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Friday, March 29, 2013

happy easter weekend!

have a lovely easter weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, March 28, 2013

little letters

dear kitten, the other night you sat on the kitchen counter and helped me work on my peanut butter granola recipe.  it was very sweet.  you really are the best little sous chef.

dear peanut butter granola, i am determined to perfect this recipe no matter how many cups of oats i have to go through in the recipe testing process.  it's not quite there just yet, but we're getting close!

dear husband, so glad that you are willing to taste test all of these peanut butter granola recipes.  you're such a trooper ;-)

love, laurie

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

bok choy and brown rice salad with orange sesame dressing

we love throwing together a large salad on sunday nights and then portioning it out into small containers to take to work each day for lunch during the week.  it makes life so much easier on weekday mornings to just grab a container of salad and a fork as you are running out the door to work.  recently, we made this salad which fed us all week long.  it's full of veggies, and the orange sesame dressing gives it a great asian vibe.

bok choy and brown rice salad with orange sesame dressing
prep time: 10-15 minutes
yields: 10 servings
adapted from annie's eats

salad ingredients:
4 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4 cups bok choy leaves, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
5 scallions, chopped
3 large carrots, diced

dressing ingredients:
1 medium orange
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons sesame seeds
salt and pepper

to make the salad, in a large bowl combine the rice, chicken, bok choy, cilantro, scallions, and carrots.  toss to combine.  to make the dressing, zest and juice the orange.  in a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, and sesame seeds.  add the dressing to the salad and toss well to combine.  season with salt and pepper to taste.

love, laurie

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

a few little signs of spring

the official first day of spring was last week, but it hasn't felt very much like spring at all lately.  instead it has been way too cold, and there have been snow flurries every few days.  however, over the weekend (despite the cold temperatures) there were a few little signs of spring around our yard.  here's hoping that spring will come soon!  fingers crossed!

love, laurie

Monday, March 25, 2013

the weekend, briefly . . .

^peanut butter granola recipe testing^

^a saturday drive (to a dentist appointment)^

^ryan's mom and her kitten, ginger^

^continuing the week of birthday celebrations^

^peanut butter birthday cake with chocolate frosting^

^catching a production of a local dance show^

^all bundled up for a chilly sunday walk around the neighborhood^

^our little ham^

. . . 

hope your weekend was lovely!
love, laurie

Friday, March 22, 2013


by now, you may have heard the news that google will be shutting down google reader on july 1st.  if you are currently using google reader to follow love, laurie you may want to consider switching to bloglovin'.

personally, i have been using bloglovin' for a while, and i actually prefer it over other options.  bloglovin' is really user friendly, and there is even a free bloglovin' app for the iphone.  the app is great because it makes following your favorite blogs so much easier on the go.

by the way, if you are currently using google reader, when you sign up for a bloglovin' account you will be able to import all of the blogs that you previously signed up to follow via google reader into bloglovin'.  easy peasy!

you can follow love, laurie on bloglovin' here

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, March 21, 2013

baked strawberry cake doughnuts with strawberry glaze

we really enjoyed the homemade baked mocha cake doughnuts that we made a few weeks ago.  since we bought a doughnut pan for that recipe, we decided that we better put it to good use and make another batch of homemade baked doughnuts.  i mean, you can't just let a perfectly good doughnut pan go to waste.

this time we decided to make strawberry doughnuts.

just like our mocha cake doughnuts, these strawberry cake doughnuts are baked, not fried, which means that they are not greasy like fried doughnuts.  instead, they are light and fluffy like little cakes.

these doughnuts have strawberries inside and out.

there are sliced strawberries inside of them (which reminds me of strawberry pancakes from my childhood) and there are strawberries in the glaze on top of them.

it's the perfect marriage of doughnuts and fruit.  that means we can feel a little bit better about them because they have fruit in and on them, right?

also, they're pink!  what's not to love about that?

these doughnuts are so simple and so easy to make.  it may be dangerous just how quickly a batch of these guys can be whipped up!

hello, beautiful . . .

baked strawberry cake doughnuts with strawberry glaze
prep time: 10-15 minutes
baking time: 11-12 minutes
yields: 6 doughnuts
adapted from cooking classy

doughnut ingredients:
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped

glaze ingredients:
1/4 cup freeze dried strawberries
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
1 cup powdered sugar, divided

to make the doughnuts, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  in a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, vanilla, egg and sugar.  sift the flour and the baking soda into the batter and stir well to combine.  gently fold the strawberries into the batter.  spoon the batter into a greased and floured doughnut pan.  bake for 11-12 minutes, or until the doughnuts spring back when pressed lightly.  once baked, allow the doughnuts to cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then carefully remove them from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

to make the glaze, place the freeze dried strawberries in a ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are the consistency of a fine powder.  in a small bowl, combine the fresh strawberries and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar.  stir until the mixture becomes moistened, then allow the mixture to rest for 1 minute.  add the remaining powdered sugar and the freeze dried strawberries.  stir well until combine.  the glaze will be thick.  spoon the glaze onto the cooled doughnuts.  place the doughnuts on a wire rack with either aluminum foil or waxed paper under the rack in order to catch the dripping glaze.  transfer the doughnuts to the freezer for a few minutes to allow the glaze to set.  (note: spoon the glaze onto the doughnuts immediately before serving.  if the glaze sits on the doughnuts too long it will be absorbed into the doughnuts and the doughnuts will become soggy.)

