Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bake Sale? Brilliant!

So Gurgle and I have planned on doing this cookiesforkidscancer bake sale for a couple months and now it is getting close to that time and as with all events that I plan, I am getting antsy!

I'm considering a Saturday in June at the local Safeway because Saturdays in June usually tempt people out of the house and Safeway is usually a pretty busy place.

I have way too many ideas running through my head for this thing and instead of writing them all down (I can only imagine the hand cramps) I figured this would be a great outlet to blast all this stuff out of my brain and have a good place to go back to it later on. (Also, Gurgle, if she EVER ends up blogging has easy access to it as well).

I definitely know that we will probably both bake chocolate chip cookies, which is like the staple of all bake sales. But this is ok because I think we will probably need a TON of cookies and we both make different types:

She likes the smaller, crispy cookies and I like the giant, chewy choc-full of chocolate chip know, the kind that makes you gain 5 lbs.

I'm also thinking my strawberry cream cheese cupcakes would be a nice choice, topped with decorative slivers of fresh strawberry should be perfecto.

I know that when I start planning things I get a little carried away and try to do everything myself but I know that in order for this to be a successful fundraiser for kids cancer research I will need the assistance of some other people.

Ooh, also I want to bake black bottom cupcakes (but I'm gonna have to try that one out first)

Anyways, I know Gurgle and I will be doing this together but I think getting someone else to help us might be condusive to our success with this thing. I was considering my long lost friend, Ashton, who's momma bakes wedding cakes for a living (and they are always FREAKING AMAZING) and maybe seeing if her mom would contribute a cake for our cause. I'm just really really horrible at asking for help.

But, the website has tons of really good ideas, including links to sweet stuff like that has plenty of nifty little bags and packaging for the baked goods. I'm not so much worried about the cookies, (those can just go in a ziploc bag with a cute sticker on them) but the cupcakes are more of my concern. They have some nice cake boxes but you need to order them in bulk and the smallest amount you can buy is 100 for $44.

On the other hand, even if we don't use all the boxes at the bake sale, we could always host another one if it is a success and the amount of times I bake things for people, they might actually come in handy!

So many things to think about...I'm gonna have to brainstorm A LOT in the next few weeks, I think at our movie/baking/cooking night this Friday, Gurgle and I will have tons of things to talk about though!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh My Chocolate!

Throughout my life, I have always been a humongous fan of chocolate.

In any shape or form, white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate fountain, chocolate bars, chocolate ice cream, chocolate anything.

I've always though that chocolate covered strawberries and cherries were some of the most decadently delicious things on earth.
Ofcourse as I said before, Gurgle and I (after our wonderfully amazing sushi experience at cafesado) we went to our favorite little chocolate shop: Oh My Chocolate

Oh My Chocolate

is located at:

600A Abruzzi Drive
Chester, MD 21619

They specialize in Fountains, Chocolate covered apples, berries and catering events such as weddings and parties.

It's just a small shop on the side of Rte. 50 in the Apple Shopping center. Usually we are the only people there, staring through the glass at the beauty that sits just a sneezeguard away

In the lower, lefthand corner you will see tiger butter and tiger butter crunch. Tiger butter is a white chocolate/peanut butter fudge with fudge swirls and is just about the creamiest, melt in your mouth fudge you will ever try. Tiger butter crunch is this same thing but in rice crispy form with whole mini marshmellows and mini chocolate chips. yum!

Then we come to the apples...oh the apples. On the left hand side of the case is the "apple pie" apple and is just about the sweetest, richest apple pie type of dessert you will probably ever encounter.
They take a granny smith apple, dip it in home-made caramel, then dip it in white chocolate then dip it in a cinnamon, apple pie flavored dust...oh yeah. It's pretty amazing.
They begin by dipping all the apples in their delicious home-made caramel and then a concoction of different types of chocolate, oreo cookes, butterfinger crumbles, the amazing previously mentioned tiger butter crunch! and my favorite: caramel, peanut butter chip, chocolate drizzle.
Ofcourse these amazing treats must be shared with a friend (or a 6 year old brother with a giant sweet tooth) because they are so rich you will probably go into food coma after eating one.

oh yes. This is heaven on a stick.
So again, if you are ever on Marylands Eastern shore (maybe on the way to Ocean City?) stop and grab some sushi and some chocolate and it will definitely perfect that vacation. : )

Saturday, April 24, 2010

*Happy Moment*

Okay so here's the situation.

Last week, I went to the Annapolis Croquet match at St. Johns College with Natalie and we wore our pretty dresses:


While I was there I was talking to one of her friends about how much I was in love with Joss (a local Annapolis sushi place) that had made me a complete sushi snob. They have this wonderful appetizer called "Shitake Tempura" which is basically just tempura fried shitake mushroom caps with a soy based dipping sauce...and it is all that is great in the world.
Buuuuut as with all things there were some downfalls:
  1. Joss is on Main St. Annapolis with parking being near impossible
  2. Being a quaint local Annapolis place, it is so tiny that it seems like the table next to you is actually sitting AT your table
  3. If you are anywhere in the front room, with people coming in and out during winter, you get a shot of icy air about every 15 minutes (not comfortable at all)
  4. For some reason there is a hefty, gothic waitress that has had it out for me ever since I started going there, snarling at me when she takes my order...what did I do? I don't know, but needless to say it's an unfriendly atmosphere
  5. Not to mention all of the Annapolis snobs that look you up and down the second you walk in

So Natalies friend says to me, "Yeah I like Joss but there is this place on the Easter Shore called Cafe Sado that I like even more, the fish is fresher, it's cheaper and they have some really good food!"
"BLASPHEMY!" I yelled, there can be no one better than Joss...but wait...could it be possible? I mean avoiding the traffic and evil glares might be worth a trip over there.
I had drank a lot of wine during the croquet match so I was down for just about anything.
It was actually quite perfect. Gurgle and I used to go to the Eastern Shore almost every weekend for oysters and chocolate :) Oh yeah, we'll get into that later.
So I texted Gurgle and this morning we planned on heading out to see if it really was all it was hyped up to be.
On the way there, we went through a neighborhood, pass some cornfields, through a townhouse community and arrived at a local marina...?
We pull up to this quaint little place at the marina that, luckily, I just so happened to see out of the corner of my eye a tiny little neon sign that said "sushi"
Exterior of Cafe Sado: not sushi-like at all
We sat out in my car for about 5 minutes contemplating if this really was in fact, the place. This was the right address, it did say sushi on a tiny sign in the window.
But it was at a marina in the middle of a neighborhood!
Well, that whole "Don't judge a book by it's cover" could not be any more true
Upon entering Cafe Sado, you walk directly into a large entry way with stairs in front and an adorable little bar/lounge area on the right

cocktail, anyone?
It's almost intimidating, the grandeur of the place when you walk in. I was not expecting this at all! At the top of the stairs the waiter greets us with a "helloooo" and we walk up the stairs and follow him.
We walk through the waiting room, which is very tasteful, not overly asian themed and very comfortable.
waiting room, so comfy!
Then we walk into the main dining area, which just so happens to look over the marina.

Even outdoor seating for the summer!
The main dining room was like something off of HGTV. Whoever their designer was, definitely did it right. as you enter, it is surrounded by a wall of windows, overlooking the boats in the marina. Painted in a nice eggshell sage color. The wall agains the marina is covered in booths with one long booth to the right and tables scattered in between up to the sushi bar. One of my favorite things about the booths? THEY HAD PILLOWS!!!!

Oh! the Pillows!!!

Very clean, attractive, open dining room
I get a little nervous seeing as there is only 2 other booths with people when we walk in, but I am already so attracted to the decor that I put my fears aside. We get to pick our booth and I choose the sunny one that has a nice view of the water.

