Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bulldogs - Cinnamon Bun Cookies

First let me apologize for the lack of the pictures for this post, the Bulldogs had a game on December 27th at 7am, and in my hurry to get cookies made, bags unpacked and find places for all the stuff that made its way back, the picture somehow got overlooked. I knew I wouldn't have a lot of time to bake anything as I was at my Parent's house for the holidays. I decided to try a slice and bake cookie - from the freezer. I made up the dough for these for these a couple weeks ago and had them sitting in my freezer. Then the night of the 26th I took them out, let them soften for about 10 minutes then sliced the log into cookies and baked.

The recipe came from The Recipe Girl, and only made some minor changes.

Freeze and Slice Cinnamon Bun Cookies (made about 3 dozen cookies)

½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 large egg white
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1½ tsp ground cinnamon

1. Prepare the dough by creaming together the sugar, butter and vanilla. Stir in the flour and chill the dough.
2. Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar to about 9x12 inches (no more than 1/4 inch thick).
3. Lightly whip the egg white with a fork until foamy. Brush it onto the rolled out dough (I didn't use all of the egg white).
4. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together then sprinkle and spread on the cookie dough. Roll the dough like you would a cinnamon bun or jelly roll.
5. Wrap the log in the saran wrap and freeze.

When ready to bake:
1. Take the dough out of the freezer and let warm for a couple of minutes (makes cutting the slices easier).
2. Slice the dough into about 1/4 inch slices.
3. Place slices on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for about 12 minutes until middle is set.
4. Cool on a wire rack.

These were a delicious cookie, and everyone enjoyed them. It was nice the have them so easy to make the night before, and I am tempted to keep a roll or two at all times for surprise company. I didn't make the icing for it and I really don't think the cookies need it.

The Bulldogs:
They won their game, even with a backup of the backup goalie! I can't say more than that, as I stayed at home that morning for some much needed sleep after the holidays!

Read more:

Christmas Presents make for a Busy New Year!

I guess word has made it around to my entire family that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and it showed this year with my presents. I can't wait to start using them, and they should keep me busy for the next few week at least!

First is the pasta roller and cutter set for my kitchen aid:

I have already tried this one out (who could wait) and the pasta turned out fantastic. It was so much easier than trying to hand roll and cut the pasta. However the pasta was a little thin for my taste, and I will be trying the thicker noodles soon, then on to making ravioli!

I also recieved a BeaterBlade for my Kitchen Aid, which I have heard great things about.

A cookbook that is going to result in lots of new cookies for the bulldogs.

Pie Weights! I now need to think of an excuse for needing cooked pie shells.

There were also some cake pans and cookie scoops in the pile:

This one looks exciting, and I doubt I will be able to hold out until Valentines to give it a try.

I hope to have some posts coming up on them soon. I will be making some lemon cookies for the bulldogs this weekend from the new cookbook.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shepard's Pie

I am never a fan of mashed potatoes the next day, they seem to lose something with the storage, so instead of trying to eat my way through another plate of turkey dinner, after the holidays, I like to make something warm and comforting. I love shepard's pie in the winter, there is just something comforting about curling up with a plate when it is cold outside.

This is also great as it gets rid of extra gravy, mashed potatoes and vegetables from turkey dinner (which saves a lot of prep time).

My Shepard's pie

1 lb lean ground beef
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 cup frozen corn (if desired)
1-2 cup leftover carrots (or frozen mixed veggies)
Leftover gravy (or make some with a clubhouse mix)

1. Brown the meat and then add the celery and onion until the meat is cooked. Add the vegetables and gravy, mix and pour into a 3 quart casserole dish.
2. Top with the mashed potatoes (you will want at least an inch or so on top of the meat mixture). Using a fork draw lines in the potatoes (this will allow them to crisp up while baking).
3. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.


This turned out really well, and even using the clubhouse gravy (made with water) it wasn't too salty. It was also a great change after all the turkey!

Quick Turkey Pot Pie

Owen loves these, and insists on having them when we have turkey leftovers. I usually make a couple and store some in the freezer for later (when I am not so tired of turkey). This is the quick and simple way to make them, and it doesn't take long the through them together, but everyone seems to really like them! Owen took one to his work potluck and everyone enjoyed it.

Note that this recipe works well all year if you use chicken meat instead of turkey. You can cook a couple chicken breasts (and dice) are use leftovers from a roast chicken.

