Tuesday, September 25, 2012

on pumpkin pie pancakes...

Ah pancakes, you can do so much with them! I'm pretty sure that you really need to make some of these. Like right now. They're basically mini pumpkin pies, how could you resist?! There's really nothing to it either and the finished product is a stack of happiness. 

1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon allspice 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
vegetable oil for coating the pan 
butter and maple syrup to serve

1// Place flour, sugar, baking powders, cinnamon, salt, pumpkin pie spice and allspice into a medium mixing bowl.
2// Use a whisk to mix all the dry ingredients together.
3// Add pumpkin puree, eggs, heavy cream and milk.
4// Whisk the dry and wet ingredients together until smooth.

Coat a heated skillet with vegetable and scoop 1/4 cup of the pancake mix and pour on the hot skillet.

Cook them to your liking and flip. Serve with butter and some maple syrup!

Enjoy. xoxo.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

on a little soccer player...

I grew up with knowing soccer. When you have a European dad who played hardcore soccer in the Army when he was a young fella it's hard not to know soccer. I grew up learning about all there is really to know about it and although I never played on an actually team, mainly because school sports teams weren't very enticing to me, there was no doubt that I could have been pretty good at it. It's one of those things that I think it just in your blood.
I got excited when my in laws decided to gift Sebastian with a season of soccer for this birthday this past July and yesterday was his first day starting on the field.

Before the actual soccer game they practiced running with the ball and kicking goals. There were some pretty great moments and some I even captured on camera...

YES! This is how my kid reacted when he made a goal. He is awesome! This photo is getting blown up, framed and put on a very important wall!
And then there were moments like this...

It's going to take some practice and some explaining that it's okay when the other team takes the ball from you. And that there is no need to get upset, you just have to go get the ball back (gently). He will get the hang of it and since it was the first day of it all I think he did a swell job. I'm a very proud momma over here and excited for the next Saturday to come especially since Daddy will be there!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

on homemade pumpkin spice syrup...

Happy First Day of FALL! Hip-hip-hooray!! It's finally here and to celebrate I created this amazing homemade pumpkin spice syrup for you all. There is nothing like having a pumpkin syrup at your finger tips to add into your coffee every morning or use it it to flavor pancakes or even make a batch for gifts. Your friends and family will adore you :) It's a great way to start this Fall season and I am super excited for you to all try it out in your own kitchen.

1 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 

 It's really very simple, combine the water and dark brown sugar in a medium sauce pan on high heat. Let it cook and stir frequently for about 10 minutes.

Once the water and sugar is at a rapid bowl turn it all the way to low and add rest of the ingredients right into the sauce pan. Let it sit on low heat for 15 minutes while occasionally stirring it. Once it is at a syrup consistency than turn the burner off and let it cool down. 

Store pumpkin spice syrup in whatever jar or container that you fancy and there you go! Your own personal syrup to drizzle in your hot or iced coffee in the comfort of your own home. By golly, isn't that the greatest thing ever. I swear you can create the best pumpkin coffee at home and that means you won't be stopping at that coffee company that starts with star and ends with bucks. Evidence below my friends...

Do you love me or do you love me? 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

on a dorney weekend...

Hello friends. Here's a belated post about our fun filled weekend at Dorney Park. We headed up to Allentown area to visit the theme park one last time. I don't feel like we were able to get up there as much as we wished since we have season passes and all but we still got our money's worth. Much to our pleasant surprise the park was already decorated for Halloween which just added to the fun. The water park had closed after Labor Day so we weren't able to enjoy that half of the park but honestly we didn't really give it a thought. 

We stayed at Holiday Express right across from the park, so nice and convenient and treated ourselves to a nice big room with a jacuzzi! I never would of thought we would have as much fun with that jacuzzi as we did last weekend. Saturday was the day we spent the entire day at the park, getting on all the rides and enjoying the other Halloween activities that they had going on. Here are some photos from Saturday. Beware there's a lot! 

Sebastian loved all the rides but most of all he loved the big blow up Snoopy moon bounce they had. He would spend all day jumping on that thing if he could. There were times when we have to urge him to get off so we could go on some different rides. There was a fun mini (kid friendly) corn maze and at the end of the maze were tiny pumpkins that he could pick from to paint. Plus the petting zoo was neat and of course the huge pig was our favorite. The guy was snort talking to Sebastian which turned into a serious conversation between the two. 

