Monday, April 30, 2012

Beautiful families

Ah Spring! Perfect time to get some family pictures...

I have been wanting to share a couple of photoshoots I did of two beautiful families... Enjoy!

Wait! I have more...

See more pictures from my friend Kristina in her beautiful blog.

Thank you friends for allowing me to capture your families in pictures.

Contact me at planandplay{at}gmail{dot}com if you want to schedule a family photoshoot.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Menu for the week

Vegetarian soba noodles
15 bean soup/Salad
Muffalettas/Cole slaw
Linguini with broccoli and pesto/Salad


Aldi $23
Costco $8
Kroger $31
Super H $10

This weekend I'm looking forward to:

Dinner at my favorite pizza joint
A trip to a farm
Welcoming my bestie to the 4-0 club (party time!)
Organizing for our upcoming trip... It's almost here...

Have a great one eveybody!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Juice confessions

Confession: My name is Elena and I am a juiceaholic... In fact, all of us are! Ever since we bought a juicer all we can do is make juice... Usually I don't follow any rules about the juices I make... If I have a vegetable or fruit in hand, I add it to the mix. On ocassion though, I follow a recipe. Here is a favorite growing up:
Carrot + beets + orange
Try... It's good!

PS. I will be sharing a recipe for carrot cake pancakes I made using the finely shredded carrots discarted from juicing the carrots... It turned out really good.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Icelandic Skyr cake with chocolate crust

Hey friends and all fans of Skyr cake; I tried making it with the chocolate crust and it was divine...

All you have to do is use my recipe for skyr cake (found here), use a premade oreo cookie crust, add some fresh whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder on top... Delish

Skyr cake is one of the most searched posts on my blog... So, if you are a fan of this delicious cake... Try this little twist. It is so good!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Discovering Atlanta - Part III

Few more pictures from out trip to the Goat Farm

See more pictures from our little adventure to the Goat Farm here and here

Monday, April 23, 2012

Toffee cookies

When I was pregnant with the littlest one all I could think of was indulging in the gigantic toffee cookies from Atlanta Bread Company. The other day a friend and I met up in ABC for lunch and I thought of getting one of those cookies (you know, for old time sake), but I did not want to spend $1 for one cookie. So, I decided to find a recipe and make it myself... For a fraction of the price.

Toffee Cookies


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups of toffee bits or Heath Bar bits (you can find them in the baking section of your grocery stores)

  1. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, and vanilla.
  3. Alternatively add the flour mixture and the toffee bits, a third at a time, until well blended. Chill cookie dough for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat, spoon out the cookie dough in small 1-inch diameter balls. 
  5. Place dough balls 3 inches away from each other on the cookie sheets. 

I love ABC, don't you? If you are new to town or have a layover at the Atlanta airport give them a try. The sandwiches and soup are so delicious.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Menu for the week

BLT sandwiches/Oven fries
Vegetarian Chilli/Salad
Meat lasagna/Salad
Vegetable stir fry/Rice


Aldi $28
Kroger $32
Costco $21

Busy weekend ahead... Trying to keep my head above water. I will be rewarded my hanging out with some dear friends on Saturday.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The breakfast project

Caramelized Grapefruit

Cut a ripe grapefruit in half. Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Place under the broiler until lightly browned (5-10 mins)
A delicious way to start your day!

Source here

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Irish soda bread

Let the adventures in food (prior to our trip to Ireland) begin!


4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants if using them.
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants (I didn't have any so I omitted them)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough (I omitted this step). It will be wet.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
Cool on a baking rack. Serve with strawberry butter... Yum!
Recipe adapted from here

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Through their eyes - Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Edition. Here are some favorites of the kiddos (in no particular order):

A hike in "El Yunque" National Park and taking a dip in La Coca waterfall
Enjoying Mallorcas in La Bombonera... A must, if you ask me
Taking a stroll through Old San Juan
Climbing the old walls/exploring the dungeons of castillos San Felipe and San Cristobal
Visiting the caves of Rio Camuy... Awesome!
Enjoying a day of snorkeling and beach hopping in Culebra Island
Eating piraguas, ice creams and juices in delicious tropical favors like coconut, passion fruit and pineapple
Another must is doing the night boat tour at the Biobay in Las Croabas, Fajardo. Picture being under a starry sky in the middle of a bay surrounded by mangroves and seeing one of nature's most amazing gifts... Marine organisms that make the water glow when you stir up the water... So cool.

See more "Through their eyes" posting here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

We are here!

Hi there! We are back from Puerto Rico! (we have been home for a couple of days). We did a lot: laid on beautiful beaches, went for hikes, explored caves, strolled colonial San Juan, ate delicious food, rode boats, had a great time...

Back to reality... Feeling energized to start a new week. Happy Monday!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Menu for the week

Stuffed shells/Salad
Rotisserie chicken/Rice and beans/friend plantains
Lentils soup/Salad


Aldi $12
Costco $7
Kroger $33
GW of GA $10

Hi!!! Did you miss me? Sorry for the hiatus, things have been a little busy around here.

Have a great week everybody!