Monday, September 30, 2013

Make Your Own Wine!

remember way back here...when i mentioned that husband and i were making our own wine? well, we finally went back to bottle it this past week!

we went back to tigard wine crafters to bottle up our merlot we made back in july and it was so much fun. making your wine is a two step process (well probably a lot more than two steps, but you partake in two main steps).

on your first trip, you'll taste test a variety of wines and choose which one you want to make. when we went, she had three reds: a merlot, a cabernet and a blackberry merlot (we chose red but there's also white!) for us to taste and decide which one we wanted to make. we chose the merlot. we mixed everything together and she sent us on our way with instructions to design our very own label and come back in about 8 weeks. this allows the wine time to ferment and turn from essentially grape juice into wine.

this past wednesday, after returning from our mini anniversary moon  we headed back down to tigard wine crafters to bottle, cork, label and take our wine home! the wine continues to age in the bottles for the next 6-8 months and then it's ready to drink! we thought these would make great christmas presents for some of our friends and family back home, but i also think they'd be great as wedding favors or party favors too!

we chose to label our wine with the number "one" in honor of our one year wedding anniversary. inside the number one is the word "one" in as many different languages as we could think of....

if you're in the portland area, i highly recommend hitting up tigard wine crafters to make your very own wine! rumor has it there might be a living social deal for this sometime in november ;0)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Smitten Kitchen's Carrot Cake Cupcakes

i am learning that when it comes to desserts, my husband likes two LOVES two things. cookies and carrot cake. if i can find a way to turn carrot cake into a cookie, i think he might marry me all over again. i'm working on it ;0)

i had some spare time on my hands this past weekend (read: it was Sunday, which meant husband was watching football) and we had all the ingredients on hand for carrot cake (thanks CSA basket and your never ending supply of carrots) so i whipped up a batch of carrot cake cupcakes for husband to take to work with him (so i didn't eat them all myself).

they were delicious. but of course they were because i used the recipe from smitten kitchen, and well everything i make from her is mouth wateringly good. i skipped out on the nuts and raisins (i'm not a big fan of nuts or dried fruit in my desserts) and made a simple cream cheese frosting instead of the maple cream cheese frosting (only because i think cream cheese frosting is sweet enough on its own).

husband came home with rave reviews from his co-workers (score one for the home team!) and i may or may not have scored a back massage out of the deal. :)

head on over to smitten kitchen for the recipe!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Our Costa Rican Honeymoon

this is the last post about our anniversary....i promise! getting to escape on our mini anniversary moon, made me a little nostalgic for our ACTUAL honeymoon that we took last year.

getting married and jetting off to sunny costa rica the following day seemed like yesterday (i wish it were yesterday that i was sipping fruity cocktails on a costa rican beach but we don't always get what we want...) so i wanted to share some photos from our trip we took one year ago.

we stayed at hotel parador in manuel antonio and it was breathtakingly beautiful. i would highly recommend this place. also, definitely rent a allows you the ability to drive into nearby towns and explore on your own (which is what we did!).

here's a little sneak at our honeymoon photos from one year ago!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Mini Anniversarymoon

as i mentioned here, husband and i just celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. i can't believe how fast a year flew by. it feels like yesterday, we were packing up and moving to our new city and getting ready to get hitched. ;0) time really does fly when you're having fun!

to celebrate, husband and i took a mini vacation to my parent's beach house on hat island. a small island, located about 45 minutes by ferry from the everett marina up in washington state. there's nothing on the island except private residences and a little golf course. so when i say nothing, i mean nothing. no gas station, no grocery store, no restaurant or bar....i like to call it glorified camping (you know because it comes with perks like a roof over our heads, indoor plumbing and a kitchen).

it was awesome to get away and relax. we sat in the sun (for the one afternoon it decided to grace us with its presence), read books on the porch, went kayaking, took walks on the beach, watched lots of movies (husband watched lots of football), built fires and ate and drank to our hearts content. husband entertained me wanting to stage a photo shoot every step of the way (he's such a good sport).

we ate the top of our wedding cake (surprisingly still sooo good! drank fancy champagne (thanks Amy!), and read what people wrote on our puzzle guest book) and then put the puzzle together! it was pretty perfect. and we're lucky that we have a place to escape to that is so beautiful.

all in all it was a pretty great long weekend. one for the books. and i can't wait to celebrate many more anniversaries.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Acorn Squash Gnocchi with Thyme Brown Butter Sauce

i got the bright idea to make homemade gnocchi on a friday evening after work. i started making said gnocchi before reading the entire recipe. you know the part that would have told me this was going to turn into a 4 hour process. lesson learned.

that being said, i'm so glad that i finished what i started because it was pretty damn good. they weren't pretty mind you. i don't know how all those fancy pasta chef's can make the their pasta so pretty because mine looked a little beat up, but who care what they look like if they taste good, right?

i don't. husband didn't mind it either. so it was a win win situation :)

i took the recipe from Bon Appetite for their butternut squash gnocchi with sage browned butter, and changed it up just slight. i had an acorn squash, so i used that...and i wasn't about to run to the store for some sage when i was already eating dinner at 10:30 at night, so i used some fresh thyme i had on hand instead.

it was pretty darn good.

head over to Bon Appetite for the recipe! happy monday folks!