Monday, December 30, 2013

Year in Review

This has been a BIG year for me and for the blog.  I got married, traveled, got promoted, turned 30, and completely revamped the blog.  Here are a few of my favorite posts from 2013!

Brioche rolls.  'Nuff said.

The BEST french onion soup.  And so easy.

I developed a love of drop biscuit cobbler.  Blueberry, specifically.

I found a recipe for the tastiest (and most dangerous) margaritas.

The H and I ate in three spectacular cities:  London, Paris, and Rome.

The blog redesign (and rename!) launched.

And I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

2013 was an amazing year and I can't wait for 2014 to be even better.  Thanks for sticking with me through it all!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookie Swap Time! Coconut Oatmeal Crisps


 As I announced previously, this year I decided to join the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  It was with some trepidation that I made this decision, as I normally only try out new recipes on people that HAVE to like what I make (ie the H or other immediate family members).  But I went out on a limb nonetheless and made some Coconut Oatmeal Crisps

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Oatmeal Crisps (adapted from BHG):

  • 1 3/4  cups  quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 3/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes, plus more for sprinkling 
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 3/4  cup  butter, melted
  • 1/4  cup  light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4  cup  whipping cream
  • 1 1/2  cups  bittersweet chocolate pieces
  • 3  tablespoons  shortening

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get out a big cookie sheet to line with foil.  (I am normally hard core about using my baking stones for cookies, but they didn't work well with this recipe.)  Then combine your dry ingredients, including the coconut flakes.

In another bowl combine your butter, corn syrup, and whipping cream, and stir that into your dry mixture.  Drop the dough onto your foil by rounded teaspoons and bake for about 11 minutes.  The cookies will start to brown around the edges.  Remove the foil from the cookie sheet, replace with a new sheet, and start it all over again, allowing your cookies to cool completely on the foil (I had about 4 sheets of foil going during the process).

After all of your cookies are completely cooled, heat the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler, stirring occasionally, and then dip your cookies in the chocolate.  I then laid my cookies on a cooling rack with foil below, and sprinkled them with coconut before placing them in the fridge to harden a bit.  

I sent my cookies to three bloggers in totally different parts of the country (Shanna, Annakate, and Chrystal), and I hope that they enjoyed them!  I received cookies from two other bloggers, Erica and Lisa and dang, these people know how to make cookies.  They put me to shame! 



I bought The Shining Girls months ago (in April, I believe?) and it just arrived.  I haven't had a chance to crack it yet (it's on my agenda for the weekend) but I can't WAIT.  Word is it was slated for a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio before it was even released to the public.  I hope it lives up to the hype!


 Scuba Leggings via Express

I purchased these leggings (at the recommendation of a friend) for Thanksgiving and they didn't disappoint.  They wipe clean and they stretch, and they kept me warm in the below-freezing Minnesota temps.  I require nothing more of holiday eating attire.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Corn Casserole and The Book Thief


Literally years ago, I asked my sister for the corn casserole that she makes nearly every time I come home.  Instead of scanning it and sending it to me, like a normal person, she took a picture of the recipe with her phone and emailed it to me.

The best part about this, though, is that she wrote down the recipe, then took the photo and sent it.  And the recipe was a little loosey goosey on the details:

Who's ever heard of a CAN of sour cream?!  Anyway, I revised this and made my own (more exact) recipe.

Jalapeno Corn Casserole

2 stick of butter, room temperature
2 eggs
16 oz sour cream
2 boxes Jif Corn Muffin Mix
2 cans sweet corn
2 cans cream style corn
1/2 cup diced jalapenos

Mix the ingredients together, then pour in a 9x13 baker and bake at 350 for approximately 60 minutes, or until brown and set.  (My recipe is bigger than the original, and obviously packs a bit more of a punch).



I'm currently immersed in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and anxiously awaiting the release of the movie.  I'm already bracing myself for the fact that the movie will be a let-down compared to the book, primarily for two reasons:  (1)  the actress they chose to play Liesel has blue eyes and the author is VERY careful to point out that she has brown eyes (not insignificant in a book about WWII); and (2)  the book is narrated by death, which is effective and startling in a way that I wasn't expecting to enjoy, but that I'm afraid will come off as cheesy in the movie.  I guess we'll see!


I am, literally, wearing these jammies as I type:

These were a must have in my wardrobe for two reasons.  First, they look like prison stripes (the bottoms are also black and gray striped) which is hilarious in my family for a couple of reasons that I won't discuss here.  Second, the H and I walked down the aisle after we were married to the Imperial March from Star Wars.  We are dorks, and my dork status is even more solidified now that I own Darth Vader prison jams.  Expect a pic on instagram of me rocking these sometime soon.