Fun Things From the Weekend

I seem to be randomly sharing my weekends lately. It’s kinda fun, so I’m going to keep doing it. I love reading these blog posts and I am finding it fun to share them, as well.

Thursday:

My weekend started Thursday night when I picked up Jenn from the airport at 11:55pm. She came to town for a minute for a friend’s bridal shower. I brought Millie to grab her from the airport. Millie was VERY excited to see her Auntie Jenn.

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We got home around 12:45am and it was bed time for all of us (once Millie calmed down from the Auntie Jenn excitement).

Friday:

Friday I woke up early (shocking I know), went to barre, and made buckwheat and oatmeal waffles. Because waffles. I had mine with sunflower seed butter + bananas + other fruit.

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Jenn and I went downtown so she could visit her friend who has a newborn and a toddler. I would post pics, but I feel weird posting pics of a baby that isn’t mine without asking. I should ask. Anyways, he was super cute!! Also, god bless all mothers everywhere. Motherhood seems incredibly stressful and exhausting. I’m good with just fur babies for the foreseeable future.

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Then we went to Anodyne Coffee (the best coffee in MKE IMO) and walked around the lake front for a while. Milwaukee is so underrated. #hiddengem

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After that, it was back home. Jenn left shortly after to meet some friends for lunch. I was feeling anxious about getting some stuff done so I opted to stay home and #werk. Millie sat outside with me and modeled an awesome new sticker I got from Made Wild.

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She also modeled her new Civil Liberties Watchdog tee from ACLU πŸ™‚

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Around 4:30, Jenn came and picked me up and we headed to TJs to buy some stuff for a cake she was making for a bridal shower.

We came back and got crackin’ on the cake. We made two layers vanilla and two layers banana.Β While cakes were baking, I made us some dinner with random things we had around the house. Going out seemed stressful because we were pretty tied to the cakes.

I made us a build-a-bowl sort of thing with my favorite marinated tempeh, black rice, cauliflower rice, baby kale, avocado, cilantro, green onions, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes, cashews, pineapple, and a spicy peanut sauce. We ate around 8:15pm with my mom and the meal turned out to be really yummy and totally hit the spot.

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Have you had Oriental/Japanese sweet potatoes before btw? They are AMAZING. They’re purple on the outside and white on the inside. They taste like chestnuts and I’m pretty sure they are what the potato emoji is representing. I like to bake them whole and gobble them up. For the bowls I sliced and tossed them in turmeric, cumin, and cayenne and roasted them up. YUM.

After dinner, we set the cakes out to cool, and started getting ready for bed (we were tired) and it was lights out by 10:00pm. #partyanimals

Saturday:

Saturday I got up at 5:30am (classic me) and got Jenn up at 7:00am (per her request) to finish the cakes. We whipped up some cream cheese frosting and nutella buttercream. Millie got caught in a powdered sugar shower and ate a bunch of the floor. Then we assembled the cake.

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Jenn decorated it all fancy to make it look like a birch tree, which was the theme of the shower.

Around 9:30am she left for the shower and then I ran a bunch of errands, ate bowl leftovers for lunch, and laid down (I wasn’t feeling too well) for several hours.

That night, we headed to a bonfire/BBQ at a friends house for a birthday celebration of sorts. It was a good old time with warm weather, lots of laughs, and lovely people.

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Around 12:30am we headed home (eep) and it was straight to bed!

Sunday:

Just a few short hours later at 4:00am, it was time to leave for the airport. I dropped Jenn off and was back home by around 5:30am. I napped for another two hours (until around 7:30am) and then took Millie to the park. I snapped this photo as she happened to turn around and sniff her butt. My dog is the weirdest. Like does anyone else’s dog do this? Anyways, eventually I went to a barre class to finish out the morning.

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After lunch, I did some work. Then, I headed out to Panera with my mom. It was quite an event. A tire blew when we were getting gas before dinner and we ended up walking to Panera.

