Friday, December 31, 2010

Egg Drop Ramen Soup

I made this soup with my mom. It is super-duper yummy! I liked having a hyped-up version of Smack Ramen.


1 carrot
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (3 oz.) pkg. ramen noodles with seasoning packet, any flavor
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk


In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add carrot and boil for 7 minutes. Add mushrooms. Break up noodles and add to saucepan with seasoning from packet; stir to blend. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes or until noodles and mushrooms are tender. Slowly pour in the egg and stir for 30 seconds until egg has cooked. Stir in the milk and serve hot.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Magic in the Middles

I made these cookies for a holiday cookie exchange this past month. I'm so glad that I finally tried this recipe that I've had bookmarked for years. The cookies look and taste amazing!


1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 ½ ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)
1/2 cup (3 ¾ ounces) brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick—4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup (2 3/8 ounces) smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg


3/4 cup peanut butter (7 1/8 ounces), crunchy or smooth, your choice
3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners' sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
3. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then
4. stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
5. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
6. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.
7. To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and place one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.
8. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center;
9. roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
10. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.
12. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they're set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

• If you're doubling this recipe, add an extra egg to the chocolate dough.

• If you're making this dough ahead of time, add 2 tablespoons of milk to the chocolate dough. It tends to dry out as it sits, and the extra moisture will keep the outside dough from cracking as you form the cookies.

Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour's Cookie Companion (you can also get the recipe on their site--including a step-by-step blog posting)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

If you're wondering what to make for Christmas morning breakfast, this Williams-Sonoma coffee cake would be a big hit!  We actually had it for dinner one night (with ice cream!).  I used part of a quart of peaches, and I wished I had used the whole quart.

Click HERE for the recipe.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Fudge

Sorry, Morgan, for posting all these peanut butter recipes.  I just love peanut butter.  And a creamy concoction that meets my required daily intake of peanut butter is perfect to add to a tray of Christmas goodies!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme

In a saucepan, bring sugar and milk to a boil; boil for 3 minutes.  Add peanut butter and marshmallow creme; mix well.  Quickly pour into a buttered 8" square pan (I used a foil-lined and Pam-sprayed pan); chill until set.  Cut into squares.  Makes 3-4 dozen (according to Taste of Home), but I think this is really rich, so I cut mine into 64 pieces (8x8).

Candied Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds

Have you ever walked by a nut vendor and NOT wanted to buy some nuts?  The smell is so intoxicating and so inviting.  But the price is ridiculous.  So I made my own, and they turned about fabulous!  Click HERE for the recipe.

PS - mine were done at 45 minutes.

Peanut Butter Blossom or Cup Cookies

We used the same recipe to make 2 different treats!  Brilliant!  This is a good recipe to have kids help with.  Kids are great at unwrapping all the PB cups and kisses while you mix the dough, helping roll all the balls, and then they can easily press the candy into the baked cookies!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T. milk
20 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped
20 hershey's kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.  Cream together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter until fluffy.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk.  Add the flour mixture; mix well.  Shape into 40 balls.

Place 20 balls into an ungreased mini muffin pan.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball.  Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Roll remaining 20 balls in granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press a hershey's chocolate kiss into each ball.  Cool and carefully remove from pan.

A version for Morgan:  Use sugar cookie dough and rolo candies for the mini muffins; and use sugar cookie dough with hershey's kisses for the blossoms.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bryn's 12th Birthday Dinner

Today we celebrated Bryn turning the ripe, old age of 12 years old. She played basketball this morning, had a team party this afternoon to celebrate the end of the season, and got her requested meal for dinner. She requested wontons and cheesecake for dinner. Here is the recipe we followed (you can see the photo at

Korean Wontons
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup canned bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1-1/2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/3 pound ground beef (I used Jimmy Dean Reduced Fat Sausage this time)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1-1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil (I left this out)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I left this out)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (I only used 1/4 teaspoon)
1 package (12 ounces) wonton wrappers
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons water


* In a wok or large skillet, stir-fry cabbage, bean sprouts and carrots in 1-1/2 teaspoons oil until tender; set aside.
* In a small skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add to the vegetable mixture. Stir in the onions, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, salt and pepper.
* Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Combine egg and water. (I didn't use the egg mixture. I just moistened the edges with water.) Moisten wonton edges with egg mixture; fold opposite corners over filling and press to seal.
* Heat remaining vegetable oil in a large skillet. Cook wontons in batches for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown, adding additional oil if needed. (I saw online that you could place the wontons on a sprayed cookie sheet, spray the top of the wontons and then bake them. So I did this. I baked them at 425 for about 10 minutes.) Yield: 5 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (3 each) equals 90 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 171 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

For Dessert we made the jello no-bake cheesecake. At the last minute we decided to make them into milk shakes. This is a fabulous recipe. The original recipe is also at I don't think I have ever used the cheesecake recipe that is in the original recipe, so I won't post it. This time I didn't use vanilla ice cream, but had wild berry frozen yogurt on hand. So we made it with that and left out the vanilla extract. Yummy!!!!

Piece-of-cheesecake Shakes

1 9-inch cheesecake cut into 8 pieces

Additional ingredients for each shake:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla ice cream

For each shake, place one piece of cheesecake in a blender; add the additional ingredients. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass. Yield: 8 servings.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cashew Clusters

Here is the recipe that Mom mentioned is delicious in our gray-hair e-mails.  She used mixed nuts (without peanuts).  I plan to be a purist and use only cashews.  Either way, it is a Christmas treat you won't want to go without!

1 lb. white candy coating, coarsely chopped
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 pkg. (4 oz.) German sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1 can (9 3/4 oz.) salted whole cashews
1 can (9 1/4 oz.) salted cashew halves and pieces

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the first four ingredients.  Cover and microwave at 50% power until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  Stir in nuts.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined pans.  Let stand until set.  Store in an airtight container.  makes 6 dozen.  From Country Woman Christmas 2009.

Household Tip: Less Wrinkled Sheets

I know this isn't a recipe, soI hope you don't mind me sharing a laundry tip. I don't know why I'm bothered by wrinkled sheets.  I think there's just something about getting into bed into crisp, clean sheets.  And wrinkled sheets just don't give me that same feeling.  I've ironed plenty of sheets, but I don't enjoy it.  Well, today I learned that if you dry your sheets on medium rather than high, they come out fresh and clean and dry... but NOT wrinkled!  Hallelujah for advanced dryer settings!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars

I was looking around the internet world looking for great gift ideas, and I came across this yummy idea. I made these yummy cakes to take around to the girls I visit teach. It was so fun to make and they were really cute. Instead of retyping I decided just to send you to their site...check it out:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Grandma Esther's Sea Foam Salad

We're having a Wilson family get-together this afternoon, and I was asked to bring a salad.  I'm surprising everyone with a salad their grandmother used to make when they were children.

Sea Foam Salad
2 cups boiling water
3 oz. lemon jello
3 oz. lime jello
1 small carton small curd cottage cheese (I think 12 oz.)
1 large container (16 oz.) cool whip
1 can drained crushed pineapple (20 oz.)
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Pour boiling water over both the lime and lemon jello mixed together in a bowl.  Refrigerate until barely thickened.  Don't let this set up or you will have chunks of jello.

Add the remaining ingredients to slightly thickened jello.  Mix well.  Pour into a 9x13 pan and chill.