Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Foreshadowing

I can't believe I haven't shared recipes for over a month. {Okay, maybe I can but that's life right now.} Because of that I had many recipes to pick from so you know these five truly look good to me.

~Red Onion Pinwheels from Rachael Ray: I love bread and am always looking for new twists on it. I would use homemade pizza dough instead but the flavor combination on these sounds delicious.
Red Onion Pinwheels
~Coffee Cake Cupcakes from The Shiksa in the Kitchen: Since we have muffins for breakfast each morning it's always nice to try some different recipes. While this is a little sweeter than what we usually have an occasional treat is definitely okay!
~Brown Sugar Ginger Snowflakes from Woman's Day: I have actually never made sugar cookies {at least as far as I can remember} but think this might be a fun twist on them. I definitely want to do some sort of cut out cookie this year as I think my three year old might get a kick out of helping.
brown sugar ginger snowflakes
~Lasagna Style Pizza from Good Housekeeping: Like we have muffins every morning we have pizza every Friday. We have a decent collection of varieties right now but are always up for trying more, like this Lasagna one.
lasagna style pizza
~Best Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix from Mel's Kitchen Cafe: I'm actually buying the ingredients for this today and can't wait to try it.
All images are from the original recipe source.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Soft Gingersnap Cookies

I always have such grand plans for Christmas baking and I have yet to accomplish them. This year though I'm starting early and hoping that will help me be successful! The first treat on my list for this year was Gingersnaps.
Traditionally gingersnaps are a crunchy cookie. However, since I don't care for them that way I "underbake" them so they are still soft. When I've taken them places people have always commented how they like them soft instead of hard so it seems I'm not the only gingersnap rebel out there!

Soft Gingersnap Cookies
 Print Recipe
Source: St. Pauls Lutheran Church Cookbook, Fairmont, MN
Yields: ~5 dozen cookies
3/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
1 beaten egg
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
   1.  Cream butter and sugar together. Add molasses and beaten egg; beat well. Add dry ingredients; mix well.
   2.  Chill dough for 10 minutes. Roll in 1 inch balls; roll in sugar, place two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. {Eight minutes if you want them soft.} Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from cookie sheet.
   ~I like to refrigerate the dough in between rolling out batches so it doesn't get too sticky.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Menu November 26

I wasn't too adventurous in trying new meal recipes recently but we have tried quite a few desserts!
We had our kids' birthday party earlier this month so of course I made a cake. My decorating skills leave a lot of room for improvement but I like how it turned out.
After all, isn't the taste most important? I used this chocolate cake recipe and this vanilla cake recipe and topped it with vanilla frosting. Also, to do the decorating, I used this handy tip which was an absolute lifesaver when it came time to clean up.
Pretzel Cookies with Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips: This pretzel dessert did not disappoint. I used butterscotch chips instead of peanut butter since that's what I had on hand. We took these to Thanksgiving and they were a big hit. Surprisingly even five days after baking the pretzels in the few remaining cookies aren't soft yet. These cookies might be a part of my Christmas baking.

On the Menu...
~Now that we're almost done with two months of planning a months worth of meals at a time I don't think it's the solution for me. It probably didn't help that I was also trying to rely mostly on the pantry but I really struggled this month {hence, the lack of posts}. I will be glad to get through this last week and try something new {or really, more likely my old method} come December.~
Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Easy Cheesy Biscuits
Ham & Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches 
Cream Cheese Pasta with Breadsticks with Garlic Butter
Mom's Sloppy Joes
BBQ Chicken Pizza

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tomato Basil Soup

It took a long time and many less than great bowls of soup but I've finally found a homemade tomato soup that is similar to the canned stuff but tastes even better! My husband had never had tomato soup until we were married and now this is one of his favorite soups, served, of course, with grilled cheese.
This soup is easy to put together and can withstand a long simmer time so it's perfect for days when dinner needs to be started early. However, it can also come together quite quickly. Since I try to keep chopped carrots and celery in the freezer I've definitely pulled this together spur of the moment.

Tomato Basil Soup
 Print Recipe
Adapted from: Kate's Great Crafts & 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Yields: 6-8 generous servings

1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
28 oz can tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 T basil
1 small bay leaf
3 T butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
dash garlic powder
1/4 tsp basil
   1.  Saute onion, carrots and celery in olive oil. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, 1 T basil, bay leaf and butter. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer.
   2.  Remove bay leaf. Blend using either an immersion blender or regular blender {in batches}; add milk and remaining seasonings. Heat until warm.
   3.  Serve with grilled cheese and buttery crackers.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Menu November 5

Spaghetti Squash with Spaghetti Sauce: This was the first recipe we tried with spaghetti squash. My husband and I enjoyed it but the three year old? Not so much.
Chicken Bacon Alfredo Spaghetti Squash: We also tried the squash with this variation. We liked this even more {and our daughter a little bit}. This will likely be my go-to recipe for spaghetti squash.
Smudgies: These have become a popular snack around here with peanut butter, banana, chocolate. They're relatively easy to make and keep on hand. {Recipe coming soon}

On the Menu...
~Planning a month of meals at a time worked well in October so I'm trying it again for November. I'm also making an effort to use up things that have been sitting around for a while. It's not going to be the most exciting month but it will be nice to get rid of some stuff.~
Ground Beef Stroganoff Soup
Spaghetti Pie with Breadsticks with Garlic Butter
Corn Dog Muffins
Burgers and Baked Beans
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.