Marshmallow Snowmen

Another Holiday classic that you can do with your kids in under 2 minutes(cause we all know thats how long their attention spans are anyways!)Since there is no snow here in Tampa, I resort to making Marshmallow Snowmen. Fills the void ya know! MARSHMALLOW SNOWMEN 3 large marshmallows 3 toothpicks Edible Black and Orange markers(can […]

Sugar Cookies (a.k.a Hell)

Disclaimer—-If you get offended by curse words stop here!!!! And don’t judge me for my awful piping skills! If you do, I will hunt you down and beat you with my wooden spoon! Sooooo, I thought I get in the Christmas Spirit and make Fancy Decorated Sugar Cookies. With all of my baking adventures, I […]

Coupon winners

Will the lucky winners please email me you address? Random Integer GeneratorHere are your random numbers:11512Timestamp: 2008-12-13 14:02:14 UTC # 11 Elizabeth said…Hahah…too funny!elizabeth.chavis@gmail.com #5 mikky said…i really hope to see you in daytime soon… bet you were great… oh, btw, your hubby really knows how to make his game room shine… the leg lamp […]

Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees

Dont forget to enter my NEW GIVEAWAY I know these cute little Ice Cream Christmas Tress have been around forever. Who even knows where they originated. But aren’t they darling? The kids had such a great time with these, that is after they got past the sugar rush from eating the frosting by the spoon […]

Another Giveaway..and a leg lamp?!

Click for ….Harry & Davids..Wolferman’s English MuffinsClick for….Michael Angelo’sClick for….Daytime.

Pillsbury Giveaway WINNERS

Random Integer GeneratorHere are your random numbers:38155Timestamp: 2008-12-10 03:02:45 UTC #38 Jenny said…Pillsbury crescent rolls are my favorite!!! YUMO I want some right now!!!! =)December 3, 2008 11:19 AM #15 MarriedBliss said…I LOVE the pizza crust and the garlic breadsticks!! I also use the crescent rolls to put on little weiners…mmmm mmmm good! #5 Christy […]

Peppermint Bark

While a LARGE amount of my money is funneled into Williams Sonomas glorious pockets, it will not be going to the purchase of their ridiculously expensive Peppermint Bark. Yes it is heavenly..but come on..us food savvy people can make our own for a fraction of the price. Sure, we wont be getting the cute trendy […]

Pillsbury Giveaway and some Holiday Photos

How cute is this little giveaway? The fine folks at Pillsbury are giving THREE yes 3 of my readers this fun gift pack which includes a coupon for Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls, a magnetic coupon holder, a house-shaped mouse pad, pot holders, a cookie sheet, a bread basket and a lovable Pillsbury Dough boy figurine. […]

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps remind me of all things Holiday, Ginger and cinnamon. They are warm and comforting morsels of goodness. I have never made Gingersnaps before, but when I saw these over at Baking Obsession, they had me smitten. Vera is such a talented woman so please take a gander at her blog, she will blow you […]

Daring Bakers # 6 Caramel Cake

This months challenge was brought to you by the following..http://eggbeater.typepad.com/http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/ The recipe came from http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006/12/24/caramel-cake-the-recipe/ by Shuna fish Lydon. This was a fabulous challenge. I didn’t have any real issues other than having to make the caramel syrup twice. I think I cooked it long the first go around. The cake and frosting were different […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

I could never suffer from bulimia..but today of all days, I wish I could stick my finger down my throat to puke..just so I could shovel some more stuffing down my belly!I am sorry I don’t have any photos of my HUGE Thanksgiving feast.(TWO 16.5 pound turkeys and a ham plus all the trimmings for […]

Welcome from Daytime

If you are visiting from viewing my segment on Daytime…WELCOME.. Click here for the recipes for the Fluffy Pumpkin Dip and Acorns  

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Marshmallow Snowmen

marshmallow snowmen Another Holiday classic that you can do with your kids in under 2 minutes(cause we all know thats how long their attention spans are anyways!)
Since there is no snow here in Tampa, I resort to making Marshmallow Snowmen. Fills the void ya know!

MARSHMALLOW SNOWMEN
3 large marshmallows
3 toothpicks
Edible Black and Orange markers(can find them at the craft store) or Black and Orange Tube writing frosting
2 small thin pretzel sticks
1 Sheet rolled fruit snack(such as a Fruit Roll Up) cut into a 1/4-1/2 inch long strip
1 Hershey’s Kiss
Place 1 toothpick in the center on 1 marshmallow.
Place a marshmallow on the top of that toothpick.
Place a second toothpick through the center of the second marshmallow.
Place the 3rd marshmallow on top of the second.
Using the markers or the frosting, draw on two black eyes and 3 black buttons and a mouth. Using the orange marker or frosting draw on a nose.
Place the pretzels in sides of the middle marshmallow for the arms.
Drape the Fruit Roll up around the neck and arms of the snowman for a “scarf”
Place the 3rd toothpick through the middle of the top marshmallow and poke the Hershey Kiss on top to serve as his hat.
FUN FUN FUN

Sugar Cookies (a.k.a Hell)

christmas sugar cookies Disclaimer—-If you get offended by curse words stop here!!!! And don’t judge me for my awful piping skills! If you do, I will hunt you down and beat you with my wooden spoon!

