Monday, April 27, 2009


That's the sound of relaxation. I have been bad in my blogging skills, but that is because I have been so incredibly busy. That is exactly why Jason and I needed a weekend away at Sandlake Country Inn. I last posted about this B&B in November of 2007 for our 1st wedding anniversary. It has been far too long since we visited (Sorry Diane and Ron!), so we packed up the car and headed to the beach.

Whenever we head to the Oregon Coast, we always stay at Sandlake. I have lost count, but I believe this was our fifth time spending the weekend there.

Here is why we love it:

1. Great food
2. Warm, inviting rooms
3. Very kind and personable innkeepers
4. Cookies at midnight, or any time of the day really
5. Special extras (robes to wear, cozy slipper socks, homemade bubble baths, etc.)
6. Ron's own roasted coffee
7. Cozy beds

This was the deck off of our bedroom. I spent a lot of time sitting out here watching the birds. It was heaven. To see pictures of the rooms, you can check out their website, or actually, just go there and stay a weekend.

I could go on and on. Seriously. We love this place and have recommended it to several friends. The people that we have sent have NOT been disappointed.

Yes, I take pictures of food. My husband thinks this is hysterical.

What arrives at your door an hour or so before breakfast:
Some of the best coffee we have consumed. Ron roasts it himself. I should have bought some before we left but I forgot. Do you guys ship?

Breakfast Day One:
It all comes bundled in a basket to your door. You get to eat privately (in your pajamas if you choose) in your room.

Here is what was on the menu:

Orange Pineapple Juice
Fresh Fruit with Sweet Cream Sauce
Baked Apple Oatmeal with milk
Sandlake Breakfast Pie
Strawberry Filled Muffins
Breakfast Day Two:
I took a bite of the coffee cake before I snapped this picture (I couldn't resist, it looked so delicious).

Here is what was on the menu:

Orange Strawberry Banana Juice
Strawberries and Cream
Diane's Homemade Granola and milk
Italian Eggs
Blueberry Coffee Cake

Now, it's back to reality and real life. I have to cook again, and not have someone else make it. Can I just order pizza for the rest of my life? Better yet, can I just go move to the coast and order pizza there?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Regular Size Cupcakes

I think this is my first ever blog entry that posts about cupcakes that aren't gigantic.

I have a learning team meeting for school tomorrow, so I decided to bake. That would get my baking itch satisfied as well as give me the chance to offload some of my goodies. After all, I really don't want a dozen cupcakes in my house. You don't need me to explain why.

This is a recipe that I have posted before, but it warrants a second look. It is my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It is also surprisingly easy, and can be made into a regular cake (8x8 sized pan), or into cupcakes. My mother was not convinced that these would do well in cupcake form, but I proved her wrong. Sorry Mom.

These cupcakes could be easily jazzed up by changing the frosting. Now, don't mess with the buttercream itself. It's just too good to be altered. I am suggesting that you use a different flavored extract. Peppermint for Christmas time, orange for the summer, lemon would be delicious, or how about almond? I am pretty certain that any extract would be good with the chocolate in the cupcakes.

Aren't these guys cute? I left them in their newborn form and decided not to taint them with sprinkles or food coloring. After all, who doesn't love just a plain cupcake? Let the flavor of the cake and the frosting taste for itself.

I hope my learning team likes them!

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes
from: Pachey's Family Recipe

1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 shortening (I used butter)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour milk (if you don't have sour milk, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the milk)
1/2 cup boiling water

* Put ingredients in order given. Beat. Pour into cupcake pans, filling the pan 2/3 full.
* Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Frost with Buttercream Frosting

1 pound confectioners sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
dash salt
teaspoon vanilla
milk (depending on consistency)

* Blend ingredients in mixer. Add milk to desired consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes.