I have been quite a busy girl today. I have been running a bunch of errands. I’m having a blast because Justin is off work and helping me. We even managed to grab a quick bite at Punch. (delish)
Now to what I’m super excited to share with y’all. Tonight Justin and I are having a couple people over before we go to a party later on.
What am I serving? Well I am pretty thrilled that I found this giant Brie on sale. I’m planning on covering it with pecans, brown sugar, and kahlua and wrapping it in puff pastry. I am also making the mushroom squares I shared earlier this week and I have some party mix lest over that I am planning on throwing in a bowl. I also wanted to have some sweet stuff so I ran over to Sweet Retreat and grabbed some cupcakes. Did I also mention that I am making new years cookies ( more on that tomorrow) Ya know, I just can’t help myself… I love entertaining. ( I wonder who I got that gene from… My mother )
Surviving in a giant snow globe
Thank goodness this year is almost over. I am so excited for 2011 and so ready for some change! In preparation for saying adios to 2010 I thought I would give you an idea of how I’m planning to say good bye.
I’m going for a glammed up casual look. I’m thinking jeans with a sparkly Jcrew top + sweater paired with knee high boots. I’m sure I will throw in a mixture of pearls and diamonds to keep it classy.
Here is the top I am planning on wearing with a sweater on top of it (because really it’s freezing here and sleeveless is just plain silly right now) . You can’t really tell but it has lots of sparklies (I love sparklies..I’m still a kid at heart )
Now the most important thing: What should you serve on New Years? I’m all about serving fun appetizers. These are two of my favorites. They remind me of “the fam” whom I love!
Vidalia Onion Dip
3 cups chopped Vidalia onions
3 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups Hellman’s mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
Put all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until combined.
Pour into greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35- 40 minutes until lightly brown. Serve with water crackers
Easy mushroom snacks
1 pkg crescent rolls
Cook next five ingredients in sauce pan
8oz can mushrooms
2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped onion
First press rolls in 9×13 dish. Then spread with 3 oz cream cheese on and put mushroom mixture on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake in preheated 350 oven for 20 minutes or until brown.
Both of these recipes came from my lovely mother! Check out a recent favorite photo of mine.
- I think my mom loves sparklies too!
I love books! Children’s books, cookbooks, fiction books and I could go on. I got a Nook for Hanukkah this year which I was super excited about because I can keep books on it from Barnes and Noble(B&N) and the library. I met Amy at B&N today and we spent a couple hours perusing the shelves snapping pictures of books we want to read. Currently I am reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (for book club), You Had Me at Woof, and Women Food and G-d. I realized looking back at my pictures that there are a lot of books I want to read.
What are you currently reading?
Do you have a list of books that you want to read? If so, what’s on it?
Here are some pictures of books I’m planning on reading.
I also saw an adorable Kate Spade Nook cover. I’m loving the quote on it: “She kept her nose in a book and her head in the clouds”.
Surviving in a giant snow globe
In the last 3 days I have made:
2 batches of Party Mix (Chex Mix)
2 batches of Funfetti Dough Balls
1 Humungous batch of cinnamon rolls (2 nine by thirteen pans, 1 eight by eight, and 1 pie plate to be exact)
1 batch of brownies
1 cookie dough dip
1 brie in puff pastry with apricot glaze and honey drizzle
1 pot of cheese fondue (greatest recipe, thanks Alli)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 pound shredded Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Simmer wine in fondue pot. Add Swiss cheese, Gruyere cheese, 1/4 pound at a time. Stir after each addition of cheese until melted. Stir in flour. When all the cheese has melted, stir in salt and garlic. Serve with cut-up French bread.
Needless to say I have baked/cooked beyond my wildest dreams and I have had a blast doing it. I think Justin has probably enjoyed it more than anyone else because he has gotten to taste all of it.
Last night was our final Hoorah with Hanukkah! We celebrated with Justin’s family and had a great time. I thought I might tempt you with the menu (Prime Rib, Roadside Potatoes, salad, crescent rolls, cookie dough dip, funfetti dough balls, and brownies) delish! Here are some photos from the night ( I wish I would have snapped some more)
- Stella loved Ben’s Pillow Pet.
