Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Christmas Bird

I stuffed a big bird for Christmas. Unfortunately, sometimes food doesn't photograph well and I'm not too happy with this picture of our bird. But it was so good!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mom's Sugar Cookies

Moms always seem to have the best recipes. My mom has always made these around Christmas and she’s had the recipe for years. It’s simple but delicious. I recently had a potluck lunch at work so I decided to make them.

Printable Recipe


1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Blend in egg and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well and add to butter mixture little by little until well mixed. Add the additional 1/4 flour if the dough is too sticky. Once mixed, chill dough for 1-2 hours.

Once the dough has chilled, take about 1/4 of the dough and roll it out until it’s roughly 1/4 of an inch thick. You’ll need to rub your rolling pin with flour and sprinkle some on the counter so the dough doesn’t stick. Now use your favorite cookie cutters and cut out as many shapes as possible. I used a bunch from my cookie cutter stash.

Place cookies one inch apart on a non-greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

La-la-la let’s make icing….


4 tablespoons cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons butter (softened)
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


With a mixer on medium speed, blend cream cheese and butter. Pour in the milk and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach a good icing consistency (a little on the thicker side).

Once the cookies have completely cooled, frost them and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Rob and I did our Holiday decorating last weekend. I like the simplicity of our decorating. We put up a tree in the living room and a few other decorations around the house. Aside from the tree in the living room we put up a small tree in the dining room with no decorations and a strand of evergreen with white lights along the length of the dining room window. Here's a photo of our tree and some of my favorite decorations:

The tree in the living room

Two happy snowmen


One of two ornaments we purchased in Santa Fe


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carrot Cake Birthday Cake

Rob's birthday was last week (Happy Birthday!!) and this past weekend I made him a carrot cake. I made this same recipe last year for his birthday but this time I wanted to make it a little bit healthier. I used mostly whole wheat flour for the cake and for the frosting I used non-fat cream cheese. Unfortunately I forgot an important ingredient...the oil. I didn't realize this until it was almost finished baking so there was nothing I could do about it. Ooops. Surprisingly though, it tastes pretty good. It's just slightly dry. But I recommend that if you're making this recipe it's probably best not to forget the oil.


2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups grated carrot
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until creamy. Stir in the vegetable oil, carrots, orange juice and vanilla and mix well. Combine with dry ingredients and mix.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 inch baking pan. I love parchment paper for recipes like this. You can do this and it's super easy to get the cake out. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

This particular time I made it in a loaf form using a standard bread loaf pan. If you do that, keep it in the oven another 5-10 minutes when baking.

Now it's frosting time!


1/2 cup fat-free cream cheese softened
4 tablespoon margarine
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar


Mix the cream cheese and margarine. Add the vanilla then add the powdered sugar little by little while mixing until you reach the desired consistency. Wait until the cake has completely cooled then frost.

Instead of doing the typical "Happy Birthday Rob" on the cake I decided to make little carrots. I just mixed some of the extra frosting with food coloring and put it in little plastic Ziploc bags and snipped the tips and tah-dah....
Birthday carrots!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Peanut Brittle

My dad makes the best peanut brittle ever. And lucky me, he always makes it every time I visit. He could make millions with his recipe.