The OC and Me

A blogger is born. She is ravishing, charming, witty, she is… my sister, Cera! Yep, my big sis has taken a step into the blogging world and is already off to a great start.

Before I get into this blog business, I would like to tell you a bit about my seester. Cera is actually 13 years older than me, yet we are as close as twin sisters. I was practically her shadow for my entire childhood, but you know she loved it…

She even held my hand when I had dirt all over my face.

Cera and I spend a lot of time quoting “Steel Magnolias”, “Friday” and “Airplane!”. We can’t get enough of watching bad 80s movies and/or romantic comedies, while drinking cherry rum and diet cokes.

We get along so well because we’re both a little weird… Cera is pretty much the funniest person I know. You may ask yourself, how could someone so beautiful, who spells their name Cera, when it should be “Sarah” be so funny and great. Well, it’s true. I grew up knowing how to truly laugh and be silly because of her influence. I don’t know many people that have no qualms about “embarrassing” themselves in public, just to make someone they love smile. Cera is that person.

Not only is Cera the peanut butter to my jelly, but she even birthed my other favorite person, my nephew Korbin. How can so much greatness come from one person?! Korbin is by far the most kind hearted, hilarious and inquisitive teenager I’ve ever met. I know for a fact it’s because of his amazing mother and badass auntie.

Basically, I know you will enjoy what Cera has to say as much as I do. Her blog focuses on the journey of becoming healthier, including healthy snacks, diabetic friendly meals and exercise options. Cera is ecstatic to share her thoughts and ideas with everyone and she is even more anxious to get feedback, so check her out! Her blog is still young, but a little love goes along way.

Without further ado, The OC and Me!

Rainy Day Tunes

I’m one of those weird people that absolutely loves the rain, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that today was the first day of a week long downpour.

I was somewhat dreading my drive home from work this evening, as drivers tend to panic when the ground is wet. So I turned my iPod on shuffle and it was as if it knew what I wanted to listen to… I couldn’t have chosen better music for driving in the rain. Nothing was ever skipped or started, my little green iPod just played these exact songs back to back. Plus, isn’t it the best when you can rediscover music that you already have? I had to share the amazingness.

p.s. I’m sure there’s a way for me to create an actual playlist, but I wanted to get these songs up here as fast as possible, with out going Google crazy for playlist how-tos. πŸ™‚


“Videotape” by Radiohead

“Do You Realize?” by The Flaming Lips

“Ibiza Bar” by Pink Floyd

“Here is No Why” by Smashing Pumpkins

New Year, New Blog and New Beginnings

As many of my readers have noticed, my blog entries are far from consistent. It’s not because I don’t love baking or blogging, it’s mostly because I get lost. I’m one of those people that is interested in everything! I feel the urge to share multiple things with you all, but this is a baking blog, which means I should just bake, right? Well, things are going to change around here.

I’m no longer going to just be a pair of hands rolling cookie dough. I want to step out and make a more personal blog. I’d like to share big events, as well as little tid bits in my every day life. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be baking! I just want to share my other interests with you as well. I hope this doesn’t disappoint my current readers, as your support is very much appreciated.

Without further ado, my new blog… The domain name has been purchased, entries are ready to go up and I’m very excited. I want to keep web address for a little while longer, just to ease the transition. The new blog was supposed to be up n’ runnin’ before the holidays, but alas, it didn’t work out that way. As you can see, she’s still a work in progress, but it’ll get there shortly!

I’d like to kick off my more personal blog with 20 random facts about myself. I would love to know more about you all as well, definitely leave me some facts about yourself in the comments!

