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Eu AMO fazer Cupcakes, e Cookies. E os meus são famosos por aqui.

Hoje resolvi fazer Cupakes usando uma forminha bem diferente.


Fiquei com medo de dar errado mas acabei fazendo uma experiencia.

Coloquei menos leite do que o habitual. E a massa ficou mais consistente,

mais encorpada, "pesada", porém sem grudar ao primeiro toque.


Eles ficaram envoltos em uma "casquinha" abri um para ver como estava

por dentro (maciiiiiiiiiiio) como o de costume. Mas ao cortar tive a idéia de recheá-los.


Cortei um pouco a baixo da "tampinha" um pouco a cima do meio, e passei Nutella, coloquei a tampinha de volta e mais uma vez um pouco de nutela por cima, e claro, o enfeite. Não pode faltar cor, é claro. A receita está ai. Espero que gostem dessa minha invenção. Todo mundo por aqui aprovou...


PS: Para a massa ficar mais gostosa, coloque chocolate em pó, e meio copo de açucar...

If you looked at Trish and my pantry, you'd think we had 10 kids based on how much food we keep in there. But no, we have none. We just have some obsessive compulsive need to keep it fully stocked. I doubt either of us knows all of the food we have hidding in the back corners, and we'll probably only find out a few years from now when it spontaneously explodes from being too old.


For the FGR theme, !flickr Notes. Feel free to put any notes you want. :)

I made this for Jessica's snack while we were running errands. =)

2nd August 2010

eleven-thirty am.


Dreamt Kim and Lottie and I rode horses to the nature reserve, and then collected our A-Level results from our old high school.


Made pancakes for a very late breakfast. Tried orange and chocolate, and decided lemon and sugar would always win. Answered emails about a couple's shoot, a print order for Rosie and Billy, and a feature in Racing Minds.


Kim came over in the afternoon and we sat at our computers and wrote. She and I hardly knew each other until a rainy day at the end of year ten, when I asked her what she was jotting down in her notebook. Since then, this has been what we do.



They had a secret party in Nutella's house. Betulla was a bit sad here because Gugu wasn't here, he arrived late because now that Lambrusco is living with him he doesn't have the bathroom all for himself (he's not very happy about his "cousin" living with him, really not happy).

Nutella did some wonderful Christmas cookies... Even for Parma!

Pandi and Aerius weren't sure if Aerius can be seen from the others. No one ever talked to Aerius during all the night, but maybe it was because she was flying around and making a mess (and only chatting with Pandi).


This photo is very crappy 'cause:

- I wanted to shot with the lights in the "room" (= bad quality)

- I realized only after putting away all the stuff that the camera was half dead (= worse quality)


I made the tree and all the decorations some years ago for my boyfriend. He never used it, so now it's mine again.

Can you believe that I have 5 miniature Xmas trees? And I never took a Christmas photo. (and thet's why, even if it sucks, I still uploaded it)

The hanging lamp is from valeriescollectibles on etsy, I love it. It makes a lot of light!!! I might want a couple more. Like, blue and purple. And pink. And green. (that makes all the color they ever made) Oh I love it!


I know it's a bit late and I can't wish you a merry Christmas anymore... But I took this yesterday! It was Christmas! I just haven't had time to upload, with all the celebrations and the concert and things to do! So... Happy holidays!



[b]Cosa hanno fatto per Natale[/b]

Hanno fatto una festa segreta nella casa di Nutella. Betulla era un po' triste qui perché Gugu non c'era, è arrivato tardi perché adesso che Lambrusco vive con lui non ha più il bagno tutto per sé (non è per niente contento che sua "cugina" viva con lui, proprio per niente).

Nutella ha fatto degli ottimi biscotti natalizi, anche per Parmina!


Questa foto fa schifo perché:

- Volevo scattare solo con le foto della "stanza" (= schifo)

- Quando avevo già messo via tutto mi sono accorta che la macchina fotografica era mezza morta (= ancora più schifo)


Ho fatto l'albero e tutte le decorazioni qualche anno fa come regalo al mio moroso. Ma non l'ha mai usato, quindi me lo sono ripresa.

Ci credete se vi dico che ho 5 alberi di Natale in miniatura? E questa è la prima foto a tema che faccio (ecco perché, anche se fa schifo, l'ho caricata lo stesso).

La lampada gialla è di valeriescollectibles su etsy, e la adoro. E' autoalimentata, e fa un sacco di luce!! Ne vorrei un altro paio. Tipo blu e viola. E rosa. E gialla. (cioè tutti i colori che han fatto finora) Oh la adoro!


So che è un po' tardi per fare gli auguri di Natale, ma la foto l'ho fatta ieri! Era Natale! Solo che poi non ho avuto tempo di caricarla, tra tutte le feste e il concerto e tutte le cose da fare! Quindi... buone feste! :)

Tender oat flour cookie dough made with ricotta cheese (and no egg!) makes a delicious wrapper for a pinwheel of Nutella, crunchy peanut butter and chopped peanuts. How can you go wrong?


Adapted from

First and foremost - theme music for my walk around the neighborhood...


Red Astaire - Follow me...


So as you can see the evenings are getting cold enough here to start the leaves turning...MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!! Autumn equals pretty colors, crisp weather that I can wear leather and wool in and HALLOWEEN!


Today I bought bread for dinner at the local bakery. In actuality we have about 7 bakeries within 5 minutes from our house. Germany is BIG on fresh bread. They actually have over 400 different varieties. And the one I went to today is actually the bakery where Dr. August Oetker experimented and invented the modern formula for baking powder. The bakery offers a wide and ever changing variety of organic freshly baked breads and rolls as well as desserts like Weekend Cake made with plums and rhubarb or Chocolate slices which are butter cookies filled with nutella like fudge and cookie mixture. They also have whole wheat croissants that are AMAZING! Totally addictive. The inside still has the old timbers from the original construction...a very cool building and piece of history...BTW - around the corner is where Dr. Oetker's brand kitchens and headquarters are...


