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Two Peas and Their Pod: July 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Off to Alaska!

We are going on a cruise with the Lichty family! We will be sailing the seas and having fun in Alaska for ten days. We are really excited for a break! We will update you when we return!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spicy Ahi Tuna

Joshua made me an amazing dinner this week. We usually cook together, but this time Josh was in charge. He went to the local fish market and got some fresh Yellowfin Ahi Tuna. It is our favorite!

Look at this beauty!

Josh made a spice rub for the tuna. The spicier the better!

He seared it on both sides and on the edges...but just briefly!
We like it raw!

My mouth is watering! Look at that perfect pink color!

For an appetizer we had edamame with course sea salt!

Time to eat! We also had Jasmine rice and salad.

Joshua did a superb job! We usually go out for tuna, but it is easy to do at home! Go pick up some fresh tuna today! It is fast and easy to make...and so delicious!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Dorie's World Peace Cookies

I am ashamed to say that this is the first time I have baked Dorie's Korova or "World Peace Cookies." I have read the recipe hundreds of times and drooled over many blog posts about these famous cookies, but I never made them. Sad!

These cookies made their debut in Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City’s Best Pastry Shops” by Dorie Greenspan. Dorie reprinted the recipe in “Baking: From My Home to Yours”, but with a different name: World Peace Cookies. Dorie's neighbor gave them their new name. He once said that "a daily dose of Pierre’s cookies is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness."
After taking one bite, I agree!

These cookies are loaded with chocolate...cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate chunks. The texture is also amazing. I usually prefer a soft cookie, but these are crisp, close to the texture of a sable, but they still manage to melt in your mouth. And now for the secret ingredient, fleur de sel or fine sea salt. In every bite you get a kick of salt! Genius! It is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. These chocolaty delicious discs will not disappoint you! Can they bring World Peace? You decide...our kitchen was pretty darn happy! Josh said they are the perfect cookie for dipping in a tall glass of milk. So make sure you have some in the fridge!

You can find the recipe in Dorie's books, Paris Sweets and Baking from My Home to Yours. I have them both.They are excellent! Why wouldn't you want to buy a book that has the answer for World Peace?

Since I am full of love, kindness, and peace after eating a batch of these cookies. I will share the recipe:) ENJOY!!

World Peace Cookies
Source: Baking From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan

- makes about 36 cookies -

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 1/3 cup storebought mini chocolate chips

1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

3. Turn off' the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek-if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough-for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don't be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you've frozen the dough, you needn't defrost it before baking—just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

5. GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

6. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you're cutting them—don't be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes—they won't look done, nor will they be firm, but that's just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

STORING: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

** The cookies will crack and crumble a little...don't worry, even Dorie said this would happen. Just put them back together and bake! I think I baked mine for 10 mins. Just watch them, they won't be completely set when you take them out! **

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Friday, July 18, 2008


Guess what??? We bought a house!! We are VERY excited. We have been looking at houses for fun, but we weren't planning on actually buying one this soon.
Well, we fell in love with a cute brick house on Grace Street...behind REI on 3300 South in Salt Lake City. It is right across the street from Canyon Rim Park and the neighborhood is great. It also has a huge yard with a garden...a big selling point for us.

The inside is great too! There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. We love the hardwood floors, gas stove, big windows, etc. We can't wait to make this house our home!

Here are some picutres of the outside of the house.

We close on August 7th, when we get home from Alaska. We will start moving in on August 14th. Of course there are several projects to do...painting being number one on the list. So everyone is invited to our painting party on Aug. 14th and 15th:) It will be FUN..ha!!

That is our big news! Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Pasta Sauce

I have had a couple of requests for my pasta sauce recipe. In the summer I love making pasta sauce with fresh veggies and herbs from the Farmer's Market. Well, last night I had veggies that were begging to be used so I made a big batch of sauce to freeze. My recipe isn't rocket science, I just make it up as I go. Every time it is a little different, depending on what veggies and herbs I have on hand. Here is the general recipe:

Maria's Pasta Sauce


  • Olive Oil
  • Onion, diced-I usually do half an onion or so, depending on the size of my batch
  • Garlic, minced-Are you a garlic lover? You decide on how much to put in!
  • Fresh Vegetables, chopped-Use whatever you have on hand. My favorites are: zucchini, yellow squash,eggplant, peppers of any color-red is my favorite:), mushrooms, and artichokes.
  • Herbs- Fresh basil is the best! Luckily, our plant is doing great:) If you don't have any, you can toss in dried basil, oregano, Italian seasoning. Sometimes I use fennel seed too! Love that flavor!
  • Tomatoes of course! If you have a garden use chopped fresh tomatoes, but canned diced tomatoes are fine too!
  • Tomato paste-to thicken the sauce, this is optional!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Saute the onion until tender. Add in the garlic.
2. Toss in the chopped veggies. Cook until soft. Try to make sure they are all the same size so they cook at the same time.
3. Add in your tomatoes, fresh or canned. If you need to thicken the sauce add in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir until it dissolves.