Sooooo, I thought I get in the Christmas Spirit and make Fancy Decorated Sugar Cookies.
With all of my baking adventures, I have never made decorated cookies or worked with cut out cookies. Hmmmmm, wonder why?

I see this post and this post over at Our Best Bites, and I was inspired. She gives a wonderful tutorial on both the cookie making and the glazing. And her cookies are adorable. Check them out.
Ok so enough being nice. As I am still a little bitter! Making the dough was a cinch. Throw everything in my KA mixer and in 2 minutes its done and into the fridge to chill.
Geeze..this is easy peasy. Holiday Cheer and Joy is flowing!!!
8 pm. This is when the first pain in the assness begins. The dough was too hard to roll. So I let it sit out for a bit so I could roll it. Ditzo me left it out for toooo long and it got too soft to roll. DAMN IT! Back in the fridge. The my daughter proceeds to blow across the floured counter top. And now it is snowing flour in my kitchen. Oh, Happy days!(can you sense my sarcasm??)
After the second blast of fridgid air from the fridge I get the rolling and cutting down pat. Ohh, yeah, I am so doing this! I get all my cookies baked.(a double batch I might add, what the hell was I thinking??!!) I mix up the glaze and decide I want all white snowflakes. I love the look of white on white cookies. I also do all white Christmas lights. My husband wants colored on the tree, I want all white, I give puppy dog eyes, so we compromise and do all white!!! LOL
As I sit here reliving my piping hell and nursing my sore wrist, I vow never to make this many decorated sugar cookies, EVER AGAIN!
I piped the outline, let it dry. I glazed the center(which I now call the glaze, “self Leveling concrete”, cause that it what it reminds me of. Let that dry, then pipe all the freekin decorations. All those damn snowflakes. I know that a 6 MONTH old could probably do a better job at piping.
But it is 12:15 am.(do you recall I started at EIGHT!! Over 4 hours to make cookies!!HUH) What do you want from me at 12:15 am! Let me tell you, there was NO MORE HOLIDAY CHEER flowing in my house. I am now traumatized from these cookies! Don’t get me wrong they taste amazing. I just bit off more than I could chew. What else is new???

And at 12:15..I was sooo absurdly sick of my piping bag. I said screw it, and just painted on luster dust and called it a night.

Sugar Cookies

1 C real butter
1 C sugar 1 egg
1 1/2 t almond extract (you could use vanilla too)
3 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and extract and mix to incorporate.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.
Shape the dough into 2 flat disks and wrap in waxed paper and place in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours.
When you’re ready to roll out dough lightly sprinkle flour onto your work surface and roll out dough with a rolling pin.
Cut to your desired shape
Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.
Remove onto cooling racks when you’re done and let cool completely.
Decorate as you like.
I doubled the above recipe. But I couldnt even tell you how many they made. Cause I didnt count. Again..I was flustered!
Glacé Icing
1lb powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 C)
1/4 C + 2T C whole milk (low-fat actually works, but use whole if you can)
1/4 C + 2T light Corn Syrup
1 t extract (I use almond because I use almond in my sugar cookies)
With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth . Then stir in corn syrup and extract.You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you need it for glazing. Nice and thin.
To prepare the icing for piping, you just add more powdered sugar. You can’t really mess it up because if it’s too thick you just add more milk and if it’s to thin, you add more powdered sugar.
It is ready for piping when it gets difficult to whisk.
Want to see what I WATED and wished my cookies to look like???Nice and fancy and all professional looking. Click here.
I saw Sweet and Saucys post after my 4 1/4 hours of cookie hell. Talk about wanting to crawl under a rock!

Coupon winners

Will the lucky winners please email me you address?

