Thursday, June 30, 2011

S'more Birthday Goodness!

I think S'more obsession is at an all time high right now.

Especially on the internet.

I have seen so many blogs lately referencing different s'more recipes. S'more parties. And just general s'more consumption.

I can't get the marshmallow, graham, chocolate goodness off my mind.

I saw these two recipes a few weeks ago - and knew I had to make them both!

I had the ingredients for the cookies - except I had fluff, like for the pie.  So i just combined the two to work for me.

I made the dough/crust like the cookie recipe. Which is basically a chocolate chip cookie dough - sans chocolate chips, plus crushed graham cracker.

Spread half of it in the bottom of a pie dish.

Layered the Hershey sections around.

Smoothed the fluff over the chocolate.

And added the second half of cookie dough/crust on top.

It didn't exactly cover fully, but I think in the end it had a really fun, fluffy marshmallow bubbling effect.

The coworkers scored again! And we served this up to celebrate Cary's birthday! Happy 30th!!!
It actually may be my favorite dessert that I have made in a long time! Woo!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Leaving it to the Professionals.

This past weekend, I was feeling a bit under the weather so I took a short cycletopolis hiatus and let the professionals handle the cycling.

The Burlingame Criterium is a super fun race that takes over the streets of Burlingame. Tons of people turn out,  cycling fans and just curious onlookers alike.

I have been going with my dad on and off for probably 25 years. As long as I can remember, my sister and I have tagged along with pops as he cruises the streets schmoozing with all his buds, and giving us the inside scoop on the races.

Along with my dad, Laura and Matt - somebody else was enjoying the races...

I think she also enjoyed when about 30 seconds after this picture was taken, the waiter spilled FOUR...yes FOUR glasses of water and a glass of iced tea on me. And in turn on her - since she was right under the table.

Thankfully we both dried in about five minutes.

And she was able to lap up a little H20.

For some reason - the cyclists seemed unfazed by my water fiasco.

And I think little Mylie had a good little spot to enjoy the show. Dog's eye view might be the way to go.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Oreo Cookie Weakness

The Oreo Cookie Weakness is a real thing.

You either have it or you don't.

And I have it.


The other day, I found Oreo instant pudding at the store. So I bought it, without any specific plan for it.

The office prego suggested that it would make a really good cake filling.

Which got the wheels turning.

So, my next Trader Joe's run, I grabbed a few things to go with it...

Have you tried Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake mix?
It is the sweetest, to die for cake ever.
It is not white cake. Or yellow cake.
But Vanilla cake.


It is so pretty, it even has little flecks of vanilla bean throughout.

So I made the cake as the instructions on the box...with a twist.
After it was all mixed up, I crushed about 9 Oreos (or in this case Joe-Joes) in a ziplock, and tossed them into the batter.

And then poured the batter into two 8 inch pans. The box didn't have directions for that size, so I baked for about 25 minutes, plus a few until the cakes were nice and golden.

AND - another twist.

I added a few whole Oreos/Joe-Joes into the cake itself.



The cakes REALLY wanted to stay in their pans - so assembly was a bit of a challenge - but I pieced it together as best I could - and layered the cakes with the pudding.

I used Trader Joe's White Frosting Mix - which I suspect is basically just glorified powdered sugar - and crushed up a few more Oreos/Joe-Joes (maybe 6-8?) and threw them in the frosting. 

Iced the cake.

And decorated with even more...wait for it.


Seriously. If it wasn't overkill before. It is now.

I brought it to work the next day, for Prego's farewell.  It may have given me a cavity just looking at it. (Good thing my sister is a hygienist, she can work on that for me). 

So it's not the prettiest cake I have ever made.

And it wasn't MY personal favorite.

But it did seem to get some good reviews from the coworkers. And prego's hubby. 

So, I call it a success.

And tomorrow? Prego's Twins arrive! I can't wait to hear the report. 

Double the cookie!
Double the fun!
Welcome to the world little ones!

Friday, June 24, 2011

InstaFriday: A Week Has Gone By

Yep. Haven't posted since last InstaFriday.

Honestly. It's just been too hot to even THINK about blogging.

But then, my friends have suffered the same heat. And blogged. So it's not really a valid excuse.

But, I have baked two treats which I also photographed - so hopefully I can work on those posts this weekend...or something!

Until then...enjoy the view from my iPhone.

