Chris and I decided to each make a list of things we'd like to do in 2011.
My list included making biscotti. I've always wanted to give it a try but for some reason biscotti making seemed so daunting. I've had this recipe bookmarked for a while, and we had all of the ingredients so Tuesday night was biscotti night! It was a complete success and turned out so tasty!

This recipe requires you to brown butter (which I could never get quite right) but I did it this time! Don't use a spoon to stir it, just swirl the pan and you'll be able to tell when it's ready when it smells nutty (I cooked it for a little longer than five minutes). Make sure to scrape off all of the bits on the bottom of the pan...that is what you were trying to make!




Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti


Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chunks (about 6 ounces)

Directions

Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to cook until the butter browns and gets a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar while beating. Then slowly add the butter and vanilla until evenly mixed, about 30 seconds more. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined.
While mixing slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet, in 2 additions, mixing just until absorbed. Fold in the peanuts and chocolate pieces.
Divide the dough evenly into thirds, and put each portion in the center of a baking sheet. Shape the dough with slightly wet hands into logs about 2-inches wide and 15 inches long. Bake until set and brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. (For even baking take care to rotate the pans-- top to bottom and front to back--about half way though.) Cool logs on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board. Cut logs crosswise, with a long serrated knife at about a 45 degree angle, into 1/2-inch thick cookies. Place cookies cut side down on the baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 8 minutes. Flip the cookies over and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes more. Cool biscotti on the baking sheets. Serve.


these are the adventures we had this past weekend...

friday night is date night for Chris and I.
we get a babysitter and usually try a new restaurant or see a movie.

last friday we went to a new restaurant called "little big burger."
I guess you could say it's in the same category as in'n'out/five guys but it appeals more to the portland crowd who like to know what they are eating.
local/natural beef, and whaa? I can get blue cheese on my burger?!
quality ingredients at a fast food place...imagine that.

I've heard it's always crowded, but it's worth the wait.
no I don't know that couple. they wanted to pose for my picture though.


simple menu:

we sat at the bar and watched them make our food,
no frozen patties in sight!:

their very own ketchup, fry sauce and mustard(not pictured):
(made in portland and you can pronounce all of the ingredients!!!)

we each got a burger and split an order of fries (yukon gold+truffle oil=delectable):
(if your husband is a bottomless pit, he may want to order this much just for himself since they are 4oz burgers)


recycling and composting is cool:
amazing root beer float:
(dip the fries in the ice cream. you won't regret it.)


lots of people but they were super quick:


there are sweet graphic paintings on the walls.
this one is in the long hallways leading to the bathroom:
after we ate, chris lovingly waited in anthropologie's dressing room while I tried on a few things. he sure knows how to wine and dine me :) I scored some super comfy fleece leggings on sale for $8.50! hooray!

we then walked up a few blocks to grab coffee/hot chocolate at stumptown and chatted and laughed at the obnoxious drunk girl in the ace lobby.
and I turned into a gangsta:

saturday morning chris woke up with awesome hair:


it was sunny on saturday so we spent a majority of the day walking around outside.
we played a bit in the park down the street:


and we showed bennett how to use his new dump truck:
(he was making truck sounds and we didn't even teach him to!)
then we took some pictures:




sunday night we went over to craig and lauren's for homemade pizza night.
marley and bennett shared their toys. they pretty much love eachother:

bennett has been walking (finally) for a few weeks now!
he started right when he turned 16 months, which is pretty late in the game.
here's a little video of us from the park:

video
Bidets are stupid.

I was looking forward to doing a post about our fun weekend, but our nice weekend ended on a not so nice note.

Apparently , somebody four floors above us decided to install a bidet by hooking it up to their bathroom sink all by themselves.
Bennett woke up at 3am this morning so I gave him some milk and he went right to sleep like normal. I went to the bathroom before getting back into bed and noticed a little bit of water on the ground by the tub. I first thought it was water from Bennett's bath then I heard what sounded like a faucet running on the inside of the wall! I woke Chris up and then called the building's after-hours emergency line. The maintenance guy quickly called me back and said they had already turned the water off and that he was working his way down, checking out the damage in each apartment (only 5 luckily)!


He made it down to our apartment around 5am and I showed him all the places the water leaked into.

I had to clear everything out of the walk-in-closet in Bennett's room, (which is where I keep my clothes and our only place to hide things like filing cabinets and vacuums and everything else when you have a tiny downtown apartment) and put it all right in the middle of his room.
As I write this, I can barely hear myself think because of the three ginormous industrial fans they brought in to dry up the water damage!

baseboards ripped off so these babies can get their job done:

all of our "stuff" in the middle of Bennett's room:

Though I know it could be worse...