TOTW - This collage is a tribute to one of my favorite Flickr contacts who always blesses us with beautiful collages and smiles - M-C. I know she would have loved this walk...the evening sunshine was beautiful.


FGR - I am totally inspired by the old buildings and cobble stone streets...the patterns of concentric circles (I am standing in one) made me think about how inspiration touches off another idea and then another...I will be back to do something with these stones on another day...


TRP - Out and About for Ms. Ashley...


See those pastries up close.

Tender oat flour cookie dough made with ricotta cheese (and no egg!) makes a delicious wrapper for a pinwheel of Nutella, crunchy peanut butter and chopped peanuts. How can you go wrong?


Adapted from

Tender oat flour cookie dough made with ricotta cheese (and no egg!) makes a delicious wrapper for a pinwheel of Nutella, crunchy peanut butter and chopped peanuts. How can you go wrong?


Adapted from

Chocolate Cookie Cups with Nutella Cheesecake Frosting Recipe Please SUBSCRIBE: ▻ I’ll show you how to make yummy chocolate cookie cups – they are SUPER EASY to …

ACK I'm totally breaking out but please ignore that!


Foods you like, despise, can't eat


I love dark chocolate - dark chocolate with caramel? Yummy. I love gummy bears, oatmeal cookies, reduced fat nilla wafers, nutella. Snickers. Holy cow do I love snickers. I don't like coconut. Sorry but it smells like something I should put on at the beach, not in my mouth. I love granola bars. I love plain goldfish. I like cupcakes, donuts anything that you can put sprinkles on. Would a 7 year old girl like it? Then I probably like it too. I love spicy food too. Also pizza. If I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle I would be Michaelangelo. Cowabunga.


Coffee vs. tea?

I don't really drink either. I know! It's so weird because I'm a JOURNALIST! We are supposed to maintain a 90% coffee level in our bloodstream. I drink cherry coke zero instead. It's weird and that's heavy so please, don't send coke. It might explode too. That would be unfortunate.


Where do you live?

I live in Virginia just outside of Washington D.C! I don't have a car and I ride my bike, walk, take public transportation or run everywhere I have to go.


Favorite yarns / fabrics?

I'm still getting started in the fabric department so I'm set there. I love all kinds of yarn. I'm a sucker for good workhorse yarns - wooly wools for hats and mittens and whatnot. I love pretty solid/semi solid sock yarns. i'm not much of a great variegated yarn knitter. i like fun quirky things. i'm kind of weird.


Crafty pursuits - knit, crochet, spin, sew, quilt, make friendship bracelets, any of these or others?


I knit, I crochet, I make friendship bracelets (so much fun!) and I've just started learning how to quilt. My mom got so excited about this that she bought me all of this material for my first quilt and I feel bad because it has kind of been languishing while I finish up various knitting projects. So I would say I spent a lot more time knitting and crocheting than I do quilting. (Also I hand quilt, so that takes some time)


Hobbies/pursuits/proclivities/passions (other than the aforementioned crafty ones, obis)


I am a runner! I'm preparing for a half marathon in October and a marathon in November! I'm so excited about both. Anyway I run a lot - five or six times a week. (Notice I'm wearing the best thing in the world, a "sweatyband" because I just got home from riding my bike) I also love my bike, I ride it everywhere I can even when it means navigating through a sea of tourists on my way home from work.


What do you do in life? (job, career, school, family, etc.)

I'm single and I live by myself but I have a dog, Finn. I work at National Public Radio ... N-P-R in DC. I spend a lot of time asking people questions, writing, and finding good people to interview. It is a really busy job, so I love being able to unwind after work. This is how I got into running.


What makes you happy?

Honestly? My knitting friends (both in real life and via twitter and flickr) My family - my parents are some of the kindest most generous people I know. My brothers are great people too - I am so proud to be the big sister to my youngest brother. I also love my dog, probably more than is healthy but hey, I am single! And I'm a dog lady! I love men who wear plaid. I like lumberjacks and anything having to do with cowboys or cowgirls. My favorite place is Duck, NC. My folks have a place there and just thinking about it makes me so happy I want to cry. Anything that helps me stay organized makes me happy - lists, apps, sticky notes, those magnetic pattern holder things, pouches (can one have too many pouches?), anything with multiple pockets, i'm kind of also obsessed with bags - totes through purses. it's a little bit of a problem.


Also yesterday I saw this guy who had a shirt that said "I don't KID or play" and it had an outline of kid n' play's profiles. that made me extremely happy. i like clever stuff that reminds me of the halcyon days of my youth.


Random favorites -- colors, flavors, scents, books, movies, TV, magazines, genres, time of day, motifs (foxes, bees, squirrels, owls, beavers, mushrooms, bats) etc.


I love birds, foxes - I like blues and greens - jewel toned hues of all colors. If it is a pop of color I am going to love it. I love Deadliest Catch (but I don't like those turds on the Time Bandit). I think I secretly have a crush on Josh Harris. I also love Friday Night Lights. Texas forever. I like 30 Rock a lot (Liz Lemon speaks to me) and Parks and Recreation. I also watch a lot of cooking shows - Top Chef (when it's on) Chopped, Iron Chef. I like "weird" movies - stuff by Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch and David Lynch. Magazines - I have subscriptions to cooking light, garden and gun (my favorite), vanity fair, and vogue. I have been meaning to subscribe to Outside because I love that magazine. I like pretty books where not much happens. If it has lovely language I'll most definitely like it. I like thrillers too turners are great. I'm in the middle of reading the Hunger Games and I like it a lot despite the fact that I don't really ilke science fiction/dystopian novels. I love plaid. My favorite time of day is quitting time during the week. On the weekends I like the early mornings before everyone has woken up and the day is spread out in front of me. I love country music - not new country but old country like June Carter Cash (I love anything having to do with her), Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins ... etc. I also love rockabilly. I know...weird.


