Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Equip a Kitchen

So I decided to compile my three previous lists on how to start a kitchen into one large list! For your viewing pleasure, may I present the First Apartment Living How to Equip a Kitchen Completed list:


Baking Pan (9 x 9)
Blender (drinks don’t mix themselves!)
Bottle opener
Can opener
Cookie Pan
Cutting Boards
-at least 2, so you don’t cross contaminant
- I like the plastic kind that have a picture of fish, vegtable, cow and chicken so you never mix them up
Dish set
-          20 piece set
-          4 large plates, 4 bowls, 4 small plates
Dish towels
                -2 so you have one when the other’s dirty
-          8 so you don’t have to wash them everyday
Knives (at least 3 plus 4 steak knives)
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Mixing bowls
-          A set of three (S, M, and L) that nest are perfect
Oven Mitts
-          2 so you can grab the sides of a baking pan
Pots w/lids
-          10 qt. stock pot
-          8 qt. stock pot
-          5 qt. stock pot
-          2  qt. sauce pan
-          1 qt. sauce pan

Silverware set
-          ( 8 forks, 4 knives, 4 spoons)
-          They don’t have to match, A la Anthro
Slotted spoon
Vegetable peeler
Baking Pans
-          Casserole dish
-          Glass baking pan
-          Round ones for cakes
Butter Dish
Cake Plate
Cheese grater
Coffee Maker
Dish drying rack
Hand mixer
Kitchen timer
Knives (different kinds)
Meat pounder
Muffin Tin
Nesting Bowls
Place mats/ table cloth
Rice Steamers
Rolling Pin
Salt and Pepper Shaker
Serving Platters/Trays
Table Cloth
Tea Pot/ Kettle
Toaster Oven
Wooden spoons

Pantry :

Barbecue sauce
Bouillon cubes (Pick your favorite)
Brown sugar
Canned beans
Canned soups
Chocolate chips
Confectioner’s sugar
Light corn syrup
Nonstick cooking spray
Olive oil
Pancake mix
Peanut butter
Salad dressings
Soy sauce
Tomato sauce
Vegetable oil


Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt
Sea Salt
Vanilla Extract
ALSO- get one of those four mixed spices shaker (like lemon pepper, rosemary blend) they can add spice to every dish and this way you don’t have to mix spices!
Almond Extract
Bay Leaves
Chili Powder
Cream of Tartar
Ground Ginger
Red Pepper
Seasoned Salt
Sesame Seed

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weekly Wonderings: August 24th

       So after last week's list of recipes, this week I thought I would share some of the projects I want to accomplish in the fall. Some are grander than others, some are just points of interest to jump off from but at least if I have a list, that is a starting point.

I love this idea, but a set of straight crayons is a bit elementary for my tastes (like my pun?). Maybe something a bit more abstract? 

I want a chandelier! This is so pretty, and elegant.

But my budget is more for one like this!

Too cute! I am definitely being cheesy and sending this to my boyfriend!


So what fall projects do you have in mind? Has pinterest started to control your life, I hope I am not alone!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Cauliflower Pancakes

      I finally did it! I accomplished one thing off my weekly wonderings recipes list! Yay for being proactive. So let me just say these things were SO yummy. Mom and I made them for lunch and we fought over the last one (we ended up splitting it). They were quite easy to make and definitely worth the try. 


1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
½ cup cheddar cheese
½ cup panko (from in the ethnic section of the grocery store)
½ tsp. cayenne pepper (more of less to taste)
½ salt
1 tbsp. olive oil


  1. Cut cauliflower into florets (chop off the stem) and boil it in water for about ten minutes.
  2. Mash the cauliflower. Mix in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil.
  3. Heat the oil over a skillet on medium. Make patties out of the cauliflower mixture, flatten and place in heated skillet.
  4. Cook about 3 minutes per side until golden brown.
  5. Serve and enjoy !
Adopted from this

Have you ever made Cauliflower Pancakes? What's your fall list of recipes? Do you have a list? Am I just a crazy list maker? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to: Rainbow Cake Layer and Ice

    In case you missed the first part about how to bake the cakes, look right Here. For my inspiration, check out these. Now by no means am I really good at icing a cake, but I can give you a few pointers to make your life easier. A's cake turned out beautifully and tasted amazing, we were quite the hit at the bowling alley! If I ever own a bakery, I am always going to have parties at bowling allies, everyone stopped by to ask who made the cake. I am not a professional baker by any means, but I think it turned out quite nice!

