Monthly Archives: February 2010

Dress Up Day

One day a month, the kids at Noah’s school are required to dress up- today was a dress up day

Dutch Letters!

My room mate from college passed on this recipe to me and I just had to try it.  I did not think anything could taste as good as Jarsma’s Dutch letters- .  I was wrong….

I thought they would be much harder to make.  But they were really easy!  Here are some more photos and recipe at the bottom.  Enjoy and thanks Nicole!!

Almond Paste, white sugar, brown sugar and egg whites- Mix.

I might recommend using a food processor to mix these ingredients together.  The Almond Paste is really stiff.  I was too lazy to get my food processor out and just ended up cutting it with a knife to mix it together.

Unfold the thawed puff pastery and roll out on well floured surface.

Cut into 2 1/2 inch strips, and then add the filling in a well down the middle.

Dont be tempted to use more filling than you need.  A little goes a long way, and if you put too much in then it all leaks out.  This photo above is probably too much filling.

Fold over one side, and then brush the edge of the dough with water to help in sealing.  Make sure to seal well, or the filling will heat up and leak out.

I placed on a sheet of parchment paper just cause Im lazy and hate to scrub pans 🙂

Dutch Letters

Before purchasing the almond paste, check the ingredients listed on the package.  Select a brand that is made only with almonds and sugar, not corn syrup or fructose.  Otherwise, the filling may soften and leak out of the pastry during baking.

2 17.5 oz pkg. frozen puff pastry

1 slightly beaten egg white

1 8 oz. can almond past

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

Granulated sugar for dusting

Thaw the frozen puff pastry according to package directions.

For filling, in a small mixing bowl stir together egg white, almond paste, ½ cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar.  Set aside.

On a well-floured surface, roll each sheet of thawed puff pastry into a 12 ½ x 10-inch rectangle.  Cut each rectangle into five 10 x 2 ½ inch strips.

Shape a slightly rounded tablespoon of almond filling into a 9-inch long rope.  Place the almond rope down the center of puff pastry strip.  Brush the edge and ends with water; pinch well to seal.  Repeat with the remaining dough strips and filling.

Place the filled strips, seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet, shaping each strip into a letter “S”.  Brush with water; sprinkle with additional granulated sugar.  Bake in a 370 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes or till pastry is golden.  (I baked 2 pans on the top shelf and 1 on the bottom, and the bottom came out better…) Remove pastries from the baking sheet.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Makes 20. (mine only made 12- and my husband inhaled 3 right away!)

To Freeze.  Place the cooled, baked letters between layers of waxed paper in an airtight freezer container.  Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.  To thaw, let pastries stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.


A Valentine Treat

I stumbled upon a website around the holidays that made and sold gourmet carmel apples.  I sent a batch to my Iowa nieces and the Minnesota cousins, but never tried any for ourselves….

So I decided to order some from Noah for Valentines Day.  The arrived yesterday afternoon.  Very Yummy- Take a look.

If interested- you can find them at

Champagne Cake

A girlfriend of my from college started posting the other day on facebook how she was looking for a Champaign Cake.  It has sentimental meaning to her, as her parents birthdays were one day apart and they always had a Champaign cake to celebrate.  Her mom passed away September.  This is the first birthday her mom has missed.  I know exactly how that feels…

So anyway… I started thinking about Champaign Cake.  We used to go to an orthodontist in Des Moines, and next door was Barbara’s Bakery.  They made the most Fantastic Champaign cake….

I found this recipe on

Paella- a school project

Noah is working on a big project for his Spanish class for which he chose to make paella.  So we did some research and found a couple of recipes online and he narrowed down to one, made a grocery list, did some shopping and then started to fix paella.  Noah did most of the prep work and cooking.

Apparently the most important ingredient to paella is the rice which you use.  The recipe called for Bomba rice… of course we couldnt find any- tried 4 or 5 different stores to no avail.  So….we substituted Jasmine rice. Well…. Jasmine rice is fine, but needed several extra cups of liquid to cook the rice.  Im gonna have to order some Bomba rice to have on hand for our next try.  All in all it turned out good.

And there are plenty of left-overs!

Ready for a garden…

Not sure if im just bored today, or need a hobby other than hockey mom…  But I’m already starting to think about my spring and summer gardens.  One of the things that sold us on this house in Denver was its back yard space.  Its really two spaces, a side yard and a back yard.  In the Summer, the back yard is completely shaded.  We have about 8 very big Elm trees that shade everything (not to mention dropping a bunch of leaves in the fall), but the side yard gets a good amount of sun.

There are several flower beds that run along the fence and these hold various flowers and plants.  We spent some time pulling out what was in there last fall and now Im trying to figure out what I want to plant.  Im thinking a combination of flowers and vegitables, as well as strawberries and maybe a melon or two…

I was thinking about starting seeds indoors in the next couple of months, so I thought Id make a list of what I wanted to plant.  Here is what I have:

Tomatoes- going to try to grow from seed

Yellow Squash


Peppers- couple of kinds, not sure yet.

Sugar Peas

Green Onions and Garlic


What else am I missing from my list….  Now I just have to find a garden fence that will keep the dogs out… they like to walk the perimeter of the yard checking for Fat Squirrels.

Anyone else out there dreaming of their garden yet?  If so what are you planning on planting?