Gurgle with her pillows at our booth!
I am SO excited!!!
So we start off with the miso soup. (I've realized when eating a lot of sushi I need to have a nice hot starter, although I love edamame and seaweed salad, soup is definitely a good starter)
I find that you can usually tell the quality of a place by the quality of their appetizers right from the start. Cafe Sado did not dissapoint. The soup was nice and hot, had a very nice flavor and didn't taste bland. It had a lot of spinach and tofu in it with some scallions that did not overpower the flavor.
Miso Soup, Check!
After being happily satiated by my soup I was ready for my sushi. It was really cool because the sushi bar was right at the front of the dining room so the chef prepared our sushi right in front of us.
the sushis.

And then it came...the prettiest plate of sushi I have seen since my last trip to Joss. We started off by getting the Shrimp tempura to split. Then I got the rainbow roll: a crabstick & avocado roll topped with tuna, salmon, white fish, unagi and avocado. The 2-piece salmon nigiri and Gurgle got the delicious Harmony roll: lumb crab meat & cucumber wrapped with lobster, topped with a rainbow tobiko. She ordered another really yummy roll that I cannot remember the name of.


I was already elated by the delisciousness of the sushi when our waiter came back to chit chat with us. After talking a little bit with him about how happy we were with the food, he drops this one on us:
"all the sushi is 2 for 1"
Oh yeah, you heard that right. This amazing little gem of a place, where we got alpha parking, great service, amazing atmosphere and delcisious food is BUY ONE GET ONE FREE!! Be beating heart. I was giddy with excitement at this point.
Then Gurgle had some fun playing with the roe from the harmony roll
Is there a flag this color?
I definitely had an intense happy moment where I was trying the keep the food in my mouth while chewing because I was smiling so much. HOW could this place get any BETTER?!
There was no possible way. I told Gurgle that the only way this place could get better is if there was a panda bear. Then, what is on the tv in the waiting room on the way out?

Of all the sushi places, I definitely rate this a 10 out of 10, which I rarely do. Usually when I'm excited and really happy with a place, it gets a 9. This place, is a 9.

If you are ever in the Kent Island/Eastern Shore of Maryland area, DEFINITELY check it out, if you don't, you are a silly, silly person and I don't know if we could be friends.
Check it out:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easy Peasy Chicken Pot Pie!

This is my RIDICULOUSly easy recipe I borrowed from Betty Crocker to make one of the easiest chicken pot pies you will ever make!

It starts with this:
Ingredients(as shown above):
(I always alter the ingredients a little bit to fit my taste/proportions and it always turns out ok!)
2 cups of bisquik
one rotisserie chicken
one small bag of frozen peas and carrots (or your veggies of choice)
2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
(preheat oven to 400*)
  1. I begin by shredding the chicken into bite size pieces into a large bowl (dark and light meat). The original recipe called for cubed cut up chicken but this is a shortcut I take with a lot of my casserole-type dishes to cut the prep time in half. Make sure you get a good chicken because it will make your pie!
  2. add the bag of frozen veggies and about 1/4 each of salt and pepper and toss together. If you have a helper bunny in the kitchen like I do, you don't have to worry about spilling any carrots on the floor : )
  3. Add one can of condensed cream of chicken soup at a time and mix thoroughly so the veggies and chicken are coated, Once you are done it should look like this:
  4. You can pour all of this into one large casserole dish or like I did using 2 8 inch round cake pans(since I couldn't find my casserole dish) spread the mixture with the back of a large spoon so it is smooth and flat.
  5. In a seperate medium sized bowl you want to mix the bisquick, eggs and milk and whisk together with a fork until it forms a pancake like consistency (if you are using one 9 inch casserole dish you can cut the crust ingredients in half!)
  6. pour evenly over both pans so that it completely covers the top. (don't worry about any little things poking through the top, the crust will cover it after it rises
  7. When you're done stick it in the oven and relax for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown, and then voila! One of the easiest chicken pot pies you will eve encounter. tasty too!