My mom showed me the card she "made" for my dad for father's day. It's just a blank card, but the picture is of three puppies playing with a skunk. Our dog growing up got skunked on several different occasions. Dad has had many late night trips to Long's for vinegar and carpet cleaners.

My latest Starbucks obsession is the Venti Americano.
The one you see here is regular.
I slept fine that night.
Next day I ordered decaf.
And was up til almost 2:00am.
I can't figure it out.

Along with my sister, I have been saving my Coke Rewards since 2006.
We cashed in one time before. And she got a cute Nike Jacket.
This time it was my turn!
I ordered fully customized kicks! I love them.
My coke rewards only bought a portion of them. But I still love them.
And SO MANY thanks to all of you guys who generously text me your codes! :)

Like I said, it was HELLA hot this week.
This was just the reading at noon.
Feel bad for us in Bay Area heatwaves.
Most of us don't have AC.

Chipotle Sunday got rescheduled for Chipotle Monday.
I headed to the Johnson's after work, and me, KK and Ashy sat in the warm breeze by the front door eating watermelon slices and playing with toys hijacked from church.
It was lovely.
Nearly a hundred degrees of lovely.

I got home right as the sun was setting, and I love that Jessica described it as a sherbet colored sky.

I also did a taste test this week. For some $krilla! It only took 12 minutes. AND they gave me a cookie when I was done.
Best taste test EVER.

My office is kinda goofy.
We have animals that talk and sing and dance. And quack sporadically throughout the day.
We have a fake picture of a tidal wave going over the golden gate bridge.
We have funny post-its and printouts at each of our desks.
And now, we have a flashing Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.

Um, two words:

Linking up over here...
life rearranged

Friday, June 17, 2011

InstaFriday: Summa's Hee-yah!

Ohhh man, I am such a winter girl....
Well, if you do my "colors", I think I'm technically a "spring"...
But summer has arrived!
In full force. 
And my week? 
It has been full of summery goodness, 
that makes me forget about my longing for thunderstorms and raindrops on my windows.

Last week, I found THIS blog, with THIS recipe.
I could NOT stop thinking about it.
I don't have a BBQ, or an adventurous spirit when it comes to cooking meat.
So I sent the link to my dad.
Sunday morning, I got a text from my mom 
"Fathers day barbecue 2day 4pm.! come"

Actually, I got two of that exact text, it looked like this
Fathers day barbecue 2day 4pm.! come
Fathers day barbecue 2day 4pm.! come

When I showed up at my parents, dad was at the store. When he came back, he had a 
green pepper
red onion
and various other goodies!
Hula Kebabs it was!

I prepped the marinade.
I mixed, covered, and marinated. 
And then skewered. 
Which was kinda messy.
Lots of juicy goodness on the floor.
Mylie loved it.
Dad grilled, and then I ate. 
Honestly, this was one of the easiest things I have made. And ranks a 10 out of 10 on deliciousness!
My one tip, would be to double the marinade so everything gets good and covered (we did that).
And after we made it, we realized, we could have used the pineapple juice from cutting up a whole one, and added a little extra juiciness to the mix.
Next time for sure, and there will most DEFINITELY be a next time.

Also, it took a VERY long time between PREPPING the food and EATING the food.
Apparently, my family was on a different schedule.
So I went and got an iced decaf Americano.
Iced coffee drinks are the epitome of a summer afternoon.

On Monday, I got gas.
And REALLY wanted a snack.
After hanging out with Cindy and Angela on Friday - When Cindy kept mentioning some "Vines" type of wine - I kept thinking she was mentioning RED VINES.
Saw this cute little pack, and picked up a RV & DC treat.

Monday night, I took Basket-Robbins out to Target, and totally forgot my bike lock.
BUT, I risked it, and she was fine. 
But I picked up a LOT of stuff, and almost didn't get it all home in her little basket.
Including a box of cherries and a box of strawberries.
These little treats have been the highlight of my evenings. 
Cool and delicious.
And cute in my little Anthro colander.

Summertime = New Shoes.
What, doesn't it?
On that bike ride, I also picked up three new pairs of kicks.
Including these beauts. 
I would have bought them in teal too, except the Target shoe department was a hot mess.
And I could not find my size. 
Shoes were in the wrong size boxes.
Wrong style boxes.
Hot. MESS.

