Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Please be careful if you are out on the roads tonight!
I'd love to hear how you spent your new year's eve and what you were doing when the new year rolled in!
We are sitting here waiting for the ball to drop. I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow! ;)
See ya in 2009!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Santa cleaned his plate, too, and drank all of his milk!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
She's this itty bitty little lady - not even 100 lbs soaking wet- and it took all she could do to move it around. She said that she knows how much I love to cook and bake so she asked me if I wanted it!! UH...YES!!!
You see...sadly (lol!) I am not an itty bitty little thing so I have no problem moving it around and I have been giving it a work out! It's gonna get a workout later today when I start on my Christmas cookies and other goodies, too!
Mom is a happy baker once again, too. She wanted a Sunbeam MixMaster so we bought her one so that she could bake her Christmas cookies! :) She told me tonight that she is thrilled with her new mixer.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Monday, December 22, 2008
1 box yellow cake mix
1 -4 serving- pkg. vanilla instant pudding & pie filling
1/4 C. pumpkin eggnog
1/4 C. vegetable oil
4 tsps. pumpkin pie spice
powdered sugar to sprinkle on top -optional
What you do:
Preheat oven to 350*
In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, pudding, eggnog and oil on low speed until moistened. Add eggs and pumpkin pie spice and beat on medium-high for 4 minutes.
Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan.
Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
To see my recipe for these wonderful cookies, simply click on their name.
What You Need:
1 frozen pound cake, cut into 6 thick slices
White Chocolate candy melts
White Chocolate candy kisses
Blue paste food coloring
Yellow sugar sprinkles (if desired)
Blue & White striped straws, cut into 2 in. pieces
What You Do:
For ease of cutting, make sure the pound cake is frozen. Using a serrated knife, trim the "crust" (outside brown layer) from the pound cake slices.
Cut each slice of cake into 4 rectangles - slice vertically in half and then horizontally in half. Holding a rectangle - long sides pointing up and down - stick one piece of a straw into the top of the cake, creating a handle.
Melt candy melts in the microwave according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of chocolate.
Holding onto the straw handle, dip each piece of cake into the white chocolate, turning to cover. Lie on plate and immediately stick a candy kiss onto the open end of the cake. Sprinkle Dreidels with yellow sugar, if desired. Once all of the cake pieces have been covered with chocolate and sugar, chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Tint the reserved 1/2 cup of chocolate light blue. Fill a small plastic Baggie with the blue chocolate, creating a decorating bag. Barely snip one corner of the Baggie. Use this to draw the outlined boxes and letters on the Dreidels. (Refer to picture for help)
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Can be frozen after decorated.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (use your favorite recipe or one is provided below)Vanilla and Chocolate Icing
Asst. Colors of Paste Food Coloring
Small Candies for Decorating
Colored Sugars and Sprinkles
Mitten Cookie Cutter
Favorite Jelly or Jam
Sm. Plastic Baggies
Dixie Cups or Small Bowls
What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare your favorite Peanut Butter cookie dough recipe or use the one listed below. On a lightly floured surface, roll cookies dough out to 3/8 in. thickness. Make sure to cut out an even numbered amount of cookies so that they can be paired together. When laying cookies on a baking sheet, be sure to flip over every other cookie so that one mitten thumb is facing left and one is facing right, to make pairing easy. Bake as directed. It is important to make sure that these cookies are completely cooled before icing.
Time to Decorate:
An adult should prepare the icing ahead of time for easier handling. To color the Vanilla icing, add a small amount of icing into a bowl -one bowl per each color that you will be using- and stir in a small amount of paste food coloring. Make icing bags by filling a plastic baggie with one of the colored icings and squeezing the icing into one corner of the bag. Carefully snip off the very end of the corner of each bag.
Separate candies into individual bowls or Dixie cups.
Pair the cookies so that each child has two cookies, forming one mitten. Allow the kids to decorate the top cookie with icing, candy, etc. Set this cookie aside to dry. On the topside of the bottom cookie, spread a thin layer of peanut butter, topping with a thin layer of jelly. Finish by placing their decorated cookie on top of the jelly.
Serve alongside a glass of milk and enjoy!
For best quality and taste, these cookies are meant to be decorated and eaten immediately; not frozen for later use.
Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies
1 C. Butter or Butter-Flavored Crisco
2/3 C. Creamy Peanut Butter
2/3 C. Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/4 C. Cornstarch
Combine the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl; beat with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat or stir in the flour and cornstarch until mixture starts sticking together. At this point, I use my hands to mix the cookie dough until thoroughly mixed together. Roll out on a lightly floured board to about 3/8-inch thickness, cut with cookie cutters and place on an un-greased baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cookies are set and light brown. Cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
A for Advent
1 & 2 are, without a doubt, Andy & Alexis (my kids!)
3. Anise -- I LOVE the flavor of this stuff!!
4. airplanes (thankfully my husband still has a job working on them!)
7. My slight Pittsburgh-area accent :)
8.MacIntosh Apple Yankee Candles
9."All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" - one of my favorite Christmas songs since my son sang it in his kindergarten Christmas concert.
