Search Good Living

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Good Thing

From Trader Joe's.

It's become a tradition in our small family on Christmas morning.  Upon waking up, Scott makes a roaring fire, I whip up some hot chocolate with Ghiradelli cocoa and marshmallows and we eat chocolate croissants, flakey and fresh out of the oven, while reading the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2.  

The first year we did this, I spent WAY too much money ordering them from here.  Granted, we only ate two and I was able to bake the other 13 of them for a Mother's Day brunch, but still.  So, when I saw that Trader Joe's had their own version, four croissants for $3.99, sitting in the freezer section, I had to snap them up.

And guess what.  They were delicious.  Hauntingly familiar.  Want to know why?  The same guy who makes them for Williams-Sonoma, creates them for Trader Joe's.  And guess what, for $40 less, counting shipping and tax.  Crazy.

Buy a box, allow them to sit out on a cookie sheet overnight to rise, and bake them first thing the next morning.  A perfect special occasion treat.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Not to toot my own horn or anything...

...but look what I made!!  Those of you who know me understand what an enormous accomplishment this is, considering the fact that I am entirely missing the "crafty" gene.  This coming from the girl who can't even french braid.

Anyways, it was one of the best parties I've ever been too, a dear friend who I've known since kindergarden had a lovely birthday supper followed by the BEST birthday cake I've ever had. Each of us had a little kit to assemble a gingerbread house out of graham crackers and every guest brought bags of candy.  

Happy Birthday Katie!  It was a great night.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas

And to all, a Good Night.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Everyone told me how fast it would go.  The days when Sam was just a little nugget, snuggled up in the crook of my arm, all swaddled up in a hospital blanket.  

Now he is a 20 pound heap of drooly smiles and paunchy stomach.  Will time continue to fly by?  Will he be a huge, hairy teenager with stinky feet before I know it?  These sweet baby days are so precious and dear to me.  

I wish there was a way to bottle them up and take them out on a rainy day, 15 years in the future. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mini Cheese Quiches-A killer party recipe

These little Cocktail Quiches are full of cheesy deliciousness, freeze perfectly and are great warm, cold or at room temp.

Yields: 4-5 dozen
3 eggs
1 lb. small curd cottage cheese
3 TB sour cream
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
4 TB. melted butter
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Blend just until mixed.  Spray mini muffin tins liberally with Pam.  Fill each cup 7/8ths full.  If desired, sprinkle crisp bacon pieces, minced red pepper, minced onion, or whatever into the filled cup to add flavor.  Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing.

May be frozen.  Reheat in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes before serving.

Thanks for the snow suit Sara...

I think it fits pretty well...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This has changed my life.

Have you ever tried La Brea bread sold in the bakery section at Jewel?  At least I believe Jewel is the only place around here that carries this delicious line of artisan breads.  It's a California bakery that was started in 1988 and now delivers partially baked loaves of specialty bread all over the country.

I've found it to be the best bread outside of the city and will make a special trip to Jewel to pick a loaf or two right before company comes.  It always was slightly annoying to have to run out to the store in the middle of cooking/baking/grilling etc...UNTIL.

UNTIL a bakery lady at Jewel to whom I will remain eternally grateful, shared a nugget of gold with me.  Pay it forward baby.  Here you go:

Rummaging through the offerings of bread out on the shelf, Jenni gently prods and pokes, attempting to find the freshest baguette amidst the small pile.  Nothing is to her liking though, it's obvious this bread was baked early in the morning and has sat out all day.  So, she decides to ask if there's any bread in the oven.

"Excuse me ma'am, do you have any of the La Brea baguettes in the oven?  I'm looking for a really fresh one for dinner tonight."

A kind, pleasantly round woman beams out at her from behind the counter and says, "You know, we're done baking for the day, but would you like me to get you a frozen one?  You can bake them at home you know."

This news strikes Jenni as an epiphany.  WHAT?!  What what what??  

"Wait, you mean I can do the same baking that you do in my own oven?  Do I need to do anything special, like put a pan of water in the bottom?  Will the crust be the same?  Really?"

At this point she is almost foaming at the mouth, struggling against the urge to immediately buy 14 loaves of bread and stock her freezer with the likes of Rosemary Olive Oil, Fruit and Nut, Roasted Garlic and of course the simple baguette.  She has issues with hoarding, you remember.

"I promise that it will taste exactly the same," the nice woman assures her, "Just defrost the large round loaves and bake them for about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.  The baguettes you can just leave frozen, pop them right in on the oven shelf and bake for 15 minutes."

Jenni thanks her profusely, attempts to not tinkle in her pants out of excitement and heads home with two baguettes, to be baked right before her guests arrive.

Later that evening the house is filled with the smell of baking bread and there is joy and merriment in all the land.

The Remnants

I meant to post this closer to are the final results of the 19 lb bird that graced our home for a short period of time.  Homemade turkey pot pie.  Ohhh so good.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sums it up well

There Is No Rose

"There is no rose of such virtue as is the rose that bore Jesu.  Alleluia.
For in this rose contained was Heaven and earth in little space.  Resmiranda.
By that rose we may well see there be one God in Persons three.  Pares forma.
The angels sungen the shepherds to: 'Gloria in excelsis Deo!'  Gaudeamus.
Leave we all this worldly mirth, and follow we this joyful birth."  Transeamus.

-Anonymous 14th Century English Poem, set to music by Benjamin Britten

For whatever reason, the last line of this poem resonated within me as I listened our church's choir sing through this magnificent piece last night at a concert in the city.  

It is such a struggle to maintain focus, isn't it?  Amidst all the bustle and buying and baking and all the "I have to..."s of life, I am attempting to remember what it's all about.

"Leave we all this worldly mirth, and follow we this joyful birth."  

I've been lame

Sorry for the lack of posting, I can't believe I haven't checked in since November!  It's already December 10th, where do the days go.  We have been busy getting the house decorated, shopping, practicing for the INSANE amount of rehearsals required for a Christmas concert I'm playing piano for, and other odds and ends.

I've had posts building up in my mind though, so watch out.