tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-90887292882854489822011-11-07T17:24:50.920-08:00eaternal blissRachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.comBlogger39125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-91680735155131607372011-07-13T06:07:00.000-07:002011-07-18T16:59:29.872-07:00Whole Foods Cherry Fest: Cherry Fruit & Cheese Quiche Tart<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JcT1JywK85Q/ThzxUOqItdI/AAAAAAABCLo/u26u3edIUAw/s1600/cherryfruitquiche1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JcT1JywK85Q/ThzxUOqItdI/AAAAAAABCLo/u26u3edIUAw/s550/cherryfruitquiche1.jpg" /></a></div><br />Whole Foods had an amazing sale on organic cherries last Friday, July 8 ($2.99/lb).&nbsp; I didn't waste any time heading over that morning and buying 4 bags.&nbsp; My lovely friend, Junia of <a href="http://juniakk.blogspot.com/" target="blank">Mis Pensamientos</a>, also informed me about <a href="http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2011/07/cherry-fest-blogger-contest/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed:+WholeStoryBlog+%28Whole+Story+Blog%29" target="blank">the cherry recipe contest being hosted by Whole Foods</a>.&nbsp; I had no intention of entering but then I figured what the heck (and who couldn't use some free grocery spending money?).<br /><br />But I was stuck.&nbsp; Because you see in our household, we like our cherries like this:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n15DUqJgKtM/ThzykciIH7I/AAAAAAABCMM/yaDf2I-iXPs/s1600/cherries.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n15DUqJgKtM/ThzykciIH7I/AAAAAAABCMM/yaDf2I-iXPs/s500/cherries.jpg" /></a></div><br />Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of cooked cherries.&nbsp; I prefer them pure and untainted, and it seemed wasteful to do anything but pit 'em and eat 'em.&nbsp; But I pressed on.<br /><br />I tried a few things from fruit salad with adzuki beans, to tofu and edamame drizzled with cherry sauce, to a fruit and bean smoothie.&nbsp; But either the flavors didn't work together or the kids didn't really care for it (like the tofu with cherry sauce).&nbsp; I knew I had to stick with a dessert, and then I finally caved in and decided to bake (which I was trying to avoid in this crazy hot weather).&nbsp; So with it being nearly 100 degrees today, I cranked up the air conditioner, turned on the oven, and created a fruit and cheese filled quiche tart.<br /><br />I know most people think of savory when it comes to quiche, but I thought one incorporating these fresh fruits would be nice:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ljT8neWw_-M/ThzimFUThAI/AAAAAAABCLE/a3ZgVz5Mef4/s1600/cherryfruit.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ljT8neWw_-M/ThzimFUThAI/AAAAAAABCLE/a3ZgVz5Mef4/s500/cherryfruit.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And the flavors of the cherries, pineapple, and strawberries worked beautifully together.&nbsp; The best part about it is how simple it is to make with a few ingredients, including a refrigerated crescent roll (yes, Whole Foods carries a product manufactured by <a href="http://www.immaculatebaking.com/product.php?id=29" target="blank">Immaculate Baking Company</a>). My older son loved helping me out.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ontOlANV1TY/Thz3UCAV4dI/AAAAAAABCMk/MZRClh6K2xU/s1600/2011-07-04.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ontOlANV1TY/Thz3UCAV4dI/AAAAAAABCMk/MZRClh6K2xU/s600/2011-07-04.jpg" /></a></div><br />The pictures above show the quiche being baked in individual ramekins (7 ounce size) which gives it a more sophisticated presentation.&nbsp; But it takes longer to bake than it does in a muffin pan.&nbsp; I made two batches and used both (the instructions below indicate the muffin pan). <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mndeLr1uOWo/ThzxVvPnAtI/AAAAAAABCLw/YdkKi4axQkg/s1600/doughinpan.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mndeLr1uOWo/ThzxVvPnAtI/AAAAAAABCLw/YdkKi4axQkg/s500/doughinpan.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So while I prepared lunch and fed the boys, dessert was baking in the oven.&nbsp; And the wonderful aroma that filled the kitchen made me reconsider my dislike of cooked cherries.&nbsp; But it was the taste of it that made me a believer in the value of baked cherries.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H-8Zzf894HQ/ThzkKK4YdVI/AAAAAAABCLY/1IurDkk8wo0/s1600/insidequiche.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H-8Zzf894HQ/ThzkKK4YdVI/AAAAAAABCLY/1IurDkk8wo0/s500/insidequiche.jpg" /></a></div><br />I saved some for my husband and the little fellas, too.&nbsp;&nbsp; The youngest one couldn't get enough.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lFoaCf3v8qQ/Thz3sFqB7qI/AAAAAAABCMY/wKEjZLzvSCU/s1600/Cherry+Fruit+Quiche.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lFoaCf3v8qQ/Thz3sFqB7qI/AAAAAAABCMY/wKEjZLzvSCU/s600/Cherry+Fruit+Quiche.jpg" /><br /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div>And that alone was worth all the effort.<br /><br />Happy cherry feasting!<br />Rachel<br /><br /><blockquote><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Cherry Fruit &amp; Cheese Quiche Tart</b></span><br />Serving: 6 quiche tarts; Prep time: 15 minutes; Bake time: 30-35 minutes<br /><br /><b>Ingredients:</b><br /><br />1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved<br />1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple<br />1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries<br />6 oz cream cheese, softened<br />1 tbsp confectioners' sugar<br />2 eggs, beaten<br />1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent roll<br /><br /><b>Directions:</b><br /><ol><li>Preheat oven to 350 degrees.&nbsp; Separate crescent dough triangles.&nbsp; Line each cup of the greased muffin pan with a triangle, creating a thin layer on the bottom and lifting the dough up to the sides.&nbsp; Use extra triangles to add more dough along the side of cups if necessary.</li><li> In a medium bowl, mix 6 oz. cream cheese with 1 tbsp confectioners' sugar until smooth.&nbsp; Mix in beaten eggs.&nbsp; </li><li> Set aside 1/4 cup cherries for topping. Chop remaining cherries. Gently fold chopped cherries, pineapple, and strawberries into the mixture.</li><li> Pour fruit and cheese mixture into each cup.&nbsp; Top each with a few halved cherries.</li><li> Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or longer until the rims of the tart are golden brown and the filling is firm.&nbsp; Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.</li></ol></blockquote><ol></ol><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-9168073515513160737?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com12tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-21322752448884418812011-06-28T17:00:00.000-07:002011-06-28T20:18:07.451-07:00A Salute to the Red, Lemon, and Blue<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PIHQqnVnrSU/Tgk4E1wGN4I/AAAAAAABBC4/s5R8U7QenXw/s1600/PATRIOTIC_SOUFFLE.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="1" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iWc-roe8hiI/TgpIXx6FxbI/AAAAAAABBEA/iJC4K4sitwY/s570/PATRIOTIC_SOUFFLE-1.jpg" /></a></div><br />When I saw the frozen lemon souffle recipe in the June issue of <i>Everyday Food</i>, I immediately tore out the pages and pinned them on my cork board.&nbsp; This was definitely a must-try.&nbsp; And I am so glad I did.&nbsp; The tartness of the lemons combined with the sweetness of the whipped cream is incredibly refreshing, and the dessert overall is a terrific way to end a meal.&nbsp; It's not too heavy and the flavors help clean the palate after a hearty meal.<br /><br />The magazine garnished their souffle with raspberries, but I knew I wanted to go with a red and blue theme for the upcoming 4th of July holiday.&nbsp; Blueberries complemented the lemon perfectly.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jpYDosH15FM/TgoT-qaCtiI/AAAAAAABBDo/z5829dmX_r0/s1600/souffle1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jpYDosH15FM/TgoT-qaCtiI/AAAAAAABBDo/z5829dmX_r0/s510/souffle1.jpg" /></a></div><br />The dessert did take some time to prepare.&nbsp; The instructions in the magazine called for wrapping parchment paper around the ramekin so you can pour the mixture above the rim.&nbsp; This is purely for aesthetics and not necessary.&nbsp; But presentation is always a plus so if you're willing to go the extra step, it doesn't hurt.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PxiofC_NY6o/TgoTu0f5JZI/AAAAAAABBD0/RSvgWUE30tA/s1600/2011-06-272.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PxiofC_NY6o/TgoTu0f5JZI/AAAAAAABBD0/RSvgWUE30tA/s1100/2011-06-272.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>I expected the finished product to be creamy and silky, but it was just a tad icy and didn't scoop very smoothly.&nbsp; Nevertheless, it was delicious and definitely worth the effort.&nbsp; And it's perfect for Independence Day.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HP3EhVrCVkY/TgoNEURu7MI/AAAAAAABBDE/77im2G-mbCY/s1600/souffle_sherbert.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-HP3EhVrCVkY/TgoNEURu7MI/AAAAAAABBEU/UHWqrBgxDSI/s510/souffle_sherbert.jpg" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><blockquote><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><span style="font-size: large;">Frozen Lemon Souffle with Fresh Berries</span></b></div><i>Source:&nbsp; Everyday Food, June 2011 issue</i><br /><br /><b>Ingredients:</b><br />1 cup granulated sugar<br />1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest plus 3/4 cup lemon juice (from 3-4 lemons)<br />8 large eggs, white and yolks separated<br />1/4 teaspoon salt <br />1 cup cold heavy cream<br />1 1/2 cups raspberries (6 ounces)<br />1/2 cup blueberries<br />Confectioners' sugar for dusting<br /><br /><b>Directions:</b><br />1.&nbsp; Wrap outside of a 3 1/2-cup souffle mold or four 6-ounce ramekins with parchment, extending 2 to 3 inches above rim (it should fit snugly).&nbsp; Secure with tape; set aside.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">2.&nbsp; In a medium saucepan, whisk together granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice, egg yolks, and salt over medium-high.&nbsp; Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and small bubbles form around of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).&nbsp; Immediately remove from heat while continuing to whisk.&nbsp; Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl, pressing on lemon curd with a rubber spatula.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">3.&nbsp; Place plastic wrap directly against surface of curd and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes (or up to overnight).</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">4.&nbsp; In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, 2 minutes.&nbsp; Gently fold egg whites into cooled lemon curd.&nbsp; In the same large bowl, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.&nbsp; Gently fold whipped cream into lemon curd mixture.&nbsp; Pour into mold and freeze until firm, 6 hours (or up to overnight).&nbsp; To serve, remove parchment, top with raspberries and blueberries.&nbsp; Dust with confectioners' sugar. </div></blockquote><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-2132275244888441881?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com9tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-50000994555747440252011-06-16T18:21:00.000-07:002011-06-24T20:46:34.186-07:00A Big Bash for the Birthday Boys<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0FaBSujPxqA/Tfa-97NdTHI/AAAAAAABA-0/lhuUrdTdqck/s1600/DSC_0004.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0FaBSujPxqA/Tfa-97NdTHI/AAAAAAABA-0/lhuUrdTdqck/s640/DSC_0004.jpg" width="473" /></a></div><br />Over Memorial Day weekend, we celebrated my son's 3rd birthday along with my brother's big 3-0 down in good ol' Virginia.&nbsp; They share the same birth date of June 10.&nbsp; It's kind of sweet.<br /><br />All of us had different assignments in preparing for the party.&nbsp; The guys ran errands.&nbsp; Sis-in-law was in charge of bringing my brother over to my sister's house and keeping it a surprise.&nbsp; Sis and I were in charge of the menu and drinks.&nbsp; Mom assisted us with preparing some Korean side dishes and the traditional birthday seaweed soup.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BAEvLGB7_Q4/Tfa--hlBGeI/AAAAAAABA-8/hM6FxCW3BWM/s1600/DSC_0038.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BAEvLGB7_Q4/Tfa--hlBGeI/AAAAAAABA-8/hM6FxCW3BWM/s500/DSC_0038.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />Dad had the hardest job of all - he was in charge of keeping the kids preoccupied.&nbsp; He's looking pretty good with the feminine baby carrier, isn't he? <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dhBxy3QyBAE/Tfa-_1y7XiI/AAAAAAABA_E/pYKf5s6lMQU/s1600/DSC_0061.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dhBxy3QyBAE/Tfa-_1y7XiI/AAAAAAABA_E/pYKf5s6lMQU/s500/DSC_0061.jpg" /></a></div><br />Once the older birthday boy showed up, we sat down to feast (except DC who was so excited, he dug in standing up).<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9kGXCvZd-AU/Tfa_AgF_KKI/AAAAAAABA_M/Tk7jpL-iG9w/s1600/DSC_0172.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9kGXCvZd-AU/Tfa_AgF_KKI/AAAAAAABA_M/Tk7jpL-iG9w/s500/DSC_0172.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />We gorged ourselves on steamed blue crabs seasoned with Old Bay . . .<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aaxBQyww0kc/Tfa-4rzDKgI/AAAAAAABA-M/orrmwAnWEdg/s1600/DSC_0154.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aaxBQyww0kc/Tfa-4rzDKgI/AAAAAAABA-M/orrmwAnWEdg/s500/DSC_0154.jpg" /></a></div><br />Shrimp seasoned with cajun spices and garlic . . .<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KFEGz_uUN-M/Tfa-7mR50TI/AAAAAAABA-k/UmYL9NjUVbA/s1600/DSC_0115.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KFEGz_uUN-M/Tfa-7mR50TI/AAAAAAABA-k/UmYL9NjUVbA/s500/DSC_0115.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C8SV4DuFos8/Tfa-8rxoOXI/AAAAAAABA-s/NHY0LSwXS2M/s1600/DSC_0155.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-C8SV4DuFos8/Tfa-8rxoOXI/AAAAAAABA-s/NHY0LSwXS2M/s500/DSC_0155.jpg" /></a></div><br />A side of steamed squid (my brother's favorite) and sweet potato fries . . .<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YT3kgnPfL8o/TflnohppnuI/AAAAAAABBCE/QMrvZEeBNKw/s1600/DSC_0156.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YT3kgnPfL8o/TflnohppnuI/AAAAAAABBCE/QMrvZEeBNKw/s500/DSC_0156.jpg" /></a></div><br />Sweet corn on the cob . . .<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pJGhNlceYSU/Tfa-68EUsEI/AAAAAAABA-c/pHmrU5VS-fc/s1600/DSC_0114.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pJGhNlceYSU/Tfa-68EUsEI/AAAAAAABA-c/pHmrU5VS-fc/s500/DSC_0114.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />And for good measure, we rounded it out with <a href="http://www.bonchon.com/" target="blank">Bon Chon chicken</a> (the best Korean fried chicken there is) and some strawberry spinach salad with toasted almonds . . .<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qXvIfxrKros/Tfa-5VB6QXI/AAAAAAABA-U/mMoi6-sDeXw/s1600/DSC_0104.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qXvIfxrKros/Tfa-5VB6QXI/AAAAAAABA-U/mMoi6-sDeXw/s500/DSC_0104.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />And a fabulous fruit tart from Wegman's to complete the show.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--lnJNNB5CKQ/TfbCL9Bmq6I/AAAAAAABA_o/1k8KOtIYfaI/s1600/DSC_0251.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--lnJNNB5CKQ/TfbCL9Bmq6I/AAAAAAABA_o/1k8KOtIYfaI/s350/DSC_0251.jpg" /></a></div><br />We had a wonderful time, but the best for the little birthday boy was opening up presents.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6Z5XMbwIgCk/Tfj7xjZAmmI/AAAAAAABBB0/myQkUP_AWYo/s1600/DSC_0212.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6Z5XMbwIgCk/Tfj7xjZAmmI/AAAAAAABBB0/myQkUP_AWYo/s500/DSC_0212.jpg" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Our absolute favorite gift was this little guy:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LeG3yLcU6hM/Te7Qd6K-kmI/AAAAAAABAt8/vIqmEmi_i5o/s1600/Online+Edits6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LeG3yLcU6hM/Te7Qd6K-kmI/AAAAAAABAt8/vIqmEmi_i5o/s500/Online+Edits6.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Though the festivities and the food were fabulous, the thing that marks the occasion are the people.&nbsp; And there's nothing like being with family. <br /><br />Happiest birthday wishes and love to my darling son and my dear brother!<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-5000099455574744025?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com7tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-86360650548613334842011-05-24T13:47:00.000-07:002011-06-22T09:43:08.607-07:00Refreshing Watermelon Granita<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdwPeYOQBXI/AAAAAAAA_AE/dcHHhQbdnGc/s576/granita2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdwPeYOQBXI/AAAAAAAA_AE/dcHHhQbdnGc/s555/granita2.jpg" /></a></div><br />If my children had a choice, they would probably live off of watermelon if they could.&nbsp; And though we've yet to test this, I think each of my sons could eat a whole large watermelon in one sitting.&nbsp; I would not be surprised.