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Showing posts from 2011

Meal Plan Dec 4-10, 2011

So, you may remember me mentioning that I don't tend to do a very good job of meal planning.  That's still true, but I have been doing better.  I made a plan for last week and stuck to it completely!  I've got a plan in place for this next week as well, and have my fingers crossed.  I thought I'd share what we had last week and what I'm planning on for next week.  You know, just in case you were curious.  It's nothing fancy, trust me.  One thing that I'm trying to do more of is sit down with the weekly grocery ads, see what is on sale for a great price for the week, and use that to jump start my meal planning.  I also went through and took an inventory of what is in my freezer (I do that periodically and usually do a fairly good job of keeping it updated as I add/use items).  However, I still need to clean out my's a mess! Mostly I'm just listing main dishes.  Sides vary depending on what I have and what sounds good, lol.  Week of 11

Sugar Cookies

Last year, Christi and I hosted a cookie exchange.  It was fun, and one of these days I think it would be a great idea to do it on an annual basis...just not this year!  Anyway, she made the sugar cookie recipe from Brown Eyed Baker .  When I had to send cookies to the Thanksgiving celebration at the Munchkin's "Tuesday school" I knew that these would be the perfect thing to send.  I was right -- the kids loved them. This really is a great recipe.  Simple, easy, and delicious.  What more can you want?  And I didn't change a thing, so visit Michelle's website for the recipe .  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week and can you believe it's December???  Enjoy!  :) I'm linked up to the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies & Sweets -- check out what the others have made!

Thick and Chewy Snickerdoodles

I admit, I love snickerdoodles.   Cinnamon and vanilla?   Yes, please.   What’s funny is that I never really had them much as a kid, just occasionally in the school cafeteria.   I know, ew. Anyway, snickerdoodles were one of the first cookies that the Munchkin helped make when he was little.   He could help dump everything in the mixer (or “loud noise” as he would call it!) and then it was fun for him to roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar before putting them on the baking sheet. Even since then, my go-to recipe for snickerdoodles has been this one by Emeril.   It’s a great recipe, baking up a thin, crispy cookie (at least when I make them!).   However, I was looking for something different this time, something thicker and chewier.   I found this recipe from the blog How Sweet it Is .   I decided to try it, and while I did keep the ingredient list the same I changed up the method a bit to suit me better.   The result?   What I was looking for – thick and

Sharing the Love

I don't know about you, but when I search for new recipes to try, I also like to read reviews from other people that have actually tried them. I think that's why websites such as and allrecipes are popular -- you post a recipe, others try it and leave reviews.  That's essentially what food blogging is all about -- sharing experiences with food.  But, I think a lot of us (myself included, if you include me as a food blogger, lol) tend to only want to post our own recipes, or our own take on the recipes of others.  My husband claims that I can't follow a recipe to save my life.  That's not entirely true.  I do occasionally follow a recipe as written...sometimes...maybe.  :)  A lot of times I do feel like I change the recipe enough to call it "adapted" or "inspired by".  Sometimes though?  Yeah, changing one ingredient isn't really enough to make it my own.  Those are the recipes I'm going to be talking about today.  Ones tha

Oatmeal, White Chocolate & Toffee Cookies

On Tuesday I had lunch with some former co-workers.  We went to this little cafe, and I enjoyed warm food and conversation with wonderful company - two great people that I haven't seen nearly enough of in the last few years.  I was also reminded that I am Katy.  Meaning, I am more than "just a mom".  My children each carry a piece of my soul around with them.  That will never change.  But there is more to me than "mom."  However, being a mom and now a homeschooling mom has consumed so much of my energy, that I've had a tendency to forget about Katy, about my dreams and desires.  So, when I decided to make the time to get some cookies created and post about them today, it felt that much better to slip on my purple apron, turn on some music, and dance around the kitchen while baking up these treats.  I'm a sap, I know, I hear it from my husband all the time! While we were at the cafe on Tuesday, we tried several different cookies for dessert.  O

