Friday, December 28, 2007

The Cake My Mama Made

So this one was not made by me. But it was so fabulous, and my mom, who did make it, said it was super easy. So, I thought it was worthy of mention on this blog.

I believe my Grandpa named this creation "Christmas Fantasy Cake", so we'll go with that. To make it, get yourself a Duncan Hines devil's food cake mix and whip up two round layer cakes according to the package directions. Once they are cool, carefully split those suckers in half so you have 4 very thin round chocolate cake layers. While you're doing all the splitting business, leave a half gallon of peppermint ice cream out on the counter to soften up. When it's slightly melty. build the cake up - chocolate layer, peppermint ice cream, chocolate layer, etc. until you have a giant cake tower. For the outside, my mom used whipped cream, but I think frosting or pudding mixed with cool whip would all work just fine.

For the final flourish, mom put candy canes and a little melted chocolate on for decoration. It's a pretty quick, yet tasty and impressive holiday dessert!
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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Li'l Bites of Heaven

I have been fortunate enough to attend a couple cookie exchanges in the past week, and I am here to share with you the most fabulous cookie of 2007. Now, the cookie tasting was judged by me, of course, so you might think that the title of Most Fabulous Cookie is being awarded a little subjectively. You would be right. But I strongly believe that if you don't like this cookie then you are an alien and therefore I don't think you should be reading this blog anyway. So there.

Ok, here it is: Oreo Snowballs.

This cookie has exactly three ingredients. And that is all it needs to achieve its fabulosity. Take an entire package of Oreos and crush them. I had to laugh at the "pull-off tab" at the top of the Oreos Jason bought for me. Like, if you need access to the entire package of Oreos immediately without the hassle of cutting the end and pulling out the little tray, then this tab is genius. But if you're like most people and don't eat the entire package all at once, it seems pretty silly. Anyway, I digress.

Crush the entire pack of cookies, creme centers and all. The person who gave me this recipe recommended using the blender. I found that to take a long time, and I had to keep emptying out the crushed cookies at the bottom of the blender so it didn't clog up the blade. I think a baggie and rolling pin might work just as well. But you do want them to have the texture of good garden dirt. No chunks, because it will take away from the oreo cheesecake texture you're trying to achieve.

After the cookies are crushed, chop an 8 oz. block of softened cream cheese (full fat, because it's CHRISTMAS!) and dump the cookie crumbs in a bowl with the cream cheese chunks. Take off your rings and squish it all together. And if you want anyone to eat them afterwards, wash your hands first.

Chill that mixture for a couple hours, then take it out and form small balls with it. I used a heaping teaspoon for each ball and came out with about 35 of them.

Chill your balls for another hour or two, then take about 16 oz. of almond bark and melt it. Dip your balls in the almond bark and put them on a sheet of waxed paper to cool. I sprinkled some colorful sprinkles on the ones I'm bringing to Maya's preschool, and some white sugar over the tops of a few others. I left a few plain, just for some variety. I only melted 12 oz. of almond bark when I made mine, and as you can see, I was just a little short. So 16 oz. should be plenty to create 35 perfect balls.

After the almost bark cools into hard little shells on each one, they're ready to eat.

Good luck not eating all 35 of them yourself!
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our Christmas Card

Sorry I haven't posted lately...I've been too busy making Christmas crafts to talk about them! Okay, and like, working and parenting too. Anyway. here are our Christmas cards this year. I actually started working on these back in July with Eva. Bob was in Texas at a workshop and we needed a good project. She helped me punch circles and stars and then stamp the inside of the cards. I think we got 10 done. Only 70 more to go...which we did in little dribs and drabs of weekend time, finishing shortly after Thanksgiving. This is a very simple idea I saw a picture of in The Look Book (scrapbooking idea book) that I made even simpler. Just free cut some triangles for the trees and trunks, punched some circles (which I stapled to the tree) and stars (which I adhered with tape runner). I made a background of patterned paper and ribbon to put the trees on and stamped "Happy Holidays!" inside. Look for one in a mailbox near you. However, it probably won't look just like this one. I made these entirely out of scraps...the leftover pieces of paper I save after making a scrapbook no two cards were really alike. It was eco-friendly, less expensive and kind of neat to see little pieces of the past year brought together for our Christmas cards!