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Monday, December 31, 2012

Colorado Buffalo



New Years is usually all about the champagne, but this year I am going to spice things up with a Colorado Buffalo.  Now, there is some disagreement about the actual name of this drink.

Some call it a Colorado Bulldog, but most Colorado Bulldog recipes I’ve seen don’t have the shot of Morgan.  So as far as I’m concerned, this drink is a Colorado Buffalo, which is, for all intents and purposes the product of a White Russian and a Morgan Coke getting drunk and having a baby that tastes like a rootbeer float...only with booze!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Back...My Favorite Recipes of 2012



It’s that time of year when we all reflect on the past year.  2012 was a big blogging year for me, with lots of delicious recipes coming out of the kitchen.

Here are a few of my favorites!

January
Sweet:
Take 5 Brownies
Savory:
Soft & Crispy Steak Tacos


February
Sweet:
Ground Hog Pudding Cups
Savory:
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs


March
Sweet:
Thin Mint Irish Cream Coffee
Savory:
Two Hour Buns

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Elfie's Antics: The Final Week and Then Some




Day Twenty-One
Elfie was having a sing-along with Woody


He even had his own "Elfie-sized" guitar!



Day Twenty-Two
Elfie was playing Santa.  Complete with Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReinDEERE!! Ha!



Day Twenty-Three
Elfie colored a little picture of a few of his Elf friends



Day Twenty-Four
Elfie was enjoying an Elf's 4 food groups: Candy, Candy Corn, Candy Canes, & Syrup.



Day Twenty-Five
Elfie was playing with the boys' car...and letting us know how many days until Christmas!



Day Twenty-Six
Eflie would never had forgiven himself if he didn't redecorate all of our trees...



So the last one was decorated with Daddy's neckties!



Day Twenty-Seven
Eflie was caught eating cookies and playing with frosting!  Oh no!




Day Twenty-Eight

Elfie was repelling down to the basement from the first story!




Day Twenty-Nine
Elfie had a big race track set up with some of his friends!



Day Thirty
It's Christmas Eve already.  Elfie left a note saying goodbye.  He also brought a magic key so Santa can unlock the front door (since we don't have a chimney).  



See you next year, Elfie!




Easy Rudolph Sugar Cookies



Need one more quick, easy cookie recipe before Christmas?  Have I got the cookie for you!  These are quick, easy, kid-friendly, and the perfect Christmas Eve project (you know – for when the kids are all squirrely about the presents?)

I whipped up these cookies for my son’s Preschool Polar Express Party and we have just enough left for Santa to enjoy!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Virtual Christmas Party



Everyone loves a Christmas party, so to wind up the last week of my 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, I invited some of my favorite blogging friends to come together for a Virtual Christmas Party!  Enjoy!


Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of year when Christmas parties abound, and you are all invited to ours! 

So sit back, relax, and peruse.  We’ve got a bit of everything to share with you today, just click the links below the pictures to meet all of our wonderful participants and their contributions.

















10.  & 11. Pamela from Pamela’s Heavenly Treats:  Candy Cane Peppermint Cupcakes & Red Velvet Cupcakes



12 Weeks of Christmas Treats & A New Blog All About Sweets!


Hooray!  We’ve made it through 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats.  While I’ve enjoyed this project, I will admit that it ended up being a bit more daunting than I’d anticipated!  Despite the sometimes frantic cookie making, I really did have fun with all these treats!

Today I have to pleasure recapping the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats and of introducing my new blog, Amy’s Confectionery Adventures, with a very fun set of Gingerbread Houses.  Here’s a little teaser!


Pop on over to Amy’s Confectionery Adventures to see a lot more!

I’ve recently been feeling like Amy’s Cooking Adventures has been going two different directions.  The goal of this blog was to share recipes that anyone can recreate, targeted especially to busy moms (since I am one!)

But at the same time, I also came to realize my love of cake and cookie decorating.  I wanted to showcase those creations as well, but I’ve always questioned whether or not Amy’s Cooking Adventures was the right platform.

Finally, I decided that the cakes and cookies needed their own place to shine.  And so, last week, Amy’s Confectionery Adventures was born.

Since I want to compile all of my cakes and other desserts in one place, you’ll see some “blasts from the past”.  But you’ll also see so many awesome new creations that I simply haven’t had time to share!  I just can’t wait! 