Thirty minute meals with Rachel Rice! woohoo!

Well Hello Spring!

Lilacs in bloom in front of my dads, and yes this is an iphone photo! way to go iphone!

I'm feeling very springish today, although today is the first in many that it has rained (boohoo) The past 2 weeks have been absolutely marvelous!

The weekend before last was in the 90s! Perfect top down weather for me : )

This past weekend was only in the 70s but I'm not complaining! I did oysters with gurgle and her mama, poppa and uncle on Saturday morning (craving fried oysters for the rest of my life now) and ofcourse stopped at the most wonderful chocolate shop, Oh My Chocolate.

This little chocolate shop has the most decadent chocolate treats EVER. Although it is pretty small and the selection is pretty slim, what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality.
I usually get tiger butter and tiger butter crunch, which is a peanut butter and white chocolate fudge with milk chocolate, rice crispies and chocoalte chips mixed in! Gurgle happened to EAT all of my tiger butter crunch that I left in her safekeeping!!!
But that's ok, this day I opted for the chocolate covered cherries and a chocolate, peanut butter, caramel covered apple


I plan on having my little brother help me eat it, as you can probably tell, there's about a half inch of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter on the way down to the actual apple. exactly how it should be!

On Sunday, Shaun got off around 7 and I made my caprese salad (as shown in my last post). But after dinner we decided to walk off all the cookie calories around the pond next to his place. There was a little dumpling running around with her parents, and she was adorable! (Shaun still refuses to let me steal any small asian babies so I had to let her go)
We sat down and the gooses came to visit!

This is my friend the goose,

we ran out of cheerios for him

so he swam off into the sunset
After our lovely little walk I showered off all the pollen and we became the usual Sunday couch potatos that we are.
I've found a blog that I actually WILL follow because it is SO ADORABLE, I fell asleep with my laptop on my stomach last night!

OH MY GOD what I would give to be able to sew and hem and do the adorable things she does!

The closest I've come to doing adorable things like this was ripping holes in my jeans and cutting the sleeves off my band tees when I was in high school.

I used to love love LOVE the idea of thrifting and altering clothes to update and make them cute but she has caught the epitome of everything I wanted to do perfectly.

I'll admit I've been lacking on the crafting of late but once school is over and I've cleaned my dads house to the best of my ability I promise to get back into it. I should probably stop by the goodwill since it is literally right down the street and pick up one item in an adorable fabric that I can alter.

that's it.

I've made up my mind.

I'm doing it.

I'm going to do more crafty things that I've been slacking on lately.

Updates coming soon!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Who says you can't crave salad?

Chicken Caprese Salad

So for dinner last night I made one of my favs, Chicken Caprese Salad.
The basic ingredients I like to use are:
  • One bag of Fresh Express Italian salad mix
  • one medium sized ball of Bel Gioso Fresh Mozarella (always ALWAYS use the freshest, best kind of mozarella. You'll pay more for a little chunk of it than the big generic bag of it but it is THE Difference in the salad!)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • one beefsteak tomato
  • one bottle of Ken's Balsamic or Basil and Balsamic Vinagrette.
  • 1/4 tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Grillmates montreal chicken seasoning

Vegetarian spin

Although I haven't tried it, you could substitute the chicken with tofu and grill the same way. Being an animal lover, I've been trying to eat more vegetarian meals.


I begin by rubbing the olive oil evenly over both sides of the chicken. I usually just eyeball the amount of seasoning by grinding about a 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken then following with the montreal chicken seasoning.

I heat a small pan on medium-high and grill each chicken breast until it is slightly golden on both sides. (about 5-6 min per side depending on the size of the chicken)

*a tip is to buy the thin sliced chicken breast, it cooks quicker and makes easy bite size pieces.

Whenever I am using a cutting board for more than one thing during a recipe, I just cover it with a sheet of wax paper so that I can reuse it without having to rinse and dry.

I cut the chicken into about 1 inch chunks and set aside.

