Friday, December 21, 2007
I guess, technically, they are Middle-Eastern cookies, but the first one I ever had came from an Armenian bakery in Burbank, CA... So I call them Armenian :) I kinda made this recipe up. I have The Complete Armenian Cookbook by Alice Bezjian, which is an awesome book (I found my old, tattered copy on Amazon) with tons of recipes that my husband and his family are fond of, plus others from around the world, from Lasagna to Chile Relenos. I used her recipe along with some others I found on the internet and mixed 'em all up to make my version.
Anyways, these are called ma'amouls. It's a shortbread like dough which you stuff with usually a pistachio, walnut or date filling. The ones I had in Burbank had dates and pistachios, but when I was trying to figure out the fruit in the filling I thought it was figs, so that's what I made these with. Next time, because there will be plenty of next times, I will try the dates and tell you which one tastes better.
So, you make your shortbread. I used the basic 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar & 2 cups flour, but then instead of vanilla, use orange flower water. I know it sounds weird, but that's what makes these taste Armenian! Then while you are chilling the dough, boil about 1 cup figs (or dates) with 1/2 water and 1/2 sugar + a splash of orange flower water. Simmer it until almost all the water is out, squishing the figs with your spoon. After that, blend the fig stuff with 1 cup of shelled pistachios in a food processor until it looks like this...
Interesting, huh? I promise, it tastes very yummy. Get your dough out of the fridge and roll walnut size pieces into a ball, poke a hole almost all the way through with your finger, and fill with a small amount of the filling. Pinch the dough back up and then shape into little flattened logs. Once you have a pan ready, PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE while you get the other pan ready. They need to firm up before baking or else they'll melt in the oven. After chilled for about 10 minutes (the time it takes to make the other pan) bake in a 350 degree oven for 13-17 minutes, just until the bottoms are golden brown. The tops won't get much color, so check the bottoms.
Cool on a cookie rack and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
From top left: outside The Bellagio with the amazing water show; our big, cooshy bed; replica of the Statue of Liberty outside of New York, New York; the lobby in our hotel (the Venetian); outside on one of the balconies outside our hotel at night; the entrance to The Luxor; Hubby sitting at Mario Batali's restaurant INSIDE of The Venetian (bet you thought we were on some patio in Venice, huh?); also INSIDE The Venetian... you can take gondola rides, it looks like you're in Italy!; and then an outside pic of our hotel, it was much bigger than I could capture on my camera, but I think this is a cool image.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
1. Put your iTunes/ music player on Shuffle (use a stereo or a list of your favorite songs if you don’t have an iPod)
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT(this is in capital letters, so it is very serious. No hiding your showtunes, folks!)
After you’ve answered all of the questions, tag 5 other people and then let them know they’ve been tagged to do the meme themselves!
IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
The Difference Between A Woman And A Man - Josh Turner
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Spanish Caravan - The Doors
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying - Fall Out Boy
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Stormy Weather - Ella Fitzgerald
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Give a Little Bit - Supertramp
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Nobody Said That It Would Be Easy - Alan Jackson
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Outrageous - Britney Spears
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Naughty Eye - Timbaland
WHAT IS 2+2?
Cinema Paridiso - Josh Groban
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Gone - Kelly Clarkson (how crazy is that? She's like 250+ miles away! :( )
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Secret - Maroon 5
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Lady Marmalade - Moulin Rouge Soundtrack
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Zoot Suit Riot - Cherry Poppin' Daddies
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Fix You - Coldplay
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Can't Help Falling In Love - Michael Buble
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Crash - Dave Matthews Band
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Sin Wagon - Dixie Chicks
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
The Game of Love - Santana ft. Michelle Branch
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Let It Roll - Train
WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
Hurts So Good - John Cougar Mellencamp
I forgot the tagging part of my meme. If you wanna play, play!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
I was so busy, tho. I forgot to take pictures of all the food I made... 2 pans of home-made lasagna, spinach ravioli, bacon and almond green beans, garlic bread, and 2 cakes. I managed to snap one of the half eaten, from-scratch carrot cake, but didn't get one of the 2 layer chocolate. Sorry guys!
