this abundant list

TAL 7 18 15

HAPPY SATURDAY! Waking up to thunder, rain, and lightning was unexpected, but welcome! It’s been a slow morning with green smoothies and toast with goat cheese and tomato slices. I’ll be relaxing at home until our Jr. High pool party this evening ūüôā What are your Saturday plans?

Whatever they are, please enjoy these summer inspired weekend links!

  1. 20 Summer Bucket List items for your family.
  2. How adorable is this summer swim suit?!
  3. Pinning & Twinning made my Minature Roasted Eggplant recipe.
  4. My new favorite author and the perfect summer reads can be foud here.
  5. The most EPIC road trip EVER!
  6. Moscow mules…in popsicle form!!!
  7. A challenge to all of us women out there from Piper.
  8. 2 fresh new looks for your home: one patriotic and one natural. Enjoy!
  9. 8 favorite summer outfits. Yes please!
  10. Whether you’re working, traveling, or picnicking…here’s how to pack healthy lunches.
  11. Even though I want every day to be a beach day, I still have to keep my house clean.
  12. My new favorite thing: Happy Hour Podcast with Jamie Ivey!
  13. Summer dinner made EASY and DELICIOUS.
  14. Need camping list items and tips? I’m your gal. Make sure to check out the whole 3 part series.

Happy Saturday & Happy Summer! Enjoy this season that the Lord has made!

xo sarah

our full life: week 21, 22, & 23

Hi again, friends!

Here is what the past (VERY busy/overwhelming/sad/happy/blessed) three weeks looked like:

monday chores.jpgMonday = chores & 5 loads of laundry day. Little did I know that this one of my last Mondays at home for a while. I was asked to pick up more hours at work and while it keeps me away from what I love doing most (home-making), I am earning a little extra money for the future. ūüôā

restraunt dinner at home.jpgThe picture doesn’t really do it justice, but this dinner was, in the words of my husband, “restaurant quality.” White wine braised chicken thighs, savory wild rice, and steamed asparagus with olive oil and garlic.

new starbucks.jpgStarbucks has been tempting me lately.

tues dinner.jpgDinner when Bret is gone: Eggs. Every. Single. Time.

neighborhood.jpgThe neighborhood.

dessert night.jpgI work within two (now three) separate youth ministries. Sometimes the same type of events fall at the same exact times. This time it happened with a Parent Dessert Night that I helped put on. Costco run to the max!

peets deal.jpgPeet’s always gets me with their coupons. Free vanilla macchiato? Don’t mind if I do!

mussels .jpgMussels in the Harbor. It was great to have lunch with our sweet Nannie.

nannie date.jpgChula Vista Harbor boat life.

peony season.jpgPink Peonies, take me away.

kettle date.jpgMy sister in Christ, walking pal, thrifting buddy, and beautiful friend Luanna.

taco tues.jpgTACO TUESDAY!!

granny's view.jpgI will miss this view. Not nearly as much as the people leaving it.

GBD2.jpgBaking Day with The Fields youth girlies! ‚̧

GBD.jpgThe “fruit” of our labor: chocolate pecan banana bread, chocolate oatmeal cookies, mint fudgey brownies. I just wish we had used more chocolate…

AND WE’RE (I’m) BACK!

xo sarah

pumpkin spice ice cream

PSI 3

Ice cream. It’s what’s for dinner. Well, not really. But I am an adult…I could totally have ice cream for dinner if I really wanted to. But then I would ruin my appetite for sweet potato tacos, roast chicken, and an incredible arugula salad.

Now that I am sufficiently hungry…let’s talk about this RICH and CREAMY¬†Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream. It has the finest ingredients, the perfect pairing of spicy sweetness, and just a little something special at the end.

Ever heard of the term Mis-en-place? It’s a planner’s heaven and baker’s best friend. Basically, it is a gathering and prepping of all your ingredients ahead of time. A helpful way to stay organized and make sure you have everything you need.

That being said:

PSI 1

Mis-en-place, like a boss.

