Monday, March 23, 2009

Baking: One-Cup Cookies

One-Cup Cookies

* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
* 1 cup peanut butter
* 1 cup flour
* 1 Tablespoon baking soda
* 1 cop rolled oats
* 1 cup coconut
* 1 cup chopped walnuts
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars, then beat in the eggs. Add peanut butter, then dry ingredients. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until edges are golden but middles are still slightly gooey looking. Let rest on cookie sheet for a few minutes before cooling on a wire rack.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beer Pizza

This is my favorite way to make homemade pizza- especially when in a hurry- it is so easy!


* 3 c Unbleached Flour; Extra For rolling out
* 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
* 1/2 ts Salt
* 1 12 Oz Can Light Or Dark Beer
* Olive Oil For Greasing
* Cheese and toppings of choice

TOPPINGS OF YOUR CHOICE----------------------- Diced Tomatoes; Garlic, -Mushrooms ; 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour in the beer and mix well. The dough will be sticky. 2.Spread a handful of flour on your work surface and dump the dough onto it. Toss the dough around to coat with the flour and prevent from sticking. Knead it 2 or 3 times to make it pliable. Shape the dough into a ball then divide it to make two. 3. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into an 11 or 12 inch circle, or place the balls on the baking sheets and use your hands to flatten them into 11 or 12 inch circles, (If you are not ready to cook the pizza now, you can place the pans directly into the freezer to stop any rising action of the dough. Remove from freezer about 30 minutes before cooking.4. Create pizza any way you like it- just do not put too many toppings on 5.Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top and underneath. Makes two 11-12 inch pizzas. Recipe by: Simple Vegetarian Pleasures-Jeanne Lemlin

rock climbers

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baking: Outrageous Brownies

Here is a great recipe for a very large pan of very rich brownies. Recipe comes from one of my Barefoot Contessa cook books


* 1 pound unsalted butter
* 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
* 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
* 6 extra-large eggs
* 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
* 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
* 2 1/4 cups sugar
* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 3 cups diced walnut pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Taco Meatball Ring


* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
* 2 tablespoons water
* 2 to 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
* 1/2 pound ground beef
* 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
* 1/2 medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded
* 1 medium tomato, chopped
* 4 green onions, sliced
* 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
* 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
* Sour cream and salsa, optional

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup cheese, water and taco seasoning. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 16 balls.
Place meatballs on a greased rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Drain meatballs on paper towels. Reduce heat to 375°.
Arrange crescent rolls on a greased 15-in. pizza pan, forming a ring with pointed ends facing the outer edge of the pan and wide ends overlapping.
Place a meatball on each roll; fold point over meatball and tuck under wide end of roll (meatball will be visible). Repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
Transfer to a serving platter. Fill the center of the ring with lettuce, tomato, onions, olives, jalapenos, remaining cheese, and sour cream and salsa if desired. Yield: 16 servings.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Making: Cake Batter Ice Cream

Here is a fun recipe for Ice cream. It is very rich and sweet. You can use any kind of cake mix. Recipe comes from Midwest Living magazine.
Cake Batter Ice Cream
2 cups half and half
1 pkg 1 layer size cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whipping cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla

1. In a medium saucepan, stir together half-and-half, cake mix and sugar. Gently heat and stir until mixture bubbles. Pour mixture into a large heatproof mixing bowl and whisk briskly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the mixture is well chilled.
2. When the mixture is well chilled, pour into a 1 1/2 quart ice cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Stir in desired ingredients- I used 1/2 cup chocolate chips, maraschino cherries and sliced almonds.
Transfer to a freezer container and freeze overnight to ripen. makes 5 cups

Monday, March 02, 2009

The first robin, the first bluebird, the first song sparrow…is an event which we mention to our neighbor, or write in our letters to our friends.

They bring us once more the assurance of the unfailing return of spring, and the never-ending joy and fecundity of life.”

--John Burroughs

There were so many birds visiting our yard today. I saw many robins, cedar waxwings, blue birds, red bellied woodpeckers, flickers, downy woodpeckers and so many others. The robins and cedar waxwings were eating juniper berries. I took all these photos this afternoon from inside.

2nd Grade Talent Show

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