Wednesday, June 30, 2010

boredom = productivity

We're having a slow week here at the Porter household. But I'm trying to make the best of it by being extra productive.

I finished sewing up the new large dress/nightgown/shirt thing, started and (almost) finished another dress that just might be my new favorite dress, and finished sewing up a romper that I successfully knocked off from one I saw at target. All of which I'll be showing here soon, no doubt.

I've made two loaves of the master recipe in Healthy bread in five minutes a day. Those books are amazing.

Then I was craving something sweet, and since i'm still avoiding sugar I came up with this sugar free chocolate chip cookie dough (surprise surprise) . I took an eggless cookie dough, added agave in place of sugar and lowered the fat a bit. These little frozen dough balls are now my favorite sugar-free dessert. I don't remember the measurements I used but I'll be making them again very soon and I'll post the recipe as soon as I do so you may enjoy them too. (It looks like there is dirt on them, but really I was just out of vanilla extract so I scraped a teeny tiny bit of vanilla bean in there.)

Another breakfast smoothie.. This time with frozen bananas and strawberries, chunks of mango, blueberries and yogurt. Mango = such a good smoothie.

Other than that we've been relaxing like this. Watching the world cup, of all things. Just a few weeks ago I had never seen a soccer game. Now i'm sort of hooked, they are so intense!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Breakfast and winner!

Before I get to the winner I wanted to show you my favorite breakfast smoothie.
Strawberries, frozen banana, frozen blueberries, frozen peaches and a few dollops of plain yogurt.
Yum! It's filling but not heavy and it helps me start the day with something cool. Which is exactly what I need in these awful summer months. (I have mixed feelings about summertime. I love the long days, but I am not cut out for the heat/humidity here. Let's just say I am SOO ready for my trip to the northwest)

And the winner of the chocomize gift card is Sheena!! Her blog just so happens to be one of my favorites. She's a photographer and a mama, and also just ran in a ragnar relay race so I think she deserves a few good chocolate bars. (I swear she was chosen randomly via My husband even counted and recounted the comments to make sure! ha)
Sheena, let us know what you get.

As for the rest of us, chocomize is still offering 10% off. Just enter coupon code 'vanilla&lace' when you check out. Thank you all for entering!! I loved reading everyone's crazy customized chocolate ideas.

P.s. I got this very large shirt/dress?/nightgown? for $1 at the thrift store the other day. This is what it looks like now, but i'm hoping to bring it down to my size and shorten it sometime next week. I'll post the "after" as soon as I do.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I love chocolate. Dark is my favorite, but milk is definitely close second. Plain chocolate, like this, is great.
chocomize plain

But a custom chocolate bar? This was even better!!

Chocomize lets you design, create, customize and go crazy on a chocolate bar. You pick your chocolate, select your toppings, then you get it in your mailbox after a couple days. It's amazing!

The chocolate is high quality. Josh kept going on and on about how amazing the chocolate itself was. As for the toppings, the possibilities are endless.

It'd be great for birthdays/holidays/baby showers/wedding party gifts/ect. I REALLY wish I would have known about Chocomize when we were getting married. How fun would it be to pick out a personalized chocolate bar for each person in the wedding party.

This is what I got on mine. (Look at the fun names they gave)

They were SOOOO good!

Want to customize your own??

Chocomize is giving a $25 gift card to one of my readers!

To enter:
Take a peek at chocomize then leave a comment telling me what you'd want on your personalized chocolate bar. (And also an email address so i can contact you if you win)

You'll get another entry (one for each) if you tweet, facebook, blog, ect a link to the giveaway.

A winner will be chosen via on Tuesday (June 22) at 11pm EST

And since there can only be one gift card winner, they set up a discount code for everyone else to use. To get 10% off your order, just enter the coupon code vanilla&lace when you check out.

Thank you chocomize for spreading the chocolate love!


Monday, June 14, 2010


This is me working on a new dress pattern. I'm drafting it from one on burdastyle.. And I hope I don't run into any snags.. Easier said than done I suppose. (I also successfully made my own romper pattern, Now i just have to take it apart and trace the pattern onto paper. Then show you. Yay!)


I've also been working my way through season 2 of Mad men. I'm obsessed. The clothes! The hair! And of course, the drama. It is definitely the best looking show on TV. I wish i was a 20-something in the 60's.

I'll be back soon with a delicious giveaway.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

birthday boy


Josh turned 27 today!
We spent the day being extra lazy, watching movies and eating gushers.

Happy birthday love.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

My obsession with the sweet/salty combo is still in full swing. (You can see more here & here)

A cupcake stuffed with cookie dough and topped with cookie dough buttercream. You won't believe how amazing these are. Definitely the best cupcake I've had in my life (to be fair, i haven't try THAT many varieties). The frosting?? To die for. I'm not huge on frosting, AT ALL. I usually scrape most of it off. This stuff however I would eat by the spoonfuls.

They are INCREDIBLY rich. So rich I could barely finish one. You'll definitely need plenty of water (or milk) to wash these down, and chase them with some fruit and vegetables.

Since I only ate 2 over the course of a couple days, I froze the rest (cupcake and frosting separate). I pulled some out for friends a few days later and they were still perfectly delicious. I plan on pulling some out after a month and seeing how they are.

This is how its done

Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes
makes 12

For the cookie dough:

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons soy milk or milk
*3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chip (See note below)

Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla with electric mixer until creamy. Add the soy milk and beat well. Add in the salt, baking soda, and flour and slowly mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Form teaspoon-sized balls (approx. 1″ across). Roll and place on a foil-covered baking sheet. Make approximately 14 dough balls, reserving at least 3/4 cup of the dough for frosting. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.

*i'd strongly suggest using mini chocolate chips, or finely chopped regular chocolate chips. Otherwise they'll get stuck in the pastry tip.

For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Whisk together soy milk, coconut milk, sugars, oil, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until no large lumps remain.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until tops are puffed and golden. Transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before cutting.

For the frosting:
3/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons soy milk
3/4 cup eggless cookie dough, room temperature

Cream butter with electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until well-incorporated. Add soymilk and mix until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add cookie dough, approximately 3/4 cup of it, and mix until combined. Taste, and add more cookie dough if you like.

To assemble:
Cut hole in the top of the cupcake, drop ball of dough in. Pipe or spread the delicious frosting on.

(Recipe adapted from here)


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Individual strawberry rhubarb crisps

individual strawberry rhubarb crisps

Another strawberry recipe, and there is at least one more on the way. This time I had some rhubarb (I hadn't had it in years!) and a craving for a fruity dessert. I forgot how good strawberry and rhubarb is together. They were made for each other. (Funny side story: When I was buying the rhubarb, the lady behind me asked if it was pink celery. Hm.)

I made these in individual ramekins for easy portion control but you could also use an 8x8 baking dish.

Strawberry rhubarb crisp
(makes 7-8 individual crisps)

3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 cups rhubarb, diced
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (1/4 was plenty sweet for me)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup earth balance (or butter), cold

Mix strawberries, rhubarb and sugar together and let sit 10 minutes. Divide among ramekins or 8x8 baking dish.

Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and earth balance (butter) until crumbly. And sprinkle over the fruit mixture evenly. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until golden.