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9/30/14

In the Kitchen: Double Chocolate Cookies



My love for baking started early on. Mom and I would spend afternoons in the kitchen whipping up sweet concoctions. Over the last few years I've slowed down my baking habit (probably best for my waistline), but every now and then I get a craving and just can't help myself. These double chocolate cookies are a favorite: intensely chocolate and sweet. They are easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. The hazelnuts add a nice texture, but you can always leave them out. 

Double Chocolate Cookies 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 egg 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder 
1 cup flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup white chocolate chips 
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about five minutes). Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Slowly add cocoa powder, and mix until combined. 

Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to butter mixture in two batches. Mix until just combined. Stir in white chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts. 

Place cookie dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet in 1 inch balls. Pat them out with your hands so they are slightly flat. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on baking rack. Serve slightly warm. 





9/26/14

Style: White Sweatshirt


I'm slowly transitioning into my fall wardrobe. The cooler weather this week had me bring out my favorite J.Crew booties and my  new Anthropologie Sweatshirt. The sweatshirt trend is one of my favorites: hello comfort! I picked this sweatshirt up a few weeks ago and have already worn it multiple times. It is great for transitional weather, and can be dressed up with a simple flared skirt. 


9/25/14

Style: Windowpane Prints

one // two // three // four

This trend isn't necessarily new. Windowpane prints have been around for ages, but I am loving this graphic print for the upcoming months. You can pair it with almost any color, and it plays nicely when layered as a set. I have my eyes on this Topshop Dress. It would look great with sweater coat and booties- the perfect look to ease into fall. What prints are you eyeing this season?




Shop a few more of my favorites


9/24/14

In the Kitchen: Pear & Walnut Muffins


I did something unusual this weekend: I went hiking. Since moving to Charlottesville I've preferred to view the mountains from the valley (most likely at a winery or brewery), but I promised Will I would give hiking a try this fall. So this weekend we the back trail of Humpback Rock. It was steep and at times a little rocky, but the mountain views and fresh air made me ready for the seasonal change. The leaves on top of the mountains were beginning to change, and you could see chimneys putting off smoke in the valley. I'm still savoring the last haul of tomatoes from the farmer's market, but I'm glad to see apples and pears coming into season again. 

Pear & Walnut Muffins 

2 pears, shredded 
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 
1 cup flour 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
12 cup oats 
2 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 cup buttermilk 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1/4 tsp. nutmeg 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Combine flours, oats, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. 

Melt butter in a small bowl. In a larger bowl combine vanilla extract, buttermilk, eggs, sugars, and spices. Mix in melted butter. Stir to combine. 

Slowly pour buttermilk mixture into flour. Then add pears and chopped walnuts. Gently mix together (do not overmix or the batter will be tough). Pour batter almost to the top of a greased muffin tin. 

Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on baking rack. Serve slightly warm. 


9/18/14

Style: Midday Skirt


I was originally hesitant of midi skirts. I was afraid they would overwhelm my petite frame. And yes, some do look a bit ridiculous, but I've found a slim version actually elongates my figure. I picked up this Madewell skirt on sale while in Charleston a few weeks ago. It's become my go-to piece for any occasion: work, farmer's market trips, and cocktail hour. I'm looking forward to wearing it with booties and knits as the temperatures drop, but for now I'll continue to savor sandal and t-shirt weather.