Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blogger Award Nominees

Today we found out that we had received the The Versatile Blogger Award from our friends at The Ardent Epicure at  It is a nice surprise to be acknowledged, since we are still a young blog, by a beautiful blog like The Ardent Epicure and we are truly honored and we thank them!

The Guidelines for accepting this award are:

- Thank the person who gave it to you.

- Tell 7 things about yourself

- Pass the award on to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered,
  and think are fantastic!

7 Things We Would Like to Share About Us:

1.  We love motorcycle's and husband has a Harley Sportster

2.   We are a family of two sons, Alex is 25 and is currently in the
       Marine Reserves.  Jason is 20 and currently a junior at University
       of North Texas.

3.   We have two dogs Abby a.k.a Miss. Mule (pointer beagle mix) and Bailey  a.k.a Bad Boy Bailey (shih tzu)

4.    Our names our Rowland and Ronnie a.k.a RnR

5.    Married 5/2002, honeymooned at Martha's Vineyard

6.    Ronnie works with special needs children part time

7.    Rowland works in the financial field for a large brokerage firm

Our 15 Choices for recently discovered bloggers:

1.    A Happy Girl & Loving Life
Love this Jersey girl's approach to good eats, and sharing her light hearted stories along with great recipes and food photos.

2.    Simply Maran
Her blog promotes eating healthy, sharing her healthy lifestyle while attending college.

3.    My Life As a Mrs.
A beautiful blog documenting a newly married brides life, beautiful stories and photos.

4.     Joseph's Grainery
This blog is all about creating beautiful recipes with wheat, barley and lentils.  Great stories and recipes.

5.    The Mom Chef
I can totally relate to this blog because I to am a magazine collector.  This mom documents recipes made in her test kitchen from home that she gets from magazines she has collected.   Great stories and photos

6.     Chef Dennis - More than a Mount Full
I know why Chef Dennis receives numerous awards, he has a warmth and sense of humor that is very evident in his blog posts.  When we started our blog he was our first follower.  I look to him for inspiration and love visiting his blog and you should to!

7.     Monet - Anedotes and Apple Cores
I love Monet's baked goods, she shares a warmth through each of her recipes and beautiful photo's.  We are big fans!

8.    Weekend Food Projects
A blog dedicated to food and photography.  This blog is a mix of beautiful recipes and food.

9.    Bittersweet Blog
I have to say this is one of my favorite blogs.  Rick cracks me up with his great sense of humor, and his very different twist on food keeps us coming back!

10.  Baking Serendipity
Great family recipes and good conversation with beautiful food photos.

11.   Queen Bee Eats For A Day
Beautiful recipes and photos accompanied by great stories.

12.    The College Critic
An insight on a college students prospective on bland college food.  Beautifully documented.

13.     The Voice of Joyce
Fun filled blog with beautiful home baked goods recipes.

14.    Foodalution
With an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, Megan takes a fresh and healthy food and turns them into delicious recipes.

15.     JoeynGoy
Simple and straight forward approach to food.  The recipes and food are beautiful.   Makes me want to cook!

If you haven't already visited these blogs, stop by and visit them!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Brunch at Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro, Washington, DC

My older son called me today and told me he was visiting an old friend in Washington, DC  and was having brunch at a great neighborhood place.    Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro, Washington, DC is located in the heart of the historical district of U Street & 11th Street Corridor.  My son Alex and his friends love this restaurant for the casual, laid back atmosphere.  It nestles itself among the neighborhood and nearby shops. 

Offering wine classes and Flamenco Sunday (dancers and all).  Offering over 100 wines from all over the world along with a brunch, dinner , dessert, and happy hour menu.

Alex choose a selection off the brunch menu called Pan Catalan and eggs, 2 sunny side up eggs on Gruyere toast, tomato pulp, prosciutto, manchego cheese and a side of fresh arugula salad, accompanied by a cool champagne mimosa.

Other brunch offerings include cheddar grits to omelets to granola made from scratch.  I would say my son Alex did a great job with his food commentary and said he will offer his input from time to time.

Thanks Alex!  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread Cupcakes

Did I say I love cupcakes!!!!    Besides loving to cook I also love to bake, the only thing is it takes more time and sometimes I just don't have a moment to squeeze into my already hectic day, but when I want to relax I bake.  Baking brings happiness to me from mixing the creamy batter to the homemade creamy frosting's I create.  I do this as a favorite past time and always love the end result.  I don't have to think about anything else other than the precise measurements it takes to make my cupcake batter and filling the batter into paper cups and waiting as my creation comes to life in the oven. 

I know why their is such a cupcake craze that appeals to so many people, because if you are the person that is just buying cupcakes, just stepping into a cupcake bakery brings instant happiness the moment you lay eyes on all the pretty color frosting's and details of each cupcake.  Now if you are the person that bakes cupcakes like me than happiness comes from your homemade baked creations.

This weekend I had some time on my hands to relax and decided to make my Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread Cupcakes, which I haven't made in a while.  I have a separate folder I keep all my cake recipes and decided to look through it and choose this recipe.  My cupcakes are cream cheese frosted with a light powder of cinnamon and sugar on top.  I also sliced some fresh banana's and used them as a finishing touch on top.  I'm glad I took my pictures fast because between friends and family they were gone in a few hours.   My husband said he liked them even without frosting with just a dusting of powered sugar.   I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.  Bake and be happy!

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose four (leveled)

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 - 2 cups mashed bananas (about 4-5 bananas) plus 1 whole banana for garnish 
Note:  Depending on the banana taste you want I found 4 banana's was a mild taste and I prefer 5 bananas because I like to taste the banana more.

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

Make a well in the center of flour mixture.  In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla.  Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not over mix this tends to make cupcakes dry).  Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups filling 3/4 high, (Using an ice scream scooper makes it easy to evenly portion batter).

Bake for about 25-30 minutes.   Toothpick should come out clean.  Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on wire rack.  When cool spread tops with creamy cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with equal parts fresh cinnamon and sugar, top with slice of fresh banana.

Cream Cheese Frosting:


1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

8   ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4  teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy about 3 minutes, also make sure butter and cream cheese are at room temperature so you have no lumps when mixing. 

Reduce speed to low and add sugar, 1 cup at a time and then vanilla, mix until smooth and creamy.  Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days just bring to room temperature and beat until smooth before using.