Here are some of my latest cookie creations - you can see how I made them on YouTube.

#cookies #baking #pacman #nutella #cookiepops #rainbow

Feeling a bit better today. :) I really need to plan what I am making her before I go into the kitchen at 6:30am and start making stuff.


I really wanted to send her with a frozen waffle (as they say it will thaw by lunch time) but I'm still scared to try it. I was going to make her lunches over the weekend with tests to see how it works out before sending it to school.


And you probably won't see a lunch for tomorrow or Friday. They are having spaghetti tomorrow and cheese pizza on Friday and she wants that ;)

I set myself the challenge of cooking 50 new recipes in 2012. I've never thought of myself as a natural or adventurous cook, and my repertoire of family main meals had been whittled down with fussy children and was looking rather pathetic. Initially inspired by the 'My Daddy Cooks' book (which I'd got in autumn 2011), I set about doing my ocado order with recipe book in hand and bookmarking recipes as I found them online. I'm really chuffed to have made it past the 50 milestone (albeit not far) and there are a good half dozen of these recipes that have become regular favourites, and at least the same again that we'll be repeating every month or two. Mission accomplished, then - and funnily enough just like when I'm looking back at my photo a day mosaics, just looking at these photos of dishes brings back memories of what we were doing that day and who we were eating with as well as how it tasted.


1. 3rd January - Imam Bayildi, 2. 10th January - quickest home made pizza ever, 3. 14th Jan - vegetable spring rolls, 4. 18th January - veg casserole with dumplings, 5. 1st February - beef, guinness and mushroom casserole, 6. 2nd Feb - ramen noodle soup, 7. 18th Feb - nutella banana mini muffins, 8. 21st February - leafy brittany pancake, 9. 23rd Feb - chicken and tarragon hotpot

10. 9th April - hot cross buns, 11. 16th April - mild lentil curry with cauliflower, 12. 22nd April - turkey and cranberry meatloaf, 13. 30th April - bg-'s lentil stew, 14. 3rd May - Turkish menemen, 15. 7th May - chicken & cauliflower biryani, 16. 14th May - one pot veggie curry, 17. 17th May - marinated chicken and spiced green lentils, 18. 21st May - plum clafoutis

19. 28th May - sloppy joe beef buns, 20. 29th May - chinese lettuce wraps, 21. 30th May - minced beef wellington, 22. 11th June - black bean mole, 23. 12th June - chocolate cherry cookies, 24. 18th June - sausage jambalaya, 25. 23rd June - golden banana loaf, 26. 25th June - dotty banana fairy cakes, 27. 26th June - curried potato pasties

28. 30th June - toad in the hole, 29. 3rd July - moussaka, 30. 9th July - warm lentil, tomato & halloumi salad, 31. 19th July - chicken & leek pie, 32. 23rd July - red white & blue battenberg, 33. 26th July - butternut squash with quinoa, feta, basil and mint, 34. 14th August - savoury muffins, 35. 15th August - indian dosa, 36. 5th September - cheesy stars

37. 13th September - sausage, potato and pea casserole, 38. 15th September - sweet potato, greens and red onion tortilla with garlic mayo, 39. 17th September - pasta and borlotti bean soup, 40. sep19_0057, 41. 20th Sept - baked chickpea and butternut squash rice, 42. 25th September - meatzza, 43. 2nd October - baked pumpkin gratin, 44. 17th October - Henry's cowboy baked beans, 45. 20th October - lamb and aubergine casserole

46. 27th October - self saucing jaffa pudding, 47. 3rd November - arachnophobia, 48. 6th November - tumbet, 49. 6th November - savoury flapjack, 50. 7th November - refried bean quesadillas, 51. 13th November - school dinner goulash, 52. 17th November - red onion chutney, 53. 19th November - stilton and chutney rarebit, 54. 4th December - simple spinach curry, 55. 31st December - white bean hummus with tomato and basil salsa

Here are some of my latest cookie creations - you can see how I made them on YouTube.

#cookies #baking #pacman #nutella #cookiepops #rainbow

I had a bunch of my friends coming to my house today and as a keen cooker, of course I could not pass the opportunity to bake. I made Oreo cupcakes (one pictured here) and also Coconut and Lime cupcakes. It got me thinking, why is it I love cooking so much? I could spend hours experimenting with a new recipe, and I am definitely quite a spontaneous baker. I don't stick to recipes like glue, I'm much more impulsive, and I love that. I love sprinkling in a bit more sugar, or thinking hey some Nutella would be nice in this, or how about I add some crumbs, HEY LETS WEDGE A COOKIE INTO IT. I think it's that freedom that lures me into cooking. But it's not just that.

Cooking plays to the senses. The smell that wafts from the oven, the feeling of the dough between your hands, the sound of something whirring in the food processor, the look of the fresh, raw products compared to the marvels you can conjure up with them and the taste of something freshly out of the oven is something very special. Being able to experience that process and share my food with the people I love gives me immense pride and satisfaction, and that is why I absolutely love cooking.

Hi, I'm Peter Parker, I mean Spiderman, I mean, Tina.


Foods you like, despise, can't eat (allergies, etc.):

I eat pretty much anything and everything. There is always a deficiency of chocolate and cookies in my house because I really, really love chocolate and cookies and would eat them ALL in five seconds flat. I also really like salt and crunchy. Okra is still the spawn of the devil.


Coffee vs. tea? Do you have a favorite kind?:

I love medium roast coffees with a few caveats - flavoured coffee makes me feel sick and I don't own a coffee grinder. I like English breakfast and peppermint teas, and I'm convinced Earl Grey is actually liquid soap and is not actually designed to be potable.


Where do you live? (climate, big city/small town, etc.):



Crafty pursuits - knit, crochet, spin, sew, quilt, embroider, make friendship bracelets, any of these or others?:

I knit, crochet, needle felt, spin on a drop spindle, quilt, refashion clothing and just recently began dabbling in sewing a few simple pieces of clothing. I also photograph a lot of live circus events here in NYC and love getting dressed up in silly costumes.


Favorite yarns / fabrics? Any yarn you want to try but haven't yet?:

I knit mostly in wools, and predominantly sew with quilting cottons. I got a bee in my bonnet about re-purposing clothing for quilts and and collecting shot cotton shirts and bedding with the idea that one day I'll quilt with it. I'm also collecting mens XL striped cotton shirts for the same purpose.


Hobbies/pursuits/proclivities/passions (other than the aforementioned crafty ones, obvs):

I am a huge thrifter, and have almost exclusively shopped in thrift stores for my clothing for almost two years. I'm also a huge proponent of re-purposing and recycling. I'm also fairly fanatical about using clean/homemade cleaning and personal care products - no parabens, perfumes or silicone for me! I compost, I grow my own tomatoes, I make my own chicken stock.


What do you do in life? (job, career, school, family, etc.):

I'm a newly minted PhD in Molecular Neuro-Oncology. I live with my boyfriend, no kids, no pets, three cacti.


How do you normally celebrate the holidays (assuming you celebrate them. If not, that's cool, too!):

Like every good atheist I enjoy Christmas for presents. I dislike decorating because I am inherently lazy when it comes to both putting them up and taking them down. However, my boyfriend is super into it, to the extent that he brought a tiny Christmas tree to my apartment last year because he thought it was depressing that I didn't have one. I'm an ex-pat Brit so I enjoy thanksgiving as an opportunity to eat an early Christmas dinner.


What makes you happy?:

Puppies. Sandra Bullock movies. Making things. Sleeping. Skyping with my nephew who is too little to know he's skyping.


Do you blog? Tweet? Pin? Please share URLs and/or handles!

Blog and pinterest.


Random favorites -- colors, flavors, scents, books, movies, TV, magazines, genres, time of day, motifs (foxes, bees, squirrels, owls, beavers, mushrooms, bats), etc.:

I like blues, purples and greens. I love nutella and bacon but not necessarily together. I'm a huge Supernatural and Star Trek: TNG fan, and I also love The League and The IT Crowd for comedy. I don't read any magazines, recreational reading is a relatively new thing for me since I've only just started to have a commute longer than three blocks - I'm currently reading The Great Influenza, and love books of that ilk. (Recent reads include The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Stiff, Spook and Bonk, but I haven't read the more recent Mary Roach books).


Okay, are you ready for how crazy simple this is? Really? Are you ready?




Equal parts Nutella and evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed!). Mix together until blended, chill well, and freeze according to your ice cream machine's directions.


My notes: The 'chill well' part really is important. I was so eager to eat the stuff the first round, that I skipped that step. It tasted fine, mind you, but it was a little grainy - the nutella and milk had separated just a little bit. On the second round, I chilled it, and did not have this problem.


Also, there's an ounce difference between the sizes of Nutella and evaporated milk containers I found in my supermarket. I ignored that ounce and everything came out just fine.


I used a 13 oz jar of Nutella and a 12 oz can of 2% Evaporated milk. I got enough ice cream for about 4 moderate servings of ice cream. And this stuff is rich - you won't want a big bowl of it. Well. You MIGHT want a big bowl, but you probably won't feel so hot if you eat a whole big bowl. Just sayin'.


Goes great with cookies that are plain and not terribly sweet. I like Nutella spread on Goya Maria cookies, so I picked up some of the cookies to go with the ice cream the first time I made it - awesome combination.

Here are some of my latest cookie creations - you can see how I made them on YouTube.

#cookies #baking #pacman #nutella #cookiepops #rainbow

Here are some of my latest cookie creations - you can see how I made them on YouTube.

#cookies #baking #pacman #nutella #cookiepops #rainbow

Here are some of my latest cookie creations - you can see how I made them on YouTube.

#cookies #baking #pacman #nutella #cookiepops #rainbow

I'm having a sleepover in my own apartment's downstairs area so that I can watch How I Met Your Mother and to just also try something new.


I hate people who stand me up. I hate people who stand me up. I hate people who stand me up. I'm sorry for saying that three times, but it's very true. I disliked it very much when he said he was going to come hang and then didn't say he actually wasn't going to until I was like "hey, you still coming?" Then, he said he would come over after he was done with the project that he was doing but never did and never said that he wasn't coming. I'm just pretty bummed out because I really wanted to watch Scott Pilgrim vs The World with him tonight. Maybe he's totally oblivious to the fact that I like him, but I'm trying my hardest by having him over to watch movies. I'm just really bad at making any sort of moves, I guess. I'm not the type of girl who says "am I not good/pretty enough" and means it, but like seriously, I have no clue what's up. Instead of coming and hanging out with me, he likes the statuses that I posted on Facebook. Hello! You could be hanging out with me and liking the things I say in person instead of on Facebook! Why do you have to be so good looking ughhl;fjakl;fj;afj.


