Good morning everyone!!! How has your weekend been? Mine has been wonderful…filled with great dates with my husband and good times with amazing friends. What more could a girl ask for?
Oh, what’s that? Chocolate?
True, chocolate does make the world go ’round!
I present to you Salted Caramel Chocolate Blondies!
- 3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 Tbsp
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup caramels, cut into quarters
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan and set aside. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. In a small bowl sift together 3 1/2 cups flour, salt and baking powder. With the mixer on low add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until incorporated. Take the extra 1 Tbsp of flour and, in the same small bowl, toss it with the chocolate chips and the caramels. In the 9×13 pan, layer half of the batter. Evenly sprinkle the caramel/chocolate/flour mixture on top, and then top that with the remaining batter. Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes, or until browned and a knife comes out clean of batter. Let cool for about an hour or two and serve warm!
Yesterday morning I had the privilege of going to a bridal shower for my friend Lauren at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. This little baby was located right on the street where the Boulder Farmer’s Market is every Saturday, so you can imagine how awkward it was for me to carry a massive (read 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5) box through the crowded street. I got some CRAZY looks!
When we got to the teahouse we all sat down and ordered drinks. I got the iced chai:
Funny story: when I worked at Starbucks I had never had chai before. One day I tried a normal chai tea latte and loved the spice, but there wasn’t ENOUGH for me! From then on I would use a pump of the chai syrup and then steep 4 chai tea bags before adding the steamed milk. You guys know I like it spicy 🙂
Anyway, the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House is beautiful! Although it’s not normally covered up by the farmer’s market tents, it seemed like such a fun hidden gem to me. Just look at the decor!
For brunch I decided to order the Portabello Mushroom Panini (housemade foccacia with fresh spinach, roasted pepper, sundried tomato, goat cheese, roasted garlic-walnut spread):
It was served with shoestring potatoes, but I didn’t eat a lot of them. I felt like they were over-done and more of a presentation piece than anything. Still, the sandwich was extraordinary though! I’m now going to attempt my own garlic-walnut spread. I feel like I deserve it 🙂
This is just a little shot of the “roof” of the little patio they have outside. It’s absolutely breathtaking and perfectly blocks out the sun. You get to sit there and people-watch at the farmer’s market (which, let’s face it, is pretty exciting)! I will definitely be back.
When I got home I caught up on blogs and decided to use the new popsicle molds I bought the other day, inspired by the ever-awesome Estela at Weekly Bite. I present to you Strawberry Pineapple Banana pops!
I set about 1 cup each of frozen strawberries and pineapple in the fridge overnight so that they would thaw. I then put them in the food processor with 1 whole ripe banana, 1 packet of NuNaturals Stevia, a little vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Yes, salt! It brings out the natural sweetness 🙂 Then I poured into the molds:
Last night Nate and I went on a date to Old Chicago, then on a whim hit up Kohl’s. I got a great pair of jeans for $8!!! Can you believe that? I think they might be the least expensive jeans I’ve ever purchased, which is saying a lot since I’m such a bargain shopper. I don’t even buy stuff at retail anymore. I mean, it’s all going on sale the next week anyway, right? 🙂
Have you ever been to a teahouse before? What’s your favorite part of the setting there? AND have you ever made homemade popsicles before? What’s the next flavor I should try? I just love the access to new and different amazing teas at the Boulder Teahouse…granted I didn’t really try anything new, but I love knowing where I can go and get some! I’m thinking chocolate fudgsicles are next up on the list for me…I’ll let you know how those turn out 🙂