Tips for Layering:
  • Level cakes using a serrated knife to make them stack better
  • The top layer should be placed upside down so not as many crumbs on the top when you ice it later
  • Two people makes work go faster
  • Place the cake on a turntable with a piece of rubber to keep it from sliding off
  • Plan how you are going to move it (I may have forgotten this until halfway through and realized my cake was taller than my cake carrier)
  • Spatulas are amazing, angled ones are BRILLIANT

Tips for Icing:

  • Simplest is often the best
  • Buy nice sprinkles, tacky ones will look tacky, no matter how good the icing is
  • You can buy icing from your grocery store bakery (I bought Publix Whipped buttercream for the filling and buttercream for the outside)
  • Crumb coats are amazing
  • Find a tutorial to help, like Wisk Kid
  • Allow cake to cool before icing and after crumb coat
  • For my sprinkle effect, take pinches and sprinkle the top outer edge of the cake, then use a spoon to "lift" sprinkles periodically on the side of the cake


What is your favorite tip for icing a cake? Do you have any preferred way to decorate a cake? Do you use fondant or prefer marshmallow fondant? Have you ever made a layered cake before? Or do you stick to a one layer?

Weekly Wonderings: August 17th, 2011

So yesterday was my birthday! Yay! But now back to the real world and the start of fall classes. Time to get organized or at least dream about getting more organized. First step is realization, right? So in the hopes of getting organized, I have pinned several recipes I want to try this fall and they all involve cheese. Why? Because I love cheese. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate too but if I had to choose I would take cheese 95% of the time. The other 5% percent is because I have difficulty making up my mind and would probably sit there debating till they both melted. And then I would be sad. Anyways, here are some of the things I want to make try this fall!


     What are you planning on trying to make this fall? Or are you a chocolate person and are planning on baking delicious cakes? Or are you an equal opportunity eater? Have you ever tried any of these recipes? Are you on Pinterest? Do you follow me? ( You should, my name is BlairFAL, fyi) Do you think those cauliflower pancakes look good enough that my boyfriend would try them? Would you? What should I do the Parmesan Crisps? Am I asking too many questions? 

P.S. As a birthday gift to me, you should follow me! Please? Thanks!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How to: Bake a Rainbow Cake

  In honor of Aurora's birthday, I decided to bake a cake. I had a few ideas, seen here. But it wasn't until I stumbled upon the rainbow cake, that I fell in love. How perfect is a rainbow cake for a 10 year old girl? She's never had a proper birthday cake or party, so Mom and I decided to surprise her completely with it. Let me just say this cake was a labor of love. I baked the cakes before and wrapped them up to place in the fridge till I was ready to assemble. Apparently, you do this so the cake firms up and will stack better. By no means am I saying this cake was perfect, but it was pretty darn good in my oh so humble opinion. 

First off here are a few tips for baking:

  • Preheat the oven (Too often I forget to do this)
  • Cake pans should be buttered and then sprinkle with powdered sugar (it's like the flour trick but yummier)
  • Use three bowls and two cake pans and just constantly clean them
  • It is SO MUCH easier with two people (Mom cleaned while I mixed and poured)
  • Make an assembly line out of the process
  • Use an electric beater 
  • Make one batter, pour out into three separate bowls, then use the leftover batter to mix with the other box and pour four bowls out of the second box
  • Dip a fork into the color, then use that fork to mix the batter, it is almost always the right color 
  • Keep one bowl always with batter, so you can just the intensity of the color, too make them all similar shades
  • Bake the day before you want the cake
  • Set aside two hours to three hours for baking

-Two boxes cake mix (Duncan Hines is very good!)
-Cake mix ingredients (mine called for oil, eggs and water)
-Powdered Sugar
-Icing colors (I bought the Wilton 8 pack and just didn't use the brown)
-Wax or Parchment Paper
-Gallon sized Ziploc baggies


  1. Preheat the oven. Butter then powdered sugar the cake pans.
  2. Mix one box of cake mix, pour into three separate bowls and tint each bowl.
  3. Pour each batter into a cake pan, bake for about 10- 15 minutes
  4. While baking, mix up the next box of a cake batter.
  5. Pour into four separate bowls and tint each.
  6. Allow cakes to cool on a rack before placing on paper and wrapping up.
  7. Wrap each cake then place in Ziploc baggie. Allow cakes to rest overnight in the fridge before use


Check back tomorrow for how to ice the cake! What's your favorite cake mix? Do you have a go to birthday cake? Or do you always order your birthday cake?

Friday, August 12, 2011

How to : Equip a Kitchen (Perfect Pantry)

 So to round off my kitchen essentials series, I thought I would include what items to include in your pantry. (Click to see lists about essentials or spices) Pantry items can differ greatly for each person because this is where taste preferences are really shown, I've decided not to break it up into Martha and Sandra because some people need stocks to make soup all day while others (like me) would prefer pasta every day!


The Perfect Pantry:


Barbecue sauce

Bouillon cubes (Pick your favorite)

Brown sugar

Canned beans

Canned soups
Chocolate chips
Confectioner's sugar

Light corn syrup





Nonstick cooking spray

Olive oil

Pancake mix


Peanut butter

Salad dressings

Soy sauce
Tomato sauce
Vegetable oil


What's one thing you can't live without in the Pantry?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weekly Wonderings: August 10, 2011

      So as I come down from my sugar high from Aurora's Birthday cake(talked about here), I am pondering what to do about the space behind my bed. I am not really fit to do anything else at the moment in my comatose state other than browse the web and drool over bedrooms. I am currently too stuffed from the cake to do a proper post on it, look for that later next week. Instead, I am debating about putting this above my bed or do some other design. These are my dream house (a la Barbie) bedrooms:


P.S. You can find them all on my pinterest board "Beautiful Beds" and that will take you to the source.