10. participating in activities with my kids
Thanks, Sharon! This was fun!
If you would like to participate in this meme, just post a reply here and ask for a letter. I'd love to see what you come up with!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
What You Need
Mini Pretzels - 7 pretzels per wreath
White Chocolate Candy Melts
Mini Candies such as Mini M&Ms, Red Hots, Gum Drops, etc.
Fruit Leather Rolls
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using 7 pretzels for each wreath, form small circles on the wax paper.
Melt white chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals, until melted. Use the chocolate to "glue" the pretzels together, sides touching. While the chocolate is still wet, garnish with candy decorations. Either let the chocolate air dry or slide the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes until the chocolate is hard.
We do not recommend refrigerating any of the wreaths that are decorated with candies that have a sugar coating. The sugary coating melts once the candies come back to room temperature.
Roll out the fruit leather, pressing both the front & back of the leather into sugar for a festive look. Cut into thin strips to use for ribbons on the wreath and for the hanger on top of the wreath.
Tip: If you are planning on hanging your wreaths on a tree, use clear fishing line to create a hanger for your wreaths. Do not hang the wreath from the fruit leather, as it will break.
What You Need
1 roll of pre-made sugar cookie dough
What You Do
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using the bell cookie cutter, cut out 12 bell cookies - this will vary depending on how thick you roll out the cookies. Lay the cookies, all the same way with bell facing you, onto the cookie sheet. Now, turn the cookie sheet around so that the bells are upside down. This is your reindeer face! Place a red M&M in his nose and one pretzel on each side of his head for the ears. (See photo)
Bake for 10 minutes or until very lightly browned around edges. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
These make great Christmas party favors!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
For this week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe we are making Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies. This recipe was chosen by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein.
The dough was very quick and easy to whip up. However, this is where the "quick and easy" part stops. My dough was very soft, almost too soft. I resisted the urge to add more flour to it even though I thought that it would help tremendously.
I divided the dough into 2 pieces and chilled it for 3 hours. The dough was still very sticky when I took it out of the frig. At this point I did add a little more flour on the top and bottom of the dough to ease in moving the cut-out cookies from the table to the cookie sheet. After one round of cutting and chilling the dough, I decided that it would be much less frustrating to roll the remaining dough into a log and stick in the the freezer for one of those nights when my family wants dessert but I don't have anything made for that night.
I baked one sheet of cut-out candy canes, stocking and small circles. If you take the cookies out of the oven before they start browning, they will stay softer than if you leave them in until they start browning around the edges--of course, this is a personal preference that ranks right up there with "which ketchup is better" or "do you drink Coke or Pepsi?". We prefer the softer, chewier cookies.
I would suggest adding some other flavoring other than vanilla to the dough unless you are looking for a very plain sugar cookie. Since I hadn't added any extra flavoring, I decided to sandwich raspberry preserves inbetween the round cookies and then drizzle them with powdered sugar icing. They turned out pretty and tasted pretty good, too.
I sprinkled chopped up Andes Candies onto a few of the stockings and candy cane cookies and stuck them back into the oven for a couple of minutes to melt the chocolate. For the remaining cookies, I just drizzled them with the left over powdered sugar icing.
I'm sure that my family will enjoy the slice and bake cookies sometime soon! For some reason, cookie dough never seems to last long around here. ;)
Friday, December 5, 2008
What You Need
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. black paste food color
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. anise extract
What You Do
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending edges over the sides of pan. Lightly grease foil with butter or baking spray.
Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy, non-stick, 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Cook about 15 minutes, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 290 degrees F.
Immediately remove from heat. Stir in anise extract and food coloring. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cool completely.
Lift candy out of pan using foil. Place candy between 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Using a hammer or mallet, break candy into pieces the size of a lump of coal.
Fill a plastic baggie with a few pieces of coal and attach the following poem:
I heard you have been naughty not nice,
And Santa even checked his list twice.
So all the way from the cold North Pole
all you're getting is a bag of coal.
This is one of my favorite Christmas recipes that I have made. It does make a little bit of a mess when you go to break up the candy but it's so cute when it's packaged up that it's worth it.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Have You Ever?
Just for grins and giggles. Copy this list and put it on your blog. If you've done it, bold it.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (and DisneyWorld!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill --ssshhh!
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping -TMI?
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run -- I'm guessing that one on the Wii doesn't count?
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied--most of the time
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke - if that's what you want to call it!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (not that I'm proud of it, but I have)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job --not proud of this, either!
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day - It's been a while...The Bridges of Madison County was the last book that I've read in one day. That's sad to me. I love to read but rarely have the time to do a lot of it in one day.
There are many more on this list that I hope to do one day!
Why not take a moment out of your busy day to post this on your blog! Let me know if you do. :)
In my opinion, this cookie was just ok, nothing special. I had no problems following the recipe the way it was written, although I only had to bake my cookies 6 1/2 minutes. I chose a raspberry preserves as the filling for these cookies. I really didn't like the taste of the cookies with the cinnamon & cloves mixed with the raspberry filling. Perhaps another filling or even different ground nuts (I used walnuts) would've made them taste better to me.
Anyway, here they are: