December 3, 2010

Quest for best chocolate chip cookies is over!

So I was sitting around thinking of cookies and what ones to make this holiday and told Becky that I wanted to find a seriously amazing recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Not only do I want them to be great for gifts but I want my kids to grow up and think back "MAN my mom made awesome cookies!" She grabs her computer and types in "Worlds best chocolate chip cookies" and this is what she got! 


Ingredients:
3/4 c. white sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter (2 sticks) softened
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 lg eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3 c. chocolate chips
1 c. nuts if desired


You preheat the oven to 350* in this recipe
I then beat together the butter & sugars until creamy. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla and mix well. I used the mixer for this again.
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In a separate bowl mix together your dry ingredients, minus chips and nuts. Then stir in slowly with a spoon. It will get tough. I ended up using my hands and making one large ball of dough. Then add your chips and nuts.
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Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes (again I needed to cook them for 15 to make them nice and golden brown) These really are some of the greatest chocolate chip cookies I've tasted. I will be making these again and again!
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Chocolate Chip Cookies, the first round

I plan on giving baked goods for Christmas gifts this year so I'm searching high and low for great recipes that everyone will enjoy. I found this one for chocolate chip cookies and because it called for shortening I thought they'd be good and moist. They baked up sort of thin compared to how I thought they would.


Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter flavored shortening
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


So first you preheat your oven to 375* which is different than most chocolate chip recipes at 350*
Then in a large bowl you cream together shortening, butter, and sugars. I used my electric mixer, it helped with the amount of items to cream and it adds air to the batter which is supposed to keep them fluffy.
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Then one at a time beat in the eggs
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add in the vanilla
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You then combine in a separate bowl the flour, baking soda, and salt. I slowly add the flour, usually pour in half, stir it together with a spoon and add the rest. I don't use the mixer for this because mixing too much can cause the cookies to be hard.
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Then you add in the chocolate chips and the nuts if you're putting them in. I didn't.
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Use spoons to drop them on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes (I actually needed to do them for 15 for some reason) Cool them on wire racks.
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I have to say, I wasn't that impressed with them. They had the chocolate chip flavor and things but for one there wasn't enough chocolate chips in them, and 2ndly they were so thin and wide, they wouldn't bake thick at all. They also were sort of grainy because of all the shortening. In my search for the best cookies, these wouldn't be it! They were fine and eaten right up but not the best.

November 25, 2010

Our First Giveaway Winner!!!

I want to thank all of you for entering this giveaway, we had such a wonderful turnout that was completely unexpected! Hopefully this will be the first of many giveaways and just the beginning of a great food blog!! 

Congratulations to our winner picked at complete random with our "randomizer" button! #67 Diane52 is our winner!! I have to admit I'm envious, I love these glasses!! :) An email notification will be sent out and if for some sad reason we don't hear back in 48 hrs we'll draw another name! Keep an eye out for more goodies to come!!

November 20, 2010

Alfredo Sauce

So, Becky and I are avid "sweepers". For those who don't know what that is, we spend a lot of time entering giveaways hosted by different bloggers and websites. While doing one of these giveaways I discovered a recipe for Creamy Chicken Penne. Well I left it at home when going to get groceries and decided I'd try making some alfredo. Becky looked it up on her phone (savior :)) and we got the ingredients. I was very excited to try it!


The ingredients were:

  • 5 tablespoons sweet butter
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (doesn't matter if you use black)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
 I followed it exactly and to be honest it didn't make a lot. Probably sauce for 4. I like my pasta's saucy so I would probably double it if cooking for more people. 


It was DELICIOUS!


First you melt the butter, and add in the garlic. 
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After that cooked a minute I added in the cream and parmesan cheese. Melt the cheese and simmer for 8-10 minutes until smooth and thick.
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When its simmered the 8-10 minutes you can add in the motzerella cheese and melt that and simmer again a few extra minutes until smooth. I also let it set a moment to thicken a bit more.


I had boiled up some broccoli and sauteed some chicken in butter and minced garlic, until browned. I boiled fettuccine noodles and cut up the chicken and put it on my plate of noodles, put on some broccoli and poured on some sauce. It was seriously divine!
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Chicken Noodle Soup

So this is just a classic chicken noodle soup recipe. Very easy to make. I altered the recipe to make a LOT because I was going to feed my husband and his hunting buddies, along with my 3 kids, Becky's 3 kids, and the 2 of us! You can easily make this with a pound of chicken and half a bag of noodles. This will also freeze if you make the big batch and freeze in containers or freezer baggies. 
I used 5 lbs of chicken.....

