Friday, February 29, 2008

Oh Snickerdoodle!

I can't believe that I have never made these cookies in my life. Where have I been? Maybe it's because there is no chocolate involved, I don't know. Regardless of the reason, I'm so glad I tried this recipe. The cookies came out so perfectly soft and chewy. And they taste divine! Snickerdoodles are a new favorite in our house from now on- cause Mom says so!


1 cup all vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and eggs together until blended. Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Combine with egg mixture. Chill dough. Roll dough into small walnut size balls. Mix the 2 Tablespoons sugar with the 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Roll dough balls in mixture and place at least 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake approx. 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned but still soft.

“It isn't just the food, either. People might say that chocolate chip cookies are good, but they have to be freshly baked cookies."
-Brian Wansink

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Winter Wonderland

It has been an interesting February, weather wise. It seems that nature is making up for short changing us on snow from Novemeber to now. Every few days or so, we are getting these 1 to 3 inch storms causing school delays and challenging driving conditions. But last night, the snow fell in big, fluffy flakes and I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures, just to share. It was so beautiful.

"When snow falls, nature listens."
-Antoinette van Kleeff

"Snowflakes are kisses from heaven."
-Author Unknown

"Weather forecast for tonight: dark."
-George Carlin

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Butter Cakes

I think I'm finally recovered enough from the flu that food is starting to look really good again. And it's about time! My oldest daughter was looking for something she could make all on her own, without dear old Mom's help. We found this recipe in The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. True to Paula's tradition, these cakes whip up in a flash and are absolutely divine!

Butter Cakes

One 18 1/2- ounce package yellow cake mix

1 egg

8 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients and mix well. Pat into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Prepare filling.


One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 Tablespoons butter, melted

One 16-ounce box powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Add butter and beat. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake mixture. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. You want the center to be a little gooey, so do not overbake.


-Add a 20 ounce can of drained pinapple to the filling.

-Use lemon cake mix. Add lemon zest and lemon juice to the filling.

-Use chocolate cake mix. Add 3/4 to 1 cup peanut butter and nuts to the filling.

"Eat butter first, and eat it last, and live till a hundred years be past."

-Old Dutch proverb

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Plague

I hope I haven't lost too many readers from my lack of posting, but our whole family has come down with the dreaded flu. My eldest daughter brought it home from school and after that, we all went down like dominos. As the mom in this family, I usually make sure I get a milder version of these illnesses (wink, wink) cause I am responsible for taking care of everyone else when they get sick. But I got tricked this time and I got it worse than everyone else. I came so close to asking to go to the hospital. That's how insidious this flu is.

So, needless to say that I haven't felt like thinking about food, let alone eating it. My total calorie intake from Monday to Wednesday was a bottle of Pepto Bismol. This had better result in some weight loss is all I've got to say! But as soon as I feel like I can manage looking at food again, I'll be back!

"Only in America - do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front of the store."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Chocolate Dipped Valentine

As everyone who reads my blog knows, I can't resist chocolate. And what is Valentine's Day more about than chocolate! Ok, well I guess it's about love, but the love of chocolate comes close! Since celebrating Valentine's Day is hard during the week, we chose to have a special meal last weekend. When I came across big juicy long stemmed strawberries in the store on Saturday, I knew they would make a perfect dessert (boy, those stores know how to get us, don't they? Eight dollars for 12 strawberries-yikes). Making the chocolate dip wasn't hard at all. I warmed up about two tablespoons of whipping cream in a bowl and added about 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips. I microwaved it for a minute or so longer, just until melted then stirred. It was heavenly. I can't wait for May when strawberries are in season!

"I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon."
-Author Unknown

"Forget love-- I'd rather fall in chocolate!!!"

"I never met a chocolate I didn't like."
-Deanna Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow Storm Chowder

It's finally here! A real snow storm. Yeah! It's been a boring winter and I was wondering if we'd ever see a good storm again. We are supposed to get up to 5 inches, though I doubt that will happen. The part I am most concerned about is the ice forcasted for tonight. Give me tons of snow, but skip the ice storm, please!

Ok, weather is a boring topic except for those experiencing it, so I'll get to the good part, the Golden Corn Chowder. We had wind chills yesterday in the minus categories so I dug around for a dinner that would warm us all up. This recipe was perfect. I paired it with some buttered bread and we were all happy!

Golden Corn Chowder

6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
1 (16 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup evaporated milk (I used a can-it was good!)
1 jar (2 ounce) pimento, drained (I left this out-just didn't appeal to me)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on absorbent paper. Saute onion in bacon drippings over moderate heat until tender but not browned. Drain off excess drippings. In a heavy 2 to 3 quart pot/saucepan, cook potatoes in water over moderate heat until tender. Add onion, corn, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Heat through. Garnish each serving with bacon. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

“Alas, what crimes have been committed in the name of chowder!”
-Louis P. De Gouy, The Soup Book

"Where does the white go when the snow melts?"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Almond Chicken in Wine Sauce

The title makes this sound like a fancy dish, but it's really so easy. And very good. It's one of those "ingredients on hand" recipes that you can quickly throw together on a busy weeknight. Just the kind I like! Have some french bread ready because the sauce in this recipe is delicious.

Almond Chicken in Wine Sauce

4-6 boneless chicken breasts
4-6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used cooking wine this time-it worked)
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Place chicken in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover each chicken breast with 1 slice of Swiss cheese. Mix soup and wine and spoon over chicken. Top each chicken breast with slivered almonds. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

“What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander but is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen."
-Alice B. Toklas

Thursday, February 7, 2008

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are a classic. I got the recipe from a co-worker who used to bring the ingredients to work and make these for us during lunch (we did actually work- seriously, we did!), that's how easy they are to make. And they always satisfy my craving for chocolate. I love that it has oatmeal in it, which is always my excuse to eat just a few more cookies than I should. After all, chocolate and oatmeal are healthy and who can argue with that!

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick rolled oats

In a saucepan, combine the first 4 ingredients. Boil for 1 minute, but not longer. Remove pot from stove. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and stir. Add oatmeal, stirring until combined.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Allow to cool (I sometimes place the cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer to cool faster-who can wait?!)

"There is good sex and there is bad sex but chocolate is always chocolate."

Monday, February 4, 2008


Well, it's happened. I got tagged. For a meme. What the heck is a meme? Well, whatever it is, I'm it. So, MsElenaeous, you've got me! Here goes nothing...

I love to and sushi. Pizza with lots of cheese and pineapple. My family doesn't like the pineapple so I usually get it on my "half" of the pizza. They don't know what they are missing! As for the sushi, it has to be vegetarian. None of that raw fish stuff. Gag.

I hate to Ever since I was a kid and was forced by my parents to eat this awful stuff called Boatman's Stew (chunks of halibut floating in tomato sauce....ewwww!), I've been scared of fish. Seafood is great, and I can even stomach flounder, but any kind of fish with a stronger flavor, I'll barf.

I hate to the Ob/gyn. What is it about those appointments? Doesn't matter that I've gone every year since the age of 18 and that I've had three kids, I dread every appointment.

I love to go....home to Virginia. Or really, anywhere south. Maybe it's just being away so long that makes me miss it so much, but any mention of a trip I get like a little kid going to Disney World. There is no place like home, there is no place like home...

I love it kids hug me for no reason. It's the best feeling in the world and the purest love you can find anywhere to be hugged by a child.

I hate it when....I hear about a child being hurt and abused by someone. It rips at my heart to not be able to help the child and mad as a hornet that I can't beat the crap out of the abuser.

I love to kids having a good time together. I also like to see someone going out of their way to help someone. Makes me choke up.

I hate to see....someone hurt my children on purpose, like a mean teacher or a bully at school. I just want to take the hurt away so badly.

I love to kids giggling. A child's laugh is the sweetest sound. I also like the sound of a good thunderstorm.

I hate to hear....someone crying, especially my kids.

Well, that's it. It wasn't too bad and in some way, kind of therapeutic! Ok, who's next? :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

French Onion Soup

We had an ice storm here today and with any type of cold weather event, I think soup. One of my all time favorites is French Onion Soup. All that flavorful broth, soft onions, crunchy bread and melted cheese just leaves me one happy camper. I had this bowl with a little glass of sweet wine. Boy, it hit the spot!

French Onion Soup

2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large)
4 cups beef broth
2 Tablespoons dry sherry or dry white wine (optional)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash black pepper
6 slices French bread
1 cup shredded swiss, Gruyere, or Jarlsburg cheese

In a large pot, melt butter. Add onions, breaking them into rings. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Onions should be tender and golden. Stir in broth, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Pour soup into oven proof bowls. Add one piece of French bread on top of soup, sprinkle with cheese. Set oven to broil and place bowls onto a cookie sheet. Broil until cheese is golden brown and melted. Serve.

"The word soupe, is French, but extremely bourgeois; it is well to serve potage and not soupe."
-Dictionnaire de Trévoux (18th Century)

"I live on good soup, not on fine words."