You know who else does things like a boss? Williams-Sonoma. I can always look to them for a great recipe to jump off from and adapt. Here we go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream (I used Horizon brand)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmieg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Ice water/ice cubes (for setting)
  • 1 Tbsp. Hennessy Cognac (yup)

PSI 2

Directions: 

  1. In a medium-sized tupperware, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Seal your tupperware and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and cook over medium heat. Cook until you can see bubbles forming around the edges of the pan (no more than 5 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the 5 egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar until well combined/sugar dissolves.
  4. Next, remove the cream mixture from the heat. Slowly whisk about 1/3 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan.
  5. Cook over medium heat, keeping the custard at a low simmer and stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. The mixture should turn into a custard that will be thick enough to coat the back of your wooden spoon. this will be the sign that it is ready and should take no more that 5 minutes (Do not allow the custard to boil).
  6. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and ice cubes. Strain your custard through a fine-mesh strainer and into a medium-sized bowl. Place that bowl into the bowl filled with ice water. This allows the custard to set and cool. Then, after a few minutes, whisk the pumpkin mixture into the custard.
  7. Cover your pumpkin custard with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on to the surface of the custard. This prevents a skin from forming on the top while chilling. Refrigerate the pumpkin custard at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
  8. Transfer the pumpkin custard to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. Add the Cognac during the very last minute of churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe sealed container. Freeze for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, (if you can wait that long) before serving.
  10. Makes about 1 quart. ENJOY!!!

PSI 4

I brought a quart of this Pumpkin Spice and some Apple Spice to Community Group and they were both devoured. Noted: this recipe is a definite crowd pleaser!

What ice cream recipe would you like to see from me next?

xo sarah

pumpkin spice coffee cake

Fall in Southern California isn’t exactly what you would expect. Today is November 14th and it’s supposed to be 80 degrees outside!¬†If I could have any season last all year long, it would definitely be summer, so don’t get me wrong…I’m more than pleased. BUT at the same exact time, all I want to do is wear a beanie and my black jeans with a cozy scarf.

PSCC 1

I also want to eat all things squash, pumpkin, and apple. This week I made a few recipes to satisfy my cravings, but today I am sharing the easiest and best for hospitality.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping. YUM.PSCC 2

Honestly YUM¬†really inspired me, so I made their recipe and tweaked it just a bit. I also brought it to my Church Community Group the other night and everyone really loved it. It’s not overly sweet so it works for breakfast or dessert! It goes so well with a cup of coffee (shocker) or black tea. I also really liked that it got me into the fall season, even if the weather is not matching up quite yet.

PSCC 3

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream

Ingredients for Streusel:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

Directions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch bread pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Start by making the cake. Sift the first 7 dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Mix in the pumpkin puree and sour cream until well combined. Make sure the mixture is incorporating well and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  5. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture on the lowest speed until well combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, make the streusel. Mix the sugar, flour, spices, and salt in a bowl. Pour the melted butter over the sugar mixture. Combine the melted butter and sugar mixture with your hands.
  7.  When it is well combined, you will be able to pack it tightly into the bottom of the bowl. Then crumble it into pieces over the top of the cake batter.
  8. Bake your coffee cake for 50 minutes. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it’s done. ENJOY!

PSCC 4

Bring this delicious coffee cake to your next fall party, girls night, to the office, or even Thanksgiving! You will get all kinds of compliments. How sweet is that!

PSCC 5

I hope you have a splendid fall and enjoy this coffee cake time and time again. I know my family will.

xo sarah

this abundant list

TAL 39

  1. If you can’t be around a campfire, these smokey¬†s’more squares can be made right in your oven.
  2. What a beautiful way to decorate for a special event or shower. I love color!
  3. Make it on your own: super simple cold brew ice coffee.
  4. Mac & Cheese + Sriracha…I’m drooling over this combo.
  5. Ever wondered how to properly throw a mexican fiesta at home? Real Simple makes it really simple. See what I did there?
  6. Is your artistry an idol? Good read.
  7. Getting ready for the fall TV premieres never sounded so awesome, until now!
  8. Looking for a great coffee and tea spot? Best shortbread I’ve ever had, to date.
  9. The coolest 18 features about iOS7 that you probably didn’t know.
  10. Don’t throw away all those leftover pumpkin seeds. Bake them!
  11. THIS MONKEY BREAD. It’s bonkers good.
  12. I need this shirt. It will match my California birthmark!

Enjoy the links, friends! HAPPY FRIDAY!

xo sarah

i want dessert

So far, this week has been crazy.

My friend from work went into anaphylactic shock and I rushed him to the E.R. (prayers appreciated), I’m planning 3 youth weekend trips for this weekend (2 of which are camping trips), I worked out like a lunatic to blow off steam, and now I am just feeling totally brain-dead.

As far as tonight goes, I definitely still have a sink full of dishes to do, major details to plan/nail down, and lunch-packing to do (and why am i writing a blog at 9:30 at night?). BUT…dessert will be happening. It just has to. In 3, 2, 1….

I think I am going to have some homemade lemon froyo. What about you?

