Archive for: Holidays

Perfect Party Desserts!

These desserts are not only great for a party (and this time of year, parties are everywhere!), but they’re so easy to make.  I actually made these for my husband’s surprise birthday party this summer, but I thought they’d be an appropriate share for holiday parties, too!  I had pre-made these and set them out before dinner, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t make it through the appetizer course.  They will be a big hit for your party 🙂  Here are the recipes for Chocolate Raspberry Cream Tarts and Chocolate Almond Raspberry Tarts.

Quick, easy and DELICIOUS party desserts!  Mini Raspberry Tarts!

Quick, easy and DELICIOUS party desserts! Mini Raspberry Tarts!

 

Chocolate Raspberry Cream Tarts

1 1/2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream

1 T. heaping Powdered Sugar

4 oz. Fresh Raspberries, divided

12 Pre-Made Chocolate Cups (you can find these in chocolate section of the baking aisle)

1 square HIgh Quality Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate

In a chilled bowl, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar and whip on low to medium speed until soft peaks begin to form.  Set aside.  Count 12 raspberries and set aside.  Mash the remaining raspberries as finely as possible.  Add raspberries to whipped cream and whip on low to medium speed until mostly stiff peaks form.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with cream.  Pipe cream into chocolate cups.  Add one raspberry per cup and shave, using a fine rasp, high quality chocolate over top of tarts.  Serve immediately or set in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Just a few ingredients and a few minutes makes these gorgeous and delicious party desserts!

Just a few ingredients and a few minutes makes these gorgeous and delicious party desserts!

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Almond Raspberries Tarts

15 (1 package) Phyllo Dough Cups (found in the frozen dessert section)

4 oz. Fresh Raspberries

1 bar High Quality Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, divided

Almond Slices

In a microwave safe bowl, melt three quarters of the baking chocolate slowly, stirring after every 20-30 seconds.  Do not overheat or you will burn the chocolate – be patient with the process and once it’s warm, finish the melting by stirring the chocolate.  Gently spoon the chocolate into the bottom of each of the phyllo dough cups and let sit for a few minutes.  Before fully set, add one raspberry to each cup.  Sprinkle a few almond slices in each cup.  Serve and enjoy!

A few basic ingredients make these crispy, fruity, chocolatey tarts!

A few basic ingredients make these crispy, fruity, chocolatey tarts!

Good Friday – the Best Friday of the Year

Today is Good Friday.  Not to be confused with Friday being good.  Good Friday.  Today is the day we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to save us from our sins.  The Ultimate Sacrifice.  I remember growing up having this bulletin board in our laundry room.  Mom had about three pieces of paper pinned to it.  One was Attitude (the poem), one was an inspiring quote from a little picture card from Alaska Airlines, and the third was a photocopy of a cartoon.  That cartoon has resonated with me.  I believe that the comic strip was “Wizard of Id” – and it was about Good Friday.  Many, I think, struggle with the idea of Christ dying on the cross as something less than “good.”  This comic strip puts it all into perspective:

A:  I hate the term ‘Good Friday’

B:  Why?

A:  My Lord was hanged on a tree that day.

B:  If you were going to be hanged on that day, and He volunteered to take your place, how would you feel?

A:  Good.

B:  Have a nice day.

Says it all doesn’t it?  I get the chills and tear up every single time I see that comic and every time I think about the kind of love Christ and our Lord have for us…all of us.  It’s so perfect, so complete.  It makes my love for Him grow, too.  We cannot imagine, cannot wrap our minds around that kind of love, not really.  But we know it, we know it in faith, in our relationships with Him.  What hope it gives me.  We are saved.  And we are saved because we are loved.  That makes today a good day.

“Have a nice day”

Cheers,

Sharon

P.S.  Here is a link for this comic strip.  http://facultycommonsslo.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/good-friday-cartoon-bc.png

Simple Egg-Dying

Easter is almost upon us, and that means a time of hope, renewal, joy……and egg-dying (please don’t get me wrong, Easter is such a wonderful time and I love celebrating Christ rising from the grave)!  There are hundreds, thousands, probably even hundreds of thousands (okay, that may be an exaggeration, sort of) of ways to decorate Easter eggs.  However, you gotta start somewhere, so…..start here!

