I’ve just binge-watched the entire eighth season of The Voice and I am in love with Gwen Stefani more than I was as a teenager, which is a crazy amount. I wish I was a singer just so I could try out for the voice with the hope she would want me on her team. But if I’m being honest, no one should hear me sing, EVER. Amelia hears me sing all day long and surprisingly she loves it (I think).
Oddly enough, I’m the worst singer in the world, but I love, LOVE karaoke. I don’t love to participate in karaoke, I just love to watch it. And here in LA, the land of Hollywood and fame and music, the karaoke bars are filled with people who moved here to become famous singers.
There was this one place in Hollywood I used to visit all the time called Miyagi’s; it was behind a Denny’s, attached to a bad sushi restaurant. No one ate sushi there but people loved singing karaoke at the bar.
The singers were incredible. There was the Asian dude who sang Guns and Roses ONLY (and he’d actually wear a Slash wig); there was this beautiful African American woman that sounded like India Aire but better; there was the guy from the mid-west who sounded like Frank Sinatra but looked like a surfer; and there was the MC who had been there since the 80s. The place was magical.
It was filled with people who had sort of given up on their dream; most of them had day jobs doing other things that they were ok with but they’d come to Miyagi’s to sing, because they couldn’t not.
It’s Wednesday but I wish it was Sunday. It’s spring but for the first time in my entire life, I wish it was summer. I’m currently working a lot, but I wish I was on vacation. And I’m not talking about one of those vacations where you stay in your own hometown. No, no. I’m talking island life. With a coconut in hand. And lots of ice cream in my life. Snorkeling, very large turtles that are sort of scary but they move slowly so it’s ok.
I want to live in a bathing suit (and I hate wearing bathing suits so this says A LOT!). If winter has been hard on you and all you want in your life is the sun on your face and a cold drink in your hand, stop what you’re doing and make these Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.
I didn’t grow up baking, like at all. My mom was more of a cook because it lent itself to improvisation (her strength) and the idea that you could throw everything but the kitchen sink in a pot and make it work as dinner. Baking doesn’t work that way, as you know. It requires attention to detail, a bit of precision and following directions.
When I graduated college, I started baking a lot because I loved how methodical it was. After a really long week full of to-do lists and meetings and running around, I found it so soothing to follow a set of instructions and end up with something awesome, regardless of how easy or difficult the recipe. It was and still is my favorite stress-reliever.
You want to know what a really bad idea sounds like? Of course you do! It sounds like this:
Be home all alone with your really friendly, non-protective corgi and then binge-watch The Jinx. You know, that documentary about the rich murderer who dismembered his neighbor, along with a few other people. I’m not sure you can exist in the world and NOT know about this series. The news of him being arrested is everywhere. But even with him in jail, watching that show all by yourself, in a creaky old apartment is a recipe for a very terrified Adrianna. NO BUENO.
You want to know what a really good idea sounds like? Yes you do! This pot de creme. Girl. It’s good.
I’m going to be one of those super annoying people right now and let you know that I’ve been eating healthy for about 10 days and I feel amazing. I have tons of energy and my stomach looks and feels better and I dunno, I feel happier? Yes, happier. SO LAME but it’s true.
I’ve never considered myself to have a sweet tooth, which is sort of absurd seeing as dessert is one of my favorite things to make. I always thought of myself as more of a savory, salty kinda person…that is until I started eating healthy. That’s when I realized I LOVE sweet stuff. LOVE!
I have a fun weekend activity for you. Here it goes:
1. Throw a bunch of dog treats in the air and scream “IM MAKING IT RAIN!” And then see your dog freak out and run around trying to eat them as quickly as possible.
Don’t have a dog? No biggie, here’s another fun weekend activity: Make fortune cookies.
I first had intentions of making these fortune cookies REALLY dark. Think Cards of Humanity but with fortunes. People are sensitive on the internets, I have found, so I kept it one-hundred, as they say.
One of the simplest and most magical things I’ve made in a v v long time is this Chocolate Halva Spread. It’s so incredibly simple (three ingredients!) and it takes seconds to make. It’s one of those things that you mix together and wonder where it’s been all your life. It makes you wonder why it isn’t sold in containers, at every grocery store, all over the world. It makes you wonder how Nutella got popular, with all its weird ingredients and oils, and this didn’t…maybe it’s not too late.
