Photo Project: The Highline

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Happy Thursday, everyone! Today I am sharing some highlights from a photo project I did while spending the day at The Highline here in NYC. Karen and I went a day in September, so not many of the flowers were … Continue reading

Happy Hump Day Hilarity

I just used all the energy I had this morning to work out, so I’ll just leave you with this today. We’ve all been there.

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In partially related news: If anyone is looking for a great work out to do in your living room, get thee to Jillian Michaels Shed and Shred. It is not fun at all but a PUNISHING work out!

S’mores Bread Pudding

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This recipe will freak your freak. Freak your freak, I tell you! I made this s’mores bread pudding this past weekend for some friends after dinner and it was a hit. It’s the best of bread pudding (a warm gooey center) and s’mores (crispy, chocolate-y, marshmallow-y goodness.) The whole thing comes together quickly, so you can make them early, let them soak, then pop them in the oven when you’re about 40 minutes from wanting a little slice of s’mores-y heaven. Note: I made mine using some double chocolate chunk cookies that I baked the day before. If you want to do this, I think it makes the consistency of the bread pudding really lovely and keeps the flavors nicely delineated but if you don’t have cookies and don’t want to make them, worry not, increase the amount of chocolate chips from 1/2 cup to a full cup and your bread pudding will be just as good.  I made mine individual with individual souffle ramekins, but you can use a larger dish and make it family style also, just add a half hour to the cooking time. Make it for your next dinner party, you won’t regret it. Better yet, make it tonight. Or just now. Make it now.

S’MORES BREAD PUDDING
serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brioche bread, cubed in 1 inch cubes.
  • 4 sheets honey graham crackers, broken into medium sized pieces
  • 4 double chocolate chunk cookies
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup mini marshmallows, plus another 1/4 cup reserved for later use
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk (I use skim but if you like a more custard-y pudding go for whole)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Give your baking dishes a light spray with some baking cooking spray.
  3. Divide the bread cubes, graham crackers, cookies, chocolate chips and first 1/4 cup of marshmallows among your four individual souffle dishes.
  4. In a medium sized bowl whisk together eggs until light and frothy. To your eggs add milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Whisk until well combined.
  5. Transfer your egg mixture to a measuring cup or something with a spout. Pour the egg mixture in each baking dish, do not fill each dish all the way, take care to leave about a quarter inch at the top of each dish. Make sure all bread is soaked, push down with fingers if necessary.
  6. Place baking dishes in a cake pan and allow to soak in the fridge for about an hour.
  7. Remove cake pan from fridge and add about 2 cups of water, or just enough so the water covers the bottom half of each ramekin.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes until set.
  9. Carefully remove dishes from cake pan and set on cooling racks. Allow to cool about 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Before serving divide remaining 1/4 cup of marshmallows among the tops of each souffle dish. If you have a hand held butane torch toast the marshmallows on top until warm and gooey. If you don’t have a blow torch place the souffle dishes in broiler and broil for a minute, just until marshmallows are toasted.  Serve immediately.

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Peanut Butter Granola

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This granola is as quick and easy as it gets: 5 ingredients and the whole shebang takes under 15 minutes from gathering the ingredients to pulling the granola out of the oven. This recipe makes 4 servings and is delicious to munch on for a snack or to top some Greek yogurt for breakfast (I topped my strawberry yogurt with it this morning for some PB&J action and it was awesome.) Each serving comes in at 150 calories so if you’re trying to maintain your girlish figure this one won’t kill you (like most of the other things I like.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup quick cook oats

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.  Add peanut butter and honey to a medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave for about 20-30 seconds until peanut butter and honey are melted. Mix well until completely combined and smooth.

3.  Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix well.

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4.  Add oats and mix until completely combined and all oats are coated with peanut butter mixture.
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5.  Spread granola mixture onto a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Press into a thin layer.
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6.  Bake for 7-8 minutes until granola is golden brown.Image

7.  Place cookie sheet on cooking rack and cool granola until it is hard and crispy then break up into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.
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Wednesday Inspirations: The Creative Life

For today’s Wednesday Inspiration I’m looking to people who know what’s up about what, for me, this year is all about: getting my creative groove back. Need some inspiration about the art of creating? I always do!

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” -George Bernard Shaw

“Imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.” -Oscar Wilde

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense” – Pablo Picasso

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” – Salvador Dali

“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star” – Nietzsche

“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”  — Martha Graham

“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” Nikos Kazantzakis

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” John Cage

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” -Stella Adler

“In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.” -Anaïs Nin