Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Follow me for more great tips!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
My dad always brings fried turkey and I made a ham, but this year Chris got in on the action with a brined and smoked turkey breast. It was SO good:
We had such a great time seeing my family. It was my grandma (my dad's mom) & my grandpa's (my mom's dad) first time to meet Brody, which was really special. Everyone enjoyed watching football and Christmas movies and eating all day!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Brayden pushing Brody around on one of their toys:
The happy birthday boy in his adorable birthday shirt! Thanks to Jennifer at Brayla Bee's for making it so quickly for me!
Brayden opening Brody's gifts:
Brody supervising from his new truck and pointing out which gift to open next:
I ended up cutting a slice for him - he did NOT like the mess on his hands. He didn't actually eat any of it because he was so distracted by the mess!
I can't believe that tomorrow he will officially be ONE!
Monday, November 21, 2011
Now I didn't make this - here is Brody's smash cake! There is a local bakery that has competed on the Food Network Challenge many times (and won!) and they made this cake. I drew it out and took in color swatches for them, ha! I'm a teensy bit OCD.
I made the FAMOUS Parmesan Chicken Salad. It was a hit!
My mom made her pasta salad but substituted bow tie pasta instead of rotini. It was so cute!
She also made my very favorite spinach dip. I'll post the recipe soon. I made another dip that I'll be sharing on a separate post so that I can file it into my recipes section!
Friday, November 18, 2011
And Template #2, with a photo:
Without the photo:
My blog is Template #3, with a photo, but here is the version without a photo:
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I “discovered” these amazing cream cheese brownies right around the time that Jon and I got married. One thing that you should know about my husband is that he has a sweet tooth (or 20) and I learned early on that he can put away a whole pack of Oreo cookies in one sitting. When Jon and I moved in together, I couldn’t bake but was set on learning. Thankfully, Jon ate my burnt, soggy, and sometimes kind of salty cookies, encouraging me to keep going (the sweet tooth probably had a little something to do with that). Thankfully for him, I finally figured it out, right in time to find this recipe in one of Jon’s old Betty Crocker cookbooks. I’ve been making them ever since – toying with different combinations of cocoa powder, additions of chocolate chips, and substitutions of some of the ingredients for the healthier options.
I wanted to share with you the (almost) original recipe for the Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Brownies. I promise you that you will absolutely love the creamy cheese filling sandwiched between the fluffy brownie mix.
Cream Cheese Brownies
(adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook)
1 cup butter or stick margarine
4 ounces unsweeted baking chocolate
Cream Cheese Filling
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Filling
2 packaged (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease buttom and sides of 13 by 9 pan with shortening.
Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Make cream cheese filling.
Beat chocolate mixture, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Beat in flour and salt on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium for 1 minute.
Spread half of the brownie mixture in pan. Spread cream cheese filling over the batter, then spread the rest of the brownie mix on top. Make sure that all the cream cheese is covered.
Bake 45-50 minutes, cool, cut, eat.
We all have that dessert. You know the one that mom makes for special occasions. The one that you think of when you’re looking forward to coming home during college breaks. The one that you count on when you’ve had a bad week. The one that has been passed on through generations and generations in your family.
To me, that dessert is Muraveinik, or, if directly translated, Anthill.
You see, I’m Russian and I’m rather fond of Russian food, especially dishes that have been made by generations of my family that are rarely written down in any books but rather passed along from mom to daughter. Fact is that when I was a teenager, I couldn’t care less for the recipes that my mom tried so hard to teach me (I was way more interested in boy, concerts, and clothes). But as I got older, got married, and started a family of my own, I began to crave the food that surrounded me during my childhood. I plead my mom to teach me the different ways that she cooks and spend hours translating the measurements and ingredients to adjust them to my American ways.
And today I am sharing one of those special recipes with you.
3.5 Cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
8 oz Sour Cream
4 sticks of butter (2 for the cookie dough and 2 for the cream)
1 Can Boiled Sweetened Condensed Milk
Boiled Sweetened Condensed Milk (usually made ahead of time)
Boil a can (or a few to save on energy) of sweetened condensed milk for 3-4 hours on the stove top, submerged in water. Make sure that the cans are fully submerged in water at all times to avoid the mess that may ruin your kitchen forever.
Mix the flour, sugar, sour cream, and 2 sticks of butter together (I use my hands) until it is fully combined. Use a meat grinder to make even, thin noodles with the dough and lay if flat on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven until golden (don’t let it turn dark) at 350 degrees.
To make the cream, mix the boiled sweetened condensed milk with the remaining 2 sticks of butter.
Once cookies are baked, let them cool and crumble them into little pieces. Mix in the cream and form into an anthill. Refrigerate before serving.