Thursday, February 18, 2010

50 Cookbooks ~ Barefoot Contessa Family Style Challah French Toast

The Book: Barefoot Contessa Family Style

From: Mr. amazing

This is another cookbook that we love, which is no surprise since we love Ina. We tend to adapt many of her recipes, because she uses a lot of butter and other high calorie/fat ingredients. She is still one of our favorite cooks.

I have to be honest I made this recipe a few weeks ago and I can't remember if I made any changes. I usually write them down on the recipe and I didn't see any notes, besides pretty good. This french toast was pretty good. I made the brioche a few days earlier. The bread was a little delicate, and it might have been easier to work with if it was a little more dried out.

If you are looking for a special occasion french toast recipe, check out this one. I think you will be pleased with the results. Challah French Toast



Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It seems that we always have a jar of salsa in the fridge. It is a condiment that we all love . Brian usually keeps us stocked in the summer using different types of peppers and tomatoes. I was looking through a few different blogs and noticed one woman was making salsa. At first I was a little confused, I didn't think salsa would be very good without summer tomatoes. Then I realized that she was using canned tomatoes. I decided to check out Rick Bayless' website and see if he had any good recipes using canned tomatoes. Sure enough he did. We loved it and I will probably not buy salsa very much anymore. This salsa had great flavor! I used Muir glen tomatoes. Next time I might add a bit of onion. It also took really no time to put together. If you like salsa and want to make your own, try the recipe. Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa


Monday, February 15, 2010

An Evening to Remember

We had a great time with the Buckmans!
And yes...he liked the dress.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Love to Read Month

Both of the kids have I love to read month at school. You might wonder what that means. Essential they track their minutes for the month and then they can win prizes etc.. I haven't updated our reading list in forever, and at some point I will do that. We went to the library last week and got the mother load. They both just had me request quite a few more as well. We are reading Half the Sky, for book club. What are you reading right now? Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bits of Encouragement and a "craft"

As you all know I'm not much of a crafter. I was feeling a little crafty, and wanted to add something to our mantel so I came up with this. First I cut out hearts out of origami paper we had. I took a piece of red thread and taped it to each end of our mantel. Then I took double stick tape (because Ian "has no idea" where the regular tape is) and taped the hearts to the thread. There you have it! I have to say I actually like it.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
P.S. Happy Birthday Mom! I know you won't see this, because you are probably flying over the ocean right now. I wanted you to know I love you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Pie

This is not the kind of pie that you make so that you can fit into that sexy dress for your husband on Valentine's day. No, this is the kind of pie that you make for your husband on Valentine's day so he remembers that not only are you sexy in that little black dress, but you can also rock his world in the kitchen! To bad I figured that out to late. Oh well...there is always next year.

I first came across this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen when she first posted it. I put it on the back burner, and remembered it a few weeks ago. All I have to say is MAKE THIS PIE!!! It was not very difficult to make, and came together pretty easily. It does need to chill for a bit, but other than was easy as pie (sorry about that, I couldn't resist.) We loved this, well Katie and Ian loved the middle, but not the crust so much. Which is really to bad because their Dad is the pie King and Grandma is the pie queen. Mom is just a wanna be. If you don't like pie just make the pudding.

Chocolate Pudding Pie
The original recipe called for bittersweet chocolate, which I thought I had. I actual had unsweetened. Although we really liked the pie. I think next time I would use semi-sweet chocolate instead and decrease the amount of sugar I used. I also think milk chocolate would be delicious!
Recipe for your favorite pie crust
Pudding filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups 2% milk
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tbs. powdered sugar
Follow the directions for baking your favorite single pie crust. Cool.
Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.
Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours.
Just before serving, beat cream with two tablespoons powdered sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and sprinkle with additional cocoa if desired.

P.S. Have you ever tried typing without using your middle finger? It's not easy.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Hello Darling~

The children and I have had a quiet and relaxing weekend.

I dropped off Katie at church on Friday night, she was really excited for Acquire the Fire. Jen and Joe came over that night. The boys ate cheesebread, played the wii, watched a movie, and ate way too many fruit snacks and cheetos...oh and they washed it all down with sierra mist. You must be wondering why I would allow your son to consume such JUNK. It was the Queen's fault...she was in charge of snacks. I made chicken salad that was really good! We had carrots, apples, yummy olives from the olive bar, and salt and vinegar chips. We washed it down with asti (that was the Queen.) I actually think you might like it. Then for dessert she picked up chocolate molten cakes and white chocolate and raspberry truffle ice cream. Yes, I starved myself all day so I could indulge. They left around noon the next day. Ian and I just hung out. He did his homework. We went outside for a little while. He tried to throw snow balls at me while I shoveled. Ian asked me what was for dinner and I said turkey sandwiches, he said he would like tacos. I said how about we have sandwiches and I will make a pannekokken for you for breakfast. He was sold.

It was time for me to get on the fit, and Ian wanted to watch. Are you tired mom? Did you lose mom? Despite all of his encouragement I completed my workout.

We picked up Katie Sunday afternoon. She had a lot of fun! When we got back I started on our superbowl party. I was making guacamole, and decided it might be fun to slice my finger with your new knife. Needless to say it was NOT pleasant at all! This of course happened after Cheryl asked me how our weekend was going, and I said nothing bad has happened. Me and my big mouth! The guacamole was not nearly as good as yours either.

I have been missing you and can't wait for you to come home! I hope you have had a relaxing time with the guys and some fun as well.

After you shave those terrible prickles of your face...I will give you a big smooch and squeeze!

I could sit here and stare at your photo all day. That smile, it gets me every time.

Love always~


Friday, February 5, 2010

It's FRIDAY!!!

Sorry about the lack of blogging this week. It has been CRAZY around here!! Too much to do and to little time to do it. You've all been there and done that right??? I'm so glad it is the end of the week. The second draft of the review is off. The project at work is pretty much done. I've been working out like a mad woman to fit in THE DRESS. Woot woo!!!
Jen and Joe are coming for a sleepover tonight. Which equals good times. Some days all you need is a friend.
Speaking of friends I just love that our children are friends. I love how there relationship grows and changes. It's there tradition to have a sleepover on Friday nights in Katie's room. I'm sure that will be changing soon. For now though...I'm just going to enjoy it.
Have a great weekend friends! Normal blogging will resume next week.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

50 cookbooks ~ Brioche

The Book: Barefoot In Paris by Ina Garten

From: Brian

This is one of our favorite cookbooks. We have made many recipes of this book, and I don't think there is a single one that we haven't liked.

I have been asking Brian to make this Brioche recipe for quite some time...he hasn't gotten around to it. Since I'm trying to conquer my fear of yeast, I thought I would give it a go.

Like most of Ina's recipes, this bread was wonderful. It makes two loaves which is also very nice. I overcooked it just a bit, but that was alright. My plan was to use it to make french toast. The recipe was easy to follow and I had no problems with it.

This is really a bread that you would use for a special occasion due to the large amount of butter and eggs.

I was also thinking they would make a nice gift.

Unfortunately I couldn't find the recipe online. I did find a recipe for mini brioche rolls that is also Ina's. Take a look if you're interested. Mini Brioche Rolls

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