Doe Eyes

“What do you mean I’m too cute for words?”

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Snow Baby ~

Everyone meet Bryce, the munchkin I nanny! It’s snowing again here in NY (surprise…) so we decided to take advantage of a little break in the flurries and go play in it this morning! The result was too much cute for even me to handle:

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This little one has the most incredible blue eyes and they express so much! She’s a pretty cute little snow baby!

Throwback Thursday

Throwing it back to almost 2 years ago to the Snowpocalypse of Portland on February 8th of 2014.

Portlanders almost never see snow, but when we do, we celebrate!

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The dogs had a blast running around and playing in the fluffy snow.

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It didn’t last long with wind chills in the teens, but we enjoyed it before hypothermia could enjoy us. It seemed like crazy weather then, but who am I kidding, after spending last winter in Kansas and now living in upstate New York!

What’s Inside?

Remember our cute corner abode that I shared with you guys about a week ago?

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Well I finally got around to taking interior photos! Shoutout to Abby for sending my tripod to me after I left it at her house when we were staying with her before moving. Oops. I assure you I’ll never be doing that again.

I’m so excited to finally give everyone the grand tour!

There’s no obvious place to start because this place has 3 entryways (what the heck?!), so we’ll start at the front, in the Man Cave. Please remain seated and keep all appendages inside the vehicle at all times. 😉

The window behind the couch is actually a bay window, one of which I have dreamed of having for years! From the front, it’s the window with the Blackhawks banner in it. I’m sure we’ll get a lot of flack for being Blackhawks fans in the land of the Rangers, not to mention all the Canadian teams. Hehe…

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Directly across from the front door and around the corner from the entertainment center is the dining room that has yet to be dined in. In our last place, we had a bar adjacent to the kitchen counter, which explains those three lonely stools. I love how open all of this is – no doorways or narrow hallways that are typical in houses of this period. And don’t even get me started on the beautiful floor!

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This is one of the rooms I am most excited about, naturally. When we toured this place before picking it, I remember exclaiming, “Oh my gosh, look at that back-splash!”. Can you tell I’ve watched a few HGTV shows? Although you can’t see it in this photo, there is a fridge and another entryway in the kitchen.

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To the left of the stove is the basement door. I figured I’d save you guys the sight of a million spiderwebs and the all-around creeps that come with an unfinished basement. EEK! To the left of this doorway is the third entryway, and to the right is an office space that is currently being used for storage, I thought I’d save you the sight of junk too! How about that bathroom though?

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It doubles as a laundry room, which I much prefer to trekking down into the creepy basement to switch loads of laundry like I imagine I would have had to with the original layout of the house. I absolutely love the light in here. I know I sound like a spazz, saying I love the light in the bathroom, but I can’t help it! Now back to the dining room and we’ll see the upstairs.

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Fun fact: socks and stairs are never a good idea, even with carpet. I slipped halfway down the stairs while brushing my teeth earlier this week. I ended up plowing down them on my tush, so it was almost reminiscent of my childhood, minus trying to avoid choking on my toothbrush. Coordinated, I know.

This is our little sanctuary 🙂 We don’t have a ton of furniture yet, because our last place was a 2br apartment, but it will all come with time! Our room actually has 2 closets. The one with the mirror on the door is really creepy and even locks – I don’t want to know why. The other door, next to the bed, is like the entrance to Narnia! This closet is huge – I’m willing to bet it has close to the same square footage as the kitchen!

Bathroom #2, featuring a really deep tub, which I stuck my tripod in to capture the photo of the sink. Improvisation should be my middle name.

This is my yoga room, or choice #1 for guests coming to visit us. Speaking of, who will be first to visit New York?! I’ll feed you well! 😉 It also has a pretty large closet, which I have already filled up with all of my stuff. I figure this room would make a pretty great spot for some photos, too.

Last but not least, choice #2 of rooms for when guests come to visit. Also a good spot for photos with all that natural light. Nothing special, and more space than we know what to do with at the moment, but if someone were to come visit… *cough*

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There you have it, home of the Potestas 🙂 I can’t wait to fill this place up with more photos and some more furniture, and of course, some guests!

White Out ~

I thought I knew what snow was. I’ve seen my fair share of school closures and snow days, been skiing and snowboarding, and caught fat, wet flakes on my tongue. But I have never seen so much snow, falling so hard, that I couldn’t see the end of the block.

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None of these pictures do it justice and really only show the aftermath of last night’s lake-effect blizzard. Seeing all of this, I can’t help but laugh at Portland. School would have been cancelled the night before an event like this. I can remember several times we would be granted a “snow day”, only for everything to melt by noon. Here? No school closures -Watertown is very well stocked with snow plows.

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They run on a pretty regular schedule, which is great because it prevents the city from collapsing. It certainly gets annoying, though, living on a corner and hearing them go by every two hours, all night long. Up one street, then back down the other side. Up the other street, and then back down, passing our bedroom window 4 times with each trip. Hellooooo, New York.

