Thursday, December 31, 2009

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Cookies for the New Year

Gosh, I feel so behind. I have spent the past few days just trying to catch up with my reader and I'm not even close to having everything read. I feel so out of the blogging loop. The past few days have been particularly hard because Perla has been sick and I'm feeling more and more uncomfortable each day. I can't believe tomorrow marks the beginning of the year our daughter will be born. I can't believe we have been in Miami for over 6 months now. We started the year living in Boston and are ending it living in Miami. It's crazy and amazing how quickly and drastically things can change. I'm excited to see what 2010 has in store for us.

Christmas was only last week and it's already a blur. We had a lot of fun dressing the house up this year. It was great to have a real tree to put gifts under and a mantle to put up some of our favorite holiday pieces.
I also made cookies. These are cookies Santa would definitely approve of because they are like Christmas in a bite. Perfect with a glass of milk, these cookies are chocolaty with just the right amount of peppermint flavoring. My cookies puffed up instead of thinning out, but no one complained about that :)
Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod (here)

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
4 ounces 99% unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 candy canes-crushed up

1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, chocolate and granulated sugar and blend on medium speed. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. There may be some small clumps of sugar in the batter at this point. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, stopping once to scrape down the sides. Mix until just incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky.

3. Gather the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

4. Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

5. Pour the crushed candy canes onto a plate or into a shallow bowl. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball into the candy cane pieces, so that all sides are covered. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared sheets.

6. Bake for 10 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, or 12 minutes for crisp cookies, rotating the pans halfway through baking. The cookies do set up, so if you want them soft, take them out at 10 minutes. Let cool completely on cooling racks. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season! 2010 is hours away (and in some places it's already 2010!) so I hope everyone is reflecting on 2009 and celebrating the end of the decade. Either way, here's to many great things in 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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Daring Bakers: Gingerbread House

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Maybe I am the problem. It's not the recipe or procedure, it's the baker. I made my gingerbread house on the same day as the pecan pie and I had problems with the dough; it just wouldn't come together. I added a little bit of water and my dough turned into a sticky play dough. I finally got it to a consistency that could be rolled out but the dough just looked icky. It wasn't smooth and as a result my house didn't have smooth walls. Building the house was a lot of fun, but don't be fooled, it does take some level of patience. I kept my house simple because creativity just wasn't in my cards for the day.
I used Anna's recipe because I had all the ingredients on hand. I cut the recipe down by a lot and had enough dough to make one little house. At first the gingerbread was hard but after sitting out for a day the gingerbread actually got softer and was edible.
Spicy Gingerbread Dough (from Good Housekeeping)

2 1/2 cups (500g) packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (360mL) heavy cream or whipping cream
1 1/4 cups (425g) molasses
9 1/2 cups (1663g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon(s) baking soda
1 tablespoon(s) ground ginger


1. In very large bowl, with wire whisk (or with an electric mixer), beat brown sugar, cream, and molasses until sugar lumps dissolve and mixture is smooth. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and ginger. With spoon, stir flour mixture into cream mixture in 3 additions until dough is too stiff to stir, then knead with hands until flour is incorporated and dough is smooth.

2. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; flatten each into a disk to speed chilling. Wrap each disk well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until dough is firm enough to roll.

3. Grease and flour large cookie sheets (17-inch by 14-inch/43x36cm)

4. Roll out dough, 1 disk at a time on each cookie sheet to about 3/16-inch thickness. (Placing 3/16-inch dowels or rulers on either side of dough to use as a guide will help roll dough to uniform thickness.)

5. Trim excess dough from cookie sheet; wrap and reserve in refrigerator. Chill rolled dough on cookie sheet in refrigerator or freezer at least 10 minutes or until firm enough to cut easily.

6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (149C)

7. Use chilled rolled dough, floured poster board patterns, and sharp paring knife to cut all house pieces on cookie sheet, making sure to leave at least 1 1/4 inches between pieces because dough will expand slightly during baking. Wrap and reserve trimmings in refrigerator. Combine and use trimmings as necessary to complete house and other decorative pieces. Cut and bake large pieces and small pieces separately.

8. Chill for 10 minutes before baking if the dough seems really soft after you cut it. This will discourage too much spreading/warping of the shapes you cut.

9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until pieces are firm to the touch. Do not overbake; pieces will be too crisp to trim to proper size.