For the recipe and more pictures, hop on over to PBS Food. FOOD IS FUN!
There’s no winter equivalent to the term “dog days of summer,” is there? I feel like whatever that would be, we’re in it. It’s sort of a waiting game, it feels like, for flowers to bloom and other produce besides turnips and beets to show up.
And yes, I know I live in Los Angeles, a place where winter never really arrives, but I feel like, we too, are sort of in a bit of a slump. February is slumpy, man!
Cute key limes are here to the rescue and they come in form of this pie, which you should eat a lot of. Pie cures all sorts of things, including but not limited to, the winter blues.
I used to get the winter blues when I lived in North Carolina. For weeks it would be dark and gloomy and my skin would get soooo chapped and dry because of the weather. A doctor once told me I should go to a tanning bed because it would help my mood. I thought it was insane so I went, which is strange because I’m already brown, but it actually helped
This coconut key lime pie is like the equivalent of sitting in the sun. It will give you images of beaches and blue and green oceans and palm trees.
I’ve actually ventured down to Key West, Floria many times. I have a bit of a fondness for it. It’s not a fancy place at all but it’s one of the only places in the country where you can see the sunrise and sunset in the same place.
I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the week before Christmas is the most INSANE WEEK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. We’re all bustling, hustling and working (and werking) to get everything wrapped up and done before everyone peaces out for the rest of the year.
Next week I have a massage booked. I’m going to Palm Springs for a few days to rest up and do absolutely nothing. During this time, I plan on writing a few things down: my goals for 2015 (proof I’m getting older, I never used to do this), things I learned in 2014 and a few things I’m grateful for. It sounds like a cheesy little thing to do, but these tasks organize my thoughts. It’s like going to The Container Store for my brain.
Next week, there will be pie. Because, pie. And because there always should be pie.
There’s also a chance I might listen to the last episode of SERIAL again because OMG Ronald. NO! I’m not buying that, attorney-who-I-respect. UGH! Jay did it.
I do things at the holidays I don’t always do during the year: I (attempt) to decorate every corner of my apartment; I bake any chance I get; and I put antler ears on Amelia and force her to take pictures with me. Basically, what I’m saying is that I embrace the season and try and make the most of it. A big part of taking advantage of the season is creating things, arranging things, and making my home look as pretty and magical as possible.
Today I teamed up with Target to show you a pretty and fuss-free dessert table. Treat-making is my favorite thing to do but I do know that during the holidays it’s tough to tackle a gigantic project for a party (I tackled a buche de noel on Saturday, more on that later!), so I wanted to give you something super easy: Cappuccino Truffles! The best part about this recipe is the fact that it requires a lot of downtime, allowing you to turn your attention to making the dessert table look as cute as possible. I wanted the dessert table to feel cozy (I know, surprising), neutral and natural, and rely on gold and silver to bring some sparkle.
The recipe starts with heating cream and pouring it over chopped chocolate, after a little stir action, it goes in the fridge to chill.
During this time, I hung this cute tree garland around the table. I also hung this wall garland I made a few days prior that consisted of some cedar, pine cones and tallow branches. All you need a bit of floral wire and a few nails! Super easy.
I hope you’re inspired to make some treats and make your space cute and cozy. ’Tis the season!
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 16 truffles
Serving Size: 16
1 cup heavy cream
16 ounces bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped (chips are also fine!)
1/4 cup coffee granules, finely ground
1/4 cup instant milk powder
1 tablespoon powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until it reaches a light simmer. Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Pour the chocolate into a shallow dish, such as a 9-inch pie dish, and transfer to the fridge to chill for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the coffee, milk powder, salt and powdered sugar. Pulse until finely ground and mixed. Transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.
Using a #20 ice cream scoop (or a melon baller), scoop out mounds of the chocolate mixture onto a piece of parchment or wax paper (they’ll look a bit like wonky circles—don’t worry!). Transfer to the fridge to chill for an additional hour. Remove from the fridge and using your hands, roll the mounds of chocolate to form a circle (don’t worry if they’re not perfect circles) and then immediately transfer to the fridge to chill for an additional 15 minutes. Roll the chocolate balls in the coffee mixture and place in mini cupcake liners. Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to serve, at which time, allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, just to take off a bit of its chill. Garnish, if you like, with a teeny dusting of powdered sugar.