Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chocolate Mousse


    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    • 1/4 cup freshly brewed coffee
    • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
    • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
    • 1 tablespoon armagnac or 1 tablespoon cognac or 1 tablespoon brandy
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
    • 8 extra-large eggs, separated, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar, plus
    • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
    • kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
    • sweetened whipped cream, for decoration


  1. In a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the two chocolates, coffee, coffee powder, Grand Marnier, Armagnac, and vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature. Beat in the softened butter.
  2. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and the 1/2 cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until pale yellow; when you lift the beater, the mixture will fall back on itself in a ribbon. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the chocolate mixture. Transfer to a larger mixing bowl.
  3. Measure 1 cup of egg whites and freeze or discard the rest. Combine the cup of egg whites with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff but not dry. Mix half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula.
  4. In the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until firm. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mousse into a 2-quart serving dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight and up to a week.
    Recipe via Barefoot Contessa

Prayer Of The Woods

I am the heart of your hearth on the cold winter nights, the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun, and my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on. I am the beam that holds your house, the board on your table, the bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat. I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead, the wood of your cradle, and the shell of your coffin. I am the bread of your kindness and the flower of your beauty. Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: Harm me not.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oregon in photos

A few weeks ago we spent the weekend in Oregon visiting our family and celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday and my nephew's high school graduation. It was a fun filled, jam packed weekend as always. Here is our weekend in photos!
I flew up a couple of days before Brad. From the moment I stepped off the plane the fun began. We headed down to Salem for a birthday party. My beautiful mother-in-law's 60th birthday celebration, cheers to you Sharon!

The next day we spent hanging around the house prepping for the next days party. Isis and Chris came up from SF and we took a beautiful (minus the stinging nettles) walk through the woods. 

With a beer in hand, I could have stayed here all day.

Vince and the 3 wheeler of death!

The next day, Brad arrived in the early AM (like 12:30am, thanks Kev for picking him up) and we spent the day celebrating the graduate!

This picture cracks me up! The moments before this (thanks for the video memory babe) are why I love my sister so much, we always are cracking up at something!

Grandma Ruby

All friends since childhood, so sweet to see them all together partying it up!

And the dancing begins! This action shot of Andre is so funny!

There are few pictures after this one, at least none that  am willing to put up here (wink wink).  It was such a fun party that went all afternoon and late into the night. I am so lucky that I married into such an amazing family! Such love, support and respect everyone has for one another (no its not all perfect but the LOYALTY, and LOVE is truly beautiful) and it's always a fun party!

Graduation day!

I love this picture! Moments before getting his diploma.  Brad was pressed for time before rushing out to catch a plane back home. I am so happy he was able to see his nephew graduate. Brad shot this picture, it makes my heart smile thinking of what a proud uncle he was to see this moment!

Vinny and his ladies! His Grandma Sharon, Great Grandma Ruby, cousin Angie, and Aunt Bobbie.

I love these 4 people so much! What a proud moment for all of them! My brother and sister-in-law are shining examples of the parents that Brad and I hope to be someday!

Afterwards we headed out for pizza...

...and spent the rest of the night having a dance party!

Brad treated Tonie and I to massages and pedicures the next day at Ruby's Spa. It was a perfect way to spend the day after a busy weekend.

The Edgefield is so special to us, we got married here almost 4 years ago and we love going back every time we are up for a visit.

After our spa day we were starving so we headed to the Black Rabbit for lunch and a Ruby Ale (my favorite!)

That night Tonie Kevin and I went down to the Delta for so good ole southern food, it was delicious!

My last night in Portland, always bittersweet!

My flight left in the late afternoon so Tonie and I had lunch at Pine State Biscuits (go there, it's so good)!

Always sad to leave but I know we will be up again in just a few months.  Thank you Oregon and my wonderful family for another AMAZING visit! Love you guys

Sons of Anarchy

I may need an intervention from this show.  I dont know why no one talks about Sons on Anarchy! We have been glued to the TV every night hooked on SAMCRO. We finished season 2 last night and it left us wanting more. Can't wait to check out season 3.

Good Morning Sunshine!

                                   Happy Tuesday to you!

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