all of the ingredients!

Mike did the "tisk tisk this is going to make you sick" face... and then proptly devoured his crock and told me it was awesome!

2 cups of noodles - I used rotini
2 cups of milk
1 HEAPING cup of cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Panko bread crumbs

Pour the milk and the noodles into a pan and bring to a boil. Give it a stir every now and then. Continue cooking - when the milk is almost gone the noodles will be fully cooked. While cooking the noodles, grade your cheese. Add the cheese, salt and pepper right into the pot with milk and noodles and stir together. The cheese just melts into the milky noodle mixture. I was drooling at this point.

I then scooped the mixture into crocks and covered with cread crumbs and broiled until golden brown - about 8 minutes.

Is this a thing everyone knew about and no one told me?? Or is everyone as excited about this as I am??

June 19, 2021

First Blog Birthday

There is something about french food and the way it's prepared that makes it seem so appropriate when you want to celebrate something special, maybe because the recipes are tedious and each dish strives for perfection. I always picture a chef in a giant industrial kitchen with their white coat and wordless french music blasting while they are bent over the counter meticulously preparing dish after dish. (Yea, I've probably seen one too many Lifetime movies, or read one too many Nora Roberts books - so what!?)

Lately, in my kitchen you will hear my "school yard" mix playing while I sing terribly to the tunes of my teenage years. (Nothing but the classics: Britney, Backstreet boys and Destiny's child, etc.) Far from the french vision. This time I was making something french and tedious and beautiful. A strawberry fraisier cake - recipe here - in celebration of my blog's first birthday!

A year ago today I decided on a whim to start a food blog. I have come a long way from that first post. I've learned so much, and it's been such a fun journey so far. When I thought about how I wanted to "celebrate" I immediately went back to the FIRST food blog post I ever read. It was for this cake. My parents had just gotten back from a trip to Colorado for a friend's wedding and my mom would not stop talking about this cake she had eaten. Since her birthday was coming up I figured why not make this cake she's been  raving about!? I scoured the internet and this was the ONLY recipe I could find that was detailed enough and actually made me think I could pull it off. It took me two days.

So, this time around I thought I could make it even better. First you make the cake - let it cool, and cut it in half. While it's baking - you make this custard complete with almost three sticks of butter and whole milk - I love french cooking. Line the strawberries around the outside of the spring form pan.

Then you fill it with custard... the thick rich delicious FRENCH style custard.

Then you fill that with cut up strawberries... so beautiful, right??

More custard on top...

Then you put the other half of the cake on top of all of that. Add MORE custard, then decorate with pretty strawberries.

Then... and this is the MOST important part - your refrigerate the whole thing for at LEAST 20 minutes. I was caught up singing a song that I won't name and didn't even think about it. I snapped open the spring form pan to take a picture of the beautiful piece of ART I had just made. (Notice that the cake has completely fallen apart on one side)

Baking can be VERY humbling sometimes.

I then flopped it into a normal 9 inch round pan and then went for a two mile run out of frustration. Strawberry fraisier slop anyone?? Just for the record - it is still fantastic. I am not one to waste custard. :-)

Happy blog birthday to me, even if it was a big fat flop. Happy Tuesday to all of you!

June 15, 2021

Blackberry Grilling Sauce

Summer is finally here! Which means it's grilling season, and berry season and watermelon season and many other things.

We have every grill tool in the book after getting married - Mike had a groom's shower thrown in his honor with a grill theme. Honestly, it was the most fun I have ever had at a shower. I think it was because these women knew him so well and the entire shower was customized to him. Sliders potato salad, etc. for dinner. Then we went downstairs for games where we shot nerf guns at empty beer cans - it was hilarious. After presents they served his favorite dessert - warm brownies, cold ice cream. He was a happy guy when we left - he kept saying "I love those women" (they were some of his mom's best friends).

Anyway - because we have all of these gadgets, I feel very confident in my grilling abilities - probably even a little over confident. (Usually I burn things and lie to everyone saying "It's Cajun" - ha!) This summer we plan to use as many tools as possible! This time I didn't use anything fancy since it was a simple pork tenderloin, but I need to try fish on the grill planks we got and fajitas and corn on the cob and many other things. So, here's hoping there are MANY more grilling posts here!

1 cup of blackberries - I used a HEAPING cup, because I love blackberries
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/3 cup of water

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of molasses
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of corn starch - add more as needed to get a consistency you like

In a medium saucepan - a much deeper one than you actually need, add the blackberries, brown sugar and water and cook over medium heat. The berries will break down and the sugar will make a thicker consistency. With an immersion blender blend the berry mixture until it's smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. *If you do not have an immersion blender, simply pour the ingredients into a normal blender, blend and pour back into the pan.

Pour the mixture through a strainer into another bowl - this just got the last few seeds out,  you can skip this step if you don't mind them! Pour over your grilled meat of choice! I used pork tenderloin - grilled it up and then pour the sauce over the top.

My sauce was a bit runnier than I would have liked it to be (see how it ran into my watermelon!?) So, I updated the recipe to add corn starch. If you want it thicker, add a bit more, if you want it runnier, add just the teaspoon.

I baked sweet potatoes - 400 degrees for about an hour - this takes forethought and had chopped watermelon on the side. Perfect summer dinner!

What's your favorite thing to grill in the summer time?? I'm looking for ideas!!

June 13, 2021

Potato Chip Chicken

I am full of walking contradictions this week, and I have no idea why. I get home from a run and while standing in my work out clothes I stuff my face with three cookies. (It might have been four). I made mac and cheese, but since I'm not exactly friends with dairy I used almond milk, but still used a cup of cheddar cheese. I make this healthy salad for dinner and then I put potato chip crusted chicken on top. Yepp, walking contradictions.

This week has been stressful already, and the highlight of my week has been a book. Does this make me sound sad and pathetic? What if I tell you it's a really really really funny memoir!? Have you ever heard of the bloggess? Monday was crappy for many reasons, which is not the point. Suddenly I knew that I had forgotten to share a paragraph of this book with my husband! Jenny tells this story about her duck that she loved named Daffodil, and how they had to let it go... and the story ended with "HOBOS.ATE.MY.DAFFODIL" I won't spoil it for you if you haven't read it, but seriously go buy it. As I'm trying to read the story to my husband I'm crying - hysterically crying - because I'm laughing so hard that I can't read the story through my tears. Anyway it totally lightened the mood and made him laugh too - now we both start laughing and just say "HOBOS.ATE.MY.DAFFODIL". (Does this paragraph even make any sense? Seriously, I don't think I bounced around enough - so sorry.)

I digress - You know that 5K I ran? At the end of the race they served up hot dogs, potato chips, and salted nut rolls. Go figure that I'm standing there eating the chips and thinking "these would be really good as a breading on chicken strips" so... a meal was born. Seriously inspiration always comes in the weirdest places.

Ingredients in the chicken:
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup of flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup of crushed old dutch salt and cracked pepper chips

Pound the chicken breast until it's about 1/2 inch thick overall. I used a cutting board, then placed the chicken breast on it, covered it with parchment paper and used a mallet to pound it thin. If you don't have a mallet, just use a frying pan!

Set up the flour on one plate, the egg and water on the second plate and the crushed potato chips on a third plate. Put the thin chicken breast in the flour first - making sure to cover completely and on both sides. Then do the same with the egg mixture, and then with the potato chips.

Place on a cookie sheet, bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. While the chicken is baking - whip up the salad and dressing.

Ingredients for the salad:
1 bag of dark green salad
1 handful of peeled and shelled edamame - check the freezer section at your local grocery store
1 handful of matchstick carrots
1/3 red pepper, diced
1 handful of cilantro, minced
3 scallions, sliced thinly

Put all ingredients in a large bowl.

Ingredients for the dressing:
*Recipe adapted from RealSimple magazine
1/2 cup of plain Chobani yogurt - you can use your favorite brand, this is what I had in the fridge
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise - use the light stuff
1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with the yummy and crusty chicken.

Enjoy your healthy/unhealthy salad. Anyone else a walking contradiction lately or is it just me?

June 11, 2021

5K Go Commando Race Re-Cap

You guys, I am SO not a runner... but, I'm trying so hard to be! I found this on Pinterest and thought it was appropriate.

But, on Saturday I ran and finished my first 5K race. This wasn't just any race - this was an obstacle race. Thankfully for me it was not timed, it was just for fun race - which is about the only way I was willing to agree to it. 90 degree weather, 18 obstacles, and insanely steep hills didn't stop us. We finished in about an hour.

Ellen decided we needed funny shirts - so she took it upon herself to create them - props to her for coming up with hilarious and slightly inappropriate things to write on the back of each one.

Front side (all said "Go Commando")
 The backs of our shirts - I'll let you decipher each one...

The FIRST person I saw aside from the girls I was running with was a FRIEND! Hi Lindsey! Seriously made my day!


