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Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy halloween!

i can't believe that today is the last day of october already!  tonight after work, we are looking forward to handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood and maybe watching a halloween movie too.

what are your plans for halloween?
love, laurie

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

art history inspired halloween costumes

halloween is tomorrow!  even though i don't typically dress up for halloween anymore, i always get a kick out of creative halloween costumes.  if you are looking for a last minute halloween costume idea that will be sure to turn some heads, look no further . . .

"american gothic" - grant woods
 "the kiss" - gustav klimt
 "mona lisa" - leonardo da vinci
 "son of man" - rene magritte
"self portrait" - vincent van gogh

check out other art history inspired halloween costumes here

love, laurie

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

halloween pumpkins

over the weekend we carved our pumpkins that we got when we went to roba family farms a few weeks ago.  we weren't feeling too creative this year, so we kept our pumpkins simple.  we carved our little pumpkin to look like a traditional jack-o-lantern and we carved our big pumpkin with our initial.  we also drilled holes all around the big pumpkin just like we did last year.  of course, leko helped out with the carving too!

when we carve our pumpkins each year for halloween, we love to roast the pumpkin seeds.  we roasted one batch of pumpkin seeds following the same recipe as last year, and we roasted the second batch of pumpkin seeds with black truffle oil and salt.  yum!

love, laurie

Monday, October 28, 2013

pumpkin spice waffles

this weekend was absolutely exhausting.  we spent most of the day on saturday helping our friends move into their new apartment two hours away in new jersey.  we can't believe that they are living so far away now, and we are going to miss them like crazy!  on sunday, we spent the day at home trying to catch up on various chores on our to-do list.  have you ever had a day that just felt like one giant comedy of errors?  well, that was sunday for us.  what a mess.

one of the only things that was not a mess on sunday was breakfast.  in the fall, we love to make as many pumpkin recipes as we can.  so, for breakfast on sunday morning we made pumpkin spice waffles.

these waffles are the perfect fall breakfast.  they are loaded with pureed pumpkin and spices, and they make the kitchen smell amazing as they are cooking.  they are crispy on the outside, and they are light and fluffy on the inside.

we served these waffles warm, fresh out of the waffle iron, with pure maple syrup.

we also spread a little bit of trader joe's pumpkin butter on our waffles too.  (pumpkin butter reminds me a lot of spicy apple butter.)  hey trader joe's, you have a winner there with that pumpkin butter for sure!

pumpkin spice waffles
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 6-7 minutes
yields: 4 waffles

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 tablespoon salted butter, melted

preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions.  in a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  add the milk, pumpkin puree, and egg and whisk well until no lumps remain.  stir in the melted butter.  pour enough batter into the waffle iron to just barely cover the waffle grid (usually about 1/2 cup of batter).  close the waffle iron and cook until the waffles are crispy on the outside and cooked throughout on the inside (about 6-7 minutes).  once cooked, transfer the waffles to a baking sheet and keep them in a warm oven while you prepare the remaining waffles.  serve hot with maple syrup.

love, laurie

ps: be sure to check out our recipe for pumpkin spice pancakes too!

Friday, October 25, 2013

fun links

i can hardly believe that halloween is less than a week away!  seriously, were did the month of october go?  i mean, christmas day is just two months from today!  that's crazy.  since it's friday, here are a few fun links that i found around the internet recently:

if you don't want to carve your pumpkins, you could just spray paint them

i love this d.i.y. slice of birthday cake halloween costume

i can't even begin to imagine how many calories are in one of these cookies

now this is a cool clock

sheared alpacas, oh my!

this made me laugh

. . .

have a great weekend!
love, laurie

Thursday, October 24, 2013

it looks like fall, but it feels like winter!

the weather has been absolutely beautiful the last few weeks.  there has been just a slight crispness in the air, and a light jacket in the evenings has been more than enough.  however, this week the weather took a drastic turn and boy did it get cold outside!  it looks like fall, but it feels like winter!  last night the temperature dipped down into the 20s!  we had to break out the fleece blankets and our warm pajamas to stay warm.  we even had to cover our mums that we planted outside with towels just so they wouldn't freeze.  i sure hope this cold weather isn't here to stay . . . i'm not done with fall yet!

