Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fun evening to celebrate the arrival of 2014.

2013 had many things to celebrate, but I found the year to be overwhelmed by sadness, illness, stress, and loss. I am very much looking forward to moving past 2013 and what this new year will bring. 

Are you making any resolutions? I am, again, doing the Goodreads book challenge, this year my goal is 30 books in honor of my upcoming 30th birthday ins September. Another resolution is to be better at staying in touch with faraway relatives and friends, as I know I let correspondence go sometimes. And finally, I want to find more creative outlets to incorporate into my life.


I thankfully managed to get the last bag of blackeyed peas at the market (a lucky new year food),
which are currently simmering on the stove to be turned into soup. 

A look back at New Years Eve in Times Square
25 New Years Resolutions Every Person Should Actually Make
10 Best Comics of 2013
Bon Appetit's top 10 recipes of 2013
Top Newsmakers of 2013, from The Onion
Year in Review: Official White House photos by Pete Souza



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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap again this year (my posts for: 2012 & 2011). It's so fun to bake, wrap, and send off cookies to 3 people all over the country. This year my cookies went to High Heels to Hot Wheels, Being Cheap is Easy, and Wright Kitchen. Want to be in on next years swap? Just visit this link.

The cookies I made this year are a combination of my favorite pie (pecan) and my favorite cookie (chocolate rugelach- rugelach is a Jewish crescent shaped cookie that is traditionally filled with fruit or chocolate, the name rugelach translates from Yiddish as 'little twists'). They made a fabulous combo with the flaky cream cheese pastry, sweet pecan filling and a bit of chocolate, and are sturdy enough to withstand shipping.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Rugelach
dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour

Mix together butter and cream cheese on medium speed until completely combined, slowly add in sugar, salt and flour and continue to mix until the dough just starts to come together. Divide dough into quarters, flatten each into a disc, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

filling:
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/3 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt butter and stir in the vanilla extract. Roll out chilled dough on lightly floured surface into a 12 inch round. Place a tiny bowl, or upside down shot glass in the very center of the dough (only needs to be about an inch in diameter - this keeps the ends clean and easy to tuck under the finished twists).

Brush dough with butter, then spread 3 tablespoons sugar over the top, sprinkle 1/3 cup of pecans on top, and then 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips. Use your hands to spread everything out to make sure everything is evenly distributed.

Cut circle into 16 wedges. Starting with the wide part of each wedge, roll toward the center of the dough, tucking the pointed edge underneath the twist. Repeat with remaining wedges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Repeat with rest of dough and filling.

topping:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (or plain granulated sugar)

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat together egg and water. Brush each cookie with the egg wash and then sprinkle the sugar over the top. Bake cookies one tray at a time for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.

Allow cookies to cool completely before eating.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Rugelach

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgivingukkah!

Today, for the first time in many years (1861, had Thanksgiving been an official holiday then), and the last time for quite a few years more (in 79811), Thanksgiving and Chanukah (started last night at sundown, making today the first day) are colliding into a super festive holiday that has been dubbed Thanksgivingukkah.


Light your menurkey
Check out this pinterest board filled with festive ideas
Don this tee
Print some coloring pages for the kiddos
Fill your sufganiyot with cranberry sauce
Hang a poster
Larry David's Thanksgiving rant
Make matzoh ball soup with turkey stock

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Pie Chart of Pies

With pie being the 'official' dessert of Thanksgiving, I couldn't resist sharing this pie chart from modern farmer of pies in honor of the upcoming holiday.


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