Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Caramel Chocolate Treasures

I got this recipe off of a blog, and then forgot to write down which blog I got it from! When I figure it out, and I definitely will because I want to make more delicious treats from there, I'll post it and link to it. Gotta give credit where credit is due!

I doubled this and it made a little more than 3 dozen.

Chocolate Caramel Treasures

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 T whole milk
1 t vanilla
1 c flour
1/3 c cocoa
1/4 t salt
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 c finely chopped hazelnuts

10 plain caramels, unwrapped
2 T heavy cream

Chocolate Drizzle:
3 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to warm

Make cookies:
Beat butter, sugar, yolk, milk, and vanilla well. Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into a separate bowl. Slowly add to sugar mixture and beat on low until dough forms. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap until firm. (I made it in the AM and baked them in the evening.)

Roll dough into 1" - 1 1/2" balls. Coat in egg white, and then roll in chopped nuts. Place nut coated balls on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Press thumb into center to form indentation. Bake 10-12 minutes until done. Immediately press centers again after removing from oven. (I used the bottom end of a knife, you could use the bottom of a wooden spoon or whatever is that general shape that you have laying around!)

Make filling by melting caramel and cream over med-low heat in saucepan until combined and smooth. Spoon into center of cookies.

Melt chocolate in microwave being careful not to scortch it. I did it at 50% power in 20 second intervals until it was melted, stirring each time. Place melted chocolate in a baggie and snip a tiny hole in the bottom corner. Drizzle over cookies and let cool competely to set up.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


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Monday, July 13, 2009

Because I'm cranky and exhausted and need to refocus a bit...

I decided to post some older pictures that I'd neglected to post before! Sounds like a good idea, right?

Here I am, out on our friend's boat on the 4th! What fun! No tubing for me, but the guys went wakeboarding and the kids went tubing and it was a blast. I love being out on the water. Elijah was enjoying himself as well! He didn't even cry when the boat turned into a wave and he and I got soaked!

Speaking of Elijah...I have another curly haired little boy on my hands! These were a surprise for me. Daniel had some curl to his hair, but it went away by the time he was 1 I think. We're loving this! He's a shaggy little boy right now, but that's ok. I have a feeling these might not stick around too long if I cut them off!

A few weeks ago we had a big, sudden rain shower and I couldn't resist letting the boys out to stomp around in the downpour. They had so much fun. It was fun watching them too!

In other news, yes I'm still pregnant. No I'm not having contractions. I am hanging in there as well as I can. I have bad days, and I have okay days. Late pregnancy sucks, but I'm blessed to be here. I just cannot wait to meet our latest addition and be on the other side of this!

I apologize if I neglect to answer the phone or return calls. Please be sure though that I appreciate knowing you are thinking of me! These days its hard for me to string a coherant sentense together that isn't interrupted by a "NO! Please don't hit your brother!" or dealing with an injury, or trying to clean up a bit so I'm not completely embarrassed when people drop by, or.or.or.or. You get the picture. Plus, my mom and my grandma always tried to teach me that if I don't have anything nice to say...:) I'm just a ball of complaints at the moment, and its no fun to listen to that.

It is sounding like Dawn (my cousin, for the few of you that don't know her or me that well!) and little Jackson are going to be able to come out for a visit in a couple of weeks! I'm so excited! I haven't seen any of my family for a year, on the nose, and it sucks. I'm missing them a lot, and even though I'm a bit ahhhh...distracted by other things at the moment, it still weighs on my mind a lot. Its going to be awesome to catch up with her and get to know little Jackson a bit.

We're hoping (and wishing, and praying and hoping some more) to be able to make a trip out in September. A lot of things are going to have to fall into place for that to happen, but if its meant to be, they will. We're working hard at the moment to get some things in order, which I'm sure you all can relate to. Its not easy in the current climate, especially for a commercial plumbing supplies salesman! Thank God though, its all working out. Just when things look to be falling apart, they just start working out. It certainly isn't of our doing. I am just glad that I really am NOT in control of all of this stuff, and the one who is is all knowing and all seeing and is able to do anything!

Speaking of things coming together, airfare for our entire family will only cost (only....haha) $600. Jeremiah now gets free flight benefits through his father, the two littlest will be lap babies, and buddy passes (also through my father in law) run just shy of $200 a piece, round trip. Since our family is now gigantic, we'll need to rent a vehicle when we get into Minneapolis to get up to my home town, unless anyone has a vehicle that'll fit two car seats, two booster seats, and three adults, and a lot of time on their hands that particular date which has yet to be determined! Last year when we were thinking of coming, just the airfare alone would have cost us well over $1000. This price reduction makes the trip much more doable.

