Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rolo Cookies

Normally, I am not a chocolate cookie sort of gal but this recipe intriqued me many years ago and after making the cookies, I was sold and have been baking them ever since!

The recipe is from a cookbook entitled Best-Of-Friends, Festive Occasions by Darlene Glantz Skees. I am the proud owner of three cookbooks by Darlene and I use them fairly often.
As you can see, there is a Rolo surprise in the could easily refer to these as Turtle Cookies!

Rolo Cookies:

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
9 oz. package Rolo candies
2 tablespoons sugar
4 oz. candy coating

In a small bowl, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add flour mixture (flour, cocoa, baking soda) and blend well. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

With floured hands, shape about 1 tablespoon dough around one Rolo, covering completely.

In small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup pecans and 2 tablespoon sugar. Press one side of each ball into pecan mixture. Place nut side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets (I generally use parchment paper).

Bake at 375 degrees for 7 - 8 minutes, or until set and slightly cracked. Cool about 2 minutes, remove from cookie sheets, cool completely on wire rack.

Melt candy coating or white chocolate chips over low heat stirring until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Incidently, you will probably have a few Rolo's left over so you can sneak a treat while the cookies are in the oven.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine Lemon Cookies

If you like lemon, this is a cookie you will enjoy because not only do the cookies contain lemon so does the icing! These are not for the faint of heart!

The Valentine Treats book pictured is authored by Sara Perry and the napkins are a Vera Bradley product (given to me by Caribe @ Christmas).

I used various garnishes such as chopped pistachio's, edible pearls, heart confetti's, sprinkles, red hots, and conversation hearts to decorate.

Lemon Cookies:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 -2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
3 -4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar (granulated) at medium/high speed until pale and fluffy (3 - 4 minutes). Mix in egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture just until combined. Shape the dough into a disk shape, wrap in Saran and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350. On a floured surface, roll out dough to about a 1/2 inch thickness. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out dough and place on parchment lined cookies sheets (easy clean-up). Space about 2 inches apart and chill for 10 - 15 minutes.

Bake cookies for 10 - 12 minutes, rotating the sheets half-way through. Allow cookies to cool completely on racks.


Stir together the powdered sugar, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice in small bowl.
Spread carefully on cookies and place desired garnish's on top and allow to dry.

Credit is given to Martha Stewart for this recipe!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Orange-Carrot Salad

This is a delicious salad but be advised that a decorative mold may give you some trouble if you are trying to multi-task like me!

To unmold the salad I wrapped a hot towel around it and promptly forgot about it and when I came back to the project the jello had melted a bit...oh my! I quickly unmolded the salad onto a dinner plate, as it was closet to my work station!

Orange-Carrot Salad

1 - 6oz. package orange gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 large carrots, shredded
11 oz. can mandarin oranges, well drained
15 oz. can crushed pineapple, very well drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and stir in the very cold water, stirring until well dissolved. Chill until partially set.
Fold in carrots, oranges, pineapple, and pecans.
Pour mixture into oiled mold or just place in a serving bowl...chill until set.

There is some crunch to this salad which pleases my palate quite nicely!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Valentine Pillow

This Valentine pillow is from a Crabapple Hill Studio pattern and it went together rather quickly. The instructions were thorough and it used basic embroidery stitches.

If you look closely you can see that the pillow front and back are buttoned together...quite unique. A purchased pillow form is placed between the front and back and then you sew together with interesting buttons.

This is the back of the pillow and I just love this fabric!

The close-up isn't a very good photo but hopefully you can see the interesting detail!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Super Bowl Bound!!!!

Go Packer's!

My cheese head is ready for the Super Bowl!!!

Daddy is a Lion fan...Grandpa a Packer's fan...!

The Green Bay Packers will meet the Pittsburgh Steelers in two weeks and this little Packer fan is ready!

The highlight of the Packer vs Bear game was, hands down, the touchdown by Raji...and his dance topped it off!

I am not sure that Raji is headed for Dancing With The Stars, but his performance was top-notch for we Green Bay Packer fans!!!

New Look...Thank you, Courtney!

As you can see, my blog has a new look...thanks to Courtney!
I really like the fresh new look and appreciate Courtney putting it together for me!
Pictured above is Courtney and Matt at Mom's recent birthday get-together!