Good times and lots of fun with my little family makes me happy. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

on a day of remembrance...

I will forever remember this day eleven years ago. 

Let It Be by Beatles/The Beatles on Grooveshark

Monday, September 10, 2012

on sweet & sour chicken...

I put this simple and quick crock pot sweet & sour chicken dish together over the weekend. I was looking to make something that I didn't need a lot time to prepare and that didn't need much of my attention. I created this yummy Asian inspired chicken dish in a matter of minutes and let the crock pot do all the work while I got things done around the house. I forgot how nice it was to make friends with my crock pot and from now on I will be using it much more this season. Try it out on a day that you could use some extra time, you will be so happy!

1 pound chicken breast
1/4 cup corn starch
salt & pepper

For sauce:
1 green pepper 
2 green onions
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 white vinegar 
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 tablespoon black bean sauce

1// cube up chicken.
2// slice green pepper.
3// slice up the green onion.
4// salt and pepper chicken and sprinkle on the corn starch to coat chicken evenly.
5// mix all the ingredients for the sauce right in the crock pot
6// add the chicken right into the sauce
7// stir everything up well, set the crock pot to high and cook for four hours. 

Make a side of rice or soba noodles and you'll have yourself a quick, easy and very tasty meal for the family. I made some brown rice but now I am totally wishing I had soba noodles on hand! The chicken comes out juicy and tender with plenty of sauce you get to drizzle over your rice or noodles. And garnish with some of the green onion on top! Total yum. I even sprinkled some red pepper flakes on my dish to give it a little kick. 


Sunday, September 09, 2012

on how to use a french press...

Oh how I adore my french press! I really don't think I can live without it. There are many different brands of french presses out there but I went with a Bodum. They have a pretty great reputation and after purchasing it off of Amazon I have fallen madly in love with it. Yes, I am going steady with my french press or press pot when I'm trying to be cute with it. No, I don't need professional help...Anyways I am such an advocate for this beloved method of making coffee that I am here to explain how to use one and show you that it really is worth it.

First of all, what is a french press? A french press is a circular shaped beaker usually made of glass that has a lid, plunger and a fine metal or plastic mesh filter. There are many varieties but what I just described is what most look like. They can come in stainless steal or plastic like mine. I like the style I have because of it's neat retro look and the color matches the rest of my kitchen. Because I am a devotee to my dear french press I will tell you that it makes a much better cup of coffee than the regular 'ol drip. I swear my life on it! The flavor is so rich and so pure it's like you are tasting all it's flavors for what they really are. If you join the french press club like I have take take my advise and use the following steps on how to use your french press...

1// First thing you need to know before you even going about making coffee in your french press is that your coffee needs to be ground course. Very important otherwise the grinds will just go right through the mesh filter. Unfortunately you it's really rare to find already course ground coffee in the grocery store so you will likely need to buy whole bean and grind it yourself right there at the store. Most grocery stores carry whole bean and have grinders right in the coffee isle. If you have a grinder at home than you are just plan 'ol awesome in my books. Grinding beans right before using them is the best thing you can ever do and you will be singing sweet songs when you sip that cup of joe. Course ground coffee is the most fundamental when creating a relationship with your press pot.

2// Boil water. Easy enough. Use a tea pot or just a pot. I use my regular water from my tap but if you don't care for your tap water then use bottled water. If your tap water tastes funny then for sure you coffee will as well.

3// Scoop your coffee into the french press. 1 tablespoon for each 4 ounces of water. For example, my french press hold 24oz of water but typically I brew about 16oz of coffee so that means I do 4 tablespoons of coffee. This formula works very well. Stay true to it. If you prefer weaker coffee then go ahead and use this formula and then just add some extra water after you have already made the coffee. If you end going less on the grinds of coffee then the ratio will be disrupted and over-extraction will take place which means bitter coffee! Noooooo.

4// Now it's time to put the hot water into the french press over the coffee grinds. Give it a stir with a plastic or wooden spoon especially if you have a glass french press! You don't want to crack it.
Note: In the cooler months you might want to run hot water from your sink and fill up your french press to "warm it up". This is just incase the glass doesn't crack when pouring that boiled water into a cold glass. Beware!

5// Place lid on top with the plunger pulled all the way up. And let the coffee steep in the hot water for 4 minutes. I like to twist the lid so that the spout is cover to keep in the steamy heat!

