Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Richmond Cupcake Taste Test

I have decided to do a taste test of all of the local Cupcake Shops here in Richmond, VA. I will do a bigger write up on all of these later, and post photos. Here is a little snippet about some of the places I have visited (or plan on visiting).

My first stop was Two Sweet..but I think I need to go back. The first time I went, the visit didn't go so well. Hopefully the next time I go things will be better.

Next was Carytown Cupcakes. I think they deserve a second chance, too. It seemed awfully empty in there for an early Saturday, when I went last. And my cupcake got smashed in the take-out box it was wrapped in. Maybe next time will be better.

Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe is absolutely adorable. This is the third shop I have visited. I really liked it. They are still pretty new, but the people there are really nice and everything looks so cute on the inside. I may go back there again soon, since there will be a grand opening event this weekend.

My next place to visit will be Frostings, in Short Pump. My visit there has been long overdue. I keep hearing so many great things about them, and I am sure they are wonderful..I just need to see for myself.

There are lots of other places in Richmond that sell cupcakes, but those are the only specialty cupcake shops that I am aware of. If you know of any others, please let me know, so that I can include them in my Richmond Cupcake Taste Test.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tonight's Dinner..

Homemade mozzarella, tomato, & basil pizza.

& Daniel made chocolate chip cookies. not really sure what we're supposed to do with those...............

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Tonight is card club..a new thing my stampin' up demonstrator's sister is going to start having..this is a test run tonight so I am hoping it turns out fun! I'll post some pictures of the cards we make later.

In a couple weeks, the Pioneer Woman will be in Fairfax at a book signing!! I am going to it, so I will be able to meet her and she will sign my copy of her cookbook. Exciting! I have been reading her blog for years, so it will be really cool to meet her. Her recipes are so delicious, too!

I am also "going back" to school. I have always wanted to take cooking/baking classes, and now I am finally going to act on it. I would love to be able to set up at a farmer's market and sell goods, including baked ones, and I think this is a step in the right direction. Maybe one day I will be able to sell online, too (once I get a tax id to do so).

Sure, you don't need to be a pro to sell at markets like that, but after doing some research on a local market (the market umbrella), I found that many of the sellers have their own small businesses, & they have culinary training. One of them is actually a culinary arts professor at a local community college. After chatting with a couple coworker-friends, I was informed that U of R has a certificate program in culinary after thoroughly researching that, I am now seriously considering signing up. It's part of their school of continuing studies..and after I get the certificate, the classes don't have to stop there. They also have advanced level classes to take after you earn the certificate. (U of R's classes for this certificate program is actually cheaper than the community college' cool is that???)

I feel that this will give me more accreditation, and the confidence to move forward with things I have always wanted to do. I can take the classes at my own pace until I am done with the program. I am so excited and really looking forward to this program. Some of the classes they have are:

Chef's Skills
Tools of the Trade
Basics of Breadmaking
Bakeshop Basics
Stocks & Sauces
Herbs & Spices
30 Minute Specialties
Cake Decorating
Knife Skills
Healthy Cooking
Baking Beyond the Basics
The Candy Shop
and sooooooo many more. The elective classes change every semester but the core classes (which all sound awesome) are the same. And, best of all, they are offered at night, and some on saturdays!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

White Chicken Enchiladas

Today was an eventful day..and after working all day and sending off all of the bills, Daniel & I went grocery shopping. We had a list of things to get, and I also made a list of new recipes to try out. Since we have been cooking a lot more together this year, it was time to switch up the recipes we've been falling back on a lot. Time for something new!

So, I finally decided to make those white chicken enchiladas that the Pioneer Woman shared the recipe for on her blog. I thought they looked absolutely delicious on her website back when I first saw the recipe posted there, and it has always been something in the back of my recipe box to try out. Well, today we finally got around to it.

We bought all of the necessary ingredients, including other groceries for the next week or so. There were also some staple items we needed to get too, to stock the pantry back up.

Anyway, back to the enchiladas. It was a lot of fun making them together.

We tweaked the recipe a bit to suit our tastes..we used regular flour tortillas instead of corn, and we probably used a little less jalapeno and green chilies than the PW would use. We also used chicken breasts, which we shredded in our food chopper (after rinsing..yes, I'm a chicken rinser), so it didn't look exactly the same but was just as good. And we used a mixture of monterey and colby jack it wasn't completely white....but it still counts.

We served the enchiladas with salsa..a side of rice would probably be nice, but the enchiladas were so filling it was just enough. We have a ton of leftovers, too, and I know that they won't last long since Daniel liked them so much.

prepped in pyrex!

cooking up the ingredients

baking in the oven

fresh cilantro in my herb dish

I think I'm a little Pioneer Woman at heart. We just all might be..

Even better news:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
6:00 pm
11054 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030

My cousin Lora informed me that The PW is having a book signing in Fairfax next month! It's only about 2 weeks from now, actually. I am totally going!

Monday, April 19, 2010

yummy things to make..


and yum..

probably shouldn't look at these early in the morning..

