Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas greetings...


Wishing you Peace, Love and Joy from my kitchen to yours!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snowflake Cookies

It seems like I've been working on these all week.  It's actually not far from the truth....

In early November I made sunflowers.  It took me awhile to get them all decorated.  Then, when I finally decided to take them to work with me, it snowed.  Suddenly, even though it wasn't even Thanksgiving yet, they no longer seemed appropriate.  But our guests didn't care and ate them up in a snap...but I started to think - snowflakes...

So here they are - 32 Snowflakes all decorated and ready to go to work with me tomorrow for our guests to enjoy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Long Overdue Post Thanksgiving...Post

Sadly, many of our photos did not turn out and one photo, taken by my niece was not successfully uploaded before it, sadly, got deleted, but here are a few I can share. 

The cornbread stuffing...

The Garlic Mashed Potatoes - a recipe my husband and I came up with together when we were just starting out as a couple...

The Sage Rolls I found in my bread machine cookbook in a hurry when I realized I had forgotten to include rolls in our menu - Yikes!

I also made some wonderful Olive Oil crackers using this recipe I found at 101 Cookbooks and fresh cranberry sauce that came out a bit too tart but still tasty and very pretty.  Here are some final photos:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

I really love the foods of fall - apples, cranberries, nuts and pumpkin.  As you may have noticed, I roasted and pureed quite a few pumpkins early this fall.  It seems like fall whips by so quickly every year and that just as I'm getting into the swing of baking and cooking with all that glorious fall bounty, suddenly Christmas is upon us and a whole different list of recipes take center stage.  So forgive me if I'm not quite ready, just yet, to give up on the flavors of fall and jump into Christmas and winter cooking.  I have just a couple more recipes I hope to share before the shift to winter becomes absolutely imperative.  At least I'm secure in the fact that I have tucked away in my freezer several more cups of that wonderful pumpkin and that I'll be able to re-visit fall any time I wish this winter! 

When I put up all that pumpkin, it was with these muffins in mind.  I wanted an oat-based muffin flavored with pumpkin, maple and spices...and here it is.  It turns out that pumpkin does pose something of a challenge in creating a muffin that will rise and produce that classic muffin top, so this recipe may yet need a bit of tweaking, but I'm very happy with the flavor and texture and they've gotten rave reviews from all who have tested them for me.  So here they are, I hope you enjoy them.

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin is perfectly acceptable)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs,
1 tsp. baking soda*
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder*
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/14 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, maple syrup, sugar and eggs until well blended.  Add baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.  Stir in oats.  In a small bowl toss nuts with flour, then stir into pumpkin mixture until just combined.  Fill lined muffin tins 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes. 

* These muffins did not quite rise as much as I'd like, and I may try adding another 1/2 tsp. each baking soda and baking powder to my next batch to see how that goes.  I'll update this post with the results and let you know.