Thursday, April 30, 2015

Captain Crunch Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Talk about a tasty alliteration - am I right?

I wish I knew the source to this recipe. When I graduated college (oh lord, 5 years ago now), I started compiling recipes in a binder in anticipation for living on my own (I moved into the cutest apartment downtown with my then-boyfriend after graduation). I printed recipes all the time and filled up the binder and, sadly, some don't have the sources on them - including this one. Some of the recipes I have made repeatedly, others I just never got around to trying.

These cookies falls on the never got around to trying list. Probably for a couple reasons - I didn't have a food processor to properly grind up the cereal (I could crush the cereal with a rolling pin but this works best when the cereal is finely crushed) and I also just never ever had or bought Captain Crunch before.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Treasures from Bubbie's Basement - Part 1

After 35 years, my grandmother (we call her Bubbie), is moving to a new apartment complex. This decision was made after her husband, my Zaydie, passed away a couple years back. Her current apartment is just more space than she needs right now on her own.

She found herself a retirement community nearby, got on the list, and waited. Finally, earlier this year, her time arrived! Three decades after moving into her current home, she had a brand new apartment!

So the clean out began!

In those 30+ years, a lot of stuff accumulated. As it does. But perhaps a bit more than most (there was always an abundance of newspapers, plastic shopping bags, and empty ice cream containers at Bubbie's house - I don't even know why!). We knew that there'd be a day that we'd all have to pitch in to help clean that place out!

After Zaydie passed a couple years ago, we cleaned out quite a bit (he hoarded books and comic books) but now we had to accelerate the process. We also began claiming items we wanted - Bubbie wanted to get rid of old stuff and just start new in her new place. So she began offering up furniture and the like.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pure (Delicious) Magic: Ice Cream Bread

Though it was never my strongest subject in school, one thing I do love when I am baking is when it gets science-y. Science was always a pretty neutral subject to me. It wasn't nearly as terrifying as math, as torturous as gym class, as lame as health class, or as tedious as history. It couldn't compare to the awesomeness that was English class, art class, or music class (in my opinion, of course) either, though. It was always just somewhere in the middle - a class I didn't love but didn't hate either.

Which is why it's funny that I am such a big baking fan. Baking is science when you break it down. You'd think science would have been higher on my list. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

But back to my original statement. When baking and science REALLY come together, I find it fascinating. One example of crazy science-y baking is what I have to share with you today. And that, my friends, is the phenomenon of ice cream bread.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Unique Vintage's Dress of the Month Club: April

Earlier this month, Unique Vintage announced their Dress of the Month Club. I had to blink a few times to make sure I read it correctly - a Dress of the Month Club? For reals? It sounded too good to be true!

Well, my friends, it wasn't! For $50 a month (which comes to $60 a month after shipping), Unique Vintage will send you a new dress. I decided to go for it and try it out for a few months to see if I liked the dresses I received. Why not? Some of those popular subscription boxes out there cost about the same if not more!

So I signed up and waited impatiently for the first dress. It actually arrived when I was in Las Vegas (bummer!) so I had to wait to open my dress and snap some photos for the blog. But it was worth it!

Considering signing up? Here's some cool info on the subscription that convinced me. You pay $50 dollars a month but you could be getting a dress that costs much more than that normally. I like that idea. Sure, it's a gamble, but it's a fun gamble!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What's Sara Reading? April Edition

It's that time again! What I should be saying is that it's time for Spring and that it's warm and sunny and there's no snow in sight. Well, we all know that isn't true. Sure, it's not frigid most days anymore but I still can't get out my back door if I wanted to and I don't think I've seen one flower yet.


Luckily, I have some trips to warmer weather planned. Right now I am in Vegas, working my arse off  all day at NAB, a big media and entertainment trade show, but getting to appreciate the west coast weather at night. I've been to Vegas three times now and it kind of feels like home now. Easy for me to say - I've been to limited places.

