Dec 102012

I’m so excited to announce that The 2012 Food Blogger/Reader Holiday Auction is officially LIVE! Over 25 bloggers and 20 offline readers/friends have joined forces to put on a fantastic auction filled with baked goods and holiday-inspired gift items.

This year, The Holiday Auction is even more special to me because it’s in honor of my good friend Lori Hammond. Lori (age 24) was diagnosed with APL Leukemia on October 4th, 2012 just as she was starting Veterinary School at UC Davis. She fought the cancer into remission but it was no easy feat and still has outpatient chemotherapy down in San Diego to ensure it is gone for good. You can read more about Lori’s journey on her auction item page and/or through her blog.

Since Lori is a huge fan of food and cooking, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate her amazing strength and spirit than to bring together a group of like-minded individuals who share the same love for food.

100% of all the proceeds from this auction will be donated so I hope you will do some bidding! There are a bunch of wonderful items  that would make great gifts too :)


 Auction Details:
  • 100% of the proceeds will be donated. 50% will go to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the other 50% will go to Lori. Everyone will also have the option of donating 100% to LLS (per Lori’s request).
  • The auction starts Monday (today!) and goes until Thursday, December 13th, 2012. All winning bidders will have to pay within 24 hours after the auction ends or else the item will go to the 2nd highest bidder.
  • If you win, your item will be shipped no later than Monday, December 17th so it will arrive in time for the holidays. 
  • Bids are placed in the comments section of each item page.

Ok, Ready?

Check Out the Awesome Holiday Auction Items Here!

Below is a list of all the people who contributed to this auction. I am so appreciative of the bloggers, readers, and friends (even if we’ve never met) who have volunteered their time and baking skills to put this auction together. Thanks again for the wonderful items!


Angie – Bakerella 
Anjali – The Picky Eater
Annie – Social Potato Chips
Diane and Todd – White On Rice Couple
Gina –
Ishita – Bites Out of Life
Jen – Savory Simple
Jenny and Teri – Spoon Fork Bacon
J.K. and Angela – Teatime Adventures
Kita – Pass the Sushi
Kristin – Iowa Girl Eats
Laura – Family Spice
Lindsay – Love and Olive Oil
Michelle – Brown Eyed Baker
Rachel – Bakerita
Stephanie – 52 Kitchen Adventures
Stephanie – Steph’s Bite By Bite
Vanessa –



Carolyn and Liz

Jul 302012

Today I’m guest blogging over at 52 Kitchen Adventures! I was super excited when Steph asked me to be a part of The Chocolate Chipe Cookie Challenge. I made brown butter chocolate chunk cookies, and they’re pretty tasty if you ask me :) I talk about my favorite method for baking cookies, which results in perfectly baked cookies every time, as well as the key ingredients that will make your chocolate chip cookies stand out from the rest.

The best part about this challenge is that you’re invited to participate as well!

To read my guest post and to get the recipe for these brown butter chocolate chunk cookies, click here.

Happy Monday!

Apr 242012

If I stand behind my beliefs and the entire existence of this blog, then “life tastes like food”. Life should be adventurous, bold, daring, and enjoyable. It should be sweet, savory, meaningful, and tasty. I’ve been so wrapped up with work that I have forgotten to enjoy these bites of life lately. Until last weekend, that is.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling of working hard as well but sometimes taking personal time to just enjoy the company of others is much needed.

Step back. Take a breath. Smile. Sit. Enjoy.

Last weekend, I took a break from my weekly routine and spent some time back in Davis with a group of my closest friends. Friends near and far made their way back to Davis last weekend for UC Davis’ Annual Picnic Day, which is basically a huge open house for the UCD campus. Events go on all day long including Battle of the Bands, Doxin (weener dog!) races at the Pavillion, cow milking, and much more.

We UC Davis alumni like to take advantage of this day every year by catching up, playing lawn games, BBQing, and checking out all of the fun events that go on throughout the day. MAN, was it fun! It was so nice to see everyone and be back in my college town.

And we walked everywhere! Meaning, I exercised. <– Lame, I know but yes, I deem that exercise. I swear I’ll make it to the gym one of these days.

