Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gingerbread Men, Sugar Cookies and a Sugar Glaze

Sugar cookies

This recipe was posted on this blog previously by Kelly. It is truly a wonderful recipe! Check it out here.

Gingerbread Men

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Mix brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water in a large bowl. Mix together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to molasses mixture and mix together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening.

Roll dough 1/4 in. thick on floured surface. Cut with floured cookie cutter. Place on cookie sheet. You may decorate them now, as desired, with nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, candy, etc. Or, you can wait and ice them and then decorate them once they are cooled (As you can see from the picture above, we did it both ways).

Bake 10-12 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.

Sugar Glaze

The nice thing about the glaze, is that it dries hard & shiny and pretty. Then, it doesn't make as much of a mess and they can stack easily. It needs be stirred frequently when applying.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
10 drops food coloring

Mix all ingredients together. Drizzle and spread over sugar cookies or gingerbread men as desired!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes.....

I made these for the first time tonight. My husband told me prior to making them that he doesn't like sweet potatoes. These changed his mind! They were really easy and tasted great...Enjoy!!

Twice-Baked Potatoes
Kraft Food and Family Magazine

2 Large sweet potatoes
2 oz. Neufchatel cheese, Cubed
2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pecan pieces (I didn't have these so I left them out)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil lined baking pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until tender.

Scoop out centers of potatoes into bowl, leaving 1/4 inch thick shells. Add Neufchatel cheese, milk, sugar and cinnamon to potatoes. Mash until blended.

Spoon potato mixture into shells; top with nuts. Bake 8 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reindeer Cookies

I saw this in December's Family Fun Magazine.

Super cute and super easy.

Nutter Butter cookies-Use white icing to glue on chocolate chips for eyes, and a red M&M (I used PB ones, they are bigger), and cut the bottom off of a twisted pretzel and ice it to the top.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Boysenberry Oatmeal Bars....

Yesterday I realized that I have a whole tub of Oatmeal that needs to be consumed before the months end and it expires. So, I took out some trusty cookbooks and found this recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand and it seemed so easy. They turned out pretty darn good. I actually preferred them today after they had set for the night. The original recipe called for Raspberry jam, but any jam would do! Enjoy!

1 (18.5 oz)package yellow cake mix
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup boysenberry jam (or whatever flavor you prefer)
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, oats, and margarine so that it makes clumps and no dry mix is left. Press half of the oat mixture evenly in to the bottom of the prepared pan. In a separate bowl, mix the jam with water and spread the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top.

Bake for 18 to 23 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Cool before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chinese Chicken Salad...Revisited

I thought that it would be good to revisit a few of my favorite recipes on this blog. This happens to be the first recipe I posted on here, and it happens to be one of my absolute favorites. We had this for dinner with just french bread a couple of nights ago and it was the perfect light dinner! Enjoy!

1 head iceburg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1-2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 small pkg. sliced (not slivered) almonds
4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1/2 package won tons or gyoza skins

1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive or peanut)
1/2 cup sugare
1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar (add a little at a time to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Slice won ton skins into strips.
Fry in oil until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Combine first 4 ingredients.
Combine dressing ingredients in jar or shaker.

Just before serving, add chicken and fried won ton skins.
Shake dressing vigorously to mix, then toss with salad. Serve immediately

Monday, December 8, 2008

oatmeal carmelitas

This is my all time favorite treat to make during the holidays. They are SO good. Rich hates oatmeal and almost didn't try them (before we were dating) at college. But try them he did... and he's hooked. Enjoy! 64 caramels (I always throw in a few more)
2/3 c. minus 2TB (10 TB total) canned milk or cream

Melt caramels in cream in a double boiler. (I don't have a double boiler so I just put them in a saucepan on low heat.)

Dough: (mix 2x for top and bottom... or just double and split in half)
1 c. flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. quick oats
3/4 c. melted butter
1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. (12 oz) chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts

Mix dough. Stir until butter is absorbed and mixture is crumbly. Press in cookie pan 10x15. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Cover with caramel mixture, spreading carefully. Sprinkle with second dough mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into squares.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Easy Cheesy Manicotti- Revisited....

When we first started this blog, Katie posted her easy cheesy manicotti recipe. We love this recipe at our house. First, it is SO easy. Second, it tastes yummy. Third, its great when having company over (especially when its two young men in shirts and ties and name tags). So, here it is again. Katie's manicotti, I just wanted everyone be reunited with its goodness! Thanks Katie for a great recipe!!!

1 pkg manicotti noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 pkg shredded cheddar (8oz)
1 pkg shredded mozzarella (8oz)
1 pkg shredded parmesan (6oz)
2 eggs
Parsley flakes

Combine cheeses and a tablespoon or so of parsley flakes. Mix in eggs until all the cheese sticks together. Stuff uncooked manicotti noodles and place in a 9x13 pan. Cover with spaghetti sauce. Fill sauce jar with water. Pour over noodles until they're completely covered (you may not use all the water). Cover with foil and bake at 350 for one hour
***I have found that I need to cook mine an additional 15 minutes to thoroughly cook the pasta...Enjoy!