I also busted out my favorite shoes from last summer.
Turquoise strappy sandals.
I wore these ALL through NYC last may.
And got a TON of compliments on them.
You know, from new yorkers and such.
They are just from Target as well.
Also wearing my new swim cover dress from Old Navy that I picked up on the bike ride.
Coral + Turquoise = LOVE
Giants & Sharks. Coincidence?

Before CommUNITY groups on Wednesday night, I grabbed a little dinner.
And enjoyed the warm sunshine.
And afternoon breeze.
It was fabulous. 

At CommUNITY group, we celebrated the LOVELY Grandmum's birthday.
She is one AMAZING woman.
Who loves Jesus.
Truly, in her heart.
And is Jessica's grandma.
For her, we only utilize our BEST cake decorating skills.
We have a high standard at Hope.

And yesterday at work.
These were delivered to me.
Via UPS.
Normally our office gets chocolate covered strawberries at Christmas from our Insurance Agent.
I think I might have sounded a little flustered on the phone earlier this week.
And so he sent me a little mid-year treat.
Fortunately, almost NO ONE was in the office today. 
So I didn't really have to share. 
It's like Christmas in June!

Linking up over here...
life rearranged

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bloggity Blog Blog! A Little Shameless Self-Promotion!

Hey Hey Readers!

Just a little fun slash boring slash lame post to update you on the A Cuppa Kim blog! Just some bloggity blog facts and four-one-one! And yes, a bit of shameless self promotion.

1. Do you follow me on Twitter? If not, you should!

2. Do you follow on Google Friend Connect? If not, you should! (It's over there on the right!)
If you hit follow, my blog will show up on your own blogger homepage, or in your Google Reader. Simple!

3. Do you follow on Networked Blogs? If not, you should (Again, over there on the right!) - this is a simple way to follow via your Facebook account!

4. Did you know you can "Like" the A Cuppa Kim page on Facebook? It will pop up on your news feed everytime there is a new post!

5. Are you super low tech? Simplest way to read A Cuppa Kim is to subscribe to the posts via e-mail - on the right, directly below the Networked Blogs. New blog post? It will show up in your inbox!

6. Do you have a blog and want to share your love of A Cuppa Kim with the rest of the world?  Grab my button, the HTML is over on the right!

7. Do you shop on Amazon? Did you know that A Cuppa Kim is an Amazon Affiliate - anytime somebody clicks on an Amazon link and makes a purchase, OR uses the Amazon Search Engine (on the right column, very bottom) - Amazon gives me a small % of any purchase you make! If you are going to purchase something on Amazon, why not start here! As long as it is something not already in your shopping cart, I get the credit (usually a few cents to a couple dollars) WOOT! You can always do the search, put something IN your shopping cart, and order within 30 days and I still get credit.  And major thank you to everyone already doing this!

8. Are you out there reading? Let me know! I'm curious who is popping in to see what is going on! De-Lurk yourself, leave a comment below!!!

8a. Okay, this is a BIG ONE: Are you leaving a comment on the bloggity blog, but not hearing back from me? A lot of the comments I get are set up as "no-reply" accounts, but I want to write you back - Here is an instruction how to fix this! I love getting your comments and I love replying to your comments! There have been a handful of you guys lately - I appreciate your comments, and love to say HEY back!

Alright, that's it for the boring bloggy business. Now go treat yourself to a lovely cuppa tea, and check back tomorrow for the regular programming, this week's InstaFriday post! :)

Gratuitous Adorable Puppy Pic

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Spraypaint Chronicles

Is it Spraypaint?
Spray Paint?

One word?

Okay...just rolling with it.

Apparently, Julie is the spraypaint expert.
A while back, she posted about making THESE.
And I wanted to hop on the spraypaint train, SO. BAD.

But to be honest, I was VERY intimidated.
What do I do?
How do I do it?
Do I spray the INSIDE or the OUTSIDE of the jars?

I have seen a handful of blogs where people see something and think "with a little spraypaint that will look AWESOME" - I don't have eyes that work like that.

So I copy.

Thankfully, the girl sent me her tips and tricks.
Rustoleum brand only.
Use a primer.
Spray the outside.

Simple enough, right?

But then, something else happened.
I saw this tray I have and thought - I would love this SO MUCH MORE if it was just spraypainted a solid color.

