Sunday, December 31, 2006

If you like pina colada's...

Here's what's on the menu for our rockin' New Year's Eve bash.. Virgin Pina Colada's and Chinese Dumplings. For the Pina Colada's:

1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 c. - 1/2c. cream of coconut
6 scoops pineapple sherbet
ice -optional
fresh pineapple - optional

Blend in the blender, pour and garnish with fresh pineapple wedges, a cherry, and a paper umbrella(a must). Makes about 3 cups.

Now for the dumplings. My sister-in-law, Tiffany gave me this recipe and they are wicked tasty. They are a bit time consuming, and make a LOT, so if you are not feeding an army, make half. I figure this is a good thing to make once a year since it takes a big chunk of time to fill all of these babies. Definitely worth the time.

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c. minced cabbage
2 1/2 c. minced garlic
1/4 c. minced onion
2 1/2 t. minced ginger root
1 t. salt
1 egg

2 pkgs. wonton wrappers

Mix all of the above except wrappers, and saute in skillet, until meat is browned. Fill each wrapper according to package directions. Boil, steam or fry dumplings until done. Makes about 100, that's right, 100.

Dipping Sauce:

1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar

Blend well and dip dumplings as you eat. This sauce is a must for these dumplings. So good. Happy New Year everyone! Cheers!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Festivus For the Rest of Us

While most of you are giving careful thought to the coming new year and said resolutions, I am thinking that it is time for the airing of grievances. No better way to start the new year off than with a little axe grinding, right??!! Once you get it all off your chest, then you can move on in a more positive direction and run that marathon with gusto, or wake up on time every day, or eat healthy, or whatever your resolve may be. So, I've let this little grievance of mine go, brushing it off as no big deal for years now, but still definitely at the top of the list of pet peeves of mine, until today...I can stand it no longer, it's CALL WAITING. Basically, what it boils down to is're talking to some person on the phone, then someone beeps in, the person you are talking to says, "I've gotta go or hold on, SOMEONE is on the other line." Translation: I'd really rather talk to that PERSON than you now, so I gotta go. Rudeness. I refuse to sit on hold while they check to see if they would rather talk to me or the other PERSON. I almost always hang up when they leave me hanging. I'm fine to sit on hold for the doctor/hotel reservations etc. because they are busy people and that is what you do at a business, you put people on hold. But friends do not put friends on hold...I mean really, you can't miss a call??!! The thing that got me all jazzed about this today, because like I said, I had let it go long ago, but today a friend put my daughter on hold! The nerve! Oh no you din't just put my daughter on hold! Am I just a lunatic? Maybe there are advantages to call waiting, it can get you out of many a boring phone conversations. At any rate, I don't mean to be disrespectful to any of my readers who may have call waiting...I am sure there are very good reasons for having the call waiting option installed to your phone line that I have not thought of and I will find myself eating these words in a minute...hold on...just after I take this call...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Creme Brulee French Toast

This is good for breakfast, sometimes I make it on Christmas morning. I have altered it a little using egg nog and it is even better, I think. I use half egg nog and half of the half and half plus 1 or 2 eggs and leave out the Grand Marnier( I usually don't have any on hand) but do add the vanilla. You can leave it over night to soak or just make it up and cook that morning and it works just fine. Grate a little fresh nutmeg on top if you like. Yum-o.

If you like egg nog, you should also try these. My friend, Megan made these last year for a cookie exchange and I thought they were amazing. The texture is perfect, soft and dense, full of egg nog flavor. I can't get enough of them! Go get yourself some egg nog.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Time to...

This is how I feel today...

Friday, December 15, 2006


This is what our Christmas dinner looks like, well not really, but this is one of the components, Varkenshaas. Varken - are probably saying??!! It really is just a way to say pork tenderloin in a mustard cream sauce. Don't let the name fool you, it's easy to make and is a taste sensation! It's especially good when you are all ham and turkey'd out after the holidays. My kids go crazy for it, requesting it everytime I ask them what I should make for dinner. Really, we just like to say the name...VARKENSHAAS... Barkin' Josh, Soph n' sauce...try it!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mmmmmmm Good!