Thanks again, Courtney and I love you and Matt!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Go Packers...beat Da Bears!

Maggie is learning that Grandpa Ben is a devoted Packer fan and she seems to like the cheese head!

The Packers travel to Chicago to take on Da Bears today and we hope the Pack is victorious and goes on to play in the SuperBowl!

We heard this morning on television that there is a restaurant in Green Bay that is serving Roasted Bear?????

Good Luck, Packers!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

7-Up Salad

You would think that after a year-or-so this blogger would remember to take photo's of a dish in the making but once again I forgot and just have pictures of the end result.

I first made this 7-Up Salad back in can I remember? Well, Ben and I were married in the late fall of 1972 and I started getting interested in being a bit domestic the following year.

A dear friend who has since passed gave me this recipe and we have treasured it ever since! It is almost a dessert so if you are watching calories you may want to avoid making this!

7-Up Salad

2 packages lemon jello
2 cups boiling water
2 cups 7-Up
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup colored mini marshmallows
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained (juice, saved)
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped
Grated cheddar cheese for garnish

Dissolve jello in boiling water, add 7-Up and allow to chill until syrupy.
Add pineapple, banana slices, nuts, and marshmallows. Place in fridge until firm.

Mix flour and sugar together well. Add beaten egg and pineapple juice and cook until thick. Remove from heat and add butter and allow to cool.
Fold in the whipped cream and spread over the salad.

Trim with grated cheddar cheese and enjoy!

Mom's 91st Birthday Party!

Mom celebrated her 91st birthday on January 20th and celebrate she did!

Early on the morning of the 20th she and a special friend went to a local casino and had breakfast and then played the machines for wasn't her lucky money day but she had fun!

Above is Mom showing us her new scarf...I knit the ruffly accessory in one of her favorite color combinations, purple and fuschia.

We served pizza, one of Mom's favorite's, from Ben's buddy Kirk and he never lets us down!
For dessert I made little cupcake sundae's...the idea is from Bakerella and you can find the recipe on her site. The cupcake flavor is strawberry, topped with chocolate ganache and crowned with buttercream frosting. A few sprinkles were added along with a stemmed cherry...and how cute are the striped straws???? The cupcake liners were pink with white polka dots!

Here we have Mom viewing a book of her great granddaughter, Maggie! The book turned out so cute and Shutterfly did all the work!

As you can see, there are still some Christmas decorations around our home and I am quite determined to pack them away this weekend!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Valentine pastries!

I just discovered that I posted this picture twice, perhaps a senior moment!

I had planned to make these pastries for Christmas but that just didn't happen so thought I would give them a try and doll them up for a little Valentine treat!

I used one sheet of frozen puff pastry dough, thawed and rolled out to a 14" square.

Then crumbled about 1/2 cup almond paste, adding 1/4 cup brown sugar, one egg yolk, and 2 tsps. milk, mix until well blended.

Spread the almond paste mixture over the prepared dough and cut into 1" to 1 1/2" strips and twist each piece to resemble a wreath shape. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet...lightly beat an egg white and brush over each wreath. Bake for about 14 minutes at 400 degrees.

I made a little buttercream frosting and tinted it pink and placed a conversation heart on top.

Tasty little pastries!

Mom's 91st Birthday @ Church

I received the recipe for these wonderful lemon cupcakes from Courtney and believe me they are delicious!
Using your favorite white cupcake recipe and making Martha Stewart's lemon curd is about all there is to these cupcakes!

On the cooled cupcakes, place a dollop of lemon curd and allow to set.

I piped whipped cream on top of each and placed a lemon drop as the crowning touch.

I love anything lemon and hopefully these were a hit for Mom's little card group at church!

Monday, January 17, 2011

"The Hungry Caterpillar" by Auntie Courtney

This is the cutest Hungry Caterpillar cake I have ever laid my eyes on...the creation was made by Auntie Courtney or as Maggie calls her Coco.

What a beautiful memory for little Maggie!

Maggie's 1st Birthday!

As the perpetual calendar reads...January 15, 2011...that can only mean one thing...little Maggie is one year old and what joy she has provided our family.

Maggie in her sweet little birthday outfit...she looked absolutely adorable!

Maggie is interested in her birthday card and seems so serious!
We love you Maggie!!!
Happy First Birthday!!!!