Tonight we celebrated Hanukkah with Justin’s family. We wanted to wait to make sure everyone was in town. I was in charge of making dessert. I ended up whipping up another batch of funfetti dough balls, brownies and a new dessert… Cookie Dough Dip. This might seem a bit odd but it is definitely safe. There are no raw eggs in it. I ended up adding more powdered sugar to it because I thought it needed some more to balance the cream cheese. I served it with animal crackers and teddy grahams.
Here is a link to where I found the recipe.
Surviving in a giant snow globe
Erica: Allison, do you like to write?
Allison: Do you mean print?
Allison: Oh, do you mean like a diary?
Erica: No, I mean like… will you blog for me?
This is how my entry is starting today because I want to share how fabulous my cinnamon rolls turned out but I am pretty exhausted from 3 hours of baking so bear with me because some of this might not make sense.
I knew I wanted to make cinnamon rolls this morning because I had plenty of free time and no where to be. I woke up at 9 and started making these and was not done until about 1:00 this afternoon. I now have a counter full of cinnamon rolls. I have started calling everyone that lives near me so I can pawn them off on them.
We ended up making half of the cinnamon rolls with unsalted butter and half with salted butter. I thought that the ones made with salted butter tasted best, however, my friend Eric thought the ones with unsalted tasted better. (basically use your judgement and go the way you feel)
I would also suggest making these with a friend. It really helped to have an extra set of hands for all the sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon.
The only other change I made to this recipe was that I used vanilla extract instead of maple flavoring and I used more milk instead of coffee in the frosting.
I would definitely suggest making these cinnamon rolls with one of your friends on a rainy day or when you have some free time.
You can find the recipe on Pioneer Woman’s website.
I'm quite proud of the finished product!
A lot of blogs and my friends have been talking about dough balls lately. I felt the need to look into this and then realized this afternoon that I wanted to make some. I decided to develop my own recipe so I looked at a couple of recipes on the internet… (http://peasandthankyou.com/2010/11/28/deck-the-balls/ ) and (http://thechiclife.com/2010/11/chocolate-chip-dough-balls-success.html )
and then put my creative spin on it.
I wanted to take the funfetti cake idea and make a dough ball. I found some colored sprinkles and decided to go against the recipe which called for vanilla extract and add almond extract (which is my favorite).
I read the recipe over a couple of times and then decided to dive in. I think my dough balls were a bit too wet and when I pulled them out of the oven after 9 minutes I realized that I did not have dough balls but that I had cookies. My funfetti dough ball idea had transformed into a funfetti cookie. They are still super cute and super delish. I’m going to try making dough balls again and not adding so much milk but let me just tell you that you can’t ruin this recipe because whatever you end up with will taste great!
Funfetti Dough Balls/ Funfetti Cookies (Kind of like a science experiment)
Makes 15-20 balls
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1-3 tablespoons milk (try to not add too much or you will end up with cookies)
- rainbow sprinkles (as many as you would like )
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a stand mixer or using an electric mixer and a large bowl blend together butter, sugars, vanilla, salt and flour.
The mixture will look dry, but keep blending until a dough comes together, though it will still be crumbly. If you still haven’t reached a stage where the dough can be shaped into balls, add as little milk as necessary. (I must have added too much milk but I’m fine with the finished product.) I also ended up mixing in the rainbow sprinkles. Form dough into golf ball-sized balls and place on cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. The dough balls will be delicate still, so allow to cool for at least 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
The finished product
Explaining to my family and friends what it’s like to live in Minnesota right now can best be described as living in a giant snow globe. Some days there is not a snow flake in the sky and others it seems like it is never going to stop snowing. Well, apparently everyone is into snow globes right now and not just me. I stumbled upon this site which you should definitely check out. http://www.snowglobemaker.com/
I love that Real Simple has a snow globe on the cover this month and I’m also crazy about the Coca Cola commercials right now that have snow globes in them. The song that Coke has in the commercial is by Train and I adore it. Apparently Apple is also featuring the iPad in a snow globe.
One of my favorite Hanukkah Presents (2000) . I still haven’t been to New York but am hoping to go soon!