10. Remove cookie sheet from oven. While house pieces are still warm, place poster-board patterns on top and use them as guides to trim shapes to match if necessary. Cool pieces completely before attempting to assemble the house.

Don't forget to head over to the DB blogroll to see the beauties created by the other bakers.

Monday, December 28, 2009

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TWD: Pecan Pie

Oh boy. I am late with this one. I made this last week and it was served with dinner on the 24th. I meant to post about this on the 25th but I got distracted in doing other things. The past few days have been crazy and full of lots of interesting and unexpected events. I don't want to go into some of the things now because I'm still trying to process it all, but let's just say it was life changing.
Anyway, back to the Pecan Pie selected by Beth of Someone's in the Kitchen with Brina. I don't even know what to say about this pie. I guess the first thing I should say is that I did not taste it. I couldn't bring myself to eat it after the mission I went through in trying to get it together. It wasn't a complete disaster because I did have a pie at the end, but the pie tried me in so many ways. My pie dough melted down the pan into a goopy mess, I spilled the melted butter all over my counter top, I almost dropped the entire thing in my hot oven, and the crust stuck to the bottom of the pan because I had way too much pecan filling. I was so disappointed in how it looked and how much trouble it gave me that I couldn't stand to eat it. I just didn't feel proud of this pie. Has that ever happened to you? Alex ate it and said it tasted good, so I guess this is a good pie.
Thanks to Beth for making last week's selection. I'm sure there are plenty of TWD bakers who had a completely successful pecan pie making experience, so make sure to stop by their blogs!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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The Woof Baby

Pregnancy brings about all kinds of changes. Your body changes, your relationships change, your house changes, and even your dogs change. It's been fun to watch Perla change as my belly grows. She's always been attached to me and that's understandable considering I've had her since she was 8 weeks old and she's now 14.5 years old. But lately she has been really attached. I can't even go downstairs to get a glass of juice without her crying at the top of the stairs. She has to be with me at all times and if she isn't right next to me she has to be able to see where I am. It's cute to see her so attached. I wonder how she's going to react to having a baby here and to having to share my attention with a little one that can probably out cry her any day.
If I'm in the baby's room for any particular reason (lately it's been to organize and reorganize over and over again), Perla likes to lay down within a foot of the crib.
However, if I am sitting in the glider Perla likes to sit there with me too. I don't blame her on this one either because the glider is extremely comfortable. I feel like I am sitting on the clouds when I sit in this chair.
The reason this post is titled The Woof Baby is because of the following two pictures. I had been working on something in the dining room and I walked into the living room and found Perla hanging out in the baby's infant car seat. She was sitting up when I first saw her and looked at me as if I was disturbing her. The nerve of the little dog. I proceeded to take pictures and stare Perla down but she ignored me, made herself more comfortable, and went to sleep.
She obviously didn't get the memo that said the car seat was for human babies only. Or maybe we didn't get the memo that said the baby was already here?

By the way, have any of you read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch? I got this book as a gift and was told that it was a beautiful story that brought one to tears. We read it the very same day we got it and at first I was a little creeped out but then I got it. I cried and felt so full of love and sadness at the same time. So if you have a chance to read this book, I definitely recommend it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

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The Cake Slice: White Chocolate cupCake

So I cheated a little with this month's selection. It was supposed to be a layer cake but I just didn't have it in me to (a) make the whole recipe and (b) make a layer cake. Instead, I quartered the recipe and had just enough batter to make 9 cupcakes (bake for 15-20 minutes). The cupcakes came out fantastic and they weren't as sweet as you'd expect them to be considering there is white chocolate in both the cake and frosting. After making this frosting I have decided that I like cream cheese based frostings the best; they aren't overly sweet and they have such a silky texture.
Since this is an all-white cake it was suggested that we decorate the cake with a "snow scene." Again, I kind of cheated and topped my cupcakes with roll out cookies shaped either as snowflakes or Christmas trees. I stuck with the white theme and decorated the cookies with white royal icing. The cupcakes looked adorable adorned with the cookies.

December’s Cake: White Chocolate Layer Cake

(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)

Makes 1 8-inch layer cake

For the White Chocolate Cake

2 ½ cups sifted cake flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

½ cup boiling water

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk (see note below)

For the White Chocolate Frosting

6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

12 ounces (1 ½ cups) cream cheese, softened

3 tbsp butter, softened

¾ tsp vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners sugar

Method – White Chocolate Cake

Heat the oven to 350F and grease three 8 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of waxed paper or kitchen parchment and flour the pan.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, and stir with a fork to mix them well.

