Powernap: Quick Recipes For When Time is Limited!
One of things we’ve been a LOT of this winter is baking. Baking is one of those activities that is universally enjoyed by everyone in my house. My daughter and I could spend hours in the kitchen mixing up batters and doughs if given the opportunity. In February we had a lot of fun participating in King Arthur Flour’s Family Fun month by getting in the kitchen and making donuts. It will probably come as no surprise to learn that my daughter is a donut fanatic. Isn’t every kid?!
For Christmas I gave my husband a Moscow mule mug. I collect all things copper for my kitchen and couldn’t wait to add it to our collection. I also know how much he loves trying new cocktails, especially in the deep-dark days of winter. On Sunday night was started the second season of Breaking Bad (yes, we are behind, but it is so much easier to watch in one fell swoop) and mixed our first Moscow mule. I am not one for heavy cocktails on a regular basis but this is one we’ll definitely be breaking out again in the near future.
Every so often I like to bring back a recipe that deserves a little more time in the spotlight. This grilled cheese is an old favorite and I return to it over and over. We all have things that we consider our personal comfort foods and this is one of mine.The other day I made it when my daughter was at school. I had a few leftover onions in the fridge from dinner and was in the mood for a hearty lunch. I let the onions sweat and caramelize slowly over the stovetop while I fed my son lunch. Then I sandwiched them between two pieces of toasted bread and grilled them until the cheese melted.
These days my cooking routine has to fit into two categories: cold-weather cooking and busy school night-friendly. The temperature continues to drop every night which means I want something hot and nourishing on the dinner table. However, my days are spent shuttling my daughter to and from school and running around the house after a little boy on a Y bike. (He loves that thing and can ride like the wind!) So, other than naptime, I don’t have a lot of time to cook. When I saw Aimee’s slow-cooker chicken recipe last month I knew it would be on my recipe list in short order. It is ideal for cold winter days filled with school runs and active toddlers.
I’ll be back full-time on January 6th, but today I am stopping in with a little holiday treat fun. I know Christmas cookie season has past, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the sweets entirely. In fact, not at all! New Year’s Eve is around the corner so why not think about a few luscious goodies you can make to share with friends.
These chewy sandwich cookies were a recent baking project of mine. We were invited to go to a friend’s house and I decided to make these using some leftover Gevalia coffee we had in the coffee maker. I had already made the cookies so all I had to do was whip up some soft coffee-flavored buttercream and sandwich it between them.The coffee filling made this otherwise regular chewy chocolate sugar cookies taste like the most insanely good mocha dessert. We loved how the soft coffee filling almost tasted like an afternoon sip of cappuccino!
I hope you all are with me when I say this week is crazy with a capital “C”! Raise your hands if you have so much left to do before Christmas and seemingly no time to do it. (Me! Me!) It has been a great year but between the baby, move, and book, I’ve pretty much lost all of my free time. This Christmas I’ve parred down my baking ambitions in order to keep up with daily life. This means I’ve concentrated on a few cookies and desserts and we’re sticking with a great Christmas dinner menu of tried-and-trues. One of the few new recipes I’ve tried recently are these eggnog oatmeal cookies. They are rich and spicy but still chewy like the classic oatmeal cookie everyone loves.
To cap off my year of exploring flavor trends with Sargento I am writing about my latest favorite winter dish involving mushrooms: Slow-Cooker Mushroom Bolognese. I’ve been eating mushrooms for nearly every season and this month I wanted to try them in a heavier dish. I also wanted to make this to prove that mushrooms can indeed withstand the slow-cooker and be the basis of a hearty winter meal. I made this on a particularly blustery evening which made it even that more special. It was a great cozy meal for one of the first chilly weeks of winter.
There is nothing quite like the flavor of chocolate and peppermint during the holiday season. I am a huge fan and so, it turns out, is my daughter. The other day we were baking together and decided to make some holiday cupcakes. I haven’t been baking as much this season since I’ve been busy testing recipes for the next book. I’ve been so focused on perfecting my Butter Rum Cake with Eggnog Frosting that I’ve only made two batches of Christmas cookies. However, when she tugs on my arm to do a little baking I never say no. I was more than happy to make these simple cupcakes
Last weekend with kicked off the Christmas season with a little holiday celebration. Our good friends came over for dinner. We lit our first fire in the fireplace, and cooked up a whole bunch of our favorite treats including a delicious treat with peppermint. One of the things we made was this awesome peppermint pudding pie. Even in winter my daughter is a chilled dessert fanatic and I knew it would the perfect dessert to serve after dinner.
The year is flying by so quickly I can hardly believe I am already talking about Christmas recipes. But, here I am touting a great holiday dessert so it appears that the season has truly arrived. Today I am starting off with a great recipe for fake truffles, or as they are more officially called, Oreo Cookie Balls. I have been making variations of these for years and today I am going to share my family’s favorite flavor. Once you read how totally insanely easy these our to make you’ll be floored. They really do taste like real truffles and are always a hit at a party!
Now that we are finally getting settled in we are talking about hosting our first party in our new house. I imagine it will be sometime this winter and we’ll serve up cold-weather comfort food, wine, and a great cocktail. Maybe we’ll have a chili party or something fun like that! One thing that is without a doubt is that we’ll be serving this simple dip. I love making it for all sorts of occasions and I expect I’ll even be making it later this month for Thanksgiving. It is that good.
Happy Halloween! I know you all are busy with Halloween preparations today but I just had to stop in with this ridiculous brownie recipe. There is no Halloween candy fairy in our house. No candy is magically swept away and converted into toys in the middle of night. Our Halloween candy gets sorted, eaten, and used in recipes like these brownies. They are so simple I don’t even go so far as to make the brownie batter from scratch. I just use a box mix! These aren’t the brownies you make when you have guests coming over and want something fancy. These are the brownies you make when there is SO much candy in your house you have to gorge just once before moving on from Halloween altogether.