This blog will stay more or less the same and I would love to see you all over at Amy’s Confectionery Adventures, too!

And now (finally) here’s that Christmas Round Up I promised!




2.    Snickerdoodles
     4. DIY Vanilla Extract



   




9.      Peppermint Patties
11.     Peppermint Creams



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ultimint Christmas Candy Cookies



So remember the realization on Saturday that I had posted four peppermint based recipes in a row?  Well, apparently it doesn’t stop there. 

Shortly after I posted that, Ultimint cookies came flying across my screen.  And know what?  I didn’t have to go out and buy a single ingredient for these cookies.  That’s right, I already had three minty candies on hand! 

Know what else?  I’m pretty sure it didn’t stop there, I think I have at least three types of mint chips hiding out around here, too…oh, and candy canes!

Yep, I definitely have a problem.

But whatever, I’m embracing it. And these cookies are completely fabulous.  They are soft and chewy and chocolaty and minty AND super super easy to make!  So go ahead, embrace the mint and have some cookies.

Recipe Notes:
*I adapted this from the original recipe by adding water to the batter.  I think that the type of cake mix you use will affect the amount (if any) water you need.  I used Pillsbury Devil’s Food Cake Mix.  Since all Pillsbury cakes have pudding in the mix, I believe it made my batter much thicker than if I had used a different mix.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Buffalo Ranch Taquitos





One of my husband’s all time favorite meals is Creamy Chicken Taquitos.  He has loved taquitos since the first time he opened a box of frozen, processed taquitos *shudder*

Because of his undying love of taquitos, it was only natural for me to whip up a batch of buffalo chicken taquitos.  Because taquitos are awesome and so is buffalo chicken!  These were delicious.  Since bleu cheese and buffalo chicken are such a classic combinations, I tried dipping these in bleu cheese dressing, only to be greatly disappointed.  It really didn’t add anything, in my opinion, so I’d stick with some avocado instead.


Recipe Notes:
*This is a double batch of taquitos.  This way you have some to eat right away and some to freeze.  In this case, I gave the other half to a friend who had recently had a baby.
*For the cooked chicken, I boiled a 2 ½ lb bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken tenders.
*If using a rotisserie chicken instead, simply omit the seasoning salt

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Taquitos
Adapted from Pennies on aPlatter

5 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
½ tsp seasoning salt
1 tbsp hot sauce, such as Franks
5 green onions, white & green parts sliced
1 cup shredded marble jack cheese
16 flour tortillas, 6-inch size
Cooking spray
Coarse sea salt (optional)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts Current Events

I want to start today by expressing my sympathy to all those affected by the horrible tragedy in Newton, CT.  I pray that God may grant you comfort and peace.

There are many tributes going around right now, but this is my favorite.

(I was unable to track down the original source of this poem/image, so if you know where is originated, please let me know and I will cite it properly)



I had planned to add more today (like the massive backlog of weekly photos), but it somehow doesn't feel right anymore.

And so I just pray, especially during this season of Christmas, that we can remember Jesus and give Him a place in our lives, not just on Sundays but everyday and everywhere.  In our churches, our schools, our workplaces, and our homes.  Remember that God is everywhere, there to give us guidance and comfort in all that we do.



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peppermint Creams {12 Weeks of Christmas Treats}




I see that look on your face and I know what you’re thinking.

Thought 1: Hey! What’s with all of the peppermint, do you know you just posted no less that 4 peppermint recipes in a row?

Thought 2: And seriously, you just posted peppermint patties, like, 5 days ago and these are totally the same thing.  Get it together!

Response: Yep, you’re right, but there’s a reason!

First, peppermint patties were on my 30x30 list because peppermint patties are amazing and I love them.  But as I set out researching the refreshing minty goodness that is a peppermint patty, I found 2 types of recipes.  One was the peppermint patty recipe I already posted.  That one is corn syrup based and makes a firm patty.  So much so that I became a bit concerned that they’d be too firm and dry (they totally weren’t by the way).

The other recipe, seen below, is butter based.  It’s a looser, creamier, almost nougat-like candy.  In a side by side comparison (yes, I made these on the same day), I loved them both, but the corn syrup based peppermint patty looked and tasted closer to my favorite patty.

But since I loved this one as well, I thought I’d share it as well, but under the name of “Peppermint Cream”.  The center of the peppermint cream is smooth and melts in your mouth.  The buttery flavor shines through reminding me of a butter mint. 