<br /><br />Well, thank goodness there's an endless supply of the fruit in the summer.&nbsp; I'm trying to find more creative ways to prepare and serve it, and when I saw a <a href="http://www.wholeliving.com/recipe/watermelon-granita" target="blank">watermelon granita recipe</a> in the latest issue of <a href="http://www.wholeliving.com/">Whole Living</a>, I knew I hit the jackpot.&nbsp; And can I tell you how much my sons loved it?<br /><br />The real beauty of this delightful treat is how incredibly simple it is to make.&nbsp; My older son loved lending a hand in making this, almost as much as he loved eating it.&nbsp; <i>Almost</i>.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nC7FkVkNmKw/TdwGIiUkdfI/AAAAAAAA-_U/ssNYulGVuz8/s1600/2011-05-25.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nC7FkVkNmKw/TdwGIiUkdfI/AAAAAAAA-_U/ssNYulGVuz8/s640/2011-05-25.jpg" width="480" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If you're having a barbeque or get-together this coming holiday weekend, I couldn't recommend an easier or more refreshing dessert to serve your guests.&nbsp;&nbsp; Garnish with mint or a slice of lime.&nbsp; Top with raspberries or blueberries.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oeDpHSI7l-Y/TdwF5m6t3_I/AAAAAAAA-_0/FVYF28-xquk/s1600/watermelongranita5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-oeDpHSI7l-Y/TdwF5m6t3_I/AAAAAAAA-_0/FVYF28-xquk/s480/watermelongranita5.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And then grab a spoon and dig in.&nbsp; I guarantee you won't be disappointed.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KomLeORsJD8/Tdvt5dTxA3I/AAAAAAAA-_M/GI4NhMrh04E/s1600/granita1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KomLeORsJD8/Tdvt5dTxA3I/AAAAAAAA-_M/GI4NhMrh04E/s480/granita1.jpg" /></a></div><br />For recipe as featured on Whole Living, <a href="http://www.wholeliving.com/recipe/watermelon-granita" target="blank">click here</a>.&nbsp; I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup, and it was just enough.&nbsp; Garnish with lime and raspberries.&nbsp; Delicious.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-8636065054861333484?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com10tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-51661255842086157922011-05-19T10:40:00.000-07:002011-05-19T19:41:32.687-07:00Sweet Summer Days<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdVVZVqYGjI/AAAAAAAA-8g/GxRaDTGJYH0/s640/fruitpopsicles3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdVVZVqYGjI/AAAAAAAA-8g/GxRaDTGJYH0/s550/fruitpopsicles3.jpg" /></a></div><br />I sense a bounty of warm summer days coming our way.&nbsp; And oh, how we love it!&nbsp; The feel of freshly cut grass beneath your bare toes, the sip of ice cold raspberry lemonade, the joy of running through the water sprinkler, the smell of barbeque cooking on the gas grill, and a ready supply of fresh fruit and vegetables available from the backyard garden.&nbsp; What's there not to love?&nbsp; Maybe the pesky flies, but even then, I prefer summer over any other season.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MYHqMvNc5aQ/TdMxhYgKVOI/AAAAAAAA-7g/SLMhib_9HuM/s1600/pacmanpops.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MYHqMvNc5aQ/TdMxhYgKVOI/AAAAAAAA-7g/SLMhib_9HuM/s1600/pacmanpops.jpg" /></a>Growing up, however, nothing said summer like the abundance of frozen treats.&nbsp; I can remember summer days playing outside with my sister and brother and hearing the music of the ice cream truck nearing our street.&nbsp; We'd run inside our apartment to beg our grandfather for a couple dollars.&nbsp; He could never say "no" to his grandchildren, so he'd reach deep into his pockets, pull out several quarters, and with lightning speed, my siblings and I would run out to the front of our apartment building waving down the truck.&nbsp;&nbsp; Our absolute favorites were the Rocket and Pac-Man popsicles.&nbsp; Ahh, the memories.<br /><br />Well, the ice cream truck doesn't seem to make its way around these parts too often.&nbsp; But that's okay because the kids are enjoying homemade frozen treats instead, which I prefer for them.&nbsp;&nbsp; The boys love 'em and maybe one day, these will conjure up the same kind of nostalgia Pac-Man popsicles do for me.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />This little contraption here makes it so easy.&nbsp; Can I tell you how much I love this popsicle mold from Ikea for less than $2 (comes with 6 individual molds)?&nbsp; It's one of the best purchases I've ever made.&nbsp; It gets used all summer long. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TcxGWJztsKI/AAAAAAAA-7o/bSQ41aC4UcI/s720/ikeapopsiclemaker.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TcxGWJztsKI/AAAAAAAA-7o/bSQ41aC4UcI/s500/ikeapopsiclemaker.jpg" /></a></div><br />Making these popsicles is so easy.&nbsp; You take some fruit, yogurt, milk and/or orange juice and blend.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TcxGgkNcDLI/AAAAAAAA-7w/snfTWCExvdM/s640/ingredients.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TcxGgkNcDLI/AAAAAAAA-7w/snfTWCExvdM/s500/ingredients.jpg" /></a></div><br />I made the one pictured with strawberries, banana, blueberries, vanilla yogurt, milk, flax seeds, and a squeeze of lemon.<br /><br />Then you mix the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HOA2flRKt1U/TcxISzxVamI/AAAAAAAA-48/3njFDMAIv94/s1600/2011-05-132.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HOA2flRKt1U/TcxISzxVamI/AAAAAAAA-48/3njFDMAIv94/s500/2011-05-132.jpg" /></a></div><br />Pour it into the mold and freeze.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdCYfD-VWLI/AAAAAAAA-7E/3yhH1DkZ-b4/s800/Collages10.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdCYfD-VWLI/AAAAAAAA-7E/3yhH1DkZ-b4/s500/Collages10.jpg" /></a></div><br />And a couple hours later, viola.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdCXTU5nlRI/AAAAAAAA-6w/JA6nF903tXE/s720/fruitpopsicles2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdCXTU5nlRI/AAAAAAAA-6w/JA6nF903tXE/s500/fruitpopsicles2.jpg" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">&nbsp;You have some very happy kids cooling off in the summer heat with a sweet treat. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdCV9p8DSlI/AAAAAAAA-6Y/BYCG9iTLR9A/s512/2011-05-136.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TdCV9p8DSlI/AAAAAAAA-6Y/BYCG9iTLR9A/s500/2011-05-136.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div>To beautiful summer days to come,<br />Rachel<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-5166125584208615792?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-68586042005100706882011-05-04T10:23:00.000-07:002011-05-19T20:29:42.082-07:00Rosa Mexicano's Guacamole Dip<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbzIz_B15iI/AAAAAAAA9qo/pefFAABv3Pk/s640/guacamole-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbzIz_B15iI/AAAAAAAA9qo/pefFAABv3Pk/s550/guacamole-1.jpg" /></a></div><br />I love a good guacamole dip, but you just can't buy them in the stores. &nbsp;Thank goodness making your own is so simple. <br /><br />I first discovered how easy it is to make guacamole at a lunch outing years ago to a popular restaurant here in New York,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rosamexicano.com/Default.aspx" target="blank">Rosa Mexicano</a>, near the Lincoln Center (this is their original location which opened in 1984 but they now have other locations throughout the country). &nbsp;This is considered an "upscale" Mexican restaurant, but honestly, the food is okay. &nbsp;I've gone a few times now, and the dishes I've had there haven't necessarily been astounding or make me want to go back for more. &nbsp;But the guacamole is a different story; it's the one reason I do go back. &nbsp;A server comes to your table with a cart full of fresh ingredients and prepares the guacamole in a traditional molcajete, a Mexican version of the mortar and pestle. &nbsp;I love that this is prepared right in front of you so you know exactly what's going into it. &nbsp;You can even indicate how spicy you'd like it, and they'll grind in more jalapeno in the paste for a little extra kick if you like (which I always do).<br /><br />But you don't need a molcajete to make this dip. &nbsp;A mortar and pestle will work just fine. &nbsp;The key is to use the freshest ingredients. &nbsp;These were picked up from our town's small supermarket a couple blocks from our house. &nbsp;Their produce is always exceptional. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LwYCBR-oKZI/TbzM10nhAyI/AAAAAAAA9qc/tLBK_3ojZNo/s1600/ingredients-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LwYCBR-oKZI/TbzM10nhAyI/AAAAAAAA9qc/tLBK_3ojZNo/s550/ingredients-1.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">This guacamole is perfect for Cinco de Mayo or any occasion (even as a late night snack).</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><blockquote><b><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: large;">Rosa Mexicano's Guacamole Dip</span></b><br />From <a href="http://www.rosamexicano.com/ChefsCorner/Recipes/tabid/89/Default.aspx" target="blank">Rosa Mexicano Recipes</a><br />Makes 4 servings<br /><br /><b>Chile Paste Ingredients</b><br />1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion<br />1 firmly packed tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro<br />2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño, or more to taste<br />1 teaspoon salt, or as needed<br />Squeeze of lime juice, optional (I added this for a little citrus zest)<br /><br /><b>Additional Ingredients</b><br />3 medium ripe but firm Hass avocados (about 8 ounces each)<br />3 tablespoons diced tomato<br />2 firmly packed tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro<br />1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion<br />Salt if necessary<br />Tortilla chips and/or fresh corn tortillas<br /><br /><b>Directions</b><br />Make the chile paste: &nbsp;Grind the onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and salt together in a molcajete until all the ingredients are very finely ground. &nbsp;Alternatively, use a fork to mash all the ingredients to a paste in a wide hardwood bowl.<br /><br />Cut each avocado in half, working the knife blade around the pit. &nbsp;Twist the halves to separate them and flick out the pit with the tip of the knife. &nbsp;Fold a kitchen towel in quarters and hold it in the palm of your “non-knife” hand. &nbsp;Rest an avocado half cut side up in your palm and make 3 or 4 evenly spaced lengthwise cuts through the avocado flesh down to the skin, without cutting through it. Make 4 crosswise cuts in the same way. &nbsp;Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the molcajete/bowl. &nbsp;Repeat with the remaining avocado halves.</blockquote><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-6858604200510070688?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-15645638902259097772011-04-26T00:00:00.000-07:002011-04-26T17:17:36.881-07:00A Celebration Feast<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ci2KJe3scns/TbTSJo5rOoI/AAAAAAAA9UM/45T_gpwVukc/s1600/table.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ci2KJe3scns/TbTSJo5rOoI/AAAAAAAA9UM/45T_gpwVukc/s550/table.jpg" /></a></div><br />Easter is probably the most significant holiday in our family, and yet, we have never formally gathered together to celebrate the occasion over a meal.&nbsp; I think it's more of a Western tradition and it's not one either of our families adopted along the 30-plus-years of assimilation in the U.S.&nbsp; Well, we wanted to change that this year.&nbsp; So we gathered with good friends after church to celebrate the risen Savior over a simple Korean feast (it also happened to be <a href="http://mothersmementos.blogspot.com/2011/04/celebrating-love-and-life.html" target="blank">my wedding anniversary</a>).<br /><br />These beauties, a Korean dish known as galbi (marinated beef short ribs), served as the main entree.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SVd5CknIWKE/TbTSIv9bGxI/AAAAAAAA9T8/qkUFU2M9Ynw/s1600/kalbi1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="640px" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SVd5CknIWKE/TbTSIv9bGxI/AAAAAAAA9T8/qkUFU2M9Ynw/s640/kalbi1.jpg" width="440px" /></a></div><br />I'm actually not a big red meat eater (in fact, I abstained from it all throughout college and then for some period afterwards).&nbsp; It wasn't until I started dating my husband (who could probably&nbsp;eat a whole cow straight from the slaughterhouse) that I started eating red meat again.&nbsp; But only galbi and bulgogi - both marinated in a special sauce consisting of soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and garlic.&nbsp; I don't know what it is about that sauce, but it's the only way I can eat and appreciate red meat.&nbsp; I still cannot bring myself to eat steak or burgers (much to my husband's dismay).<br /><br />My husband marinated and baked the galbi to perfection.&nbsp; The secret is in the sauce, which I'll save for a future post.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GL7E41Xz4tI/TbYu--D2BYI/AAAAAAAA9Yk/ondKtGDS1T0/s1600/galbi2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GL7E41Xz4tI/TbYu--D2BYI/AAAAAAAA9Yk/ondKtGDS1T0/s550/galbi2.jpg" /></a></div><br />If you saw the way I devoured these short ribs, you'd never guess red meat and I are not the best of friends.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3R8LpMyeUAk/TbTSKSPUxOI/AAAAAAAA9Uc/r3R1U0KzRpk/s1600/kalbi2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3R8LpMyeUAk/TbTSKSPUxOI/AAAAAAAA9Uc/r3R1U0KzRpk/s550/kalbi2.jpg" /></a></div><br />Complementing the galbi was a host of popular Korean side dishes.<br /><br />Here we have the seafood pancake ("haemul pajeon"). <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ABN5Jrgothg/TbTSJIMCthI/AAAAAAAA9UE/eghNzvspLOE/s1600/pajun.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ABN5Jrgothg/TbTSJIMCthI/AAAAAAAA9UE/eghNzvspLOE/s550/pajun.jpg" /></a></div><br />I wanted to keep it very simple, so I used the prepared pancake mix and added a few, basic ingredients:&nbsp; scallions, spicy Korean red peppers, and seafood medley (which consisted of squid, shrimp, and clam).<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bTlP8xvjrcQ/TbYx8j33n-I/AAAAAAAA9lQ/VYGSdRSTF2Q/s1600/2011-04-26.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bTlP8xvjrcQ/TbYx8j33n-I/AAAAAAAA9lQ/VYGSdRSTF2Q/s550/2011-04-26.jpg" /></a></div><br />I used the same pancake mix to make fried battered sweet potato (goguma twigim).&nbsp; I simply sliced the sweet potato into thin pieces, steamed it until tender, poured it into the mix, and then fried it with vegetable oil.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uUnY2AaOSh8/TbTSH8EQttI/AAAAAAAA9T0/7GEzyHVwNT0/s1600/potatocakes.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uUnY2AaOSh8/TbTSH8EQttI/AAAAAAAA9T0/7GEzyHVwNT0/s550/potatocakes.jpg" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And then lastly, we had vegetable and meat dumplings (mandoo).&nbsp; I wish I could claim I made these from scratch, but I didn't have the time.&nbsp; These are of the store bought, packaged variety, nevertheless, very good.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W-4IDcO1Nu0/TbTSJzkaJYI/AAAAAAAA9UU/Yqyc6M1a_EQ/s1600/mandoo.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-W-4IDcO1Nu0/TbTSJzkaJYI/AAAAAAAA9UU/Yqyc6M1a_EQ/s550/mandoo.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />Then we finished off with dessert.&nbsp; A trio of Junior's cheesecake samples (lemon coconut, red velvet, and devil's food chocolate).&nbsp; Chocolate was my favorite.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbTSUYlC8QI/AAAAAAAA9n0/T4q1WdXeXvM/s720/dessert2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbTSUYlC8QI/AAAAAAAA9n0/T4q1WdXeXvM/s550/dessert2.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Food coma slowly started to set in, so we thought it would be a good idea to get some exercise and let the kids out for the Easter egg hunt. </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Nate ran as fast as his little legs could take him.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbTSZEzDAdI/AAAAAAAA9lo/qkwuP_cbQWI/s640/DSC_0105.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbTSZEzDAdI/AAAAAAAA9lo/qkwuP_cbQWI/s550/DSC_0105.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The boys loved every minute of it.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7CSy-K2GYb0/TbYx8JQUBEI/AAAAAAAA9lA/kGP0Ia-nUXQ/s1600/2011-04-25.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="720px" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7CSy-K2GYb0/TbYx8JQUBEI/AAAAAAAA9lA/kGP0Ia-nUXQ/s640/2011-04-25.jpg" width="550px" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And when all was said and done, everyone had a fabulous time and we relished this gift of life - now and forever - graciously given to us through a great act of love.&nbsp; This is the first of many Easter gatherings to come for our family.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3f7HeX0GVWg/TbTSHkdJ2CI/AAAAAAAA9Ts/5NO6t7T2xi4/s1600/happyeaster.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3f7HeX0GVWg/TbTSHkdJ2CI/AAAAAAAA9Ts/5NO6t7T2xi4/s550/happyeaster.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-1564563890225909777?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com17tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-87678927947632748762011-04-21T18:03:00.000-07:002011-04-22T10:23:38.417-07:00Compost Salad with a Side of Hairball<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbCl0UOMwcI/AAAAAAAA9Sk/-2Fv7paBZkQ/s550/earthday-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbCl0UOMwcI/AAAAAAAA9Sk/-2Fv7paBZkQ/s550/earthday-2.jpg" /></a></div><br />April 22nd is Earth Day. &nbsp; In celebration, I'd like to share with you a recipe that's made every day in our house.&nbsp; It's so simple, my 2-year-old can make it with his eyes closed!&nbsp; The beauty of this recipe is that it requires <i><b>no</b></i> measurements<i><b>, </b><b>no</b></i> cooking, and you already have all the necessary ingredients.&nbsp; And it's great for the earth!<br /><br />First, you take some egg shells:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-36p-9aLI/AAAAAAAA9PM/UQ6OEkAt16Q/s640/IMG_0189-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-36p-9aLI/AAAAAAAA9PM/UQ6OEkAt16Q/s550/IMG_0189-1.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />Then you throw in a couple banana peels:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-363ysshI/AAAAAAAA9PU/proHk8FtGo8/s640/compost2-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-363ysshI/AAAAAAAA9PU/proHk8FtGo8/s550/compost2-1.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />Then add chopped watermelon rinds:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-3_CgmlsI/AAAAAAAA9QU/cXP5DPL286U/s640/compost10-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-3_CgmlsI/AAAAAAAA9QU/cXP5DPL286U/s550/compost10-1.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />Some onion peel:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-39Cro0_I/AAAAAAAA9Ps/HcK7DBZ1GCM/s576/compost5-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-39Cro0_I/AAAAAAAA9Ps/HcK7DBZ1GCM/s550/compost5-1.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />For added fragrance, throw in a couple used tea bags (the one shown is Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry but really any flavor will do):<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-391MmpFI/AAAAAAAA9P8/eVZSOFXndnM/s640/compost6-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-391MmpFI/AAAAAAAA9P8/eVZSOFXndnM/s550/compost6-1.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />Some coffee grinds and filter (there's never a shortage of this in our house):<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-3-jU-VaI/AAAAAAAA9QM/COeM0hDKp94/s576/compost8-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-3-jU-VaI/AAAAAAAA9QM/COeM0hDKp94/s550/compost8-1.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />And when you're done wiping down the counter, you can throw in the paper towel:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-39YvD4YI/AAAAAAAA9P0/cj_6zNrJ5uw/s576/compost7-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-39YvD4YI/AAAAAAAA9P0/cj_6zNrJ5uw/s550/compost7-1.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />And the piece de resistance?&nbsp; Dryer lint with just a touch of dog hair to add a nice garnish:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-372S-wGI/AAAAAAAA9S8/CI-bksgkwfU/s640/compost3-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-372S-wGI/AAAAAAAA9S8/CI-bksgkwfU/s550/compost3-1.jpg" /></a></div><br />And if you really want to go all out and impress your guests, you can also add the hairball from the shower.&nbsp; But I'll spare you the image because even that would gross me out.<br /><br />Then you take all this, mix it in a large bowl, and it's ready to serve!&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-3_hqHszI/AAAAAAAA9Qc/1H5Olj6Q6hY/s576/compostbowl-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Ta-3_hqHszI/AAAAAAAA9Qc/1H5Olj6Q6hY/s550/compostbowl-1.jpg" /></a></div><br />Okay, because you just never know who's reading this and thinking "really?", here's the disclaimer.&nbsp; No, not really.&nbsp; <b><u>PLEASE DO NOT</u> </b>actually try to serve this to anyone.&nbsp; Unless it's your pet rat, in which case means we could probably never be friends. I <b>HATE</b> rats.<br /><br />All these ingredients actually go into a plastic pail like this one:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbB3fAsb8sI/AAAAAAAA9RE/aFJoH_BfkF4/s800/2011-04-202.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbB3fAsb8sI/AAAAAAAA9RE/aFJoH_BfkF4/s550/2011-04-202.jpg" />&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And then when the pail is full, the contents make their way to <a href="http://www.earthmachine.com/index_r.html">The Earth Machine</a>.&nbsp; Meet Beartha.&nbsp; She sits in the far back corner of our backyard.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbB4zbAl6zI/AAAAAAAA9RQ/qC-l0NKQiNU/s800/2011-04-204.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbB4zbAl6zI/AAAAAAAA9RQ/qC-l0NKQiNU/s550/2011-04-204.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">The contents will eventually decompose and look something like this:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbCXt87AGPI/AAAAAAAA9R4/v8AelXoZnpI/s512/IMG_0373-2.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TbCXt87AGPI/AAAAAAAA9R4/v8AelXoZnpI/s550/IMG_0373-2.JPG" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In summary,<b> composting is one of the easiest ways to reuse and recycle</b>.&nbsp; Our town actually encourages it and supplies the Earth Machine at a fraction of the cost.&nbsp; It even comes with a helpful handbook. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s8w9n3DcPLM/Ta-1VZrW84I/AAAAAAAA9Os/O-9hXrHRUDc/s1600/2011-04-21.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-s8w9n3DcPLM/Ta-1VZrW84I/AAAAAAAA9Os/O-9hXrHRUDc/s550/2011-04-21.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>So why compost?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">This <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/reasons-compost.html" target="blank">article on Planet Green</a> does a good job of summarizing the benefits of composting.&nbsp; Waste reduction, methane reduction, and free fertilizer.&nbsp; Reduce, reuse, and recycle.&nbsp; What could be a better reason?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>What can you compost?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">You'd be surprised.&nbsp; Here's <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/surprising-compost-items.html" target="blank">a fabulous list</a> from Planet Green.&nbsp; Almost everything but the kitchen sink!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>How do I get started?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span id="goog_501470305"></span><span id="goog_501470306"></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Purchase or make your own compost bin (Simple Mom <a href="http://simplemom.net/how-to-make-a-compost-bin/" target="blank">offers a great tutorial on how to make your own</a> using a trash can). &nbsp; If you don't want to bother making one, be sure to check with your town before purchasing a bin.&nbsp; Many counties encourage composting and will provide a bin at discount.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>I live in a small space.&nbsp; Can I still compost?&nbsp; </b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Absolutely!&nbsp;&nbsp; Here's some <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/no-yard-heres-how-you-can-still-make-and-use-compost.html" target="blank">great tips from Planet Green on how you can compost in a small space</a>.&nbsp; You can use worm bins and/or Bokashi.&nbsp; I'm not very familiar with these, but I'd love to hear how it's working for you if this is your method of composting.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>What about the smell?&nbsp; Doesn't compost reek?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If you're doing it properly, it shouldn't give off a bad odor.&nbsp; If it does start to smell, turn it to help air it out and add "browns" (i.e. leaves, paper napkins and towels) to dry it out. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>How long before you get compost you can use?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Depending on how well it's cared for, you can get usable compost in as little as 6 weeks.&nbsp; But 6 months is probably the average.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>So my question to you:&nbsp; Are you making this recipe at home?</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If you're composting, I'd love to see your pictures!&nbsp; <i>Yes, really.&nbsp;</i> I never knew taking pictures of trash could be so fun until this project (granted it would have been better with the digital SLR but that's in the shop).&nbsp; :)&nbsp;&nbsp; I've love to see your compost pile.&nbsp; Just post them on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eaternal-Bliss/148639695200960" target="blank">Eaternal Bliss facebook page</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And if you're not already composting, I hope you found this post informative and would at least consider it.&nbsp;&nbsp; I think you'd find that it really is a simple way to reuse and recycle.&nbsp; I'm happy to answer any questions you might have if you can't find what you're looking for on the internet.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>Happy Earth Day! </b></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-8767892794763274876?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com10tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-60998615230100384562011-04-19T09:44:00.000-07:002011-04-19T09:44:30.352-07:00Chocolate is the Winner<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v9QM57csctA/TZyloWWRrUI/AAAAAAAA8zg/Gru6E3HtXqA/s1600/DSC_0028.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v9QM57csctA/TZyloWWRrUI/AAAAAAAA8zg/Gru6E3HtXqA/s550/DSC_0028.jpg" /></a></div><br />Thank you all for sharing your favorite cupcake flavors in <a href="http://www.eaternalbliss.com/2011/04/hello-chocolate-cupcakes-and-giveaway.html" target="blank">this post</a>!&nbsp; It seems like chocolate is definitely a winner.&nbsp; Speaking of chocolate cupcakes, I had a couple friends tell me they made Alice's Espresso Chocolate Cupcake last week and loved it as well!&nbsp; So be sure to keep that in your repertoire if you're ever in need of a great chocolate cupcake recipe.&nbsp; And Alice just posted a recipe for <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2011/04/chocolate-buttercream-frosting/" target="blank">chocolate buttercream frosting</a> on <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/" target="blank">Savory Sweet Life</a> which would go perfectly with the cupcakes.&nbsp; I wanted to lick the monitor as soon as I saw it!<br /><br />And now I'm looking at <i>Hello, Cupcake!</i> for some Easter inspirations.&nbsp; How cute would this be?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S_g6VKLH3Ho/Ta2XHhkGTkI/AAAAAAAA9KQ/tu-FT45Hx44/s1600/IMG_0175.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S_g6VKLH3Ho/Ta2XHhkGTkI/AAAAAAAA9KQ/tu-FT45Hx44/s550/IMG_0175.JPG" /></a></div><br /><blockquote><div style="text-align: center;"><b>So here are the winners of a free copy of <i>Hello, Cupcake!</i>: </b></div><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FlUKKgyc5YI/Ta2KDVBH1AI/AAAAAAAA9KE/X7m0I9ky-bs/s1600/Fullscreen+capture+4192011+91031+AM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FlUKKgyc5YI/Ta2KDVBH1AI/AAAAAAAA9KE/X7m0I9ky-bs/s130/Fullscreen+capture+4192011+91031+AM.jpg" /></a><a href="http://thingsfromscratch.wordpress.com/" target="blank">KarenP</a> who said:<br /><i>Sometimes I'm in the mood for chocolate, and sometimes I want vanilla cupcakes! </i><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y0_EOG0v2uU/Ta2KFV37yHI/AAAAAAAA9KI/gdskwFB9-IA/s1600/Fullscreen+capture+4192011+90709+AM.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y0_EOG0v2uU/Ta2KFV37yHI/AAAAAAAA9KI/gdskwFB9-IA/s130/Fullscreen+capture+4192011+90709+AM.jpg" /></a></div><a href="http://freshlocalandbest.blogspot.com/" target="blank">Fresh Local and Best</a> who said:<br /><i>I am going to have to bookmark this recipe! I love coffee flavored desserts, and this one looks really good! I like so many cupcake flavors it's hard to say just one. If I had to choose a favorite it would be chocolate, not very original, but very reliable.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><br /><br />Thank you for sharing, and I'd love to see what you create using this book!</blockquote><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-6099861523010038456?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-63856427432733476022011-04-14T12:00:00.000-07:002011-04-16T21:22:41.468-07:00Bocca di Nonna Cookies ("Grandmother's Kisses")<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Tae_2aouetI/AAAAAAAA9Ec/FPAnmxz6PDc/s576/boccadinonnacookies2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Tae_2aouetI/AAAAAAAA9Ec/FPAnmxz6PDc/s550/boccadinonnacookies2.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div></div>These have easily become my favorite cookies, and I think the folks I've made them for would agree (at least my husband does).&nbsp; With just the right combination of chocolate, almonds, and hazelnut, this crunchy bite hits the spot.&nbsp; I saw the recipe while flipping through my trusty <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0696236796/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=mothevilla-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0696236796" target="blank">Ultimate Cookie Book by Better Homes and Gardens</a>, and it peaked my interest.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div></div>I was curious what <b><i>bocca di nonna</i></b> meant so I googled it.&nbsp; It's Italian for "Grandmother's kisses".&nbsp; It then quickly took on sentimental value as I thought of my own maternal grandmother, and the way her kisses, sweet smile, and powerful&nbsp;prayers would move you in an instant.&nbsp; She lost her battle to lung cancer and passed away six months ago.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CamZzWDrgeQ/TL0QlMlEM5I/AAAAAAAA3Qs/o5oxRlLaJ50/s1600/IMG_2275bw.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" r6="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CamZzWDrgeQ/TL0QlMlEM5I/AAAAAAAA3Qs/o5oxRlLaJ50/s380/IMG_2275bw.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ holding her great-granddaughter,<br />my niece.&nbsp; photo by sun yun. }</td></tr></tbody></table>It's still hard to believe she's not here.&nbsp; She was an incredible influence and example in my life and still is.&nbsp; I <a href="http://mothersmementos.blogspot.com/2010/10/tribute-to-grandma-kim.html" target="blank">paid tribute to her in a eulogy</a> given at her memorial service attended by hundreds who expressed their condolences.&nbsp;&nbsp; She was greatly loved.&nbsp; I realize how fortunate I was to share a good portion of my life with her.&nbsp; She was there to see me graduate from high school, get my college degree, walk down the aisle to say "I do", and hold and kiss my two boys.&nbsp; She was there for me through it all.<br /><br /><div></div>My entire family took the loss very hard.&nbsp; It was painful watching her suffer in her last days as the cancer spread rapidly throughout her body.&nbsp; Yet she&nbsp;remained resilient and filled with praise even to the end.&nbsp; My sweetest memory of her last days occurred while she was in the ICU and had been unresponsive for over a week.&nbsp; My mother, cousin, and I were in the room with her, and I softly sang <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbe7OruLk8I" target="blank">"Amazing Grace"</a> into her ears.&nbsp; After a few stanzas, my mother jumped up from her seat and pointed at my grandmother's face.&nbsp; The corner of her mouth had turned up ever so slightly.&nbsp; It was the smile that brought me and my mother to tears.&nbsp; I lovingly kissed my grandmother on the forehead knowing she was going home to see her heavenly Father soon.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />I know for certain she still sends her kisses down from heaven, and one day, she'll adorn me with them again face to face.<br /><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Tac07tdXe7I/AAAAAAAA9Dw/QyO3bN6WLCw/s512/whitewheatflour.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/Tac07tdXe7I/AAAAAAAA9Dw/QyO3bN6WLCw/s240/whitewheatflour.jpg" /></a></div>So these cookies will hold a special place in my heart, because I'll think of her every time I make them.&nbsp; I adapted the recipe a bit.&nbsp; First I substituted white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour, and it tastes great.&nbsp; I also used ground raw almonds instead of blanched.&nbsp; To grind them, coarsely chop 1 1/2 cup whole almonds and then put them in a food processor or blender until they're finely ground. Finally, I used Nutella for the filling instead of the suggested earl grey ganache (although that sounds delightful and I'll have to give it a try).<br /><br /><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CVMReypVUt0/TaUv3VDaeLI/AAAAAAAA83Q/82kRKXgL1W4/s1600/2011-04-08.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" r6="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CVMReypVUt0/TaUv3VDaeLI/AAAAAAAA83Q/82kRKXgL1W4/s550/2011-04-08.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div></div>These are very simple to make.&nbsp; They're quite splendid on their own, but the Nutella takes it to a whole new level of sweet indulgence.<br /><br /><i><b>What recipe reminds you of your grandmother?</b></i><br /><div></div><br /><div></div><div class="separator" style="border: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><blockquote><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TaUsMEUGOvI/AAAAAAAA9Dk/pfhkg7cO11U/s720/nutellacookie.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" r6="true" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TaUsMEUGOvI/AAAAAAAA9Dk/pfhkg7cO11U/s365/nutellacookie.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div></div><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Bocca di Nonna Cookies with Hazelnut Filling</b></span><br /><i>Adapted from <a href="http://www.bhg.com/recipe/cookies/earl-grey-bocca-di-nonna/">Better Homes and Gardens</a></i><br /><i>{Makes 24 cookie sandwiches; Prep time: 30 minutes; Chill time: 1 hour; Bake time: 12 minutes per batch}</i><br /><br /><b>Ingredients</b><br />2/3&nbsp; cup white whole wheat or all-purpose flour <br />2&nbsp; tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder <br />3/4 cup butter, softened <br />1 cup sugar <br />3/4&nbsp; teaspoon vanilla <br />1-1/2&nbsp; cups finely ground&nbsp;raw almonds<br />Nutella spread for filling<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><div></div><b>Directions</b><br /><ol><li>In a small bowl, stir together flour and cocoa powder; set aside. </li><li>In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.&nbsp;&nbsp; Add sugar and vanilla.&nbsp; Beat until light and fluffy, scraping side of bowl occasionally.&nbsp; Beat in almonds.&nbsp; Beat in flour mixture just until mixture is combined. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until it is easy to handle. </li><li>Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.&nbsp; Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil; set aside.&nbsp; Shape dough into 1-inch balls.&nbsp; Place balls about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.&nbsp; Press each ball to flatten slightly. </li><li>Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm.&nbsp; Cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack.&nbsp; Remove cooled cookies from cookie sheet. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the nutella on the flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie, making a sandwich.&nbsp; Makes 24 sandwich cookies. </li><li>Place sandwich cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover.&nbsp; Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. </li></ol></blockquote><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-6385642743273347602?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com18tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-54741714568830318962011-04-11T19:27:00.000-07:002011-04-14T06:33:48.618-07:00Hello, Chocolate Cupcakes! (And a Giveaway)<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TaOkc5r98bI/AAAAAAAA81U/33KT8NeizBg/s640/chocolatecupcakes-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TaOkc5r98bI/AAAAAAAA81U/33KT8NeizBg/s550/chocolatecupcakes-1.jpg" /></a></div><br />If you're ever in need of a great chocolate cake or cupcake recipe, you need not look any further.&nbsp; I tried <i>three</i> different recipes for the <a href="http://www.eaternalbliss.com/2011/04/butterflies-come-to-life.html" target="blank">butterfly cupcakes</a>, and every one of them flopped miserably.&nbsp; The flavor and texture were completely off, and there was no way I could serve any of the cupcakes at the <a href="http://bakesaleforjapan.com/">bake sale</a> in good conscience.&nbsp; I was almost on the verge of tears after the third batch turned out disastrous.&nbsp; I didn't realize a good chocolate cupcake was so difficult to make!<br /><br />So I turned to a pro, and I wondered why I hadn't done this in the first place!&nbsp; When in doubt, just head over to <a href="http://www.savorysweetlife.com/" target="blank">Savory Sweet Life</a>.&nbsp; The ever talented and very gracious Alice does not disappoint.&nbsp; When it comes to cake, she knows her stuff (she used to own a wedding cake business).&nbsp; Her <a href="http://www.aldenteblog.com/2009/08/chocolate-espresso-cupcake-alice-currah.html" target="blank">chocolate espresso cupcake</a> is to die for.&nbsp; Its flavor is rich and decadent; the texture moist and dense.&nbsp; Need I say more?&nbsp; Just perfect and it saved the butterfly cupcakes.&nbsp; Next time, I will have to try the Frangelico ganache frosting to go with it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TaOuYYd249I/AAAAAAAA818/NP-h21uNhjs/s550/butterflies4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TaOuYYd249I/AAAAAAAA818/NP-h21uNhjs/s550/butterflies4.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br /><blockquote><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Alice's Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes</b></span><br />From <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/08/my-best-chocolate-cake-recipe-chocolate-espresso-cupcakes-with-frangelico-ganache/" target="blank">Savory Sweet Life</a><br />Makes approximately 40 cupcakes<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/frangelicocupcakes.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="250" src="http://savorysweetlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/frangelicocupcakes.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photo from <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/08/my-best-chocolate-cake-recipe-chocolate-espresso-cupcakes-with-frangelico-ganache/" target="blank">Savory Sweet Life</a></td></tr></tbody></table><b>Ingredients:</b><br /><br />2 cups hot strong coffee<br />1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder<br />2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (11-1/4 ounces)<br />2 teaspoons baking soda<br />3/4 teaspoon baking powder<br />1/2 teaspoon salt<br />1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened<br />1 cup sugar<br />2 cups brown sugar<br />1 tablespoon vanilla extract<br />4 eggs<br /><br /><b>Directions:</b><br />1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.&nbsp; Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.&nbsp; In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder and coffee until it looks like a smooth chocolate sauce; set aside to cool.&nbsp; In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until nice and fluffy.&nbsp; Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.&nbsp; Slowly add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until batter and mix for 2 minutes.&nbsp; Add chocolate-coffee sauce mixture and mix the cake batter for 3 minutes on medium-high or until the batter is smooth.<br /><br />2. Fill each muffin cup until 2/3 full.&nbsp; Bake about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing and allow to cool on a wire rack.</blockquote><br /><br /><span style="font-size: large;"><u><b>The Giveaway</b></u></span><br />So now it's your turn to make some amazing cupcake creations!&nbsp;&nbsp; I'm giving away two copies of <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Cupcake-Irresistibly-Playful-Creations/dp/0618829253">Hello, Cupcake!</a></i> to readers (domestic U.S. residents only).&nbsp; This book is filled with wonderful, playful ideas on how to dress up the average cupcake (like the candy butterflies).&nbsp; The instructions and photos in the book really do make it easy for anyone to make these fun creations. &nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v9QM57csctA/TZyloWWRrUI/AAAAAAAA8zg/Gru6E3HtXqA/s1600/DSC_0028.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v9QM57csctA/TZyloWWRrUI/AAAAAAAA8zg/Gru6E3HtXqA/s550/DSC_0028.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PlCCarkPls4/TZyl_NITY5I/AAAAAAAA8zo/Esdw-AZQ0s8/s600/DSC_0032.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PlCCarkPls4/TZyl_NITY5I/AAAAAAAA8zo/Esdw-AZQ0s8/s550/DSC_0032.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: large;"><b>TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR THE BOOK GIVEAWAY</b><b>&nbsp;</b></span></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b>(<i>open to domestic U.S. residents only</i>):</b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><b><u>Simply leave a comment telling me what your favorite cupcake flavor is</u>.</b></div><br /><b>For extra entries:</b><br /><ul><li><b>Like <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eaternal-Bliss/148639695200960" target="blank">Eaternal Bliss on Facebook</a> and leave another comment letting me know you did so (if you already like, you can add a comment letting me know).</b></li><li><b>Follow <a href="http://www.google.com/friendconnect/settings/edit?smpl=true&amp;st=e%3DAOG8GaBLTNNwoijslkJFIThpo7tEAf2EvXY4M1xqoXlLa0y9zvOvjcnRIdNj15hJ4X94XsYggk8pQ%252FHZqpdbCb%252BDAgZt62WchXQV5sx8UbFSxZ%252F4AjL5%252Fggy6u0fH806XXNLMAv9Rktpgj9s3jhqecYV2bqj3RKwElOtK2a9N7y2fO1z9i4kGPoLoiIyogFptGd%252BXwV%252FoqQAghXPM%252Fq%252FV9vaO06sjkfP2NTVRGvnb2PE0c%252B17%252F1lOUIvjaXHaRSRXp%252FMPMaQYdPN3vlZkVxVE8%252F8z157A8S90VpJWQOjq7IhX7mU0hDl7OHR09UWWwdthwFB%252BdxYE%252BPht67sGMmqiWbSFJyNylnrFzDojY2UurZBLm7KOd8zeR76ngDKepApbntmwjz9Ifcvotuss5XxU%252FQ8otJSy9FU7w%253D%253D%26c%3Dpeoplesense" target="blank">Eaternal Bliss publicly via Google Friend Connect</a> (again, if you're already doing this, just let me know).</b></li><li><b>Post about the giveaway on <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/mothersmementos" target="blank">Twitter</a>: "<i>Win a free copy of "Hello, Cupcake!" &nbsp;at http://bit.ly/ia4XOv via @mothersmementos.</i>"&nbsp; Leave an additional comment letting me know you tweeted this.</b></li></ul><br />Deadline for entry is 11:59pm EST on Monday, April 18, 2011.&nbsp; Two winners will be randomly chosen by a number generator.&nbsp; I'll announce winners and email them directly to let them know they've won.<br /><br />Good luck!&nbsp; And please do try Alice's amazing chocolate cupcake recipe.&nbsp; You won't regret it.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-5474171456883031896?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com47tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-78369482795419866022011-04-07T07:07:00.000-07:002011-04-16T20:34:04.674-07:00Butterflies Come to Life<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--pDjQ__F-xQ/TZYTfdv5OkI/AAAAAAAA8tI/Ppzq57VxsJw/s1600/butterflycupcakes2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--pDjQ__F-xQ/TZYTfdv5OkI/AAAAAAAA8tI/Ppzq57VxsJw/s550/butterflycupcakes2.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br />The inspiration for the candy butterflies came from this fun book:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v9QM57csctA/TZyloWWRrUI/AAAAAAAA8zg/Gru6E3HtXqA/s1600/DSC_0028.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="346" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v9QM57csctA/TZyloWWRrUI/AAAAAAAA8zg/Gru6E3HtXqA/s400/DSC_0028.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />It's filled with tons of creative ideas for cupcakes, including the butterfly:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PlCCarkPls4/TZyl_NITY5I/AAAAAAAA8zo/Esdw-AZQ0s8/s400/DSC_0032.jpg" width="400" /></div><br />You might notice my butterflies look slightly different.&nbsp; I tried using the template provided in the book but didn't care for how it turned out (too many squiggly lines).&nbsp; So I decided to draw my own:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fwiWRe80P9c/TZvEmjWGi9I/AAAAAAAA8xE/B_uL2ZBrvyw/s1600/DSC_0012.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="293" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fwiWRe80P9c/TZvEmjWGi9I/AAAAAAAA8xE/B_uL2ZBrvyw/s400/DSC_0012.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br />And a template was created (you can <a href="https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&amp;pid=explorer&amp;chrome=true&amp;srcid=0Bzb_Znzibjz3ZDQ2ZmY5ODctMTBlZS00Y2RhLWJhYTItNWEyMjU1NmE4NGIw&amp;hl=en" target="blank">download it here</a> if you like):<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GdlYEZPC2BM/TZye3XB2OiI/AAAAAAAA8xY/no1p6Cjan1s/s1600/stencil.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GdlYEZPC2BM/TZye3XB2OiI/AAAAAAAA8xY/no1p6Cjan1s/s400/stencil.jpg" width="398" /></a></div><br />Then I gathered my materials and got ready to work.&nbsp; Now I'll be up front about this.&nbsp; I had my doubts whether I could do this.&nbsp; The book claims these are creations <i><b>anyone</b> </i>can make.&nbsp; Well, I still wasn't confident I could pull this off.&nbsp; I practiced making these the weekend before the bake sale just to see if they were feasible.&nbsp; After the first few attempts, I was ready to can the idea and just make butterfly shaped cookies instead.<br /><br />I guess my determination got the best of me.&nbsp; I made some adaptations (which included making my own template) and after a few more tries, I started to slowly get the hang of it and figured out what worked and didn't work.&nbsp; Some of the mistakes I made included snipping the hole too big (thus causing the chocolate to ooze out everywhere) and another blunder was trying to work with the candy when it started to harden.&nbsp; It really is important to keep it melted and soft while you're working with it.&nbsp; So make sure you're not too far from the microwave.<br /><br />That being said, practice does make perfect.&nbsp; So don't give up if you try this and it doesn't work out the first few times.&nbsp; You'll just have a few less-than-perfect wings for you to enjoy.&nbsp; :)&nbsp; I had a bunch.<br /><br />So here's how these butterflies came to life.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><i>[Note:&nbsp; I used pink and blue candy wafers for the butterflies.&nbsp; The photos below will alternate between the two.&nbsp; Sorry about that but trying to take pictures while making these was not an easy task.]</i><br /><br /><blockquote><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Candy Butterfly Topping</b></span><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Makes 12 butterflies</span><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Inspired by <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Cupcake-Irresistibly-Playful-Creations/dp/0618829253" target="blank">Hello, Cupcake!</a></i></span><br /><br /><b>What you'll need:</b><br />12 chocolate cupcakes baked in liners<br />1 cup dark chocolate melting wafers (I used dark mint chocolate, available at A.C. Moore and Michaels)<br />1 cup candy melting wafer in any color (I used pink and blue)<br />2 tablespoons white nonpareils<br />3/4 cup dark chocolate frosting <br />1 can vanilla frosting (I made cream cheese frosting)<br />Parchment paper<br />Toothpicks<br />Three ziplock bags<br />Wilton Open Star Tip (<a href="http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?sku=402-199" target="blank">I used star tip 199</a>) - for butterfly body<br />Scissors<br />Butterfly template (<a href="https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&amp;pid=explorer&amp;chrome=true&amp;srcid=0Bzb_Znzibjz3ZDQ2ZmY5ODctMTBlZS00Y2RhLWJhYTItNWEyMjU1NmE4NGIw&amp;hl=en" target="blank">here's the one I created</a>)<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nf2ckYAcvWM/TZyilQdjYAI/AAAAAAAA8zY/TKiKwWlnPXM/s1600/DSC_0015.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="185" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nf2ckYAcvWM/TZyilQdjYAI/AAAAAAAA8zY/TKiKwWlnPXM/s200/DSC_0015.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><b>1.</b>&nbsp; Gather all your materials together.&nbsp; The candy wafers dry quickly, so it's important to be fast, efficient, and have everything on hand!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BwRbwXATaFc/TZ0mnw5ZYRI/AAAAAAAA80M/i8pNbL2MVug/s1600/parchment2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="150" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BwRbwXATaFc/TZ0mnw5ZYRI/AAAAAAAA80M/i8pNbL2MVug/s200/parchment2.jpg" width="200" /></a><b>2.</b>&nbsp; Cut out 12 sheets of parchment paper large enough to be placed over your template.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xenp2ar12Dc/TZye7NpBPoI/AAAAAAAA8yA/UmjOJpob9-s/s1600/bowls.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xenp2ar12Dc/TZye7NpBPoI/AAAAAAAA8yA/UmjOJpob9-s/s200/bowls.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>3.</b>&nbsp; Place 1 cup each of dark chocolate and blue candy wafers into separate ziplock bags.&nbsp; Don't seal the bags.&nbsp; Microwave for 15 seconds to soften.&nbsp; Massage the wafers in the bags and return to the microwave.&nbsp; Repeat this process until the candy is smooth (about 1 minute total).&nbsp; Press out the excess air and seal the bags.&nbsp; Then place in small bowls.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ws-TS_EEDl0/TZye7z3vQrI/AAAAAAAA8yI/K3dzDjorP6g/s1600/chocolatetrace.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ws-TS_EEDl0/TZye7z3vQrI/AAAAAAAA8yI/K3dzDjorP6g/s200/chocolatetrace.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>4.&nbsp;</b> Take the scissors and snip the corner of each bag.&nbsp; My recommendation is to snip a very tiny hole.&nbsp; If the hole is too big, it's hard to control the flow of the chocolate and it'll just get everywhere.&nbsp; Using the dark chocolate, work one wing at a time and outline the template on wax paper.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tpvZM-ZSnjU/TZye8QBiWPI/AAAAAAAA8yQ/lKnBEEZQveE/s1600/vanilla.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tpvZM-ZSnjU/TZye8QBiWPI/AAAAAAAA8yQ/lKnBEEZQveE/s200/vanilla.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>5.&nbsp;</b> Fill in the inside area with the blue melted candy.