Saturday, April 17, 2010

RVA & Happy Record Store Day!

Today, Daniel met me as I was leaving work so we could go to the Edgar Allan Poe museum together. He has been reading through the book we have with the complete works of EAP, so we decided to finally pay a little visit to the oldest house standing in Richmond. Our first stop though was a spot on Shafer Street where "POE" is marked on the's a tale that he was known to lay in the streets, and Shafer Street was one he was found on before. Poor EAP..

On our way downtown we stopped in Shockoe Bottom and browsed a few of the stores down there, including These Four Walls..which is a great store but I would never be able to buy (or ever justify buying) anything in that was very inspirational though. I could totally refurbish some things to get the same yeah. We also got around to taking a bunch of photos of some signs down there (which I have been meaning to do pretty much since I moved here)..and we visited the 17th Street Farmers' Market, which is one of my favorite Richmond places. Didn't buy anything, though.

When we finally got to the museum, we took our sweet time there. We enjoyed the weather and took our time reading every single thing in each of the exhibits. I knew a lot about EAP before the visit (went through a brief phase as a sad teenager studying up on him, which is why I had the book in the first place), but I learned a lot about him today, too. It was a nice visit and worth it, but I don't think I'll be going back. It is definitely a visit-only-once type of place for me..when we left I was very sad. Just thinking about his life and then seeing some of the things in the exhibits really can make a person sad......if you've ever been then you most likely know what I mean. Most of the photos from today are on my flickr page, but a couple are below too.

(hose posts like these are all over old rva..there are a ton in my neighborhood and something about them is really neat to me..they are one of my favorite architectural types of things in this town)

So after we left the museum all sad and gloomy feeling, we decided to pay a visit to none other than Hollywood Cemetery. We walked through it a little bit and then we decided to drive through the rest of the way, since there was so much to see and we didn't have all day. After a while, I got spooked out, so we left and headed into the fan..

We had a late lunch/early dinner at Mojo's in the fan, near VCU. It wasn't busy at all, and everything was really good & fresh. After that we headed back towards our side of town, but made sure to stop at FANtastic thrift on the way. Didn't find anything there to buy, but I did see an awesome J.Crew skirt for $4..probably should have bought it.

We looped around to Carytown and found out it was Chalk Up the Town day..all of the sidewalks were covered in awesome chalk drawings. There were some pretty amazing ones there too.

We hit up a few of the shops in Carytown and made sure we stopped by Plan9 since today was Record Store Day. There were tons of great deals all around the store. I am proud to say the only money we spent today was on lunch, and the entry fee for the Poe museum.

Well, that's pretty much what it's like going around town. There's always something fun, random, and new (and even free!) to do in Richmond..I love this town. The old signs and architecture really make a girl like this one (me) happy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

after all these months..

so true.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

haven't been around lately..

I haven't had much time lately to spend on the internets. I've been so busy at work the last few weeks that I just wanted to spend as much time away from computers and phones as I could. this means a lot of time outside or working on personal projects. So, that's what I've done, pretty much. and it actually was pretty nice.

Now that the madness has pretty much died down, I can catch up!

We spent Easter with Fayth & Tom, and JB was there, as well as Juan David, and Aunt Frances & cousin Paige. It was a nice relaxing day. David & Paige & I are discussing plans for a DMB concert over the summer..if it all works out it will be a ton of fun. I am having concert withdrawals.

This past saturday I went thrifting/antiquing (after a really busy day at work), just to browse. It had been a while since I was on 'the hunt,' so it was just a nice afternoon to relax and browse around silly stores. One place on southside had a huge spring sale going on, and I actually found a divided pyrex dish with the lid, the town & county pattern..I love it. It's perfect for summer, too. The same store had a pair of shoes that I gasped out loud when I saw them..and they were only a couple bucks, 30% off! They were my size too! So of course I bought the shoes and the dish.

I am looking forward to wearing these shoes.

Stamp club is this wednesday, so I am also looking forward to that. I thought about making some cards today but I did a lot of chores instead. Trash, a little bit of laundry, vacuuming, litter box, dishes..all done! And it only took an hour for me to do all of that. Grocery shopping was done over the that's done too.

Another thing I have been doing lately is bringing lunch every single day to work. Those SmartOnes meals are amazing..everything I have tried so far tastes pretty good..I am usually not a fan of boxed meals like that, but for lunches at work they are great. And, they are the perfect portions, and low calories..and only about $2 each. goal is to spend $10 or less TOTAL a week on lunches. If I don't have anything made ahead of time for lunch, I will bring one of those SmartOnes meals. There is noooooooo excuse to buy lunch every single day. Do you know how easy it is to spend $10 in a day for lunch????? Not going to happen to me! I have a plan.

I have also noticed lately that 'Pride' by U2 comes on the radio every single time I am in the car driving for more than 3 miles. It is feels like my theme song or something.. I love the song, but it's so weird hearing it every single time like that while driving weird that it feels weird not hearing it..which really doesn't happen now that I think about it..