Turkey Pot Pie (makes 1 pie)
Pie shell (for a double crust pie)
1 can cream soup (I usually use mushroom, but broccoli and chicken also work well)
Diced cooked turkey
Frozen veggie mix (or leftover veggies from turkey dinner)
Diced, cooked potatoes (optional)
shredded cheese (optional)

1. In a bowl mix the cream soup, turkey, veggie mix, potatoes and cheese.
2. Roll out pie shell and line the pie plate. Pour in the filling and top with the top crust.
3. Pinch the edges together, and cut vents in the top of the pie ( I do 4 slits).
4. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes until the crust is cooked. (if you would like a golden pie top, brush with some oil or egg whites before baking).

Owen loves these and they get made with both turkey and chicken leftovers! It only takes a few minutes to pull together, which is great.


My Grandparents have made these cookies every Christmas for as long as I can remember. They are nice addition to all the sweets, as they aren't a really sweet cookie, and I love the Cardamom flavor!

One key to getting a fantastic cookie is using whole fresh Cardamom, ground just before using. Cardamom is a spice that tastes best when fresh, you can tell the differences in the cookies from those that are made with the ground stuff in the store and the fresh stuff. (the ground is good as well, the fresh just takes it over the top!)

Below is the recipe my grandparents gave me, I have added a few pictures just to make a few steps a little more clear.

12 egg yolks OR eight yolks +2 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
*1/2 tsp. salt
*2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar (3/4s is better)
*approximately 4 cups flour
(* sift together)
2 tsps ground cardamom

Beat eggs till thick.
Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with the cream.
Roll out fairly thin (like sugar cookies)
Cut dough in long strips, then in diamond shapes. (a pizza cutter works well)
Put a little cut in the centre of each cookie. To shape cookie (if you want) pull one corner through the cut in the centre.

Deep fry until golden colour.



So after cooking/ helping to cook 2 full turkey dinners this year, and eating more at friends house, I had to come up with some ideas for leftovers! We have been eating Turkey and turkey dinner leftovers all month, so we have come up with a list of our favorite ways to use up those leftovers.

Most of you are probably done with your leftovers, but I thought I would share (and I need a list somewhere I can find it next year). Hopefully I will get recipes up (I am busy typing them and the couple cookie recipes up now that I am home)

Dinner leftovers:
Shepard's pie (uses gravy, mashed potatoes and leftover veggies)

Turkey pot pie (the quick way)
Turkey stock
Turkey and dumplings

This week we are trying the last on my list - turkey chili!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gingerbread - The Verdict!

Alright, I made 3 gingerbread recipes this year, made Owen eat and critique each one (tough job isn't it?).

The verdict is now in, and he prefers the flavors of Gingergread #2 from My Kitchen Cafe! While he thought the last batch was the perfect consistency and texture, they were just too mild.

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (before the holidays are over!).

I have been keeping myself busy the past week picking up last minute things, baking and getting ready to go to my parent's place for the holidays. I was put in charge of Christmas morning breakfast this year, and I have a feeling I went a little overboard. I swear there is enough food packed up to feed everyone for 2 days! I couldn't help taking a couple of special baking items. Hopefully I will get pictures and recipes up soon.

This year's holiday list:
Peppermint Candy Cane cookies (my new creation, will post soon!)
Gingerbread men
Fattigman (My Dad's favorite cookie)
Millionaire's Shortbread
Flourless chocolate cake
(for the celiacs)
( I added some vanilla bean to these, soo yummy)
Extra gooey cinnamon buns (the extra gooey part is extra butter and sugar), served with cinnamon cream cheese icing.
Cheddar bacon scones (I subbed bacon for the sausage)
Cheddar bacon frittata (I am sure I will alter the recipe a bit, and will post a final version when I am done.)
Banana muffins
Bread and assorted Jams (the jams are the ones I made this summer, and whatever bread my Dad has at the house)
Turkey sausage patties (M&M)
Cloudy apple juice (We bought this, we didn't want to give up everything we had left from making juice this fall)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Bags 2

I needed a couple more bags this year, as apparently we went a tiny bit crazy with the presents this year (oops). I still didn't want to go out and get any fabric, so I checked through my fabric and found some blue scraps big enough for the bags, and some white fabric to decorate. I had Iron on adhesive left over from making my halloween costume.

