Archive | September, 2012

September Bakin’ Friends Reveal

28 Sep

Good morning and TGIF!

I am excited for today because Stef and I have a special evening planned tonight. We are going to Euro Night, hosted by the French Embassy, which is a showcase of all the various cultures and cuisines across Europe. We get to be all dressed up and try foods and drinks from all over the continent! Europe, food, and Stef – possibly my favorite combination. Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Friday’s post usually (and by usually, I mean the last two weeks) highlights an article or blog that really resonated with me during the week. This week it’s going to be a little different because I’m going to reveal what I received from my Bakin’ Friend this month!

Here’s how Bakin’ Friends works, to quote the creator, Steph, herself:

“Bakin’ Friends is all about connecting bakers, bloggers, foodies, and people who just like sweets! We’re in the business of baking and making friends!

Each month we will be baking goodies, with a secret ingredient, to send out to one another. I’ll let you know at the beginning of the month what secret ingredient we’re using. It might be chocolate, it might be maple syrup, it may be bacon, whatever it is though you’ll be required to use it (unless there’s an allergy to the ingredient) in your baked goody.”

This month, my friend was Linda from My Foodgasm Journal and nothing could have prepared me for what was in the mail. The secret ingredient was cinnamon and I was interested to see what she came up with. I was so excited to find this at my door one night!

Guys. She made Oatmeal Bacon Waffle cookies. BACON. In cookies! I have never heard of anything like it!

I couldn’t get over how cute the waffle pattern in the cookie was and honestly, my mind is still blown about putting bacon in a cookie. Gold star for creativity! Luckily for my roommates, I had plenty to share – thanks for making me look good, Linda 😉

If you are interested in signing up for Bakin’ Friends, head on over to Steph’s blog to get started! What could be better than baking things and sending them to new friends and then receiving all these yummies right at your doorstep? It’s a wonderful thing.

If you want to check out what I sent to my Bakin’ Friend, Maegen, then head over to Healthy, Happy, Nourished to see her post! Her husband (they just got married in June!), Jon, took the cutest pictures of her opening up the Pineapple Crumb Cake I sent her.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my giveaway that is open until Monday!


27 Sep

So guess who got caught in a thunderstorm while walking home from the bus? A-yup. I was not a happy camper when I dragged my waterlogged body into the house. To make matters worse, I was coming home from a volleyball game that my team lost. Booooo. Luckily, a hot shower, a cup of tea, and one Disney Pandora playlist later and I’m feeling much better.

My volleyball game didn’t start until 8, so I went out to Happy Hour with some co-workers – two of which were German interns who are leaving after this week ends. We went over to The Front Page, a popular bar/restaurant near DuPont Circle in D.C. I was also stopping by there because I wanted to wish a big happy birthday to a friend from back home who also lives here in DC.

I haven’t been to a happy hour in awhile and I don’t know why! I got a delicious hummus plate for $4!

I knew I wasn’t going to want to make dinner when I got home from volleyball, so I ate beforehand. Luckily, I had enough time to digest so I wasn’t feeling icky during the game. It is amazing how quickly the day went by – I didn’t get home until 10! By the time I showered and got ready for bed, it was, well, time for bed.

I’m going to try to stay awake a little longer because UW is playing Stanford right now and they’ve just started the second half (go Dawgs!). I will admit that I’m not the best UW fan – I blame it on the time difference and how it’s hard to stay up late to watch those evening games. Any chance I have to express Husky pride, I will do it!

Food For Thought: Do you follow a college football team or do you prefer the NFL or do you just not like football altogether?

Cows Eat Candy

27 Sep

Good morning! I can definitely tell that the days are getting shorter because it is daark when I wake up in the morning. That makes getting out of bed a little rough – I may have to invest in one of those light therapy things.

I couldn’t make up my mind for breakfast this morning, so I had a little bit of both things I was craving. I started out with a yogurt bowl with some cereal.


But I had such a craving for a PB & J that I made an English muffin and topped it with the good stuff – no recalled peanut butter for me!


Now that my tummy is full and happy, I can get busy with work – time to publish another monthly journal so it’s craziness over in my world. There’s plenty of time to read articles like this, though – I picked it up from Monica over at Run Eat Repeat and I can’t get over it.  Cattle farmers are starting to feed their herds ice cream sprinkles and gummy worms because they can’t affording the rising costs of feed. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some gummy goodness, but feeding it to cattle? Now when we go to buy meat, we have to remember to ask: 1) Is it free range? 2) Is it free of hormones and antibiotics? 3) Has it been fed candy?

It almost makes you want to be a vegetarian. Almost.

Anywho, I have to cut this short because I need to go do some work that I’m actually getting paid to do. Hope you all have a happy Thursday, free from sugar-crazed bovines!

