My mom has had made these cookies from this recipe as far back as I can remember. She remembers her mother making them for her Senior Tea in highschool. The memories of these laid out, by what seemed like the hundreds, on our kitchen table come flooding back as I make these for my babies. We love to gift them to our neighbors in early December to kick of our Christmas celebration. They are delicate and buttery. My favorite version is rolled in chopped pecans. You'll find two different versions below from the same recipe.
One of my boys especially loves hummus. He eats it with chips, crackers, celery, cucumbers, you name it. I like to make it special for him. Here is his favorite recipe.
I saw a documentary called Food Matters years ago. Every time I watch it something else strikes me as highly beneficial to my family. One of the last things that intrigued me was the statement that our body treats cooked food like a foreign object and if we don't counter balance the cooked with the raw by 50% or better than we have increased inflammation in our bodies. As a former, medication dependent Type 2 diabetic there were lots of things I changed about my diet to aid in the healing; decrease the inflammation and hormone production of insulin. My pancreas was just overworked and tired... Cutting simple carbs and almost all sugar was the first step, taking supplements to give my body back what it was missing and to keep giving it what it needed, and exercising to release healthy endorphins and destress my body made a huge different right away. I am a work in progress but I feel amazing most days and have been medication free for 4 years this month.
What we put in our bodies when it comes to nutrition is more important than exercise and even more important that sleep. So, I'm on a mission to better my family with better nutrition. Today's recipe is simple and super yummy.
People ask me, what if I don't like XYZ or my husband/family won't eat XYZ. You have to retrain your palate and your thinking. If it's better health you are truly after you will train your palate to like more wholesome, home grown, as God intended us to eat foods. Start by ridding your pantry of as much processed food as possible...cereals, chips, snacks, and even canned goods. A little at a time replace them with healthy alternatives.
I hope this and other ideas I will be sharing are as delicious for you as they are for us...
Cucumber & Tomato Salad
1 cucumber peeled & diced
1/2 sweet onion diced
3 Roma tomatoes diced
Toss all veggies together with 2 tbs of a simple Italian dressing. The best kind have healthy fats like olive oil, vinegar, and herbs only. No additives if possible or make your own.
Chill for 1-2 hours and serve as a side dish or on a bed of greens for a yummy salad. You can also toss them with long grain brown rice or quinoa if you want to incorporate healthy grains.
Oh how I miss my Granny this time of year. I grew up a skip hop away from her back door and planted my own family a door over from her. One thing I miss most are her phone calls to tell me she had food cooked that someone needed to come eat. We would head straight over and sit around her table while she watched us eat. It was always delicious.
I purchased a huge bag of pears last week and no one is eating them, so I decided we needed to have pie with dinner tonight!
I'm seriously, eating this pie as I type. It's hot and it's delicious. If I can make a pie, you can make a pie! Trust me. I have never made a pie before today. I'm not talking about jello pies, I'm talking about roll out your own crust and bake kind of pie.
A quick and flavorful dish that's healthy and light.
Jake wanted soup so we made soup.
He ate olives and helped with the potatoes. He insisted the potatoes keep their skin.
7 cups of water (Bring to Boil)
2 cups of yellow potatoes
1.5 cups of Meat (we used smoked/pulled pork)
1 cup of baby carrots
1/2 cup pinto beans
1/2 cup of yellow split peas
1/2 cup of green split peas
1/4 cup of barley
1/2 cup of quinoa
1/4 cup of tiny alphabet pasta
1 tbls of dried/chopped mushrooms
1 tbls of dried chopped onions
2 tbls Pampered Chef: Sweet Basil Rub
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add meat, carrots, beans, & peas to boiling water and turn down to simmer for 2 hours.
Add seasoning, pasta, mushrooms, onions, quinoa, & potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft, approx 30 mins.
Add water if needed. Salt and Pepper to taste
Marina is visiting us from her home country, the Ukraine. While she was here for Christmas she asked if she could make a chocolate cake that she makes for her children in her Center back home. She whipped up the most delicious chocolate cake I think I have ever eaten. I asked her for the recipe and she said. "I make and show you, you write."