1. I’m the middle child and it’s true, we’re freaks.
2. My absolute favorite color is green.
3. I LOVE dinosaurs.
4. The Griffith Observatory is one of my favorite places to go.
5. I have a thing for late 90s/early 2000s rap and hip hop.
6. I order a plain cheeseburger at In N Out.
7. I’m 5’4″.
8. I became an aunt when I was 12 years old.
9. If I’m not wearing chapstick I will bite the skin off of my lips.
10. I prefer cold, gloomy weather.
11. I travelled to Scotland, England, Paris, Germany and Amsterdam with my mom, as a graduation gift.
12. My celebrity crushes are Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Jake Gyllenhaal.
13. My first job was at Costco.
14. My favorite thing to bake is cookies.
15. I’m my father’s twin. We look exactly alike and act alike, reserved, weird and handy.
16. I could eat breakfast food all day, every day, forever.
17. My first concert was Trust Company, Disturbed and Korn, when I was 14.
18. The song “Wishing” by A Flock of Seagulls always makes me cry because it makes me think of/miss my Mom.
19. My favorite tv show is “Breaking Bad.”
20. I get very angry when someone/something scares me, as you can imagine, I’m not a fan of horror movies.

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Playing With Photo Editing and Redesigning

My favorite part about blogging, aside from eating the goodies I make, is getting to take photos. I’ve always loved photography, but I’d like to take it to the next level. I want to produce some great recipes for you all, as well as amazing photos. Most of my photos have very little editing due to my lack of editing software… but things are changing around the Oven Mitt!

Not just the photos, but it would be nice to tweak the look of the blog in general. She’s been the same for over a year, time to dress her up!

Stay tuned for some aesthetic changes that I’m really looking forward to sharing with you!

Where the Magic Happens

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. My boyfriend received an awesome job offer and we drove up here January 1st, 2013. Heck of a way to start the new year! We were in corporate housing for a month and used that time to look for a house to rent. After countless viewing appointments and applications, we found the perfect house! Not only is it exactly what we were looking for, but it’s below our original budget! πŸ˜‰

We’ve been scrambling the past two weeks to get settled in and have very few boxes lying around at this point. I’m happy to say that it’s really starting to feel like home. I would love to give a home tour soon, but we’re still purchasing furniture and clearing out the last of the clutter. Once everything is all set, I’ll go picture crazy! You can see a lot of the pictures I post in my personal life on my Instagram account: Cobo521.

I wanted to give a little behind the scenes look at where my baking/cooking magic happens, the most important room in the house… The Kitchen.

Not that I could really complain, but there is a ton of natural lighting coming through and it will be quite obvious in the photos. I tried to take down the exposure a bit, but only so much can be done.

As you can see, I really like plants! My favorite part of this kitchen is definitely where the sink/island is. There’s a huge window that brings in so much light, making everything feel so open. Towards the back corner, you can see my “bread basket” which is literally a random basket I found with a green bow wrapped around it, some bananas, my Kitchenaid mixer and some cookies (of course)! Along the window sill, I have some candles, toothpick and some plants.

Here’s the other side of the stove, where the fridge and coffee goods sits. It’s a bit hard to see with the dark backsplash, but we have a Keurig coffee machine, which is amazing! Plus, our little coffee pod carousel, my favorite is the Starbucks Sumatra and pretty much all of the teas.

This is our “stuff” corner. My owl salt/pepper shakers, words cannot describe how much I love them. Then you’ll see a white board, where my boyfriend and I write sweet nothings to each other or to-do lists. Have some coupons attached to the board as well. In the giant goblet, there’s a bunch of pens and little odds and ends that we may need. The little notepad wedged in between is where I write down grocery lists, recipes, etc. The plastic container is our puppies food, she’s hardly a puppy anymore, she’ll be one year old in April! The white boxes are for mail organization, otherwise there would be paper and mail all over the counter.

Anywho, this probably wasn’t as exciting of a post as I thought it would be, but at least you can see where I bake for you! St. Patrick’s Day and Easter are coming up, so I’ll be getting some recipes up for those holidays as they come. I’m thinking some treats with alcohol will be essential for St. Patrick’s Day! A carrot cake will definitely be in order for Easter as well. I hope everyone is having a great day!

We’re Moving!…

I move way too much. It’s been Ontario (California, not Canada haha) to Hesperia to Wrightwood to Vegas, back to Ontario, then to Irvine (in two separate areas) and now we’re living in San Diego, California. Where might we be going next?

