Tag Archives: Christmas

Gingerbread Bars

9 Jan

I’m totally past the acceptable limit of gingerbread, I’m sure – the holidays being over and all that jazz. But I really love the whole ‘bar’ cookie thing and I can’t pass this one by. So, close your eyes and pretend it’s Christmas all over again. 🙂

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

3/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

Frosting:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325^F. Line jelly roll pan* with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bow, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla, and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes, or until it turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes or until edges are barely starting to brown. Cool completely.

For the frosting: Whip all ingredients together until smooth. Spread overtop cooled bars and cut into squares. Serve immediately or store in air tight container.

*If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, you can use a glass 8×8 dish and add 2-3 extra minutes to baking time.

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Ice Cream Cake

30 Dec

My brother-in-law turned 40 over the Christmas holidays, so we had to make him feel just a little bit old. 🙂 I had fun with this cake, but I felt like I cheated a little…ok, a lot! The only part I actually made was the cookie layer. But it turned out so good, I think I’d cheat again, regardless of my culinary conscience.

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Ingredients:

Cookie Layer:
8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease an 8″-round springform pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar.  Add the egg, then beat until pale and slightly fluffy. Whisk in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients, until everything is incorporated. Then, fold in the chocolate chips. Spread this dough into an even layer in the prepared pan. Bake the cookie layer at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean. Once the cookie is done, allow it to cool completely while in the pan.

Top cookie layer with softened ice cream – flavor of choice (I used butter pecan). Place springform pan in freezer and let ice cream set. Once hardened (1-2 hours), unlatch springform edge and remove. Frost with whipped cream or whipped cream frosting.

(I used crushed chocolate filled Oreos for the ‘dirt’ and Buttercream Frosting for the lettering)

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Original recipe: http://www.mangoesandpalmtrees.com/2013/05/chocolate-chip-cookie-ice-cream-cake.html?m=1

Turkey Tetrazzini

27 Dec

So, my seven-year-old woke up the night before Christmas Eve with a fever that held on for three days. We kept it at bay with some consistent dosage of ibuprofen and she finally woke up this morning fever free. Hooray! It put a little damper on Christmas, but she smiled through it, though her eyes were a little bleary, and we still enjoyed family, food, and all the wonderful joys of giving.

This morning, baby boy started acting a little feverish. 😦 He had a really rough afternoon, so I scheduled him a doctor’s appointment – all the while knowing that it was most likely a virus that they wouldn’t be able to do anything about, but needing a little peace of mind that at least I did all that I could. A couple hours before our appointment, he perked up! Smiling, eating, playing…I was beginning to second guess my hasty call to the doctor. But, at my husband’s urging to take advantage of the last few days we have to go to the doctor before we have to restart our deductible :), I decided to just go ahead and go with my original instinct. Thank heaven for sensible husbands! A steroid dose for his tight breathing, and a prescription for an ear infection later…so happy we went in. He is sleeping soundly now, and maybe tomorrow his sisters will get to do something more than watch movies all day. Amazing how tiring a day of doing nothing but bouncing a baby can be!

We had take-out pizza tonight, but this recipe would have worked too. If your day after Christmas was as crazy as mine, pull out that left over turkey and make yourself some tetrazzini. It’s easy, it uses up your left-overs, and darn it…it tastes really good.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 onion, chopped finely

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can evaporated milk

1/4 tsp marjoram

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/2 tsp salt

1 – 1 1/2 cup grate cheese (cheddar or parmesan)

2-4 cups cubed turkey (or chicken)

cooked rice or noodles

In a large pan, melt butter and brown onion until soft. Add soup, milk, and spices. Mix together with a whisk to remove any lumps. Add cheese and turkey, stirring occasionally, until cheese melts and the sauce is heated through. Do not allow to boil. Serve over noodles or rice.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

22 Dec

Christmas is coming, and whether it’s you or the goose getting fat is entirely up to your level of self control. However, I have heard that calories disappear from holiday meals. They just don’t count. (I may or may not have just made that up…) So, scoop yourself another heap of these ridiculously delicious sweet potatoes- because you can.  I used to hate yams at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners – too sweet and syrupy. Fast forward to my adulthood, and that fateful night that a friend convinced me to try a loaded baked sweet potato – it had the marshmallows like the yams of old that I hated, but I gave it a go. And my life was changed. I am now a sweet potato junkie and this is my very favorite way to prepare them. There is a very fine line that divides this dish between a side and a dessert, but if you’re like me, you’ll manage to sneak some for both courses. 😉

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Ingredients:

Potatoes –

3 cups sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

Peel and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks and boil in water until tender. Drain water and, in a large bowl, use a mixer to puree potatoes. Add all other ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Place in 9×13 baking dish.

Topping –

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

marshmallows

Combine all ingredients except marshmallows. Crumble mixture on top of potatoes. Add marshmallows (put on as many as you like!). Bake at 350^F for 30-45 min (when the edges of crumble mixture look done, marshmallows are toasted, and center is hot and bubbly).

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Sweet Corn Puffs

17 Dec

Remember me? It’s ok…I don’t either. I’ve been MIA for the last little bit – hubby sent me on an awesome, sun-filled visit to FL to spend time with my sister and her family. The 7 hour flight down there, by myself, baby in tow, was even worth it. 🙂 He actually flew very well, but I’ve learned something about planes now that the novelty of flying from my youth has worn off…there is no privacy in planes. The only respite is in the bathroom. I was almost grateful to make my neighbor move three times (yes…I was in a middle seat! yikes) with the excuse to go feed the baby or change him. But I’d do it again. Next time I think I’ll bring my husband with me though. 😉

Following my return, I had a special presentation to do in my daughter’s school class, and then a company Christmas party to go to the same night. Where I proceeded to get food poisoning. Needless to say, writing about food was not on my list of priorities as I hurled all night and lay limp in bed the entire next day. Lucky for me, my mom loves me…a lot. She had already spent tons of times at my house taking care of my kiddos while I was away and my husband was at work. And then, the day after I get back…”Mom! I’m soooo sick.” She’s an angel. I ate two whole pieces of toast this morning and half a pot pie (the latter only because I’m nursing and I decided that, no matter how much my stomach cramped up, I had to eat something for his sake). I’m still alive, but not quite all the way there.

Recipe for today is the easiest thing alive. My husband calls them the most addicting packaging peanuts around.  photo-186

Ingredients:

8 ounces puffed corn puffs (not the cereal Corn Pops)
1 C butter
3 T water
2 T corn syrup
1 C sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt butter then add water, corn syrup, and sugar. Mix well and cook for 8-10 minutes until the mixture reaches a golden brown color. Pour mixture over corn puffs and stir until evenly coated. Cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Fun with Felt and Fleece – Hooded Jackets

9 Oct

I saw these scrappy jackets online the other day – so cute and funky…and so very expensive! I have a hard time justifying spending $50 on a jacket that my kids will just grow out of in the next year, or possibly destroy :). I decided that, while I couldn’t afford to get those particular jackets, I could afford to be inspired by them. And I had way too much fun making these! I turned into a pumpkin most nights while I burning the midnight oil, piecing my little scraps of felt together. They are going to be for Christmas, but I’m too excited about them to hide them away in the closet for another couple of months – don’t show my kids! I plan on making one for baby boy too, but I haven’t found a hoodie pattern that goes small enough for him…yet.

I used fleece and the McCall’s pattern M6782 for the jacket, and various felt for the embellishments.

Rock & Roll:

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I’m a Hoot:

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Purrr-fect:

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***UPDATE***

Just finished baby boy’s jacket – just in time for Christmas! So, I had to add it to the collection.

Toad-ally Cute:

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Swedish Pancakes

31 Jul

Today was my beautiful mother’s birthday – not a day over twenty-one! 🙂 We spent the morning shopping with her, filling in the wardrobe gaps she had for her upcoming trip to Hawaii (still trying to figure out how I’m going to cram myself into her suitcase for that one), and the afternoon playing dress-ups and swimming. The funny thing is that, even though she was supposed to focus on herself today, she took the baby so that I could browse, pushed around a giant double stroller so half of my kids could stay contained, and all six grandkids that were in tow left the store with a stuffed animal each, courtesy of Grandma. She let me nap while my kids destroyed her house playing with the mounds of treasures that I remember playing with as a kid – she kept it all! And again held the baby so that I could swim with my other kiddos. That is my Mom. And if anyone in the world deserves to have a happy birthday, it is her. I love you, Mom!

When we got back from shopping, the kids were antsy and hungry. You can imagine their delight when they saw the giant stack of pancakes on the counter, left over from breakfast – I don’t think my mom has ever not doubled this recipe. It is a staple for our famously enormous Christmas breakfast, which is almost as awesome as having pancakes for lunch after getting dragged around department stores – just ask my kids!

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Ingredients:

2 eggs

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup butter, melted

Add together eggs, milk, sugar salt, and flour and beat until smooth. Slowly add melted butter and mix well. Cover un-greased pan with thin layer of batter (crepe style). When edges are brown, turn with spatula and brown the other side. Roll and serve with syrup- add additional toppings if desired.

Lemon Syrup

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