Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recipe: Sloppy Joe Meatball Subs

I figured I should post an actual dinner recipe, lest you all think I have forgone real food in favor of cookies and sweets...

Tonight I wanted a quick and easy dinner that I thought the kids would eat.   I had some frozen meatballs in the freezer.  I felt like sloppy joes.  Enter Sloppy Joe Meatball Subs.

I served them with Carrot "Fries" which I would more call roasted carrots.. but the kids ate them when I put ketchup on their plates.  I guess that's something.

Sloppy Joe Meatball Subs

1 small bag frozen meatballs (I used Swedish style, but Italian style would also be yummy)
1 large can Sloppy Joe sauce (could make your own sauce, but I was going for super quick)
6-8 grinder rolls
shredded cheese

Put the still-frozen meatballs in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Pour on the sloppy joe sauce and cover.  Cook for about 25 minutes, shaking pan occasionally to move the meatballs around.

Split the rolls in half and toast under a broiler for a couple minutes.  Sprinkle some cheese on the open bun and scoop on 3-4 meatballs along with sauce.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recipe: Jelly Slices

I got a bunch of new cookbooks for Christmas (because my family loves me and knows me very well).

One of the cookbooks that I got was my favorite Swedish sweets cookbook, in a new English translation (with metric conversions!), Swedish Cakes and Cookies.

The first recipe I decided to make from this was Jelly Slices.  Impressive looking, but simple, these are a winner.

I modified the recipe a little, adding some lemon extract, and using blackberry jelly in it instead of "red fruit preserves."

Here's my version of the recipe.

Jelly Slices
(Modified from Swedish Cakes and Cookies)

1 c softened butter
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon extract

Blackberry jelly (or jelly of your choice) for filling

3/4 c confectioner's sugar + 1 1/2 Tbsp water for glaze

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cream together the butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs, and then extract and the dry ingredients.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces (I used 2 because I have giant baking sheets).  Roll each into about a 16" length directly on parchment lined baking sheets.

Form a channel down the center of each log and spoon in the jelly.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Whisk together the glaze and drizzle over the baked logs.  Allow to cool, and then slice diagonally to serve.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

God Jul and Merry Christmas!

To all of my wonderful readers, I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas!

God Jul!

Enjoy the season.  Hope that Santa brought you what you wished for!

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Recipe: Swedish Christmas Rice Porridge

Merry Christmas, all!

For my whole life, Christmas morning has brought two things - Santa and Swedish Christmas Rice Porridge.

My family has a tradition that you have to rhyme for your spoonfuls... I'm not sure if this is a traditional Swedish tradition, or just a peculiarity within my family, but it is fun.  And sometimes challenging, if you haven't had your coffee yet.

The kids love to rhyme for breakfast.  Although, I told them I would make this for school breakfasts if they wanted, with no rhyming required.  The Girl said "But we could rhyme for practice, right?"  I love these kids.

When I was growing up, my mom would have to wake up early and make the porridge, or we would all wait for it... cooked traditionally, it takes almost an hour of cooking over low heat on the stove.
With some jelly and cinnamon stirred in.

A few years back, I realized that you can make it in the crockpot.  Now, I throw the ingredients in the crockpot before going to bed on Christmas Eve, and we wake up to filled stockings and cooked porridge in the morning.   It couldn't be easier.

There is one almond in the porridge, and whoever gets it has good luck for the year (or, when everyone is older, we said it would be who would get married next!)

The Boy found the almond this year.  Though he is a consummate flirt, we'll call it good luck for the year. 

So, try this next Christmas, or for an everyday breakfast.  It's really yummy.

Swedish Christmas Rice Porridge

1 1/3 c water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
1 small stick cinnamon
2/3 c white rice
2 2/3 c skim milk
2 Tbsp sugar

1 whole almond, peeled (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot, stir, and set on low overnight (at least 6 hours).  It will cook and the liquid will be absorbed overnight.  In the morning, stir, and add an almond if desired (don't put this in the night before, or it will pretty much disintegrate!). 

Serve by the scoopful to whoever rhymes, stirring in jam or cinnamon if desired.  Whoever gets the almond is said to have good luck!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Recipe: Chocolate Chili Shortbread

I felt that my holiday cookies needed some shortbread.

