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Personalized Valentine Cookies

19 Feb

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Here is a fun alternative to the traditional paper valentine- cookie valentines!

Every Valentine’s day my mom would make the most delicious sugar cookies.  They were soft moist cookies with fluffy pink peppermint icing and a little cinnamon heart on top.  Her secret?  She bakes the cookies at least one to two days ahead of time.  When she rolls the dough she leaves it a little thicker than the recipe says.  After the cookies are baked and iced she seals them in an airtight container for one to two days before eating.  No more hard puck sugar cookies!

I have continued on my mom’s tradition of baking cookies on Valentine’s day, I wanted to share these ones that I made for my son’s class last year.  I am not a great cookie decorator by any means, you can see that some of mine were very sloppy ( The red spots were an after thought when I accidentally spilled some red icing on a few of them!) but I still think they turned out very pretty.

I used my mom’s standard sugar cookie recipe from Company’s Coming you can find that recipe here: Sugar Cookie Recipe, just remember to roll the dough a little thicker (about 5mm), this also means that the recipe will not yield 7 dozen cookies, more like 3 1/2 dozen cookies.  You will also need to bake them a little longer, just watch your first batch.  Pull them out when the edges are slightly golden brown.

My favorite blog to look at for cookie ideas is The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle, this lady is amazing!!  I use her recipe for royal icing,  I highly recommend it.  Here is her recipe: Royal Icing.  Before you make it, you should read all of her tips, plus this great little article about coloring and preparing the icing so that you have the right consistency for piping: Coloring and Preparing Royal Icing

Now that you have read all of that information, I can tell you how I made these cookies.  You will need:

  • Baked round cookies
  • White royal icing, flood consistency
  • White royal icing, piping consistency
  • Red royal icing, flood consistency
  • Black (or red) royal icing, piping consistency
  • Black edible food marker

First you will use your white royal icing, piping consistency to pipe a circle border around the edge of your cookie.  Let it dry, do some house cleaning or play with your children.  Once it is dry (about 30 minutes) use your white royal icing, flood consistency, to fill your cookie inside of your circle border.  Again you will need to let the icing dry and harden before you do any more cookie decorating.  When it is dry you can use the food marker to write each person’s name on their own personalized Valentine cookie.  Next take your black or red royal icing that is piping consistency and pipe a heart onto the cookie.  To make it a little easier, you can also draw a heart onto your cookie with the edible marker so that you have a guideline to work with, and then pipe the icing over top.  Again you will need to let the piped icing dry before working on the last step.  The last step is to fill the heart in with red flood icing.  After the icing dries your cookies are finished! I thought these cookies were a great (and yummy!) alternative to a traditional paper Valentine, I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for stopping by,

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*Highly Addicting* Buffalo Chicken Dip

17 Jan

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It has been two weeks since my last post, and I am feeling G-U-I-L-T-Y!  I know I shouldn’t, I am sure that nobody missed me!  The truth is, life has been kind of upside down in my house for these last two weeks.  My husband was offered a promotion at work (yay!) but it means we will have to move (boo!)…again (bigger boo!).  We haven’t even been in our house for two years and now we will be packing up and moving to another city, about three hours away.  Everything happened so quickly, we listed our house on a Monday, it sold two days later!  Then we had to take a trip to our new destination and look for a house.  We trekked our poor children around for 14 hours on a marathon house hunt, it was not pretty!  But we did find what we were looking for, and now that my entire life is not consumed with house hunting I am back to blogging!

Anyways, I wanted to share this recipe with you.  I cannot even begin to tell you how addicted I am to this flavorful buffalo chicken dip!  It is a tried and true Church recipe (which means I brought it to a Church potluck; I didn’t bring home leftovers, and at least two people asked for the recipe)  Over the Christmas holidays I made this dip at least four times.  I served it to everyone and brought it to gatherings.  It smells like cat food and looks disgusting- but don’t let that put you off!  Upon first tasting it you will think, “okay, it’s not bad.”  After your second bite you will be hooked, and you will not stop eating it.  Which could be a problem because if you eat too much it will very likely cause indigestion.  I first found this recipe on the Frank’s Red Hot website here: Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip but I have changed it a little bit so here is my version.

For a printable version click here:  Buffalo Chicken Dip

recipe

Now, a couple of things about this dip – I mentioned earlier that it smells like cat food, pic1and I can’t say that I am crazy about the smell of blue cheese either.  If you want to eliminate the cat food smell, use cooked chicken breast instead of canned chicken.  Once it is baked, it does not smell icky, the odor is only present while you are preparing it.  Have a look at the picture, doesn’t it look appetizing??

Really there are so many flavors in this dip, plus the added mozzarella makes it gooey – you need to try it for yourself!

Thank you for stopping by today!