Now, for the fun! The winner of my give-away is... *drumrollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll* Jenn and Jacqui from The Browerbirds Nest! Since this is a blog, I decided to pick the winner in a different way. I went here, and they randomly mixed up the names I put in their list to give me a first place winner. How cool is that?
Now for what my friends Jenn and Jacqui won. How cute are these??? Sorry I didn't get a better pic of them before I gave them away, but I'm sure momma will take a cuter pic and post it on her blog. Email me ladies (firstname.lastname@example.org) and give me your address and I'll send you your very own hand crocheted cupcake! My little cousin thought they were pretty cool!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
We made macaroons, chocolate crinkle cookies, lemon white chocolate chip cookies, the best ginger cookies (soft!) and fudge... The easiest fudge in the world. It only takes 2 ingredients... Ready? One bag of chocolate chips and one tub of chocolate frosting! Really, I swear! It's so easy, all you do is melt them in a saucepan until it just starts to boil and then pour it in an 8x8 cake pan, or little chicken pot-pie pans like we did. The only fudge we've ever been successful with :)
Know the best part about baking with your mom? You bake, she does the dishes :) Hehe! Can you tell I don't like dishes???
Anyways, keep commenting on the post below to try to win a fun surprise!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
And for some pics, here's some more Christmas at my house. The handpainted reindeer, Frosty and houses were all made by Momma herself, and were always out and about at Christmas when I was growing up. Lucky for me, she decided to part with some and they're now hangin' out at my house :)
Sunday, December 2, 2007
They're 7 feet tall and I think they fit like they were meant to be. Just festive enough and hubby was happy that there were no ladders involved :) Along with my home-made wreath, I think my front yard looks pretty nice! Except for the ugly bushes that I'm currently trying to get our association to fix. If they can't find pretty plants, I'm going to pull them out and plant my own, and I won't hear one word from them!
Now, when I see a big bag of lemons, many yummy, yummy things come to mind. Lemon bread, lemon merengue pie, lemon cooler cookies... my favorite, tho, is lemon bars, so when I found a recipe for one you make in a pie pan and serve in triangles, I had to try it...
I'll post a pic of the yummy dessert later and if the recipe's good, I'll share it!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Hubby and I were lucky enough to spend the last 2 days in the woods with his family. The in-laws rented a cabin up at
The cabin was very quaint and comfy. And the view! Look…
Plus, what’s more fun then spending time with your two favorite, absolutely adorable, cutie-pie twin nephews? Sorry, I just have to brag!
Awww! I miss them so much already!!! They’re so very sweet. They sing and giggle and drool… Miss them, miss them, miss them…
Don’t we make a handsome family? From left to right, hubby, me, dad, mom, Mihran, Vahan, Shake and Paul. So very fun, can’t wait to make it a family tradition!
To top off the great weekend, I came home to find that I’d gotten another blog award! Yeah! Sweeties Jen and Jacqui over here, and Momma over here, gave me the You Make Me Smile award. Thanks guys, you make me smile too! And since I read so many blogs that make me smile, if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I had such a great day. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a house that’s big enough to have my family over for the holidays. I think our home is a bit small, but we make it work!
Like a dork, I didn’t get a pic of the whole bird, all pretty and brown, but I did snap one of hubby doing his first ever carving (great job babe!)…
I tell you what. That brine must’ve done the trick, cause step-daddy declared it was the best he’d ever tasted. That made me feel better about the chocolate-pecan pie that I made for him that he wasn’t too keen on (I don’t think)… The chocolate was just too chocolaty. Later when everyone went home, I warmed up a piece in the micro for 30 seconds, and all melty it was much better.
The berry pie looked very rustic, atleast that’s what I’m calling my messy woven crust… rustic!
