4th of July Flag Watermelon Bowl

Posted on June 30, 2014
Filed Under Holiday cooking, Side dishes

Probably most of you fit into 2 categories: rolling your eyes at all the red, white, and blue food and having “just grill me a juicy brown cheeseburger!” type of thoughts OR looking for red, white, and blue food ideas because you’re hosting or taking food to a 4th of July party.
This post is for the latter category. ????
If you want a cheeseburger, read this post instead (hmmm, not a bad idea actually, after looking at it to put the link here, makes me kind of hungry for a cheeseburger now!).

I bought a watermelon the other day. Among a few other fruits. It’s summer. I think there’s a rule that you need to have fruit on hand at all times during the summer. Or maybe it’s just a personal preference.
With the 4th of July coming up, I was also trying to think of something 4th of July-ish to make, just because I like excuses to play with food… ha. I always think of raspberries or strawberries (red), bananas (white), and blueberries (blue) when I make patriotic food. I wanted something different, and that’s when I thought of my watermelon I had just got. Watermelon actually has 2 of those colors! So, anyway, I ended up making a flag in the rind and used the watermelon for a fruit salad bowl.

4th of July flag watermelon bowl

I’ll show you how I did it. I’m sure this has been done before and there might be a better way, but this way was easy and quick. It was quick because I’m not a perfectionist. ????

Slice off an area of green, the size you want your flag to be. Just a thin slice, you don’t want to go deep enough to see any red! Not to sound mom-ish or anything, but be careful with this step! The rind is tough and slippery and while I was doing it, my knife slipped aaaaaaaand… I’m currently sporting a cut on my thumb from it.

Next, section off a box in the upper left corner for the star section. Then cut stripes. Slice underneath the stripes. Where the red stripes will be, cut the ends and you’ll be able to lift the white rind out and tada! red stripe.
I know, I had to cut off a white stripe so I could get my knife in there, then I just secured it back on with toothpicks.

4th of july flag watermelon bowl1

For the star section, I cut divots with the end of a vegetable peeler and then stuck blueberries in… some of them tucked snugly in and some of them had to be pinned in with a toothpick.

4th of july flag watermelon bowl2

4th of july flag watermelon bowl3

And there you go, a patriotic watermelon. :)

To make a bowl, cut a thin slice off of the bottom so it has a flat spot to sit on.
Scoop out the watermelon (but don’t get too close to the back of the flag, it needs to stay solid red there).
Now, fill your homemade festive American bowl with fruit salad.
It could be any fruit mixture… I just added blueberries and bananas to the watermelon to keep it red, white, and blue, and cut a few stars out of some watermelon just for fun.

4th of july watermelon bowl

Comments

One Response to “4th of July Flag Watermelon Bowl”

  1. Jan on August 8th, 2014 4:25 pm

    That is so cool! I know I’m a month behind, but it’s still cool! I want to do that sometime when I get big! :-)

Memorial Day – Red White & Blue Parfait

Posted on May 26, 2014
Filed Under Holiday cooking

Breakfast on this Memorial Day…

memorial day parfait

RED raspberries
WHITE plain unsweetened yogurt
BLUEberries

Remembering the many heroes who died for our freedom.

Comments

3 Responses to “Memorial Day – Red White & Blue Parfait”

  1. Shannon on May 26th, 2014 10:29 am

    I’m coming down for breakfast. :)

  2. Kay on May 26th, 2014 10:35 am

    Great! Bring some granola! ????

  3. Liz on May 26th, 2014 12:14 pm

    I was just thinking – what it needs is a sprinkling of granola on top. :)

It’s Valentines Day!

Posted on February 14, 2014
Filed Under For special occassions, Garnishing, Holiday cooking

Happy Valentines Day!

I’m actually not sure yet what I’m going to do for our meal tonight. Can you say “last minute”? I like to at least acknowledge Valentines Day each year with a meal, but for tonight I’m kind of thinking regular food with Valentine décor and dishes. I’m really in the mood for Parmesan Chicken and I don’t know how to make that heart-shaped without being too corny and chicken-wasting with a large cookie cutter and chicken breasts.

I’m not even sure why I said the corny part… that ship already sailed. Half of the stuff at Valentines is corny because we use our imaginations and anything goes as long as it involves hearts and red and love and “awwww”. I think you’ll see what I mean if you keep reading this post. ????

Today I’m posting a meal that I made on a previous Valentines Day. So, if you’re looking for some last minute ideas for tonight, here you go.

valentines meal

The menu was:
-Meatloaf
-Amish noodles
-Salad
-Biscuits
-Red velvet cake

Meatloaf
I used this recipe because it’s THE *personal opinion alert* best meatloaf ever!! And I baked it in a heart-shaped pan. My mom used to always do that with meatloaf on Valentines Day.
valentines meatloaf

Amish Noodles
I made regular noodles and cooked a couple pieces of lasagna in with them. After it was cooked, I took a heart cutter and cut hearts out of the lasagna pieces and threw them back in with the noodles. When I dished it up, I pulled some of the hearts up to the top.
Here is the recipe for the noodles in case you’d like it:
1/4 c. butter
1 1/4qt. chicken broth
1 Tbsp. chicken base
1/2 tsp. Lawry’s
8oz. homemade egg noodles
1/3 of a can of cream of chicken soup
Brown the butter. Add the broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cream of chicken soup, stir, put on lid, and turn off the burner, and let set 20 minutes.
valentines noodles

Salad
Another one from my childhood that Mom did… it’s simply lettuce salad with little heart-shaped cheese tossed in it.
valentines salad

Biscuits with jam
I made regular biscuit and cut them out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter, and then just for extra color, piped a heart shape of jam on top before baking them (we ate more jam and butter with them at mealtime). The jam kind of got messed up in the baking process, but you could still tell what I was trying for.
valentines biscuits

Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting
I used this recipe, made only a 1/2 recipe and 1 layer, and made it heart-shaped instead of round. The rose is red and green candy melts. The rose tutorial is here and then I just sorta winged it with the stem and leaves.
valentines rose cake

For the décor:
We put red ribbon around on the table and the girls used a heart punch to cut out hearts to sprinkle around.
We used goblets, dipped the tops into colored sugar, and tied red ribbon around the stems.
We had a red centerpiece (you can see the base of it on the first picture up there) that looked more or less like an explosion of spikes and hearts. Festive, but we didn’t end up using it because the table was too full.
Lexi sneakily made Valentines for each of us and put it on our plates.

I really wish I’d have seen this Valentine note that I made to myself earlier because now it’s too late because I don’t plan to (or feel like) going anywhere today, but here is an idea I had tucked away for this Valentines Day and just found a bit ago. I’ll put it on here though, because we’re in the Valentine mode.
Remember what I said up there about corny? Well, here’s a huge *corny alert*!
The idea was to put these on each plate:
For my husband: chocolate candy from our local bulk foods store that looks exactly like rocks, along with a note that says “You ROCK my world”
For Lexi (11): Starbursts and “I’m BURSTing with happiness that you’re my girl”
For Tiffany (7): Gummy bears with “I love you BEARy much”
For Megan: (3): Suckers or smarties or anything sweet with “You’re my little SWEETie”

Wishing all of you a wonderful Valentines Day, and thank God for all the ones you love!

valentines rose

Comments

3 Responses to “It’s Valentines Day!”

  1. Shannon on February 14th, 2014 10:29 pm

    You were created to be in the kitchen! This looks great.
    If I made a meal that looked like this my family would probably fall over. :)

  2. Jan on February 15th, 2014 5:48 pm

    We had good ol’ meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, and salad last night for supper. Nicoleta thought we should cut the lettuce out heart shaped, but I quickly vetoed that idea. Of course, the candles flickered and died partway through the meal, but the girls strongly resisted the idea of turning the lights on. We finally compromised with lights on in adjoining rooms and the oil lamp kept burning, so we made it through.

  3. Kay on February 18th, 2014 11:29 am

    Ha, Jan, I love the candle story… brings back memories of the guys lighting up their cell phone screens and propping them by their plates when we wouldn’t allow the lights on. :)

    Shannon, you are good in the kitchen too… 2 of our family fav recipes are from you (Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinn Rolls and Snickerdoodle Bars). Seriously, you’d fall over if you knew how often I make them… esp snickerdoodle bars!! Can’t believe I never featured them! Must. soon.

Puppy Chow, Monkey Munch, Muddy Buddies

Puppy Chow, Monkey Munch, Muddy Buddies

Posted on January 18, 2014 
Filed Under Holiday cooking, Snacks

It’s all the same thing… which do you call it? When I was a kid, we called it puppy chow. So, it will always be puppy chow to me. My kids seem to have heard it called monkey munch somewhere, in addition to me calling it puppy chow, because they call it monkey chow. Sometimes I wonder how foods get their names. This fun make-in-15-minutes-or-less snack has nothing to do with monkeys or puppies. Or buddies.

I’m going to post the regular recipe, but I’m also going to post a variation. It all ends up tasting pretty much the same. I tried it one time when we needed a puppy chow fix and we were out of chocolate chips. And it worked! Improvising when you need a chocolate fix and you’re out of chocolate chips reminds me of no bake cookies. Been there done that. I have a confession to make… I often don’t keep chocolate chips on hand for the sole purpose of not having to exercise as much self control. If it wouldn’t be for chocolate in my life, I fully believe I wouldn’t struggle with weight. Milk chocolate, that is. Why did they ever have to invent milk chocolate anyway? *she said, secretly thankful that they did because of the amazingness it has added to her life*. Dark or semi-sweet is about as tempting to me as, say, apples or something. Liz, I just now thought of you, my dark-chocolate-lovin’ sister-in-law. So anyway, having milk chocolate chips in my cupboard are as tempting as having a stash of candy bars in there. I’ve tried to switch to baking with dark chocolate chips, but my girls happen to not like dark chocolate very well. Hmmm, I wonder why.

puppy chow

Puppy Chow

9 cups Chex cereal
1 cup chocolate chips (variation: melt 6 T butter and stir in 1/2 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup sugar)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Put chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir. If it’s not all melted, put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds until it can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.

puppy chow chocolate

Dump Chex in and stir until coated.

puppy chow mix

puppy chow mixed

Pour into large ziplock bag, add powdered sugar, and shake to coat.

puppy chow coated

Spread on waxed paper to cool.

puppy chow cool

At this point, the puppy chow is dangerously vulnerable to kids, who magically appear in the kitchen while it’s cooling.

puppy chow eat

Liz and I were talking about puppy chow over the holidays because I was going to make it when she and a bunch of other family were here (but then didn’t because there were SO many snacks already sitting around) and she said she stores it in the freezer because it gives it extra crunch. Crunch is a good thing. So now I store mine in the freezer too.

If it makes it to the freezer, that is. (Refer to cooling picture above.)

Comments

9 Responses to “Puppy Chow, Monkey Munch, Muddy Buddies”

  1. Ali on January 19th, 2014 5:41 pm

    Kay – Somehow I lost your blog probably a year or two ago ? And just the other day I was thinking of it and I realized I needed to find it again. It was driving me crazy, every time I was checking out blogs I had it in the back of my mind that I needed to remember the name of yours! This afternoon I visited a blog that had a recipe I needed to make and I saw your blog listed on her blogroll and I yelled THAT’S IT! Hah :) Glad to have found you again! I hope you and the family are doing really well.

  2. Ali on January 19th, 2014 5:44 pm

    oh and we always called it Puppy Chow too. The last time I made it I kept it in the fridge and it is so much better chilled :)

  3. Kay on January 19th, 2014 11:31 pm

    Ali! Thanks for coming back. Your comment was like a breath of fresh air. :) And I’m glad there’s someone else who calls it puppy chow. Must go visit your blog now…

  4. Liz on January 24th, 2014 3:26 pm

    So you are training your girls wrong, huh? :) Well, that leaves more dark chocolate for the ones that like it in the family. I think one of the other SIL’s like it too, but I can’t remember if it’s Kara or JoAnn. We always call it Puppy Chow and my kids love it. The bag usually just stays open in the freezer. And it’s conveniently located right by the washer. So that’s my little highlight when doing laundry. :) But it’s gone now. :(
    And nice to know the variation. I wouldn’t have thought of doing that. I did substitute some chocolate baking squares one time. I had bought some over the holidays and still have a couple to use up.

  5. Jan on January 24th, 2014 11:20 pm

    I’ll eat your dark chocolate for you, Kay. I need to make this sometime soon. There are a few people in this house who would be delighted!

  6. Kay on January 25th, 2014 10:27 am

    Ha, Liz, training them wrong. :) Jan, I did not know you like dark! My own sister! Just shows that we must get together more often! So, do you mean you like it equally as good or prefer it?

  7. Viona Rieden on February 12th, 2014 4:49 pm

    Loved these recipes..I’m on ‘vacation’ ..have no cookbooks…they do lots of ‘pot lucks’ here @ this retirement village…dying for more ideas…can you help me out Kay? I don’t have a ‘supply’ of items as I would on hand IF I were @ home..so..maybe keep that in mind…
    Hope to hear from you personally!
    Thanks so much!!

