And yesterday we enjoyed an ice cream social at work…yep, it’s been a good week for desserts!
Our Christmas cards (another Ryan Molloy original!) are in the mail and, short of treating myself to a glass of soy eggnog, I am ready…bring on the Christmas! I’ve got a whole box of holiday movies ready to be watched; here’s a few of my favorites…
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – There’s no shortage of hilarious scenes, like…”Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?“
- Meet Me in St. Louis – This gets me every time… (and the scene in The Family Stone too)
- Love Actually – Hugh Grant dancing!
- Elf – “You sit on a throne of lies.”
Thinking of doing some holiday baking?
- Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallows
- Candy Cane Peppermint and White Chocolate Swirl Cake
- These all look good!
- Christmas Morning Muffins
Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays!
We filled our weekend with some holiday shopping, picked up some beautiful Amaryllis and satsumas, saw the Wayne County Lightfest and the Walk of Trees in Plymouth, stopped in Dundee at River Raisin, bowling with friends, and we finally made that peppermint bark.
The peppermint bark turned out great! We melted dark chocolate to make the first layer, let it dry, then melted and added white chocolate (both with some peppermint oil added) for the second layer, topped it with crushed candy canes, and then drizzled it all with white and dark chocolate. Yum!!!
…pies, that is; we took our first crack at making whoopie pies over the weekend and they turned out great. Full disclosure – it was a box mix, but the fact that we had to add our own fresh ingredients, combine them all, and then bake and assemble these ourselves justifies our calling these homemade in my opinion.
- I’m not sure what this says about me, but Songza has a playlist called “Grandpa’s Naptime” that I rather enjoy.
- I discovered a new-to-me song/band this week – Michigan by The Milk Carton Kids.
- A simple, easy pasta dinner at home with a good glass of red wine and homemade whoopie pies for dessert.
- Ryan dancing in the kitchen.
- Helix marathon, on my couch, under my electric blanket, in front of the fireplace.
- Sending Valentine’s Day cards in the mail.
- Yellow parrot tulips, white alstroemeria, and yellow daffodils in my house this week.
I had no idea there were so many named Keebler Elves and that one of them, Roger, is a jeweler. Why do the Keebler Elves need a jeweler? Some of them have names that make a little more sense to me, given their occupation, like Fast Eddie here; Fast Eddie wrapped the products, of course…and I’m willing to bet he wrapped them fast.
I enjoyed a beautiful Saturday morning at Dexter Blueberry Farm with friends. July is blueberry time in Michigan; they are delicious and available at local farmer’s markets and farms all over the area. A couple weeks ago, we made a blueberry tart with this recipe and it turned out pretty great, especially considering we’d never made a tart before.
If you’re in Ann Arbor on a Wednesday afternoon, do yourself a favor and stop by the Farmer’s Market and visit the Flour Lab booth. Buy something, eat it, and you will not be dissapointed. Seriously, this stuff is so beautiful and so good it’ll make you want to cry…in a good way!
Tomorrow is Ryan’s birthday and we had a pre-celebration with a cheeseburger cake last night. When we saw this in the dessert case at Whole Foods, we couldn’t pass it up – it’s a cake…that looks like a cheeseburger! And we just so happened to be grilling hot dogs & bratwurst for dinner, so it had to go home with us. Wimpy would have been proud; Wimpy loves his hamburgers. Mmmmm, delicious cheeseburger cake…
Ryan bought me a Zoku Quick Pop™ Maker for Christmas & I love it! It’s easy to use & I love that you can create your own recipes that are both healthy & dairy-free – it’s also nice to know exactly what’s going into your frozen treats…with the right ingredients, you can be sure there are no artificial sweeteners, color, etc. Last night we decided to give it a whirl & made some delicious eggnog popsicles by combining soy eggnog, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, & sprinkling in some crushed cereal bits for crunch – yum!
The Zoku blog has recipes & there is a recipe book available for purchase as well. We decided to wing it for our first try & it turned out good; after all, Ryan is a master at winging it & having things turn out great.
Here’s a bit of cupcake porn for those who read this blog. Just some simple easy to make minty, chocolatey chip-y, vegan, gluten-free cupcakes for you to enjoy.
The recipe follows Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World‘s basic chocolate cupcake recipe. Instead of regular flour substitute gluten-free all-purpose baking flour and a little extra tapioca flour (no more than a tablespoon). Go with the chocolate extract option for the additional extract and I also added a bit of mint extract (1/2 teaspoon) as well. For the icing I followed the directions for mint icing from the book but left out the green food coloring; I wanted to go for the classic peppermint look. Paint thin stripes of red gel food coloring inside a piping bag, 2-3 are all that is needed, then add the icing in to frost. Nothing fancy here other than a few simple substitutions.