6// Then you can slowly push the plunger down, pushing the course ground coffee to the bottom. Easy as pie!

7// Pour yourself a beautifully rich cup of coffee and fix it to your fancy. ENJOY!

If ya'll have any question I'd be happy to answer them in the comments below.


Saturday, September 08, 2012

on link love...

Today has been a day of getting caught up with things around the house. With Sebastian's full new schedule of speech class and preschool I am back to a five day work week. A-Okay with me! But having that extra day before to get caught up with cleaning and other things was a treat and now I am finding myself getting back to trying to fit it all in and also trying to enjoy what weekends are really for! So far so good and it totally is a great thing when you have yourself a really great kid. Other than all this I hope everyone's weekend is going as planned! Here are some links I've come across this week that I love...


I've been on Pinterest more than usual lately and came across this ladies Pinterst board and seriously can't even believe how awesome it is. And suddenly I don't feel so bad about being on Pinterest so much...just go ahead and look and you will understand.

Have you heard of the website Tiny Buddha? It's a great place to head on over to if you feel like you need some spiritual inspiration. A lot of the topics are simple ones that we all face in our daily lives but just being able to read about the topics and hear that these things are normal and even be given tips on how to make things easier on ones self is quite nice. I feel like people in this day and age don't express themselves enough and suffer the burden of whatever pains them. I always think we all should do what makes us happy and in order to do that we've got to be honest with ourselves. It takes courage sometimes but in the end it can be really worth it. I've learned this lesson numerous times!

Swooning over this Etsy shop. I love everything!

This wicked and crazy porcelain espresso machine is blowing my mind right now. Clearly it's a product made by a European! It's quite fascinating how it works.

Have you seen the new trailer for Breaking Dawn Part 2 that was just release at the VMAs by the cast? A shiver went up my spine watching it and now I'm even more excited for November 16th to be here!!

I've fallen in love with this cosmetic junkies website. This way I can keep up with all the latest raves. I can fall a bit behind on these things and I always feel like I get stuck in a rut with my cosmetics. I don't usually stray away from my everyday things. But lately I've been more adventurous with my lip glosses & lipsticks so that's a good start!

William -Sonoma has me inspired by all the lovely fruits & veggies that are in season for Fall. Go see for yourself and click on each item to view to-die-for recipes.


Friday, September 07, 2012

on looking forward to...


1// Dorney Park. Next weekend we are heading down to Dorney Park for one finally summer time hurrah! We have season passes and the park doesn't close until November but obviously we only have a limited time to enjoy the water park, which is Sebastian's favorite. We'll be staying at the Holiday Inn right across the park from Friday through Sunday and plan on having lots of much needed family fun. I am most excited about it. 

2// Mums! I spotted some Mums at WholeFoods for sale yesterday and I instantly became all giddy. I've made it a tradition to plant some Mums for the kick off to Fall. I always think it's so exciting buying Mums while their still buds and seeing them bloom into there rich fall colors. We have a small fire escape in the back of our apartment that is big enough for a few pots of flowers and my patio garden which is always festive during this time of year. 

3// Baking. Thrilled to finally go full throttle with baking all my goodies. Like I've said before I dislike baking in the summer heat, at least right now in our tiny apartment. I have so many goodies planned and I'm looking forward to sharing recipes with all of you. 

4// Pumpkin Everything. Need I say more!? My husband, Bobby always likes to tease me and say that when this time of year rolls around I always turn a hint of orange with all the pumpkin everything that I eat, drink or shove in my mouth. It's a very bad time for my buns of steal and thunder thighs. But alas, it's all good. 

5// Clothes/Colors. Fall is for layers, scarfs, boots and the lovely colors! I love me some cool colors. My most recent purchase is this jean jacket from Modcloth. I'm over the moon about it!  There is so many fun things you can do with your wardrobe in the Fall/Winter and can't wait. I'll be able to wear jeans again and all my hoodies. Nothing better than that! 