&nbsp; <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-grV05Qgre9g/TZye9R4kZ9I/AAAAAAAA8yY/6Hj9cZLXzoo/s1600/smooth.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-grV05Qgre9g/TZye9R4kZ9I/AAAAAAAA8yY/6Hj9cZLXzoo/s200/smooth.jpg" width="198" /></a></div><br /><b>6.</b>&nbsp; Softly rap (pull back and forth) the parchment paper to flatten the candy and help the colors smooth into each other.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u--n7DLt56g/TZye-yCpjcI/AAAAAAAA8yg/v55copRk8YE/s1600/toothpick.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u--n7DLt56g/TZye-yCpjcI/AAAAAAAA8yg/v55copRk8YE/s200/toothpick.jpg" width="199" /></a></div>&nbsp;<b>7.</b>&nbsp; While the candy is still soft, take a toothpick and pull through the two colors from the outside in.&nbsp; Rap the paper again to smooth it out.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aokj3VWc1R0/TZ0lIb7UzmI/AAAAAAAA80A/bhStGDDa0E8/s1600/sprinkles6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aokj3VWc1R0/TZ0lIb7UzmI/AAAAAAAA80A/bhStGDDa0E8/s200/sprinkles6.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>8.&nbsp;</b> Add a few sprinkles of nonpareils to the top and bottom corners of the wing.&nbsp; Believe it or not, I found this to be a challenging step because the sprinkles would get all over the wing.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O0Qpb4FoH5Y/TZyfBAtKT6I/AAAAAAAA8y4/toohS3sKQUk/s1600/wings.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O0Qpb4FoH5Y/TZyfBAtKT6I/AAAAAAAA8y4/toohS3sKQUk/s200/wings.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>9.&nbsp;</b> Repeat steps 4-8 for the other wing.&nbsp; Let dry completely (this doesn't take long) and your wings are done.&nbsp; You can store them up to 2 days prior to use in a cool, dry place.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><b><i>Tips:</i></b><br /><ul><li><i>&nbsp;This might go without saying, but I'll say it anyway.&nbsp; Be certain to seal the bags once the candy is melted.&nbsp; I made the mistake of forgetting to do that and the candy just oozed everywhere.</i></li><li><i>The melted candy dries quickly.&nbsp; If it doesn't flow easily and starts to harden, reheat for another 15 seconds.&nbsp; I found I had to reheat after every 4 wings.</i></li></ul><br /><b>Now time for the assembly when the frosted cupcakes are ready.&nbsp;</b> <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xHpht8LlveI/TZye4-NV8qI/AAAAAAAA8xo/23QHbAEg6PU/s1600/frostingcenter.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xHpht8LlveI/TZye4-NV8qI/AAAAAAAA8xo/23QHbAEg6PU/s200/frostingcenter.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>1.&nbsp;</b> Cut a hole into the corner of a pastry/ziplock bag large enough to insert the star tip.&nbsp; Fill with dark chocolate frosting.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_FJ8hOTqL7c/TZye4GwMB-I/AAAAAAAA8xg/LJPqjE-2_eo/s1600/centerscooped.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_FJ8hOTqL7c/TZye4GwMB-I/AAAAAAAA8xg/LJPqjE-2_eo/s200/centerscooped.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>2.&nbsp;</b> Gently insert the wings into the frosting.&nbsp; With a toothpick, carefully scoop out the frosting between the wings.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dn7uP86LBGo/TZye59-ClnI/AAAAAAAA8xw/EZQrhpDNHGE/s1600/center.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dn7uP86LBGo/TZye59-ClnI/AAAAAAAA8xw/EZQrhpDNHGE/s200/center.jpg" width="199" /></a></div><b>3.</b>&nbsp; Squeeze four small dots of the chocolate frosting between the wings.&nbsp; And your butterfly cupcake is complete!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></blockquote>The book suggests making antennas for the butterfly, but for the life of me, I could not get those to turn out well.&nbsp; The butterflies looked beautiful without them, and I strongly doubt anyone missed them.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kNX7EpMKmeo/TZYTqjfxXWI/AAAAAAAA8tY/6F66sgHMzNs/s1600/butterflycupcakes.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kNX7EpMKmeo/TZYTqjfxXWI/AAAAAAAA8tY/6F66sgHMzNs/s550/butterflycupcakes.jpg" /></a></div><br />This is an elaborate and time-consuming process but very worth it in the end. <br /><br />Come back for the next post and I'll share the recipe for the chocolate cupcake and maybe offer a copy or two of the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Cupcake-Irresistibly-Playful-Creations/dp/0618829253" target="blank"><i>Hello, Cupcake!</i></a> book to readers.&nbsp; :)<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-7836948279541986602?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com9tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-17960946911439375062011-04-07T07:03:00.000-07:002011-04-07T07:16:57.135-07:00Beauty in the Mess of Life<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://shannamurray.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341fc00f53ef014e601c8422970c-pi" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="324" src="http://shannamurray.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341fc00f53ef014e601c8422970c-pi" width="550" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photo courtesy of <a href="http://shannamurray.typepad.com/shanna_murray/2011/03/for-japan-with-love.html" target="blank">Shanna Murray</a>.&nbsp; The proceeds from the sales of these gorgeous decals go to support Japan.<br />Quote from Mother Teresa</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Before I share how to create the butterflies, I hope you'll bear with me as I share with you why I chose to make them and its significance to me.&nbsp; Butterflies have always been a symbol of hope and new life.&nbsp; And for me, they have always represented something beautiful blossoming out of something not so beautiful (no offense to those who happen to think caterpillars are gorgeous creatures).&nbsp; Beauty can be found, even in the midst of ugliness and the mess of life.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So what beauty could possibly come out of the devastation and tragedy that occurred in Japan?&nbsp; Well, what I've witnessed in the past couple weeks is complete strangers rallying together to come to the aid of other strangers.&nbsp; I've seen everyone tweeting, blogging, facebooking, emailing, and doing whatever they can to help in the small ways that they can.&nbsp; Compassion is not lost on us.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">It reminded me so much of the response after 9/11.&nbsp; I had just moved from D.C. to the New York area the month prior.&nbsp; I didn't know anyone, and I didn't even have a steady job.&nbsp; I was temping as a receptionist at the time.&nbsp; On the morning of September 11, 2001, I had reported bright and early to a job at an architectural firm located in midtown Manhattan.&nbsp; Half an hour later with the first plane crash, the world had changed.&nbsp; I still remember the events of that day very clearly (I have an online journal entry with updates as the day occurred).&nbsp; The horror of what took place that morning shook and shattered my soul.&nbsp; I remember walking out into the streets a couple hours after the World Towers collapsed and being assaulted by the sound of sirens and the wretched smell of smoke and ashes.&nbsp; I saw people running in every direction, some covered in soot.&nbsp; There were others desperately and frantically trying to make phone calls, but the lines were all jammed.&nbsp; Unbeknownst to me at the time, my husband-to-be worked on Wall Street.&nbsp; God spared his life.&nbsp; But others I know lost loved ones that day.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Knowing I wouldn't be able to get over the bridge or through the tunnel to get home that day, the office manager was kind enough to offer her place to me.&nbsp; I had never met her until that morning.&nbsp; I was a stranger to her, and yet she opened up her home to me.&nbsp;&nbsp; That day, we weren't strangers.&nbsp; We weren't a part of the rat race pushing and shoving to be first.&nbsp; We weren't tough, hard ass New Yorkers.&nbsp; She wasn't Jewish, and I wasn't Korean-American.&nbsp; That day, we were all just human crying out and caring for our fellow brothers and sisters.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I saw this again in the aftermath of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.&nbsp; Complete strangers of every background from every nation working together for a common good.&nbsp; Compassion, kindness, love, and generosity being demonstrated in the face of such devastation.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LNOy1U6ksI0/TZk5k6S9yrI/AAAAAAAAI7M/veaApVkjtJs/s1600/IMG_2029.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LNOy1U6ksI0/TZk5k6S9yrI/AAAAAAAAI7M/veaApVkjtJs/s550/IMG_2029.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Image courtesy of NYC Bake Sale for Japan organizer and friend, <a href="http://www.sweetsbysillianah.com/" target="blank">Lillian</a></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">That's the beauty that rises from the mess and ugliness of life.&nbsp; That's hope.&nbsp; For us and for Japan.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And that's <a href="http://www.eaternalbliss.com/2011/04/butterflies-come-to-life.html">how the butterflies came to life</a>.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-1796094691143937506?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-20866792014312685832011-04-05T11:41:00.000-07:002011-04-06T11:37:34.618-07:00D.I.Y. Cupcake Wrappers<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AdVTJ62cDP0/TZqTHw9exOI/AAAAAAAA8ug/Oj3Glrj3H6g/s1600/wrappers5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AdVTJ62cDP0/TZqTHw9exOI/AAAAAAAA8ug/Oj3Glrj3H6g/s550/wrappers5.jpg" /></a></div><br />I am so happy to report that the NYC Bake Sale for Japan raised over $4,600!&nbsp; And <a href="http://bakesaleforjapan.com/" target="blank">the nationwide bake sale</a> raised over $120,000 for Japan!&nbsp; I am simply amazed at how folks - most who have never met - rallied together for this cause and put so much love and effort into this event.&nbsp; It was an amazing privilege to take part even in the smallest way.&nbsp; Thank you to all the organizers, donaters, bakers, volunteers, and everyone who participated in the bake sale (including those who bought the goodies for a great cause)!<br /><br />I contributed <a href="http://www.eaternalbliss.com/2011/04/made-with-love-and-prayers-for-japan.html" target="blank">butterfly cupcakes</a> and this week I'll show you how they came together.&nbsp; I know folks are more interested in how the actual chocolate butterflies were created, and I promise that'll be the next post.&nbsp; Today I want to show you the easiest way to dress up cupcakes.&nbsp;<b> Cupcake wrappers!</b><br /><br />There is nothing new or innovative about this.&nbsp; I'm just passing along the knowledge.&nbsp; And knowing is half the battle.&nbsp; Okay, my husband thinks it's cheesy whenever I say that (I say it a lot), but come on!&nbsp; Who doesn't love G.I. Joe?&nbsp; :)<br /><br /><blockquote><span style="font-size: large;"><b>D.I.Y. Cupcake Wrappers</b></span><br /><br />What you'll need:<br /><ul><li>Cardstock paper</li><li>Pencil </li><li>Scissors</li><li>Craft scissors with scalloped edge</li><li>Cupcake wrapper template - <a href="http://www.snowandgraham.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/cupcake-wrap.pdf" target="blank">Here's the one I used from Snow &amp; Graham</a></li><li>Gluestick or double-sided scotch tape</li></ul><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jMxyVofXQhg/TZtDM85uqCI/AAAAAAAA8vA/si1nu9VCotc/s1600/paper.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="133" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jMxyVofXQhg/TZtDM85uqCI/AAAAAAAA8vA/si1nu9VCotc/s200/paper.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><b>1.&nbsp;</b> Start off by selecting a handful of pretty cardstock paper.&nbsp; Oh, how I love pretty paper!<br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lXIU6OAhRUo/TZtRkDVSuJI/AAAAAAAA8wI/91AqqnLPibY/s1600/stencil1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="142" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lXIU6OAhRUo/TZtRkDVSuJI/AAAAAAAA8wI/91AqqnLPibY/s200/stencil1.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><b>2.</b>&nbsp; <a href="http://www.snowandgraham.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/cupcake-wrap.pdf" target="blank">Print out the cupcake wrapper template</a> and cut it out.&nbsp; I copied it on a piece of cardboard paper so it would be easier to trace.&nbsp; With a pencil, trace the wrapper template on the back of the paper.&nbsp; You can fit 4 on a single 12"x12" sheet.<br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q6uf7CExjQg/TZtFivjzsdI/AAAAAAAA8vc/zCW3A2Lkkkw/s1600/cutouts.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="134" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Q6uf7CExjQg/TZtFivjzsdI/AAAAAAAA8vc/zCW3A2Lkkkw/s200/cutouts.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><b>3.</b>&nbsp; Cut along the lines with plain cutting scissors.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sFsxqmAQpu8/TZtFlOd-_pI/AAAAAAAA8vk/zX1TOBAT7PA/s1600/scissors.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="133" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sFsxqmAQpu8/TZtFlOd-_pI/AAAAAAAA8vk/zX1TOBAT7PA/s200/scissors.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><b>4.&nbsp;</b> Then take the craft scissors with the scalloped edge and cut along the top part of the wrapper.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TZtRRptfIfI/AAAAAAAA8wA/BUCx2S7rGqc/s640/wrappers1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="133" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TZtRRptfIfI/AAAAAAAA8wA/BUCx2S7rGqc/s200/wrappers1.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><b>5.&nbsp; </b>And voila!&nbsp; Your cupcake wrappers are complete.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />When you're ready to use them, wrap the paper around the cupcake and secure it either with gluestick or double-sided tape.&nbsp;&nbsp; </blockquote><br />Look how instantly they dress up a plain cupcake!&nbsp; My husband said I didn't even need the butterflies.&nbsp; This would have been good enough.&nbsp; But the butterflies were the whole point for the bake sale! <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hSavYjXxtwg/TZtFxLuPCBI/AAAAAAAA8v0/OTuL5lEtCTM/s1600/cupcakewrappers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hSavYjXxtwg/TZtFxLuPCBI/AAAAAAAA8v0/OTuL5lEtCTM/s550/cupcakewrappers.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />You could dress up the cupcake wrappers even more by decorating with rhinestones, stamps, or other embellishments.&nbsp; But I didn't want to take away from the butterflies.&nbsp; This is a fun project to do with older kids who are good with scissors.&nbsp; My son loves crafts, but this is a bit advanced for him.&nbsp; So he was happy doing another project while Mommy worked on these.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ga7n-q21Ljo/TZtDZy13VFI/AAAAAAAA8vI/pTC2L3fbPYs/s1600/cjcraft.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ga7n-q21Ljo/TZtDZy13VFI/AAAAAAAA8vI/pTC2L3fbPYs/s550/cjcraft.jpg" /></a></div><br />I'll show you how to make the chocolate butterflies in the next post, so be sure to check back.&nbsp; <br /><br />Happy creating, everyone!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-2086679201431268583?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-81992577539636835332011-04-01T11:49:00.000-07:002011-04-02T13:01:24.377-07:00Made With Love and Prayers for Japan<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TZYTIYDdWFI/AAAAAAAA8s4/iwLkPt2xTKQ/s550/butterfly.jpg" /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Like so many others, my heart goes out to the people of Japan.&nbsp; Tomorrow's <a href="http://bakesaleforjapan.com/" target="blank">Bake Sale for Japan</a> happening all across the nation is just a small and simple way for me and others to help in some way.&nbsp; And as the quote at the top of the bake sale site says,<b><i> "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."&nbsp;</i></b> I believe that.<br /><br />As I thought about what I wanted to contribute, I had a desire to make something symbolic of new life and new hope.&nbsp; The butterfly seemed perfect.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TZYTfdv5OkI/AAAAAAAA8tI/DAALu_h5X2M/s550/butterflycupcakes2.jpg" /></div><br />There are many wonderful bloggers (<a href="http://www.sweetsbysillianah.com/2011/03/national-bake-sale-for-japan-april-2.html" target="blank">New York ones listed here</a>), homemade bakers, and <a href="http://bakeforjapannyc.tumblr.com/" target="blank">incredible local bakeries</a> donating goods to tomorrow's New York bake sale.&nbsp; Thank you to the organizers and all those contributing goods and donating funds toward <a href="http://www.peace-winds.org/en/" target="blank">Peace Winds Japan</a>!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TZYTqjfxXWI/AAAAAAAA8tY/1Xclo3Ek8OQ/s550/butterflycupcakes.jpg" /></div><br />And a personal gratitude with much love to my sister-in-law for watching the boys and allowing me to get these ready for tomorrow!&nbsp; And also a huge thank you to Alice of <a href="http://www.savorysweetlife.com/" target="blank">Savory Sweet Life</a> for saving the chocolate cupcakes with her killer recipe.