ate pre's cranberry orange cookies

March 31, 2011
a new addiction
A lot of people hear "cranberry orange cookies" and don't think that they'd be a big deal. Believe me, these are a big deal. I first had them during our road trip to Seattle to visit my cousin, Ate Preciosa. She was baking tons and tons of batches as holiday cookies and David and I were lucky enough to be there during the process. I heard "cranberry orange" and didn't expect much. I'm not particular to cranberries. Or oranges. Or cookie glazes, for that matter.

After Ate Pre made hers and I tried some, I kept "walking by" the kitchen just in case there were more on the table. These are amazing. They're addicting. And now my official go-to non-chocolate cookie.
main ingredients
fresh from the oven
lots of mess
finished cran-orange cookies

cranberry orange cookies
adapted from allrecipes

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups dried cranberries

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg, zest, and juice and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the orange mixture. Fold in the cranberries. Drop tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, mix orange zest, juice, and confectioners' sugar. Add more sugar or juice as needed to get a drippy consistency. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cookies* and let the glaze harden (5-10 minutes) before eating. Enjoy!

*I highly suggest putting newspaper (or old homework assignments..) down under your cooling racks before doing this. It's messy (but totally worth it).

{things to love} about sunset magazine

March 29, 2011
strawberry ice cream pie in the test kitchen
1. Two words: test kitchen.
2. Seeing multiple employees use fitness orbs instead of chairs at their desks.
3. The multitude of beautiful props in the photo studio. Gorgeous plates and fabrics galore!
4. Hearing business owners instantly brighten up when they find out Sunset Magazine is calling.
5. The tiny gym that's always empty. (And watching Gilmore Girls while I work out.)
6. The beautiful test garden and the fact they they grow tons of their own food.
7. Surprise birthday cakes/ice cream/pies.
8. Wisteria, tulips, and generally lovely flowers everywhere.
9. Marking up stories so that they're covered in tons of colors.
10. Being part of a wonderful team that produces an amazing magazine.
photo studio props
beautiful wisteria
homegrown lemons
test kitchen dining table
the tree that dusted my car with pollen every day
tiny (and usually empty) gym
morning hot chocolate
my mess of a desk
The past 12 weeks went by faster than I could have imagined. I got to intern as an editorial assistant for Sunset Magazine and realized that there's so much I love in the world of magazine journalism. Unfortunately, my internship ended on Friday but up until now I've never really wrote about how much I loved the place. (Maybe it's because I was working 20 hours a week on top of being a full-time student). Even while I was there, it was so amazing to be part of the Sunset team and directly interacting with so many stories in the magazine (the food and travel stories were my favorite, of course). The most gratifying feeling was seeing all of our hard work in print. The feeling is indescribable. I learned so much about the West that my wanderlust heart has been eager to take trips to places like Louisville, CO and Albuquerque, NM.

Fortunately, I'll be back again at the end of April to do some freelance work. And who knows what could happen from then.
a surprise cake for my last day
If you have a list of things you love about your city (or job!),
feel free to send it in (with a photo of your feet)!
celeste.noche (at)


March 28, 2011
david's birthday project
david's birthday cake
itty bitty raiza
stand up comedy night
rumble fish
the view leaving david's house
So much happened this weekend and I have so few pictures to show for it. This lack of photos usually makes me regret not taking more, but this weekend it was nice not to have it out every 5 minutes. After work (and time in the Sunset photo studio!), I went to give David his birthday presents and we went out for dinner. Right next door was the new (to the Bay Area) grocery store Fresh & Easy and since David's mom has been there 4 (now 5) times in the past two weeks, I had to check it out. (It was pretty cool).

Chai lattes at the Chit Chat Cafe with Anna, a Saladmaster demonstration with my family (they made soup without water and chocolate cake on the stove with carrots and zucchini in it), and a night in San Francisco at a stand up comedy show. My favorite line from the night? "I love food... I eat every day."