San Francisco!

I can’t tell you how excited we are about the big move! In the four short years that my boyfriend and I have been together, this will be our fourth move! Hopefully it’ll be the last one for a while, it’ll be nice to be settled in one location for an extended period of time.
The reason for the big move is extra special. My boyfriend, Chris, has accepted a career changing job offer in Silicon Valley. I’m so unbelievably proud of him, it’s amazing to me how creative and hard working he is. He made a small announcement on his Dribbble and Twitter accounts, with plenty of support and congratulations.

You’d think such a great opportunity was easy to accept, but it actually came at a complicated time. He was approached by the company and as much as he loves his current job, it wasn’t something he wanted to pass up on. After months of interviews, emails, flying back and forth… He got the call. He got the call on the exact day that I got a new job and he got a raise at his current job. Plus, we’ve been actively looking for houses in San Diego! We weren’t even sure how to feel about the job offer because we were excited about what was happening in our lives here. After a few days of discussing, it was time to make a choice. The way we made our decision “official” was a sweet memory for me. We were walking outside our apartment, stopped to hug and face each other. All he said was “Let’s do it.” I squealed “really?!” and he said “yeah, let’s do it.” We smooched, hopped in the car, grabbed some strawberry milkshakes and caught a late movie at the local theater.
Ever since, we’ve been consumed with figuring out the relocation, the exact dates of everything, how we’re going to do the holidays. So far, we have a good plan going… but you can only plan so much, doesn’t hurt to go with the flow sometimes.
So, if you’ve wondered why I haven’t been an avid poster, I’ve been quite preoccupied recently! Plus, we’ll be in corporate housing for a month or two. Who knows how much baking I’ll get done when we first move up there. 😐
I have a lot of holiday treats that I’m looking forward to sharing with you all for the month of December, plus a little something special with my mum. I hope you’re all having an incredible holiday season!

Introducing: Our New Puppy!

Totally not cooking/baking related, but who doesn’t love seeing puppies?!

We adopted our little girl in June from an incredible breeder in Fallbrook, CA. Her name is Pauline from AP Ranch and it was a complete joy working with her. She gave us tons of information, was very honest with us and even took care of her vaccinations! Puppy is a Miniature Australian Shepherd, very sweet and lovey. Potty trained super fast! She’s still a puppy though, so she can definitely be a pill, but the cuteness is strong with this one…
We named her Quora, ya know… from Tron! πŸ˜€

The truth is, I rarely call her Quora, she’s usually “wiggle butt” or “poops.”

Here’s a couple photos of her when we first picked her up at 8 weeks of age (3 lbs):
First time outside her new home
Ripping up toys

Here’s the most recent photos of her. It’s amazing how much she’s changed in just 3 months (14.5 lbs):
Chewing on her bone

And of course, here she is with her brother, Kidden:
They have a love/hate relationship. They love to chase and tackle each other, lots of play time with these two! Kidden has been very patient, but he does get a little annoyed with her and he’ll hiss every once in a while.
Sister and Brother

If you’d like to see endless photos of these two, please follow me on Instagram (Cobo521). I’m out of control with pictures of them on there!

Well… This is Embarrassing.

See, what happened was…

I was having some major technical difficulties with my camera and computer. I continued to bake for you all, took the photos, all that good stuff… but when it came time to upload them to my computer, it wasn’t happening. I knew it was because my poor ol’ laptop was knocking on deaths door and it had little to no memory available for me. Basically, I’ve had a bunch of recipes hanging out in my camera waiting to be uploaded! Beyond annoying.

Laptops are expensive and I was in no position to purchase a new one. Luckily, my live-in boyfriend bought himself a new fancy laptop and lovingly loaned me his older, yet still fancy laptop. He cleaned it up real nice for me, it was brand new! So brand new, that it didn’t have any photo software. *sigh*

After a couple weeks of being distracted by playing Sims 3 on my fresh new computer, I decided it was time to buckle down, purchase the photo software and get back to blogging! I have tons of fun recipes and goodies to post. Hopefully it was worth the wait.

