Monday, June 13, 2011

Baking Therapy

Last week was long. Why does a 5 day week always feel so much longer after a 4-day week? Work has been hectic as a few projects have been coming to a close, or at least I thought they were coming to a close. By the time I left Friday, I was mentally exhausted. Luckily I have a wonderful husband who went to the liquor store and bought some beer to go with our planned taco dinner.

Saturday was my BFF's 26th birthday and we were celebrating with a BBQ in their backyard. This was the perfect night to have some baking therapy and make some sweet treats to bring to Saturday's BBQ.

I knew I wanted to make cupcakes because what's a birthday without some type of cake? I made funfetti vanilla cupcakes with a semi-sweet chocolate buttercream icing. The frosting was my favorite part. I thought the cupcakes turned out looking awesome, but tasted a little dry. I guess I'll just have to keep making cupcakes to perfect the recipe!

I was a little concerned that there wouldn't be enough cupcakes because I had no clue how many people would be at this BBQ, but my friend has a huge family, so I decided I should whip up a batch of cookies too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meet my plate

The USDA released new eating guidelines this week. They have retired the food pyramid we all grew up learning about and replaced it with an image of a plate. Personally, I really like this idea. I think it helps people truly visualize how their plate should look. Plus, it does a good job of pointing out that grains should only be about 1/4 of your plate. Gone are the days where we all got to carbo-load all day and justify it with "but the food pyramid says I need 6-10 servings"...

I perused the new website as well today and was pleasantly surprised by how much information was available. I think the USDA has done a really good job keeping the information simple, providing tips on how to make your diet healthier, and even including tools to help you track your food or plan meals. If you haven't yet, I suggest you venture over to and check out all the info!

One of my favorite parts was the Key Consumer Message that shows up on screens throughout the website. I appreciate that they encourage you to enjoy food, because it should be enjoyed!

Key Consumer Messages:
● Enjoy your food, but eat less.
● Avoid oversized portions.
● Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A long weekend

May came and went extremely quickly this year. I woke up yesterday and was completely surprised to realize that it was already June! (Okay, I probably wasn't completely surprised since I have had access to a calendar for the past 31 days, but you get my point).

The holiday weekend was a busy one for us. We had numerous things to do and places to go, but were blessed that through all this, we got to stay in town for the weekend. There's just something so nice about sleeping in your own bed at the end of a busy day. Our weekend included the following:

1. A trip to the Kansas City Zoo (If you haven't been in awhile, I highly recommend it. There are a lot of new exhibits, including one very active-lap-swimming-polar-bear. He was impressive. Maybe it was a she. Either way, still impressive.

2. Lunch at a "new for us" restaurant: Blue Koi. There are two locations, one in midtown on 39th street about a block down from KU Medical Center) and one in Leawood at the Mission Farms complex. We went to the 39th street location.

We've been wanting to try this place and finally had an opportunity after the zoo. We had the Eggplant pockets for an appetizer. They were good but they were battered and fried with a very thick batter. This just seemed very heavy compared to the rest of the meal. I would have liked this more with just a light battered crunch. We split chicken dumplings and a mushroom/pork dish with rice for our entrees. The dumplings were really good while the pork was a little bland. also, there were only 2 mushrooms in the WHOLE meal. If you're going to put mushroom in the name of the dish, shouldn't it include more than 2 of them? Overall a good experience, despite some extremely slow service. Our friends assured us that the service usually isn't that slow so we would try it again.

3. Celebration at the Station:
This is a tradition for Chase's family so I've been the last 3 years. For those of you who haven't been, this is a memorial day celebration where the Kansas City Symphony gives a free concert outside Union Station and then fireworks are shot off behind Liberty Memorial. It's always packed but we are lucky enough to have some family friends who get there early and save us a spot every year!

4. Amy Thompson Run
: Chase and I spent our Memorial Day morning running an 8k. That's just short of 5 miles! It was hot and the race was tough, but we survived and enjoyed a nice big breakfast with Chase's parents afterwards at First Watch. Yum.

5. Yardwork: This is a never ending item on the to-do list. It never gets crossed off because there's always more to do. Luckily, Chase's parents came over this weekend and helped us with some of it, which made a huge dent in what needed to be done. Chase and I honestly have the best parents ever. Both of our sets of parents have helped us so much with various projects around the house; we would be lost without them!

6. Royals Game! We spent Monday afternoon at the Royals Game. The weather was beautiful and the game started out really great. Unfortunately, in true Royals fashion, they were letting in runs in the late innings and Soria lost it in the 9th. There was a really cool proposal by a soldier to his girlfriend during the game, so that was fun to see. Normally I am not a fan of the baseball game proposals, but this one was a specially taped video of a soldier who hadn't been home in over a year and then surprised the girl with a weekend trip home to propose! She was so excited to see him she practically tackled him. It was really sweet.

I also made some bacon peanut butter cups this weekend, but you'll have to wait for those details until a later post!

How was your weekend?