~Lisa K

Sweet Holiday Treat ~ Skor Toffee Chocolate Bars

14 Dec

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Do you have one recipe that just has to be made every Christmas?  You know that one deliciously irresistable baking recipe that everyone asks for, or rather expects? It always disappears first when you put out an assorted plate.  You have given out this recipe more times than you can count, and God help you if you decide to make something different!

I definitely have one of those recipes, and today I am going to share it with you.  My sweet holiday treat is Skor Toffee Chocolate bars.  It has a crisp cookie base, a sweet chewy centre, a creamy chocolate layer, and then it is topped with crunchy Skor Toffee bits.  They are easy to make and they freeze well (I even like to eat them slightly frozen).  They are popular with both kids and adults.

The recipe was given to me several years ago by my mom, I am not sure where she got it from, but here it is: (for a printable version click here)

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1*Warning:  DO NOT open your bag of Skor Toffee Bits until you are ready to sprinkle them on the dessert.  These sweet crunchy little bits of toffee are highly addictive.  If you open the bag too early you will eat so many that you will not have enough to cover the top of your bars.

I hope you enjoy your Skor Toffee Chocolate bars this Christmas season, they are hands down my family’s favorite treat!

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Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this post!

~Lisa K

Day 14 ~ Candy Cane Popcorn

28 Nov

I am so excited for today’s guest post!  I have Christy from The Girl Who Ate Everything.  Her blog is really wonderful~ If you are active on Pinterest you have probably seen and even pinned tons of her recipes. It’s hard to pick my favorite recipes, but among them are her Monster Cookie Dough Dip, the Baked Zucchini Fries, Cheddar Bay Biscuits and a copy of my favorite holiday Starbucks treat, Cranberry Bliss Bars

Today she brings us a really yummy holiday treat ~ Candy Cane popcorn.  It would be a great gift for neighbors, friends, your boss, or a teacher.  She has even included a free printable so that you can make it look pretty (although this recipe is very pretty on it’s own.  I can’t wait to try it myself.  Here she is, The Girl Who Ate Everything:


Thanks Lisa for letting me crash your place today!
During the Christmas season I’m always looking for friend and neighbor gifts that are tasty, pretty, and easy. This Candy Cane Popcorn is all three. I know it sounds simple but these three ingredients come together to create magic. This creamy popcorn tastes like Christmas! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it because it was so easy to throw together and when you’re making mass amounts of edible gifts, that’s important.
I tested it out on my neighbor’s taste buds too. Yes, I’m that crazy woman giving my neighbors Christmas treats in November. They all gave me the thumbs up.

If you want to make these cute tags, just print this document I made here on some white cardstock. Here are the Candy Cane Popcorn Tags.

Crushed candy canes are stirred into the almond bark to help it stick to the popcorn with additional candy canes sprinkled on top.

Package it up with some festive tissue paper in little takeout boxes. You will love this!

Candy Cane Popcorn
16 ounces vanilla almond bark
12 peppermint candy canes, crushed in a food processor (or by hand)
8 cups popped popcorn
Instructions:
1. Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
2. Melt almond bark according to package directions.
3. Stir 1/2 cup of the crushed candy canes into the melted bark and pour over the popcorn. Stir thoroughly coating popcorn while sprinkling with remaining crushed candy canes.
4. Lay popcorn on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool.
5. Break into pieces and package up for gifts.

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this sweet treat idea!

Join us tomorrow for the last day of this series, and then on November 30th for the big crafting giveaway!

~Lisa K

Day 10~ Dry Mix Pizza Dough

24 Nov

Today I would like to share a dry mix recipe for pizza dough (and a free gift tag printable!).  This is a great gift for a busy family who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on making dinner!

We have had a lot going on in our lives in the past couple of days, so this will be a rather short blog post, but worthy to be read nonetheless!  I will not have an ad sponsor today, but for good reason.  A friend of mine recently shared some horrible news with me.  I can not go into specific details as I would like to protect her family, but they have had an extremely difficult year.  They have a beautiful family with young children, and I would really like to help them out this Christmas.  I am making a bunch of Christmas things to sell, and donating 100% of the proceeds to this family (I will not even keep anything for the cost of making the item)  Yesterday I made some really cute Christmas hair bows, and they sold out immediately!  Today I have posted some reversible Christmas oxford hats for children.  If you would like to take a look, they are posted on my facebook page.  I have created a photo album entitled: Compassion Project (that was the link)

Alright, now on to this nice little gift idea!

Home made pizza is a family favorite in our house!  A little more than a year ago, I went to one of those Pampered Chef parties.  If you have never been to one, you usually make a recipe so that you can test the products first hand.  At this particular party, we made a pizza ~ and it tasted so good!

Over the past year I have adapted the pizza crust recipe to our taste.  I have added some herbs and spices, and a bit more flour, which I found gave the dough a better consistency (and a great taste!).  Now I am making it into a Christmas gift to share with some friends!  What I have done is doubled the recipe and presented it in a mason jar.  It will yield two large pizzas ~ I make mine in a Pampered Chef large bar pan, you could also use a non-stick baking sheet, or if you have a proper pizza pan you could use that too.

You can make the dough the night before, wrap it in saran wrap and refrigerate, or you can make it before dinner (I have found that this dough doesn’t really need time to rise).  Throw all of your favorite fixings on it and you have a meal that the whole family loves!

Here is the recipe:

(remember this is doubled!)

3 1/2 Cups Flour

3 tsp instant yeast

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1 1/2 tsp basil

1 tsp rosemary

Mix all of your dry ingredients together and pour them into your mason jar. Now print off this free gift tag: Pizza Mix Labels and decorate your gift!

Here are the instructions to make the dough:

~ Mix 1 3/4 cups dry mix with 1 1/2 tbsp oil and 2/3 cups warm water.  Mix, and then knead by hand until dough forms a ball ~ it should not be overly sticky.  Roll the mix into a pan (non-stick cookie sheet or pizza pan) and cover with your favorite toppings.

  Bake in oven at 375 f for 30 mins ~ or until cheese is bubbly and crust turns lightly golden, and enjoy!   Here is my favorite veggie pizza:  Mix two cloves of minced garlic with 3 tbsp of olive oil.  Brush it over your crust.  Use Kraft Italian blend shredded cheese and spread 1/2 cup over pizza.  Slice zucchini, red onion, roma tomato, and mushroom ~ place liberally over pizza.  Cover the pizza with another 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and bake!

And there you have it!  A great gift for a busy family, it also promotes quality family time ~ get a variety of your children’s favorite toppings and let them create their own meal!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Lisa K

Fall-Off-The-Bone Moist Turkey ~ with Bacon too!

11 Oct

My husband is not a turkey guy, but I always insist on making it at Thanksgiving because it is a tradition.  This year was no exception.  My husband did not argue with the dinner choice,  although he had two requests for me.  One was that he wanted the turkey to taste like bacon.  The second was that he wanted it to be a really moist turkey.  As luck would have it, a friend of mine shared one of her family secret recipes with me the day before Thanksgiving.  She told me, “Once you try this, you will never cook turkey any other way- it is the best!”  That was good enough for me.  I did try her cooking method, and I added my own seasoning and a “bacon weave”.  I have to tell you, she was right!  It was so delicious and moist.  We didn’t even really have to carve the turkey because the meat just fell off the bone.

I will share the cooking method with you, as well as the seasoning I used (you can actually use any kind of seasoning you like, it’s the cooking method that makes the turkey so moist), plus if I blog about it I can remember next year how I cooked the most delicious turkey ever!

Ingredients:

Turkey (whatever size you like)

Bacon (8-10 slices)

1/2 Cup butter

Seasoning Salt

Poultry Seasoning

Pepper

Kettle of boiling water

Remove giblets and wash your turkey.  If you are going to stuff it then go ahead and do that first.  Lay your turkey in the roasting pan with the breast side up.  Preheat your oven to 450 F.   Cut up your butter into small pieces and place the pieces all over your turkey.  Season well with seasoning salt, poultry seasoning and pepper.  Next you are going to create a little “net” of bacon to go over your turkey.  Lay out a piece of tin foil and put three strips of bacon on top of it.  Lay them vertically with about 1 1/2 inches between each one.  Now you are going to weave  five strips of bacon through those three pieces.    Take your tinfoil and bacon, and turn it over on top of the turkey so that the bacon is covering most of it.Boil a kettle full of water (about 1-1 1/2 litres) and pour it over top of the turkey.  Quickly seal it all in with a few sheets of tinfoil (it’s a good idea to have the tinfoil ready before the water boils)  Put your turkey in the oven.  Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your turkey and whether you have stuffed it or not, but this is very important: for the last 45 minutes of cooking time, reduce your oven temperature to 350 f, and take the tinfoil off the top of your turkey.  This will brown up your bird.

Here is a very helpful link to determine how long you should cook your turkey:  Turkey Cooking times

And using my turkey for an example, here is what I did:

My turkey was 8 lbs and un-stuffed.  I cooked it for 2 hours and 15 minutes, covered with the tinfoil at 450f.  Then I removed the tinfoil, turned the temperature down to 350 f and cooked it for another 45 minutes.  Again I want to mention ~ if you are not crazy about bacon, leave it off, use whatever spices you like.  The boiling water method, and covering your turkey with the tinfoil is the important part.

I kid you not, I will never cook turkey any other way, it was delicious and so moist!  The drippings also made awesome gravy.   Best of all, my husband totally approved, we also ate leftovers the next day and he said it tasted even better.   Thanks for stopping by!

~Lisa K

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