Chocolaty Chocolate Ice Cream

8:03 AM

Remember when I got my ice cream maker? Well, I've been playing around with it and am finally ready to share an ice cream recipe! It's a simple, classic ice cream flavor, loved by all for generations: chocolate ice cream.

This ice cream takes the chocolate part seriously. The chocolate taste is so rich that its sure to satisfy even the most fanatic of chocolate lovers!

You start off by using cocoa powder.


Customized Composition Book

8:06 AM

Well, like it or not, it's back-to-school season. The bright spot: new school supplies! But that doesn't mean you have to spend extra at the store. All it takes is a little creativity! I took a regular ol' composition notebook and simply covered it with a pretty piece of scrapbook paper! I love how it turned out.

Summer Galette with Tomato, Zucchini, and Corn

9:07 AM

This summer, my family had our annual "Birthday Bash". It's a day when we all get together--aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents--to celebrate the birthdays of all the adults. It usually involves a gift exchange for the adults and a raffle for everybody, including the kids/teenagers.

Well, this year I won my great grandma's rolling pin. It's old with red handles. And I love it. I love baking, and now I have something I'll take to my own kitchen someday that has some family history attached.

So, on to the point of this random tangent. I proceeded, after receiving this rolling pin, to check out books about pies from the library. So I could use this said rolling pin.

That's when something unexpected happened. Instead of fruit pies, I was drawn to making a savory galette. On the way to my last vacation on the coast, we stopped at a restaurant for lunch and I had a galette with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and caramelized onions. That sealed the deal. It was so delicious, I was convinced I just had to make my own. So I did! And got to use my rolling pin! Mission accomplished. 

High School 101

10:21 AM

Why, summer, why? 

That was my plea this morning, when I discovered myself awakening on the last day of summer. It's so hard for me to go back to school, whether it be after summer vacation or winter break or even a three-day weekend. No matter how long I have off, it's so hard to say goodbye to slow mornings and crafty afternoons and bonfire nights and beach days. But since school is, unfortunately, nonnegotiable, I decided that I might as well make the best of it. This is my senior year. My last year before heading off to college. Since I have, in fact, endured three years of high school so far, I think I can call myself a high school expert. And today, free of charge, you get to read my Top Six High School Tips. You're welcome. (Also check out my top 5 tips for taking the SAT here!)

Healthy Blueberry Oat Muffins

10:43 AM

Since when did muffins become a dessert?

Lemon poppy seed. Raspberry lemon-glazed. Chocolate chip. Strawberry coffee cake. Cake is using muffins as a disguise to sneak itself into our breakfasts! I mean, have you had Costco muffins? Tell me those are not small, individual cakes.

But I am bringing back the healthy muffins! If only for just this once... (I still love you, Costco muffins!) These muffins you can eat for breakfast and actually feel good about! The recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups rolled oats and a full cup of blueberries. There is no butter and only 1/4 cup of sugar. Not bad, considering what muffins have become. And these were perfect for bringing along on my camping trip. (You can see the pictures from that trip here.) Simply store them in a plastic container, seal the lid, and pack them up! If possible, make them as close as possible to your departure day. That way, they'll be fresh!

Camping Hack: Eggs in a Bag

5:11 PM

Camping is a summer tradition in my family. I love retreating to a beautiful mountain lake and spending time with my family and with myself--painting, reading, and taking pictures. Nature has a way of making everything else in life feel far away and unimportant.

But I think we can all admit that camping can be a little hard. Not for super outdoorsy people like Bear Grylls, perhaps, but it is for the average person (that's me). I mean, you're living outdoors for a few days, without most modern conveniences. No refrigerator, no TV, no Wifi, no AC (though during my last camping experience, the heater was most missed). It's not impossible by any means to sacrifice those things, but I'll be the first to admit it isn't easy.

One of the hardest things about camping is planning meals and packing food. (Luckily for me, however, most of that chore is left to my dad.) Wouldn't it be great if you could just put all the ingredients in a bag, place it in a pot of boiling water, and out comes a meal? But wait... it is possible! Introducing: eggs in a bag. Eggs in a bag is a super easy breakfast idea because it's easy and delicious and each person gets to chose their own mix-ins!

Mar Vista

7:18 AM

Are you ready for a picture overload?

I hope so, because I took a crazy amount of pictures on my latest trip. It was just too picturesque to not whip out my camera every five seconds. Mar Vista Cottages is located on the California coast. I've been staying there ever since I was just ten years old. My family's first visit was back in 2008. We obviously fell in love with the place, since we've been back so much! It's a gorgeous place and a very peaceful and relaxing stay. 

On the way, we stopped at a delicious restaurant called Sea Ranch. I had the Humboldt Fog Tomato Galette, which was amazing! It had Humboldt Fog goat cheese, caramelized onion, and sun dried tomatoes. Yum! It inspired me to try making a galette myself.