Minus that rant, I'm really glad that my friends got to see Scott Pilgrim vs The World for the first time. They all seemed to like it, which made me very happy. Also, Dani made me an omelette and she made us all Nutella cookies, which were very good. After I go to sleep, wake up, and go to class today, I get to go home, which should be cool. Maybe after I get back on Sunday I'll make a last-ditch effort to hang out with guy and show him that yes, I do like him.

Here are some of my latest cookie creations - you can see how I made them on YouTube.

#cookies #baking #pacman #nutella #cookiepops #rainbow

The inside of my fridge. Excitement!


Also. Please know I rent, and renting often comes with crappy appliances.


The light in my fridge works. But it won't turn off and then heats up the food. So, bulb removed.

My cousin Chiara's friend Marcella showing how "tartufini" are made. A whole jar of Nutella is mixed with crushed cookies, then a piece of white chocolate is placed in the center. The whole thing is rolled and coated with cocoa.

This is my version of Pierre Herme's macaron cookie, adapted from a method I found here on Serious Eats: They turned out (mostly) wonderfully, and it was easier than I thought! Even more tips are available here:


This macaron is one of the ones that didn't get to learn to walk... no "feet"! Ah well, they're still tasty - especially as a Nutella sandwich!



Ah, kiss cookies, how yummy you taste. My least favorite thing about baking is that I eat what I bake. Tomorrow it's cheesecake and Nutella pie making day (are you surprised? Our families like the baked good-eating ruts they are in).


I am going to make my husband take a bunch of these to work tomorrow. Hopefully whoever is there likes Kiss Cookies.


Taken on a Nikon D40.


Photo originally taken on December 23, in Orlando, Florida.


Photo posted on December 23, 2009.

I had two girlfriends over at my place for a macaron baking session on Sunday. We made these extremely cute lil' macarons - they are so small and are the perfect size for midday snacking. This is my most successful batch so far - good bottoms, nicely rounded smooth tops and above all, I love how the flavour of the Jivara chocolate melded nicely with nutella and ground hazelnut praline. Yums!

I made chocolate chip cookies today, to use up some of the supplies I have before moving out of my current place in a couple of weeks.

Ok, does anyone know how to get cookie dough off a camera!?!

I moved to Gostivar a little over a month ago and things are great. One thing I love about my new place is my landlord and his family. 2 weeks ago my landlordess, Slavica (or is it new host mom?) and I made Peanut butter cookies. She and her daughter were fascinated by how simple the recipe was...and by the existence (and use) of Peanut butter (like most European countries, nutella-type hazelnut butter is far more popular than peanut butter). Here in Macedonia the desserts consist primarily of cakes made from "biscuits" which are like graham crackers, and variations of philo dough treats, like baklava.


My Landlordess really wants to learn English so we have been combining the baking sessions with some English instruction. She understands quite a bit of English and I she knows how to write pretty well, but she just needs help speaking so when we bake she tells me everything she is doing in English. It is very cute.


Last week we made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies using my recipe from the Peace Corps "Jadi! Jadi!" Cookbook (Jadi! is the imperative commend to "Eat!" in Macedonian. We all experienced the extreme pressure from our host families to "Eat! Eat!" during our home-stays). After we made the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies Slavica showed me how she makes a wonderful (yet simple) apple pie.


In this picture we are starting to mix in the oats.

Woke up at 10 this morning, and spent most of the day with my mom. We watched Animal Planet and some random movies together, then left the house around 4. We went to Nordstrom, ate dinner at Five Guys, and then bought groceries at Winco. I baked Nutella cookies to sell at church! I wanted to make French Macaroons but the recipe is nearly impossible. Props to anyone who's successfully made them and retained sanity. Stupid Macaroons -__- I'll be victorious one day. Over all, I like how my Saturday was spent.



Hello! Just wanted to stop in really fast and share some weekend fun. I went to a comedy show, ran a lot and ate epic fancy cheesecake. I don’t even like cheesecake, but it had nutella so I had to have some.


Friday night Ben and I saw Whitney Cummings at the Improv. She was funny, which is good because it’s a comedy show.


The improv has a 2 drink minimum so you kinda are pressured to get a buzz. My guess is that helps with making the comedians seem funnier. (They have non-alcohol options and food.)


The point is I spotted this Red Headed Comic shot on the menu. I’ve heard of a shot called a Red Headed something before but it wasn’t comic. Do you know what I’m talking about?


I went with the Oatmeal Cookie shot, but it tasted too much like Fireball. I don’t really like Fireball and it doesn’t get me drunk at all. I am immune to it or something so it’s a waste. Buuuuttt, I was sipping it – maybe if you shoot it fast it tastes like a cookie?


After the show we rode the “Giant Wheel”. It’s a ferris wheel but for whatever reason they call it a giant wheel. The ticket counter girl said it’s because it’s bigger and a ferris wheel, but I don’t think it seems that big.


I have wanted to ride this for years now. It’s always lit up so pretty at night and I pass it all the time. It was fun to cross it off my lil bucket list. It’s one of the ‘one and done’ kinda things that I probably won’t do again but I’m glad I got the chance.


On the way to the car we saw Yogurtland and stopped in for a little bit. Have you tasted the new pumpkin mousse flavor? I liked it, but didn’t love it. The mango is amazing though.


But, the real grand finale was Cheesecake Factory. We had already decided to get a fancy piece for home and had to stick with the plan. It was National Pumpkin Cheesecake day, but I’m not big on non-chocolate dessert so we went with some fancy nutella crunch piece.


I had a taste when we got home and saved the rest for the next day. It was delicious, but I would always rather have cake than cheesecake. So if you’re keeping track .–> chocolate > pumpkin and cake > cheesecake in Monican’s world. Thank you.