And now, it's back to "reality." (Technically, the last two weeks were supposed to be my Spring Break but Sunset called me in for extra hours and it wasn't much of a break at all). Tuesday is my last first day of the quarter ever and life post-graduation awaits. Oh boy.

happy birthday david!

March 25, 2011
david in wien
I love you because

1. You have blue blue eyes.
2. You carry a swatch of my high school prom dress in your wallet.
3. Raine and Raiza adore you.
4. You let me hog the bed.
5. You surprise me with little things like spƤtzle and Amstel.
6. We always make pancakes from scratch.
7. You gave me the last sweet potato fry at dinner on Wednesday.
8. You always change the channel to Iron Chef (because you know I love it).
9. Rosewater candles, Moleskine Notebooks, Ukulele. How do you know me so well?
10. Our hands fit perfectly together.

Happy Birthday, David.
I love you.

homemade pizza night

March 23, 2011
my pizza | david's pizza
On Friday night my family had "make-your-own-pizza" night. I think this was the first time I'd ever had homemade pizza but it certainly won't be the last. My sister got three kinds of pizza dough from Trader Joe's (garlic, herb, and regular)* and everyone brought different pizza toppings. Although I love the simplicity of genuine Italian pizza, I couldn't help but pile on olives, mozzarella, basil and mushrooms. And onions and tomatoes. And extra cheese.

The best part? It wasn't greasy at all. It was filling and so fresh because we prepared all of the ingredients ourselves. It was also tons of fun. Great idea, sister!
garlic dough
kids and pizza
just an italian with his pizza
the finished product
*For reference, we split one package of the Trader Joe's dough between two people so everyone could have their own individual pizzas. Even then, I could hardly finish mine.


March 21, 2011
the kitchen at home
homemade pizza
classic raine
breakfast on a stormy night
pacifica (my hometown)
After extra long hours at work last week I was so thankful for the weekend. Lots of family (with homemade pizza and pancake dinners), a strange balance of storms and sunshine, and my first shopping trip of the new year.

That's right. For some bizarre reason I haven't made any superfluous purchases since December and I certainly made up for it this weekend. I also painted my nails for the first time in more than a year. I'm not quite sure what's become of me but it's nice to do something new once in a while. Of course the old will always hold a dear place in my heart: staying up too late, parading around in rain boots, and television marathons* are my specialties. I love being home.

*Especially Harry Potter ones.

monaco dreams

March 18, 2011
During one of my days in Nice, I took the quick train ride along the French Riviera to Monaco to spend a day there-- I was ready to visit little shops, enjoy the sunlit coastal views, and get my passport stamped. Even though I was traveling alone, this faux-itinerary seemed like the ideal way to experience the little country.
flowers and gates
along the riviera
And when I got there everything was closed. I didn't realize that on Sundays, everything (including the casino where they stamp your passport) is closed. To top it off it was overcast. Knowing absolutely no French, I was left to exploring the city by foot and trying to make the best of my day despite the mini setbacks.
neighborhood sites
big names in a small country
tulip heaven
a flower market
These past few days have felt a lot like Monaco-- and to be honest the next few days don't seem likely to brighten up. In fact, March has been pretty dreary and it's only half-way over. I'm back to traveling alone in a foreign country with nothing seeming to go right.

But today-- a year later-- Monaco seems different. As I went through the photos to put this post together I realized that Monaco wasn't a bust at all. Sure, it didn't work out the way I'd planned but just being there was beautiful on its own. The luxurious streets, the tiny markets, and the abundance of tulips really made the day trip memorable. Now, if I can just find those kinds of little treasures, March might become my own little Monaco.

best friends

March 16, 2011
new friends
hahahaha oh david
This photo sequence makes my heart skip a beat. David is so hilarious with little baby Raiza-- but this is nothing new. I have archives of photos of just how cute he is with Raine, too. (There are lots of cute ones with both girls over at my photostream). Even though he can be a pretty quiet guy, I love that he opens up and is just so silly with my nieces. It's my favorite.
the best picture ever
Oh... and I couldn't resist posting this photo again. It's just too good.