Another Christmas card and cookies!

So I know you are all getting ready for Christmas – and that means making cookies! I shared this recipe last year and I’ll share it again because it’s my favorite! I’m not sure why we make them more often at Christmas, but we do! You can see more pics on how I’ve done them in the past <here>.

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Grandma’s Cookies

Ritz crackers
Almond bark (white, milk, or a mixture)
Peanut butter

Take ritz crackers and make into peanut butter sandwiches. Heat almond bark until melted. Dip cracker sandwiches into melted chocolate. Let dry on waxed paper. Freeze. Eat them! (I prefer to use about 2/3 milk chocolate [or brown – not sure if it’s milk!] and 1/3 white).

And another Christmas card from class!

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supplies: North Pole by GinaK Designs; cranberry crisp and white cardstock; basicgrey figgy pudding; faux stitching with SU piercing template and piercer; zig millenium 05 black pen; dimensionals; Heidi swapp distressor; stickles in Star Dust; palette noir ink; sage shadow and old olive markers; blender pen and cranberry crisp reinker.

Ok – off to a birthday party for one of the boys classmates!

Sausage Cheese Dip

This is totally unoriginal, but someone asked me to post it.  So here goes!

Sausage Cheese Dip

1 lb block of velveeta, cubed

1 lb sausage (don’t use maple, lol!  It’s not good!), browned

2 cans Ro-Tel

Put all this in the crock pot on low (or if the get together is soon, on high!) and stir occasionally.   Eat with tortilla chips.

Yep, that’s it.  Totally easy and unoriginal.  But I love it!  And I don’t really like cheese, but I’ll eat this.

Whew!

I’m beat!  Doodliedoo had a booth at the crop tonight…man, it was busy!  Nothing new to show you, but I’ve got some things that are just waiting for me to upload them.  I promise pretty things very soon!!!

And, since I was slow this week….how about a tutorial next week.  Actually, how about TWO!!  Perhaps even THREE!  Nothing exciting, but a few things I thought I would share.  We’ll see if I get the third ready or not.  Anyway, if you are going to be at the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Arlington – make sure you stop by and say hi!  Saturday is the last day – I’ll be there all day and then at the crop too!  Anyone wanna bring me some coffee?!?!

I will leave you with a yummy recipe though.  I wanted Matthew to make me guacamole for my birthday in April – well, the avacados then were so not ripe.  Apparently they are more in season now.  We made some this week and it was SOOOO good!  Here’s a pic of the yummy guacamole goodness.  We use the recipe listed below……(and it never makes it out of the mixing bowl because we eat it up!)

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Guacamole

Guacamole

4 avacados
1 lime, juiced
½ t salt
½ c diced onion
3 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
½ t minced garlic (optional)
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

In a medium bowl, mash together the avacados, lime juice and salt.  Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic.  Stir in cayenne pepper.  Refrigerate 1 hr for best flavor, or serve immediately.

And in case you didn’t notice, I made a recipes link at the top of my blog (right under the header).  This will take you to a page with links to all the recipes I have shared here.  Hope that is helpful!

White Chocolate Craisin Cookies

Gosh, it’s been SO long since i’ve shared a recipe with you!  Becky (aka tggrfriend on SCS) brought these fabulous cookies to the Arlington Stamp Day and I could not wait to make them!  I think I ate 6 that day….they were so good! I don’t usually like white chocolate, but these are wonderful!  I changed the recipe up a bit because I didn’t have exactly what she used.  So here it is!

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White Chocolate Craisin Cookies

2 rolls of refrigerated sugar cookie dough (they are usually about 16 oz per tube)

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 (6 oz) bag of Ocean Spray Craisins (I used a little bit more of these – maybe 3/4 of a 12 oz bag)

**optional** 1 c pistachios, lightly choppped (I don’t do nuts so I didn’t add these)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix sugar cookie dough, white chocolate and craisins in a large mixing bowl.

Scoop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-15 mins.

Enjoy!  These are so so good!  The craisins are just the right punch to counteract the sweetness of the white chocolate.  Man, I think I ate another 6 tonight!  I thought these would be a nice addition to the boys’ Teacher Appreciation gifts so I made up a plate for each teacher.

Ice Cream Cake – YUM!

I found this link for a super cool cake pan a few months ago.  I emailed it out to a few people and told them it was just in case they ever needed a gift idea.  Well, when I was visiting my mom this past week – guess what my early birthday present was?!?!  That’s right – a Betty Crocker Bake and Fill Cake Pan!  You gotta watch the video.  The boys and I watch it all the time.  They have each picked a favorite that they want me to make for them.  Anyway, my mom said she was out at a store and happened to see some and picked one up for me.  My birthday isn’t til next month, but she gave it to me early so I could make one while we were visiting.

This all started because I don’t like cake.  I mean, I just don’t eat it.  For our wedding, we had cheesecake – with all the toppings on the side.  Cause you might not want a topping – and we had choices of topping – cause different people want different kinds.  You know the movie When Harry Met Sally?  That’s the way I order.  I am terrible.  Anyway, when I was younger – we usually had a cookie cake or something on my birthday.  Recently, it’s been ice cream cakes.  Specifically Dairy Queen’s ice cream cakes.  They are the best ever.  They have this layer of fudgy, caramel-y cookie towards the bottom – YUM!  I know a lot of people like ColdStone ice cream cakes – but seriously, have you tried the DQ?  I promise, they are THE BEST.  Of course they don’t have many Dairy Queen’s here in Tx, we have to drive 40 min to one with cakes.  But Matthew has done it both years we’ve lived here, isn’t that sweet?!

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Well for my first attempt, we did the chocolate cake with chocolate chip ice cream inside.  Apparently I didn’t let the cake cool quite enough.  Because we put the ice cream in and then put the bottom layer on and froze it.  When we cut into it several hours later……it was a layer of melted then refrozen ice cream inside!  I guess there was enough heat left in the cake that when they enclosed the ice cream…it just melted.  So we tried again.  This time with a yellow cake mix and chocolate ice cream.  I didn’t put the bottom on until we were ready to eat it. I also tried to re-create DQ’s cookie/fudge layer by crumbling oreos and drizzling hot fudge and caramel over them before putting the bottom cake on.  It wasn’t quite the same.  But believe me, I will perfect it some day!  We didn’t ice the cake – I don’t really like icing either.  We just drizzled hot fudge and caramel sauce over it and ate it.  It’s pretty rich, but good! Here’s the pics.  Thanks Mom!

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Valentine Goody #1

Ok, this is the first of a series of Valentine posts. I thought I would share a few cool things for the upcoming holiday. This is probably my all-time favorite food. I absolutely love milk chocolate and I absolutely love strawberries. So the two of them together is about the best food EVER! This time I made them for our church group and I made both milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Here’s how I make mine!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

1 carton strawberries – the riper the better!

1 bag chocolate chips – whatever kind of chocolate you prefer

shortening

wax paper or foil

Wash strawberries and dry gently with paper towels. Set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, put 1 c chocolate chips and 1/2 T shortening. (It may take more than this to cover all your strawberries depending on the size of your berries. This is just the ratio of chocolate to shortening.) Microwave on high for 1 min. Stir and then heat at 15 second intervals until chips are just melted. Do not overheat chocolate. Dip each strawberry in the chocolate and lay on wax paper (or foil) on a plate or baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hr. Eat!

Manicotti and Sick Boy

I promised that recipe yesterday, but I just got busy! My oldest had a cup stacking tournament yesterday and it was a long night! Here’s a link to a cool video in case you have no idea what cup stacking is. Supposedly it is excellent for hand/eye coordination. Anyway, this morning – poor guy has a fever. He is so upset because he’s never missed a day of school – this kid loves to learn! Anyway, he’s home hanging out with me today.

I do have that recipe, I made it yesterday as stuffed shells. I think it really turned out well – two of the boys even ate it! (My boys are SO picky! I can’t wait til they become human vacuums like all boys eventually become, lol!) Anyway, the recipe is written as manicotti, but you can make it as either. Enjoy!

Manicotti

1 (8oz) package manicotti pasta
3 c whole ricotta cheese
2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 c grated parmesan cheese
1 T chopped fresh parsley
½ t salt
¼ t black pepper
3 eggs
2 ½ c (32 oz) spaghetti sauce (I always use more cause I love sauce!)

