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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!





Have you ever eaten a buttercup squash? There are numerous types of squash out there, and hub and i were delighted to find this type. This year was the first time we've had buttercup squash, and it's rich, velvety texture is what made hub ask for it over and over again. Instead of always making it the same old way, cubed, drizzled with oil, and roasted with salt and pepper; I decided to make it another way that I knew I would love; in a risotto.

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i've been awfully elusive as of late, i'm sorry.
i think it goes for anyone that after you've had a month or more of an abundance, then comes the famine. hopefully right after that a feast follows close behind...

until then, here are a couple food porn photos to tie you over until i return, and of course look forward to the accompanying recipes. :)


{buttercup squash risotto}


{baked brown sugar plantains}





"it's not as good as your mushroom soup."

Since the weather has cooled down sufficiently, and permanently, we've been having soup as often as I can make it. Each time, I ask my love what he thinks of the soup. Usually I'll either get widened eyes and a smile while he's simultaneously stuffing another spoonful into his mouth, a barely audible grunt of satisfaction, or a simple 'it's good'; just depends.

However, with the past few soups I've made (which have been new recipes) he's given me the opening phrase as his only critique.

I ask him if he'd rather have onion soup or borscht, he says, 'mushroom'.

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{as seen on café zupas blog}

If you love this fungus fresh, you'll never stop sauteing them once you start. Sauteing mushrooms is easy, and well worth the time put into them (it takes about 20 minutes). They're a delicious accompaniment to an entrée, tossed with a salad, added to a soup or sauce, or savored one by one purely by itself.

How do you like your mushrooms?

really, I want to know.

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{as seen on cafe zupas blog}

Okay, I'm not going to lie, hub and I are major Harry Potter fans although I'm likely the more, how shall we put it, enthusiastic of the two. The whole idea of magic and a hidden world that's full of fantastical creatures and people; I'd love to go visit for a week or two, learn a few charms to make things go exactly my way, and hoard some fun candies and treats to trick everyone I know.

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Thank you Emily. :)

The blogs I want to pass this on to are ones I love, admire, and read every day. Meaning, I check my reader everyday to see if they've got something new for me to drool over, covet, laugh at, or bookmark. Of course I'm subscribed to many more than just the sites listed. Seriously, it's on the verge of redunk; but just the verge, so we're good.

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So a few weeks ago I went to Williams-Sonoma for a cookie demonstration. It was so fun, and if you recall, I flooded a cookie for the first time.
Right after the class I drove over to the Bosch Kitchen Center in Orem. Usually when I want something I'll go there first. If they don't have what I'm looking for I'll get it at Williams-Sonoma.

As I was checking out, the girl at the counter mentioned they were looking for someone to teach their Holiday Cookies class sometime in November. I hesitated, then volunteered myself if they couldn't find anyone. Later that week I got a call from them.

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(also seen on Cafe Zupas blog)

Apples are in abundance this season and apple butter is an easy recipe that takes little preparation, even less hands on time, and lots of apples.

This apple butter recipe is from a vintage cookbook that had no measurements, so you know the recipe is tried and true. Most of it is eyeballed and according to your own taste. So every time you make it, it'll be your best batch.

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A few months ago, too long ago really; my sweet sister for a cousin flew out with my brother for a cousin to visit. We had such a wonderful time with them. We went hiking, ate fire grilled hamburgers, toasted s'm s'mores, visited anywhere we thought was visit-able and said long good-byes. While in Utah Valley, we went to see the place where they filmed this famous dance scene from footloose, Lehi Roller Mills.

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It's been snowing today and we finished the last of our Stephen's Mint Truffle Hot cocoa last evening. sad day.

I went to Williams-Sonoma this morning for their Cookies & More demonstration with Chelsea from Mmm Cafe. In the bubble they hold their weekly classes on Saturday instead of Sunday, like the rest of the world. I got to flood a cookie with icing and decorate it. It was my first time ever. Honest, I've always wanted to make cookies with that perfectly glazed look but never tried it, until this morning.

What do you think?

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Okay, this recipe isn't necessarily an autumn recipe but more of a late summer transitioning into autumn recipe. I think it's obvious that I've been pushing the coming of autumn like crazy, I hope you don't mind me sharing with you this little delicacy before all the red currants are gone, unless they already are. Then I regret I did not get this to you sooner.

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Here it is, that long awaited book review,
and a giveaway.

Now; I'm an honest person, so I will warn you right now. I'm a much better cook than I am a book review-er. So don't expect much else than a blurb on what I got from the novel and my own opinion on whether I thought it was worth the time to read.

That said; I thought it was great, actually. :)

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My bff has a fetish for movies that are strange, eccentric, weird and wonderful. The Nightmare Before Christmas being one of her favorites.
She's in Georgia, and I miss her this time of year more than ever. Since we can't be chatting together on the phone all day, we text instead. Occasionally they become e-mails. This little vignette is from our latest correspondence. I said I'd blog it, therefore...

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I was so happy when I found about this month's Recipes to Rival Challenge. It was inspired by my baba's homeland. Dumplings!

