Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Loot

First off, before I get to the Christmas loot, we had a lovely white Christmas. It started snowing early Christmas eve morning and continued to snow all day.

Sadly it was all gone by the following afternoon.. Oh, how I wish you would stay a little longer, the next time you decided to visit, Mr. Snow!!

This year our Christmas was just the two of us. My sister came over Christmas eve and left early Christmas day. Since the hubs isn't working we didn't really buy presents for each other. But we did manage to be able to exchange small gifts to each other. My wonderful hubs bought me some Disney movies to add to my collection, along with a gift card to Borders. He got all kinds of goodies in his stocking and a variety pack of popcorn kernels for the air popper. And of course I got the Disney movies my mom sent as well!

My wonderful sister got me the bestest gift ever! A Kitchen Aide mixer. It very pretty and shiny! And no, I did not hug it once it was out of the box...

Isn't she pretty? I got to use it the other day, post with pics soon to come!

My decorations were very sparse this year. Christmas came and went before I knew it so I wasn't able to do as much decorating as I would of liked to. As you can see I only decorated the top half of the tree. Thing one and Thing two (Ford and Rocky) wouldn't stay out of my tree...

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and got everything you wished for!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Its not Christmas without sugar cookies, right? I planned on posting this before Christmas, but it snuck up on me before I knew what was happening... I've also included the recipe for the cream cheese icing I used.

Sugar Cookies

Prep: 30 min Chill: 30 min
Bake: 7 min per batch Oven: 375 degrees
2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 salt

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill dough about 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are barely light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep: 20 min Makes: about 3 3/4 cup
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1/2 to 6 cups powdered (I only used about 3 1/2 cups)

In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.

Use as much or little powdered sugar as you feel needed. I only used about 3 1/2 cups and found that to be a good amount for the consistency I was looking for.
Enjoy your cookies!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peanut Butter Bark

I've been on a peanut butter kick lately.. Can you tell? This recipe is very quick and easy! Very yummy too!!

Peanut Butter Bark

2 4 oz packages of dark chocolate backing bars, broken into pieces
1 2/3 cups ( 10 0z package) Peanut butter chips
1 tablespoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts or toasted almonds ( I used pecans)*.

*To toast nuts, heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts in thin layer on a cookie sheet, bake 8-10 min; Cool.

Cover tray with wax paper. I used a rectangular metal cake pan lined with wax paper.

Place chocolate in medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute; stir If necessary cook for an additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.

Immediately place peanut butter chips and shortening in second microwave safe bowl. Heat for one minute in microwave; stir. If necessary cook an additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred; stir in nuts.

Alternately spoon above mixtures onto prepared tray; swirl with knife for marble effect. Cover; refrigerate until firm. Break into pieces.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Cranberry Bread

This time of year my mom always makes Cranberry bread. It is one of my favorite things that she bakes, and she has been sending me a loaf every year since I moved away from Oregon. So this year I thought, since I've been doing a lot of baking why not try and make it myself? I'm glad did! Boy that's some good bread! Yum Yum!

If you would like to try your hand at some Cranberry bread, here's the recipe:

Cranberry Bread

1 Cup fresh or frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 up orange juice
1 egg, well beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease and lightly flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
Prepare cranberries, nuts and orange peel. Set aside. In bowl mix together flour sugar baking powder salt and baking soda. cut in shortening. Stir in orange juice, and egg mixing just until moistened.
Fold in cranberry mixture. Bake 60 min or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 min. remove from pan and let cool completely.

Eat and enjoy!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

I got this recipe from Sunday Baker. I am very bad about taking step by step pictures.. I was taking these cookies out of the oven when I remembered that I had not taken any pictures. If you need to see the step by step pictures, stop by Sunday Bakers page here.

Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

Cream together:
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
3/4-1 c. confectioners sugar

Roll the mixture into small balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes:
With a mixer, combine:
1/2 c. softened butter
1/4. c. peanut butter

Add to it:
1 egg white
1 t. vanilla extract
Combine in a separate bowl:
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1/2 t. baking soda

Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. As the dough gets stiffer, stop using the electric mixer and stir in the rest by hand.

Form this chocolate dough into 1 1/2" balls

remove peanut butter balls from the fridge. On lightly floured surface, flatten one of the chocolate balls with your hand. Put a peanut butter ball in the middle. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter ball, sealing all edges and making it back into a ball shape.

Place the dough balls on a lined cookie sheet, Dip the bottom of a small glass in water, then in some sugar. Push down on each ball, flattening it, but not completely.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min.

Eat and enjoy!

(sorry for the crazy font size.. I'm not sure how to fix it.. I have it all set to the same size and it won't fix itself..)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Someone's Selling Avon!

Hi all, I just wanted to take a minute and tell you all about my new business venture.
With my husband not working, and my zoo hours getting cut severely, I have taken to selling Avon. I'm hoping to get enough business that it will bring in some much needed income! I plan on putting a button in my side bar that will link directly to my Avon page, but for now you can just click here.
If you are interested in buying or selling Avon products, please check it out. You can order online through me, and if you let me know before you place your order I can get you FREE shipping!
We have a ton of great holiday deals going on right now, so please go check it out!