I leave you with a special recipe that reminds me of my family… PARTY MIX (most people call this chex mix but to me it will always be PARTY MIX) Whenever we have this stuff it feels like a party. My mom is the party mix queen and makes this stuff by like the truck loads. Justin can literally inhale a bag of this in one sitting. It is that addictive to him.
1 box Corn Chex, 1 box Rice Chex, 1 box Wheat Chex, 1 box cheeze its, 1 bag pretzels, 2 sticks salted butter, Lawry’s seasoned salt, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce
1. Take two foil pans and put one stick of salted butter in each pan.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
3. Put pans in oven and let butter melt.
4. Add Worcestershire sauce about 1/2 cup maybe a bit more to each pan.
5. Cover bottom of each pan with garlic powder and Lawry’s seasoned salt.
6. Mix each pan around with spoon
7. Add 1/2 a box of corn chex, rice chex, wheat chex, cheeze it, and pretzels in each pan and stir around till evenly combined.
11. Put in oven for 20 minutes uncovered
12. Pull out and dump into empty pan and put back in oven for 20 minutes .
13. Pull out after another 20 minutes and dump in another pan and put back in oven for 20 more minutes.
total time is (3) 20 minute increments or 1 hour
Even little Leo is ready to go to sleep!
Today has been one of those days that I would not like to repeat. Honesty is occasionally a great policy so I’ll be truthful…. I used to think I was a morning person and then I experienced today and realized that I guess I’m not. I set up an appointment for routine blood work at 6:30 A.M.
This may sound crazy but I have a nurse I love and I always request her… well, apparently everyone needed to get in this week and the only slot available was 6:30 A.M. (yes, I’m loco and yes, I woke up at 5:30 A.M. and went straight there.)
Afterwards I rushed to Caribou but still the caffiene at 7:00 A.M. did not give me enough of a wake up. Thank goodness winter break starts tomorrow because I am in desperate need of recharging my battery.
I leave you tonight with some go to items that help me relax and make me smile. I’m sure tomorrow I will be back to my old shenanigans.
1. Ugg Slippers- I love them! They keep my feet warm and they are super comfortable. Currently I have mine on as I am typing this entry.
2. My Blankee- Now before you all think that I sleep with my blanket from when I was a little girl… listen up… I don’t think I even had a blanket growing up (mom, correct me if I am wrong). I love sleeping with something soft and close to my neck (I don’t know why but I know it has been my thing since I was little. Apparently we have pictures of me fast asleep when I was little and apparently at some slumber party in high school my friends took a similar picture… never be the first one to go to sleep at a slumber party) So… long story short… buy this blanket if you are a blanket person like me. I know it looks like it is a kids blanket but if you scroll you’ll notice My Blankee does throws, and bedding. They come in different materials, patterns , and colors. I guess I’m kind of boring because mine is just cream. They also have sales quite often. http://www.myblankeebaby.com/
Alli, me, and Amy
I know I have some readers that might not know what kugel is so let me explain. Kugel is “A traditional Jewish dessert or side dish. The word is Yiddish for ball, but it is sometimes translated as pudding or casserole.” (this website is really interesting http://www.jewishrecipes.org/jewish-foods/kugel.html )
I love a little history lesson, don’t you? But moving on to a twist on a traditional classic. My friend, Amy keeps joking with me that she doesn’t know what it takes to get mentioned on the blog… well Amy, here is your gold star that you wanted. Amy made this Kugel for me recently and I could not get over how amazing it was. I begged her for the recipe and promised her a post with picture. Make this kugel… you will be amazed with not only how easy but how delish it is.
Amy’s Sweet Kugel
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter or margarine
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup pecans, halved
1 pound wide noodles
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Melt half the butter in a 12 cup bundt pan. Swirl it around the bottom and up the sides.
2. Press the brown sugar into the bottom and press the pecans into the sugar.
3. Boil the noodles according to the package directions and then drain. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, the remaining melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Next pour into the bowl that has the noodles and mix. Then pour into bundt pan.
4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until the top is brown. Let sit for 15 minutes before unmolding. The top will become slightly hard like a praline. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Side note: tomorrow is my last day of school and then begins winter break! I have a feeling that I will be pretty bored so expect some super fun blog entries to follow