Raspberry Lemon Scones, Stacked Enchiladas, Sausage Pepper Penne

 Raspberry Lemon Scones: I had extra jam/sauce from making my hub's mom's cakes and I didn't want to throw it out (it was mostly just delicious innocent raspberries) So I used it as filling for jam. I wanted to make it with oats though and lemon. I couldn't find 1 recipe I liked so I opened them all on my computer at once and took a guess at how I wanted it all together. They turned out super tasty! Josh took one for breakfast and came home asking if we could have them for dinner.
This is the first recipe I've figured out on my own and not mostly just tweaked someone elses and I'm super proud of it!!!

For Scones:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 oats-toast oats
zest of 2 small lemons
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp
1/2 cup butter
1/2-3/4 cup buttermilk
Raspberry Jam

For Glaze: Mix the 2 together :)
3 tbs. lemon juice
1 1/5 cups powdered sugar

preheat oven 375 degrees F

1    Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder in bowl
2    Put oats in sauce pan and toast for 3ish minutes- sounds weird but do it! It gives the scones a light
     nutty taste- yumm!- then remove from heat
4    Then grate in butter (you can also cut in the butter with 2 knives or use a pastry knife but I think
      grating it, while a little messier, actually mixes in more evenly and is faster)
5    Mix oats, lemon zest, and vanilla in with dry mixture
6    Then stir in buttermilk- Add only as much as needed to allow mixture to form a dough
7    Knead dough with hands and transfer HALF of it to a floured surface
8    Pat dough into about and 8 inch circle
9    Spoon Jam onto dough, I used about a 1/2-3/4 cup of jam
10  Flatten remaining dough a little in your hands, place on top of jam and flatten a little more
11  Cut into 8 triangles and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet
12  Bake 10-15 min, or until toothpick comes out clean
13  Take off sheet and let cool, then drip on the lemon glaze

Stacked Enchiladas:
Super easy recipe and definitely worth it, makes 4
1 bag frozen roasted corn; thawed
1 bag frozen peppers; thawed
1/2 bag frozen spinach; thawed
1 can black beans; drained
2 tomatoes; chopped
1 jalapeno; chopped
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
shredded mozzarella
preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1   Put corn, peppers, spinach, and tomatoes and 1 tbs. chili powder in large pot and boil until water is
     evaporated- about 8-10 minutes
2   In a bowl mash beans, then add cilantro, remaining chili powder, salt and pepper
3   Place 4 tortillas on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper (less messy later)
4   Spread bean mixture over tortillas, then top with vegetable mixture and some shredded mozzarella
5   Cover each with another tortilla and then top it with more of the vegetable mixture and shredded
6   Bake for about 15 minutes
7   Top each with a spoonful of salsa and garnish with cilantro

Josh and I reheated these 2 days later for dinner again and the reheated fantastic! Seriously recommend this one!!!

 Sausage Pepper Penne
3 peppers; chopped
4 Italian Sausages
2 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 red onion; chopped
4 basil leaves
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
penne pasta
salt and pepper

1   Put olive oil and balsamic vinegar with chopped basil leaves in sauce pan, let steep on low heat for
     10 minutes. Add some salt and pepper
2   Meanwhile cook sausage in another saucepan with garlic
3   Put peppers and onion in saucepan with basil oil, turn up to medium-high heat and cook through;
     6-8 minutes
4   Cook penne pasta
5   Place pasta in bowls and top with peppers onion and sausage

 Chocolate espresso cupcakes: I made these for work to sell for the MS Bike Ride. The recipe said it was for chocolate espresso cookies- I promise it wouldn't have. It would have made soup though. But luckily I added more flour- made it actually a consistency that could become solid and decided to make them cupcake brownies. They turned out yummy. It is the same recipe I used for the cake but with 1/2 cup more flour.


Elrod's Weekend Off

 This is how we start of a weekend in which our plan consist of- do nothing- vanilla bean ice cream with fresh blackberries from the farmer's market
 We skyped with my whole family for Erika and Colton's birthday. We had a lag so we were a little off on the singing part. But it was so so nice to see all of them. It felt busy and full of people. We were all having different conversations and laughing.

 Our kitty neighbor friend stopped by and fit in a cuddle with Josh

 There is a building across the street from us where it is legal to graffiti. It changes daily. Some are really amazing and I went because there were cool spray painted dinosaurs and I wanted to show my friend Katy- but alas a new vandal had already painted over it. I love walking by it to Trader Joe's and seeing someone working on it and seeing it finished when I walk back.