One of the many obstacles (below) was walking across two logs and jumping into a foam pit... others were crawling under parachutes, over picnic tables, through rope tangly things (very scientific I know) jump over fire, run through sniper alley where you're hit with kool aid water guns, down the water slide and through mud with barbed wire on top for the finale.

I thought that the obstacles would make the running parts easier because you would be able to catch your breath, but it actually made it harder. You had to use your arms for the obstacles, so you were worn out even more when you started running again. None of us had trained for hills - it was very steep and even when it wasn't there were holes in the ground and things to trip over.

 We finally made it to the finish line!

There was a tent type thing set up that was filled with bubbles! I think we sort of thought that this was going to get us clean... sadly, it did not. (This is easily my favorite picture of Erica!)

We then learned that the local fire department was hosing everyone down... take just like a SPLIT second to visualize. Yea, we were disappointed too...

Props to Nicole for running every minute of the race - only stopping for obstacles! I love this picture too. I was SO proud of us.

Want to see more pictures from the race? Click here to visit the official facebook page! Next we're doing the color run 5k!

Happy Monday!

June 8, 2021

House Projects and 101 in 1,001 Update

House projects are in full swing around here - instead of spring cleaning we have been doing house improvements! It's addicting seeing the house change. I didn't think I would like it this much, but it's been really fun!

First up - our main floor bathroom. It's this dark purple color. I'm not the biggest fan because it makes an already small bathroom look smaller. I didn't want to paint the whole bathroom, and I didn't want to wallpaper because both options would have required too much effort. There are a few too many things to work around - door, mirror, window, toilet, sink, etc. So I opted for a stencil. I found one on Etsy - and I wanted to use two different colors. White and the Teal color from our shower curtain hooks.

Here's how it turned out - It's FAR from perfect, but it did exactly what I wanted it to do - it changed the look of the bathroom and made the walls a little lighter. We also swapped out the exhaust fan and I swapped out the new shower head too. Feels like a whole new bathroom!

I also found a cute frame at Target and I spray painted it and hung it around our thermostat - cute right? I swear it's not crooked - I just can't hold my camera straight apparently.

...And for the grand finale - our kitchen!! Here's the before shot... that was all the counter top space I had.

Here's the after shot. We swung it out three and a half feet from the wall which gives me what feels like DOUBLE the counter space.

Things left to-do in the kitchen:
1. Paint - I'm going to let a professional handle it, because well, I don't feel like it.
2. Back splash
3. Swap out the pot rack - we have a beautiful one we got as a wedding gift, but I want to wait until the walls have been re-painted to hang it.

101 in 1,001 Update for May

13. Start the kitchen re-model - new microwave, new knobs for cabinets, counter tops were installed! Still need to paint, hang the new pot rack and add backsplash - Complete 5/31/12

26. Paint or Wallpaper main floor bathroom - Decided to paint - Completed 5/31/12

39. Complete 5 DIY projects around the house (1/5) - I spray painted a 5x7 picture frame and hung it around my thermostat - it's so cute!

78. Make a cocktail for a party - 1 bottle of Orange Muscat from Danza Del Sol Winery, 1 can of raspberry lemonade, serve with fresh raspberries - Completed 6/2/12

90. Run the torchlight 5K - Registered, and now training race day is 7/18/12

June 7, 2021

Asian Salad

You know those bookclub girls I talked about on Monday!? They have talked me into something crazy this Saturday morning... ever heard of the 5K Go Commando race? When they first brought it up all I could think was "who would want to run a 5k without pants on!?" Come to find out it had nothing to do with that - it's like army commando, not no pants commando. It's an adventure race that really has nothing to do with time - thank God. I am the worlds worst runner.

And yet - I'm training for a 5K in July. Probably a 10k somewhere after that... and hopefully assuming all goes well I will run a half marathon next April. This assumes a lot of things, so don't hold me to it! New running shoes, a garmin forerunner 610 and water bottles galore at my house! The good news is, my husband has been insanely supportive and has been going on runs with me.

I got back from one of these runs, and I needed something healthy, but something DIFFERENT! I've been bored with the same old same old lately. Then I remembered this spring roll Mike and I shared, and him asking me to make the peanut butter dipping sauce we had with it... ta da... asain salad for dinner.

Ingredients in the sauce:
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter - weird measurement I know - 1/4 cup peanut butter, plus two tablespoons
1/4 cup of hoisin sauce
1/2 cup of hot water, use less if you want a thicker sauce
1/4 cup of lime juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons of ground ginger

Place all ingredients into a bowl and puree until smooth using an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender you can use a normal blender. Once well combine, set aside.

