Monday, August 29, 2011

Blissful Blogger Award!

This is just a quick post to say hi, sorry for not posting more, school's been busy. 

This post is also to say thank you to Courtney  for giving me the:

I haven't been ignoring you, Courtney! I've just been busy. Thank you so so much. 

Here are 9 things y'all don't know about me:

1. I'm a Christian. I don't talk about it much on here, because this isn't a very personal blog, but it is my life. 

2. I love to sing! I've been in school chorus since 8th grade. I'm no star, but I do love it so much. 

3. I sing alto.

4. I'm SO girly. I used to be the exact opposite. Now I despise all things related to nature (except the beach) and all forms of discomfort. I LOVVE shopping. I'm not a fashion expert, but I try. I rely heavily on my cousin (the real beauty/fashion queen of the family) and on fashion magazines.

5. I love little kids! I wish someone would let me babysit for them. There are a few people who I think might let me but I'm not sure.Plus I can't drive myself, so my parents don't want me to have a job.

6. I'm terribly shy, until I get to know people really well. I have lots to say, I'm just not always comfortable saying it.

7. I. LOVE. FOOTBALL. Whether it's high school or college, I lovvvee it!

8. I love baseball, too, especially pro baseball. GO BRAVES!

9. I used to be in band. I quit because i hated it, I hated marching, I hated my teacher, I hated being on the band bus with certain people, I wasn't very good, and I all I really wanted to do was sing. 

Noww, who to tag? It's hard to pick just 7, and plus some of the people I'd really love to tag have already been tagged. Meh.

1. The Teenage Foodie, even though apparently her blog is private now? But she was one of my forst readers and her comments (as well as her own posts) have certainly brought me bliss.

2. Jenn, another one of my early readers. In fact the very first one. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments, Jenn!

3. You know what, I lied. I'm going to tag kat, even though I think she's already been tagged, because her blog is just awesome. And so is she.

4. lynne, because she posts so many incredible recipes that make me want to lick the computer screen.
5. Chelsey, because her blog is fabulous and her recipes look amazing!

6. Erika, even though she's already been tagged, too, I think. Her blog is wonderful, and my whole family lovved these. 

7. Speaking of family, I'm going to tag my mom, because she's such a good mom and puts up with a lot. It;s probably not easy to have a daughter who's ALWAYS right. :) She also instilled my love of books, cooking, and food; this blog wouldn't exist without her!

Thank you guys so much for bringing me bliss!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

June/July Amazing Food Finds

Yes, I know July ended a long time ago, but I got distracted by other posts.

Anyway, welcome to Amazing food finds, where I share the best of the food products i find. I stole the idea from here. I love to try new foods, and you probably do to, so I want to share what I find. Maybe I'll make it a linky party, what would y'all think of that?

Also, NONE of these reviews are paid and ALL the opinions are my own.

Anyway, here's the list:

Cabot's Habenero Cheese: Hot and dang-er-ous! OK, that was dumb, but seriously, this cheese is intense. If you don't like hot stuff STEER CLEAR! If you do like it, I think it would be really good on mexican pizza. 

Tostito's Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Chips: Oh my. So. Good. These are definitely the best tortilla chips I've ever had. I love garlic. 

Kettle Honey Dijon Chips: Now, I've been a long time fan of the Kettle brand chips, but I hadn't had their Honey Dijon chips till last month. Very, very delicious. Sooo much better than a typical cheaper chip.

McDonald's Caramel Frappe: Now, I NEVER go to McDonald's. Blechhh!! I refuse to eat there, but I was convinced to try their caramel frappe...and it was really good. Not as good as Starbuck's, but still pretty close.

QOD: What good things have YOU tried this summer?
Have a good week!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I remember the first time i had gelato. It was my first day in Paris, and I was enthralled to be there. And to top it all off, we went to a cute little sandwich shop/gelato shop for lunch, and I had my first taste of the creamy, decadent goodness. Love at first spoonful.

OK, that didn't really happen but didn't it sound nice?

Actually, I've never left the country. I've only been to Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. Don't judge. It's not my fault it's my parents.

So, for real, I first tried gelato at a rinkydink festival in a rinkydink North Carolina town. I'm not sure what flavor I got, but I remember it was creamy and decadent and sweet and one of the best things I had eaten in my 10 or 11 or maybe it was 12 years on earth. 
But for some reason, I never ate it again, until a couple weeks ago on my birthday.  It was just as amazing as I remembered-just as rich, just as thick and creamy. Yum. :)

(adapted from all recipes)

2 c milk ( I used 2%-it just depends on how rich you want it)
1 c heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
vanilla and almond extract, to taste

In a medium saucepan, mix milk and cream. Warm till foam firms around the edges, remove from heat. In large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar till frothy. Gradually pour milk into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, cook over medium heat, stir with wooden spoon till mixture gels slightly and coats back of spoon. Stir in flavorings. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Makes: 4 big servings.