I apologize for my absence and I’m sure it won’t happen again, especially for such a long period of time. No excuses! Just baking!

NYC Experience and Food!

As previously posted, I was in New York City the second week of June with my mum and two sisters. Even with a few mishaps, we had a great time. I couldn’t get enough of the beautiful architecture and the awesome food, I even threatened to move there a couple times.
I wanted to share some photos from our trip, some food, some sights, all kinds of goodies. Bare in mind that I took all of these photos with my phone, so please disregard the quality and possible Instagram-like editing. πŸ™‚
Awesome coffee shop called Caffe Bene. Not only was their coffee amazing, but the gelato and little bakery treats were unreal. The decor was simple, with great character. Apparently one will be opening off of S. Western and 6th in L.A. in July. I may have to drop by!

A pretzel in Central Park, so cliche of us… The park was stunning, the pretzel was ok. Must’ve chose the wrong vender.

My delicious chicken parmesan panini from the Europa Cafe. Mum had a pastrami sandwich and didn’t seem to be too impressed.

We also got some cupcakes from Europa Cafe, I got the Peppermint York cupcake… it was ok. It just didn’t taste the way I thought it would. The cake was dry and the icing had a strange texture and taste.

Best. Dinner. EVER! Trimonte on 46th, between 8th and 9th is now my favorite place in the world. I had their four cheese pizza, which was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. Mum had lasagna, which she pretty much admitted that it was better than her famous homemade lasagna! My older sister, Cera, had a cheese pasta that was cooked to perfection. We were eating each others’ food, drinking wine and had an amazing time. The restaurant is on this gorgeous street and only had about 10-15 tables total, very cute and quaint little place.

Chinese food place in China Town. Not impressed. Chicken was flavorless and the rice was decent (but I’m pretty sure it was rice-a-roni). It was pretty forgettable, I believe the restaurant was called Chinese Kitchen.

We did stumble into Crumbs a couple of times. Yes, we have one in Beverly Hills, but who wants to drive from San Diego to Beverly Hills for a cupcake? They were pretty good, some flavors were much better than others. The Good Guy and Apple Cobbler (above) were definitely the best set we bought. Super moist, delicious and we couldn’t put them down.

Breakfast at Park Cafe. Reasonably priced and really good! I love bacon… and this was good bacon, plus they gave me a lot!

Now, don’t laugh too hard… but Cera and I are huge Sex and the City fans. Yes, we did take the tour and it was AWESOME! We stopped by a sex toy shop, a restaurant, a park, got free cupcakes and even got to end the tour with a cosmopolitan! It rained the majority of the tour and obviously the rain wasn’t kind to our hair.

We stopped by the gigantic candy store, Dylan’s. Although there was wall to wall candy, I was sort of disappointed in the selection. I was hoping for more candies from all over the world, rather than a bunch of commercial brands. Oh well. Dylan’s had their own line of candy flavors, there were tons to choose from. As I mentioned, I love bacon and had to try the chocolate with bacon bits. It sounded too good to be true and it was. Not the best purchase I made. πŸ˜›

Not food related, but we visited the 9/11 memorial. It is stunning. Everyone really needs to make the trip to visit it at one point or another.

Good-bye Oven Mitt, Hello New York!

Well, this isn’t really a Good-bye, more of a See ya later! Early this Friday, I will be flying off to New York City with my mum and two sisters. Cera, my older sister, and I have never been, so this will be an extra special trip for us! Mum and Samantha, the little sister, have been a couple of times before and they’ll be showing us around town.
I’m mostly excited about the food, of course. The ladies can drag me to whatever tourist trap, monument or statue… as long as I get lots and lots of food. There will be no McDonald’s or Applebee’s visits for this girl! I hope to come back with some mini reviews and photos of some of my good and not-so-good eats. Maybe I’ll toss in a couple shots of us having a grand time as well.
You can always follow me on twitter @courtneybowen_ to check out any updates from the trip! I’m sure there will be plenty!
Have a great week! πŸ˜€