Monday, December 31, 2012

Peanut Butter Blossoms

These are always a favorite on the christmas cookie list

  • Unwrapped hershey kisses
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter till blended
  3. Add sugars and beat till combined
  4. Add egg, vanill and milk, beat till combined
  5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt, gradually beat into peanut butter mixture
  6. Shape dough into 1" balls, roll in granulated sugar
  7. Place on cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes
  8. Place kiss in center of each cookie and let cool

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rainbow Cookies

I love rainbow cookies, they take some time to make, but they are worth the effort. This year I tried out a new recipe from Food Network Magazine from the December 2012 issue and this will now be my go to rainbow cookie recipe. Will be making these again soon.

  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • 2 cups flour
  • 8oz almond paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 lg eggs (separated)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • red and green food coloring
  • 15 oz jar raspberry jam (I've also used strawberry with these)
  • 1 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Prepare 3 jelly roll pans or rimmed baking sheets that are 9x12" (use butter and flour or cooking spray) and line with parchment paper
  3. Combine the almond paste and 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar in mixer, mix on medium speed until the mixture is fine crumbles.
  4. Beat in 2 1/2 sticks butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined.
  5. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time and mix till smooth
  6. Add flour and salt to mixer and stir till combined
  7. Whisk egg whites until foamy, while whisking, add remaining 2 tbsp sugar and whisk until firm peaks form. Fold about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into batter with spatula, then gently fold in the rest. The batter should be fluffy.
  8. Evenly divide the batter in three bowls. Stir in red food coloring in one, green in another and leave one uncolored (for different holidays you can also use different colors to make them festive)
  9. Transfer the batter to the pans (one pan for each color). Spread the batter evenly in pan, smooth out the top. Bake 8-10 minutes (switching the pan position halfway through)
  10. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.
  11. Spread half the jam evenly on the green cake layer, almost to the edges. Unmold the plain cake layer on top, peel off the parchment.
  12. Carefully slide the plain layer onto the green layer
  13. Spread remaining jam on top of the plain layer. Unmold the red cake layer and slide on top of the plain layer.
  14. Cover the cake with plast wrap and top with one of the empty pans, place several heavy cans on top to weigh down the layers. Refrigerate overnight.
  15. Remove the cans and plastic wrap. Place a cutting board on top of the cake and flip to unmold it on top of the cutting board. Remove the parchment from the top of the green layer.
  16. Trim the edges of the cake so they are straight.
  17. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or the microwave
  18. Spread a thin layer of chocolate over the top of the cake. Place in fridge to harden.
  19. Flip cake and do a thin layer of chocolate on opposite side of cookies. Let harden in fridge and when done take out, let sit a few minutes and cut into cookie pieces.
  20. Enjoy cookies

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Christmas Eve we always do a traditional seafood dinner, I try to change it up a little each year and make something different to go along with our favorites. My grandma always had the big seafood dinner and to honor her memory I carry on the tradition now. I used a recipe I found off pinterest and it was delicious. Saving this recipe to make again, the only change I made was add an extra fish, since it's the feast of the 7 fishes and I wanted to have 7 in this soup.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Milk Chocolate Mini Cookies

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 oz milk chocolate
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
Milk Chocolate Frosting:
  • 3 oz milk chocolate
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.
  2. Melt 6 oz milk chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Beat butter and sugar till combined and fluffy.
  4. Beat in melted chocolate, egg and vanilla
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Divide dough in half and roll into log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour in refrigerator.
  7. Preheat oven to 350.
  8. Slice dough into thin slices
  9. Bake 9-10 minutes until edges are set.
  10. Cool completely before adding frosting.
  11. For frosting combine 3 oz milk chocolate and 2 tbsp butter over low heat until melted.
  12. Cool for 5 minutes, stir in sour cream.
  13. Gradually stir in powdered sugar.
  14. Spread on one side of cookie and make sandwich with matching cookie.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Peppermint M&M Pudding Cookies

Another great recipe I found on pinterest. I used mini m&m's for this since I was already doing another peppermint flavored cookie in the basket.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Candy Cane Blossoms

