Thursday, April 29, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ah, the cookie.

So popular back in the day, those cookies were.  Not long ago, a lil someone took charge in the ol popularity contest:

And knocked the cookie down a few rungs on the social ladder. 

Almost like Conan and Jay - only since Conan is fresher on the scene, he'd have to be cupcakes and Jay, cookies.  In which case, yay cookies for winning, the good old comfortable favorite.  (I have to say, originally I was all for Team Conan, but then I saw Jay on Oprah and it changed my mind.  I now remain on team neutral.  Especially because that Conan just did the exact same thing to George Lopez - we'll call him Team Brownie.  I think he would like that.)

But I digress.

What I'm trying to say is, although my blog is Siestas and CUPCAKES, I stand firmly on Team COOKIE.

Bring back the cookies!

And to inspire, please enjoy and make these deelightful Banana cookies.  I have been making them since I was 12, and they are still as loved today as they were..20 years ago.  Holy crap I'm getting old.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from the cookie queen, Mrs. Fields

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp banana extract
1 medium mashed ripe banana
12 oz  semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Blend together the sugars, and add butter to mix and form a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Add egg, extract, and banana and beat at medium speed until smooth.

Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips and blend at medium speed until just combined - do not overmix.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cookie edges begin to brown.  Transfer immediately to a wire rack.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Welcome Poem

I thought good n hard how to welcome my new followers, because I appreciate you so much, I figured it best expressed in a poem.  Please enjoy!


So Glad you are here!


And Grab some beer!

Truth be told, one may be led to think that I perhaps could be a little bit of a lush given my last 2 posts.  I do love a margarita, glass of wine, or even an ice cold beer now and again, but know what?  I don't really drink all that often.  I felt like I should put that out there, because I'm honest like that.

I have a little love to give!

My sister has joined the blogging world and I am thrilled!  She was always posting the funniest status updates on facebook.  Such as:
"just finished mowing the back yard twice. Grass was so long, that when it was mowed many treasures revealed themselves - found sport and sandbox equipment, piles of dog poop I had assumed were picked up, and a small tribe of pygmies, distraught at losing their home..."
 and she is finally going to take it a step further with a hilarious blog about stay at home mommalahood.

ALSO!  I can't get over this and so dang excited! 
Jen at I'm a Nola Girl was having a lil contest.. I entered and WON!  I cannot wait to sink my teeth into these fabulous truffles from Bittersweet Confections.

Try to read this without drooling:
Bananas Foster Truffle (!) - A dark swiss chocolate ganache infused with creamy bananas, a hint of cinnamon, and a brown butter reduction.

Thank You!

So much love for one post, I think I feel a nap coming on...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

GTKY Sunday


Hey!  I'm having a GIVEAWAY!

Your Sunday is my Friday, so while the rest of you are enjoying your last day before the work week, I am anxiously awaiting Monday because it's my Saturday!  I have a glorious 4 days off after today, which includes my final and the end of the semester.  I am extremely burnt out and soo looking forward to this break!

Did I mention I was having a giveaway?

I enjoyed playing along with MannLand5's Getting to Know you Sunday last week so much I'm going to play today too!

The questions..

1. If you could star in any movie genre..what would it be..romance..horror..comedy..suspense or action?

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue!

2. Do you recycle?
My carbon footprint isn't completely black but it could be a little greener.

3. Have you ever been to a strip club?
Negative. No photo needed for this one!

4. Do you have a nickname?
Hubs calls me K, Pops calls me Bean - and he is the only one allowed.  You call me Kaloula, which is the first letters of my first, middle, and last name combined.
5. What's a name you can't stand to be called?
At first I couldn't think of one but when I saw MannLand's answer, I'd have to concur.  I don't like being called ma'am.  Don't call me ma'am and don't call me late for dinner. 
6. What are your Summer staples?
Give me lots of water and give me margaritas. And a bbq grill. 

7. What was the last thing you bought for yourself?
I bit the bullet and bought myself a bathing suit.  Now I need to rid myself of scruples to actually wear it.  I can't get the picture on here but the one I bought is HERE.  It's a Shape FX all over control suit and I'm expecting a miracle.
8. Are you happy with your boob size?
Gosh this quiz is getting personal this week!  I'm carrying this extra weight right now so the boob size changes with my ups and downs.   I'm more comfortable with the downs, and right now it's up.  I'm ok with them now but because they represent a weight I don't like, I can't help but look at them with chagrin.