Oh, and remember all the guest posts I featured around Thanksgiving/Christmas? Many in this group were contributors! I’ve made shout outs to them throughout the post.

Anyway, here is the weekend documented via Instagram:

We started the day with a great breakfast. BACON! Thick cuts of amazing bacon…

There were also pancakes…shaped like koalas. That is talent right there, my friends.

We didn’t have any milk for the coffee but it worked out because we came up with the best drink of all time. Ready for this? Coffee, Kahlua, and a scoop of ICE CREAM! It. was. amazing. The combination of hot and cold was SO TASTY! Try it. Seriously.

Davis is a town all about bikes. It was only fitting to bring out the tandem and take it for a spin.

We played instruments and jammed out for a while. And by we, I mean my friends. I can’t play the drums, bass, or….

…RAKE. Yes, a rake is a musical instrument!

The weather was sunny and great. [Shout out to Amanda and Kristin! Remember their guest posts?!]

Food, beer, and a…hammer?! They were fixing up the tandem bike when I made them stop so I could snap this pic. [Will (tye die) and Tammer (bottom right) also wrote guests posts for LTLF!]

We also walked around at the Farmer’s Market in downtown Davis. It was so hot but the heat didn’t stop us from eating Indian food…nothing stops us from eating Indian food.

Vegetarian naan wrap:

Current housemate + old housemate = an overly happy me

After spending some time on Campus checking out the events, we played lawn games! This is a homemade ladderball set, folks.

Flowers were in bloom. Look at how awesome this looks:

Remember how I said Davis is all about bikes? This picture below proves it. Custom screen printed t-shirts. The UC Davis mascot is an Aggie so I give you…a horse riding a bike! Only in Davis. There was a whole group wearing these awesome shirts. I WANT ONEEE! Go Ags! [Nicole and Sheeter also guest blogged!]

Sometimes it rains on Picnic Day but not this one! I was so happy enjoy the warm weather and spend some time with Monica (another LTLF guest blogger!).

And it wouldn’t have been a complete trip to Davis if we didn’t make a visit to an all-you-can-eat sushi bar. It was just what I needed to end the weekend. I was so happy…stuffing my face with ungodly amounts of sushi.

What a fabulous weekend. :) Wish I could do it all again.

P.S. Recipe post to come later this week. I KNOW…exciting :)

Jan 032012

I had high hopes for this series, but what came out of it was even more amazing than what I had anticipated! The pictures, the stories, the creativity in the dishes…amazing. Simply amazing. 

I can’t thank everyone enough for participating in The Holiday Project. It made my holiday spirit burst at the seams! You guys rock. And to everyone that took time to read the guest posts, thank you for all of your sweet comments!

Here’s a final round up of all the readers and bloggers who participated.

Can’t wait to do this again next year!

  1. Bacon-Wrapped Abalone Poppers (By reader: Tammer from Oakland, California)
  2. Caramel-Glazed Apple Cake with Caramel Whipped Cream (By blogger: Rachel from Bakerita)
  3. Butternut Squash Soup (By reader: Lily from Brooklyn, New York)
  4. Whole Wheat Pomegranate Scones (By blogger: Laura from Family Spice)
  5. Piroghy Pie (By reader: Kristin from Elk Gove, California)
  6. Grain-Free Gingerbread Men (By blogger: Jenna from The Paleo Project)
  7. Beer Brewing, IPA Chicken Pockets, Stout Infused Pork and Chipa (By readers Amanda from Davis, California and Will from Chico, California)
  8. How to Holiday with an Australian Accent: Sausage Rolls and Pavlova (By blogger: Lucy from Lucy vs. the Globe)
  9. Teddy Bear Cake Pops (By reader Kaitlin from Woodland, California)
  10. Caribbean Eggplant Soup (By blogger Carsley from The Deep Dish)
  11. Chicken Taquitos with Homemade Guacamole and Salsa (By reader Adriana from Sacramento, California)
  12. Marinated Olives and Cheese (By blogger Carry from Our Life In Food)
  13. Strawberry Guava Crisp (By reader Jenna from Santa Barbara, California)
  14. Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream (By blogger Brooke from Baking With Basil)
  15. Rum Cake (By reader Monica from Walnut Creek, California)
  16. Holiday Health (By blogger Liz from It’s Unbeweavable!)
  17. Tres Leches Cake (By reader Alberto from Woodland, California)
  18. Speculaas: Dutch Spiced Biscuits (By blogger Yasmeen from Wandering Spice)
  19. Lasagna with Bolognese and Bechamel (By reader Lori from San Diego, California)
  20. The Power of the Internet and Friendship (By bloggers Camille and Marie from MyFudo)
  21. ‘Banh Mi’ — A Gourmet Vietnamese-Style Sandwich (By readers Sheeter and Nicole from Davis, California)
  22. Green Turkey and White Bean Chipotle Chili (By blogger Hayley from Simply Scrumptious)
Dec 302011

