Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our Christmas Treat Plates and a Recipe

Just thought I would give you a round-up of what we are putting on plates for our neighbors this year! Last year was the first time I did this and our neighbors were surprised and happy to get the treats! I loved it! So we're doing it again!

Last year's plates included...

PW's Spicy Molasses Cookies

PW's Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Mindee's Chocolate Coconut Candy

Mindee's Monster Cookies (because I had these coming out of my ears!)

I was a little less ambitious this year on account of doing homemade gifts for almost everyone, but these are all still yummy!

Our plates this year will include...

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwiches (one of my all-time faves!) - no recipe required - just dip them in chocolate almond bark!

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies

And since I have seen the Rolo Cake Mix Cookie recipe ALL OVER the internet and can't decide where it originated from, I will just post the recipe here for your enjoyment!

Rolo Cake Mix Cookies

1 box Devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
30 individual Rolo candies (more or less depending on the size of your cookies)

Mix the first three ingredients together and then roll into little balls with 1 rolo inside each ball (fairly small so there is lots of rolo per cookie!). Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Makes about 30 cookies.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potluck Survival Guide


This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by:

Five Star Publications for this review.

Potluck Survival Guide by Cherie Kimmons

Price: $18.96, regularly $24.95 - go here to order!

I love cookbooks.

No, I really LOVE cookbooks.

I know I can find millions of recipes online and I do use the internet quite often to find them, but there is nothing quite like looking through a cookbook.

I was thrilled to get this cookbook - really so much more than a cookbook - to review!

Potluck Survival Guide: Care and Feeding of the Athletic Supporter by Cherie Kimmons is a manual for feeding large groups of people - athletes, adults, kids, anyone! The book is full of tried and true recipes and tips for hosting any gathering - even feeding the kids at the ballpark after a game!

Now, my children are not old enough to be involved in organized sports yet, but this book actually makes me excited for the day I have a team dinner at our house or organize the band potluck.

I could make a whole post on the yummy recipes in the Potluck Survival Guide, but I will just name a few that peaked my interest:

*Nana's Garlic Brisket
*Flank Steak Pinwheels
*Chicken Paella
*Fried Bread
*Nutty Cereal Snack
*Apple Pockets

Now, an experienced soccer mom might say that the ideas in this book aren't anything new - but that's not the point. For someone like me who is new to this style of cooking for the masses, this is EXACTLY the book I need.

I love the suggestions for food bar ideas - Baked Potato, Chili, Waffle, Sundae, etc. - as well as buffet tips and guidelines for feeding athletes. There are basic recipes with lots of listed variations and helpful notes on every recipe page.

One of the most useful sections to me is the "Numbers Game" - a guide for calculating the amount food based on the amount of people! How many times have I tried to figure that out, only to be WAY off in one direction or the other?!

The only downfall to this book for me is the lack of food pictures. I really enjoy seeing a picture of what I am making, and while this book is very colorful and well illustrated, it does not include pictures of the recipes.

Other than that, I find the Potluck Survival Guide to be a very useful tool for any large event involving food! I cannot wait for the next church or MOPS potluck to try something out! Maybe even over Christmas with my family!

Thank you to Ms. Kimmons and Five Star Publications for including me in this review tour!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Homemade Granola

This is such a yummy snack to have around when I need to nibble. It also tastes great with milk!

I had never attempted homemade granola before this, but I found a recipe that sounded good, tweaked it to fit my tastes, and I've stuck with it ever since! It is so easy!

Homemade granola is great because you can totally customize it for your own family AND you know exactly what is going in it! What would you put in yours?

Homemade Granola

6 cups oats
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp salt
1 cup olive oil
1 cup honey (or maple syrup)
-add nuts, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla to taste if you choose - I always add sunflower seeds, but next batch will have some pecans and vanilla I think!

Place on a baking sheet and cook for 50 minutes at 250 degrees, stirring the granola four times while cooking.

Cool, then add any dried fruit that you want. I really enjoy dried pineapple and craisins.

Store in a large zip lock bag or small snack size portion bags.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gifts from the Kitchen

Wow! We are back from a long Thanksgiving vacation and it it time I get back on track here!

I have tons of recipes lined up to post - just need to put the finishing touches on, so watch out! Thanks for your patience!

But for now, I wanted to share with you some homemade edible presents I plan on making this year!

Cranberry Hootycreeks (love this name!)

Do you have a favorite gift in a jar? Please pass it along!