How about Chocolate Chili Shortbread? (*if you don't have this, maybe add a little chili powder instead.  I recommend this mix, though.  It's very unique and complex)


Chocolate Chili Shortbread

2 sticks butter, slightly softened
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbsp Teeny Tiny Spice Chocolate Chili* 
1 tsp espresso powder (optional, adds depth of flavor)

Confectioner's sugar for rolling
White chocolate, if desired, for drizzling (1/4 c)

Combine the butter and sugar in a food processor by pulsing.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a ball of dough forms.  Roll out carefully between two sheets of parchment to a little more than 1/2" thick.  Remove the top piece of parchment and sprinkle the dough with confectioner's sugar, coating evenly but thinly. Cut into rectangles or other shapes with cookie cutters.
I tried to use my new springerlie rolling pin.  This did not work.  I got designless rectangles after spreading... :(

Carefully separate the shapes with a sharp knife (I used my Wilton Cake & Cookie lifter to cut and then to lift the cookies onto the cookie sheet).  If the dough gets sticky, chill it for a few minutes before continuing.
Wouldn't it have been lovely if they had turned out this pretty?  *sigh*

Once all the cookies are cut out, spray them lightly with a spray bottle of water to dissolve the confectioner's sugar left from rolling out the cookies.  Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes and preheat oven to 300 F.  Bake for ~20 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Once completely cooled, drizzle with white chocolate if desired.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recipe: Candy Cane Thumbprints with Chocolate Ganache

I saw these Candy Cane Thumbprints on Baked By Rachel, via Pinterest.  I knew I wanted to make a version of them immediately. 

Image Courtesy King Arthur Flour

The good people at King Arthur Flour sent me some Peppermint Crunch to try out, and I thought it would be perfect in these cookies.

I also decided that I didn't want to fill the thumbprints with plain frosting.  I am not a huge frosting fan, and didn't want the cookies to be so cloyingly sweet.  Also, I love the combination of chocolate with mint.  Enter ganache!

Sure, it's sweet, but it's made with semisweet chocolate, so it's not as sweet as frosting.

Here's what I came up with. 

Candy Cane Thumbprints with Chocolate Ganache
(Modified from Baked by Rachel)

Cookie dough:
2/3 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour

2 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chips, by weight
2 ounces whipping cream, by volume

Peppermint Crunch (or crushed candy canes)

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in egg and vanilla, then mix in flour until a nice dough forms.  Let chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Form small balls with the dough (about 1") and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press with the back of a spoon to make indentations.  Cool for a minute on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the whipping cream together in a microwave safe bowl, carefully, and stirring often.  (You can also use a double boiler).  Transfer the ganache to a pastry bag and allow to cool slightly, until thickened a bit, but not until solid.  Carefully snip the end off the pastry bag and fill the indentations in the cookies with a bit of the ganache.

Sprinkle on a bit of the peppermint crunch.  If desired, drizzle cookies with a little more ganache.  Cool completely to let the ganache set, and then enjoy.

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Recipe: Butterscotch Chip Spice Cookies

I don't have time to do a full post on these cookies today, but I made Butterscotch Chip Spice Cookies, which I found on Sweet Pea's Kitchen via Pinterest.
Before baking.
The only thing I changed was to use Teeny Tiny Spice Garam Masala in them, and also to put some into the confectioner's sugar coating.

I will do my best to do a proper post on these later, but let me tell you... delicious.

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Lunch: 12.21.11

Snack for The Girl for the last day of school before break is applesauce and raisins.

Her lunch is a turkey salami sandwich on a sandwich thin, apple slices, a babybell, two clementines, and some Scrabble Cheez-its.

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Lunch for The Boy: 12.21.11

Welcome to the last day of packed lunches for 2011!  The kids have break until the New Year.  :)

Don't worry, I'm sure I'll still have tons of recipes to share during the hiatis from lunches.
Applesauce: 15g, raisins: 16g
The Boy has applesauce and raisins for snack.
Quesadilla: 18g, apple: 8g, Cheez-its: 20g
His lunch is some leftover chicken apple sausage and cheddar quesadilla, apple slices, and Scrabble Cheez-its.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lunch: 12.20.11

The Girl's snack is animal crackers and raisins.

Her lunch is a turkey ham sandwich on a sandwich thin, apple slices, a babybell, Scrabble Cheez-its, and a clementine.

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Lunch for The Boy: 12.20.11

Raisins: 16g, animal crackers: 11g
Snack for The Boy is some animal crackers and raisins.
Sandwich: 23g, apple: 8g, cheese: 1g, cheez-its: 20g, applesauce: 9

His lunch is a turkey ham sandwich on a sandwich thin, apple slices, a babybell, Scrabble Cheez-its, and applesauce.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Another day, another cookie!

These made the hubby follow me around the kitchen because they smelled so good.  I'd say that's a win.