Peanut Butter Crunch

Starting back in the 60's (not that I was around then) the home economics department of a local electric company would put on cooking demonstrations near Christmas, and would hand out booklets with the recipes.  I can remember attending many of these with my mom and grandmother when I was in junior high and high school.  In 1993, they published a 30th anniversary cookbook with all the recipes from the past demonstrations.  It was a go-to cookbook of mine for many years, and I still use some of the recipes.  One of those is the recipe for Peanut Butter Crunch that I am sharing today.  I have actually adapted it over the years, so I'm writing out my adaptation for you.  Unfortunately, that electric company was bought out by another and they don't do the demonstrations any more.  I always thought they were fun! I know that intro was kind of boring, but I wanted to give you the history on this recipe!  I make it almost every year to hand out in goody boxes and it always se

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, 2011 Edition

Hello, hello, hello!  I could babble on about what's been going on lately, or you could just go here and read , so I won't.  ;) Anyway, it's that time of year again, if you can believe it, to start the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies , being hosted this year by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic .  Now, we just got running water back temporarily last night, and for real this afternoon, so suffice it to say I haven't exactly had time to whip up a batch of something yummy, take pics and write up a blog post about it, so I'm going to go back in time to last year and remind everyone about one of my favorite holiday cookies, the Chewy Ginger Snaps .  I've already got a list of goodies I want to make for this year's blog hop, and in the meantime enjoy what everyone else has been working hard on!

My Take on Homemade Spaghetti O's

When I was a little kid, I loved canned spaghetti.  I would even make a spaghetti sandwich out of the stuff.  I can't make this kind of story up!  What's funny is that real homemade spaghetti is actually one of the things that my mom would make, and it was good.  I just still loved the canned stuff too. Anyway, I can remember when the Munchkin was younger he would see commercials for Spaghetti O's and ask me to buy them.  In contrast to my childhood, I would never buy the canned version.  I caved and finally bought him a can so he could try it.  He took about two bites, declared mine much better, and wouldn't eat any more.  Score one for mom!  {virtual fist bump} But, you have to admit, Spaghetti O's are cute!  They just are.  Here's my take on a homemade version.  It makes a lot, be warned.  However, if you aren't feeding the entire neighborhood you can freeze it.  I tried it and it heated up quite well without the pasta getting all mushy.  The kids lo

For Jennie

  I honestly don't even know how to start this post.  I've written it a thousand times in my head, and now that I'm sitting at the computer, the words won't come. Earlier this week Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie's Kitchen lost her husband suddenly.  There was no chance for a goodbye.  She has two girls, 8 and 3.  Though I've never met her in person, I follow her through her blog and on Twitter.  And even though I don't know her or her family, when I read what had happened, it brought me to tears.  On Tuesday she posted on her blog.  I don't know that I would have had the composure to do so.  This is part of what she wrote : For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there's no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on. So I baked today, along with many others . I made our family's new favorite chocolate chip co

Baked French Toast Sticks

Do you remember when fast food french toast sticks became a hit?  You know -- those deep fried sticks of bread?  Yeah, I don't know exactly when it was, but I do remember asking my mom to take me to get some.  I thought they were wonderful!  And I have to admit, there are times when I still get a craving to run to Sonic and order some.  I will even admit to feeding them to my kids before.  However...never again.  Not after making them myself!  :) They're really not that hard to make, and the best part?  You can make them ahead of time, freeze them, and just heat them up when you're ready to eat.  The first time I made these, Munchkin and Squirt gobbled them up.  Sprout?  Well, he was too busy being...himself to eat that morning.  Although I did catch him taking a "picture" with a toy camera instead of eating.  Couldn't possibly be because I had just been taking a picture of the food myself, right?  Since then, he's actually eaten them and decided the

Hey, those are my kids!

Hey everyone!  A few things I have to share.  First - I have a new laptop.  I am screaming from a virtual mountaintop I am so excited about this!  My old laptop officially crashed, and I just could not get this new baby set up fast enough.  With any luck, this will also mean that I can get some posts up that have been in the queue for a while...because, well, the old laptop has been giving me issues for quite some time now and was really bogging me down in all aspects of technology-related life. Second, I have a reader story up on the  What's Cooking with Kids  website.  If you haven't read What's Cooking, I encourage you to.  There is also a Facebook page where you can snag a sample of her Whole Family Cookbook.  Here's the link to my story . Ok people.  It's Friday -- have a great weekend, and if you're celebrating the Fourth of July, here's to a safe and highly enjoyable one!  :)

Pizza Joes with Zucchini Fries

Every time I make sloppy joes for the family, I get the same question: “Why are they called sloppy joes?” Good question. An internet search will give you several different answers. I prefer to stick with “because they're sloppy to eat.” Awesome answer, I know. I never know if the kids will eat sloppy joes or not, even when I use a recipe that's been a hit before. This one is a slightly different twist on the traditional sloppy joes, borrowing pizza flavors. Everyone liked them, even the baby, except he didn't like the pepperoni. The zucchini fries were a slightly different story. I thought they were really good, but everyone else preferred the zucchini crisps that I usually make. My mom made the zucchini fries a few days later, using some changes that I had suggested to her and I think they turned out better. The recipe below reflects those changes. I still think it's great, and I'll try it again at my house and see what my people think. :) Pizza Joes adapted


Yes folks, I may not be spending a ton of time on the blog right now, I admit, but I created a Facebook fan page.  Because I need my head examined, that's why!  Anyway, I'm having some technical difficulties getting it linked on the sidebar of the blog, but if you search for "Katy's Alphabet Soup" it should pull up.  I need some outside input too -- if you see anything weird going on with it, please let me know.  I'm a little bit of a noob when it comes to Facebook!! Enjoy, and thanks!!  :)

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

First off, I have to tell you something you may or may not already know.  I have a trouble-maker.  Yes; yes I do.  Do not let his cuteness factor fool you.  He is a bona fide trouble-maker.  He's either going to turn my hair gray, make me pull all my hair out, or possibly both.  We're talking about the Sprout here. This shirt says it all.  Now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with Parmesan tilapia, right?  Well I'll tell you.  Right when the dish was ready to come out of the oven, I walked over, camera in hand to take a picture as I was pulling it out.  And I discovered that someone had managed to turn the self-clean cycle of the oven on.  And that the door to the oven was locked.  And I couldn't get it unlocked.  And the fish was still in the oven.  I managed to cut the self-clean cycle off, but the oven door was still locked.  I had no idea you could even turn the self-clean cycle on while you were baking something.  Now I know.  Bad, bad desig

Butter Junkie

I have a confession.  I love butter.  Since I also love to bake, I try to keep a hefty supply of butter on hand at all times.  However, over the last few days, I managed to run out of butter!  I was ready to declare a state of emergency.  Well, ok, technically I had half a stick left, but that's just not nearly enough. When D sent me a text earlier this evening that he was about to head home, I asked if he would be willing to stop and pick up some butter.  Yes, I asked him to go to the store just for butter.  I wanted to make biscuits to go with supper!  Anyway, here is the text conversation that followed.  It amused me. Me:  I don't supposed you'd want to stop & get me some butter, would you? Him:  I could.  What type? Me:  Unsalted sweet cream.  Land o lakes or challenge brand. Him:  Ok.  How much? Me:  2-3 lbs. Me:  Just please make sure it's UNsalted.  :-) Him:  Holy $#%@ Me:  What?? Him:  That's a lot of butter. Me:  I can't function without a stash

Homeschool, Birthdays, and Cookies

No, this  is not some sort of weird April Fool's Day joke.  You really are viewing an actual blog post from me!  :) I mentioned before that we've had a lot of changes hit recently, and that we are homeschooling our 9 year old Munchkin.  We've been on that adventure for a little over a month and it is going quite well!  It is definitely a work in progress and we are certainly learning as we go, but for the most part we are all enjoying it. During the last month, the Sprout turned 3.  Three years old!!  Can you believe it?  We had his party at home, a Toy Story 3 theme of course.  I had all these grand Martha Stewart-ish plans, but forgot that I'm me, and ran out of time to get them all done.  However, I did get some "3" cookies made and decorated and was pretty proud of myself.  It was something new for me -- I'd never decorated cookies like that before.  I'd always wanted to, I just never had!  They may not look perfect, but at least you can tell

A New Kind of Adventure

You may have noticed that I've been absent from the blogging world for a few weeks now.  Without going into too many details, we've had some changes going on around here and are embarking on a new adventure with our 9 year old. That's right.  We are now homeschooling, at least for the rest of this semester.  It has been a challenge, be sure, but I have to admit that I'm really enjoying the extra time spent with him.  I think this new adventure will be good for all of us, in a lot of ways. So that's why I haven't been around as much lately.  I've been spending more time and attention on my family, and less on taking pictures of food.  :)  I do miss it, and hope to be around more often soon.