Panera literally messes up my order every single time. I double checked to make sure they had my order right and went up the the prep counter like a frickin’ crazy person to verbally verify they were going to give me a salad without chicken.

Then, my salad came with chicken. Like it does every time. In fact, a girl working said something like, “I feel like every time I’ve seen you here they mess up your order.” And I was like “yeah.”

And then I’m in this awkward position where my order is covered with chicken and it’s all mixed in and they have to make me a new one and I feel like a whiny bitch. But like also, I don’t eat chicken and don’t like chicken shreds touching every inch of my salad.

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They then always give you the option to take home the salad or have them throw it away. Let’s just say my dog has eaten a lot of chicken salads this summer.Β Oh, Panera. I love you but get your sh*t together. Thanks so much.

Then we Uber’d home since the car was not going to make it. By that point, it was somehow like 8:30pm, so I enjoyed some ice cream and an early bed time.

And in case you care…

I’m happy to report the car is now all better with shiny new tires.

Also! I’m exciting to announce I’ll be starting a content internship with The Global Foodbanking Network this summer and continuing it for the rest of the calendar year :). Stay tuned.

Fun week ahead! I have 2 recipe posts planned, and a trip to Chicago in the works!

Blackberry Fruit Dumplings

The Fruit DumplingsΒ from East Side OvensΒ are things of beauty. It’s this little pocket that sort of looks like a rounded out star / mini hand pie, filled with delicious, sweet, fruity goo in the most perfect flakey crust. It’s what dreams are made of.

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East Side Ovens sells them in local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. They don’t advertise themselves as being vegan at farmer’s markets, but afterΒ stumpling into a sampling promotion at the Health Hut last month, I learned that all of their products are totally dairy free! #win. I wonder why they don’t advertise this way at markets. My guess is so that people who aren’t particularly open-minded about vegan baked goods don’t automatically skip over their delicious goodies. Which I’m sure, sadly, a lot of people would. But no one does! These babies sell like HOT CAKES every place they’re available. Which is awesome for the little local business, and proves that if people aren’t told any different, many don’t even know they’re eating something vegan when secretly they are. #tricky

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Last Monday I was having a good day, even after work. I was in a happy pants mood and wanted to celebrate so I popped on into Health Hut to celebrate. Because I reward myself with health-food grocery shopping because it’s like my favorite hobby. I know, right? I’m the coolest and most exciting human you’ve ever met.

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I bought these cherry dumplings from East Side Ovens while I was at the Health Hut. They also have really good rhubarb ones. And many other kids. But last Monday, all Health Hut had was cherry. And cherry is one of my top 5 favorite fruits of all times. So cherry it was!

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I brought them home and ate one that night. I saved one for Tuesday and looked forward to it allllll afternoon while I was working. I could not wait to get home and make coffee and have my cherry dumpling. So I got home from work and got my coffee going and put my dumpling on the counter. Then I went upstairs to pee and get my phone charger. Five minutes later I return downstairs. And like, certainly more than half of my fruit dumpling had mysteriously vanished. I’m not pointing any fingers but I’m 100% certain it was Pita. OOF.

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I was sad, but still savored what was left of my little dumpling. Actually, in retrospect, I’m lucky she didn’t eat the whole thing. And like honestly, if she did, I couldn’t have blamed her. They’re just so yummy. Perfect combo of crunchy/flakey crust, gooey sweet fruity filling, and sweet crunchy frosting glaze white stuff. Heavenly.Β I made her promise we return the the Health Hut soon to get more and just to go gawk at the Health Hut because it’s so beautiful and has so many fine, healthy, delicious food products. Wow I love grocery shopping. I really need a social life.

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Anyways, this event also sparked me to want to make my own fruit dumplings, so on Sunday Funday I gave it a whirl and whipped up these babies. I used blackberries, because we had leftover frozen blackberries in the freezer from when I made these wonderful wonderful Blackberry Cornmeal Pancakes (seriously, make them). You can use whatever berry or fruit you’d like. Frozen berries worked really well in this dish, as you cook ’em down anyways.