I have been wanting a tray to use as a base for the centerpieces on my coffee table - and had the perfect tray, but it didn't match.

Until now.

Here is the tray.
It is from Starbucks.
Many, many moons ago.
I have matching mugs.
And coasters.
But I'm kinda over the flowers.
I want teal.

Please note the Trader Joe's bags for ground covering.

Please also note the fact that I did not exactly cover enough ground.

I will be making another stop at Home Depot to pick up some gray spray paint to cover my tracks.


HOA, don't fine me.


Primed! And discovered a glass jar from my peanut butter that would be a wonderful test subject as well!!

Look at all of those fun colors!!
The jar is actually a lime green - it kinda looks yellow here.

And I bought two teal colors - Lagoon and Aqua.
Unfortunately, they only had these two colors in Satin finish instead of gloss.
I went with the darker color, Lagoon.

So pretty, right?

And when I was inside waiting for the paint to dry...I remembered the coasters.
And how, if they were solid colors, I'd like them a whole lot more.

Please note my new entry way table.
I found it via pinterest.
Please note that it matches my spray paint as well. Haha!

So, back outside I went.

Meanwhile, the tray had dried.
Spraypaint dries relatively fast!

And, I think it came together rather nicely!

And the coasters?
I went multi-colored.
I think they are...

And a full shot of the entry way, coasters, and glass jar...

Linking up over here...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Artichoke Dip of Deliciousness

So, Patrick and Emily are having a baby!

A sweet little girl!

And Jessica and Niki hosted a lovely shower for her.

I rsvp'd via text message.

Seriously people. If you are having a party. Let me RSVP via text.

If I'm having a party.

Please RSVP via text.

Please RSVP.

It's just convenient.

My artichoke dip is probably my #2 most requested party food.

It used to be #1. But then, the brie happened.

Artichoke dip had to take a back seat.

But, she is back, and ready to conquer the party food spread.

I discovered this little gem several years ago when I bought this cookbook at a Southern Living at Home party.

I had just moved into my condo, and I think I only had one other cookbook.

As soon as I got it, I went through and tabbed all of the things I wanted to make.

First up, artichoke dip.

I don't think I ever got past that.

Well, and the 7 Layer Bars...condensed milk, YUM.

Super simple.
Only a few ingredients. And it can be made in one bowl.

And yes, mayo is a main ingredient.
I don't like to think about that.
But, I use LIGHT mayo - which is KEY - and lots of cheese, so it all swirls and mixes together into an ooey gooey cheesey delight.

First up, and my favorite part, chop the artichokes!

I don't know why I like this part so much, but I just do.

Next up, mince the garlic.

Another totally helpful, totally worth it kitchen gadget?

This garlic peeler.

It's just a little piece of rubber shaped like garlic. This isn't it, but its does the same job.

You roll it around the garlic clove, and then using the palm of your hand roll over it. You will hear a little snap as the paper skin on the clove releases from the clove itself. Totally awesome.

And I'm not exactly sure why this clove had a purple skin...but, just roll with it...

Then, I throw everything a bowl - the artichoke, garlic, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and parmesan cheese.


And here is how I make it my own...I add anything I have laying around do it.

This time I added a little bit of grated pepperjack. To add a small kick.
And my favorite sweet & spicy mustard.

And, as for the parmesan, I buy the pre shredded cheese.

It always comes in a pack of 1 1/2 cups.

Recipe only calls for 1 cup.

So one cup goes IN the dip.

Half cup goes ON the dip.

Which makes a really yummy cheesey layer on top.

Now, here is my other secret - this is totally a "you can make ahead of time" recipe.

I stir it all together, cover, and refrigerate until I'm ready to cook it (350* for 20 min, plus a little broil time to cook up the top layer of cheese, yum).

You don't have to make it ahead of time, but it works out well for party prep!

And serve, with SOURDOUGH BREAD.

This isn't a suggestion.
It's a command.

I don't believe in regular french bread.

Sourdough or die.

Final Tip: Like I said, use the light mayo. It makes a HUGE difference. I have seen this dip made with regular mayo, and that with the cheese, the dip is just super oily. The light mayo cuts back on a lot of that, and the dip isn't just tastier, but it also looks prettier without a layer of oil sitting on top.

And, PS award for my favorite gift at the shower goes to Margaret.

Linking up over here...

Thirty Hand Made Days