Now that you know more than you wanted about me, head over to MannLand's to link up to the quiz too!

Ooh did you enter my giveaway yet?

(I'm not going to lie, I'm pleased as punch that this post not only contains "Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue" but I was also able to use the words scruples and chagrin.  My Sunday is now complete.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Guess who's having a ..


I am super excited to be able to host this giveaway!  I've always been a less is more type a gal when it comes to jewelry, but lately I just can't help to love the look of a plain but classic outfit adorned with a fabulous accessory.  Here's something you didn't know about me:  When I was in the second grade, I would sleep with earrings in and I suppose I was a fitful sleeper because one day, those earrings pulled themselves down and out of my ear.  Ever since then I have what I like to refer to as "butt lobes."  Why?  Cuz they look like a butt of course!  The only sad thing about butt lobes?  I can't wear fabulous earrings!

And I do wish to wear something like these:

The colors!  They are to die for.. I would totally rock these wearing an all white outfit.  If I could wear earrings that is.

Where to find such rockin earrings you ask?

Wonder no more friends.  They are found at Adornments Boutique.

Where you can also find this unique, earth friendly necklace:

Or my hands down favorite:

I have wonderful and exciting news!!!!

Mother's Day is right around the corner and I get to giveaway this beauty-ful DSJ Heart Necklace :

Sweet as can be with this clear quartz heart. 28" 10k gold
antiqued chain.  Just in time for Mother's Day!
This heart necklace retails for $56 but for one lucky duck ~ Free!

Psyched like me about this giveaway??  Here's what to do to enter:

1) Be a follower
2) Visit Adornments Boutique then come back here to leave a comment letting me know what is your favorite piece and how you would rock it.

Extra Entries:
- Become a fan of Adornments Boutique and Siestas and Cupcakes on facebook and twitter (1 entry for each)
- Blog about this giveaway (2 entries)

Good Luck and happy browsing!  I'll pick a winner on Saturday, May 1st.

Hakuna Matata

Yesterday I went to school.  I had a big test that I've been stressing over.  When I got there it occured to me that I didn't have my phone, so I instinctively went to text my husband that I forgot my phone.  Duh.  This is a sign I need a vacation!


I started taking my test.  I purposely have to drive to school with the radio off, otherwise I will have music in my head instead of physiology.  Which I did, but for some reason, while trying to take the test, my brain decided to turn on Hakuna Matata- and LOUD.

What in the world???

I have not watched The Lion King in at least 10 years so how come this song is interrupting me?

Hakuna Matata!  What a wonderful phrase!

Which part of the frontal lobe contains gray matter of conscious planning and voluntary motor decisions?


Which embryonic structure develops into the nervous tissues of the central nervous system?


It was random and distracting I tell you!

(It means no worries)

1 more week of school friends, then I will have a month off.  I will be drinking margaritas and getting fit.  Oxymoronic perhaps but this is what I will do.
Maybe it will make for some exciting posts, eh!  Stay tuned for that!

Giveaway coming soon (today)!
In the meantime, check out some bloggerbud giveaways at:



Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I recently had a Siestas and Cupcakes Sweet Sugar Love event.  I made up a table of treats:

(I forgot my camera!  Dang!  So this is a phone photo, kindly excuse the quality)

Along with cookies and cake pops, I made these Oreo Cupcakes:

Please go at once to Beantown Baker and copy down and commit this recipe to memory.   They are hands down, no exaggeration the best cupcakes I've ever made.  What does "hands down" mean anyway?  It doesn't matter..These are goooooood.

I have an exciting giveaway I'm going to post this week, just in time for Mother's Day!  I can't hardly wait to post it.  Look for it on Friday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Getting to Know Me

Good Sunday!

For a little fun, I decided to play along with Mann Land 5's Getting to Know me quiz.  She makes up the questions, I give my answers.  Here goes...

1. Mens chests..hairy or hairless?
Welllllll... I'd have to say neither to the extreme.  But I tend to lean towards the "less" than "more"!!

2. How often do you run red lights?
Next to never.. I got hit by someone running a red light and messed up my back forever.  It makes me wary.

