Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Recipe - Triple Chocolate-Cookie Trifle Pie

This one is definitely a keeper. I would rate its difficulty at a medium...for me it was a medium. The taste is divine, but only 1 forkful for me!!!!

Triple Chocolate-Cookie Trifle Pie

  • 3 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 1/2 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • 1 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (12.5-oz.) package assorted cookies
  • 2 tablespoons mocha liqueur (optional) I didn't use!
  • 2 (6-oz.) containers fresh raspberries
  • Raspberry Glaze
1. Microwave 1/2 cup cream at HIGH 30 seconds to 1 minute or until hot (do not boil). Place bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate, and stir until smooth. Repeat procedure with 1/4 cup cream and white chocolate. (If chocolate does not melt completely after stirring, microwave at HIGH for 10-second intervals just until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.) Stir 1/2 tsp. vanilla into each chocolate mixture until well blended. Cool 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, let 2 1/2 cups cream stand at room temperature 20 minutes.

3. Beat 1 1/2 cups cream at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until medium peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of whipped cream into cool bittersweet chocolate mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining whipped cream.

4. Beat remaining 1 cup cream at medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of whipped cream into cool white chocolate mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining whipped cream.

5. Crush 6 to 7 cookies to equal 1/2 cup crumbs. Sprinkle on bottom of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Spread half of bittersweet chocolate mixture over crushed cookies in pan. Arrange cookies around sides of pan (about 19 cookies). Spread white chocolate mixture over bittersweet chocolate mixture.

6. Crush remaining cookies, and sprinkle over white chocolate mixture in springform pan. Drizzle with liqueur, if desired. Spread remaining bittersweet chocolate mixture over crushed cookies. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

7. Remove sides from pan. Mound raspberries in center of trifle; brush with Raspberry Glaze. Serve immediately.

Notice Brandon eyeing the cake in the background!!!!

This is what THEIRs looked like. I think mine came pretty darn close!!!

Raspberry Glaze: Combine 3 Tbsp. seedless raspberry jam and 2 tsp. water in a small glass bowl. Microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or until smooth.


I think I should have whipped the cream just a little bit longer. It was very moussey, but could have been a little firmer. I also won't put the cookies in the food processor to make the crust, I'll just smash them in a ziploc bag on the counter a few times. They were a little too "crumby" Once again, I am my own worst was unbelievably tasty and not too hard to make.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adventure to Marbles

My good friend, Theresa, and I ventured up to Raleigh today to Marbles which is a really cool children's museum. Neither of us have ever been there, but we will definitely be going back. It was only $4 per person to get in and the boys LOVED it. This was the first big outing I made SANS stroller. I think the boys did SUPER well and I am very proud of them. I put their "leashes" on them, but didn't use them. It was a way for me to identify them and to grab them if they made a mad dash...which they both did...A LOT! I'm overly exhausted from this trip, but it was totally worth it. Theresa and I hit a huge shopping center on the way back and took turns getting out and shopping while all 4 kids stayed in the car.

Look at Brandon..holding Lily's hand and walking with a big kid.
This was the first station we went to...water of course

Ahoy there...

Anchor's away
Life sized chess set
Connor riding in the delivery truck
The really nifty train tables

Connor calling Daddy to wish him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Connor starting to melt down
Brandon playing kitchen with other big kids

This was the largest amount of legos I've ever seen in one place
A BIG BALL!!! Connor did not want to share the earth with anyone else
A super cut ball bit called "Peas and Carrots"
Me sitting there while the boys played...exhausted!
All 4 munchkins being silly
Final shot of the day...doesn't Brandon look totally ticked off????

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

You didn't honestly think that another holiday would pass without a new recipe DID YA????

I made Buttermilk Beignets which are a traditional Mardi Gras dessert. Click HERE for the recipe i used from Better Homes and Gardens. I honestly didn't care for these very much. I've never had them before, but I think mine were a little on the heavy side. I would have liked for them to taste a little fluffier!

