Tuesday, December 28, 2010

15 bean and pearl barley chili

i enjoy soups and stews
year round
but this
pleasantly cool weather
makes me want to
hunker down with a 
stick to your ribs kinda meal
stick to your ribs
also means
stick to your thighs
if you know what i mean
this recipe
is vegetarian
and very low in fat
i might be so bold as to say
guilt free
it uses dried beans
so it will cost you a bit of time
in the soaking
but it is well worth it
i made a huge pot
and froze my leftovers
mainly because
hubster is a meat eater
say vegetarian chili to him
and he hears
i didn't make any dinner tonight
15 bean and pearl barley chili
(printable recipe)
1 bag 15 bean soup mix--beans only (save the flavor packet for something else--or toss it like i do)
water for soaking beans
1 onion--chopped
2 celery rib--chopped
2 carrots--chopped
1 pasilla chile--chopped
1 cup mushrooms--chopped
1/4 cup chili spice mix
1/4 tsp cayenne
4Tbs tomato paste
1 cup pearl barley
6 cups liquid (i used 4 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups beer)
1 generous tablespoon grated bittersweet chocolate (i had some salted chocolate in my pantry that worked a charm)
salt and pepper to taste
Soak the beans in water overnight or use whatever method you are most comfortable with for softening dried beans.  Drain.  In a heavy stock pot, cook onions, celery, carrots, pasilla and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, until they soften and just begin to brown.  toss in the chili spice, and cayenne and give it a turn or two to coat everything.  add the pearl barley and stir to coat.  stir in the tomato paste and chocolate, then toss in the beans and cook until they and the barley are tender. It should take about an hour over medium heat. Do not let boil, just simmer. season to taste with salt and pepper. serve with all your favorite chili fixins.

i am linking this to 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

boxing day pate {chicken liver pate}

i've celebrated boxing day
a few times

 in my first experience of
while living in the UK
i found myself
going from store to store
in my little village
finding locked doors
and closed signs

even with mail delivery
two times a day
i didn't get the memo
that commerce ends
when christmas celebrations 

boxing day is a lovely tradition
and much more meaningful
half-off sales
crowded malls

this simple pate
rounds out a simple buffet
if you fancy yourself a bit more posh
a nice glass of champs
a cool jar of caviar
and this 
on a silver tray
would have the queen
bowing to you
chicken liver pate
(printable recipe)
1/4 cup shallots--finely diced
1/2 cup salt pork --diced
2 large garlic cloves--smashed but kept whole
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb chicken livers--well trimmed
1 cup chicken broth
leaves from 1 sprig thyme
pinch black pepper
1 stick butter
3 generous tablespoons cognac
in a saute pan with non-sloping sides, heat the olive oil and toss in the garlic, the shallots and the salt pork.  cook on low until the shallots begin to soften.  wash and dry the livers.  toss into the shallots and oil and let brown, but don't cook all the way through. it will only take a few minutes.  toss in the thyme and black pepper, then pour in the chicken broth. cover the pan and let cook until the liver is cooked through and everything else is softened.  remove from heat and immediately tip everything into a food processor. add the butter in chunks and process until you have a nice thick paste.  pour through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.  stir in the cognac and then pour into ramekins or gifting jars.  for a nice presentation, you can top with clarified butter and a fresh sprig of thyme.

Friday, December 24, 2010


i learned to make pizzelle
at the knee of my great-aunt rose
while still quite young

she was an amazing baker
a real stickler
i learned not to lick the spoon
at a very early age

each time i lift
my pizzelle iron
from its tattered 
batter scarred box
my memory of  my aunt rose floats richly
in the fragrance of these cookies
the season
(printable recipe)
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs + 1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbs Anise flavored extract
4 oz unsalted butter--melted and cooled
combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, extract and melted butter.  stir into the flour mixture. this batter will be nice and thick, similar to a pate a choux.  drop by the spoonful onto a hot pizzelle iron.  check after 60 seconds for color. you want it to be a light blonde in color.  do not undercook, undercooked pizzelle will not get nice and crispy.  sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar and serve.
you can form these into cones or cups, or even cut in fourths while they are still warm.  i like to use them for large and beautiful ice cream sandwiches...or rolled and filled with a bit of brandy flavored whipped cream...but i mostly like them just as they are.