Getting back to the abundance of peppermint recipes lately, the day I made both types of patties, I also made the candy cane truffles, because I had leftover melted chocolate and I’m not one to waste.  And those delicious peppermint “Oreos?”, well that was just good luck!  You can only imagine my surprise and delight when my recipe swap recipe was peppermint based!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Elfie's Antics: Week Three


Welcome to Week Three of our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie, and his antics!

Don't miss Week One and Week Two for more of Elfie's Antics.

Day Fourteen:
We caught Elfie having a video chat with Santa!  Santa had a special message for each of the boys.


Day Fifteen:
Elfie sneaked into the refrigerator and turned our milk green!
Note: My boys wouldn't drink the green milk, so I suggest waiting until there is only a little bit left, or be ready to drink it yourself!  We were on our way out of town, so the milk was going to go bad either way.

Day Sixteen:
We were called out of town for a family emergency, so we left the boys with my parents.  Elfie followed and left a note, asking the boys to be good for Nana & Papa.
But the boys really didn't buy it, they were convinced that Elfie was waiting for them at home and kept asking what this Elf's name was!

Day Seventeen:
Elfie was praying by Baby Jesus


Day Eighteen:
Elfie was found hanging out in a planter


Day Nineteen:
Elfie joined some other elves delivering presents to the Christmas tree!

The boys were so convinced that Elfie was still at home, that I ran in the house before the kids came in and got Elfie all set up in the pantry.  They were thrilled to see Elfie waiting and ready for them!


Day Twenty:
We caught Elfie trying to catch our guppy, Dory!  He had a candy cane pole with a string and an ornament hook!





Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homemade Peppermint "Oreos"



This year I joined up with a bunch of other fabulous bloggers for the holiday cookie recipe swap.  But instead of sending and receiving dozens of cookies, participants snail mailed a favorite holiday recipe to one person and received a recipe from another.

I sent my recipe to Susan at zentMRS – Reflections of Life in Sand Diego.  You can see her take on my recipe here.

Since we didn’t know who we’d be paired with, you can imagine my surprise when I got a recipe from Carrie at My Favorite Finds!  Carrie’s blog is always bursting with wonderful DIY projects and recipes, so I knew I’d love her recipe!

Not only were these homemade “Oreos” delicious, they were also easy and used pantry items that I already had on hand (which was truly a blessing since I had to leave town the day after I received the recipe, only returning today!)

These cookies were truly delicious and I was thrilled to add them to my Christmas repertoire! 




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Buffalo Ranch Dressing



Whenever I go to one of my favorite restaurants (which is, like, once  a year because I don’t like taking my kids to restaurants and we rarely get a sitter), I love to order their fries and smother them in Buffalo Ranch.  However I had never thought to make my own until I saw this recipe come across my screen!

This dressing comes together in a flash and is equally great on salads or on piping hot fries! 


Buffalo Ranch Dressing
Adapted (slightly) fromPennies on a Platter

¾ cup lowfat mayo with olive oil
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp hot sauce, such as Franks
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp vinegar
1 small bunch of chives
1 small handful parsley, leaves only
1 clove garlic, about ¾ tsp
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Monday, December 10, 2012

Peppermint Patties {12 Weeks of Christmas Treats}



What is it about the holidays that makes things so crazy busy?

I have the bulk of my Christmas shopping done (and have since before Thanksgiving), so it’s not that.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of holiday baking, but I’m pretty much always baking something, so I don’t think that’s it either.

Holiday parties?  I only have one and it’s not until next week (note to self: throw a holiday party – wait – then I’ll be busier!)

Whether it’s the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping or Moose Mugs raised (and raised and raised again) in Christmas cheer, the holiday season is busy for all.

And since we all love holiday treats, this next one is pretty quick and easy.  The longest step is the freezing.  And though I have mine freezing for an hour, it can stay in overnight or two nights, or three, or until you catch a break from your various holiday tidings.

Oh and it also fulfills another of my 30x30 bucket list recipes!  Woot!


Recipe Notes:
*Be careful when measuring the peppermint extract.  Peppermint extract is quite strong.  When too much is used in a recipe (any recipe), it can taste almost medicinal.
*This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for even more minty deliciousness.
*When dipping candy in chocolate, I like a richer, more robust chocolaty flavor, so I add just a bit of extra dark chocolate to fill out the flavor profile.

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