Monthly Archives: December 2012

Fun Festive Cocktail for New Year’s

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In honor of New Year’s Eve I wanted to share my new favorite cocktail.  I can’t take any credit for it.  I went to a cooking class and they shared this recipe with us.  It’s a take on the classic Kir Royale and I love it.  It’s sweet without being overbearing, and the color is perfect for the holidays.IMG_0960_edited-1web

Just pour:

  • 1 part Chambord
  • 5 parts Prosecco (I have no idea if the brand pictured is a good one; I bought it at my local grocery store.)
  • Garnish with a raspberry. 

That’s it! Cheers!

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Learn to Cook List

The past few weeks I’ve been thinking about how there are many basic dishes that I have never made. So instead of making resolutions (they last a week at most anyway) I thought I would make a list of those common and/or favorite foods that I always buy or order in restaurants. Some intimidate me (I’m looking at you, fish!), some are just more convenient to buy. Hopefully, I’ll learn new skills and find new favorites recipes.

Most are really easy, a few are more complex. I’ll keep adding to it.

  • A perfect steak at home. This is one that I’ve been too nervous to try. I absolutely love a good steak and I worry that trying it at home will be disappointing. I’ve made prime rib a couple times so I’m ready to try a steak.
  • More fish. Especially grilling. Fish can go from perfect to overcooked in a matter of seconds. I never make it at home; I leave it to chefs. No more!
  • Twice baked potatoes. Not hard, just never made them for myself.
  • Bread. Dinner rolls.
  • Pie crust from scratch
  • Roast chicken. I tried that once and screwed it up. Don’t ask me how. It was inedible. Since then, it’s been too easy to buy those roasted chickens at the grocery for $5.
  • Ice cream. I’ve had an ice cream maker in my basement for years. Maybe I should use it.
  • Homemade mac n cheese
  • Rice. I know, pathetic. Every time I make rice that doesn’t come out of a box I mess it up. And I don’t want to buy a rice cooker
  • Fried chicken
  • Frying in general – wings, french fries, shrimp, etc… I’ve never tried. Just bought a new thermometer. I need to put it to good use!
  • Homemade cole slaw
  • Cesar dressing
  • Soups from scratch. I’m not a huge fan of soup but maybe a homemade chicken and noodle will change that?
  • Improve my grilling. My husband usually handles that but I should be able to do it too.

I think that’s enough to start! What have you wanted to make but never took the time?

Sadie Saturday–Snow day!

 

IMG_1047_edited-1webIt has been snowing the past few days and I love it!  We just got more last night so Mom and Dad took me out to play in the yard.  It’s the best!

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Do you like my little booties?  I think I’ve mentioned that I have a thing called Wobbler Syndrome.  The nice doctor said it would be really bad if I slipped on the ice so I needed to get boots for winter.  He told Mom what “really bad” was and she looked worried so I wear them with no complaint.  These are temporary – I’m getting new heavy duty ones soon!  Plus they keep the snow from balling up between my toes so I don’t mind them at all.

They don’t slow me down either.  Look at me running to my Dad!IMG_1074_edited-1web

Why do I love the snow?  I can stick my head straight down, get a huge mouthful and cover my whole face!IMG_1001_edited-1web

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I love to plop down and lie in the snow.IMG_1054_edited-1web

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It’s so fun running back and forth through the snow drifts!IMG_1011_edited-1web

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But my favorite?  That’s catching snow in my mouth. 

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What a good morning!IMG_1095_edited-3web

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Feline Friday

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Poor Ollie.  He’s always scheming to find a way to escape.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that we won’t let him outside, we just put up a bird feeder.  Every once in awhile you can find him staring anxiously out the back window.

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Strangely, the birds don’t bother him.  But the bird feeder has attracted squirrels which make him crazy.  Here he’s doing that odd staccato, goat-sounding meow cats do when they see something outside.IMG_0822_edited-1

Sorry, buddy, you’ll never get them…

Egg in a Hole

IMG_0955_edited-1Once again, a recipe that can be filed this under “something most people already do but I must’ve been living under a rock”.  I just tried a recipe (if you can call it that) that I suspect a lot of people grew up on but I never made myself.  Two things actually. Not only did I make egg-in-a-hole but I also cooked my bacon in the oven.  Both will be regulars from now on.

I’m not a huge breakfast person.  I skip breakfast many mornings (I know, I know).  The only time I eat breakfast regularly is when I travel.  Weird.  In fact, I eat traditional breakfast foods more often for dinner than I do in the morning.

One of my favorite breakfasts is a perfectly cooked fried egg with toast.  For me, a perfect egg is firm on both sides but the yolk will run when pierced with your toast.  You do dunk your toast in your egg, don’t you?  There can be no undercooked whites – gag!

This egg in the hole is perfect – the egg flips easily because of the bread so no broken and overcooked yolk. Plus your toast is included in the deal!  I’d heard of it before and it is in a Pioneer Woman cookbook so I gave it a shot. 

Before I show you the egg-in-a-hole process, I have to share that I also tried cooking my bacon in the oven.  What a difference.  I put the bacon on a rack placed in a foil lined baking sheet. I had center cut bacon so it was a little thicker.  I baked it at 400 for about half an hour.  Most bacon probably wouldn’t take that long so check after 20 minutes.  It came out perfectly.

Back to the eggs –

Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut a circle out of the center of a piece of bread.IMG_0943_edited-1

Heat butter in a skillet.  Place bread in skillet and let it cook for about a minute or two.IMG_0949_edited-1

Break open the egg (I did that in a separate bowl first in case of a broken shell) and pour in the hole. Salt and pepper.IMG_0952_edited-1

Let that cook for about a minute or so then flip the whole thing. Let that cook for another minute.IMG_0945_edited-1

Perfect.  And check out that bacon!

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I’m late to this party  – you’ve all been doing this for years, haven’t you?

Christmas Crack

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How have I missed this recipe all these years?  I had never heard of it until my friend Lisa sent me the recipe (the same Lisa of the Oreo balls).  Then when I thought I messed it up, I googled the recipe and found tons of versions.  Am I the last one to this party?  Well, if you haven’t heard of it, it is so easy and super fast.  There’s still time to make it!

Next time I make it, I am going to do a version with chocolate chips and Heath bar chips.  Maybe a version with nuts or some pretzel pieces on top. Marshmallows? As it is below it’s delicious but you can really customize it however you want!

Here’s how I made it:

  • 1 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup butter
  • 2 Cups semi sweet chocolate chips (just a little more than a standard size bag)
  • approximately 55 crackers (I filled a 12×17 cookie sheet)

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray generously with non stick spray.  Line the cookie sheet with the saltines.IMG_0798_edited-1

Melt the butter and brown sugar together until it boils.  Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is thickened and sugar is dissolved (5 mins or so).IMG_0799_edited-1

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Pour over crackers.IMG_0803_edited-2

Bake in oven until the toffee is bubbly.  I checked at 4 minutes and it was already bubbling (the recipe I used said 8 mins – keep your eye on it!)IMG_0808_edited-1

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Wait a minute or two and pour the chips evenly on the crackers.  Let the chips sit for a couple minutes to soften then spread in an smooth layer.IMG_0811_edited-1

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Mine doesn’t look as smooth as it should.  I let the crackers cool too long before putting the chips on.  They were a little hard to spread and I had to pop it in the still warm oven.

Let sit until hardened then break into pieces.  You can speed it up by putting the pan in the refrigerator.  I think I broke mine up to soon.  The were more chewy-crisp than cracker crisp. After a night in the fridge in a cookie tin, they were nice and crispy (yes, I had some with my coffee).

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Sadie photobombing my pictures, hoping a piece will find its way to her.  Too bad…IMG_0815_edited-2red

Sadie Saturday–Pay Attention to Me!

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I know Mom likes sharing the yummy recipes she finds and the silly things she sews for me.  I also know that having the blog gives all you the opportunity to keep up on what’s new with me.  But, come on!  It’s her first day of Christmas vacation and she’s on the laptop?  I had to resort to getting her attention in a more obvious way.

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