I'm thinking of making it kind of a long trip, and having Jeremiah fly in with me on the front end of the trip, staying for a long weekend, then flying back to WA. We'll stay another week or so, then have him come back out for another long weekend and fly back with me home again, home again jiggity jig. I know my limitations, and flying cross country with 4 kids 5 and under is one of them. This is one of those cases where free flying for Jermeiah is such a help.

Now I just need a miraculous injection of some extra patience for this last week or so. Daniel has already deemed me the most meanest mom is the entire world. He's probably right this week. They are such good boys. They keep me busy, in the best way possible. So, send me a message, send some encouragement, say a few prayers for us, and hopefully in my next post I'll have brand-new-baby pictures!
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The day that we almost lost at eye...

What does one stick being swung and one kid on a bike not paying attention equal?

Lots more gray hairs for mom, that's what.

Holy cow.

It actually looks worse than it is. It hardly bled at all, and he's doing fine. Its just WAY too close for comfort! I almost had a poor little pirate!

Its been a long day today. Tuesdays always are. Jeremiah takes a course through our church on Tuesday evenings from 6-9pm. That means I fly basically solo from the time I wake up until the time they go to bed. Normally I don't mind, but at 38 weeks + it is a bit much. I really look forward to 5pm when he usually gets home, and so do the kids!

My oldest officially thinks I am the meanest mom ever, and am absolutely no fun. :( He's probably right at the moment. I'm working on it though! The above was the result of me trying to let them do something fun by going outside!! Lots of good that did! It almost resulted in an ER trip and being down one eye for Isaiah!

I can't wait to have this baby on the outside. I can't wait to not waddle. I can't wait to be able to go from sitting to standing without wondering how I'll get there. I want energy again! Motivation! I can't lie, I'm also looking forward to that day or two 'off' in the hospital getting to know the newest Johnson. By the time I get out of there though I'll be missing the near constant chaos that I call home!

T - 13 days, give or take, and counting. It seems so far away. 13 days feels just as long as 13 weeks did. Time slows to a near stand still when you are so close!

I have a midwife appointment tomorrow. I think I'm going to ask and see if there's anything going on and/or room to sweep my membranes....we'll see!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm so done....

I don't think I hit this point in prior pregnancies until closer to my actual due date, which is still 24 days away.

Yes, me, right now, 36 weeks and 4 days into what is probably going to be a 40+ week pregnancy, I'm SO done.

Everything is a major production. Getting out of bed? If I'm lucky. Actually getting walking once I do succeed to pull and grunt my way out of my bed or off the couch or out of a chair? HA!

You know you are REALLY pregnant when you get congratulated, like I did, just for getting UP out of a squishy comfortable chair at your doctor's appointment. Yes, really, as in, "Wow, you did really good getting up! I was really thinking we would have to call in a fork lift or something!"

Ok, so she didn't really say the last part. It didn't help that immediately after that I had to get on the scale though.

I feel like I'm 100 years old. About 18 times a night when I get up to pee, or get more tums, I have to hold and press on one of my hips that has been busy separating from the other side of my pelvis due to all of these awesome hormones and various chemical things going on that make all of your joints loose and ready for the big event. Then I wobble and groan my way into the kitchen or bathroom to do my business. After, I have to crawl back into bed and attempt to find a comfortable position that hopefully doesn't involve actually rolling over. Rolling over in a laying position = no fun.

I'm glad that God orchestrated this all so perfectly, of course. I'd be in a world of MORE hurt without those hormones driving me crazy, but oh.my.gosh. This is going to be a long 24 days (give or take 7ish). I think that is part of the perfect plan. Make the mother-to-be so miserable that she actually encourages and looks forward to the labor and delivery portion of the pregnancy! I don't know how many times the last week or so I've told Jeremiah that I just want to go to sleep and wake up in labor, 3 or so weeks from now. Maybe then I'd be rested. I doubt it. I haven't slept in more than 3 - 4 hour chunks for the last 5.5 years! Who am I kidding!

Now if you really don't scare easily...

I'm warning you...don't look if you have a weak stomach...

Really, also don't look if you are thinking of getting pregnant anytime in the near future, because this MIGHT be what's in store for you if you have the perfect storm of genetics and a never-ending appetite...

Ok, don't say you weren't warned!

Just when I thought it wasn't possible to get more stretch marks...

