Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pure yumminess

I don't even know if yumminess is a word. Well, according to my spell check it isn't. Which is really sad because it should be. We should use the word yumminess as often as possible. Especially when referring to a new treat I discovered and will soon be making. I present to you the Peppermint Oreo Ball. Just the name alone conveys an amazing treat. It brings to mind some of the best things in life: Oreos, peppermint and chocolate. Seriously, what more could you want? Nothing. I promise you. Nothing.

Yesterday a student brought me a bag with two chocolate covered balls. She was so excited to tell me about this treat she made the night before and wanted me to try them. I figured great another treat a parent made me for the holidays. That's fine with me because I love sugar (doesn't do much for my whole weight loss so I can have a baby but hey it tastes good and it's Christmas). Well, I bit into one during my first planning period and was amazed by the yumminess. All of these incredible flavors at once. It's a truffle but even better. The Oreos get soft from being crushed and mixed with cream cheese and crushed candy canes. And the chocolate coating adds to the wonderfulness. Here I go inventing words again. Oh well. I think I scared the girls who were working on poetry in my classroom because I got so excited. It was the best thing I ever tasted. Apart from a really good steak, the first time I tried chilaquiles etc. I quickly devoured the other one. And then shared with anyone at school who would listen how amazing they were. I apologize to those of you who had to listen to me yesterday but they were incredible.

The best part is that I asked the little girl for the recipe. She went home to ask her mom and brought back to more wonderful balls of yumminess today. She said I could share with my husband. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. I ate them at 10:30 this morning. And I now have the recipe. I cannot wait to make these yummy treats. I will have to share them because if I don't there's no way I'm going to lose the weight I need to! So spread the yumminess and look forward to when I make these Peppermint Oreo balls in the next few days!

I also finished the marshmallows yesterday and guess what? They look and taste like marshmallows. Except even better! As someone at school said "They taste so much creamier!" And I love the mint I put in them. Can't wait to give them out as Christmas gifts to all my wonderful friends and family! I have to make another batch next week. I made pretzels tonight so now I have my goody bags ready to go. I just need to take a picture so you can see the cute tins!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Peppermint Marshmallows

Well, I did it! I doubted myself a few times during the process but I made marshmallows. We'll see the final results tomorrow after I cut them but they look and taste pretty good! I was shocked at how easy they were to make and cheap for the most part. So now I have a cute Christmas gift for people and a hungry husband. Good thing he said it was ok.

I didn't mean to not make dinner but I came home from teaching Spanish class around 6 and went to work. Only halfway through did I realize that dinner might be a good idea. Oh well, that can happen another day right? Hardest part of this? Using the candy thermometer. I would suggest mixing in food coloring gel. I tried but didn't quite get the hang of it. After that I made some hot chocolate mix and put it in cute little tins. I realized I made a cute inexpensive gift for lots of people! I have to brag a little cause it's not every day I figure out how to do something this cool. Tomorrow I make the pretzels and then the gift giving begins. I'm going to have to find a way to make this up to my dear husband. He's being so patient with me while I do all of this work that he doesn't even get to enjoy. He did taste the marshmallow mix and was impressed.
Here's the marshmallows in the pan. They'll sit overnight and tomorrow I shall cut them! Pretty good for a girl who's mother was afraid her little girl would burn down the apartment in college. I have a few scares in the kitchen as a teenager and my mother thinks I'm ruined for life as a cook. I disagree. It made me work harder to see what I could do. I'll post the finished product tomorrow and then pretzels and everything all bundled up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Piratas del Caribe and pretzels

Yep that's the title for this post. Because I'm learning to change some of my Christmas traditions and add new ones to the mix. Like new holiday movies my husband likes (I'm now addicted to The Family Stone), new foods (tamales anyone?) and celebrating on Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day.

My wonderful husband had the day off yesterday and again today. Well, he was hoping to go fishing one of the two days and it just didn't work out for him. Instead, he spent the day yesterday putting up Christmas lights outside. We had already put them on the bushes but not the rest of the house. I had a very long day at work yesterday and then an appointment for my hair. Didn't get home until around 8 by which time he had called 4 or 5 times to make sure I hadn't died! Actually, he wanted his hamburger from Burger King so he was dying of hunger. As soon as I got near our street, I literally screamed in excitement because I saw the lights. It seems silly but no one else on our court puts up lights so they were like a beacon shining for me. And knowing that I got to sleep in a whole hour today due to a doctors appointment I was excited.

I bought the Smurf movie and the new Pirates movie last weekend for us to enjoy in the little free time we have. And we did enjoy Smurfs twice this weekend. Once in Spanish and once in English. Last night he decides to put in Pirates since we knew we could sleep in a little this morning. Yes I speak Spanish and yes I read it and write. However, it doesn't mean I always understand everything in movies. I got the Smurfs no problem. But the language in Pirates is a little more sophisticated. So I think I lost half the movie. I'm going to have to watch it again in English at some point so I can truly appreciate Johnny Depp's voice. Hearing it in Spanish just isn't the same. Old people that we are, we turned the movie off at 10 so we could go to bed. Finished it today after the incredibly long doctors visit. Which was also excellent. We feel much more on track and happier with what's going on in our lives after that appointment. I'll be explaining that more in future posts if all goes according to plan. Hubby has decided to make the Pirates movies a tradition at Christmas. ummmmmm Not sure if those are Christmas movies but hey whatever works right?