During the Summer Olympics our TV was always on. We seldom watched anything else. Hub and I would even eat our meals while watching it. We were religious in our support. I think because it was in China, I felt a special connection. Although I am only half, and I've never been there, I still think that there's a sense of pride and brotherhood in all Chinese people. We're awesome. Seriously, didn't you watch that opening ceremony? ;)

When I found out about the challenge, I'll admit I was a little nervous, but also a little smug. I thought back to my childhood, sitting at the kitchen table dipping my fingers in the water, folding the skins just like baba showed me albeit with less precision and grace. I thought, I've got this, I've made these a hundred times. But then I thought, not the dough, and from scratch? I assumed it wouldn't be that difficult though. I can make bread. right?

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I'm not going to lie. I bombed this challenge. Okay well, not exactly bombed but... let's be honest. It could have been a lot better than it was.

I'm sure you're wondering 'what in blue blazes does this picture of tar have anything to do with a Daring Bakers challenge?' Although with my little note to prepare you for anything sad and dismal (I like the word woeful), you won't be surprised to find that it's actually a photo of my crackers.

I promise I had good intentions.

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This will be the easiest peanut butter cookie recipe you will ever try, I guarantee.
There are only a handful of ingredients and the cookies themselves are so yummy. The cookies themselves tend to be a little crumbly, but they're well worth the small mess that is easily cleaned up by fingers and a tongue. It almost makes it fun, savoring them til' the last crumb. Plus they melt in your mouth. I love that.

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We've officially welcomed in my favorite season.

Well technically, the equinox isn't until the 22nd at 3:44 p.m. However Hub and I have already welcomed it in spirit. That means that our down comforter is in its rightful place once again; we wake with scratchy throats; we go to, and/or watch football games every weekend; and red, yellow and orange are beginning to pop up along the mountainside; I even see a few trees in the valley beginning to change; it's beautiful. We even got some snow on Mount Timpanogos a few weekends ago. The only things left are cardigans, frost in the morning already happened a few times!, crisp air, falling leaves, and the holidays. I can't wait.

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taken by Anna.

Last week my best friend married her childhood crush. It was one of those stories that you read in romance novels. Not the cheap tactless kind that are so predictable and painfully cliche, but the ones where you know they were meant to be together because everything in their lives pointed to one another. A romance worthy of real life.

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eclairs sm2

The summer before Hub and I got married, I worked in a bakery formy alma mater. I started at 6 a.m. (my boss was always there about 3 hours earlier) and my main job was making brownies, and éclairs. When I found out about this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, I immediately became nostalgic. That summer was a fun one when a lot of great memories were made, one being the most memorable day of my life, when I knew Hub was all mine. oh yeah. But when I thought about the éclairs themselves, they weren't one of my top memories.

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tamales-sm
When I heard about this month’s challenge, I was stoked. I’ve always had tamales on my list of things to make but of course, I never did it because it seemed so intimidating! If I’d have known how simple it was, I’d have been making these for years! I’m sad I’ve been missing out, but oh so ever happy that it will now be a regular happening in our home.

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Well, if you read my blog, and how I like to sign up for lots of food blogging events you knew this was on its way. I made these little cakies a while ago, but since school has begun and I've been getting things organized for all that comes with teaching a bunch of children/teenagers, I've had little time to actually sit down and put a post together with PS-ed pictures and all. I was grateful that I had written down what I did and my recipe before I forgot it though. I credit divine inspiration...

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First of all, thanks to everyone who comes to check out this little food blog of mine. I'm not going to lie, I put lots of thought into it. I love it just that much, fanatical about it actually. :)

Anyway, I enjoy getting each of your comments and hope you enjoy what you find here!

I'm also really grateful for the love of my life, Hub, Aarny, AJ. He has been so great about me taking pictures of dinner/dessert/baked goods before I'll let anyone touch them. Plus he's the best taste tester ever.

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Me: so do you want banana or zucchini?
Hub: mmm... banana
Me: you're sure you don't want zucchini? Or both? I could make zucchini-banana bread!
Hub: nah, just banana, keep it simple.
Me: okay.

* I make the banana bread with my friend "Reese" while Girls Just Want To Have Fun is on in the background. After 30 minutes we start smelling aromatic lovin' from the oven. And then...

Me: oh my goodness!'
Reese: what is it?
Me: we forgot the BANANAS!

Apparently... banana wasn't simple enough either.
It doesn't help that we were distracted by the amazing dancing/clothing/music in that movie. I'm proud to have been born the same year it was released.


wrapped

We had a new neighbor move in about two weeks ago. I've been so absorbed in my own crazy busy little life that I didn't even say hello or welcome her into the neighborhood. Not very neighborly nor kind of me, I know.

Well it only took about a day or so before we figured out that she had a dog, or puppy, or something of a canine nature. We'd hear him barking wildly when we went to the bathroom, and our neighbor was out. She apparently keeps him in the bathroom while she's not home; and he'd rather be somewhere else.

Since I've been so unneighborly, I figured I make her a treat for when I finally introduced myself as well as one for her best friend. Hopefully her buddy will like them.