Mocha Buttercream on White Cake, Raspberry Sauce on Chocolate Espresso Cake

I loved making the cakes for Josh's mom's brithday/visit. 
I intended to only make one cake. The brownie-like one was going to be a middle layer but I decided that their consistencies were too different and so I made 2. Nothing wrong with 2 cakes- except that Josh, his mom, and I ate almost all of them. I made bacon date scones for breakfast during her visit but we mostly ate cake for breakfast, and any other time we were home and tried to rationalize eating it.
The white cake with the espresso-almond frosting was heavenly. Josh and his mom decided it was their favorite cake. The white cake layers were so pure and moist and light and it mixed perfectly with the almond upfront taste of the frosting that faded to the espresso flavor as you ate it. Almond extract is my favorite to put in frosting. I always still use some vanilla but a ½ tsp. of almond extract and I promise people will love your butter cream frosting- it is just something a little different- but they notice!
Ok so for the white cake layers- it makes 2 8x8 layers to stack or 1 9x13:
2 3/4 cups sifted flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1   Sift flour, baking soda, and salt until it is all fine powder, no clumps.
2   In yet another bowl beat the butter until creamed and then add 1 cup sugar and beat until mixed and well
3   Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture along with some milk a little at a time, beat together each time
     you add more
4   Mix in extracts and then beat until smooth
5   In another bowl beat egg whites until foamy and add 1/2 cup sugar gradually until it forms soft peaks
6   With a spatula mix in the egg white mixture throughly   
7   Pour mixture into a floured cake pan of your choosing. I did 2 8x8 cakes and they took about 25 minutes
     each. Make sure to let them cool before frosting them.

And of course it couldn't have been done without Agatha!
For the espresso almond frosting, the amount I made created enough frosting to fill and frost the cake:
adapted from this recipe
11/2 cups of butter, at room temp. ( I always forget to take my butter out of the fridge so you can zap it in the microwave for a few seconds or I sit it on top of my preheating oven and rotate it to all sides until it is an okay consistency to use)
3 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 tsp. expresso powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1   Mix espresso powder in with vanilla and almond extract until dissolved- this stops the powder
     from being gritty in the icing
2   Whip butter in mixer on mid-high until very creamy
3   Turn mixer to low- or you'll get sugar everywhere, and mix in powder sugar no more than 1/2 cup at a
     time. Mix in throughly before adding more. Then do the same with the cocoa powder.
4   Once it is all added increase speed and whip until fluffy and add the extract mixture. Mix until it is
     throughly mixed it.
I garnished the cake with cocoa nibs and some cocoa powder on top. You don't have to add the cocoa
powder but I didn't want the frosting to be white. So that's were the cocoa came in, it also brought on the espresso flavor sooner. The espresso flavor was a light aftertaste though, not overwhelming and would still probably go over well with non-coffee drinkers!


the Twins are NINTEEN

My youngest siblings are 19 today! (o my goodness, I need a few deep breaths)
I remember sneaking into my parents room while they were napping so I could hold them standing up (my parents said I had to sit-I was only 4 so naturally I disagreed), playing gymnastics in our basement and Colton trying to pick up a pillow bigger than him and falling over, Erika and I would always play school and she would beg for me to make up homework for her- Now they just ran off to college- Colton is studying computer science & Erika is studying nursing.
We think about them all the time and wonder what they are up to.
We miss them oodles but are so glad that they are finding their way in college and hopefully having a blast.

so HAPPY BIRTHDAY my twins
I hope you have a fantabulous day full of laughter, cake, and wishes
Joshua & I are thinking of you!!!


Mother-in-law takes on Seattle.2

We went to the locks on Sunday. And luckily there were still some fish in the fish ladder. There were also sea lions out catching fish too. It was a pretty gray Seattle day but we got small glimpses of sun here and there. We would make sure to point it out when they occured.
We wandered around the locks for about an hour. Teresa and I spent a good 15 minutes trying to get a photo of the sea lions :)
But overall we made a relaxing Sunday. In the morning we grabbed coffee and went to Greenlake- a 3 mile loop that Teresa said if we made her walk around she was just going to wait for us on a bench :)

We went to a little antique shop near us and grabbed lunch at Latona Pub which has giant windows and let amazing food! Seriously- Portabello sandwiches, homeade black bean veggie burgers. It really hit the spot for all of us.
There are 22ish steps in the fish ladder. They actually can jump like 4 feet in the air.

Sea Lion. He was playing with his food, He tossed it around for like 5 min!

I got a photo of guts and blood :/
I'm sure she hates this photo but Josh and I like it. I think it is cute!


Mother-In-Law takes on Seattle.1


I'll have a food post about these cakes soon. Teresa said
the one on the right was her favorite cake ever!
Made my weekend! I'm easily flattered if you compliment my cooking!

Josh's mom was visiting this past weekend. We ran around Seattle all weekend- and gave his mom shin splints from all the walking. But we had fun despite the dreary weather and long walking distances. She never got to see Mt. Rainer though, too cloudy :( The first night we had cake! Lots of cake- it then served as breakfast, middle of day snack, and nighttime snack for the rest of her visit. (Josh and I now vow to run the rest of the week!)Then Thursday night after work we went to a fun whole-in-the-wall BBQ place called RoRo's in Fremont. They make their own sauces and their pulled pork sandwiches are so yummy. Then we took her to one of our favorite parks with our favorite view of the city skyline- Gasworks. Unlike in Cincy in Seattle people go to the parks after dark and hang out and walk around. So naturally she was a little weary of us dragging her to a park in the dark but once we got her up on the hill overlooking downtown Seattle I think she felt it was worth it. We explored the pipes of the old gasworks too. Josh and her friend Mike were discussing how it would work - SO I ran around taking photos instead of listening. :) 


Little things

A few new things have joined the Elrod household. I finally got my AIR PLANTS! I have been wanting some of these forever. I kill everything and I have decided that this is the solution. Plus I love glass and jars and Josh thinks things should have a purpose and so now I can put my air plants in my glass jars! :) I was a little giddy when I bought them. The cashier laughed at me a little. Josh's mom also laughed at me a little- she liked them too though!

