Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Make It Monday

Here I am late yet again. Oh well. We had our Patrick family Christmas on Saturday and it was a good time. The cousins did a gift exchange and Tyler got a sweet CAT truck with Mega Bloks. He likes it a lot, and has been pushing it around the house ever since.

Here is this week's recipe:


1 pound thin spaghetti
4 Tbsp Salted Butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Lemon, Juiced and Zested
2 cups Sour Cream
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, or more to taste
Plenty of Grated Parmesan Cheese
Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped
Extra lemon juice

Cook spaghetti until al dente. In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat. Add sour cream and stir together. Add lemon zest and salt, taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together and pour into oven safe dish. Bake covered 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 7 - 10 minutes. When removed from oven, squeeze more lemon juice over top. Top generously with Parmesan, then chopped parsley. Give a final squeeze of lemon juice.
Serene with crusty French bread and green salad.

I really liked this, but Trevor wasn't a huge fan. He though it was too dry.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Wonderland

We have been getting so much snow here the last few days. I would say at least 8 inches, maybe more! It snowed non-stop on Wednesday, and then a bit more yesterday. It was crazy, but now looks beautiful outside. 

We set up our tree last week, and Tyler had a blast helping us. He now likes to break the candy canes in half, eat a bite, and then throw it away. Oh well, I don't like them much anyway! 

Also, with all the snow, Trevor and Tyler have been building a fort in our back yard. It is coming along nicely. Tyler has been helping fill the wheelbarrow with snow, as well as digging it out. It's fun to watch him try so hard to help with it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Make It Monday on Wednesday

I'm a little late this week, but I made this for dinner last night and we loved it


Sweet Citrus Chicken

Sweet Citrus Chicken

what you need

1 cup hot water
1 pkg. (120 g) Stove Top Lower Sodium Stuffing Mix for Chicken
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb./450 g), pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. non-hydrogenated margarine, melted

make it

HEAT oven to 400ºF.
ADD hot water to stuffing mix; stir just until moistened.
PLACE chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix juice, sugar and butter until well blended;
pour over chicken. Top with stuffing.
BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is done (170°F).

kraft kitchens tips

Serving Suggestion
Serve with your family's favourite hot steamed vegetable.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shark Attack! UPDATED

Last night we were doing some Christmas shopping. We went to Toys R Us to get something for Tyler, and we came across this stuffed shark. Trevor was making shark noises with it at first, which absolutely terrified Tyler. He wouldn't even look at the shark. A couple of minutes later, he was trying to get it off of the shelf. I got it down for him, and he was giving it hugs, telling it 'hi'. It was so cute. We decided to get it for him. When I put him to bed, he usually hugs me and plays with my hair until he falls asleep, but not last night. He was hugging his "Sharky" all night long. It was hilarious. We have a picture, but it's at home and I'm at work, so I'll post it later. For now, here's a picture of the toy so you can see the humor in this whole situation. 

Also, lately Tyler has been giving us "the look", as we call it. We weren't sure where he got it from, but I guess in this picture it's pretty apparent.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Make It Monday-Snickerdoodle Theme

I have made the Snickerdoodle cookies, but not the cupcakes. I have to say that this is the best Snickerdoodle recipe I've tried to date. The cookies stay soft and chewy, and of course are delicious. The cupcakes sound like they'd be really good, but I haven't had a chance to try them yet. Both recipes are from the website http://www.annies-eats.com/

Yield: about 30 cookies

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz.) granulated sugar, plus 3 tbsp. for rolling dough
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon, for rolling dough

Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until well combined, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat again until combined, about 30 seconds. Add in the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds.

In a small, shallow bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon for rolling the dough. Stir or shake well to combine. Working with a heaping tablespoon of dough each time, roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Use a drinking glass with a flat bottom to gently flatten the dough balls to 3/4-inch thickness (butter the bottom of the glass before starting, and dip it in sugar between cookies if it begins to stick).

Bake until the edges of the cookies are beginning to set and the center are soft and puffy, 9-11 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 28 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups cake flour, sifted
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups milk

For the frosting: (the recipe I use from Betty Crocker-Emily)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

For garnish:
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. sugar
Mini snickerdoodles*

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pans about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar

Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used an Ateco tip #829 to frost these cupcakes.) In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle a pinch of the cinnamon-sugar on top of each frosted cupcake. Garnish with mini snickerdoodles.

*To make the mini snickerdoodles, I used a half recipe of regular snickerdoodles (and didn’t even use all of the dough) and rolled the dough into tiny balls, about ¾-inch diameter. I reduced the baking time to about 8-10 minutes.