Saturday, January 21, 2012

34 Weeks

34 down...6 more to go (mas o menos)

This point seemed so far away back in June when I first found out that I was pregnant. But here I am and I am still feeling good...not much to complain about here. I am now at the point where people tell me I look like I should be "heading to the hospital" or I look like I'm "ready to pop". Oh so funny when you still have 6 weeks left. But really, I don't actually mind the comments, it's all a part of the package and I'm sure it will just become more and more frequent as I keep on growing. The baby continues to be active, healthy and is growing well.

In other news, we have finally had some some snow here in Chicago. It can be a pain but also beautiful...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chocalate Chip and Cream Cheese Danish

I saw this recipe on TV and was so tempted by them that I made them the next day. I'm glad I did, they are delicious! I have made them again since then with some slight adjustments. I know it sounds hard to make danish but it is super easy if you use store bought puff pastry. And once you make this recipe then you can make tons of different kinds by just changing the filling.

The Recipe:

(I basically followed Giada Di Laurentiis' recipe with a few slight modifications. Her original recipe can be found here.)


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 (9-inch-square) sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (check package for thawing directions)
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Make the filling: In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, egg yolk, flour, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
  • Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 equal-sized squares. Put 4 pastry squares on each prepared baking sheet. Spoon about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the filling into the center of each piece of pastry.
  • Beat the remaining egg and brush egg on each of the corners of the pastry (this acts like a glue). Bring all four corners up over the filling and pinch together to secure (leaving some space between all of the sides on top so that air can escape while baking). Brush the top with beaten egg as well (this makes the pastry shiny and golden brown.)
  • Bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Like I said above, these are really easy and very delicious so give em a try!
Two additional suggests: pop the danish in the fridge for about 10 minutes after assembling and before baking so they can cool down and bake well (this keeps the chocolate chips in tact during baking instead of mixing in with the cheese and overpowering the filling). And 2nd suggestion, store left over danish in the fridge but then let come up to room temperature before eating (I also tried baking leftovers again to crisp them up but found it was better just to let them come up to room temp.).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Our holidays this year

We had a wonderful Christmas and New Years this year. It was a time for starting new traditions as our family grows and things change. I am grateful for a wonderful family that truly loves each other and genuinely enjoys being together. But we are also sad that we weren't able to celebrate with the Johnsons this year.

We started things out with church and then a gathering with the whole Wallgren family (well, almost whole, missed you Anne, Pete and Chris!) at my aunt and uncle's house...
Here's our part of the family with all of my sisters, brother, brothers in law and nieces.

Two of our nieces, Gwen and Sonja

Without the heaping pile of presents this year we found other stuff to do! The most popular activity was playing this dance game...Cam is in the zone.

Me and Matt

My mom and dad with two of their grandchildren, Sonja and Naomi

Then it onto my parents' house to continue the celebration and start our own sleepover tradition...

Here are some pics from Christmas morning...

Caroline and Addison

Gwen with her prized American Girl doll

I love this sweet picture of Linnea and Naomi

I also love the new camera that Matt got me! Here we are testing out the smile detecting timer.

Matt getting some baby practice with our niece Naomi on Christmas at Marcia and Alan's house.

Another holiday tradition for our family is going to high tea at The Drake the day after Christmas. This year it was a smaller group and we had a great time.

My aunt Julie, my grandma and my mom.

My sister Greta, grandma, cousin Beth and me

And I love being able to see great friends who come in town for Christmas! Luke, Jaime, Molly and I all live in different cities (Chicago, San Fran, New York and Austin.) so it is rare when we all four get to be together. I guess we never took a picture with Jaime too, oops.

I love the week between Christmas and New still feels festive and relaxed. Matt had the whole week off from work so we enjoyed spending some extra time together (and trying to soak in the quiet before the baby comes as all new parents keep telling us to do!). Then as it always does, New Years Eve came so quickly. We spent ours this year with some friends.
Here are some of the girls.

And some of the boys...don't ask.

Up on the roof catching some of the downtown fireworks

Happy New Year! I think it'll be a good one...
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