Saturday morning I got up before the sun for a long run. I ended up running 18 miles at a 8:45 pace. I’m happy with that since Long Beach was only two weekends ago. I do need to work on a long term plan for training but wasn’t sure how I’d feel coming off Long Beach. So far so good, but I need to spend some quality time stretching today!


Now I’ve got to clean and be productive for a bit before I can mess around again and go see my family!


Hope you’re having an amazing Nutella cheesecake filled weekend too!


Question: Pumpkin or Nutella?


The post The Great Wheel and Nutella vs Pumpkin appeared first on Run Eat Repeat.

We met Gregor and Eva in Meanach Bothy. The first thing we noticed when we entered the room - a young guy at the other room was pointing out that we would find a German couple there - was them dining happily on a cheese fondue they made while we knew our supper would be packet lentil soup and just maybe a cookie. The second thing was how their 40L rucksacks were a lot smaller than our 70L ones. It wasn't before the next morning that we saw the huge glass of Nutella they had.


It turned out they were hiking through the Western Highlands for two days only, journeying on to Shetland afterwards. The next day, they went on to Corrour Station to catch their train. The path to Corrour and Loch Ossian happened to be our trek as well, but unfortunately we didn't meet again after they left.

so, here we are... december 31, 2008...

after having completed one photo each week with my girls and myself.


i'm actually having quite mixed emotions about reaching this point.

on the one hand, it's awfully nice not to *have* to take a photo each week.


on the other hand, it was a great challenge to decide which pictures to take, and then to actually get them taken.


and furthermore... i found that i loved doing it.

i loved trying to capture our lives weekly, to help remember some of our favorite moments.


back in january 2008, when i began with what were essentially snapshots, i thought that i'd surely be trying to take more "artistic" pictures in the weeks to come.


as time went on, however, i realized that, rather than taking posed, head-on, smiling pictures... or rather than taking super-artsy ones... what i most enjoyed was trying to capture our lives just as they were.


and so i set out to take pictures of whatever was most important to us that week. nearly every holiday is represented in this 52 week journey, but even more common are photos of whatever else was going on in our lives, from swimming to nail-painting to dressing up to making cookies.


looking back, i love seeing how ella and annie have grown over the course of the year.

i also love re-living all of our memories.

mostly, though, i love having so many pictures of us together -- it's sweet and lovely and gratifying to look and say, it was one helluva year... but through it all, we had a blast, and i love looking back and remembering.


on a side note... i'm also proud of myself for actually completing this 52 week challenge.

as someone who struggles daily with major ADHD, following through on things isn't exactly my strong suit. ;)

i'm (in)famous for getting an idea, starting out with gusto, overestimating what i can do, and then petering off to nothing.

but this time, i actually managed to do it, to take a photo every single week.

and, frankly, i'm proud of me for doing it. :)


i don't know what 2009 holds...

but if it has anywhere near as many joyful memories with ella and annie, i'll be one grateful and happy mama. :)

1. Nutella Coconut Cookies, 2. La Liberté II, 3. Pretty Weed, 4. An Apple a Day..., 5. Favorite shoes, favorite mug, 6. Amarillo Optimista, 7. Waves, 8. Mama's New Toys, Part 3, 9. Dew, 10. Hello Fall, 11. Photography makes my heart sing, 12. Golden Snowflakes


Created with fd's Flickr Toys



1. January: I learn how to "see" with the one and only Jackie Rueda . I am profoundly and forever changed. For the better.

2. February: I start experimenting with self portraits. I see my self with different, kinder, eyes. It's strange and lovely.

3. March: I realize how much beauty there is around me. Even weeds seem beautiful. Wonderful friendships are formed, tied by a love of photography.

4. April: Ordinary objects become fascinating. Sharing a love for photography with my husband (aka "my partner in crime") fills me with joy.

5. May: I fully realize how much talent can be found on flickr. My mind is blown and I find inspiration on every corner.

6. June: The world seems brighter, warmer. I struggle to find balance between the intense desire to create and all the balls I am already juggling. My oldest daughter's birthday, which we celebrated while on vacation, is one of the absolute happiest days of my entire life. I will never forget it.

7. July: I enjoy capturing ordinary moments of our summer. Slices of this wonderful life I am so lucky to have.

8. August: I get some new toys and I am smitten. I fear an intervention might be needed at some point :)

9. September: It sucks. No two ways about it. Death, uncertainty, stress, sickness. Yet, I still manage to find beauty.

10. October: My favorite month. I immerse myself in all things fall. Pumpkins and leaves never seemed so beautiful before. It's a great month.

11. November: My father in law has a very serious operation. We experience tense moments but thank God everything works out. I am slightly frustrated that I can't seem to take good pictures of my children (specially the little one) but I am still in love with still life. And with photography, no doubt about that.

12. December: A wonderful month, filled with joy, twinkling lights and love. I could not ask for more.


And that's it! 2010 is the year I discovered my passion for photography so it will always have a special place in my heart. I have great hopes and plans for 2011. I wish only good things for all of you. Peace and love.


En español en los comentarios.

Review: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas — Terrace One Bedroom

The Points Guy


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In April, TPG Associate Editor Emily McNutt and several other TPG staffers took a food-fueled trip to Las Vegas with Chase Sapphire Preferred at Vegas Uncork’d. Knowing they were all going to be in Sin City at the same time for the same event, they chose to stay in three different hotels — all in the name of hotel reviews. Click here for a review of the Vdara, and stay tuned for a review of The Palazzo, coming soon!


With this being my first-ever trip to Las Vegas, I’d only heard about the different properties and all they have to offer — I’d known about the Bellagio because of its famed fountains and seen Caesars Palace in “The Hangover,” but The Cosmopolitan’s name always came up because of its chic styling and flashy interior. So, when I found out I was going to be staying at the property during our four-night stay, I was really excited to try out the hotel and see all that it had to offer for myself.