<br /><br />I know folks are curious, so I'll post a 3-part series next week on how these cupcakes came together.<br /><br />In the meantime, they're packed and ready to go.&nbsp; If you're in the New York area, please come out to Brooklyn Flea tomorrow and support this wonderful cause.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="400" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TZYTK8-Q1DI/AAAAAAAA8t0/8Vp0umbIKHc/s400/wrapped.jpg" width="347" /></div><br /><b><i>To the people of Japan and all those affected by the recent disaster, may God heal your land, your hearts, and fill you with great Hope in the midst of great tragedy.&nbsp; Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.</i></b><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-8199257753963683533?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com12tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-16071762816149527152011-03-28T19:09:00.000-07:002011-03-31T07:14:46.123-07:00Fried Catfish and a Hungry Toddler<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VLmJWuQHAY4/TZEyBYXxSvI/AAAAAAAA8oM/TzWRhQlbEE0/s1600/catfish.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VLmJWuQHAY4/TZEyBYXxSvI/AAAAAAAA8oM/TzWRhQlbEE0/s550/catfish.jpg" /></a></div><br />I'm the mother of two young boys (an almost 3-year-old and a 1.5-year-old) with ferocious appetites.&nbsp; Feeding these boys is almost a full-time job in itself!&nbsp; Although I would love to spend more time in the kitchen slaving over the stove, it's hard to do with two little ones running all over the house wreaking havoc everywhere they go.&nbsp; So I have to be able to whip up delicious meals that are fast and easy.<br /><br />Like this one.&nbsp; Tonight's menu was fried catfish, steamed green beans, and avocado salad.<br /><br />First off, I took a cup full of organic frozen green beans and placed it in the steamer for about 6-7 minutes until tender.&nbsp; Then I chopped up an avocado, sliced a handful of cherry tomatoes, threw in a can of black beans (washed and rinsed first), and sprinkled a little fresh lemon juice to make a quick side salad.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D0J5-VSkIQk/TZEx14ufizI/AAAAAAAA8n0/xKHawl7v7M0/s1600/avocadosalad.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D0J5-VSkIQk/TZEx14ufizI/AAAAAAAA8n0/xKHawl7v7M0/s550/avocadosalad.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />The farmed fresh catfish was bought from Costco and came in a pack of 6 (we love us some Costco; in fact, it was one of CJ's first words).&nbsp;&nbsp; I threw the fish in a bowl, seasoned it with garlic powder, salt, pepper, old bay, fresh lemon juice, and added just a touch of bread crumbs.&nbsp; Then I threw some olive oil on a frying pan, fried the catfish on each side for about 6-7 minutes. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VSZXV5b1DKQ/TZE2Cv2RMoI/AAAAAAAA8og/WDNQZqkGJPI/s1600/catfishfrying.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VSZXV5b1DKQ/TZE2Cv2RMoI/AAAAAAAA8og/WDNQZqkGJPI/s550/catfishfrying.jpg" /></a></div><br /><br />And voila!&nbsp; Meal complete.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CUL5xj9SvTM/TZE3TRYEolI/AAAAAAAA8os/-2n0_hOQ3ow/s1600/catfish2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CUL5xj9SvTM/TZE3TRYEolI/AAAAAAAA8os/-2n0_hOQ3ow/s550/catfish2.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I wanted to take a few more shots of the dish while the sun was still out.&nbsp; But as I said before, I have two little ones with ferocious appetites and trying to do food photography when you've got a hungry toddler around can get interesting.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iA-oTj1g_PE/TZEx4oPwroI/AAAAAAAA8n8/rl_LZmaoEYA/s1600/hand1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iA-oTj1g_PE/TZEx4oPwroI/AAAAAAAA8n8/rl_LZmaoEYA/s550/hand1.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ What doesn't belong here? }</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">By the way, do you see what he's aiming for?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aOzvJUo9knA/TZEyLs43T9I/AAAAAAAA8oU/PkvKV6ur7lE/s1600/hand2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aOzvJUo9knA/TZEyLs43T9I/AAAAAAAA8oU/PkvKV6ur7lE/s550/hand2.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I don't know if anyone else has this "dilemma", but this boy loves his vegetables.&nbsp; CJ will clean off the green beans, tomatoes, and avocado first. &nbsp; I have to force him to eat the the protein on his plate.&nbsp; Yes, yes.&nbsp; I've been told this is a good "problem" to have.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dmqP2t5AyW0/TZEx7l6V-CI/AAAAAAAA8oE/2WJ3tmJBxd8/s1600/cj.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dmqP2t5AyW0/TZEx7l6V-CI/AAAAAAAA8oE/2WJ3tmJBxd8/s550/cj.jpg" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">What makes me happiest as a mom is to see the boys eat and enjoy every morsel of something I've made.&nbsp; Not every meal is a huge success, but tonight was a good night.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-1607176281614952715?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com13tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-44361317632595849992011-03-25T12:31:00.000-07:002011-03-28T21:20:37.863-07:00Preparing for the HarvestThis is our little garden and our little 18-month-old gardener, Nathan.&nbsp; It's almost time to start putting our <a href="http://eartheasy.com/grow_compost.html" target="blank">compost</a> to use and get the soil ready and fertile for this year's crop.&nbsp; Last year, we reaped fresh cherry tomatoes, little cucumbers, fresh beds of lettuce, spinach, and kkae-nip leaves, some basil and parsley, a little eggplant and the spiciest hot chili peppers you ever laid your taste buds on (I was the only person who could enjoy them, and I savored every mouth-burning morsel).<br /><br />What to grow this year . . .<br /><br /><b><i>What are you growing in your garden?</i></b><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TYzmEnqMu8I/AAAAAAAA8l4/3MmzCUUZ5KI/s1600/DSC_0078.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TYzmEnqMu8I/AAAAAAAA8l4/3MmzCUUZ5KI/s550/DSC_0078.jpg" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0gPHWpYj6ho/TYzmZEGunkI/AAAAAAAA8lI/JQNKMltcQbs/s1600/DSC_0088.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0gPHWpYj6ho/TYzmZEGunkI/AAAAAAAA8lI/JQNKMltcQbs/s550/DSC_0088.jpg"/>&nbsp;</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">&nbsp;<a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-J12RN-f3UFo/TYznL1fr9WI/AAAAAAAA8lw/7b8AEjwkb5w/s1600/DSC_0103.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-J12RN-f3UFo/TYznL1fr9WI/AAAAAAAA8lw/7b8AEjwkb5w/s550/DSC_0103.jpg"/></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Xd8kyPDR6dY/TYznCtTm_jI/AAAAAAAA8lo/dpmQqNwzE00/s1600/DSC_0101.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Xd8kyPDR6dY/TYznCtTm_jI/AAAAAAAA8lo/dpmQqNwzE00/s550/DSC_0101.jpg"/></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5KImIOkG6co/TYzm4qMOmKI/AAAAAAAA8lY/MZdC_QnlXpI/s1600/DSC_0100.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5KImIOkG6co/TYzm4qMOmKI/AAAAAAAA8lY/MZdC_QnlXpI/s550/DSC_0100.jpg"/></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yZvws_iqOJI/TYzmn1QfxnI/AAAAAAAA8lQ/F6IdIOAsGC8/s1600/DSC_0099.jpg" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yZvws_iqOJI/TYzmn1QfxnI/AAAAAAAA8lQ/F6IdIOAsGC8/s550/DSC_0099.jpg" /></a></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-4436131763259584999?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-21789626809304530232011-03-21T10:03:00.000-07:002011-03-30T13:32:16.460-07:00When Life Throws You Lemons<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TY_r2tVe2wI/AAAAAAAA8nI/kdMASzHSYjw/lemoncookies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TY_r2tVe2wI/AAAAAAAA8nI/kdMASzHSYjw/lemoncookies.jpg" /></a></div><br />When life throws you lemons, well, you have yourself a good cry and then you bake some cookies as consolation.&nbsp; And if you've got the time, you create a new website.<br /><br />The past couple weeks have been such a whirlwind of emotions flying in every direction.&nbsp; Life has been complicated.&nbsp; And many days have been spent wondering when things might get a little easier.<br /><br />Then I visited my best friend while I was in Virginia, and as we talked, she offered me a fresh batch of lemon cookies.&nbsp; I devoured one chewy, lemony goodness after another and couldn't stop myself.&nbsp; And when I found out how easy they were to make, I thanked God for simple joys and pleasures in life.&nbsp; Like these cookies.&nbsp; And 20 year friendships that withstand the test of time, offensive amount of Rave hairspray, acid wash jeans, stupid boy crushes, and five pregnancies between us.<br /><br />It took a simple afternoon with a dear friend and some cookies to remind me there is much to celebrate and take delight in, even when life is anything but easy.&nbsp; Hence the start of this new blog.&nbsp; Eaternal Bliss.&nbsp; It's what I hope I'll be able to do every day.&nbsp; Find joy in life's simple pleasures.&nbsp; I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.bakesaleforjapan.com/" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="160" src="http://bakesaleforjapan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Bakesale_For_Japan_LOGO1.jpg" width="160" /></a></div>Lastly, I am participating in the NYC <a href="http://www.bakesaleforjapan.com/" target="blank">Bake Sale for Japan</a>.&nbsp; It's a simple means to help in a big way.&nbsp; Sometimes we don't think our simple acts amount to much.&nbsp; But I love this quote on the bakesaleforjapan.com site:&nbsp;<b> </b><i><b>Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. </b>- Howard Zinne</i><br /><br />Additional bakers and volunteers are still needed for the <a href="http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=119881658086038&amp;id=536546681#%21/event.php?eid=173647202688130">New York bake sale</a>.&nbsp; If you'd like to contribute in any way, please contact <span class="text_exposed_show"> Lillian of <a href="http://www.sweetsbysillianah.com/" target="blank">Sweets by Sillianah</a> at NYCBakesale@gmail.com.&nbsp; And if you'd like to get involved in your own area, check out <a href="http://bakesaleforjapan.com/" target="blank">bakesaleforjapan.com</a> for more information and to see participating locations.</span><i> </i><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TY_r6YEsVdI/AAAAAAAA8nM/tbuojlhmW5k/lemoncookie2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TY_r6YEsVdI/AAAAAAAA8nM/tbuojlhmW5k/lemoncookie2.jpg" /></a></div><br /><blockquote><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Blissfully Simple Lemon Cookies</b></span><br />{Makes 24 cookies; Prep-time: 10 minutes; Bake time: 10 minutes}<br /><span style="font-size: x-small;">Adapted from <a href="http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/easy-lemon-cookies/Detail.aspx" target="blank">AllRecipes </a></span><br /><br /><b>Ingredients:</b><br />1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix<br />2 eggs<br />1/3 cup vegetable oil <br />1 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract<br />1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration<br /><br /><b>Directions:</b><br /><ol><li>Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).</li><li>Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon extract until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll them around until they're lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on an ungreased cookie sheet.</li><li>Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.&nbsp; Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.&nbsp; <br /><br />P.S.&nbsp; They're even better the day after they're baked.</li></ol></blockquote><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-2178962680930453023?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com20tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-84311944697529555402011-02-13T10:46:00.000-08:002011-03-21T06:13:23.239-07:00Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><img border="0" h5="true" height="390" src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_XyunG66FDno/TVg_bnpo-LI/AAAAAAAA7Y4/Ov1DecfJO1o/s640/strawberrycupcake.jpg" width="500" /></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ made with love for my love }</td></tr></tbody></table>This was the special treat made for my husband's birthday this past Friday (<a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/strawberry-cupcakes-with-strawberry-buttercream" target="blank">recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart</a>).&nbsp;&nbsp;I also made extra to contribute to a fundraising bake sale with the proceeds going toward a wonderful New York-based, non-profit organization&nbsp;called <a href="http://www.breadandwater.org/" target="blank">Bread and Water</a>&nbsp;(they help provide relief across the world).&nbsp; <br /><br />It's a wonderful&nbsp;dessert to share with loved ones on Valentine's Day or any day for that matter.&nbsp; I love the light fluffiness and sweet strawberry flavor of the buttercream frosting, but the cake itself&nbsp;is also delicious and moist (with the help of a little milk).&nbsp; <br /><br />Though the recipe can seem intimidating, it's really not.&nbsp; The cupcake is simple to make (the most time-consuming part was chopping the strawberries).&nbsp;&nbsp;The swiss meringue buttercream frosting can be made in advance or while the cupcakes are baking.&nbsp; <a href="http://mothersmementos.blogspot.com/2010/11/swiss-meringue-buttercream-frosting.html">Here's a basic tutorial on how to make swiss meringue buttercream frosting</a>.&nbsp; If you refrigerate the cupcakes, just be sure to let them defrost at room temperature for a couple hours before serving.<br /><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="border: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /><div style="border: medium none;">To make it more festive, I transformed strawberry gummy candy and strawberry slices into heart shapes as garnish.</div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="border: medium none; clear: both; text-align: center;"><img border="0" h5="true" height="120" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xjulnR1TR44/TVdejfqJJOI/AAAAAAAA7Us/UqWfQkMHypc/s640/2011-02-13.jpg" width="500" /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I've made a handful of different&nbsp;cupcakes now, and I have to say these are definitely among the top fave.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><b>Happy Valentine's Day!</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gpMznbntYxA/TVdVGjwjAcI/AAAAAAAA7W8/3dmVMyStzBs/s1600/2011-02-12.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" h5="true" height="280" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gpMznbntYxA/TVdVGjwjAcI/AAAAAAAA7W8/3dmVMyStzBs/s640/2011-02-12.jpg" width="500" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div></div><b><span style="font-size: large;"></span></b><br /><blockquote><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b><span style="font-size: large;">Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting</span></b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Recipe from <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/strawberry-cupcakes-with-strawberry-buttercream" target="blank">Martha Stewart</a></div><div style="border: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;">{ Makes 34 cupcakes }</div><div style="border: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>Ingredients:</b></div><div style="border: medium none; clear: both; text-align: left;">2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour</div>1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)<br />1 tablespoon baking powder<br />1 teaspoon salt<br /><div style="border: medium none;">8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened</div><div style="border: medium none;">2 1/4 cups sugar</div>3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white<br />1 cup whole milk<br />1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract<br />2 cups finely chopped strawberries, plus small strawberries for garnish (or use gummy strawberry candy for garnish)<br />Strawberry Buttercream&nbsp;(recipe below)<br /><br /><b>Directions:&nbsp;</b><br /><ol><li>Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.&nbsp; Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.&nbsp; Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. </li><li>Reduce speed to low. Mix in the vanilla. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with&nbsp;milk and ending with the flour.&nbsp; Scrape sides of bowl.&nbsp; Stir in chopped strawberries.&nbsp; Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. </li><li>Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.&nbsp; Once cupcakes are cool, frost tops with strawberry buttercream.