Friday, November 28, 2008

Waffles: something to be thankful for, even the day after Thanksgiving

Seriously -- who doesn't like waffles? Like bacon and cookies, waffles easily rank among world's best things. And I, being the lucky bride that I am, was, well, lucky enough to get what I now believe is the best waffle iron ever. At least as good as I'll ever need. Do you see those perfect square indents? The even browning? How the batter is all but gone after feeding Eric, his brother Doug, and me? Thank you to my parents, the bringers of All-Clad 4-slice Belgian Waffle Iron!

I was even thinking clearly enough before we went to bed to prep the waffle batter. Thanks once again goes to the ever-handy Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, that red gingham bastion of reliability.
Overnight Waffles
from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook
Makes about 12 5-inch waffles
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 C milk
2 eggs
1/3 C cooking oil or melted butter

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, yeast, vanilla, and salt.
Add milk, eggs, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.
Cover batter loosely and chill overnight or up to 24 hours.
Stir batter. Pour slightly less than covers the waffle iron grid for each slice as the batter will spread. Close lid quickly; do not open until done! Bake according to manufacturer's directions for timing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wedding Photos!

The five weeks since our wedding has seemed like an eternity waiting for our photos, and the suspense was killing me! Our fabulous photographer, Becca Dilley, sent the links to us today -- wait no more!

For those of you who want the highlights (all 270 of them!), click here. For those of you with a little more time on your hands, check out all 665 here.

Love to all of you, and enjoy the photos!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wedding and Honeymoon Photos!

Eric and I finally got our personal photos uploaded to Picasa. There are multiple albums, comprising 550+ photos (that's without all the photos everyone else has posted!), so this should keep you occupied for at least a few hours at work tomorrow, right?

We'll let you make up your own stories about what we did -- there are too many photos to add captions to all of them. Or just ask.
Rehearsal Dinner
Getting Ready
Honeymoon: Kauai, Days 1-2
Honeymoon: Kauai, Day 3
Honeymoon: Kauai, Day 4
Honeymoon: Day 5, Kauai
Honeymoon: Kauai, Day 6
Honeymoon: Last Day in Kauai (Day 7)
Honeymoon: Big Island, Day 7-8
Honeymoon: Big Island, Day 10
Honeymoon: Big Island, Day 11
Honeymoon: Last Day on the Big Island

Coming soon: photos from our wedding photographer!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Celebration Bars!

I got really motivated to bake yesterday. I don't know if it was the new cookie and cupcake blogs I found, or the excitement of the election results rolling in, but all I know is I needed to bake something. So I did.

Piecing together the chocolate cookie crust from a cheesecake bar recipe, a variation on brownies I found (a sort of blondies/chocolate chip cookie bars concoction -- brown sugar brownies!), and a touch of spice because I've been dying to make something chocolate-y and spicy, I give you Celebration Bars!

Chocolate Crust
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a Baker's Edge pan (or any 9x13-inch baking pan). Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter until smooth and fluffy. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and salt. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture. Mixture will be crumbly when all the flour has been incorporated. Press evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15-17 minutes.

1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I swapped the nuts for 60% cacao chocolate chips)

While the crust bakes, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture and the nuts (or chocolate chips) until well blended.

Pour the filling over the hot/warm crust, spreading evenly (you may want to use your hands once it's all in, as it is quite sticky). Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife.

I cut mine into 32 slices because they were pretty deep (doubled recipe).