Dec 30, 2009
hoping your christmas was full of laughter & love…that you were surrrounded by friends & family & all the loveliest gifts that don’t cost a thing…and that your belly is as full as your heart…merry (belated) christmas…xoxo
Dec 23, 2009
Dec 21, 2009
Dec 18, 2009
I don't know if you're anything like me, but every year I'm racking my brain to come up with a creative gift for my coworkers and neighbors. Although, I plan to blog in the coming months about some of the other gifts I've given in past years, this year I made them Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti (thanks Jess for the idea!). I found these great glass containers at Hobby Lobby (which I figured they could use again - rather than some sort of holiday tin) and made the biscotti to fit the containers.
See below for the recipe...
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 1/4 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chunks (about 6 ounces)
Position racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to cook until the butter browns and gets a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar while beating. Then slowly add the butter and vanilla until evenly mixed, about 30 seconds more. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined.
While mixing slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet, in 2 additions, mixing just until absorbed. Fold in the peanuts and chocolate pieces.
Divide the dough evenly into thirds, and put each portion in the center of a baking sheet. Shape the dough with slightly wet hands into logs about 2-inches wide and 15 inches long. Bake until set and brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. (For even baking take care to rotate the pans-- top to bottom and front to back--about half way though.) Cool logs on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board. Cut logs crosswise, with a long serrated knife at about a 45 degree angle, into 1/2-inch thick cookies. Place cookies cut side down on the baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 8 minutes. Flip the cookies over and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes more. Cool biscotti on the baking sheets. Serve.
Recipe from foodnetwork.com
Dec 17, 2009
Dec 14, 2009
Dec 12, 2009
With the exception of naps throughout the day - there really isn't a quiet moment in our home anymore. Wonder where this chatty cathy got her vocal personality???!
Dec 10, 2009
Oh Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's - where have you been all of my life???!!!! My dear friend and mentor, Laurie gave me a package of these heavenly treats at the beginning of the holiday season. I've since gone through that gift package and traveled to Trader Joe's to pick up two more packages. :) These things are so delicious.
Imagine two Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies with peppermint frosting in the middle and then dipped in dark chocolate and topped with crushed peppermint candies. These little things are to die for. (and are part of the reason I have yet to shed all of my baby weight!)
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where there are Trader Joe's - do pick up a package of these. You won't be disappointed. And for all of my readers who aren't fortunate enough to have a TJ's nearby - I can always send you a package :) Or you can dream of them as you drift to sleep.... (sorry!!!!)
Dec 8, 2009
But yesterday the rain came...and came...and came. It was a cold, rainy and dreary day here. But you know what? Nora LOVED it!!! She had the most amazing day. It was as if she knew it was raining outside. Nora took extra long naps, fell asleep in the car (a first!!!), fell asleep in her swing and just seemed to have a much more relaxed demeanor. It was incredible. Despite a quick run to Target - we stayed in all day. Snuggled next to the fire and enjoyed Nora's first rainy day. So contrary to the song - our wish is that the rain WON'T go away :) (unforunately sunny skys are the forecast today)
Dec 6, 2009
Now with the Christmas tree up, stockings hung and cooler weather in the air, I can really say - It's beginning to look at a lot like Christmas!
Dec 4, 2009
Alright - I'll be the first to admit that at this age, Nora doesn't actually want much of anything. :) So maybe these things are still more Steph's Picks. Regardless, without further ado...
1. Baby Bjorn Organic Active Carrier - we are actually borrowing one of these right now from a friend and Nora loves it! We're thinking that if our next kids like it even a fraction as much as she does, we'll probably want our own in the future.
2. Coat/Sweatshirt - this one is specifically from BabyGap. Nora and I are scheduled to fly to Iowa in early January and we'll certainly need warm clothes!
3. BlaBla Baby Doll Celeste - Believe it or not, Nora doesn't have a doll yet. I just love these.
4. Crocheted Buckle Hat - I love hats on Nora. One of my favorite Etsy sellers is Two Seaside Babes. Check out her store for a wide selection of super cute hats.
6. Super Baby Foods - As I've said before, I'm planning on making our own baby food. I've heard this is an excellent resource.
Dec 2, 2009
We were fortunate enough to be able to get out of the Valley for a little retreat up north this past weekend. A handful of our small group was able to join us just outside of Payson. Although Nora was very sad all weekend (long days and longer nights) we still were able to enjoy ourselves. We played games, ate/cooked yummy food, read by the fire and took walks around Forest Lakes (many walks - Nora seemed to be the happiest when walking). It was such a blessing to get away from home and relax with dear friends.