Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

You should understand that the ticket to my husband’s heart involves just a few things. College football, good music, and lots of sweets. Since we’ve dated, I’ve tried to tackle just a few adventures in the kitchen just so he knows I’m not a complete joke as the person he’s chosen to spend the rest of his life with. Sugar cookies are right-up there in his list of favorites, and coincidently the prospect of making these homemade TERRIFIES me.

For a few years now, I’ve slid under the radar by buying the packaged sugar cookie mix, and slapping a little frosting on top.
Betty’s treated me well over the years, but just like Britney and Justin; it was time for us to go our separate ways. I’ve tackled homemade pies. I can make some damn sugar cookies.
In order to ensure a few more solid years of wedded bliss, I tackled straight-up homemade sugar cookies this week. And they were AMAZING. Here’s the recipe for any of you go-getters out there.
Sugar Cookies

1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1. Cream butter and sugar. Add rest of ingredients.
2. Chill in the fridge at least 10 minutes. Roll the dough out.
*Tip: Use LOTS of flour to make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter.
3. Cut out your shapes and place them onto an un-greased cookie sheet. (thinner = more crispy)
4. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Take them out when you’re supposed to or your first batch will look like this:
This is what I like to call an epic failure. See that little crispy tree on the bottom? Not good for the marriage.

If you finally get your act together and take them out correctly, then you’re ready for some frosting. In my humble (clearly amateur) opinion, this is what takes the cookies to a 10.

Powdered Sugar Icing (from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 tablespoon milk
1. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency.

Start out with the white, then use seperate bowls to make additional colors as needed. A few drops of food coloring and I had yellow and green to work with.

I had some leftover red gel icing, so some of the trees and snowmen got a little extra attention.
Those are obviously scarves on the snowmen. No they don’t have eyes, they are magical snowmen who only need red scarves to feel complete. Moving along….
TA DA!!!
Stand back and admire your handi-work. These bad-boys were gone in 2 hours at the in-laws this weekend. Mission accomplished.
Hope you all had a great holiday!!!

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Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

I am loving Kim’s blog, and all the great DIY projects that have been linked up over the last few days.

This week’s challenge? Dare to DIY: Dare to give homemade gifts!

Last year (when I had 3 followers) I posted my homemade hot cocoa mix. I’m making a few new sets this week so I can bring them over to the neighbors and coworkers. My grandma would be so proud; this is her recipe which means guaranteed success!

Here’s the recipe:

– 1/2 Cup powdered mlk
– 1/2 Cup Powdered chocolate mix (nesquik is what I used)
– 1/2 Cup sugar
– 1/4 Cup Marshmallows
– 1/4 Cup chocolate chips

Layer all ingredients in mason jar. For best layering, I did this order: chocolate chips, milk, chocolate, sugar, marshmallows. It’s only to make it look nice but hey, fake it till you make it right?

To jazz them up a bit I topped each lid with some leftover wrapping paper scraps. Tie a little ribbon around the top and noone would know you weren’t the craftiest chick in the office. (Again, we’re faking it here….)

I also included a little tag with the instructions to the recipients.

It reads:

Enjoy this homemade hot cocoa mix. Stir 1/3 cup cocoa mix in mug. Add 1 cup boiling water. Enjoy!

It honestly takes less than 30 minutes to make a HUGE set of these, and the hot cocoa tastes AMAZING. Perfect for neighbors, coworkers, or anyone else who you need something simple for.

Stop over at Kim’s for more fun ideas! Then set aside some time in the next few weeks to tackle some of these projects!

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Another week; another challenge at Newlywoodwards!
This week’s challenge is Dare to: Eat Cookies!

I actually can’t take credit for this recipe. It came from a coworker who made them for all of us to enjoy last year. They are the softeset, yummieset cookies ever! Might be because the ingredients call for 3 sticks of butter! And they’re fat free too 🙂 (sense sarcasm here). The pudding mix adds such a cool texture, and throwing in some mint m&m’s instead of chocolate chips are yummy for the holidays.

Confession: I am making these tonight and will post a picture. Until then, trust me that they are awesome! The photo below is definitley a good visual for the time-being.

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
3 sticks butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 large box chocolate, vanilla, or butterscotch instant pudding
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 2/3 cup flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 bag chocolate chips (or mint M&M’s J )
Cream butter until fluffy.  Beat in sugars.  Mix in pudding, eggs and vanilla.  Mix together dry ingredients in separate bowl, then add slowly to wet mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Bake at 325 for 10-15 minutes.

