birthday decorations

Yes little M's birthday is still two months away but I've been leisurely working on the decorations hoping no to get stressed out when the day gets closer. Here is my progress so far. If anyone is interested here is a how to guide on making the paper rosettes. So, what do you think????




Notice baby #1 peeking under the table and baby #2 is fuzzy grey spot at base of photo:) CUTE!

home sweet home

Santa Fe is beautiful year round, yielding four perfect seasons to enjoy. Impending fall is one of my favorites. The chamisas are blooming, the temperature is perfect, the festivals are upon us and it's chile roasting season. It doesn't matter if your pumping gas or furniture shopping, everywhere you go the scent of fresh roasting chile is in the air. It's intoxicating. It only lasts about a month so if you want to enjoy chile year round you've got to buy it, roast it, peel it and freeze it now. That's exactly what we did yesterday. A satchel and a half and three hours of diligent peeling gave us about thirty bags to tuck away in our freezer for later.

saturday's farmer's market

This morning's farmer's market was beautiful and bountiful as usual. We got five huge bunches of multicolored carrots for baby Milton. My husband is cooking them up later. I'll be sure to post photos. 

My treat for the week is a lovely basil plant that I'm going to re-pot tomorrow and keep in the house with my wild strawberries. My husband is making red beans and rice tomorrow so we got farm grown ingredients for the Holy Trinity. 

And for lunch we picked up a couple heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a baguette for caprese sandwiches. YUM! When we were in Venice on our honeymoon, we rented an apartment for a week and they had little farmer's market stands everywhere in the streets. Fresh caprese sandwiches was one of our favorite lunches.







chocolate cupcakes

Is there anything better than a family recipe? Not in my opinion, so here you go you lucky ducks! 

I'm testing recipes for little M's first birthday party. I want to make two kinds of cupcakes and a mini cake for Milton. I think this one's a winner. Sooooooo moist! I garnished with flowers and raspberries because I was too lazy to make the icing since it was a test run but honestly you really don't need the icing. They are delicious on their own too.


Yellow Bowl Chocolate Cake
2 eggs
1 cup strong coffee
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup oil (canola etc.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 ¾  cup flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa
1/2  tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. 
Beat eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in a small bowl. 
Sift remaining ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. 
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat 2 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer. 
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan or two 9” round pans and bake 35-40 minutes at 350.    
For cupcakes use liners and spray lightly with canola oil – fill each only ½ to 2/3 full.  This recipe makes somewhere between 24 and 36 cupcakes.  Cupcakes bake for around 12 minutes. 


Chocolate Dipping Icing (old edition Joy of Cooking)
3 oz baking chocolate
3 Tbsp butter 
5 Tbsp scalding hot milk 
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt 
1 tsp vanilla 
Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave.   
Sift and mix sugar and salt.  Pour milk over sugar mixture and stir until dissolved. 
Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla.  Beat until it is the consistency you like.  If you leave it a bit runny, you can just dip the tops of the cupcakes in the bowl of icing.

a couple babies, a belly, and some chickens

I've never joined any kind of play group or mommy meet up so it's rare that little M and I have company. We do go to story time religiously twice a week but nothing else. However, this week we had two play dates. Today we were lucky enough to go my sister's house where we were given lunch and lots of good company. She even has chickens! Big, fat ones!



Milton and his big cousin Ben

Until this week I really couldn't tell if I was "showing" or not. I gained 65 dreaded pounds with little M and by the grace of God managed to loose 55 of those before I got pregnant again but I have a heafty fat roll around the middle that makes it very difficuilt to tell if I am actually growing a baby or not.  But this week I think I might actually look pregnant and not like I ate three thousand apple fritters, although I'd like to. 19 weeks!







crispy honey baked chicken wings

Last night's dinner were these delicious chicken wings. I love this meal because it's really cheap, usually all you have to buy are the wings and the bread crumbs because the other ingredients tend to be condiments that you always have lying around the kitchen. It's also really healthy but you still feel like your getting a treat.They are crispy, sweet and delicious. Try em!
(The photos do not do them justice by the way)


Crispy Honey Baked Chicken Wings

Marinade:
Crystal (or any vinegar based hot sauce, tabasco, Louisiana hot sauce, ect.)
Garlic
Lemon
Vinegar (preferably white)
Cayenne
Black Pepper
Salt

Baking Sauce:
Honey (or agave nectar)
Crystal
Creole Mustard
Sriracha
Lemon
Black Pepper

Serving Sauce:
Butter
Salt
Honey (or agave nectar)
Sriracha
Creole Mustard
Lemon
Crushed Red Pepper

Cooking:
            Wash and pat dry wings. Cut off wing tip and break down wing into two parts. Marinade for 1 hr. Drain marinade and discard. Pour the wings into a bowl and add baking sauce and toss. Toss wings in panko or regular 
breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for 1 hr.


magical

I've been following Mila's Daydreams and it's so adorable I can hardly stand it. Please go check out this blog. What this mama does is amazing. She waits until her baby has falls asleep and then she creates an elaborate scene around her, trying to imagine what she's dreaming about. Wow, so inspiring, so creative. I love everything about it.

new orleans bbq shrimp

New Orleans BBQ shrimp is a dish all it's own. It's not BBQ with a red tangy sauce that you slap on a grill. This is a scrumptious shrimp dish baked in the oven requiring lots bread for sopping up the mouth watering sauce and lots of napkins for cleaning your greasy little face and hands afterwards. My husband made this for us last night. I took the baby out for our evening walk and on our way back I could smell it half a block away from the house and knew it was going to be a good batch.

This is my "pizza" salad. I love this it's soooo simple, fresh and delicious. It's tomato, cucumber, and red onion. We put cubed fresh mozzarella in this time because we had it lying around but usually I just do the veggies.


This is what family dinner looks like at my house

 Pascale Manale is responsible for creating this awesome dish. If your ever in New Orleans, its a great, historic, delicious place to eat. My husband won't give out his version of the BBQ shrimp recipe and I don't blame him but this recipe is very close to my husband's and claims to be very close to the original from Pascale Manale. Make sure to get lots of french bread to sop up all the juice.

santa fe's indian market

I must say I haven't attended Indian Market in quiet a few years. Because I grew up in Santa Fe and worked in the restaurant industry for so long, Indian Market's were always associated with WORK, WORK and a lot more WORK. So this year I really wanted to go just as a spectator and show little M what it was all about. And of course the main reason we wanted to go was for the food. Food seems to be the motivating factor for most things we do. So we had to have the Navajo taco, the fry bread with powdered sugar, and the roasted corn on the cob. It was all just as delicious as I remember. note: if you'd like to see more photos of little M come visit my other blog Baby Villarrubia

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