Fake Tiramisu (but easy and delicious!)

So I set out the other day to make something I have always wanted to make, but had never tried. Until now that is….

Tiramisu!

Well, the store was out of Mascarpone Cheese and Rum was way too expensive for my budget at the moment, so I improvised. (As all good chefs do…)
I made my own easy version of Tiramisu that turned out surprisingly tasting exactly like regular Tiramisu!

Tasha’s “Fake” Tiramisu:

First you have to brew a shot of espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, extra strength coffee will work. (3x the amount of grounds you would normally use with your water.)

Then I laid out my ingredients. For the sake of money and time and effort (I feel very phlegmatic saying all that!) I bought pre-made Lady Finger cookies. The bakery in our grocery store sold this pack of 24 cookies for $1.99. 🙂

Then I made the whipped cream.
Buy some Heavy Whipping Cream. It is better to get one that is not “ultra-pasteurized” but that is harder to find. You need around 500ml of this stuff.
Using a mixer, beat it on a low setting while gradually adding tablespoons of sugar until it starts to thicken into whipped cream. I think I ended up using between 6-8 tbsp’s of sugar.
I also added 2 tbsp’s of RUM Extract to give it that special Tiramisu taste for a lot cheaper. 🙂

Then you pour the cooled espresso in a shallow dish or saucer and lay the Lady Fingers on top until they soak up a lot of the espresso. 1/2 the cookie should get soaked with espresso.

Then you get a Medium sized bowl and layer all your ingredients inside. Cookies on bottom, whipped cream, cookies again (with some circling around the edge of the bowl to be aesthetically pleasing), whipped cream again.

(Hint! You are supposed to top it all with sweetened cocoa powder…. However, if your store doesn’t sell this like my store, then mix 1/2 unsweet baking cocoa with a packet of hot chocolate! Delicious!)

It turned out really yummy and hardly took any time at all!

Passione Cucina! 

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Summer Nights

What better way to spend a summer evening than a picnic in the park with the dearest of friends and the cutest of kids??

The guys cooking the meats.

Mel and Jack!

Anne!

Katie and Malachi!

Jack using his newly found walking skills to run EVERYWHERE


Samuel running from me taking his picture!

I finally got a chance to capture that adorable “pirate” smile of his!

Jackson is also a very skilled climber… 🙂

Malachi getting sleepy and snuggling with his Mama. 🙂

Eating in the bright setting sun!


The end of a great night.

A Celebration

Okay everybody. I promise this will be the last post about our anniversary. Your congrats and well wishes sincerely warmed our hearts, but we understand we can’t just keep blogging post after post about our anniversary and expect the same results. 🙂

I just haven’t been able to share pics from the actual celebration of our 3 year anniversary.

So enjoy the pics and thanks for being a part of our lives. 🙂

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Photo Booth app fun:

About to head out:

Light lunch at Panera. I LOVE their Hazelnut coffee:

Chad loves their brownies:

On the way to a movie we stopped to take this photo, which somehow came out looking very 1970’s:

The Plaza has great architecture!

Chad catching up with a friend while we wait for our table for dinner:

Taking a pic of myself.

Coolest street lamp with stars in the metal!

Blanc Burgers for dinner!

BEST Calamari EVER!!

Shakes made with all local milk and other local ingredients! SO yummy!

Chad spilled part of his shake… all over the place.

Cool pic of Chad taken with a fun app!

We call this – “The Evolution of Man” – lol. 🙂

A Day in the Life of Turning 28

I turned 28 years old yesterday.

Here are some snapshots of what my day looked like in the order they happened.

Met Chad for lunch in Leavenworth on his lunch break at Casa Agave. 🙂

Then I went to Starbucks to read and sip Chai and enjoy a Pumpkin Loaf.

Then I came home to this sweet little kitty – My Pumpkin Head. 🙂

Chad got me these. SO BEAUTIFUL!

And then I had this.

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So far 28 is turning out to be a great year.
I have wonderful friends – both old and new.
I have a Hubby who loves me and knows how to make me feel special.
I have family and friends who feel like family.
I am very blessed. 🙂

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Sunday is my actual party. It’s gonna be great! 🙂

Book Club: Anne Fadiman

With the love of books and the desire to share those page-bound treasures with everyone we knew, my friend Liz and I decided it might be a great idea to start a book club here in Kansas City.

Books are meant to be shared.
Treasured.
You will never hear about someone reading a phenomenal book and then not telling anyone about it or how much they loved it.

Books impact us in ways we can’t even properly measure. I remember being a little girl reading Max Lucado’s “Tell Me the Story” and “The Treasure Tree.” As a little girl, these were just wonderful stories, but I think of them often 20 years later. They impacted my life, my thought processes, my spirituality, my social skills, etc….

So what better way to come together and bask in the adoration of books then to start a book club?

So we did.

Our first book to read collectively was Anne Fadiman’s “At Large and At Small” – it is a collection of familiar essays.
Familiar essays, if you don’t know already, are simply essays spoken from a very personal voice that are full of personal stories and opinions, but which reach out to a broad (potentially global) audience with an over-arching theme about humanity and life. They are my favorite genre of Non-fiction prose.

This book so far is very enjoyable. I’ve read one other book by Anne Fadiman called “Ex Libris” which made me feel as if Anne Fadiman were somehow my long lost sister. Her writing is wonderful. Her voice is so personal and laced with a lot of humor. Her perspectives on things are kindred to my own.

This is her other book – WELL worth the few dollars on Amazon to read and own.

Our first meeting was on August 1st at the Barnes and Noble on the Plaza.
We drank our lattes (compliments of Lindsee Brandmueller!) and just discussed what we liked and didn’t like about the first few chapters. It started out slow for most of us and nobody knew who Charles Lamb was until now. However, there was much love for the chapter about Ice Cream and on being a Night Owl.

I’ve never heard someone describe the merits of being a Night Owl before. I most definitely am one, but always felt like I shouldn’t be too proud to admit such a thing. I’ve heard mostly the persecution Fadiman’s talks about regarding associating Night Owls with “people who are up to no good” because we associate darkness with evil and, in turn, daylight with goodness. But, as Fadiman says, those who produce works of art only after everyone else has gone to bed are no less crucial than those who rise with the sun.

My favorite quote from the book so far was from this chapter on Night Owls (incidentally my favorite chapter).
Fadiman says, “Hell may be a dark place, but so is the womb.” – LOVE IT! 🙂

In the end, the discussion on Anne Fadiman was replaced with each of us sharing all of our favorite books, why we like to read and about our lives in general. It was indescribably wonderful for me to be sitting with two other women who were as fascinated and captivated by books and stories and life as much as I am. It was a time for connection and fellowship. It was perfect. 🙂
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If you’d like to join our Book Club (either in Kansas City or just following along online) let me know!! I will add you to our Facebook group, so that you can know when meetings will be and what books we will be reading in the future…

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And please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and invest in Anne Fadiman. Her books are a rare beautiful treasure among other effortless works.