This is Gregory

& because I didn't want him to be lonely this is Filipa


Postcard Art

I really liked the way they both turned out I think they're fun.
I love sending and receiving postcards! We have gotten so many lovely postcards since we've been here thank you so much for everyone who has thought of us.
I took old paint sample chips from work and cut them all up into strips

Then I basket weaved them sometimes over-under, or over-over-under and such to show more or less of a color underneath

But I kept a rhythm and to give it an order to the chaos. Then I left some undone and glued the edges and arranged it on a postcard the way I thought looked best and cut off the excess.

I did a watercolor for this one and then used tape to create the background graphic white space and then peeled the tape off.

I have started to send some out lately. Since work my work deals with designing hospitals mostly I don't get a lot of creative freedom out during the work day. But I love graphics and all things paper goods and I have always made cards- since I was super young. So I've decided that on top of sending postcards that have terribly overexposed 90's postcards (outfits and hair give it away they are so badly awesome) I'm going to make them. Paint, paper whatever I'm feeling to kind of give myself an outlet but not a pile of random things I make- instead I'll send them to all the people I love.
I sent the one below to my sister Mallorie and the other one to Emily. Plus I love people's personal art work and it always makes me smile if they did it for me so I'm hoping to make some people smile.

Let me know if you want one! I'd love to make one for you and send it with a little note! Can't say I'll do it immediately but I'll make my way to it I promise!!

Mt. Rainier x2

So the first time was all snow and this time it was all wild flowers YAY
We got a little lost because there was still snow covering some of the paths and ended up adding 2 miles to our hike. We found a waterfall on our detour though but the last 1/2 mile was all up hill. I asked Josh what he thought of the hike and he said it exceeded all expectation. This hike has everything you want on a hike- paved & unpaved, climbing stones, hike through snow, go over bridges, logs and hop stones over water, frolic in meadows! We just kept saying we can't believe we live so close to something so beautiful! Altogether we hiked about 6.5 miles.

When my mom and I hiked this last year it looked like this too but then I found out that it only looks this gorgeous with all the flowers in bloom for about 2 weeks this time it was planned but my mom and I got lucky- I just think it's really cool that her and I could see all this together. I remembered a bunch of places from when her and I hiked too. I will always love this hike.

Prepare yourself for the barrage of pictures below :)

P.S You can click the photos to make them larger!!! Do it!!!

I got to play with my macro lens!!

Gorgeous waterfall that we walked across the top of

We hiked all that- mostly!

The snow and snow ledge we had to climb down and through

Looks like Lord of the Rings kind of scenery


Bumbershoot Music Festival & Flatstock

We went to the mainstage show for the Presidents of the USA show because we wanted to check out the stage and left after 3 songs- MAN were they terrrrible. The theme of the songs were 1-cat, 2-sun, 3-bug - yeah that bad. But besides that the sunshine was fantastic and cheery and there were about 7 stages and for some the backdrop was the space needle which was just fun.

We bought more fried foods and a couple of thai iced teas- Josh is obsessed, he craves them so we had to get seconds. But what was really nice was that everywhere you went there was live music to enjoy whether getting food or browsing the handmade merchandise.

A lot of the bands this year at the festival are local to Seattle and we were psyched about that because we love concerts but don't know any bands yet. We left feeling like we have a great basis for bands to reference, follow, and check up on who else they play with.
Worth your time to check out some of their music!

We ate snacks and sat by the fountain listening to Campfire Ok. They were a pop indie band but with the sun shining and the grass everywhere it set the day up on a really light positive note.

This show was awesome. It was in the an emergency exit back of house area inside one of Frank Gehry's building's the Experience Music Project building. It had incredible acoustics and we were right in front. They were a little gospel, r&b, folk, indie all meshed into amazingness. The lead singers voice live is to die for Josh and I danced like crazy and fell in love with them. Josh was sold when they kept inserting Star Wars movie quotes in between songs (he would know) They had a great stage presence and sounded SO STINKING GREAT that words aren't good enough. We thought Bumbershoot was worth it just to see them!- That good! So seriously check them out you won't regret it.

Craft Spells
The lead singer of this band was really funny. Their songs sounded a little alike from one to the next but kind of reminiscent to the Pomegranates in Cincy. Not as good but still fun to go see and watch live. We really want to check them out, we think the bands they play with around here would probably make for a good show all together.

EMP Building photos. We're pink!