Thursday, December 31, 2009
- to CJ, who has been sick but whose mom, Mama Teacher, tells me he is improving
- to Mr. Teacher, whose back has been problematic. Be careful in the snow!
- to Miss B, whose daughter K has been ill and dehydrated--I hope she is better and that you get some sleep tonight
- to church Miss L, who has had another death in her circle of friends, hugs to you and yours, and sleep, too
- and to all my friends traveling--Miss T, Miss S, Miss D--safe voyage and happy return home!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Since you liked them so much, Gommie and Pop, I send along church Miss L's cookie recipes as an added stocking stuffer! She baked several cookies this year as a tribute to her mom, who was a great baker and died before Miss L's children got to spend much time in the kitchen with her. So I also offer these up as a tribute to her mom.
Snowballs (Russian Tea Cakes)—One of her mom’s specialties
6 oz shortening and 2 oz butter (or 8 oz butter)
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt (optional)
1 cup coarsely ground nuts (pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, etc)
Additional confectioner’s sugar for coating
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Blend shortening and /or butter, sugar, and vanilla.
Stir the flour with salt and beat into shortening.
Stir in nuts.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto nonstick baking sheets or roll into 1-inch balls.
Bake at 325 for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden
Remove and cool.
Roll twice in confectioner’s sugar
Brown Sugar Pinwheel Cookies
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
Beat brown sugar and butter in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla and beat until creamy.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add to sugar mixture.
Divide dough in half and add cocoa to one half.
Roll dough separately on floured waxed paper into 2 rectangles about ¼ inch thick.
Top one with the other and press together with a rolling pin.
Roll up lengthwise, jelly roll fashion.
Trim edges, wrap and chill until firm.
Once chilled, remove from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350.
Cut roll into ¼ inch slices and bake on well greased cookie sheets 12 – 15 minutes
Magic Cookie Bars—Another of her mom’s specialty
½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
½ cup chocolate chips (3 oz)
½ cup butterscotch chips (3 oz)
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 1/3 cup (15 oz) sweetened condensed milk
Pour melted butter into 13 x 9 inch pan
Layer the next four ingredients evenly: cracker crumbs, nuts, chips, and coconut.
Top with sweetened condensed milk and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool in pan about 15 minutes and cut into bars.
Cream cheese brownies
4 oz chocolate
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup flour
½ cup chopped nuts
Cream cheese topping
4 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 tbs flour
Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in large bowl.
Stir in sugar.
Stir in eggs and vanilla.
Mix in flour.
Stir in nuts.
Spread in greased 8 inch square pan.
In another bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, egg and flour until smooth.
Spoon over brownie mixture. Swirl with knife, if desired.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean.
Cool in pan and cut into squares.
Italian nut balls—Another of her mom’s specialty
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ cup butter, softened
2 egg yolks, reserve whites
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 cup chopped nuts
Your favorite jelly
Mix sugar, salt, butter, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and almond extract on medium until well blended.
Slowly add flour at low speed.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls.
Dip into egg whites.
Roll in chopped nuts.
Place on greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart, and make a deep depression in the center of each.
Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes.
Fill with jelly while still warm.
Trail mix chocolates
Melt ½ bag chocolate chips in the microwave.
Add trail mix.
Drop spoonfuls onto waxed paper covered baking sheet.
Refrigerate for about an hour, or until set.
Chocolate dipped peppermint Oreos
Melt ½ bag chocolate chips in microwave.
Dip one end of Oreo in melted chocolate, then in sprinkles, cocoa powder, colored sugar, or our favorite-chocolate instant breakfast powder!
Place on waxed paper covered baking sheets and refrigerate for about 20 minutes or until set.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Whether the weather be cold,or whether the weather be hotwe'll weather the weather,whatever the weather,whether we like it or not!
Friday, December 25, 2009
- Ham (Smithfield city), in the oven
- chestnuts, roasted, in their with the ham
- Wild Mushroom and Lentil Shepherd's Pie a la Cooking Light--the lentils are cooking, the potatoes are in process (Mama's doing it because she fears my knife skills sometimes and we're trying to make this an ER-free visit, because Sis and Bud have been one time each the last two years, plus that visit to Texas!!!)
- roasted veggies--carrots and Brussel sprouts--stay tuned to see if Pop even tries one of those (which, along with liver, is about the only thing he never eats)
- rolls, which Sis helped me form and butter, are proofing in the increasingly warm kitchen
- mac and cheese, needing almost no advance prep
- sweet potatoes, to go in microwave at last bit
- strawberry jello, setting in fridge right now
- Chocolate Lava Cakes, a la Ghiradelli, for Sis, the filling of which is in the fridge setting
- Panettone and various cookies, leftover over from nibbling all day
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve
I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and brawn to work
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome
I asked for love and God gave me people to help
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities
I received nothing I wanted
I received everything I needed.
I have FINALLY made the gingerbread cookie dough that I have been hoping to make for weeks, if not longer. I have dreams of decorating perfectly-formed men, women, houses, and snowflakes, inspired by my various cookie books and Wilton decorating materials. Of course, it won't turn out anything like that, as the kids and I mangle the soft dough, forming crooked figures, and then slapdashedly decorate the cookies this afternoon in the midst of the rest of the holiday hubbub. Then we'll munch on the bits, take a few to church, and give the best one to Santa. While not the dream, it's still pretty good.