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The end result was much like the Fruit Dumpling experience from East Side Ovens, with a few differences: you still get the crunchy meets gooey/fruity/sweet. Except these are a little less, puffy, I guess you could say. Next time I’m going to try layering the dough to make it puffier and flakier. We’ll see. These are more like a crispy tart. Still wonderful and delicious in its own right, just a slightly different crust texture than the OG. But cooking is all about making things your own anyways! So next time you want something delicious that will fill your heart and soul with joy and your kitchen with wonderful wafts of fruity pies, whip up a couple of these babies. Not only do they sort of look like stars, they taste like them, too. πŸ˜‰ #cheesy #corny #gowithit

xoxo, kbakes !

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Level: Easy

Makes 2 small fruit pies [serves 2]

Ingredients – Crust:

  • 1/4 cup cold coconut oil or non-dairy spread such as Earth Balance
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3-1/2 cups cold water

Ingredients – Filling:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (or any berries/fruit!)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanila extract

Ingredients – Glaze:

  • Either drizzle 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt (that’s what I did)
    • OR combine 1/4 cup nondairy spread at room temperature (such as Earth balance) with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar using a hand mixture or kitchen aid mixture until well-combined. Add almond milk and/or more powdered sugar as needed until desired consistency is reached

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a food processor, combine whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse until mixed well. Cut up coconut oil or non-dairy spread into pieces, sprinkle into the food processor, and continue pulsing until well slightly combined. Add 1/4 cup cold water and pulse until a loose crumbly dough begins to form. If needed, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Β Removed dough from food processor and form into a ball. Wrap or place in a small bowl and place in the refrigerator.

4. Meanwhile, combine blackberries, sugar, flour, vanilla, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the fruit mixture is the consistency of a loose jelly.

5. Remove dough from refrigerator. Cut in half. Roll each half into a thin circle.

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6. Place half of fruit mixture in the center of each circle of dough.

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7. Fold over one edge of the circle like an envelope so that the crust covers about 1/4 inch of the fruit, but the majority is still in the center. From the top of this fold, fold over the two sides diagonally to make an obtuse angle covering the right and left corner of the top fold.

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8. Repeat at the bottom; this time fold the dough inwards so that the center is exposed but the edges are framing the fruit. Press down dough to seal any potential points of leakage (such as the edges) as necessary.

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9. Repeat with second circle. Place dumplings onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 22-30 minutes until the crust has browned and the bottom easily releases from parchment paper if you try to peak at/lift up a corner. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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10. If desired, add as much or as little glaze or icing as you’d like. Enjoy ! πŸ™‚ I used coconut yogurt, but if you want to make a vegan buttercream, simple combine 1/4 cup non-dairy vegetable spread with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar using a hand mixture or kitchen aid mixture until well-combined. Add almond milk and/or more powdered sugar as needed until desired consistency is reached. Decorate to your heart’s content.

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Making Froyo Cakes + An Influx of Puppy Pics.

I got home a little over a week ago. Since then I’ve somehow ended up working back at Yo Mama, a local froyo shop doing a million different things. Like working in their new “Party Room.” And helping out in the back making froyo cakes and chocolate dipped rice krispies and pretzels and pizzelle cookies. When I’m working with the pastry stuff I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do it because it’s like getting paid to do my hobby. Hours whizz by and I barely look at the clock. When I’m scrubbing cookie dough off the floor or cleaning the bathrooms I feel slightly differently.

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i made dis!

Along with seeing how much work and planning goes into opening and running a food shop,this week I was lucky enough to learn the valuable life skill that is ice cream cake making. Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love ice cream cake?

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There’s the ice cream layers.

And there’s the crust.

And there’s the fudge layer.

And that frozen frosting.

