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Friday, October 21, 2011

Recipe: Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies

So I signed up to bring a treat to a church activity tonight. But then I realized that I didn't have any white sugar. Or butter. And Jeffrey took the car to school today. So I was looking through my cupboards and scouring the internet for something I could make with what I had on hand and I found this recipe for Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies. I replaced the white sugar with brown sugar (one of the comments said someone had tried it and it worked great) and added a splash of vanilla. Other than that, I just followed this recipe. These cookies are so good!


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a mixing bowl, mix shortening, peanut butter and honey. Add eggs; mix well. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to peanut butter mixture and mix well.
  2. Roll into 1- to 1-1/2-in. balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork dipped in flour. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rippled Baby Afghan

I made this baby afghan for my best friend's son. The pattern is from Leisure Arts' Our Best Baby Afghans. I think I used Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly Yarn in Baby Denim Marl. But in any event, it was 100% acrylic, baby sport weight, blue and white variegated yarn. The pattern has you work up the spiraling hexagons, which are then stitched together to form the afghan.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Recipe: Angel Hair with Cauliflower and Parmesan

So I started watching The Chew, and it is definitely my new favorite show. So one day they made Angel Hair with Cauliflower and Parmesan, and I decided it looked so amazing, I wanted to try it out myself. I made a few changes, based on what I had and what sounded good to me. It turned out so good, I think it is one of my new favorite dishes. You can follow the link to the original recipe, but this is what I did. (My recipe is for a single, but quite large, serving.) Also, when I made this for my husband, I added some grilled chicken to the mix. He really liked having the meat in it, but I think it's great without it.

2 oz. whole wheat spaghetti noodles (1 serving)
salt (optional)
1 T olive oil
1 C chopped cauliflower
1/2 C sliced mushrooms
4 green olives, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 C spinach
1 T Parmesan

1)Cook pasta according to package (I add salt to my water).
2)Meanwhile, saute cauliflower and mushrooms in oil. Add olives, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
3)One minute before pasta is done cooking, add about 1/4 C water from pasta pot to the saute pan. Drain the rest of the water and add the noodles to the pan. Add spinach and cook until water boils out.
4)Sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe: Chicken in Creamy "White Wine" Sauce

So one time Jeffrey and I went to Olive Garden and he got a chicken in white wine sauce. We decided to try to recreate it (sans wine, because neither of us wanted to buy any, even though we know it cooks out). So I found this recipe for Chicken in Garlic White Wine Cream Sauce. We made it pretty much the same way as the recipe, except we cut up the chicken, omitted the mushrooms (because Jeffrey doesn't like them), substituted gingerale for the wine, and didn't use Worcestershire sauce, because we never remember to buy it. I served it over whole wheat noodles, with lemon pepper-roasted asparagus. Anyway, the recipe is for 4 servings.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
1/2 C onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C butter
1/4 C white wine (or gingerale!)
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 pint cream (heavy or light)
salt and pepper
1 t basil
1 t parsley


  1. Lightly brown both sides of chicken in olive oil.
  2. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and butter and saute about 4-5 minutes until onions start to become translucent.
  3. Add wine and Worcestershire sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Lower heat and add cream, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley.
  5. Too high of heat will cause the cream to curdle.
  6. Simmer on low 20-25 minutes until done.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Recipe: Feijoada

Feijoada is a staple in our home because it was the first thing Jeffrey and I ever cooked together (on our very first date). It's super easy, and delicious! Everyone makes theirs a little differently, just depending on their preferences and what they have on hand, but this is my go-to recipe. The measurements don't really matter, but I put them in there to give you an idea. I always serve this with rice and farofa (which I find at specialty international stores), but I added some green bell pepper this time to add some color and healthiness.

2 cans black beans
1/4 package polska kielbasa (or some other tube sausage that comes bent in an oval-like shape)
slice salt pork, or thick bacon
garlic salt

1)Cook salt pork (or bacon) in a pan, drain fat (unless you are my husband and want to keep the fat in...)
2)Rinse and drain beans. Pour beans in pot and add about 1/2 can water.
3)Cut up sausage (it should come pre-cooked) and add sausage and salt pork to pot. Season with garlic salt (our you could add garlic and salt separately to get the proportion you like).
4)Cook until water boils out and serve. (See, I told you it was super easy!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recipe: Cheez-It Chicken

This is one of my husband's favorite dishes, and I have to admit, it is pretty tasty. So I heard the idea of this somewhere, but I came up with the recipe that I use (which is why there aren't really any measurements...) I served this with some brown rice and roasted asparagus.

boneless, skinless chicken breast (1 per person)
flour (I used wheat, but I don't think it makes a huge difference)
sour cream
Cheez-Its, or any other cheese cracker

1)Preheat oven to 350 (F). Spray a baking dish or cooking sheet with cooking spray.
2)Put some flour in a shallow dish; put some sour cream in another shallow dish, and stir so that it is smooth and "liquid" (where it spreads out instead of sitting in a clump).
3)Crush crackers. You don't need super fine crumbs, but the smaller the are, the easier they stick to the chicken. Place in a separate shallow dish.
3)Dredge chicken in flour, making sure to get all sides; put in sour cream and cover all sides; roll in cracker crumbs until covered. Place on baking dish. Repeat for all chicken pieces.
4)Bake about 30 minutes, or until center of chicken is no longer pink.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bekka's 1st Birthday Cake

I really wanted to make a nice cake for Bekka, since it seemed silly not to use my talents for my own daughter's party. Unfortunately, I did not bring any of my cake supplies, so I had to make do.

1) Cakes: I used 4 disposable 8"-square foil pans. I made one box of chocolate cake and one box of vanilla cake (each box filled two pans). I used chocolate, vanilla, chocolate for the bottom tier (for the adults). Then I cut the other cake into fourths and stacked two of the squares to make the top tier (for Bekka). To make the base board, I actually cut up a diaper box into two squares, taped them together, then wrapped them in foil.

2) Filling: I made crème patisserie (French pastry cream) which I used between the layers of the small cake, and between the bottom and middle layers of the big cake. Between the middle and top layers of the big cake, I used crushed mixed berries (thawed from a bag) that I combined with some vanilla frosting. I just used store-bought whipped vanilla frosting for the crumb coat.

3) Frosting: In addition to the whipped frosting I used for the crumb coat, I made marshmallow fondant to cover the tiers and make the ribbon and polka dots (I just eye-balled the width of the ribbon and cut it with a knife, and I used the bottom of a large tip to cut the pink dots and a No. 5 -- or No. 8, I can't remember -- tip to cut the green dots). I used neon food coloring (the only kind they had at the store) to get the pink, purple, and green (made to match the decorating icing). I used store-bought decorating icing to decorate the cake balls and to accent the ribbons and polka dots (the pack came with purple, pink, teal, and white). The pearl border between the two cakes was made with the vanilla frosting in a similar Ziploc piping bag, using a No. 8 tip (the same tip I used to cut the green dots. I can't remember if it was a No. 5 or No. 8).

4) Piped Flowers: To make the flowers, I cut a corner from a Ziploc bag, put used a No. 1 tip and coupler that I borrowed from my friend Erin, and filled it with store-bought brownie icing. I free-handed the floral design based on the Garden Greenery pattern from the Wilton Garden Terraces Cake. I also used this icing to write on the fondant gift tag.

5) Cake Balls: With the cake I shaved off the layers (so they would be flat and create an even square) and the other half of the second vanilla cake, I made cake balls. I crumbled the vanilla cake in one bowl, the chocolate in another and added store-bought whipped cream cheese frosting to both (I didn't measure, but you want to add enough that the crumbs all stick together). I rolled them into 1" balls and stuck them in the freezer to cool them. I cut all the chocolate ones in half, then cut an equal number of vanilla ones in half (I had a lot more vanilla than chocolate). I then rolled a chocolate half and a vanilla half together until I only had mixed balls and vanilla balls. I used vanilla melting candy and coated the cake balls. Once the candy was hardened, I decorated using the store-bought icing.

6) Finishing Touches: I added a lot of sugar pearls to the top cake, as well as to the pearl border between the cakes. I used the white decorating icing to make French dots on the bottom cake. I rolled some fondant and laid it around the bottom cake. I put some frosting on the bottom of the cake balls and stuck them around the cake. I then sprinkled the board with shaved chocolate (which I got from smoothing out the bottom of the cake balls).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pineapple Shawl

I found this (FREE!) pattern for a beautiful shawl and decided I had to have it. I used a worsted weight acrylic, so it came out a little bulkier than the picture on the pattern, but I still think it's beautiful. I also used it as a bathing suit cover up (although if I had made it for that purpose, I probably would have chosen a darker color).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pattern: Baby Armwarmers

I made up the pattern for the armwarmers, so I'm trying to remember what I did. I think I started with ch40 and joined in a ring with a slst. Then I did a row of hdc. I did three rows (I think) with 3sc, 2fpdc repeated around. On the fourth row, I did a twisted fpdc (3sc, fpdc in 2nd fpdc of previous row, fpdc in 1st fpdc of previous row) around. I did this until it was half the length I wanted to end with. Then I worked 8 rows where I did one sc2tog per row (in the first 3sc space on the first row; in the second 3sc space on the second row; until the 8th row results in 2sc, 2fpdc, all the way around). Then I made a scalloped edge by doing a ch6 (I think) and a slst every 4 stitches. When I put it on her, I put her thumb through one of the holes, because I thought it looked more chic that way. I don't remember how I made the slippers... sorry!

**Update: Well, now that I'm actually writing patterns, this looks pretty sad... I'll try to spruce it up. Oh, and figure out what size hook I used and what weight of yarn :)