1.28.2014

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts

.  'Wedding' has undoubtedly taken over my life.  I'm completely and undeniably consumed.

From the engagement, to picking out a wedding planner, designing/managing a wedding website, interviewing/selecting a number of vendors, engagement photos, creating a save the date, stressing over which bridesmaid dress to choose, emotionally selecting my own wedding dress...

WHEW!


Who freakin' knew a wedding would be so much work.  Now I understand why people elope...

So with all of this wedding shenanigans going, the first half of the first month of the New Year has completely passed me by.  Particularly in posts.  Which I do feel bad about.

Due to the fact that every waking moment I'm not working my mind is reeling about anything and everything wedding, I've had little brain power to devote to this dear blog.  I realize life happens, but I try to remind myself that I can't forget about the other important things.  Like my fiancé [he is the reason there's a wedding, anyhow!].  My sweet baby pups.  Shopping [☺️].  And, of course, LSM.


So in attempt to ring in the New Year [a month late] and one of my [informal] resolutions, I opted to try out a baked goodie I'd never attempted.  And it just so happened to be at the request of my good ol' fiancé because they're his fav.

Brown Sugar. Cinnamon. Pop-Tarts.

Not gonna lie, if I had to choose a Pop-Tart to [absolutely] devour, this would not be in my top 10.  I usually went straight for flavors like Hot Fudge Sundae [no doubt my favorite], Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cherry, or Wild Strawberry.  Something with a little more...oomph...than brown sugar.  Get me?


But fortunately I have Robbie in my life for things just like this.  Because without him, I never would have given this recipe a second glance.  But since I was trying to be a good fiancée, I pinned the dang thing.  And then made it.  Just for my Wobbie.

And I'll just be honest with you all.  I ate more of them than he did.

There.  I admitted it.


These flakey, buttery pastries filled with a sweet, brown sugar-cinnamon filling, and dolloped with a simple cinnamon glaze are to. die. for.  And simply irresistible.

I kept telling myself to stop.  But I couldn't.  Then one.  Two.  Oh, two and half, were gone.  Dang it...

So what more can I say?  Except that you'd be making a big mistake to pass these up.


Maybe we'll take a stab at my New Years resolution [i.e., doing things for others] the next baking round...sorry, Wob  .

Adapted from The Baker Chick

Ingredients:
Pastry Crust:
2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/4 c. cold water

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tsp. all purpose flour
1 large egg

Cinnamon Glaze:
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 to 4 tbsp. heaving whipping cream

Directions:
  1. For the pie crust, place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse just to combine.  Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  With the processor on, add cold water in a steady stream just until dough holds together [do not process for more than 30 seconds].  Turn the dough out to a work surface and divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a slightly flattened disk and wrap with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to soften [about 15 minutes].  Place one half of dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to 1/8-inch thick.  Trim the edges and cut dough into thirds to form 9 rectangles.  Place the rectangles onto lightly greased pans.  Repeat with second half of dough to form the tops of the pop-tarts.
  3. For the filling, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour to combine; set aside.  Slightly whisk the egg and brush onto the bottom pieces of the pop tarts [on the greased baking sheets]. Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling onto each of the rectangles and spread evenly, leaving a slight edge around the dough.  Place a second rectangle on top of the filling and slightly press down along the edges with your fingers to seal the pop-tarts.  Press the tines of a fork around the edges to complete the sealing process.  Repeat with the remaining pop-tarts.
  4. Prick the tops of each pop-tart with a fork so steam can escape while baking.  Brush the tops of the pop-tarts with the remaining egg mixture.  Refrigerate the pop-tarts for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat oven to 350ºF.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. While pop-tarts are baking, stir together the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and heavy whipping cream to make the glaze.  Once pop-tarts have cooled to a lukewarm, evenly spread the glaze across the tops of the pop-tarts.
Yield: 9 pastries


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1.09.2014

The Moments We'll Remember Forever

.  I've mentioned several times before that I have some fun, exciting wedding updates for you all.

And now it's finally time to spill the beans.

Except for one small fact...I can't.  Yet.

Because you see, one of my exciting wedding updates is that with the help of my dear mom and soon-to-be mother-in-law, 'I said yes to the dress!'