I decided to add to it by making chocolate covered pretzels. I couldn't go simple of course. I decided to make some cute plain dipped ones and then I upped the ante. Spread some peanut butter on those, sandwich them together and dunk it in chocolate! To die for!  I mean it! You need to try this. And they look cute so I have something else to add to the Christmas goody bags. Plus they go great while watching Pirates! The only downside of today was not finding cornstarch or unflavored gelatin. Seriously? I went to 3 stores and no one had them. Not only that but I was given weird looks by people who worked at all of the stores. I think I need to look at new stores. I am determined to make these marshmallows and cocoa mix but I need all the ingredients in order to do so. I shall be pondering this while I sleep tonight.

I promise to post pics once I start baking in full force. Maybe if I share this blog with the parents of my students they'll forgive me for not getting any grades recorded this month! They can enjoy the recipes instead.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I love December! Everyone is so much happier and people are friendlier. Plus my husband and I love listening to Christmas music. I think he started singing it in September. When I was driving to work the week before Thanksgiving, I heard them announce on the radio they were going to start playing Christmas music all day on Friday. I called my husband and he panicked because I never call on my way to work. Of course after I told him the news, he kept asking if it was Friday yet. So if you're in a car with us during this time of year, I really hope you like Christmas music. Cause when the commercials start on the radio, we switch to a cd.

This month always gets me thinking. It's the end of a year and time to look at ways to grow and improve. How can I become closer to Christ? How can I improve my friendships and relationships? What do I want to do in the upcoming year? I look at our Christmas tree. Yes It's a bit crooked. Well, more than a bit but it's beautiful. And underneath we have our Nativity scene. Christmas really is about Christ. I was in the MTC at the beginning of December in 2007, and read an article in the Ensign about reading a chapter from the book of Luke every day until Christmas Eve. That's something I've continued every year. It's a humbling experience to read about the death of Christ and His Resurrection the closer we get to Christmas. I think the miracle of Christ's birth was the fact that He chose to do this for us. He chose to be born and chose to die. At the same time, He had the power to be resurrected. And because of His birth, we are able to be resurrected. We are freed from sin by repentance. We can grow and learn. We have the opportunity to choose what we will become. So throughout this month, I'm going to be busy baking and busy thinking of Christ. I plan to find a way each day to become closer to Him.

If you live close to a temple and they have a visitors center, go! We're planning to go at least once this season to look at the lights, watch the Nativity and walk around. It brings a different spirit to the season.

I know I have a long way to go in improving but I plan to do it. I can't do it over night and I can't do it without help but I will do it. Through Christ all things are possible.

"Estos son dias de felicidad. Canta que viene ya la Navidad. Cuenta la historia de lo que paso cuando Jesus en el mundo nacio"

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's been awhile

The title says it all. Not to say I haven't been cooking or keeping up with life cause I most certainly have. Merely that life has gotten me a little too involved to be blogging. Keeping up with grades for my students is one thing. So is dealing with some personal issues like mental illness.

This is a wonderful time of year! There are so many things to celebrate and be grateful for. Yep I ended a sentence with a preposition even though I would never let my students do that! But this is my writing and it's not being graded so I can do what I want right? Just don't tell them that!

I spent a few weeks being obsessed with dump cakes. My husband turns out, doesn't like them. Meaning: I get to eat all the leftovers!!!! I forgot how wonderful pie filling, cake mix and two sticks of butter tastes when you bake it. That's all there is to it. Anyone can make a dump cake.

Another thing on my mind has been presents. I've decided to make sweets for people this year. I figure it can't be too hard, just time consuming is all. With my husband working Saturdays lately, that gives me plenty of time to bake and catch up on the shows I record during the week. My plan this year is to make homemade marshmallows. If you're a recipient of these, please humor me and tell me how good they are. Even if they aren't. I'm hoping they will be, and in the next few weeks I'll be documenting my attempts at making them. I'm also making hot chocolate mix. I figure that's a perfect combo and it's cheap to make. I do need to invest in a candy thermometer however. Thankfully, we got a Kitchen Aid from my grandmother for the wedding so that is a huge timesaver! That isn't the extent of the creations however. I plan to make several types of fudge, cookies and dipped pretzels. Possibly saltine candy if I can swing it. So if you live nearby, be prepared for us to drop by with some goodies. And if you don't: send me your address!

Onto the other chaos in my life. Mental illness. This is a touchy subject, but I started this blog to get out my feelings. You all happen to be the recipients. Choose to read at your own risk. People don't like to talk about it but you need to. The last few weeks, I have seen someone I love dearly face their own demons. In turn, I had to face mine. It wasn't easy, and it's not over by any means. However, I'm grateful he was able to recognize he needs more help and will be getting that help. We take it day by day and so far things are improving. I decided in this process that I have some pretty scary demons myself. Which is probably why I cook so much. It covers them up! Who wants to face their demons and weaknesses? Certainly not me. But I do know when enough is enough. And when you have to learn not to back down. I still don't consider myself a strong person. There are so many other people in this world stronger than I, but I'm learning how to express my opinions and make them count. Even when the other person may not want to hear it. Life is all about give and take. I've been on a roller coaster which is the main reason why I haven't blogged. I couldn't think straight, and I was afraid of what I would type. Didn't need you all reading and thinking I'm crazy. But I decided I don't care. If you think I'm crazy so what? I think it takes a bigger person to admit they need help and to be able to tell people around them they have mental illness and are struggling. The people who put you down and question why you would stay with someone like that? You don't need those people. I mean if there's abuse that's one thing but if the only thing wrong is mental illness, then you do what you need to. It isn't easy but I do know that on the other side of this, there will be something beautiful. As long as we both do our part!

Be ready for tomorrow to see pictures of the Christmas tree! And picture of all the materials needed for me to start baking!!!! Christmas baking frenzy here I come! If you live nearby and want to help just let me know! Always room in my kitchen for someone who wants to cook!