I hope you enjoy something delicious tonight. Whether it’s chocolate chips straight out of the bag, a piece of fresh fruit, or something decadent that would make me extremely jealous – like homemade tiramisu! Just enjoy!

Once life calms down a little, I am inspired to FINALLY try homemade ice cream. And when it comes to ice cream, I trust my friend Nicole.

Maybe I’ll try her Spiced Apple Ice Cream just in time for the fall! How cute is her handwriting!?nicoles ice cream 2

But I can never turn away a scoop of¬†Chocolate. So…BOTH it is!¬†nicoles ice cream

As always, dessert is a sweet treat that brings happiness with every bite, but the Lord and Savior Jesus is my true comfort. He is the incredible source of grace that sustains me through weeks like this one…and each and every day for that matter. Praise Him – the One whom I adore.

xo sarah

our full life: week thirty-four

OFL 34

34 weeks in this year so far, and summer is practically over. I love summer so much and I can’t believe its almost gone. Time goes by so quickly, and I am very glad to have these photo-documented posts to remind me of life’s joys, challenges, and changes. I hope your week was blessed with God’s grace! Enjoy all the coffee….

cornerbakeWork meetings usually include coffee. A perk I truly appreciate.

tea with friendsTea and raw desserts with some of my besties and our moms.

raw dessertsA closer look: apple crisp, fudge brownie, and strawberry shortcake.

ceilingSometimes the ceilings fascinate me.

leesh& momSuch pretties.

shavediceGreen tea shaved ice for Joce.

IMG_4824More coffee. On an adventure with Paloma!

claytonsIced teas in Coronado.

orderingLunch order.

scrabble with nannieScrabble with Nannie.

addictionYes…more coffee.

sunday cocktailSunday Cocktail: fresh lime juice, honey whiskey, and ginger beer. Next time with fresh mint and a ton more lime juice.

pizza nightHomemade pesto garlic chicken pizza. Winning.

xo sarah

san diego, i love you!

Ever curious about where to go for yummy food & drink down in San Diego? Well…I’m not an expert, but I am excited to share with you a few of our favorite places.

My wonderful husband planned a San Diego date for us last Saturday and it was SO fun and truly felt like a mini-stay-cation. He really spoiled me and put so much thought into every part of the day. He knows how much I love food, so taking me all over town for treats was absolutely fantastic.

Hopefully you go check out these spots for yourself! You won’t regret it!

Craft & Commerce for a delicious and classic menu with very cool atmosphere.C&C 2C&C 3

Coffee & Tea Collective for the perfect cup of coffee, espresso or tea.CTC 5CTC 4CTC 1

Sicilian Thing for fresh and crispy deep dish pizza. OR Pizzeria Luigi for the best (in my humble opinion) pies in San Diego! sicilian Thing

Starlight Lounge for my favorite Mule ever and the prettiest ceiling I ever did see.Starlight

We noticed a few places while we were out and about that we want to check out  for next time:

We will be back. We will tell you all our recommendations. It’s happening.

Until we meet again San Diego…I will always love you!

xo sarah

our full life: week twenty-four

OFL 24

A little behind, but not forgotten. Week twenty-four was all-together sweet, salty, and restful. It ended with a sigh of satisfaction and some creamy gelato. Enjoy!

IMG_4024I walk this path weekly. God made this creation called earth so so lovely.

IMG_4028How stinkin’ pretty are these wedding invitations? So excited for the future Weavers!!!

IMG_4032Helping out our dear friend with her wedding crafts. Braiding, braiding…

IMG_4030…and more braiding!!!

IMG_4057Heirlooms and shadows.

IMG_4048Homemade tiramisu from a dear friend. GOOOOD stuff.

IMG_4050This is where we got married. It’s close by our place and last Saturday, it was the perfect place to read and enjoy the sun in peace.

IMG_4051Some new reads.

IMG_4055Homemade peanut butter and vanilla granola. The house smelled fantastic.

IMG_4068A walk down Grand Ave. for some gelato on Father’s Day.

IMG_4064I loved their bookshelves with tea and spoons and cookbooks.

IMG_4070Strawberry cheesecake and chocolate. Major win.

Love you!

xo sarah

our first camping trip {part 3: camp meal-planning made simple}

Cooking away from home can be tricky.
Cooking healthy away from home can be almost impossible!
However, I was very determined to make it happen, so I am writing today to share some of the things that worked for me when planning out the menu for our big trip!
Below, you will find a full menu with options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and (of course) dessert! These meals are simple, healthy, and delicious! What more could you ask for while camping?