4. Add your herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Let simmer for a good while to bring out the flavors!

6. Enjoy or store in the fridge or freezer for future use.

**If you like a kick throw in some crushed red pepper!**

Serve with pasta...see our previous post on how to do it homemade style:)

If you have any questions let me know, but again, this is a do it yourself recipe:) Get creative and use produce from your garden or local Farmer's Market! I just love summer time!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weekend with Aubrey

Our nephew, Connor, had to go to the hospital last week so we volunteered to babysit Aubrey. My dad came in town too so we had lots of fun! Aubrey loves playing with Grandpa!

On Friday we made Aubrey Mac and Cheese for dinner. She loved it. I can't stomach the box stuff, but Josh had his fair share:)

More cheese please!

Aubs loves sliding on Ria's couch!

For dessert we had chocolate raspberry gelato.
Aubrey was in heaven!
Notice she is reading Dorie's cookbook. Smart girl!

On Saturday we took Aubrey swimming at the Dewey's. She had a great time!

Aubrey modeling her swimsuit and new shoes!

Grandpa lathering up the sunscreen!

Finally, time to swim!! She wasn't scared at all. She loves the water!

Who is that with the glasses???

Look No Hands!

Swimming with Ria!

Grandpa and Aubrey having fun in the pool!

Lincoln soaking up some sun!

She didn't want to get out...but it was finally time to dry off!

Aubrey worked up an appetite! Fruit snacks never tasted so good!

Aubrey missed Mommy, Daddy, and Connor so we went back to the hospital.

Aubrey was having fun with the nurses.
They gave her a Dr.'s mask to wear.
She was a riot!

On Sunday we had everyone over for homemade pizza!
We made an Italian Sausage and Veggie Pizza.

Aubrey kept yelling, OH YEAH! She loved the pizza!
Grandpa also taught her the Pizza Pie song!

Aunt Ria and Uncle Joshy!

Ria was in the mood to bake so we had
chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Mmmm! COOKIES!! Aubrey approved!

Thanks Aubrey for the fun weekend! We enjoyed having you and Grandpa around. We hope Baby Connor gets better soon!


Friday, July 11, 2008

It's All About the Food

When we started planning the menu for our wedding my dad insisted we go all out. I am glad because all we cared about was the food! I wanted it to be tasty and lots of it! Well, I think we were successful in both areas.

We had chicken and veggie kebabs, basmati rice, shrimp cocktail, pita bread with hummus, Greek salad, and tons of fresh fruit. Everything was delicious!

Now onto the desserts. I have a special place in my heart for sweets:) Not only do I love to eat them, but I love baking them too. So I was set on baking for my wedding...and I am so glad I did. It was so much fun! Of course I had help! My dad made about 400 tarts, Kym did the cake and L cookies...and Josh was encouraging along the way:)

We had a black and white dessert/candy station. It turned out super cute! We had Chocolate Crinkles, Dorie's Chewy Chunky Blondies, Lime Coconut snowballs, Parisian Hazelnut Macarons, Chocolate Dipped Oreos, Brownie Buttons, and lots of fun candies! We also had the tarts, L cookies, and of course our gorgeous cake!!

And to top it off we had a gelato bar. Dolcetti in Sugarhouse set up a little gelato bar for us! It was a HIT! We had seven flavors: Lemon, Passionfruit, and Raspberry Sorbetto and Chocolate Hazelnut, Almond Toffee, Dark Chocolate, and Vanilla Bean gelato.

So maybe we went a little overboard with the food, but it was worth it! Enjoy the pictures!

Our spread of food!

Little Shrimpies!

Fruit galore and the famous tarts!

Everyone told us we wouldn't get to eat. WRONG!
were first in line!

Parry keeping everything under control.

The black and white dessert/candy station!

Cookies Galore!

Lots and Lots of Candy!

The Tasty Tarts!

Matt, Ben, and Josh's Dad eating the grub!

The Gelato Bar!

Josh really enjoying his favorite Lemon Sorbetto!

My turn! I had a sample dish of dark chocolate, almond toffee, and the vanilla bean. I can never decide:) They are all too good!

The little girls enjoying their sweet gelato treat!

Lincoln knew where to find the good stuff!

Ben and Whitney taking it all in:)

Kym's masterpiece! The most amazing cake ever!

She painted the design on the cake! Such an artist!

Time to cut the cake!

Mmmm! Delicious! Kym used Dorie's recipe so of course it was tasty!

Thanks Kym! We loved, loved, loved the cake!

And a special thanks to Christy, our photographer. We had fun working with you! Thanks for capturing the highlights of our special day! We love all of the photos!