Buttermilk Beignets


  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup barley flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Cooking oil or shortening
  • Sifted powdered sugar


In medium mixing bowl stir together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In small bowl stir together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter or margarine, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients until well mixed.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 to 12 strokes. If desired, for easier handling cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion of dough into a 9-inch square; cut into 2-1/4-inch squares.

In large saucepan or deep-fat fryer heat cooking oil or shortening to 370 degree F. Carefully add 3 of the dough squares; cook about 2 minutes or until golden, turning once and spooning fat over squares as they fry. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on a wire rack set over paper towels. Repeat with the remaining squares, 3 at a time. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Makes 32 beignets.

I'm pretty sure they are traditionally served with coffee...most likely a fancy coffee that I don't have on hand!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Homemade Soft Pretzels and Double Double Trouble

Another SUCCESSFUL new recipe. Since the boys have been sick, I wanted to make them something super starchy and tasty to try and get their appetites back to normal. The answer...SOFT PRETZELS. I have to admit that the first batch of dough I made totally flopped. It didn't rise, and I think it's because I overheated the milk before I put the yeast in...I murdered the yeast...OH NO! I pulled this recipe from the Food Network Magazine a few weeks ago. Click HERE for the entire recipe and to print it off in a better format.

Make the pretzels: Warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

Prepare the sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. (very tasty sauce, but I used light sour cream instead of mayo so Brandon could eat it.)

Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. Serve the pretzels warm with the sweet mustard sauce.

This wasn't part of the original recipe, but after I dipped them in the butter, I coated a few of them with cinnamon and sugar. Those were, by far, the favorites of my taste testers...see pictures below.

Tonight was the Annual Dentac Birthday Ball. Since Eric isn't here, I obviously didn't go. Instead, I took on another set of twins while their mommy and daddy went. We had a great time together. They taste tested the pretzels with the boys and they all loved them.

Along with being my taste testers, we painted eggs and added googly eyes and glitter. Glitter+Glue+Paint+Googly Eyes+Cinnamon and Sugar Pretzels = HUGE MESS! The girls were super well behaved and the boys loved having someone to chase around. It's 1030 now and their mommy and daddy just picked them up. I'm going to brush my teeth, grab my book and hit the sack!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

Most of my friends and family know that I love to do crafty things. I try to keep them easy, fun, and most of all, I try to keep them a little on the inexpensive side. The boys had a little art painting session today. Connor isn't really into crayons, playdoh, and painting. He lasts about 5 or 10 minutes and is ready to go play. I make him sit while Brandon "crafts" and we just talk about colors and shapes. Here are a few pictures of the boys expanding their creative minds...

Here mommy...let me paint you!!!

And then a picture of my latest creation.

I found a video on of how to make these diaper cakes. It was very easy, inexpensive, and quick. The time I started watching the video to the time I sat down at the computer to write this...including cleaning up my mess...was only 2 hours. Not bad! My cost was 2 packages of diapers (I used coupons), 3 spools of ribbon (50% off at Hobby Lobby), a wooden dowel rod we had in the garage, and a piece of foil covered cardboard made from a box I had on hand. Super cute...super easy...SUPER GIRLY!!! Of course, I'm always very critical of myself. The only thing I would change would be a smaller bow on top. Other than that, I'm very pleased with it.

This is what I normally make my friends when they get pregnant...a cute little wreath. I decided to change it up and I'm glad I did. The cost was about the same!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shout Out to the UNCLES

Sorry for the lack of postings, but there's been a bad stomach bug going through this house. I managed to escape from it, but the boys (including Eric) were all super sick. Eric was home for the long weekend and ended up being sick for part of it. I thought the boys were all better yesterday, but then Connor exploded all over the kitchen. Once again, I thought they were better this afternoon, but Connor exploded in his bed during his nap. I think his problem is dehydration right now since he's having maybe one wet diaper per day. I just set out some sprite to let it get flat, and I plan on giving that to him in a few hours. He seems playful and happy, but he just can't seem to rehydrate. Pray for me...this has been a super rough week! Here are a few pictures of me and the boys. I've been doing anything I can think of to keep them happy!!!


