Tuesday, December 18, 2012
When we were growing up, one of my mom's friends bought her a cookbook and on the inside cover dedicated it to the mistreated kids in our family who never got cut out sugar cookies. After that, decorated sugar cookies became a Santa treat tradition in our house. Sometimes we made them from scratch, sometimes from a mix, but they were always left out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
My sister and I have continued the tradition with our kids at my mom's house. On years we are all home for Thanksgiving we make them then, and when we are home for Christmas we make them Christmas Eve morning. To speed up the process we now use a recipe that doesn't require refrigeration and a frosting recipe that hardens just a bit so the cookies store better.
Hope you will consider leaving a few of these yummy cookies for Santa this year. We know from exerience he really like them.
Cut Out Sugar Cookies from The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle
** I always use almond extract and I use at least 3 t if not a bit more -- we REALLY like almond around here.
Sugar Cookie Icing
I double this recipe, dividing it into 1 c portions and tinting each a different color for very festive cookies.
Monday, December 17, 2012
I made this Pinterest find on a whim last year to take to a last minute holiday party. WOW! Not a single piece was left and they were asking for more. One of the best parts about this recipe is how easy it is. One word of caution -- You MUST use peppermint oil, NOT peppermint extract. The extract will sieze up the candy coating -- ask me how I know...
2 bags microwave popcorn, popped -- I like to use salted for a sweet/salty taste
3 regular size candy canes, crushed
1 lb almond bark
5 - 8 drops of peppermint oil (no extract)
Toss popped corn and crushed candy canes in the largest bowl you can find. Melt almond bark according to package directions. Add peppermint oil and stir well -- at this point I do a taste test and add more oil if necessary. Pour almond bark over popcorn and toss until well-coated. Spread on parchment paper to harden - 45 min - hour. Break into pieces and enjoy.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
This is a crazier than normal week. It is the last week of school before the holidays, everyone has midterm exams, we are scheduling extra tutoring sessions, and we have 3 doctors appointments (WHAT was I thinking). Add all that to our regular Girl Scout meetings, agility training and gymnastics PLUS 3 holiday parties (I'm hosting one) and my parents coming to town and you have really CRAZY! I don't have any real hopes of sticking to this meal plan, but we are going to give it a whirl! I've stuck to my TNT quick meals, so maybe....
Sunday - Hosting Holiday Wine Tasting -- DH and kids going to see the Hobbit
Monday - Meatball Subs
Tuesday - Chef Salads
Wednesday - Crockpot Baked Potatoes
Thursday - Leftovers or pick up on the way home from
Friday - Neighborhood Christmas Party
Saturday - DH's High School Buddies Christmas Party
Linking up to Meal Plan Monday at I'm An Organized Junkie
This is such a traditional holiday cookie, but it is so delicious. I like to use a variety of homemade jams and jellies. I have used apricot, cherry, and strawberry. These also add color to your holiday cookie trays.
Jam Thumbprint Cookies
1 c butter, softened
2/3 c sugar
1/2 t almond extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c jam or jelly of your choice
1/2 c confectioners's sugar
3/4 t almond extract
1 t milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 t almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make an indention in each cookie with your thumb and fill with jam or jelly of your choice.
Bake for 14 - 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until very lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, 3/4 t almond extract and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
This is just so very delicious. And it's pretty and festive too. I'm always looking for new granola recipes and this one made the family favorite recipe book. I was thinking of giving this as gifts this holiday season, but I don't think I can share!
Cranberry Pistachio Granola
originally from Yummy Mummy Kitchen
3 c rolled oats
3/4 c shelled pistachios
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
2 T vegetable oil
3/4 c dried cranberries - the pomegranate flavored ones are a wonderful compliment to the nutmeg
Mix oats, pistachios, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl. In a measuring cup stir together syrup and oil; pour over dry ingredients and stir until very well coated.
Spread on a large baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, stir. Bake 20 more minutes, stir. If you like a chewier granola remove from oven and let cool about 30 minutes. I like a crispier granola and I bake 20 more minutes, watching carefully to not let it burn.
Once granola is cool, stir in dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container for about a month -- longer in the refrigerator or freezer.
Linking up at
Tatertots and Jello
Pocket Change Gourmet
Posted by Jenny at 7:59 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
After my huge summer freezer cooking session, it takes awhile for me to have to fill up the freezer again, but it was time to restock some of the basics and I really wanted to try a couple of new things.
Over the past few days I have added the following to our freezer and pantry -
Pancakes - 25 pancakes
Sausage Balls - 5 dozen
Pumpkin Granola -
Pumpkin Apple Muffins - 16 muffins
Banana Oat Muffins - 16 muffins
Breakfast Casserole - 1
Dried Apples - 2 quarts
Waffles - 5 waffles
Tomato Bisque - 3 lunch servings
Santa Fe Chicken - 1 1/2 quarts
That should keep us set for breakfast until late January and give me some different lunch options.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
It's time to meal plan for the week again. Our schedule is so full of holiday activities it is so nice to have a freezer full of items to pull out for quick meals.
Monday - Chicken Cordon Bleu, Broccoli Casserole, Fruit
Tuesday - Baked Chicken Parmesan, Salad
Wednesday - Tomato Soup (using canned tomatoes) and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Thursday - Going to see A Christmas Carol at the high school where I teach
Friday - Subway - Nanny's Treat
Saturday - Leftovers for the kids - Cookie Exchange for me
Sunday - I'm hosting a Holiday Wine Tasting - menu to follow with recipes
I'm also doing some holiday baking this week -- be on the lookout soon for posts including
Chocolate Coverd Cherry Cookies
Coconut Cranberry Citrus Cookies
Pistachio Wedding Cookies
Lemon Pomegranate Cookies
I love to give cookie trays to friends, neighbors and co-workers each year. Here's a look at last year's Christmas Cookie Trays with recipes.
For more menu ideas, visit I'm An Organized Junkie
Monday, December 3, 2012
Last week's menu kind of went off the rails, here's hoping for a better week. We did finally try the Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs. It was OK, the texture of the spaghetti was off just a bit for us. I think I'll try it again and make a couple of adjustments.
Sunday - Italian Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Lima Beans, Brownies
Monday - Grilled Chicken Salads
Tuesday - Cheesy Mexican Rice
Wednesday - Leftovers, wraps or salads
Thursday - Something new and exciting!
Friday - Subway - Nanny's Treat
Saturday - Neighborhood Supper Club -- YUM! I'm taking roasted Red, White and Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary
For more menu ideas visit I'm An Organized Junkie.