    Where do you live? I know the feeling of being ‘mom’..with 3 little ones…doing a good job there gal!

    Viona Rieden

  8. Shannon on February 14th, 2014 10:23 pm

    Mom always made puppy chow when we were kids. I haven’t had it for a very long time. I have some chex right now that we aren’t using. I’m sure the kids would appreciate this. :) It’s a wee bit too much chocolate for me tho. :)

  9. Ronnica, Striving Stewardess on July 6th, 2015 8:43 pm

    Thank you! I had a desire for puppy chow, but no chocolate chips. I’m not buying anything this month that’s absolutely essential…I don’t think chocolate chips make the cut!

4th of July Fun with Brownies

It’s July. And it’s blitzin’ hot! Right now, mid-evening, the thermometer says 89 degrees. Perfect… it’s July.

The girls and I had some red, white, and blue fun today. This is when we were ready to start. Excitement was high. I had a few ideas, but I didn’t know what the end result would be… there was gonna be alot of experimenting going on…

4th-of-july-start.jpg

And here was the end result:

4th-of-july-food.jpg

It’s basically 4 different things… parfaits, berry shish-kabob decorations, fireworks, and randomly decorated brownies.

I made a big pan of brownies and then cut them out with star cookie cutters. I thought that would be faster because my star baking pan has only 6 wells and I’d have had to bake 3 or 4 batches. But, having it to do over, I’d use the star pan. You know how brownies kind of stick to the knife when you cut (unless you use a plastic knife)? Well, they stick to cookie cutters too. It wasn’t too bad, though, and worked fine, but next time, I’ll use my star pan.

Or, instead of brownies, it could be done just as easily on sugar cookies, cupcakes, or mini cupcakes.

The parfaits…
4th-of-july-parfait.jpg
The parfaits tasted awesome and were easy and could be made in a large pedestal bowl instead of individual parfaits. This one is a layer of brownies, then cream cheese filling, then raspberries, filling, blueberries, filling, brownies, and then you can either put Cool Whip or filling on top and garnish with a bit of fruit and sprinkles. You could make a pan of brownies and cut them up into little squares to make this, or you could do what I did and use the brownie scraps left over from cutting out star brownies. ???? The filling is: 8 oz cream cheese mixed with 1/4 cup powdered sugar, then that gets mixed with 8 oz Cool Whip.

The fruit shish-kabob decorations…
4th-of-july-fruit-kabob-fireworks.jpg
These shish-kabob things had serious issues… they kept falling over. We had to keep standing them up before each picture. We originally thought we’d try to make them look like fireworks, but we kept lowering our standards til our only requirement for them was to be red, white, and blue. We should’ve just skipped the sticks and made a mound of fruit on top. Oh well, the girls had fun stabbing the stuff on… and obsessing about making sure to get them in the right order of red-white-blue… but one time, one of them asked, “Mom, would blue-white-red be ok, as long as white is in the middle?” See? Obsessing. And you know what TOTALLY makes my day after all that fuss? I didn’t notice it before, but just now I see that on the one tall one, it’s red-white-blue-white-red-blue. ????

The fireworks…
4th-of-july-fireworks.jpg

Oh, what fun! Didn’t turn out quite like I had pictured, but that may be because the girls did most of it (also not what I had pictured) and I mostly just did damage control. We colored white chocolate blue and red and then piped the 3 colors on Saran wrap over a cutting board, then sprinkled on some colored sugar and star-shaped sprinkles, and put them in the fridge to harden.
4th-of-july-fireworks-parts.jpg

After 15 minutes or so, they were hardened and ready to assemble, which included jamming the sticks into the frosting on the brownies. Does ‘jamming’ sound a bit harsh for delicate little chocolate sticks? Yep. Harsh, but accurate. ???? I really should’ve taken a video clip of that process… it was hilarious to watch and listen. ????
4th-of-july-fireworks-assembly.jpg

So, did it end up looking like fireworks? I don’t know, but we at least have to give them credit for creating something that looks like some type of explosion…
4th-of-july-fireworks-3.jpg

4th-of-july-fireworks-2.jpg

The randomly decorated brownies…
4th-of-july-brownies.jpg

This was fun. I got an inspiration for this that I’ll do more in the future for any occassion. Make a page on the computer of writing or shapes or outlines or whatever. Then, print it out and put it on a cutting board under a piece of Saran wrap. Then, pipe over it with chocolate. It’ll make writing more even and shapes more accurate. Here is the Before/After…
4th-of-july-shapes.jpg

Then, put it in the fridge to harden. Peel off and garnish. The possibilities are endless with this print-out-and-pipe-chocolate thing! One tip is to make sure it’s pretty thick. Another tip is don’t hold it very long before putting it on because your warm fingers will start to soften it and it’ll weaken and break.

Here are a couple of close-ups. Next time, I’d make an extra little thing sticking down to go into the frosting because, like July 4 down there, the Y looks like a V and the 4 looks like a triangle.

4th-of-july-brownie-star.jpg

4th-of-july-usa-brownie.jpg

4th-of-july-close-up.jpg

And, last but not least, United States rice crispy bars. After cutting it out, I put all the scraps together and re-flattened it out and cut out stars, then, sprinkled colored sugar on top. The flag is M&Ms… I had the kids separate out all the blue and red ones from a package.
4th-of-july-usa-flag-rice-crispy.jpgI used to have a plastic United States shaped mold. I had put it away for the year and when I went to get it out this year, something heavy was laying on it (a 15-lb dumbell, to be exact… yeah, don’t ask, I have questions myself!) and it was hopelessly smashed. So, I just cut this freehand. The top does look a little odd from Michigan to Maine, but hey, you can at least tell what shape it’s supposed to be, right?

Happy 4th of July from all of us! (even from Shannon, who was at work when we self-timered this picture)

4th-of-july-eat-dessert.jpg

Excuse us for eating in front of you, but we couldn’t help it when we saw that parfait sitting there. We’re going to kick back and relax this weekend, maybe grill a burger or two and watch some fireworks. See ya next week!

Comments

5 Responses to “4th of July Fun with Brownies”

  1. Sandra on July 1st, 2011 10:30 pm

    LOve it!!..me and jazz wanted to get all festive for the wkd.Love ur ideas!! maybe we can make a few:)

  2. Rosalyn on July 1st, 2011 11:21 pm

    Those are too cute! and way too much fun! ???? I know my girls would be begging to make some, too, if they’d get a glimpse… ???? Happy 4th! :)

  3. Jo on July 2nd, 2011 10:40 am

    This was so much fun to read! I hope I find an excuse to try something this weekend. Happy 4th!

  4. Renita on July 2nd, 2011 12:43 pm

    Wow. I love the computer print out idea beings I don’t do good free hand! This puts me in the mood to celebrate. :) Even my boys will wanna do some things in the kitchen after seeing this. Thx

  5. Shannon on July 3rd, 2011 9:11 pm

    Aww that looks like fun! When I saw the picture it made me realize how much I miss your skinny self. ???? Let’s get together soon.

Think Spring with Food… aka playing with your food :)

Posted on April 18, 2011
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Cooks in Training, Holiday cooking

You can do so much more with food than just eating it. I mean, yeah, eating is usually the end result, but how about having a little fun first? ???? It comes naturally, really. Kids do it without being taught… I remember using Bugles for fingernails, biting eyes and a mouth out of a round slice of bologna and using it for a mask, making roads with stirred up ice cream, shooting baskets with popcorn or M&Ms (in which the basketball net is your or your sibling’s mouth), and best of all was peanut butter playdoh… you could form a bowl and spoon and peas in the bowl, and then actually eat the ‘peas’, and well, eat the spoon and the bowl, too.

Now, I play with food in a more grown-up way. So does my mom. She made garden meatloaf a couple weeks ago for a group of school children.
spring-meatloaf.jpg

The middle 3 rows are obviously corn, tomatoes, and peas. The 2 end rows are potatoes and carrots, which are there, but underground, of course. :) She made sure to put a potato and a carrot against the edge of the pan so you could see it from the outside. And that’s not all… she put in mushroom pieces and the white ends of green onions and told the kids to look for slugs and worms. They had a heyday, digging through their meatloaf.

She also made bird-shaped dinner rolls, which were also a real hit.
spring-bird-rolls.jpg

When Mom emailed these pictures to us girls, my sister Jan wondered if she had taken progress pictures. I thought that was a bit strange that Jan would need progress pictures because she has proven herself quite capable of creating in the kitchen with no directions (more on that later). Mom didn’t have progress pictures, so, Jan, this portion of the post is just for you. Awww. :)

Roll a rope about 7″ long. Tie it in a knot. Fan out one end and make little snips for tail feathers. Put a sliver of almond in the head for the beak and cookies decorations or bits of raisins or something for the eyes… I used cloves.
spring-bird-rolls-making.jpg

spring-bird-rolls-unbaked.jpg

Let them rise and bake them. And TA-DA! fat little birds awaiting butter and jelly. Ok, that may be an unappetizing choice of words.
spring-bird-rolls-baked.jpg

If you notice that the one bird (lower right in the picture with 3 unbaked in a pan up there) has some brown on it… I was making mini cinnamon rolls with this same bread dough, so I made a cinnamon roll bird by rolling the dough extra thin and into about a 4″ wide strip, spreading on butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, rolling it up, cutting about 7″ off, and knotting it the same as the rolls above. Then, glaze it.

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Another Spring thing we did was Bird Nests. This portion should be a Cooks in Training post, since my little cooks did these. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with about 1/2 cup of peanut butter and mix it with 2 cups chow mein noodles. You can either spoon them onto a plate of some sort and then make a little indent for the eggs to go in, or you can do it like the girls did and put them in little containers to keep them round. They put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden the chocolate, then popped them out of the container with a spoon, put eggs in and put a chic— oops, I mean, a BIRD on top. Really, who ever heard of a little yellow chick sitting on a nest… of COURSE that’s a canary! :)
spring-nest1.jpg

spring-nest2.jpg
Uhhhh, is that what I think it is in Tiffany’s apron? How did part of her nest get there?!

spring-nest3.jpg

spring-nest4.jpg

Then, they took them in the dining room to eat some and Lexi in a very excited voice said, “Mom! Come look! If you’d ever make a river cake with beavers, this would make a PERFECT dam! See? Doesn’t that look just like a dam? All I did was flipped my nest upside down!” So, there you go… an idea for all those of you out there who are planning beaver cakes. :) Then, Tiffany flipped hers upside down on her chic-, uh, canary, and said, “Or, it would make a good hat too.” I think it looks more like a turtle shell, considering the size ratio of hat to bird. Wow, the possibilities are endless with this chocolate chow mein noodle combo! Ha.
spring-nest5.jpg
It tastes really good too. Could forget about the whole nest thing and just make these things and drop them on wax paper until they harden and you’d have a yummy snack. I’d double the amount of chocolate and peanut butter for that though. Meanwhile, Megan sits in her highchair, healthily eating peeled apple chunks.

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Now, I want to add one more thing yet, even though it has nothing to do with Spring. It does, however, have to do with my sister Jan (who I mentioned up there) and playing with food (which I mentioned up there).
Once upon a time, Jan won a contest. It was a Make Real Food Look Like Something Else contest from a few years ago on my cooking blog. If you feel like checking out the entries, here’s the link: Contest
Jan won it fair and square, I might add… no rigging of votes by her big sister.
Here was her entry:
contest-jan-teacup-set.jpg
She has that miniature tea set  (in the back) as decor in her kitchen and made a little knock-off set from it. It’s all cake and frosting except the ‘coffee’ is chocolate syrup and the cup/pot  handles are piped chocolate covered with frosting. She had some truffles on hand, so she put 3 on a plate to go with the coffee. So, this lovely detailed 5-piece tea set coming from a lady who sees bird-shaped rolls and asks for progress pictures?! C’mon, Jan! :)

As I was looking at these contest pictures again, I saw this, so I’ll throw it in here because it DOES actually have to do with Spring. You could serve this for dessert at your garden-themed party…
contest-dirt-pudding.jpg
Dirt pudding, in which one of the ingredients is crushed Oreo cookies. I think this entry was submitted by Lavonne.

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In other news, not really related to anything, but just something I’m excited about… I get to make a Lightning McQueen birthday cake tomorrow afternoon! I found this post with directions how to do it. ???? The one tomorrow will have cake under the racetrack and maybe a couple other differences. We’ll see how it all turns out, but the thing with having made it before is that I can learn from my mistakes. :)

Comments

7 Responses to “Think Spring with Food… aka playing with your food :)”

  1. Jan on April 18th, 2011 11:19 am

    Thanks, Kay! I’m honored.

  2. Beth on April 18th, 2011 11:31 am

    Neat-o! This being.awesome.in.the.kitchen obviously runs in the family! Loved the post & am looking forward to seeing how you could possibly improve on the Lightning McQueen cake! Have fun with it.

  3. Rosanne on April 18th, 2011 12:52 pm

    Have fun making the cake! And the garden meatloaf is so adorable!

  4. Liz on April 18th, 2011 8:46 pm

    If you would live closer a certain nephew would be begging for a Lightning McQueen cake. Well, he might beg anyway because he wouldn’t get the reasoning of not being able to transport a cake very good.

  5. Audrey on April 19th, 2011 8:33 am

    I remember when Jan won that competition and I was in AWE of her tea set. So pretty!

    I love that you are posting more often, Kay. I really enjoy the way you write and the pictures you take of your cooking and baking!

  6. Renita on April 19th, 2011 3:46 pm

    I didn’t realize the “greatness” in the kitchen runs so much in the family, WOW! The tea set is awesome. So when are you gonna show your brothers or dads’ work in the kitchen? Or did the girls “get it all”? :-) I enjoy the posts. Thanks.

  7. Kay on April 20th, 2011 7:21 pm

    Uhhh, Liz… the directions are right there! Make Lightning McQueen for his 3rd birthday! Worst case scenario, it would flop and you’d grab a DQ cake instead (did I just call a DQ cake ‘worst case scenario?!!!), but it would most likely end up great, and easier than you thought.

    Renita, my brother can make trifles that look like thick disks laying in the bowl. Seriously, they are so neat and perfect. He’s pretty handy with the grill and gourmet desserts and coffees.

Chocolate Chip Craisin Cookies… with a chocolate comparison

Posted on January 10, 2011
Filed Under Cookies and bars, Holiday cooking

Ok, people, take note. I am about to write a phrase that I have NEVER written before and that I will probably never write again. Ever.

White chocolate was better than milk chocolate. Oh, that sounds weird. Seems wrong. I feel like a traitor to milk chocolate.

But I made this cookie dough, split it in half, and added milk chocolate to one half and white to the other. When they were baked and cooled, I tasted them. In all my die-hard loyalty and love for milk chocolate, I’ll have to admit that white chocolate just plain goes better with craisins.

craisin3.jpg

This all reminds me of a little conversation Shannon and I have had now and then about the museum at Lambeau field. I know, it might seem strange that chocolate reminded me of that conversation, but I have always loved analogies. Analogies help me understand things, see them in a different perspective. And this is an analogy… in which I am the milk chocolate, Shannon’s brother Preston is the white chocolate, the Packer museum is the cookies, and Shannon is the taste-tester. In this conversation, we talk about his dream of some day going to Lambeau field and spending a day there going thro the museum, reading every piece of info and history, and when he does, it’s not me (you know, ME, his favorite person ever) that he wants along …the person he wants to go with is his brother. Evidently, strolling thro’ a football museum is not date material, holding hands as you go from one display to the next.????? :) I do totally get it, though… I wouldn’t want to browse Hobby Lobby and Michaels with him for a day. Things are always the most enjoyable when you get the right combo.

Like craisin cookies and white chocolate.

White Chocolate Craisin Cookiesrecipe ripped out of either Taste of Home or Country Woman magazine, I forget which one

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 6oz. package craisins
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Or do the taste-test for yourself and split the dough and try dark or milk chocolate.
craisin1.jpg

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
craisin2.jpg

This made 28 cookies.


These are wonderful for Christmas! Or for any time of the year, since Christmas is about 11 1/2 months away… (read: didn’t get it posted in time for Christmas). ????

Comments

4 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Craisin Cookies… with a chocolate comparison”

  1. Jan on January 10th, 2011 3:21 pm

    I like your analogy. “Pancakes and blueberry syrup!”

  2. Amy Burkey on January 10th, 2011 3:30 pm

    Shilah made these for us (with white chocolate) when we were in Idaho. I’ve been craving them ever since.

  3. Shannon on January 10th, 2011 5:37 pm

    Just so you know, I’m laughing out loud! ????

  4. Judi on January 28th, 2011 2:37 pm

    I’m usually a milk chocolate kind of girl too, but I love white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. thanks for the recipe

Chocolate-covered Ritz with Peanut Butter

Posted on December 18, 2010
Filed Under Candy, Holiday cooking

chocolate-ritz-peanut-butter-done.jpg

This is the first year that I’ve done so much chocolate dipping. Kinda fun. I was looking around for more stuff to dip… did you know mini marshmallows dipped in chocolate are good? And peanuts, of course.

I just wanted to put these dipped Ritz cracker things on here because I learned something with them.

First step is to put peanut butter on one side of a cracker. So, I got a knife, the pack of crackers, and the jar of peanut butter and went to work, spreading crackers with peanut butter. You wanna talk about tedious and hard to get the peanut butter even along the edges, plus not be messy with it!

I was about to stop the project when a lightbulb went on… I could pipe it on! So, I got a plastic bag, filled a corner with peanut butter, snipped of a little corner and started coiling it on till the cracker was covered. It really worked, but it took too long.

Then, the lightbulb got brighter and I snipped the corner off bigger and made a pile in the middle of the cracker, got another cracker, and pressed it down on top till the peanut butter was evenly to the edge of the cookie. Fast. Easy. Fun.

So, I started mass producing… laid a bunch of crackers out on the table, squirted piles of peanut butter on them all, then went through and pressed all the top crackers on. The whole batch was done in no time. Maybe you all already do it like that, but just in case there’s someone out there going crazy, still spreading peanut butter with a knife and getting your hands messy, here you go.

ritz-peanut-butter-chocolate1.jpg

ritz-peanut-butter-chocolate.jpg

Before dipping, I put the filled crackers in the fridge because chocolate hardens faster when whatever it’s about to cover is chilled. I don’t know any secrets to dipping… I just dip them one at a time, dig them out with a spoon, shake of the excess, and put them on Saran wrap/wax paper to dry. I’ve thought of using a cooling rack and pouring melted chocolate over them, flipping them, and pouring more over, then catching what runs off and re-using it, but that just seems a bit too messy and I’d have to wash the rack and what if it wouldn’t cover the sides right.

I want to make one more thing yet, then I think my Christmas cookie/candy making is done for this year… the first part of next week, I want to make Chocolate Chip Craisin Cookies… half of the batch white chocolate and half milk chocolate, and compare them. ???? I decided to wait till after Christmas to post Lexi’s birthday cake because I’m kind of in Christmas food mode, and her birthday cake has nothing to do with Christmas.

Comments

11 Responses to “Chocolate-covered Ritz with Peanut Butter”

  1. Berneice on December 18th, 2010 1:49 pm

    This is something my mom has made for years (and of course I don’t like them=they have pb) but just recently they started making them with marshmallow cream too.

    oh and I am enjoying all these updates on your blog! Keep up the good work. Maybe it will inspire me to get cookin!

  2. Freida on December 18th, 2010 2:37 pm

    I was gonna say something along the same lines as Berneice. This is something we have always made.. for as long as I can remember. Never heard of adding marshmallow cream till I got married, but now that I tried that, I can.not.leave. them alone. So yummy!

  3. Christy on December 18th, 2010 9:07 pm

    Another idea for spreading the peanut butter is to give the job to your child. They think it’s cool. :) I love these things! We’ve already dipped Ritz Bitz, but there’s just something about real peanut butter crackers dipped in chocolate that’s hard to beat.

  4. Renita on December 18th, 2010 9:27 pm

    I do the pb ritz bits. I like that size. It’s a pop-in-the-mouth-one-right-after-the-other and there’s chocolate all the way around. I’m more for chocolate than pb.
    The mini teacup chocolate is SO adorable. I just had some cappuccino mousse that would be perfect in the choc. cup. I was thinking the chocolate roses you’ve made already would be a perfect match!Thx for the “updates” I always enjoy em!

  5. Amber S on December 19th, 2010 8:59 pm

    Use a big fork to dig them out of the choc. It lets the excess drip through the tines. :)

  6. Beth on December 20th, 2010 1:16 pm

    Putting the pb into a bag seems like more mess to me than just using the knife. Hmm…maybe I should try it before I knock it?? :) My mom helped me this year, so that makes it go faster. lol As always…enjoyed the post & love how you show us new ways to do things!

  7. Kay on December 20th, 2010 1:47 pm

    Ok, Berneice and Freida, I’ve gotta try these things with marshmallow creme! But, man oh, if I thought peanut butter was a mess, I can’t imagine marshmallow creme!!!! Sounds worth the mess though. :)

    Renita and Christy, thanks for the Ritz bits idea… the pop-in-the-mouth size sounds delightful.

    Yeah, I should’ve got my girls to do it, Christy. And, Beth, yeah, a mom would be a nice feature in the candy-making process… would make anything better and faster! ????

    Amber, thanks for the FORK idea! Brilliant! I shall do that from now on!!!

  8. Cheryl Weaver on December 28th, 2010 12:56 pm

    I just need to share a non messy way to get that peanut butter in the bag if I’m able to put it into words. I just put the corner of my bag into a drinking glass (kinda short and squatty) then take the top of the bag and fold it down around the outside of the glass. Kinda like you are starting to turn the bag inside out. Then get your spoonful of p.b. or frosting or deviled egg filling or whatever you are putting in there and drop it in. Hope that isn’t too confusing. Just something that works for me.

  9. Dena Skrivseth on January 1st, 2011 8:34 am

    Was going to suggest the Ritz bits…someone beat me too it…and then the fork…was beat to that too. But when I am finished dipping…then I throw in the peanuts for clusters…it finishes up the choc quite nicely! Another thing I like to do is to buy those mini Oreo cookies, and cover them with white choc,(brown works too, but when you have both, you know which you are getting if they are white!) then throw in either raisins, peanuts, or mixed at the end to finish up the choc

  10. Katie Mast on January 4th, 2011 10:17 am

    i make these crackers all the time, but i never thought of the bag. I love it, thanks for that tip i will use it next year. We also add a third cracker with marshmellow cream. Love all your new recipes.

  11. Judi on January 28th, 2011 3:02 pm

    Okay, I was good with crackers and peanut butter… who needs anything else lol. But chocolate covered WOW and Marshmallow?? Oh my. How about if we mix peanut butter and marshmallow creme then dip them in chocolate? A little on the messy side, but hey, we’re already getting a little down and dirty. My daughter does Dove Chocolate home parties… she’s a chocolatier, so I have an endless supply of chocolate… yes, I still have to buy it, but it is delicious.

Mini Teacup-shaped Chocolates

Posted on December 17, 2010
Filed Under Candy, Holiday cooking

teacup-chocolates8.jpg

My sister-in-law Sheila had a birthday last month and her mom got her some teacup truffles from a local bakery. She was showing them off …notice I said SHOWING, not SHARING! ????
Here is a picture of them…
chocolate-teacup-truffles.jpg
Aren’t they adorable? As soon as I saw them, they went into my oughta-try-them-sometime cooking folder in my OneNote. By the way, Sheila took that picture. One of my Kitchen Scrapbook New Years Resolutions is to research food photography (lighting/props/angles/how to make it look good/etc) and practice and get to know my camera and aperture and focus and settings on it to up the photo quality a bit on here. I was planning to go online for that education, but it looks like I don’t need to go any farther than our family gathering over the holidays to get tips… I love this picture! Looks like it came out of a magazine. Of course, the truffles look like they came out of a magazine, too!

I was at a cookie exchange today and I took a plate of candy instead of a dozen cookies. WAY more fun to make and nobody seemed to mind. :) I decided this was my chance to try the teacups, thought it would be a cute touch to a candy plate.
teacup-chocolate-candy-plate.jpg
On the candy plate is:
Rice crispy rolls
— Chocolate-covered Ritz crackers filled with peanut butter (to be featured tomorrow)
— Misc chocolate-coated/drizzled tree-shaped pretzels
O’Henry bars
— Chocolate teacup
— Store-bought peppermint candies

These teacups are not as hard and time-consuming as they may look. I want to make some more and next time, I’m not gonna go as crazy with piping trim on! Actually, I think I’ll skip the piping altogether. I wanted them all coordinating with white and brown chocolate and I think it ended up looking too busy or messy or something. I think next time, I’d make the cup and saucer both the same monotone color. So, minus all that piping, these teacups were done in 7 steps, mostly easy steps:
1. Line the cups  of a mini muffin pan with white or dark or milk chocolate to form the cup part.
2. Make a saucer out of partially hardened chocolate.
3. Form a handle out of partially hardened chocolate and ‘glue’ it on with melted chocolate.
4. Fill the cup with fudge (that’s what I did here) or truffles or mousse or whatever.
5. Pipe white frosting on top to look like whipped cream (remember that cup of frosting I had left over from the red velvet sandwich cookies? It came in handy here! ???? )
6. Sprinkle the whipped cream with a bit of Nestles Quik powder.
7. Form a little decoration out of partially hardened chocolate or make a chocolate curl or use some other decoration for garnish.

Here are pictures and “What I learned” tips with each step…

Step #1.
teacup-chocolates1.jpg
What I learned:
Grease the cups WELL.
The thicker the chocolate, the better… if it’s too thin, the cups might break as you get them out (see the one in the front right has a hole in the bottom).
Chill before getting them out.
Best way to get them out is to push against the inside of the cup and turn it, when it comes loose, pull it out.

Step #2:
teacup-chocolates2.jpg

teacup-chocolates3.jpg
What I learned:
Use utensils/Saran wrap to do the work… using fingers melts the chocolate and creates a sticky mess.
Cut a perfect circle by using a round cutter… a drinking glass works great.
Lay the saucer on a measuring cup… it will sink down just a little in the middle to create a ‘saucer’ look.
The fridge was my friend. Chocolate hardens faster in the fridge. ????

Step #3:
chocolate-teacups4.jpg
What I learned:
If the cups are chilled before putting the handles on, they adhere faster.
You need to hold the handle against the cup until the melted chocolate between them has hardened… otherwise the handle might fall off when you set it down. *rolleyes*

The rest of the steps don’t have ‘what I learned’ tips because there were no issues/problems/lessons learned. That’s a good thing:)

Step #4:
teacup-chocolates5.jpg

Step #5:
teacup-chocolates6.jpg

Steps #6 & 7:
teacup-chocolates7.jpg
I made stars because, you know, Christmas. I thought stars would be easier than holly or trees or a wreath or a gift or a manger scene. ???? I just made a ball, then flattened it, then pinched it in 5 places, then perfected the points. Haha, perfected the points? Then why aren’t they perfect?! :p I guess I should’ve said I just made a ball, then flattened it, then pinched it in 5 places, then messed around with it till it looked more or less like a star. :) Oh, and the one doesn’t have a star, in case anyone noticed. It was the last one and REFUSED to turn out, so I ate it and just stuck in a random dripping from where I had drizzled the pretzels.

Oh, and here are the 5 plates of cookies that I came home with… Peanut Butter Kiss cookies from Rosalyn, Frosted Sugar cookies from Beth, Monster cookies from Sherri, Pumpkin cookies with caramel frosting from Rita, and White Chocolate Chip cookies and some coated party mix and chocolate-covered peanut butter crackers from Mary Esther. I love love love cookie exchanges!!! When else can you mass produce one thing and end up with a fun variety?!
cookie-exchange2.jpg

Comments

14 Responses to “Mini Teacup-shaped Chocolates”

  1. Shannon on December 17th, 2010 8:07 pm

    These little things are so cute. Waaay to much work for me tho! :)

  2. Ruth Hochstetler on December 17th, 2010 10:12 pm

    A very interesting project, and well done! I have one question on an ingredient. On the candy plate you mentioned ‘tree shaped pretzels.’ Years ago, that was one of the ingredients in my party mix, but I can’t find them anymore. Where do you get them? I like them because they are so dainty and thinner than most pretzels. They go well in a Christmas mix.

  3. Kay on December 17th, 2010 10:19 pm

    Ruth, yeah, I agree, they’d be perfect for Christmas party mix! I got the pretzels at our local bulk foods store. I don’t know if you have any in your area, but I’d check there. Good luck!

  4. Rosalyn on December 17th, 2010 10:35 pm

    I’m in Indiana wishing that I’d have my yummy cookies along instead of at home in my freezer. :) Can’t wait to inhale them!! :)

  5. Beth on December 18th, 2010 12:15 am

    Today was so fun!! I vote for you to make candy every year. Those things are so cute & I still didn’t eat mine…just waiting for the perfect moment. :) Also wanted to say I’m excited that you are doing this daily post!!

  6. Cheryl on December 18th, 2010 1:07 pm

    Cute!

  7. Loretta on December 20th, 2010 12:59 am

    Oh can’t wait to try these little teacups!!What a perfect idea for a little girls Birthday party!!!

  8. Sheila on December 20th, 2010 9:17 am

    Wow Kay! I should have known you would try these truffles. :-) They look good! Ha, don’t expect to learn many photo tips from me. I love taking pics of food, but so often am not happy with them. Getting the right lighting has been my main source of frustration. I’ve always wondered how much difference having a better camera would make. Well, Jared got a new camera recently, and then rented one of those huge zooms for a week to shoot pics at a wedding. We were at their place a couple of times while he had it and I had so much fun “playing” with it. I just walked around the kitchen taking pics of food preparations, and I couldn’t believe the difference! Honestly, they almost looked better on the camera than they did in real life. :-) Now, that was fun! So, the fact that a good camera really does make a difference could be encouraging or discouraging, if you know what I mean. :-/ BTW, I’ve seen some really nice food pics on this particular site, so don’t be too hard on yourself. :-)

  9. Jan on December 23rd, 2010 1:38 pm

    I am trying to make some of these for a Christmas present. How did you line the muffin tin with chocolate? I can’t get the things out no matter how much cooking spray I use or how chilled the stuff is.

  10. Jan on December 23rd, 2010 2:15 pm

    Problem solved! I lined the cups with foil and then when the chocolate was hardened, I lifted them out and peeled off the foil. Worked perfectly!

  11. Judi on January 28th, 2011 3:26 pm

    You amaze me. I buy the chocolate cups from my daughter :) Maybe it’s my age, but it’s just too much chocolate for me. Quick, someone call the DR. The chocolate mousse mix that she sells is also to die for. Usually by the time I’ve eaten the whipped topping and chocolate mousse I just am on sugar overload without even eating the cup. I do save it for later though :)

  12. Judi on January 28th, 2011 3:27 pm

    oops, now I remember what I was going to say. For the stars that you were trying to make… do you have any chocolate candy molds? I have some small molds that have lots of different shapes… even a star. You just mold the chocolate and pop it out… perfect every time.

  13. Margarita Brajak on March 13th, 2011 9:53 pm

    Where did you find the teacups with the halow handle, in the second picture? Please respond to mbrajak@hotmail.com Thank you. Margarita.

  14. Kay on April 30th, 2011 9:43 am

    Margarita, those little teacup truffles were being sold at a small bakery in WI.

    Judi, using candy molds… great idea! Thanks! :)

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Posted on December 15, 2010
Filed Under Cookies and bars, Holiday cooking

cookie8red1.jpg

I was trying to picture a festive cookie plate to take to the cookie exchange. For awhile, I was waffling between White Chocolate Craisin Cookies and these. I ended up with these. I kinda got hung up on the white chocolate in the others, wondering if I wanted to ‘waste’ a couple batches of cookies on white chocolate… Shannon, maybe you should try them. :) (Side note: This might be confusing to some of you because I have 2 Shannons in my life (my husband and one of my friends), both of which I refer to on here hit n miss, but if you know there are 2, you can usually tell which one I mean by the context. ;)) Back to these craisin cookies, I am planning to make a batch, and add the chocolate last, dividing the dough in half and adding white to one half and milk choc to the other.

Wow, I just spent a whole paragraph writing about something that has nothing to do with what this post is about. Good grief.

First, before the recipes, I’ll give amounts: I used 5 cake mixes, which made 9 1/2 dozen filled cookies, so I actually baked 19 dozen individual cookies. Me and baking 19 dozen cookies goes great together, I loved it… if it wouldn’t make me gain 100 pounds, I’d bake every day. On the other hand, Megan (my 6-month old) and baking 19 dozen cookies does NOT go great together. Let’s just say her naptime was blissful. Although, she thought it was bliss sitting back in a corner up on the counter playing with everything within reach (except toys). It’s amazing how far a 6-month-old can reach, I found out! Anyway, I made the frosting recipe 3 times and had about 1 cup left over. So, I’ll break this down for you to save you having to get out the calculator… 2 cake mixes would make approx 46 finished cookies (mine were anywhere from 2″ – 2 1/2″ across) and one batch of frosting would do approx 38 cookies… could become one of those deals where you make more frosting to use up the rest of the cookies, then you have too much, so you make more cookies to use up the rest of the frosting, then you have cookies left, so you make more frosting…… and so on. :)

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

1 red velvet cake mix
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs

Mix. Shape into balls.
red-velvet-balls.jpg

Bake at 375 for 7 minutes.
red-velvet-baked.jpg

Meanwhile, this was going on…
red-velvet-megan.jpg

Marshmallow Creme Filling

2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 7oz. jar marshmallow creme
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat til creamy. Spread it on however you want, but I put it in a bag and piped it on. Easy and less mess!
red-velvet-filling.jpg

Put another cookie on top and you’ve got yourself a yummy little red velvet sandwich cookie!
red-velvet-tiffany.jpg

You know, I was just thinking, we could do all sorts of stuff with this because there are all sorts of cake mixes out there… use a white cake mix and put in green food coloring and have green sandwich cookies, make any kind of cake mix cookies and tint the frosting red or green, roll the assembled cookie in crushed red & white candy canes so it sticks to the frosting, dip half of a red velvet sandwich cookie in chocolate, mix up a white cake mix and a red velvet one and then fold them together til it’s red & white swirled… any other ideas?

Comments

6 Responses to “Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies”

  1. Shannon on December 15th, 2010 1:18 pm

    I’m the other Shannon and I have no ideas because I could barely get past the fact that you might not use all White Chocolate in those cookies. 8(

    That does sound like a cool and easy way to make cookies. Gonna have to think of what non chocolate kinds would be good. :)

  2. Berneice on December 15th, 2010 3:06 pm

    Hmm, these look good! I have some confetti cake mix here that someone gave us. We are not cake eaters, so they might become cookies! with red and green icing. Thanks! Oh and I can’t wait to hear about those Craisin cookies! I love craisins!!

  3. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on December 15th, 2010 3:33 pm

    Love these!! You are so right the possibilites are endless. I am so making these! Maybe for New Years cause my Christmas cookie baking is full-up!! Thanks!

  4. Liz on December 15th, 2010 5:35 pm

    What the world?! I thought you had a baby. I’m pretty sure that’s Megan up there and she just doesn’t look like the baby I remember.
    I used milk choc for some monster cookies I made recently. Thought you should be proud of me. :) But when I snitched the dough with a choc chip in it, it just didn’t taste as good as semi sweet. Grr. I guess maybe that would help me not to eat as much dough.

  5. Elvida on December 16th, 2010 10:11 am

    This looks really good and I have all the ingredients…just wondering if you meant crisco by shortening, or oil? Thanks!!

  6. Paul on December 16th, 2010 10:51 am

    Looks amazing!I love how simple you make it. Keep up the good work, looking forward to future posts!

Christmas Cookie Exchange 2010

Posted on December 14, 2010
Filed Under Cookies and bars, Holiday cooking

It’s that time of year when I need to unlock my extra reservoir of willpower. Here is what’s sitting on my table RIGHT NOW…
cookie8all.jpg

Seriously, the table these are on is 5′ away. I could stand up, take 3 steps, reach out and grab a handful. Or 2 handfuls (I have 2 hands). They are even all still uncovered from taking the picture. Thing is, I’m not even tempted. Nope. Huh-uh. Not me. Not at all. ????

I’m not even sure what they’re all called, so I’ll just make up a name for them if I don’t know. Oh, and hey, I’m really curious. What’s your favorite of all those cookies? If they were, say, sitting on a table 5′ away from you and you could only pick one, which one would you pick?

First, we have Monster Cookies made by Carla. Monster cookies are my all-time favorite… I’d better hide them, the others would never know. :)
cookie8monster.jpg

Next is Thumbprint Jam Cookies made by Julie. So pretty.
cookie8jam.jpg

Here are Christmas Cutouts and Candy Cane Cookies made by Janae. Way too cute.
cookie8cutouts.jpg

Then, we have Peanut Butter Cookies Dipped in Chocolate made by Linda. These call to me almost as loud as the monster cookies.
cookie8pbutter.jpg

Next is Snickerdoodles made by Deb. Shannon will claim this plate.
cookie8snick.jpg

Here are Cream Wafers made by Renita. So beautifully Christmas-y.
cookie8wafer.jpg

Next is Chocolate Crinkles made by Mary. Ohhhhh, yum!
cookie8crinkle.jpg

There are 2 plates left, one cookies and one candy. I made those. Here are Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies.
cookie8red.jpg

And this plate is Chocolate-covered Tree-shaped Pretzels, Chocolate-covered Ritz crackers filled with Peanut Butter, and O’Henry bars. The O’Henry bars recipe came from Lisa @ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary. Thanks, Lisa! They are awesome!!!
cookie8candy.jpg

Oh, and I need to point out my candle and snowflake holder… don’t you just love it? Julie (the one up there who made the jam cookies) gave it to me for my birthday this year. I LOVE it!
cookie8candle.jpg

Ok, now I know I haven’t been posting on here very much and I don’t want anybody to faint, but I have some recipes to get in before Christmas, so I’m going to post one about every day for awhile. *thud* You fainted, didn’t you?! Here are the planned upcoming posts, not necessarily in this order:
— Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies
— O’Henry bars (I know, you can get the recipe on Lisa’s site, but I want it on mine, too :) )
— Teacup Chocolates (excited about this one, this one happened only in my head so far, so hopefully they’ll turn out!… I’m making them Thurs for another cookie/candy exchange on Friday)
— Chocolate-covered Ritz Filled with Peanut Butter (I know, you know how to do that already, just by the title, but I want to show you a trick that made the process faster and funner… more fun, whatever)
— Lexi’s 8th birthday cake (it was a snicker bar with a fondant wrapper)

Don’t forget to humor me with what kind of cookie up there you’d like best! :)

Comments

23 Responses to “Christmas Cookie Exchange 2010”

  1. Aug on December 14th, 2010 3:40 pm

    Oh, wow! Those look so good. And I totally believe you that you are not even tempted. (not)

    I would pick either the red velvet sandwich cookies or the monster cookies.

    But they sure all look pretty. Those wafers look like something I would want to try too.

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on December 14th, 2010 3:43 pm

    So glad liked the O’Henrys! They are delicious! All the cookies you guys made are making my mouth water!!

  3. Liz on December 14th, 2010 3:58 pm

    Well, the monster cookies do look really good! Is one of each not an option? I would like try the O’Henry bars too.
    Maybe you SHOULD just eat all of them that way I wouldn’t have as many temptations when you come up. :) There will probably be enough stuff here.

  4. Cheryl Weaver on December 14th, 2010 3:58 pm

    The chocolate crinkles would be my favorite. Its the first thing I saw on your table. I MUST go make some. TODAY!!

  5. Arla on December 14th, 2010 4:13 pm

    Hi Kay,
    They all look very pretty and festive. I want one of the O’Henry Bars, please. I love the cookie part of Christmas. We did a few chocolate covered pretzels this year, too. They’re time consuming but they sure do make a plate look good. BTW, Kay, when you and Shannon are in our area in about two weeks or so; don’t you dare drive by and not stop in. Just come in for ten minutes, okay, please. If you come by in evening the guys will be playing with trains, or Catan, mostly likely.

  6. Karen B on December 14th, 2010 4:16 pm

    I think i’d pick the jam thumbprints or the red velvet sandwhich cookies..? or maybe grab 1 of each! =)

  7. Freida on December 14th, 2010 4:16 pm

    Oh yum. Those look so crazy good. It would be a hard choice and I would probably sneak more than one when you’re not looking. ???? One would be the Chocolate crinkles. I have been CRAVING those for the last several weeks! Those are on my favorite cookie list! I’ll be waiting for those recipes. :)

  8. Dawn Landis on December 14th, 2010 5:21 pm

    Wow… they all look so good! I think I would first try the Thumbprint or the Creme Wafers (never had them). Your Thumbprint cookies look so much nicer & yummier than mine… I had problems with mine last year… would love to have that recipe if you have it! Later this week I am making Christmas cookies with my Mom and sis-in-law… will be great to have a selection of cookes in the freezer again!

  9. Christy on December 14th, 2010 7:04 pm

    Peanut butter dipped in chocolate. Sounds like perfection!

  10. Beth on December 14th, 2010 7:12 pm

    I definitely fainted. :) The chocolate crinkles would call my name quite loudly, but that would then be followed with a few others. :( Can’t wait to taste your candy!

  11. Shannon on December 14th, 2010 7:37 pm

    Umm, not sure what to choose after coming up from a dead away faint. :) The Choc-peanut butter ones… snicker doodles or the cut outs, obviously I don’t go for the choc like most of you. Those O’Henry bars do look awesome. Should try them, but then again, I shouldn’t, because then I’d just eat them! :)

  12. Shannon on December 14th, 2010 7:38 pm

    Forgot to say, I’m gonna sit at the computer all day tomorrow waiting on your post. ????

  13. Cheryl on December 14th, 2010 7:42 pm

    I’ll take 3 of each!! Amazing, and what fun I bet! I need to have/attend a cookie exchange!

  14. cindy on December 14th, 2010 8:49 pm

    these look so yummy! i love Christmas cookie baking and will have to come back to check out your recipes!

  15. Rosalyn on December 14th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Those Monster cookies are waay too tempting! :( Good thing they’re at your house and not mine. I’d also like to try those peanut butter dipped in chocolate ones. And the O’Henry bars. :)

  16. Jan on December 14th, 2010 9:54 pm

    You can save me one of the peanut butter ones and also some of the O’Henry bars. I need to try the tree shaped pretzels, too. Where did you find them?

  17. Kay on December 14th, 2010 10:12 pm

    Arla, yeah, we’ll take you up on those 10 minutes… we’ve got lots to squeeze in while we’re up there, but we for sure want to see you guys! Will be in touch between C-mas & New Years sometime.

    Dawn, I emailed Julie about the thumbprint recipe. She or I will post it in the comments here sometime… IF it’s not a top secret recipe that she can share. :)

    Haha, Shannon, hopefully you’re not waiting till 11:59 p.m. :p

    Cheryl, yeah, you DO need to do this! It’s so fun!… you mass-produce a bunch of cookies and then bring home a beautiful assortment!

    Rosalyn, they’re not that far away! Stop in and I’ll let you have your pick! :)

    Jan, I got them at the local bulk foods store. We oughta dip some at New Years… Northwood Co Mkt might have some. Or really, any pretzel would work. :) I was wishing I’d have gotten sprinkles to put on them before the choc hardened, but while I was doing them was a poor time to think of that!

  18. Kay on December 15th, 2010 6:53 am

    Dawn,
    Here is the thumbprint cookie recipe, complete with helpful sidenotes, from Julie:

    Thumbprint Cookies

    2/3 cup sugar
    1 cup butter
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    Combine and beat a couple min.
    Add: 2 cups flour
    Shape into balls. (I used a cookie scoop)
    (I flattened the balls a little with a glass that has a flat bottom before indenting them) Indent with thumb or round 1/2 tsp. Fill with 1/4 tsp. (heaping) Raspberry jam. Bake at 350* 14-18 min. just till brown; don’t overbake. Cool. Drizzle with glaze. (ziploc bag worked great)
    Double batch = approx. 3 1/2 dozen
    I baked them 14-15 min.
    Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    2-3 tsp. water

    Let us know how they turn out! Mmmmm, I think I’ll go eat one of these for breakfast! :)

  19. Michelle on December 15th, 2010 7:45 am

    Oh yum! I want a chocolate crinkle or two. I’ve never made them but whenever I see them somewhere else I scarf up as many as I dare without being socially kicked out. :) And then after another cup of coffee, I’d like a peanut butter cookie dipped in chocolate.

  20. Lanita on December 15th, 2010 8:20 am

    Hard to choose between the red velvet sandwich cookies or the chocolate dipped pb cookies. They all look so yummy and festive.

  21. Sheila on December 16th, 2010 10:37 am

    I have to admit my mouth did fall open when I saw a post from kitchen scrapbook. :-) The timing is really good, too, because I have a bunch of Christmas cookies sitting out on my table, so I can go fulfill the cookie/candy craving that you just gave me. :-) Although, the ones on my table certainly aren’t as good looking as yours here. They all look so nice! I would have a hard time selecting just one, but maybe I’d go for the O’Henry bars. Maybe you’ll bring some along to WI? :-)

  22. Dawn Landis on December 16th, 2010 7:30 pm

    Thanks Kay for the speedy “delivery” of the Thumbprint recipe! I’m anxious to try it!

  23. Leah Anderson on January 15th, 2011 12:58 pm

    Wow these treats look awesome! Where on earth do you find the time? Ive been reading your blog for about a year & love it! Im originally from NW Ohio now living in NC. Love your blog!

Peanut Butter Fudge

Posted on January 18, 2010
Filed Under Candy, Holiday cooking

Fudge. Yum. It’s one of my areas of weakness.

Louise, one of my message board buddies, posted this recipe. I made it before Christmas, so it is LONG gone, but you should have the recipe anyway. I do still prefer the melted chocolate chips, butter, peanut butter, and marshmallow combo, but will definitely keep this recipe on hand for when I need a fudge fix and am out of chocolate chips and marshmallows… two things that I don’t always keep on hand.

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Peanut Butter Fudge

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

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Mix all ingredients together, and blend until smooth. Press into a 8 or 9 inch square pan, and chill. Louise says, “I like to line my pan with waxed paper so I can easily flip the hardened square out to cut later on. This stuff tastes sinfully delicious, and melts in your mouth!” She is so right on that last sentence! ????
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This was Christmas, remember? Where the fudge went was on a plate to take to the 1st & 2nd grade room for after the Christmas program… rice crispy bars cut into Christmas-y shapes, fudge, and Resees cups.

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Side note: The picture doesn’t show the shapes too good, but rice crispy bars can be made to fit about any occasion… just make them a bit thinner than usual and sprinkle them with colors and cut them in shapes to fit the ocassion. Kinda like this layered finger jello. :)

Comments

8 Responses to “Peanut Butter Fudge”

  1. Sharon on January 18th, 2010 10:06 pm

    Um, Kay? I thought we were supposed to be LOOSING weight right now, not gaining! Never mind, it does look good… :-)

  2. Megan on January 20th, 2010 9:38 pm

    I love fudge! I just whipped up a batch of it for the holidays but since I gave most of it away to friends and family, I’m thinking I should make some again soon ????

  3. Mom on April 7th, 2010 11:33 am

    I’m getting tired of making peanut butter fudge… But I keep faithfully checking you out!

  4. Mom on April 22nd, 2010 12:39 pm

    I checked again. Hi again.

  5. Linda Hershey on April 25th, 2010 2:56 pm

    oh i would love some fudge! but i would like it better if YOU would make it and then bring it over for me!! how’s baby shopping going? and that school bus cake is amazing! i kept saying to myself, ok i knew she was creative and liked to bake but i had no idea she was THIS good!!

  6. Jenny on July 19th, 2010 9:29 pm

    killer blog and recipes here! let me just say that when i get to heaven, i may say, “can i now be a great cook like kay?” (finally!)
    YOU ARE BLESSED!

  7. amber on July 20th, 2010 6:47 pm

    so good to have met you at ffe, Kay. wish we could have visited more~ i now have my list of those to talk to FIRST next time we all get together. ????

    and i wouldn’t mind a piece of that yummy looking fudge RIGHT NOW. i was craving something sweet and thinking in my mind what i could come up with… now, all i can think of is FUDGE! and i don’t have of that in my kitchen. haha. :)

    hope your week is going well.

    love, a.

  8. Mom on August 16th, 2010 11:44 am

    Jenny and I looked again… Jenny said, “I bet it’s still peanut butter fudge.” I guess we’ll just have to keep making peanut butter fudge until you change it! We’re gonna get really roly-poly if you don’t put on something fat-free. Have a caloric day!! Squeeze all those little fat cheeks for me! Mom

Cranberry Relish or Salad

Posted on December 22, 2009
Filed Under Holiday cooking, Salads

This is a cranberry relish recipe that Mom added some variation to. It is SO good!!!! You don’t even have to be crazy about cranberries to like it. Mom gave me this recipe along with the ingredients. :) There are several different ways to make it and on the recipe she wrote: “It might not always taste exactly the same, but always leaves that crisp flavor in your mouth!”

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Cranberry Relish

Printable recipe coming soon.

2 cups washed, raw cranberries
2 cored apples
1 large peeled orange, or put in some peel if you like OR substitute the orange for crushed pineapple
1 – 2 cups sugar, to your taste
1/2 cup or more chopped walnuts or pecans

Pulse in blender or grind together berries and oranges. Do not over blend to mush. I opted for the crushed pineapple instead of the orange. I LOVE pineapple! I put in about half of a can.
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Shred or chop apples. Add nuts.
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Mix together and keep tasting and adding sugar till happy. I liked it with 1 cup of sugar… didn’t want to interfere too much with the tartness. Don’t miss popping a few cranberries between your teeth for a tart burst of flavor! Makes 3 cups. May be frozen.
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And here’s another variation, which I love! You can also mix in some Cool Whip and cream cheese. Mmmmm! I think this addition would make it a salad instead of relish.
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So there you go, this one or that one… take your pick… you can’t go wrong either way! :)
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Comments

3 Responses to “Cranberry Relish or Salad”

  1. Marlene Graber on January 21st, 2010 8:35 am

    I just looked at this again, one reason was to look up the recipe (!) to make it for tonight’s supper. I just saw again how beautiful you set up the stage for the pictures! As elegant to the eyes as delectable to the taste! Can’t wait to indulge again. Fresh cranberries actually last pretty long in the fridge.

  2. Kymmi on February 7th, 2010 3:14 pm

    Kay, Wonderful site. I needed equivalents for a super bowl party and did not want to go any were but Sam’s. Also first feed I have ever subscribed to. Will certainly give you, Kay, the credit for the relish recipe I just downloaded.

    Kymmi

  3. Pat on February 21st, 2010 12:27 pm

    I always enjoyed your recipes but never left a comment. I’m sad to see you’ve abandoned this site!

Christmas Cookies – Sour Cream Cutouts

Posted on December 7, 2009
Filed Under Cookies and bars, Holiday cooking

Other than listening to some Christmas music, this is the first thing “Christmas-y” thing I’ve done this year… Christmas cookies. (Decorating my house will hopefully happen this week yet.) These were for a cookie exchange, so I *ahem* didn’t let my eager little helpers in on the fun because I have to say “No licking!” about 273 times in the course of the project and that just sorta wrecks the Christmas spirit. So, I got up early and made & frosted them myself.

I’m not a fan of sugar cookies, butter cookies, or any frosted cookies like that because I think they’re rather dry and messy and not very tasty. Having said that, these would be about at the top of the list of good frosted cookies that I’ve had. The only better ones I can think of were some that my friend Kim made one time. They had cream cheese in them.

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Sour Cream Cutouts … recipe taken from the Christmas Cookies & Candies cookbook

Printable recipe

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
6 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream

FROSTING:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. milk (I added more so it would be faster/easier spreading)
Food coloring, optional

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (dough will be sticky). Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle. (It’s not kidding about this… impatient me tried it without chilling. Bad idea. So, I chilled it for about an hour and the process went MUCH better!) On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters dipped in flour. Place 1″ apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. (I set the timer for 10 min and they were perfect.) For frosting, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and milk until smooth. Add food coloring if desired. Frost cookies. Yield: about 9 dozen.

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Up next: Lexi’s 7th birthday cake. Her birthday was actually today, the party is tomorrow… 7 of her friends are coming after school.

Comments

10 Responses to “Christmas Cookies – Sour Cream Cutouts”

  1. Kay on December 7th, 2009 8:56 pm

    Uhhhh, I just posted this and was proof-reading it and looking at the pictures… is it just me or does that one green tree have the tip bitten off? Oops. :) Wasn’t me!

  2. Twila on December 7th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Now that you mention it… :) You must have some elves at your house!

  3. Ruthie on December 7th, 2009 10:07 pm

    The cookies must be as yummy as they look! And Happy Birthday to Lexi!!

  4. Beth on December 8th, 2009 5:18 am

    I was one of the lucky ones who got a plate of these. The sour cream must make the difference between other dry & boring sugar cookies, because these were absolutely scrumptious!

  5. Shannon H on December 8th, 2009 7:39 am

    Ohh good. I was going to start a google search for cut out cookies now I don’t have too! :) I’m going to attempt this with the girls one of these days, maybe Sat cause Madison will want to help too!

  6. Sharon on December 8th, 2009 9:06 am

    Yup, these sound similar to the ones I make and I’d agree that they’re much better than other cut-outs. I grew up with them and always thought my Mom’s cookies were just the best. Got a kick out of the bite!

  7. Dorothy on December 8th, 2009 4:34 pm

    We’ll have to give these a try. I think cut-outs are never worth the bother. Besides having to cut them out they don’t taste good. I love sour cream so these seem to be a winner already in my mind.

  8. Aug on December 9th, 2009 6:26 am

    I just got the call that today is a snow day here, so I think I’ll go mix up a batch of these and let the kids cut out and decorate with me. I remember these cookies as being extra good cut-out cookies too, because I don’t like a lot of them either. Thanks for sharing the recipe. And…I’m glad you’re back at Kitchen Scrapbook a little more again!

  9. Arla on December 10th, 2009 11:05 am

    Kay, do you know a nice tasting spritz cookie? We like to do them to add dash to our cookie plates, but they aren’t overly yummy…kind of boring in taste. Any ideas?

  10. Sarah Elizabeth on December 15th, 2011 3:46 pm

    Hi! Do these freeze well? They look great!

No-Drip Popsicles

Posted on July 6, 2009
Filed Under Holiday cooking, Snacks

So… how many moms perked up at the ‘no drip’ part? :)

I was just going to freeze Koolaid into popsicles, but then I saw this recipe and had to try it. Really, how can there be a no-drip popsicle?!

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These are my friend Carrie’s twins, Chloe and Jasmine. Aren’t they just adorable? They are 2 1/2. You oughta hear them talk.

When I started thinking of how to make these popsicles, there was one problem… how to get the white part. The red is cherry, the blue is blueberry; both kinds are in the Koolaid dept and the jello dept. Well, what about white? The lightest thing I saw in the Koolaid was lemonaide, so I got that. And the lightest thing I saw in the jello section was pineapple, so I got that. When I mixed them together, it was yellow. Way too yellow. I still hadn’t put all the water in, so I thought of evaporated milk and replaced some of the water with that. Worked great! And that layer actually tastes good too. That’s always a plus. ;)

No-drip Popsicles …recipe comes from here

1 3oz pkg jello, any flavor
1 pkg kool-aid, (same flavor as jello)
1 cup sugar
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water
Popsicle molds (I used 9 oz. plastic cups and popsicle/craft sticks)

Pour boiling water over jello, kool-aid and sugar. Stir till completely dissolved. Pour into molds; freeze. I did this recipe 3 times (once in red, once in white, and once in blue) and it made 16 popsicles. Freeze between each layer. When the middle white layer gets thick enough, put popsicles sticks in. Making these took all day (poured the first layer in around 9 am, and the popsicles were ready to eat by 7:30 pm).
4thpopsicles.jpg

And here is our test crew to see if the popsicles are actually no-drip or not. :)

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They, of course, did drip some, but I was pretty impressed. I’ve seen popsicles make alot bigger messes! I think the jello in there made it thicker… the juice didn’t run too much. They’re easy and quick to make (especially if you make them all the same color instead of layered).

What a great summertime treat! Send your kids outside with some!

Comments

4 Responses to “No-Drip Popsicles”

  1. Sharon on July 6th, 2009 10:30 am

    cute! These bring back memories of my childhood–my best friend’s Mom used to make these. And you can suck on ‘em and the juice doesn’t all suck out like the plain koolaid ones…

  2. Katrina on July 6th, 2009 11:39 am

    I’ll have to try these for sure! We’re pretty drippy over here.

  3. Shy on July 7th, 2009 3:36 pm

    These are cool. I’m making them right now…a layer in the freezer…for our garage sale this weekend. Thought it would be fun for the children as there are several of us getting together and I’m making lunch. But, the middle layer is indeed, yellow. :)

  4. Berneice on July 11th, 2009 1:33 pm

    These are the popsicles I was raised on all my life, and now my kids are eating them too. But I sure didn’t know that they were No-drip! lol, anything drips in this heat!

Happy 4th of July!

Posted on July 4, 2009
Filed Under Holiday cooking

Hope your day is filled with fun, friends, family, and good food!

On the menu for us tonight is burgers, hot dogs, beans, chips, salad, this dessert, and these popsicles for the kids.

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It’s so easy to make food fit the 4th of July, especially if it’s dessert. Make a USA or flag or star shape out of it OR pick out blue and red M&Ms or Skittles to use in it OR sprinkle it with red, white, and blue sprinkles OR change the fruit in the recipe to blueberries and strawberries or raspberries, etc. I’ll post these trifle and popsicle recipes later.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Comments

2 Responses to “Happy 4th of July!”

  1. Ruthie on July 4th, 2009 7:13 pm

    I think I will come just for the dessert!

  2. Jo H. on July 5th, 2009 2:34 pm

    I don’t actually NEED more dessert recipes to try but it seems thats what always lands in my recipe box. :) These look delicious! Keep the great recipes coming!

Rice Crispy Bars for July 4

Posted on July 2, 2009
Filed Under Holiday cooking

I’m going to an out-of-town birthday party for the day, but before I leave, I just wanted to let you know that I’m making a few things for July 4th posts in red, white, and blue. Here is one and I’ll write more when I get back home this afternoon/evening. :)

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Have a good day!

—————————————————————————————-

Ok, back from the birthday party.

Speaking of the birthday party…
bday-party.jpg

Yeah, Katrina, I did use the USA shape last year. It was with finger jello, pictured here and here, and recipe featured here. This year is rice crispy bars. I’m going to try to use it for something different every year. My options are a bit limited because it is plastic, so I can’t bake anything in it. I may end up asking for ideas one of these years. :)

usa-rice-crispy1.jpg

To make the rice crispy bars, I greased the mold and lightly pressed the rice crispy mixture in, then turned it out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Then, I took a bag of mini M&Ms and picked out the blue and red and filled the states with them, then put the rice crispy shape back in and pressed it down harder so the M&Ms would stick, then turned it out onto the serving plate.

So, now I have a bunch of little M&Ms left without red and blue. I just might make these Peanut Butter Dream Bars with them. ???? Everytime I think of mini M&Ms, I always think of these bars… kinda like every time you think of 4th of July, you think of fireworks.

I had some rice crispy mixture left over, so I flattened it out, then melted vanilla chips and colored half of it red and half of it blue and drizzled it over the rest of the bars. I forgot to take a picture of that part, but you can see a few of the squares at the bottom of this picture:
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I’m going to make something else red, white, and blue tomorrow, so check back! :)

Comments

5 Responses to “Rice Crispy Bars for July 4”

  1. Arla on July 2nd, 2009 7:48 am

    Such a clever lady! My mom always makes Blueberry Delight that looks like our flag. Pretty neat stuff.

  2. Katrina on July 2nd, 2009 8:52 am

    Love it. I love your US cutter, you did something with it last year, also, it seems.
    Have a great 4th!

  3. Katrina on July 2nd, 2009 8:52 am

    P. S. I call Texas! hehe

  4. renita on July 2nd, 2009 7:45 pm

    That’s clever! I like anything red,white and blue. Will keep looking for the next one.

  5. Shannon on July 3rd, 2009 10:54 am

    They were good. ????

Easter snack – Cooks in Training #6

Posted on April 13, 2009
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Cooks in Training, Holiday cooking

Ideally, I’d plan ahead and make Easter food to feature BEFORE Easter, huh? Well, sigh, that didn’t really happen this time.

I forget where I saw these little rolls… it was online last year sometime. The reason these are called an Easter snack is because they’re meant to symbolize the empty tomb. It’s pretty neat how it works. You wrap a marshmallow inside a crescent roll and while it bakes, the marshmallow melts and lines the inside of the crescent roll, leaving it empty inside!

I don’t have an actual recipe, but my little cooks will show you how it’s done…

Unroll refrigerated crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Butter the trianges.
easter1.jpg

Put a marshmallow on each crescent roll and sprinkle with cinnamon.
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Fold the dough over and around till the marshmallow is all enclosed. Pinch seams to seal.
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easter4.jpg

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. And this is how they look! A couple of them were open, not sure if it was supposed to be like that or if the seams weren’t pinched shut well enough.
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I hope you all had a happy Easter. We did. It started with an outdoor sunrise service at church. It was a perfect Easter morning… clear skies and a beautiful sunrise. The coffee, hot chocolate, donuts, and campfires were a nice addition too. :)

He is risen! Hallelujah!

Comments

2 Responses to “Easter snack – Cooks in Training #6”

  1. Sharon on April 13th, 2009 7:32 am

    Cute! The sunrise service sounds neat. We used to do that some where I grew up… would love to do it again. Maybe WI is too cold for that?

  2. Mom Martin on April 14th, 2009 11:28 am

    I didn’t know they are called Easter snacks. I have the recipe. They are delicious!
    Never went to a sunrise service…always wanted to do that. I guess it’s still too cold out here at Easter time.

Valentine Cookies for Grandma – Cooks in Training #5

Posted on February 14, 2009
Filed Under For special occassions, Holiday cooking

Lexi (6) was all into Valentines all week. So often I heard “Hey, we should try making that into a heart shape because, you know, it IS Valentines!” And setting foot inside a store created alot of inhales and exclaiming from her (the V-tine displays were always right inside the door). And she has a stack of Valentines ready to go with her to church tomorrow for her little friends.

We had a bit of fun earlier this week. We took regular cookie recipes and made Valentine cookies out of them. We used the Smiling Sugar Cookie recipe featured here, only they cut heart shapes out of rolled out dough instead of forming balls and putting popsicle sticks in them. We also used my good ol’ chocolate chip cookie recipe (which I don’t think I ever featured) and left the chocolate chips out, then they put chocolate decor on top of the cookies.

First up is the sugar cookies…

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And then the chocolate chip cookies, with a bit of variation…

First, I melted chocolate and spread it out to harden, then they cut hearts out of it for on top of some of the cookies.
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vtines7.jpg

Then, they cut the rest of the cookies into heart shapes and decorated them with melted chocolate…

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Now the cookies are all ready. We separated them out, one batch for each Grandma. Lexi scrapbooked cards for each one and we packed them in a box and UPSed them.
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P.S. I did help some with these cookies so the process wouldn’t drag on and on. ;)

And now, we wish you a Happy Valentines Day, with our Valentines gifts from Husband/Dad.
vtinesroses.jpg

Comments

4 Responses to “Valentine Cookies for Grandma – Cooks in Training #5”

  1. Shannon on February 14th, 2009 9:50 am

    Ohhh that looks like fun! M has been soo into V-day this year too. The V-day party at school didn’t help the hype. :)

    I love that last picture!!! You and your flowers are beautiful and they look so cute holding theirs. :)

  2. Karen Layman on February 14th, 2009 10:20 am

    Awww….I think that is so sweet that the little girls got flowers from their Daddy. Precious!

  3. liz on February 14th, 2009 3:05 pm

    hey, it’s good see pics of u guys again. So what happens if the box comes within the next couple of days? i’ll send an e-mail with more thoughts

  4. Kay on February 14th, 2009 3:37 pm

    Liz, don’t eat ‘em. :) Actually, the box got to the office yesterday. When we made them, we forgot they were gonna be gone.

How to Make Chocolate Roses

Posted on February 11, 2009
Filed Under For special occassions, Garnishing, Holiday cooking

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Valentines Day… Chocolate. Roses. What a perfect time to merge the two and make Chocolate Roses! Actually, it isn’t just a Valentines treat, it’s timeless decor for any table or dessert year-round.

I’ve been wanting to try these for awhile. But they always looked so complicated. But they still intrigued me. So, I finally made some…

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This is all you do:

Take about 2/3 cup of chocolate chips and melt them. Add about 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup.
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Stir until mixture starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl and starts balling up. It’ll be kinda like taffy. Dump it out onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten. Cover with more plasic wrap and refrigerate for a half hour or so.
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Get it out and pull a chunk off, about a tsp., and roll it around with your fingers till it’s a smooth ball, then flatten it into a petal. Make 6 -10 petals, depending on how big you want your rose.
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Take one of the petals and roll it up loosely. Use your finger to bend the top back just slightly.
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Take the next petal and start it just behind where the first petal ended.
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Continue like that until all the petals are used up, bending the tops back slightly as you go. When your rose is done, cut off the stem (which will have gotten quite chunky) so the rose can sit flat. Or, go ahead and try making it thin and having a long-stemmed rose! I might try that next time.
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I tried a rosebud by using only 2 petals. After making 2 roses and 1 rosebud and the leaves, I had some chocolate left yet, so I just made a heart with it. So, what you see on this plate is how much 2/3 cup chocolate chips makes.

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Now what I need is a nice dessert to put them on. ???? But, I don’t have one, so I’m just gonna keep them in the freezer and whip ’em out sometime when I need some quick dessert decor!

So, what do you think? You gonna try them? :)

Comments

11 Responses to “How to Make Chocolate Roses”

  1. Katie Mast on February 12th, 2009 6:17 pm

    Yes i will try them this week. They look so beautiful. I will let you know how they get for me. I used to make roses out of apples, much the same way you did here. Thanks for the cool idea

  2. Lori on February 12th, 2009 9:55 pm

    I made a flourless chocolate cake. It is a dense chocolate cake for chocolate lovers. I found the recipe at allrecipes.com. The roses would look great on my heart shaped cake!

  3. Elaine on February 13th, 2009 12:51 pm

    These would look great on my Chocolate Turtle Cheese Cake for our couples dinner tonight. Now let’s see if I can do it! :)

  4. karen on February 15th, 2009 6:30 pm

    Wow!!!!!!!!Thanks for the beautiful idea. It worked great and I used them on a fruit platter.

  5. katie mast on February 17th, 2009 7:13 pm

    I tryed them, they didnt look as pretty as yours. I thought mine melted so fast. did i do something wrong?

  6. Maria on March 25th, 2011 7:01 am

    Hi. Wow, it looks really amazing, and it looks like it’s not that hard to make. Looking forward to try making some roses, hope I’ll manage to make’em as pretty as yours :)

  7. jayne on May 5th, 2011 3:48 pm

    Hi Kay,
    Chanced upon your site as I am looking to make chocolate roses (I recon I will need around 80-100 for my daughters wedding cake. I can only find recipies with corn oil. Do you know what the equivalent of this is for us in the UK ? can we use a sunflower oil?
    Thanks
    Jayne

  8. Kay on May 10th, 2011 5:10 pm

    Jayne, use corn syrup instead of oil. Wow, 80-100, that sounds like work, but FUN work! :) That will be beautiful on the cake! And congratulations to your daughter!

  9. Kim on May 17th, 2011 3:44 pm

    Do you have to use chocolate chips? I would like to make red roses. Can I use red chocolate wafers?

  10. Kay on May 17th, 2011 3:54 pm

    Awesome idea, Kim! I don’t know if it will or won’t work, but I’m going to try it! :)

  11. UMM on June 6th, 2011 6:01 am

    HOW LONG DO THESE KEEP IN THE FREEZER AND HOW LONG TO THAW

Some Valentines Day ideas…

Posted on February 9, 2009
Filed Under Holiday cooking

Ok, enough of the chili soup and fry bread! And it IS warming up outside too! Yesterday felt like Spring! Yay!

We’ll have a Valentines ‘Cooks in Training’ post later this week with a couple Valentine ideas that Lexi and Tiffany are working on (and that I’m being the damage control person on) and another Valentines post or two, but for now, I’ll just pull up some ideas from previous posts from other years.

Conversation hearts (featured here) out of angel food cake and glaze and frosting…
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My family has an annual Valentines supper… Mom started making heart-shaped food for Valentines supper fun when we were little kids and she faithfully did it every year, then when we got older, we got more involved and now it’s become a tradition. Over the last few years, the menu has changed every year, but this year is planning to be the Valentines meal menu we grew up with, complete with little heart shapes of bologna in the lettuce salad. 🙂

Here are samples of the last couple years:
… and the links to the posts (2007) (2008)

vtines-2007table-decor.jpg Simple easy decor… a little basket, a napkin, and candy.

vtines-2007lasagna.jpg Lasagna

vtines-2007cheesecake.jpg Cheesecakes to share. They’re about 4″ wide. We put them on the table right away and used them as place markers.

vtines-benny.jpg Decorate the kids. :)

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vtines-2008pizza.jpg Heart-shaped pizzas staying warm by the fire till serving time.

vtines-2008fruit-pizza.jpg Fruit pizza. Yum, this picture makes me hungry for some. This recipe is actually featured here.

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Any Valentine decor or food ideas from you? We’d love to hear them! 😉

Comments

4 Responses to “Some Valentines Day ideas…”

  1. Joanna on February 9th, 2009 1:15 pm

    My Fruit Pizza does not need to be heart-shaped.I just need fruit pizza -any shape- right now!!! That looks so good!!!!

  2. Rene on February 9th, 2009 1:36 pm

    What a neat idea — heart shaped food! My wedding anniversary is on Valentine’s day but it’s so hard to go out and enjoy yourself with all the crowds that we celebrate our anniversary a week earlier. That always leaves me wondering what to do for Valentines day. I think I’ll do this! That would be a fun tradition to start. Thanks for the idea Kay!

    Hugs,

    Rene

  3. Bobbi on February 9th, 2009 2:40 pm

    Thank you for the Heart Day ideas. I think I might do the cheese pizza and fruit pizza.

  4. Lori on February 12th, 2009 10:01 pm

    You mentioned you would like ideas. I like yours,now I’ll give you mine. I made “Lil’ Cheddar Meatloaves” for Valentine’s last year, I think. They are great looking in a heart shape! They keep their shape, and you put the ketchup sauce on top and you have red edible heart meatloaves. These are the only way I’ve come up with to have red heart meat. If you want the recipe, let me know. It only takes ground beef, oatmeal, egg, milk, and cheddar cheese, things I always have on hand!

Our Christmas in pictures (and words)

So, what happened then is that Kitchen Scrapbook ended up totally missing Christmas! I was living the moment, er, moments, surrounded by family and making food and snacks without blogging about it.

You know how when you get a whole bunch of Christmas cards in a row, 4 one day and 5 the next, and then it tapers off towards the end of December and then no more cards and then the 2nd week of January, you get another Christmas card? Well, that’s how this post is… the other blogs you read have posted Christmas now and are switching from red & green colors to January blue and New Year’s resolutions, but here, we’re pulling you back to Christmas…

First, we have Pretzel Turtles
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I got this idea from Judy on a message board that I frequent. Take small pretzels and put a Rolo candy on top of each one. Then, put them in the oven for a couple minutes at 350. When you get them out, immediately press a pecan half on top of each Rolo. Yum! They went over very well here!

We also had monster cookies, party mix, and gingerbreadmen:
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Lexi said, “Mom, look! I made twins!”…
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Hmmm, someone samples cookies as she decorates…
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And then onto our Christmas meal…

Here was our menu:
–Mashed potatoes and gravy
Ham, rotisserie on the grill
–Noodles
–Baked corn
–Candied sweet potatoes
–Corn chip salad
–Rolls
–Jellied cranberry sauce
–Pies (pumpkin, lemon meringue, and peanut butter)

This is my husband, making some awesome ham…
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Missed the pies before they were eaten…
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Pictured in the picture right under the ham collage is the candied sweet potatoes. I was trying to make a knock-off of Texas Roadhouse’s loaded sweet potato. I baked 3 sweet potatoes, peeled them and put them in an 8×8 pan and mashed them with a fork. Then, melted a stick of butter and stirred in some cinnamon and about 1/2 cup of brown sugar, poured it over the potatoes, put a layer of marshmallows on top, then baked it at 350 until the marshmallows were browned. It was GOOD!!!

In addition to food, our Christmas consisted of gift opening, football throwing, baby holding, and much more…

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Comments

6 Responses to “Our Christmas in pictures (and words)”

  1. Shannon on December 30th, 2008 7:53 pm

    Aww it looks good! Fun fun fun with family isn’t it. :)

  2. Berneice on December 30th, 2008 8:40 pm

    Food and family go together very well. Like someone told me tonight. One without the other is like a kiss without a squeeze!

  3. Ruthie on December 31st, 2008 7:13 am

    NICE to see pictures of your family all together. The way it used to be… Happy New Year!

  4. Suzanne on December 31st, 2008 10:46 am

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. How did your husband make the ham? It looks to die for!

  5. Liz on January 2nd, 2009 9:53 pm

    Can we have a redo? Those couple of days were so MUCH fun!!!! The pictures of the ham makes me want to have some more and I would really love to have more candied sweet potatoes. At least you wrote it down so we can use the ‘recipe’ for next year. Happy New Year!

  6. Fran on January 3rd, 2009 12:48 pm

    Looks like you had a nice holiday. The ham looks really good, and I love the pretzel, rolo candy. I want to try those.

Chex Party Mix

Posted on December 18, 2008
Filed Under Holiday cooking, Snacks

I love party mix! For me, it is another ‘must’ for the holiday season! As much as I like it, I oughta make it year-round. It freezes well, so I could make a big batch and get a small bag out of the freezer as needed. Do any of you do that? Or is it more of just a holiday snack for you, too?

One thing about party mix is that is so variation-friendly. You can replace some of the Chex for other unsweetened cereal, you can use mixed nuts or peanuts, you can use different shapes of pretzels, and then the cracker part can be any kind of small cracker, cheesy crackers, bagel chips, or whatever. I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same twice.

I do use a recipe to get the total amount of cups about right for the amount of sauce, then follow the sauce recipe exactly. And where this recipe comes from is… the back of the Chex cereal box, but I bake it instead of microwave it.

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The Original Chex Party Mix

Printable recipe

3 cups Corn Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-sized pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavor bite-sized bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1″ pieces (I used Cheezits)
Or about 12 cups of any combo of the type of things listed above

6 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder

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In a large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels, and bagel chips; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in seasonings.
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Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
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Microwave uncovered on High 5 – 6 min, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes OR spread mixture out onto baking sheets and bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
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Spread on paper towels to cool.
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Store in airtight container.

So… what all do you put in your party mix? My sister, Jan, is looking for new ideas too. We just talked about it a couple days ago. And neither of us gave each other any good inspirations.

Comments

19 Responses to “Chex Party Mix”

  1. Fran on December 18th, 2008 1:14 pm

    I always put Life cereal in my party mix. It gives it just a little bit of sweet mixed with the salty. I will never make it without Life again.

  2. Roxanna on December 18th, 2008 1:15 pm

    Party Mix is our favorite snack at this house! It is a staple on any vacation, campout, christmases, etc.! I put Life cereal in it to add a bit of sweet to the salty. I have also used honey nut chex and honey nut cheerios. I am actually getting ready to go make some right now! That and some yummy ranch pretzels! I can’t seem to get in the mood to make sweet stuff this year-just the salty! That isn’t like me at all!!!!

  3. Fran on December 18th, 2008 1:24 pm

    A tip about baking party mix. Just leave it in that stainless steel bowl tou mixed it up in. Put the whole bowl in the oven and bake. It is so much easier to stir. It maight take a little longer to bake this way. The recipe I use says to bake for 2 hours and stir every 30 minutes, but it is a much bigger batch.

  4. Audrey Miller on December 18th, 2008 1:31 pm

    Very cool that you did this post right now because I have to take party mix to our Kilmer gathering and didn’t have a recipe to use. Was gonna go hunting, but now I don’t have to! Thanks! Aug

  5. Michelle on December 18th, 2008 1:53 pm

    I my party mix consists of rice chex, honeycomb, pretzals, goldfish, and bugels. I used to add several different kinds of chex and got tired of it. It was too many chex. So I cut back on the chex and started adding honeycombs. The goldfish I added this year are in Christmas shapes-a stocking and hat. The pretzals I added were in the shape of a christmas tree. I thought it made it look festive.
    I leave my party mix in the bowl I mixed it up in and stick it in the oven like that. It seems to bake fine thatway. I also leave it in that bowl to cool.
    I normally only make party mix around Christmas but I always think I’m going to make it other times too but for some reason I never do.

  6. Kelly on December 18th, 2008 2:20 pm

    I’m no help — we make ours the exact same way! And it never occurs to anyone to make it any other time but Christmas, LOL

  7. JoAnn on December 18th, 2008 3:30 pm

    Someone already gave this idea, but thought I’d add my voice, too. When we visited my inlaws in Africa last summer, my SIL made party mix and had Honeycomb cereal in it. I normally don’t care much for party mix, but the Honeycomb cereal REALLY made it good! I couldn’t leave it alone!

  8. Jessica on December 18th, 2008 4:19 pm

    I bake mine in the 13 qu stainless steel bowl I mix it in. I stir it every 10 minutes for 45 minutes or so. I use any chex, pretzels, cheez-its, deluxe nuts (no peanuts) I want. I sometimes like honeycomb in it. m&m’s are not bad too. Just don’t bake them. :)

  9. Elvida on December 18th, 2008 8:41 pm

    I make mine exactly like you …complete with cheese-its.I guess I do leave out the garlic and onion powder. I’ve tried it other ways and personally enjoy the sweet versions, but my family likes it best this old way…straight off the chex box!

  10. Ruth on December 18th, 2008 11:03 pm

    My party mix has come a long way from the original recipe. I make it only at Christmas, so I like to make it christmassy. No chex, no sauce, no baking … just all my favorite snacks. The base is nuts … peanuts, chashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, whatever … add cereal, cocoa puffs, Capn Crunch, whatever floats your boat … pretzels, I like something delicate. I used to put in the christmas tree shaped pretzels, but I haven’t been able to find them for years. This year I used the cheddar Tiny Twists … Crackers, I love the gold fish, last year I used the Christmas colors, but couldn’t find them this year. Sometimes I use bugles and/or cheez-its. And last, but not least, Christmas M & M’s … lots of them, all kinds, peanut, almond, milk chocolate. The mix never turns out the same, it just depends what you find when you go shopping. This year I added a bag of cajun party mix to give it just a little kick. It’s not exactly cheap, I guess that’s why I only do it at Christmas.

  11. Carmen on December 19th, 2008 11:52 am

    I pretty much follow the recipe for the dry ingredients. I do use Cheezits and usually use pecans, almonds and peanuts. I adjust the amounts until it looks right. I make about 1 1/2 times the sauce, using more Worcestershire sauce, no seasoning salt, lots more garlic powder and some good shakes of Tabasco or some form of hot sauce. I scored a great deal on Chex. $1.56 per box and I had a coupon for $3 off on 3. Three boxes of Chex for $1.68. Woo Hoo!!

  12. Kay on December 19th, 2008 12:37 pm

    Wow, I love all the ideas! I hope my sister Jan is reading them too!

    So, it is actually ok to put sweetened cereal in party mix?! And M&Ms?! I thought the sweet taste would clash with the worcestershire/garlic/onion taste! I will have to try it!!!!!

  13. Twila on December 19th, 2008 6:36 pm

    I guess I like to make certain things like party mix, caramel corn etc.In the winter,keeps it more special.I have recipes I only make in the summer too.I haven’t made party mix yet. I have a cajun one I like to make.

  14. Suzanne on December 20th, 2008 9:05 am

    I usually follow the recipe, but I don’t buy all the ingredients. I use what I have at home. I do put in Lawry’s garlic salt as an addition though. I don’t typically buy garlic chips. I’ve never heard of putting sweet stuff in the mix, and I honestly don’t think I will be trying that. Sorry. Corn Nuts might be good though. I like the Bugles idea.

  15. Christy on December 21st, 2008 2:04 pm

    I’m in the process of making some. I’d copied this recipe a long time ago, but have never made it. Just came to check if I had the butter amount right–it seemed sparse. Maybe as it bakes it mingles. I did use the beagle chips instead of cheese nips since we prefer them. I added honey comb, skipped the nuts, and will add m&m’s once it comes out of the oven. (I love salty and sweet together–like French fries and ice cream.) I forgot about adding bugles. I think the next time I’ll replace one kind of cereal w/ the honey comb, and the other w/ bugles. I didn’t really like opening that many boxes of cereal that we’re not crazy over.

  16. Jo H. on December 21st, 2008 6:00 pm

    I love your site! I couldn’t resist adding a comment this time.:) I have a Taste of Home recipe I like that calls for barbecue sauce, worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and the melted butter. Its especially good with Famous Dave’s. :) But then, I love anything barbecue!

  17. Lisa Feather on December 22nd, 2008 11:05 pm

    Oh yum! Who doesn’t like Chex mix? I think it’s great fun to have a sort of unusual shape or ingredient or two. And I never really thought about freezing it. What a great idea.

  18. Connie on December 23rd, 2008 11:21 am

    Bugles are a must in mine, too. I use Krispex cereal usually. That way you get two kinds of cereal in one. I mix and bake mine uncovered in a roasting pan. Saves on washing dishes. Enjoy your site!

  19. Cordy on December 24th, 2008 10:07 pm

    I just wanted to wish you and your family, Kay, a very blessed and joyous Christmas. I have appreciated you so very much for all the recipes and accompanying pictures! I feel so blessed to have “found you!!” :) Christmas morning I plan to make your egg breakfast! I can hardly wait! (You have a kindred spirit in enjoying food!)

‘Tis the Season… bake some festive Meringue Candy Canes!

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Mostly when we talk about food, we think of taste. Well, not this time… the strong point of these candy canes is the looks, not the taste. Aren’t they pretty? I think they’d technically be called a candy… they have no substances like a cookie does. Speaking of substance, they might even be calorie-free because when you take a bite of one, within seconds, that bite dissolves into nothing inside your mouth, so the calories must dissolve into nothing too, right? ;) Lexi says they taste like dried out frosting.

They were fun to make… you get to make swirls with a decorating bag. I actually did something I’ve never done before in featuring cooking and took a video. It’s a very poor video, but my standards have gone from no videos to poor videos, so gradually, I’ll up my standards to good videos. Part of the problem may be that my lighting was bad or that I saved it in low resolution or that I was piping the meringue with one hand while holding the camera and videoing with the other hand. Not a good idea. Live and learn.

By the way, if someone would just out of the blue ask you, “How do you spell meringue?”, could you spell it? It has gotta be one of the weirdest-spelled words in the English language!

Meringue Candy Canesfrom the Taste of Home Christmas Cookies and Candies cookbook

Printable recipe

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
Red paste food coloring

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, beating on High until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes. Beat in peppermint extract.
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Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry bag; insert star tip #21. On the inside of the bag, brush 3 evenly spaced 1/4″ strips of red food coloring from the tip to 3/4 of the way to the top of the bag. Carefully fill bag with meringue. Pipe 3″ candy canes onto parchment-lined baking sheets. I didn’t have parchment paper, so I used tin foil. Worked great and they didn’t stick to it.
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And now for the video:

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See the difference in redness here in these 2 panfuls? The top ones on the left were made first. I guess the food coloring got less concentrated as the meringue slid past.meringue4.jpg

Bake at 225 for 25 min; rotate baking sheets to a different oven rack. Bake 25 min longer or until firm to the touch. Turn oven off; leave canes in oven with door ajar for at least 1 hour or until cool. Yield: 4 dozen. I must’ve made them bigger because I got only about 2 1/2 dozen, but I did use the #21 tip.

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Put these festive candy canes on an assorted cookie plate for your mailman this Christmas! Or take a plate to your local fire dept. Or to your neighbors. Or eat all your Christmas cookies yourself.

Comments

4 Responses to “‘Tis the Season… bake some festive Meringue Candy Canes!”

  1. Shannon on December 14th, 2008 9:16 pm

    Had to come watch this video. :) Where’s the sound? Wanted to hear a step by step how-to-do on it. :)

  2. Jessica on December 14th, 2008 9:30 pm

    cool.

  3. Katrina on December 19th, 2008 7:20 pm

    Those look great!

  4. lou on November 23rd, 2011 11:08 am

    How much sugar in grams do i need?

July 4th follow-up post…

Posted on July 7, 2008
Filed Under For special occassions, Holiday cooking

First off, about the USA jello. I used a jello mold that’s the shape of the US.
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The mold has teeny shallow lines between each state, so to get the different colors effect, I mixed up the blue and red jello, then used a medicine dropper to drop it into the different sections. (I don’t keep a medicine dropper around, I took a bottle of infant Tylenol out of the medicine cabinet, took out the dropper, washed it really good with hot water, used it to color the states, washed it good again, and put it back in the bottle.) In some states, there’s a mixture of both blue and pink. That happened when the dropper dropped before I was over the state I wanted or when I got too much in the state and it went over the little ‘walls’ between each state. It was a little tedious, but I thought it would look a little blah with just all one color on top. After I got all the states filled in, I put 1/2 of the white mixture in, then layered red, white, and blue from there.

To cut the jello, I followed the lines and cut it apart into states (except some of the New England states!). It was kinda nice because then you could pick your size. Lexi was declaring that she was gonna get Florida and that she’d get Wisconsin out for Tiffany. But when I finally gave them the go-ahead to dig in, she saw the size of Texas and changed her mind about Florida. Then, Tiffany wanted the biggest one too, so to save a fight, we suggested California and she was happy with that. They each ate about 1/4 of their piece, then said it was too big. Sigh. I was thinking, “So, then WHY did you guys have to get the biggest pieces?!” but instead I said, “Just wrap them up in Saran wrap and put them in the fridge. You can finish them later.”
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jello-california.jpg ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

We got together with some friends Friday night and grilled burgers and hot dogs before the fireworks. I made a fruit pizza for dessert. It’s this recipe, but I cut back on the amounts because it wasn’t gonna fill up the whole pan since it was shaped into a rectangle, a flag. Oh, it was so good. I didn’t count how many pieces I ate. Fruit pizza is one thing I crave, especially in the summer.
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I have a few fireworks pictures, but other than that, nothing. I was lounging in my lawnchair thinking, ‘I should go get my camera and take a picture of Shannon grilling and of the kids playing and of the adults talking and capture the party atmosphere around us’ and then as I kept lounging, I lowered my standards and started thinking, “I should at least get my camera and take 4 pictures because that would make a pageful for when I scrapbook this event’, but I just kept sitting there, living the moment instead of capturing it. I actually don’t like taking pictures at social events. BUT the only thing I hate worse than taking pictures is not having pictures, so that’s what drives me to take them. Except for this time.

And with that I leave you with a little fireworks show…

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Comments

7 Responses to “July 4th follow-up post…”

  1. Rene on July 7th, 2008 11:22 am

    Kay — Thanks for the explanation! I was wondering how you did the states!! Great fireworks pics!!

  2. Lisa on July 7th, 2008 11:33 am

    I bet my state would’nt fill anyone up! (Rhode Island!)

  3. Shannon on July 7th, 2008 11:34 am

    To cool. Not sure I’d have the patience to fill all the states in. :) I’d be very hungry for fruit pizza right now too. Might have to make some.

  4. Cordy on July 7th, 2008 12:29 pm

    That fruit pizza almost drives me to my kitchen right now. Oh my, that looks wonderful! I appreciate this blessing on here you give to us so very much – THANK YOU! I did wonder how you keep the bananas nice? Do you dip them in lemon juice? P.S. When Bernice drops you a note…..must tell you she also is a wonderful cook….we’ve had brunches at her place…often celebrating someone’s birthday. She loves to give everything an extra special touch. It is not only a wonderful experince with friends but she gives the whole time we’re together a meaningful start as she lifts our time together to our Lord.
    Isn’t the family of God more than precious!!

  5. Berneice on July 7th, 2008 12:35 pm

    Thanks for clueing us in on your USA finger jello. It looks cloo, but I doubt I will ever try it. Not nearly enough patience on this end :( Fruit pizza looks refreshing too.

  6. Kay on July 7th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Cordy, to keep the bananas nice, I glazed them right away as soon as I put a row of them on. The glaze keeps them from browning for awhile. I made it in the afternoon and the next morning, the bananas on the leftovers were just getting a hint of brown, not too bad, but if you’d make it a day ahead, you’d want to save the bananas to put on later for the freshest look.

    Btw, the ’stars’ on top of the blueberries are just little dollops of Cool Whip.

  7. Denise on July 8th, 2008 8:31 am

    I love fruit pizza, and that flag is just so neat. Also thanks for explaining the USA jello. I was wondering how you did it. With you showing all these neat things it makes me want to thow a July 4th party next year.