What's the one thing you've always wanted in a bedroom?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Martha Stewart Sunday: Lip Balms

       God bless mothers of twins, two kids the same age are a handful. EVERYTHING has to be equal and as my mother keeps saying "What is fair is what is best for each child". So trying to keep one kid busy while the other one has over a friend has been quite the feat at my house. Enter lip balms. And Martha Stewart, of course. What little girl doesn't love lip balms? Perfect for that too young for make-up but still want to put some on stage. I remember making my own, way back when. Martha Stewart even had this cute kit, my mother ordered me for chirstmas. Yes, my love of Martha has been since almost birth, don't make fun, instead appreciate that I am steadfast. I liked her even when she got sent to prison; she used to be a stock broker, if you didn't know. Fancy. Anyways enough idol worship, here is a simple way to keep ages 10 and up (even those past 60) entertained for a bit (okay, like 20 minutes, but still)


-beeswax (unbleached) (3 tsp.)

-Sunflower oil (5 tsp.)

-Essential oils of your choice (vanilla and peppermint are always good fail safes!)


-Mason jars

-Lip balm containers (either recycle or find some at a craft store)

-lipstick shavings if you want to color the balm


  1. Fill a shallow pan with about one inch of water. Bring to a boil. Pour beeswax and sunflower oil into mason jar.
  2. Place the mason jar in the boiling water, use a pipette to stir until melted.
  3. Carefully remove from heat and add essential oils to mason jar. For best results (i.e. not overpowering) add up to 10 drops of essential oils. (stir in lipstick shavings now too, if desired)
  4. Pour into containers and let set for twenty minutes before moving.


Minty Vanilla (i.e. the safe choice)

8 drops vanilla

2 drops mint


What's your favorite craft to entertain kiddoes?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Because everyone should get to brag now and then

      So it's my birthday in less than two weeks, and I am super excited. I love getting gifts, and eating cake. Then again, who doesn't? Anyways, point is my birthday makes my boyfriend a nervous wreck. He is constantly bemoaning that he can't find something that is good enough, or worried that I will not like it that much. He doesn't seem to get that as long as it's from him and not hideous, I will love it. Last year, he asked me what I wanted and I said a dragon. He said he would try but if not, then what could be a good second. So my flippant answer was a dragon teapot. I love tea, so it made sense, kind of. Anyways, lo and behold on my birthday I am given one dragon teapot. It's mouth is the spout, the lid is a little wizard sitting on the Dragon, and the dragon's tail makes up the handle. It is AMAZING. And exactly what I asked for, this year I wasn't that clear on what I wanted. But yesterday the delivery man came to our door and my mom was like "Did you order something" and me, panicking was like no, I didn't , well I ordered some textbooks but that was yesterday they can't be here today……. Turns out it was my birthday gift really really early and since I did not know it was, I opened it. OOPS.

Excuse my unmade bed!


     Apparently, Kodak allows you to print an image on blanket, and my boyfriend took my favorite poster (seen here) to have printed. He found some really high quality images of it, even managed to send me the colors but not the poster, and had Kodak print the image on a really soft blanket for me! Which is perfect because I am ALWAYS freezing and he is like Mr. Freeze from Batman. He can survive in the artic in jeans, I barely survive the grocery store without a cardigan! Needless to say this blanket will get used TONS by me, and it folds up very small, so it will be great for traveling. AND sometimes, like when they lose your luggage for three days while going to Canada from Florida in the WINTER, "Keep Calm and Carry On" is exactly what you need to be reminded constantly.

    So what's been the best birthday gift you have ever gotten?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weekly Wonders: August 3rd, 2011

      Next week is my foster sister's birthday; she is turning the big 1-0. Since no one has ever made a big deal about her birthday, so we are going to try to. Can you imagine getting only a cash for your birthday when you were younger, because your parents couldn't or wouldn't go get you an actual gift. Santa didn't even visit her last year!

      Her name is Aurora; my mother says emphasis on ROAR. I have been searching high and low for ideas (i.e. Pinterest) and have come up a few ideas to try. Plus for an early birthday treat, my mom signed me up for some cake decorating classes at Micheal's, so hopefully I will be able to better interrupt these cake ideas (though I will only have had two classes under my belt before the big cake day).

1) How we plan on doing the inside of the cake

2) If only my fondant skillz were that good

3) This may be a bit more probable

4) I wish I was this good

5) Totally within my skillz level for breakfast
     So how do you normally celebrate your birthday? Got any good ideas for a 10 year old? Please? Pretty Please?