love, laurie

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

my week in washington, d.c. (part three)

i really had such a great time in washington, d.c. this past week.  in addition to seeing the monuments and the famous landmarks downtown and spending time in dupont circle, i also spent a lot of time exploring several different neighborhoods in the district.

i absolutely fell in love with washington, d.c. over the past week.  (do you think i can convince ryan to move there?  just kidding!)  really though, it is such a great city.  the last time i was in d.c. was over ten years ago, so i felt like i was able to discover the city all over again on this trip.  there is so much going on in d.c. and the city feels so alive.  don't even get me started on the food!  the d.c. food scene is absolutely crazy and sure gives nyc a run for its money.  (i'm still dreaming about that pizza from 2 amy's and my salmon from founding farmers!)

by the way, d.c. should totally be renamed the cupcake capitol.  there are cupcake shops every where you turn!  i felt so bad that ryan couldn't join me on this trip, so i brought him back a bunch of cupcakes from a few different cupcakes shops in georgetown.  (nothing says love like hand carrying a bunch of boxes of cupcakes through airport security!)  i can't wait to go back to d.c. and to take ryan with me to show him the city!  i know he would love it!

ps: i took a ridiculous amount of photos while i was in d.c. but i promise this is the last of them!

 ^i just love the colorful homes in capitol hill^
 ^stanton park in capitol hill^
^the historic eastern market in capitol hill^
 ^market lunch at eastern market^
 ^an absolutely awesome pizza at 2 amy's near cathedral heights^
 ^a vanilla cupcake with raspberry buttercream from something sweet
near cathedral heights^
 ^the washington national cathedral in cathedral heights^
^the famous ben's chili bowl in the u street corridor . . .
the president even ate there!^
 ^of course, i didn't eat all of that^
 ^chocolate hazelnut and chocolate chip italian gelato from
pitango gelato near logan circle^
 ^gorgeous m street in georgetown^
 ^the famous georgetown cupcakes from the tlc show dc cupcakes^
 ^a pink rhinestone studded kitchen aid mixer?  now that's my speed!^
 ^cupcakes that i brought home from georgetown cupcakes^
 ^candace nelson's sprinkles cupcakes in georgetown^
  ^cupcakes that i brought home from sprinkles cupcakes^
^baked and wired in georgetown^
^cupcakes that i brought home from baked and wired^

. . .

love, laurie

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

my week in washington, d.c. (part two)

while i was in washington, d.c. this past week, i stayed in dupont circle at the washington hilton (because that's the hotel where the conference was held).  since i was staying in dupont circle, i spent some time exploring that area when i had free time between the conference workshops.

dupont circle reminded me so much of new york city.  i was amazed at how clean dupont circle was (especially compared to nyc) and i couldn't believe how much there was to do in dupont circle.  there were restaurants and shops lining every street.  i just loved the architecture of the buildings.  it seemed like everywhere i looked, there were statues and little parks tucked away among the hustle and bustle of the city too.  such a neat area.

while i was walking through dupont circle on monday, i saw a crowd of people gathering outside on the sidewalk.  the presidential motorcade was parked on the street and a ton of secret service agents were all over the place.  i asked a few people what was going on, and they said that vice president joe biden was shopping in brooks brothers.  i decided to stick around, and when the vice president came out of the store i got to shake hands with him before he was whisked away into his waiting car.  it was definitely cool to shake hands with the vice president in washington, d.c.

 ^the view from my room at the washington hilton^
^dupont circle^
^i loved the architecture inside the d.c. metro^
 ^you can't beat a burger from shake shack^
 ^an awesome tiramisu cupcake from hello cupcake^
 ^a salad at sweet green to balance out the burger and the cupcake^
 ^pomegranate yogurt from pinkberry^
^meeting the vice president outside of brooks brothers^

. . .

love, laurie