And the Winner Is…

Congrats, Leah!  You just won a pair of earrings from ThreeWishesStudio!  I can’t wait to find out which ones you choose.  The sweet Caramel ones that would perfectly complement some chocolate chip cookies?  The aromatic Vanilla ones that you can wear while eating spiced rice pudding with vanilla bean?  Or the luscious Candy Apple pair that you can sport while making apple crisp?  Hmm..that’s a toughie.  Oh wait!  You’re choosing, not me!

Thank you to everyone who responded with their favorite things about fall!  Football and changing leaves seem to be what most everyone looks forward during this season.  Also a big thanks to everyone who “liked” P.L.P and ThreeWishesStudio on Facebook.  It’s a great way to stay connected in between posts.

If you didn’t win, don’t worry!  You can still purchase a pair of these earrings, and if you like the style but want a different color, there are most to choose from on ThreeWishesStudio’s Etsy site.

On a side note, I am finally in my new place in Miami and have been super busy unpacking and trying to find my cookbooks and bakeware so I can post some new recipes for you!  So hang tight for just a wee bit longer, pleeaaassse.

Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.  -Vince Lombardi


A Trip Home

So remember last week when I told you that I had a MILLION things to tell you?    I kind of lied.

It’s really only a few things to tell, but they are things that have been going on in my life and I like to share them with you, my friend.

Jacob coming to visit was the 1st thing.

Onto my 2nd thing:

About a week after my photo shoot with Jacob I traveled back to Kansas City to visit my family and friends.  I hadn’t been home since my wedding and figured it was about time to visit.  Of course, I picked the hottest week to be there!  I left the 105° in NY for the 106° in KC.  The good thing about KC is that you ride in cars and not in subways, so this makes for a much cooler commute.

So let’s see, what did I do while I was there?  I ate.  Visited with people.  Ate some more.  Ate again.  Then slept and woke up and ate some more.  The only reason I like vacationing is because I get to ditch my homemade meals and get down on some greasy, grimy, fatty food!  Ok, and I like to see everyone too!

The first day, my mom picked Jon and I up at the airport and we went to Houlihan’s.  They are everywhere but for some reason I only go to them when I’m home.  For being a chain restaurant, I was really amazed at their plating.

On the third day, we celebrated my little brother’s 21st birthday.  How strange to see him with a beer in his hand.  It seems like only yesterday he was talking about yumpf-yumpf (oatmeal) and calling me Oxney (Ashley.)  Not having time to make a cake myself, nor my mom having any proper baking supplies (we seriously need to upgrade your kitchen, mom) we picked up some cleverly cute cupcakes at Target.

I must say, I am super impressed with the way grocery stores and shopping centers are stepping it up.  No more star tips and air-brushing!  I even saw this cute cake:

Then I got to have some of my favorite pizza from Minsky’s.

It’s my own concoction: whole wheat crust with alfredo sauce, monterey jack cheese, and almonds.  Don’t judge.

The next day I met up with my friend, Jeanne from ThreeWishesStudio.  She lent me some jewelry to wear during my photo shoot with Jacob and I had to return them although I desperately wanted to “misplace” them because they were just SO adorable! Below are the two pictures that Jacob took.

Don’t tell her, but I may have worn the flower one out to dinner the next night.  It was just too cute!  I did get lots of compliments though.  You should totally check out her Etsy shop.  She does some amazing things and even made my wedding jewelry for me and my bridesmaids!

On our final day there, my in-laws had a small bar-be-cue with the family; Jon and I got to cut into our wedding cake.  It hasn’t quite been a year, but I don’t think the cake would make it back to Jersey and I knew we wouldn’t be back on our anniversary.  I hope that wasn’t bad luck?

Chocolate-strawberry marbled cake with vanilla buttercream.  I was weary of eating it but it was actually really moist!

It was a great trip and so wonderful to see my friends and family but it is great to be home!  Our trips are always so jammed pack that I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation!

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.  ~Seneca

I wanna know more.

Hello you!

Yes, you.

I wanna know more about you.  Your likes, your dislikes.  Well, only those that pertain to this blog.  Does that make me selfish?  I’m sorry.  My email( is always open if you want to message me about what’s happening in your life…food related or not.

