Friday, October 28, 2011

My Bumpy Pumpkin

Some of my Facebook friends may have seen this yesterday. I searched high and low for a pumpkin but it's nearly impossible to find one in the city this close to Halloween. I was super lucky to rescue this pumpkin. It was the last one at the store. No one wanted him and he had no other pumpkin friends. Sad face. So, I adopted him and carried him home a mile and a half in the rain. It was quite a bonding moment. This pumpkin and I...we are close now. Happy face.

I can't wait to be creative and carve it and make him look extra special. :D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Michigan Wine Tour...First Stop: Round Barn

Rob and I recently went on an extended wine tour through Southwest Michigan. They call it the Napa Valley of the Midwest. Conditions are great for growing because it it east of Lake Michigan. The temperature of the lake moderates the climate and weather, creating excellent grape-growing conditions.

We visited a total of seven wineries in just a couple of days. Yikes! I think my tongue is still numb from all the wine. We had perfect autumn weather. It actually couldn't have been more perfect.

Our first stop was Round Barn Winery. The tasting room is actually in the big round barn.The ceiling looked like a work of art!

I took this wine tour seriously. Very seriously. I want to expand my knowledge of wine and truly mature my palette. Can you hear the sophistication in my words? Or maybe a little bit of drama? Hey, I'll be honest, I just wanted to try a lot of different wines! And I actually did learn quite a bit along the way. I learned that I really like wine. Ha! Here I am sitting outside on a beautiful day enjoying a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. Mmmmmm....

Let's zoom in on that light fixture behind me. I loved it! I want one for my house even though I would have no idea where to put it.

And now, the obligatory picture of the grape vines! Ehhh, I guess if you've seen one grape vine, you've seen them all.

Stay tuned for more upcoming wine tasting adventures! Sluuuurp.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Crumble

So easy you can make it in your sleep!

Printable Recipe


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter - cold
1 cup of old-fashioned oats
3 pounds of apples - peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and put into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, combine ingredients until they are crumb-like.

3. Add oats and mix with hands until combined and chunky. Put mixture in the fridge while you prepare the apples.

4. Put apples in a large bowl. Evenly sprinkle vanilla and lemon juice over the apples and stir. Add the white sugar and cinnamon and stir again to evenly coat the apples.

5. Grease a 2 quart glass baking dish with butter. Place apples in the baking dish and evenly distribute crumb topping. Bake until bubbling, about 60-70 minutes. Be sure to put foil or a pan underneath the baking dish.

6. Remove and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

It's great with vanilla bean ice cream. Mmmm.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hummingbird Cupcakes

 nom nom nom

This is the first time I have made hummingbird cupcakes so I used a Martha Stewart recipe. I had to omit the walnuts since I am allergic but feel free to add them if you like them! I love these cupcakes. I've been eating them in the morning (unfrosted) with a cup of coffee and they are delicious. Go make these now!

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes roughly 24 cupcakes
Printable Recipe


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
8 ounces crushed pineapple
1 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


8 ounces cream cheese - room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 ounces (1 pound) powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. Using a mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter, vanilla and sugar until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well with mixer before adding the next egg. After all 3 eggs have been added, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

4. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas well. Add the pineapple, coconut and walnuts (optional) and combine. Add to the egg mixture and combine well. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, and combine all ingredients.

5. Divide batter evenly in the 24 cupcake pans. The batter should go almost to the top of the liners:

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes (rotate pans halfway through baking) or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before icing.


1. Using a mixer and a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until combined.

2. Add sugar, little by little, while beating with a mixer and combine well.

3. Put icing in a pastry bag or a heavy-duty freezer bag with the tip snipped off. Pipe icing onto to cupcakes.


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