And then it dawned on me that, yeah, I can't share much with you: I can't post any pictures, give any details, nuttin'!  Because who knows when Robbie will hop on over to LSM to see what's been going on.  But what I can tell you is that I most definitely had that moment when I knew it was the one.

Yes, I cried.  I couldn't help it.  I never thought I'd be that person but it was just a flood of emotion that came too fast.  There was no controlling it.  But honestly, I'm glad it happened.  Because from there on out I knew in the back of my mind that it was it.  I did try on other dresses and we even ventured to another bridal salon just for kicks.  But then we marched right on back to our first appointment venue and proclaimed my decision.  Cheers!

Fortunately, my second wedding update is one that involves nothing BUT pictures.  

Yes.  Engagement photos!

It's been a long time coming but I can't explain to you enough how elated I am with our engagement photos.  Robbie and I are no naturals in front of the camera, but Brandon Werth, of Brandon Werth Photography, was the only person who could have captured such memorable photos for us.  

I could go on for days about how wonderful the engagement session was, how much fun Robbie and I both had, and how truly blessed we felt to have snagged Brandon as our photographer.  But you can see all of that in his pictures.  And what's even more fortunate is that Brandon will be our wedding day photographer, too.  Can't.  Even.  Wait. for his magic to unleash!

Well enough babbling.  Aside from the engagement session preview Brandon posted on his blog, here are some of our favorite snapshots from that special day in October...









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1.01.2014

A Chance to Reflect

.  I may have mentioned in my last post [which was seemingly forever ago] that I'd be spending Christmas back in Minnesota with the familia and then Robbie and I headed to Arizona to hang out with his family for a few days.

On a hike in the Saguaro Forest in Desert Mountain.  Beautiful, huh?  The scenery is pretty, too... ;)

I unfortunately had to come back to Minnesota early because I was [supposed] to work, but due to an unforeseen event I'm staying in my hometown for a few more days.  More to come on that though.  And don't worry, it's for a good reason.

Anywho, during these last two weeks that I've been off work [and yes, it's been glorious], I've had quite some time to think about the drastic turns my life has taken.

So long 2013.  The last year I'll be a Wakasugi!

If you missed some posts earlier this year or just didn't catch on, the beginning of 2013 seemed to be the end of Robbie and mine's relationship.  We had been going through a rocky time for a few months and needed some time away from each other.  After a few months into the new year, we somehow started talking.  I think it may have been because of the pups?  But at some point, we realized that things just weren't over.

Fast forward a couple of months later and the next thing I knew, Robbie was down on one knee asking to spend the rest of our lives together.


From there, the whirlwind of 2013 began, beginning with thinking about planning a wedding, then  making trips to Arizona to find ourselves a wedding planner, and then BAM...

I got a new job.

And we were moving to our most favorite city: Chicago.

And this all happened in less than 4 months.

Engagement.  New job.  New city.  New life.

And  in between all of this,  Robbie and I were completely honored to be named the godparents of Robbie's family's first grandchild, Danny.

Baby Danny.  Look at those baby blues!

But not only did some monumental things happen  in my own life, my younger brother had also made some tremendous strides this year, including college graduation and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the Army, completing Skills Training for the police academy, completing the Basic Officer Leadership Course for the military and finished as the Second Honor Graduate.  Quite a year for Ty, I would say!


So now do you see where I'm coming from?  2013 was a year that started at [in hindsight] a low in my life and evolved into one of the most blessed years I could ever imagine.  I will so boldly say that the [unlucky] number 13 was the best year I've had in my 26 year life.

But as I reflect on this past year, I can't help but feel eager for the future.  2014 has some big things in store.  Not only will I put a big stamp on my 7 [going on 8] year relationship with Robbie, making promises to each other that are so ever sacred.  But I am  miraculously fortunate to share this very special time with my best friend, who will be getting married the month before.  We've had endless numbers of texts on wedding ideas and asking for each others opinions.  As a girl friend, I really couldn't have asked for anything more.

The best friends a girl could have!  Fortunately I got to see these ladies during my vacay.

So although 2013 was undoubtedly memorable, I absolutely can not wait to see what this new year holds.

Cheers to everyone and I wish you YOUR best year yet!  .
P.S. As I promised, I do have some exciting wedding updates that I want to clue everyone in on.  It will come, I promise!  Plus, I also got a fun Christmas present this year related to my blog and I can't wait to share.  Coming soon... ☺

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