1 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup mini chocolate chips (you can use the regular size, but I like the minis for this recipe)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter & both sugars. Add eggs & vanilla & mix until fluffy. Mix together flour, salt, & baking soda. Slowly add to dough until all is mixed in. Get yourself a good pinch of yummy cookie dough & continue. Mix in oatmeal & chocolate chips. Grease a 9 by 13 inch baking sheet. Spread dough as evenly as you can on baking sheet, I generally end up using my fingers. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden. Let cool slightly & cut into individual size bars. Enjoy!
So what's your current food obsession? Come on, fess up. I know you have one. Have you been mowing down BBQ potato chips? Or is a certain kind of fruit tingling your taste buds each day? Or have you been making trips to the mall to slurp down an Orange Julius? Divulge your current food craving... I want to know... mostly because I don't want to be alone in this!
The Nest page.
Anywho... this is one of my favorite ways to make cooked carrots:
3 tablespoons butter
6 large carrots
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash & peel carrots.
Happy Easter dinner preparing!
Happy Good Friday to all! Tonight I will be packing up the family & heading to church for a wonderful time of reflection. Being a pastor's wife I particularly enjoy Good Friday because I get to go to church & enjoy it. I don't have to get all my monkeys dressed up by myself in the early morning hours & drive everyone into town by which time they are ready for naps just in time to start a few hours of church. Don't get me wrong, we all love going to church & enjoy worshiping the Lord & seeing our friends. But for a pastor's wife Sundays are a little different than the average Joe. They are definitely our busiest day of the week. And by the time we make it home, usually around 3:30pm, we are all exhausted. Therefore, a Friday night service that is more casual is a breath of fresh air. My regular church duties will not be required of me, which means I get to just walk in & sit down & enjoy the service. I do not need to dress my kids up, which means a lot less tears & yelling. And I don't have to wake up at 6am & spend three hours trying to get everyone out the door, which means lower blood pressure for all. I'm looking forward to tonights service for those practical reasons. But mostly because of what we are honoring.
Having majored in Art I have seen many, many pieces depicting the crucifixion. But for some reason this one has always spoke to me. I can vividly see it in my minds eye & still remember the day my professor spoke on it in my Art History class. Being a Northern Renaissance art piece the people were not painted all glamorous & perfect. I like that the artist tried to make it as real as he could. This painting is also full of iconography... too much to explain. But if you look carefully I'm sure you'll see it. For example the lamb with the cross and cradling the cup. The artist wasn't just a crazy man, these all have very specific meanings. But my most favorite part is over there on the right. See that funny looking guy holding the Bible? That's John the Baptist. Look above his right arm, can you see the faint writing in red? That's the part that gets me every time, those words. Every time I see this painting & read those words I get emotional. That small red script still speaks to it's viewers 500 years later. It reads: Illum oportet crescere, me autem minui in Latin. Translated it says, He must increase, but I must decrease. And that's what it is all about.
*read more about this art piece here
6 Hard boiled eggs, peeled (hint: run under cold water if you're having trouble getting the shells off)
1/2 cup water
package of food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
dash of pepper
I love this method because it is clean, easy, & quick. Plus the eggs look so much nicer than when you fill them with a spoon. What a festive way to enjoy an old standby!
Cheesy Potato Cakes
1 cup half & half
1 cup heavy cream
6 medium russet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
4 chopped garlic cloves
1 diced medium onion
1 package cream cheese (8 oz), softened
3 ounces goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
4 tablespoons minced chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (I use butter, but you could also use non-stick spray or another healthier option). Scrub potatoes & then slice very thinly, if you have a mandolin that would work best, but I don't- so I slice very thinly. Mix 1/2 cup half & half, 1/2 cup heavy cream, salt & pepper together in a large bowl. Place potatoes in the cream mixture stir a couple of times just to coat, set aside.
In a large skillet melt the butter & add the garlic & onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent & smell delicious. Add the cream cheese & goat cheese & stir constantly for a couple of minutes until incorporated & smooth. Add the remaining half & half & heavy cream, stir to combine. Add in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese & blue cheese & stir to combine. Remove from heat.
Evenly place the potatoes into the baking dish & press down slightly. They don't need to be perfect but you want them fairly flat. Pour the cheese mixture over the top of the potatoes & sprinkle remaining Parmesan over the top. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until golden on top. Remove from oven & sprinkle chives over the top. Loosely cover with tin foil & let it stand for 10 minutes. Cut into single serving squares & enjoy.
This dish looks so pretty & fancy. Bonus: it taste awesome. Few things with Parmesan & blue cheese & cream taste bad. Enjoy!
These are a bit of an investment, but I think it's well worth it. I have saved so much time & trips up and down the stairs. I found mine on the Land of Nod website. Click here to buy one for yourself. Happy laundering!
Since I think all cooks should have the opportunity to use one of these cute "recipe card holders" I'm giving away two of them this weekend. I will announce 2 winners Sunday evening. All you have to do to get in the running for one of these babies is tell us all what your plans are for this weekend in the comments section below.
I will be hanging out at home & relaxing & going to church. It's a very rare weekend for us because we do not have people in the house besides our family. Oh, & I may attempt making won tons... I'm horrible at Asian food so this is quiet an undertaking. What are you doing this weekend?
force them. Then I decorate it with all these cute little ornaments that celebrate all things Spring & Easter.
A great pizza crust is most of the battle when making homemade pizza. If you don't have a good crust folks just plain won't like it. Here is my most favorite crust. It bakes up light & fluffy with a crusty outer layer. It is flavorful & the perfect foundation for a yummy pizza. Plus, it's easy to make & requires no kneading
(makes 2 large pizzas)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups flour
1/3 cup olive oil
Pour yeast into the warm water (make sure it's warm & not hot, hot water will kill the yeast) & stir once, set aside. In a bowl combine flour, salt, garlic powder, sugar (sugar is "food" for the yeast, so make sure to stick it in there). Drizzle in olive oil & mix until just combined. Slowly pour in the water yest mixture & stir until dough forms into a ball. In a seperate bowl pour in a little olive oil & spread around with your hand until entire bowl is coated. Place the pizza dough ball into the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap & set in a warm place for 1-2 hours to rise.
This is how the dough compares from when you make it until it has fully risen.
Once dough has risen preheat the oven to 550 degrees. On a large baking sheet drizzle a little olive oil & then spread around with your hands to coat the entire surface. Do not wash your hands & pick up half of the pizza dough and set in the middle of the baking sheet. Using your hands gently spread the dough around until it is at your desired shape & size. If you like thick crust spread it around accordingly, if you like thin crust do likewise. The crust will not look like it came from Pizza Hut, which is perfect. You want it to look authentic & homemade. As you spread the dough around you may want to add a little more olive oil to the top to help it from not sticking to your hands.
Now spread a little (not too much, nobody likes soggy pizza) pizza sauce on the top to within 3/4 inch of the edge. Then cover with your favorite toppings. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes & enjoy immediately!
Homemade pizza is quick & easy dinner. You could even make the dough in the morning & set it in the fridge to rise all day so that when it's dinner time all you have to do is assemble. It's also fun to make individual pizzas & experiment with toppings. Or try using pesto as the sauce... the possibilities are endless.
This is so easy you'll cry. The best part about making your own sauce is switching up the flavor to meet your preferences.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 can tomato sauce (15oz)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
Italian Seasoning to taste
In a saucepan over medium heat mix olive oil & garlic. Cook a few minutes until garlic starts to sizzle. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar, & Italian seasoning to your liking. Cook on low for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. You can now either use the sauce immediately or stick it in the fridge to use later. This will make enough sauce for about 3-4 pizzas. Freeze left overs for later use.
Omit 1 cup of white flour & in it's place add 3/4 cup wheat flour. This still keeps your crust light & fluffy but adds the whole grains we all need. If you like a denser crust you could experiment with adding more wheat flour.
Tomato, Basil, & Goat Cheese Pizza
My new favorite creation is my Tomato, Basil, & Goat Cheese Pizza. I make it on wheat crust (instructions below) & it is actually really healthy. Coarsely chop the basil & goat cheese so there are large chunks. Thinly slice the tomato into large circles. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese all over the top so there is a nice layer but not a huge amount of cheese. Arrange tomatoes and goat cheese on top of the mozzarella. Bake in the oven as directed above. About 1 minute from being done sprinkle on the basil & top with just a small amount more of mozzarella to hold everything together. Enjoy at once. The lightness of the tomatoes & basil mixed with the richness & creaminess of the goat cheese is like heaven.