Bring 3 inches of water to an active simmer in the bottom of a double boiler or a saucepan that will accommodate a medium heat proof bowl so that it sits snugly over the water. Melt the white chocolate in the top of the double boiler or in the bowl over the simmering water. Stir often, and then pour in the ½ cup of boiling water and stir to mix well. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the butter and the sugar and beat with a mixed at medium speed to mix them together well. Add the egg yolks, one by one, beating each time to keep the mixture smooth. Add the white chocolate and the vanilla, and stir well to mix.

Add about a third of the flour mixture, and then about half of the buttermilk, beating with a mixer at low speed just long enough after each addition to make the flour or buttermilk disappear. Mix in another third of the flour, remaining buttermilk and then the last of the flour.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until they are foamy and opaque. Continue beating at high speed until they swell into thick, pillowy mounds and hold peaks that are stiff, but not fry. Add one third of the egg white mixture to the bowl of batter, and fold it in gently using a spatula. Add the remaining egg whites and continue to fold with a light touch, until the egg whites are blended in well, with only a few streaks showing.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the centre and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans.

Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks or folded kitchen towels for about 30 minutes. Turn them out onto the racks and peel off the paper and turn them back the right way up to cool completely.

Method – White Chocolate Frosting

In the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl, melt the white chocolate over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often. Remove from the heat once melted and let cool to lukewarm. Transfer the melted white chocolate to a large bowl, and add the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat together at medium speed until you have a smooth sauce. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.

To Assemble

Place one layer, top side down on a cake stand or serving plate and spread it with about a fourth of the icing. Continue stacking and frosting each cake layer in the same way. Cover the sides of the cake with any remaining frosting.

Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Set the cake out about 30 minutes before you want to serve it.

NOTE: If you can’t find buttermilk, stir 1 tbsp lemon juice into 1 cup of milk and leave to stand for 10 minutes before using.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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Homemade Scalloped Potatoes

What was I ever thinking? Why is it that when you make something from scratch you realize how unsatisfying the store bought version is? I had never made scalloped potatoes from scratch; I always just bought the box and added whatever fluid the instructions said to add. Truth be told, I never really liked the boxed stuff but I would get it because Alex did. Now, I don't need to ever worry about the boxed version because this recipe is pretty amazing. It comes together easily and the end product is so incredibly delicious. But then again, can you really go wrong with garlic and three cheeses?
Three Cheese Garlic Topped Scalloped Potatoes
Source: All Recipe (here)
Serves 2

1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons butter, divided
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 clove garlic, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1-1/3 slices provolone cheese
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 1 1/2 quart or larger casserole dish with butter or nonstick spray.

Layer half of the potato slices in the bottom of the casserole dish. Dot with half of the butter cut or pinched into small pieces. Arrange half of the garlic slices over the potatoes, then pour half of the heavy cream over. Sprinkle one cup of Cheddar cheese over the layer, and season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering of potatoes, garlic, cream and Cheddar cheese, then top with the slices of provolone cheese. Season again with salt and pepper.

Bake for 1/2 hour in the preheated oven, then sprinkle the Parmesan or Romano cheese over the top. This will create a semi-hard cheese crust. Continue baking uncovered for another 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when tested with a fork.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

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Pecan Meltaways

There is no TWD post today. I'm sure the Cafe Volcano Cookies selected by Macduff of The Lonely Sidecar are great cookies but looking at the recipe (almonds, espresso) I knew they would not be a hit in this household. Did I tell you that almonds are Alex's least favorite nuts? He can't even say the word "almond" without making a disgusted face. So instead I bring you Pecan Meltaways. These cookies are sure to please. That is, if you like and enjoy pecans. The cookies are buttery and not too sweet. In my opinion, these cookies are made to go along with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate.

Pecan Meltaways
Taste of Home
Yields 4 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Additional confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans. Refrigerate until chilled.

Roll into 1-in. balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Roll warm cookies in additional confectioners' sugar; cool completely on wire racks. Roll cooled cookies again in confectioners' sugar.

