Nov 29, 2011

Turkey Day, Bulgarian Style

Well, I did it.  I hosted my first holiday!  On Saturday we cooked up the best turkey we could find and I introduced my Bulgarian family to Thanksgiving.  It turned out to be much easier than I thought. I had been worried that I may not be able to find all the right ingredients to make the meal as traditional as possible.  The only thing missing was cranberry sauce. 
 I'm sorry to say that I pretty much ruined the mashed potatoes.  How is that possible, you ask?  Well, I had seen a recipe that added sour cream and I thought, perfect!  We had about 2 tablespoons of sour cream left over from the green bean casserole so I plopped them into the taters.  Big mistake.  A few hours later and we had the most sour, bitter mashed potatoes ever. Oh well, live and learn.  The most important dish turned out perfectly: 
 All in all, I'd say it was a success.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Nov 28, 2011

Guest Post: Strawberry Angel Food cookies by Mallory

Hi Baby in Bulgaria readers! I'm Mallory and I blog over at Mallory's Musings. I thought that today I would share a recipe with you that I have been eyeing up on Pinterest for awhile. I have always loved Angel Food Cake. In fact every year for my birthday my Nana used to make me one with melted almond Hersey's bars on top. My other main draw to this recipe was that there are only three ingredients- score! This recipe is based on a recipe from Smuckers.


What You Need:

1 box of Angel Food Cake mix
3/4 cup jam- I used triple berry but the original recipe calls for strawberry
4 Tbsp white chocolate chips

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together cake mix and jam until evenly moist. The consistency will be a little bit sticky. Stir in your chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto a prepared cookie sheet.


Bake for about 9 minutes and then remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for about a minute. After a minute, carefully transfer cookies onto a wire rack to cool. Be careful not to over bake the cookies. I left my first batch in for about 11 minutes and once they cooled they were super chewy.


These cookies were incredibly easy to make and also super tasty. They are great to whip up quick if you have unexpected company coming over or if your just in the mood for something sweet.


Nov 26, 2011

Guest Post: Yummy Skor bars by Lish!

*Today I'm sharing a recipe for super tasty cookies over at the "Kickoff to Christmas" on Imprintalish.  You really should go check it out (my recipe involves beer!)  But before you head over there, be sure to check out this delicious holiday treat courtesy of Lish.

Hello Baby in Bulgaria readers!! You all know that Lauren and her blog are pretty sweet, so I am very excited to be visiting with you guys today! My name is Lish and I blog over at Imprintalish. My blog is mainly a lifestyle blog, loaded with photography, tales of my little munchkins, pretty finds on Etsy (you should check out my shop!) and Pinterest, my craft adventures and how I balance (barely) everything. I'd love for you stop by and say hi!!!
Christmas is in the air, and I don't know about you, but I've started to do some baking. Today I am sharing a super easy, delicious recipe with you. These are one of my favorite Christmas treats!
Skor Bars
1 cup of melted butter
1 cup of packed brown sugar
Salted soda crackers (I used one sleeve-depends on size of cookie sheet)
2 packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheet with soda crackers-salted side up.
2. Mix brown sugar and melted butter together, stir until a carmel sauce forms. Poor gently and evenly over crackers.
3. Put into oven for 8-10 minutes until caramelized and bubbling. I probably should've taken this batch out a few minutes before I did. It's a bit too brown around edges...:(  Use a spoon to push some crackers back into place.
4. Spread chocolate chips evenly over top of pan. Let stand for about 5 minutes until all warm and melty.
5. Spread chips around until evenly coated. Let the tray cool slightly and then put into freezer for a couple hours.
6. Remove from freezer and break into pieces. Then enjoy them frozen or let them thaw a bit...either way-they are super yummy!!!!  (Keep bars in freezer until ready to eat/serve)
If you want to see more yummy recipies like this, check out my Kick off to Christmas event happening now!!! It is Holiday Treats day so what are you waiting for..come check it out!!!

Nov 18, 2011

Spied from the Balcony

Waiting in line for their chance to become overnight millionaires.  Outside the Sport Toto(Bulgarian Lottery). 

Nov 15, 2011

A Christmas Survey

Growing up, Christmas was always my favorite time of the year.  Every year the inside of our house was totally decked out with Christmas cheer(some of my Mom's elf collection above!)