Maple Cinnamon Chip Cookies

1/3 c butter, softened
2/3 c brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 c maple syrup (the darker the better, don't bother with fake syrup.  Make a different cookie)
1 tsp maple extract (adds a little extra mapley goodness)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
2 c flour
1 bag cinnamon baking chips

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in egg, maple syrup, extract, and spices.  Stir in the dry ingredients and then fold in the baking chips.  Scoop out cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets and chill for about 20 minutes.  (I used my handy dandy porch, cold from winter weather...)

Preheat oven to 375 F and bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on cooling racks and enjoy.

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Lunch: 12.19.11

The Girl's snack is a banana (no pic).

Her lunch is a small salad, a clementine, apple slices, a babybell, and a turkey ham sandwich on a sandwich thin.

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Lunch for The Boy: 12.19.11

The Boy's snack is a banana (no pic, 23g).
Sandwich: 23g, apple: 4g, cheese: 1g, cheez-its: 20g, applesauce: 10g

His lunch is a turkey ham sandwich on a sandwich thin, apple slices, a babybell, Scrabble Cheez-its, and applesauce.

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Recipe: Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

This week, I am going to be at Kiss the Cook nearly full time (it's Christmas week, I take time off from my full-time job to help out more at the store).  I love to bring treats to the customers, especially when it's really busy (in fact, I get sad when the treats I bring run out, and customers have nothing to nibble on while their gifts are wrapped...), so I will likely be making lots of cookies this week.
Looks like Christmas!

I found these dark chocolate mint chips at the store, and decided to make some Chocolate Mint Chip cookies, using some black cocoa from King Arthur Flour.
Image courtesy King Arthur Flour

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp mint extract
1 Tbsp espresso powder (optional)
1/3 c black cocoa
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa (*can use 2/3 c cocoa if you don't have black cocoa)
1/3 c milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c flour
1 bag dark chocolate & mint chips (or plain mint chips)

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Cream together the butter and sugars.  Add in extracts, espresso powder, and cocoas.  Stir in the milk and then mix in the baking powder and flour.  Fold in the baking chips.

Scoop the dough out onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Chill the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes.
My freezer was full, so the cookie sheet got to chill on the porch with the scarfs and mittens.
Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Allow to cool on the baking sheets, and then enjoy (or save in an airtight container to enjoy later!)
Looks like Christmas!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Recipe: Glögg Cake

I made a batch of Swedish Glögg yesterday, and I had some left over, with lots of delicious raisins and almonds and spices leftover.  My mother often makes a great cake (we call it Aunt Annie Cake, I'll post the original someday) out of leftover Glögg, and I wanted to try it.

Success.  :)

I made a double recipe, and this makes a ton!  I will post the single recipe.
My pan was almost too small - albeit for a double batch

Make sure that you use a large pot.  Because it bubbles up when you add the baking soda.

Glögg Cake

4 c leftover Swedish Glögg (with raisins, almonds, and spices.  Strain out cinnamon sticks and orange peel)
1/2 c butter

2 c sugar
1 c additional Swedish Glögg or water
1 Tbsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
4 c flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large pot, heat Glögg and butter until butter melts.

Add the remaining ingredients in the order written.  Be careful when you add the baking soda, it will foam up a LOT.

After stirring in flour, pour batter into greased pans - I like using a loaf pan or a bundt pan.  Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a knife or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sugar Cookie Decorating Party 2011!

I had a Sugar Cookie decorating party last year, and all of my friends wanted me to make this an annual event!  You can see all the pics on my facebook page.

Who am I to let my friends down?

This year, I made four different kinds of sugar cookies - Lemon Vanilla Sugar Cookies (based on Bake at 350's recipe), Smitten Kitchen's Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies, Spiced Eggnog Cookies, and Red Velvet Sugar Cookies.

Just a couple cookies....

I used Bake at 350's method for decorating, and the royal icing (and flood icing) recipe at Joy of Baking, using pasteurized egg whites.   We discovered that the best way to get the flood icing in the squeeze bottles is *not* to use a funnel...
This took forever and I wouldn't recommend doing it this way... (Thanks, Lisa, for the help!)

... but instead, to use a disposable pastry bag with the tip cut off.  Didn't get a picture of this, but it worked much better.  Trust me.

I made white and black royal icing (made double recipes of both from Joy of Baking's recipe... as a note for next year, we could have gotten away with a single recipe of each, and filling the bags much less... we had some mishaps with overfilled pastry bags leaking huge gobs of icing out of the top.... oops)

For the flood icing, I made a *lot* with different colors.  I made large batches of white and then separated into small bowls and added coloring to each and then transfer into small squeeze bottles.

They should dry overnight before transporting, so we had them stacked in foil roasting pans on top of one another.
Like my morpho butterfly?

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