How to:

1. Iron on the adhesive (cut into the shape desired) to the back of the "decoration" fabric (the white in this case).
2. Cut out the fabric around the iron on patch. Place this shape on the right side of the fabric for the bag. Iron it to secure (make sure you like were it is, as you can't redo it after it is attached).
3. Turn bag fabric inside out and sew into a bag, fold the top over to make a loop for the drawstring and sew.

For the snow man, I hand sewed the eyes, mouth, buttons and scarf.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gingerbread Take Two – Bulldogs

I am still on the hunt for a go to gingerbread recipe, so when I saw this recipe come up on My Kitchen Café, I decided it would be the next one to try. The bulldogs had a game coming up and I wanted to do something fun for them for the last game before Christmas, so I decided to dress up the cookies with the team colours.

I followed the directions for the recipe exactly, and encountered a couple of problems. It is a little difficult to tell when the cookies are actually done, and I ended up overcooking the first batch.

3 cups flour
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1tbsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
¾ cup butter (cut into 12 pieces)
¾ cup molasses
2 tbsp milk

How To:
1.Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and sugar in a bowl of a mixer. Add the pieces of butter and mix until the mixture becomes “sandy” in texture.
2.Add in the molasses and milk and mix until well combined.
3.Place ½ the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and rollout to be 1/4” inch thick. Place in the freezer until firm (15 min).
4.Cut out the cookies.
5.Bake at 350F for 8-9 minutes ( no longer than 10 minutes, even if you don’t think they are done) until they are set in the center and barely retains an imprint when touched.
6.Let cool and decorate.

I used a royal icing recipe (1 egg white, 1/8tsp corn starch, 1 ½ cup powdered sugar) to decorate these cookies and wrote on the hard icing with Wilton Food Writers.

The cookie man is wearing a replica of the Bulldog's jersey. I am sorry I couldn't find a picture of anyone wearing their yellow jersey, but it is the same as these black ones, only yellow.

Reviews: These cookies were enjoyed (the ones that were soft and not overcooked) by everyone who tried them, although I am not sure if it was due to the cookie flavour or the more likely culprit of the decorating.

The boys loved the jerseys on the cookies ( I have seen a couple pics pop up on facebook already)!

They won their game this morning 5-4! Hopefully they can finish the year with a winning streak. The next game is Dec. 27th at 7 am, which may be a little rough after the indulging of Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quick Gift Bag

We use a lot of cloth gift bags for the holidays in our house. They are great as you can reuse them from year to year, they get packed away with the decoration and fold up nice and small, and last, Christmas fabric is so much fun.

Well this year we were a little short on bags, I don't know why (most likely the fact that more get sent out some years than come back from family depending on which side we are mailing gifts to and which ones we are visiting or it may be the fact that we have a few extra people coming for Christmas this year). Whatever the reason, Owen couldn't find a bag to wrap my present in and didn't want to use any of the paper bags we had around the house. I didn't want to go and get fabric to make new bags until it went on sale and he wanted something fun.

I can not take credit for the solution - Owen came up with the idea, all I did was a little sewing. He found a cute stocking for cheap while he was picking up something else and thought it would make a cute bag - well he was right! I love this back, and am thinking of making more like it!

1 stocking (this can be bought or made)

How To:
1. Fold the top of stocking down to create a place for the ribbon to thread through and act as a drawstring. Pin in place.
2. Optional - put the ribbon in it's place, making sure that it will not go were you are stitching. I like doing it this way, as I hate threading drawstrings.
3. Stitch around the stocking at the bottom of the folded area (not along the fold).

Your done (unless you need the thread the ribbon through) and can now fill it with the presents of your choice!

Black Forest Cookies (Bulldogs)

Black Forest Cookies,

I made Black Forest preserves this summer and have been wanting to try using some in some baking, so this week the Bulldogs got Black Forest Cookies using the preserves.

All I knew I wanted for these cookies was rich chocolate cookie, somehow incorporate the preserves and topped with something creamy and light. Basically, I wanted the deliciousness of a Blackforest cake in cookie form.

When I saw these cookies on My Kitchen Café, I thought they looked great as the base for my cookie. I decided on a thumbprint cookie to try the flavor combinations.