I present, the stretch marks OF my stretch marks.

This is to accompany my newly acquired gray hair I think. I do not see myself aging gracefully!

Ok, enough complaining! I'm blessed to be ALMOST ready to deliver my 4th child in just over 5 years. I have an awesome husband who has really dialed in this whole 'having a cranky, fat, pregnant wife' thing and knows JUST what to say and how to act to make my life a whole lot easier. I have three awesome boys that love me and keep me insanely busy. I need to be insanely busy. Idle hands are not good for me.

Someday before I have this baby I might actually get a shower and put makeup on AND get dressed in halfway presentable clothes all in the same day and have someone take an actual photo of all of me and not just the big, round, randomly bulging part. Maybe.

Monday, March 30, 2009

24 weeks already!!

Here I am, well, 1/3 of me anyway. Its the best I can do myself! Plus, it was a no makeup day. :) 24 weeks. More than 1/2 way there. 16 weeks to go. Yeah!

We had a fun weekend. Saturday we relaxed and lazed around all day. Sunday we went to church, and then spent the afternoon enjoying the VERY RARE sunshine! The garage got cleaned out, the brakes got fixed on the van, and the kids got to play outside for HOURS. What a great day. After all of that Jeremiah took the big boys out fishing for a while. Now its Monday again, back to the grind.

I cannot seem to get a candid picture of Elijah! He sees that camera come out and poses every time.

Here they are reading his current favorite book, Are You My Mother.

Not much more to say this morning! I need more coffee and need to get off the computer and clean up! The weekend has a way of destroying my house. What were YOU up to this weekend??
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What I did on this rainy Saturday morning...

Good morning! Jeremiah took the boys to a wrestling tournament today, so having the house to myself I decided instead of cleaning it up I'd make it more of a mess. Makes sense, right? No, really...the first time I attempted this recipe it was a DISASTER. I put the rolls too close together in the pan (shoved ALL of them into 2 10x13!! YIKES) leaving NO room to rise. What I was left with was rolls that were golden brown on top, and DOUGH in the middle. Not good. I salvaged them, somewhat, by separating them into different pans and sticking them back in the oven. They were *not* cute, but they tasted good. I had spend so much time on them I brought them to church anyway, and wouldn't you know, they ALL got eaten!

So last night I decide I'm going to give this thing another go. In case you are wondering and want to give this a go yourself...I used the Pioneer Woman recipe. You can click on that underlined Pioneer Woman and it'll take ya right to her little page of sugar heaven. Is a long recipe, but if you are unlike me and actually have a brain in your head and *follow directions* (which I did NOT the last time. That doesn't sound like me mom, does it? Not following directions? NO way!) it won't take you two (or three) attempts to get this to come out right!

While you are at her site, check out the rest of her recipes. It is my new 'go to' place when I'm at that "NOTHING SOUNDS GOOD" road I seem to be strolling down most nights. EVERYTHING sounds good on that site! So far I've tried the #1 Cowboy sandwich, (she calls him Marlboro Man...LOVE it!) the Crash Hot Potatoes, the Zucchini Cakes, and...ahh...yeah...these Cinnamon Rolls! All very good. :)

So what you see to your left is the finished product. Yummy done cinnamon rolls with a maple glaze frosting. Doesn't get much better than that.

What you see here is unglazed rolls, because Daniel doesn't like the 'frosting' and "Please Mom can you save some without that frosting stuff on it?" works for me every.time.

Here is the state of my kitchen while the 2nd batch was baking. Because I can't ever just follow directions, I decided to do 1/2 of these the regular cinnamon rolls, and the other half caramel rolls.

Instead of the regular cinnamon sugar mixture rolled in the dough I used brown sugar and much less cinnamon.

The I mixed 3 cups of packed brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and about 9 -10 oz of melted butter together. I spread this mixture between 3 disposable round cake pans and one bread pan because all the rolls wouldn't fit between the 3 remaining cake pans and I was NOT making the same mistake twice and packing them in!

Then...I baked. This is mid-way through the baking. Looking good huh?

This is what resulted from the little bread pan. I flipped it over so the caramel could ooze down the sides of the rolls...after I ate one...or two. :)

The rest got inverted onto this big cookie sheet. Upon flipping I discovered that the ones baked in the cake pans did not have the right texture on the bottom (or what is the top in this picture).

The parts that cooked in the caramel were a little....ummm....soggy. ONLY the ones that cooked in the cake pans though. Weird huh? So, I decided to toss them back into the oven for a few minutes to see if I could get them to firm up a bit.

It is what it is at this point! Hopefully it firmed up enough to have a good texture, but didn't wreck the whole bunch. We'll see! After 2 caramel rolls and 2 cinnamon rolls, I'm all sugared out for the moment.

This makes a huge batch. 7 round cake pans would do the trick...maybe even 8. LOTS. Its supposed to! You are supposed to take a pan over to your sister's house for morning coffee...or over to your mom's, or to church on Sunday, or to that Pampered Chef party you are hosting.

What I'm saying though is this could be EASILY halved. :) What fun would that be though! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So I've been neglecting this...

After a long hiatus that I have no excuse for, I'm going to try and get back on the blogging wagon.

There has been a lot going on these days! I just officially became unemployed! I'm so happy. I was getting really tried of working in a bar, especially THAT bar, and am so relieved to be done. Its very nice to not have weekly repeated reminders of how gigantic I am getting. Seriously...you would think those people had never seen a pregnant woman before. It made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside to hear about how their niece or daughter is 2 months farther along than me but I'm SO much bigger than her! Thanks! I'm pregnant, what's your excuse, jack...never mind...:)

<----I cannot get a good picture these days to save my life. That may be partly because I never have pictures taken of me, and I probably get 'picture ready' about 2 days a week. Not too many photo ops right at the moment. I need to work on that.

You can see some of the belly in this picture. That's what I was going for! Also, this angle hides the double chin and huge butt quite nicely! Woo-hoo! Now if I could just add in a smile sometime...another thing on the to-do list. :) I'm almost 20 weeks now! Almost 1/2 way there! My big ultrasound will be on March 12th (or right around there anyway, I don't have the paper in front of me!) We are going to have another surprise. I definitely prefer it that way! I think its a boy!
Elijah is almost officially 18 months. I can't believe it! He's so big now and his personality is really coming out. I LOVE this age and stage. He's getting big enough to accurately communicate his wants and needs. He's definitely big enough to pull his own weight with his brothers.

He weaned, or rather, I weaned him, a bit over a month ago. I was ready. He was too. It didn't take much prodding and was pretty painless for all involved. Thank goodness. I know some people can do it, but I would not be cut out for nursing all the way through pregnancy, or nursing two kids after the baby is born.

He eats like a horse! He'll eat a cup of cereal for breakfast, then wait until his brothers are done with theirs and polish off their left-overs. I've never seen a kid so small eat so much! Its entertaining, to say the least. He eats more than Daniel, who is 4.5!
Here's Daniel, in his new favorite jammies. Current likes are 1)Irritating Isaiah 2) Transformers 3)Bike riding 4) Playing Wii games 5)Crafts, especially ones that involve glue and/or scissors!

He's turning into such a little BOY, which I love. I can't believe he's going to be FIVE this summer. That's crazy to me. It really does go by fast. Unbelievable. He's very excited for the new baby, and thinks this summer will be the very best ever!

"In June it gets to be MY birthday, then in July the new BABY! Woo-hoo!"

He's a very logical kid. Last night we were reading Dr. Suess before bed. We read The Lorax. Looking at one of the pictures he noticed one green hand coming from one side of the page, and another coming from the other. "Mom, how does that guy have one hand right there, and the other WAY on the other side. He couldn't reach that far!"

He's very excited for a summer full of bike riding, swimming, boat rides, and playing in the tree house.
Here is Isaiah. I'm not sure why his cheeks were so red in this picture! He looks like he had blush on! Anyway, Isaiah has the kindest sweetest heart of any kid I know. If one of his brothers is hurt or crying or upset, he goes out of his way to try and make them happy. This includes giving up whatever it is he's playing with, eating, drinking, or doing.

He loves coloring and drawing. Also a current like for both the big boys is Lincoln Logs! They love them! Isaiah is also the best sleeper. We finally got both the older boys going to bed like normal little boys, getting a book read, saying prayers, drink of water, hug and kiss, and going to sleep...on their own. It was a bad habit we'd formed ourselves before, laying with them until they fell asleep. I'm so glad to be done with it! It makes the nighttime routine so much easier. I still wouldn't have changed it though. I had YEARS of good cuddles with those two. Often times they'll still climb into bed with us in the early morning hours. I'm ok with that...for now. :)

So, I think that's it for the moment. Have I caught you up enough! I'll try, again to post more often. Not only for you guys, but for me. I forget the little things with so many of them to remember.

Hope everyone is doing well!
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