Wednesday, November 12, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookies!

So everyone on WC keeps asking about Cmas cookies (already, I know) and since I have the Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies emails from about two-three years back, I figured I'd post the list to maybe give some ideas. If you wanna make it really fun, do it like one of those email forward thingies, and color the ones you've already made. Whee, cookie fun! Oh also, I have the recipes so if you want any of them let me know!

12 Days of Cookies: 2004

1) Ginger Spice Cookies
2) Maamoul: Stuffed Date-Orange Cookies
3) Citrus Shortbreads
4) Welsh Cookies (similar to a sweet scone with currants)
5) Ribbon or Swirl Cookies (a make-ahead freezer dough using chocolate and vanilla)
6) Mixed-Nut Honey Baklava
7) Czech Squares (with a walnut crust and cherry jam)
8) Cornmeal Wreath Cookies
9) Swedish Christmas Cookies
10) Hazelnut Mocha Macaroons
11) Triple Chocolate Cookies
12) White Chocolate Holiday Bark

12 Days of Cookies: 2005

1) Ginger Cookies
2) Hazelnut Crunch: Noci Croccante (hazelnut brittle)
3) Rosemary-Cheese Spritz Cookies
4) Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
5) S'more Rockin' Reindeer Ravioli
6) Christmas Citrus Squares
7) Mexican Wedding Cookies (simple pecan cookies dusted with powdered sugar)
8) Sherry Butter Nut Drops
9) Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread
10) Booze Balls
11) 3-in-1 Sugar Cookies
12) White Chocolate Holiday Bark (with a vengeance)
BONUS COOKIE: Chocolate Peppermint Pizzelle

12 Days of Cookies: 2006

1) Black and White Tie cookies
2) Almond Shortbreads
3) (uh-oh, I'm missing day three!!)
4) Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti
5) Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars
6) Whoopee Pie
7) Golden Rugalach
8) Iced Citrus Crackle Cookies
9) Coconut-Cranberry Macaroon
10) Super Gooey Chocolate Drops
11) Ginger Pecan Oatmeal Crisps
12) Butter and Jam Thumbprints
BONUS COOKIE: Angel Wings (ver quick cookie using puff pastry)

12 Days of Cookies: 2007

1) Almond Lace Cookies (Florentines)
2) Moravian Spice Cookie Wafers
3) Double Chocolate Sable Cookies
4) Walnut Sugar Cookies (Kourabiedes)
5) Cinnamon Stars (Zimtsterne)
6) Crumb Cookies (Fregolata)
7) Sesame Rings
8) Chocolate Oat Cakes
9) Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bar (I have made these before, DELICIOUS!)
10) Spoon Cookies (Lusikkaleivat) (cookies with jam)
11) Fruit and Nut Bars (Mazurkas)
12) Pistacio Melbas
BONUS COOKIE: Coconut-Peanut Cookies (Galletas Maria)

2008 soon to come!

Monday, November 10, 2008

At the Movies

So, we were going to see a movie this weekend, but with all the cleaning I did and hubs being overly tired for some odd reason (he says as he lays on the couch, "I feel like I got hit by a ton of bricks, I don't know why" --my response-- "um, maybe you worked all week, had class all week, studied for a test, and had clinicals Saturday and Sunday 6am-3pm?") we did not go see a movie. But here were hubs' choices for a movie:
1) Madagascar 2 (heart heart heart the penguins and lemurs)
2) Zack and Miri (which he kept calling "Zack and Marie")

how odd are those choices?

So also, I was over at mom's yesterday coming off of a Pier 1 high and watching the Dr Doolittle marathon on ABC Family when lo and behold a Twilight promo comes on. My lovely sister goes NUTS. "omg he's so hot, omg omg omg" and all that. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DOESN'T THINK HE'S HOT!?!?!?! Hence, a poll. Please vote. My reputation as an adult depends on it. El Oh El.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dinner Divas: Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

I know I am totally late on this one!! For this month's Dinner Divas I wanted to try both the Rachel Ray Mexican Lasagna and the Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle from Cooking Light. But, I only got to try one.

I decided to do the Chicken Pesto because I've never had pesto and I had extra chicken from the roast chicken I made a little while ago. So, it turned from Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle to just Chicken and Pesto Farfalle. Also, it added to my Pasta Quest! Even though I've had farfalle before, I hadn't had the pesto.
Here's the recipe:

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle (courtesy Cooking Light)

* 1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* 1 teaspoon salt, divided
* 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
* Cooking spray
* 20 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 (3.5-ounce) jar commercial pesto (about 1/3 cup)
* 3/4 cup half-and-half
* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
* 4 cups halved grape tomatoes (about 2 pints)
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I omitted the basil since I didn't feel like going to my mom's to steal some from her garden)


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until done, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces; keep warm.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in large bowl.

4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 cup milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 cup cheese; stir until cheese melts.

5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately.

Halloween!!! (Chili)

OK, I'm finally getting to it. For Hday this year we had a work party where we brought in dishes. We had contests for the tastiest and scariest food. Since we don't have a ton of cooks, I usually bring a main dish. This time, chili. I decided to use the recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker's blog. She makes it look so easy!

Being that my schedule was like this:
Tuesday: work, then work
Wednesday: recipe exchange dinner, prep pumpkin muffins, bake pumpkin muffins
Thursday: work, work, pumpkin muffins, frost pumpkin muffins, prep chili
Friday: (morning) brown meat for chili, throw stuff in crock pot, carry 30lbs of stuff to work, work, scurry home, carve my pumpkins, decorate house, hand out candy (and maybe eat some dinner)

I decided to assemble said chili the night before, cutting veg and opening can and dumping everything into a crock pot (which mom bought me the day before, I was complaining, and she got me a crock pot. I heart mom) which worked beautifully. I browned the meat the morning of, mixed, set on high, and it was great by noon. Hubs LOVED this. I didn't tell him it came from the crock pot. He wouldn't eat it.

(Adapted from Recipezaar) ~ via Brown Eyed Baker's blog

2 lbs ground beef
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans (with liquid)
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans (with liquid)
Cat used black beans because the hubs likes.
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
Did not use, it's so uneconomical to buy a whole freaking thing of celery just for one stalk.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water

1. Brown ground beef in a large pot
(or a pan, so that you can shove everything in a crock pot) over medium heat.

2. Drain off the fat.

3. Combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat.

4. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.

Yay for Chili!! Sadly, all was eaten before I could get a picture. Just pretend.

Recipe Exchange: 3 Cheese Broccoli Soup

I made my entry for the latest recipe exchange last Wednesday, when I was also busy prepping for Halloween goings on. It was sooooo good. I do have to admit I couldn't find all of the cheeses from Wisconsin, so I just picked up the cheeses from as close as I could get (one was from Ohio, it's still midwest!)

Without further adieu:

Taste of Wisconsin Three Cheese Broccoli Soup

6 Tbsp. butter
1/3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
dash ground thyme
1 - 13 3/4 ounce can chicken broth
1 C. milk
3 C. bite-size broccoli florets (I used fresh broccoli, took me fo-eva to cut the sucker up)
1 C. whipping cream
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 C. (4 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese
1/2 C. (2 ounces) shredded Wisconsin-Style Havarti Cheese
1/2 C. (2 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Swiss Cheese

Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Gradually add broth and milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in broccoli; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cream, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Add cheeses; stir until melted. Makes 6 - 3/4 cup servings.

It turned out very well, even though I am the worst with melting cheese into any sort of roux with milk. I've determined I don't get the milk hot enough before adding. I am impatient. Natch.