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
11
5
12
Timestamp: 2008-12-13 14:02:14 UTC

# 11 Elizabeth said…
Hahah…too funny!elizabeth.chavis@gmail.com

#5 mikky said…
i really hope to see you in daytime soon… bet you were great… oh, btw, your hubby really knows how to make his game room shine… the leg lamp does the trick… lol… 🙂

#12 Kimmie said…
Are there any plants in the game room? Maybe you can pull a Mrs. Parker and “water the plant” (aka ‘accidentally’ break the lamp) 😛

Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees

Dont forget to enter my NEW GIVEAWAY

ice cream cone christmas trees


I know these cute little Ice Cream Christmas Tress have been around forever. Who even knows where they originated. But aren’t they darling? The kids had such a great time with these, that is after they got past the sugar rush from eating the frosting by the spoon fulls!
I went to the candy store in the mall and went to town in all of the candy bins. It was easier to get what I wanted then to buy a bunch of bagged candy and pick through it.
These are quick and painless to assemble. Just make sure you decorate them before the frosting has time to dry. The decorations stick better when the frosting is wet.
Have fun!!! Oh and dont forget to enter my
CHRISTMAS TREE ICE CREAM CONES
Pointy Sugar Cones
Premade White Frosting
White Tube Frosting
Green Food Coloring
Assorted Candies for “Christmas Tree Ornaments”
Shredded Coconut
In a small bowl mix approximately 80 drops of green food coloring into the white frosting. Stir until the color is even.
Place the ice cream cone, pointy side up on a paper plate.
Frost the entire outside of the cone with the green tinted frosting.
Decorated with your desired candies

Pillsbury Giveaway WINNERS

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
38
15
5
Timestamp: 2008-12-10 03:02:45 UTC

#38 Jenny said…
Pillsbury crescent rolls are my favorite!!! YUMO I want some right now!!!! =)
December 3, 2008 11:19 AM

#15 MarriedBliss said…
I LOVE the pizza crust and the garlic breadsticks!! I also use the crescent rolls to put on little weiners…mmmm mmmm good!

#5 Christy said…
Pillsbury Orange Rolls are the best!

Congrats to you all!! Please email me you address so your good can be sent to you!!

I will be having another giveaway soon.

Peppermint Bark

While a LARGE amount of my money is funneled into Williams Sonomas glorious pockets, it will not be going to the purchase of their ridiculously expensive Peppermint Bark. Yes it is heavenly..but come on..us food savvy people can make our own for a fraction of the price. Sure, we wont be getting the cute trendy Holiday Tin to go along with it. But who the hell cares. Yours will be made with love people!!! All you need is love, all you need is love, love is all you need( cant you hear me singing in my best John Lennon?) Ohhh, how I love to sing, you might have seen me on American Idol 3 season ago..I made it in the top 50. HAAAAAAAAAAA. I kid…I know my family is peeing in their pants right now..Seriously, I suck a singing. If I went on American Idol, I would be one of those people in the blooper reel that Simon is ripping a new one!!! Enough rambling.tooooo much coffee this morning!!
Lets make some BARK.

peppermint bark

PEPPERMINT BARK

12 oz bitter sweet chocolate, finely chopped
16 oz white chocolate, finely chopped (NOT WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp Peppermint extract
6 oz peppermint candies

Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with foil( use non stick foil), make sure you let the sides overhang so you can pull the bark out when its done.
In a heavy duty zip lock bag, crush the peppermints
In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate, peppermint extract and whipping cream and stir until smooth
Pour the dark chocolate into the baking pan and evenly smooth out.
Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm.
In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate and stir until smooth.
Remove the dark chocolate from the fridge and with a paper towel, blot off and moisture that has accumulated on the top.
Pour the white chocolate over the dark chocolate.
Sprinkle the peppermint candies over the white chocolate.
Place in fridge to firm for about 1 hour.
Remove and cut to your desired shape and size.

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
*****DONT FORGET TO ENTER MY PILLSBURY GIVEAWAY*****

Pillsbury Giveaway and some Holiday Photos

How cute is this little giveaway? The fine folks at Pillsbury are giving THREE yes 3 of my readers this fun gift pack which includes a coupon for Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls, a magnetic coupon holder, a house-shaped mouse pad, pot holders, a cookie sheet, a bread basket and a lovable Pillsbury Dough boy figurine.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your favorite Pillsbury Product is or what your favorite part about your holiday meals are. That’s it, and it can be allllll yours. Who doesn’t need a new cookie sheet for all of our upcoming cookie baking??!!

Please also check out The Pillsbury Home for the Holidays site. Every time you forward it on to your friends and family from the web site, Pillsbury will make a donation to help deliver more than one pound of groceries to America’s food banks! So really its a win win!!!
Unfortunately the gift baskets can only be shipped to US residents.
The giveaway will end on Tuesday December 9th at 10 PM est.

And I leave you today from a few of my Holiday Photos.
Oh look..I really do have a husband!
My sister, husband and daughter

My little rugrats! Pretty cute if I say so myself!

My sister and I being DORKY as usual!!!

Me and the kiddos

My son..as he says, “stuck with the girls”

Notice the husbands are still serious. Can you find the nerds?

