beet&baguette

food, travel, lifestyle, and a hearty serving of motherhood

Month: March 2014 (page 2 of 2)

A Quick Trip to the Coast

Well, the warm and sunny weather was nice while it lasted. We’re already back to dreary and rainy. My plants can certainly use the water, though!

Even though this picture is from last year, the plant outside has some little baby cilantro leaves, just like this!   You know what that means... fish tacos and fresh guacamole are not too far behind!

Even though this picture is from last year, the plant outside has some little baby cilantro leaves, just like this! You know what that means… fish tacos and fresh guacamole are not too far behind!

Rich and I drove to Wilmington yesterday to meet with a potential wedding officiant — and what a successful trip it was! We immediately felt at-ease when we met him. All of the stress surrounding the wedding ceremony simply fell away. We couldn’t be happier.

While on Topsail Island in the evening, we were able to enjoy a walk on the beach before the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped.

IMG_1035

IMG_1037

Richard found his first-ever shark tooth! He happily added it to the impressive and ever-growing collection at my parents’ beach house.

IMG_1043

IMG_1034

IMG_1048

We got entirely caught up on sleep.

Sometimes you just need a really good sleep-in, wouldn’t you agree? You know, a morning with no alarm clock staring back at you. Plus, being on a mini-vacation, it’s always nice to not be woken up by cats licking you or using the carpet as a scratching post.

Seriously, though. I’m a firm believer that sleeping-in can do wonders.

Breakfast

We cooked up a delicious hearty breakfast before hitting the road to head back to Apex this morning. A maple almond Wolferman’s English muffin with butter, fried eggs with Old Bay seasoning, and Morningstar Farms veggie sausages. Yum!

Coffee

In other news, I’m currently enjoying the caffeinated beverage shown above.

This evening definitely calls for cozying up with some of those magazines that I mentioned in my last post (yep, still so far behind), pinning recipes, and doing some meal-planning for Richard’s Mum’s visit next month.

Whew, it’s crazy to think that April will be here before we know it!

xo Cassie

Classic Lemon Bars

I’ve been pinning dozens of recipes lately, all contenders for some upcoming events on my calendar. I decided to take a stab at a dessert that I’d never made before — lemon bars!

I will warn you, when baking the crust portion, the edges got a little more brown that I would have liked, so I’d keep an eye on it when the 17-18min mark rolls around. And when the filling “jiggles” only slightly, they are probably done!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Just look at that gooey center… Yum!

Okay, onto the recipe!

Classic Lemon Bars by Food Network
Full receipe below yields 24 bars (I halved the recipe when I made them)

For the crust:
Spray canola oil, for greasing
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, diced
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:
4 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 8 lemons) — oh yeah, these babies are TART

To make the crust: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with vegetable oil and line with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; grease the foil with oil. Pulse the butter, flour, both sugars and the salt in a food processor until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Press evenly into the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the prepared pan, making sure there are no cracks. Bake until the crust is golden, about 17-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Whisk the whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and flour in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300F. Pour the filling over the warm crust and return to the oven. Bake until the filling is just set, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack, then refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Lift out of the pan using the foil and slice. If you’re feeling extra-fancy, dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

The flavor is tart and sweet, and just perfect for warm weather — with a tall glass of ice water to lessen that tart-cheek feeling!

Happy Friday!

xo Cassie

Spring has Finally Sprung!

That’s right, folks.

It’s finally here.

And yep, those are fake flowers. Don’t hate.

And yep, that wedding cake cupcake from Gigi’s does look amazing. So amazing that I think I will name it Dinner.

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of warmer weather (don’t get ahead of yourself, humidity… your time will unfortunately come), flower blossoms, green grass, blue skies, and the excuse to do some good old-fashioned day drinking hands-in-the-dirt gardening.

Ah, piles of fresh basil from our plants last year.  I can't wait until we can have fresh-from-the-garden pesto again!

Ah, piles of fresh basil from our plants last year. I can’t wait until we can have fresh-from-the-garden basil and cashew pesto again!

Today is a sunny and mild 65F — I could certainly get used to this. I’d prefer not to be spending 8 hours cooped up in an office, but such is life.

Rich and I are headed to Wilmington on Saturday to meet with a potential wedding officiant. A little beach relaxation is definitely what the doctor ordered, even if the weather isn’t QUITE at bikini-level yet. I’m just excited to make a dent in the mountain of magazines that has been piling up since last year. I mean seriously, between Food Network, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Food & Wine, and Rachael Ray, I will pretty much have must-try recipes to last me years. Meh, who doesn’t love being on “island time”?

Clouds doing their little dance at sunset on Topsail Island last year.  Oh, the sunsets that I've witnessed on that island... They never cease to amaze me.

Clouds doing their little dance at sunset on Topsail Island last year. Oh, the sunsets that I’ve witnessed on that island… They never cease to amaze me.

With all of the wedding planning going on, I have to stop and remind myself of NON-wedding plans on the horizon!

For example, next weekend, we’re driving up to D.C. for some city shenanigans with my brother, Patrick! It will be a tad early for the prime cherry blossoms, but he’s certainly got some great food and drink spots lined up, a river cruise, and a Busch Gardens visit! Can’t wait. Here is one of the breweries that we’ll be hitting up. Um, a “spiced sweet stout” called Mexican Radio? Count me in. I’ll provide a full-report.

What plans do you have for early Spring?

Gardening? Re-painting your house? Beach trips? Hosting a springtime brunch? Spring cleaning? Wine tastings? All of these? None of these?

I’d love to hear!

xo Cassie

I’m Baaaaaaaack!

Um, wow. If you know me in real life (that is to say, outside of blog-life, where I may as well be dead), you know that I have had a lot going on lately!

Here’s a fast-forward visual recap of what’s happened since my last post in July of last year (I know, I’m awful).

The Cabo trip with Rachel happened, and it was a BLAST!  Can't wait to do it again sometime!

The Cabo trip with Rachel happened, and it was a BLAST! Can’t wait to do it again sometime!

Um, yep -- Richard proposed!  We're getting married in December!

Um, yep — Richard proposed! We’re getting married in December!

We ran our first half-marathon!

We ran our first half-marathon!

Cat pumpkin.  Really, what more is there to say about this?

Cat pumpkin. Really, what more is there to say about this?

The better half of our Christmas tree (the bottom has been destroyed by cats).

The better half of our Christmas tree (the bottom has been destroyed by cats).

NC has seen lots of snow this year!

NC has seen lots of snow this year!

Richard and I enjoyed a lovely Valentine's weekend in Asheville.

Richard and I enjoyed a lovely Valentine’s weekend in Asheville.

We met Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter -- amazing performance in Durham, NC.

We met Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter — amazing performance in Durham, NC.

I'm in FULL wedding-planning mode now!

I’m in FULL wedding-planning mode now!

Whew, that pretty much brings us to today.

Rich and I are working on a number of house projects, so those will soon begin making their way into posts, as well as some recipes and travel tidbits.

Oh, and wedding stuff.

Watch out for that.

It’s coming.

You know it is.

Newer posts

© 2017 beet&baguette

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