Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas to me!!!!

I used all my Christmas money and bought a stand mixer!!! I have been drooling over these for awhile now and I couldn't wait any longer!!! Baking will be so much more fun now!!!! Now what to make first.....

Mexican Wedding Cookies

These cookies were harder than I thought. They stay very crumbly and hard to manage. They are not very sweet at all, but have a good flavor. The pecans give it a nice texture and the powdered sugar just enough sweetness.
Mexican Wedding Cookies, from 52 Cookies
1 lb softened unsalted butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar (plus extra for dusting)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans, finely chopped
5 cups cake flour
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 cookies sheets.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium, beat together the butter and the 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, 10-15 minutes. Ad the vanilla, salt, and pecans and beat just until combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, being careful not to over mix the dough.
Form the dough into torpedo shapes the size of small walnuts and place on the cookie sheets. Bake until very lightly browned on the bottoms, 10-12 minutes, switching pan positions halfway through.
Set the cookies sheets on wire racks to cool. Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, place a few at a time in the bowl and toss gently to coat. As the cookies continue to cool, occasionally toss again with the sugar, trying to coat them as much as possible.

BonBon Cookies

These turned out great!! They stay soft and oh so yummy in the middle, and the surprise chocolate chips just add to the sweetness. This recipe only yielded about 16 cookies, but it was worth it! I had left over buttercream and used that for the frosting, rather than the icing the recipe called for. These cookies will be made for many occasions throughout the year!
BonBon Cookies, Created by Mrs. Joseph J. Wallace, Whitehall, Montana found on
For the Cookies:
1/2 cup soft butter
3/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
food coloring if desired
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
Possible fillings: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coconut, cherries...choose your own!
For the Icing: Mix 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar, 2 tbsp cream, 1 tsp vanilla, and food coloring
Heat oven to 350. Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, and food coloring (if using), thoroughly. Measure flour by dip-level-pour method or by sifting. Blend in flour and salt. If dough is dry add 1 to 2 tbsp. cream. Wrap a level tablespoon of dough around filling. Place 1 inc. apart on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 min. Cool; dip tops of cookies in frosting; decorate with another topping if desired.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I made these bookmarks as extra little Christmas Presents. The cupcake one is mine! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Nothing fancy, I cheated and used FunFetti cake mix (but I love it anyways!!). Used the Wilton Buttercream to frost and dipped the sides in sugar crystals.

Peppermint Bark

This is an easy, quick gift to whip up. Wrap in a Christmas tin and its an instant present!

I used a bag of white chocolate chips, melted one cup at a time. After stirring the melted chips I added crushed candy canes. Smooth out on wax paper and let stand for about an hour. Break up and serve.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beef Stew

It has been cold and rainy and beef stew is perfect in this weather! It is one of Jonathan's favorites, but very low on my list of dinner choices. We worked together to complete this dinner and it turned out great. I really liked the flavor and consistency. We used fresh veges which made it taste so much better. This will defintely be a repeat in our house!
Shortcut Beef Stew, Campbells Soup
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, cubed
1 can tomato soup
1 can beefy mushroom soup
1 tbsp. worchestershire sauce
Heat oil in saucepot. Add beef and cook until browned and jucies evaporate, stirring often.
Add soups, worcestershire and vegetables. Heat to a boil cover and cook over low heat 10 min. or until vegetables are tender.
Modifications: We seasoned the beef with onion powder and fresh garlic. We used potatoes, green beans, and carrots (all fresh). I had to add about a can of water as well. We seasoned the stew with cayenne pepper, seasoning salt, and black pepper. It took about 30 to 45 minutes for the vegetables to get soft enough for our tastes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Babies!!!

Spritz Cookies

I love, love, love my cookie press. I have an unnatural obsession with it. I would always make these cookies as a kid growing up for Christmas, and since purchasing my own cookie press, have restarted that tradition. This year we have Christmas Trees and snowflakes!!
Classic Spritz Cookies, The Pampered Chef
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375, Beat butter on medium until creamy. Add sugar, egg, and vanilla, beat well. Add Flour, 1 cup at a time; mix well. (dough will be soft, do not refrigerate).
Fill Cookie Press, fitted with disk of your choice (follow your cookie press instructions for use).
Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until firm but not brown. Cool 2 minutes, remove to cooling rack.

Chocolate Covered pretzels

This is what happens when you have left over white chocolate chips and pretzels! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Cocoa

For my coworkers I made hot cocoa mix. It smelt so good while mixing!!!
From The Pampered Chef
1 cup sugar
1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
2/3 cup unsweetenend cocoa powder
Combine sugar, coffee creamer, powdered milk, chocolate morsels, and cocoa powder.
For each giftable serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a cellophane bag, top with marshmellows
Seal bag and tie with bow.
Serving Directions: To prepare, place cocoa mix into cup. Add 1 1/4 cups hot milk. Stir until well blended.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Sweet 100

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten
.3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Red Velvet Cake
2. Princess Torte
3. Whoopie Pie
4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar
5. Beignet
6. Baklava
7. Black and White Cookie
8. Seven Layer Bars
9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
10. Kringle
11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
12. Scone with clotte cream
13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
14. Halvah
15. Macaroons
16. Banana Pudding with nilla wafers
17. Bubble tea (with tapioca “pearls”
18. Dixie Cup
19. Rice Krispie treats
20. Alfajores
21. Blondies
22. Croquembouche
23. Girl Scout cookies
24. Moon cake
25. Candy Apple
26. Baked Alaska
27. Brooklyn Egg Cream
28. Nanaimo bar
29. Baba au rhum
30. King Cake
31. Sachertorte
32. Pavolva
33. Tres Leches Cake
34. Trifle
35. Shoofly Pie
36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
37. Panna Cotta
38. New York Cheesecake
39. Napoleon/mille-fueille
40. Russian Tea Cake/Mexican Wedding Cake
41. Anzac Biscuits
42. Pizzelle
43. Kolache
44. Buckeyes
45. Malasadas
46. Moon Pie
47. Dutch Baby
48. Boston Cream Pie
49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies
50. Pralines
51. Gooey Butter Cake
52. Rusks
53. Daifuku
54. Green tea cake or cookies
55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
56. Creme Brulee
57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)
58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
59. Jelly Roll
60. Pop Tarts
61. Charlotte Russe
62. An “upside down” dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
63. Hummingbird Cake
64. Jell-O from a mold
65. Black forest cake
66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
67. Kulfi
68. Linzer torte
69. Churro
70. Stollen
71. Angel Food Cake
72. Mincemeat pie
73. Concha
74. Opera Cake
75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
76. Pain au chocolat
77. A piece of Gingerbread House
78. Cassata
79. Cannoli
80. Rainbow cookies
81. Religieuse
82. petits fours
83. Chocolate Souffle
84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
85. Rugelach
86. Hamenstashen
87. Homemade marshmallows
88. Rigo Janci
89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
90. Divinity
91. Coke or Cola cake
92. Gateau Basque
93. S’mores
94. Figgy Pudding
95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96. Joe Froggers
97. Sables
98.Millionaire’s Shortbread
99. Animal crackers
100. Basbousa

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Staples

So we all know it isn't Thanksgiving without the turkey, but that goes for pecan pie and green bean casserole too!!!

Pecan Pie, Karo Syrup
1 cup Karo Light corn syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsbp. butter, melted
1tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350. Stir the first 5 ingredients thoroughly using a spoon. Mix in pecans. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, cool for 2 hours. Pie is done with center springs back when tapped.

Green Bean Casserole, Campbells Soup

2 cans Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 cups cooked green beans ( I used french cut)
2 2/3 cups French's fried onions

Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, beans, and 1 1/3 cups onions in 3 qt. casserole.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, stir. Top with remaining onions. Bake for 5 minutes more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

I had just enough pumpkin leftover for these cookies!! Pretty much the same idea as the bars, but in a yummy cookie!!!