I love to make this Dark Hot Fudge Sauce at Christmas and give to friends and neighbors. It is especially good atop peppermint ice cream and a brownie, or on a spoon all by itself straight from the jar.


Love these jammies. Love it at Thomas Pink.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Holiday Cheer

Everytime I see snowman cakes at this time of year, I am reminded of a time when I discovered what was REALLY inside of those cakes. It was the first grade holiday party at school. The class mother had brought the biggest, most delicious looking snowman cake to the party. All the kids were oohing and aahing over this cake...we couldn't wait to dive in. Come to find out, the cake would be divided up and awarded to the three winners of the party games. All hopes were dashed. Well, lucky for me, I happened to win one of the games. I was the luckiest winner because I got the biggest part of the cake, the bottom part. It was boxed up and sent home with me to enjoy with my family (or not!) Those poor kids in my class who didn't win any of it, too bad for them I thought! Well, I run home, careful not to shake my snowman and crush him to crumbs, "this is going to be sooooo good," I think to myself. The anticipation is killing me..."hurry Mom, get a knife, cut this cake...I won it at school!!!!" My Mom gets out the knife and cuts into it for mouth drops, the tears start spraying's not a cake's a...a....I can't even say it now without my blood's a grapefruit! A big, fat, stinking, frosted grapefruit! I was outraged...who does that to a kid??!! Who frosts a bunch of citrus fruit and presents it as a snowman cake at a party full of kids??!! That has got to be the cruelest trick ever pulled on children at a time when no trick playing should be allowed. I hope she got coal in her stocking that year and every year since...I have not completely recovered from this event, as you can see. If I ever see that lady again...she is going to get more than grapefruit in the eye from me! Nothing like a little grapefruit to brighten a child's Christmas, eh? The one time I actually win something in my entire life and it is a lousy grapefruit. I didn't eat it, but I am sure my Mom did.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Have you had these? You are missing out if you haven't. These are little Brazilian delicacies that are pure chocolatey, caramel-y goodness. A family friend who used to live in Brazil introduced me to these years ago, and when I asked her for the recipe she really gave me the run around. She bribed me! She told me if I stayed friends with her daughter forever, she would give me the recipe. No problemo, I had to have the recipe, even if her daughter was a pain. Needless to say, I kept my end of the deal and she kept up her end. I now have the recipe and although I can never get them to turn out right, I keep trying, because they are just delectable eaten straight out of the bowl! Here is the recipe:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 T. butter
3 T. cocoa powder

Boil the can of sweetened condensed milk in the can for 3 hours. Now I know this method is no longer recommended because of the serious hazards, so use your judgement, you can also cook it in the oven out of the can or over the stove top. Commom sense caution: If you do boil it in the can, don't open the can until it is completely cool and don't blame me if you get into trouble here, you've been warned. So, after you do that, pour the sweetened condensed milk into a pot, add butter and cocoa and stir over medium heat. Now this is the part where I mess up. Perhaps I don't cook it long enough or maybe I cook it too long, but after this step you are supposed to roll into balls. It is really sticky, so put butter on your hands. I still have trouble here, so I usually roll a few, roll into sprinkles/jimmies(is there a difference?) and then grab a spoon and start eating it out of the pot. Put into little candy cups if you make it that far.

You are probably asking yourself," Why did she post this recipe if it is a flop"? The truth is, they really are worth a shot and I believe there must be somebody out there who knows how to make them turn out right and then you can help me. Maybe my friend's Mom tricked me and didn't give me the exact recipe for fear that I would take the recipe and run?

In a few recipes I have seen that the sweetened condensed milk is not cooked prior to the second cooking, it just suggests to cook it all at once. Maybe that is my problem? I'll let you know after I try this method. You should also note that they can be rolled into sugar, coconut, nuts, or little white non-pareils or rainbow sprinkles, but I highly recommend the chocolate sprinkles, especially these.

So, try them, they really are not as much work as they seem and they make great little somethings to give to your friends/neighbors at this holiday time. And if they don't work, just heat and pour over some ice cream.