My brother in law felt a little left out when the boys weren't able to pick him out in his picture. Well...we've been practicing!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

We hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine's Day! We definitely did!!!! Eric flew home for the weekend and is able to stay through Monday. Then he will head back to San Antonio, but will only be gone another 4 weeks. THANKS to him for my Valentine's Day gift of Nicholas Sparks' newest book, The Lucky One. YAY!

We pretty much spent the day in the house. It was raining off and on, so we read books...see below...and played around.

It's no fun to just read have to throw them all on the floor, sit on them, and read them. Apparently that's the way 2-year-olds do it!

I worked on the boys' second 2nd birthday cake. We're having another party tomorrow so Eric can celebrate with us! I made the same train cake, but had to expand on it. I also expanded the time it took by about 3 hours...shew! It's beautiful though...

This is the LAST 2nd Birthday Cake I'm making for a's exhausting! No wonder Charm City Cake (The bakery featured on Ace of Cakes) charges a minimum of $500 for their cakes.

The boys had their 2 year old check up on Thursday and they are super growing boys.

Connor weighed in at 30 lbs (70th percentile) and was 35 1/2 inches tall (80th% percentile). I classify him as tall and SOLID!

Brandon weighed in at 24 lbs (5th percentile) and was 33 inches tall (20th percentile). I classify him as a PIP-SQUEEK. Not really, but he's average. He has stayed on the 5th and 20th percentiles for over a year. So he's not moving up the scale, but at least he's not moving down. The child doesn't ever stop moving so it's no wonder he's so skinny. The doc said that normal is between the 3rd and 97th percentiles. He's definitely within that range. Brandon left the doctor's office with a black eye, and I'm still not sure how he managed to get it. He slid out of the chair in the exam room, turned a little to the side and the next thing I know, he's crying. I watched him slide out of the clue how he got the black eye, but it's getting blacker and bluer by the day. Boys will be boys, I guess

Here's a cute video of the boys trying to name all of the family. It's really cute!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Grand Reopening...

...of the sand box!!! The weather has been record breaking lately, and I'm totally taking advantage of it. We are outside any chance we get. Today, we ventured out onto the deck to play in the sand box. Every day should end with me sitting in the patio chair, feet up, glass of wine in one hand, smut novel in the other, and 2 super cute boys playing the sandbox. What a wonderful end to my day!!!

Like Connor's knot on his head??? Brandon pushed him down as we walked in the door from church on Sunday and he hit the corner of the wall. It swelled up REALLY big right away, but went down after their nap. They are at the age of a lot of bruises.

Valentine's Day Recipe

It wouldn't be a "Danko Holiday" without some kind of new treat. Here's what I made...

It's called Cupid's Crunch and I got it out of the new magazine...Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade. I've made 2 recipes out of this magazine so far and they have both turned out really good...really easy...and look wonderful.

3 cups salted peanuts
1 (16 oz) bag pretzel nibblers (I could find nibblers that weren't flavored, so I used the Snaps)
1 (15 oz) box raisins
1 (12 oz) box corn and rice cereal (I used Crispix)
1 (8.9 oz) box Cheerios
2 (16 oz) packages vanilla flavored candy coating, melted
1 cup pink sanding sugar (I just used pink, white, and red sprinkles!!!)

In a VERY LARGE container, mix all dry ingredients. I used my turkey roaster AND a very large stainless steel mixing bowl. Pour melted chocolate over the top and stir gently to coat cereal mixture evenly.

Spoon cereal mixture onto wax paper in a 1 inch layer. Sprinkle with half of the sprinkles. Stir gently to break up any large clumps. Sprinkle with remaining sprinkles and let cool.

This was so unbelievably easy to make, but it makes A LOT!!! I had to bleach everything when I was done because there were peanuts everywhere!!!! I hope some of you try won't be sorry!!!

I managed to get 21 bags out of the mixture. The recipe says it yields about 50 cups. So, there's roughly 2 cups in each bag...give or take.

Oh are a few pictures of the boys!!