Thursday, December 1, 2011


Grant and I are slowly packing our things. This calls for some tough decisions, and the realization that we have a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff that, when it comes down to leaving it or lugging it across the country, we're opting to leave it in the closet at my parent's house.

Goodbye more than half my clothes. Half my shoes. Most of my books and movies. I just hope everything we are bringing fits in the car. (hopefully my parents don't give me unneeded stuff for Christmas, or we're screwed) We should be fine if we find a furnished apartment.

On that note, still no luck finding an apartment. Or a job. I almost had a panic attack today thinking about both of those things and the amount of money we have in savings versus the amount of money we might need. I'm still fighting myself to not worry about it.

Yes, we still have time. But not a lot. It's December, and we're moving in less than a month. Yikes. Please wish us luck!

My parents come up this weekend with Tia and our dog Cuda, and they are taking some things back with them. I am very excited to see my sister in just a couple days! And my dog. And my parents. I'm just all around excited for this weekend! Spa day with Tia; lunch with the family. I can't wait! :D

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baking on a Cool Day

Grant and I had Sunday and Monday off, and yesterday I got the urge to bake. It was a cool, rainy day. The rain, of course, melted all the snow we got last week. So now it's slushy and gross out. Anyway it was a perfect baking day! Plus my sweet tooth wanted something. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I finally chose to make Russian Tea Cakes. I think I first made these in my senior year of high school. I believe I made them for a cookie goodie bag I was giving out to people. I made them again last year with my sister just for us. I've finally perfected the recipe this year!

•1 cup butter
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
•2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon milk
•1 cup ground walnuts (optional but recommended)
•1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2.In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Add milk. Mix in walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
3.Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners' sugar.

Why did they come out so much better this year? I did something a little differently that I hadn't done before. I actually added the nuts. I was never a big nut-in-my-cookies fan before, so I had always excluded them. It says optional, right? True, but even adding a little extra flour just doesn't get the same taste or texture. I actually didn't have walnuts, but I did have almonds. Almonds worked perfectly, and I honestly don't think I'll use walnuts next time I make these just because they turned out so well! If I had had any almond extract I would have added that, but we didn't.

Another alteration I made was in the powder coating. I had extra ground almonds, so I mixed that with the powdered sugar. YUM! These made our rainy cold day better. :) What have you baked recently?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Monday

Here's another playlist for you. Enjoy! :)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving With Friends, and a Bailey's Cheesecake

Grant and I just celebrated our first Thanksgiving together. This was our first Thanksgiving spent together because last year he went home to celebrate with his family. It's a very important holiday in his family. It was the first time in 10 years Grant hasn't cooked with his dad, so he was feeling a little homesick. To make him feel a little better we made something he's always made with his dad for the holidays, a Bailey's Cheesecake. YUM! This is probably the best cheesecake dessert I've ever eaten.

He "frosted" it with whipped cream, and dusted it with chocolate shavings.

I know I skipped right to dessert, but that was what we made for the meal. The rest of the meal was made by our friends. We started with snacks, some of my favorites were the baked brie and the goat cheese logs. Have you ever had baked brie? It is one of the easiest, most delicious snacks you can make. And perfect for a party!

Goat Cheese Logs. From left to right-
Dill and Lemon Zest
Chocolate Ganache with Hazelnuts
Pistachios & Cranberries with Honey

The baked brie is puffed pastry, brie, fig and raspberry preserves. You bake it and out comes deliciousness! You can serve it by itself or with crackers.

Our friends brined the turkey for 3 days before smoking it on Thursday morning. This bird came out beautifully! It had great flavor, and I think it was better than the roast turkey we also had.

Along with the turkey were all the fixings. It was a great meal and I can't thank our friends enough for having us over! When we finally sat down the table was beautifully set.

We all had a great time. I feel bad that Grant and I didn't stay very long after the meal to help with clean up, but we were asleep on the couch by 8:00. I had to work in the morning from 7-3, but I made it in time to see my friends and eat some good food, which is what counts. We had a terrific holiday, and I hope everyone else did too!