schnappycat is a stay-at-home mom to 11-month-old, Evan, but in a former life, she worked in corporate marketing, She now fills her spare (barely there) time as a competitive synchronized figure skater. She and her husband Dave are both proud University of Michigan grads and remain true to their roots, even though they live outside of Denver.
lilsugar: What is the most magical part of the holiday season for your family?
schnappycat: I have always thought the anticipation of Christmas was magical. There is something beautiful and exciting about the few days leading up to the big day, with the preparations, traditions, and discussions about the fun things to come. I especially find myself in a state of perpetual breathlessness on Christmas Eve, eager to have morning come, but at the same time savoring each moment of anticipation. This year, I think this will be especially true because I’ll also be looking at the holiday through my son’s eyes. It will be lovely!
To hear more about her holiday and get a festive peanut butter brownie trifle recipe,
lilsugar: What is the hot wish list item in your household this year?
schnappycat: Evan is still too young to know what the hot toys are this season and I prefer to keep my house “Elmo free” as long as possible. But my husband and I have talked about breaking down and buying a Wii for us. I’m a bit technologically inept, so I’d also love a Flip camcorder to easily record and upload videos of Evan.
lilsugar: What is your family's favorite holiday recipe?
schnappycat: Since this is our first holiday with a child, we are still creating new traditions to share with our son. One dessert that my husband and I have made during the past few holidays is a Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle. Sadly, there is no great story behind this tradition, but it’s certainly a delicious addition to the season. I plan to continue including it in the holiday festivities each year. Hopefully Evan likes chocolate as much as his mom!
Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle
1 (21.4-oz) pkg. chocolate brownie mix, chocolate peanut butter brownie mix, or peanut butter brownie mix (any type of mix is acceptable)
1 (5.1-oz) pkg. vanilla instant pudding
½ c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
3 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-½ c. coarsely chopped peanut butter cups candies (Reese’s or other)
Garnish (opt.): additional peanut butter cups candies, sliced
Bake brownies as indicated on box. Cool completely. With sharp knife, cut brownies into ¾-inch pieces.
Pudding Mixture Preparation:
Combine vanilla pudding mix and milk in a large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add peanut butter and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Gently fold in ½ of whipped cream. Set remaining whipped cream aside.
Place ½ of brownies in bottom of 3-quart trifle bowl. Top with 1-¼ cups chopped peanut butter cup candies and ½ of pudding mixture. Repeat layers with remaining ½ of brownies, 1-¼ cups chopped peanut butter candies, and pudding mixture. Pipe or spoon reserved whipped cream over trifle. Garnish, if desired.
Yield: Approximately 12 servings.
*This dessert is best served after chilling in refrigerator overnight. The flavors mix together the longer it remains in the refrigerator.
*Since this is layered, it probably doesn't matter if brownies and candies are more or less liberally layered.
lilsugar: Do your children still believe in Santa?
schnappycat: Evan has no concept of Santa yet, and was a bit confused and scared as to why he was forced to sit on a strange bearded man’s lap at the mall. Next year will probably be much more Santa focused. I’m looking forward to him getting excited about Santa!