Remove and change the wax paper, cut the mozarella into 1 inch chunks.

Repeat using the tomato.

Fill a large bowl with the salad and top evenly with chicken, mozarella and tomato. (I'm not a huge tomato fan so whenever I can get away with it I avoid using it)

distribute evenly in your bowls and top with your balsamic vinagrette.


One of the easiest, most delicious salads, definitely my personal favorite.

I guarantee once you make it you will have a craving for it the next week. This recipe yields enough to make it a main course and it will be hard to want to eat anything else with it!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cookie update!

Seeing as the beautiful, sunny, top down, make your legs stick to the car seat, whistle while you cruise weather has made my mind switch from responsible-homework doing-laundry folding-organizing the nightstand Rachel into 16 year old, all I wanna do is watch tv and play Plants vs. Zombies Rachel, I decided baking cookies might satiate my need for doing SOMETHING not productive yet still being slightly productive.

I've been watching TCM since West Side Story came on and now I can't stop. There's just something about black and white movies, some sort of romanticism that you can't turn away from. All the romance movies nowadays are either really cheesy or have to add humor to keep them from being so.

Anyways, cried my eyes out during the final scene of West Side Story (as ALWAYS). Hopped up from the couch and decided to bake...cookies!

Chocolate Chip cookie recipes are all basically the same and I didn't really vary too much from my usual Betty Crocker recipe. I used one out of the April issue of Martha Stewart Living but didn't realize til afterwards that I only had 10lbs of light brown sugar whereas the recipe called for dark brown. Ah...well. They are still yummy!

That would be the football cookie jar I bought Shaun for Christmas. It turns out, I use his Christmas presents more than he does : /

These are the typical Betty Crocker cookies that I make

as you can probably tell, I usually use about twice the amount of chocolate chips called for in the recipe.

Now that I've eaten myself halfway into a food coma I realize being productive in any manner will be pretty near to impossible.

The movie they're playing right now is:

A Place in the Sun

with Montgomery Clift! I love him! He was my fav in The misfits wiht Marilyn Monroe. Although in this movie his storyline is "A social climber in love with a wealthy beauty figures out how to get rid of his poor, pregnant girlfriend."

What a D-bag!

...then again, they are pretty adorable together

I feel like just an hour ago I woke up and made lunch and it's already 6:22! Shauns on his way home and it's time to make dinner. Chicken Caprese salad with fresh mozarella! I'll update pictures tomorrow ; )

Good Morning Sunday!

Ah, Sunday. They were predicting it would be about 74 today and it's definitely in the upper 70s.


I have too much to do in the little time before shaun gets off:

Make dinner,
Grocery store,
bake cookies.

Early this morning my attention span was that of a 2 year old. I sat down on the couch watching the Masters and tried to do my homework...that didn't last long. The sunshine was calling me, making me restless. I laid down in bed and waited for my jeans to dry then changed quickly and went out to my car, which was SWELTERING. Put the top down and headed to the grocery store, listening to:

Zee Avi

Beautiful sunshine, sunny, island music. I decided to go to Bloom because they are right down the street, next to Michaels and Homegoods, (what more could you want?!)

I decided to try a Martha recipe I had made a few times before and have been craving lately.

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

I've made it before for my Shaun, My dad and my boss and they all loved it.

recipe here:

I usually make a variation of the original recipe, slightly browning the red onions before I cook the chicken and then mix it with the diced avocado. (the raw onion flavor is a little too intense for me).

When I'm done making it, Brittany texts me to tell me that West Side Story is on TCM.

My cayenne-rubbed chicken, a bottle of San Pelligrino and West Side Story.
Toniiiiighhht toniiiighhht... wonderful : )

Friday, April 9, 2010


Friday Friday Friday! Woohoo!

Every Friday morning when I drag myself out of bed in Fairfax at 6:30 and make the hour and a half trip to Pasadena in the morning, I know in the back of my head that tomorrow will be Saturday and I can roll around in bed until noon and not have to deal with 66 traffic. I think that's actually what gets me up in the morning. ANYways...

