Sunday, February 24, 2013

Florida Snapshots Part I

In January, I headed to Florida for a much needed holiday back home. 
It was the near perfect remedy to months of spinning my wheels here in Amsterdam.
I'm still hanging on to the warmth of sunshine and hugs from my family and friends,
especially on dreary days, like today, in Amsterdam.

Today's a snowy Sunday and we're taking a break from the kitchen renovations and
 I'm listening to an (all banjo themed!) episode of Prairie Home Companion
which will always remind me of Sundays at home with Mama.

There aren't many things greater than feeling the warmth of sunshine, long awaited bites of my favorite foods and most importantly, the earnest love of my family and friends who reside Stateside.
I was lucky enough to have day after day of these combined fortunes and my soul feels restored from the memories made over those all too rapid two weeks.

Here are some snapshots, favorite moments of my quick trip Florida...

I tried adamantly to eat Mexican food every day while in America...
definitely one of my best, most delicious ideas!
And the hot sauce options...who could ask for more!?


Y'all are so friendly down south!

It's taken some time to get reacquainted to the ebb and flow up my life abroad here in Holland.
But remembering the sweet hugs from friends,
playing card games with my beloved ninety-five year old granny,
and the silly waddle of my darling chicken Tallulah, 
all give me a necessary boost against my never ending homesickness.

PS. Have you tried the OVER app? I'm a recent user and loving it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pumpkin Raisin-Cranberry Muffins + Cream Cheese Frosting

I spent Sunday catching up with a good friend
over a piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
at a cute Amsterdam cafe.

Which reminded me how much I love cream cheese frosting...
and how long it's been since I baked something from my favorite cookbooks.
So, I cycled home and immediately baking two dozen muffins.

 I'd been hiding an extra special can of pumpkin puree in the cabinet since Thanksgiving
just waiting to whip it into something tasty!

These muffins turned out to be too yummy to keep all for myself,
I'd recommend going to bake them right away.

So, while streaming this week's episode of Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me
two-dozen muffins emerged from our tiny oven,
filling our house with a delicious cinnamon-pumpkin scent, 
perfect for a cosy Sunday night in.

Speaking of deliciousness, can we just brush over the fact that I might have definitely
licked the bowl of cream cheese frosting clean? 
For the record, it had close to 3 teaspoons of pure Madagascar vanilla extract 
and not a pinch of that liquid gold deserves to be wasted. 

Pumpkin Raisin (and cranberry) Muffins 
Recipe adapted from Green Market Baking Book 
Cream Cheese Frosting 
Recipe from New Complete Vegetarian

I'd love to know if you try it these!
Find my adapted version of this tasty muffin recipe after the jump...

PS. If you're in the mood for muffins, how about spiced pear or banana cinnamon? Yum!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekend Wanderings: Snowy Trees and Sunshine

Winter's bitter chill has taken over Amsterdam for some time now
 and it seems the only gratification (aside from hiding inside with hot cocoa) 
 is the occasional glistening, snowy scenery.

Having grown up in Florida, with sunshine instilled in my spirit,
my loathe for winter's cold and sludge can hardly come as a surprise.

But instead of hiding inside, we made the most of last Sunday's lovely snow fall
and took a walk around our side of the city to enjoy wintertime
in the bright, gleaming sunshine.

My transplant to Holland's frosty climate hasn't always felt very inspiring,
but as the week passed by, this blanket of snow has since melted away,
which makes me glad to have captured this winter wonderland!

Despite how dreary this season typically is for me,
I was enchanted with the gleaming icy tree branches during our Sunday morning stroll.

So, there on our quiet weekend walk, with bright sun beams filtering through twisted tree tops,
old-man winter gifted me a dose of inspiration,
to get through the next few weeks of cold.

I hope you enjoy these tangled, snowy silhouettes as much as I did!


Ps. You'll find more over on instagram, follow me at lilywanderlust