Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings

I really like Chicken and Dumplings...and tonight is the perfect weather to have them! It's cold out and raining, it will probably be snowing soon. There is nothing like good comfort food to make the winter seem worthwhile. It's also a great one-dish meal and reason to use my Dutch Oven! Here is the really easy recipe that I use from Martha. What's for dinner tonight in your house?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Menu Planning

I've just discovered a great blog:

simple mom

She has a great article on menu planning that is definitely worth checking out. I menu plan using my Outlook calendar. She does it with Google calendar and gives step by step instructions.

Do you menu plan? What method works for you?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Today I took the boys to my parent's to pick tangerines. There is something so cool about picking produce or fruit. You feel so connected to it. You value it more than if someone gave it to you or even if you bought it at the store. You don't want to waste even a little of what you worked hard to grow and harvest. Maybe this is why my grandmothers canned.

They boys really didn't like tangerines last year- but today they were eating them up! I even taught them how to use the special citrus clippers. We also picked some lemons and oranges I'm going to juice and freeze some in ice cube trays to have on hand for recipes. Now for some tangerine recipes. Any ideas?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Going Green at the Grocery Store

These bags are cute enough to make me want to "go green". The prices aren't bad either (5.99 for one bag or $18 for 4) The bottom one even says...

"God created the Earth and commanded us "to tend and keep it" Gen 2:15"

Ouch. Lately I've been reading some great articles on how as a Christian it really is our job to take care of the earth God has left us with. If you are interested you can read more here .

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hershey's Cinnamon Chips

If you haven't tried these should! They are so yummy! I've only been able to find them around the holidays at Save Mart (however I hear some Super Walmarts carry them as well).

In oatmeal cookies, coffee cake or even scones they are a delicious change of pace. If you like them- stock up, because they won't be back til next Christmas.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Yes- I know, I'm on a bit of a roll with the bundt cakes. I borrowed my mom's pampered chef stoneware bundt cake pan. I love it and I'm never giving it back. You can borrow it if you need it-okay mom?

On to the recipe (again from April) for her amazing coffee cake.
Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Mix Dry Ingredients and set aside:

2 ½ c flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
¾ cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ¼ c sugar
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 ½ c sour cream
In large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches alternately with the sour cream and mix on low speed just until the batter is blended and almost smooth.

Option Streusel Topping and Filling:
2 T butter, at room temperature
¾ c chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1/3 c brown sugar
1 ½ t cinnamon

If you use the streusel topping, pour half the batter in the pan (spray pan well- I use the spray with flour for baking) then half the streusel topping. Then the other half of the batter and the rest of the topping.

Bake at 350 for about 60 min. sometimes it takes an extra 10 min or so. (Use a really large bundt pan). If you don't have a bundt or a mom who has one you can steal- I think you could use a 9x13 but it would bake much faster so keep your eye on it.

Options- I folded in Hershey's Cinnamon Chips (I'll post about these later). You could also fold in fresh blueberries and a little lemon zest, or Cranberries and a little orange zest. April also does a version with mini chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar layered in the middle (also called a Brooklyn Bundt).

Kahlua Cake

1 chocolate cake mix
7 oz chocolate pudding (instant)
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup kahlua
16 oz sour cream

Blend all ingredients until smooth, batter will be fairly thick

2 cups chocolate chips

Add chocolate chips and mix into batter

Pour into bundt pan and back in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour

Sissy - Here is my recipe, just a couple things are different. Sherri also makes this and puts a glaze over it after you take it out of the bundt. I think it's just water, sugar and kahlua that you simmer and then brush on. It makes a moist cake even more moist! Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chocolate Kahlua Bundt Cake

This wasn't as good as April's version (see her recipe above).

1 chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. 3 - 3/4 ounce instant chocolate pudding
1 pint sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup Kahlua
6 ounces chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chops in mixing bowl until well blended. Fold in chips by hand. Pour into well-greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour. Let cool 20 minutes in pan then invert on cake plate. Serve warm.