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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Countdown to Christmas!

Get Myspace Christmas Countdown

I don't think this includes today or Christmas day...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Cookie List

Well, the time is almost upon us that Christmas cookies need to be made! So here is what I am thinking. What do you think?

sugar cookies (W/SUGAR COOKIE GLAZE)
-pecan rolled
oatmeal cookies
pb cup cookies
spritz cookies

Do you have any favorites not listed that you'd like to see??

Essential Kitchen Gadget

I've noticed that my oven has been acting up lately and I've been having problems baking. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought an Oven Thermomator. Turns out my oven temperature is off by like 25 degrees! So, my recipe for 350 degrees was upped to about 380 to get the oven to the correct the temperature and viola! no baking problems!! And, they are cheap, only $6!! Course, now I am going to clean the oven to see if that helps.. that's no fun... :(

Grecian Goodness

I tried this recipe out of my Real Simple Meals Made Easy cookbook. So yummy. I wanted to eat another, but was too full! I thought I had chicken but when I thawed it, it was pork chops! So, I substitued shrimp and it was great! I love this and will totally make it again!!! I did omit the olives b/c I don't like them, and substituted water for the lemon juice b/c I was out, and substitued white wine vinegar for the red wine, but it turned out yummy even with all the substitutions! I'll have to make it again with all the right ingredients to see how it should really taste!


Chicken Souvlaki

4 pieces flat bread or pitas
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup crumbled Feta
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 small cucumber, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Heat oven to 200° F. Wrap the bread in foil and place in oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, Feta, and olives.

In a large bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vinegar, and the lemon juice. Slowly add 4 tablespoons of the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until incorporated. Pour 2 1/2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the tomato mixture, toss, and set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining vinaigrette, toss, and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the chicken but not the liquid to the skillet and heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, and the remaining vinegar. Spread the bread with some of the yogurt sauce and top with the chicken. Add the tomato salad and fold.

Tip: Greek souvlaki traditionally calls for lamb, but you can also make it with chicken breasts, turkey cutlets, or shrimp.

Thanksgiving Treats!

I got a new bundt type pan the other day (made by Nordic Ware and bought at Bed Bath and Beyond) and love it! It's so fun and cute! It makes 30 mini tea cakes! I used a pumpkin cake recipe and it turned out well. Next time, I think I'll go with a simple chocolate cake to really show the form of each little cake.

This is the recipe I used. It's pretty good.
I also have a chocolate pumpkin cake under october 2005.

So I also made some turkey sugar cookies. I finally found a sugar cookie recipe that I can work with. Usually I have a really hard time making sugar cookies and give up and just make them round, but I think this one will work!!!

Will make cut-out, slice, or spritz cookies
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
1 lg. egg
1 t vanilla
3 c flour

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar and salt until light and flyffy. Add egg and beat well to combine. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low speed add flour and mix until incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350. Space cookies 2" apart on parchment paper line cookie sheets. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, 7-12 minutes.

Decorate and let dry at least 2 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

I found the key to these cookies is to chill the dough for AT LEAST 2 hours, I let it chill overnight. Then, only use a small portion of the dough at a time, keeping the rest in the fridge to stay firm. When I was using cookie cutters, the stiffer the dough, the easier it was to cut the shapes!!

A friend gave me this recipe and said it came from Blue Print Magazine.

I just looked it up and here is the link to the magazine:


My new favorite fruit! I started by drinking POM's tea as a "I went to the grocery treat" and then thought one day, I should try the fruit. They are soooo goood! Sadly, they are only available for a short time from November to March, I think, so try one ASAP! I can't stop eating the delicious aril's (the seeds). So you eat the red seeds and discard the white pulp part.


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