Friday, November 21, 2014

NomNom: Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall evokes many things for me. It's a season of change where the chill in the air is more noticeable and you know that winter is creeping right around the corner. I have an aversion to freezing temperatures so hibernation mode has been on this week since mother nature apparently wanted us to experience a glimpse of winter already. However, I love that I can finally take out my warm sweaters, coats, and cozy scarves and know that my favorite holidays will also be coming up soon.

In terms of food, I'm not a huge pumpkin person. I know people get giddy as soon as Starbucks puts their pumpkin spice latte on the menu but I just can't get on board with that excitement. That drink just tastes awful to me. Same goes for pumpkin pie. Not only do I think that it's just way too much pumpkin flavor for me but I dislike the texture of it so it's always been a pass for me whenever I see it on the menu/table. Not even a second glance.


Pumpkin bread has always been the exception and a favorite for me, but it's also one of those tricky desserts where it has to have the perfect balance of spices and sweetness to evoke just the right amount of pumpkin spice taste. When I came across this pumpkin cake recipe, I was fully interested in making it since the ingredients needed were similar to my go to pumpkin bread recipe, only with slight differences.

So let's talk about the cream cheese frosting. I don't even like frosting but cream cheese frosting is special. It gets me. There is nothing new about cream cheese frosting but the combination of pumpkin cake with cream cheese together is really something. A relationship that makes absolute sense, similar to carrot cake and cream cheese. Trust me when I say that this is the perfect pumpkin cake with equal parts sweetness and spices that is decadently moist <---KEY. I mean I'll just put it this way--my newfound problem with portion control I never knew I had suddenly had became an issue when eating this cake.

After reading people's review on this recipe, the only changes I made was adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract, increasing the ground ginger amount, and decreasing the sugar in the frosting. This recipe is 1000 percent going into my recipe archives and will debut again for Thanksgiving per the request of loved ones and for the purpose of having leftovers. Because cake for breakfast is always a good idea. In bed. Crumbs optional.

Have a great weekend. Xo.


Ingredients (Adapted from http://southernfood.about.com/od/pumpkins/r/bl30212s.htm)
2 cups of sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pumpkin puree or cooked mashed pumpkin

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Procedure
1. Combine sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

2. Sift dry ingredients in separate bowl; stir into oil mixture, beating well. Stir in pumpkin puree.

3. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Turn onto racks to cool. Frost pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the sifted confectioners' sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Makes enough for 2-layer cake or 1 large round cake.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Put a Pin On It

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Blazer-Elie Tahari
Coated jeans-AG Jeans
Belt-Ann Taylor (old, similar HERE)
Shirt-Old Navy
Sunglasses-Celine
Brooch-Chanel


Whenever I go on trips and end up buying a special piece from the country I traveled to, it makes that item a bit more special. I have been wanting to buy a Chanel brooch for awhile now but held off on purchasing one because the size of the brooches I kept seeing were too small (my Chanel SA informed me that only the vintage pieces were larger in size). While I was in Hong Kong, my sis and I were window shopping to kill some time before meeting with my friend K.L. for afternoon tea and somehow found ourselves inside the Chanel store;) I asked to see the brooches they had in stock and basically fell in love with the brooch I am wearing today. It was apparently a new style that just came out (half pearls/half crystals) and the size was perfect. The pin wasn't too small where it looked disproportionate when worn on tops/blazers or too big where it just looked obnoxious. This is one of those classic pieces I see myself wearing for years to come and will also hold as a special reminder from my fun trip to Hong Kong.

Have a great week. Xo. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Snapshots



This weekend I….

1. Added this new Alexis Bittar necklace to my accessory drawer, after stalking it ninja style, waiting for it to drop in price. Today is the last day for Bloomingdales friends and family sale for extra 20% using code HOLIDAY. Thanks to my sis for the heads up.

2. Watched another documentary from Netflix called Blackfish. I've mentioned several months ago I've been on this documentary kick and it hasn't changed…if anything my interest for documentaries have intensified. It sounds nerdy but I find them fascinating. Anyway, the most recent ones I've seen so far are Fat, Dead and Nearly Dying, Spinning Plates, and Blackfish. I highly recommend watching all of them, especially the first two if you are interested in food. Blackfish, however has nothing to do with food but focuses on a killer whale at SeaWorld who ends up killing his trainer and interviews former SeaWorld trainers who tells you what goes behind the scenes with training these whales. It was horrific and saddening to watch the emotional/physical abuse that occurs (have tissues ready) and it's only deepened my major dislike of places like SeaWorld and Ringling Bros. Please watch.

3. Received the last of my Sephora stash from their friends and family sale that occurred last week. Most of the products I ordered are things I needed to restock on but I'm especially happy to have bought a new perfume I've been eyeing--Carven. I'm not a huge perfume person (only own Chanel Chance) because I just don't care for perfumes and a bit particular with scents; however when I first smelled this at Saks Fifth Avenue a couple months ago I was hooked. It's light and sweet with soft notes of floral. Love.

4. Finally checked out Compass Rose Bar, located in Washington, DC. The menu of this gastropub is a collection of international dishes from various countries the chef has traveled to. Loved the cocktails and low key atmosphere of this place and it was fun trying out different dishes that didn't focus entirely on one type of food. Unfortunately they don't take reservations so prepare to wait.

5. Took another pilates class this weekend. I started trying pilates (with the reformer machines) and it's...hard. My thighs and arms burn after class but I suppose that's a good sign. The past couple weeks I have been trying out different studios via classpass (cycling, pilates, purebarre) and I will do a collective review on all the studios because not all studios are created equal.


How was your weekend?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Uniform

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Dress-Ann Taylor (on sale use code FRIENDS40)
Shirt-Old Navy
Purse-Chanel
Leather bracelet-Hermes
Sunglasses-Karen Walker


Happy Friday! I've been wearing both this button down shirt and dress over and over again and I actually have another outfit post coming soon wearing this shirt again. What can I say? I like to maximize the wear on my clothing purchases;) Oh and I took this photo when the weather was a tad warmer (which explains the bare legs) compared to today's cold front and what's in store for us this weekend so black tights are now necessary. Sad.

Stay warm and have a great weekend. Xo.


 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Checked

Photos courtesy of Sung Shin

Shirt-Ann Taylor
Scarf-Zara
Faux leather jogger pants-F21(similar style here)
Sunglasses-Fendi



Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've done an outfit post which has partly been because I've been feeling uninspired and a bit burnt out with blogging. I wanted to detach myself from blogging to focus more on my personal life with out having to feel the pressure of trying to have posts ready for the week. The mini break is just what I needed to feel refreshed to blog again (with new ideas) and am looking forward to sharing regular outfit and food posts again with you. 

Have a great week. Xo.