Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day Desserts

I made two desserts this year for Christmas Day. The first one is my Apple Pie that I have made a million times. You can find the recipe in this post. I also tried out a Baklava recipe from Martha Stewarts' show. I was so afraid to make Baklava. I thought it would be extrmely hard with all the layers of phyllo was a little difficult but not bad. It was my first try and there are a few things I would change. For one I miss counted the layers and so the tol was thicker than the bottom. Also I think the recipe called for too many nuts. It was still delicious though. I enjoy it when I served it the next day it wasn;t as gooey from the simple sugar. I am so hard on my self...oh and sorry if anyone found pieces from my pastry brush!!!! I guess I need some new ones...they were falling off and I didn't realize it until I cut it..oh well!!! Now I am off to clean up the mess. I think it may take all week!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Annual Baking Day!

My sister, my mom and I always get together and have a baking day before Christmas each year. This year we made a few different cookies each. My mom made Chocolate peanut clusters, Finger Frets, and Peanut Butter fav! My sister made English Toffee and Thumbprints. I made Thin Mints and Soft Ginger other fav. It was really fun...we always enjoy ourselves and eat way to many cookies. Here are the recipes:

Big Soft Ginger

2 1/4 c Flour

2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 c Margarine, softened
1 c Sugar
1 Egg
1 TBS Water
1/4 c Molasses
2 TBS Sugar
Preheat 350
Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl. cream margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Then stir in the water and molasses. Add in the dry ingredients gradually. I like to refrigerate my dough for about 30 mins. If you don't have time it is not necessary. Then shape into balls, about the size of walnuts, and roll them in the remaining sugar. Place on cookie sheet and flatten down slightly with the bottom of a glass.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and they are ready to eat!

Chocolate Glazed Peppermint Cookies...aka Thin Mints

1 c. Butter, softened

1 c. Sugar

1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Egg

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 c AP Flour

Chocolate Peppermint Coating

1. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, add salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 10-inch roll. Wrap each roll in plastic. Chill about an hour or until firm enough to slice.

3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut rolls into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack;cool.

5.Dip each cookie into the Chocolate-Peppermint Coating, turning to coat all sides. Scrape off excess on bottom with thin metal spatula. Place on cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Chill until coating is set. Makes about 40 cookies.

Chocolate-Peppermint Coating

In a medium saucepan, combine two 12-oz packages semi-sweet chocolate pieces, 1/4 cup shortening and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until chocolate and shortening are melted.

Cookies can store in freezer p to 3 months!

Christmas Brunch

I was seriously considering bailing on the Christmas Brunch this year when I heard that my Aunt(who caters it) said she was not asked to make her wonderfully, delicious, smack yo mama stuffed french toast!!!! But I snapped out of my depression and knew that I had to set up my table and not disappoint my ladies. I love setting up my table each year. It is my most favorite thing to do and I started planning like 8 months in advanced. I actually already have next years theme!!!! We are asked to set up 6-8 place settings and do a centerpiece, napkins, name cards...etc. It is so fun to see all the different tables. This year I did a twist on the Three Wisemen. My dad made me the cutest manger and I got gold bulbs and filled an apothecary and stuck the lyrics to the We Three Kings in it. I also had a candle in a pretty holder and a perfume bottle..representing Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

No Christmas this year

It is not beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my home. There has been no Decking the Halls...until....last night!!! Yeah I know there are only 10 days until Christmas and I have no tree up. I am the type to have a "devil tree" as The Hubs calls it...yep straight from satan he says. There is no Jesus in a tree that has matching bulbs. No Jesus in a tree that does not have tinsle or colored lights!!! Oh geez..he has so much to learn. I do have matching bulbs and huge amounts of ribbon cascading down my tree each year...but I also have my ormanets that I received each year growing up. I also have some of Scott's...(however, his Snowboarding Polar Bear is always placed safely in the back of the tree)shhhh:).

I have been so overwhelmed lately. I finally just had enough and told The Hubs to just start taking boxes out and hopefully that would get me in the Holiday Spirit. It worked...I feel much better... still need my tree but it does feel more like Christmas. I am trying to not get too bogged down and keep the true meaning of Christmas in my heart. After all Jesus is the Reason for the Season and this year he has blessed my family so much..the least I could do is put up a few decorations in his honor.
As you can see in the pics Shane is loving the decorations. This year is going to be so fun. Whenever he sees lights he says " wooooow"!!! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and take sometime to enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Blog Design!!!!!

I have to say this is a little premature...but I just can't wait to share my new blog header. My talented Graphic Designing sister made it for me..thanks Leah!!!! I decided to move all of my posts from my blog SummerShares over to this one. I never liked the name of my other blog and soon I will be deleting it. Leah still has a little more tweaking to do but it is coming along great!

Flour power started in my little brain when I was in High School. That is when I decided to go to Culinary School. I wanted to open up a bakery once I was done with school and call it Flour Power! It was going to be retro and just so fantastic...but after two years as an Event Planner I decided that I prefer to bake as a hobby and the food service industry was tough!!! The Hubs has however reignited my fire for owning my own bakery or restuarant of some sort..who knows maybe once our lil' guy isn't so lil' anymore I can start to think about it again. For now I will try and bring you great tried and true recipes here on my blog. I am a first time, full time mom with another full time job as a Criminal Researcher, so no promises on how often you will get these tasty lil' nuggets!!!!