Friday, December 11, 2009

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Nothing Sweeter

There's nothing sweeter than that new baby smell. Nothing more comforting than watching a baby sleep. Last Friday my good friend Jen gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Emma. I got to meet the sweet girl and I am smitten. Emma was so sweet and Jen looks fabulous for someone who gave birth a week ago. This is all of us together at her baby shower in October (miss you Lauren!):
Emma was nearly 8 lbs when she was born and it's amazing that that little bundle of joy was inside her mommy not too long ago. You can tell her parents are absolutely in love with her. The love just oozes out of them. I got (and still am) really emotional thinking about the creation of this new little family unit. It's really a treasure to see a new person come into a family and how everyone adapts to the new person.
Photo by Mon
I spent some time holding Emma. Mostly, I just wanted to stare at her and memorize all her little features. She was just so precious.
Photo by Mon
I can't believe this will be me in a few weeks. I don't know if my body will be able to contain all the love once Catarina's here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

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Thinking Through Pictures

I love to take pictures. I always have my camera on me. I feel naked when I don't have my camera with me. I'm afraid that I'll miss the opportunity to capture a moment and, as a result, forget about that moment. I love to look through my pictures and relive the moment that caused me to take the picture in the first place. I think I get my love for pictures from my dad. It feels weird saying that since I don't credit him with anything other than my looks, but as I look through the albums of pictures from before I was born and from my childhood it becomes clear to me that the man loved his camera and loved to take pictures. I wonder about the pictures, why they were taken, and why so much changed.

I look at this picture and see a couple in love. A young couple in love. Who would have thought that they would end up divorced and essentially hating one another a decade later? What happened to the love? Did he change or did she?
I look at this picture and see serenity. This has to be my favorite picture of my mom. It's so beautiful and simple. I've never seen her look that at peace in my life. I wish she would look at this picture (she refuses to look at any of these pictures) and remember how at peace she felt. Maybe that would help her find comfort in the way her life is now.
Now this one...I wish I could remember the beginning as well as I remember the last 6 years. I was a daddy's girl at one point. Maybe, just maybe, if I could remember those years it would help chill the effect of the last 6.
It amazes me how much emotion and feeling can be captured in a picture and how a snapshot of an instant can tell a powerful story without words.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Can I confess something to you? I don't like raisins. I love grapes but I don't like raisins. This wasn't always the case. When I was younger I used to eat them all the time. I have fond memories of me picking raisins out of a red box. I would eat them day and night. One day I just snapped. I couldn't eat raisins anymore. Even now, the thought of eating them stimulates my gag reflex. Is it possible to overdose on food?
I made oatmeal raisin cookies at the request of one of my friends and set aside a few of them for Alex since I know he likes them. He really liked this particular recipe and said the raisins really made the cookie. So I went to the cookie plate and stared a cookie down. I wanted to try it but I was afraid of the raisin. I turned a perfectly good looking cookie into a mess of crumbs in an effort to get a piece without a raisin in it. I picked up a piece, put it in my mouth, and then chewed on a mischievous raisin that had hidden out deep within the cookie. I didn't spit it out because the rest of the cookie was just so damn good and chewy. Plus, I felt bad spitting out the raisin when I had spent so many of my food formative years loving raisins. I still don't like raisins, but they aren't half bad in a cookie like this.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Source: Dana Treat (here)
Yields approximately 3 dozen cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together butter and sugars until creamy, about 4 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture and mix until combined.

Stir in oats and raisins and mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Poor rejected raisin.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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TWD: Sables

Apparently, sables are Alex's favorite cookies. Imagine my surprise. This whole time I thought snickerdoodles were his favorite cookie. If I would have known he liked sables more I would have made these cookies more often because of how easy they are to make. I like snickerdoodles but find the task of rolling them in cinnamon-sugar a little too tedious. Feeling a little silly that I didn't know my husband's favorite cookie I asked him how long had the sable been his favorite cookie and when the snickerdoodle was dethroned. I think I caught him as off guard as he caught me when he proclaimed the sable to be his favorite cookie because his response was "My favorite cookies are the sugary ones." That narrows things down, doesn't?
This recipe, selected by Barbara of Bungalow Barbara, is fantastic. I stuck to the original sweet, buttery recipe and the cookies were gone in a matter of minutes. I couldn't find any of my more cheery sugar colors, so the cookies were rolled in black sugar. The cookies were crumbly and delicious and definitely worth trying again and again. Thanks Barbara for a great selection and don't forget to stop by TWD to see how everyone else fared this week.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

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Five Guys Burgers

Before coming back to Miami my friends had told me all about Five Guys Burgers. They told me of the deliciousness of their burgers so I was filled with excitement and anticipation. Will the burgers really be that good? Will it be love at first bite? Or will my anticipation kill the whole experience and will I be disappointed that the burgers don't taste as good as they had been built up to?

