Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Witches Fingers Cookies

Happy Halloween my friends! Have a few creepy cookies for snack before you head out into the night with your little dragons and devils. Be safe, warm and have fun tonight!

The original recipe called for red decorator gel but why would I use that crap when jam tastes good and looks just as nasty?

Makes about 60 fingers

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup almonds (whole or sliced)
1 tablespoon raspberry jam

On medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture. I like to switch to a wooden spoon. I don't want to break my mixer. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Take heaping teaspoon size pieces of dough and roll them into logs that are the shape of fingers. Use your hands to make knuckles and indents on the fingers (look at your own to decide where they should be placed). You can use a knife to make the indents. Place an almond on the tip of the fingers where the nail should be.

Arrange the cookies on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Let them cool for a minute then remove the almonds from the fingers and place a small dab of jam into the space before pressing the almonds back onto the cookies. The jam will ooze out like blood. Yuck! Gross!

Adapted from allrecipes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cinnamon Sticks and Saffron

Have you ever noticed how beautiful cinnamon sticks are?

How about saffron? Look how gorgeous the colour is!

This is my spice shelf. A few nights ago I refreshed everything and tidied up the jars. My cloves need a new lid.

You must think I have nothing better to do than post pictures of my spices? Well, at the moment, I'm sitting in the hallway outside the door of the bathroom, where my 4 year old is having one of her 1 hour bubble baths. I could never leave her unsupervised (you never know) so I figured why not. Some people collect stamps or coins and I collect spices. So what! We all have our weird hobbies. =)

My more normal hobbies include crochet and reading. I joined the Harlequin readers panel so I get free books to read and review. Some are good ... and some are not.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bars

If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you'll love this recipe! I was wondering what I might do with the other half of a box of devil's food cake mix (I used half a box for mocha cupcakes a week ago) and thought I might try to make brownies. Just brownies? No ... of course not. They had to be special! Duncan Hines suggested to use eggs and melted butter. I used 1 egg (since I only had half a box of cake mix) and oil instead of butter, but the batter was a little thick so I added just a splash of milk. The peanut butter topping recipe is from Martha Stewart! The topping is hard to explain, it's almost crispy.

Ready to get baking.

Fresh from the oven.


Are you drooling yet?

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Juicy Chicken Meatballs

This recipe is great because it uses leftover mashed potatoes. I love using meatballs as a way of getting more veggies into my kids. They don't even know they're in there. If you don't have mashed potatoes you can boil a small potato and just mash it with a fork. Let it cool before adding it to the mix. I also put all the vegetables into the Magic Bullet because it was faster.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

Okay! This is pretty much the same recipe I made the other day as far as the cupcake part goes,but this time I made the coconut frosting to go with it. They were GOOD! I love coconut!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cheater Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Lately I've been cheating and using box cake mixes in recipes to help me out. This time my original plan was to make a recipe from Steamy Kitchen.  but unfortunately I forgot to buy the cream cheese to make the frosting so I had to come up with another idea. I made the cupcakes the same way as suggested but instead of buttercream and coconut, I simply used a chocolate glaze from VegWeb and decorated with marshmallow flowers. Sweet and simple.

I didn't need 24 cupcakes and only wanted to make 12, so I used 1/2 the box of cake mix. I just eyeballed it, I didn't measure. Wrap up the rest for later use. The recipe on the box calls for 3 eggs, I just used 1 and it worked out just fine.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rachael Ray's Cheeseburger Egg Rolls with Russian Dressing Dipper

My mom made this recipe for us for lunch today. She regularly watches The Rachael Ray Show and writes down recipes that she likes. She's not very computer savvy or she'd know that she can look for this stuff online after the show. But I'll write the recipe out the way my mom made it. She made a few changes like using yellow mustard instead of grainy. They really are delicious and kids love them! I did look up the recipe by the way. Here it is.

All filled and ready to roll.

Place them seam side down on the tray.

Fresh from the oven. Yum-o!

All that meaty goodness!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

I adapted the original recipe to make them healthier. They're tasty and chewy. I used a small cookie scoop but you can use a tablespoon.


Chewy Coconut Cookies

These are really yummy and super chewy! You can get about 30 cookies out of this recipe depending on the size of scoop you use.

Fried Potatoes with Ham and Onions

Here's a great way to use leftovers! I had boiled potatoes and ham in the fridge and decided to put them together to make this dish.

6 servings

2 onions thinly sliced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
salt & pepper

6 cold boiled potatoes, sliced
1 cup diced ham
butter for frying

Heat a few tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Sautee onions for about 8 minutes or until they start to turn golden. Stir in spices.