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Sesame noir

Every Saturday is my day to get errands done. Every so often I also get myself a little summin' summin'. This time instead of eating my treat as I was errand-ing, I waited until I got home and had it with one of my favorite things about summer.
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Here's the spread:
my summer snack in the sun - 3 s's!
I made that bag. :) I was so proud, but it took me forever!

My transport system:
place for everything...

The other (visible) things in my bag are: photos I picked up from Costco, stamps, the book I'm currently reading, my wallet, an Arthur sticker book. I picked it up from work, the Boys & Girls Club (I don't teach dance as much during the summer). The things that aren't visible are... uninteresting.

I think I may try making these black sesame candies from scratch someday... must remember that for later. I got these from my favorite little Chinese store in the bubble, Chao's. It's run and owned by the same man for over 30 years! My dad used to shop there when he was living in P-town during his college days. Here's an article about the shop. I just love that Mr. Chao always greets me with a "Halloooo! How are yooou?" each time I shop there.

Oh, did anyone see that incredible relay the USA just won?! I love the Olympics, it's inspirational to see people achieving such unbelievable feats... while I sit on the couch cheering then bake and blog my life away. sigh.




I've agreed to join in on yet another fabulously fun filled baking event this month. I promise I'll accomplish them all. Cookies, something daring, something savory and yet to be rivaled, and now something muy caliente! It's also something that helps me feel a bit nostalgic, remembering those late nights watching recordings of Iron Chef with my baba translating.

Fuki san, it's the Iron Cupcake Earth!

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This summer has just gotten the best of me, and stolen that best-ness from my kitchen. Specifically my oven. Poor thing, I hope it doesn't feel abandoned.

So I sat out of this month's challenge for Daring Bakers. Which was a fabulously beautiful looking cake (thanks to the host Chris of Mele Cotte)that I was so sad I didn't have the time/money/energy to make. I even got my Mom to bring me all her cake decorating stuff to make it, but to no avail. I will just have to make it some other time when the weather and work schedule permit.

But don't let that deter you from checking out everyone else's fabulous work! Not that mine's on the top of anyone's list right? Well, it is on the top of AJ's list, and my sister's. Mostly because they get to eat it all!

Fabulous baking you Daring Bakers, you! Y'all inspire me like no other bakers can.



Previous Challenges:
May - L'Opéra Cakes
June - Danish


Okay! I made it!
Here it is, and boy was it fun.

Thank George's Bank

This is my second challenge with the Recipes to Rival, and so far I absolutely love this group. For some reason, cooking makes sense to me. It's probably because I can pretend I know what I'm doing when I cook because it's taste this and taste that and more of this and less of that going on. So I'm confident in my cooking skills, I must get it from my mama & baba; they're both fabulous in the kitchen.

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I realized late today... (a.k.a. just now)that my post for Recipes to Rival is due today! Never fear, I have everything ready and I'm making them tomorrow. Bytheway, my seriously lack-age in posting is due to the fact that my camera passed away... I lost my battery charger after GA. :(

So come back tomorrow! And to satisfy your hunger, check out all the other great gourmande's who were timely at making and posting our month's challenge, Thank George's Bank!
No, don't actually thank the bank, that's the name of the dish! silly goose.

And to my fellow cookies, I'm sorry, I will be better next month!
It will help that I won't be working 50+ hour weeks. yeah.


I know this has little to do with food, but since the scents of these perfumes are inspired by sherbet, I figured it was food blog worthy.
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Sometimes, AJ and I will go to a department store and browse the fragrances, asking for samples of the ones we like. It's not that we're cheap, okay that may be part of it. But it's also great for someone that can't make decision of preference when there are so many fabulous choices! So we get little vial samples and smell great without having to decide on one exclusive fragrance, and spend tons of money when our taste changes. Plus it weeds out the ones we like momentarily from fragrances that we keep coming back for. Then we dish out the money on a perfume/cologne that we know we love.

Anyway, while fragrance hopping a few days ago I saw a new line of fragrances from Marc Jacobs (who makes one of my favorite toilet waters;) and I absolutely fell in love. Basil, Pear and Grapefruit are the scents that are in his Summer 2008 collection of Splash fragrances and according to the guy who was helping us, they're limited time smells. They were all light, clean and so yummy. I loved them all. Each time I smelled one, I decided it was my favorite until I smelled the next one.



Pear Splash- a fruity fragrance with top notes of pear, mid notes of freesia and base notes of teak wood.

Basil Splash- a fruity fragrance with top notes of basil, mid notes of jasmine and base notes of sandalwood.

Grapefruit Splash- a fruity fragrance with top notes of grapefruit, mid notes of ginger and base notes of white musk.

Don't they just sound fabulous?
If you wear these fragrances I wouldn't be surprised if people start doing strange things, like wanting to lick you.

I hope the people working there aren't catching on to our bi-yearly visits.


I just got back from a week vacation in Georgia.
It was so beautiful! I love the green, and the humidity. Although the humidity rarely got above 80 or 90% while I was there; it was apparently a good week to be visiting.
Anyway, that's why this post is a tad late; I had set up all my posts to publish while I was away and they worked out fabulously! Thank you to scheduled posting.

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