Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can't Wait to be Kissed

I have been really excited for Valentine's Day this year because I'll be celebrating it with a BFF in North Carolina. But before I go on my trip I was getting anxious to make some festive luv treats. I did some research and got a few recipes I'm going to make this week but I just had to make some sugary goodness tonight. So it was a Pre-Feb taste.

Who doesn't love sugar cookies? Now I make a wicked cutter cookie but this recipe is a spin on the sugar cookie dough recipe. Now, this isn't my signature cutter cookie recipe because that's just one of those recipes that I keep secret. But I found this recipe last week, made it tonight and it was really good. It comes in 2 parts.

Almond Kisses

First you need some sugar cookie dough, here's the recipe:
3 cps flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cp unsalted butter softened
1 cp sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs milk

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Take dough out of bowl and put on a clean work surface.

The kissing it with almonds part
1/4 cp flour
1/4 cp whole almonds, very finely chopped (I did mine in a mini food processor)
1/4 tsp pur almond extract
1/2 cp powdered sugar
2 Tbs red sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a work surface, knead the flour into the sugar cookie dough. Add chopped almonds and almond extract and knead dough until evenly incorporated. Scoop level tablespoons of dough and roll into smooth balls between the palms of your hands. Place balls about 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 20 minutes. Bake until set and golden on the bottom, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet. Stir the powdered sugar and red sugar together in a shallow bowl. While cookies are still warm, roll in sugar mixture with a fork until completely coated, gently pressing cookies into mixture to adhere the sanding sugar. Transfer to paper towel to cool.
Really good - not too rich. But the perfect amount of yumminess to make you smile from being almond kissed.

There will be another treat this week I'll blahg about. So check back later. It involves pink icing. Fun!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Itchin' for a treat during your favorite tv show?

To ward off the couch potato funk that I can sometimes get when I have bank holidays off like today, I thought I would start the day by posting a recipe for a yummy cheese queso dip that I've made recently. My family are big fans of queso dip and we're always looking for good recipes.

I made this for NYE and we ate it with the Fullers. Well I made way too much and I said I was going to freeze it for a later date. It ended up sitting in my fridge too long and I threw it out. Well Sabrina calls me 2 Sundays ago looking for the frozen queso because she was celebrating one of her shows coming back on TV. I hated to disappoint her. So I made it again yesterday and this time I really did freeze it and I really saved Sabrina some.

Oh and the picture doesn't make it look good but I consider my food trustworthy and fool proof. Ok let's get started.

Sausage Con Queso

1 lb cooked ground beef
1 lb cooked hot italian sausage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can diced tomatoes, plain or with seasoning
2 lbs mexican velveeta cheese cubed
2 cups hot salsa
tortilla chips

I just mix all of the above ingredients and put it in my crockpot for an hour or so on low. And then stir it throughout .

Fun - off to other activities so I don't get the lazy hangover.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some Wow Reading to Start off 2010

I’ve really been extremely fortunate to start out the new year with some amazing books. These books are leaving me saying wow a few times and just completly loving them.

First book I read for 2010 was A Thousand Splendid Suns. Now I really didn’t want to read this book but it was so popular and got near perfect reviews that I decided I better find out for myself if it really was as good as everyone said. And boy was it. I had read Kite Runner and liked it a lot but I absolutely loved this book. Heart wrenching, that’s all I can say. I definitely recommend it.

Second is actually a series that I have gotten completely engrossed in. Today I just finished book 2 in the series and I cannot wait to read book 3. The books are a historical fiction account of Josephine Bonaparte, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. I have loved every minute of these books. I also got super fascinated with the time period. Book 1 starts off a short time before the French Revolution and goes through the Reign of Terror and so on. So good. I highly recommend these as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The 09 Favorites Short List

Ok so again long over due post but oh well. Here’s a list of some favorites of 2009.

Favorite TV Show: Mad Men – although I was not alive in the 60s this show has totally sucked me into all the drama. The writing is awesome and every show makes me laugh even though this show is not a comedy.

Favorite Rolls: Texas Road House – we go to dinner with our dining buddies, The Fullers often and we almost always go here. Seriously, I think my record roll eating number is now at 6 rolls during a dinner. Time to cut down.

Favorite Movie of 09: Avatar – I’m not a huge movie person at all but I wasn’t expecting to like this movie as much as I did. I really like it despite its futurism and occasionally cheesy moments. 500 Days of Summer is a close 2nd. Made me laugh and I don’t find most movies funny.

Favorite Author: Charlaine Harris

Quick note - if you are thinking of reading anything I'm posting below you should ask me so I can give you a quick run down so you know if it might be something you'll like. And just as a note, there are a few books listed here that contain mature content . . . ok moving on

Favorite Book Series of 09: Harper Connelly, Southern Vampire Mysteries, Hunger Games, there's others but I wrote the top three

Favorite Stand Alone Books for 2009: The Book Thief, Time Traveler’s Wife, Skeletons at the Feast, and The Help – which one would I most definitely make sure I read in my lifetime? Book Thief. This book completely left an impression on me unlike any other book I had ever read. And knowing how much I read, that says a lot.

Favorite Gadget of 09: My Amazon Kindle. Jared suggested I get a handle on the book habit and so the Kindle was my Christmas gift. I love it and its completely changed the way I’ve read a book. Its weird not having the physical book anymore but I’m enjoying the different experience.

On to 2010. I’m planning on taking some cooking courses at Orson Gygi later in the Spring and I’m looking forward to those. I would also like to learn how to sew and perhaps I’ll think about committing to that around my birthday. Of course I’ll continue to read and keep everyone posted about what’s on the kindle.

May everyone have the best that 2010 has to offer.