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a willy wonka christmas

9 Dec

it’s hard to avoid christmas in our little town of bethlehem.

not that you’d want to, of course.

but this christmas overdrive has driven me to some crazy places.

like candy making.

thanks to this tutorial from my favorite Tasty Kitchen, i attempted the impossible: toffee.


pair that with my favorite classic – peppermint bark – and you’ve got some great little gifts for our neighbors and friends.

(pepp. bark recipe: melt white chocolate,

add crushed peppermints, lay out, put in fridge)

i didn’t document the process – it was messy and fast and the recipe on Tasty Kitchen does a much better job – but i did snap these shots of the results!

merry candy christmas!

brie, brie, beautiful, brie

1 Nov

i have only a before picture.

i apologize.

it was really beautiful afterwards, with the onions warm and dripping down the sides of the gooey cheese.

in fact, it was so beautiful, i became hypnotized and that is why i got no after picture.

in fact, i’m still hypnotized.

give me that wheel o’cheese and goodness again!


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups finely chopped sweet onion (about 1 large)
Pinch each salt and pepper
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tbsp wine vinegar
Pinch dried thyme
1 tbsp chopped dried cranberries
1 round brie cheese
2 tsp minced fresh parsley

In skillet, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 12 minutes.

Sprinkle with sugar; cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Stir in vinegar and thyme, scraping up brown bits on bottom of pan; cook for 2 minutes. Scrape into bowl; let cool. Stir in cranberries. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.)

Spread onion mixture over cheese. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; let come to room temperature before continuing.) Place on small baking sheet; bake in 350°F oven until cheese is softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to serving plate; sprinkle with parsley.

we skipped the parsley and i let it cook at least 15-20 minutes to be sure it was really gooey inside. yummmm.

barnhart family secret #481

4 Oct

this one comes to you courtesy of lunch and my father-in-law steve.

nothing ruins leftover pizza like the mircrowave.

instead – stick it in the skillet, on medium, and cover for 5-10 minutes until the top is sizzling and the bottom is crispy.

pw's potato-leek pizza, page 110 of pioneer woman cooks. close to my heart.

makes for a delicious, non-rubbery second meal.

guess what i’m eating today?