one last thing...
wishing you all
a peaceful holiday
with sweet memories
humble gratitude
deep joy
Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

italian fig cookies

to be honest
this is more of a st. joseph's day treat
than a christmas one
truth be told
they are good
any time of year
be warned
this is not a fig newton facsimile
these are spicy and heady and filled with riches
wrapped in a buttery italian pastry
pasta frolla
my presentation isn't typical either
they are usually rolled in a tube-shape 
and cut in sections

on a cookie tray
i find them to stay fresh a bit longer
when presented like this
italian fig cookies
(printable recipe)
pasta frolla
4 cups flour
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter--cold and cut into pieces
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
using a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt a few times to ensure fully mixed.  drop in the butter and pulse until the butter has incorporated completely turning the mixture into a powder.  add the eggs and vanilla and continue to pulse until the dough forms a ball.  remove and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. 
12 oz dried figs (i use calimyrna)
1/2 cup currants or raisins
zest of 1 orange finely grated
1/3 cup blanched, slivered almonds--toasted
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate--cut into pieces or chips
3 heaping Tablespoons apricot preserves
3 Tbs dark rum
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
light pinch ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
egg beaten with a bit of water for egg wash
powdered sugar glaze or royal icing for decoration
sprinkles for decoration
if the figs are hard and dry, place them in a bowl of hot water to soften, drain and then proceed with recipe.   dice the figs and place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. stir to fully incorporate. place the entire mixture in the food processor, fitted with steel blade and pulse until you have a paste.  place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
roll the dough out to 1/4" and cut with a small round, plain or scalloped cookie cutter. place just a small bit of fig on top of half the cutouts.  brush a bit of egg wash with a brush on the outer edge of the dough. place a second piece of dough on top and press with tines of fork or toothpick to seal.  brush top with egg wash.  bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. you have to watch to see that they don't burn, you want them just starting to brown on the bottom.
when cool, leave plain or drizzle a bit of powdered sugar glaze (powdered sugar and milk to a runny consistency), or royal icing and add a few sprinkles.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

chicken paprikash with potato dumplings

hubster and i recently traveled through spain with friends 
one of the gals was mildly obsessed with paprika
she was very determined
to bring some home
at every stop
 she looked for the perfect spice
for paprikash
in the end
she arrived home with a
satchel full 
of the wonderful crimson spice
promised a recipe
that would showcase
the wonderful 
flavor of this smoky and rich ground pepper

this recipe is very flavorful 
it is usually eaten with a flour dumplings
i favor large potato dumplings with this recipe
it gives it heft
curbs the spice a bit
paprikash with potato dumplings
chicken paprikash
(printable recipe)
1 /2 cup flour
2 Tbs sweet paprika
t/t salt
t/t pepper
whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
3 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion-cut in half, then thinly sliced
1Tbs + 1 tsp smoked paprika
3 Tbs paprika
¼ tsp cayenne
14 oz can diced tomatoes
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp sugar
2 cups or more chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
 Combine flour and 2 Tbs paprika with salt and pepper.  Dredge chicken in flour mixture.  Reserve left over flour.  Add oil to dutch oven.  Heat over medium high heat.  Add chicken and brown on both sides.  Remove chicken and reserve.  Add a bit more oil to pot.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add red pepper, paprika and salt.  Return chicken to pot and pour in the tomatoes. Add enough broth to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer 30-45 minutes, until chicken is done.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Combine reserved flour and ½ cup sour cream.  Add small amount of liquid from pot to flour mixture and stir with whisk until smooth.  Add to pot and simmer 5 minutes.  Add remaining sour cream at serving.
potato gnocchi
(printable recipe)
2 large russet potatoes
1 cup (about) flour
1 egg--slightly beaten
generous pinch salt
scrub the potatoes and rub with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  put on a cookie sheet and bake at 400F until baked through and soft.  while the potatoes are still hot, cut each potato in half and push through a potato ricer in a mound. (save the skins for a yummy snack) make a well in the potato and sprinkle with most of the flour, and the salt.  put the egg in the well and gently mix in to form a dough.  try not to overwork, and add flour as necessary to make a dough that will stay together. you really don't want your dough falling apart in the water. you may need more than 1 cup flour. knead until the dough is cohesive. for this recipe, i make large gnocchi "dumplings", but you can make traditional ones if you like. roll the dough out to 1/4" and cut into rectangles.  make score marks on each side (this helps "catch" the sauce).  cook the dumplings in a pot of boiling salted water. toss them into the water, let them float to the top and then wait another 60 seconds or so.  remove from the water then, toss into the pot of paprikash and let them soak up a bit of the sauce. when serving, i put the dumplings in one serving dish and the chicken with sauce in another.  while served separately, they are meant to be eaten together.

