Monday, June 6, 2011

So I had plans of writing this wonderful post about my weekend, about some new recipes, and of course about my sweet baby boy.  However, it's been another one of those morning where nap time becomes our own epic battle of the will.  I of course won, but Cole put up a pretty good fight if I do say so myself.  Usually these mornings don't result in the longest of naps, so I am going to speed things up and give you a fast-forward version of what all has been happening.

Cole said "mama".....well, apparently this is up for debate since I was the only key witness and he hasn't said it since.  But I swear he said "mom" and "mama" at least 15-20 different times with my coaxing.  I have exhausted all avenues to get him to say it again for daddy, and am usually just given a mischievous grin accompanied by giggles.  So with that said, I don't care what anyone else says (Kyle) it will be put down in the baby book as his first word....not "dada" or "nana" but "MAMA".  Not that this is a competition or anything.
The look I usually get after coaxing to say "mama"
The weather was absolutely gorgeous this weekend, we ditched the rain and said hello to a couple of 80 degree days....practically a heatwave for us Oregonians! So we spent the entire weekend outdoors, walking around some of our favorite places in Portland such as NW 23rd.  I made my usual stop at Two Tarts Bakery, and was thrilled when they had malted chocolate macarons and rhubarb macarons, I had been DYING to try these two flavors and they certainly did not disappoint.   I am addicted to these bite-sized pieces of heaven, how could you not fall in love with them? They are about as cute as they are tasty! We also made a stop at Crate and Barrel.....and I think Kyle is probably regretting that decision. We were going simply to pick up wedding presents for some friends......but I get about as excited about that store as I do Two Tarts Bakery.  I wanted one of everything! In fact, I almost wanted to grab that registry gun and go to town...but I didn't.  What I did do was beg for this and beg for that.  By the end my poor husband probably felt more like he had two kids in tow that he was dragging out of the store kicking and screaming. Ok, so I wasn't that bad.  But just look at this plate...seriously, you would be begging too!

And then I ran across these beautiful hanging candle lanterns that we have absolutely no place for....but I still wanted them because they are so gosh darn pretty!

And this is just the beginning, I am really loving what they have for this season.  Well, I'm trying to be practical and a good steward of our money and came to the conclusion that we really don't need more "stuff".  But it doesn't hurt to stare a bit, so that's what I did.  I stared and perhaps drooled, but left with my husband, baby, and wedding gifts....exactly what we went in for. Success!

Now on to the best part of my baby sister got ENGAGED! 

Now this isn't just any engagement, this has been about 8 years in the making.  They have faithfully and purely waited for the Lord's timing. They were practically just learning to walk when they started dating (ok,so that's a little exaggerated, but you get the picture)  We all knew that this would be the year, but it was a matter of waiting for the actual pop of the question.  I couldn't be happier for them, they deserve nothing short of all the joy that comes along with this season of life.  We are blessed to welcome this young man into our family! So in lieu of the engagement we all got together to celebrate and eat some dessert. My mom made her famous apple pie and I made a Peanut Butter Chocolate torte chosen by the bride-to-be herself.

If you are looking for something that will flatter your figure and be kind to your waistline then please don't take a second look at this recipe.  This recipe is not for the faint of heart.  Just warning.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte:
Found From: Annie's Eats (her picture is much prettier than mine)


For the crust:
32 Oreo cookies, finely processed into crumbs
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt

For the crunch:
1 1/4 cups salted peanuts, finely chopped, divided (for the filling, crunch and topping)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. espresso powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg

For the filling:
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not natural)
2 tbsp. whole milk

For the topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


- To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.  Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl.  Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs.  Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan.  Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.

- To make the crunch, in another small bowl combine 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss with a fork to mix and set aside.

- To prepare the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks.  Beat in 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks.  Scrape the cream into a separate bowl and refrigerate until needed.

- Wipe out (do not wash) the mixer bowl, replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth.  Beat in the peanut butter, whole milk, and 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts until well combined.
Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream just to lighten the mousse.  Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Scrape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

- To finish the torte, put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a full boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and smooth.
Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula.  Scatter the remaining peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, at least 20 minutes.  When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

***This is the perfect dessert to celebrate something truly fantastic such as an engagement.  And so we did.

On a much much lighter note, we did some grilling this weekend.  I always love grilling, it is fast, healthy and smells like summer.  I don't usually plan many meals during the weekends simply because I never know whether we will be home or out and about. We actually ended up being home one evening for dinner so I decided we needed something quick and fresh since it was so warm out. This is what I came up with.

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Mango and Avocado Salsa:
Adapted from Cooking Light and my Mango Guacamole

For the Chicken:
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
For the Salsa:
  • 1 avocado; diced
  • 1 mango; diced
  • 1 tbls lime juice
  • 1/4-1/2 red onion; diced
  • 1/4-1/2 c cilantro; chopped
  • salt
  • pepper to taste

  • To prepare chicken, combine the juice, soy sauce, ginger, lemon pepper, and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning once.
  • Prepare grill or broiler.
  • Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place chicken on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done.
  • For Salsa combine all ingredients in bowl and toss lightly until mixed, scoop over grilled chicken.

This actually turned out just as I was hoping, the chicken was very flavorful and juicy, and the mango avocado salsa really brightened the chicken up and gave it a very happy and fresh taste.  But then again, I am a sucker for fruit mixed with meat....just ask my husband what I always craved from Red Robin when I was may or may not have been the Teriyaki Chicken Burger with a side of honey mustard dipping sauce. Mmmm, so maybe I still crave it....enough said.

I promise I will still share with you my Chicken Coconut Curry Soup, but it just didn't seem fitting with the warm weather we had.  Hope ya'll understand, it will be for a rainy day....which we get plenty of. On that note, have a happy Monday!

No comments:

Post a Comment