6// Television Shows. If you didn't think this was going to make it on this list then you just don't know me? Just teasing. But really, you don't! Fall is for all my beloved shows to come back on! I've been missing all of them so much and literally counting the days down. And by literally I mean seriously counting down the days, for example, Glee will be back in just 6 days people! This is the just one of many. I was a little discouraged that most of my shows for some reason are reappearing in October but good 'ol Glee did not disappoint. Then of course Vampire Diaries, which is easily my favorite show ever in the entire Universe. American Horror Story, crazy scary stuff is foretold to be happening on this season. Nothing like the last with only a few of the same characters showing their faces. Walking Dead, can't leave out my zombies. Come on! Once Upon A Time, I have to squeeze in a cute little fairy tale show. And of course there is Grimm. I am not entirely partial to this show which has really actually become my husbands show. I just watch it for the habit of watching it. It almost feels wrong for me to not keep up with the story. This new season is off to a good start though and I hope they keep at it! Also some new shows like; 666 Park Avenue, Arrow (something that the hubby might like), Beauty and the Beast and Cult are all worth checking out!

7// Soccer Season. Sebastian is starting soccer! For his birthday my Mother and Father in law gifted him with some soccer. In just a couple weeks he will have his first practice starting on Saturdays and then games afterwards. For a busy parent like me Saturday practices and games are a blessing! It will be interesting to see how it all goes. Sebastian is an extremely active boy so I think he will be in heaven as he gets to run around and kick a ball. Perfect for my kid :) Another chapter in our lives gets me all teary eyed.

8// Work. Fall & Winter are my busy months at my little coffee shop. Being busy is fine by me. I like to keep moving so the work days go by quick. With being in a mall the holidays are a treat and something I really do adore. Of course, I might not be saying all this when the times comes because really it can be super tiring but trust me I so enjoy it. Plus seeing the mall decorated in all the Christmas cheer. Squeal!

What are you looking forward to in the months ahead?

Sunday, September 02, 2012

on hungarian pea soup...

I'm Hungarian. Growing up all I mainly ate was Hungarian food! Since I live far far away from home and far away from my father who is an awesome cook I always get the craving for some of my favorite Hungarian foods. This being one of them-- Pea Soup or as us Hungarians call it Zoldborsoleves. It's really super easy to put together and yet the end result is amazingly delicious. On days like today when it's all rainy and gloomy soup is number one on my list. Soup is huge for Hungarians. We will eat it as a main dish with bread. Most of our soups are hardy and with the bread you really don't need anything else! This is one of the lighter soups that I like to make and because my husband isn't a huge fan of soups I usually make something else to eat after a bowl of this soup. But me, I'm happy with a cup of this yummy Garden Pea Soup and a crusty slice of bread. Yes sir!


1 1/2 lbs peas (frozen or fresh, I used frozen) 
3 carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopping
2 tablespoons butter (not photographed) 
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
5 1/2 cups water
a bunch of parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste 
dumpling noodles (recipe for this will be at the bottom) 

Melt the butter in a pot. Excuse the chipped nail polish. It's on my todo list!

While the butter is melting chop up the carrots and parsnip. I like to chop mine in circles. I always find it fascinating how everyone chops their veggies different ways. I guess it's whatever way we grow up with! Once the butter is melted add peas, carrots and parsnip to the pot and cover it with a lid. You want the peas and veggies to cook in their own juices, steam and become slightly tender on low heat.

Next add the 5 tablespoons of flour and stir continuously until the flour cooks and turns light brown. Make sure the heat is low so that you do not burn the flour! Remove from heat and add the paprika. Then go ahead and add 5 1/2 cups of water. Turn the heat back to medium and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped parsley and season with salt & pepper to your liking and this soup is basically all set except one step...DUMPLINGS! The best part about this Hungarian soup is the cute little dumpling noodles. They were my favorite ever when I was a child...who are we kidding, they still are! Follow the recipe below to add these to your pea soup.

Dumpling soup garnish:
1 egg
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup flour 

Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and make sure that you mix it well. It should almost look like pancake mix but a little bit thicker.

 If you don't have a handy dandy noodle strainer like this one well, I feel bad for you! My dad got this for me before I moved. You're starting your life daughter, here's your noodle strainer (in a serious Hungarian ascent). That's how that went down. Awkward at the time but now I know he was just looking out for me. All you do is pour the dumpling dough into the opening and move it side to side making the dough come through the holes and plop into the hot soup! Cool huh? Best invention ever.

Cook the noodles for about five minutes, these guys cook fast and then you are all set! Your Zoldborsoleves, I mean Pea Soup is all ready to eat.

Oh! And I almost totally forgot, a swirl of sour cream is heavenly. Don't give me the side-eye...try it and you will thank me. Enjoy :)