Monday, December 20, 2010

Cappuccino Fudge

Cappuccino Fudge
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream
½ c. sugar
2/3 c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. margarine/butter
1 t. instant coffee powder
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. salt
1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Line an 8” square baking pan with aluminum foil; set aside. In a 2 qt. saucepan, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, cream, butter, coffee powder, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Place on cutting board and cut into 36 squares. You can double the recipe to fit a 9x13 pan and make 72 squares.
Source: Annie's Eats - (picture and recipe)

Variations on this recipe that I have tried and we really liked:
Chocolate Fudge:
Omit the cinnamon and instant coffee powder. Follow all other instructions exactly.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge:
Before starting the boiling process, heat up some creamy or chunky peanut butter in the microwave and then stir in some powdered sugar, heating and stirring in between to help it reach the desired consistency (thin, sweetened peanut butter). If it is not super thin don't worry - it will still work. Don't mix in the cinnamon and instant coffee powder in the beginning; instead just make normal chocolate fudge. Follow all other directions exactly, pouring the fudge into the pan. Wait a few minutes for the fudge to cool a bit and meanwhile heat the peanut butter back up in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. Then spoon globs of peanut butter on top of the fudge and use a knife to spread it around, swirling it into the fudge. You can really use as much peanut butter as you want - it just depends on how you want it to taste! This was Jordan's family's favorite.
Mint Chocolate Fudge:
Omit the cinnamon and instant coffee powder. After you have completed all of the boiling phases and you are about to pour the fudge into the pan, add about a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the fudge and stir it in. You can add more if it is not minty enough. **You could also crush up some candy canes and mix those in!** In the future, I will do something a little different to this fudge probably to make it more minty looking - I will make 2 batches of the fudge, mixing in white chocolate chips and some green food coloring in one half of it and making the other half regular minty fudge, and then swirl them up together in the pan so it looks green and brown and people actually know it is mint. Just an idea that I'm not totally positive will work.

You should really try this recipe - it is so easy and really really good! It is not dry at all and gets a bit soft even if not stored in the fridge.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

staff team Christmas pic!

I can not say enough about how much I love these people.
I love having wonderful, Christian co-workers who care about us. It is amazing and one of the best parts of my job. I have been looking at this picture often since we have moved away from Blacksburg, and I am so sad to not work with these fine people anymore. (minus the Luhrmans - hooray we go to Aus with them!) Thank you Jesus for this blessing you put into our lives the past 3 years - they have been a great encouragement to us in our lives and our marriage as we had some of the most difficult and influential years of our life together. We love you so much!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas card pics!!

My 16-year old cousin took these for us! I thought they turned out really well for a 3 minute photo shoot! We ended up using the B&W smiling one (the 3rd one in the post) for our Christmas card, which we got from pear tree greetings. I really love them! Hopefully when I get them in the mail tomorrow I still will. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap!

I had breakfast with Sherri this morning and I was reminded that I don't update my blog often enough. I really want to get into a good habit of sharing our life with those we're leaving behind when we go to Australia in....37 days!! Oh my. That is soon.

Right before thanksgiving we went on a staff retreat at Deep Creek Lake, then to the Regional Staff Conference on the eastern shore of Maryland, so we were ready to relax a little. We were also both a little sick.

with Katie and Julie at Staff Retreat
Julie and Kelsey with Katie and Lauren during our petting zoo adventure
On Monday night, we found out that one of the students very involved in Cru, Eli, had died in an accident while hiking, which was really shocking and so sad. Thankfully, we felt very comforted by the Lord and still really enjoyed Thanksgiving even though it was hard.

So our thanksgiving holiday this year was quite extended, delicious, and a great time to spend with family. Since we're leaving so soon, there are obviously limited opportunities left for us to see our extended family, so Jordan and I tried to initiate even more thanksgiving festivities than normal! Our schedule: Wednesday night - Thanksgiving dinner with Jordan's mom's side of the family. Thursday: Thanksgiving feast with my mom's side of the family. Friday: leftovers extravaganza in Manassas with my dad's side of the family. Thankfully we took some quality family walks this week too so hopefully that helped to offset some of the calories we took in without shame.

Our Wednesday dinner was planned by the "kids," i.e. Jordan, me, Jason (Jordan's brother), and Emily (their cousin). This was fun because usually everything is organized and cooked by the matriarchs of the family. So - we got our first chance to try to roast the turkey for the family! Let me tell you, it was kind of out of control. Picture me, Jordan, Jason, and Daddy Peace circled around the sink, trying to juggle a 22lb turkey, while I am digging around up to my elbows in the turkey trying to pull something out but none of us had any clue what it was! We almost cooked the turkey with the bag of giblets still inside simply because we couldn't find them! Anyway - it was hilarious and definitely memorable. Then, while cooking, we had 2 thermometers, both showing different temperatures, and because we didn't desire to make the whole family sick with food poisoning, we were concerned. Long story short, after figuring out that the convection oven actually does cook the turkey much faster than we anticipated, we just stopped cooking it, crossing our fingers that it was actually done. Then on the way to Jordan's grandpa's house (20 minutes late) where we were serving the meal, we were all carrying liquids on our laps (wassail, gravy, tea) plus the turkey and about 4 sides, with them sloshing around and us screaming when we hit a bump. We did finally make it and the turkey was wonderful! Super juicy and delicious, even two days later! Success.

here's our pretty turkey!
Thursday was a bit more relaxing since all I made were the mashed potatoes. We had fun hanging out and playing Pit and watching Oliver Twist that night.

Friday was good, but I think we talked about birth a little more than Jordan appreciated. My aunt Jen is about to pop any day now, and being a doula, she knows lots about the whole process and was just filling us in on EVERYTHING! Then she kept telling Jordan he better listen because he'll need to know this stuff some day. I thought it was interesting, but poor Jordan. The leftovers were delicious and we played a long game of Balderdash which was enjoyable - even if Dad won.

my Aunt Jen and my little cousin Myra Clare - and baby on the way!

here's the family picture we took at Jen's
That's our thanksgiving recap! We didn't do much else besides a little shopping and reading. It was relaxing.