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Lake effect snow is no joke. That lump in the bottom right corner is my car, tucked under 10+ inches of powder. I snapped this photo because of the icicles – the ones on the corners of the roof are about 4 feet long! We have to dodge a few to even get inside our back door. I can’t bring myself to knock any down, they’re so pretty!

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…And a bit scary. One of the many times it comes in handy being a shorty.

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Snow is like sand in that it is incredibly detailed and fine, but can build something spectacular when there’s enough of it. I’ll let you find the analogy there. 😉

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It’s also crazy to think that each flake is completely different from all of the others falling around it. Snow is absolutely mesmerizing to me, but my poor husband is sick of it. I can’t help it! I’ve seen more snow from less than a month of living here than in a single winter spent in Portland.

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Glad I’m not the only one enjoying myself 🙂 I met the neighbors while walking around, enjoying the snow. Too cute.

Enjoy this snow – we have enough to share!

Breakfast Cookies

I’m guilty of being a slug in the morning – make a nutritious breakfast? Ha! More like eat a cookie with my coffee. I just can’t remember what “nutritious” means that early in the morning 😉

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I am the queen of trying new things – routine makes me feel extremely claustrophobic. Plus there’s the voice in my head always saying “what if!”. What if I miss out on a fantastic recipe because I’m too busy making the same one I’ve made a hundred times? I’m like a Pokemon player in the kitchen – gotta try them all!

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I only have a few recipes on hand that I make often, like my jambalaya, burrito bowls, and pork tenderloin with sweet potato hash. These insanely simple recipes will be shared soon! Another classic in my kitchen is my Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie. Versatile, simple and easy-peasy, I make this one quite often.

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Trying to keep these as healthy as possible, I scoured the pantry for some dried fruits and came away with Craisins – yum! I knew they’d be tasty as I’ve made these cookies with Craisins a few times. Well, genius that I am, I had the dough base finished and was about to stir in the dried cranberries before I realized they were actually blueberry Craisins. Oops. I was a little worried that these blueberries would taste funny in the cookies, what with the recipe calling for maple syrup and cinnamon. That was a flavor combo I couldn’t even imagine. I scooped some dough onto a spoon, topped it with a couple dried blueberries and then came the moment of truth.

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It was delicious! Tart blueberries and a unique hint of sweet maple syrup combined with cinnamon-y spice was an explosion of new flavors. I immediately dumped half the bag of dried blueberries into the bowl and stirred away, already counting the minutes till I could try one warm and fresh from the oven. Thick, fluffy, and chewy, they tasted even better baked! How ironic that I was planning on making a classic recipe and then accidentally turned it into a new creation. Improvisation and creativity in the kitchen are so important! Make a mistake like I did? Who cares.. just roll with it. 🙂

If you want to invent your own breakfast cookie, or just love oatmeal cookies in general, here is the recipe for my Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie. Follow the directions for the cookie dough base, and then mix in anything your heart desires! If you come across an awesome flavor combination, please let me know so I can try it too!

Snow Day Cookies!

Since we’ve moved to New York, it has snowed more days than not. By no means am I complaining, though – I absolutely love snow. My poor husband thinks I’m a nut because he grew up in Chicago, so he’s more than used to snow. His snow smarts come in handy though, with teaching me how to shovel the snow (harder than it sounds!) and how to drive in the slick slush. It’s good to know, but I’d much rather stay home and make snow sprinkled cookies to share with you guys!

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This is another recipe from my favorite food blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction! She’s turned me into a cookie fiend. These are her fluffy, buttery Cake Batter Sugar Cookies with a snow-like sprinkle twist.

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With our moving and driving cross-country during the Holidays, Bobby and I finally had our Christmas on Saturday. He spoiled me: I was soooo excited to open a bag and see a Silpat baking mat! It’s a non-stick baking mat that’s safe up to 500* (higher heat tolerance than parchment paper), and it delivers even heat transfer – ensuring perfect cookies and pastries. I have wanted one of these for the longest time!

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Snow Day + Silpat = the perfect excuse for a baking frenzy!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup (40g) sprinkles, for rolling

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350*. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat like Silpat. Pour 1/4 cup sprinkles onto a plate to use for rolling and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. I don’t have either of these (hopefully my next kitchen toy!), so I use a whisk to whip it all together. I don’t mind – it makes for pretty impressive forearm muscles 😉 Beat in the egg yolk, butter extract, baking powder, and salt. Because I’ve basically had to “start over” in my kitchen with spices and things of that nature, I substituted vanilla for the butter extract. Still absolutely delicious! Add the flour, and mix until a soft, thick dough forms. Gently stir in sprinkles and be careful not to over-mix.

Roll dough into teaspoon size balls. Ensuring that the balls are tall, rather than wide will give you a fluffier, thicker cookie. Send the dough balls through the reserved sprinkles, then set them about an inch apart on your prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, watching closely at the 9 minute mark to assure they do not brown.

Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a cookie rack to cool completely. Cookies remain fresh up to 1 week covered at room temperature.

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Melt-in-your mouth cakey goodness while watching the snow fall? Hello, Monday.

I’ll be trying out some New York “signature” recipes soon – think NY-style pizza, cheesecake, etc., so stay tuned!