You will need:

  • food coloring (I used the standard 4 color pack – blue, yellow, red, green)
  • white vinegar
  • warm water
  • non-porous containers (so that your food dye doesn’t stain) – as many as you like for the colors you choose to use/mix
  • hard-boiled white eggs
Hard-boiled eggs, glass containers, vinegar, food coloring

Hard-boiled eggs, glass containers, vinegar, food coloring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*A few notes:  when choosing your containers, make sure you can fully submerge your eggs without overflowing your water; and I suggest keeping your carton to use for drying.

Step 1:  Fill your containers with the warm water, a splash of vinegar, and a few drops of dye.  Mix dyes to your heart’s content for orange, purple (be careful to avoid brown….), etc.

Add vinegar and dye to your water

Add vinegar and dye to your water

Mix the dye and vinegar in your water

Mix the dye and vinegar in your water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2:  Using a metal spoon (again, plastic might stain – I used a regular tablespoon), slowly submerge an egg into each cup.  Let each egg sit for a bit, the longer you let it sit, the more color absorbed.

Submerge your eggs

Submerge your eggs

Step 3:  Check your eggs, and carefully remove from your water bath.  Place your egg into the empty egg carton to dry.  I recommend turning it upside down once the top is dried to allow the bottom to dry – the water/dye pools there when draining down.

Pull your eggs out and allow to dry in your carton

Pull your eggs out and allow to dry in your carton

Step 4:  When your eggs are cool, store back in your fridge.  Save for an Easter egg hunt or use to make deviled eggs for Easter!

Simply-Dyed Easter Eggs!

Simply-Dyed Easter Eggs!

Enjoy 🙂

Cheers,

Sharon

My First Wedding Post

Okay, confession:  I have all these great ideas, such as writing posts about our wedding, planning, etc. and then become too busy to actually put said ideas into action.  However, today is the first post about our upcoming nuptials!

First, a little about us.  Zach and I have been together for 5 (yes FIVE) years.  For approximately 4.78 of those years, I knew he was the “one” – cheesy as that sounds.  Sometimes, when you know, you know.  So, for the last 4.78 years, I’ve been patiently waiting for a proposal (that’s an exaggeration, I knew it was too early in those beginning years.)  However, I was beginning to wonder about the “when” come last year – time kept passing and I kept thinking, maybe now, maybe now.  Maybe not.  Not one to do things conventionally, Zach found a way to surprise, just when I had begun to give up hope —

Sitting at the airport gate, the empty airport gate, waiting for our flight back to Indiana for Thanksgiving last fall, is where he popped (literally) the question.  I, having traveled all of my life and having been through most any situation involving airports, flights and the like, was adamant about getting to the airport at least two and a half hours early – just in case we were going to be dealing with long security lines, lost reservations, double-booking for our seats, etc. etc. etc.  Surprisingly, Zach didn’t question me and cheerfully showed up on time ready to leave for the airport.  Generally, I’m at least told that I’m a nerd and too worried about things.  True to form, I was wrong about needing such a lead time and we were at the gate in less than 15 minutes from being dropped off.  Right.  Thank goodness Zach had the grace not to mention anything about my miscalculation during the extra two hours we had at the gate.  Whew.  Instead, he decided to start drilling me about my packing.  Did I remember everything?  Yes.  Did you pack clean underwear?  Mmmm hmmmm.  How about socks – have enough of those?  Yup.  Toothbrush?  Sure did – I made a list and crossed EVERYTHING off so I’m sure I packed everything.  You sure you didn’t forget anything?  I’m sure, butthead (my affectionate name for him.)  Pregnant pauseI  know what you forgot.  Now I’m trying to rack my brain to determine (a) what I forgot and (b) how he might possibly know about it.  By the time I realize what’s going on, Zach was already on one knee, pulling out a ring box from his vest, and asking me to marry him.  In all of my infinite ability to quickly adapt (right?), I said…….WHAT?!  (And covered by entire face behind my hands.)  Recovering, and realizing that this is what I’ve been waiting for, I said YES!  Smiling the best smile you’ve ever seen (no exaggeration, it’ll make you weak at the knees) Zach put the ring on my finger.

photo

I proceeded to enjoy every minute of my new-found euphoria – for the next 14.29 hours or so until the planning began 🙂

Cheers,

Sharon