So anyway, there are a few little polls down here that I would like you to take, if you don’t mind.  I just want to know more about what you’d like to see from me, how often you want to hear from me, what I can do to make you happy.  See, I care about your needs…maybe I’m not so selfish after all.  If you have any other comments to add, feel free to leave them here or email me!


Thanks for helping out!

Spiced Rice Pudding

Let me tell you something, standing over a hot burner in your 82° apartment with the AC off is probably not the smartest idea, but if this is what a girl has to do to get a tasty treat then this is what she’ll do.  I’m sure you’re thinking “Yes, a tasty treat I will do anything for, but why would she deliberately have the AC off?”  Up here, in the great Northeast,  central AC is very hard to come by.  Maybe they don’t think it gets hot enough to have one? ( It was 90º yesterday.)  So without central AC we are stuck with window units and mine happens to be in a window in my kitchen (which makes it really hard to get natural light for photos, by the way) and that window is right next to the stove.  When the AC is on, the burner won’t stay lit, hence a hot, hungry girl standing over the stove watching milk evaporate.

Ok, so now you are probably wondering why I was watching milk evaporate.  This leads me to the reason I am writing today:

I found this lovely recipe on one of my favorite baker’s blogs.  Her name happens to be Joy, Joy the Baker.  And her name does not disappoint. She’s joyfully witty, gives great baking and boy advice, and has beautiful photos.  Wanna learn how to make this splendid spicy treat?  Follow me.

Risotto Rice Pudding

recipe from Joy the Baker


2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup Arborio rice (the same rice used for risotto)

3 1/2 to 4 cups milk (whole or 2%)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

large pinch allspice

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped (we only need the seeds) or 1 T vanilla extract

fruit for topping (I used peaches)

In a medium saucepan, over low heat, scald 4 cups of milk.  Bring the milk to just under boiling, turn off the flame and let it rest.

In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter.  Add the rice and stir to coat.  Ladle in just enough hot milk to cover the rice.  Stir over the low flame.  The rice will begin to absorb the milk.  When the milk is almost fully absorbed, ladle in more hot milk.  Stir until absorbed.  Continue this process, standing over the stove, and constantly stirring.  Taste the rice as you near the end of the milk, you want it to be close to tender.  You may only need 3 1/2 cups instead of 4.   As you add the last bit of milk, also incorporate the sugar, salt, spices, and scraped vanilla beans.  Stir well to combine.

Stir over low heat until the milk is gone and the rice is tender.  This takes about 15 minutes, but trust your taste more than the clock.

Cook until your desired consistency. I like mine a bit thicker than my husband does…this causes problems.  Serve warm or cold, with fresh fruit or without.

Rice pudding will last, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

There you go.  You just made one of the easiest recipes.  You just add milk, stir, and repeat.  I hope, for your sake, that it’s much cooler in your kitchen when you decide to make this.  Happy Eating!

The belly rules the mind.  ~Spanish Proverb

Favorite Cookbooks

Hello there!  How’s your day going?  It should be going good because it’s Wednesday and more than likely a short week for you!  It is for me as well!

I’ve been working on a new dessert to share with you guys.  Just a bit more editing and you will see it (hopefully in the next day or so.)  In the meantime, check out some of these cookbooks that I get my inspiration from.

From Top:

The Flying Biscuit Cookbook <– A gift from a friend. Down home southern cooking.  This is an actual real-life restaurant in Atlanta. It’s on my list to visit.

Pillsbury Baking <– A gift from my husband.  My first actual cookbook.  This is great for beginners!  It has quick recipes and also more in-depth recipes.

Baked: New Frontiers in Baking <– A wedding gift. This is a bakery in Brooklyn that I also have yet to go to.  I know, I’m horrible.  They have such beautiful pics!

The Modern Baker <–For the more experienced baker but written well enough that even a learning baker can understand what’s going on.

The Essential Baking Cookbook- Bay Books <–couldn’t find a website for this one.  It has a little bit of everything and even tells you the skill level of each recipe.  There are troubleshooting questions in the beginning.  The book is British so some of the ingredients may be difficult to find in a standard grocery store.

I love collecting cookbooks and I have so many more that I want.  There’s just something about the photos and having the paper page to turn that makes me so happy.  Not to mention, I always worry about spilling something on my laptop when I have it in the kitchen.

What cookbooks do you own and love?

Okie Dokie, I’m off to finish that blog post I was telling you about!  Happy Reading!

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.  -Harriet Van Horne

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