Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate Crinkles

Another holiday classic. We call these chocolate snowballs.

Chocolate Crinkles

1 c chocolate chips
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/3 c milk
1 c sugar
1 c powdered sugar

Mix butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Add to butter and sugar mixture.
Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Add alternately with milk to butter mixture.
Chill until firm (about 2 hours).
Roll into 1 inch balls.
Cover in sugar and then in powdered sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spicy Mocha Hot Cocoa

Here's a little twist on hot cocoa.

Spicy Mocha Hot Cocoa

4 1/2 c whole milk
1 T cinnamon
1/8 t cayenne pepper (or more if you like a kick!)
3 c strong coffee
1/2 c sugar -or- 1/4 c honey/agave nectar
1 c cocoa

Heat milk, cinnamon and cayenne in large sauce pan until just about to simmer.
Add coffee and sugar.
Add 1/2 c warmed milk mixture to 1 cup cocoa and stir until not lumpy, then pour into saucepan.
Serve with whipped cream.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fabric Playtime House

Wanna see what Isaiah's getting for Christmas?

It's a portable little play barn.
Wanna see what's inside?
It unfolds into a little play farm mat.
I found a tube of farm yard figures at Jo-Ann's to go along with it.

Then when he's all done playing, he can toss them inside, fold it up, and button it shut.

I was so pleased with how this turned out and had such fun making it, that I needed to make a girl version too!

There is a great tutorial here if you are interested in making your own.
I started with her design, but then added an extra section at the end for more play space.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beef Enchiladas

Well, I say this every time, but it's true. I have yet to find an America's Test Kitchen recipe that I don't like. Those guys are amazing! This recipe is for a shredded beef enchiladas. A nice step up from hamburger and a nice way to use up that 1/4 of a cow in my freezer!

Beef Enchiladas
Cook's Country - America's Test Kitchen

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 T chili powder
2 t ground coriander
2 t ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
1 onion, chopped
1 to 1.25 lbs blade or chuck steaks,(or sirloin steak) trimmed to 2 " strips
1 T oil
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
½ c water
2 c shredded Monterey Jack or mild cheddar
¼ c chopped cilantro
¼ c canned japapenos, chopped fine (optional)
12 (6-inch) tortillas

1. Combine garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, sugar, and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl. Pat the meat dry and sprinkle with salt. Heat oil in a dutch oven (or I used just a deep saucepan) over med high heat. Cook meat until browned on both sides. Transfer the meat to a plate. Add chopped onions to the pot and cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic mixture and cook till fragrent, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and water, bring to a boil. Return meat and juices to the pot, cover, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer till meat is tender and can br broken apart with a wooden spoon or fork, about 1 ½ hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350. Remove the beef to a bowl, breaking meat into small pieces, reserve the sauce. Add the cilantro, jalapenos, and 1 cup of cheese to the shredded meat.

3. Spread ¾ cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Microwave tortillas 6 at a time until soft, 1 minute. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll the tortillas tightly, and set in the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and beef, you may have to fit a few down the sides of the pan. Pour the remaining sauce over enchiladas and spread to coat evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheese over, wrap with foil, and baked until heated through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking till cheese browns slightly, 5 minutes.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pecan Tassie

Another favorite holiday treat that I need to have at least once around the holidays.....Pecan Tassies!
Pecan Tassie


1 c butter
6 oz cream cheese
2 c flour

2 eggs

1 1/2 c brown sugar

2 T butter, melted
1 c pecans, chopped

for the crust:
Beat the butter and cream cheese.

Add the flour.

Roll into bouncy-ball sized balls and press into mini muffin tins.

Bake at 325 for 8 minutes.

for the filling
Combine all ingredients.

Fill crust cups and bake another 20ish minutes, until tops look crackly.
Let cool and enjoy!

Feta Dip

Here's an easy, tasty appetizer good for anytime of year, but looks quite festive in its red and green!

Feta Dip
adapted from Clover Lane

1 baguette, sliced
olive oil
1 block of feta
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin
garlic powder

Pour olive oil in bottom of serving platter-enough to coat.
Crumble one block of feta cheese on top of oil.
Add diced tomatoes and green onion.
Sprinkle with remaining seasonings.
Mix it all up and serve with baguette slices.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Soup definitely warms the soul on a cold winter's day. And it has been mighty cold around here lately. This recipe comes from my childhood church cookbook.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped celery
1 c shredded carrots
1/2 c flour
1 t salt
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
2 c wild rice (or white and wild mixture)
2-3 chicken breasts
1 c half and half

Heat oil in large pot.
Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until tender.
Sprinkle with flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add broth and cook until mixture comes to a boil.
Add in rice, chicken, salt and pepper.
Reduce to a simmer and cook until chicken and rice are done.
Remove chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces then return to pot.
Add half and half.