A Most Impressive Post (alternately titled We Have No Shame)

posted on: Thursday, November 29, 2012

The fact that I'm going to tell you about this, let alone blog about it, probably tells you something about me. And I'm okay with that. So let's just put it out there. I'm addicted to sugar and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Josh is too, which miiiight just be the key to a successful marriage. Think about it.
Anyway, if you've been reading this blog for any time at all you know how much we like a good treat around here (well, food in general, but let's stick to the topic). So, the other night I was watching a rare half hour of tv. Well, a rare half hour of grown up tv, let's be clear. Phineas and Ferb doesn't count. So, what do I select from my endless amount of unseen DVR'd options? Unique Sweets of course. I love that show and I was all caught up on Sister Wives anyway.
Now, problem number one with this scenario is that pretty much every place featured on the show is in New York or California, so even if if something looks particulary good, you can't have it. Problem number two, I was hungry. And lo and behold the episode I watched featured a little place out in Studio City, CA all the way across the country called Xtreme Desserts. And you know what this place specializes in? COOKIE SANDWICHES! (said in the obligatory cookie monster voice). I sat on the sofa, one hand on the remote, the other wiping the drool from my mouth, watching, tortured, considering pricing flights to California. And when Josh got home from work I actually made him re-watch it with me because I knew he would appreciate this place just as much as I did.
And then Josh had the most brilliant, beyond brilliant idea of all time.
"We should see if they can ship them."
One impulse order and $60 later this was sitting on our doorstep when we got home from work last night. Now I totally understand that we should be hanging our heads in shame for the most ridiculous fatty purchase of all time, I get it. But instead we just high-fived and I said, "this will make a great blog post!"

And then, as if it wasn't ridiculous enough, Abby and Jeff were over and I made them stay late to have a cookie tasting and judge a completely unnecessary cookie contest I just dreamed up right at that minute. But we're related, so they were game.
I cut the cookies up in to wedges one by one and the four of us each gave them a point value 1-10. Jeff gave extra points for smell. So out of a possible 40 points I now present to you our very scientific results...
(Descriptions from the Xtreme Desserts website)

Red Velvet Cookie
Two moist Red Velvet Cookies sandwiched around real yummy cream cheese frosting with Cocoa/Cinnamon crumble on top.
28 points

Double Chocolate Cream Pie Cookie
If you love chocolate, you'll love how we created a rich chocolate pudding cream pie filling surrounded by our moist cocoa chip cookies.
34.5 points

German Chocolate Cookie
The Xtreme German Chocolate cookie combines a rich chocolate pudding like texture with a special coconut-pecan mixture in the middle.
23 points

Blueberry Ginger Crumble
This delicious treat combines your classic style crumb cake with Xtreme’s soft sandwich cookies seasoned with a touch of ginger and homemade blueberry pie.
25 points
Black Forest Cookie
The perfect chocolatey cookie take on a classic cake. A rich chocolate chunk cookie with cream cheese frosting and tangy cherries in the middle
17 points
very serious cookie judging going on here
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Cookie
Two soft cocoa chocolate chip cookies with a silky smooth peanut butter cream cheese filling. We add the Xtreme chocolate ganache drizzle to top it off.
30 points

 Pecan Pie Maple Cookie
This unique twist on an old favorite has two moist 100% Maple cookies sandwiched around homemade Pecan Pie filling. Topped with a lightly sugar coated Pecan.
19 points
PB and J Cookie
Taste the richness of the peanut butter as the strawberry blends together with every mouthwatering bite
32.5 points
Carrot Cake Cookie
Add all the right spices and seasonings, slow baked with sweet moistened raisins and sandwiched around our silky cream cheese frosting. Then topped with white chocolate orange curls. Carrot Cake like no other.
14 points
and the big winner of the evening...dun dun dun...
White Chocolate Chip Apple Pie Cookie
White chocolate, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and other spices create this moist explosion of flavors. Of course it wouldn't be Xtreme without the homemade apple pie and touch of frosting in the middle.
36 points
To be fair, some of these cookies never stood a chance, but we wanted to try them all anyway. Since some of us just inherently didn't like some of the ingredients used in a few of the cookies (like coconut, cherries or maple for example), those were bound to rank low. I think the only ones that didn't make our order were the key lime and the cocomint (maybe next time). But they were all good for what they were and every one of us was super impressed with how moist and fresh they were considering they were delivered from California. Not that any of you probably care because unless you find yourselves in Studio City at some point I doubt you will be FedEx'ing a dozen cookies to yourself any time soon. But if you do (and I think you should) we fully endorse Xtreme Desserts as your treat shop of choice. They have brownies too, you guys...
And thus concludes the silliest blog post of all time.
Thank you and you're welcome.

