Monday, February 15, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ice Box Bakery

Last night I baked these Cherry Pie cookies, made from slice and bake dough by Ice Box Bakery. They only took about 10 minutes to make and the dough is free of artificial colors, flavors, & preservatives. I'm looking forward to trying their other flavors.... Yum!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl Chili

I've been on a mission to find a chili recipe over the last few years. To date, this has been my favorite. I think its the beer that gives it a tangy flavor, which I love. It's perfect to serve if you're having friends over to watch the Super Bowl since it requires very little preparation.

olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 chile, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1 12 ounce bottle of beer
1 14 ounce can tomatoes, in their juice
1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and spices and cook about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and chili, cook another minute. Add the turkey and stir constantly for about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and beans. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Serves four hungry men or six regular people.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sweets For My Sweets

Yesterday I made Valentine's Day care packages for my nieces and nephews.

Classic Sugar Cookies
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, baking powder & salt. Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat the egg and vanilla together, then mix into sugar mixture. Add the dry ingredients. Divide dough into quarters, shape into disks, sprinkle with flour and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Heat oven to 350. On a lightly floured board roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Bake for 12 minutes.

Grandma's Pinwheels
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbspn milk
1 oz melted chocolate

Cream butter and sugar, and then add egg yolk & vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder, & salt together. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, then add milk. Divide dough in half and add melted chocolate to one half. Form white dough into a disk, sprinkle with flour. Cover both mixtures with saran wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll white dough on a lightly floured board about 1/8 inch thick, adding flour to the dough if necessary. Form the chocolate mixture into a disk with your hands, then gently press it out flat on top of the white dough. Roll the dough up like a jellyroll. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Slice dough into thin slices, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12 minutes. ♥

Monday, January 18, 2010

White Bathrooms

To know me is to understand my love for white bathrooms! There is something so serene about them. So you can imagine my delight when I came across this post on Living Etc which featured 83 different white bathrooms. Here are a few of my favorites....

I love the combination of textures in this room.

Imagine getting to soak in this tub every day.

Fantasizing of my upcoming trip to Japan...


So girly and old-fashioned.

And here's a shot of my very own white bathroom. ♥

Friday, January 15, 2010


Minestrone is one of my favorite comfort foods, probably because my Mom often made it growing up. I love it's earthy flavors. This recipe can be prepared two ways; regular or pureed. I like to puree the leftovers and eat them for lunch for a few days.

olive oil
3 leeks
4 carrots
4 zucchini
3 white rose potatoes (about 1 pound)
italian seasoning
3 tomatoes
5 cups broth
15 oz can garbanzo beans
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons basil
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Start by preparing all of your vegetables. Clean the leeks and finely chop the light green and white parts (discard the dark green leaves). Peel and slice carrots. Dice zucchini. Peel and chop carrots. Dice tomatoes in a food processor. Drain and rinse your garbanzo beans. Chop basil into fine pieces. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute the leeks for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, zucchini, potatoes, and Italian seasoning. Saute for 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth. Partially cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans and cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and basil. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with freshly shaved parmesan cheese. Serve crusty bread on the side.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shrimp & Noodle Soup

After expanding our stomachs to uncharted territory throughout the entire month of December, my husband and I decided to lighten it up for a few weeks. I found this recipe in one of my healthy cookbooks. It originally called for chicken, but after having watched Food, Inc. the night before I decided to substitute shrimp. Its an Asian inspired soup, low in fat and calories but rich in flavor.

Serves 4

6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
6 ounces ramen noodles
2 cups bean sprouts
4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, quartered
2 lbs shrimp, deveined

In a large saucepan bring broth, garlic, ginger, & soy sauce to boil. Add the noodles, return to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro. Meanwhile, steam shrimp in a separate saucepan. Pour water (or white wine) over shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a steady bubble. Check after 3 minutes of steaming. When they're just turning pink remove from heat and give them a good stir. Ladle soup into bowls and top with shrimp. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.

Teacup Pin Cushions

I recently made these teacup pin cushions. I found the teacups an antique store in my neighborhood. Then I cut an old angora scarf into 2 squares (one for each cushion), made little balloons out of them, and filled each with stuffing. With embroidery floss I tied the balloons closed and cut off excess fabric. After that I drizzled craft glue into the bottoms of the cups and dropped the cushions in to set. They make such sweet little gifts for friends who like to sew.

Wrapper's Delight

One of my favorite things to do in life is wrap and give presents. So imagine my delight when I found this darling paper by nineteenseventythree. So perfect for my sister-in-law's birthday present!

Snap Crackle Pop!

Last night we celebrated my sister-in-law's thirtieth birthday. It was a true 80's style pizza party, complete with some of our favorite childhood movies playing in the background. Rice Krispie treats were the ultimate party food for me growing up, so I thought it would be fun to bring some. After preparing the treats I melted some milk chocolate chips over a double broiler, then whisked in a little butter and milk. Once the chocolate was warm and gooey I poured it over the treats, leveled it out with a spatula, then popped them in the fridge to set for a few hours. I then sliced them into 1-inch bites. They turned out to be a big hit at the party. Happy Birthday Joan, I love you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Red Wine Biscuits

1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine flour, sugar, pepper, rosemary, salt, & baking powder in a food processor and pulse a few times. Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Heat wine in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil for about 3 minutes. Mix wine and olive oil and then add to dry ingredients. Process until dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and roll to 1/8 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter (or a champagne flute, as I did) cut dough rounds and place on cookie sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Enjoy with goat cheese and what else.....a glass of red wine!