I did my shopping at 3 different stores for these meals:

  • Sprouts for all produce
  • Trader Joes for meat, eggs, bread and fun snacks
  • Vons for the “just add water & shake” pancake mix and s’mores supplies.

Most of these meals are very self-explanatory and you can add your personal twist however you would like! But make sure to look for a couple helpful recipes down below too. Enjoy!

Breakfast

Day 1: Pancakes, Berries, Canadian Bacon

Day 2: Scrambled Eggs with Homemade Bacon Bits, Skillet Garlic Potatoes, Oranges

Day 3: Pancakes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Berries

Day 4: Oatmeal w/Walnuts and Cranberries, Oranges

* Each breakfast paired with a hot cup of french press coffee of course!

Breakfast made easy and delicious!

Lunch

Day 1: Trader Joes Pre-Packaged Salad or Sandwich

Day 2: Canadian Bacon Sandies, Baby Carrots

Day 3: Leftovers of anything you need to get rid of

Day 4: Lunch out!

Dinner

Day 1: Garlic Sausage & Veggie Foil Dinner

Day 2: Vegetable Soup (Made ahead of time), Rolls

Day 3: Pasta with Sautéed Mushrooms, Green Beans

Day 4: Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Corn on the Cob

Dessert

Day 1: S’mores

Day 2: Watermelon

Day 3: Banana Boats

Day 4: Watermelon or other fun snacks

RECIPE:  Garlic Sausage & Veggie Foil Dinner

Note: Before you leave for your trip you should par-boil your potatoes until a fork can just barley poke through the surface. This will help the cooking process along while your out camping!

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 squares of 1-foot foil
  • 4 garlic chicken sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 baby potatoes – I used purple potatoes!
  • (remember: parboil at home before you leave!)
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • season with salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Chop all veggies and potatoes into bite-size chunks.

3. Slice sausage in 1/4 inch thick slices.

4. Mince or mash garlic cloves.

5. Cut butter into little cubes.

6. Lay foil squares flat on a table and place even amounts of sausage, veggies, and potatoes into each piece of foil.

7. Scatter butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and S&P even throughout each foil square.

8. Bring opposite corners of foil square together and seal together tightly. Make sure nothing will leak or fall out and that the seal is secure.

9. Roast on campfire grill for 15 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes.

10. Enjoy a healthy and hearty campfire meal! And treat yourself a glass of bordeaux if you can!

RECIPE:  Skillet Garlic Potatoes 

Note: Before you leave for your trip you should oven-bake your potatoes. Wash each potato, rub with kosher salt, wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.¬†This will help the cooking process along while you’re out camping!

Ingredients:

  • Cast iron skillet
  • 3-5 russet potatoes (remember:¬†oven-baked ahead of time!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Season with salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Mince garlic cloves.

3. Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch think slices.

4. Melt butter in cast iron skillet. Add garlic shortly after.

5. Add potatoes to skillet.  Season with S&P. Turn every couple minutes.

6. Your potatoes will be done in 5-10 minutes. They will turn golden brown and the garlic will get crispy!

7. ENJOY!

RECIPE:  Vegetable Soup

Note: This soup is made entirely ahead of time at home. Bring the serving sizes you need in an airtight container to place in the cooler. The soup can be warmed in a pot over the fire and served with rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried beans (I used black eyed peas)
  • 1 cup of red or gold potatoes, cubed
  • 2 medium leeks, rinsed well and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3-4 red plum tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • season with salt and pepper

Directions:

1. In a large pot, cover your beans with 6 cups of water. Cover and bring to a rolling boil.

2. Drain and rinse the beans. Return the beans to the pot and cover with 12 cups of water.

3. Add the thyme and bay leaf and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer.

4. Add potatoes, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, and broth. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

5. Add the green beans and zucchini, and cook uncovered for 20 min.

6. Add the peas and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, or until soft.

7. Stir in granulated garlic and season with S&P.

8. ENJOY!

RECIPE:  Banana Boats

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana per person
  • 1 foil square per person, measured
  • chocolate chips/square from a hershey bar
  • marshmallows

Directions:

1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Carefully cut open each banana without cutting through to the other side.

3. Stuff with chocolate and marshmallows to your liking!

4. Wrap each banana up in the foil so there is a tight seal.

5. Cook over the fire for 5 minutes. Eat with a spoon and enjoy!!

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope you enjoyed this 3 part series of our first camping trip! Please don’t hesitate to ask me about any of these menus or recipes!

xo sarah