For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows grace and favor and glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalms 84:11

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble Gobble?

Somehow anything to do with turkeys makes me think of Mr. Bean. Maybe you're twisted like me in that way and would enjoy this clip. :)

Merry Christmas Mr. Bean

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Thanksgiving Recipe Picks

I know there are some of my friends on here who might be interested, so I thought I'd post what I'm planning to bring to Thanksgiving this year at my mom's house. She said I could bring whatever I wanted, and I think she's going to get way more than she bargained for. lol And just so everyone knows, I'm not a super wonderful cook. I just know how to follow a recipe and I spend far too much time on the internet hunting for the perfect ones. :) Note: I have only tried one of these recipes before, and I don't plan on trying them out before the big day so I can't vouch for their wonderfulness aside from how I imagine they'll taste. :P

First pick is a Corn Casserole that someone posted on a message board that I visit. I've never even tasted a corn casserole before, but just by reading the recipe I could tell that it's gonna be a huge hit.

Corn Casserole

2 eggs, beaten
1 (15 oz) can cream style corn
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped onion
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
1 box jiffy cornbread mix
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 2 quart by 2" deep casserole dish.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream style corn, sour cream, and melted butter. Stir in whole kernel corn, cheese, onion, chilies, salt, and pepper. Stir in the corn muffin mix until just moistened.

Bake for 75 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean and the top is golden.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

And next I picked 3 deserts, because I decided that desert is really the most important part of Thanksgiving anyway. :P That and I knew that other people had the other parts of the meal already covered. My dad is making a pecan pie, so I knew that was covered. So I decided that I needed to bring something with pumpkin, something fruity, and what the heck there's always room for chocolate.

Pumpkin pie is wonderful, but I've made pumpkin pie from scratch and I don't think it's fun to make. First you get the tiny pumpkin from the store, then you gut it and bake it and then make the custard and then crust and bleh... no thanks. Plus I have tile countertops and I've sworn never to roll dough on it again. So I decided to go with a pumpkin cake. Which might be tricky to transport, but I'm thinking I'll bring the cake and frosting seperate and then assemble it when I get to my mom's house. Hopefully it'll get scarfed up and then I won't have to bring it home.

Found the recipe on someone else's blog but it's a Rachel Ray recipe: Pumpkin Cake with Pecan Brittle and Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting. Drool...


3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups pecans (about 8 ounces)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
Grated zest of 1 orange
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Flour the pans.*
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 cups granulated sugar over medium-high heat until light amber, about 7 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, add the pecans and quickly stir to coat. Transfer the pecans to the prepared baking sheet and, using a metal spatula, spread in a single layer to cool completely.
  4. Place the praline in a sturdy resealable plastic bag and crush into pieces; set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  6. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined.
  8. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk and orange zest on low speed until just combined.
  9. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until just combined.
  10. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the cake layers to a rack to cool, about 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, invert and peel off the parchment paper. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, about 45 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Using a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
  12. On low speed, gradually beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and the vanilla until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  13. Assemble the cake: halve each cake layer horizontally with a serrated knife. Place 1 cake layer on a platter. Spread the whipped cream frosting on top about 1/4 inch thick; sprinkle with about 1/2 cup crushed pecan praline. Repeat with three more layers, saving enough frosting for the cake sides and reserving the last layer of praline. Spread the remaining frosting evenly on the sides of the cake and sprinkle the reserved pecan praline on top. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before serving.

Something fruity... hmmm... Well I didn't ponder for long because this next recipe is what actually inspired me to bring desert this year. I found it in my new favorite magazine Wonder Time. It's a kid friendly mom magazine, there's so many bad ones out there like Parenting.. BLEH!... but Wonder Time really is a nice mag and I actually went ahead and subscribed to it after I found this recipe. It's a Cranberry Velvet Pie. The pictures look amazing, like a pumpin pie custard except with gorgeous rosey cranberries. And made in a 11" tart pan, just to up the wow factor. I can't wait to make it!

Cranberry Velevet Pie

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 T fresh-grated orange rind
2 T sugar
1/8 t salt
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large egg
1/2 t vanilla

For the filling:
4 c fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1/2 c orange juice
2 T lemon juice
1 1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, sliced into 8 pieces
1 T fresh-grated orange rind
Whipped cream for topping (optional)

1. Process four and orange rind in a food processor until the rind has been thoroughly ground into the flour, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt and pulse on and off for a few seconds. Scatter butter slices over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal, about 10 times. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and pulse on and off until the dough holds together. Gatyher up the dough, knead it manually if necessary to smooth it out, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill it for at least an hour or up to 2 days.
2. Divide dough into 8 or 10 pieces. Scatter the pieces evenly in a well-greased 11-inch tart pan or a 9 1/2 inch pie plate. Gently pat the dough into place to make a 1/4 inch thick crust, coming as far up the edges of the pan as you can. Chill pan for 20 minutes while you heat the oven to 375.
3. Grease a 14-inch square piece of heavy aluminum foil. Gently fit the foil, greased side down, over the crust. Cover foil with pie weights, uncooked rice, or uncooked beans. Place crust on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully lift out the foil and pie weights and set aside. Return crust to the oven and bake until golden and baked through, about 15-20 minutes longer. Take the crust out of the oven and reset the oven to 275.
4. Put cranberries, juices, sugar, and salt into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is disolved. Lower heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring frequently, until berries are soft, about 25-30 minutes. Force cooked berries and any cooking liquit through a fine sieve or food mill to remove all the skins and seeds. (This is a boring job if you use a sieve, so have a book or willing assistant handy.)
5. Put the cranberry puree into a clean saucepan. Over low heat, stirring constantly, whisk in egg yolks. Continuing to stir constantly over low heat, cook the mixture until it is very thick, about 15 minutes. Then take it off the heat and whisk in the butter slices one at a time. Whisk in orange rind.
6. Pour the cranberry mixture into prepared crust. Bake until set, about 20 to 30 minutes. Cool completely; then chill for at least 6 hours or up to one day. Serve with whipped cream.

And last, but absolutely not least, Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies. And she ain't kiddin'. These are by far the richest most ewwie gooie brownies I have ever eaten. I watched her make these on her show Barefoot Contessa a few years ago at an airport, and they looked soooo lucious that I remembered to look up the recipe online when I got home. They are SO good that my hubby the non-chocolate lover decided to learn how to make them himself and memorized the recipe. This recipe alone is the reason why I own a double boiler. If you don't have one you can just melt the chocolate in a smaller saucepan inside a larger one with water in it, it works just the same. That's right, you'll need to melt chocolate for this one... it's that freakin' good! Not a recipe for a first time cook though, it's a little tricky... but it's a labor of love and it's so worth it. If you don't believe me about how amazing these brownies are, then just google "Ina Garten Brownies" and read the over 100 reviews on this recipe all proclaiming it's wonderfulness.

Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies


  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups diced walnut pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture (SLOWLY, otherwise you'll scramble the eggs and that would be yucky) and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

And that's it folks, ENJOY! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Smooshfoot History: Infant Car Seats

After hearing SO many crazy stories (some of them bordering on HORROR stories) about car seats or lack thereof from our parents and grandparents this video strikes me as downright hillarious. :P Hopefully you'll find it funny too. Feel free to share about the crazy stories your parents have told you regarding car seats "back in the day".

Check out this video: A Smooshfoot History: Infant Car Seats

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