Sunday, December 4, 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 pantry....it's a mess!

Mostly I'm just listing main dishes.  Sides vary depending on what I have and what sounds good, lol. 

Week of 11/27 - 12/3
Sunday - chicken strips
Monday - breakfast (pancakes, sausage, and eggs)
Tuesday - quesadillas and corn chowder
Wednesday - frozen ravioli
Thursday - grilled cheese and spaghetti-o's
Friday - pizza night
Saturday - hamburger steak (similar to this recipe)

Week of 12/4 - 12/10
Sunday - slow cooker roast chicken (similar to this recipe), with roast brussels sprouts (my husband & I don't really like brussels sprouts, but we both liked these and even my 9 yr old admitted they were "kind of good" -- he preferred the really crispy ones!)
Monday - chili & cornbread
Tuesday - taco night
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - breakfast
Friday - pasta dish to be determined (possibly this one; it's good!)
Saturday - sandwiches/clean out the fridge

What's on your menu for the week?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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 chewy…and great tasting!

I will say that it does not make many cookies, so depending on how many you will be sharing these with, you will probably want to double the recipe.


Thick and Chewy Snickerdoodles
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp real vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk

**additionally, for rolling the dough in before baking, you will need**
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla, and mix an additional two minutes.  Add the milk and mix another minute.

Slowly add in the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated.  The dough will look wet and sticky.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the dough is refrigerating, preheat the oven to 375’F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

When the dough is ready, mix together the additional ¼ cup sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon in a shallow bowl.  Using a #40 disher (about 1” across) scoop the dough into balls and then coat with the cinnamon sugar.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake 8-9 minutes or until set.  Remove from oven, allow to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 22 (2 ¼”) cookies

Enjoy! :)





Hey Everyone!  I'm linked up to the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and Sweets over at Meal Planning Magic.  Hop over and see what everyone else has made this week!  :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

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 food.com 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 that I've tried, that my family liked enough to make it to the "keep" file. 

I started reading food blogs because they are about real food written by real people.  That's what I am -- a real person, with a real family that often has really picky tastes.  Here are some of the recipes we've tried recently, and my thoughts on them.

  • I don't know why it took me so long to try the Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos from Our Best Bites, because they are dang good!  My family prefers flour tortillas, so that's they way I make them.  My BFF & her family prefers corn, so that's what she uses.  Honestly, I never make the dressing, though it sounds very good.  We usually dip in salsa or queso.  I've also done a version of the taquitos using regular salsa and taco seasoning mix and they were quite good as well.
  • Also from Our Best Bites, we really like the Stuffed Pizza Rolls (or pizza bites, as I call them).  They are a blast to make with the kids, by the way.  I use my favorite pizza dough and sauce recipes, but OBB is where I first saw the idea.
  • The Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings from Steamy Kitchen rock, and I don't really even like chicken wings!  I've done the same thing with chicken legs and it was very good as well.  The kiddos and hubby loved it too.  I did use Italian herb mix instead of just rosemary. 
  • The Maple Pecan Pancakes from the $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook (which I found via Once a Month Mom) were a favorite of mine, even if the Munchkin didn't like them.  The other kiddos did though!  I did freeze some of them and it was handy to have them ready to heat up for breakfast in a rush.
  • I love the Light & Airy Whole Grain Biscuits from Simple Scratch (I also love many of the recipes at her other blog, In Jennie's Kitchen).  I don't think I'd ever even heard of spelt flour before reading that recipe, but now I always have some on hand and make these biscuits quite frequently.   

Ok, those are seriously just a few of the recipes that I've gathered from other food bloggers.  What are some of your recent faves?

Enjoy!  :)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

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.  One of those was an oatmeal cookie with white chocolate.  They were hands down the favorite at our table (though the snickerdoodle was a close second for me!).  I tried to recreate those, and while these aren't quite the same, they are tasty in their own right. 


I started with the cookie recipe here (which is a favorite at our house) and made the following changes.
  • I substituted white baking chips for the semi-sweet.
  • I decreased the coconut to 1/2 cup.
  • I added in 1/2 cup toffee bits.

That's it!  I do make my cookies smaller; I use a #40 disher (about an inch across) and they bake for about 13 minutes in my tempermental oven. 

Enjoy!




Thursday, October 20, 2011

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 seems to be a hit.  It's creamy, with a hint of the peanut butter, but then you have the crunchy peanuts and cereal, and the marshmallows are just a sweet bonus!  Another thing that I like about it is that it makes a lot, which is great when you are planning on sharing. 

*~*~*
Notice how there is no picture of this yummy treat yet?  That's because when I went to the pantry to gather ingredients, I was out of the almond bark!  I swore there was some in the bottom of the basket under the bags of various baking chips, but nope.  I'm posting the recipe anyway, and as soon as I can get a minute (or 30) to get to the store, I'll be sure to make up a batch and post a pic.  :)
*~*~*

Peanut Butter Crunch
by Katy of Alphabet Soup

1 (1.5 lb) package white almond bark
1 cup peanut butter (I use the creamy)
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
3 cups crisp rice cereal (Rice Krispies)

In a large glass bowl, melt the almond bark in the microwave.  Depending on your microwave, this will probably take 2-3 minutes, but stir often and keep an eye on it.  Add the peanut butter and stir until blended.  Stir in the marshmallows, peanuts, and cereal.  Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and let set before storing.  Keep in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper.

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

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!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

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 loved this recipe, and so did I!

Homemade Spaghetti O's
from Katy | Alphabet Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped (just use 1/2 onion if it seems overly strong)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
10 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
a few turns black pepper
2 cups water
1 lb ditalini pasta (or your favorite fun shaped pasta)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup milk

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot or dutch oven.  Cook onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot until they start to soften.  Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Puree until smooth using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender.

Return to pot, add water and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently, 15-20 minutes or until pasta is done.  Add salt, pepper, sugar, cheese, and milk and stir just until cheese is melted.

If freezing, divide into freezer containers, allow to cool in the refrigerator, then transfer to the freezer.  To serve, thaw in the refrigerator (or microwave) then heat in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  

Enjoy!  :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

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 cookie.  It's not a peanut butter pie, but it's my way of telling my family I love them, my way of grieving for Jennifer's loss, my way of helping.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

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 they taste good.  Especially with powdered sugar and cinnamon dusted on them.




Baked French Toast Sticks
adapted from One Crazy Cookie

1 (1 lb) loaf challah bread (or bread of choice)
1 cup milk
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
2 tsp real vanilla extract
¼  cup powdered sugar
½  tsp ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425'F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray well with cooking spray.

Cut bread into 1" slices, and then cut each slice into strips about 1 ½” wide.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Be sure that it is mixed really well.  Pour into a shallow dish or pie plate.

Dip each strip of bread into the milk mixture, coating completely and allowing it to soak up a little of the liquid, but do not over soak (how quickly you have to work will depend upon the bread you are using!).  Place the strips of bread on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

If serving immediately, dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon and serve with warmed maple syrup.

If freezing, allow to cool completely, then place on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours.  Transfer to freezer bags.  To serve, reheat in a toaster oven for 3-5 minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds.

Enjoy!  :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

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!  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

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 from Taste of Home

1 pound ground turkey
1 recipe pizza sauce, prepared or 12 oz of your favorite pizza sauce
¼ cup mini pepperoni slices, or chopped pepperoni
6 burger buns
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground turkey until no pink remains. Add the pizza sauce and pepperoni. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until sauce is heated through. Add a few ounces of water if needed to adjust the consistency. Toast the burger buns if desired. Divide the meat sauce among the buns and top with cheese.


Zucchini Fries
adapted from Everyday Food

1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tsp Italian seasonings
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 egg whites
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 425'F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, mix together the panko, Parmesan, and seasonings. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg whites. Dip the zucchini wedges into the egg whites and the coat in the bread crumb mixture, then place on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until brown and crispy. Serve with ranch dressing or marinara on the side for dipping.

Enjoy!  :)


Friday, June 10, 2011

Facebook

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!!  :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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 design! 

So, yeah.  I had visions of much, much badness.  I even went to the garage and flipped the breaker for the oven to see if that would somehow reset it so the door would unlock.  Nope.  Luckily, the oven cooled off enough in a few minutes that it did actually unlock and I was able to rescue our dinner.  Sheesh.  That kid. 

The fish, despite the near disaster, received two thumbs up from my family.  The Munchkin ate half of his before asking for ketchup, then he finished it and ate half of another piece!  The Sprout ate his after we called it fish sticks (really?).  And D double-checked to make sure I had written down all my notes for the recipe, because he said he was going to request it often!

This was my first time to cook with tilapia from scratch.  And, um, I'm not 100% positive but it may have been my first time to cook with any fish from scratch.  I know, I know.  It was simple, delicious, easy, and inexpensive!  Tilapia was on sale this week, which was what prompted me to finally make the dish I'd been working on in my head.  I'm glad I did.  :)

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

1 lb tilapia fillets
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian herb mix
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp paprika

Preheat the oven to 400'F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a shallow dish or pie plate mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, and spices.  In a separate bowl or plate, drizzle the tilapia with the olive oil, coating well.  One piece at a time, place the tilapia in the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until done (it will be white all the way through). 

Enjoy!  :)



Monday, April 4, 2011

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 of butter.
Him:  Lol.  Butter junkie?
Me:  Duh.

Apparently I'm a butter junkie, and apparently my husband just figured this out...

Friday, April 1, 2011

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 what they are supposed to be.  ;)


The Munchkin even got in on the act.  He should have been in bed asleep, but after I discovered him standing there asking if he could help decorate them, how could I turn him down?  (this photo was taken with the ipod; it was the closest camera I could find!)


I used the cookie and royal icing recipes from Bridget of Bake at 350.  She's got some absolutely amazing cookies on her blog if you haven't checked them out. 

We'll be celebrating Squirt's first birthday later this month, and I'm still trying to figure out what theme we'll do for his party. 

I've missed blogging, and even though I haven't been around much lately, I do promise that I'm not going anywhere.  As soon as we get more of a routine figured out, so I can get in some regularly scheduled baking and writing time, I hope to be back more often!  And that's no joke.  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

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.