The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas from outside.

A few years ago, it was announced that The Cosmopolitan was going to become part of Marriott’s expanding Autograph Collection. As an Autograph Collection property, Marriott Rewards members can earn and redeem points at The Cosmo like they would at any other Marriott property — a definite advantage if you’re planning a Vegas trip and want to earn elite-qualifying nights.


I stayed in a Terrace One Bedroom room, which was going for around $232 per night, although on the Friday and Saturday during my stay, the rate jumped to around $350. Knowing we were going to be in town for four nights, the last two being a Friday and Saturday, I took advantage of the Citi Prestige card’s 4th night free benefit. The four-night stay would have cost me $1,416, however the 4th night free benefit saved me $382 for Saturday night, and the total instead came to $1,034.


The Marriott Rewards points-earning total for the stay.

In addition, the four-night stay earned 14,300 Marriott Rewards points (including a 2,860-point Gold bonus), which were credited about 10 days following checkout.




I arrived at The Cosmopolitan on Wednesday afternoon around 1:30pm. When I walked in, I was blown away by the number of people at the front desk trying to check in.


The check-in line on a Wednesday afternoon was pretty long.

Fortunately, one benefit of Marriott Gold status is an opportunity to bypass the main check-in line and go to the Autograph Lounge, an area just for Marriott Rewards members located just off to the side from the front desk.


Upon entering the lounge, I was greeted right away by a friendly receptionist. There was a selection of refreshments available, including coffee and water. It was nice to be welcomed to the property in such a way when just outside the door things were so chaotic. The check-in process itself was really smooth, and the agent confirmed that she saw the Marriott Rewards number attached to the reservation.


The Autograph Lounge next to the front desk made for an expedited check-in process.

The Room


My Terrace One Bedroom was located on the 29th floor. Keep in mind that there are two towers at the Cosmopolitan — the East Tower and the West Tower. The main floor of the East Tower is occupied by the hotel’s casino, while the main floor of the West Tower is occupied by the hotel’s lobby, which makes it more convenient to head straight up to your room after checking in. Additionally, the hotel’s car service and valet area are located right outside the doors of the West Tower lobby, which is where you’ll also find the Uber pick-up area.


Upon opening the front door, you’ll have a pretty straight view to the back of the room and the balcony. Just to the left is the living room area and to the right is the kitchen area (more on those later).


Looking from the front door area to the back of the room.

The Terrace One Bedroom is very much a railroad-style room. It’s long and somewhat narrow, but does manage to feel very spacious.


Facing the other way.

The kitchen is essentially in the living room area and comes with a mini-fridge, microwave, sink and some storage space.


The small kitchen area.

The one thing that immediately caught my attention upon entering the room was the light — or lack thereof. I was so surprised with how little light there was in the living room area that I was convinced I was skimming over a light switch completely — there had to be more light. After about 10 minutes of searching for additional light, I heard the housekeeping staff outside and asked them for help. Even the housekeeper who came inside to help was confused as to why it was so dark in the room — she was even ready to call maintenance to come in and fix the problem.


A dark entryway, with light coming from the kitchen.

Just as she was about to leave, she pressed the light switch one more time and a small amount of light appeared from the ceiling and projected directly onto two pieces of artwork in the living room. That was the only source of light in the living room beside the kitchen light and a nearby desk lamp. The light situation could have been easily fixed with the addition of a larger ceiling light — if you were entertaining a group in your room, it would be weird welcoming your guests into such a dark, dungeon-esque space.


The living room furniture was a bit outdated as well and looked like it should probably be cleaned. I avoided using the couch at all because it looked like there was a lot of wear and tear, something I wasn’t expecting to see at a hotel like The Cosmopolitan. I did expect to see some wear and tear, as is common in every hotel, just not that much.


The living room with two newfound lights.

Thankfully, the hallway area between the living room and the bedroom had a nice amount of light thanks to a large chandelier in the center of the room. There was a nice ottoman in the center as well, and I ended up storing my suitcase there for the relatively short four-night stay.


The closet area provided some much-needed light and storage space.

There was plenty of closet storage space, which I also made use of. There were automatic lights in the closet, which provided ample light to see everything in there.


The closet itself was large.

Inside the far-right closet door were a safe and several labeled cubbies. Inside the cubbies, there was a bag for laundry, an iron, slippers and some shoe trees. It was nice to have these hotel essentials labeled and organized in one convenient place.


Inside, you’ll find your basic hotel amenities and a large ironing board.

After walking though the front door and passing through the living room and hallway, you’ll find the bedroom. The bed itself was nice — a king-sized bed, which proved to be extremely comfortable. I found there to be ample light in the bedroom, mostly due to the balcony’s natural light, a nice change from the living room.


The king-sized bed was really nice.

There’s a sliding door that separates the bedroom from the rest of the room. It’s really smooth and has its own lock — the same type of door also separates the vanity area of the bathroom from the rest of the room.


The bedroom itself is pretty spacious and there’s definitely enough room to maneuver around the bed. I think the glass window and open space to the bathroom really helped to make the room seem larger than it is.


Looking toward the (dark) living room from the balcony area — and the glass door looking into the shower.

The bathroom situation was a bit strange because of the room’s open view of the Japanese soaking tub. The tub and shower both run parallel to the bedroom and the tub has open access to the bedroom — there’s no glass, just a shade that you can draw. The floor-to-ceiling window on the other side of the TV, which lines up with the shower, is glass, however, there’s also a shade that you can draw for extra privacy.


I was staying in the room alone, so this really wasn’t an issue for me. However, if I were staying with a group, I could see how the multiple points of view opening to the tub and shower area could be problematic.