I baked my chicken, bone in, with garlic, salt and pepper for seasoning. It baked for probably an hour and a half and cooled. I then picked the bones and put it all in the pot. It smelled amazing!

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I use Swanson broth because its what I grew up on. I've actually never made my own. Looks like something to try in a future blog post! I used 2 boxes of 48oz broth. That gave me enough liquid to boil the chicken, celery, and carrots.
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When it was time to add the noodles I realized there wasn't enough liquid so I just added water to compensate. I used the entire bag of medium egg noodles. 
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simmer until the noodles are cooked and you're good to go!

If I were to make this for a family of 4 I would use one lb of chicken, maybe a pound and a half if you like it with lots of chicken. I would use probably 6 good sized carrots chopped into bite sizes, and 2 or 3 stalks of celery chopped into bites. The noodles I'd go with half a bag or so.

We're having a giveaway!!!

We're excited to announce that we're going to do a giveaway! We want more followers, more email subscribers, more facebook fans!! The more we have the more fun we can experience on this blog, more giveaways, more recipes, more cakes, fun!

So for one of our lucky followers we'll be sending out 4 beautiful wine glasses in assorted colors and a $10.00 WalMart gift card. You can spend it on anything, a gift for the holiday's, a few cheap bottles of wine (because really they're just as tasty as the expensive stuff ;) ) whatever it is you want!

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Very simple entry for this one. Become a Google friend follower and tell us that you are! Yup that's it!!
We're just doing the one entry, but for future giveaways we will have bonus entries.
If you want to subscribe and join our Facebook now (those will be included in the bonus entries in later giveaways) feel free! It will save time later :)

Giveaway will end on  November 25th at 8:00 pm est. We'll close comments then and pick a random winner. Thank you for taking part! Winner will be notified by email so please either include your email in the comment or make sure its public in your profile. Thank you!

November 4, 2010

Halloween Haunted Tree Cake!

I am very excited about this cake and how it turned out! I had a hard time choosing which cake to do off the Wilton site but decided on this one because it was a great challenge and I wasn't really needing a lot of actual cake because I was making cupcakes as well. 

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I followed their recipe for the frosting, but again made my cake from a box. I used their 12x2 inch pan and put both cake mixes in at the same time. While it didn't bake over I thought it was going to so I'd recommend doing layers of one cake per pan. 
When it finished I laid it out and again sliced off the top and made it flat so it would lay on a cakeboard flat. I flipped it over to begin frosting. 
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To do the tree I assembled it with the cone and dowels as stated in their instructions. I made the royal icing to pipe out and covered the tree. To make smaller branches I used Wilton's lollypop sticks. I let the icing set over night and then used more royal icing to stick the candies on. I couldn't find the candies I was looking for but think the ones we found were cute! 

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To make the fence posts I found some chocolate twizzlers. I didn't even know they made them! I could just stick those into the frosting and have them stick, I did use some royal icing to stick some of the other decorations on. 

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The only thing I was disappointed in was the tree's mouth, but that was my own mistake, I needed to make the tree lighter in color than it was!

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I can't tell you how in love with Wilton I am :) They have made all the cake decorating I've tried doing so much easier!

Tinkerbell Cake

I made my daughter a Tinkerbell cake for her 2nd birthday. It was so much fun to make. I was a little daunted by the size and detail involved but it surprised me with how well it came out and was honestly a lot easier than I thought.

I started with 2 cake pans, 9x13 thinking that would make the entire cake. I was wrong! :) I ended up making 4 9x13 cakes. After each was cool I laid them on a cakeboard and sliced off the top to make them flat and even. I then flipped the cake over and frosted just the top and laid the next cake on top, upside down, so the part that was in the pan was on the top, smooth edges, easier to frost! With the next top layers I cut the cake in half, then one half in half again triangular shaped. Slicing off the excess and layering the same as the bottom.

Then it was time to assemble. To do that I needed cakeboards between each layer (of 2) because of the weight. It would have smushed one side of the cake!

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Then I frosted the entire thing with white frosting. I again used Wilton's spray coloring for the green of the cake. I covered the whole thing in no time. The only problem I've encountered with the spray is theres a lot of over spray and it gets in the air and your nose :) I LOVE the spray so much though, regardless of anything else! 

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 For the water I used some blue glitter squeezable frosting. Everything I needed was in the cake decorating isle of the craft store.

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I bought the cute Tinkerbell and friend's figurines on Ebay. I placed them around the cake because I decided putting the flowers on with them already placed was a better idea than trying to place them after.

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The finished product was pretty good I thought! :) She loved seeing "Erbewl" on there!
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On the table there I had made some chocolate pretzel wands and some chocolate lollypops! Here are a few extra pictures of those.

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