Monday, December 29, 2008

Strong Winds And No Power

We woke up Sunday morning to the temperature being in the 40's. The weather forecast was calling for high gusts of wind but I think the winds were stronger than what people expected. Randy had to leave early that morning for his basketball game in Massena. The wind started to get really strong about 11 o'clock and about a half hour later we were without power. I had to work at 3 so I was hoping that the power would be back on before then. No such luck, thank goodness my in laws who live just around the corner did not lose their power, so I was able to take a shower. We still did not have power when I was ready to leave for work at 2:30 but I noticed that National Grid was working at the substation at the end of our road. Our power came back on about 9 that evening. I am sure some people still may be without power but hopefully it is not for too long.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Am Back

I know it has been awhile since I have been around to put up some new posts. It has been a busy month with getting ready for Christmas, parties and working extra hours at work. I do have a few things that I will be posting on that went on during the holiday. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cookies For A Soldier

I was asked recently by HoneyB (check out her blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch), to join the Baking Gals. I joined the Baking Gals and I am so glad that I did.
The cookies that we baked were being sent to Major David Snow a UH-60 blackhawk pilot serving with the 3-10 Aviation from Fort Drum, NY.
I knew immediately what cookies I was going to make. My two favorite cookies, chocolate chip and oatmeal.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 stick Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening Sticks or 3/4 Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening

1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

6 ounces mini chocolate chips (1 cup)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat shortening and brown sugar in large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in milk, vanilla and egg. Stir in flour, salt and baking soda. Blend in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded measuring tablespoons 2-inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. I chose to bake for the 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups oats, uncooked

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water, and vanilla until creamy. Add combined remaining ingredients, mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Peppermint Bark

This is a very simple and easy thing to make. I made this up the other day and brought some to work for my coworkers to enjoy and left some at home for Randy and I. I will be making this again for our family Christmas we will be having on the 21st.

Peppermint Bark

8 ounces mini chocolate chips

30 hershey kisses candy cane flavor

parchment paper

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler until smooth. Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Spread out an even layer of the melted chocolate over the parchment (about 1/8"- 1/4" thick). Cool in the freezer for 20 minutes. While the chocolate is cooling, melt the hershey kisses in a double boiler.
Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer (the chocolate should be hardened) and spread a layer of the melted hershey kisses over the entire piece of chocolate. This should be about the same thickness as the chocolate.
Return the cookie sheet to the freezer and let cool for 30 minutes or until hard.
Break the bark into ragged pieces. Keep refrigerated in airtight container for freshness.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Keeping Warm

It was snowing pretty good this morning and the wind was very strong causing the snow to blow and drift on the roads. Randy had to go out in this nasty weather to play basketball, he is on a league in Massena. While Randy was gone I got stuff done around the house and I did manage to get some reading in that I haven't had a chance to with the busy week that I had. Randy did go out hunting when he got home but didn't have any luck. Maybe next year will be his year, I sure know he hopes so. I guess from the busy day that he had he was all tuckered out. I was able to snap this picture while he was resting his eyes for alittle bit.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Shrimp Alfredo

It was a busy week for me that is why there wasn't too many posts from me. I am hoping after this week I will be able to have more time for baking and cooking. I decided to make dinner for Randy and I since we would both be home which is a rare occasion due to me working the evening shift. We had bought some shrimp when we had went grocery shopping and I did have the other ingredients all ready for this recipe.

Creamy Alfredo (recipe from my mother in law)

8 ounce package cream cheese cubed
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter (recipe said to use margarine, but I do not use it at all when cooking or baking)
1/2 milk

In a large saucepan, combine cream cheese, parmesan cheese, butter and the milk. Stir over low heat until smooth. Add noodles of choice and toss lightly. I added some shrimp to ours as well.

Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Boca Negra Cakes

I had to take Randy's truck to the garage this morning for an oil change. I didn't know how long it was going to take so I didn't know if I would get a chance to make anything today. I wasn't gone very long and when I came home, I wanted to relax and do some reading. I was reading the December issue of the Glamour magazine when I came across this recipe. I am very glad that I had time enough to make this. Of course I had to try some and this is very delicious. I fixed the cup above for Randy and it is waiting in the fridge for when he gets home from work tonight.

Boca Negra Cakes
December 2008 issue of Glamour

12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
8 oz. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 jar store-bought hot fudge (I didn't have any so I topped with a cheery instead)
1 12-oz. container whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate, butter and sugar in a large saucepan and cook over low heat. Stir until everything is melted and blended.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and gradually add flour.
Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, beating constantly.
Pour batter into a lightly greased 12 cup muffin pan until each cup is 3/4 full.
Bake cakes for 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and then turn onto wire rack.

Instead of serving in a wineglass as the directions say to I opted to use a mug. I put whipped topping in the bottom of the mug then placed a cake, more whipped topping and another cake with topping on that and a cherry to finish it off.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chocolate Thumbprints

This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons corn syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, the confectioners' sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium until combined. I do not have an electric mixer so I did this by hand. It turned out rather nicely.

3. Form balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, remove from oven and press thumb into cookies to make a deep wide indentation. Rotate pan and return to the oven. Bake until light brown on the edges for another 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Instead of melting the chocolate like the book said to, I cheated and used the microwave. Here are the directions from the book. Combine chocolate, the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and the corn syrup in a small heatproof bowl, set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool a bit until slightly thickened. Fill thumbprints with the chocolate mixture, and set aside to firm up. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies