Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I ate it...all... by myself

I received my box of milk chocolate almond toffee last week from English Toffee Anytime, just in time for Christmas! I seriously had every intention of sharing it. But you know, it was good. No, not just good, it was OhMyGod... good. Dare I say... one melt in your mouth, sensuous, take your time, have your way with me piece of toffee. So initially, I thought I would share it... spread the toffee love a bit. I even put it in a pretty candy dish just so others could have some. Really, I did. But after replaying all the event's of last week over and over in my mind, my recollection is now one of shame. I... I... um, hid the candy dish. I think I will have to order more. And, I think if you want to try the best toffee in the world, you'll have to get your own box. The next one is mine, too... keep your mitt's off.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas...

Quiet coloring moment

My table
Only 1/4 of the food out so far
Sanity saving punch
My favorite homemade rolls
My cutie
Yummy Kolachki's
Wine & Kolachki's baking
Gigaball fun
Roll Ted, roll!

He can see us in the dark
I made cinnamon rolls for the neighbors
Pickle prize- the family tradition
Go for the Pickle!
Anthony "brudder"

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have a very Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, I wish you love, prosperity, and happiness. Thank you for being a part of my life... my friends, family, and and my blogging friends! I love you all!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Beef Broccoli

I've been hanging out a lot over at Steamy Kitchen Modern Asian these days. It is the incredibly fantastic food blog of Jaden Hair, a food writer, food photographer and cooking teacher in both Tampa and Los Angeles.

I had been searching for unique, flavorful recipes when I happened upon her site. Tired of the same old meat and potatoes, I was not disappointed when I landed there! I got the biggest kick out of her No Knead Bread Recipe, where she demonstrates that even her 4 year old can master the art! I love her writing style- how she blends her love of food with easy to make recipes, and her amazing "food porn" that just sucks you in, recipe after delicious recipe.

Tonight I tried her recipe for Broccoli Beef. This was absolutely delicious, ending my search for that recipe forever. I doubled the recipe, and served it over white rice... which made enough for 4 good size servings. Because I love sesame seeds, I did toast some I had on hand and sprinkled over the top just before serving.

Broccoli Beef

* 3/4 pound flank or sirloin, sliced thinly across the grain
* 3/4 pound broccoli florets
* 2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil
* 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced or smushed through garlic smusher
* 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

For the beef marinade

* 1 teaspoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
* 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

* 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
* 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1/4 cup chicken broth


1 Marinate the beef: Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the beef slices and stir until coated. Let stand for 10 minutes

2 Prepare the sauce: Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3 Blanch the broccoli: Cook the broccoli in a small pot of boiling, salted water until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

4 Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and instantly evaporates upon contact. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the wok or pan in a single layer (preferably not touching). Let the beef fry undisturbed for 1 minute. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until no longer pink, Pour in the sauce, add the blanched broccoli and bring to a boil. Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds.

These are some of the ingredients listed, should you not have them in your pantry. You should find them easily in your local market.

As if that weren't satisfying enough, Jaden has gotten me completely addicted to these Rolo Pretzel Turtles! Where have they been all of my life!?! The easiest recipe in the world for holiday giving, your gift recipients will be lucky to find a crumb still left in the bag.

Rolo Pretzel Turtle Recipe

Rolo chocolate candies

Mini pretzels

Nuts - pecan halves (if you don’t like pecans, you can use almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Unwrap your Rolos. Place pretzels on the baking sheet in one layer. Top each pretzel with a Rolo.

Bake in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, until the chocolate just begins to melt. The Rolo candy should be soft but not completely melted. Remove from oven, use a spatula to lift the pretzels on cooling rack and immediately squish the Rolo candy with a nut.

Now how can that NOT be a gift from above!!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

I LOVE, love, love, toffee!!

English Toffee Anytime has got to be my all time favorite candy, especially around the holidays! How lucky for you, because if you head over to this nifty blog, Swamp Suburbia, and follow the instructions, you just may get yourself a free box!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A few of my favorite ornaments

Years ago, I would stroll through the stores and see these fabulously decorated, elegant Christmas tree's . I loved how they were themed, the colors coordinated, and how lush and luxurious they were. But over the years, with each new kiddo, I have come to love my own more and more. It's by far not luxurious... definitely not lush. It has, however, something far greater than those department store tree's ... years of memories and traditions. Nope, I don't think I'd trade that for all the designer tree's in the world. Here are a few of the ornaments on our tree. Some are homemade, some from school, and some that just had a special whimsical significance at the time... enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Maraschino Cherry Balls- No Bake!

It just wouldn't be Christmas without these little bites of yumminess. My Family has been making Cherry Balls for as long as I can remember. Big enough for a delicious bite... small enough so as not to over indulge. Did I say over indulge..? Well just smack me upside the head- it's the holidays! I meant eat with reckless abandon!

Cherry Balls

1/2 c. butter ( not margarine)
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. maraschino cherries, drained, chopped (1 sm jar)
3/4 c. coconut
2 c. quick cooking oatmeal (UN-cooked)
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans

Mix together the first 6 ingredients. Roll into 1" balls. Lightly roll in nuts. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. They can be frozen a few months as well.

The best part... No baking!! Roll and eat, my kind of treat! Happy eating everyone!

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