November 20, 2014

I Dream of Pretzels

I have always loved pretzels, especially big, warm, soft pretzels, and I never thought I'd be able to make my own. Until this weekend.  
It was fun, a little scary and ultimately delicious! Be brave and try something new!

What you'll need:
  • 1½ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 4½ cups flour
  • ½ stick of butter, melted
  • brie cheese, sliced
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Sea salt & Fresh rosemary, for garnish

  • First gather your salt, water, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until frothy. Mine never got quite frothy so don't stress if yours doesn't froth either. 
  • After the 5 minutes add in the flour and butter and mix it up. I mixed by hand but you can also use a standing mixer if you prefer. Once your dough is actually dough like and pulling away from the sides of your mixing bowl transfer it to an oiled bowl. Once transferred, cover with plastic and let sit for atleast an hour. The goal is for your dough to double in size so you may want to wait more than an hour.
  • Once your dough has doubled, dump it onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out a bit and divide it into about 8-10 pieces. Size is really up to you, just depends how large you want your pretzels. Remeber they will grow in the oven so you may want to start smaller. I know next time I make them I will start smaller. 
  • Once your dough is divided roll it out into long flat rectangles. Place your brie slices inside and pinch dough closed, safely concealing your brie. 
  • Give the dough a nice roll to ensure your brie is all sealed and twist into a pretzel shape. I started from the bottom, brought the ends up like at the top of a heart shape then twist and pinch ends back down.
  • Now grab your baking soda and water and bring that mixture to a boil. While that's boiling preheat your oven to 425. Once the water is ready give each pretzel a 30 second bath. Place pretzels on a baking sheet once you remove them from water. 
  • After the pretzels take a dip, brush them with olive oil and garnish with fresh rosemary and seasalt, then throw them in the oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
And there you go! They are so delicious and fairly easy. Note if you want to make plain pretzels do everything the same just skip the brie and rosemary! Or replace the brie with your fave cheese. Just have fun with it and enjoy these delicious snacks!

Recipe borrowed from Port and Finn


November 19, 2014

Interweb Goodies

Happy Hump Day!

This past weekend Solange got married and killed it. Her looks were amazing and the photography incredible. She is so f-in cool! Check out her amazingness here and here! Oh and her new hubby aint bad either!

Born and raised in the Bay! We would have in no other way, check out this great and pretty accurate list of signs you were born and raised here.

Tis the season to eat, eat, eat and ask for gifts BUT it is also a great time to remember that not everyone may have it as good as you. Make an effort and give back in some way. Here is an awesome list of things food banks need that are less obvious than canned corn!

This table display will make you want to eat the table! Delicious and fruity and we want it!

And lastly as the fun of the holidays is near you may be finding it harder to stay focused. Never fear because we found you two great lists to assist you in getting more shit done! List 1 & List 2, enjoy!


November 18, 2014

Easy Soup for the Holidays

I recently read Julie Powell's book, Julia and Julia. Such a great read that inspired me to cook! For those of you less interested in reading, it is also a movie! I have always loved the movie - what's not to love Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and delicious food! The book is about Julie Powell, a woman living in New York in the early 2000's who is nearing the big 3-0 and has a job that doesn't really fulfill her. She decides to start a nearly impossible project; completing all 524 recipes in Julia Child's cookbook, Masting the Art of French Cooking in 365 days.  She wrote a blog about it, which lead to a book deal, and then a movie. I guess you can say that she was one of the first "big" bloggers and the movie was the first movie ever based on a blog.

The book really inspired me to make some of the recipes from Mastering the Art Of French Cooking. The first I took on is the first recipe in the entire cookbook, and the first recipe that Julie makes - Potato Leek Soup.

This was seriously so easy and inexpensive, perfect for a night during the busy holiday season!

Ashley takes on Julia Child's Potato Leek Soup


2 large potatoes, pealed and cut, about 2 cups 
2 leeks, sliced thin, about a cup and a half
4 cups of water 
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of butter
Chopped parsley

First simmer the potatoes, leeks, and salt in the water for 40-50 mins until veggies are tender

Next, without removing from heat, mash up the veggies

Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.

Seriously that's it and it's fantastic!

Happy Cooking!


November 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pecan French Toast

This week on the blog we are all about food and fall right before Thanksgiving next week! To kick off the week I have whipped up some pumpkin pecan french toast! Perfect for a fall brunch with friends, but so good you can eat it anytime throughout the year!


One loaf of good quality bread cut into 10 pieces
2 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

For sauce:

1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup pumpkin butter
2 tablespoons butter (as needed)

First whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

Spray and heat the skillet. Dip the pieces of bread on each side in the mixture and cook on skillet until golden brown flipping once.

In a small sauce pan mix together the chopped pecans and pumpkin butter over low heat. If the sauce is too thick add in the butter to thin out the sauce to more of a syrup consistency.

When the sauce and french toast is completed serve with strawberries, a light dusting of powdered sugar, and some maple syrup.



November 13, 2014

Fashion Fridays: Apple and Pumpkin Picking

A few weeks ago I went up to Apple Hill with my Mom and Aunt. Apple Hill is an area near the Sierra foothills where farms open their doors to visitors during fall. Each farm has different goodies, food, animals, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and so much more!

While I was there I thought I'd take advantage of the scenery and take some fun outfit photos! 

Hat {Forever 21}, Jacket {Target}, Sweater {Gap}, Pants {Old Navy}, 
Watch {Michael Kors - Parker}


November 12, 2014

Glitter Leaves for Fall

A couple of weekends ago I went to brunch with a friend - if you are ever in Berkeley Cafe M is the place to go, did some shopping, and then felt like doing some crafting. I wanted to creating something fun to put up for fall/Thanksgiving!

I found this awesome branch of fall leaves on sale for $1.50 and thought that by adding some glitter and hanging the leaves from the branch it would create a different look.

What you'll need

- Faux branch with leaves
- Mod Podge
- Twine, string, or ribbon
- Scissors
- Exact-o knife
- Glitter

I first cut the leaves from the branch and used the mod podge to add some gold glitter to the leaves.

Once the leaves were dry I used the exact-o knife to cut a small hop at the top of each leaf and tread the twine through the leaves.

Next I attached the strings of leaves to the branch.

Lastly hang it up for a fun (and glittery) decoration!

What are your favorite fall crafts?


November 11, 2014

Interweb Goodies

 Love this sweater & new find Joe Fresh!

How did we not know about this site; Joe Fresh! Loving these affordable looks. Might need to buy this sweater in multiple colors!

Loving these latte homemade soaps from A Beautiful Mess, perfect to keep around the house and give as gifts this season!

Incase your not sure what your supposed to be doing/learning in your 20's (I think we're all a bit lost) here's a handy list of things to keep in mind

And lastly, wouldn't we all want to travel the world...for FREE! Here's some great tips on how to make travel super affordable and practically free!