So.. school started yesterday. It's going to be a busy, busy year, much worse than last year. But I will post as much as possible!
Until then, have a great week!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Orange Marmalade Cake

Sorry this post has been so long in coming. Guess what? School starts Friday. (wah wah wah) Yes Friday. Don't even ask, because I really don't know. Nothing in our town makes sense. School starts on a friday. The fair comes this week, when it is waaay to hot to be outside, especially while eating hot funnel cakes. We have 3 clothing stores and 1354 restaurants. Nothing here makes sense. Nothing. 

Well, anyway, let's talk about this cake. It's nothing short of amazing. Three layers of yummy, moist yellow cake with orange zest, soaked in a delicious orange glaze, with orange marmalade in between the layers, and a fluffy sour cream icing to top it all off. The icing balances out the intense sweetness of the cake. And I love that it has a glaze AND an icing-it's like the best of both worlds.

This cake only gets better with age, but it doesn't last that long. But maybe your family is not as obsessed with desserts as mine, so you get to enjoy it for a long time. 

Oh, one more thing. Butter and flour your pans. Don't use cooking spray. I used it, out of habit, and it wasn't pretty. It's cake, people, it's not supposed to be low cal.

Here's the recipe!

Orange Marmalade Cake
(From Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader)
1 c unsalted butter, softened
3 1/4 c cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 c granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temp
4 large egg yolks, at room temp
2/3 c canola oil
1 tbsp grated orange zest
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter and flour 3 9in round cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Sift a second time into another bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter till light in color, about 4 minutes. add the sugar in a steady stream while mixer is still running. Beat till light and fluffy, about 4 min. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Continue to beat on medium speed for two more minutes. With mixer on low speed, add oil and beat for 1 minute. In a small bowl, combine zest, buttermilk, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides, and half the buttermilk mixture. Repeat. 
Pour batter into remaining pans. Bake 30-35 min, or till toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans on racks 20 min.

orange syrup:
1 c fresh orange juice
1/4 c sugar

stir till sugar is dissolved. While cakes are still in pans, poke holes and pour the glaze on top.

1 12 oz jar orange marmalade

heat in small saucepan over medium heat till just melted. cool 5 min.

1 c heavy cream, chilled
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1 c sour cream, chilled

Whip cream and sugar till stiff peaks form. Add sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk till mixture is spreadable.

To assemble: 
Invert 1 cake layer onto a plate, spread 1/3 of the marmalade on top. Repeat till all the layers are stacked. Top with orange marmalade, leaving a 1 1/4 in border around the edges. Frost sides and top border with sour cream icing. Or, frost the whole cake, and garnish with marmalade. Chill for at least 2 hrs before serving. Yield: 12-14 servings

QOD: What's your best birthday cake? This was DEFINITELY my best tasting one. The cutest one was...hmm...when I turned 11, I had cupcakes decorated to look like mini individual cakes. We also had mini burgers and hot dogs with small cheese slices, baby pickles, and grape tomatoes.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Yesterday, I turned 15! Wow! These past couple years have been the fastest ever! Oh my.

I don't even want to tell y'all how much I ate yesterday. I was sick on Sunday and barely ate anything, so yesterday I splurged. And if you're on a diet, you may want to leave.

For breakfast, my mom made these. We added jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, mushrooms, and lots of red pepper. They were AMAZING. My dad loved them so much he ate two.

For dinner we went to Bonefish Grille. This is one of my top 5 favorite restaurants. It's not any more expensive than, say, Longhorn's, but it's a little bit nicer and infinitely better. 

We started with bang bang shrimp. This is not optional, people. You MUST eat this shrimp, which is covered in a rich creamy, hot sauce. Once you eat it and the yummy bread, which is served with olive oil and basil pesto, you really don't need anything else. But we decided to restrain ourselves on the shrimp and leave room for entrees.
My mom and I got Baja fish tacos. Tilapia with mango salsa, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and some sort of vinaigrette dressing. Amazing. I must recreate. Mom got a salad, I was bad and got housemade potato chips. These were underbaked in some parts, but for the most part, crispy and delicious. 
Dad got a salmon salad. I didn't try any, but he seemed to like it. 
My sister got a tilapia burger with fries. Don't ask me why she ordered fries when there were so many other options, but she did. Anyway the burger was amazing and I am going to swipe the leftovers. Mwahaha.

Afterwords we were stuffed but we went home and had homemade gelato and orange marmalade cake.

Stay tuned because you don't want to miss those recipes.
Have a good day!