Here is the recipe as best as I could do considering.
Now that I've made this cake with her, I want to learn how to make many others from scratch.
I made these for a shower and I thought they were too cute not to share. I am in love with decorating with rock candy. I wish I could have found it in orange but instead I used orange sugar. Her colors were navy, orange, light blue and grey.
This is a variation of one of my favorite chicken salad recipes. The recipe I love is just chicken, pasta and mayo. I kicked it up a notch and this one is divine!
A few weeks ago my little boys and I went grocery shopping together and we NEVER do that. For one, Mommy coupons and needs total concentration at checkout and two, I don't like walking out with things that weren't on my list.
It's just not very thrifty.
You know that Llama, Llama Mad a Momma Book?
Well, that's what I'm afraid of...that tantrum stuff kids pull.
I have to say my kids did fairly well the day they went but I did come home with a sack full of these...
Aren't they gorgeous!
So, what is a mom to do with all these tiny purple potatoes?
Potato Salad of course.
Mashed Potatoes maybe next time.
My husband wanted to know what "they" put it them to make them purple. I think he missed the point that God makes things more beautiful than we can imagine sometimes. My kids didn't miss the point. They loved picking out those beautiful potatoes. I loved cooking them and
I LOVED EATING THEM!
They do have a slightly different flavor than regular potatoes,
more nutty and sweet.
Plus, these babies are Antioxidant Powerhouses!
Here's a link to more information that includes recipes used with these.
What interesting food have you found in your grocers produce department?
1 Pound of Purple Potatoes, boiled and diced
1 Cup of Mayo
Salt & Pepper to Taste
I am quickly becoming a fan of color flow icing and you'll love it too. It's so easy to decorate with and it hardens to perfection. You end up with a nice smooth, shiny texture.
Pre-mix your icing and work quickly. Color flow tends to crust over fairly fast. Keep portions you are not working with covered with a damp cloth. Here's the recipe.
Color Flow Icing
4 Cups of sifted powdered sugar
1 tbl of Color Flow powder by Wilton
1/4 cup of water plus 1/tsp
Bake your shaped cookies accordingly.
Let the color before adding icing.
Outline the shape desired and then fill in by simply piping the icing.
Use a tooth pick to give dimension.
Color flow is a fantastic medium to work with.
Be creative and take your time.
Allow the icing to set over night.
We even tried a few acorns.
I can't wait to give another batch a try.
P.S. My little friend Ansley said my cookies were "good". If she likes them, they must be delicious.
Husband and I are on a low carb diet and at dinner we had a classic BBQ feast to choose from; baked beans, slaw, pork, buns, the works. How did I make this meal as "low carb" as possible? I remade our own slaw and substituted a bun for a low carb wrap.
Low Carb Sweet and Spicy Slaw
Now pile pulled meat (in this case, pork) onto a low carb tortilla wrap. FYI: Whole Wheat does not equal low carb, check carbohydrate grams when buying. Add a scant amount of BBQ sauce if regular or if you find a low carb brand you like. Pile on slaw and wrap. YUM!
We are finishing up our study about Rocks and Minerals and we spent the whole day today reviewing what we have learned. In honor of sedimentary rocks, we built a sedimentary cake with different layers, different colors, textures and even gravel. Here's the how and why...
Purpose: To demonstrate a sedimentary rock formation
Results: A cake with a series of layers has been constructed
Why? Sedimentary rocks are formed from loose particles that have been carried from one place to another and redeposited. These rocks usually are deposited in a series of layers similar to the layers of the cake. Each layer can be distinguished by differences in color, texture and composition. The oldest layer and lowest bed is deposited first and the youngest layer is at the top. The layers over a period of time become compacted and cemented together to form solid rock structures.
This is a new medium for me when it comes to cake decorating. I knew about this method and I had an idea.
I was planning on decorating cupcakes for a Pirate Party we were hosting. My pirates needed hats and this is pretty darn close to what I had envisioned.
When I started I didn't realize I was supposed to do this at least 48 hours in advance so please keep that in mind when planning a cake or in this case cupcakes. You will need the below ingredients and I use Wilton brand for coloring and for the color flow mix.
