Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Amy's Grasshopper Pie

December's Project Pie is here.  I originally intended to share my pecan pie recipe, but I forgot to take a picture.  Then I was chatting with my friend Amy, and remembered she was making her grasshopper pie for Thanksgiving.  I asked her nicely to take a picture and share the recipe.  She delivered, so here it is.  Doesn't it look so yummy? It's perfect for the upcoming holiday season!

Grasshopper Pie
1 Oreo Cookie crust (store bought)
24 large marshmallows
2/3 cup of milk
1 1/2 ounces creme de menthe
1 1/2 ounce creme de cocoa
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Melt marshmallows with milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat when completely melted. Mix in creme de menthe and creme de cocoa until well blended. Pour into container and refrigerate until cold.
Once mixture is cold, whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold into chilled mixture and pour into prepared pie crust. Back into the fridge for at least two hours. Serve with additional sweetened whipped cream. You may also garnish with chocolate curls if you wish.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

French Bread

It's a cold day in Oneonta. The kind of day where all you want to do is snuggle in a blanket.  It's a day for soup or stew, which is on the menu tonight.  To accompany the stew, how about French bread?  Sounds good to me, and here's how you can do it.

First, crack out that bread machine.  Don't have one yet? Well, put it on your Santa list.  Some people have asked me why I like my bread machine so much.  The answer is simple, it makes life easier in the kitchen.  The same as a stand mixer or food processor does.

So now that you dusted off the bread machine here's the recipe.


1 1/4 c. warm water
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt (I used Kosher salt)
3 1/2 c. bread flour
2 tsp. active dry yeast

In the bottom of your pan, put in water, sugar, and salt.  Gently pour the flour on top, and make a small well in the flour.  Add the yeast in the well.  Run your machine on the dough cycle for 1.5 lb loaf.

Once the dough cycle is complete, turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Divide it in two, set aside one piece of dough. 

Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12"x15" rectangle.  Starting with the long end, tightly roll the dough. Turn the ends under and pinch the seam.  Then lay the dough on a french bread pan or on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough.

Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.  Then make three slices across the top of the bread, being careful not to cut all the way through.  Mix two tablespoons of water with 1/2 tsp. salt.  Brush this across the top of the dough.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ten Things I Am Most Thankful For

This year has given me many obstacles.  It seems more so this year than previous years, or perhaps I am just older and handling them differently.  I always remind the boys we need be thankful for what we have.  I remind them of this all year.

For Thanksgiving I wish to share the ten things I am most thankful for (in no particular order).

  1. I am thankful my husband has a job that allows me to stay home with the children.
  2. I am thankful for modern technology that allows me to stay in touch with friends and family.
  3. I am thankful for friends.
  4. I am thankful that my parents will spend this Thanksgiving in good health.
  5. I am thankful that I will spend this Thanksgiving in good health.
  6. I am thankful for friends who have invited us to share the holiday with them.
  7. I am thankful for family who go the extra mile to make a little boy very happy (that's you Aunt Tracy and Uncle Wayne).
  8. I am thankful for a husband who makes me laugh, especially when I need it the most.
  9. I am thankful for my regular lunch date.
  10. Finally, I am MOST thankful for my two precious children!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Baby

Five years ago, on a Sunday, we welcomed an 8 lb 11 oz., 23 3/4" baby boy into the world ten days early.  Over the past five years he has given us so much joy (and tears, with a few gray hairs).  Today we celebrated his birthday quietly with just the four of us.

He wanted a Cars birthday.  So a Cars birthday he shall receive.  Earlier in the week, I made cookies for school, but for today a Lightning McQueen cake was the star. 

Brandon received many great presents.  He was so grateful for everything and hasn't stopped playing all day with all his new toys.  He's even letting Adam play too ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

It's holiday time and my cake mix cookies are back.  I posted this super easy recipe a few years ago.  They are tasty and simple to make.  I even entered them in a blog contest and won.

So here they are again with a holiday twist.  I used a red velvet cake mix, white chocolate bits, and chopped pecans.  The result was festive and oh so yummy!

recipe (yield 3 1/2 dozen)

1 package red velvet cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated. Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. (12 to a sheet, they will spread) Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Allow to cool one minute on cookie sheet and then finish cooling on baking rack. Store in an airtight container for several weeks.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Words Come Back to Haunt Me

Sunday is Brandon's birthday!  I can't believe my baby is turning 5 years old.  This year he wants a Cars birthday.  So I have the Lightning McQueen cake pan for his actual birthday, but for school he wanted cookies.  Cars cookies!

I saw cutters from William-Sonoma and order them.  I thought I would just make a plain sugar cookie, stamp them out, and be done.  They looked really cute with the impression of the characters.   Then Brandon saw the box, where they were piped and iced.  He asked if I could do that.  I hesitated and told him, I didn't think so, it looked real complicated. 

His response to me:  "Mommy, I don't care if you mess them up, but could you just TRY."  This is what we tell our kids all the time, just try.  My words have come back to haunt me.  So, last night I got really brave, and tried.

I think they came out pretty darn well.  We have Lightning McQueen and Finn McMissile ready to go for school.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Keep It Simple Pumpkin Pie

I'm not going to mention the gap in my blog posts.   Well, OK I mentioned it.  I just really want to forget October.  It was a bad month for me.  I had some kind of weird throat virus, followed by viral pink eye, and for the hat trick (that reference is for the hockey fans out there) I had an ear infection. 

OK, back to the topic at hand.  Project Pie this month is a pumpkin pie.  It's the basic Libby's recipe with a few small tweaks.  Instead of adding all the individual spices, I used pumpkin pie spice.  I also added a teaspoon of vanilla to round out the spices.  The rest is just as the recipe says.  Easy easy easy.

It couldn't get any more cliche than pumpkin pie for November, but I couldn't resist.  I love pumpkin pie, and besides my boys wanted me to "practice" one before Thanksgiving.  I am in charge of desserts and this will be one of the choices.

recipe (Libby's Pumpkin Recipe)

3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1 can pumpkin puree (16 oz.)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
1 unbaked deep dish pie crust (frozen or home made)

In a large bowl, combine sugar, spices, vanilla, pumpkin, and eggs.  Slowly add milk and blend.  Pour into the pie crust. 

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 2 hours.

Tip:  Put pie crust on a cookie sheet when baking.  The filling is very thin and this will help with spills.