i am linking this up to

Sunday, December 19, 2010

chocolate glazed gingerbread

until yesterday
it had been years
since i made
gingerbread cookies 
come holiday time
i bake for others
others with specific requests
i dusted off my cookie cutter
and scoured my recipe archives
i found a fun idea in
nancy baggett's all american cookie book
a chocolate glazed version
one of my favorite combinations
gingerbread and chocolate is

here's what i have to say
i will give you her recipe
slightly altered 
(it is what i do, i can't help myself)

it produces a firm and crisp cookie
(which i like)
but it lacks a "roundness", another flavor note, i think
i added honey and it is an improvement
and then there is the glaze

it just was NOT chocolatey enough
looking like chocolate
and tasting like chocolate
are two entirely different things
i bumped it up--considerably
i give you the recipe
with the tweaks already in
if you want the original
buy the book
it is worth it
she has some great recipes
chocolate glazed gingerbread
(printable recipe)
(adapted from all american cookie book)
6 1/2 cups flour (plus more if needed)
2 Tbs ground cinnamon
2 Tbs ground ginger *
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt *
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar *
1 cup unsalted butter--slightly softened
2 Tbs corn oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 1/4 cup molasses*
1/4 cup honey*
whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.  in an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar, butter, and oil until light and fluffy. beat in molasses, honey and 2 1/2 Tbs water until well blended. beat in half the flour mixture until well blended. stir in the remaining flour. knead the dough until it becomes smooth and shiny. if dough is too stiff, you may add a bit more water, if too sticky, add flour.  divide dough into three pieces. roll each piece in between pieces of wax or parchment paper to 1/4" thick.  place in the refrigerator to firm up (about 3 hours).  when ready to use, peel back the parchment from both sides and using a cookie cutter, stamp out design.  bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for approximately 6-12 minutes at 350F.  keep a close eye.  let cool, then dip in chocolate glaze
chocolate luster glaze
11/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate--coarsely chopped and melted*
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
pinch kosher salt*
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1/3 cup water
1 Tbs light or dark corn syrup*
1 tsp vanilla extract
heat the water and corn syrup in a sauce pan, over medium heat until it just comes to a boil.  remove from heat.  sift together the powdered sugar, salt and cocoa powder.  stir the hot syrup/water into the powdered sugar mixture and beat by hand until smooth and shiny.  toss in the vanilla and melted chocolate and beat again until smooth.  dip cookies or use an offset spatula to frost. let cookies sit a minimum of 3 hours to ensure they are set.  decorate as desired. 
the ingredients marked by * have been altered, or added by yours truly.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

iced and snowy stars

i love this shortbread recipe
and use it shamelessly
whenever i can
it is seen here
rolled into a rainbow of happiness
every christmas
mom would bring out
special cookie cutters
the ones she used for
the mystery still remains
they were 
shaped like playing card suits
and how
"spades" and "diamonds"
scream christmas
i never thought to ask

