Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recipe of the Week

As I was planning out my contributions for Thanksgiving dinner, I came across a new dessert recipe from Betty Crocker. It looked and sounded delicious, so I thought I would try it. Now, this is a risky move. I dont normally take a dish that I haven't ever made before, or even tasted, to a friends house, nor do I make it for company at my own house. I go with tried and true recipes so that I dont: A. embarass myself and B. poison someone with disgusting food. This time I went against my own rule and made a new dish to take to Thanksgiving at a friend's house. Little did I know that they had placed all of their faith in me and hadnt bought or made anything else for dessert! Im so happy I didnt know this going in or I would have been nervous! I mean, what if it hadnt turned out well and then we were left with no dessert for Thanksgiving? That would have been awful. Thankfully, the dessert was a hit and I neednt have worried. So here it is:

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Pumpkin Cake
By: Betty Crocker


1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. canned pure pumpkin
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (12 oz.) hot fudge topping (the recipe called for 2, but I used one)
1 container fluffy white frosting

The recipe also calls for carmel topping and nuts, but trust me, this is a SWEET cake and the carmel topping would probably be overkill. It's tasty without it.

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About Concordance™
1. Heat oven to 350º. Grease bottom of 13x9 inch pan. 1. Heat oven to 350º. Grease bottom of 

1. Heat oven to 350º. Grease bottom of 13x9 inch pan. 
2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, oil, eggs, water & pumpkin spice with electric mixer
on low until moist. Beat 2 minutes on medium. Pour into pan.

3. Bake 25-30 mins or until done. 
4. When done, immediately poke cake every inch with handle of wooden spoon, halfway into cake.
5. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over cake. Let it soak in for five minutes. 
6. Place hot fudge in medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high until smooth.
 Spread over cake, pressing slightly into the holes. 
7. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen from sides. 
8. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.  
9. Spread frosting over cake.
10. ENJOY! 

If anyone tries the recipe I would love to hear how it turned out for you! 
Happy Tuesday and Happy December! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The last stop on our cruise was
Dubrovnik, Croatia. 
J & I have been wanting to go to Croatia for months.
it isnt the easiest country to get to or travel around.
So we were ecstatic when we found a cruise that
would take us there and to such a
gorgeous city.
Dont believe me? 
Take a look...
It looks like a page out of the rich and famous guidebook.

After disembarking the ship we were taken by bus
to the old part of the city.
It's completely surrounded by walls 
and reminded me of a fortress. 
It sits right on the ocean 
and has postcard worthy views. 
We of course had to walk along the top of the walls.
Croatia doesnt use the Euro 
and our money goes farther there, so it was
a very inexpensive way to sightsee.
It takes about an hour to walk along 
the entire perimeter of the outer walls.
It's definitely not for the weak either! 
We climbed so many stairs and walked so far 
that my legs were sore the next day!

My FAVORITE picture.

The color of the water was amazing! 
Just gorgeous
It was so warm, it didnt take us long to take our jackets off!

The inner harbor

See the cafe on the cliffs? We had drinks there! It was perfect.
Our view from the cafe on the cliffs

There was a set of stone steps that led from the cafe straight down
to the ocean.

Yummy Tiramisu and NUTELLA gelato!
I look like such a tourist!

We really enjoyed our time in Croatia,
but with only 6 hours to explore,
we didnt get to see nearly all of the things
that we wanted to see.
I guess we will just have to go back! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! 
I hope you are spending it with loved ones, be they family or 
friends who are like family. This is my first year away from home 
for the holidays and I am SO thankful for my friends here. I was
invited to several different gatherings. Everyone was especially 
sweet when they found out that J would be on a work trip and miss
Thanksgiving this year completely (again). Ill be having lunch at our best
friends house and then dinner at another good friends house. I am 
excited to spend time with them all, but I really wish J were here. 
Anyhoo, I wont let it get me down. Ill stuff my face twice instead! =) 

Among the thousands of things that I am thankful for, I am thankful 
for my blog, my readers and the blogger friends that Ive made in the 8 or so months 
that Ive been doing this. Thanks to all of you!

PS... I know a lot of you have been getting snow this week. 
It's supposed to snow here for the first time this season TODAY!!!
We'll see what happens, but Im excited!
Let me qualify that: Im excited to see the snow, just as 
long as it doesnt screw up my Christmas market 
plans for the weekend and Js return home. ;) 
Happy four day weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rhodes, Greece

Our next stop was Rhodes, Greece. This was by far, one of our 
favorite ports. It is such a historical town and 
so rich in culture. 

It is here that the famous Colossus of Rhodes once stood;
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
It was built in 304 B.C. and was toppled a mere 
56 years later by an earthquake.

Help was offered from Egypt to rebuild, but
after consulting with an oracle, the 
offer to rebuild was declined. 

This is what it was imagined to look like.
Does it remind you of another very famous statue?
One in the United States perhaps?
It should. 
The French sculptor who's masterpiece was the 
Statue of Liberty was inspired by the Colossus. 
I think they resemble each other somewhat.


(Image from www.rhodesguide.com)

This was our view from the ship.
It was so majestic and medieval looking, like a castle 
surrounded by walls. 

We bought a guide book and began to walk around the city. 
It isnt a large city, so it was quite easy to navigate.
This was the port in which we had the longest time (8 hrs.), 
so we took our time exploring.

Knight's Street
I loved the roads! 

The ruins of Aphrodite's Temple
Our favorite stop of the day was The Palace of the Grand Masters. 
It is the largest building in the city and was badly damaged by 
an explosion in 1856. It was originally built in the fourteenth
century. They are currently working to restore it by to it's original glory.
It was filled with artifacts and antiques from B.C. times all
the way up to WWII.
The Palace of the Grand Masters
The inner courtyard

The Mosaic tiles were brought in from the island of Cos 
and date back to the sixth & second centuries B.C. They were all so gorgeous 
and intricate and they all told a story. 

Medusa, from the 2nd century B.C. 

This was actually made for the Italian king in anticipation of
winning WWII. He was going to take over the palace if they won.
Luckily, they didnt win and the Greek people maintained
control of Rhodes. 
The Nine Muses

From the Palace, we walked to the clock tower. It has the best views
of the city and is the tallest building in the city.
With a ticket, you also received a free drink.
We didnt have to be talked into it. =)
Clock tower 

More ruins, view from clocktower
I loved the little alleyways!
They were very authentically European,
at least what I would picture in my mind.

Rhodes was the first port of call that had decent shopping,
something other than the typical "touristy" stuff.
They are well know for their linens and products made from olive oil.
We bought a little of both! 

After a late lunch we decided to wander out to the lookout point. 
We both love the ocean so seeing the harbor was a must.

There were boats anchored in the harbor selling seashells. 

My love helping me climb the rocks.
Such a sweet gentleman!

Rhodes was a huge hit with us and we'd love to venture out of the main city
and visit Lindos one day.
The problem with cruises is that you never have enough time
in each port.
But it's a great way to see places that you might
not otherwise get to see.

Next up,
our other favorite & the last stop: