Wednesday, July 29, 2009

copy cat

i was inspired by my successful fondant experiment and wanted a treat from baked and wired (so much better than g'town cupcake). but instead of trekking my way into the city, fighting for parking and possibly getting disappointed (they have limited offerings of each flavor), i decided to just make my own version of lemon cupcakes with raspberry filling.

i started with a basic yellow cake and vanilla buttercream recipe and experimented with lemon zest and juice. then i injected some raspberry jam/preserves... and viola!

it's not the magically dense yet moist baked and wired cupcake - mine were fluffy instead -- but was very lemony.

ps. i still want cupcakes from baked and wired.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


i spent most of this weekend trying my hand at ousting duffy of ace of cakes... (ha, riiight). my sister asked me make a crazy, tea-sized, alice in wonderland themed cake for my nieces birthday party as a nice addition to the cupcakes and ice cream cakes already on the menu.
it's not perfect, but considering this is only my second attempt at fondant, i think it came out pretty well.

my sister did a great job decorating my parents backyard as a garden party gone mad.

the mad hatter made an appearance to do a magic show, face painting and some awesome balloons.
happy 4th birthday janiya!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

riding the mexican train.

this is why we're hot [while chrys' neighbors played beer pong]

life's been a little crazy since i've returned from the beach but the girls and i still managed to have some good, old man, dominoes fun.

mrs. p4d hosted us on her glover park roof deck and we had a nice sunset dinner overlooking the national cathedral, washington monument, capitol, and even got a view of the nat's fireworks.

for our dinner theme, we decided to play up on the rules of the game ... aka... mexican [train] night!

k made a ridiculous mountain of ultimate nachos
complete with chili, corn, black beans and refried beans

peach sangria + rooftop deck = good night

new to my repertoire - black bean & chorizo empanadas
(watch out julias!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

part II: nags head

for those that don't like reading. *ahem*cousins*sister*ahem*.

independence day fireworks in front of our house | july 2009 | nags head, nc

massive [click to see the people on dunes] | july 2009 | nags head, nc

buried [dunes] | july 2009 | nags head, nc

snake tracks [dunes] | july 2009 | nags head, nc

beach house #3 | july 2009 | nags head, nc

nags head pier at sunset | july 2009 | nags head, nc

Monday, July 13, 2009

to do: nags head

much like most of the dc metro area, i'm a sucker for the outer banks. while it's not wild and crazy like dewey beach, the OBX have its own perks of relaxation.

this post is going to be fairly long. i know some of you just look at pictures *ahem* but, forgive me, i'm a little biased. my family used to own a house down there so my childhood memories are punctuated with spending my spring breaks and at least one week in the summer at the beach. it's one of my favorite places to go, if for nothing else but nostalgia.

my cousins have started to continue the tradition and we try to go every couple of years. this year was no exception and i enjoyed getting out a bit to go fishing, spend some time on the beach, climb some dunes and just chillin in "our" beach house.