But since my Dad passed in '09, the holidays just haven't been the same.  I feel a mixture of sadness and joy, mostly sadness.  I don't want it to be this way and I know my Dad wouldn't want it to be this way.  
Now that I have Francie, I want to give her the same kind of feelings and memories that I'm so grateful I had growing up.  I've got to do it, for my Dad and for Francie.  So this year I'm trying my hardest to get into the holiday spirit without getting down in the dumps.

I saw this fun survey over on irocksowhat and it seems like a nice place to start:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  Cocoa, all the way!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Santa leaves the wrapping to his elves.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  Colored!  You can mix white with colored but just white is way too boring.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?  No, I kinda think it's stupid- isn't that grinchy of me?
5. When do you put your decorations up?  I used to insist that we start the day after Thanksgiving
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?  My family does Italian for Christmas and tortellinis are my fave!
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?  The thrill of Christmas morning and waiting for my parents to give us the ok to run downstairs
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?  I don't remember!  I should ask my Mom if she does.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?  We were never ever allowed to open on x-mas eve but I'd like to start our own tradition of opening one gift.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?  Tons of ornaments, colored lights and tinsel!
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?  I always get excited for the first snow but then I hate it.  Once you grow up you realize how totally disruptive it is.
12. Can you ice skate?  I can, but I always end up with blisters on my ankles
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  I think my favorite gift was when my parents surprised me with a pink and teal Huffy
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?  Creating memories with the ones you love, there's nothing better
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?  I love to make Pillsbury Chocolate chip cookies, yum!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  Watching "It's a Wonderful Life"
17. What tops your tree?  Santa
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?  I love giving gifts!  I love shopping for people and trying to find the perfect gift that I know will make them smile
19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Yum!
20. Favorite Christmas show?  Where do I start?  Muppets Christmas Carol and 24 hours of a Christmas Story on TBS is a must (although I guess not this year).  National Lampoons Christmas Vacation is a classic, and Home Alone
21. Saddest Christmas Song?  Ave Maria
22. What is your favorite Christmas song?  I can't choose a fave but I love "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney 

Nov 14, 2011

Getting Crafty: Button Rainbow Card

What you will need:
-Colorful buttons
-Needle and thread
-White paper
-Scissors and Pen

 So I finally did it, I made my first Pinterest inspired craft!  This was so fun and easy to make, I can't wait to drop it off in the mail and send it over the ocean.  I whipped this little baby up in less than 30 minutes and my love of crafting has been rekindled.  I've been in a diy drought for awhile now but this has sparked my enthusiasm once again!

See the Pinspiration here.

Nov 10, 2011

It's beginning to feel a lot like Winter

You can feel it in the air, old man winter is getting close.  The mercury is hovering around the 50 degree mark and there's even a chance of snow this weekend.  As much as I hate the bitter cold days that will keep us housebound for months, I'm really looking forward to Francie's first winter.  So many firsts- Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day.  So much to look forward to with my sugarplum!

Nov 8, 2011

Catching Up

I haven't sat down and written a proper post for days.  There are many things I would love to write about but I feel like I just never have an opportunity to get my thoughts down.  I seem to do my best "writing" in my head.  Sigh.

Anyway, we had an uneventful weekend, so uneventful that I don't even recall what we did.  Must have been really exciting!  I did start getting together the menu so to speak, for Thanksgiving.  It's going to be a bit challenging.  Turkeys are hard to come by in the grocery stores here, we've found only one place that carries them and it's going to cost about $25.  Is that expensive?  I've never bought a turkey back in the states so I don't know.  Sure sounds like a lot though.  But hey, it's once a year.

Cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes are the other two items that seem to be unobtainable.  I have hope that they're available somewhere and we just haven't found them yet.  The search continues... Everything else should be easy.  Since the 24th is a regular old workday here we've decided to celebrate on Saturday the 26th.

I realize yesterday I failed to post a photo for my 30 day challenge- that means 2 photos will be coming later today, so stay tuned :)  

Nov 2, 2011

The Spell of the Yukon

 There's a land where the mountains are nameless, 
  And the rivers all run God knows where; 
There are lives that are erring and aimless, 
  And deaths that just hang by a hair;

There are hardships that nobody reckons; 
There are valleys unpeopled and still; 
There's a land - oh, it beckons and beckons, 
And I want to go back - and I will.
Robert Service, The Spell of the Yukon


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