Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Star Wars Pretzels

Now let me just say I don't really think any of you should run out and make these... because trust me they do no taste very good, but I thought they were hilarious and wanted to share!

They come from this cookbook....

....and when you let a 3 and 5 year old make them they can be a little heavy on the salt, just a little FYI in case you ever attempt such a treat as these!

Divide a package of refrigerator bread sticks into eights strips. Shape them into the letters S-T-A-R-W-A-R-S. Brush the tops with water, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15 minutes at 375. Then choke them down with a smile on your face telling your little Star Wars fan how great they are!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day 3: Snickerdoodles

These are a fabulous treat any time of the year. Drop some red or green food coloring into the cinnamon and sugar mixture to make them extra festive!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Rolo Pretzels 'cause I don't Bake


Preheat your oven to 350

1. Upwrap your Rolos. Place pretzels on baking sheet. Top with a Rolo.

2. Bake in oven for 3-5 minutes, until the chocolate just begins to melt. The Rolo should be soft but not completely melted.

3. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and immediately squish the chocolate with another pretzel. Watch the caramel oooze out. YUM!

That's all there is and that's why I make them...hope you enjoyed my first post!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day 2: Chocolate Bark

Two Ingredients:

1. Whatever your favorite chocolate is.
2. Whatever kind of nuts you love.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Mix in however many nuts you want. Pour over a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Spread as thin as you want. Throw it in the fridge so that it will harden quickly then break into chunks and try to share before you eat it all! It's that simple, really.

An easy way to make this look extra fancy is to take a contrasting white chocolate, melt it, put it in a pastry bag (or plastic baggie with a hole cut in the corner), then drizzle over the top of the bark.


White chocolate with peppermint pieces (chopped up candy canes actually.) Yum!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day 1 : Lemon Snowball Cookies

This quick and easy recipe appealed to me because it wasn't a boring chocolate chip and it wasn't a way over done traditional Christmas cookie. By the last batch into the oven I finally figured out that it is better to let them cool just a bit before coating them in the powdered sugar mixture (I figured that out because I forgot about them!) And they taste much better after they are completely cooled, the taste of lemonade is a bit too strong when they are still warm.

Very easy recipe, but a little messy with helpers. Let's just say there is a lot of powdered sugar on my kitchen floor today and also all over everyone's shirts.

Lemon Snowball Cookies

2 sticks butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cup flour


1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoons Kool-Aid lemonade unsweetened drink mix powder
(mix these together in a bowl)

Cream butter, sugar and flavorings. Add flour and mix until a dough forms.
Roll into 1" balls and bake 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet at 350°F degrees for 15-18 minutes (they won't be brown on top!).

While cookies are warm, toss them in the lemon powdered sugar mixture and put on a plate to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

Cookie Week

Christmas time always gets me busy in the kitchen baking way more cookies and treats than we need. But it is one of my favorite parts of preparing for the holidays and I love having my little helpers in the kitchen as well as sharing all the goodies we make with our friends and neighbors. So I deem today the official start to cookie week here on this blog. Later this afternoon I'll kick us off with the Lemon Snowball cookies we made this morning for a cookie exchange we are headed to tonight. Please share whatever holiday treats you're working on at your house this week too! Maybe we can spread some inspiration, try something new, or just help you non-bakers get motivated to join in the fun!!

**Don't limit yourself to cookies either, anything yummy that you tend to sneak when the kids aren't looking classifies as a treat here!**

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Leftover Rice

Rice is a pretty common side dish on our dinner table. The kids love it and will actually eat it without complaint(unlike everything else on their plate...) and when I'm disorganized and haven't been to the grocery store(which is all the time) a little rice on the side makes the meal seem a little bigger. My husband is pretty good about taking leftovers for his lunch, but the container of rice often sits untouched in the fridge long after the rest of the leftovers have been eaten. What to do with the leftover rice???

Here's what I do:

Pour it into a casserole dish (size depends on how much rice you have left!)
Mix in one can of cream of mushroom soup plus once can water or milk (the milk will make it extra creamy)
Add frozen vegetables (as much or as little as your children will tolerate.)

Pop it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes and ta-da a brand new dinner ready to serve.

What do you do with your leftover rice??

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Buttermilk Biscuits

Nothing beats the bulk mixes at WinCo. The quickest and easiest way to old-fashioned perfectly flaky buttermilk biscuits is as simple as adding a cup of water and stirring it up. Add some fried eggs and you are good to go. Now there is no excuse for not eating a big hearty breakfast every morning....well except maybe babies crying, toddlers fighting or someone whining about getting out of bed!