love, laurie

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

birthday celebrations

yesterday was ryan's mom's birthday.  ryan's mom loves the celtic women, so we were all really excited to find out that the celtic women tour was going be in town on her birthday this year!  yesterday after work, we got together with ryan's parents to celebrate.  we went out to dinner and then we went to see the celtic women show . . .

after the show, leko was very "helpful" unwrapping birthday presents . . .

we had a great time celebrating with ryan's parents and we hope ryan's mom had a very happy birthday yesterday!

happy first day of spring today!
love, laurie

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

happy birthday!

happy birthday today to ryan's mom!
love, laurie

Monday, March 18, 2013

a little peek at our weekend . . .

after work on friday, we went to see a local high school's production of anything goes, which is one of our favorite classic broadway shows.  you just can't beat cole porter's music and multiple tap dancing numbers!

all types of birds were out and about in our yard this weekend . . . this kept leko (and ryan) entertained for quite a while.

on friday night we watched an old episode of unwrapped about how bagels are made.  when we woke up on saturday morning we were both craving bagels, so we had a little breakfast date at panera to satisfy our craving.

we spend most of the day on saturday at my parents' house.  my mom threw a dinner party for several of her co-workers, so ryan and i helped my mom cook and bake all afternoon.  (all together, there were 14 people over for dinner!)  the dinner was asian themed . . . we had chicken fried rice, shrimp fried rice, beef and broccoli, and spring rolls.  then for dessert, we made pina colada pie and cream puffs.  i was planning on taking a picture of everything that we made, but it was devoured so quickly and i missed my chance.  it's pretty safe to say that we ate entirely too much, but it was all so good! 

we had a little snow this weekend too.  it looked pretty on the trees, but seriously, when will it start looking and feeling like spring?  adios winter!

to close out our weekend, we went to the movies (for the first time in a long time) on sunday afternoon.  we saw oz the great and powerful and really liked it.  we also really liked the fact that we got a free large popcorn!  (sad to say, but it was so large that the two of us couldn't even finish it!)

hope everyone had a great weekend!
happy monday!

love, laurie

Friday, March 15, 2013

green smoothie

i'm not irish, so i don't really celebrate st. patty's day.  in fact, each year around the middle of march i make a conscious effort to avoid the downtown area just so i don't get caught up in all of the annual st. patty's day parade craziness.  i also tend to avoid most st. patty's day related foods.  things like corn beef just don't appeal to me.  (however, i do like a slice of homemade irish soda bread every once in a while.)

around st. patty's day there are always a ton of foods that are not naturally green but are dyed green for the sake of holiday spirit.  typically, i try to avoid food coloring as much as possible.  in an effort to not sound like a total st. patty's day scrooge, i decided to make something festively green in honor of st. patty's day this weekend.  it's naturally green and it's super healthy too!  thus, i present to you this awesome green smoothie.

the fresh spinach makes this smoothie naturally green.  i like to think of it as mother nature's food coloring.

are you on the green smoothie bandwagon?  green smoothies are all the rage.  (just try to scroll through your pinterest feed without coming across one.)  some of them are appealing and some of them are appalling, but i'm happy to announce that this lovely green smoothie tastes great and packs a whole bunch of nutritional value too.  just think about all of the awesome vitamins and minerals floating around in there!

if your looking for a way to get your fruits and veggies (or a way to sneak more fruits and veggies into someone's diet) give this green smoothie a try.

. . . and have a happy st. patty's day this weekend!

green smoothie
prep time: 5 minutes
yields: 1 smoothie
adapted from say yes to hoboken

1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 banana
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup orange juice

blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

love, laurie

Thursday, March 14, 2013

happy pi day!

image source
today is 3-14 which means that it is pi day!  let's skip the math problems today and instead just dig into a slice of pie while watching the waitress.

i love all different types of pie.  some of my favorite types include coconut custard pie, chocolate silk pie, peanut butter pie, banana cream pie, banoffee piepumpkin pieapple pie, and strawberry pie.  (i could go on listing pies all day long!)  i also love ice cream pie, and of course i can't forget savory pies like chicken pot pie too.

what are your favorite types of pie?  
love, laurie