Monday, December 28, 2009

Caramel Brownies

Since I'm away from our computer, it's not convenient for me to do any "regular" posts. However, I do have a couple of recipes I can share!

Caramel Brownies

Makes 32 brownies
Prep 30 minutes
Microwave 2 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chunks
1 package (14 oz) soft caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.

In large microwave-safe bowl, melt together butter and chocolate in microwave oven for 2 minutes; stir until smooth.
Whisk in eggs, sugar, flour & vanilla.
Stir in pecans.
Spread half the batter into prepared pan.
Sprinkle with 1 cup chocolate chunks.

In medium-size saucepan, melt together caramels and heavy cream over medium-low heat until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Evenly pour over batter in pan.
Spread with remaining batter.
Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup chocolate chunks.

Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes until top is dry to the touch.
Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Grab foil & lift brownie from pan.
Cut into squares and serve.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Ride

Bryan nor I got a new car, but Marlie did! When my parents were here for Bryan's change of command, they decided to give Marlie her Christmas present early. I think she was in shock when she saw her new Barbie jeep for the first time. Our neighbor's son has a similar jeep so M was familiar with how they work. I just think she didn't know what to do with one of her own. They have a real radio so she has been content to sit in it and just listen to the radio for the most part.
Last week I got a few pictures of M & her friend Kaylee going for a ride. K didn't mind doing the driving but she likes it hands free. I'd get them set up on a good straight path and they'd cruise until I had to turn them around in the other direction.
Thanks Nana & Pop!


Notice M's feet in this picture

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spinach & Artichoke Ring

Here's the recipe for the ring I took to the potluck that I mentioned yesterday.

Spinach & Artichoke Ring

1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package (4 oz) crumbled feta cheesee
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons (1/2 oz) grated fresh parmesan
2 pkgs refrigerated crescent rolls

1. Preheat over to 375F. In bowl, combine artichokes, spinach, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, bell pepper, mayonnaise, garlic and black pepper. Mix will.

2. Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle with wide ends overlapping in the center and points toward the outside.

3. Scoop filling evenly over shape. Bring outside points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center. Filling WILL NOT be completely covered.. Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mint Chocolate Truffle Cookies


Last Monday I organized a cookie exchange and potluck for the families of the battery. I made Mint Chocolate Truffle Cookies and a Spinach Artichoke Ring. The cookies are perfect for the Christmas season.

Mint Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 2 hr 27 min
Makes: Makes about 3-1/2 doz.

6 squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/3 cup crushed candy canes

MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until well blended after each addition. Add combined flour and baking powder; mix well. (Dough will be very soft.) Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

HEAT oven to 350°F. Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place, 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets.

BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until tops are set. (Do not overbake.) Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy. Cool 1 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

** I would recommend sprinkling the candy on a few minutes before the cookies are done rather than at the end.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sesame Street Live

On December 5th we took Marlie to her first show of any kind. We saw Sesame Street Live's production of 1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo & Friends. The show was at 1030am in Nashville and lasted about an hour and a half which was perfect timing for us. Marlie was mesmerized by the show and we loved to see her it enjoy it so much. Bryan also bought M a slushie, and I think she enjoyed it as much as the show!

Ready for the show to start


Abby Cadaby, Big Bird & Elmo


Working hard on that slushie


Looking at the $10 Elmo balloons that had floated to the top of the auditorium (We did not buy any of those!)


More of the Sesame Street friends

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Change of Command

We had to hurry back to Campbell after Thanksgiving to prepare for Monday. On 30 November, Bryan took command of Alpha Battery, 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment. Our friend, Danny, had been in command of Alpha Battery so it was fun to share the ceremony with him, Kelly & Emily. After the ceremony, we had a small reception before Bryan had to return to work. The battery went out into the field for a 2 week training exercise the next day so he had no choice but to dive right in!
Right after the ceremony


Kelly & I coordinated without even trying!


Being welcomed by the soldiers


The HUGE cake that the soldiers easily devoured!


The closest thing we've had to a good family picture lately - therefore it's our Christmas card!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thanksgiving

I'm way behind again, so I'll try to use the next few posts to catch up. The day before Thanksgiving we hit the road to Georgia. Marlie must have been excited about seeing our family because she once again refused to nap on the ride!
On Thursday we had lunch with my family and were able to spend some more time with my cousins that evening. On Saturday we had lunch with Bryan's family before we had to get on the road again.
Here are just a few pictures I took on Thanksgiving Day.
Casey (plus baby) & I


The turkey hangover!


M & Aiden They don't get to see each other much so it took them a bit to warm up to one another. By the end of the night they were having a great time together!