I will be back in Vegas in just a few weeks time - with Cody and friends in tow! He will be once again coming with me to EMC World, my company's big conference/trade show. He came last year and we had an amazing time. Here's to another great week!

Anyway, while my Vegas adventures will make due, I am really hoping to see some major melt-age here in the Boston area. I mean, don't get me wrong, most of it is gone. I can even see my front yard again and my driveway is no longer a narrow beast to park in. Still, all those spots that never see direct sun are still completely taken over by snow. Sad, sad, snow. Just go away, already!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Las Vegas Lemon Poke Cake

Since I am spending the week in viva Las Vegas for the NAB show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, I thought it'd be the perfect time to tell you all about this cake.

Like most of my family gatherings, I was asked to make dessert for Easter a few weeks back. I immediately thought of this lemon cake mix I had scored for like 50 cents at the grocery store on super sale. Something about Easter makes me think of lemon and other fruity desserts. Perhaps because on Easter, it's supposed to be springy and warm and bright. This year not so much. Oh well! That's New England for you!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

1 Dress, 3 Ways: the Amazing Little Black Dress!

The Little Black Dress (aka LBD) is famously known as the staple in every woman's closet. It's well known for a reason - a great LBD is a secret weapon. Us gals are unstoppable in our Little Black Dresses.

I thought it'd be fun to take my LBD for a spin to see just how versatile it can be. Can it be formal? Can it be fun? Can it be casual? Can it be all of the above and then some?

The answer my friends? YES!

If you've got a LBD, you can never say you have nothing to wear. You can do so much with it - from belts to sweaters to accessories to blouses and more. Trust me.

Here are three ways I styled my Little Black Dress - 1 dress, 3 ways!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Spinach Macaroni & Cheese

This macaroni and cheese dish is the first thing I remember creating/making on my own. Sure, I always helped my mom cook and bake growing up, but she actually never made us mac and cheese from scratch. Now, now, don't go bashing my mama. It just wasn't her thing.

Because of that, I was on my own. Somewhere between middle school and high school I dove into learning how to make macaroni and cheese from scratch myself. Because I heard good things - really good things.

Mac and cheese was my ultimate favorite food - and it totally still is to this day! Nothing hits the spot like a good ol' box of Kraft but I wanted to make it myself so I could make it as gooey and cheesy as I wanted to (and to see what all the fuss was about).

I remember using so much of my internet time (Monday night was my internet night), looking up how to make a cheese sauce. It's a simple concept but I was young - I knew nothing! What was a roux? It's butter and WHAT? Flour? NO. 

Le sigh.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Scrumptiously Simple Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

I have a confession - I am not a big peanut butter fan. While everyone flips for a Reese Egg around Easter time, I'm gobbling up Cadbury Creme eggs. While Cody goes for the ice cream that could not be more loaded with peanut butter, I tend to reach toward cookies and creme or something fudgy.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I like a good Reese's every now and then and occasionally will indulge in PB&J crackers, but I don't crave peanut butter as much as others do.

I do, however, itch for some when I am stressed.

Are the two connected?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Little American Girl in Dubai: An Arabian Night (3 of 3)

Here it is, ladies & gents! The last installment of my adventures in Dubai. Did you have fun following along? Or was the series kind of meh? I ask because I had fun with it and would love to share these types of blogs for all my upcoming adventures around the world (on the docket: Singapore, Amsterdam, the UK, and Japan!). It's so fun sharing it all with you.

Anyway! What's in store today? Our last night in Dubai!

Kristana - our travel bug manager on site - gets all the credit for our last evening in Dubai. I was starting to get homesick (I missed Cody and being home terribly by then!) but I was so happy that Kristana encouraged us to go out and celebrate a show well done and the end of our trip.

After CABSAT closed on that last night, the team went back to the hotel to clean up and then we hopped into a car that would take us to the desert. It was a bit alarming at first as we got nearer to the desert - there weren't many streetlights and I started to wonder if this would be the end of me. Eeek!