Today’s Blogger Guest Post for The Holiday Project:
Hayley from Simply Scrumptious 

[This is our last post for The Holiday Project, and we’re bringing it back to where it all started…San Francisco! Hayley’s blog is so amazing. Check out her tasty recipes when you get a chance!]


Hi! I’m Hayley (or Hayles as my friends refer to me) over at Simply Scrumptious. I’ve been writing my food blog for over a year now – jeez does time fly – and sweetheart Stephanie asked me to contribute a guest post as part of her Holiday Blogging Project. An honor indeed!

Stephanie just moved to San Francisco, which has been my home for about 4 years since I graduated Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. San Francisco is a diverse foodie city where you can find amazing ingredients at your local farmers’ market or grocery store or eat out at world-renowned restaurants. We pretty spoiled out here – just the way I like it.

I grew up enjoying cooking and generating my own recipes or adjusting other recipes: failures and all. I started the blog as a project I could do for myself and to share my recipes with you and the rest of the blogosphere. It’s a whole new world in here that has taken over my life. Cyber therapy may be in order.

Around the Holidays food consumes me or maybe I just consume food…but that’s a separate issue. The problem resides in the fact that I actually don’t spend much time cooking. I spend most of my time thinking about which dish I’m going to make for what special event is coming up (holiday/parties/family & friends get-togethers/etc). It’s exhausting.

I decided to share with you a healthy big pot type of meal that will last all week for lunch and dinner. This way you can spend the majority of your time thinking about other menu planning/social events and less time on what the heck your going to eat for dinner.

Oh, also this is a great winter treat –chili that will stick to your bones without adding to them, ha!

Green Turkey and White Bean Chipotle Chili
Adapted from Turkey Chipotle Chili
6 – 8 Servings

2 – 4 Canned whole Chipotle Chilies in Adobe Sauce (Can be found at Hispanic Markets and some grocery stores)
2 lbs Tomatillos
2 Large Yellow Onions diced
3 Tbsp Olive Oil divided
6 Garlic Cloves chopped
1.25 lb Ground Lean Turkey
2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
3 Cups Chicken Broth divided
1 tsp Oregano
4 Anaheim Peppers chopped
1 Jalapeño finely chopped divided (2/3 for sauté and 1/3 for garnish)
2 Cans White Cannellini Beans – drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp Cornmeal
1/2 Bunch Cilantro chopped
3 Limes divided
Sour Cream
Avocado chopped

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Remove husks from tomatillos. Rinse. Toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Place on cookie sheet and cook in oven until almost bursting, about 15 minutes. Blend in food processor until smooth. Place aside. Remove whole chilies from can and place in food processor. I like it spicy so I used 4, however use 2 if you like it less spicy. Blend in food processor with about ½ cup chicken broth until smooth. Set aside.
While your tomatillos are cooking, sauté onion and chopped garlic cloves with 1 Tbsp of olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat until onions are translucent. Add cumin and sauté for about 1 minute. Add turkey and break up into chunks. Cook until turkey is no longer pink. Add remaining chicken broth and oregano. Add tomatillo and chipotle puree. Simmer for 1 hour uncovered. Note: You may need to add additional chicken broth.
Meanwhile sauté Anaheim peppers with 2/3 chopped jalapeño until soft but not all the way cooked, about 5 minutes.
Once your chili has simmered for 1 hour add the pepper mixture, cornmeal, and beans. Simmer for another 20 minutes covered. Add cilantro and juice from 2 limes. Serve garnishing with lime wedges, sour cream, avocado, and jalapeño.

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