It’s just too good. Such a good combo of crunchy, gooey, and cold and creamy in every bite. It’s like, perfect. And as much as I love fine pastries and cakes, you better believe I go ape-shit when I see a DQ cake.

And now I know the process of how to make them. It’s not necessarily difficult, it just kinda takes a lot of steps. It’s time consuming. Not really a set-it-and-forget-it type thing. Kind of like croissants. Just a lot of steps. Anyways if you want an ice cream cake, I can do dat for ya. Please don’t hesitate to ask πŸ™‚

I also made really really really wonderful whole-wheat blueberry muffins this week. They were not-too-sweet. Perfect for breakfast. I almost have the recipe *perfected* and I think a key was apple sauce and greek yogurt. HOLY FLUFFY! Recipe soon.

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Β I posted this pic to my Instagram (@katherinebaker4) and infatuation (#eeeeats) liked it. I felt momentarily cool. Then embarrassed for feeling cool and back-hashing the eeeeats thing. How lame. Β All photos in this post were taken with my iPhone. I’ve yet to whip out my DSLR since being home. Not sure why. I think it’s still packed somewhere. I’ll find it. I have the day off today. I’m probably gonna do a lot of baking and cooking and blogging and puppy hanging. I’m pretty jazzed about this.

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Speaking of puppies, I had some good times with Millie this week. We went to a park with my mom (her grandma) and my family dog, Sasha. A good time was had by all. Sasha is nearly 14. She’s a sweetie-pie and melts my heart. I’m very lucky to have such great dogs in my life. Millie is exploring this whole new world that is nature. She still usually chooses to pee and poop on concrete over grass (a true city-pup for sure) but is really enjoying chasing birdies and butterflies and seeing trees and open grassy fields and whatnot. Such adventure! Many wonders!

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Millie and I also went to Panera to dine al-fresco. It was fun. Except some lady outside didn’t like her and had to give us a dirty look and move inside. That’s her problem though b/c Millie’s frickin’ awesome. I feel like you can learn a lot about people by how they treat animals. Very telling.

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I ended up working a lot this past week, and it broke my heart to leave lil nugget home alone so much. According to my mom this is how it feels to be a working parent. Lord help me. I worry myself sick about my pup (even when her grandma is watching her!), I’m not sure how I’ll handle real children. I’ll cross that bridge when we get there. In like, 5ever. Anyways, her grandma watched her yesterday when I worked a long shift. Apparently after I left, she howled and cried and peed on the floor in protest of my leaving. *guilt* Seems I’m working too much for her liking. She’s become quite a spoiled lady. Looks like we’ll be having a mommy-daughter day today. She’s currently curled up in my feet. Not a bad start to the day.

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Other than that this week I’ve just been talking to people and picking their brains about life as I try to figure out my own. Post-grad life is pretty awkward for most people. More on this later. For now, I need a nugget walk and maybe a trip to Alterra (or collectivo or w/e you call it). Happy Monday everyone!

 

some snapshots from my sister’s bachelorette brunch

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This Saturday was my sister’s bachelorette party. We started in Milwaukee, meeting at my mom’s house for brunch, before heading to Chicago to have a nice dinner, hit the clubs, and ended the night giggling in hotel beds eating cake. Sunday we got up at a surprisingly reasonable hour, ordered room service, and walked all over Chicago in breezy sunshine, taking in some sights and sounds of some of Chicago’s amazing parks.

I’m posting some pics from the brunch and our walk around town. I’ll break these down into recipes soon!

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Per request, I made homemade carmel deLites again, only this time, I shaped them like teeth (my sister is in dental school) and dogs (because we are dog lovers!).

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Fresh berry salad:

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My favorite salad:

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The spread:

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Pea Pesto! (recipe soon!)

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Tartines:

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Here are some pics walking around Chicago with some fabulous ladies!:

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At the Bean in Chicago!

Had an AWESOME time with these ladies! 5 days til the wedding!

xoxo,

KBakes