3. If you could raid any celebrity's closet..whose would you raid?
Oh boy!  I always want what Reese Witherspoon is wearing, but I need her body first!  Really it would do me no good to raid any celebrity's closet unless I could fit in their clothes first right?

4. Would you rather have more followers/friends on Facebook, Twitter, or your Blog?
I have signed up on Twitter recently and have no idea how it works yet, so that's out for now.  You can also find Siestas and Cupcakes on facebook now, which is thrilling really.  But I'd have to say my blog!

5. What makes you feel sexy?
Being in shape, coming from a great sweat inducing workout, shower, getting dressed girly with fun strappy shoes.

6. I get excited when...........?
I get a date night with Hubs, or when family is coming to visit, or get to go on vacation.

7. Are you the "outdoorsy" type or more "indoorsy"?
Right now, being pollenified, I'd say indoorsy.  In any adverse weather actually - indoorsy!  But I am always inspired by being outdoors.

8. Would you rather have your dream home or a million dollars?
Show me the money!  I guess this answers my last question better, OUTDOORS.  I'd rather travel and see the world than have one fabulous home but be stuck in one place.

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh to be..

Oh, to be here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Today is Hub's birthday!  How I wish for both of us it fell on a weekend and not a day sandwiched by work and school, but such is life.  For the man I love, I chose to make this delightful flourless cake by Nigella Lawson.  Whatever happened to her show anyway?  Hers was absolutely my favorite cooking show to watch.  If, when cooking, I find myself in my own cooking show (as I often do), I'll start describing what I'm doing in a Nigella accent.  Isn't that lovely?

And the very best, every single episode shows her sneaking down to the fridge in the middle of the night for a big scoop of whatever she's cooked up.  I mean a hunk.  Doesn't that sound lovely too, a hunk of chocolate mousse cake?

The best part of this cake, I find, is the flourlessness of it all.  You know, with other cakes, if you eat a whole slice, frosting and all, you kinda sit back, your belly bulging ever so slightly, wondering why in the world you just ate that whole durn thing?  This one, it's rich and light as air.  You fulfill your chocolate/sweet craving but don't feel the bloat afterwards.  I hope you enjoy! 

Intense Chocolate Mousse Cake
Recipe from Nigella Lawson

10 oz bittersweet chocolate
9 Tbsp unsalted butter
6 large eggs, separated
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Brandy (I used cherry brandy)
1 tsp confectioners sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with a double layer of foil.  Using a microwave oven or double broiler, melt together chocolate and butter.  Set aside to cool.

2.  Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and salt until thick.  Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar; and continue to whisk until stiff and shiny but not dry.  In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until pale and thick.  Whisk in brandy, then fold in cooled chocolate mixture.

3.  Place kettle of water over heat, and bring it to a boil.  Fold about 1/2 cup whisked egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Gently fold in remaining whites, being careful not to let the mixture deflate.  Pour mixture into prepared springform pan, and place pan in roasting pan.  Add boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up side of springform pan.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Top of cake will be hard and inside will be gooey.  (Isn't that lovely?)

4.  Remove cake pan from water, and place on rack to cool completely. Unwrap foil and remove side of springform pan.  Place cake on a serving platter.  Just before serving, dust with sifted confectioners' sugar.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Free Starbucks tomorrow

If you love Starbucks overpriced coffee like I love Starbucks overpriced coffee, check out their website.

Take a pledge to save the environment.  Or just bring in a reusable mug tomorrow and get an overpriced cup of coffee for FREEEEE!

Say it with me:


Also, if you have an iphone, check out the starbucks app.  It's pretty nifty, you can build your own drink and see calorie information.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I'm totally inspired by Jennifer Hudson right now, have you seen her?  She looks fabulous!  And I've never been one to be swayed by marketing, but this time, I completely 100% was.  As in, I saw her in a commercial, and joined weight watchers the very next day.  I unofficially started last Wednesday, but yesterday was officially Day 1.  And what better way to kick off a diet plan than with pancakes I ask you?  I found a WW recipe but made quite a few changes, none of which affected point value, just taste value!  Here's my version:

Orange Wheat Pancakes
adapted from Weight Watchers

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs, separated
1 Tbsp sugar
1 8oz weight watchers vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp orange extract

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir well.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.  Stir in the yogurt, butter, milk, and orange extract.  Combine with the flour mixture until well mixed.  In a clean medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Gently fold the whites into the flour mixture.

