Daily Archives: October 2, 2011

Hummus Success!

Unlike the baking failure I had earlier today, I did have success with making homemade hummus from this recipe.

hummus homemade

I also made hummus a couple of weekends ago and devoured it in about two days. I don’t know if I will buy hummus at the store again. It’s just so easy to make at home!

I put some of it on an open faced veggie sandwich with spinach, cucumber slices, and some Frank’s Red Hot and sea salt on top and had this for lunch, along with a sliced honeycrisp apple and some almond butter.

hummus, spinach, cucumber, hot sauce sandwich

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This morning, I had some of this new coffee creamer from Coffee Mate. It’s called Natural Bliss and I tried the Sweet Cream flavor. The others I could have chosen from were Caramel and Vanilla. I tend to like the plain flavors more in my coffee.

Coffee cup and Coffee Mate Natural Bliss

Here are the Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition Facts Natural Bliss Sweet Cream

The ingredients are better than a lot of creamers.

Ingredients Natural Bliss creamer sweet cream

It’s not something I will buy that often, but it’s a nice treat to have once in a while.

I usually buy half and half for my coffee and that is all I need to make my cup creamy and tasty.

The first half of my Sunday was very productive. I did laundry, cleaned the glass on my car window (it had been driving me nuts), did dishes, took out the summer shoes in my closet for winter storage and managed to find five pairs of shoes to get rid of, and then I put away laundry and made the bed with fresh sheets. I was exhausted by lunch time and then relaxed off and on the rest of the afternoon. I got through another magazine as my pile really needs to decrease soon.

Amazing Race logo

And tonight, I am just looking forward to the Amazing Race! Truthfully, I am always a bit bored in the beginning stages of the season and like it more when weak teams are eliminated. I also tend to be more interested if they are in countries I am looking forward to traveling to one day.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, what’s left of it!

Pumpkin Cupcake Failure

Using this Taste of Home recipe, I tried to make some pumpkin spice cupcakes today and they just were a total failure.

Like check out the picture below and feel free to LOL. :)

cupcake failure-sunken in

As you can see, they were sunken in, not just flat!

I think two major things went on–I may have overmixed the batter and I completely forgot to let the butter and eggs get to room temperature before I incorporated them.

batter

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My baking powder wasn’t the issue. I did the test with a teaspoon and 1/2 cup of warm water.

I wanted to post this failure because:
1) I rarely see baking failures posted in the blog world.
2) It’s a good reminder to myself to not do/do the things I think caused the problems with the cupcakes.

The one thing that turned out really good was the frosting. It is delicious, just really sweet! Too bad I don’t have the energy to make the cupcakes over again this evening. I’ll refrigerate the frosting and attempt baking again on Monday or Tuesday night.

On that note, any good pumpkin cupcake recipes to share with me by linking in the comments below? I’ll check out Foodbuzz and other sites in the meantime. I think this All Recipes Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipe sounds better already. They even have a reminder to make sure the eggs are at room temperature. :)

Ann’s Italian Restaurant in Hales Corners

Last night, we went to dinner at Ann’s Italian Restaurant in Hales Corners.

us at Ann's Italian Restaurant, Hales Corners

Ann's Italian Restaurant menu

Since we didn’t get to go out to eat on our wedding anniversary (a month and a half ago), we celebrated with a nice dinner at last.

Instead of waiting an hour for a table indoors, we opted to take one outside. Good thing we brought our coats! There were heat lamps outside and when the sun was shining it felt warmer.

Craig at dinner

Besides, the patio was pretty and we don’t always get to eat outdoors.

Patio at Ann's Italian Restaurant

I started with a wine flight of Riesling from the J.J. Muller vineyard in Germany, a Chianti Classico from Italy, and a Red Riddler from Napa Valley. I got to try 2.5 ounces of the three wines for only $10.

Isn’t the stand the wine came on so cool? I was definitely not expecting that type of thing to come out!

wine flight Ann's Italian Restaurant

My favorite was the Riesling! I just like the sweet white wines a lot. Rieslings always remind me of our first stop on our honeymoon, Bacharach, Germany, where the riesling vineyards are above the city.

Lisa with wine flight

We started with salads and garlic bread. Both were addictive–the garlic bread was perfect and the Italian Vinaigrette was delicious. Even Craig, who rarely eats salad, ate it except for the carrots. He loved the Italian dressing. I’ll have to get some Italian salad dressing spices at Penzey’s and mix up our own dressing so he eats more veggies!

salad and garlic bread

Craig and salad

I had Grilled Vegetable Ravioli, which had grilled red and yellow peppers, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, onion, and fresh carrots blended with ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses wrapped in basil pasta.

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It was very good and paired well with the red wines.

Craig had lasagna and enjoyed it as well.

Craig with lasagna

Overall, we really enjoyed the food at Ann’s. Everything tasted homemade and delicious. It is definitely one of the better Italian restaurants I have been to in the Milwaukee area.

The service was excellent too. Considering that they were constantly busy, our waiter was attentive and friendly.

Exterior of Ann's Italian Restaurant, Hales Corners

Now I want to try the pizza there because people were coming and going with pizza boxes to take home to their families. They are known for their pizza and it looked really yummy.

Glad we found a nice restaurant in the area that we both really liked and can go to when we’re in the mood for Italian food.

Ciao ciao!