Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The second type of cookies that I made are called "Magic in the Middles". This recipe came from a Rachael Ray magazine a couple of years ago. It is soooo good. Peanut butter is in the middle of each rich, delicious chocolate cookie:
We are just getting started though. I hope to many more varieties of cookies and candy in the next few days. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas .....
Pecan Cookie Balls (aka Powdered Sugar Cookies)
Cream 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Stir in 2 cups sifted flour, 1/8 tsp. salt, 2 cups finely chopped pecans, and 2 tsp. vanilla. Mix well. Shape the stiff dough into small balls. Place on a greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheet, and bake in 350 deg. oven for 12-15 min. Remove from pan and carefully roll the hot cookies in powdered sugar. Cool, then roll again in powdered sugar. Store in a tight container.
Magic in the Middles
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus more for dipping)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 deg. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together granulated and brown sugars, butter, and 1/4 cup peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beating to combine. Stir in dry ingredients, blending well. Set dough aside. Stir together remaining 3/4 cup peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth. With floured hands, roll peanut butter mixture into 26 (1-inch) balls. Break off about 1 tablespoon cookie dough; make an indentation in the center with thumb, and press a peanut butter ball into indentation. Wrap dough up and over filling, pressing to seal. Roll cookie to smooth it out. Repeat for each cookie. Dip top of each cookie in granulated sugar, and place 2" apart on a lightly greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheet. Used greased bottom of glass to flatten each cookie to about 1/2" thickness. Bake at 375 deg. 7 to 9 minutes or until set. Let cool on wire rack.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I think that Mr. Desaulniers is one of my very favorite cookbook authors of all time. I have several of his books, and have even made a few of his recipes. The results are always out of this world delicious.
Yesterday when my youngest daughter indicated she was suffering from boredom, I suggested that she make some cookies. This was the book that she chose, and made these:
They were melt in your mouth delicious! If any of you are interested in the recipe, just leave a comment indicating so (making sure I can link back to you some way), or e-mail me (see my profile), and I will be happy to send it to you.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Dissolve 2 cups boiling water, and then 1 cup of cold water with a 6 ounce package of orange jello. Let thicken to egg white consistency. In a food processor, process one large orange (peel too - but I section it up to remove the seeds first), one large or two small red delicious apples (including peel - but again removing the core and seeds), and 1/2 bag of frozen cranberries. Fold these ingredients into the thickened jello and put into a jello mold, pretty bowl, or 8" square dish. Keep jello in refrigerator until it has set.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Photo from The Farm Chicks Blog
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I try to pick up various sized baskets throughout the year when the stores are having sales. The best times that I have seen are after Christmas, and in the spring when Easter is near. You can also pick up the cellophane to wrap them with during these sales as well as the shredded paper for the basket filling. But just in case you haven't stocked up earlier in the year, all of these supplies are readily available any time of year.
Baskets aren't the only vessel that can be used for gift giving. You can be very creative with how you present your gifts. A large salad or mixing bowl, a wooden crate, tote bags, pretty pots, or even cookie jars. The ideas really are endless. A great resource for some fun ideas is the book, Southern Living at Home Beautiful Containers. My sister-in-law, Jill, gave me this book as a gift this past year. It is filled with some very creative and beautiful ideas. The book itself makes a great gift, and look how cute she presented it to me:
Saturday, October 24, 2009
(Please note that this picture is from the King Arthur blog. The lighting in my kitchen isn't always the best for taking pictures; and their picture really does this cake justice - of which it highly deserves).
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
My dad always loved having animals. He especially enjoyed having sheep. One day after he had been away checking on the sheep, he brought a little lamb home. Apparently the ewe didn't want her after she was born. So my dad brought her home to me. We lived in town, and didn't really have a large lot for animals; but that didn't matter to him. He put up a little fence in the back yard for her, and I named her "Cocoa".
A while later we ended up moving to a small farm in a nearby town. We had quite a few sheep at this farm, and thought Cocoa could now have friends. As she grew, she was still my pet, and I can even remember going out to the pen and wrapping my arms around her wooly neck giving her hugs.
As far as I know, we don't have any pictures of me and Cocoa together. I wish we did, because I would take that picture and frame it. Actually an even more priceless picture would be one of my dad, me, and Cocoa all together.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This cake is an upside down cake made in a cast iron skillet. It turned out perfectly, and was delicious. The recipe recommends serving it with 1 cup of whipping cream mixed with a tablespoon of pear brandy and 2 tsp. sugar. I didn't have any pear brandy on hand, so we opted to serve it with regular whipped cream or ice cream. We decided that the cake part seemed to be more like a shortcake than a traditional cake. Everyone gave it a thumbs up, and consequently, this recipe will now be forever in my recipe box.
Golden Pear Cake
3/4 cup butter, softened (divided)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 medium or 3 large pears (1 1/2 pounds), cored, peeled, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Place 1/4 cup butter in 9 or 10-inch cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Cook and stir until sugar is melted and bubbly; remove from heat. Set aside; cool. (or, make brown sugar-butter mixture in saucepan; pour into 9-inch round cake pan, spreading evenly, and allow to cool.) Arrange pear slices in skillet or pan.
In small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In large bowl beat remaining 1/2 cup butter with mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar until combined. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. (Batter may appear curdles.) Spread batter evenly over pears.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes. Loosen cake from pan; invert onto plate. Serves 8 to 10.
Monday, October 5, 2009
She is so sweet, and filled with detail. To give you something to compare her size with, here she is with a cherry tomato behind her:
I picked her up at a local craft/art show last summer; and never tire at looking at all of the amazing detail that she is comprised of. The artist is Elayne Watrus; and here is her website showing all of her creations "The Little Street Collection". Elayne didn't make it back to our yearly art show this year -- I looked for her specifically hoping to find a little friend for my sweet little gardening lady.