Thursday, December 31, 2009

Recipe requests

Here are 2 recipes that were requested from the Holiday Bake-A-Thon....enjoy!!

Peppermint Meltaways

Chocolate Drizzled Cherry Bars - For this one, the actual recipe is no longer on their website (go figure) and I can't find my recipe book right now so this is a link to a forum where someone put the recipe up. It looks like the right one but I haven't verified that all the measurements are correct. I will type up the actual recipe when I find the book =)

By the way, when I have time later today I have a step by step tutorial for the yummy meatloaf I made last night (the recipe is from my ever talented mother-in-law....we call her Grandma B online and I like to believe the B stands for Betty Crocker!!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Many new adventures

This Christmas I was absolutely spoiled with more kitchen gadgets than I can possibly imagine!! I got a juicer, a zester (the kind that will take off part of your finger if you're not careful), a simply divine strainer, my new Corelle dishes (YES!!!), some super-fun silicone cupcake sets to make animals and construction vehicles out of, and a cupcake decorating set to make them fun to look at as well as eat!!

Greg also got me some mini-muffin tins and my long wooden spoons for stirring in my big 'ol pot I got for my birthday!!

Why share this with you?? Because it means I have even more fun gadgets to start expanding my cooking experiments...

Oh, and my FAVORITE present this Christmas???
Of course it was kitchen related, and it came from my sister-in-law...

The Pioneer Woman Cookbook!!!
Oh, many, many hours will be spent with my nose in these pages...
She may even inspire me to touch raw beef...


Why scarves??

A lady in my sister-in-law's ward is taking them to Afghanistan for the kids there and when my mother-in-law told me about it I decided I wanted to help.

I started out with the middle one, pink and was so soft and kind of fun!! Then I made the all green one and added white to the fringe. Then I decided to go Sesame Street bold and do yellow and white with plain white fringe. These were so much fun to make and I was surprised at how great they turned out...and how warm they were!!

Then I decided to get creative and I asked Grandma B if she had a larger crochet hook than the size "K" I was already using, so that I could try using 3 different colors...and she came back down with this...

This is officially my new favorite crochet hook!! I don't know what size it really is, but I have dubbed it size "ADHD" because it's great for people like me with the attention span of a peanut!! I finished this scarf in under 30 minutes =)

Now I am working on another scarf out of some really fuzzy and soft yarn Grandma B had...I will take a pic of it and post it when I get the fringe on.

I forgot how much fun crocheting in mass could I am wondering...if I made scarves from a nice soft yarn and out of more modern colors...and possibly made a matching hat (beanie) and added a flower or other accent, would people buy them on Etsy perhaps??

What do you think??


Here is the newest scarf...this is the second one I've made and I really love the colors on it. This is made from a Boucle yarn which can be tricky to work with when you're crocheting, but the risk is well worth the reward I think!! This scarf is SOOO soft...I would wear it, and I'm not even a scarf person!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Baking Bonanza

Ah the holidays, the perfect justification for what took place yesterday with my sister-in-laws. An amount of baking so massive that it should be outlawed in 47 of the 50 states (and no, that does not include Guam).

Rather than go through and give you a bunch of unecessary (but of course witty) commentary, I will just post the pictures of everything we made and let you druel...
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Peanut Butter Treats
Black Cherry Swirl Fudge
*I had a MUCH better picture of this...I will try to figure out what happened to it on the camera and swtich it later today!!
Peanut Clusters
Chocolate Covered Cherry Bars
Butter Spritz Cookies
Haystacks (hubby's favorite!!)
Peppermint Meltaways
Mint Cookie Brownies
I can't remember the official name right now)

Oatmeal "Chocolate Chip" Cookies
You WISH you were taking one of those home with you, don't you?!?!
We had an AWESOME time baking and talking and tasting. It was fun to make some tried and true recipes, and to try some new ones. While we were experimenting with some new recipes we learned a few things that I would like to pass on to you that will hopefully help your baking adventures in the future....
*No matter what the recipe says, DO NOT use wax paper to line a pan for fudge....FOIL, FOIL, FOIL (and butter the foil).
*You can never use too much chocolate...I'd rather err on the side of overdoing it when it comes to the good stuff.
*My sister-in-laws are smart ladies...when you are making multiple recipes, separate them based on what needs to be cooked in the oven and what can be cooked on the stove...then you can alternate and maximize your time!!
*I have been doing this for years, but it bears sharing...make a copy of your recipe when you get ready to bake it, and have a pen handy. If you spill, you don't ruin your good recipe, AND, you can make notes for the next time and then go back and write them on the original later when everything is clean and dry.
*Just because they say "Strike Anywhere" doesn't mean you can....I don't know what's wrong with me but I couldn't seem to light the stinkin' matches!!
(OK, so that's not a baking tip per se, but it was irritating me to no end!!)
Happy holiday baking and Merry Christmas!!
I will work on getting links to the recipes, but until I do, if there is a particular recipe you would like, please comment below and leave your email address and I will get you the recipe!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My first pillowcase

That's right, this was my first attempt at a regular old pillowcase...not bad, eh?!?!
Hubby's boss is a HUGE Steeler's fan, and we saw this fabric a while back and he decided that a pillowcase would be the perfect Christmas present for him.
His boss got a kick out of it!!
And I think I did a pretty good job...
My next sewing adventure....making our family stockings...we'll see how it turns out!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh Betty....

A few weeks ago I was in line at the store and I saw this at the checkstand...and I bought it
I've been looking at it and drueling over many of the recipes. About a week ago I tried the Butter Spritz Cookies and they were DELICIOUS, so this morning I decided to try something that required a little more work.
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Treats
It started out with basic peanut butter cookies....
Sounds innocent, right???
Then, I covered those plain looking peanut butter cookies in chocolate....
And then rolled them around in some powdered sugar....
Oh yeah....this is definitely the most wonderful time of the year!!
They were yummy...and VERY sugary!!
These are kind of a messy I only completed about half of them, then I just spread the leftover chocolate on the bottom of the rest of the cookies (that was for the hubby, he's not as into powdered sugar as I am!!).

Do you smell what I smell??

Trust me, you WISH you could lean in and sniff this post....

Last night my in-laws made cranberry sauce, which requires LOTS of lemon and orange zest.

And where there's zest, there are many, many naked pieces of fruit left behind. Besides smelling AWESOME, they are super handy for getting some prime fruit juice...and that's what I did this morning.

I did me some juicin'!!!

Thanks Grandma B for giving me some of the leftover fruit...I can't wait to make some fresh lemonade!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Paula will NEVER fail me!!

Friday night I decided to try a new twist on an old classic....good ol' Shepherd's Pie.

I found a recipe on the Food Network Website that was from one of Paula Deen's shows, so I decided to give it a whirl.

I think it turned out rather yummy, and my husband agreed!!