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Recipe: Apple Pie

2nd pie post of the day. I’m making them both for Thanksgiving so I figured now is the time to share!

Recipe: Apple Pie (from Better Homes & Gardens)

– 1 recipe: Grandma’s Never Fail Pie Crust
– 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples (about 2.25 lbs)
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– Milk (optional)
– Sugar (optional)

1. Prepare and roll out pie crust. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the pastry.

2. If desired, sprinkle apples with lemon juice (keeps them from browning). In a large bowl stir together the 3/4 cup sugar, the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated.
*Note; to get the apples ready, I used an apple slicer/corer and then cut each of those pieces once. Those were the perfect size.
3. Transfer apple mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim bottom pastry to edge of pie plate. Roll the remaining pastry out, place on filling and seal. Crimp edge if you like that look. It also seals the top/bottom crusts so it’s probably a good idea.
4. Optional: brush top of the pie with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar. (I used cinnamon sugar above and it was a yummy combo). To prevent over-browning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 20 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack.

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Recipe: Pumpkin Pie

It’s that time of the year. Thanksgiving is this week and if you ever wanted to attempt a pie, now’s the chance! I always offer to bring the pie because pumpkin is SUPER easy, and I love the way it makes the house smell. This is the same pie that Kelly & I made on Halloween; so you can thank her for the lovely photos below. Nice hands Kel!

Here’s a very easy, basic pumpkin pie that you can all attempt.

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie (from Better Homes & Gardens)

– 1 pastry crust (get it in the freezer section)
– 1 15 oz can pumpkin
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ginger
– 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
– 2 slightly beaten eggs
– 3/4 cup milk

1. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add eggs; beat lightly with fork until combined.

2. Gradually add milk; stir until combined. Pour into pastry shell.

3. To prevent over-burning, cover edges with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. Cool on a wire rack. Cover & refrigerate within 2 hours.

(This pic is before it went in the oven but it was amazing afterwards. It lasted 2 seconds because this is my husbands favorite food ever!

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A few weeks ago, I think I told you about my little pie-baking adventure. My girlfriend and I spent Halloween making both pumpkin and apple pie, and made our first ever homemade pie crust. First of all; it’s worth it. It’s SO good! It was a little challenging but not as bad as I expected. First up; I figured I’d share the recipe with you all! This is from my grandma Dorothy I believe, and was in my cook book that my mom put together with all our favorite family recipes. Grandma, I hope you’re ok with me sharing!

Never-Fail Pie Crust
– 3 cups flour
– 1 cup shortening Crisco
– 1 egg
– 5-7 Tablespoons water
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon vinegar

1. Cut the shortening into the flour. (If you’ve never done this before, don’t be intitimdated by that term. Pretty much it means take the stick of crisco, and use 2 knives. Criscross the knives across the shortening, cutting it up into little slices as you go. This just gives the crust the texture you want, nice and flaky. Here’s a little tutorial online if my lame description above isn’t helpful!)
2. Beat eggs.  Add water, salt and vinegar to egg.
3. Add liquids to flour mixture and stir carefully until it’s moistened and can be formed into 2 balls. (This will be either 2 seperate crusts or can be the top/bottom for 1 pie)
4. Roll out for pie crust. Cover rolling pin with cloth and a little flour.

Enjoy you’re pie!!

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Wild Rice Soup

God bless the crock-pot. October through March my crockpot has a permanent spot on my kitchen counter. Along-side the sleek stainless steel countertops and black granite; there she lies….

Do I care that it doesn’t blend in? That the warm cooked food typically takes hours to clean out? No. These are all sacrifices considering the warm awesomeness that she produces after six short hours on low. Heaven.
I digress. 

This weekend was no different. I started an amazing batch of chicken wild-rice soup and thought I’d share with all of you. Here you go!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

– 1/2 cup raw wild rice
– 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
– 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
– 1 can Cream of Celery soup
– 1 can Cream of Potato soup
– 1 soup can water
– 2 soup cans milk
– 2-3 cooked, diced chicken breasts
**Not a chicken fan? Add 1/2 lb crumbled bacon or 1/2 lb diced ham to mix things up.

Add all ingredients together in crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Garnish with cheddar cheese to serve.

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