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Showing posts from 2011


It was an epic day in the life of my blog when I guest posted on The Pickled Herring blog yesterday for day 10 of Scandinavian Christmas. I wrote about making Rosettes.... You can read the complete post by clicking on the link above :)
Here is a photo of the finished product... My mom and I flooded the kitchen with smoke as we deep fried these little beauties, but it was well worth it for the finished product!

We've been keeping busy here in the Motherland. Some highlights have included:
The Melting Pot to Celebrate Grandma Carlson's 87th Birthday!Ping-pong tourney down in the basement in which Sten and I annihilated anyone who tried to cross our path.Meeting Pete and Anne for breakfast this morning at The Original Pancake House. It brought a little of Chicago to Minnesota!Last, but NOT least... (possibly my favorite thing I have done in a long while) Last night Mike and Jessica, Mom, Sten and I went to the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis for an 8pm showing of It's a Wond…


I didn't realize until going to College that eating Manicotti for Christmas Eve dinner wasn't normal. After being at church for multiple services, my mom, sister and I would set the big dining room table, fill the fancy goblets with sparkling grape juice and wait for my dad to come home from the last service at church. Then we would all sit down to a Manicotti dinner, the only light coming from the candles on the table and the Christmas Tree in the window. My wonderful mother catered to my dad's Italian ancestry by making traditional dishes and cookies-- like PIZZELLE!

Ever had these little morsels of goodness? Pizzelle are traditional Italian waffle cookies made from flour, eggs, sugar, shortening and anise. Pizzelle can be hard and crisp, or soft and chewy, depending on ingredients used. And I am partial to the way the Print family has done it over the years-- crisp! We have my Grandpa and Grandpa's old maker, and boy does it make some delicious Pizzelle! Mom and I …

Christmas Egg-bake Brunch.

On Saturday Sten and I hosted a Christmas brunch to celebrate an early Christmas with his side of the family. I made Pioneer Woman's Sleepin' in Omelet, and doughnut muffins and we opened gifts and spent a cozy afternoon in our apartment. It was fun and festive and I loved it! One of Sten's family traditions is "socks" or stockings... the Tournell women take this to a-whole-nother level by shopping year around for things that will be opened on Christmas morning. In fact, they don't even fit in a normal size stocking... I wish I had some pictures. It is so much fun to open all the little treasures from the year.
After brunch we packed up our Christmas stuff (since we won't be home until after the new year) and packed our bags for Minnesota. We arrived last night with Lou Malnati's in tow and shared a slice of Chicago with my family :) It feels so good to be home for Christmas. p.s. My sis has a little bitty baby bump (the best Christmas present I could…

a mid-december update + Wild Rice Soup.

Aaaahhhhh.... relaxing. Starting today I am on vacation until after the New Year. I didn't know how to contain myself so I woke up at 5:37a to snow coming down in beautiful sparkly flakes and decided it was high time to update the happenings in life as of late. In the last couple weeks Sten and I have been full speed ahead. Last night at about 6pm he finished the last assignment for the semester. That means we are officially HALF way through Seminary! Other happenings include:
 A visit from my Colorado friendsy friends. A re-cap of what we did: eat Chicago food, shop Chicago streets, and bake Chicago treats. It was such a fun time! You're looking at some of Colorado's finest, and I am the luckiest girl to know them. We crammed into our little apartment and enjoyed just being together!

 The girls left Wednesday morning and then Wednesday evening we had our Small Group Christmas party dinner! We finally got to stretch our table ALL the way out eat a meal with 10 people arou…

making room

Life is moving too fast. I have 5 work days left of 2011. The rest will be full of friends from CO visiting, Christmas with Sten's family, Minnesota in all its wintery glory, and to cap off 2011: a trip to Mexico for some sun and fun times with the Johnson's!
This past Sunday Sten had the opportunity to speak at church. He is so talented, and I sat through both services fully engaged and so proud. He is going to be an excellent pastor. He has a huge heart for people that don't know Jesus and a true desire to lead people into a deep and true relationship with Christ. His message has been with me all week. Simply put "Jesus' presence always requires making room".. think about the inn keeper who missed out on having the savior of the world born in his hotel because he didn't make room. I have been so distracted these past couple weeks that I feel like I have done a poor job at making room for Jesus. But, tomorrow is a new day and I am going to be more inte…

Christmas Tree.

This tree was in Mim's guest room last year. I love it. I love the skinny little branches. We had to get a fake-sy this year, and it's just not the same...

Sten and I just finished watching Charlie Brown Christmas - in the spirit of Charlie Brown, I pulled out this photo to share.

Enjoy. xoxo. erica.

Deck the Halls with PB Balls!

Good morning.  We are officially 3 days into December and I can't even believe it. But, for real. Can't believe it. My dad said it best in how I want to live my life this Christmas Season... My dad is pretty spectacular. He has all of these nuggets of wisdom. Sometimes I wish I could get inside his mind and pull out of few of his thoughts so I can use them for my blog. But, I will stick to baking, running and making lists. As I feel that is what I am good at.
A list for today, because it is Saturday and I love lists:
In a few minutes I am going to wake up Sten so we can drink coffee out of our Christmas mugs and think about what we want our day to look likeI had a wonderful week. It went by in a flash and I enjoyed all of my evenings especially: working out with my friend Andrew at Equinox. He is the best trainer in the city of Chicago and I am still a little sore 2 days later. Let me know if you would like his number ;)Went to the CristKringle Mart with Kate and Peter last ni…

Chicken Tomatillo Tacos... Bobby Flay.

I love the Food Network. I especially love when it is on at the gym and I am mapping out how long I should run so I can go home and make whatever I just watched.... Paula Dean- 7miles, Rachel Ray- 6 miles, Giada- 5 miles, Bobby Flay- 4 miles... Well, this recipe is a 3 mile run kind of meal. It is nutritious and delicious, full of protein and vegetables and you can make it in a SNAP! I first had it when my B.I.L. made it for us during one of our weekly Biggest Loser Tuesday night get togethers. He is an amazing cook. Check out his blog HERE. Since then I have made this for about everyone I know. Last night over a rousing game of Hand and Foot, Peter, Katie, Sten and I enjoyed this warm meal on a blistery Chicago evening.
Here are some pictures and the recipe:

These are Tomatillos. I found them at Harvest Time, but most grocery stores carry them as well. They look like green tomatoes, but they are not. As an easy alternative to blackening them on the grill- I broiled them for about 12…

3 years in review