Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Cookies

I'm participating in a Cookie Swap tomorrow night, so I had to come up with a cookie that I could make a lot of! I made these Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, and I quadrupled the recipe. Alaas, there was no "chocolate spread" to be had at the grocery store. So I used cherry preserves instead. THEN I started running a little low on cherry preserves, so I melted some chocolate chips and dotted the last batch with that instead. :) They're delicious, and pretty simple to make.

Next Saturday is our big COOKIE DAY! Can't wait.
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
1/2 c butter
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 egg
2/3 c flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. rolled oats
5-6 tbsp chocolate spread (or preserves)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F Grease a large baking sheet. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.
2. Add egg, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and rolled oats to the bowl and mix well.
3. Using your hands, roll spoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Place the balls on the baking sheet, spacing them far apart to allow room for spreading. Flatten slightly.
4. Dip a thumb in flour and press into the center of each cookie to make an indent. Bake the cookies for ten minutes, leave on the sheet for two minutes and transfer onto wire rack to cool.
5. Spoon a little chocolate spread or preserves into the center of each cookie.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Favorite Part...

...The Leftovers!

Leftover Thanksgiving food for lunch...and went out to dinner last night and tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving and Start of the Holidays to Me! (and my family) :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! It's late Thanksgiving night, the turkey has been eaten and the leftovers have been put away. It's been another great year full of blessings in our house!

Tomorrow starts the Christmas bedlam! No, I won't be hitting any of the Black Friday sales. It's time to start thinking about Christmas Dinner!!!! It's the one holiday that We host at our house, and I like to pull out all the stops. Plus, I'm going to my first-ever Cookie Swap and Craft Night on Monday night. I suppose I should figure out what I'm going to bake!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gastronomically Pleasing...?

Ok, this is probably one of the grossest food options that I have ever heard of.

I went looking on Google to do a Wordless Wednesday this week on The Carpool Lane blog,I was looking for a Pepto-Bismol ad that I had seen recently of an ice cream sundae topped with Pepto instead of hot fudge. I thought that was the most disgusting ad that I had ever seen and of course, I'm of the "This is gross! Check it out!" generation.

However, when I typed in "Pepto Bismol Ice Cream Ad" I came up with something faaarrrrrr more disturbing: a blogger who made her own Pepto Bismol Ice Cream!! I guess I can kind of see the point....but still! Ice cream is one of my nearest and dearest favorites....I now have this photo in my head forever!!

I think I'll skip my bowl of coffee ice cream tonight. I just don't feel like it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You don't Listen to the CD on the way home from the Concert!

The above is advice from my friend Rochelle many years ago when we went to see Aerosmith in concert and I wanted to listen to the CD on the ride home. It just cheapens the experience.

I experienced a bit of that tonight. I went out to dinner at a funky Mexican place on "Restaurant Row" last night for the monthly Mamas Dinner Club. It was fantastic, with a huge selection of margaritas (I got a Sangria Margarita, my two favorite drinks blended together) a made-to-order guacamole bar (did you know there's more than just one kind of guacamole???) and a menu stocked with assortments. After sharing a guacamole flight (three kinds of guacamole) and chips with the Mamas, I ordered two tacos from the appetizer menu. One was tropical chicken with pineapple and mango, and the other was fried fish. Both were out of this world! I left very happy, and am already prepping to boast about it at work on Monday.

So what do I make for dinner tonight? Tacos. The ground beef variety, with a shortage of cheese in the house. And to make matters worse, the generic, grocery store-brand taco kit has shells that are chipped, folded weird and basically tasteless. Don't get me started on the taco sauce, which looked as dark as chocolate syrup. It did the task of filling the belly and stopped me from taking Will to McDonald's for dinner. Maybe the McD's would've been better. (that's a sentence I never thought I'd say!!)

I have no one to blame but myself for this one. :(

Here's Something for my Christmas List!

I found this while flipping through a flyer for the local Sam's Club. I loved the Cake Doctor cookbook, so much that I bake from it almost exclusively! Please Santa, I've been a good girl this year.....

The Dinner Doctor

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spice Check!

Want to see something a little scary? I saw this website in a McCormick spice ad, to check how old your spices are. Apparently, I have spices in my house that are like eight years old and, according to the website, have overstayed their welcome!

Here's the link: Spice Check Challenge. Hopefully your spices aren't the senior citizens that mine are!

Pre-Holidays and Traditions

It's November 13th, and it feels to early to be talking about the holidays. But I guess it isn't, because they're everywhere else! Magazines, stores, christmas music is already playing on radio stations!

I got an invitation to a Holiday Craft and Cookie Swap for the beginning of December. One of the things that we do in our house every year is pick a day and just bake. BAKE. ALL. DAY!!! We bake all sorts of awesome Christmas cookies, give some plates away and keep some to have on hand for guests. (and of course, ourselves!) I am already starting to think about cookies and what we should make this year.

We are also hosting Christmas dinner this year. So I'm already looking through the magazines, trying to find something fabulous to make!!!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE the Holiday Season!!!! It's honestly the best time of the year. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Peanut Sauce, Take Two

A while ago I made Asian Lettuce Wraps with homemade peanut sauce and they were awesome! I talked so much about them, Hubby wanted to try them. So I made them with rice also because I didn't think it would be enough food for his appetite. I went hunting for the same peanut sauce recipe, but couldn't find it!! Instead I found a better one at This one is even easier because you don't cook it, and it's absolutely sinful! We substituted a tablespoon of lime juice for one of the tablespoons of rice vinegar, because rice vinegar is very strong. Like the comment said at the top of the page, it's sauce you want to eat with a spoon:

1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (Optional, but delicious!)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root (I always just use jarred ginger, like Spice World. So much easier!!)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions: stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. That's It!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Craving Noodles....Needing something Saucy!

Last week I really wanted egg noodles. An occasional Sunday dinner in my childhood was pot roast with gravy and egg noodles. Noodles and comforting! A plate of hot, buttery noodles with some sort of sauce, that would really satisfy my craving!

I've never attempted a pot roast before, and I really didn't feel like putting in the effort today.So I found a recipe in one of my cookbooks for "Italian-Style Pepper Steak." Now, I've said it before, it's only been a recent thing that I will attempt to cook steak on the stovetop. I've learned that with the right cut of meat, it's really good. (I have Alton Brown's "Good Eats" to thank for that. Actually, my husband has often said he's going to write a letter to his idol AB to let him know what effect he's had on our marriage. :) )

This one comes out of an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I've modified it slightly from the 3/4 lb steak in the original recipe because I had a full pound of steak. Enjoy!

Italian-Style Pepper Steak
2 med. green and/or red peppers, cut into thin strips
1/2 c. chopped onion (1 med)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 lb beef top sirloin steak, cut 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick
1 c. beef broth
1/2 tsp dried oregano or basil
2 med tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used a cup of canned diced tomatoes)

1. In a large skillet cook sweet peppers, onion and garlic in hot oil for about four minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from skillet, keep warm.
2. Place meat in the same skillet. (Add more oil, if necessary) Sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-high heat about 4 min on each side or till slightly pink in center. Transfer to a serving platter.
3. For gravy, carefully add beef broth and oregano or basil to reserved drippings. Bring to a boil. Boil gently, uncovered, over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, or until broth is reduced to 1/3 cup, scraping up crusty browned bits in pan. Remove from heat. Stir in the cooked begetables and tomatoes. Heat through, then spoon over meat. Makes four servings.