P.S. Have you checked out my fall giveaway yet? Contest is open until Monday, so get commenting!

Happy Birthday, Amy!

26 Sep

Hey all,

Made it through a Body Pump class today! I was still a bit low on energy because I’m trying to get over this cold, but I’m glad I decided to go. I was originally planning on staying after for the Zumba class that followed, but I was too wiped and decided to call it a day.

At home I made a yummy salad (haven’t had one in awhile!) to go along with what was left of the soup I had made a few days ago. A little toasted pita bread on the side and I’d call that a good dinner.

I decided to take advantage of the greens that were going bad in my fridge and had a salad for lunch, too. This was accompanied by some carrots, an apple, a small container of trail mix, and a packet of sour Smarties for a little treat.

I saved the trail mix and apple for an afternoon snack, but really lost interest in the trail mix as I was eating it. I’ve been having some major cravings for citrus, so the dressings on both salads today were a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil to keep the flavors bright.

As I mentioned in my morning post, there are some birthdays in my life today! One of them is for my best friend, Amy, who lives in Seattle. We were roommates in college and have been friends since our freshman year, when we met at one of the orientation events that were held by the university to get people out and meeting each other.

At a Husky football game!

She is originally from Aspen, Colorado, but came out to Seattle for school and now she loves it and has decided to stay. Between my year in Rome and my move to Washington, D.C., we really haven’t been in the same city for awhile. No matter, our friendship will survive the distance 😉

I can’t wait for her to make a trip out to visit me in Washington, just like she did when I was living in Rome! During my year in Italy, Amy was there for a month on a trip for one of her classes in college and it was so much fun getting to spend time with her in a foreign country and to have a familiar face from home.

One of my very favorite things about her is her sense of humor and how we are constantly on the same wavelength. Example: Our Halloween costumes, circa 2009…

Bunny and carrot

I miss her so very much and wish I could be there to celebrate her birthday, but I know she will celebrate in style, because that’s how she is. So, my dear friend, here is a virtual birthday cake with my love to you!

This is the birthday cake she made for me on my 21st birthday – so appropriate 🙂


The Big 1-0-0 + First Giveaway!

26 Sep

Good morning and happy Wednesday! I woke up when I was supposed to and made it to work on time, hurrah!

Breakfast was all about keeping warm and the key ingredient this morning was Pumpkin Pie spice…talk about putting a little oomph! in your morning oatmeal! Mixed in with some chopped apples and today’s oatmeal tasted like an apple pie. On the side I enjoyed a big hot mug of tea to help my sore throat.

Can’t wait to nip this little cold in the bud. I missed last night’s post because I was at my friend Ellen’s house for dinner. We have been meaning to get together for weeks and finally pinned down a day we were both free. She was so nice and offered to make dinner for the both of us, so I headed over to her place after a very half-hearted attempt at Zumba. I felt much better after ten hours of sleep, but my energy level was still really low yesterday, so my workout wasn’t the best. A for effort, right?

Dinner was a wonderful meal of lasagna, meatballs, and steamed broccoli (with plenty of shaved parmesan on top!). I love to cook as much as (or probably more than) the next person, but it was so nice to sit down to a meal that has already been prepared for you by somebody else. Thanks, Ellen!


As you may know, this post is particularly special because it marks the 100th post of this baby blog! As somebody who has tried numerous incarnations of daily musings (journals, diaries, Xanga – remember that?!-, etc.), I am proud that I have been able to post this frequently!

I considered how I wanted to celebrate such an achievement and decided that I wanted to celebrate with a giveaway! Since I’m a newbie and sponsors don’t love me, this giveaway is on behalf of me, myself, and I. To celebrate fall, I wanted to come up with something lovely and autumn-y, and because this is a food blog – it had to be food related! Keeping these things in mind, I made a special ‘Celebrate Fall Mystery Box’ that I will be giving away to one lucky reader. Since it’s a mystery, you don’t get to know what is inside – but all of its contents will be dedicated towards making fall wonderful.

There are three separate entries that you can submit to get yourself entered (you can choose to do only 1 or both or all 3!):

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thing is about fall.
  2. ‘Like’ Magia e Pasta on Facebook, then come back and leave a comment saying you did so.
  3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet ‘Have you checked out @sara_speaking ‘s giveaway yet? Enter to win a fall mystery box at’ then come back and leave a comment with the link to your post.

The winner will be chosen at random and will be selected on Monday, October 1st!

The contest is over and folks, we have a winner!


Congratulations! Please email me (magiaepasta at gmail dot com) with your name and address so I can send you the prize!

On an unrelated, but important note, happy birthday to my dear friends, Amy and Samantha, who are both turning 23 today!

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