2.  Coat a nonstick griddle or skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat.  Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of batter for each of 18 pancakes onto the griddle amd spread into a 3-1/2 inch circle.  Cook until tops are bubbly 3-4 minutes.  Turn pancakes and cook until edges are lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes longer.

That giant delicious pad of butter in the picture..looks only, I'm afraid!  I didn't need the extra points, but felt the photo needed it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I came home from work today, after working three 12 hour shifts in a row trapped at a wee desk with a computer.  And what did I do when I got home today?  Got in front of the computer of course!  Albeit just briefly before saying DUH self get outside, it is a beautiful day.  And right on cue, a gentle breeze blew through the window, bringing with it the gentle scent of bbq from down the street. 

At once I whisked myself away from my desk, grabbed my keys and was out the door without a second thought.  To the grocery store!  No time to dilly dally, I picked up all the fixins for a bbq and salad and rushed home.  I mean --> all people, you Sunday drivers, you Sunday grocery shoppers, stand back.  Girl on mission coming through!

So this is what I did.  Got home, started the coals.  Now you may think I'd be embarassed to tell you, I've grilled before but never lighted up charcoals before today.  Ok, maybe I am a little ashamed.  But I'm pushing boundaries here, today, lighting the bbq, tomorrow, the gun range!  And I'm not even kidding.  Guns scare the bejeezus out of me but tomorrow I will face that!  Enough chatter though, onward to food.

Coals started, I threw together a salad.  I often wonder, why do other people's salads always look better than mine?  Today I wasn't disappointed, this here lovely salad worked itself out for us.

It's just a bag of Italian lettuce with mushrooms, tomato, and feta.  I used Giada's Garlic Parmesan Vinaigrette, which was pretty good.  Bought at Target, naturally.

Then made the turkey burger patties:

I'm not lying when I tell you that I make the best turkey burgers ever.  I don't even like to have them at restaurants because they just can't get it like mine. 

How arrogant Kaloula.  Honestly.

Here's what I put in them:  1 lb ground turkey, 1/3 cup of your favorite salsa, 1/4 cup chopped onion, a few good shakes of worcestershire, then seasoned with seasoned salt and garlic powder.  If they seem a bit on the moist side, I add about 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs.

These are fabulous.

Mine is topped with some browned mushroom and onions.  (If I wasn't in such a rush to get said burger in belly, I'd have a better photo!)

Serve with salad and ENJOY.

Don't mind if I do...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My tortured relationship with frivolous desserts

I found this amusing article over at Europe's Cupcake Backlash which has my favorite quote of the year thus far, London Times writer Laura Atkinson saying  "Those damn Americans, and their tortured relationship with frivolous desserts!"

Is a dessert NOT meant to be frivolous?  Whaaaa??  

I respectfully beg to differ good woman.  Frivolity is and can be quite fun, a trait I quite like in my desserts thankyouverymuch.

And now I can only wonder, what makes a dessert serious?  My word, London, please tell me.
A quick search of London desserts, and this came up:

Whoa.  Those er some serious looking desserts.
Are those ramen noodles?
Haha!  Don't mind me, I'm just a silly American who likes my dessert a bit more frivolous.

Then the article mentions this little treat that is sold at McDonald's in Germany...

New York Cupcakes!  

So...frivolous..I love them!

Take a walk with me as I move from desserts onward to snacking.  And my favorite snacking of all: Target snacking!  I discovered a long time ago that the yummy popcorn you pay $20 for at the movie theater, you can buy fresh in the popcorn combo, popcorn and a soda, for $1.andsomechange!!  Really?  I mean, girls, come on.  It's cheaper to have movie night in your home, buy a $15 movie, the popcorn combo, turn off the lights and theater at home!

Otherwise?  Sometimes there is no substitute for a dark theater.  Still, go to Target, and pick up a nice big purse.

THEN buy the popcorn combo, stick it in said purse, and go to the movie. Instead of one ridiculously large bucket o popcorn and soda, for the same price you now have a purse and a more belly friendly size bag o popcorn.

What?  Is that wrong?

I mean.  I don't do it.  Just saying.

The other day I was strolling the local Target and came across these lovely snacks:

They're like, healthy potato chips, but TASTY!  
I'm talking 5 star snacking here people.

What a frivolous post really.