perhaps i should

she rolled the dough out thicker than usual 
slightly underbaked them
and half dipped them in chocolate
and they are perfect that way
my favorite way of eating them

but they are also delightful
rolled a bit thinner
baked a bit crispier 
glazed with
ivory tinted
royal icing, 
flavored with a bit of almond
finished with sugar
i make these
mom still makes 
chocolate dipped
and it is hard to imagine
that we both use 
the same dough
shortbread cookies
(printable recipe)
(the original recipe has been passed down through my family, but came-i think-from Paula Peck)
1 cup butter-room temperature
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Beat sugar and butter until completely mixed together, but not light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and salt and mix until just incorporated. Slowly stir in flour and only mix until just incorporated.  Divide dough in 2 portions, wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.  When ready to bake, roll out and bake on parchment paper.  top with sprinkles or leave plain and bake at 325 until just starting to brown on the bottom.
once cooled you can dip in tempered chocolate or glaze with royal icing (alton brown recipe here), flavored as you choose

just a simple tip.  i glaze the cookies using a pastry bag and let them dry.  i then dip a small paint brush in a bit of everclear or vodka (or you can use extract) and gently swipe it across the top. i then immediately sprinkle the sugar on top. the liquid will evaporate almost immediately--but it will allow your sugar to stick without sinking into the icing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

one of santa's?

i know it isn't food--but i had to share
i was browsing through a british mag
a cast off from my cousin
and found the most delightful tableau
from living etc december 2010
and i thought
i could probably make that
 i didn't look at it close enough
i see now
that it was a small little table-top picture
is not
my mantle december 2010
but i love it anyway
and hubster does too
now that he knows it is just for the holidays

he was a bit suspect
 and slightly concerned 
i might start making "art"
for the house

this was really simple
i purchased a cheap canvas
painted the background white-white
drew the elk freehand in pencil
painted it burnt umber
 a few strands of battery operated lights
strategically placed and poked through
(a little hot glue to secure)
gives it a sparkly-snowy feel
simple, right?

i was thinking of making eight more
  to line our living room wall
as if i
curate santa's hall of fame

Thursday, December 16, 2010

going to the dogs...

we used to have a dog bakery in our neighborhood
 i would walk past it with a 
people need to get a life
rolling my eyes
as i passed 
perfectly coiffed poodles
their own frequent buyer cards
and suddenly
as if i hadn't just heard myself
i would turn on my heels
go in
and purchase
"just a little something"
for our two pups 

that stuff was irresistible

the shop closed last year
and, not surprisingly
i found
our dogs were happy with any and all treats
morning constitution

which is great
at christmas 
i like to have something special
for the little rascals

imagine my surprise
when i came across peanut flour
at the local trader joes
i immediately thought
of dog biscuits
i'm silly that way

these are really easy to put together
and apparently yummy
i am not kidding when i tell you
our dogs were pestering me
to lick the bowl

humans can eat these too
but i don't know why one would
they are packed with
healthy goodness
but not
tasty goodness
you are a dog
stellar treats
(printable recipe)
1 cup peanut flour
2 cups oat bran
2 over-ripe bananas
3 egg yolks
3 Tbs honey
2 Tbs cinnamon
1/4-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
egg white for brushing cookies
sprinkles (optional)
place the peanut flour, oat bran, bananas, eggs, cinnamon and honey in the bowl of a food processor. process until it becomes a dough.  turn onto your work bench and work in enough flour to make a firm dough, that can be rolled out.  if you don't want to use wheat, you can use oat flour for this. roll out to about 1/4"thick and cut with cookie cutter of choice.  place on cookie sheet and brush with egg white. top with sprinkles (if using). bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned.  makes about 60 1 1/2" cookies
dharma is impolite
 and hopes
i don't notice her
unceremoniously gobbling them up
w.d. carefully chooses
and suspects
it might be a trap