Cookie: (makes about 3 to 4 doz)
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
¾ cup butter (soft)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
¾ cup chocolate chips

Black Cherry Preserve (or cherry filling of your choice)

Vanilla Buttercream – I used Billy’s Buttercream from Martha Steward and added a little extra sugar to make it stiffer (recipe below)

1.Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.
2.Cream the butter and the sugar until light. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well mixed.
3.Add 1/3 of the flour to the butter mixture, followed by ½ the sour cream. Repeat until all the ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4.Drop the cookies onto a baking sheet with teaspoons and bake at 350F for 12-13 minutes, until set.
5.When the cookies come out and are still warm press a whole in the middle of the cookie. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.
6.When cookies are cool, spoon the black cherry preserves or cherries or jerry jam into the middle of the cookie. Top the cookie with vanilla buttercream to cover the cherry filling.

Vanilla Buttercream
1.In a bowl beat ½ cup of butter until it is soft and creamy. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, followed by ¼ cup of milk and 1 tsp of vanilla. Beat until smooth.
2.Add another 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix. Add up to another cup of powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time until it is a thick pipe-able consistency.
3.Put in a piping bag, fitted with a wide tip (or a ziplock with the corner cut out) and pipe onto the cookies.

Everyone loved these cookies, and despite fears that they would be too sweet they turned out fine.
The cookies are great on their own as well if you looking for a good chocolate cookie.

The Bulldogs:
Sadly the losing streak is now at 2, as they lost on Saturday morning. The cookies have been unabe to make up for the cold weather and early mornings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gingerbread 09 - Take 1

I love gingerbread men during the holidays, but have yet to find a “go to” gingerbread recipe. I have tried a couple in the past and have started my holiday baking with a couple new recipes. This one is a modified version from the King Arthur Flour recipe bank. I haven’t tried a recipe from them I didn’t like yet, so I thought I would give it a go. (I did change amounts to make the batch a little smaller and it is really dry were I live).

Gingerbread Cookies (makes about 3-4 doz, depending on cookie size)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/3 teaspoons ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice or cloves
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
2/3 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


1. In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.

2. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and mix in the egg.

3. Add the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.

4. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.

5. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) several baking sheets.

6. Remove the dough from fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Press flat and roll out – I did them between ¼ and ½ inch thick and liked it, the thicker cookies will be soft and thin cookies will be a little crispy.

7. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.

8. Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets (or, if you've rolled right onto the parchment, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Bake the cookies 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they're set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

To decorate I used a package of Old Fashion Candy Buttons I found at the candy store down the street, they worked really well.

I love these cookies, they are soft, chewy and flavorful. Delicious. However these weren’t O’s favorite gingerbread, he said there was a little too much molasses flavor in them. So if you like molasses this is the gingerbread for you, if you want more ginger flavor, I will be posting a new recipe in the coming days as I try more.

Baby Blanket

Isn't is cute? All packaged up so pretty. The bow matches the underside of the blanket.

The pattern is a light green with cute monkeys and the underside is a pale yellow with faint white dots on it. Sorry about the poor pictures, but getting decent lighting round here is next to impossible.

Alright, so first off, this blanket is not for me. I am not having a baby any time soon.

Now that we have that straight, this blanket is for my cousin who is having a baby, in little over a month. She will be at the family gathering this christmas, so i will give it to her then.

When I found out about her having a kid, I knew I wanted to give her something but didn't know what. I have been wanting to sew something for a while and this gave me a perfect excuse, especially with flannel being boy one m get one m free this week at fabricland!

I followed the instructions from abmatic, and ended up with a super cute little blanket. I loved making it, it was easy and quick. Now I might move onto a more complicated blanket or I may go stock up on flannel and make a stock pile of these for anytime I have friends having kids. I would love to play around with different color combinations.

Bulldogs Week 4


The bulldogs played on the weekend ( I know really late update, sorry guys), O was in attendance and that means cookies! I needed a “novembery monster cookie” the included carmel and marshmallow (I made a second cookie with the cornflakes). Well when I think fall I usually think chocolate, nuts and warm comfort food. I had some hazelnuts my Mother in law had sent me that were waiting to be used and thought they would go great with this cookie.

Owen said it looked a lot like a treatsa pizza from Dairy Queen, so that is were the name comes from.

