Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Card Cupid Challenge for the week of December 20

The challenge for December 20 is to use your favorite tool. This weeks challenge is sponsored by Bugaboo Stamps and one lucky participant will receive 7 Bugaboo Stamps of their choice.

To submit your card go here

My favorite tool I used was my Martha Stewart Score Board and my paper cutter.

I made an A2 card, used some scrap paper for the background, purple hemp, and I used action wobbles so the dog could wobble. Action Wobbles are so easy and they make things look cute.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mince Pies

Pastry Recipe taken from Joy of Baking

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces

1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water

Mincemeat (I usually buy Crosse and Blackwell's brand, which they have at Safeway before the holidays).

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the pastry in half, flatten each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

Have ready one - 24 or two - 12 mini muffin pan(s). After the dough has chilled sufficiently, take one of the disks of pastry and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry dough until about 1/8 inch thick and cut into 24 rounds that are slightly bigger than the muffin tins. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Gently place the rounds into the muffin tins. Place about a teaspoon of mincemeat into each tin and set aside while you make the pastry stars.

Roll out the second disk of pastry and cut out 24 stars and gently place the stars on top of the mincemeat. If desired, brush the tops of the stars with a little egg wash (one large egg whisked together with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake in a 400 degrees F (205 degree C) oven for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the pastry has lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar (icing/powdered) before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. These tarts freeze very well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Éclair Dessert

It is better to make this dessert the day before. I wish I had a picture of it but I always forget.

3 cups of milk
2 packages of vanilla pudding mix (4 serving size)
12 oz cool whip
Graham crackers
Chocolate icing

Put 3 cups of milk in large bowl
Add 2 packages of pudding mix
Mix with a whisk for 2 min and then stir in 12 oz cool whip

To assemble
Line the bottom of the dish with graham cracker squares
Pour ½ of the filling over the crackers
Add another layer of crackers
Pour rest of filling over crackers
Top with last layer

Melt chocolate and pour on top of crackers

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Fudge!!!!

Because you can never have too much sugar!! (I have no idea why the picture is sideways!)

pumpkin Fudge
1 cup half and half cream
3 cups sugar
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin or sweet potato puree
dash salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
4 tbsp butter (use butter - much tastier than margarine)
1 tsp vanilla

Combine cream, sugar, corn syrup, pumpkin and salt in a large pan. Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. When mixture comes to a full boil, reduce heat and simmer until mixture comes to the softball stage (235 degrees F). I find an accurate candy thermometer indispensible for this as the temperatures are really important in having htis turn out well. Remove from heat. Beat in cinnamon, allspice, butter and vanilla. Cool to 110 degrees F (leave your thermometer in the mix to monitor when the temp hits 110, then beat until thick and mixture looses its gloss. I find it easiet to use my kitchen aid mixer to beat the mixture - saves the arm for knitting and spinning! Spoon into a buttered dish. Let cool, slice; cut slices into cubes and EAT!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!!!

Because of the cream cheese in the filling, I assembled all the left-overs and wrapped them in plastic wrap so I could refrigerate them. I think they are going to be super messy, but awesome!

I got this recipe (see below) from the Better Homes and Gardens site. I made the following adjustments: 1/3 less fat cream cheese for filling, used a carrot cake mix, did not let the cakes sit out for 24 hours (like I could wait that long!)

They are SO GOOD! If I could change anything, I would have the filling be a little stiffer because they are a bit messy!! I'm not sure what would be the easiest way to make it stiffer??

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package 2-layer-size spice cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 recipe Marshmallow-Spice Filling (see recipe below)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil (grease foil, if using). In a large mixing bowl beat pumpkin and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add cake mix, eggs, and milk; beat on low speed until combined, and then on medium speed for 1 minute.

2. By the heaping tablespoon, drop mounds of batter 3 inches apart on cookie sheet; keep remaining batter chilled. Bake 15 minutes or until set and lightly browned around edges. Carefully remove from parchment or foil; cool on wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, lining cooled cookie sheets each time with new parchment or foil. If desired, place cookies in a covered storage container with waxed paper between layers to prevent sticking. Store cookies at room temperature for 24 hours. Prepare Marshmallow-Spice Filling up to 2 hours before serving. Spread about 2-1/2 tablespoons filling on flat side of one cookie; top with a second cookie. Repeat. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 2 hours. Makes 15 whoopies.

Marshmallow-Spice Filling: Up to 2 hours before serving, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and one 8-ounce package softened cream cheese until smooth. Add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 of a 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat until well combined.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 15 whoopies
  • Calories 379,
  • Total Fat (g) 19,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 11,
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g) 6,
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 1,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 75,
  • Sodium (mg) 387,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 49,
  • Total Sugar (g) 33,
  • Fiber (g) 1,
  • Protein (g) 3,
  • Vitamin A (DV%) 0,
  • Vitamin C (DV%) 1,
  • Calcium (DV%) 10,
  • Iron (DV%) 6,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dirt Cake with Worms

We had a small Halloween party with Rodney's family. My mother-in-law and I put it all together. One of the desserts I made was a dirt cake with worms (I doubled it) . It was so delicious! Here's the recipe (with my changes):

Dirt Cake with Worms

  • 2 boxes of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 3 1/2 cups of milk (for thicker pudding use less milk)
  • 2 tubs of Cool Whip (I used 1 big one)
  • 1 package of oreos
  • 1 package of gummy worms (one of the $1 ones at Wal-Mart will be plenty!)

Mix pudding with milk for 2 minutes (I made my pudding ahead of time and let it chill for about 2 hours)
Mix 1/3 of cool whip with pudding
Crush Oreos in food processor (or in a zipper baggie like I did)
Layer pudding, cool whip, and cookies. Add gummy worms on top to finish. I put about 5 gummy worms in each layer between the cool whip and the cookies for some extra wormies.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grandma's Meatloaf

I know that everyone says that their mom's meatloaf is the best....but I swear mine is! I really don't like meatloaf when it's got that ketchupy sauce on top of it, and this one doesn't have it. It's super easy to make, and it tastes really, really good.

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 stack of Club crackers, crushed (I put them on tin foil, then roll a glass over them)
1 can vegetarian vegetable soup
2 eggs
onion salt (to taste)

Preheat oven to 325. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Put all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix together well (it's easiest just to use your hands). Put mixture in prepared loaf pan and cover with tin foil. Bake at 325 for two hours, then remove the foil. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the top is well-browned. Slice and serve!

**I also always serve baked potatoes with this. Just wash one potato per person, wrap in tin foil, and poke with a fork. Put them directly on the rack with the meatloaf, and take them out when the meatloaf is completely finished.