Pumpkin Party!

Contemplating the future of my perfect, round pumpkin

On Saturday, Matt and I headed up north to Ventura to do some outlet mall shopping and visit our friends for a pumpkin carving party!

I ended up carving a kitty, and Matt carved a headless horseman. Here are all the pumpkins lined up after carving. Pretty amazing, huh?

while carving the pumpkins was super awesome, the hostess definitely out did herself with a sumptuous Oktoberfest themed menu! Look at how delicious everything looks.

Because I am a glutton for punishment and you just HAVE to see some close-ups, look at how detailed this party food is! There were chocolate mice (with licorice tails and almond eyes).

There were “Devil” eggs, with red bell pepper horns and scallion beards. (mmmm deviled eggs. I could eat this whole platter.)

There were black widow spider cupcakes, with cute little licorice legs:

My personal favorite, cat poop cookies:

And last but not least, a “bleeding heart” red velvet cheesecake dip. This was SO yummy but I had the good sense to try two little graham crackers of it and then stay far away, lest the hostess find me under the table at the end of the night with smears of dip around my face and unbuttoned jeans.

I actually did just fine with all of this delicious food, and allowed myself a little bit of everything, but kept in moderation. I’m determined to come back tomorrow with a rockin’ Thailand 20 result for you – and as yummy as everything was, I can’t go off-plan every time I see something delicious because that would be all the time. Have you gone to any Halloween parties yet? Were they as amazingly decorated and full of awesome treats like this one? Share!

The Hostess’ Pumpkin – She carved this free hand. I know. Insane! So talented!

A triple surprise in Phoenix

Aunt Karolyn, Kathy and Uncle Keith, the birthday triplets!

Hello, bloggies! How is everyone doing? This weekend was a whirlwind for Matt and I, as we jetted off to Phoenix for 24 hours to attend our aunt’s and uncle’s 60th surprise birthday party! Karolyn, Kathy and Keith were the first triplets born in Phoenix, and to celebrate, the family decided to give them a very big surprise.

The party was held at a country club, and once people walked down the stairs they were greeted by this banner giving a little hint to what was to come. The banner says… “A lap full of joy, two girls and a boy. The triplets were born September 5, 1952 and grew up as Children of the 60s.”

Matt’s awesome aunt Gina arranged all of the decoration and concept, going for a groovy psychedelic 60’s bash with a little bit of Alice in Wonderland flair.There were balloon center pieces at every table made up of daisy balloons, and each table had a jar full of vintage candy like Zots, buttons, candy cigarettes, chocostix, necco wafers and lemonheads. I picked out all of the zots and now my teeth are suffering! There were also vintage records and album posters placed around the room. It was a blast from the past!

There was a very nice buffet of fruit, salad, cookies and cold cuts – a nice light and yummy dinner.

I got the lucky task of decorating the cakes… with food coloring gel. Not my usual supplies, but hey, I made it work! Does any one get the reference to Alice on here? Name that band and song. Matt had to explain it to me. I’m not quite up to date on my 60’s references.

When Karolyn, Kathy and Keith walked in, I think it was safe to say they were pretty surprised- here they are right when they walked in!

It was really cool because Matt and I haven’t seen them since our wedding two years ago, so were also a big part of the surprise! It was so fun to be around that side of the family and celebrate with them. Here I am with Matt and my awesome in-laws, having a blast.

We had so much fun in hot hot Arizona, but sadly we only got to stay for one night. After the party, we dragged our butts out of bed and flew back to Los Angeles to change eras once again. Sunday night we were guests at a 1920’s themed bash! Stay tuned for the next post to see how Matt and I got Hollywood Glam!

(I know these posts aren’t weight loss related, but they’re fun! They’ll also show why my posts are going to be a little light this month. This weekend we were in Arizona and then went to a wedding. Next week I’ll be working on site in San Francisco for four days then flying directly to Baltimore for Fitbloggin’. After that we come home for a few more days and then it’s back up to Northern California for Matt’s birthday. We are busy beyond belief! Add in a thesis in its final stages and a full-time job and it’s true that life is what happens when you’re busy making plans 🙂 How lucky we are though to get to do all these exciting things! )



Independence Day Treats

Revolutionary Berries

I’ve got a little bit of Martha in me, because when I see cute food, I swoon, and immediately try to think of a reason why I need to make it. Such was the case for these darling Revolutionary Berries my friend Hilda found. My gracious friend Julie was having a 3rd of July party, so I thought they’d be perfect for a patriotic snack.

Party-goers enjoy berries. (Pic credit: Virginia)

They’re super simple and are made with only three ingredients – white chocolate chips, strawberries and blue decorating sugar. They were kind of a pain in the butt to dip in the melted white chocolate, but the result was super cute and happily, the berries were gone in SECONDS -the best compliment you can get as a chef.

Citrus Squishies

The other thing I just HAD to make after seeing them in Food Network Mag (sorry – no link, but “Not Martha” has something similar here.) were “Fake Fruit”. I have two massive orange trees in my backyard, so a reason to actually use the fruit on my tree was a good incentive for me to make these – and they looked like fab party food.

Some of the things you need



You need these things: Lemons, Oranges, Orange Jello, Lemon Jello, a sharp knife, a muffin tin, and a cutting board.

First, you slice your fruit in half and remove the pulp. I used a sharp knife to loosen the pulp and then a spoon to scoop it out.

Those aren't muffins!

Then you place the empty halves into a muffin tin to balance them. Prepare the jello according to the directions on the back of the box, and use a small measuring cup to fill the rinds up to the top. It’s ok if a little bit spills out because the jello will shrink as it sets. Carefully transfer to the fridge and then refrigerate until firm (let them set longer than recommended – they’re hard to cut). Place wiggly side down and use a very sharp knife to cut them into wedges.

So cool!


Next time, I’ll blot the rinds dry so that the jello sticks a little bit better, but I think for the first time making them, they came out great. Also next time? I’ll add limoncello and orange pucker. Mmmm. Boozy fake fruit – can’t get much better than that.


Scroll down to see some more pictures. I had a wonderful fourth of July – I hope you did too!


Matt and I enjoyed a lime shaved ice!

Yummy! Virginia tries out an orange slice!

Me and my Grad School Girlies - Hostess Julie and Virginia

Happy 4th of July!