First of all

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Little Drummer Boy Saves Christmas

I think I have a little cold. I really should have made some Chicken Noodle Soup tonight, but instead I made a mistake into dinner. (a dinner the kids wouldn't eat but I enjoyed.) Yesterday I went to Aldi and thought I purchased 2 cans of Chicken Noodle Soup (their version of Chunky soup). The kids call it twisty noodle soup and they like soup for breakfast, and I figure it's a good breakfast on a cold foggy day, such as this AM. So I opened a can of soup this morning and looked down, and well wouldn't you know it, I had grabbed one can of 'twisty noodle soup' and 1 can of Chicken Corn Chowder.

You are not surprised to learn no one was going to eat Chicken Corn Chowder for breakfast are you? Of course not.

This afternoon, I thought I might as well try and do something w/the open can of soup. What I came up with was,
1 can of Chicken Corn Chowder
1 1/3 uncooked rice
1 cup h20
1 cup chopped up leftover cooked cauliflower
1 teaspoon Garlic Garlic (TM Tastefully Simple)
about 1 tbsp Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning (TM Tastefully Simple)
Mix it all together in a casserole dish, cover said dish w/Aluminum foil and bake for about 45 min at 350 and I served it to myself with baby carrots.

Today Patrick told me he is going to make a movie where the little drummer boy saves the baby Jesus from the evil dark lord. Sounds like a blockbuster for the holiday, the little drummer boy defeats the evil dark lord through his magic sound. I told him he needs to write this stuff down!

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Holiday Open House Menu

Simple Sweet Bell Pepper Pinwheels

Perfectly Potato Cheddar Quiche

Meatballs with Pomegranate Chipotle and Merlot Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Cheesy Chive Warm Dip Mix with Bread

Artichoke & Spinach Quiche

Oh So Olive Dip mix and Assorted Veggies


Nana's Apple Cake prepared with 1 cup fresh cranberries. Topped with Warm Up! Instant Mulling Spice mixed into Cool Whip.

Apple Crisp Cheeseball Pizza

Awesome Amaretto Cocoa and For the Love of Cookies!


The open house is on Wed and the weather doesn't sound too promising, it will be the coldest weather we've had since last winter, but hopefully people will come because I really don't need to be alone with all of the above! Today is our team Christmas party and I've been running around the house all day making sure I don't forget anything I am supposed to bring such as my ornament for the xchange, a couple of gifts for team members. And the damn cookies for the cookie exchange. LOL we were supposed to bake 65. I started out a few days ago making spritz cookies but those didn't work out. I couldn't get my cookie press to work. I was in a cookie exchange yesterday, so for that one I took peppermint cream Oreos, dipped those in white chocolate and put sprinkles on top. I went through 4 bars of white chocolate for 47 cookies. Today I didn't want to go and spend $20 on more white chocolate So today I made Warm Up! Shortbread Cookies, which is a variation on a recipe that has been on my fridge for weeks. Duh! Should have made those the first time around. Only problem with today is that I ran out of flour and so there is 1 batch of cookies (42 cookies) instead of 65 and at this point I have to go with what I've got!


Here is the recipe. Warm Up! Instant Mulling Spice is a new product this fall. :-D



1 cup softened butter

1 tsp. pure almond extract

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons Sugar

2 cups flour


For sugar coating blend:

2 tablespoons Warm Up! Instant Mulling Spice

4 tablespoons Sugar.

Mix well in order given. Shape into 1 inch balls. Bake at 300 for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly and roll in sugar coating. Makes 4 dozen.





Friday, December 4, 2009

Wine Pairings for Holiday Meals

Wondering what wines to serve?

* Chardonnays pair well with Turkey
* Cabernet Merlot blends are a great match for a Crown Roast. The kids want me to make one of those so they can see the little chef hats on it. LOL
*Gewurztraminer, or the Gewurztraminer/Reisling blend that Coopershawk Winery sells, goes really well with the saltiness of a yummy holiday ham.
*Making a Roast Duck? Go with a Malbec.
*Roast Lamb? Try a Pinot Noir!

Now what about for Tofurkey? There is no agreement on this one being that it is not white nor red meat!
Some say go with a Pinot Gris or Chardonnay others say a light red such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais Nouveau. (I like the Charles Shaw Beaujolais Nouveau myself)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Guess what we are watching tonight?

Yippee! I love National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! I might even make a cup of our Awesome Amaretto Cocoa
So yummy you don't need any cookies with it. And speaking of cookies, I found some seasonal ziploc baggies for my cookie exchange cookies (ie the only cookies I'm going to be making) So now I am ready to get out the cookie press and make some spritz cookies.

Come to think of it the Awesome Amaretto Cocoa would pair nicely with some yummy Spritz Cookies.


* 1 cup butter, softened
* 3 egg yolks
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2/3 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure almond extract


1. Mix the butter or margarine, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Add the flour and mix by hand.
2. Spoon into cookie press and press onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugars.
3. Bake in preheated 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven for 7-10 minutes.

And yes, I'm going with the Christmas Tree Cookie Shape.

All I need is some moose mugs (Available on 2 acrylic mugs for $49.99!)for my cocoa and the holiday movie watching experience will be complete.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Camembert Cheese

Aldi has some yummy cheeses on special purchase this week and I picked up a wheel of Camembert cheese for only $2.99, so I need to make this easy and really delicious Camembert Cheese Pasta recipe by Jamie Oliver. I couldn't find my copy of the recipe so I googled it and here is the recipe and for fun it has metric measurements. Anna and I are the only ones who will eat this in our household, so if anyone wants a serving or two, let me know!

Exciting news, one of my recipes made it into this month's Tastefully Simple Everyday Easy Recipes, click here to check it out!

(serves 4-6)

- a box of Camembert Cheese (250g)
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, pick the leaves off the woody stalk
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 100g grated parmesan cheese
- 400g dried rigatoni
- 150g fresh spinach


1. Open the box of cheese and unwrap it. Place it back to the wooden container (Note: mine did not come in a wooden container so I placed it in a oven safe dish like what you see in the photo).
2. Score a circle into the top of the skin, then lift it off and discard.
3. Lay the garlic slices on top of the cheese, sprinkle some pepper and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil.
4. Scatter the rosemary leaves over the top and gently pat with your fingers to coat them in the oil.
5. Bake the cheese in a preheated oven of 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes, until golden and melted.
6. When the cheese has 10 minutes left to cook, add the pasta to the pan and cook according to packet instructions.
7. When the pasta is cooked, add the spinach to the pan - it only needs cooking for 10 seconds or so.
8. Drain the pasta and spinach to the pan and let it wilt.
9. Drizzle with a couple of good lugs of extra virgin olive oil and add the grated Parmesan. If the sauce is too thick for you, add a splash of reserved cooking water to thin out a bit. Season with salt and pepper and give it a good stir.
10. Remove the cheese from the oven. Divide the pasta between your serving bowls. Either drizzle the melted Camembert on top or pop cheese on the table and let everyone help themselves to a lovely, gooey spoonful.