Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fall Bits & Pieces & Playlist

Can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away! Crazy! Where did the time go?  I must say, as much as I am ready to deck the halls and let the Christmas-ing commence, fall has been such a fun season I’m sad to see it go. It’s truly my favorite time of year for so many reasons. The cool, crisp weather … which finally moved into Texas (thank God), leaves falling & changing colors, lots of Pumpkin Spice Lattes (way more than I should have had), pumpkin baked goods, Halloween, and… my birthday!  So I thought I’d share some fun fall memories with y’all today as well as a fall playlist! :)

Halloween ~


Spent Halloween with my family, watching "It's the great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", and enjoying our traditional goodies we make every year. Like my dad’s green punch! It simply wouldn’t be Halloween without it.


Yummy chicken salad sandwiches & buffalo chicken dip! 


Popcorn balls are a Halloween must! And I also couldn’t resist making some Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream. They were delish if I do say so myself!


A fairytale pumpkin! These are my favorite, so pretty!

My Birthday ~


I’ve always loved that my birthday is in the fall! On Nov. 5th I turned 28, and to celebrate the day, I went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my parents.  And even though I begged them not to, they told the waitress it was my birthday … so moments later I was sung happy birthday by the Cheesecake Factory staff. Isn’t that always oh so awkward? Or maybe that’s just me. But on the upside, this peanut butter cup cheesecake was to die for!!

It’s funny though, not only did they spell my name with a C instead of K, but they left out the S. Ha! Didn’t realize that until later. So apparently to them I am Crytal. Nice, huh? ;)


After cheesecake, I did a little shopping and stopped off at Williams Sonoma… oh how I could freakin’ live in that place! It’s like a baker’s dream. I picked up some cute cupcake liners (can never resist them) and some really pretty sanding sugar.


Yummy chocolate cupcakes I made a few days later just so I could use said cute cupcake liners and sanding sugar. ;)


And to top off the birthday festivities…oh yes, my awesome parents bought me this beauty!! It came in the mail a few days before my birthday and I was freaking out! A stand mixer has been on the wish list for some time now, so I could not have been happier. Isn’t it pretty?! The best birthday gift ever!

Though when I used it (ahem, like an hour after I got it) I realized a slight problem with it. Don’t know if any of you who have stand mixers have the same issue, but it doesn’t mix everything evenly. It mixes what’s in the middle of the bowl but misses everything on the sides. I googled this problem and apparently it’s pretty common, it’s called beater to bowl clearance. They said that at the factory they adjust the beaters to clear the batter from the bowl (which makes no sense to me) so that’s why it doesn’t mix properly. I read how to re-adjust it yourself but am a bit scared to do it. If any of you have had this problem would love to know what you did about it.

Fall Crafts ~


Finally did a few little fall craft projects! Like these glitter pumpkins! They were so fun and easy to make! Messy (was covered in glitter) but fun! They made for a really lovely fall display.


This super simple leaf garland; just made out of some fall scrapbook paper and yarn.



And last but not least, I made these jar lanterns! I made 12 of these things for my sister’s wedding last month, so I could pretty much make them with eyes closed now lol. So I made a few to put around the house but this time slipped in some scrapbook paper to give it a fall touch.

Fall Playlist ~

Here’s a fall playlist I put together of all the songs that sound like the season to me and have been keeping me company on these pretty autumn days. May I suggest listening to this with your windows open letting the cool fall breeze float in while enjoying a pumpkin spice latte? Hope you enjoy, loves! :)

Fall 2012 Playlist by Krystal Rodriguez on Grooveshark



Saturday, November 3, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo

I’m always on the look out for good pasta dishes and this one has become a fast favorite. Pasta is definitely my go-to meal when I’m looking for something quick and easy to whip up because it’s so versatile, there’s so much you can do with it. I’ve already made this delish pasta dish twice just within these last few weeks…and I can’t wait to make it again.

It has the sweet taste of roasted red peppers; which you can roast on your own or buy in a jar to save time. I opted to take the extra time and roast my own, which is super simple. The herbed goat cheese and half and half make it really creamy. Top it off with some parmesan cheese and parsley and then devour! Bon appetite, friends! :)

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo -


(Recipe found @

2 whole red bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fat free half & half
4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese
2/3 cup grated parigiano reggiano cheese
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (optional)
1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil 10 minutes.

In the mean time, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil 7 minutes or until tender. Pour in half & half, goat cheese, salt & pepper. Stir to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat.

Uncover peppers, peel off skin and remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces and place into sauce along with parmesan cheese. Stir to melt cheese and remove from heat. Pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. Place back into hot pan and toss with cooked pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Top with more parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and parsley, if desired. Yield: 2 large servings.