Sunday, December 26, 2010

Indian wedding extravaganza

Two weekends ago one of my dreams came true and we attended a real Indian wedding at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. It was definitely worth the ling drive for the two day extravagant celebration complete with three meals and entertainment amongst elaborate decor. The food was excellent but extremely spicy and I have never been more grateful for plain yogurt in my entire life. There were some traditional American elements to the wedding like a chocolate chocolate ganache cake that was to die for delicious. That's my kind of wedding.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best Gingerbread houses ever

This year I did two gingerbread houses: One for my friend Gulzat(her first ever real gingerbread house) and another for me.  Hers was a traditional one but mine turned out really modern and I think is the best one I have ever made.

Gulzat's house had a chocolate sugar roof complete with Santa's sleigh and reindeer with Santa in the chimney.  She decorated the rest with tiny gingerbread ornaments and a family complete with a sister that her son Daniel is wishing for someday.  She's showing it off to all her friends and getting many compliments:)

I decided to make a taller house this year and I cut out some round windows instead of all square.  I covered it with cinnamon sticks on the sides, black licorice on the back and Hershey's chocolate bars on the front polka-dotted with various candies.  The roof is frosted Mini Wheats with Rudolph on top. It kind of looks like a bank to me.  What do you think? I also stayed up until 2am the night before making a chocolate tree and Santa.  Everyone comments that he looks like a black Santa, but it was either that or albino, so I chose the dark chocolate and I think he's fabulous!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Christmas Treat:Toffee

 My favorite: Dark chocolate on bottom, toffee, white chocolate with sliced almonds and TC

I know it's been a long time.  I've been busy traveling all over the globe and we're still on the run, but here is my favorite new treat over the holidays....toffee.  It's super easy and looks fancy.  This is the recipe you get when you search for "best toffee ever" on  I added a generous tsp vanilla in with the sugar and butter and chocolate on the bottom with a various assortment of nuts along with, what other than, toasted coconut. 
Our three kinds: Milk chocolate with pecans, dark chocolate with ground almonds and the above mentioned.

2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir occasionally.
2. While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
3. As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate, and press in slightly. Putting a plastic bag over your hand will minimize the mess.
4. Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

My sister Lucy with our precious cargo...that we couldn't eat or taste until Sunday, our treat day.  I think we made this on a Monday too, so we waited all week long to try it and it was delicious!