Found this recipe from Baked Perfection. I used mint truffle kisses because I couldn't find the striped ones she used. This recipe would be great for lots of parties with a change in the sugar coloring and would work with all kinds of flavors of kisses

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. In a lg bowl beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar till combined.
  2. Beat in water, vanill and flour till combined.
  3. Stir in pecans
  4. Cover, chill about an hour till dough is firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 325
  6. Shape dough into 1" balls
  7. Place 1" apart on cookie sheets
  8. Bake about 15 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned.
  9. Tranfer to wire racks to cool
  10. Place 1 cup powdered sugar in ziploc bag
  11. Add cookies in batches and gently shake to coat.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are always a must have for my Christmas cookie baking
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  3. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla till creamy.
  4. Add eggs
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets
  8. Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup mini chocolate peanut butter cups
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat peanut butter and butter until combined.
  3. Add brown sugar and baking soda, beat till combined.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time until combined
  5. Beat in vanilla and flour.
  6. Stir in oats, and peanut butter chips and cups
  7. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2"apart on ungreased cookie sheets
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are light brown.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sugar Cookies

I did something different and didn't use royal icing with these. I found a vanilla frosting icing in a can at target that looked interesting so I picked it up to try on these.

  • 1 1/3 cups butter shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. In a large bowl, mix together shortening, sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and combined.
  2. Add eggs and mix till combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, mix together with a fork.
  4. Adding a little bit at a time add flour mixture to shortening mixture.
  5. Mix until both are completely combined.
  6. Divide dough in half, shape into ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
  7. When dough is chilled preheat oven to 350.
  8. Roll out dough and use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
  9. Bake about 6-8 minutes
  10. Let cool completely before frosting.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a first for me, have never made or remember eating a chicken pot pie. I wanted to make something different for dinner and Kyle suggested these. I probably never ate one because most of the time they have peas and that is one of the few vegetables I hate. So my version has no peas, but please feel free to add peas in if you like them. I added extra mushrooms and 3 kinds of potatoes (red, white and purple, to give it some color I left the skins on). You can add one type of potato or whatever type is your favorite. I made these in small ramekins for individual servings, you can use a larger dish, but will have to adjust the cooking time. I also had leftovers of the filling, which I froze to make these another night. I love recipes that make extra so I can have an easy dinner after work one night.

  • puff pastry (you can also use your favorite pie crust or refrigerated pillsbury pie crust)
  • 4 lg chicken breasts (cooked and chopped up)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped carrots and mushrooms
  • 6 -8 small potatoes chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  1. Melt butter on medium high heat and add flour, continue stirring till combined.
  2. Slowly add milk and chicken broth, while stirring and whisk out all the lumps.
  3. Add garlic
  4. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occassionally until mixture thickens up
  5. Once thickened up, turn heat down to medium low and add carrots, mushrooms and potatoes.
  6. Cook about 5-10 minutes and add chicken
  7. Preheat oven to 350
  8. Use ramekins as a guide to cut toppers out of puff pastry, cut a little extra so hangs slightly over sides.
  9. Fill ramekins with chicken mixture
  10. Mix egg and water for egg wash
  11. Put egg wash around edges of puff pastry circle so it adheres to side of ramekin. Brush tops with egg wash.
  12. Cook 18-22 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
  13. Let cool slightly before enjoying.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2013 Calendar

Got this kit at michaels and was so easy to make this calendar, I can't wait to use it next year

Also saw this idea online and when I found these spools on sale I couldn't wait to try it

Friday, November 30, 2012

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Red Velvet Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip cookies are two of my favorites so I decided to combine them into a cookie. This recipe makes about 15-18 cookies.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cream butter and sugars together until combined.
  3. Add egg, vanilla and food coloring.
  4. Stir in flour, baking soda and cocoa powder.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough  onto cookie sheet
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Apple Cranberry Pie in a Jar

  • Favorite pie crust
Cranberry Filling
  • 2 cups cranberrries, washed
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Apple Filling
  • 7-8 medium apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Streusel Topping
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter

  1. Wash and dry mason jars (I used small half pint jars)
  2. Take your favorite crust and press inside bottom and sides of each jar
  3. Prepare cranberry filling by putting ingredients into medium pan to a boil over medium - high heat. Cook about 10 minutes, until berries have popped.
  4. Cool to room temp.
  5. Combine apple ingredients in another pan over medium - high heat and stir on and off till liquid has thickened.
  6. Cool to room temp.
  7. Place cranberry filling in bottom of each jar (divide evenly)
  8. Top with apple filling in each jar
  9. Prepare streusel topping by combining dry ingredients and then cut in butter. Divide streusel evenly on top of apple filling.
  10. Place jars (no lid on them) on baking sheet and place in oven. Put oven to 375 (don't preheat, let jars come up to temp with oven)
  11. Bake 50 minutes.
  12. Let cool and enjoy.
  13. I made toppers for these for Thanksgiving.

Also wanted to share my turkey cake pops, they didn't come out exactly how I wanted, but tasted awesome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

Found this recipe from the Glorious Treats blog and knew it would be perfect for Thanksgiving. I got the picks from work and they dressed them up perfectly.

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350, I got my mini cheesecake pan from Sur La Table, but most kitchen stores should have one.
  2. Combine graham crumbs, light brown sugar, melted butter and 1/4 tsp cinnamon to create crust. Place small amount on bottom of each cheesecake cup and press down.
  3. Beat the cream cheese till smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, sour cream and sugar. Blend until combined.
  4. Add flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Pour filling over crust.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes, remove from oven and let cool. Cover lightly and refrigerate at least two hours.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Here is another amazing recipe from the Michael Symon Carnivore Cookbook. Love this cookbook, probably my favorite out of all the ones I own. I love rice balls, but have never made my own. So when I saw this recipe in the book I had to make it. I was a little nervous it wouldn't come out right and they came out perfect, so worth all the work.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz sweet italian sausage (removed from casing)
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth, warmed
  • 1 lg egg
  • 1 lg egg yolk
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  1. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium high heat, break up sausage into small pieces and add to pan. Brown sausage on all sides, add salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add rices and toast, stir with wooden spoon for about a minute
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time while stirring constantly so the rice releases it's starch. Continue to add broth and stir. Cook about 15 minutes till mixture is creamy and rice is tender.
  4. Pour mixture in bowl and put in refrigerator to cool
  5. Remove rice from fridge and add egg, egg yolk, parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp salt. Form balls with damp hands (keep bowl of water nearby). Make indent in center, put in mozzarella and make sure rice completely covers mozzarella.
  6. Store in refrigerator till ready to cook, up to 1 day ahead of time.
  7. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350. Coat the rice balls in bread crumbs and shake off the excess.
  8. Deep fry about 2.5 minutes or until very golden brown.
  9. Remove from pan, top with your favorite sauce and grate some parmesan on top.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Bath Salt and Coffee Mud Scrub

I love giving homemade gifts along with store bought ones for Christmas. I found recipes for both of these on pinterest and they were so easy to make.

Oatmeal Cookie Bath Salt
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix all ingredients in food processor until mixture is a fine powder.
  2. Add to jar with a note describing the name and to add 2 tbsp to bathwater for a soothing bath.

Coffee Mud Scrub
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp coffee grounds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix sugar and coffee until combined
  2. Add small amounts of oil at a time until mixture is coated (you may not need all the oil)
  3. Add peppermint and vanilla.
  4. Mix well and add to jar.
  5. Decorate Jar and give as gift.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lamn Bolognese with Pasta

I'm a big Michael Symon fan and was so happy when his new cookbook came out and I got to meet him and have him sign it. He was the nicest guy ever and was so friendly. This recipe is from his book Carnivore, his recipe makes it with cavatelli, but it's great with any pasta.I mixed two pastas that I had a little bit of each left that had the same cooking times. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so glad I will have sauce for another night this week after work.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 28oz can whole plum tomatoes
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs oregano
  • 2 lbs pasta
  • 1 cup fresh mint, torn
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
 I used one of my favorite wines from here on Long Island
The sauce as it's simmering
  1. In a lg pan over medium-high heat add olive oil and lamb along with a big pinch of salt. Cook lamb until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and carrots to pan and cook until softened and start to brown. Deglaze the pan with red wine and stir. Cook until nearly evaporated.
  3. I added both cans of tomatoes and used my hand blender to blend it down, but the book doesn't have that written, I just didn't want a really chunky sauce tonight. The original recipe only calls for one can of tomatoes, I added two to increase the sauce for another night.
  4. Add lamb back to sauce, add bay leaf and oregano leaf, simmer about 2 hours and remove bay leaf and oregano sprigs.
  5. When the sauce is ready bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta. Remove pasta from water, cover with sauce, mint and parmesan. Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Beef Bourguignon

This is an Ina Garten recipe that I found on pinterest. She also puts in frozen whole onions, but I didn't add those

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8oz diced pancetta
  • 2 1/2 lbs chuck beef cubed
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 750ml bottle of your favorite red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb chopped mushrooms
  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Heat the olive oil in large dutch oven, add pancetta and cook on medium high till browned, remove with slotted spoon.
  3. Dry beef cubes with paper towel and add salt and pepper over beef. Sear in hot oil till browned on all sides. Remove to plate with pancetta.
  4. Toss in the carrots and onions into pan and salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, add garlic and cook another minute.
  5. Put meat and pancetta back into dutch oven. Add wine and beef broth, tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover with lid and bake in oven 1 hour 20 minutes.
  6. Saute mushrooms with butter until lightly browned and then add to stew.
  7. Bring stew to boil on top of stove, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  8. I served it over white rice.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Altered Gift Card Container

I love reusing containers of products I buy. When I got some new eyeliners I knew the metal container would be cute for a gift card. Added some of my scrapbook supplies and here is the finished product:

Here is the inside that I papered and also put paper around the edges
Here is the container I started with

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I've always loved zucchini bread, it reminds me of my grandma who died when I was in 5th grade. My grandma was amazing in the kitchen and I wish I had her recipes, but unfortunately don't. So whenever I find a new zucchini bread recipe I try it out. I remember going into the garden with my grandma and picking the zucchini. Now my husband isn't a fan of zucchini, but this recipe smelled so great he had to try it and he loved it. Found this recipe on pinterest from the Cookies and Cups Blog, she drizzled a cream cheese/powdered sugar icing on top, but I decided to leave mine without it. I used my larger Williams Sonoma bread pan with a decorative bottom and this recipe took about an hour for me. Here is the link to her recipe, next time I will try it with the icing, but it was also amazing without it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apple Cranberry Cobbler

Work has gotten nuts so haven't been posting as much, hopefully once this month is over I will be cooking, baking and crafting more so I can post more recipes just in time for the holidays. I found this recipe on the chew and was perfect for dessert after the matzo ball soup I made. I love the cooler weather this time of year and making all those comforting foods.

Ingredients for the filling:
  • 5 peeled and chopped apples (use your favorite, I got some at the market grown in our area)
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • pinch salt
  • 8 tbsp butter
Ingredients for the topping:
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 pinches salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Toss together all ingredients for the cobbler filling
  3. In a separate bowl combine topping ingredients
  4. Put butter in baking dish and place in oven till butter is melted, then remove dish from oven
  5. Fill with cobbler filling and pour topping over top
  6. Bake 45-60 minutes (top with aluminum foil if starts to get too brown)
  7. Let cool slightly and enjoy

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween Party Ideas

I started with one of my favorites - pinwheels. Took a 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper and cut it into 6x6 squares. I put a brad in the center to keep it together. I used a 3d glue dot to attach to the wood stick (so that I can use the sticks over for another party)

Next I wrapped up some small hershey bars to look like bats. I got the template from here
I got a food safe pack of markers and made the face on a marshmallow, dipped pretzels in white chocolate and baked a brownie for the base. To keep it all together I used a lollipop stick. Found this idea here
Here they are getting packed up

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Nutella Bread

Since fall has officially started I decided to combine two of my favorites pumpkin and nutella.

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.
  3. Whisk together oil, water, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla
  4. Combine flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and stir till all combined.
  5. Pour batter in bread pan, spoon nutella in a few spoonfuls at a time and swirl with a knife, add more nutella if needed.
  6. Bake about 60 minutes.