Photos taken by the ever sooo talented Kelly

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps remind me of all things Holiday, Ginger and cinnamon. They are warm and comforting morsels of goodness. I have never made Gingersnaps before, but when I saw these over at Baking Obsession, they had me smitten. Vera is such a talented woman so please take a gander at her blog, she will blow you away.
My cookies looked NOTHING like hers, no puffy or beautifully crackled cookies here. Just flat, flat, flat. However don’t let the supreme flatness fool you. They are wonderfully chewy and moist with just a slight crisp around the edges! Perfect I tell you! However, I do warn you, they are extremely addictive. I had a difficult time waiting for them to cool down before I shoveled them into my pie hole!

GINGERSNAPS

Ingredients:
2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp salt
8 tbsp (1 stick; ¼-lb) unsalted butter, melted and just warm
¼ cup unsulfured mild or full-flavored molasses (I used organic blackstrap)
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup (2.3 oz) firmly packed brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp finely minced or grated fresh ginger root
1 large egg
¾ cup (4 oz) finely chopped crystallized ginger (1/4-inch dice)
About ½ cup Demerara or turbinado sugar for rolling

Preparation:
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Combine the warm butter, molasses, both sugars, fresh ginger, and the egg in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and chopped candied ginger and stir until incorporated. The dough will be soft.
Form the dough into 1-inch balls (1/2 oz of dough for each). Roll the balls in the Demerara sugar and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake, in batches (form the rest of the balls while the first batch is baking ), for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they puff up and crack on the surface and then begin to deflate in the oven. For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when at least half or more of the cookies have begun to deflate; for crunchier edges with chewy centers, bake a minute or so longer.Slide the parchment sheets of cookies onto cooling racks or use an offset spatula to transfer the cookies, and cool completely. Stored in an airtight container, gingersnaps keep for several days.
Recipe from Alice Medrich.

Daring Bakers # 6 Caramel Cake

This months challenge was brought to you by the following..
http://eggbeater.typepad.com/
http://culinarycuriosity.blogspot.com/
http://blondieandbrownie.blogspot.com/
http://forayintofood.blogspot.com/
http://glutenagogo.blogspot.com/

The recipe came from http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2006/12/24/caramel-cake-the-recipe/ by Shuna fish Lydon.

This was a fabulous challenge. I didn’t have any real issues other than having to make the caramel syrup twice. I think I cooked it long the first go around. The cake and frosting were different from any other I have tasted. The cake was scrumptious, I loved the dense and moist texture. The frosting..oh the frosting…when I first tasted it, I didn’t like it one bit. But I wasn’t giving up on it yet. I stuck my finger in it a few more times and it grew on me. And then it was allllll over, I couldn’t stop eating it. I choose to make cupcakes because everyone was saying how overly sweet the cake was. But I loved it and so did everyone else that gobbled them up!

CARAMEL CAKE with Caramelized Butter Frosting

10 Tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER, ROOM TEMP
1 1/4 Cups SUGAR
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
1/3 Cup CARAMEL SYRUP*
2 each EGGS, ROOM TEMP
splash VANILLA EXTRACT
2 Cups AP FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1C MILK, ROOM TEMP

*Caramel syrup recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350F
Butter one tall 9″ cake pan.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.
2. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.
3. Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl.
4. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.
5. Sift flour and baking powder.
6. Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dries.
7. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time.
8. Add another third of the dries, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dries. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}
9. Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds. making sure batter is uniform.
Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.
Cake will keep for three days unrefrigerated

CARAMEL SYRUP

2 Cups SUGAR
1/2 Cup WATER
1 Cup water for “stopping”

1. In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand.
2. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush.
3. Turn on heat to highest flame.
4. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.
5. When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and prepared to step back.
6. Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}
For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.

CARAMELIZED BUTTER FROSTING

12 tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER
1 Pound CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR, SIFTED
4-6 Tablespoons HEAVY CREAM
2 teaspoons VANILLA EXTRACT
2-4 Tablespoons CARAMEL SYRUP
Kosher or sea salt to taste

1. Cook butter until brown.
2. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.
3. Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner’s sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.
Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light.

Some of my cupcakes looked like this but…

most pulled away from the liners.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I could never suffer from bulimia..but today of all days, I wish I could stick my finger down my throat to puke..just so I could shovel some more stuffing down my belly!
I am sorry I don’t have any photos of my HUGE Thanksgiving feast.(TWO 16.5 pound turkeys and a ham plus all the trimmings for 20 people) My house was a crazy place today. The food was gobbled down before I could get my camera out.
Before I slip into my tryptophan coma, I just wanted to wish all of you all a Happy Thanksgiving.