&nbsp; Frosted cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Top with a strawberry just before serving. </li></ol></blockquote><br /><blockquote><div style="background-color: transparent; border: medium none; color: black; overflow: hidden; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;"><div></div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Strawberry Buttercream Frosting</b></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Recipe from <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/strawberry-buttercream" target="blank">Martha Stewart</a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">{Makes about 5 cups}</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>Ingredients:</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">4 large egg whites, room temperature</div>1 1/4 cups sugar<br />3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces<br />1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed<br /><br /><b>Directions:</b><br /><ol><li>Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. </li><li style="border: medium none;">Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking well after each addition. </li><li style="border: medium none;">Switch to a paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add strawberry puree, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)</li></ol></blockquote><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-8431194469752955540?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com27tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-33725005172376345462011-01-28T06:53:00.000-08:002011-03-21T06:13:44.889-07:00Sweet Potato, Pear, and Carrot Soup<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TULMNWKJkgI/AAAAAAAA64g/uzh6rvU0n8g/s1600/sweetpotatopearsoup2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="350" s5="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TULMNWKJkgI/AAAAAAAA64g/uzh6rvU0n8g/s640/sweetpotatopearsoup2.jpg" width="540" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ when there's snow, there's soup. }</td></tr></tbody></table>Another snowstorm.&nbsp; Another cold winter's day.&nbsp; Another perfect day for soup.&nbsp; I had 3 large sweet potatoes on hand.&nbsp;&nbsp;But I wanted to find something that would complement it.&nbsp; So I looked in the fridge and found this glistening&nbsp;Bosc pear. <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUI26mYjvNI/AAAAAAAA64Q/fj-QPNthSPw/s1600/pearpotato.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="330" s5="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUI26mYjvNI/AAAAAAAA64Q/fj-QPNthSPw/s640/pearpotato.jpg" width="540" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div>Perfect.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And then I also saw some carrots which I decided would be a good addition to the soup as well (forgot to take a picture though).&nbsp;&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">I adapted a recipe from Taste of Home and it was fabulous.&nbsp; I will definitely be making this again - snowstorm or not.&nbsp; But quite truthfully, I'm hoping to never see another snowflake again this winter&nbsp;unless it's a garnish on a soup.&nbsp; :)</div><span style="font-size: large;"><b></b></span><br /><blockquote><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Sweet Potato, Pear, and Carrot Soup</b></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">{ <b>Makes:</b>&nbsp;6 servings; <b>Prep time:</b>&nbsp;15 minutes; <b>Cook time:</b>&nbsp;30 minutes }</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><i>Adapted from </i></span><a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Sweet-Potato-and-Pear-Soup" target="blank"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><i>Taste of Home</i></span></a><span style="font-size: x-small;"><i> </i></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><b>Ingredients:</b></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed </div><div>2 large carrots, peeled and sliced </div><div>3 cups chicken broth, divided</div><div><div>1 teaspoon salt, divided</div><div>1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon</div><div>1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg</div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div>2 large pears, peeled and sliced</div><div>1 large onion, chopped</div><div>1 tablespoon butter</div><div>1/2 cup heavy cream </div><div>1/4 teaspoon black pepper<br /><br /></div><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div><b>Directions</b></div><ol><li><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In a large saucepan or pot, combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.&nbsp; Bring to a boil.&nbsp; Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until tender. </div></li><li>Meanwhile in another large saucepan, cook and stir the pears and onion in butter over medium heat for 5 minutes until onion is translucent.&nbsp; Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth.&nbsp; Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.&nbsp; Stir into the sweet potato mixture.&nbsp; Cool slightly.&nbsp; </li><li><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">In a blender, cover and puree soup in batches; return all to the pot.&nbsp; Stir in the cream, pepper and remaining salt; heat through (do not boil).&nbsp;&nbsp; Garnish with slices of pear.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div></li></ol></blockquote><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-3372500517237634546?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-14818462665773820712011-01-26T11:46:00.000-08:002011-03-21T06:13:23.242-07:00Korean Vegetable Pancakes<div style="text-align: center;"><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><div align="center"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT99a0DjyXI/AAAAAAAA6xo/QG4vBC_u2yI/s1600/pajeon6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="310" s5="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT99a0DjyXI/AAAAAAAA6xo/QG4vBC_u2yI/s640/pajeon6.jpg" width="540" /></a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ crispy, savory vegetable pancakes }</td></tr></tbody></table></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">Korean pancakes (pa-jeon)&nbsp;are a popular appetizer&nbsp;or side dish in Korean culture.&nbsp; It's hearty and filling enough to be a meal in itself.&nbsp; Pa-jeon is absolutely amazing when&nbsp;eaten piping hot straight off the stove.&nbsp; So wonderfully savory and delicious.&nbsp;&nbsp; It's usually served with a dipping sauce consisting of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.&nbsp; You can find many variations of the pancake - most common are scallion, kimchi, or seafood.&nbsp;&nbsp; Seafood pancake (called hae-mul pa-jeon) is my absolute favorite; it consists of squid, clams, shrimp, and scallions.<br /><br /></div><div></div><div></div>I wanted to make&nbsp;some pa-jeon&nbsp;for the boys for lunch, but I didn't have any seafood on hand.&nbsp; So I decided to make vegetable pancakes instead.&nbsp; If you have some fresh veggies, flour, water, and egg around, this is a simple meal to make.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div><b>I have screwed these up horribly many times before and have learned from my mistakes.&nbsp; So here are a few tips:</b></div><ol><li>Don't make the pancakes too thick.&nbsp; Otherwise, they're bound to be soggy.</li><li>Don't be stingy with the oil.&nbsp;&nbsp;In the past, I tried using&nbsp;as little oil as possible to keep them from being greasy and it would be&nbsp;a flop (literally).&nbsp; You don't want to go overboard with the oil, either; these are not meant to be deep-fried.&nbsp; Just be sure to use enough to coat the bottom of the pan.</li><li>If they do turn out soggy or floppy, don't despair.&nbsp; They're salvageable!&nbsp; Just add some more oil to the pan and fry it again. &nbsp;Sometimes they turn out better this way!</li></ol><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT8hbdGlEVI/AAAAAAAA6x0/ArodjgWYuTA/s1600/pajeonvegetables.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="270" s5="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT8hbdGlEVI/AAAAAAAA6x0/ArodjgWYuTA/s400/pajeonvegetables.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ vegetables sliced thin and ready to go in the batter }</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>  <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT8onxkWmVI/AAAAAAAA6xM/MK3Qizb1NRo/s1600/pajeonbatter2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="253" s5="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT8onxkWmVI/AAAAAAAA6xM/MK3Qizb1NRo/s400/pajeonbatter2.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ mix, mix, mix }</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUBvoRSFtgI/AAAAAAAA60Q/twgqtAL4mvg/s1600/panfry.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="260" s5="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUBvoRSFtgI/AAAAAAAA60Q/twgqtAL4mvg/s400/panfry.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ fry in the pan }</td></tr></tbody></table> <br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUB2Kkqt9zI/AAAAAAAA600/hKJY33I7fjM/s1600/pajeon7-2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="276" s5="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUB2Kkqt9zI/AAAAAAAA600/hKJY33I7fjM/s400/pajeon7-2.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ and voila! }</td></tr></tbody></table>  <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;">So how good are they?&nbsp; I think this says it all.&nbsp; </div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT8bsGPruBI/AAAAAAAA6wE/_7AdSVuluik/s1600/2011-01-26.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="80" s5="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT8bsGPruBI/AAAAAAAA6wE/_7AdSVuluik/s400/2011-01-26.jpg" width="500" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"></td></tr></tbody></table><span style="font-size: large;"><b></b></span><br /><div sizcache="39" sizset="153"></div><b><span style="font-size: large;"></span></b><br /><blockquote><b><span style="font-size: large;">Korean Vegetable Pancakes</span></b><br />{ Makes about four 8-inch pancakes }<br /><br /><div></div><div></div><b>Ingredients:</b><br />2 cups all-purpose flour<br />2 cups ice cold water<br />1 egg, beaten <br />1 teaspoon salt<br />1 teaspoon onion powder<br />1 teaspoon garlic powder<br />Vegetable oil for pan frying (approximately&nbsp;1 1/2&nbsp;tablespoons for each pancake)<br />2 medium potatoes, peeled and julienned<br />1 carrot, peeled and julienned (or grated)<br />1 green pepper, cut into thin slices<br />1 red pepper, cut into thin slices<br />1 bunch of scallions, sliced<br /><div></div><br /><div></div><b>Directions:</b><br /><ol><li>In a medium bowl, mix flour, egg, salt, onion and garlic powder, and 1 1/2 cups water until a smooth batter is formed.&nbsp; If batter is still thick, add a little more water (you want it to be the consistency of pancake batter).&nbsp; Stir in the potatoes, carrots, peppers, and scallions.</li><li>Place an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.&nbsp; Let it heat for&nbsp;15-20 seconds, and then coat bottom with vegetable oil.&nbsp; Ladle in about a quarter of the batter and spread it out evenly into a circle.&nbsp; Cook for&nbsp;5 minutes until edges&nbsp;start browning.&nbsp; Then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.&nbsp; When completed,&nbsp;transfer the pancake on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain oil (if necessary) and&nbsp;then place on serving plate.</li><li>Repeat steps 1 to 3 with remaining batter. </li><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><li>When pancakes are all finished, cut into triangles and serve with dipping sauce.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ol><b>Dipping sauce</b> (I use this sauce for pajeon and dumplings):<br /><div></div><br /><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUBzLsG0tmI/AAAAAAAA60g/YjEOmv6siKc/s1600/dippingsauce.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="151" s5="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TUBzLsG0tmI/AAAAAAAA60g/YjEOmv6siKc/s200/dippingsauce.jpg" width="200" /></a></div><b>Ingredients:</b><br />2&nbsp;tablespoons soy sauce<br />1 1/2&nbsp;tablespoon water<br />2&nbsp;teaspoons sugar<br />1/4&nbsp;teaspoon rice or white&nbsp;vinegar<br />1/4 teaspoon sesame oil<br />Pinch of roasted sesame seeds<br />Pinch of chopped scallion<br />Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)<br /><div></div><br /><div></div>In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.&nbsp; Sprinkle in sesame seeds, chopped scallion, and if desired, pinch of red pepper.</blockquote><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-1481846266577382071?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com15tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-11587710955821506132011-01-24T20:05:00.000-08:002011-03-21T06:13:23.245-07:00Toffee Coffee Dark Chocolate Brownies<div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT4_ZadztAI/AAAAAAAA6vM/kqkqej4Wv4U/s1600/toffeecoffeebrownies.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="310" s5="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TT4_ZadztAI/AAAAAAAA6vM/kqkqej4Wv4U/s640/toffeecoffeebrownies.jpg" width="540" /></a></div><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">My hubby loves coffee.&nbsp; He drinks it like it's water.&nbsp; He also loves dark chocolate.&nbsp; So he went ga-ga over these brownies.&nbsp; He did prefer it without the frosting, but I liked it with and since I was doing the baking, guess who won?&nbsp; :)</div><b><span style="font-size: large;"></span></b><br /><blockquote><b><span style="font-size: large;">Toffee Coffee Dark Chocolate Brownies</span></b><br />Adapted from <a href="http://www.bhg.com/recipe/brownies/toffee-coffee-brownies/">Better Homes &amp; Gardens</a><br />{ <b>Makes</b>: 20 brownies;<b> Prep:</b> 25 min.; <b>Bake:</b> 35 min. }<br /><br /><div></div><b>Ingredients</b><br />1 19.8- or 21-ounce package dark chocolate brownie mix<br />1/2 cup toffee pieces <br />2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee crystals<br />2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)<br /><br /><b>Directions:</b><br /><ol><li>Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.&nbsp;Grease a 9-inch square baking pan and set aside.</li><li>Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, except stir the 1/2 cup toffee pieces, the espresso powder, and chopped walnuts&nbsp;into batter. Spread batter into prepared pan.</li><li>Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.&nbsp; In the meantime, prepare frosting (see instructions below).&nbsp; </li><li>Once brownies are done baking, cool in pan on a wire rack.&nbsp; Remove baked mixture from pan.&nbsp; Spread frosting onto cooled brownies and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.&nbsp; Cut into bars.&nbsp; Makes 20 brownies. </li></ol>TO STORE:&nbsp; Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover.&nbsp; Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. <br /><br /><div></div><b>For Frosting:</b><br />1&nbsp; cup&nbsp; (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature<br />4&nbsp; cups&nbsp; (1 lb.) powdered sugar, sifted<br />1/8&nbsp; teaspoon&nbsp; salt<br />2&nbsp; tablespoons&nbsp; milk<br />2&nbsp; teaspoons&nbsp; vanilla<br /><br /><div></div><b>Preparation:</b><br />In a bowl, with a mixer (preferably fitted with whisk attachment) on low speed, beat butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and the salt until blended.&nbsp; Add milk and vanilla; beat until blended. Add remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until incorporated.&nbsp; Turn mixer to high speed and beat frosting until fluffy and smooth.</blockquote><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-1158771095582150613?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-38357170734189487102011-01-19T08:23:00.000-08:002011-03-28T16:46:52.867-07:00Kimchi Bulgogi Pizza<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTH5vc_ujjI/AAAAAAAA6sE/BxBwD49o1hU/s1600/kimchibulgogipizza.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="380" n4="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTH5vc_ujjI/AAAAAAAA6sE/BxBwD49o1hU/s640/kimchibulgogipizza.jpg" width="550" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ you'll never guess the secret ingredient in this pizza.&nbsp; okay, you got me.&nbsp; the title gives it away. }</td></tr></tbody></table>You know those crazy Koreans who eat kimchi with everything?&nbsp; Thanksgiving dinner, meatballs, Subway sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, pizza.&nbsp; Yes, pizza.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div></div>Just in case you don't know what kimchi is, it's fermented seasoned cabbage that's a staple in a Korean's diet.&nbsp; It's usually served as a side dish ("bahn-chan") with the main meal.&nbsp; Bulgogi is a deliciously marinated beef usually prepared with soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and sugar.&nbsp; You can buy kimchi and bulgogi at most Asian markets.<br /><br />I remember when someone first told me about kimchi bulgogi pizza back in college and raved about how good it was.&nbsp; I thought she was completely&nbsp;nuts!&nbsp; But when I finally tried it, I realized she was so right. <br /><br /><div></div>When I told my husband and sister-in-law I was making this for lunch&nbsp;this past Saturday,&nbsp;they gave me that "you're crazy" look, too.&nbsp; I'm happy to say I've now converted them into believers.<br /><br /><div></div>I feel silly writing up a recipe for this when it's so basic.&nbsp;&nbsp; So I'm just going to provide a pictorial on how this is assembled.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b><span style="font-size: large;"><u>First, gather the ingredients:</u></span></b></div><div style="text-align: center;">Prepared pizza crust<br />Marinara sauce<br />Shredded mozzarella or Mexican cheese<br />Spinach, lightly sauteed<br />Kimchi, cut and fried with vegetable oil<br />Bulgogi, sliced and fried with vegetable oil</div><ul></ul><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><b><span style="font-size: large;"><u>Then, start assembling:</u></span></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">Add marinara sauce on top of the pizza crust.