4 cups of sifted powdered sugar
2 tbs of color flow powder
1/4 cup of water plus 1 tbs
cardbord or cookie sheet
any image you wish to duplicate
Place your design under your wax paper and secure with tape, then tape your wax paper to your cookie sheet or cardboard.
Mix your ingredients for the color flow mix ingredient for 7 minutes on high with an electric mixer. Divide the color flow mix evenly for the colors you need. Add colors and mix. Red was the hardest color to achieve, so I added burgandy, black and copper for a dark red.
Use a piping bag, I like the disposables, they are cheap and I can throw away the miss. Use a small circular tip. The smaller the better for finer details.
TIP: Work fast to fill the bags as the color flow crusts over fast. Seal your piping bags well until ready to use.
Now, here was my mistake. I was in a hurry and didn't have time to wait on anything to set properly so take your time and you will get superb results. Outline your design on your wax paper following the image you are duplicating. I outlined in white. Let the outline sit for 2 hours and harden. Add the fill colors as need and using a damp paint brush push the color flow to the edges of the outline. When filled, let set for 46 more hours until very hard.
These are edible but more importantly, they are super easy to decorate with. A friend of mine said she did them a few times and likes to use coloring pages form kids coloring books for designs.
Once your design hard you can remove the design or designs from the wax paper. If using more than one design, cut the wax paper to separate them.
Using the edge of your counter top, roll the wax paper away from the design or you can use a small spatula and lift it away. This method worked best for me.
Attach your designs using a dollop of icing when decorating. I actually can't wait to try this method again for a little more perfecting. The possibilities are endless and I was able to match the cupcakes to our invitations.
Caramel on a Vanilla Fudge Cloud Center
4 T. butter
2 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar
1-3 tsp. milk
In a medium saucepan, bring butter to a boil over extremely high heat. Do not stir. Allow butter to boil just until it takes on a medium brown hue (you want to brown it, not scorch it!). Once browned, immediately add marshmallows to the pan and stir, stir, stir while they swell and become sticky. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of the milk. Now start to beat it with your electric mixer. Add milk as needed. The consistency should be thick and sticky. Pour and scrap into a square class dish 9 x9 is what I use. Refrigerate until hard.
Remove from refrigerator and work fast while hard. cut 1" squares from your pan of hard creamy filling. Remove squares one by one, roll into a ball and place on a sheet or wax paper. While you are rolling balls, melt your chocolate.
Melt your chocolate until it is a runny consistency, not too thick.
I use the chocolate chips that come in the microwaveable paper bowls from the fresh fruit section of the grocery store. It's easy and quick.
Dip your balls of stiff goo into the chocolate and remove. Place on a the sheet of wax paper. As your chocolate hardens you can sprinkle with pulverized pecans or drizzle with white chocolate or leave plain.
Check out these sweet, rich, royal, ruby beauties. This is the first time I've ever done Candy Apples successfully because I did them by the instructions on the package. Yes, I bought a pre-packaged candy apple kit, apples and added sugar. It was like magic. I didn't even need a candy thermometer. I played around with the candy liquid as it was cooling and my candy apples were resting and cooling. I started making these beautiful strings.
Some of the strings were made from drizzling the hot liquid into cold water in a small cup. I dumped the water and candy out of the cup and sat them to dry before placing them on the tops of the candy apple. The wrapped strings around the apple were made by touch a semi- cool bit of candy on a spoon to the already candied apple and turn the apple and going around and around with the spoon.
This was easy and beautiful and I'm having trouble keeping "Hands Off". These kiddos aren't going to wait long for these. I just wanted to admire them for a little while.
Well, of course I as a grown woman with children, you would think I would learn to do exactly as my mother says, right? Well, wrong! I can not do exactly like my mother says, not for spite but simply for the opportunity to take something old and classic and flip it around in my mind and make it my own.
I think it looks much yummier now that it would have in a pyrex dish with the icing poured on it. I hope I don't get in trouble. So, here's the recipe of my mom's with a touch of my own flair (well, if you'd call it "flair").
Water Gate Cake
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening until fine crumbs are formed. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then high for 2 minute. Slowly add pudding mix and pecans, scraping the bowl frequently.
Pour batter into greased and floured 2, 8" or 10" round pans. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.
Make the Icing
3 Cups of small ripe tomatoes (or large cherry tomatoes)
2 tbs of minced garlic
1 tsp of fresh ground black paper
1 tsp of salt
1 tbs of Oregano
1 tbs of Basil
1tbs of Parsley
1 tbs of flour
Blend together in a food processor or blender and simmer for 30 minutes on low to marinate ingredients together. Add salt and pepper as needed. This is a simple and fresh sauce...veggies can be diced and added, my favorite veggie is zucchini and maybe some carrots. Thanks to my neighbors for bringing me the most delicious tomatoes ever!
Home grown, right off the vine! YUMMM! This sauce was basically FREE! I didn't have to go to the farmers market for these babies!
Now, you can use canned tomatoes if needed. You can also add peppers and onions but my kids don't like those flavors like I do, so I keep this one simple!
Enjoy! I know we did!
Yesterday I simmered Chili all day for our church VBS family night...when I got in line to get some, it was ALL gone, barely a scrap around the bottom. I was asked by a handful for the recipe !
Print it Here
2 pounds of ground beef, chicken or turkey
2 packages of chili seasoning
1 large can (approx 28 oz) Tomato Sauce
1 large can (approx 28 oz) Diced Tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz) of Black Beans
1/2 Onion diced
1 can (15 oz) Fiesta or Mexican Corn
Green Bell Pepper Halved & diced
brown meat, drain & caramelize diced onions & bell pepper
put meat, onions 7 bell peppers in your chili pot (make sure it's big)
add Tomato sauce, Diced Tomatoes, Black Beans, Corn into pot
Mix in your chili seasoning.
Bring to a fast simmer or slow boil.
Cook for 15 - 20 minutes and serve hot
this is my favorite!
start the night before, brown meat and drain
put meat, raw onion and bell peppers into crock pot
add all other ingredients and give it a stir
simmer on low for a minimum of 15 hours stirring occasionally
add heat with seasoning, I love red pepper flakes
shred your favorite cheese for a side topping,
also lovely with chives/scallions and sour cream
1 can of black beans can be substituted for 1 can of dark red kidney beans
recipe can be halved, starting with 1 lb of meat, use smaller cans or 1 can,
1 pack of seasoning & 1/4 onion and bell pepper.
hey, this is how I make it, experiment and come up with your own if you wish,
cooking should be fun!
the key is fresh meat and vegies!
I'm thinking of adding zucchini next time...how about you?
what will you add?
the only side I want is Mexican Corn Bread
grab a box of Jiffy Corn Bread Mix or your favorite
add 1/2 a can of fiesta corn or 1/2 the corn you put in the chili
now invite your friends and chow down!
photo courtesy of RealSimple
Bake your cupcakes and mix blue into your white icing.
Slather the icing on.
Dip half of the cupcake in brown sugar or brownulated sugar (used here)
Add a mint cady for a beach ball and a paper umbrella.
The kids loved making these.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Cup Flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of chocolate chips
Brownies: Heat oven to 325. Grease sides of a 9 x 13 inch pan and line it with buttered parchment cut to fit the bottom of the pan. Melt the stick of butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat. While the mixture cools, beat together the sugar, eggs, and salt until smooth. Fold in the chocolate mixture, then flour, then vanilla. Pour batter into the prepared pan, top with any toppings you want baked in and bake until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Cool thoroughly, about an hour and a half. If you need to add a glaze topping or chocolate do so now. Chill and serve with cold milk. YMMM! Sugar Glaze: 1 cup Powdered Sugar, teaspoon vanilla, add 1 tablespoon of water until the glaze is the thickness you desire and add after cooling but still slightly warm. I like my glaze runny!
I love to cook but only if the meals are healthy, easy, and yummy. .
I'm Aimee, former Early Childhood Educator and Reading Specialist turned author, speaker, blogger, and mom of 5. This website is meant to inspire & equip parents of little ones to promote early literacy & language development at home. You will also find fun crafts, devotionals, and recipes to explore..
Learn more about me here.