Bring water to boil, add pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes and drain. Cool on wax paper or foil.
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, ¾ c parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Fill manicotti with cheese. (I use a Ziploc baggie with the corner snipped off).
Coat 9×13 baking dish with spaghetti sauce. Place manicotti in single layer. Cover with remaining sauce. Bake for 45 minutes.

This recipe may also be used with jumbo shells, instead of piping the filling in with a baggie, you can just use a spoon to fill the shells.

Mailboxes, Marks and Meals

I just realized that I promised my Eggplant Parmesan recipe last week and never gave it! I’ll post it right now. This is my most favorite meal EVER! My 6 yo loves it – has since he could eat food. The other two….well, they won’t try it, but they don’t really like stuff using pasta sauce so maybe when they are older.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 eggplant
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Spaghetti sauce

Breading:
2 eggs
2 T water
Salt
Oregano
Pepper
¼ c flour
1/3 c parmesan cheese

Wash and peel eggplant. Cut into ½ inch slices. Mix middle ingredients together to form a runny pancake batter. Dip eggplant into batter, then cook in hot oil. (4 to 6 minutes)
In large baking dish, pour thin layer of sauce. Place eggplant on sauce, sprinkle with sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until all eggplant is used.
Bake in oven at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes. (I usually double or triple the recipe – and it is just as good warmed up for leftovers, and I hate leftovers!)

So I know I have talked about how much I hate to have blood drawn. Well, I finally went last Wednesday for my follow-up bloodwork that the rhuematologist wanted. It was awful. I went to a cruddy lab – only to find out there was a nicer one closer to my house. I had to wait an hour. Then they tried to tell me they needed spinal fluid – um no, I’ve already had this test once and it NOT spinal! I think I’d remember that! Finally get it done and it HURT! I mean really hurt! This is a picture of the nasty bruise I got. Kinda hard to take a picture of your own arm, but I tried. I took this pic today and the bruise is 5 days old. I am such a baby.

And last but not least, another mailbox! I did this one with more basic grey blush papers, but I used those Li’l Davis chipboard letters to monogram it for one of the teachers. Alex and Andy wanted thiers done this way. Okie Dokie, that’s fine with me! I think it turned out cute! Now I just need to finish the rest of them!


Don’t forget, the 100th Color Challenge for Splitcoast is TOMORROW!!!

Baked Potato Soup

I have had repeated requests for this recipe. I have already shared it on my blog and if you ever want to see a previous recipe, you can just click on the recipes link on the left hand side of my blog. It will bring up all the recipes I have shared here. Just an FYI! I won’t talk about a recipe if I don’t share it or it hasn’t already been shared, ok? Here’s the potato soup one again, though! Happy Football Sunday!

Baked Potato Soup

5 lbs potatoes
1 stick margarine
1 c flour
8 c milk
1 onion, chopped
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg bacon
Green onions, chopped (optional)

Bake potatoes, I do mine in the microwave and then set them aside to cool. Cook bacon in skillet. Then crumble and set aside for topping. Saute onion in large pot with margarine on medium heat. Add milk. Toss flour and cheese together in bowl. Add to pot. Peel and dice potatoes. Add to soup. Stir on medium heat until cheese is melted. Then reduce to low. Serve with bacon, more shredded cheese and green onions on top.

I love bread.

When I am stressed I eat. I am sure that is true for most people. And what do I crave the most (besides delicious milk chocolate)……bread. You will usually see me making the yeast rolls or something along those lines when I am stressed out. Well, these are another favorite of mine. My mom shared this recipe and we used to have it every year for Christmas. They are an old English recipe that has been passed down our family. They are not the traditional fluffy biscuit-like scones you will get in a coffee shop. They are flat and very sweet. Nothing is added to them. You can slice them open or just leave them whole. I like to put butter on mine – particularly the new Country Crock flavored spreads. The honey butter is fabulous. They are wonderful on their own, but you can top them with butter, honey, jelly, or whatever floats your boat.

Scones

Sift: 3 c flour
½ c sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda

Cut in: 1 stick margarine
1 c buttermilk

Knead: 2-5 times. Divide into 4 balls. Pat out to about ¼ in – ½ in thick circle. Cut into 4-6 pieces (triangles – like a pie). Heat griddle to 300
degrees. Fry. NO GREASE!

Makes 16-24 scones

I hope you enjoy these. They are always a huge hit with everyone in my family. Also a little pocket note to brighten your day!