There’s no window separating the bedroom from the tub.

As previously mentioned, the room has access to a balcony, which is located opposite the door to the bedroom and has a sliding glass door.


Looking out toward the balcony.

Outside, there’s a single chair and ottoman, which was fine for a single traveler, but for a group, I imagine it would feel pretty crowded.


There’s a single chair and ottoman out on the balcony.

I did not have a fountain view room (one that looks directly over the Bellagio Fountain) and instead, my room faced the opposite way. If you’re familiar with the Strip, my view was looking toward the New York, New York Hotel & Casino and the MGM Grand. It wasn’t a bad view, and remained rather quiet each night I was there — even with one of the hotel’s pools several floors below my balcony.


The view from my room, facing South.

The Bathroom


The bathroom was definitely the highlight of the room — and you can tell that right when you enter. Everything looks clean — white towels accompany white drawers and sinks, while the lighting is very bright and fresh looking.


The bathroom was the highlight of the room.

The his-and-hers vanity area would have been extremely helpful if I were traveling with more people. Inside the drawers were all the basic bathroom amenities anyone would need — Q-tips, cotton balls and a hairdryer among other amenities.


The vanity area in the bathroom.

The entire bathroom and shower area was stocked with C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries products — everything from the mouthwash to the body lotion and facial soap. The scents matched each other and were all a very refreshing lavender and peppermint scent.


C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries products were placed throughout the bathroom area.

To the right of the vanity area was the toilet, which had its own door, great for privacy in a room that lacked general privacy features. Inside, the toilet room was very spacious, however the wallpaper was kind of dizzying — if you look closely, it features the pattern of silhouettes of women with their backs to each other. An interesting choice, but… Vegas.


The toilet room was large, but I wasn’t a fan of the wallpaper.

To the left of the vanity was the shower and Japanese soaking tub area — my favorite part of the room. Everything from the tiling on the wall to the amenities made it an absolutely amazing shower.


The shower/tub area.

The shower area itself was massive and lead right to the tub. The head of the shower was very tall and just about touched the ceiling. Everything from the water pressure to the temperature to the shelving in the shower was fantastic, almost spa-like.


There’s plenty of space in the shower.

I didn’t end up using the tub, but it did look really nice. As you can see, there’s a ton of natural light streaming through balcony window and coming from the bedroom. The tub itself is very deep, adding to that spa-like experience.


I didn’t use the tub, but it looked amazing.

C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries products also flowed into the shower and tub area. In the shower, there were tubes of lavender and peppermint shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, and by the tub there was a bar of soap and shower cap provided.


Overall, the bathroom provided an amazing and refreshing shower and looked amazing, especially with the light reflecting off the tiles.


More C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries products were waiting in the tub area.

Service and Amenities


There were a variety of extra amenities, like a fully-stocked mini-refrigerator. If you’re looking to get your Vegas pregame started in the room, look no further than the mini-fridge.


The mini-fridge was completely stocked.

There was also a selection of snacks for you to munch on — everything from Fiji Water to Milano cookies, jelly beans, chocolate-covered almonds, cashews and Snickers, among other snack options.


There were plenty of snacks in the room.

It’s also worth noting the room’s abundance of power outlets. Just about everywhere I turned, there was an outlet — more than I’ve ever seen in a hotel room before. This is a great perk, and one that often goes unnoticed.


The room had more power outlets than any hotel room I’ve been in so far.

I took the opportunity to try out The Cosmopolitan’s room service one morning and I was incredibly satisfied. I didn’t really have high expectations for room service, so my meal completely blew me away. I opted for the Nutella-stuffed French toast, which was topped with a crispy and delicious Corn Flake crust. As you can see, the Nutella was oozing from the French toast, and it was perfectly cooked — I’m still thinking about how good that was!


I also opted for the organic yogurt and berries — not only was the yogurt delicious, but the berries were all extremely fresh and ripe. The whole meal was an opinion-changing room service experience.


A phenomenal room service breakfast.

If you’re thinking of staying at The Cosmopolitan — or just strolling through its lobby and casino — it’s well worth your time to stop at The Chandelier, the hotel’s multi-story bar.


The multi-story Chandelier bar and lounge area.



If you’ve been to Las Vegas before, you know that many hotels are pretty strict about their 11:00am checkout times. For that reason and knowing it was on a Sunday and most people would be checking out right around that time — probably after a long night out — I chose to checkout from my room. By simply dialing down to the front desk, I was able to checkout without having to wait in line or incur a late-checkout fee. As you can see from the photo below, there was in fact a busy cluster of people in the lobby waiting to checkout around 11:00am.


The mass amount of people waiting to checkout at 11:00am.

Bottom Line


Overall, my stay at The Cosmopolitan was great. In a city where a hotel has to be over-the-top enough to stand out from the rest, The Cosmopolitan really stands out and I had a great stay. My only complaint was with the lighting in the living room of my Terrace One Bedroom room, which wasn’t that big of a deal considering I didn’t spend much of my time in the room anyway, especially the living room. The bathroom really made the room worth it, and I’d consider staying in the same room again just for the bathroom. I’d definitely consider staying at The Cosmopolitan again on my next trip to Las Vegas — the experience definitely lived up to my expectations.


Have you stayed at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas? Tell us about it, below.


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The post Review: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas — Terrace One Bedroom appeared first on Elite Limo.



How are you today? How about making Easy Nutella Cookies?


How are you today? How about making Easy Nutella Cookies?

Here are some of my latest cookie creations - you can see how I made them on YouTube.

#cookies #baking #pacman #nutella #cookiepops #rainbow


How are you today? How about making Easy Nutella Cookies?

How are you today? How about making Easy Nutella Cookies?