Another great, easy Fall dessert.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Another great, easy Fall dessert.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It's two days before Halloween. Have you carved your pumpkins yet? Are you carving them tonight? Are you looking for a recipe to toast your seeds? If so, you've come to the right place!
I'll be honest: As a child, I don't remember ever really loving pumpkin seeds. My three brothers and I would carve; Dad would supervise; and Mom would be gathering our seeds, rinsing, prepping, and baking. And then, after a job well done, we would eye our pumpkins admiringly (or with sympathy depending on how they looked) and eat pumpkin seeds. I'd eat a few and be done.
This year, I had to toast The Mr.'s and I's seeds, because.. well.. that's just what you do after you carve pumpkins. And they were good! I like pumpkin seeds now!
I guess I don't know how I didn't appreciate them before. I mean.. they're drenched in butter and salt...
4-5 c. pumpkin seeds (we got this amount from 2 large pumpkins)
1 stick butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Make sure your seeds are rinsed well, with chunks of pulp removed. A few remaining strings here and there won't hurt anyone. Allow them to dry in a colander. Here again, they don't need to be DRY; just not dripping wet.
On a cookie sheet, dump pumpkin seeds. Resist the urge to spread them out all pretty yet.
Melt butter and pour over pumpkin seeds. Now you can spread evenly across the cookie sheet. Season generously with salt.
Bake for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so. If you are baking a smaller amount of seeds than I have listed above, your layer will be thinner, and therefore, your cooking time could be reduced to about 45 minutes or so.
The best way to know if they're done? Taste test. Buttery, salty, crunchy. Yum.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
These received rave reviews! They require a fair amount of time but are, simultaneously, really easy. These came from a great book I have called Cocktail Parties Straight Up. The "make-ahead factor" included below is one of their great tips.
Monday, October 26, 2009
About 2 years ago, I decided to make a quilt. The Mr. and I were in a long-distance relationship at the time, so many of our weekends were spent driving to see each other. Since he was in med school, I went to him most of the time. Now, as you may expect, The Mr. had a lot of studying to do, so even when I was in town visiting for the weekend, it didn't mean that he was exempt from his responsibilities as a student. There were many a Saturday afternoon that I busied myself with puzzles, books, Spider Solitaire, you name it! That's when the little lightbulb in my head went off! I should make a quilt! By hand! And work on it diligently as The Mr. studies for hours on end!
So off I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics. I was determined to keep costs low, and since I've always liked the look of a patchwork quilt, I headed to the scrap bins. I pulled out a number of fabrics that I thought would work together, added some needles, scissors, and quilting thread to my basket, and purchased my new project.
For whatever reason, the quilting didn't take off like I'd hoped. I worked on it the first weekend, leaving it there to resume upon my return. But, instead of resuming upon my return, my Best Idea Project collected dust at The Mr.'s apartment. The Mr., gathering his books would say, "Aren't you going to work on your quilt?" "Nahh, not today." So there it sat, only a few squares accomplished, for the remainder of the year.
This past fall, I resurrected work on The Quilt! The Mr. loves to watch TV. It amazes me, and probably others, how he manages to keep tabs on so many different shows despite his crazy schedule. But he does. And he likes when I watch said shows with him. So I work on my quilt. And it's coming along, slowly but surely. After receiving a sewing machine for the wedding, I thought I might switch over to using that. I can assure you that sewing a quilt by hand is no fast process. But when I mentioned this grand idea aloud at a family dinner, Mimo, dear grandma and founder of many recipes on this site, shook her head. "If you're making an authentic quilt, you have to sew it by hand." So, honoring Mimo, and the purist quilter she is, I have continued sewing by hand. Plus, it would be pretty difficult to take a sewing machine to the couch, and like I mentioned, The Mr. likes when I watch the shows with him.
I can't promise when I'll be finished, but here's a preview of The Quilt.A square, pre-assembly:
The color combinations I plan on using:
Friday, October 23, 2009
For my shorter candle holders, I broke off some ends of the cinnamon sticks to make them more appropriately sized.
After the sticks are glued all the way around the candle holder, you are ready to add the raffia. Another nice thing about hot glue is that it dries so fast. No need to let the glue dry before moving on to your next step.
Okay, enough about my praises for hot glue.
Wrap the raffia around a few times, finishing with a bow. Or you can just knot it. Or do whatever else you feel inclined to do. Wrap some higher; wrap some lower. There's no right or wrong here.
Add tea lights or votives and you're good to go!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
1 green pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Monday, October 19, 2009
Makes 2 standard loaves, or 4 mini loaves.