Here’s a coupla pics of the table with all the china and crystal…
My momma bought me the butter dish awhile back and we hadn’t realized how perfectly it went with my china. Everything looked so pretty and girly and sparkly!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Me and my hubby, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, an eggnog latte, and home-made cheesecake (with home-made whipped cream and caramel sauce)... Mmmm, couldn't have been more perfect!
Now, for the Thanksgiving prep...
You are looking at (from top-left clockwise) supposedly the secret to perfectly moist turkey, a brine. As of right now, I have a big ol' 21 pound gobbler sitting in a bath of salt, brown sugar, tons of herbs and veggie broth. I'll let you know how it works. Then, the yummiest looking chocolate pecan pie I've ever seen, I used the recipe from William's Sonoma's baking book. Then chunks of yukon gold potatoes sitting in cold water getting ready to be boiled, mashed and smooshed together with all kinds of god-forsaken things :) And last, a loaf of french bread and 2 boxes of Jiffy corn bread cubed and drying out for real home-made stuffing. Mmmmm, I can hardly wait to eat it all!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! You guys have been so great and supportive! Can't wait to share the "after" pictures :)
Friday, November 16, 2007
Anyways, here're some of my favorite pics from the wedding...
And a close up of one of my favorites :)
I don't know really what to say, except that I'm so incredibly happy, and so very proud of my marriage and my husband. I know that we will have the kind of life together that I always dreamed of. He takes care of me and treats me like every woman should be treated. It is an equal, loving, respectful relationship, and I am so very thankful for it. I can't wait to live the rest of my life with this man!!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
And, here's what I worked on for the Holiday Boutique that's coming up... They're going to turn into lavender eye pillows that can either be kept in the freezer or warmed up in the micro... Cute, huh?
Now, for something wedding... Dresses! Actually just the bridesmaids and flower girls (you'll have to wait for mine :)
All the bridesmaids dresses were the apple color, we just had to try on the colors they had in the size the girls needed. If you can't tell, Biff's (the one in black) has beading on the top to make her special :)
The lil' girls dresses were all the brown color, but then they had red sashes around their waists. They turned out sooo pretty!
Stay tuned for more wedding stuff :)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Isn't she pretttttttty??? I'm so excited! She takes gorgeous pics, and she's PINK! Now, here's my new toy's hand-made case...
See where the arrow's pointing? It's showing you the little button-hole where I can slip the wrist strap through... I need a camera case, I drop things :)
And, since this month is about my wedding... here's a pic of the most gorgeous, 2 dozen long stem red roses I've ever seen... Hubby sent them to me the day I went back to work after he asked me to marry him. They were so big that in order to get them home, I had to open the sun roof in my car and stick some of them out the top!
Sunday, hubby and I, momma, step-daddy and 2 bros are off to Disneyland! Yeah! I'll take lots of pics for you guys :) And, I'll show you what I'm planning on making the entire trip down to sell at a local Christmas boutique that you can read about on my momma's blog here.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Well, since Momma doted on my bro (Love you, little big bro!), I'll dote on Hubby. Hubby and Little Big Bro's birthdays are the 5th and 4th of November, man were we busy, especially since there was also a big Armenian wedding to be attended on the 3rd :)
I know I said I'd do a whole month of my wedding this month, and this is the start... Sneaky hubby, on 11-5-05 (his birthday) he asked me to marry him! I was totally not expecting it!!! I was so happy, I couldn't wait to share the news with everyone! The page above is the night of our engagement... Can you tell I'm happy? Hehe! Here's my favorite sparkly present ever!
He asked me with rose petals on the floor and a Caramel Macciato in his hand (for me... mmmm)... What more could I ask for???
Happy, happy brithday sweetheart! I love you!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Wow... I, and my wrists, feel like I've been working on this thing forever! It's ALMOST done :) One more round of sc around the edges and then figuing out how to sew it to the fleece. I'm soooo excited!!!
I decided to copy part of the square as the border. I think it turned out pretty... It's basically a round of shells, then a round of chains and then a round of dc on the chains in the next round... Sorry if that sounds complicated!
I am so in love with this blanket, how am I going to give it up??? Only to my bestest friend, cause I know she'll love it :)