Thursday, December 13, 2007

Caramel Corn

So, chocolate is out of my diet for this season, and all my baking lately has involving chocolate, so I wanted to make something I could actually eat. I found this recipe on I halfed the recipe I found and it worked really well, I can't imagine doing it in a larger batch.

13 cups popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup margerine
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Place popcorn in a greased pan - I used a tinfoil lined roast pan, with no grease and it worked really well. Disposible roasting pans would also work well.

2. In a pot mix brown sugar, margerine and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes

3. Add the baking soda and vanilla, stir in until it becomes light and foamy.

4. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and give a quick stir ( you do not have to fully coat the popcorn at this time).

5 Bake for 1 hour at 250F, stir every 15 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and dump corn out onto waxed paper, serparate into pices and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gingerbread Fun

I just got some new gingerbread men cutters and found some cutters to make a gingerbread house. I searched everywere for a good recipe and there were so many to choose from, so I picked one from that has apparently been used since the 1840s. I figured if it has stuck around that long it must be good.

Due to dietrary concerns I had to change the recipe a little bit, but they turned out great.

Almost Nauvoo Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup molasses (I used Fancy molasses, it is a little sweater than the dark bootstrap)
3/4 cup oil (safflower or sunflower are healthiest, but canola works as well)
1/2 cup hot water
2 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, molasses, and oil until smooth, I had to use my handmixer on low to get the oil and molasses to mix together. Rinse molasses out of the measuring cup with hot water, and pour into the batter. Stir in eggs.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger; stir into the batter to make a soft dough. Add more flour if needed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour, or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cookies appear dry in the center.

1/2 tsp margerine
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk

MIx together, add more icing sugar as needed to make the icing

These cookies were delicious, but they don't have the strong spiced flavour of some gingerbreads. Note that this recipe makes a lot of cookies, I got a small gingerbread house and about 3 dozen men out of it. I highly suggest halfing the recipe if you don't want to be cutting out cookies all night.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Chicken Stew

It is cold and snowy out, so what is better to eat than a nice big bowl of yarm stew. I am huge fan soup in the winter and a nice thick stew tops my list.

Chicken stock (can make by boiling leftover chicken bones or by add using chicken broth and water.)
2 stalk celery
1/2 onion
Spices (I use an italian spice mix and a bay leaf) to taste.
2 chicken breasts
4-5 med. potatoes
3-4 carrots
1/4 cup flour

Add spices, celery and onion to the chicken stock and heat to a simmer. Put lid on and let simmer on the stove.

Cut the chicken breats into cubes and fry until almost cooked. Add to the stock to let simmer for 30mins-2hours.

Cut the potatoes into cubes and cut the carrots. Add to the soup and let cook until they are tender.

Mix the flour with 1/2 jar of warm water ( close jar lid and shake vigorously), Then slowly pour into the stew and stir in. Let simmer until thick.


Cookies in a Jar

I found these cookie cutter and thought they were hilarious, I just had to get them for my friend who collects cookie cutters. Then, I thought what better to go with cookie cutters than a cookie mix. It turned out so well and it looks great, I can't wait to give them to her. I found the cookie in a jar recipe on

Gingerbread Cookie Mix in a Jar recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Mix 2 cups of the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Mix the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour with the spices. In a one-quart, wide-mouth canning jar layer the ingredients starting with the flour baking powder mixture, then the brown sugar, and finally the flour and spice mixture.

Attach a card to the jar with the following instructions:

Gingerbread Cookies:

Empty contents of jar into a large mixing bowl. Blend together well. Add 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine, 3/4 cup molasses and 1 slightly beaten egg. Mix until completely blended. Dough will be very stiff so you may need to use your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll dough to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Decorate as desired.

Easy Peanut Brittle

I stumbled across the recipe on and decided to try it. My husband loves peanut brittle, but I hate making it the oldfashioned way. This was simple to make and tasted great.

1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 pinch salt (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

Grease a baking sheet, and set aside. In a glass bowl, combine peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook in microwave for 6 to 7 minutes on High (700 W); mixture should be bubbly and peanuts browned. Stir in butter and vanilla; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Quickly stir in baking soda, just until mixture is foamy. Pour immediately onto greased baking sheet. Let cool 15 minutes, or until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

I ended up not cooking long enough, so it was too sticky to break. To solve this, I put it in the freezer for 15 minutes then broke it into pieces.