Add cold potatoes and fry until they start to crisp. Add ham and continue to cook until potatoes are as crispy as you like them. Serve hot.

Linking to

Cauliflower Puree

I think I like this even more than mashed potatoes!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Super Simple Stewed Beef

There's really nothing to this recipe. You need very few ingredients to make this stewed beef.  It's simple and delicious!

This is what it looks like when it's done. Not too much liquid left.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chocolate Chip Rugelach Cookies

I was always on the hunt for the chewiest chocolate chip cookie recipe I could find. Then I joined the Crazy Cooking Challenge! I decided it was time to move on and look for something different. I stumbled upon a recipe for Chocolate Chip Rugelach on an awesome blog Bakerita. I absolutely LOVE these cookies. They're flaky and delicious! The only change I made was to use regular size chocolate chips since I couldn't find any mini ones when I went to buy some of the ingredients. Oh, how I wish I had some of these right now!


The dough all rolled out.
Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips.
Rolled and ready to be chilled. 
Mmmm! Fresh from the oven. It's coffee and cookie time!

48 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cold, cut into chunks
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
1 tablespoon milk
1 egg white
Turbinado (or course) sugar for sprinkling

Combine flour, salt, butter, cream cheese and sour cream with a pastry cutter (or if you're me, use your hands) until crumbly. You could also use a food processor.

Divide into four equal balls and flatten into disks. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.

Combine cinnamon and sugar.

Roll each disk into a 9 inch circle. Be sure to keep the other ones chilling so they don't get warm. Bakerita suggested using a large bowl as a guide to trim the circles but I just eyeballed it. Sprinkle on 1/4 of the cinnamon/sugar mixture and then 1/4 of the chocolate chips. Press into dough. I used my hands. Be gentle.

Cut each circle into 12 wedges. You can use a pizza cutter but I just used a sharp knife. Roll the wedges starting at the wide end.

Beat the milk and eggwhite together and brush it onto the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle on some sugar. Place the cookies on parchment lined baking sheets and chill for 20 minutes before putting in the oven. Repeat the whole rolling and cutting process for the other 3 disks of dough.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350F and place the chilled cookies on the middle rack for 22 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks. Store them in a nice airtight container. Bakerita says they freeze well but I wouldn't know anything about that. They didn't last that long!

Tip: If you think this recipe is as delicious as I do, then please vote for it on the Crazy Cooking Challenge this month!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wicked-Good Pizza Muffins - Perfect for school!

My 4 year old just started Junior Kindergarten. Tomorrow she's going on her first field trip to an apple orchard to learn about apples and go on a wagon ride. Normally she eats lunch at daycare before they take her to her afternoon class at school, but tomorrow, the kids are all required to bring a lunch to the farm and the weather is supposed to be fairly warm. My first choice would have been a peanut butter and jam sandwich but all the schools and childcare facilities here have no nut policies so that won't work.

I sat here thinking about what else I could send with her that might be able to stand a few hours out of the fridge. I came up with nothing off the top of my head so I headed online to visit my friend Google. Google turned up a recipe for Pizza Muffins. What kid doesn't like pizza?! She's sleeping now but I can't wait to check her bag tomorrow and see if her muffins are gone. I already predict the raw green beans I'm sending will come home but the muffins .... I don't think so! These are yummy. I ate a few myself already. Of course, if you're not into whole wheat flour, you can use white flour.

I'm drooling.

Ready to go into the oven.

All done and ready to eat!

Just look at that crispy cheesy goodness!

Lunch is packed. If they were staying indoors, I probably wouldn't put an ice pack in. But since they'll be outside all day and I don't know how hot it'll get, I'll put the ice pack in just in case. I'll freeze the juice too so when she goes to drink it it'll be nice and cool.

Makes 20 mini muffins

1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pizza sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese cubes (Mine was heaping! I love cheese.)
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
more pizza sauce
1 mozzarella string cheese, cut into 20 pieces

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray or line 20 cups on a mini muffin pan. You may be able to get 6 regular muffins if you want. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. 20 minutes should do it.

In a large bowl, mix butter, egg, 1 tablespoon pizza sauce and yogurt until well combined.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add dried basil and oregano. Mix the dry into the wet just until combined.

Stir in the cheese and minced pepper. It will be thick, almost like a dough.

Divide the batter into 20 muffin cups. Drop 1/2 a teaspoon of pizza sauce onto each one and top with a piece of the string cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes until bubbly.

Apparently they freeze well according to the original recipe but I plan to eat them all by the end of day tomorrow. Yum yum yum! I'll share them with my family and send some to the farm of course!

Adapted from CANADIAN family.