Not a “treatsa-pizza” (makes 1 regular sized pizza cookie)

½ cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour
¼ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder

½ cup hazelnuts roasted and crushed
2 tbsp caramel sauce
¼ cup mini marshmallows
1/8 cup powdered sugar

1.Melt the butter in a sauce pan, then add the sugar followed by the egg and vanilla (make sure the butter/sugar is not too hot before adding the egg, or you will cook the egg).
2.Mix in the dry ingredients and spread on a pizza pan to about 1 inch from the edge (the cookie expands as it cooks). I lined my pan with parchment paper and had no problems with sticking.
3.Bake the cookie at 350F for about 15 minutes until set in the middle. Set on a wire rack to cool.
4.Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on the cookie. Warm the carmel sauce so that it runs easily and drizzle on top of the cookie and nuts.
5.In a microwave safe bowl heat the mini marshmallows for 10 – 20 seconds until melted. Add the powdered sugar to cut the stickyness and then pull and stick to the cookie in strings.
6.Let the toppings set, then cut into the pizza wedges and enjoy!

The second cookie was a little less sugary and sweet and incorporated the cornflakes. I just used a recipe I had found on recipe zaar for what I wanted to make. I boiled the sugar a little too much and cookies got really hard. Other than that though, they were great.

Sadly the bulldogs lost 6-5 this week. They played a great game considering they had a 9 person turn out and a couple of injuries during the game. I blame the horrible road conditions and early morning for the low turn out.

Everyone loved and raved about the Pizza cookie, it was a big hit. Sadly the cornflake cookies were not only hard from being a little overcooked, but also from being cold and were difficult eat. Lesson learned.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ravioli Soup

I saw a recipe for this in Once a Month Cooking and decided to try it. The recipe seemed alright, but didn’t have enough veggies in it for my liking, so I added a few things as I went along and omitted others.

I made a large batch of soup, and before it was done froze half for another night. It didn’t involve any extra work as I was making it already which was great. You could also just make it and freeze all of it as it is quick to pull together.

Ravioli Soup (Makes 1 supper, + leftovers, and 1 meal for the freezer)

1 lb lean hamburger
1 medium onion
½ green pepper
½ red pepper
1 lg. carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini ( I used frozen)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic salt
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp oregano
pinch of sugar
1 family pack ravioli
Parmesan cheese

1.In a pan, brown the hamburger (I do this in my dutch oven so I don’t have to switch pots). When the meat is brown, add the onions, peppers, carrots and garlic, and sauté until the veggies are starting to soften and onions are translucent.
2.Add the zucchini, tomatoes, chicken stock, spices, and sugar to the pot. Allow to simmer together for 10 minutes. (At this point I always taste it and see if I want to add more seasoning, as it sometimes depends on the tomatoes used). At this point I remove ½ the pot into a freezer container and it goes into the freezer. When you want to have it for supper, thaw the soup and pick up the directions at step 3.
3.Allow to cook and simmer for 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Once they are cooked add them to the soup. (if the soup is too thick you can add water or chicken stock to thin it.)
4.Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

This is a great soup, with lots of veggies. If you use the low sodium tomatoes, it is a great meal. To make it a vegetarian meal simple don’t add the ground beef to the soup and use a cheese ravioli.

Owen and I both loved this soup and I can’t wait to take the rest out of the freezer next week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Its begining to look like Christmas

So it snowed today, and it has continued to snow all day. It is still snowing. Three hours after out sidewalk was shoveled you would never have known anyone had touched it with a shovel. The snow was at my ankle this afternoon and I can't imagine how high it is now.

Well I went for a walk this afternoon, all the way to the Butterdome craft sale. I am pretty sure this is the largest craft sale in the city.

Anyways, I go every year, it is a great way to celebrate the end of classes and treat yourself to something nice. Oh and get some of that christmas shopping out of the way. I picked up a couple of beer bread mixes (Ultimate Gourmet) and Saskatoon Cider (Homestyle beverages) like I do every year. This year I treated myself to a package of delicious Hot Chocolate, picked up some whole cardamom for baking christmas cookies, and an almond butter crunch bar for O's gift exchange. I will be going back with a friend on mine and I will be lucky to resist the peppermint patties a second time! I also need to find a way to justify another apron, as these are ones are just to cute!

If you have some time this weekend in Edmonton and some Christmas shopping to get done, I highly suggest checking it out.