If You Can’t Take The Heat…

Nick gave me a cooking class for my birthday this year and I must say that has been the best birthday gift I have ever gotten (expect for life, from my mom). It was so much fun, we got to take the class with about 12 other people who were just as excited to be there as we were.

chef jordan(Our teacher, Jordan, used to work at Gary Danko in the city- so you know he’s good!)

sea scallops(Our first dish was an amazing scallop dish. It was my favorite of the night!)

cooking class(What class is complete without wine?)

onions(We learned basic knife skills, like how to chop an onion in about 10 seconds!)

risotto balls(Nick placing our Arancini on the cooking sheet)

arancini(Finished product: Arancini (fried risotto balls) and home made marinara. DELICIOUS!)

chocolate mousse(For dessert, an amazing chocolate mousse with sea salt and dark chocolate bits)

I can’t say enough good things about Jordan’s Kitchen. If you are a local and looking for a great time, go! But he does sell out quick so plan in advance!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Fairmont HotelChristmas in San Francisco is definitely a beautiful sight! The city is lit up even more than usual and the trees are decorated perfectly. This year a group of us decided to check out the 2 story tall Gingerbread House located in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill. It was truly something to be seen and smelled!

Gingerbread House(7,500 pieces of gingerbread brick lined the walls, it smelled delicious!)

Gingerbread Wall(Layers of icing, marshmallows, and sprinkles held the house together)

Gingerbread Wall(A nutcracker chilled behind the glass and gummy stars lined the walls)

Eating a House(While I would like to live in this house, I think I would have  a permanent stomach ache if I did)

Candy Village(A tiny mock village was made ENTIRELY of icing and candy! The little penguins were too cute!)

Ornament(A huge Christmas tree sat next to the house. The ornaments were so beautiful, we couldn’t resist taking a photo!)

Presents(A little side area was reserved for children to watch movies and write letters to Santa so of course we decided to play)

Letters to Santa(Everyone was peeking at Connie’s wish list. “I would like a boat please. More specifically, I would like a yacht!” A girl can dream, can’t she?)

Visiting the Fairmont lobby was a really fun way to spend a crisp Winter night with friends. We walked across the street afterwards to have a Christmas cocktail at the Top of the Mark and spent the evening watching the twinkling city from 13 stories up.

Delicious Dishes – Pumpkin Muffins!

CupcakeFaceI love to bake. Ask Chelsea, sometimes I bring a tupperware full of freshly baked cupcakes to the office and before I have even sat down she is standing behind me demanding to know what that delicious smell is. And the tupperware is air tight! I’m a little worried about her actually, she can eat her weight in cupcakes- I mean it isn’t pretty about 15 minutes later but she keeps doing it. I digress! My mom has always been a baker so she has shared her recipes and kitchen with me since I was a little girl.  Fall is my favorite time of the year for baking because the best spices start to appear in all kinds of delicious dishes.  With that being said, I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes for pumpkin muffins and what I do to make them seasonally perfect!  Using this recipe, you’re sure to make lots of friends by bringing them these sweet treats- just don’t tell Chelsea because she doesn’t like to share or save any for others.


(I always bring all of the ingredients out first and put them away as I add them to the mixing bowl.  That way I remember what I’ve already added.)


(I usually add things to my liking so for this recipe I added about a teaspoon of Ginger spice, a bunch of raisins, and coconut.  Once you get comfortable baking, it’s fun to throw in flavors that will add that extra bit of delicious-ness.)


(I’ve started sprinkling coconut on my baked goods instead of frosting for a healthier alternative.  I love coconut and it adds the perfect texture and taste.  I like to use cute paper cups to share with friends but you can also bake without any of the cups in the pan just make sure to grease the pan first.)


(They come out golden and crisp but still soft in the center after 20 minutes.  They also fill your house with an amazing Fall aroma.)

Make these this weekend and share them with your friends! Thank you for a great second week, see you on Monday!