Family Pizza Night

We had the best time tonight creating our own little personal pizzas. A mixture of toppings made a great dinner idea become family memories.

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Cookie #3, Can you say Gingerbread

This is one that really was a surprise. I love making Gingerbread. The smell of the dough, the smell throughout the house as it bakes both make it worth making. However most recipes it is just too spicy and crunchy.

This recipe is amazing. It turns out a fabulously soft and chewy cookie. Plus it has great flavor. It's not spicy at all. Recipe will post tomorrow.

Christmas Cookie Number Two!

I decided to try Eggnog Cookies tonight. Overall they are a very soft cookie and with the icing, they are just delectable!

Eggnog Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rum or rum extract
1/2 cup eggnog
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine butter and sugars in a bowl. Mix until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time. Then put in the vanilla, rum and eggnog.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add slowly mixing after each addition.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes of until lightly browned. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.

When cool spread frosting on the top and sprinkle with additional nutmeg. Enjoy!

Frosting

1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp rum or rum extract
3 tbsp egg nog
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Mix together to desired consistency.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Christmas cookie number one was this gorgeous and simple cookie. They were so easy to make and can be changed to whatever flavor you desire. Enjoy!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup butter softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour

Blend butter and sugar until fluffy. Add extract and mix until combined. Slowly add the flour. Mix just until combined.

Roll in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. It needs to be chilled completely so they don't crack.

Roll dough in one inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet about two inches apart. Use a finger to make an indentation. Using a small spoon place about 1/4-1/2 tsp of desired jam into the indention.

Bake about 10-15 minutes. Remove when edges just begin to turn brown.

Remove to a cooling rack. Once cooled drizzle with glaze.

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 tsp almond extract
2-4 tsp water

Mix until consistency is easy to drizzle. May need more or less water. Allow glaze to dry before stacking.

Perfect for Date Night.

I shared pictures of these mushrooms awhile back, then never posted the recipe. I made these last night and I still think they are amazing.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Gruyere

Ingredients
Portables mushrooms- medium size
Garlic and herb breadcrumbs
Diced garlic-1 tsp
Gruyere cheese
Chardonnay

Wash and remove stems from mushrooms. Place caps in a baking dish and dice stems.

In a large pan, add a little oil. When hot add the diced stems and sauté until tender.

Add the garlic. Sauté a minute or so.

At this point add about 1/2cup of Chardonnay. Add bread crumbs I add enough to absorb the Chardonnay and create enough stuffing for the caps. Sometimes more wine and bread crumbs is needed.

Place enough of the stuffing mixture in each cap to fill.

Top with Gruyere cheese and pour about 1/4 cup of Chardonnay in the bottom of the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, then turn to broil and cook until the cheese is slightly browned.

Allow to rest for a few minutes.

Enjoy!

Fall Favorite #4

Growing up in Tennessee, family gatherings were not sparse. We got together for any occasion and then just to get together. With sixteen, grandchildren I can only imagine the chaos we caused my grandmother.

My Aunt Sue always had a Christmas morning breakfast. It wasn't just family, it was neighbors and friends gathering to celebrate the holiday. As kids that was the best morning. We opened presents, then got dressed to head to her house for the most amazing breakfast.

She has gorgeous Christmas china. I have had a fascination with it ever sense. Maybe that's why I now have not one set, but three. She had powdered donuts on the tiered platters. I know it doesn't seem that special, but when those little white rings are on Christmas china, they look pretty darn good.

One thing she always had was sausage balls. My mom didn't like them, so she never made them. Aunt Sue always had them. She would make them ahead of time and freeze them. So they are ready in a jiffy.

This is one of those foods that bring back memories, smells, and feelings of Christmas morning at her house. Try them today

You can find a ton of different recipes for sausage balls on the web. The pioneer woman has a spicy variety that is delicious. This time I just made the basic. To be honest, I don't measure. I just dump it in. Here is my best guess.

Sausage Balls
1 of of sausage
1 -1.5 cups bisquick
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix all in a large bowl. Using a cookie scoop to make them the same size, scoop out a ball and roll with your hands.

Bake at 375 until brown and the sausage is cooked.

Enjoy!

Fall Favorite #3

What says fall more than a fire? In the spring when the need to have a fire is getting less and less, I begin watching the wood inside the fireplace. I always save the remnants of the last log to burn as good luck in the first fire.

Yesterday, we had our first fire of the season. In no time the chill of the dreary outside was gone and the warmth of the fire gloriously moved through the house. Welcome Fall!

Hot and Creamy Jalapeño Dip

I found a recipe Saturday morning to take to a little party friends where having. It was a jalapeño Dip that was served warm with bread.

Having never made it before, I had no idea what to expect. It was okay! Nothing great, not really terrible, but not what I wanted.

Today I made it again and added all the things that I thought would amp it up and make it an amazing Dip.

It turned out perfectly spicy and delicious. I put it on allrecipes as my first submission. Check it out.


http://allrecipes.com/personal-recipe/64660174/hot-and-creamy-jalapeno-dip/

Enjoy!

Fall Favorites #2

The air is cooler, the grass is getting crunchy, and the leaves are turning. That can only mean fall is here!

In Wyoming fall isn't only cooler, sometimes it is downright cold. There has been rain and drizzle for three days. So there is only one thing to do, make soup!

I love making soup. Any kind will do. There is something about chopping and mixing that creates a soulful concoction.

Today it was chicken noodle. This is the easiest soup to whip up in no time at all.

Ingredients:
Chicken
Frozen peas
Carrots
Frozen noodles
Watkins chicken broth mix
Celery

I don't really measure this out. It's more of a toss and see what it looks and tastes like.

In a large pot mix the chicken mix and water. Add the mix according to the package directions for the amount of water you added.

Let it come to a boil. At this point add the chicken. You can use any kind you like. I sometimes you leftover rotisserie chicken shredded. If using fresh, you can chop and sauté in a pan, boil in water then shred, or bake breasts in the oven sprinkles with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. Either way works, just chop or shred and add to the broth.

Next add the carrots and peas. I use dehydrated carrots. They are one of my top pantry items. Just drop a handful or two into the pot. They will plump up to perfect pieces. If using raw dice to bitesize pieces and add. Also add peas to your desired tastes.

Finally add the frozen noodles. Let them thaw on the counter until they are soft. I sometimes put them in the microwave for 25 second bursts. Drop one at a time into the soup. It is time consuming, but if you drop the whole thing it will be one big lump.

Let cook for 20-25 minutes at a simmer. When the noodles are plump and thick, taste the broth. Watkins contains no salt. So you will need to adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!