Ingredients in the salad:
9 ounces - about 3/4 of a box of whole wheat spaghetti (you can use soba noodles to be more authentic)
2 small zucchini sliced thinly
1 cup of matchstick carrots
1 large red pepper sliced thinly
3 scallions, sliced
1 cup of snow peas
1 poblano pepper sliced thinly
1 cup of edamame, shelled
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
Crushed red pepper flakes - to taste. I used probably 1/2 tablespoon - I like spicy foods

Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil. Pour in the spaghetti. Chop all the vegetables, and add them all to a large skillet. 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water and the crushed red pepper flakes. Heat the skillet to medium and cook the veggies until they are just slightly soft. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Drain the pasta when it's done.

Plate the pasta - veggies on top - sauce and cilantro to taste.

Recipe adapted from Women's Health Magazine

{Apologies for the iphone photos - I wasn't home!}


June 5, 2021

Overnight Oats

I have been seeing overnight oats EVERYWHERE lately. It's been on my list of things to try for breakfast for weeks. Well, I finally got around to it! The idea is that before you go to bed you simply add a few ingredients into a jar and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning you simply add a few ingredients and you have basically a trifle breakfast in a jar!

1/4 cup of milk - I used vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup of old fashion oats
1/4 cup of Chobani vanilla or plain yogurt
2 teaspoons chia seeds, optional
Dribble of vanilla extract
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Put all of these items in a 12 ounce mason jar and give it a good stir. Put the lid on the jar and put it in the fridge overnight. Yes, I just discovered chia seeds - they are SO good for you! I found a bag of them at Whole Foods.

In the morning:
1 nectarine, sliced into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons udi's natural granola
2 tablespoons sweet potato butter
1 tablespoon peanut butter

Use any combination you want - 1/2 a banana sliced, strawberries sliced, almond butter, more yogurt, etc. The ingredients above are my current favorite combination.  I layer the nectarine first - then the sweet potato butter, half the granola, then the peanut butter and the other half of the granola. The second I was done taking pictures I stirred the whole thing together

If you're wondering where to find sweet potato butter - I'm about to be that girl (you know the one who's scarf you love and you ask where she got it and she says "paris") - I found it in Montana. In Red Lodge, there is this store called Babcock and Miles they have fancy cheeses and wine and pastas and things like sweet potato butter! If you've never had sweet potato butter you should really try it! I currently want to put it on everything.


June 4, 2021

Weekend Re-Cap

Shortly after graduating college three of my closest girlfriends moved away - all to California. I was living alone, they were gone, and it got a bit lonely. So, I promptly found a bookclub. Little did I know that three years later they would be some of my closest friends! I love how things work out.

For the record... we DO read books... but, there is usually wine involved.

Anywho - Saturday we got together to bake. Erica has been trying to make the perfect cupcake for a while now - we figured we could all use the perfect cupcake recipe! I found four recipes and we made what feels like a hundred cupcakes!

First thing we did was make a quick cocktail - 1 bottle of orange muscat (from Danza Del Sol of course), 1 can of raspberry lemonade and a few fresh raspberries all over ice. It was awesome - and I got a little crap for only bringing the fixings for one pitcher. It goes down really smooth and it was gone quick!

We made four different cupcakes - dark chocolate with peanut butter butter cream frosting - recipe here. These were the easiest ones to frost. We were trying to perfect the cupcake swirl... turns out it's not as easy at it looks!

Next up were oreo cupcakes -double stuffed of course and they even had an oreo on the bottom! Recipe here. The photo is a little blurry - but trust me - they were awesome. There is coffee in the recipe and it gives the cupcakes a twist that makes it stand out from most cupcakes!

Third was strawberry lemonade cupcakes - these had lemonade mix and lemon zest in them. If you like lemon - you need to try these! Recipe here.

{Erica's photo of Kristina and I decorating the lemonade cupcakes}

Last we made strawberry lime cupcakes. I think these were the least favorite overall. It's hard to beat a mocha oreo flavored cupcake and peanut butter frosting. Check out the recipe here.

Kristina gets the award for frosting the most cupcakes. She has the patience of a saint! Even Brookline was worn out!

I don't think we found the perfect cupcake recipe, but we got to hang in Nicole's beautifully re-modeled kitchen. There was good conversation, good wine, and good food. It was a nice little Saturday - no complaints!

I MIGHT have had a chocolate peanut butter one for breakfast today. Maybe.