(And no, this was not a sponsored post. I wish.)

In Which I Give Thanks

posted on: Sunday, November 25, 2012

Well. I'm not sure where to start, but to put it mildly the last few days have been tough. This holiday season has not kicked off at all the way I'd expected it to, but I'm grateful all the same. Thursday night my grandfather was taken to the ER after some suspicious behavior at thanksgiving dinner. And thank goodness everyone convinced him he needed to go because they discovered he had a double brain hemorrhage from a fall he took a few weeks back.  In the days after he was hospitalized and underwent brain surgery. I am SO happy (and relieved) to report that he is now resting and recovering well and will soon begin rehabilitation over the next few weeks. It's certainly not the way any of us wanted to spend our thanksgiving holiday but as I watched my huge family (see: 11 children, their spouses and grandchildren) all come together at the hospital, everyone willing pitch in and do whatever was needed and be there for him through all of this, I was reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for. It's cliche, I know, but this was the most in your face thanksgiving, you better count your blessings, holiday weekend I can remember. 

We've also been sneaking in some traditional christmas fun for the boys to keep them entertained and pumped up on holiday spirit despite all the stress of this week :) To start, we took them to see santa. Wes did great, which was in sharp contrast to last year and Oren cried like a baby. He really brought his A game to the pictures that night (you'll see).

Also, we checked out the annual christmas tree festival for Akron Children's Hospital and let Wes do the honors of stuffing our yearly donation in to a stocking on the NICU tree. (A word of advice, do not look directly in to that tree unless you like balling your eyes out in public). There were some really good trees this year. Wes liked the grinch tree, the candy themed tree (of course) and my favorite was the one made from recycled newspaper. It must have taken FOREVER. I was very impressed. We also checked out some traditional window displays while we were downtown, did some shirtless candy cane eating, let the boys help decorate my mom's tree and iced some cookies. Also, Wes hand wrote his first ever letter to Santa. He did it all by himself and he was so proud. (I was too). Anyway, I hope you all had a restful and much more stress-free holiday than I did.  But, I'm looking forward to next weekend when we get to go pick out our TREE! (Best day of the year, am I right?!)

(like i said, A game)
(oren's contribution)

First Friends

posted on: Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wes was invited to his first birthday party for a "friend" over the weekend. Being the first grandchild/nephew from all sides of our family it's not too often we get to see him socialize with kids outside of school or the babysitter's house. It was definitely one of those "mom" moments seeing him interact with kids his age in a social setting like that.  I can't believe he's already old enough to be getting his own invitations to things! Anyway, just wanted to save a few photos here that I snapped on my phone that day to remember it by. It will be good to have for when he's older so I can laugh at myself for how grown up I thought he was here.

(Early) Thanksgiving

posted on: Monday, November 19, 2012

One of the toughest parts of coming from divorced families has always been splitting our time between everybody over the holidays. Over time we've figured out a few ways to ease the stress while still making time for everyone. One of of our new favorite traditions is early thanksgiving with Josh's mom's side of the family. This year we hosted and everyone was able to make it (except Victor, we missed you!) even Lisa made the pilgrimage (you see what I did there?) all the way from Canada. Everyone pitched in and brought a dish and it all turned out so delicious. Todd, my annual thanksgiving sous chef and moral support, helped me get the turkey, stuffing and potatoes on the table. Lisa brought our first ever gluten-free side dishes for everyone to try (quinoa stuffing!) Josh's mom made sure their italian bloodline was well represented with homemade lasagna and meatballs and Josh's grandpa...well he made the cannoli. And honestly, that's all that really mattered anyway.

all (the good) photos courtesy of Jessica cuz she's the best.

p.s. In case I haven't thoroughly stressed enough the magnitude with which this family loves Josh's grandfather's cannoli, let me show you Josh's arm.

Yeah. It's that serious.

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