Friday, December 30, 2011

Spicy Honey Chicken Fingers

I was in the mood to try something different.

This is based on Jessica's Crunchy Chicken Fingers. They're really good. I adjusted them some, can't leave well enough alone.

I wanted crunchy chicken fingers doused in heavy honey.

Then I took a walk on the wild side and threw some chili powder in.

Crazy talk!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Recap

I really wish I could share photos from the Christmas Eve service from church Saturday night. The girl and I watched Christmas Hallmark movies from our DVR all day. Then, we got all dolled up and headed to church!

It was one of those candlelight services, and they read Mary & Joseph's story, and we sang carols between the verses.

It was beautiful.

It was magical.

And everything Christmas was about.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Dinner

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I sure had a nice time. I haven't uploaded all of my Christmas Day photos, but stay tuned for those. What I did take pictures of to share was our dinner.

We made Ree's Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Drizzle from The Pioneer Woman. I made the drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sugar, reducing it by a little more than half. It was pungent, tart and sweet. I tossed some dried cranberries in with it too. They were crunchy from roasting in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Homemade Toffee

Toffee Time!

I got this recipe from Heather Christo's Toffee recipe. It's a little different, but not much.

It was one of the fastest things I've made this holiday.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fantasy Fudge

Does anyone remember this recipe? It's seriously old. It's one of those great recipes that you just don't mess with. So, I'm posting it in it's unchanged glory.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Fireman's Gift & A Manly Stocking


Today's post is what the fireman did for Christmas for his guys at work. If you recall, he currently works at a 6 man house, which is doubly as large as most firehouses. And since he's one of the captains there, he needed a gift for 5 guys. The captain's always have a gift for their crew and he couldn't leave the other guys out.

Since he likes to cook/bake, as firemen often do, he thought of something along those lines. But he wanted to make it more manly, so.....beer bread!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cinnamon Tea Rings for Christmas


Can you believe it's only 5 days till Christmas?!

I can't. It's so close! I did the last of my wrapping last night with the fireman. We holed up in our room and wrapped and got all excited about everything.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Biscotti, Two Ways

This past weekend, I got tons of baking done. Tons and tons.

And.

I'm.

Done.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lessons in Shortbread

Ok, so not every recipe comes out as expected.

This was the first time I have tried a real shortbread. It has 3 easy ingredients. Took me about 10 minutes to mix up and 10 minutes to rollout, cut and bake.

Easy recipe, but I complicated things a bit.

I'm like that.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decorating the Christmas Cookies


Decorating is always fun, it's also always messy.

I don't do a fancy, piped decorated cookie. I find these cookies are so good, they only need a light glazing of icing and a little colored sugar and sprinkles for decoration. Thick icing and piped in decorations would totally overwhelm these soft pillows of happiness.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cut-Out Cookies


These cookies are THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE in my family. The golden goose of Christmas cookies. Every year, my mom made them. We would schedule it on the calendar. Cookie Day. We all knew what it meant. My dad would be off work and we would all take part of the cookie making process. My dad manned the ovens, making sure that the cookies didn't overbake.

My mom only brought out a small amount of dough at a time, because you have to cut them out while they are cold or they go all melty on you.

My sister and I stood around the workspace with aprons on, armed with floured cookie cutters. Flour was everywhere and when Mom said, "Go!" we furiously cut out cookies and got them on cookie trays before the dough got warm.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sugar Cookies

These are my absolutely favorite sugar cookie.

There are tons of sugar cookies. Some are soft, some are hard and crunchy, some have spices, some are chewy.

These cookies are chock full of vanilla flavor, they are rolled in sugar and are light and sweet on the tongue. They are have a crunchy tooth, but are tender, think of a crumbly cookie.  I think it's due to the oil/butter mixture of fats.

They are also

Monday, December 12, 2011

German Sugar Twists

Sugar cookies are so wonderful, but there are tons of kinds of sugar cookies. This week, I will have a recipe for a different sugar cookie each day. They will be each very different from each other, but the highlight of the recipe will all be sugar. And butter.

These cookies are a German recipe from my grandma. She made them for my dad when he was little. I'm sure there are many variations of this recipe, but this was hers.

There is yeast in this recipe. A cookie recipe. Weird.

Weird, but wonderful.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Snow


Last night we finally decorated the Christmas tree. It was an odd affair. The boys decorated part of it, then the girl and I decorated part of it when I got home.

We were tag-teaming it since our schedules have been topsy-turvy lately.

Although I will promise good Christmas music was on and candles were lit. It's the little things...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Chicken Marsala

First off, I'd like to say that I wasn't happy with how these pictures came out. But the meal was just so darn good, so I decided to post it anyway. I've been sitting on it for the last couple of weeks trying to decide if I should use them or not.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Last Minute Pizza

Last night I was home and hungry for pizza. It was getting close to dinnertime and I didn't want to drive out for pizza (don't do that often anyway), and didn't have time for pizza crust to raise. I was wishing I had stopped by the grocery store to by a premade crust, like Boboli.

The girl and I have gone through the Hallmark channel and DVR'd a ton of Christmas movie's.  I'm really glad to have someone to watch them with!

The fireman will watch romance movie's on occasion, but I really like to dive headfirst into the sweet and sappy Christmas movies. Hallmark has that covered. Thankfully, the girl really gets into them, too.

So, I remembered that I had seen quick pizza crust recipe's online a few times and thought I'd try one.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Hot Cocoa on the Stove

Do you remember snowy days as a kid?

The first snow, it was absolutely necessary to run outside and play in the falling snow, even if it didn't stick. You bundle up, with scarf and hat and gloves. Then, running around outside, it's like you're in a magical land.

At least it was for me.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Giveaway Winner & Christmas Sparkle


Remember this? My Christmas Giveaway?
We have a winner!!!

Comment #2 is Jana! Yay!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Owls and Tiling

I've added an owl to my mural. I have this thing for owls. They're so retro and cute. Not like, actual owls. But the cute little ones in funky colors, with too big eyes or stitched with funky fabrics. Awesome.

I started with a chalk outline. Remember, the tree is whimsical. It's not supposed to be a realistic owl. I finger painted a dot onto the body to check the color.
I think he's fun!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Shipwreck, the recipe

Not to be confused with the destruction from a water-vessel upon the sea.

Growing up, my mom made this recipe with shaved potatoes and rich, heavy tomato sauce. The top pieces of potato were dried and crunchy. It made me swoon, I loved it. It was easily one of my favorite recipes.

Over the years, it has changed a lot. And somehow improved. She added her own homegrown and canned tomatoes and sweetened it a bit. Changed the potatoes to more of an au gratin slice. She added a layer of cheese on top. It was almost an au gratin potato with a hearty, sweetened chili underneath. Somewhat.

But definitely a recipe in progress, kind of thing.