here are my suggestions for a a good time in the outer banks --

  • buy local. the ride is pretty slow through currituck county going 50mph (or 25mph less, depending on traffic - ugh) on a two lane road on the way to the bridge to the islands. take a stop at one of the many farmers markets the dot the side of the road near grandy (you can't miss them, really - sorry, they dont have web sites). i chose to stop at powells -- i couldn't resist their cute signs. stop for organic peaches, boiled peanuts (yum!) and homemade jams among other things. the produce is top notch and definitely cheaper than going to the overpriced and often picked over big brand grocery stores (only a handful on the banks).
  • get a house near the beach. with 10 kids under the age of twelve with us, it was imperative we got a location within walking distance of the beach. we had a house across from a main entrance of the beach, not a two minute walk. we usually go for village realty as they are more economical and have a good inventory of bigger houses. if you're into luxury, check out carolina designs, their houses are super comfy and have movie rooms.
  • relax and drive through. the obx is the epitome of relax... AKA lazy. go with it. the outerbanks is known for its brew-thrus. drive through for beer, snacks and other kitchy souvenirs. down south, there is also sonic (strawberry limeade is perfect for a hot, summer day!). and in kill devil, they have a drive thru dairy queen. um, and yes, i went through all of these in my car.
  • go for independence day. we were able to book at house for the 4th and our house was in the middle of 4 fireworks displays in all directions. one of them was the main nags head show, which was front and center of our house just a few hundred yards away. sitting on our deck without getting smushed on the mall and having to cram into a metro car post-fireworks was a big plus. even better? sitting in the hot tub on our deck with beer and watching fireworks. so nice.
  • eat seafood. i didn't get to go to all of these, but between my 23 cousins, i think we got them covered. captain georges seafood house (dungenous crab, yum), mako mikes (they have shark tanks inside), awful arthurs (known for oysters), and austin sea food house (you can pick up bushels of crabs here).
  • pig out. nc is known for barbeque. i didn't have time to stop for bbq on this trip but i was encouraged to go next time around. my cousins and friends raved about pigmans bbq and sooeys.
  • go fishing. you can go fishing on the nags head pier for about $10 a day with a permit (no license necessary). if you want to go beach fishing, you will have to go get a state license. on the pier, you can catch spanish mackerel, bluefish, spot, shark (you have to throw them back), flounder, and of course, crabs. don't forget to check out the fish size regulations to make sure you're not fishing illegally! there are such things are fish police (game wardens). check out our catch here.
  • start a fire. nags head actually allows bon fires on the beach. don't forget to get a permit (from the cute fireman near mile post 12.5) , pay your ten bucks, and smores it is!
  • enjoy the water sports. we were able to spent some time getting out for some adventure. a few of us went parasailing (the best part is getting dunked). and after i left back for dc, a group went kite surfing and jetskiing (hmpf! i wish i could have stayed longer to get in on some of that action). for parasailing, we went with kitty hawk sports but there is also grogs watersports.
  • climb mountains. of sand, that is. nags head as a few sand dunes part of jockey's ridge state park. this is probably one of my favorite things to do in nags head. the views are amazing and while it's not a real desert, it's a good work out climbing up sand. i went here for a quiet morning sans kids and took some photos before the tourists showed up. it was really serene. pics to come!
have i convinced you to go yet?

Monday, July 06, 2009

gone fishing!

relaxing on the pier | nags head, nc | july 6, 2009

after working remotely from the beach for a good part of the day, i slipped away for a couple of hours to go fishing. i grew up fishing with my father, so no matter how much i squirm touching the bloodworms, i actually really enjoy it.

here are some shots from today:

fallen between the cracks | nags head, nc | july 6, 2009

left for the seagulls | nags head, nc | july 6, 2009

bait & hooked | nags head, nc | july 6, 2009

not our catch | nags head, nc | july 6, 2009

our big catch! | nags head, nc | july 6, 2009

outer banks photos

photo by parkerspain

it's raining on the outer banks but while, of course, i'd rather it be sunny -- a rainy day here still beats a day at work.

however, i've started taking a photography class at the torpedo factory and have yet to find some good weather to do my homework. i'm sure i could take shots of things in the rain but, as a beginner, i'm not confident on finding correct lighting in the cloudy haze.

so instead, here are some fun shots that i've found on flickr. i'm not sure i will ever be this good, but it's nice to dream anyway.

bodie light house | photo by jim frazier

nags head pier | photo by cary scott photography

kitty hawk | photo by cary scott photography

Thursday, July 02, 2009

i know i'm not the only one who <3's dc.

The lovely people at welovedc had a party last night (happy 1st!) and wore these shirts. How cute are they?

Buy the shirts at 237inc's etsy shop!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

my wish: to live simply

from our aunt's beach house in mindoro

kris w/ our nephews

my cousin rj w/another nephew in mindoro

my cousin kris (mentioned here), took these shots in her hometown of sablayan, mindoro. if only i were there now...
[it's going to t-storm in dc again. ...sigh.]