Friday, November 28, 2008

A Thanksgiving Pictorial and Two Recipes

Amy, Molly, and Me in the kitchen.

Annabelle and Jack relaxing.

The mantel that Amy put together.

Jack doing the carving.

Jack's Sweet Potato Lovin'. From Cooking Light, November, 2006.


16 servings


  • Potatoes:
  • 2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray

  • Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add half-and-half, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat well (mixture will be thin). Scrape mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

To prepare topping, sprinkle miniature marshmallows over top of casserole. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans, and sprinkle over potato mixture and marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Molly hearts mashes potatoes!

Jonathan takes on my Gingered Pumpkin Pie. Recipe from Cooking Light, November, 2001.


8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)


  • 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
  • 10 gingersnap cookies
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg whites


Preheat oven to 350°.

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle; fit into a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate. Fold edges under, and flute. Freeze 30 minutes.

Place cookies, 2 tablespoons sugar, and flour in a food processor; process until cookies are ground. Add butter; pulse until crumbly.

Combine 3/4 cup sugar and remaining ingredients; pour into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle crumb mixture over pie; bake an additional 20 minutes or until center is set. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

Jack, Annabelle and I had a great Thanksgiving. Thank you Molly and Amy for hosting!

Bridging the Gap

Well, it has been a while since I last posted. Jack and I had an eventful summer with some camping, backpacking, a trip to Alaska, and three weddings! There were some adventures in food for sure, but no time to record them.

I thought I could start catching up by starting with Halloween. Jack loves to dress up for this holiday so he went to work as a cow. I waited until we went to our neighbors for a little party that evening. I was a milkmaid. I think Jack looks very handsome in black and white don't you?

Both Jack and I had Halloween potlucks at work, so I baked molasses cookies or each of us to take in. As we sat together on the bus for our commute to work, I stared at the cookies on my lap (they were in a plastic bag). I realized that they could be the perfect accessory for Jack's costume - cow patties! He loved the idea and put a little sign near his cookies that read, "Jack's Cow Patties - Fresh!"

Here is the recipe for the
Molasses Cookies from Cooking Light, October, 2005:


4 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Cooking spray


Combine brown sugar and shortening in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat well. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Cover and freeze 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place water in a small bowl. Place granulated sugar in another small bowl. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip one side of each ball in water; dip wet side in sugar. Place balls, sugar side up, 1 inch apart, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

Chewy molasses goodness!

I also have been very busy working to set up a jewelry shop at My store features beaded jewelry and loose beads and is located:
You can see a sneak photo preview to the right of this post too.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Working up an Appetite

Jack and I spent a long weekend in Bend, Oregon recently. Our friends Tiffany and Ryan have access to a timeshare close to Mount Bachelor and they invited us to enjoy the snow with them. Ryan guided us up Tumalo Mountain on Friday on a shoe shoeing adventure. There was more straight up to the route than I had bargained for, but the view from the top was well worth it.

Saturday was for snowboarding. Now, I was raised in Michigan, we had plenty of snow, but the slopes do not compare to what the West has to offer. So, I stayed at the timeshare to relax and...cook! I wanted to serve the snowboarders something savory and delicious after their long day on the mountain. I had the latest issue of Cooking Light with me and I noticed this recipe on the last page: Cabernet-Braised Beef Short Ribs. The 3 1/2 hours in the oven appealed to me because I wanted to spend this day to myself making a nice meal and taking it easy. The slow and low way of cooking is a favorite technique because you can't help but end up with tender pieces of meat when you're done. Also, you can never go wrong with a recipe that calls for wine; once that bottle has made its contribution to the recipe, what remains is fair game.
I had never worked with short ribs before and was surprised to see how much they plumped up as they cooked. I served the ribs on a bed of egg noodles and we had asparagus with melted butter as a side. Asparagus is Jack's favorite vegetable and I am happy to see that it is coming back in season again--I love it too. I forgot to take pictures as I was cooking, so Tiffany was kind enough to model what was left.

For dessert I tried something that I've been meaning to make for a long time: an apple galette. This is a simple, rustic tart that is easy to make. I absolutely loved the smell of cooking apple slices in melted butter, that experience rates a close second to the view from Tumalo Mountain. Mmmm.