1/2 cup margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup white chocolate chips

Cream the margarine and sugar together with a hand mixer until light and fluffly.
Beat in the egg, pumpkin, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Add teh dry ingredients to the wet ones an dmixt togher well. Fold in the chips.
Drop teaspoons of the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned

Pumpkin Spice Bars

Just in time for Thanksgiving!! These bars turned out so moist! The only problem was the white chocolate, it would not squeeze out properly and ended up becoming globs, as seen above. Luckily the taste is wonderful!
Pumpkin Spice Bars from 52 Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons crystallized ginger (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup white chocolate ( I used morsels)
1 teaspoon shortening
Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs sllightly. Stir in the pumpkin and oil. Stir into the flour mixture.
Spread the batter into an ungreased baking pan. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.
For the topping, in a small, heavy duty plastic bag combine the white chocolate and shortening. Seal the bag just above the ingredients, then set the sealed bag in a bowl of warm water utnil the contents are melted. Gently knead them together. Snip 1/4 inch from one corner of the bag. Squeeze from teh bag over the bars in a crisscross design. Cut before the topping is completely set.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crunchy herbed chicken

This wasn't as crunchy as the name would suggest, but it was still pretty good!

From Real Simple

4 slices white bread, toasted ( I ony used 3 and still had leftover bread crumbs)

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (I had dried and didn't use that much, just dumped some in until it looked right)

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup Dijon mustand

4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( I used tenders because that's what we like)

Heat oven to 400. In a food processor, pulse the bread, parsley, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper until coarse crumbs form. Add the oil and pulse to combine. Transfer to a plate

Spread the mustard over the chicken and dip the pieces in the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere

Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden and cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes

My helpers!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanksgiving/Fall Cake

The only cake decorating class I have ever taken is staring up at the counter while my mom make my birthday cake. I am just one of those people that decides to do something and I do it. So I did some research online, watched cake shows and voila I made a cake from scratch!!!

Madeira Sponge Cake From Debbie Brown's Hot Cakes

1 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cup Caster sugar

7 large eggs

3 1/2 cup self-raising flour

1 2/3 cup plain flour

Preheat oven to 325

Sift the self-raising and plain flours together in a bowl

Soften the butter and place in a bowl with the caster sugar, beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy

Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time with a sponnful of the flour, beating well after each addition. Add a few drops of vanilla

Using a spatula, fold the remaining flour into the mixture

Spoon the mixture into the tine, then make a dip in the top with the back of a spoon

Bake for an hour and a half or until a skewer intered in the center comes out clean

I used the Wilton Buttercream to do the crum coat

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cupsconfectioner's sugar

2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl cream shortening and butter with electric mixer

add vanilla

Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beathing well on medium speed, scrape sides and bottom of bowl often

When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry, add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy

For my first time using fondant, I think I did pretty well. I liked using it, it is really easy, but it smells and does not taste good. I added some vanilla to it to help with that, but store bought fondant is not for taste. Next time I will try using marshmellow fondant to see if the taste is any better. So here it is the debut of my first cake...drum roll please....(hey I think it at least looks better than some of those store bought cakes...)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane...

well more like in my mustang, but you get the picture. We are off as of tomorrow night and cruisin!!! Looking forward to gaining at least 5 pounds and maybe even a sun burn.

Monday, October 27, 2008

First Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to Us!! One year and it seems just like yesterday that I was waking up hysterical after keeping my bridesmaids up until 2 in the morning watching Shot at Love: Tila Tequila. The year has flown by but in a good way. Now it if off to Mexico to celebrate!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Season of Friendship

I was so excited I got my newest stamp set in the mail this week, Stampin Up!'s Season of Friendship. I didn't like it at first but then I saw other people's examples on SplitCoast Stampers and fell in love! I finally got to play with them this morning. I am planning on using the winter scene for one of my Christmas cards.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Supplies!!

I went to Michaels last night and was in heaven as always. Only this time I went to the other side of the store, away from scrapbooking, and ended up in the cake decorating section!! I bought some basics for my first cake idea: a fall cake for Thanksgiving. My mom gave me her Wilton book from 1983 (!!) when she took the class (she was pregnant with me and actually stopped going because the cake smells made her sick he he). She always made our cakes growing up and I have many memories attached to these cakes and being in the kitchen with her. I want to be able to do that for my future children as well, and now I have her book!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jello Shots!

One of our many family traditions are jello shots! It started at my wedding and has become a staple at any and every family event since then.
Jello Shots: Follow directions on back of box substituting your choice of liquor for the cold water.
My personal favorite: cherry jello with cherry vodka

Monday, October 20, 2008

I have finally ventured into the blog world! Woo Hoo!! The main purpose is to show off my creations, crafting and baking, and mainly to brag! :) Anyways, Thanks for looking!