Friday, October 16, 2009
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
I'm not quite sure why, but for as long as I can remember, I've always associated books with colors. A bright, cheerful book would be a yellow; a scary book a black; a calm, peaceful book a blue. This book, from the get-go, was a grey, or washed out brown. Not much excitement to it; not much happiness. To be honest, when I got to page 30, it took me a while to pick the book back up again and continue. It was kind of depressing, and reminded me of a rainy day. At page 30, I wasn't really "into it." Thankfully, since it was a book I was reading for book club, I knew I had to finish. So I picked up where I left off and continued on. And I must say, I began to get sucked in and developed a higher appreciation for the book that I had possessed before. When the book ended, I still felt it was a washed out brown, but I was glad I read it. It made me think about things in new ways, and I felt it was beneficial to my soul... dark and gloomy though it was. And I loved reading about how "the rain before it falls" came to be.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Reese Cup Cookie Bars
Based on the ingredients, this recipe seems almost "too easy" to warrant putting on here, but these are phenomenal and deserve to be recognized. The first time I tried these, I fell madly in love with them and knew that I just had to track down the baker of this wonderful creation and somehow leave that day with the recipe. Little did I know they would require so little work! If you love the peanut butter-chocolate combination that so many people go wild for, combined with the soft, gooey flavor of chocolate chip cookies, gives these easy - but oh so delicious - cookie bars a try.
2 packages Chocolate Chip cookie mix
1 package Peanut Butter cookie mix
24-36 Miniature Reese Peanut Butter Cups
Eggs, oil, and butter as required by cookie mixes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare all three cookie mixes together in one large bowl, adding appropriate ingredients according to the directions on the packages.
Spread cookie dough in a 13x9 pan (for thicker bars) or a jelly roll pan (for slightly thinner, but still thick, bars).
Bake for approximately 35 minutes (less for jelly roll bars) or until golden brown and cooked through.
While the cookie bars are in the oven, unwrap at least 24 miniature peanut butter cups (I use 24 for a 13x9 pan, but use more for a jelly roll pans). Immediately after taking the pan out of the oven, press peanut butter cups into the cookie bars.
Cool. Salivate. Serve. Enjoy.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Makes ~36 pumpkins (4"). More or less depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
This cookie recipe has been passed down through the generations. Whenever I think about trying something else, I just can't get myself to stray from the tried-and-true. Plus, I love the tradition and sentimentality of knowing that my mom's mom's mom made these same cookies. They are a rich, buttery cookie -- perfect iced or simply sprinkled with sugar.
1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, softened
2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
4-1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Beat well.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add to mixing bowl until all is incorporated and well combined.
Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
On a well-floured surface, roll out cookie dough (don't forget to flour your rolling pin!) to about 1/4" thick, and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter(s) of your choice. Transfer cookies to a baking sheet and, if you are using them, decorate with sprinkles. I used green sprinkles for the pumpkin stems.
Bake for 6 minutes, or longer if you prefer crispy cookies. Cool on a wire rack.
Frost, if desired.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Meatloaf doesn't photograph well. Or I need to find a better way to do it. I almost didn't even post this picture, because... well.. it just doesn't look very good! But I promise that it tastes a lot better than it looks! Trust me, please! :)
Country Bob's entered our lives when I received a coupon in the mail for a free bottle of their All-Purpose sauce. The Mr. fell in love with it, going through bottles fast. Because his raves seemed worthy of praise, I sent a quick e-mail to Country Bob himself (or the unknown secretary who reads his mail) telling him how well his sauce had gone over. A few weeks later, a package arrived on my doorstep -- a gift pack from Country Bob! We received a brand new bottle of the All-Purpose sauce, along with their "spicy" All-Purpose sauce and some All-Purpose seasoning salt. The Little Lady loves meatloaf, so when I saw a meatloaf recipe incorporating our new favorite condiment and seasoning, I just had to give it a try!
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
12 saltine crackers, crushed
3/4 c. Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 t. pepper
1 T Country Bob's Seasoning Salt
1/4 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together and place in a baking pan in the shape of a loaf (or 4 mini loaves, as shown above). Bake for one hour.A Note From The Little Lady: If you don't have Country Bob's products, don't feel left out. Simply replace the CB's sauce with any BBQ sauce and the CB's seasoning with a different All-Purpose seasoning of your choice.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
This is a personal favorite and a definite party pleaser. Everywhere I've taken it, it's been devoured, and the few times it hasn't been eaten 100% (keep in mind that it makes a big batch!), it reheats well the next day. It's good with the bread cubes, tortilla chips, Triscuits, or really anything you feel like dipping into it. :) And just like a bread bowl you'd get filled with soup, the bowl itself is equally tasty.
1 large sourdough bread round