We are no stranger to water damage.
Last year (Dec. 2010), two weeks before Christmas (and before the Ladd) this happened to us as well, only that time it wasn't a stupid bidet.
A water line above Bennett's nursery had frozen, and then upon thawing it burst and water poured out of every opening possible, including (but not limited to) light fixtures, electrical sockets, light switches and baseboards.
The water that didn't find it's way out in Bennett's room, decided to travel across the ceiling, down the walls and find it's own way out in other rooms.

The kicker (literally) is that 3 days before this I had broken my ankle ( it's a little difficult to be a stay at home mom with crutches and a 4 month old!)

We decided to count it all joy and make the best out of a bad situation.
We laughed at our series of unfortunate events and sent out this Christmas card...


bennett's nursery was transfered into our dining room:
Luckily, nothing we own has ever been damaged.
And thank the Lord that we are only renters and don't have to pay to get it all fixed!
(though we would never put in a bidet even if we were homeowners)
:)
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

My whole life I struggled to eat veggies, even to this day Chris pretty much has to beg me to eat them. I'm not a big fan of eating them raw and ever since Bennett has been in the picture I have tried to find recipes that include veggies so he grows up knowing that veggies don't have to be lame. I have three comfort food (turned vegetarian) recipes that are in our regular rotation of meals. I've shared this one and this one with you and now I introduce...
(FYI I wouldn't share just any vegetarian recipe with you. These are actually tasty!)

Martha Stewart's Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
via marthastewart.com

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed (I used TJ's sweet roasted corn and it added a lot of flavor)
  • We put avocado and a little sour cream on top and it was delish!

Directions

  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.


Read more at Marthastewart.com: Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili - Martha Stewart Recipes

ra ra ra random.



kind of a post of randomness but I found some awesome things and it would be selfish to keep them to myself!

exhibit a:
I recently came across an awesome Tumblr that I wanted to share...this guy started writing little notes to his yet unknown, future wife. It was hard for me to choose my favorites so you get a lot...



TO MY WIFE

NOTES FOR MY FUTURE WIFE.
THINGS I'LL DO, THINGS I WON'T.


I CAN’T


Time my airport pickup so you

see me standing like

an emo statue at the top of the

escalator but I’ll be there, somewhere.

Airports confuse me.


REAL


We will not be participating in

any “Real Housewives of ______” productions.

Viewing, maybe. Participating, no.


GUITAR HERO


Try and beat my high score,

DARE YOU.


LEASHES


Are for dogs, not children.

This will never be okay.



You fart in bed, so do I…

let’s not point any fingers here.


I WILL


Hold your handbag if you ask me to, but I will not enjoy it.


JANUARY 3, 2011 with 144 NOTES I’VE GOT

Several big sweaters in my 2nd drawer,

they’re at your disposal if you’re chilly.




I’ll pump the gas, you can chill in the car.


THE TV



Joint decision, but we can throw

each other bones every now and

then.


WHEN WE LAND


In the Caribbean for whatever reason, I promise

I will never clap. I’ll roll my eyes with you at the people who do.


THE RENTS


I won’t leave you alone with my

mother for more than

32 minutes at a time.



how cute are those?!


exhibit b:

mom jeans.

(sorry, not the best quality but it's the only one I could find.)


that is all.

happy tuesday!


a not so happy meal.


Take a nice hard look at this happy meal...
now check out this one...

Notice anything majorly different about them?
If your answer is no, then you're correct.
I know what you're thinking...
big woop Becca, why would I care that they look like they are almost identical?

Would you be completely disgusted if I told you it's the same happy meal except the first picture was taken 365 days after the second picture?!

Sick huh?

No mold, no decomposition (think of how fast the produce in your fridge decomposes).
The only sign of ageing is that the fries and burger patty are smaller (probably due to the water evaporating)!
This isn't real food, it's straight preservatives.
Kids deserve better than this don't you think?!

Joann Brusso kept the happy meal on a shelf for a year and documented it's "progress" on it's very own blog.

I can't wait to do this little project with Bennett once he gets older!
Emerson Made: Spring

I don't consider myself a style mavin by any means.
I buy and wear what I like, regardless of what the celebrities are wearing these days, because come on, do people really think these , this and this are cute?

I like simple, clean lines and not ugly. You'd think this would be easy to find...
Emerson Made recently posted their new spring line on their blog and I am in love with almost every piece! (though it's not as pricey as the designer stuff, most of it is still super spendy and I dream about owning just one piece.)

It's sure is fun to look at though!


i'm a sucker for scallops:
(not the kind you eat)

simple summer dress:

part military, part waitress:
little tote bag:
cutest denim shorts ever:
another summer dress:
pleats:
scallops and dots:

such cute pants:

pleats and bows:
oh the cuteness:
cutest dress ever:

PS: It's not cheap because EM is just a husband and wife (Emerson, who is also the gorgeous model) team and they make a very limited number of each item, a lot of which sell out from just the pre-orders!)