We went to Five Guys and I was nervous. I ordered a cheeseburger and shared the fries with Alex. We anxiously waited for them to call number 83 and nearly ran people over when they did. The anticipation was worth it because these are good burgers. They are juicy, filling, and extremely satisfying. This burger is truly worthy and, for the price, you are better off going to Five Guys than going to Wendy's or any other fast food chain.
I love the fries. They definitely aren't made for everyone as they are fried in peanut oil, but there is a crispness and lack of greasiness in them that doesn't make them taste like they are fried. They taste like real, hearty potatoes.
I completely forgot to get a picture of the sign, but I did get a picture of the inside. The place was FULL of people. There was a line out the door at one point. I've never seen this kind of reaction to a burger.
Five Guys has locations all across the city. I know they have locations outside of Florida so I recommend checking to see if there's a location near you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

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A Little Baby Talk

I think my mother-in-law has confused my daughter-to-be with a princess. There's really no other way to explain this:
That is Catarina's moses basket. In reality, that was my brother-in-law and Alex's moses basket; it just got a face lift. I had seen the fabric before but had no clue what my mother-in-law planned to do with the basket. My instructions were to keep the basket simple. This is more than simple, it is elegant. It will be the most elegant piece of furniture in our bedroom. It is beautiful and, in my opinion, something straight out of Sleeping Beauty. My initial reaction was "that thing is made for a princess, my daughter isn't a princess." The response from my mother-in-law and Abuela? "She will be the princess of our family." Sigh. The girl isn't here yet and she's already being called a princess, imagine how princess-like she will actually be once she does get here.


One of the best parts of my pregnant experience is getting all the hand-me-downs. I'm not talking about things that belonged to other children, I'm talking about the things that belonged to Alex and me when we were children. Catarina is already the owner of BAGS full of our baby clothes and she has a book library to rival the one we have. She has over 75 books now and that number will surely double once we get Alex's childhood books and whatever books I get at my shower. She's going to come into the world with enough clothes and literature to get her through elementary school.


It's starting to really hit me that Catarina will actually be here in a few weeks. It's possible that she can be here as early as 7 weeks from now. That number scares the heck out of me. Where did time go and how the heck am I only 10 weeks from my due date? I don't think you are ever prepared for how quickly 9 months of pregnancy go by. Somewhere between all the excitement, anticipation, freaking out, and amazement you lose track of time.

Changes happen very quickly in pregnancy. Your body goes through an amazing and at times painful transformation. I notice the changes on a daily basis but it's interesting to see the changes as others see them. Looking at this series of pictures I can understand (kind of) why certain people think (or thought) I looked huge at some point. To me, the biggest change has been between weeks 24 and 28. The belly has gotten a lot rounder and to think I felt like I looked pregnant at 16 weeks.


That's all the baby talk for now. Now I want to know what was the most memorable thing about your pregnancy?

Friday, December 4, 2009

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Fogo De Chao Desserts

One of the downsides of being married to a medical resident is the lack of time spent together. The weeks are filled with on-call duties and the nights are filled with calls from other residents. I knew things would be like this, but it still sucks on those days when you only have a solid hour of together time before said resident is calling it a night. At least there are some perks. One of them are the medical rep dinners. I don't get to go to these but I always get a dessert out of them. Alex has dined at some of the finest steakhouses in Miami. On those nights I patiently wait for him to come home with a little baggy full of sugar heaven. For his last dinner he went to Fogo de Chao and brought home not one, but two exquisite desserts. One was a molten cake and the other was a layered chocolate mousse cake.

The layered cake was phenomenal. The cake was all chocolate but it didn't have an overwhelming chocolate taste. It was light and fluffy. It was a cake that all could eat. This is not the type of cake that I would say should be limited to chocoholics only. You could easily eat a whole slice by yourself.
The molten cake, on the other hand, is a cake for chocoholics only. It was rich, decadent, and filling. The deep chocolate flavor of the cake was softened by the sweeter flavor of the ganache. I was utterly amazed at how this cake was brought home. It looked so pretty when I first saw it that I felt bad sticking it in the microwave for 40 seconds. But, boy was it worth it.