Wine and Crafts!

Is there really a better combo than wine and crafts? It may be one of my favorite pastimes and it appears I’m not the only one. Last week we hosted a wine and craft night – which featured learning how to make your own wreath. Below are some pics from the workshop, if you want step by step instructions on how to make your own wreath, please check out one of our earlier posts on DIY holiday crafts.

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Chocolate Rugelah

  
 

 

Our teen cooking class made a traditional Hanukkah meal. We made matzo ball soup, potato latkes and chocolate rugelah. Everything was absolutely delicious especially the rugelah, thought I would share the recipe. Ingredients:

For the cream cheese dough:
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, cold and cubed

1 cup of butter, cold and cubed

2 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for rolling out the dough

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the chocolate filling:

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces or shavings

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

Make the dough by combining the cream cheese, butter, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the ingredients together until the fat becomes evenly dispersed within the flour (the dough will be crumbly but still stick together).
Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for one hour or up to one day.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut it into 4 pieces. Place 3 pieces back into the refrigerator.

Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface, and using a rolling pin, roll it into a circle that’s about 1/8-inch thick. 

Immediately brush the rolled out dough with one-fourth of the melted butter and sprinkle it with one-fourth of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Sprinkle one-fourth of the chocolate onto the dough, pressing it lightly into the dough.

Cut the dough into 12 wedges.

Roll each wedge up, starting from the thickest end, until you form a crescent shape.

Repeat the rolling, topping and shaping process with the other three pieces of dough.

Place the rugelach on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. (You can also freeze the rugelach at this point for later use.)

Bake the rugelach in a 350ºF oven for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the rugelach to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Life….it has a funny way of teaching you things.

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Look, there are definitely far more scarier situations, mine on a scale, would rank quite low but even the low things can help you see life differently and give you a better chance of surviving the real big ones. This is not a post about trying to get an empathetic response from anyone, this is a post about what life has taught me in the past 4 days. This is about learning to be grateful for what we truly have and not about pining after what we don’t. Life shouldn’t be about comparing ourselves to others, it should be about patting each other on the back, somehow we seem to sometimes fall short here. This past week my husband got very sick, sick enough that he was hospitalized for 4 days and for the first two days there were no answers. All the tests came back normal and nothing could explain his 40C fever, which would not go away, despite all the meds in the world. For two days, I lived in fear. When the answers came relief washed over my house and everything in it. Relief is perhaps not the word to use – but my paranoia had gotten the best of me, it had round my thoughts into fiery balls of worry. So relief came in the word pneumonia, which not only sucks as a sickness, is also a dumb spelt word, it’s one of those silly English words that throws your phone into crazy autocorrect. So, shitty? Yes, end of the world stuff? No but, regardless a slight eye opener.

What I’ve learned about life from this situation is the following:

Find something every day to be grateful for – write it down.

Find something about your spouse you appreciate every day – write it down.

Every day, that you walk without problems, breathe without hesitation, stand without pain – be grateful.

At the end of day, when you’re comparing this person to you, that person to them, remember if you’re standing on two feet, your children are somewhat smiling and you’ve got a roof over your head and food in your belly – be grateful.

Forget about all the things you “need” – cause really you just want them and everything that you’ve already got is all you’ll ever really need.

And love the ones you’ve got, with everything you have.

peace.

The Perfect Brunch Recipe

  So, let’s pretend it’s Saturday night and you’ve just remembered you’re having your in-laws over for brunch tomorrow and you’re still putting the kids to bed, the laundry isn’t done and well the list goes on. Do not panic! We’ve got the easiest, perfect little recipe for you, plus your guests can participate in making their own! Saves you the hassle of prepping and cooking! 

Ingredients

6 eggs (or appropriate number for size of party)

Handful of basil

3 green onions

6 slices of prosciutto 

6 tbsp of cream

6 tbsp of Parmesan cheese 

Handful of cherry tomatoes – sliced 

6 ramekins 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350C. Line each ramekin with a slice of prosciutto. Crack the egg into the ramekin and then pour in the cream – do not mix. Add some green onions, 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese, a couple tomatoes and a bit of basil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Halloween Sweet Table (part two)

IMG_5200So, Halloween has come and gone (hard to believe) and now I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and complete the steps for the sweet table. Working in steps really makes the whole task much less daunting. See our previous post about freezing iced cookies. For the week leading up to the big day, I worked on the little details. Making the chalkboard signs, buying the display items, etc.

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Another great trick is to pick sweets that can be stored for several days in advance, I picked meringue ghosts and made them 3 days before the big day, I got a great recipe from joy of baking.

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All that I had left to do the day before was draw the faces on my little clementines and ice my cupcakes. The party was on actual Halloween, so on Friday morning I took all my sweets out of the freezer and let them sit out at room temperature all day. I iced my cupcakes Friday night and they were still fresh and yummy on Saturday.

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One more step that I found really helpful was to set everything up at our centre and photograph it. That meant when I got to the location, I wasn’t fiddling with last minute decisions about where things would go. The key to having a stress free job is to divide your steps and don’t leave everything till the last minute.

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