Monday, October 22, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Serves: 8-10


3 pounds cubed stew meat or in my case, since they were out, boneless short ribs - cut into cubes.
2 8oz packages of whole button or cremini mushrooms - cut into quarters
2 cans Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can of beef broth
1 onion diced
4 Tbls of Worcestershire sauce
8 oz of cream cheese- reserved
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbls garlic powder and  Paprika
1/2 tsp of cayenne powder
Fresh parsley for garnish
1 packages egg noodles


In the slow cooker stir in all the ingredients, except the meat AND the Cream Cheese, together. Once combined add the meat and mix together.

Cook on Low for 8 hours. Cut up the cream cheese into cubes just before serving and turn crockpot on high. Stir the cream cheese in until all combined, leave for 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and serve.

Serve over egg noodles, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Serves: 8-10

I recently had a dinner party, and decided to make a bunch of new recipes from scratch. Tiramisu is one of my all time favorite desserts, and having never made it, I thought I would give it a try. 

Its also the first time I have used marscapone cheese in a recipe, and I can tell you that it is NOT similar to cream cheese, like I've so often heard, it is BETTER! All that creamy deliciousness, smooth texture, and NONE of that sour aftertaste you get from cream cheese.
I. Am. In. Love!

I also couldn't find regular ladyfingers at my local grocery store, and out of frustration bought butter cookies, and aside from not soaking them long enough (A few ended up too hard when serving) they were delicious!

  • 5 whole Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup Plus 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3/4 cups Marsala Wine
  • 2 cups Whipping (heavy) Cream
  • 1 pound Mascarpone Cheese, Softened (Room Temperature)
  • 1-1/2 cup Brewed Espresso
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 4 packages Ladyfingers or Butter Shortbread cookies
  • Cocoa Powder, For Dusting
  • 1 bar semi-sweet baking chocolate for curls on top

Preparation Instructions

In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Find a mixing bowl that will fit over the top of the pan, but not sink all the way in. 

Put 5 egg yolks into the mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup sugar and whisk until yolks start to turn pale. Place the mixing bowl on the saucepan with the simmering water. Slowly add 1/2 cup Marsala wine and whisk to combine. Cook over the simmering water, and use a rubber spatula to scrape the pan. Cook until thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool. You just made something called zabaglione, and it is delicious served warm over fruit, on top of cakes, pies, ice cream, you name it!

Place mascarpone cheese in a bowl and mix until smooth. Remove from mixer, and in a clean mixing bowl, combine whipping cream and remaining 4 tablespoons sugar and whip. 

To the bowl of whipped cream, add the softened mascarpone cheese and the chilled zabaglione. Fold mixture gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Measure 1 ½ cups brewed espresso. Add remaining Marsala and vanilla. 

Arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer in an upside down cake stand (did you know they could do that?) or a trifle dish if you have one. The point is to see the pretty layers, but if you don't care use a cake pan...

Dunk each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture (let it saturate) and then place in layers. Then spoon a small amount of the coffee mixture over each ladyfinger until it looks like they can't absorb anymore liquid.

Plop 1/3 of the cold cream/mascarpone/zabaglione mixture on top and spread it into a layer. Dust each layer with cocoa powder. Repeat the process two more times.  Then grate or cut curls of semi sweet chocolate over the top to look fancy.

Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving. To serve, spoon out helpings onto individual plates.

Note: Tiramisu does not last beyond 36 hours, as everything eventually starts to break down and become soupy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Burlap and Lace Ring Bearer Pillows

Burlap and Lace Ring Bearer Pillows

As many of you soon to be brides are aware, ring bearer pillows tend to fall into two categories - cheesy or super expense. Often these categories are not mutually exclusive either.

Going for my rustic mountain wedding theme, and taking inspiration from websites like etsy and pintrest I decided I would just make my own pillows, and I think they came out really awesome.

I guess I would technically be lying if I said that I mad ethe pillows, I pretty much just made the pillow cases and decorated them. I found some cheap white ring bearer pillows at walmart and used them as my pillow.

The first thing I discovered is that you could see the white pillow through the burlap fabric, so I took an old tan pillow case and cut it up to cover the white pillow.

I pinned it where it needed to be, and then buzzed it though the sewing machine.

Nothing pretty - but you'll never see it anyways.

Then I took my burlap fabric and pinned it around the pillow as well. At this point you can pull the pillow out, saving you the headache of trying to sew holding a pillow, or you can be crazy lazy like me and force the pillow right through the machine. No liabilities on my part if that doesn't work out for you :-)

Because I was making a fringe like border around my pillows I found that I had enough space to pull it though my machine with the pillow inside.

Thats what she looked like!

Then to fray- burlap is essentially bands of thick weaved fabric that criss-cross eachother in opposing directions, so start with one direction and pull the long string of fabric out, do this until you have enough width of fray, then take out the other sides, creating your rustic burlap pillow.

See, doesnt she look great?

Then I found some really nice looking fabric lace flowers online, quick stiched them to the center of the pillow, and also stiched a long piece of twine in the center to the pillow (between the flowers) to hold the rings.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Homemade Hot Chocolate
Makes: 4 servings

I have to honestly say that I have never in my life thought about making my own hot chocolate, but when the weather began to dip this week I felt a craving for some hot chocolate, having none, I began researching recipes to see if I had the necessary ingredients on hand.

I was lucky, finding that I did indeed have everything I would need, and you probably do too. I only use regular 1/2&1/2 in my coffee each morning so I always have that on hand, it helps cool the hot chocolate and provides a rich creamy texture that is unlike any packet hot chocolate you have ever drank, but if you don't have any around just substitute with cold milk.


1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cold half-and-half cream, or more to cool hot chocolate to drinking temp.

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir.

 Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! 

Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.