My H loves it, and I can't wait to put it out at my holiday party.

Chocolate Pretzels

I was looking for some yummy snacks to make for a holiday party, and I love chocolate covered pretzels, but hate doing all the work of dipping them in chocolate. Then I found a recipe on and just tweaked the recipe a little (used rosebuds instead of kisses).

Round/Square pretzels
Chocolate rosebuds
Holiday Smarties

Place pretzels on a cookie sheet ( I covered it with tinfoil to avoid sticking to the pan), onto each pretzels place a chocolate rosebud.

Bake in an oven heated to 275F for 2 minutes (until the rosebuds still hold shape, but are melted). Remove from the oven and press a smartie to into the top of each rosebud.

Cool in fridge for 10-15 minutes until chocolate has solidified.

These are delicious and so easy to make, we love them. They are so cute and festive, and look great put in a bowl for any occasion. I definately plan to make these again, and I hope to try melting a rolo on top instead of a rosebud.

Bailey's Chocolate Truffles

After sampling some delicious bailey's flavoured milk chocolate at a trade show recently, I set off in search of a way to make my own Baileys Chocolate. So, following much searching, I finally adaped a recipe I found on another blog. (

12 oz milk chocolate (the better quality chocolate you use, the better they will turn out)
8 oz cream cheese (I used light to cut down on the fat)
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp Baileys

In a bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth, then slowly add in the powedered sugar while beating until it is blended.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stiring coccasionally until it has liquified. Then add the melted chocolate and the baileys to the creamcheese mixture and mix well.

Refigerate for one hour.

Shape into balls. At this point you can roll the balls in melted semi-sweet chocolate, this cuts the sweetness level of the truffel a little.

Referigerate another hour until hardened.

This can also be made with dark instead of milk chocolate for a less sweet treat.

Everyone who tried these loved them! People were split over which they liked better, the plain ones or the ones dipped in chocolate.

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's Christmas Time

I know this isn't anything to do with cooking, but I am so excited to have my tree up I thought I would share. This is my tree, it is a little sad, but we needed a small tree to be able to fit it into our little appartment.

We got a new ornament this year, we love to watch movies together, so we thought it would be fitting for "our first christmas together" ornament.

My tree topper is my favourite new addition this year. I stumbled across it on ebay early in the fall and fell in love with it. It goes nicely with the couple other Tigger ornaments I have collected over the years.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus were left to me by my Grandparents. I love bringing them out at christmas, it is almost like having my Grandparents with us for the holdiay season.

Here is Ginny checking out all the presents under the tree making sure no one has been trying to sneak a look.

Quick Easy Fudge

1 pkg Sherriff cooked pudding or pie filling
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (sifted)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Combine pudding, butter and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, boil gently for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly blend in sugar. Add the nuts and pour into a greased 8x4 pan. Cool and cut into squares.

This fudge is yummy and so quick to make.

Cheesecake Brownies

I found these on April's blog and they looked so good I had to try making them.


These were absolutely delicious, and everyone loved them. They have become my H's favourite brownies.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Creamy Chicken Saute

Another quick and easy taken from the campbells kitchen and changed to suit my needs,

~1 pound boneless chicken
2 stalks of celery
1 medium onion
1/2 tsp thyme
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1/4 cup water
Hot Cooked Rice

1. Heat oil in a pan, cook the strips of chicken.
2. Reduce heat to medium and cook celery, onion and thyme until the vegtables are tender,
3. Stire the coup and water into the skillet and heat to a boil. Return chicken to the skillet and cook until hot and bubbly.
4. Serve of rice.

Pesto Chicken Pasta

We were in need of a quick tasty recipe and I found this one from Campbell's Kitchen. Which I just tweaked a little to work with what I had on hand.

~1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes.
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce
3 cups cooked pasta

1. Heat skillet and add a little oil to cook the cubes of chicken.
2. Stire soup, milk and pesto sauce inot the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 5 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
3. Add pasta and cook until dish is hot.