</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqen6zlJI/AAAAAAAA6qQ/4g1nhvHSVBY/s1600/kimchipizza1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="293" n4="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqen6zlJI/AAAAAAAA6qQ/4g1nhvHSVBY/s400/kimchipizza1.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"></td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: center;">Pile on the&nbsp;mozarella / Mexican cheese.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqfO0a9pI/AAAAAAAA6qY/vjVUNqoF0Lo/s1600/kimchipizza2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="286" n4="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqfO0a9pI/AAAAAAAA6qY/vjVUNqoF0Lo/s400/kimchipizza2.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div></div><div></div><div style="text-align: center;">Sprinkle with lightly sauteed spinach.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqgBd02ZI/AAAAAAAA6qk/Ur_X8wyKWQc/s1600/kimchipizza3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="281" n4="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqgBd02ZI/AAAAAAAA6qk/Ur_X8wyKWQc/s400/kimchipizza3.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><br /><div></div><div></div><div style="text-align: center;">Add fried kimchi.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqghHfDuI/AAAAAAAA6qs/AgtUfyxGtyU/s1600/kimchipizza4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="282" n4="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqghHfDuI/AAAAAAAA6qs/AgtUfyxGtyU/s400/kimchipizza4.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div><br /><div></div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">Add fried bulgogi.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZwL8eFMFI/AAAAAAAA6sQ/pgShLp6qBzc/s1600/kimchipizza55.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="281" n4="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZwL8eFMFI/AAAAAAAA6sQ/pgShLp6qBzc/s400/kimchipizza55.jpg" width="400" /></a></div>&nbsp; <br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;">Bake pizza&nbsp;in oven set to 375 degree F for about 10-15 minutes<br />until cheese is melted and crust is ready.<br /><br /></div><div></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;">When done, sprinkle more sauteed spinach on top.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqhaST5rI/AAAAAAAA6q8/7EbInBDeVIU/s1600/kimchipizza6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="257" n4="true" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqhaST5rI/AAAAAAAA6q8/7EbInBDeVIU/s400/kimchipizza6.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /><u><b><span style="font-size: large;">Finally, slice and serve:</span></b></u><br /><br />And await for happy smiles.<br /><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqh76ctjI/AAAAAAAA6sc/Yg5VBR53wxo/s1600/happynate.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="291" n4="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTZqh76ctjI/AAAAAAAA6sc/Yg5VBR53wxo/s400/happynate.jpg" width="400" /></a></div></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /><div></div></div><div style="text-align: left;">Okay, so I didn't really give my son kimchi pizza because it's a bit spicy.&nbsp; I made another pizza with marinara sauce, cheese, white beans, spinach and olives for the kids.&nbsp; They loved it.&nbsp; But I look forward to the day when I can share this delightful Korean twist to an Italian dish with my sons.<br /><br />There are so many variations you can make to this, so be adventurous! </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-3835717073418948710?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com12tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-50952017295698307912011-01-16T18:15:00.000-08:002011-04-01T20:28:18.298-07:00Cream Puffs with Custard & Fruit Filling<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><div style="border: medium none;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTOXGaLoYxI/AAAAAAAA6os/HFZaZrY6akI/s1600/creampuffswithcustardfruit.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" n4="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTOXGaLoYxI/AAAAAAAA6os/HFZaZrY6akI/s550/creampuffswithcustardfruit.jpg" /></a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="border: medium none; text-align: center;">{ this might very well put beard papa's out of business. }</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="border: medium none;">I wish someone had told me before how easy it is to make cream puffs.&nbsp; It would have saved me a lot of money and trips to Fort Lee&nbsp;and the Upper West Side for <a href="http://muginohointl.com/main.php?nav=our_products" target="blank">Beard Papa's</a>.&nbsp; I feel it's my civic duty to pass on the knowledge and share with&nbsp;you how simple these scrumptious desserts are to make.&nbsp; I may be putting Beard Papa's out of business by doing so.&nbsp; Sorry 'bout that.&nbsp; </div><br /><div></div>[If you want to skip all the verbiage and just get to the recipe, scroll down to the bottom of this post.]<br /><br /><div></div>We had friends over for dessert on Saturday and then our neighbor over on Sunday to watch the football game (go Jets!).&nbsp;&nbsp;I wasn't sure what to make for dessert for the evenings&nbsp;so I sat skimming through my <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Taste-Home-Cookbook-New-Revised/dp/0898216664/ref=pd_sim_b_4" target="blank">Taste of Home cookbook</a> when my eyes came across&nbsp;a cream puff recipe.&nbsp; Glancing at the ingredients and the directions, I thought, "There's no way it can be that simple."<br /><div></div><br /><div></div>Well, folks.&nbsp; I'm here to tell you that it is.<br /><br /><div></div>I did&nbsp;a research&nbsp;online for cream puff recipes just to be sure the one in Taste of Home&nbsp;wasn't steering&nbsp;me wrong.&nbsp; I saw a few and they seemed relatively similar but had different suggestions for the filling.&nbsp; <br /><br /><div></div>In reading the reviews for <a href="http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/cream-puffs/Detail.aspx" target="blank">a cream puff recipe on Allrecipes.com</a>, I got a little concerned and thought maybe this isn't as simple as it seems.&nbsp; A few of the reviews complained about&nbsp;the dough appearing too runny after adding the 4 eggs (some suggest beating in the first 3 and then adding the 4th if the texture isn't right).&nbsp; I have no idea what the right texture is supposed to be like, but I went ahead and added the 4th egg and it turned out beautifully.<br /><div style="border: medium none;"><br /><div></div><div></div></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJupAEpS7I/AAAAAAAA6mw/Wwkf_7bZQ4w/s1600/creampuffdough.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="247" n4="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJupAEpS7I/AAAAAAAA6mw/Wwkf_7bZQ4w/s400/creampuffdough.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ the dough is ready to go in the oven }</td></tr></tbody></table>Another common comment&nbsp;I&nbsp;read&nbsp;was that the pastry didn't puff and it turned out flat.&nbsp;&nbsp;A few&nbsp;reviewers claimed you had to poke a hole while the pastry was baking to make sure it would puff.&nbsp; Being paranoid,&nbsp;I took the precaution of taking this step.&nbsp; So&nbsp;20 minutes&nbsp;into&nbsp;the baking process,&nbsp;I took a chopstick and popped a hole in 10 out of&nbsp;the 12 puffs.&nbsp; I wanted to see what would happen to the&nbsp;couple that didn't get "popped".<br /><div></div><br /><div></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJ7971lRhI/AAAAAAAA6og/Hs6f4utho5c/s1600/creampuff1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="325" n4="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJ7971lRhI/AAAAAAAA6og/Hs6f4utho5c/s400/creampuff1.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ this puff didn't get "popped" and rose to the occasion }</td></tr></tbody></table>Well,&nbsp;they turned out just as beautiful as the rest.&nbsp; So I'm not sure this extra step needs to be taken, but I guess it couldn't hurt.&nbsp; But it is important to make sure it's cooked through to the center, otherwise it will get soggy and sag.&nbsp; And other reviewers said it's helpful to let it sit in the oven with the door ajar for a minute or so after they're done baking to prevent collapsing.&nbsp; I didn't do this either.&nbsp; I just transfered them immediately to a wire rack, and it turned out just fine.<br /><br /><div></div>They all turned out quite beautifully.<br /><br /><div></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJ7IGkQ31I/AAAAAAAA6oY/GN3Eo4DrUAA/s1600/creampuffsbaked3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="222" n4="true" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJ7IGkQ31I/AAAAAAAA6oY/GN3Eo4DrUAA/s400/creampuffsbaked3.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ perfect puffs }</td></tr></tbody></table>And when you open them up,&nbsp;they're just begging to be filled with&nbsp;some sweet custard and fruit goodness.&nbsp;<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJzjrYgHEI/AAAAAAAA6no/AeHGcJys8W8/s1600/creampuffopened.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="245" n4="true" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJzjrYgHEI/AAAAAAAA6no/AeHGcJys8W8/s400/creampuffopened.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ "fill me!" }</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Oh yeah, like that.<br /><div></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJ3CLN77dI/AAAAAAAA6oI/f9etolLwcgQ/s1600/creampuffcloseup1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" n4="true" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TTJ3CLN77dI/AAAAAAAA6oI/f9etolLwcgQ/s400/creampuffcloseup1.jpg" width="302" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">It was nice knowing you Beard Papa's.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><blockquote><b><span style="font-size: large;">Cream Puffs with Custard and Fruit Filling</span></b><br />{ <b>Prep time:</b> 30 minutes; <b>Bake time:</b> 30 minutes; <b>Yields:</b> 12 puffs }<br /><br /><div></div><b>Ingredients</b><i></i><br /><i>For pastry puff:</i><br />1/3 cup butter, cubed<br />1&nbsp;cup water<br />1&nbsp;tablespoon granulated sugar<br />1/8 teaspoon salt<br />1&nbsp;cup all-purpose flour<br />4 eggs<br />1 teaspoon vanilla extract <br /><br /><div></div><i>For filling:</i><br />1 (5.1 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix<br />2 cups heavy cream<br />1 cup whole milk<br />1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed<br />1 cup strawberries, sliced<br /><br /><div></div><b>Directions</b><br /><br /><ol><li>Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk.&nbsp; Cover and refrigerate to set. </li><li>Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.&nbsp; Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.</li><li>In a small pot, bring water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over medium heat.&nbsp; Once boiling, add flour all at once and with a wooden spoon, stir until a smooth ball forms.&nbsp; Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.&nbsp; Transfer dough to a stand mixer.&nbsp; Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each until dough is smooth and shiny.&nbsp; Mix in the vanilla.&nbsp; Drop by 2 rounded tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto baking sheet. </li><li>Place sheet on middle rack in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.&nbsp; Centers should be dry (check with toothpick).&nbsp; Transfer to wire rack to cool.</li><li>While shells are cooling, remove&nbsp;pudding mix from the&nbsp;fridge.&nbsp; Fold in 1 cup of whipped topping and mix.&nbsp; When&nbsp;the shells are cool, split and fill with custard and then layer on sliced strawberries.&nbsp; Replace cream puff tops and dust with confectioners sugar.&nbsp; You can refrigerate until ready to serve.*</li></ol>*Tip:&nbsp; It's&nbsp;best to keep the pastry and custard separate until ready to serve to prevent the cream puff from getting soggy.&nbsp; </blockquote>Next time, I'm going to try this with chocolate and banana pudding mix.&nbsp; <br /><br />Enjoy!<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-5095201729569830791?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com12tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-9088729288285448982.post-28452148994614766702011-01-12T19:48:00.000-08:002011-03-21T06:13:23.258-07:00Potato Broccoli Cheddar SoupIt snowed last night here in the northeast (again).&nbsp; I personally would be happy not to see anymore snow this winter.&nbsp; But the kids absolutely love it.&nbsp; <br /><br />While the gang enjoyed the white blanket outside, I surveyed our fridge to figure out what to make for lunch.&nbsp;&nbsp; I thought something hot and hearty was in order on a day like this.<br /><br />I found some broccoli, potatoes, onions, and cheese.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TS50e4q0xVI/AAAAAAAA6lE/5QxO_rAeDXk/s1600/potatobroccoliingredients3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="420" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TS50e4q0xVI/AAAAAAAA6lE/5QxO_rAeDXk/s640/potatobroccoliingredients3.jpg" width="540" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ what's for lunch? }</td></tr></tbody></table><span id="goog_94556849"></span><span id="goog_94556850"></span><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Hmm.&nbsp; What to do with these?&nbsp; And then it dawned on me:&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TS5qzT0O8AI/AAAAAAAA6ko/Q53o9ld73fU/s1600/potatobroccolisoup4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="380" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TS5qzT0O8AI/AAAAAAAA6ko/Q53o9ld73fU/s640/potatobroccolisoup4.jpg" width="540" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">{ warm-you-right-to-the-bone potato broccoli soup }</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>I found <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/potato-broccoli-soup-recipe-7939" target="blank">a great recipe for potato broccoli soup from Delish.com</a> to work from and made some modifications.&nbsp; What I really liked about this recipe is that it didn't let the broccoli stems go to waste!&nbsp; All the other recipes I glanced at only used the broccoli florets.<br /><br />The slight changes I made to the recipe include frying the vegetables in olive oil first, adding whole milk (you can also use heavy cream), using cheddar cheese instead of parmesan (I actually only had Mexican blend on hand but would have preferred to use solely cheddar), and garnishing with bacon bits.&nbsp; You can obviously tell I don't believe in skimping on the fat.&nbsp; However, if you are watching your diet, the recipe as-is on Delish.com is probably a healthier option.<br /><br />When the family came in from the frigid cold, they were very delighted to see hot, homemade soup cooking on the stove.&nbsp; Served with three-cheese seminola bread, it totally hit the spot and warmed them right to the bone.<br /><blockquote><span style="font-size: large;"><b>Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup</b></span> <br />Adapted from <a href="http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/potato-broccoli-soup-recipe-7939">Delish.com</a>; Serves 4<br /><br /><b>Ingredients</b><br /><br />1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil <br />2 tablespoons butter<br />1 onion, chopped<br />1 3/4 pounds broccoli, thick stems diced (about 2 cups), tops cut into small florets (about 1 quart)<br />5 medium-sized red potatoes, diced <br />3 cups chicken broth <br />1 cup whole milk<br />1 teaspoon salt<br />1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper<br />1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese <br />2 pieces bacon, fried and diced (for garnish) <br /><br /><b>Directions</b><br /><ol><li>In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.&nbsp; Add butter, potatoes, onions, and broccoli stems.&nbsp; Sautee for 5-10 minutes until onions turn golden brown. </li><li>Add broth, milk, salt, and pepper. &nbsp;&nbsp; Bring to a boil.&nbsp; Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes. </li><li>In a food processor or blender, pulse the soup to a coarse puree.&nbsp; Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. &nbsp; Add the broccoli florets and simmer until they are tender, about 5 minutes. &nbsp; Stir 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese into the soup, and serve the soup topped with the remaining cheese.&nbsp; Sprinkle bacon bits on top.</li></ol></blockquote><br />Hope you're all staying warm out there and getting to enjoy the snow a bit like these guys:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TR657tMW7_I/AAAAAAAA6kE/ycTlxgKpG64/s1600/2011-01-01.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="350" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XyunG66FDno/TR657tMW7_I/AAAAAAAA6kE/ycTlxgKpG64/s640/2011-01-01.jpg" width="540" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/9088729288285448982-2845214899461476670?l=www.eaternalbliss.com' alt='' /></div>Rachelhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16672650939075009566noreply@blogger.com10