It has been in the mid 90s the past few days and it was GORGEOUS top down, tank top and skirt weather! Last night we had thunderstorms and it dropped to 50. My flip flops were not prepared for that.


It has been getting progressively better today, from gloomy, peekaboo clouds at 7AM to sunshine and a light breeze today at 11:35.

Martha is cooking today and everything looks DELICIOUS as usual but my attention span is bouncing back and forth between things. This might be due to the fact that my breakfast was:

1 tall iced extra caramel caramel macchiato

2 smore's poptarts

1 classic coffee cake

ugh...time and time again I eat lots of sugar for breakfast and realize it's a terrible idea after about 10am when my stomach is yelling at me.

On to positive things!

The weather being amazing has had me dreaming of the beach again. Although I just went with gurgle last month to Myrtle Beach for the first time, it was a bit cold (65 and windy cold...brr) and a tad bit overcast so we didn't get in as much beach time as I had hoped for.

I Ofen to reminesce about the wonderful times I did have on the beach though and wanted to backtrack through my pictures, here's some easily accesible from my iphone:

This is from my trip to Myrtle Beach with gurgle in March, in the morning before the clouds rolled in

The pretty colored colored beach umbrellas Shaun and I on the beach : )
Ocean City, Maryland June-1009

The view from our beachhouse on Christmas

Gurgle at the beach after our trip to "Oh My Chocolate" On the Eastern Shore

Now this is just a small tidbit of the pictures I have relating to the beach! I have the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, Lots more of Ocean City, Myrtle Beach and the OBX but the picture uploader is giving me a headache so I'll stick with these.

Just a snapshot into everything that I love about the beach:
Blue skies, blue waves, the hot sand, the smell of the boardwalk, dippin dots, dolphin sightings, the beautiful weather, getting a tan and most of all the power and beauty of the Ocean, crashing against the shore with enormous strength so gracefully, and the sound of it lulling you to sleep.


Day one! This is going to be my blog about all things crafting, cupcakes, DIY fashion and the girly/homemaker side of me that rears it's ugly head every now and then.

What you should know from the jump is that Martha Stewart is my hero. I mean she's not just my hero, SHE IS MY HERO! If I met her in person I would instantly hyperventilate and pass out on the floor.

The biggest compliment I have pretty much ever received was on Christmas, when my boyfriends aunt said, "she really is like a mini Martha Stewart, isn't she?" well...Aunt Judy is getting something very nice for Christmas this year!

All I wanna do is bake and draw and paint and create things all day. HOWEVER...I do have a downfall: sewing.

Ever since the 6th grade I've been shredding fabric and breaking sewing machines. The most I ever made was a hand-sewn pillow and again, I'm pretty sure that was on a 2nd or 3rd try.

Why can't I sew? Who knows. Lack of common sense for how the machine works and what I'm supposed to be doing I suppose. BUT I do plan to conquer this problem...eventually.

Other than sewing I've been incredibly crafty ever since I was a small child. I was always improving for things and creating, mixing, building. I like to work with my hands and I just ADORE anything that has to do with crafting. (except for you know...the old lady stuff)

Ok so I lied, I suck at keeping plants alive AND making biscuits. For all of the stuff I bake all the time, biscuits are just not possible for me...I baked 2 batches on Easter and each one came out the same exact way: disgusting.

I would really love to have a garden but the only place I could garden is at my dads house and his house/yard is such a horrible mess I'm surprised the trees don't die off.

However, I'm a fighter and if I want something...I get it. So sewing/gardening/buttermilk biscuits, HERE I COME!!


About Me

My photo
Hello! My name is Rachel, I just recently moved into a new home with my boyfriend of 7 years. This blog is all about the things I love, sunny days, crafty things, delicious recipes and home decor! I also share with you pretty things that I love, a little bit of fashion and a whole lot of pictures of my fur baby, Bear. I'm so glad you're here!