Category Archives: Life

Happy (Birthday) Weekend

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It’s been fun being back on the blog this week…thanks for all of your support and sweet comments! There’s no sweeter to end a long week than with birthday celebrations. Good friends, heaps of pasta, hot pink nails, blow outs, bubbly. I feel so lucky to have such amazing people around me + such awesome internet pals who have stuck with me for five years. I’ve grown up so much on here since I was 22. And can’t imagine life differently. Merci beaucoup!

Have a great weekend, friends! Cheers! xo

{sparkle + champagne}

Cinnamon Brown Butter Waffles with Maple Berries

Trying to regularly get back to this blogging thing. Something has been off for the last few weeks. Maybe it has something to do with not spending time here. So let’s try it again. We’ll start with something simple. The basics. Breakfast.

I’ve been thinking about breakfast a lot recently. Rumor has it, I might be cooking breakfast on a tv show with one of my all time favorite legends. I’m still afraid of jinxing it, so while I don’t want to over-gush just yet, I do want to talk about breakfast.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Cinnamon Brown Butter Waffles with Maple Berries

To me breakfast isn’t about starting the day off right physically. Sure, I try to eat mildly healthy so that happens. But for me, breakfast is about starting the day off with a feeling. Letting yourself feel maybe for the first time, getting yourself ready for all the other things you’ll feel that day. Nothing has changed since you were in bed…you’re still in your pajamas, your eyes are still a little shut because it’s bright out, you probably haven’t even spoken yet. But then there’s that first sip of coffee that makes your brain tingle. The sound of cracking an egg. The flavors of an everything bagel or cheddar cheese that remind you of breakfasts mom and dad used to make. Tastes and smells and little observations that make you feel. It’s your first chance to connect with something. Isn’t that what you get out of bed for? Those feelings, that connection, is what wakes me up. What gets me going in the morning and keeps me going all day long. It’s how you start your day off right.

I often fall into breakfast habits, so I’m trying to switch it up a bit. Stay in tune with what inspires me. Find new connections. A few weekends ago I had a friend over and we made these cinnamon brown butter waffles with maple berries. The thing about breakfast is that there isn’t and there shouldn’t be too much work to it. After all, your eyes might not even be open. A few stirs, a machine that does the work for you, and a new friend to talk food with. It’s simple. We should eat more breakfast.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Cinnamon Brown Butter Waffles with Maple Berries Cinnamon Brown Butter Waffles

  •  7 Tbs butter
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature

Preheat waffle iron. Brown butter over low heat. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Beat in eggs and milk until combined. Pour mixture over headed waffle iron and cook to your iron’s instructions until waffles are golden brown and crisp.

Maple Berry Compote

In a small saucepan, cook berries (I used raspberries and blackberries) with some good maple syrup. You could also add some bourbon. Cook until reduced into a sauce.

Sunday Pasta: Creamy, Cheesy Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday Pasta -  Creamy, Cheesy Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach

Are we over this snow yet? Another day at home…bundled up in a fuzzy blanket, sipping coffee, working, as the snow falls sideways. It’s nice actually, to have time to myself. Power through emails, no distractions, wearing the comfiest pajamas all day long. A break from trying to impress and entertain constantly. So maybe for one last time, I’m thankful for the snow. Last one though!

One other snow day perk, a craving (maybe more so than usual) for a rich and comforting pasta. Hopefully your fridge is stocked with a few simple ingredients – spinach, cauliflower, cheese – because you’ll want to crawl into this dish and hibernate. Mmmm. My no-recipe version below…

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday Pasta -  Creamy, Cheesy Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach

Creamy, Cheesy Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach

Chop cauliflower in small bite-sized pieces and place on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 20-30 minutes at 400°. Meanwhile, sauté chopped onions and garlic in butter and olive oil for a while until onions have softened. Add a whole bag of baby spinach and stir as it wilts. Add some heavy cream and and a spoonful of mascarpone into the sauce. Toss in roasted cauliflower and cooked pasta. Serve with fresh grated parm and a dollop of fresh ricotta.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Sunday Pasta -  Creamy, Cheesy Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach

Dulce De Leche Cake

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Dulce de Leche Cake

Kicking off the week with something sweet. I sure need it. I’m having one of those moments/days/feels like a lifetime of stress and I just want to crawl into a big fluffy cocoon and never come out. Ok, it’s not that bad, but I’ve definitely been having moments. When even the idea of making a cake sounds stressful and I actually contemplated using a box mix. That’s when I know something is off. Cupcakes for Breakfast: Dulce de Leche Cake

Anyway, you take it one ingredient and one step at a time. You may not think you have time for it but it helps slow you down. And watching the mixer gradually turn liquid cream into frosting is one of the best sights ever…it’s worth slowing down for.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Dulce de Leche CakeCupcakes for Breakfast: Dulce de Leche Cake

I’ll get back to feeling like I’m on top of things. I can’t not get there. In the meantime, you just have to try to not get so down on yourself. Focus at what’s hand. Surround yourself with only supportive people. (I’m lucky to have many.) Don’t sacrifice things that make you happy for time or punishment…you just might find that those are the things, like cake and cream or a Justin Timberlake concert, that can pull you out and get you back to your stride.

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Dulce de Leche Cake

Dulce De Leche Cake

Start with a basic white cake – like Martha Stewart’s. Frost layers with dulce de leche – like La Salamandra. Top with this dulce de leche whipped cream. 

Cinnamon Dulce De Leche Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche

In a mixer using a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until whipped. Slowly beat in the vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. Gently fold in the dulce de leche. 

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Dulce de Leche Cake

Send Urban Stems

Cupcakes for Breakfast: Urban Stems

Bouquet photos from some of my fave DC ladies (and gent!): @jigolden, @politics_pretty, @bannc@nikkirap, @cathzinn, @districtsparkle@corisuemorris, @frijolita, @stylemba@ejfass, @holleysimmons, @allycog@theyoufinder, @gokateshoot@theglossarie, @gurrity, @lizmcavoy6@tammygordon, @bitcheswhobrunch, @russellwarnick@beccaclaralove @thehyperbalist @nec_and_proper

I’m so excited to tell you about one of my new favorite DC-based businesses, Urban Stems. Have you ordered flowers before and they were over-priced and underwhelming? (Or has your boyfriend never sent you any for this reason?) Urban Stems totally changes this. They offer three beautiful bouquets for $35, including delivery! Bonus, their customer communication is fantastic so you’ll feel like it was totally worth it. I’m seriously a huge fan!

Since it’s Valentine’s Day week, it’s kind of the perfect time to order a bouquet for someone you think is wonderful. Make someone’s day and get $5 off with the code: CUPCAKES5