because a plate of cookies
on the floor
in the middle of the kitchen
seems a bit
even to a dog

i am sharing this at
the tattered tag

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

israeli couscous carbonara

we love carbonara around here
black pepper rocks!
 it is a great go to week night meal
it is quick
it is packed with goodies
the ingredients are typical larder items
i first learned about carbonara when i was in college
"studying" in italy 
a cooking instructor said it is what people would enjoy
late night
after the cinema or visiting with friends
we have letterman
they have carbonara

this recipe is an adaptation based on what i had on hand and the fact that i was in the mood
for shrimp
israeli couscous carbonara
with shrimp
(printable recipe)
olive oil
1/3 cup onion--minced finely
1 1/3 cup israeli couscous
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 rashers of bacon--chopped in small pieces
white wine or broth or water
15 shrimp (approx) (raw, shelled and deveined)
1 Tbs minced chive
1 Tbs black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup cream
parmesan cheese for serving
in a pot, pour a bit of olive oil. heat over medium heat and toss in onion.  cook onion until it becomes translucent.  toss in the israeli couscous and stir until it starts to brown a bit.  pour in the chicken stock, cover the pan and cook about 12 minutes or until the liquid has been fully absorbed.
meanwhile in a frying pan, cook the bacon until it just begins to crisp up.  pour in a bit of liquid (wine, chicken broth or water) to slow the cooking and make a bit of a sauce. not too much, no more than an ounce.  while the pan is still hot, toss in the shrimp and cook until just done. set aside for a minute.
in a bowl whisk together the egg, black pepper, cream and minced chive.  all at once, toss in the hot couscous (the hot pasta will cook the egg but keep it creamy) and stir well.  Add the warm shrimp and bacon and stir again. Serve immediately.
this will make a nice first course for 5 people or dinner for 3

i am linking to 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

gingerbread biscotti

this is a recipe i have posted before
as a nice last minute gift
i never actually posted
a photo of the final result
Gingerbread Biscotti
(printable recipe)
2 3/4-3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup + 5tsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs butter--melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 Tbs sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon mixed together
1 egg--gently whisked for glazing
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.  In a bowl whisk together the whole eggs with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla and butter.  Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until it comes together. If it is too wet, add a bit of flour to your hands as you form the mixture into 2 logs of about 2" wide.
Place each log on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Brush the top of each log with the egg and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
Bake at 350 until it is puffed and firm to the touch
Remove from the oven and let cool
Once cooled, slice crosswise, reduce the oven to 325 and place cut side down on the cookie sheet.  Return to oven and bake until dry but not brown.

i use royal icing for the embellishment
but you can use white chocolate
or be a purist
and shun all the frills

i have linked this to leafy tree top's holiday link-up
there are lots of great sweets there if you are looking for something
new to make this holiday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

home sweet home

wouldn't it be great
if we could all live
in houses made of gingerbread
waking up to the smell of
molasses, cinnamon and clove
 i would literally 
eat myself out of house and home

i'm not sure if i would rather live
in a
a sweetheart's cottage
or a
trapper's cabin

Thursday, December 9, 2010

red hot apples

hubster has a memory
of baked crab apples
bright red and canned
by his aunt ethel
30 years ago
do you feel my pain?
luckily for me
we happened upon a baked apple
which is an autumn special
that did not look
tasted similar to aunt ethel's apples
after tasting it, i thought
it kind of tastes like red hots

i used a standard poaching technique
like you would do for pears
instead of wine, spices and zest
i used a bag of red hots
who knew?

