Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Cut-Out Cookies

It was time to do the annual roll and cut-out of sugar cookies this holiday season. I was dreading it as I had tried a new recipe last week and when I went to roll out the dough I might as well have been trying to roll out and cut butter. The dough was way too soft.

I decided to go with the tried and true Better Homes and Gardens recipe and it proved difficult to work with on the re-roll out. I ended up tossing a bit of the dough as it was not cold enough anymore to be worked with. I think my house might have been a tad bit too warm yesterday.

But I ended up getting just over 2 dozen cookies baked.  The girls, Leah and Sarah, and I went to work decorating them right away and because I didn't have as many cookies as usual the decorating went quickly.  Lasted long enough for the three of us to have some fun and chuckle over our decoration of the cookies, but not so long that no one wanted to finish the last cookie. 

Above is a sample of the cookies we made.  They won't last long although we must save one or two for Santa since they are his favorites!

Happy Holidays to all my dear readers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Little Stitchery Magic

Made this little lace bookmark for Leah's 2nd grade teacher for Christmas this year. 

This makes my second actually finished piece of cross stitch.  The other was a bread cloth that I use regularly.

Along with this little piece I purchased a canvas tote bag with a cute saying about teachers and her name personalized on it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Today was snowy and really frigid with temps in the teens.  Was a perfect day to make White Chicken Chili and warm us from the inside.  A serving of cornbread completes the meal.


In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Simmer for 55–60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Doggie Treats

Today was scheduled to be a dreary sleety, snow-filled day, so I decided this morning to make dog treats. I elected to go with the Pumpkin Wows because the dogs had liked them so much before and I had leftover pumpkin to use up in the freezer.  This recipe is for a bread machine dough.  If no bread machine, mix by hand and let rise for 1 hour. 


3/4 c chicken broth                      1/2 c cornmeal
1 c canned pumpkin                     3 tbsp oats, uncooked
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil                    2-1/2 tbsp brewer's yeast
1-1/2 tbsp maple syrup                1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt                                  1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c whole wheat flour                1/3 c raisins
1/4 c wheat bran                          1 pkg instant or rapid yeast (2-1/4 tsp)

Place all ingredients in bread machine and set on dough cycle.  Check consistency in 5 to 15 minutes; dough should be a firm, round ball.  Add flour/liquid if necessary.

When cycle is over, roll out dough on a lightly dusted with flour area of countertop.  Dough should be rolled to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out treats with cookie cutter.  Re-roll dough until all is used.  Place treats on a nonstick cookie sheet (I use parchment paper). 

Bake in preheated 350° oven for 45 to 55 minutes.  Turn oven off and leave treats in oven for 2-4 hours before storing in airtight container.