after preparing the warm crimson bath, 
i thought to check the internet
and there are quite a few recipes 
for cinnamon apples
many using red hots
i figured i was on the right track

these are quite good
and i imagine would be beautiful canned,
warmed over ice cream,
as an oversized "cherry" 
crowning a soft warm chocolate cake

i am enjoying them
one by one
the soft sourness of the crab apple
paired with 
the sticky sweet of the red hots
with a nigella-like abandon
red hot apples
(printable recipe)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1-14oz bag red hots
pinch salt
a dozen or so crab apples, peeled
place the sugar, water, red hots and salt in a heavy pot. heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the red hots melt properly (they tend to stick to the bottom of the pan).  once everything is melted, bring the mixture to a simmer and gently plop in the apples.  let simmer for about 15 minutes (these soften quickly, so pay attention).  remove apples and place in a shallow storage pan, cover with hot syrup. let cool a bit, then store in the refrigerator.  you can also can them just after the simmer.  please use proper canning procedures.
*note...there is quite a bit of extra syrup when all is said and done.  you can use it to make more apples, or you can put it in a jar and use it for cocktails.  i will get back to you on that (wink, wink)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

cornish hens with patatas bravas

yesterday i was editing my photos
of our trip to spain
and i came across this photo
patatas bravas

which we enjoyed
surrounded by the bustle 
la rambla
and a darling waiter
whom was leaving fake euros
under chair legs
as a tease
getting much more joy from the fake out
than the actual 
and generous, i might add
gratuity we left 
i immediately had a craving

hubster is a meat and potato kind of guy
and i 
am a potato and potato kind of girl
if i were making this just for me
i would round this off with a glass of red wine
and a good read
such is not the case
i am accompanying them
with cornish hen
stuffed with creamy and herbed cheese
patatas bravas
2 russet potatoes--peeled and cut into chunks
olive oil
place potatoes in a pot of cold,salted water.  boil until you can easily pierce. do not overcook.  drain and let cool.  heat oil in heavy pot.  fry potatoes in oil until golden brown. drain on kitchen paper and serve with aioli.
for aioli
1  large egg yolk
3 cloves garlic-finely chopped
2 tsp lemon
1/4 tsp salt
pinch sugar or drizzle of honey
1/4 tsp paprika (smoked or sweet)
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
place egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice, salt, sugar or honey, paprika and cayenne (if using) in a blender.  blend until smooth.  slowly drizzle the olive oil until it comes together like a thin mayonnaise.  taste for spice.  
*if there is NO WAY you are going to make aioli or don't want to use raw eggs...then do this: put 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 large garlic clove--crushed to a paste), 1 tsp lemon juice, pinch sugar, 1/2 tsp paprika and as much cayenne as you like in a blender and whirl it until everything is really smooth.  
cornish hen
2 cornish game hens--cleaned and dried
1/4 cup chevre--room temp
1/2 cup cream cheese--room temp
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic-pulverized to paste
1 Tbs chopped fresh chive
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon
olive oil
mix together the chevre, cream cheese, pepper, garlic, chive and parsley.  split into two portions and stuff into the cavity of each hen, and truss it up.   place in a roasting dish.  squeeze lemon juice over the hens and toss the lemon  into the roasting pan. drizzle a bit of olive oil over the hens and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  roast in 400 oven for about 30-40 minutes (depending on size).
the cheese gets all warm and gooey. you can dip your potatoes in it like hubster is known to do!

i am linking this to 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

hostess gift

come holiday time
we get invited to quite a few
and because
my momma raised me right
i never go empty handed
this year
i will have these in hand
hot cocoa on a stick and simple vanilla marshmallows
(recipes can be found here and here)
if this looks cute to you

it is only an invitation away!

Friday, December 3, 2010

because candy isn't just for eating

i'm anticipating
a parade of ants
i grabbed this idea for a gumdrop wreath from tatertots and jello 
this i came up with on my own
with a little help from the cheap candy aisle at the drug store

* these are really simple to do. all you need is a glue gun, a foam wreath and hands made of asbestos.  i think one made of lemon drops would be so adorable!
--the peppermint wreath is 12"  foam with a flat back.  it took approximately 2 1/2 bags (1lb 9oz each) of Bob's Sweet Stripes.  The back is not covered. 
**if you are having difficulty getting the mints to adhere to the foam, try wrapping the wreath in ribbon first, then glue the mints to the ribbon


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